Fwd: memory

'New research indicates that lost memories can be restored, according to new research into a type of marine snail called Aplysia. The findings offer some hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease'

Fwd: Oil

'OPEC produced more than its 30 million-barrel daily target in each of the past six months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Non-OPEC production will expand 2.3 percent next year to 57.84 million barrels a day after climbing 3.5 percent this year, the International Energy Agency forecast in a Dec. 12 report.

"Irresponsible production from outside OPEC is behind the fall in prices," Mazrouei said. "We call on all other producers to stop the increase." …

Crude tumbled into a bear market this year as oil extraction soared at shale formations in Texas and North Dakota


Fwd: Keynes

'This year the tide changed in the economy. Growth seems finally to be returning. The tide also changed in economic ideas. The brief resurgence of traditional Keynesian ideas is washing away from the world of economic policy.

No government is remotely likely to spend trillions of dollars or euros in the name of "stimulus," financed by blowout borrowing.




'A common over-the-counter drug that tackles pain and fever may also hold keys to a longer, healthier life, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

Regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of multiple species, according to research published in the journal Public Library of Science, Genetics.

"We first used baker's yeast, which is an established aging model, and noticed that the yeast treated with ibuprofen lived longer," said Dr. Michael Polymenis, an AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station. "Then we tried the same process with worms and flies and saw the same extended lifespan. Plus, these organisms not only lived longer, but also appeared healthy."

He said the treatment, given at doses comparable to the recommended human dose, added about 15 percent more to the species lives. In humans, that would be equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living.


Fwd: China

'China is stepping up its role as the lender of last resort to some of the world's most financially strapped countries.

Chinese officials signaled Saturday that they are willing to expand a $24 billion currency swap program to help Russia weather the worst economic crisis since the 1998 default. China has provided $2.3 billion in funds to Argentina since October as part of a currency swap, and last month it lent $4 billion to Venezuela, whose reserves cover just two years of debt payments. '






Fwd: Executive Memorandum

'President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders.

When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman battled the "Do Nothing Congress" almost seven decades ago, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents.



Fwd: Pakistan

"Such acts of cowardice will not deter our resolve to end terrorism. The operation will continue till the extermination of the last terrorist."

Fwd: Insurance

'It suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought healthcare plans on marketplaces run by the federal government, even accounting for the fact that many consumers signed up for coverage in late March and will only receive subsidies for part of the year…

If these state consumers received roughly comparable government assistance for their insurance premiums, the total cost of subsidies could top $16.5 billion this year. Making precise estimates is difficult because of expected fluctuations in enrollment over the year…

Consumers who make less than four times the federal poverty level, or about $94,000 a year for a family of four, qualify for subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums in most places.'


'CBO: Cost of Obamacare Subsidy Will Increase 8-Fold in 10 Years

In 2024, the last year in the CBO estimates, the Obamacare subsidies will increase to $137 billion.

The combined $707 billion that the federal government will spend on Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies in 2024 is roughly equal to the $716 billion the CBO estimates the government will spend on national defense that year.'


'A total of 11.3 percent of Americans were uninsured in the first half of this year, down from 14.4 percent last year before the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.'



Fwd: Mars

'While we're still searching for that underground river paved with Mars gold, NASA's Curiosity rover has found ancient water inside of surface rock on Mars.

The bedrock, nicknamed "Cumberland," is Curiosity's second drilling site on the Red Planet. After drilling into the rock, NASA tested what's called the "D-to-H" ratio in the water, which compares the amounts of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) and normal hydrogen in the compound. Compared to the water vapor present in Mars' atmosphere, the water within Cumberland has roughly twice as much hydrogen. NASA says the tests confirm that most of the water present on the surface of Mars disappeared at least 3.9 billion years ago.

Also present in the water? Organic molecules, which are the first found by Curiosity. Hydrogen was present (as it's a part of water), but carbon was also found in the same drilling sample. The findings, "...shed light on a chemically active modern Mars and on favorable conditions for life on ancient Mars."

