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Archive for May 11, 2012

Boat crafted from Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar to be launched.

7th May 2012.  Find Full Article Here:-

A boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, will be launched today as part of a national art project to mark the Olympics.

A boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix's guitar, will be launched today as part of a national art project to mark the Olympics.

Created as a “floating collage of memories”, The Boat Project has been funded by the Arts Council England’s Artists’ Taking the Lead project Photo: PA

Created as a ”floating collage of memories”, The Boat Project has been funded by the Arts Council England’s Artists’ Taking the Lead project as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The artists who came up with the idea, Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, known as Lone Twin, visited 20 locations across the region seeking contributions to be used in the building of the craft.

They also invited members of the public to bring wooden pieces to the West Sussex boatyard where it was built. The only criteria was that the items were made from wood and had a story behind them.

The diverse contributions include a plank from the London 2012 velodrome, several hockey sticks, a Victorian policeman’s truncheon, large crates used to transport gold as British securities to Canada during the Second World War and a hairbrush used by a make-up artist at Pinewood Studios in the 1960s.

A spokeswoman for the project said: ”People from all walks of life responded by giving treasured items from all parts of the world and, more humbly, their garages.

Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US.

Here is a short video of Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds highlighting the shocking radioactive contamination in Tokyo.

March 25th 2012.  Watch 4 min Video Here:-

About this videoWhile traveling in Japan several weeks ago, Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen took soil samples in Tokyo public parks, playgrounds, and rooftop gardens. All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US. This level of contamination is currently being discovered throughout Japan. At the US NRC Regulatory Information Conference in Washington, DC March 13 to March 15, the NRC’s Chairman, Dr. Gregory Jaczko emphasized his concern that the NRC and the nuclear industry presently do not consider the costs of mass evacuations and radioactive contamination in their cost benefit analysis used to license nuclear power plants. Furthermore, Fairewinds believes that evacuation costs near a US nuclear plant could easily exceed one trillion dollars and contaminated land would be uninhabitable for generations.

Why Britain’s broadband is heading for the slow lane.

By Monday 7th May 2012.  Find Full Article Here:-

broadband fibre optic cable

Other nations have fibre optic cables running directly to households, but the UK’s broadband relies on copper connections from BT’s fibre network in the street. Photograph: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images.

Britain's broadband logo

The internet is a bigger part of the British economy than education, healthcare or construction. Britons generate more money online than any other G20 nation. But when it comes to high-speed broadband, the country is falling behind.

The UK’s average download speed is ranked 16th in Europe, according to IT company Akamai, and experts warn that the country is beginning to miss out as a result.

“Britain is being frozen out of the next industrial revolution,” Peter Cochrane, a former BT chief technology officer, has warned. “In terms of broadband, the UK is at the back of the pack. We’re beaten by almost every other European country and Asia leaves us for dust.”

While other countries are racing to replace the old copper telephone networks with fibre optic cables running right to household doorsteps, and capable of almost unlimited speeds, the UK has settled for a compromise.

BT Group, with a network that reaches nearly every home in the country, is laying fibre to cabinets in the streets, and relying on copper to carry the broadband signal the last leg to the doorstep. Today, that means speeds limited to 80 megabits per second (Mbps), compared with 1,000Mbps or more available in all-fibre networks.

Russia already has 12m homes with fibre to the doorstep. France has 6m and says 70% of premises will be connected by 2020. The UK has just 400,000, and there are no targets to increase that number.

Ministers rank broadband as one of Britain’s top four infrastructure priorities, alongside roads, rail and energy, and George Osborne has committed £200bn to these sectors over the next five years. But a fraction of that will go to broadband – just £1.3bn from local and central government has been earmarked.

If the UK had committed as much as the Chinese per head of population, some £7bn of taxpayer funds would be invested. Australia is pushing fibre to 93% of homes by 2018. In the UK, this would cost up to £29bn.

Most UK water companies not required to cut leaks before 2015 despite drought.

By 7th May 2012 .    Find Full Article Here:-

More than half of water companies will not be required to reduce leakages before 2015, despite the worst drought in 25 years.

Water leak

Workers replace water pipes in north London. Ofwat data shows the water industry will cut leaks by only 1.5% by 2015. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian.

More than half of water companies will not be required to reduce their leakages by a single drop before 2015, despite the worst drought in 25 years. Data obtained by the Guardian from the regulator Ofwat also shows the entire water industry will cut leaks by only 1.5% in that time.

Every day, 3.4bn litres of water leaks from the system, almost a quarter of the entire supply. After two years of low rainfall, drought has been declared across southern and central England, with no end in sight for the hosepipe ban imposed in many places. The wettest April on record has revived rivers, but groundwater reserves remain low as the water runs off hardened ground.

