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iwilltryit video..
ahram cairo newspaper
jfaughnan 28/04/2006 10:25AM
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10 August 2006

Lebanon , Iran, Golan Heights, Prudhoe

Juan gets 66 comments... Why the Ashkenazis want to destroy Lebanon..
it may be that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf.

Iran will start the initial phase of its planned Iranian oil bourse at the end of September...
The building that will house the oil bourse has reportedly already been purchased in the southern Iranian island of Kish in Persian Gulf.

why "Israel" will never willingly return to 1948 borders
February of 1996, the Arab world was stung by the announcement of a comprehensive mutual defense pact between Israel and Turkey which granted, among other things, Israeli warplanes access to Turkish air space. Syria was especially upset as it saw itself hemmed in by hostile neighbors both to the north and south. Tensions between Syria downstream and Turkey had mounted during the 1990s over water rights along the Euphrates River which supplies both countries. Turkey controlled 70% of the waters in the Tigris and Euphrates basin which impacted Iraq as well as Syria. Turkey had recently completed construction on a huge dam which had the potential of cutting off Syria's access to the river's resources completely. This was the keystone of Turkey's Southeast Anatolian Project (or GAP, as it is known).

Virtually unnoticed, the inauguration of the Ceyhan-Tblisi-Baku (BTC) oil pipeline, which links the Caspian sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, took place on the 13th of July, at the very outset of the Israeli sponsored bombings of Lebanon.

The Israeli attack on Lebanon has revealed a pattern of double standards that may permanently change the global attack on terrorism and insurgency, if not warfare in general.

A. said that the war in Lebanon bore no resemblance to that Israel has been waging in the Palestinian territories since the start of the second intifada, six years ago.
"It is nothing like the territories. During daylight hours, you do not see a living soul. You barely see anything at night either.
"During all the years that I served in the reserves, we had the best equipment but now that we have reached the moment of truth the equipment has vanished"
Gili, an Israeli reserve soldier
There are apparently people who pass Hezbollah information regarding the location of our forces and they fire mortar shells. The shells fall around you and that is frightening."
"Many soldiers don't have short-barreled M-16 rifles, communications equipment or even tourniquets." A. said.

lotsa links about Iran

forum on why the Alaskan oil may be out for 6 months:
Bacteria. Very informative
SRB are probably most common in marine sediments: only the top few cm or so is aerobic, and anaerobic oxidation can extend 100s of m into the sediment column, mostly by SRB. There is also a type of SRB which also uses iron
8 SO4= + 2 Fe2O3 + 15 CH2O + 16 H+ -> 4 FeS2 + 15 CO2 + 23 H2O
This leads to huge deposits of reduced S, which is the source of sourness in petroleum. The FeS2 deposits as pyrite, or fool's gold, and is not stable in oxygen (though kinetics are slow):
4 FeS2 + 8 H2O + 15 O2 -> 2 Fe2O3 + 8 SO4= + 16 H+
(this is why mine tailings are acidic) In any case, those deposits of reduced S (~1.5x10^20 mol) are important in the global oxygen cycle. Clearly if we keep reduced material where oxygen can't get to it, that leads to a buildup of oxygen, and reduced sulfur currently accounts for ~1/3 of the total oxygen in the atmosphere. Deposits of reduced carbon account for the rest. So "fool's gold" actually has real value, if we don't dig it up, anyway. Unlike true gold, which just sits there looking shiny.

Typical Alaska North Slope crude buyers may have to seek crudes from as far away as West Africa or Asia to fill the void on the US West Coast, market sources said August 7.
"California may have problems," Standard & Poor's Chief Economist David Wyss said. "The entire West Coast could be in trouble."
..only smaller tankers can move through the Panama Canal to take crude to the West Coast.
..Other mid-grade Latin crudes that could be alternatives to ANS are Colombian Cano Limon at 29 API and 0.5% sulfur, and Venezuela Mesa at 30 API and 0.9% sulfur. Both grades are sold primarily on term contracts and are not available on the spot market.



lungfish petition: Stop Queensland Dam

he [Olmert] has proven that he is the most failure, hopeless and stupid Prime Minister ever to rule the entity of the Zionist enemy. I also say to them: let each Israeli ask himself a question at present about the performance of his political and military command, and question this entire war which they conducted after the capturing of the two Israeli soldiers. Did it lead to the release of the two Israeli soldiers? Will it bring back the two Israeli soldiers? Never... Instead, he could have negotiated like Sharon did in the past. But he did not want to employ this style. He went extreme. They must also ask themselves and their leadership a question after they said that the aim of this war was to restore the capacity of deterrence at the Israeli army. Did this capacity enhance? They said that they wanted to correct the image and reverence of the Israeli army. Was this image corrected or was it tainted further and further?

