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Mars Photos Seem to Show Recent Water Flows.

Last Edited: Wednesday, 06 Dec 2006, 10:00 PM EST 
Created: Wednesday, 06 Dec 2006, 10:00 PM EST 12/06/2006 

Scientists launched new fantasies of life on Mars Wednesday when they revealed remarkable new findings that suggest water may still be flowing on the alluring Red Planet.

The results came to light through an analysis of photographs taken by an orbiting space probe. Pictures of gullies on the sides of Martian craters taken by the Mars Global Surveyor several years ago, and then again more recently, revealed differences.

The newer photos showed light-colored deposits that appear to be dried-up salt or frost left by water which first flowed, then evaporated. The deposits were not in the earlier images.

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"It's exciting. It greatly magnifies [the chances] of life as we know it on Mars," Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, told "If it's still oozing out in liquid form, this reaffirms Mars as an interesting destination to look for life there today."

Tyson said the Martian life that could exist in light of the new findings, simultaneously published online Wednesday in the journal Science, is likely microbial — not the little green creatures with antennae that have made their way into countless science fiction stories.

"We're talking bacteria and other single-cell life forms, which are very hardy — more hardy than we are," said Tyson, the director of the American Museum's Hayden Planetarium. "We're not talking about alligators."

Water and a stable heat source are considered keys for life to emerge, or at least survive.

"This is a squirting gun for water on Mars," said Kenneth Edgett, a scientist at San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems, which operates a camera on the Global Surveyor, at a press conference held by NASA Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C.

Mars was likely once warm and wet, with a radiation-deflecting magnetic field like Earth, but dried up billions of years ago. Any life that evolved might still exist as hardy microbes living underground, able to tolerate extreme cold and radiation.

"No one denies that liquid water once flowed heavily on the Martian surface," Tyson told "There's tremendous surface evidence: river beds, flood plains, lake beds. The question is, where did all the water go? It's widely believed that it went below the surface and froze there."

Scientists have long noted Martian features that appear to have been scoured by water or look like shorelines. Ice has already been found at the Martian north pole.

"This underscores the importance of searching for life on Mars, either present or past," said Bruce Jakosky, an astrobiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who had no role in the study. "It's one more reason to think that life could be there."

Tyson said the just-released study about water flowing on Mars adds new impetus to human-run missions to the Red Planet and means the equipment sent there will need to be upgraded so it can drill below the Martian surface.

"You don't want to go to Mars knowing this without being able to do experiments related to it. That would just be embarrassing," he said. "You want to make sure what you take there — rovers, astronauts — are ready to probe in just the ways you would need to learn about the liquid water."

The latest findings point to the possibility that Mars can sustain liquid water, which the majority of scientists hadn't previously thought to be the case, according to Tyson.

"Most sensible scientists presume that the water was frozen," he said. "It's very cold in the Martian environment. We lost the water on the surface for reasons not yet understood ... This new result says not all of it is frozen, and we can ask what melted it."

Oded Aharonson, an assistant professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology, said that while the interpretation of recent water activity on Mars was "compelling," it's just one possible explanation.

Aharonson said further study is needed to determine whether the deposit could have been left there by the flow of dust rather than water.

The latest research emerged when the Global Surveyor spotted gullies and trenches that scientists believed were geologically young and carved by fast-moving water coursing down cliffs and steep crater walls.

Scientists at Malin Space Science Systems decided to retake photos of thousands of gullies in search of evidence of recent water activity.

Two gullies that were originally photographed in 1999 and 2001 and reimaged in 2004 and 2005 showed changes consistent with water flowing down the crater walls, according to the study.

In both cases, scientists found bright, light-colored deposits in the gullies that weren't present in the original photos.

They concluded the deposits — possibly mud, salt or frost — were left there when about 10 swimming pools' worth of water recently cascaded through the channels.

Some researchers were skeptical that liquid water was responsible for the surface feature changes seen by the spacecraft. They said other materials such as sand or dust can flow like a liquid and produce similar results.

"Nothing in the images, no matter how cool they are, proves that the flows were wet, or that they were anything more exciting than avalanches of sand and dust," Allan Treiman, a geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, said in an e-mail.

Edgett, however, said a combination of factors, including the shape and color of the deposits, led the team to believe it was recent water action and not dust that slipped down the slope. He said dust would leave dark deposits.

Water cannot remain a liquid on the surface of Mars for long because of subzero surface temperatures and low atmospheric pressure that would turn water into ice or gas.

But scientists theorize that liquid water is being shot up to the surface from an underground source, like geysers. Subterranean icy mud may also be being thawed by sunlight periodically hitting the normally dark walls of craters.

The Global Surveyor, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, abruptly lost radio contact with Earth last month. Attempts to locate the spacecraft, which has mapped Mars since 1996, have failed and scientists fear it is unusable.

NASA's durable Mars rovers have sent scientists strong evidence that the planet once had liquid water at or near the surface, based on observations of alterations in ancient rocks.

