"They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded."
Greetings! We hope you enjoy and find interesting the articles we have selected this week. With so much happening, the worlds economy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the possible upcoming wars involving Iran and Israel, pestalences H1N1, Hemorrhagic Pneumonia, 2012, world government, increased UFO sightings, the socialization of the United States, possibility of civil unrest in several countries, the Lisbon Treaty, natural disasters, etc. etc. etc.
The time must surely be getting close when the world will cry out for a saviour, someone to help bring the world out this chaos,"a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:23-25)
Luke 10:24 could possibly be applied to us who are witnessing the passage of such earth changing events; "For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them".
Do not fear but; " look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.(Luke 21:28)
10 states face financial peril
Dropping tax revenue, rising unemployment and yawning budget gaps are wreaking havoc in states from Arizona to Wisconsin, a new report shows.
By Tami Luhby
November 11, 2009
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The same economic pressures that pushed California to the brink of insolvency are wreaking havoc on other states, a new report has found.
And how state officials deal with their fiscal problems could reverberate across the United States, according to the Pew Center on the States' analysis released Wednesday.
The 10 most troubled states are: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
The list is based on several factors, including the loss of state revenue, size of budget gaps, unemployment and foreclosure rates, poor money management practices, and state laws governing the passage of budgets.
These troubles have forced these states -- as well as many others -- to raise taxes, lay off or furlough state workers and slash services. These actions can slow down the nation's recovery, especially since these 10 states account for one-third of the country's population and economic output.
The New York Times
Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment Stands at 17.5%
By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: November 6, 2009
For all the pain caused by the Great Recession, the job market still was not in as bad shape as it had been during the depths of the early 1980s recession -- until now.
With the release of the jobs report on Friday, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.
In all, more than one out of every six workers -- 17.5 percent -- were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.
This includes the officially unemployed, who have looked for work in the last four weeks. It also includes discouraged workers, who have looked in the past year, as well as millions of part-time workers who want to be working full time.
The official jobless rate -- 10.2 percent in October, up from 9.8 percent in September -- remains lower than the early 1980s peak of 10.8 percent.
The broader rate is highest today, sometimes 20 percent, in states that had big housing bubbles, like California and Arizona, or that have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Confirmed: Buy insurance or go to jail
'This is ultimate example of Dems command-and-control government'
Posted: November 06, 2009
By Bob Unruh -
A Michigan congressman has released a report from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation confirming that the House Democrats' health-care bill could impose penalties of up to $250,000 in fines and five years in jail for failing to buy the proper insurance coverage.
"This is the ultimate example of the Democrats' command-and-control style of governing - buy what we tell you or go to jail," said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.
"It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately," he said today.
The letter of confirmation from the Joint Committee on Taxation was signed by Chief of Staff Thomas Barthold. His analysis confirmed individuals who fail to follow the rules actually could be penalized both with civil and criminal punishments.
"The Code provides for both civil and criminal penalties to ensure complete and accurate reporting of tax liability and to discourage fraudulent attempts to defeat or evade tax," Barthold's letter said. "Civil and criminal penalties are applied separately.
("Thus, a taxpayer convicted of a criminal tax offense may be subject to both criminal and civil penalties, and a taxpayer acquitted of a criminal tax offense may nonetheless be subject to civil tax penalties."
He continued, "In cases involving both criminal and civil penalties, the IRS generally does not pursue both simultaneously, but delays pursuit of civil penalties until the criminal proceedings have concluded."
Among the possible penalties available, he said, were:
Under Section 6662(a), 20 percent of an underpayment attributable to health care tax -
Section 6663, a fraud penalty of 75 percent of the underpayment -
Section 6702, a $5,000 penalty for taking a frivolous position on a tax return -
Section 6651, a delinquency penalty of .5 percent under the underpayment, each month -
Section 7203, a fine of $25,000 or jail up to one year -
Section 7201, a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
According to Camp, the JCT letter makes clear that Americans who do not maintain "acceptable health insurance coverage" and who choose not to pay the bill's new individual mandate tax "are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminals fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years."
He noted the Senate Finance Committee earlier worked on language that would shield Americans from such problems.
"Speaker Pelosi's decision to leave in the jail time provision is a threat to every family who cannot afford the $15,000 premium her plan creates," Camp said. "Fortunately, Republicans have an alternative that will lower health insurance costs without raising taxes or cutting Medicare."
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the lowest cost family non-group plan under Pelosi's health-care plan would cost $15,000 in 2016.
The health-care plan has been in the works for months but has been opposed by the GOP for a variety of reasons, including abortion coverage and the huge tax increases forecast to go along with it.
The president has had difficulty lining up support even among Democrats, because many moderates oppose the mandated abortion funding in the plan.
The Vatican joins the search for alien life
The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding its first ever conference on alien life, the discovery of which would have profound implications for the Catholic Church.