"Well, civil war this, civil war that" GW

hybrid solar lighting systems Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
..collect sunlight and pipe it into buildings using bundles of small optical fibers
..natural light is vastly superior to artificial light.
..a rooftop-mounted 48-inch diameter collector and secondary mirror that track the sun ..focuses the sunlight into 127 optical fibers connected to hybrid light fixtures equipped with diffusion rods visually similar to fluorescent light bulbs... One collector powers eight to 12 hybrid light fixtures illuminate 1,000 square feet. During times of little or no sunlight, a sensor controls the intensity of the artificial lamps to maintain a constant level of i
..savings up to $8,000 per unit. For large floor spaces 1-200,000 square feet ..cost savings of $1-2 million over 10 years (Sunlight Direct_. Operation and maintenance savings ..$300,000 in savings
..within five years 5,000 hybrid solar lighting systems.. saving 50 million kilowatt hours per year...
..to reduce the cost from about $12 to $4 per square foot...
[note the typical pattern: active technology, supplements existing system, levels controlled by sensors. This pattern may apply to heating & cooling systems, drive trains... note that maintenance costs are reduced, although complexity is increased.
Once urgency is attained, huge energy savings can be found all over the place
We are going to be fussing with pumps, fans,ducts, sensors.. ]

book: Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
Elizabeth Kolbert Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006

universe could be 15 percent bigger and 15 percent older than any previous calculations suggested.
.. new method ..
They studied two of the brightest stars in M33, which are part of a binary system, meaning that the stars orbit each other.. one star eclipses the other every five days.
They measured the mass of the stars, which told them how bright those stars would appear if they were nearby. But the stars actually appear dimmer because they are far away. The difference between the intrinsic brightness and the apparent brightness told them how far away the stars were -..
To their surprise, the distance was 15 percent farther than they expected: about 3 million light-years away, instead of 2.6 million light-years as determined by the Hubble constant.
If this new distance measurement is correct, then the true value of the Hubble constant may be 15 percent smaller -- and the universe may be 15 percent bigger and older -- than previously thought.
"Our margin of error is now 6 percent, which is actually pretty good

09 August 2006

The Painting that ate my life, Two Women with Mangoes

On the smelly subway, Manhattan 1980, flashes by a poster of a Paul Gauguin self-portrait with black prison (or teller) bars superimposed, and the caption "Paul Gauguin worked in a bank until he was 40, There is Still Time" - advertising the Met?
Imagine the effect on me as I headed south to Liberty Plaza, Bankers Trust, with its fine view of WTC2. I left New York without making my fortune.
Paul Gauguin was born 100 years before me. Now I have now lived longer than he did.
In my year in Manhattan I must have visited that painting at least once a month. The Met having a donations admission, and the wonderful Impressionist room recently opened.
A reproduction of the painting hung on the wall of my adolescent bedroom, I imagine my parents were perturbed.

What can be said about the work?
Its pornographic, although not as an aid to self-abuse. (for such purposes, try Cranach, Giorgione, or Ingres)
Somehow the girl on the left intercepts the viewers gaze with her own interrogative disarming gaze.
The main figure, 17 year old Pehura, stuck with PG for years, and in around the time of this painting April 1899 she gave birth to his son.
The image of breasts above a tray of fruit might have been comical without the intensity of this work and the reverie of the pregnant girl.

The odd greenish cast to her flesh has to be seen at the Met to be believed. Having slightly reduced red receptors, it may be that others are seeing a more dramatic picture than I, but few would have my dedication.

The work represents some kind of pinnacle of painting. Its claim to primitiveness is tempered by the fact that bare breasts were long passe in late C19 Tahiti. All the Parisian intellectual influences must be acknowledged. Gauguin uses classical art, and the stone Reliefs of Borobudur to construct his own mythologies.
Today this work is filtered by the late C20 definition of correct behaviour, such that PG is now biographised more as an evil alcoholic 50 year old who had no business cohabiting with such a young girl (14 when they met), than a revolutionary artist.