"Every place where we find liquid water, we find life," Tyson said.

FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[ ORIGIN ...Fox 8 wghp ]

Hurricane on Saturn!

Nov 9 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A colossal, swirling storm with a well-developed eye is churning at Saturn's south pole, the first time a truly hurricane-like storm has been detected on a planet other than Earth,

NASA images showed on Thursday.

This undated photograph, released by NASA November 9, 2006, shows a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's south pole. The colossal storm, with a well-developed eye, marks the first time a truly hurricane-like storm has been detected on a planet other than Earth, the images showed on Thursday. EDITORIAL USE ONLY (NASA/Handout/Reuters)
Reuters Photo: This undated photograph, released by NASA November 9, 2006, shows a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's...

wide, measuring roughly two thirds the diameter of Earth, with winds howling clockwise at 350 mph (550 kph).

Jupiter's Great Red Spot, which swirls counterclockwise, is far bigger, but is less like a hurricane because it lacks the typical eye and eye wall.

The images -- essentially a 14-frame movie -- were captured over a period of three hours on October 11 by the U.S. space agency's Cassini spacecraft as it passed about 210,000 miles

from the planet as part of its exploration of Saturn and its moons.

Michael Flasar, an astrophysicist involved in the mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said the storm looks just like water swirling down the drain in a bath tub, only on a gigantic scale.

"We've never seen anything like this before," Flasar said in an interview. "It's a spectacular-looking storm."

Saturn, the second-biggest planet in the solar system with an equatorial diameter of 74,000 miles and the sixth from the sun, is about 746 million miles from Earth.

Its south pole storm is much bigger than Earth hurricanes. It has a well-developed eye ringed by towering clouds that soar 20-45 miles above those in the dark center, two to five times higher than clouds in our thunderstorms and hurricanes, NASA said.

A distinguishing feature of hurricanes on Earth are the eye-wall clouds that form when moist air flows inward across an ocean surface, rising vertically and releasing a heavy rain around a circular region of descending air that represents the eye. Scientists said it was unclear whether Saturn's storm was a water-driven system.

It differs from Earth hurricanes in part because it remains stuck at the pole rather than drifting as such storms do on this planet and because it did not form over a liquid water ocean, with Saturn being a gaseous planet, NASA said.

"It looks like a hurricane, but it doesn't behave like a hurricane," Andrew Ingersoll, a member of Cassini's imaging team at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. "Whatever it is, we're going to focus on the eye of this storm and find out why it's there."

Flasar said scientists have more work ahead to understand the Saturn storm.

"I'm hoping that as we puzzle over it, it will become even more exciting as we start to connect the dots in our brains. But right now, the wheels are a little creaky," Flasar said. "We're all arguing with each other about what it might or might not be."

[ ORIGIN ... yahoo ]

Exploring the Mystery of Ball Lightning.


Ball-lightning, long dismissed as a myth, could be the consequence of lightning strikes and has been recreated in the laboratory, finds Ricki Nabeshima

On October 21, 1638, a strange darkness descended over Widecombe, Dartmoor. In the church of St Pancras some 60 people were worshipping at afternoon service, taking refuge from the thunderstorm outside.

'Ball lightning'
Shocking: there is no rigorously tested scientific explanation for ball-lightning

According to written reports a sudden clap of thunder was heard and a "great ball of fire" ripped through the window. Part of the roof was blasted off as the fireball "bounced" through the church, burning dozens of the congregation and throwing them around like rag dolls, killing four. Then, with another deafening clap, the fireball disappeared without trace.

Many consider this to be one of the earliest (and most dramatic) records of ball-lightning, a rare phenomenon which has eluded scientific explanation for decades. Often described as "one of the big unsolved mysteries in physics", it is no surprise that ball-lightning has captured imaginations.

However, in the absence of scientific explanation, it has become the domain of alien-abductees and conspiracy-theorists, which has given it something of a stigma within the scientific community. Certainly there are scientists who are reluctant to accept its existence. But the sheer number of sightings, combined with their apparent similarities, suggests that ball-lightning is more than a myth.

Typically, observers describe a small (around 1ft) luminous sphere which floats a little above the ground for a while (usually under a minute). Almost all sightings occur during stormy weather and end with the sphere either disappearing in a violent explosion or simply fading from view.
[ READ THE REST!!!!!! ]


Google Buys YouTube For $2.2 Billion.

October 11, 2006

A PROFITLESS website started by two 20-somethings after a late-night dinner party is sold for more than two billion bucks, instantly turning dozens of its employees into paper millionaires. It sounds like a tale from the late 1990s but it happened on Monday.

Google, the online search behemoth, confirmed it would pay $US1.65 billion ($2.21 billion) in scrip for the website that came out of that party: YouTube, the video-sharing phenomenon that is the darling of an Internet resurgence known as Web 2.0.

YouTube had been coveted by virtually every big media and technology company as they sought to tap into a new generation of consumers who are viewing 100 million short videos on the site every day.