By Tom Chivers -
10 Nov 2009
The Vatican has joined the search for alien life Photo: AP/20TH CENTURY FOX
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a conference on astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth, with scientists and religious leaders gathering in Rome this week.
For centuries, theologians have argued over what the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for the Church: at least since Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for claiming that other worlds exist.
Among other things, extremely alien-looking aliens would be hard to fit with the idea that God "made man in his own image".
Furthermore, Jesus Christ's role as saviour would be confused: would other worlds have their own, tentacled Christ-figures, or would Earth's Christ be universal?
However, just as the Church eventually made accommodations after Copernicus and Galileo showed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, and when it belatedly accepted the truth of Darwin's theory of evolution, Catholic leaders say that alien life can be aligned with the Bible's teachings.
Father Jose Funes, a Jesuit astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and one of the organisers of the conference, said: "As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God.
"This does not conflict with our faith, because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God."
Not everyone agrees. Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and author of The Goldilocks Enigma, told The Washington Post that the threat to Christianity is "being downplayed" by Church leaders. He said: "I think the discovery of a second genesis would be of enormous spiritual significance.
"The real threat would come from the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, because if there are beings elsewhere in the universe, then Christians, they're in this horrible bind.
"They believe that God became incarnate in the form of Jesus Christ in order to save humankind, not dolphins or chimpanzees or little green men on other planets."
The Academy conference will include presentations from scientists - by no means all of them Christians - on the discovery of planets outside our solar system, the geological record of early life on Earth, how life might have started on Earth, and whether "alien" life of a different biochemistry to our own might exist here without our knowing, among many other things.
Mormon Prophecies concerning the coming Judgements on America.
(1) "A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant....The most terrible scenes of murder and bloodshed and rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place" (Joseph Smith).
(2) "I have seen the end of this nation and it is terrible...I will tell you in the name of the Lord that a secret band will sap the life of this nation" (Moses Thatcher).
(3) "'What! This great and powerful nation of ours to be divided one part against the other and many hundreds of thousands of souls to be destroyed by civil wars!' Not a word of it would they believe. They do not believe what is still in the future...The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on the peaceable pursuits of farming or agriculture. But these will be neglected, and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives. Thus will the Lord visit the people, if they will not repent" (Orson Pratt).
Orson Pratt was a contemporary of Joseph Smith. This prophecy was given after the Civil War (late 1800s)
(4) "...what about the American nation. [The past Civil War] was nothing, compared to that which will eventually devastate [America]. ...Do you wish me to describe it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth, destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture, there will be too much bloodshed, too much mobocracy, too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety. What will become of millions of the farmers upon [this land]? They will leave their farms and they will remain uncultivated, and they will flee before the ravaging armies from place to place; and thus will they go forth burning and pillaging the whole country; and that great and powerful nation...will be wasted away, unless they repent. (Orson Pratt).
(5) "...and the Lord [said] I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth, all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightening, and fearful destruction...You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulfing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations, and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands; and they will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbors, of their families, or for their own lives" (Brigham Young).
(6) "...with judgments that are terribly severe that will cause them to lie by hundreds and thousands unburied from one end of the land to the other, to be meat for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth. Why? Because the judgments will be swift, giving no time for burial.
"Inquires one: 'Do you really believe that such judgments are coming upon our nation [America}?'
"I do not merely believe, but I know it" (Orson Pratt).
Police prepare drill for plague at school
By DAVID FITZGERALD
LAKE IN THE HILLS - Citizens infected with a fictitious pneumonic plague will line up outside Lincoln Prairie Elementary School on Saturday to help test the site as a medication dispensary in case of an emergency.
The Lake in the Hills Police Department is carrying out the test as part of a grant from the McHenry County Department of Health for its emergency health plan. In case of a biological terrorist attack or widespread disease outbreak, the site would be able get medicine to the community, Lake in the Hills Chief of Patrol Services David Brey said.
"This is just a functional test of the site," he said.
The event will use volunteers pretending to have been stricken by the plague to help test the flow of the site, from initial triage through receiving proof of being medicated.
"We picked the plague on purpose so it would have nothing to do with the swine flu," Brey said.
The test will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Lincoln Prairie, 500 Harvest Gate, across from Lake in the Hills Village Hall.
VeriChip Buys Steel Vault, Creating Micro-Implant Health Record/Credit Score Empire
By Jim Edwards
Nov 11, 2009
VeriChip (CHIP), the company that markets a microchip implant that links to your online health records, has acquired Steel Vault (SVUL), a credit monitoring and anti-identity theft company. The combined company will operate under a new name: PositiveID.
