Monday, May 26, 2008

Polar Region of Mars

Spacecraft Reveals Look at Mars

NASA's newest outpost in the solar system is a polygon-cracked terrain in Mars' northern polar region believed to hold a reservoir of ice beneath.Hours after the Phoenix Mars Lander softly landed Sunday in the Martian arctic plains, it dazzled scientists with the first-ever glimpse of the Red Planet's high northern latitudes. The flood of images sent back by Phoenix revealed a landscape similar to what can be found in Earth's permafrost regions — geometric patterns in the soil likely related to the freezing and thawing of ground ice.

Coke To Phase Out Sodium Benzoate

Diet Coke to Drop Additive
Coca-Cola is phasing out a controversial additive that has been linked to damage to DNA and hyperactivity in children. Sodium benzoate, also known as E211, is used to stop fizzy drinks going mouldy. Coca-Cola said it had begun withdrawing the additive from Diet Coke in January in response to consumer demand for more natural products. By the end of the year no can or bottle will contain E211.

Half The World Has A Cell Phone

Half of World's Population
The number of mobile phone users world soared to over 3.3 billion by the end of 2007, equivalent to a penetration rate of 49 percent, the International Telecommunications Union has said in a report.Africa showed the strongest gains over the past two years and more than two thirds of all mobile subscribers were from developing countries by the end of 2007, the ITU said. This is 'a positive trend that suggests that developing countries are catching up," the report said. Mobile subscription growth stood at 39 percent annually in Africa between 2005-2007, and 28 percent in Asia over the same period.India and China added 154 million and 143 million new subscribers respectively.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oil Hits Record $135

Oil Soars To New Record
The price of oil hit a record high above $135 a barrel on Thursday - more than twice what it cost a year ago. The latest surge was driven by data showing that US supplies of crude had fallen - but the price later fell back sharply as traders took profits. In the US, the benchmark light, sweet crude contract hit $135.09, taking its gain for the year to more than 40%. In May 2007 it was priced at about $65.Higher oil prices push up the price of fuel, energy bills and food.

Talking To You About Piracy

Nazi Bush

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Soros: Global Boom Is Over

Soros Warns Global Boom Is Over

Billionaire investor George Soros has given his gloomiest assessment of the state of the US and world economies. He told BBC business editor Robert Peston that the "acute phase" of the credit crunch may be over but effects on the real economy are yet to be felt. He warned the "financial bubble" of the last 25 years could be drawing to an end and the post World War II "super-boom" era could also be over. He predicted a "more severe and longer" US slowdown than most people expect. And he said that the UK was worse-placed than America to weather the coming economic storm, because it had such a large financial sector and has had the biggest increase in house prices

Diversify For The Long Term

Bush Tells Middle East To Diversify Economy
The US President George W Bush has called on the governments of the Middle East to embrace “the entrepreneurial spirit” of their people as the path to economic prosperity and political reform. In a speech highlighting the growing importance of the region in the world economy, Mr Bush threw out a challenge he said would “lead the Middle East to its rightful place as a centre of progress and achievement”. While addressing the World Economic Forum in Sharm el Sheikh yesterday, he marked what could be his final visit to the region as president with a ringing endorsement of the free market economy.

Homeless Middle Class

Mom Forced To Live In Car

Barbara Harvey climbs into the back of her small Honda sport utility vehicle and snuggles with her two golden retrievers, her head nestled on a pillow propped against the driver's seat. A former loan processor, the 67-year-old mother of three grown children said she never thought she'd spend her golden years sleeping in her car in a parking lot. "This is my bed, my dogs," she said. "This is my life in this car right now." Harvey was forced into homelessness earlier this year after being laid off. She said that three-quarters of her income went to paying rent in Santa Barbara, where the median house in the scenic, oceanfront city costs more than $1 million. She lost her condo two months ago and had little savings as backup.

Fed Auctions Total $510 Billion

Fed Auctions $75b
Working to relieve stressed credit markets, the Federal Reserve has auctioned another $75 billion in loans to squeezed banks, bringing the total to $510 billion since December. The central bank on Tuesday announced the results of its most recent auction — the 12th — since the program to help banks overcome credit problems started in December. It's part of an ongoing effort by the Fed to help ease the credit crunch, which erupted last August and hit a crisis point in March with the near collapse and forced sale of Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth-largest investment house, to JP Morgan Chase & Co. Housing, credit and financial problems have weighed heavily on the economy, sharply slowing its growth.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rebate Checks

Rebate checks are in the mail

Facist Russia

Russia: A Totalitarian Regime...

As ex-President Putin settles in to his new role as Prime Minister, he has every reason to congratulate himself. After all, he has not only written the script for his constitutional coup d'etat, but staged the play and given himself the starring role as well. Of course, he has given a walk-on role to Dmitry Medvedev, his personally anointed successor. But the transfer of power from Putin to his Little Sir Echo, Medvedev, and the show of military strength with those soldiers and clapped-out missiles in Red Square on Victory Day which followed it last week, made it clear who is really in charge.

TSX Near 15,000, Hits Record

TSX Closes At Record...