Google is expected to try to make money from YouTube by integrating the site with its search technology and search-based advertising program.

But the purchase price is also raising comparisons to the mind-boggling valuations once given to dozens of Silicon Valley companies a decade ago. Like YouTube, those companies were once the Next Big Thing but some soon went belly up.

Google, with a market value of $US132 billion, can clearly afford to take a gamble with YouTube but the question remains: how to put a price tag on an unproven business?

"If you believe it's the future of television, it's clearly worth $US1.6 billion," said Steven Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive. "If you believe something else, maybe it's not worth much at all."

During a conference call to announce the transaction on Monday, there were eerie echoes of the late 1990s boom time. There was no mention of what financial measures Google used to arrive at the price it agreed to pay. At one point, Google's vice president, David Drummond , gave a cryptic explanation: "We modelled this on a more or less synergistic kind of model. You can imagine this would be hard to do on a stand-alone basis."

The price tag Google paid may simply have been the cost of beating its rivals - Yahoo, Viacom and News Corp - to take control of the most sought-after website of the moment. It was also perhaps the only price that YouTube's founders, Chad Hurley, 29, and Steven Chen, 28, and their big venture capital backer - Sequoia Capital Partners, among the most successful investors in Silicon Valley - were willing to accept.

The deal came together in a matter of days. After rebuffing a series of other overtures, YouTube's founders decided to take a lunch on Wednesday with Google's co-founder, Larry Page, and its chief executive, Eric Schmidt. The setting was classic Silicon Valley start-up: a booth at Denny's near YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California. The Google executives threw out an offer of $US1.6 billion and autonomy in running the show.

That set off a marathon of meetings and conference calls over the next two days.

Of course, YouTube has also been compared to Napster, the music sharing service that was eventually closed after a series of lawsuits.
[ ORIGIN ... ]

Friday The 13th.

by Sol

Next week it will be Friday the 13th again. But this time it won’t be just ANY such date, this will be the actual anniversary of the original day.

Friday, the 13th of October, 1307 - was the date on which the Templar Order was routed in France, its members arrested and later executed. According to many researchers, that is what led to this date conjunction to be considered unlucky (or horrible.)

For nearly two hundred years before that, The Templar Order was the most prominent force in Europe, whose wealth and power easily rivaled and even surpassed that of the Vatican itself. But after having been rounded up in France on that day, the Order basically ceased to exist in its original form.

The "timely" conjunction this year will celebrate no less than the 699th anniversary of that original fatal date. And "699" is in fact a most significant figure in Templar lore. The number 69 (aside from its usual association...) has been considered "magical" since antiquity, not least because it’s vertically symmetrical - it will look the same if flipped upside down. It is also the symbol for the Zodiacal sign of Cancer - a sign ruled by the Egyptian god Thoth, who, as Hermes Trismegistus, is said to have been the "patron" of the Templars, the giver of their secret knowledge.

And the number 9 is also vital both in Templar and ancient Egyptian symbology. There were nine ruling gods in what is called the Egyptian "ennead". There were nine original Knights Templar.

It is thus a highly curious coincidence, to say the least, that the 699th anniversary of the Templar demise would fall on the same "unlucky" day of the week.

Furthermore, I first wrote and posted this article yesterday, October 3, which was a most opportune time for writing about it – because it was exactly ten days before that upcoming date. In 1307 the old Julian calendar was still in force, but today we live according to the Gregorian one. The changeover between the two calendars involved moving the calendar date TEN DAYS into "the future". To top it off, the change happened in early October:

"when the new calendar was put in use, the error accumulated in the 13 centuries since the Council of Nicaea was corrected by a deletion of ten days. The last day of the Julian calendar was Thursday 4 October 1582 and this was followed by the first day of the Gregorian calendar, Friday 15 October 1582."

As we can see, at a certain point those "critical days in October" suddenly went missing, they were skipped over... If that hadn’t happened, the 699th anniversary of the Templar demise would not have fallen on Friday the 13th. Coincidence or Design?

It should be noted that Emanuel Velikovsky, in his "Worlds in Collision” postulated that Friday the 13th got its unlucky association because Friday, April 13th around 1550 BC was when the “Venus fly-by” occurred, which caused major cataclysms on Earth and led to descriptions such as the Ten Plagues in the Bible.
Originating at The Book of

A woman's ring finger can reveal how fast she is.

By Jeremy Laurance
Sept 28 2006
For an instant guide to how fast a woman can run, take a look at her hands. Women whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers are quicker on their feet, offering a simple way of predicting who will win a race, researchers have found.

The discovery could be a boon for parents wondering whether to shell out large sums on coaching - by providing an indication of their daughter's chances of turning into a sports star.

Unlike men, most women have ring fingers that are shorter or the same length as their index fingers. Only a few have longer ring fingers.

'I didn't believe this stuff'
The finding adds to evidence that the ratio between the two fingers - not the length itself but their length relative to each other - is associated with a number of different personality traits, which include sexuality, fertility, intelligence, aggressiveness and musical ability.

