Archive for May 2013

Tornado Shelters   Leave a comment


 

As the tornadoes run rampant again in Oklahoma this evening safety ideas come to mind.  That is if you own a house and you are in the house.  Tonight the casualties were on the highways. Below is a shelter concept.

 

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If there are marital problems, and there are no tornadoes happening, a guy could grab a little TV and some refreshments and head down into one of these and wait until peace terms are offered.

Posted May 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Which part of Canada has the most smokers?   Leave a comment


CBC

Among Canadian provinces, smoking rates vary from a low of 15.8 per cent in B.C. to 23.8 per cent in Saskatchewan, according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey for 2011. As the map above shows, the numbers for Canada’s North are significantly higher.

Smoking rates have been falling for the last quarter-century, but since 2009 the rate of decline has levelled off. In 2011, 5.8 million Canadians 12 years and older smoked, a rate of 19.9 per cent.

Worldwide, there are about 1.1 billion smokers, about 22 per cent of the adult population. About 80 per cent live in low- or middle-income countries.

 

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Our graph showing the total percentage of smokers in Canada by year goes back to 2003, when the rate was 23 per cent, but smoking rates have declined considerably from nearly a half-century ago. In 1966, 41 per cent of Canadians 15 years and older were smoking.

Significantly more men than women smoke in all age groups, 22.3 per cent compared to 17.5 per cent. However, in the youngest age group, the male and female rates are almost the same.

According to U.S. data, about 80 per cent of high school students who smoke will smoke into adulthood.

The smoking rate in Canada is highest in the 20-24 year age group, for both men and women.

 

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Worldwide, the number of male smokers is about four times the number of female smokers.

The tobacco market

Total cigarette sales in Canada numbered 31.1 billion in 2011. That’s down from the 31.7 billion cigarettes sold the year before but higher that the 30.2 billion sold in 2006.

Unlike Canada, worldwide cigarette consumption has been increasing. “Smokers consumed nearly 5.9 trillion cigarettes in 2009, representing a 13 per cent increase in cigarette consumption in the past decade,” according to the Tobacco Atlas, by the World Lung Foundation .

In Canada, three manufacturers control 99.5 per cent of the Canadian tobacco market:

  1. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. (51.2 per cent market share).
  2. Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (33.5 per cent).
  3. JTI-Macdonald (14.8 per cent).

The big three are all owned by multinational corporations. And those three multinationals are highly profitable. For example, British American Tobacco, which owns Imperial Tobacco, had profits totalling $8.3 billion US in 2012.

 

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Posted May 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Catholic Church’s Top Exorcist Claims He Rid World of 160,000 Demons   Leave a comment


 

No wonder this guy has no hair!

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The Catholic Church’s top exorcist, who claims to have sent  160,000 demons back to hell, says he wants Pope Francis to allow all priests to  start performing the ritual to deal with a rising demand for exorcisms from the  faithful.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 88, who also heads the International Association of  Exorcists, told The Sunday Times that he will ask Pope Francis to  allow all priests the right to do exorcisms without the church’s approval.  According to the report, priests currently need special approval from their  bishop to perform the rite and it is rarely granted.

“I will ask the pope to give all priests the power to carry out exorcisms,  and to ensure priests are properly trained for these starting with the seminary.  There’s a huge demand for them,” said Father Amorth.

He explained that he was inspired to make the request after watching Pope  Francis perform what he insists was an exorcism on a man “possessed by four demons” in St.  Peter’s Square.

“The pope is also the Bishop of Rome, and like any bishop he is also an  exorcist,” Amorth reportedly told La Repubblica newspaper. “It was a real  exorcism. If the Vatican has denied this, it shows that they understand  nothing.”

“There was now, more than ever, a need for exorcists to combat people possessed  by ‘sorcerers’ and ‘Satanists,'” he noted in that report.

An 84-page update of exorcism rites compiled in 1614 and drawn up in 1998  stipulates how Catholic priests trained as exorcists should operate. According  to the guidelines established by the church, they have to follow a ritual known  as “De exorcismis et supplicationibus quibusdam,” or “Of exorcisms and certain  supplications.”