"This first confirmation of organic carbon in a rock on Mars holds much promise," said MIT's Roger Summons, who works on the Curiosity team as a Participating Scientist. "The challenge now is to find other rocks on Mount Sharp that might have different and more extensive inventories of organic compounds."'



Fwd: Caramel Apples

'Five people have died and 21 others have been hospitalized in a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, federal health officials said today.
A total of 28 people infected with listeria have been reported from 10 states...The states include Missouri and New Mexico, which each had five cases; Minnesota, Texas and Arizona, with four cases each; Wisconsin, with two cases; and Washington, California, Utah and North Carolina, with one case each.'


Fwd: Glycemic index

'Some studies have suggested that carbs with a low glycemic index—such as whole grains—led to fewer spikes in blood sugar, and therefore more efficient breakdown into energy, while higher glycemic index foods—including refined flours—led to larger peaks in glucose that the body couldn't process and therefore stored as fat.

So two of the diets in the study were high in carbs overall, but one was made up of low-glycemic-index foods while the other was composed of high-glycemic-index foods. The other two diets were low in carbs overall, with the same breakdown or low- and high-glycemic items


In fact, among those eating the high-carb diets, those consuming low-glycemic-index foods had worse insulin response and higher LDL cholesterol…

we did not show that the glycemic index of the carb really had any favorable effect," says Sacks.

That suggests that all the attention to knowing the glycemic index of various foods—and basing your eating habits on these numbers—may not be worth the effort.'


Overall, those eating the low-carb diets had lower risk factors for heart disease compared to the group eating more carbohydrates, but the type of carbs didn't seem to make much difference​


Fwd: Judge

'A federal judge has declared parts of President Obama's immigration executive actions unconstitutional, in the first court opinion to tackle Obama's controversial policy changes.

In an opinion filed Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, in Pennsylvania, said Obama's immigration actions are invalid and effectively count as "legislation" from the Executive Branch.  

"President Obama's unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional," the judge wrote.


Fwd: Mars

'New results from NASA's Curiosity rover are painting a curious picture of the planet's methane. The level of methane found in the Gale Crater is less than expected, based on prediction models. But every once in awhile, it spikes. NASA scientists believe that means that the gas is being produced somewhere nearby -- though they aren't sure where or how.

Eric Holder believes all cops are racists, targets ‘unconscious bias’

Fwd: Food for thought

In an eye-opening essay in the current issue of Commentary, Kane refutes the notion that American military deployments have been a force for ill. That view isn't just wrong, he emphasizes, "it is tragically wrong." He backs up his claim with data: "Having compared growth and development indicators across all countries of the world against a database of US 'boots on the ground' since 1950, I've discovered a stunning truth: In country after country, prosperity - in the form of economic growth and human development - has emerged where American boots have trod."

Fwd: Malaria

'An international research collaborative has determined that a promising anti-malarial compound tricks the immune system to rapidly destroy red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite but leave healthy cells unharmed. 

Pakistan Taliban: Peshawar school attack leaves 141 dead

Fwd: Ebola

'Endless Ebola Endemic? That's The 'Risk We Face Now,' CDC Says

Speed. That's key to ending the Ebola epidemic, says the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Thomas Frieden is visiting West Africa this week to figure out how to reduce the time it takes to find new Ebola cases and isolate them.

Otherwise, Ebola could become a permanent disease in West Africa.




Fwd: Oil and the dollar

'Commodity prices are inversely correlated to the dollar. The oft-cited rationale is that a stronger currency makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive to buyers using other currencies.

The ICE dollar index DXY, +0.12% a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, is up more than 10.8% since the beginning of the year. Moreover, the index is up more than 10.3% since the beginning of May.

Binky Chadha, chief global strategist at Deutsche Bank, argues that the strong dollar is the primary factor in oil's decline. After all, oil supplies have been building for a long time. It's hard to believe that investors just "suddenly woke up" to the oil glut at midyear, he said.