The difference is believed to be linked to the level of the male hormone testosterone, to which the foetus is exposed in the womb. Scientists have suggested that the higher the level of testosterone, the more masculine the resulting foetus is likely to be, with its associated traits of strength, fertility and mathematical ability.

Unfortunately, while a longer ring finger is associated with some desirable traits, such as musical skill, a longer index finger is associated with others, such as intelligence, past research has shown.

Professor Tim Spector, of the twin research and genetic epidemiology unit at St Thomas's Hospital in London, who conducted the latest study, said he had been sceptical about the claims.

"I didn't believe this stuff. Most of the studies were based on small numbers and the findings could easily be spurious," he said.

'The longer the ring finger, then the more butch you are'
Professor Spector decided to test the claims because he had access to a large database of twins, on whom he has been conducting research for 20 years. He examined X-rays of the hands of 607 female twins aged between 25 and 79, and compared the lengths of their index and ring fingers. The women also ranked their highest level of sports achievement.

The results, which are published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that women with longer ring fingers were significantly better at most sports, especially those involving running, such as football and tennis.

Professor Spector said: "I was quite surprised to find something. The idea is that it is due to the hormone levels [of testosterone] in the womb. The longer the ring finger, then the more butch you are. But also you are more likely to die from heart disease.

"However, no one has detected these hormonal differences. We published a paper a few months ago which showed that 70 per cent of the effect was due to genes." Professor Spector said it was unlikely that a long ring finger conferred only good traits: "I would postulate that there is likely to be a downside too, such as people with longer ring fingers are likely to die sooner. If it conferred an evolutionary advantage, then everyone would have them."
[ ORIGIN ... ]


Woman in Vegetative State communicates by thought.

Article Date: 08 Sep 2006 - 10:00am (PDT)
A woman who had suffered severe brain injury in a car accident and was in a vegetative state managed to communicate just by using her thoughts, say scientists from the UK and Belgium. They scanned her brain and discovered that she was able to understand verbal commands - she could even visualize herself playing tennis when verbally triggered to do so by the scientists.

You can read about this discovery in the journal Science.

The scientists could not say how common this ability might be among other patients who are diagnosed as being in a 'vegetative state'. They added that she might be one in a million, as all vegetative patients are different and have damage to different parts of their brain.

FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to record brain activity in the woman five months after her accident. Doctors had diagnosed her as being in a persistent vegetative state. When a person is in a persistent vegetative state he/she has lost cognitive neurological function and awareness of the environment, but keep non-cognitive neurological function and preserved sleep-wake cycle. In lay terms, it roughly means the person is technically alive but his/her brain is dead.

While mapping her brain the scientists asked her to visualize simple tasks.
Team leader Dr Adrian Owen, Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK said "The tasks we chose are based on many years of brain imaging research that shows different areas of the brain are activated when we perform different kinds of tasks."

The scientists were startled to find that her brain patterns, when she was asked to imagine herself playing tennis or moving around her home, displayed the same activated cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of the healthy volunteers.

Dr. Owen added, "It tells us the patient could understand speech, because of course, we asked her to do these things. It also tells us that she is able to perform simple tasks in her head, such as imagining certain scenarios. We see this as a proof of principle: we have found a way to show that a patient is aware when existing clinical methods have been unable to provide that information."


Researchers say:  Telephone Telepathy exists?

Tue Sep 5, 9:29 AM ET
NORWICH (Reuters) - Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy.

Rupert Sheldrake, whose research is funded by the respected Trinity College, Cambridge, said on Tuesday he had conducted experiments that proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even e-mails.

Each person in the trials was asked to give researchers names and phone numbers of four relatives or friends. These were then called at random and told to ring the subject who had to identify the caller before answering the phone.

"The hit rate was 45 percent, well above the 25 percent you would have expected," he told the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. "The odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one."

He said he found the same result with people being asked to name one of four people sending them an e-mail before it had landed.

However, his sample was small on both trials -- just 63 people for the controlled telephone experiment and 50 for the email -- and only four subjects were actually filmed in the phone study and five in the email, prompting some scepticism.

Undeterred, Sheldrake -- who believes in the interconnectedness of all minds within a social grouping -- said that he was extending his experiments to see if the phenomenon also worked for mobile phone text messages.

[ ORIGIN ... yahoo news ]


390,000 Jedis There Are

But did hoax campaign boost response in teens and 20s?

Seven people in every thousand in England and Wales gave their religion as 'Jedi' in the 2001 Census.

The Census form's question on religion - the only question where a response was not compulsory - offered a series of tick-boxes for the major religions in the UK (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh); a tick-box for 'none'; and a free space to write in 'any other religion'. This was the first time a religion question was included in a Census.

A campaign on the internet claimed - wrongly - that Jedi, the belief system at the heart of the Star Wars films, would receive official government recognition as a religion if enough people quoted it on their Census forms. An email in support of the campaign, quoted by BBC News, invited people to 'do it because you love Star Wars... or just to annoy people.'