Amorth explained that Pope Francis’ exorcism on May 19 helped  to balance the growing atheism in the world where people don’t believe in the  Devil anymore.

“We live in an age in which God has been forgotten. And wherever God is not  present, the Devil rules,” said Amorth.

“Today, unfortunately, bishops don’t appoint sufficient exorcists. We need  many more. I hope that Rome will send out directives to bishops around the world  calling on them to appoint more exorcists.”

Amorth is also an outspoken critic of yoga and Harry Potter books and  dismissed them as ungodly hobbies.

“Practicing yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem  innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil,” he said.

In addressing Harry Potter, he said: “People think it is an innocuous book  for children but it’s about magic and that leads to evil. In Harry Potter the  Devil is at work in a cunning and crafty way, he is using his extraordinary  powers of magic and evil.”

“Satan is always hidden and the thing he desires more than anything is for  people to believe he does not exist,” he noted. “He studies each and every one  of us and our tendencies towards good and evil and then he tempts us.”

 

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Posted May 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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New clear Bigfoot video   1 comment


 

 

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Posted May 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Rob Ford’s Roost   Leave a comment


 

Controversial Toronto mayor Rob Ford may be in hot water as it is alleged that there is a video of him smoking crack cocaine.  And this soap opera is all over Canadian, and to an extent, international news.  The media are milking this baby for all it’s worth. 

But whatever this fiasco turns into, one thing is apparent, Rob works in a really cool city hall.  Toronto has to have one of the most interesting city halls in North America.  The complex was ahead of its time architecturally when it was built-in 1965.  And even today, the thing is a bloody marvel.

 

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The City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the home of the city’s municipal government and one of its most distinctive landmarks. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell (with Heikki Castrén, Bengt Lundsten, Seppo Valjus) and landscape architect Richard Strong, and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel, the building opened in 1965. It was built to replace Old City Hall, which was built in 1899.

 

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While the building’s base is rectangular, its two towers are curved in cross-section and rise to differing heights. The east tower is 27 storeys (99.5 metres (326 ft)) tall and the west tower is 20 storeys (79.4 metres (260 ft)). Between the towers is the saucer-like council chamber, and the overall arrangement is somewhat like two hands cradling the chamber.

 

 

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I think Rob got hold of the cocaine video.

 

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Posted May 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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New App to help prevent people who are texting from walking into things   Leave a comment


Avoiding the pitfalls of texting and walking

By Anna Lacey Producer, BBC Health Check

 

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Walking and texting is leading to a spate of collision-related injuries. Could a new app be the answer?

We’ve all done it. You’re walking down the street and the familiar beep of an incoming text becomes too tempting to resist. As you start to fire off a quick reply – bam! You clash shoulders with a fellow pedestrian doing exactly the same.

Alex Stoker is a Clinical Fellow in Emergency Medicine at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. “If it’s a tall object like a wall or a lamp-post that someone walks into, then one might expect facial injuries such as a broken nose or fractured cheekbone,” he told the BBC.

“If on the other hand the collision results in falling over, then they’re much more liable to things like hand injuries and broken wrists. There’s a complete spectrum but it is possible to sustain a really serious injury.”

Man hole avoidance

A new app called CrashAlert aims to help save people from themselves. It involves using a distance-sensing camera to scan the path ahead and alert users to approaching obstacles.

The camera acts like a second pair of eyes – looking forward while the user is looking down.

CrashAlert
CrashAlert is at prototype stage

Just as a Nintendo Wii or Xbox can detect where and how a player is moving, CrashAlert’s camera can interpret the location of objects on the street.

When it senses something approaching, it flashes up a red square in a bar on top of the phone or tablet. The position of the square shows the direction of the obstacle – giving the user a chance to dodge out of the way.

“What we observed in our experiments is that in 60% of cases, people avoided obstacles in a safer way. That’s up from 20% [without CrashAlert],” says CrashAlert’s inventor Dr Juan David Hincapié-Ramos from the University of Manitoba.

What’s more, the device doesn’t distract the user from what they’re doing. Hincapié-Ramos’s tests showed it can be used alongside gaming or texting without any cost to performance.