Fwd: Mexico

'Mexico's gang-related violence has racked up a death toll of more than 100,000 people since 2007, Reuters

Fwd: Dell


First off—just to get this out of the way—it's the thinnest tablet the world has ever produced. At just 6mm thick, the badass gunmetal-grey aluminum chassis handily takes the crown from Sony's 6.4mm thick Xperia Z2 slate. See how my 10.4mm Moto X looks ridiculously fat by comparison? The Dell is thin, no joke.


Second, this slate also comes with arguably the world's best tablet screen: a gorgeous 8.4-inch, 2560 x 1600 OLED panel with colors to die for. 



Fwd: Surgeon General

'In a rare show of defiance of the National Rifle Association, the Senate on Monday confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as surgeon general of the United States. Murthy's nomination had been stalled for nearly a year due to comments he made in support of stricter gun laws.

Murthy is a Harvard- and Yale-educated physician, and has identified obesity and chronic disease as areas of focus for his tenure. He will be the first Indian American to hold the position.

Murthy's confirmation represents a defeat for the NRA, which mounted fierce opposition to his nomination earlier this year because of previous statements characterizing guns as a "health care issue." 



Fwd: Babel Fish

'Speaking just one language will no longer be a barrier to global communication if Microsoft has its way.

The computing giant launched a preview of is Skype Translator project today, with the first iteration supporting English and Spanish.

A video demonstration showed two students -- one in the United States, one in Mexico, using the software to have a conversation in their native languages.



Fwd: Mars

NASA scientists today touted new evidence of a warm, wet and humid Mars that lasted for millions of years and could have supported life.

"Today's Mars is dry and probably has been that way for 2 billion years, but at one time Mars was shaped by water," said Ashwin Vasavada, NASA's deputy project scientist for the Mars rover Curiosity. "Rivers, lakes and ground water were present for millions of years. The atmosphere must have been thicker. Mars must have been warmer... and the climate system must have been loaded with water."

Mars at one time had the right ingredients and the right environment to support life, even if only in microbial form.



Fwd: Spary PV

'Scientists have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) -- a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.'



Fwd: Laser

'The U.S. Navy says its new laser weapon works and it will use it if it has to.

The Office of Naval Research reported Wednesday that its laser weapons system -- dubbed LaWS -- had performed flawlessly in tests aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce in the Arabian Gulf from September to November.

"Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations," Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, chief of naval research, said in a statement. "We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality."

Klunder said the laser performed so well that the commander of the Ponce is now authorized to use it in defense of the vessel, according to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute.

"The captain of that ship has all of the authorities necessary if there was a threat inbound to that ship to protect our sailors and Marines (and) we would defend that ship with that laser system," Klunder is quoted as saying in a USNI report.

The laser could be used to stop threats ranging from drones and helicopters to small patrol boats, Klunder said, according to the USNI report.

Navy video released Wednesday shows the LaWS hitting exactly those types of targets. Watching the video, you can't see any light beam as you might expect from watching science fiction movies. Instead, the targets just burn up.

The Navy says the laser weapon is safer than conventional arms that use propellants and explosive warheads, and more cost-effective.

"At less than a dollar per shot, there's no question about the value LaWS provides,



Fwd: Senate Takes Up Unloved $1.1T Spending Bill Passed by House

15 Unique Sets of Twins Who Defied the Odds

Norman Reedus Labels ‘The Walking Dead’ Cast ‘Pathetic,’ Talks Weird Ritual With Andrew Lincoln

Fwd: Russia

'Two highly credentialed scholars—Michael O'Hanlon and Jeremy Shapiro—from the prestigious Brookings Institution, no less,propose in the Washington Post a "win-win-win" diplomatic solution to Russia's War On Ukraine. They offer a "compromise" that concedes Crimea to Russia, deprives Ukraine of its sovereign choice of economic and security arrangements, refuses to arm Ukraine, and weakens NATO in return for Russian "promises" of good behavior. 


Fwd: Fuel

'Global group of Catholic bishops call for end to fossil fuels


"They're the ones who respect the planet, the Earth, the soil, the water and the rainforests.'


Kathleen Sebelius on 'Obamacare': Change the name

Janice Norris: They have tried to warn us!