Have I spent my life in a Pacific reverie? I lived in the Polynesian centre, Auckland, for years. Sundays strolling down Ponsonby road hearing complex Tongan harmonies coming out of churches. On the last evening of the last century, I was on a remote beach in Palawan, intending to celebrate New Year with my wife, who is from Samar. Our hut had no light, we stumbled around by the light of her cell phone. (Spirit of the dead watching?) At the last hour we joined a bunch of German backpackers on the back of a truck heading towards Puerto Princesa City - we all suddenly realised that a town gathering was the place to celebrate, particularly as the province is famous for its fierce fireworks.

(normal political & techno ranting resuming soon)

08 August 2006

What we expect from art. "Be mysterious"

When you step outside from a visit to the Uffizi, you discover you have learned to see. Your vision is clearer and deeper.
Oddly, the two-dimensional paintings you have been viewing have the effect of rendering faces more rounded, more three dimensional.
So this first order effect is a simple one of spatial clarity, a brightening of the vision. I dont know why the rocks in the landscapes of Renaissance art dont educate. There was little knowledge of geology in the fifteenth century, but there was also little knowledge of
biology. Still the faces convince, while the rocks do not. Each face you see on the street now appears to be that of a model on the way to some studio.

The higher order of vision that we expect to educate relates to the human dimensions. Travelling to ancient jungle sites, we see murals which fascinate and appall. In Tikal, in Central America we see laterite reliefs and rare murals where aristocrats run strings of thorns through the tongue or through the penis, in order to produce blood. To placate the gods, we are told. But the motives are truly alien. Stone reliefs are far from the mobile panels and rollable canvases that the merely wealthy purchase today. From Tikal we venture to Angkor Wat, the only other civilization to flourish in tropical jungle. Here too stretch hundreds of metres of stone reliefs. Expecting Buddhism to produce tranquil scenes, we are shocked to find the major theme to be battles, with legendary serpents churning oceans of milk for millennia.

The truly pacific Buddhist reliefs in Borobudur in Java amaze without horror. (I expect I have forgotten battle scenes there, I visited before the restorations were complete). Paul Gauguin saw plaster casts of some of Borobudur, and possessed some postcards. I guessed this influence when I saw the thick ankles and wrists in the reliefs, which make much more sense in stone than they do in Gauguins oils.


The hands of the woman on the right are said to echo a Borobudur panel.
P G also had photographs of Egyptian murals, their upright , pre-modern passivity appears in his paintings.

"PG transferred in Sydney to a ship bound for Auckland, where he had to wait three weeks for the Richmond that maintained a regular service between New Zealand, Samoa, Rarotonga and Tahiti. He spent most of his waiting period complaining about the bad weather, the poor food and the lack of distractions, but, more positively, also carefully studied the fine maori collections in the old Auckland Museum, at the top of Shortland street"

Evidently part of what we expect from art is to learn about prior art. The chief benefit, however is to learn how to see. To see deeper, finer and more brightly.
"The Impressionists look for what is near the eye, and not at the mysterious centers of thought."

07 August 2006

Metis-M, Hot nukes, compassionless flickr

06 August 2006,
at least 15 people were killed by HA deadliest rocket attack so far ..
1 rocket landed near .. Kfar Giladi. .. 12 army reservists were among the dead.
3 killed 40+ wounded in .. Haifa.

HA..targeted Israeli military vehicles in Wadi Honeen on the border and an armoured Israeli unit trying to advance towards Adayseh village, killing or wounding several ..
Two tanks and two bulldozers were reportedly destroyed.
..Israeli troops trying to advance north near Biyada village were also attacked and two tanks damaged, it said.
Syria has given Hezbollah its most sophisticated antitank weapons, sold to the Syrian Army by Russia.
..include the Russian Metis and RPG-29.. The Metis is more modern yet, wire-guided with a longer range and a higher speed..
...Kornet, laser-guided, with a range 3 miles, which Hezbollah may be holding back, waiting for Israel to .. extend its supply lines.
04/04/06 Friday, the army confirmed a HA anti-tank missile killed 3 soldiers and wounded 2 others in southeastern Lebanon.
In the 2 two days alone, these missiles have killed seven soldiers and damaged three Merkava tanks.. symbols of Israel's military might, the army said. .. HA owns European-made Milan missiles.
Jul 27 The extreme hot summer in Europe is restricting nuclear energy generation and showing up the limits of nuclear power..
The heat wave since mid-June has led authorities in France, Germany, Spain and elsewhere in Europe to override their own environmental norms on the maximum temperature of water drained from the plants' cooling systems.
..The drought accompanying the hot summer has reduced the volume of water in the rivers, and might force some power plants to shut down.
..During the hot summer of 2003, French authorities had allowed nuclear power plants to drain excessively hot water into rivers, leading to considerable damage to flora and fauna
..Meanwhile France is importing some 2000 megawatts of power per day from neighbouring countries to compensate for shortages in production at nuclear power plants.
While the French authorities have overridden their own environmental norms, in Germany energy providers have slowed down some nuclear reactors to limit waste water temperature and to protect flora and fauna.
..In Spain, the nuclear power plant at Santa Maria de Garoña, one of eight Spanish reactors, was shut down last weekend due to the high temperatures recorded in the river Ebro ..20 percent of the electricity generated in the country.