Despite designing CrashAlert, Hincapié-Ramos accepts that the best solution of all is for people to stop checking their phones in the first place.

“We should encourage people to text less while they’re walking because it isolates them from their environment. However people are doing it and there are situations where you have to do it. It’s for situations like this that CrashAlert can have a positive impact.”

But Dr Joe Marshall, a specialist in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Nottingham, says that it’s not necessarily people who are to blame – but the phones themselves.

“The problem with mobile technology is that it’s not designed to be used while you’re actually mobile. It involves you stopping, looking at a screen and tapping away.”

Dr Marshall believes that if we want to stop people being distracted by their phones, then designers need to completely rethink how we interact with them. But so far, there is no completely satisfactory alternative.

“Google glass solves the problem of looking down by allowing you to look ahead. But you still have to pay attention to a visual display,” he told the BBC.

So for now at least, it seems vigilance is the key to avoiding lamp-posts and unexpected manholes.

But as mobile technology continues to dominate everyday life, it might not be too ludicrous to expect to rely on smart cameras to steer us in the right direction.

What I don’t understand is what is the urgency to look at a text while walking?  Just stop for 15 seconds.

Posted May 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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A few cool images   4 comments


Massive size of the Pacific Ocean.

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Sydney Harbour without any water.

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Above and below.

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Even cats like the ocean.

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Twelve Apostles Stacks off south coast of Australia.

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Posted May 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Tornado Tank   Leave a comment


 

The Tornado Intercept Vehicle 1 (TIV 1) and Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 (TIV 2) are vehicles used to film with an IMAX camera from inside a tornado. They were designed by film director Sean Casey. On May 27, 2013 the TIV2 filmed the inside of a tornado in Kansas with Sean Casey inside.

 

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The Tornado Intercept Vehicle 1 (TIV 1) is a heavily modified 1997 Ford F-450 truck used as a storm chasing platform and built by IMAX director Sean Casey. This heavily armored vehicle can drive into a relatively weak tornado (EF0 to EF3) to film it and take measurements. Work began on the TIV in 2003 and took around eight months to finish, at a total cost of around US$81,000. TIV’s armored shell consists of 1/8–1/4 inch steel plate welded to a two inch square steel tubing frame. The windows are bullet resistant polycarbonate, measuring 1 1/2 inches thick on the windshield and 1/2 inch thick on the sides. The TIV weighs approximately 16,500 pounds fully loaded and is powered by a 7.3-liter Ford Power Stroke turbocharged Diesel engine manufactured by Navistar-International, giving it a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h). The TIV has a fuel capacity of 60 US gallons (230 L), giving it a range of around 500 miles (800 km). The TIV is featured in a series called Storm Chasers which began airing on the Discovery Channel in October 2007.  TIV was succeeded in 2008 by TIV 2, but returned to service to finish out the 2008 storm chasing season after TIV 2 suffered mechanical problems. In a June 2011 interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Casey said that TIV is still in service and is designated as the backup vehicle in the event TIV 2 breaks down during a shoot.

 

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Casey and his team developed and built the second Tornado Intercept Vehicle, dubbed “TIV 2”, to be featured in their next IMAX movie and the Storm Chasers series.  Work began in September 2007 by 40 welding students at the Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, Oklahoma and was completed in time for the 2008 tornado chase season. TIV 2 was designed to address some of the problems experienced with the original TIV, namely its low ground clearance, lack of four-wheel drive, and low top speed. It is based on a Dodge Ram 3500 that was strengthened and converted to six-wheel drive by adding a third axle. After season two the six-wheel drive system was modified to four-wheel drive. It is powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins turbo charged Diesel engine, modified with propane and water injection to produce 625 horsepower (466 kW). This gives TIV 2 an estimated top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Its fuel capacity is 95 US gallons (360 L), giving TIV 2 an approximate range of 750 miles (1,210 km). The body of TIV 2 is constructed of a 1/8-inch steel skin welded over a 2-inch (51 mm) square tubing steel frame. The windows in TIV 2 are all bullet-resistant 1.63-inch interlayered polycarbonate sheets and tempered glass. TIV 2 also features an IMAX filming turret similar to the one on the original TIV. The original TIV’s somewhat cumbersome hydraulic claws were not used on TIV 2 in favor of six hydraulic skirts that drop down to deflect wind over the TIV to stabilize it and protect the underside from debris, and four hydraulically operated anchoring spikes.