The all-stock transaction will leave PositiveID in charge of a burgeoning empire of identity, health and microchip implant businesses that will only encourage its critics. BNET previously noted that some regard the company as part of a prophecy in the Book of Revelation (because the HealthLink chip carries an RFID number that can be used as both money and proof of ID) or as part of President Obama's secret Nazi plan to enslave America.
The most obvious criticism to be made of the deal is that it potentially allows PositiveID to link or cross-check patient health records (from the HealthLink chip) to people's credit scores. One assumes that the company will put up firewalls to prevent that. PositiveID CEO Scott Silverman said:
"PositiveID will be the first company of its kind to combine a successful identity security business with one of the world's first personal health records through our Health Link business. PositiveID will address some of the most important issues affecting our society today with our identification tools and technologies for consumers and businesses."
Unless, of course, consumers don't actually want to be implanted with chips, have their health records available over the internet, or have their medical records linked to their credit scores.
Parents to be fined if they take their children out of sex lessons
By LAURA CLARK
06th November 2009
Early start: A sex education leaflet aimed at six-year-olds
Parents will face fines if they remove 15-year-old children from sex education lessons as they become part of the national curriculum for the first time.
Lessons in relationships and sex will begin at five, with prescribed content for each age group.
Parents will still be able to withdraw children on moral and religious grounds, but this right - which currently extends until students are 19 - will be lost at 15.
Mothers and fathers risk being fined and prosecuted under anti-truancy laws.
Under current arrangements, secondary schools must teach sex education but can choose the content. Primary schools do not have to offer it at all.
The shake-up, outlined by Children's Secretary Ed Balls, will affect 600,000 children from September 2011. It drew immediate protests.
Campaigners said sex education in the last year of secondary school - to which all children will now be exposed - is often the most explicit, with pupils taught about how to use a condom and access to contraception and abortion.
Religious leaders said parents would 'vote with their feet'.
The Independent UK
Tory Eurosceptics threaten 'all-out war' over Brussels
David Cameron's promise of a referendum in 2015 would come too late to placate his MPs and MEPs
By Jane Merrick, Political Editor
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan resigned last week from the Tory frontbench in the European Parliament in protest against his party's stance on the Lisbon Treaty
David Cameron has been given an 18-month deadline by a powerful band of Eurosceptic Tory MPs to renegotiate Britain's relationship with Brussels or face an "all-out war" for a referendum, it emerged yesterday.
The Conservative leader last week tried to buy more time from the Eurosceptic wing of his party by promising that the Tories' 2015 election manifesto would contain a promise for a referendum should the EU "move in the wrong direction".
Mr Cameron unveiled a list of proposals to assert Britain's sovereignty over Brussels and repatriate certain powers during the next Parliament, if the Tories win the 2010 election.
The shopping list was an attempt to placate his MPs and MEPs after he dropped a pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
But a senior Tory MP said yesterday that Mr Cameron would have to move quickly in the first year and a half of his premiership - and had to show "real progress" on his promises.
The MP said: "I don't think a promise of a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU in more than five years will sit very well. He [Cameron] needs to make progress, within the first 18 months of his premiership. If he does, it will be his crowning glory, but if he doesn't, it will be a thorn in his side."
Another Eurosceptic backbencher said: "We have agreed to keep quiet on this before the election, but if things do not start happening in the first year or so, there will be all-out war for a referendum."
The warning from the band of Conservative MPs steps up the pressure on the Tory leader after the resignation of two Tory MEPs, Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer, from the party's frontbench in the European Parliament. The issue threatens to spoil Mr Cameron's honeymoon as Prime Minister if he wins next spring.
Some 47 Tory MPs, including a handful of shadow ministers, signed a Commons motion last month that "insists that the Prime Minister rejects the [Lisbon] Reform Treaty ... and holds a referendum before or after ratification". Mr Helmer and Mr Hannan are both members of the Better Off Out group which wants the UK to withdraw from the EU. There are also five Tory MPs and eight Conservative peers who are members of the group.
'Something may come through' dimensional 'doors' at LHC
Attack of the Hyperdimensional Juggernaut-Men
By Lewis Page
Posted in Physics, 6th November 2009
A top boffin at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) says that the titanic machine may possibly create or discover previously unimagined scientific phenomena, or "unknown unknowns" - for instance "an extra dimension".
"Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it," said Sergio Bertolucci, who is Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, briefing reporters including the Reg at CERN HQ earlier this week.
The LHC, built inside a 27-km circular subterranean tunnel deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border outside Geneva, functions like a sort of orbital motorway for extremely high-speed hadrons - typically either protons or lead ions.
The differences are, firstly, that the streams of particles are moving at velocities within a whisker of light speed - such that each stream has as much energy in it as a normal car going at 1000mph (http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern.ch/lhc-machine-outreach/beam.htm). Secondly, the beams are arranged in such fashion that the two streams swerve through one another occasionally, which naturally results in huge numbers of incredibly violent head-on collisions.
