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Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 19:03 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

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Don’t try this at home!

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 18:55 by John Sinteur in category: News

Fun with a few 9V batteries. (244 of them) from Jeremy Saglimbeni on Vimeo.

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  1. “Several precautions I didn’t show you” no doubt included his wife throwing him out of the house when she saw what he was doing on the dining table.

U.S. Can’t Track Tons of Weapons-Grade Uranium, Plutonium

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 17:02 by Paul Jay in category: News


President Obama has repeatedly said his top counterterrorism goal is to prevent terrorists from acquiring the building blocks to make nuclear or “dirty” bombs. In April of 2009, Obama announced a new international effort to “secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.” Since then, the Department of Energy has dispatched scientists around the globe to collect hundreds of pounds of the stuff.

But according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), issued late last Friday afternoon to little fanfare, thousands of pounds of highly-enriched uranium and separated plutonium remain. American officials may never get a chance to ensure its security.

That’s because the U.S. can’t track or fully account for 5,900 pounds of “weapons usable” nuclear material that it once shipped overseas. Instead, U.S. officials have to rely on foreign governments’ assurances that the potentially cataclysmic stuff is safe. And when those officials occasionally visit the sites holding the nuclear material, nearly half the places “did not meet International Atomic Energy Agency security guidelines,” according to the GAO, Congress’ investigative arm.

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Cheney’s New Memoir

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 17:02 by Paul Jay in category: News


Former vice president Dick Cheney promised to have ‘heads exploding’ with his new memoir, In My Time. Here are some revelations from the book:

  • Eats his tuna can-and-all
  • Throughout book, American public told to shut up
  • When he said American troops would “be greeted as liberators” in Iraq, he meant it, and he still believes it
  • Somehow obtained and continues to possess all of the U.S. nuclear launch codes
  • Is only able to speak out of the left side of his mouth due to a massive stroke that has been ongoing since 1983
  • Once in late 2003, he let out a series of coarse wheezes that he confirmed was human laughter
  • He first got the idea for water-boarding after watching his entire family slowly drown
  • Really just the nicest guy you’ll ever meet

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An Alternative To Plastic, Grown From Mushrooms

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 17:01 by Paul Jay in category: News


Ecovative is taking on an important, intractable problem: foamed polystyrene. The question, as with many of its peers, is whether it is can take a good idea, and have a real impact on the way things are done.

The single greatest contributor to landfill, polystyrene is ubiquitous, practically non-biodegradable, toxic to marine and other life, and not really recyclable (it can be re-used, but the secondary product is often thrown away). And, until recently, there were few alternatives, save for not using it.

New York-based Ecovative is mixing agricultural waste, such as rice husks and oat hulls, with “fungal mycelium” (mushroom roots) to create super-strong materials that are fire-resistant, and use no heat, electricity, or oil to produce. It is already working with Dell andSteelcase on packaging materials, with Ford on bumpers and side doors, and getting into the construction materials and furniture markets.

But can it really reach its potential if it is has to grow, instead of manufacture, its products?

Chief scientist Gavin McIntyre is confident. In May, Ecovative received investment worth $6.5 million, including funding from 3M, and it recently acquired a building in Green Island, New York, where it will build its first full factory.

“It’s going to be like a vertical farm,” he says. “It’s got 30-foot ceilings. We’re going to have racks upon racks of incubating parts, which have a five-day growth cycle. They slowly transition through the staged rack, starting at one side, until they complete colonization and are on the other side, ready for processing. Our entire process is automated and continuous.”

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Liquid Robotics: Wave-Powered Boats That Can Sail Forever

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 16:59 by Paul Jay in category: News


So you’ve been on the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Russian Soyuz spacecraft, served at the International Space Station, and even spent some time working at Google. What can you possibly do next? Ed Lu, the man with the aforementioned C.V., this week announced that he is joining Liquid Robotics as the chief of innovative applications (“Grand poo-bah was taken,” he jokes).

Liquid Robotics is the company behind the Wave Glider robot, the first marine robot to use the ocean’s wave energy to propel itself forward–a trait that means the robot has zero emissions, requires no fueling, and doesn’t need any power. The robot–which travels at a snail’s pace of one to one and a half knots but can potentially travel for years on end–can also hold solar-powered sensor payloads that transmit data via satellite.

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  1. I don’t know if we have snails that travel at 2kph on this planet.