Posted May 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Kettle that looks like Hitler brews trouble for JCPenney   2 comments


 

 

Trouble is brewing for an American retailer after customers noted that one of its tea kettles bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

 

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Bemused motorists took photographs of the huge JCPenney billboard advertising the kettle as they drove past it on the 405 Interstate highway near Culver City in California, one of America’s busiest stretches of roads.

“That Hitler looks like a kettle,” commented one user of Reddit, one of the several websites where the image was posted over the weekend.

“He even has his right arm extended,” wrote another, while a third added: “I’m a little Nazi, short and stout”.

Things that look Hitler have become a popular web meme – with the genre perhaps defined by the house in Swansea that bears an unsettling resemblance to the Nazi Fuhrer.

Posted May 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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More huge drones to prowl the sky   Leave a comment


 

Navy’s High-Flying Spy Drone Completes Its First Flight

Danger Room

 

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This is some month for the Navy’s next-generation drones. First it launched an autonomous robot off the deck of an aircraft carrier. Now its very high-flying new spy drone has completed its first test flight.

The MQ-4C Triton took off today for the first time from a Palmdale, California airfield, a major step in the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program. Northrop Grumman, which manufactured the 130.9-foot-wingspan drone, said the maiden voyage lasted an hour and a half. The Navy even announced it via Twitter.

“First flight represents a critical step in maturing Triton’s systems before operationally supporting the Navy’s maritime surveillance mission around the world,” Capt. James Hoke, Triton’s program manager, said in a statement.

If the Triton looks familiar, it should. It’s a souped-up version of the Air Force’s old reliable spy drone, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk. The Navy’s made some modifications to the airframe and the sensors it carries to ensure it can spy on vast swaths of ocean, from great height. (It’s unarmed, if you were wondering.)

The idea is for the Triton to achieve altitudes of nearly 53,000 feet — that’s 10 miles up — where it will scan 2,000 nautical miles at a single robotic blink. (Notice that wingspan is bigger than a 737′s.) Its sensors, Northrop boasts, will “detect and automatically classify” ships, giving captains a much broader view of what’s on the water than radar, sonar and manned aircraft provide. Not only that, Triton is a flying communications relay station, bouncing “airborne communications and information sharing capabilities” between ships. And it can fly about 11,500 miles without refueling.

 

The Navy wants 68 of these aircraft. But the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Program hasn’t all been shining successes. Almost a year ago, a Global Hawk that the Air Force loaned the Navy to experiment with at Pax River Air Station went down in Maryland. Northrop says it’ll put the Triton through additional flight tests before sending it to Pax River later this year.

While most of the military has said it’s got enough drones, thanks, the Navy is moving forward with at least two advanced drone programs. Aside from the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, there is a plan to launch and land autonomous armed drones from aircraft carriers. The demonstrator vehicle for that program, the X-47B, took its first flight from a carrier deck at sea last week, and is scheduled to make its first arrested carrier landing by the end of the summer. (It even did some touch-and-goes from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, too.)

Like the X-47B, the Triton is different from the Air Force’s drones: it’s autonomous. Its flight operations are a matter of executing a flight pattern thanks to lines of software code and GPS, rather than a pilot in a remote air-conditioned box holding a throttle.

“Replacing our aging surveillance aircraft with a system like Triton,” Hoke noted, “will allow us to monitor ocean areas significantly larger with greater persistence.” And with humans relatively removed from its operations, even by drone standards.

 

General characteristics

  • Crew: Unmanned, 4 per ground station
  • Length: 47.6 ft in (14.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 130.9 ft in (39.9 m)
  • Height: 15.3 ft in (4.7 m)
  • Gross weight: 32,250 lb (14,628.4 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan, 6,495-8,917 lbf (28.9-39.7 kN)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 357 mph (575 km/h)
  • Endurance: 30 hours
  • Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,288 m)

Posted May 28, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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