These collisions are sufficiently violent that they are expected to briefly create conditions similar to those obtaining countless aeons ago, not long after the Big Bang, when the entire universe was still inconceivably small - it was smaller than a proton for quite some time, seemingly, still with all the stuff that nowadays makes up all the supra-enormity of space and galaxies and so forth packed in somehow.
Naturally, some extremely strange phenomena are to be expected when one mangles the very fabric of space-time itself in this fashion. Various eccentric nutballs have claimed (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/05/lhc_to_leave_fabric_of_spacetime_continuum_unripped/) that this would doom humanity in one fashion or another; perhaps converting the entire Earth, everything on it and possibly the rest of the universe too into "strangelet soup", monopole mulligatawny or some other sort of frightful sub-particulate blancmange or custard.
It has also been suggested that cack-handed boffins at the LHC might inadvertently call into being a miniature black hole and carelessly drop this into the centre of the Earth, rather irritatingly causing the planet to implode. It's certainly to be hoped that the button marked "Call Black Hole Into Being" on the control board has some kind of flip-down cover over it.
Obviously all that's utter rubbish. But some boffins have speculated that black holes might alternatively act as spacewarp wormhole portals into alternate universes, or something. This would seem to chime with Bertolucci's remarks this week on hyperdimensional "doors" out of which might come unspecified "somethings".
So what have we got? Dinosaurs? Demonic soul-reapers? Parallel globo-Nazis? Hyperspherical juggernaut-beings? Come on
Anyone who has watched a TV, read any sci-fi or seen any movies will be well aware that hyperdimensional spacewarp wormhole portals don't normally lead to anything boring like empty space, parallel civilisations where humanity lives in peace and harmony or anything like that.
Rather, it seems a racing cert that we're looking here at an imminent visit from a race of carnivorous dinosaur-men, the superhuman clone hive-legions of some evil genetic queen-empress, infinite polypantheons of dark nega-deities imprisoned for aeons and hungering to feast upon human souls, a parallel-history victorious Nazi globo-Reich or something of that type.
We took the matter up with Dr Mike Lamont, a control-room boffin at the LHC.
"We're hoping to see supersymmetry and extra dimensions," he confirmed.
Pressed on the matter of doors through which something might come, as hinted at by Bertolucci, Lamont rather elliptically said "well, he's a theorist", before recommending the book Warped Passages (http://www.warpedpassages.com/) by physicist Lisa Randall. This explores ways in which extra-dimensional space and entities might interact with our own. It uses among others the example of how a sphere moving in 3D space would appear to someone living on a single 2D plane-space - that is as a mysterious circle suddenly blossoming into existence, growing, perhaps moving about and then shrinking down and vanishing again.
"There's no maths in it," added Lamont encouragingly, having assessed the intellectual level of the Reg news team with disconcerting percipience.
Summarising, then, it appears that we might be in for some kind of invasion by spontaneously swelling and shrinking spherical or wheel-shaped creatures - something on the order of the huge rumbling stone ball from Indiana Jones - able to move in and out of our plane at will. Soon the cities of humanity will lie in smoking ruins, shattered by the Attack of the Teleporting Juggernaut-tyrants from the Nth Dimension.
Dr Bertolucci later got in touch to confirm that yes indeed, there would be an "open door", but that even with the power of the LHC at his disposal he would only be able to hold it open "a very tiny lapse of time, 10-26 seconds, [but] during that infinitesimal amount of time we would be able to peer into this open door, either by getting something out of it or sending something into it.
"Of course," adds Bertolucci, "after this tiny moment the door would again shut, bringing us back to our 'normal' four dimensional world ... It would be a major leap in our vision of Nature, although of no practcal use (for the time being, at least). And of course [there would be] no risk to the stability of our world."
We say: Excellent. Who said the LHC was a waste of money? ®
Huge $10 billion collider resumes hunt for 'God particle'
By Elizabeth Landau
The LHC will circulate a beam around the tunnel within two weeks, CERN scientists say
An electrical failure caused a major shut-down of the collider in September 2008
The full scientific program for the LHC will probably last more than 20 years
The LHC will look for the Higgs boson, quarks, gluons and other small particles
(CNN) -- Is the Large Hadron Collider being sabotaged from the future? Or merely by birds?
The LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator, has been under repair for more than a year because of an electrical failure in September 2008.
Now, excitement and mysticism are building again around the $10 billion machine as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) gears up to circulate a high-energy proton beam around the collider's 17-mile tunnel. The event should take place this month, said Steve Myers, CERN's Director for Accelerators and Technology.
The collider made headlines last week when a bird apparently dropped a "bit of baguette" into the accelerator, making the machine shut down. The incident was similar in effect to a standard power cut, said spokeswoman Katie Yurkewicz. Had the machine been going, there would have been no damage, but beams would have been stopped until the machine could be cooled back down to operating temperatures, she said.