Fwd: Dell

'U.S. marshals handcuffed and took Dell "Super Dell" Schanze into custody Thursday after he disrupted a federal courtroom even before his hearing began on misdemeanor charges.

The vociferous former computer store owner and TV pitchman faces federal charges for allegedly chasing an owl with his motorized paraglider more than three years ago. Thursday was his first appearance on the charges in U.S. District Court.

As he waited for his name to be called, he stood and objected to U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells requiring a defendant in a separate case to give up his firearms as a condition of his release.

"That's totally unconstitutional," said Schanze, who once owned the Totally Awesome Computers retail chain. "That's not cool at all."

Wells asked the marshals to take him into custody. They handcuffed him and escorted him out of the courtroom.


Fwd: Faster

'Ninety-nine new signs went up along I-15 and I-215 Monday through the urban areas of the Wasatch Front proclaiming the speed limit had been officially raised from 65 mph to 70 mph.


Fwd: Budget

But not everyone on the right was happy with the current deal either. Some House Republicans felt that Mr. Boehner did not go far enough in fighting Mr. Obama over his executive action last month to defer the deportation of as many as five million illegal immigrants. The spending deal would fund the Department of Homeland Security — the primary agency tasked with carrying out the president's immigration policy — only through February, at which point Republicans will control both chambers of Congress, with the votes to try to curtail Mr. Obama's action.

But some conservatives wanted to immediately defund the Homeland Security agency, despite the risk of a partial government shutdown.


Fwd: Airbus

'Airbus raised the prospect of discontinuing its A380 superjumbo as soon as 2018, the first admission that it may have misjudged the market for the double-decker after failing to find a single airline buyer this year.'

Fwd: Russia

Why I’m Giving Up My Passport - NYTimes.com



Fwd: Detailed contributions

'Countries may ditch a detailed checklist for what their pledges under a new climate agreements should contain, given deep splits over their breadth and scope, and whether they should draw a clear line between rich and poor nations…


The main aim of the Lima conference this week is to agree the precise format for these pledges, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in UN jargon. But that has set up a showdown over who should offer the most…


Fwd: Russia

The German Chancellor has been hailed as bringing "peace to Europe" after signing a non-aggression pact with Russia.

Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived back in the Germany today, holding an agreement signed by Vladamir Putin which stated the Russian leader's desire never to go to war with the West again.

The two met at the Munich conference between Russia, Britain, Germany, Italy and France yesterday, convened to decide the future of Ukraine's Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Ms Merkel declared the accord with the Russians signaled "peace for our time", after she had read it to a jubilant crowd gathered in Berlin.

The Russian leader stated in the agreement: "We are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe."

But many MPs are bound to criticize it as part of the Chancellor's "appeasement" of Russian aggression in Europe.

And Ms Merkel's personal pact will be little comfort to the Ukraine Government which has been forced to hand over the regions of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk to Russia.


Fwd: The Machine

'The Machine's design includes other novel features such as optical fiber instead of copper wiring for moving data around. HP's simulations suggest that a server built to The Machine's blueprint could be six times more powerful than an equivalent conventional design, while using just 1.25 percent of the energy and being around 10 percent the size.'

Obama tells a funny joke.

Why We Age - And How We Can Stop It

The Terrifying Truth About Bananas


Top 5 Deadliest Substances on Earth

Fwd: Rule of Law

'Do we want people punished, based on other people's preconceptions, rather than on the facts of the individual case?

Apparently there are ranting mobs who do, and many in the media who give them a platform for spouting off, in exchange for the mobs' providing them with footage that can attract an audience.

The law is not the place for amateurs. We do not need legal issues to be determined by academics, the media or mobs in the streets.

Every society has orders and rules, but not every society has the rule of law -- "a government of laws and not of men." Nor was it easy to achieve even an approximation of the rule of law. It took centuries of struggle -- and lives risked and sacrificed -- to achieve it in those countries which have some approximation of it today.

To just throw all of that overboard because of mobs, the media or racial demagoguery is staggering.