Just over 390,000 of the 52,000,000 people in England and Wales wrote in 'Jedi' on their census form.

The 'Jedi' response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6 per cent of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford (2.0 per cent), Wandsworth (1.9), Cambridge (1.9), Southampton (1.8) and Lambeth (1.8).

It was least popular in Easington, on the north-east coast of England between Sunderland and Hartlepool, where it was quoted by only 0.16 per cent of respondents. Sedgefield, Knowsley, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Wear Valley all show less than 0.2 per cent of respondents quoting 'Jedi'.

Director of reporting and analysis at the Office for National Statistics, John Pullinger said: 'Whatever its motive, the Jedi campaign may have worked in favour of the Census exercise. Census agencies worldwide report difficulties encouraging those in their late teens and twenties to complete their forms.

'We suspect that the Jedi response was most common in precisely this age group. The campaign may well have encouraged people to complete their forms and help us get the best possible overall response.' 
Stumbled to me by Benicek
[ ORIGIN ... ]


U.S House Passes Permanent Horse Slaughter Ban.

Nearly 100,000 horses are
slaughtered annually for foreign palates.

September 7, 2006
In a key victory for protecting American horses from slaughter, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, by a vote of 263 to 146 on Sept. 7. 

Passage of the bill marks a historic moment in a groundswell effort to ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption abroad. More than 20,000 individuals told The HSUS that they called their representatives in the days leading up to the vote, urging their support of the bill. The callers added their voices to more than 500 organizations and editorial boards across the nation that have been calling for an end to the practice.

The legislation, which enjoyed more than 200 cosponsors and bipartisan support, was designed to stop the slaughter of nearly 100,000 American horses annually in three foreign-owned slaughter plants in the United States. Their meat is shipped overseas, primarily to France, Belgium and Japan, where it is considered a delicacy.

"What we are exposing today is a brutal, shadowy, shameful practice," said Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), who introduced the bill along with Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), John Spratt (D-SC) and Nick Rahall (D-WV).

In the days leading up to the vote, the opposition stepped up efforts to defend the slaughter industry, but two amendments that would have gutted the bill were defeated in votes, and the day went to horses, lauded as an icon and symbol of American heritage.

"The horse is tied to the spirit of the American frontier," Rep. Whitfield told the house in debate. "Most importantly, the horse is a companion."

With the majority of Americans and the U.S. House of Representatives on the record supporting a permanent ban on horse slaughter, the Senate will now take up the bill for consideration.

“Horse slaughter is simply indefensible, and polls show that the vast majority of Americans agree,” HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said. “As we build on today’s successful vote and take the debate to the Senate, we urge humane-minded citizens to call and write their senators and get this legislation passed once and for all.” 
All I can say is, About Fucking Time!!.  This bill should've been passed a looooooong time ago!  In fact, it shouldn't even take a bill to put a stop to such inhumane practices.  It's just plain sick!  That's what cows & chickens are for in the first place, to eat.  You freaks don't need to eat horses for shits sake.  It's not a fucking delicacy to eat horses, it's sick twisted shit, plain and simple and it shouldn't be allowed anywhere.  I like this quoted from the above article: "The horse is tied to the spirit of the American frontier," Rep. Whitfield told the house in debate. "Most importantly, the horse is a companion."Exactly, just like a dog is mans best friend a horse is too.  Not food you fucking sickos.  Well what am I saying, these lifeless freaks eat dogs too.  Chicken fish & beef is just not good enough for them, they gotta eat dogs, cats & horses too.  Nothing's good enough for these ppl, next they're eating their family members & shit.  Well that's it for my rant...

UPDATE: Alrighty, I gotta explain myself a little more it seems. Too many ppl are misunderstanding me. Well here's a response to some1's email, this will better explain myself...:

(No no, that's not what im saying at all. what im saying is WE DON'T SLAUGHTER HORSES ANYMORE! That's all, i'm not raggin on other ppl eating "exotic" foods. I know america is "nothing but a meliting pot of foreigners". What I'm saying is EATING HORSES IS SOMETHING PPL IN OTHER COUNTRIES are doing, why else would the meat be SHIPPED OVERSEAS. I'm am just against FOREIGN OWNED SLAUGHTER HOUSES KILLING HORSES & SHIPPING THE MEAT OVERSEAS. If ppl in other countries want to eat horse, they can eat their own damn horses.

Now, do you finally understand what I'm saying. I swear everytime any american talks to some1 non-american the non-american always get every damn thing they say all mixed up. There, I tried my explaining...)

There.... Nothing against foreigners (we're all foreign for shits sake), I'm not wanna these ultra-patriotic-love-everything-the-government-does type of idiots, and I don't give a shit about ppl's eating habits. I just think it was about time we put a stop to slaughtering our horses for ppl overseas to eat. There, now SHUT THE FUCK UP!

~Eternal "Save the Horses!!" Fallout

[ ORIGIN ... ]


Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin dies.