As it begins to run at full energy, greater than any machine of its kind, the LHC will help scientists explore important questions about the universe. The ambitious project also has attracted its share of doubters.
Some alarmists expressed fear last year that the accelerator could produce a black hole that might swallow the universe -- a theory that LHC physicists, including Myers, dismiss as science fiction.
Another fringe theory holds that the LHC will never function properly because it is under "influence from the future," according to physicists Holger Bech Nielsen and Masao Ninomiya. They suggest in recent papers that no supercolliders that could produce the Higgs boson, an as-yet-unseen particle that would help answer fundamental questions about matter in the universe, will work because something in the future stops them.
This also explains the "negative miracle" of Congress canceling the Superconducting Supercollider project in Texas in 1993, Nielsen wrote in a paper on arXiv.org, a site where math and science scholars post academic papers.
"One could even almost say that we have a model for God," one who "hates the Higgs particles," Nielsen wrote.
Can scientists make a space elevator?
By Doug Gross,
Researchers say elevator to space could be real within our lifetimes
NASA-backed contest offers $2 million for advances in building space elevator
Elevator could lead to space tourism, wind turbines, cheaper rocket launches
Space elevator idea was explored by Arthur C. Clarke in 1979's "The Fountains of Paradise"
"The question Artsutanov asked himself had the childlike brilliance of true genius. A merely clever man could never have thought of it -- or would have dismissed it instantly as absurd. If the laws of celestial mechanics make it possible for an object to stay fixed in the sky, might it not be possible to lower a cable down to the surface, and so to establish an elevator system linking earth to space?" -- Arthur C. Clarke, 1979, "The Fountains of Paradise"
(CNN) -- It sounds like science fiction. And it was.
Now, 30 years after "2001" author Arthur C. Clarke wrote about an elevator that rises into outer space, serious research is happening all over the world in an effort to make the far-fetched-sounding idea a reality.
The benefits of a fully realized elevator would make carrying people and goods into space cheaper, easier and safer than with rocket launches, proponents say, opening up a host of possibilities.
Restaurants and hotels for space tourists. Wind turbines that provide energy by spinning 24 hours a day. A cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly way to launch rockets.
Scientists envision all of the above -- possibly within our lifetimes.
"Space elevator-related research is valid, but there are hurdles to overcome," said David Smitherman, a space architect at NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center.
This week in the Mojave Desert, three teams of engineers are competing for $2 million offered up by NASA for anyone who can build a prototype of an elevator able to crawl up a kilometer-high tether while hauling a heavy payload.
"We haven't had any winners yet, but we truly do expect to have at least one winner, probably more [this year]," said Ted Semon, spokesman for The Spaceward Foundation, which has run the competition for the past several years.
Most models for an elevator into space involve attaching a cable from a satellite, space station or other counterweight to a base on Earth's surface.
Scientists say inertia would keep the cable tight enough to allow an elevator to climb it.
The inspiration for researchers to pursue a space elevator started, as many scientific advances have, in the fantastical world of science fiction.
In Clarke's 1979 novel "The Fountains of Paradise," he writes about a scientist battling technological, political and ethical difficulties involved in creating a space elevator.
In the years that followed, Clarke, who died last year, remained an outspoken advocate for researching and funding the elevator.
Others are now carrying the torch.
"Space elevator research is important because it is a way to build a bridge to space instead of ferrying everything by rocket," said Smitherman, who has conducted research and published findings on the effort.
"Look at the cost and efficiency of a bridge versus a ferry on Earth and then look at the cost and inefficiency of the rocket ferries we use today and you will see why so many people are looking for a 'bridge' solution like the space elevator."
Microsoft is among the sponsors an annual space elevator conference, and teams in Japan and Russia are among those working to turn the theory into reality -- even if they all admit they have a long way to go.
Even the most avid proponents of the research admit there are big hurdles that need to be overcome.
The first, scientists say, is that there's currently not a viable material strong enough to make the cables that will support heavy loads of passengers or cargo into orbit. According to NASA research, the space elevator cable would need to be about 22,000 miles long. That's how far away a satellite must be to maintain orbit above a fixed spot on the Earth's equator.
"Right now, if you use the strongest material in the world, the weight of the tether would be so much that it would actually snap," said Semon, a retired software engineer. He said the super-light material would probably need to be about 25 times stronger than what's now commercially available.
In a separate competition, his group offers a prize to any team that can build a tether that's at least twice as strong as what's currently on the market.
Another issue, scientists say, is how to keep the cable, or the elevator itself, from getting clobbered by meteorites or space junk floating around in space. Some suggest a massive cleanup of Earth's near orbit would be required.
And then there's the cost. Estimates are as high as $20 billion for a working system that would stretch into orbit.