Obamacare Architect Apologizes to Issa for 'Stupidity' Remark

Fwd: Cancer

'Simple blood test could detect breast cancer long before symptoms appear - and spell the end of the mammogram 

A metal-detecting blood test that can give vital early warning of breast cancer is being developed by Oxford University scientists.

They hope the inexpensive and simple test will spot the disease long before a woman develops a lump – and say it could be used in a national screening programme.

Picking up the cancer at the earliest stages when it is easiest to treat could save thousands of lives, as well as spare patients and their loves ones the pain and distress of prolonged illness.

Researcher Fiona Larner said: 'Prevention is better than cure.

'There is a survival rate of about 80 per cent for breast cancer but the earlier you can detect it, the more chance you have of treating it.


Fwd: Food orders

Fans of Chick-fil-A can now get their food quicker, with the help of an updated app that allows customers to pay using their smartphones and order their food ahead of time.

"Customers really love using their mobile devices," said Khalilah Cooper, leader of ordering strategy at Chick-fil-A. "And we really want to give our guests the opportunity to order what they want, when they want, and how they want."

While the chain launched their current app, free to download from iTunes or Google Play, last year, the mobile payment feature wasn't added until Monday.

The new function allows users nationwide to use their phones to purchase their meal just by scanning their phones at the register, thus avoiding the hassle of having to fumble for cash or cards.'


I think that scanning a phone is hardly different than swiping a card.  In fact, if I have to load the app, it is more difficult.

​In fact, we are coming up with clever ways to avoid human interaction.​

Re: Particle accelerator

I heard a CERN scientist say that they accelerate particles to have the same kinetic energy as a freight train.  I don't know if he meant that literally or figuratively, because that is a lot of energy for a particle. 

Now if you could only make a gun that could do that...

On Dec 9, 2014, at 8:52 AM, <larry.r.trout> wrote:

'Scientists have found a way to accelerate subatomic particles to an energy gradient 1,000 times that of the massive Large Hadron Collider at CERN — all with a device that would fit on a tabletop.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkely National Lab used a specialized petawatt laser and plasma to speed up the particles. Known as a laser-plasma accelerator, it allows physicists to shrink the standard accelerator, which in the case of CERN is miles long, to much more compact machines, according to Gizmag.

Scientists shot plasma with a laser and produced energy of 4.25 giga-electron volts. The Large Hadron Collider, which is 17 miles in circumference and uses a series of modulated electromagnetic fields, can only achieve 100 mega-electron volts per meter before the energy starts to threaten the metal structure that holds it together.

The device put together by the Berkeley Lab is just a plasma tube that is 3.5 inches long, achieving a speed that would typically take many miles for a standard particle accelerator.

There is a catch, however: The approach of laser-plasma accelerators is entirely different, and used one of the most powerful lasers in the world, the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA), which produced a beam of light that equates to a quadrillion watts of power, or a petawatt. Researchers focused the laser on the small tube that contained the plasma.

The team was able to focus the laser beam into a 500 micro hole from a distance of 14 meters, which produced huge waves of rolling energy that accelerated free electrons in the plasma, similar to how a surfer increases its speed while going down the face of a wave, according to the report.'




Fwd: Food orders

'Fans of Chick-fil-A can now get their food quicker, with the help of an updated app that allows customers to pay using their smartphones and order their food ahead of time.

"Customers really love using their mobile devices," said Khalilah Cooper, leader of ordering strategy at Chick-fil-A. "And we really want to give our guests the opportunity to order what they want, when they want, and how they want."

While the chain launched their current app, free to download from iTunes or Google Play, last year, the mobile payment feature wasn't added until Monday.

The new function allows users nationwide to use their phones to purchase their meal just by scanning their phones at the register, thus avoiding the hassle of having to fumble for cash or cards.'








'In the 1960s, the US linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky offered what looked like a solution. He argued that children don't in fact learn their mother tongue – or at least, not right down to the grammatical building blocks (the whole process was far too quick and painless for that). He concluded that they must be born with a rudimentary body of grammatical knowledge – a 'Universal Grammar' – written into the human DNA. With this hard-wired predisposition for language, it should be a relatively trivial matter to pick up the superficial differences between, say, English and French. The process works because infants have an instinct for language: a grammatical toolkit that works on all languages the world over.