Sep 4, 2006

Steve Irwin, the quirky Australian naturalist who won world-wide acclaim, was killed by a stingray barb through the chest on Monday while diving off Australia's northeast coast, emergency officials and witnesses said.

"Steve was hit by a stingray in the chest," said local diving operator Steve Edmondson, whose Poseidon boats were out on the Great Barrier Reef when the accident occurred.

"He probably died from a cardiac arrest from the injury," he said.
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin   

Police and ambulance officials later confirmed Irwin had died and said his family had been advised.
Irwin, 44, was killed while filming an underwater documentary off Port Douglas.

Irwin had been diving off his boat "Croc One" near Batt Reef northeast of Port Douglas. A helicopter had taken paramedics to nearby Low Isles where Irwin was taken for medical treatment but he was dead before they arrived, police said.

Irwin won a global following for his dare-devil antics but also triggered outrage in 2004 by holding his then one-month-old baby while feeding a snapping crocodile at his Australian zoo.

He made almost 50 of his "Crocodile Hunter" documentaries which appeared on cable TV channel Animal Planet and won a world-wide audience.

The series ended after he was criticised for the incident with his young son and for disturbing whales, seals and penguins while filming in Antarctica.

Khaki-clad Irwin became famous for his seemingly death-defying methods with wild animals, including crocodiles and snakes.

He made a cameo appearance alongside Eddie Murphy in the 2001 Hollywood film Dr Dolittle 2 and appeared on US television shows such as The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and on children's television alongside The Wiggles.

Irwin was married with two children, Bindi Sue, 8, and Robert (Bob) Clarence, 3.  His American-born wife Terri was his business partner and frequent on-screen collaborator.

[ My Blogged Source + Statement ]


Man boards plane with live vibrator in his pants.

Friday September 1, 2006 | From
Dude passes TSA security screening with live vibrator in pants
Dot-comedian John Hargrave, proprietor of The World's Only Comedy Website, says he waltzed through an airport security screening with a "medical device" -- in fact, a locked, loaded, and live vibrator -- shoved down the front of his slacks. According to Hargrave's online account of the incident, security agents spotted the device and pulled him aside for special screening. But they did finally let him board the plane, with the vibe still buzzing. Good thing he wasn't carrying something that more closely resembled a bomb, like, oh, toothpaste or bottled water. 

I have had it with the airport security checks. They make us remove more and more clothing, while letting us take less and less on board. Soon we'll be shelling out $1000 for the privilege of traveling naked in a three-foot caged pen. We won't be allowed to eat, drink, or pee during the flight. Communication will be prohibited, except for furtive glances with the flight attendants -- who, incidentally, will be robots with tasers.

(...) My question was this: are the security checks really any more effective? To find out, I decided to re-enact the classic scene from the 1974 [1984] movie This is Spinal Tap, where bassist Derek Smalls puts a foil-lined cucumber down his pants, which is picked up by the security wand. Only I decided to go one better, by putting a buzzing vibrator down my pants.

[ ORIGIN ... BoingBoing ]


Photo shows live frog in bagged salad product.

posted: Friday september 1, 2006 2:50am
Here is a truth-undertermined photo showing a live frog in a bagged salad...  Now this actually isn't the first time this has happened.  Read the rest using this link to the original snopes article and to view the image & decide for yourself... real? Or photoshop?.  I'm thinking there's a good chance it's real just based on the fact that this is quite a common thing to happen like for instance: (from the page)
"Claims by consumers of finding frogs in salad products are not uncommon and appear in the news fairly regularly. Just today, for example, the following story about a consumer who supposedly found a frog in a Sainsbury's-brand bagged salad product turned up in The Sun (an English tabloid)"
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Ice Geysers DIscovered on Mars.

Last Updated: Sunday, 20 August 2006, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Geysers spewing sand and dust hundreds of feet into the "air" have been discovered on Mars, scientists say.

Artist's impression of geysers on Mars

Artist's impression of geysers on Mars
An artist's impression shows the geysers erupting through ice

Images from a camera orbiting Mars have shown the 100mph jets of carbon dioxide erupt through ice at the planet's south pole, Arizona State University says.
The orbiting camera, called the Thermal Emission Imaging System (Themis), is on the Mars Odyssey probe.  The geyser debris leaves dark spots, fan-like markings and spider-shaped features on the ice cap.

The scientists said geysers erupted when sunlight warming the ice turned frozen carbon dioxide underground into high-pressure gas.

"If you were there, you'd be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice," said the university's Dr Phil Christensen.

"All around you, roaring jets of CO2 gas are throwing sand and dust a couple of hundred feet into the air."

Dr Christensen said the process was "unlike anything that occurs on Earth".
His team discovered the jets through examining more than 200 Themis visible and infrared images. The findings were published in the latest edition of the journal Nature.
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Mystery road disables car engines.