The benchmark index of the Toronto Stock Exchange rose further into record territory Friday on strength in resource stocks. The S&P/TSX composite index gained 156 points to end the week at 14,984. It went as high as 14,992 in early morning trading. The heavily weighted energy sub-index jumped 2.9 per cent as crude oil futures hit all-time highs in New York trading — up about $2.17 US to $126.29 US a barrel. Traders speculated that China would be boosting its purchases of diesel.

Human Robot Suit

Robotic Suit Amplifies Human Strength

Rex Jameson bikes and swims regularly, and plays tennis and skis when time allows. But the 5-foot-11, 180-pound software engineer is lucky if he presses 200 pounds -- that is, until he steps into an "exoskeleton" of aluminum and electronics that multiplies his strength and endurance as many as 20 times. With the outfit's claw-like metal hand extensions, he gripped a weight set's bar at a recent demonstration and knocked off hundreds of repetitions. Once, he did 500.

Oil Hits Record $128

Oil Hits New Record
World oil prices jumped to a fresh record of almost $128 a barrel today on the back of a weaker dollar, fears over a shortage of diesel and a bullish price prediction from Goldman Sachs. A sharp rise in the value of shares in oil companies across the world also helped stock markets to rise to their highest levels in four months. Goldman, which for some years have predicted that oil prices would rise strongly, upped its forecast for oil prices to an average of $141 a barrel in the second half of the year, up from its previous forecast for $107.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ron Paul - Credit Crunch

Russian And Europe Plan Moon Mission

Russia and Europe May Team Up

Russia and Europe are teaming up to build a spaceship which will fly astronauts to the moon, Russia said on Wednesday, although the European Space Agency struck a more cautious note. The first test flight is set for 2015 and the first manned flight is planned for 2018, Russian space agency Roskosmos said.

America Stands With You Against Iran

Bush Sees Calls For Iran...
U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday decried his critics' calls for negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as comparable to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War Two.Bush's comment in a speech to Israel's parliament appeared to be a swipe at Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama, who has advocated meeting leaders of traditional U.S. foes such as Iran and Cuba without preconditions

McCain: Iraq War Over By 2013

McCain Predicts Iraq War...
Sen. John McCain envisions that by 2013, the Iraq war will be won, but the threat from the Taliban in Afghanistan won't be eliminated, even though Osama bin Laden will have been captured or killed. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee made both statements in a speech in which he envisions the state of affairs at the end of his first term if he is elected president

Portion Size, Then and Now

Portion Size, Then and Now
Over the past few decades, portion sizes of everything from muffins to sandwiches have grown considerably. Unfortunately, America’s waistbands have reacted accordingly. In the 1970s, around 47 percent of Americans were overweight or obese; now 66 percent of us are. In addition, the number of just obese people has doubled, from 15 percent of our population to 30 percent. While increased sizes haven’t been the sole contributor to our obesity epidemic, large quantities of cheap food have distorted our perceptions of what a typical meal is supposed to look like.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Foreclosures Hit New High

April Foreclosures Hit New High
U.S. home foreclosure filings in April edged up from March and were a whopping 65 percent higher than a year earlier, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Wednesday. Home foreclosure filings in April totaled 243,353, up 4 percent from March, RealtyTrac, an online market of foreclosure properties, said in its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The figure is a total of default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Abuse / Negelect Changes Brain

Abuse Changes Brain...
Suicide victims who were abused as children have clear genetic changes in their brains, Canadian researchers reported on Tuesday in a finding they said shows neglect can cause biological effects. The findings offer potential ways to find people at high risk of suicide, and perhaps to treat them and prevent future suicides. And, the researchers said, they also offer insights into how neglect and abuse can perpetuate unhealthy behavior through the generations. Moshe Szyf of McGill University in Montreal and colleagues studied the brains of 18 men who committed suicide and who were also abused or neglected as children, and compared them to 12 men who also died suddenly but from other causes, and who were not abused, although some had various psychiatric problems such as anxiety disorders

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Oil Hits New Record

Oil Nears $123 On $200 Oil Prediction

Oil futures blasted to a new record near $123 a barrel Tuesday, gaining momentum as investors bought on a forecast of much higher prices and on any news hinting at supply shortages. Retail gas prices edged lower, but appear poised to rise to new records of their own in coming weeks. A new Goldman Sachs prediction that oil prices could rise to $150 to $200 within two years seemed to motivate much of Tuesday's buying, although a falling dollar and increasing concerns about declining crude production in Mexico and Russia contributed, analysts say.

Bolton: Bomb Iranian camps

US Should Bomb Iranian Camps
Mr Bolton said that striking Iran would represent a major step towards victory in Iraq. While he acknowledged that the risk of a hostile Iranian response harming American’s overseas interests existed, he said the damage inflicted by Tehran would be “far higher” if Washington took no action.

The Shock Doctrine

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Rise Of The Rest

The Rise Of The Rest

Americans are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the "wrong track." In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month's response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistic—a financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. But the facts on the ground—unemployment numbers, foreclosure rates, deaths from terror attacks—are simply not dire enough to explain the present atmosphere of malaise.

Income Of Canadians

Income of Canadians
Median after-tax income rose slightly for most Canadian families in 2005, and remained stable for unattached individuals, according to new data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics The median after-tax income for Canadian families with two or more people rose 1.6% from 2004 to $56,000, after adjusting for inflation. This increase in after-tax income came on the heels of a 1.3% gain in 2004.