At a stroke, this device removes the pain of learning one's mother tongue, and explains how a child can pick up a native language in such a short time. It's brilliant. Chomsky's idea dominated the science of language for four decades. And yet it turns out to be a myth. A welter of new evidence has emerged over the past few years, demonstrating that Chomsky is plain wrong…'




Fwd: China

'Satellite images analyzed by defense intelligence magazine IHS Jane's show that China is reclaiming on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands a piece of land that bears the shape of a 3000-meter airfield and a harbor large enough to receive tankers and major warships. This is not the first, but the latest in a series of land reclamations that China is conducting both in the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

What does China want with this island building? What is the ultimate objective of these projects? The usual lens we use to decipher strategic moves on the international arena is ill suited to answer these questions. It views the game nations play in term of chess, but China is playing weiqi in the South China Sea.

Weiqi, better known in the West by its Japanese name, go, is the oldest Chinese board game that bears much parallel to an influential branch of traditional Chinese strategic thinking. While chess is a game of checkmate, weiqi, as its very name tells us, is a game of encirclement. In weiqi, there are no kings, queens or pawns as there are in chess, only identical stones whose power depends on where they are in the larger arrangement of the pieces. If chess is a contest of armies, weiqi is a struggle between configurations. Whereas the competent chess player aims at the destruction of the enemy's physical power, a proficient weiqi player strives for the control of strategic positions, from which position-based power emanates.

If the South China Sea is seen as a chessboard, China's moves in it appear largely trivial. Advanced forward are mostly pawns, while there is little movement of the more powerful figures. Perhaps the most formidable piece on the board is an underground base for nuclear missile submarines at Yulin on the southern coast of Hainan Island. However, this base is not located in the disputed areas. The main forces involved in the South China Sea dispute are rarely the military, but predominantly fishing boats and lightly armed government vessels. And the central objects of the contest are tiny, barren, often-submerged rocks.

Apparently looking at this game from a chess-like perspective, a very senior U.S. diplomat said, "great powers don't go to war over rocks," and a leading scholar of Chinese naval affairs concluded, "these tensions between a rising power and its neighbors are natural and constitute no major danger to the global balance of power, nor even to the normal functioning of the international system."

But in the eyes of the weiqi player, what China has done in the South China Sea is a classic example of how to play the game masterfully. The ultimate goal is to gain control of the region. The campaign to achieve this goal relies on creeping expansion, rather than major battles. This creeping expansion is a protracted undertaking that is played out in decades. In accordance with this strategy, salami slicing and small-stick diplomacy are the preferred tactics. The underlying logic is to gradually shift the propensity of things in favor of Chinese dominance by unobtrusively maneuvering the strategic configuration of the region.'


The man who started a $100 billion industry dies

Our family had one of those Odyssey system, and it sucked...

Dec 8, 2014

'Baer first had the idea for a gaming system centered around the home TV in 1951, but his bosses weren't interested and instructed him to work on a different project. Some 15 years later, the idea was still lodged in his brain, and as he waited at a bus terminal in New York City for a co-worker, he began writing down notes.

When Baer got home that evening, he typed those up, filling four pages. Five days later, he put together a schematic. And by Oct. 20, 1966, he had created a working prototype, called The Brown Box.

The system, a console that hooked up to any television set, was basic—and so was the game he had created along with it. (A player, controlling one dot on a screen, had to chase another randomly moving one.) But when he showed the system to his bosses at Sanders Associates, a military electronics firm, he got the go-ahead (and funding) to continue research and development.

In 1972, Sanders partnered with Magnavox to bring that Brown Box to people's homes under the Odyssey name. Priced at $100, the system sold 100,000 units in its first year—and eventually went on to sell 330,000 units. (Baer always thought it could have sold more, but felt Magnavox had priced it too high and hurt sales by implying the system only worked on Magnavox TVs.)