From Unexplained-Mysteries
Posted on Tuesday, 15 August, 2006 | 8:34

It's a mystery that would be well at home in the Twilight Zone or the X-Files – and it's leaving residents baffled. Motorists leaving their vehicles on a 50-yard stretch of road have returned to find their cars won't start.Residents of Percy Road, Gosport, say 'unknown forces' are constantly shutting down their car immobilisers and electric starters.But despite putting forward various theories, including new telephone masts, remote broadband installations, and even MoD transmissions, they have been left scratching their heads at what is behind the problem.Wayne Dobson, 38, first discovered the problem when he came home from work, parked up as usual and tried to use his remote immobiliser to lock his V-registered Land Rover Freelander, but got no response.When he later tried to start the car, he found it was completely dead.However, when he pushed his car a few yards up the road, it started again without complaint.After talking to his neighbours, he discovered they had experienced exactly the same problem.

Mr Dobson said: 'It's all a bit Mulder and Scully. It's just these few car lengths outside our houses, and it started only at the end of last week. None of us can think of anything that would cause it.'It's not as if someone has just come and dropped a new radio mast nearby or anything. It's not a police issue, it's not a council issue – it's a mystery.'Despite the fact parking is at a premium on the street, the locals are now refusing to park in the 'twilight zone'.


Water mysteriously flows from tree?...

Vincent T. Davis
Express-News Staff Writer Lucille Pope's red oak tree has baffled tree experts, water specialists and nursery professionals.

The knotted, towering tree, more than 100 years old, has become the root of scrutiny in her East Side neighborhood. The tree has gurgled water from its trunk for the past three months.

Pope, 65, has sought answers from several specialists, calling experts from the Texas Forest Service, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and nurseries for an explanation.

They've combed her backyard, probing the gnarled tree that leans away from a parked white 1980s Cadillac.

After snapping pictures, doing taste tests and conducting preliminary studies, they're still working to give her a definitive answer.


 Lloyd Pope catches the water springing from a tree in his backyard on the East Side.

"I got a mystery tree," Pope said. "What kind of mystery do I have where water comes out of a tree?"

The odd occurrence started in early April when her son, Lloyd Pope, noticed bark smeared with sap when he went to fill his the water trough of his stepson's dog Neno. After moving the Rottweiler's tray, he saw a wide stain that ran from the root up toward the branches, with fluid dripping to the ground from above.  Days later, he saw water streaming onto the ground from the other side, and he showed his mother the sight.

Lloyd Pope, 47, said the water was cool, like it came from a faucet. The only damp spot around the tree trunk is where the water lands.

The peculiar incident has the Popes wondering if the water has properties not found on tap.


Kottonmouth Kings Finally In HIGH TIMES magazine!

KillerKloVVN, this is definately 1 for you & me: (& of course for any other kmk fans readin this)

Remember the song from KMK "Fire It Up", and the part were they say "how come high times magazine never put us on they front?"?  Well let's just say, they recieved an answer...

Finally decided by High Times Magazine as the "best stoner band of the year", Kottonmouth Kings accepts the title!

From the article: All year long readers demanded that we feature Southern California's hip-hop/punk stoners Kottonmouth Kings on the cover. They may have a point, but right now we want to honoe the smokingest band in the land with this award. Their No. 7 cd was one of their best, and the band continued to support the cause with a special 4/20 show. This Doobie's for Brad Daddy X, D-Loc, Johnny Ricter, Bobby B, Lou Dog and Pakelika.

Smokin the competition: Herbal Nation, Insane Clown Posse, Slightly Stoopid, Twiztid


Robin Williams Seeking Treatment for Alchoholism.

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Robin Williams is seeking treatment for alcoholism, publicist Mara Buxbaum said Wednesday.

The 55-year-old comedian had been sober for 20 years, Buxbaum said.

Williams "found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family," she said in a statement. "He looks forward to returning to work this fall to support his upcoming film releases."

Buxbaum declined to elaborate beyond the statement.

Williams stars in "Man of the Year," due in October, and voices an animated penguin in "Happy Feet," slated for release in November.

He won an Oscar for his supporting role in 1997's "Good Will Hunting."

He's 1 of my favorite comedians for sure, but didn't think this would happen to him.  I'm very glad to hear that he's seeking treatment & willing to deal with this problem instead of letting it get the best of him & destroy him.  I'm certain he knows, his fans wish him all the best.

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Boy recalls past life of a fighter pilot?

Posted on Thursday, 27 July, 2006 | 9:29
James Leininger's parents want their 8-year-old son to have a great life -- his own life. But for the past 5 1/2 years, the Louisiana boy has been reliving pieces of the life of another James -- Lt. James McCready Huston, a World War II fighter pilot from Uniontown who was killed near Iwo Jima more than 50 years before James was born. At 2 1/2 years old, James began expressing aviation knowledge that surpassed not just a typical toddler's ability, but that of his parents. The child began reciting a collection of information and had recurring nightmares about being shot down by a Japanese plane with a red sun on it. James' parents, Bruce and Andrea, eventually realized their son's assertions were accurate and that something beyond the tangible was occurring. Their lives have not been the same. Beginning in 2004, James made a couple of TV appearances for ABC News and on the Montel Williams Show. Tuesday morning, James will tell his story live on ABC's "Good Morning, America," during a segment set to air between 8 and 8:30 a.m.