  2. Oh c’mon folks, at least gimme a snail joke!

  3. Well, all-right then.

    There’s this guy that goes to his front door to pick up his newspaper. He opens the door, bends down to pick it up, and notices that there is a small snail sitting next to the newspaper, just as peaceful as can be. The guy, suddenly overcome with a mean streak, picks up the snail, and hurls him into the street.

    2 Years Later

    There’s a knock at that same guys door. He goes to the door, opens it, looks around. No one is there, he closes the door. Seconds later, there’s another knock. He opens the door, looks down and there’s the snail. Te snail looks up at him, and says “Hey! What the hell was that all about?”

  4. Two public servants had just finished work for the day when one of them stepped on a snail.
    “Why did you do that?!” asked his perplexed co-worker.
    “Because that snail has been following me around all day!”

CIA Pitches Scripts to Hollywood

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 16:58 by Paul Jay in category: News


Are you an aspiring filmmaker who wants to produce a spy thriller? Well, you’re in luck because the CIA has a pile of script ideas lying around.

Ironic, you say, that an organization known for secrecy is doling out helpful hints to Hollywood? The CIA doesn’t think so. For them it’s all about image control. And they’re just the start of it. The Department of Defense and just about every branch of the military has an entertainment industry liaison similar to the CIA’s.

If you want to make a war film and need a fleet of F-22s, a crowd of Marines, or a Navy aircraft carrier, just call up the Department of Defense’s entertainment media office and they’ll tell you if the Army can spare that M1A1 Abrams tank you’ve always wanted for a day or two of filming.

“The scripts we get are only the writer’s idea of how the Department of Defense operates,” Vince Ogilvie, deputy director of the Defense Department’s entertainment liaison office, told Danger Room. “We make sure the Department and facilities and people are portrayed in the most accurate and positive light possible.”

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Jeb Bush to lead for-profit disaster response company

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 16:57 by Paul Jay in category: News


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) managed several hurricanes and natural disasters during his two terms as the state’s executive, but now he is preparing to respond to storms from the helm of a for-profit company instead of from within the governor’s mansion.

Bush’s newly created firm, Old Rhodes Holding LLC, joined forces with O’Brien’s Response Management to form a for-profit disaster response company, the Maritime Executive reported.

O’Brien’s is a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with one of the leading response organizations in the United States, backed by SEACOR’s global network,” Bush said. “Together we look forward to helping a broader array of organizations and communities become more resilient through preparation, response, communication and recovery.”

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The $2 Billion UBS Incident: ‘Rogue Trader’ My Ass

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 13:20 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


The news that a "rogue trader" (I hate that term – more on that in a moment) has soaked the Swiss banking giant UBS for $2 billion has rocked the international financial community and threatened to drive a stake through any chance Europe had of averting economic disaster. There is much hand-wringing in the financial press today as the UBS incident has reminded the whole world that all of the banks were almost certainly lying their asses off over the last three years, when they all pledged to pull back from risky prop trading.

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Pirates Write History Again

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 12:32 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Today, Sunday, the German Pirate Party is expected to be voted into Parliament in Berlin. This is the second time the nascent political movement will be felt worldwide — the first being in 2009, when the Swedish party took seats in the European Parliament.

They won’t be writing history. They’ll be making a direct copy of it and distributing it to others.

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Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires

Posted on September 18th, 2011 at 12:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

With a special joint Congressional committee starting work to reach a bipartisan budget deal by late November, the proposal adds a new and populist feature to Mr. Obama’s effort to raise the political pressure on Republicans to agree to higher revenues from the wealthy in return for Democrats’ support of future cuts from Medicare and Medicaid.

Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

This will pass shortly after Congress passes the Endangered Unicorn Act..

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  1. But first the Air Force will offer a tour of all those UFO’s in Area 51…

  2. Even if it doesn’t pass, it’s great political gamesmanship–and that may be the point.

    It’s a losing game for the Republicans to go on talk shows and say “class warfare.” Of course it’s class warfare. It’s been going on since Reagan, in this latest guise. It’s just that most of the underclass never realized the game was on.

    The more often Republicans have to admit “we have a financial crisis of epic proportions, but there is no way that billionaires with 24 gold-plated toilets should be asked to contribute even one penny more in taxes” the better it is for Obama. Republicans are badly ‘misunderestimating’ the grief and hurt the middle and lower class have endured in recent years. That ruse won’t hold for long.