The numbers were high enough to spark a revolution, though. The Odyssey paved the way for companies like Atari, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to all create gaming systems of their own—which racked up much more impressive numbers.

Today, the video game industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the entertainment industry. It employs more than 146,000 people, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and Gartner predicts the market will top $111 billion by 2015.

For comparison's sake, the video game industry posted brick-and-mortar sales last year of $12.97 billion in the U.S., according to The NPD Group, while North American box-office receipts for film studios came in at just $10.9 billion. ..

Baer also …invented a game that let players shoot at the screen with a light gun.

Baer's contributions to pop culture weren't limited to video games alone. He was also the inventor of the popular electronic memory game Simon, which is still sold today. And he kept inventing long after he retired, holding more than 150 patents on various products.'




France says diesel cars a 'mistake,' announces phase-out plans - Autoblog


World Trade Center and Memorial on iPhone. In this photo it looks like they are still constructing it.

Fwd: Attacks

'A murder investigation has been launched after an American mother was stabbed to death during a clash with a burqa-clad 'woman' in shopping mall toilets in Abu Dhabi.


The 37-year-old kindergarten teacher, who has 11-year-old twin boys, was stabbed with a knife in the altercation in the ladies' toilets a supermarket in Boutik Mall on Reem island in the United Arab Emirates capital.


She was taken to be treated at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City but died later from her injuries in the incident on Monday afternoon…


Police say they do not know if it was a woman or a man in the burqa.




'Two people were injured in a stabbing attack in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone on Wednesday afternoon.


The attack occurred in the Rami Levy supermarket. Mishor Adumim is situated just east of Jerusalem.


One of the injured is an MDA paramedic. The victims were in moderate condition and were transported to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem with wounds to the upper body. The injured Israelis are in their fifties. Avi Levberg, a paramedic with United Hatzala said that the two people were shopping when they were attacked.


Security forces were searching the area and said the terrorist was shot in the legs by an off duty security guard and was in light to moderate condition.'




'Israeli stabbed by Palestinian woman in West Bank

Same attacker tried to stab soldier in 2011, according to Palestinian reports; victim lightly injured; assailant badly hurt





'First, a 20-year-old Israeli soldier was stabbed Monday in Tel Aviv. Then, three Israelis were stabbed at a hitchhiking post near the entrance to a settlement in the West Bank, police said.


One of the three, a 24-year-old woman, was killed, emergency services said. The soldier stabbed earlier also died of his wounds, according to the Israel Defense Forces.'




Boehner Offers Plan to Oppose Obama Amnesty, Avoid Shutdown


Fwd: Venzuela

'"Scarcity is getting worse in Venezuela. Basic products are so hard to get," said Josseline Viera, a doctor in Venezuela. "It used to be that certain products were scarce, now it's basically everything."…


The state of the Venezuelan economy is the result of years of economic mismanagement that the government, for years, was able to cover up by pumping oil revenues to its populist policies, but this was when oil was at more than $100 per barrel, and despite declining oil production in Venezuela, revenues were enough to keep people happy.


But since this summer, Brent fell from above $115 per barrel to $70, thanks in part to North America's shale boom, and oil analysts predict oil prices will keep declining below $70 for Brent and even more for crude.


One analyst at Nomura recently estimated that Venezuela may need oil prices to hit $200 a barrel in order to balance its budget.'




Curiosity '​s first view of the Earth and the Moon from the surface of Mars (January 31, 2014)

UK Uncovers al-Qaida Christmas Terror Plot; Obama to Hold Ferguson Summit

Fwd: Hammers

'a pack of thugs beat him to death with hammers on a city street in St. Louis early Sunday.


The horrific attack occurred in southwest St. Louis, just 20 miles from Ferguson, where a police shooting of a black man and a grand jury's subsequent decision not to indict the officer sparked violent riots. Police have arrested three teens and are looking for one or possibly two more in the brutal murder of Begic, 32. The married immigrant who was driving his car when the teens approached at a traffic light and began striking it with hammers, prompting him to get out and confront them, according to police.'