Many think it would be private enterprise, not a government, that would spring for the earliest versions of the elevator.
Professor Brendan Quine and his team at York University in Toronto, Canada, think they have the answers to at least some of those problems.
They've built a three-story high prototype of an elevator tower that would rise roughly 13 miles (20 kilometers) -- high enough to escape most of the earth's atmosphere.
"At 20 kilometers, you still have gravity; you're not in orbit," Quine said. "But for a tourist, you can see basically the same things an astronaut sees -- the blackness of space, the horizon of the Earth."
In the stratosphere, the tower also could potentially be used to launch rockets, he said. The most expensive and energy-sucking part of any space launch now is blasting from the ground out of the atmosphere.
Constructed from Kevlar, the free-standing structure would use pneumatically inflated sections pressurized with a lightweight gas, such as hydrogen or helium, to actively stabilize itself and allow for flexibility. A series of platforms or pods, supported by the elevator, would be used to launch payloads into Earth's orbit.
Quine acknowledged that the prototype is just a first step toward realizing the elevator and that several more prototypes are needed to fine-tune details.
He estimated that the cost of the basic tower would be about $2 billion -- the equivalent of a massive skyscraper in places like New York -- and that the technology to build it could be ready in less than 10 years.
He said a more advanced -- and expensive -- elevator tower could be built to go higher into the stratosphere.
But for the purposes of actually ferrying everyday people into space, 20 kilometers makes the most sense, Quine said.
"The tower might be economically viable if you're able to transport 1,000 people a day to the to of it for about $1,000 a ticket," he said. "At the top, you'd probably want amenities -- hotels, restaurants. It could be a very pleasant experience, in contrast to zero gravity, which makes many people sick."
For now, advocates of making the elevator a reality say they'll keep at it. They'll continue reminding themselves that they wouldn't be the first to turn what started as an outlandish idea into good science.
"Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction," Clarke once said. "They may be summed up by the phrases: One, it's completely impossible. Two, it's possible, but it's not worth doing. Three, I said it was a good idea all along."
The Kola Superdeep Borehole
By Shelly Barclay
The Kola Superdeep Borehole or SG-3 is located in the Kola Peninsula in the Soviet Union and it is the second deepest borehole on the planet. It was the deepest borehole until 2008, when it was surpassed in depth by the Maersk Oil & Gas hole in Al Shaheen off of Kahar. The Kola Superdeep Borehole was created under the steam of man's curiosity about what lies beneath the surface of our Earth. It is an amazing example of mankind's ingenuity and thirst for knowledge.
The USSR's Interdepartmental Scientific Council for the Study of the Earth's Interior and Superdeep Drilling began planning the monumental drilling project in 1962. The plan was to bore through the Earth's upper crust to study what lies underneath. In 1965 the council chose the Kola Peninsula as the site for their project. Over the next five years preparations for drilling were completed. A drill was specially designed for the project because no drills that were being used at the time would work for such a deep hole. The drill is housed in a 200 ft. tower at the site. It penetrated the soil of the Kola Peninsula in 1970.
Over the course of the next twenty-four years, several boreholes, that branched off from one another, were made at the site, but SG-3 was the deepest by far. Core samples from the hole were taken during the entire process and at each depth. These samples revealed a lot about the composition of the Earth's crust. A wealth of plankton fossils was even discovered, at depths of up to nearly 21,981 feet. Many of the discoveries that were made were completely unexpected, thus proving that we can really only guess at the unknown and oftentimes those guesses are incorrect.
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole ceased in 1994. The hole was still 1.7 miles away from the hoped for depth, but it had reached an astonishing 7.6 miles into the Earth. It is roughly nine inches in diameter. As the drill had gone deeper, the Earth had become hotter. This was to be expected, but the temperature was far higher than anyone had predicted. Experts believed that at a depth of 7.45 miles the temperature would be 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature at that depth turned out to be 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, there was nothing that scientists at the time could do to regulate the heat enough to continue drilling. It is estimated that the temperature would have reached 572 degrees Fahrenheit if the drill had reached the projected depth.
The drill still stands to this day and the site is still useful for scientists. All of the core samples that were taken out of the hole are still being studied. The site is currently under the control of the State Scientific Enterprise in Superdeep Drilling and Complex Investigations in the Earth's Interior. It will be interesting to see if drilling will ever continue at the site.
Bellows, Alan, Marche 5, 2007, The Deepest Hole, retrieved 9/23/09, damnintersting.com/the-deepest-hole
Kola Superdeep Borehole, retrieved 9/23/09, economicexpert.com/a/Kola:Superdeep:Borehole.html
Combat Barbie: Soldier steps in as new Miss England after crown was handed back following pub brawl
By Liz Hull and Kate Loveys -
07th November 2009
She has been decorated for remaining calm under fire.
So Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge is the perfect choice to take on the embattled Miss England crown.
The 22-year-old soldier - nicknamed Combat Barbie - was handed the title after her predecessor Rachel Christie was forced to give it up following a nightclub brawl.
Brave: Lance Corporal Kat Hodge originally came third in the contest
Lance Corporal Hodge, who has been decorated for her time in Iraq with the Royal Anglian Regiment, came runner-up to Miss Christie, niece of Olympic sprinter Linford Christie.
She will now represent the country in next month's Miss World contest in South Africa.
Miss Christie, 21, was accused of punching beauty queen Sara Beverley Jones in the face following a row over her boyfriend.
Trouble apparently flared after 24-year-old Miss Jones - the current Miss Manchester - showed Miss Christie an intimate text message, which she claimed had been sent by Miss Christie's boyfriend, David McIntosh.
Mr McIntosh - better known as Tornado on the TV's Gladiators - had previously dated Miss Jones.
After reading the message, Miss Christie, an athlete who hopes to compete in the heptathlon in the 2012 Games, is alleged to have 'flipped' and hit Miss Jones 'several times'.
Following the incident at Manchester's Mansion club, Miss Jones was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Miss Christie's spokesman said of the incident, which took place at around 1am on Monday: 'She can't go through to Miss World with this hanging over her. She is devastated by what has been alleged but we are supporting her.'
Miss Christie - the first black woman to be crowned Miss England - pledged to be a role model when she won the title last July.
She said at the time: 'My main focus in winning Miss England is to show black kids that they can be whatever they want to be.
'If they sit moaning and being negative, they won't get on.'
Newborn Babies Cry in Native Tongue
Charles Q. Choi
From their very first days, the cries of newborns already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, scientists now find.
French newborns tend to cry with rising melody patterns, slowly increasing in pitch from the beginning to the end, whereas German newborns seem to prefer falling melody patterns, findings that are both consistent with differences between the languages.
This suggests infants begin picking up elements of language in the womb, long before their first babble or coo.
Prenatal exposure to language was known to influence newborns. For instance, past research showed they preferred their mother's voice over those of others.
Still, researchers thought infants did not imitate sounds until much later on. Although three-month-old babies can match vowel sounds that adults make, this skill depends on vocal control just not physically possible much earlier.
However, when scientists recorded and analyzed the cries of 60 healthy newborns when they were three to five days old - 30 born into French-speaking families, 30 into German-speaking ones - their analysis revealed clear differences in the melodies of their cries based on their native tongue.
The way babies imitate melody patterns relies just on a command over their voiceboxes they had before birth, instead of the more advanced control of their vocal tracts they need for vowel sounds. As such, they can begin mimicking their mothers "at that early age," said researcher Kathleen Wermke, a medical anthropologist at the University of WÃ¼rzburg in Germany.
"Newborns are probably highly motivated to imitate their mother's behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding," Wermke said.
The scientists detailed their findings online November 5 in the journal Current Biology.
Pee patrol planned to prevent Irish 'urine town'
By KENNETH HAYNES
November 7, 2009
Between the spitting at traffic wardens and the peeing in public, Ennis is awash with bodily fluids.
Public urination has got to such an unacceptable level in the town of Ennis that one local councilor has proposed that two urine wardens should be employed to patrol the town and prevent inebriated people from peeing on the town.
Councilor Paul O'Shea argues that the two wardens could provide a valuable service to the public by catching people who feel the need to relieve themselves in public.
"The wardens would then notify the gardai (Irish police) and on-the-spot fines would be issued," he said.
However, other councilors in the town argue that becoming a urine warden may not be the safest career choice.
"If our traffic wardens are getting spat at during the day in carrying out their duty, I believe any urine warden would be in a lot of danger at 3am," said Councilor Frankie Nealon.
The good folk of Clare who can't control themselves have inspired one store owner to install a machine that shocks people who decide to spend a penny in his front window.
A sign on the store reads: "electric current in operation, urinate at your own peril".
This rather innovative action was taken by businessman John O'Connor to stop the flow of urine on his shopfront, as the smell the day after the night before, so to speak, was driving away business.
One person has already been zapped by the gadget, and O'Connor, who runs a traditional music store, has also vowed to plaster photos of those who pee on his shop in public.
Another councilor in the Clare capital, Brian Meaney of the Green Party, has proposed a "name-and-shame" website for those who feel the need to go to the toilet in the street.
Thinking Long Term in a Short Term World
Whiter Teeth in Just 7 Days.
By Matt Guerino
November 09, 2009
Delayed gratification, once considered a virtue, now seems passé. We're a time conscious bunch, we Americans, and getting what we want is no longer good enough by itself. We not only want it, we want it now!