31/07/06 ..American Electric Power Co. shut down one of two nuclear reactors in Bridgman, Michigan, yesterday after lake water, used to cool the facility, pushed readings in the containment building to 120 degrees
..Consolidated Edison Inc. expects the heat will push power demand in the New York to a record, potentially threatening an electricity system
[so it seems that Nuclear Power stations may fail just when the demand for electricity is at a peak. This puts a new light on solar and wind power, frequently dismissed as intermittent compared with nuclears supposed uninterrupted 'base load']

monbiot eauplus foodsforlife nutrition-news
study of 117 children suffering from dyspraxia(8). Dyspraxia causes learning difficulties, disruptive behaviour and social problems. It affects about 5% of children. Some of the children were given supplements of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, others were given placebos. The results were extraordinary. In three months the reading age of the experimental group rose by an average of 9.5 months, while the control group’s rose by 3.3.
however … we probably do not have a sustainable supply of long chain omega 3 fats.”
The European Union, for example, has bought our pampered fishermen the right to steal protein from the malnourished people of Senegal and Angola. West African stocks are now going the same way as North Sea cod and Mediterranean tuna.
, a Swiss company called eau+ published a press release claiming that it has been farming “a secret strain of algae called V-Pure” which produces the right kind of fatty acids.

Tourist photographer 'harassed' by the outstretched hand of a hungry child.
Some of the Euro tourist photographers on flickr have an amazingly cruel and selfish approach.
Lafforgue takes fine photos, but seems oddly lacking in awareness and empathy. He gets irritated by the outstretched hand of a hungry child, sees it as harassment.
I thought Cambodia was a country not so much touristic...i was wrong...All the child i met in Siem reap asked for money, their favourite sentence was "hello, one dollar"...a little bit disapointing.I didn't meet this kind of harassment in Myanmar.
Hopefully, in Battambang, people very very warm and friendly. It seems the problem comes from the main touristic places...

my comment
Giordano Bruno Pro User says:
Myanmar is quieter because human rights groups have asked that tourists dont go there, as their money ends up supporting tyranny.
A foreign rich man may see a hungry child's outstretched hand as 'harassment', I suppose...
Another fine photographer phitar
says this:
i never ever give money to a child i meet, i never give children anything that can be traded for money (pen, school stuff, packaged food...). i often share my meals or snacks, i also try to fiod other ways of helping but most efficient to make a child smile, i teach them tricks, like how to stick their finger through their ear with minimal surgery involved.
the girl on the front is deaf but so quick and so smart she figured it out in an instant. she did it perfectly right away and was more amused by doing it to mesmerize her friends who were still wondering...
it takes practice to do it with one hand while shooting with a 3Kg camera in the other :-)

my comment:
I would still give money to a hungry person. If you want to walk past a hungry person with your money, thats your choice.
I know the girl in the photo, and while some say she should be in school, she's floating out there for cash. If you dont want to encourage her to be there, turn your back, dont smile, dont take her photo.
- nb phitar is confident enough to leave my comment standing. But I remain shocked by his pride in never parting with cash to a hungry child, except with parlour tricks.
Is this coldness a European thing? In this part of the world, we have a name for it "Tight-arsed"
carf says: [carf is also a fine photographer]
Apropos Giordano Bruno,
I agree 100% with what Phitar is explaining here.
Having worked on the streets for the last 13 years, with kids who never stop begging for anything but money, I am tired of seeing the consequences of the self-righteous acts of charity by discerning citizens, who really thing they are doing a good deed by emptying their pockets at any given moment to alleviate their bad conscience.

- what these Euros seem to be doing is actively fighting off the urge to help, actively hardening their hearts.
Actually carf goes on at length about how he helps poor people in a some continuing way, and somewhat pompously suggests I do the same.
Well, my rather large extended family might blow a collective raspberry at carf if they didnt posses a certain politeness and dignity.
a href="http://technorati.com/tag/compassionless flickr" rel="tag">compassionless flickr