Since the privatisation of the water industry in 1989, Ofwat has set leakage reduction targets for the 21 water companies, which operate local monopolies across England and Wales. Analysis of the data, supplied to Ofwat by the companies themselves, revealed:

• Eleven companies have targets of zero reduction of leaks by 2015. They include Yorkshire Water, which failed to meet its 2010-11 targets and as a result was required to spend an additional £33m on leak repairs.

• Leaks have been reduced across England and Wales by only 5% over the past 13 years.

• The worst-performing company, Southern Water, which supplies Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, missed its latest leak target by 16% and had to pay £5m back to customers, but will be allowed to increase its leakage by 6% by 2015.

• The 25-year managementplans of the water companies envisage reducing leakage by only 10% in that time.

Massive rise in Asian eye damage

By Matt McGrath Science reporter, BBC World Service 4th May 2012. Find Full Article and Short Video Here:-

Up to 90% ofschool leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia – short-sightedness – a study suggests.

Researchers say the “extraordinary rise” in the problem is being caused by studentsworking very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.

The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.

In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.

According to Professor Ian Morgan, who led this study and is from the AustralianNational University, 20-30% was once the average among people in South East Asia as well.

“What we’ve done is written a review of all the evidence which suggests that something extraordinary has happened in east Asia in the last two generations,” he told BBC News.

“They’ve gone from something like 20% myopia in the population to well over 80%, heading for 90% in young adults, and as they get adult it will just spread through the population. It certainly poses a majorhealth problem.”

Eye experts say that you are myopic if your vision is blurred beyond 2m (6.6ft). It is often caused by an elongation of the eyeball that happens when people are young.

According to the research, the problem is being caused by a combination of factors – a commitment to education and lack of outdoor light.

Quantum computing: Is it possible, and should you care?

By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News  13th April 2012.  Find Full Article Here:-

What is a quantum computer and when can I have one? It makes use of all that “spooky” quantum stuff and vastly increases computing power, right? And they’ll be under every desk when scientists finally tame the spooky stuff, right? And computing will undergo a revolution no less profound than the one that brought us the microchip, right?

Quantum computer reported in Science
“Qubits” can now be made to do their computing tricks in semiconductors.

Well, sort of.

That is broadly what has been said about quantum computers up to now, but it’s probably best to pause here and be clear about what is, at this stage, most likely to come.

First things first, though: just what do they do? Many media outlets have dived into the academic literature sporadically to shed some light on the effort.

BBC News has reported that quantum computers “exploit the counterintuitive fact that photons or trapped atoms can exist in multiple states or ‘superpositions’ at the same time“, and “quantum computing’s one trick is to perform calculations on all superposition states at once” – plus, other quantum weirdness means the whole business “can then be done ‘in the cloud’ completely securely“.

This week has seen two more advances in the field. In one, a team reporting in Nature describes the first fully quantum network, in which “qubits” – quantum bits, the information currency of quantum computers – were faithfully shuttled between two laboratories.

See Also:-   Quantum computers are leaping ahead  Here:-

Quantum computers are ever closer to becoming a reality, and when they arrive they will revolutionise computing power.

9 bodies found hanged from bridge and 14 heads decapitated in US border city of Nuevo Laredo.

5th May 2012.  Find Full Article Here:-

The bodies of 23 people have been found hanging from a bridge or decapitated and dumped along the border city of Nuevo Laredo, where drug cartels are fighting a bloody and escalating turf war.

Authorities found nine of the victims, including four women, hanging from an overpass leading to a main highway, said a Tamaulipas state official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide information on the case.

Hours later, police found 14 human heads inside coolers outside city hall along with a threatening note. The 14 bodies were found in black plastic bags inside a car abandoned near an international bridge, the official said.

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Drug war: The feet of four bodies are seen hanging from a bridge in the Mexican border city of Nuevo LaredoDrug war: The feet of four bodies are seen hanging from a bridge in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo

Gruesome: Nine bodies have been found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which borders Texas. The four women and five men are suspected members of Los Zetas drugs cartelGruesome: Nine bodies have been found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which borders Texas. The four women and five men are suspected members of Los Zetas drugs cartel

The official didn’t release the contents of the note, or give a motive for the killings.

But the city across the border from Laredo, Texas has recently been torn by a renewed turf war between the Zetas cartel, a gang of former Mexican special-forces soldiers, and the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which has joined forces with the Gulf cartel, former allies of the Zetas.

Categories: News of the moment
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