Consider how the benefits of modern society are marketed to us. According to advertisements I've seen just this week, I can now:
Receive a preliminary loan approval in just 15 minutes--no more waiting while underwriters perform due diligence. Take painkillers that "begin to work instantly" on my headache--why wait a full 45 minutes for relief? Shed 45 pounds of unwanted weight in less than a month--it may have taken me years to accumulate those pounds, but once I decide they need to go I want to see them go quickly. Upgrade my "snail-paced" internet access--why should I waste a full 15 seconds (an eternity!) downloading that video file I want, when I can get it in a mere two? And the list goes on.
From buy-now-pay-later deals on mattresses and consumer electronics, to treatments that promise to dissolve years' worth of coffee stains from my beleaguered smile in a mere 7 days, everything around us seems geared to satisfying our needs instantly.
And this expectation has shaped our overall outlook on life. A well-known children's fable tells of the victory of a slow, patient tortoise over a rash and impetuous hare. But we've apparently decided that the real world doesn't work that way.
We've become accustomed to demanding not just satisfaction of our needs, but near instant satisfaction. If I have to wait, I'm not interested.
In reading the Bible, one is struck with how unmoved God seems to be by our desire for instant gratification. If there's one word that doesn't seem to register at all in the Bible's unfolding redemptive plan, it's instant. God takes his time, and he takes lots of it.
Not that redemption started out slowly. In fact, God promises to send his Messiah in just the third chapter of the Bible. The ink hasn't even dried yet on the Curse and already God is promising to wipe it out. Redemption, it seems, is off to the races.
But it turns out this race isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
Throughout the centuries God's people are told to wait. The cast of the Old Testament is forward-looking, and gratification-delaying. God's followers learned to be patient, to trust, and to see their ultimate hopes go unfulfilled.
When the Messiah finally did come, the people finally understood that their patience had paid off. One would expect, as 1st century Christians certainly did, that the Old Testament mentality of delayed gratification would finally give way to a different New Testament mentality of fulfilled dreams here and now.
So the words of the Apostles came as a surprise to them. Christians were urged to wait yet longer for the fulfillment of their dreams. While the Apostles taught that the consummation of God's redemptive plan could come at any moment, they also taught that it had not come yet. The salvation they longed for is spoken of in terms very similar to those of the Old Testament:
They would see it "in the last days." (1 Peter 1:5). It was "kept in heaven for" them. (1 Peter 1:4) They were to "set their hope on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"--an event yet future. (1 Peter 1:7)
So the cast of the New Testament turns out to be future-looking and gratification-delaying, just like that of the Old Testament. The coming of God's Messiah, though the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise, did not change the mentality his followers are supposed to cultivate from delayed to instant gratification. New Testament era believers are taught to live today in light of an as-yet-unrealized future; to wait, as God's followers have always done.
Which brings us back to our modern propensity to lose interest in any message that requires us to wait. Loan approvals, bank account access, and even whiter teeth may come much faster these days than ever before. But despite the coming of Christ 2,000 years ago, the real life which Christians anticipate still lies in the future.
How can Jesus' followers learn to place their hope in the future consummation of his kingdom when everything around them seems to shout for instant gratification?
One way is to recognize that every message of quick satisfaction is a promise; the promise to make us happy, now. But those promises are empty.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4 the Bible tells us that we have been granted all we need for true fulfillment through knowing Christ. In him we have been given much greater and more precious promises than those the world can offer; promises of an eternal inheritance that is partly enjoyed now but will be fully enjoyed only when he comes again. This reminder that our world's promises of instant gratification can never really be kept can help us develop an eternal perspective even in the midst of a temporal culture.
Memorize these verses, and recite them each time you see an advertisement promising instant satisfaction. This simple step can help us remember that true gratification doesn't come instantly, but rather in the long run.
As it turns out, the mindset of the tortoise isn't just a children's fable, it's a Biblical truth.
We have all heard the saying that "patience is a virtue". If you look up virtue in a thesaurus you will find numerous words, all with very positive atributes attributed to them.
King David said: I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry".
Patience in tursting the Lord requires something, faith. You have to believe that God has heard and will answer in His time and way in which He knows is best. Hebrews 11:6 also brings out the point that; "without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him".
It is the ememy's idea to speed things up so dramatically including this idea of instant gratification. (See Stop, Look, and Listen and Squeeze Don't Jerk in the Letters section of the web site.)
As far as gratification goes, for those of us who love and have received Jesus as our saviour and are doing our best for Him, the Bible does say in 1 Corinthians 2:9; "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him".
God does promise gratification, not instantly, but what He does promise goes even beyong the imagination of our eyes, ears, and hearts.
We pray you have a gratifing and fulling week. If you have any questions or comments regarding the web site we encourage you to write, or if you would like to contact one of our Christian we encourage you to do so.
Until next week...
"Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."