Bruce Leininger said although there are no new, earth-shattering revelations from James, he is glad to see his son's experiences help keep the memories and sacrifices of soldiers like Huston alive. "I am writing a book about these men as a tribute to the men of the Natoma Bay -- the ship Lt. Huston was stationed on. That's the way I've eternalized it. We shouldn't forget. We need to remember and realize all of our spirits are on a journey. That's what this is all about," he said in a telephone interview from his Lafayette home. Huston's sister, Anne Barron, 87, of Los Gatos, Calif., said she believes the boy's accounts. "It's very hard to describe, but I just can't help but say it has to be true," she said. "He knows too many things. For some reason, he knows these things." 

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Deja Vu 'recreated in Laboratory'

Scientists believe they have found a way to probe the mysterious phenomenon of feeling you have witnessed something before - deja vu. Leeds Memory Group researchers say they have gone some way to recreating the sensation in the lab using hypnosis.

New Scientist magazine reports the researchers hope their work will shed light on the fundamental workings of the human memory. It is estimated that as many as 97% of people have experienced deja vu.

In some severe cases it can be distressing to the point of causing depression and some sufferers have been prescribed anti-psychotic medication. However, experts suspect that many people who experience the sensation are unwilling to discuss it with their doctor. Two stage process Two key processes are thought to occur when someone recognises a familiar object or scene. First, the brain searches through memory traces to see if the contents of that scene have been observed before. If they have, a separate part of the brain then identifies the scene or object as being familiar. In deja vu, this second process may occur by mistake, so that a feeling of familiarity is triggered by a novel object or scene.

The Leeds team set out to create a sense of deja vu among volunteers in a lab. They used hypnosis to trigger only the second part of the recognition process - hoping to create a sense of familiarity about something a person had not seen before. The researchers showed volunteers 24 common words, then hypnotised them and told them that when they were next presented with a word in a red frame, they would feel that the word was familiar, although they would not know when they last saw it. Green frames would make them think that the word belonged to the original list of 24. Peculiar sensation After being taken out of hypnosis, the volunteers were presented with a series of words in frames of various colours, including some that were not in the original 24 and which were framed in red or green.

Of the 18 people studied so far, 10 reported a peculiar sensation when they saw new words in red frames and five said it definitely felt like deja vu. Researcher Akira O'Connor presented the findings to an International Conference on Memory in Sydney, Australia. He told New Scientist: "This tells us that it is possible to experimentally dissociate these two processes, which is really important in establishing that they are indeed separate."

Some people with temporal lobe epilepsy report frequent deja vu. And previous work in France has found that electrically stimulating parts of the temporal lobe can trigger a sensation of familiarity with everything a person encounters. Professor Alan Brown, an expert in deja vu at South Methodist University in Dallas, said: "Using hypnotic suggestion to either stimulate, or simulate, a deja vu experience could potentially be a very fruitful way to explore this phenomenon. "I don't have a lot of detail about the Leeds project but from what I know it certainly seems to be solid work with an intriguing outcome."

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Dumbass bitch Bush: Veto on stem cell research Bill:

From the article:

"George Bush was poised today to overrule senior Republicans, along with the vast majority of Americans, by using his presidential veto for the first time to defeat a bill on stem cell research."...

..."But the president is using his first veto - having assented to 1,116 other laws passed by Congress during his time in office - in a high-stakes strategy that is likely to appeal to religious conservatives but risks splitting his party in advance of November's midterm elections."...

..."The leading Senate opponent of the bill, Sam Brownback, said it would "allow the stronger to take advantage of the weaker". It was "immoral to destroy the youngest of human lives for research purposes," he said, pointing out that Americans can be sentenced to two years in prison for destroying certain rare bird eggs, whereas "taxpayer dollars are used to destroy a human at the same phase of life"."...

..."Some Christian groups have been instrumental in setting up schemes in which adoptive mothers carry embryos unused by fertility clinics to full term, and Mr Brownback brought three such children - so-called snowflake babies - to Capitol Hill to support his argument. One had made a drawing of an embryo asking: "Are you going to kill me?""...

Sad, I know... Read the responses at the SU Science Junky Forum!

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The Streaker strikes again!

An unidentified streaker does a cartwheel, as he interupts the Women's Singles quarter-final match between Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, both of of Russia, on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Tuesday, July 4, 2006.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) [ Origin ... ]



Busted for wearing a peace t-shirt, has this country gone completely insane?!...   

Friday afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "Okay, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go." "You can't be in here protesting," Officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt. "Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists. Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go." Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee." He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason."Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and you can't kick me out." "You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened. "Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in. You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security office, past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights, searched, and written up. The officer who did the formalities, Eric Ousley, was professional in his duties. When I asked him if he was a vet, it turned out he had been a hospital corpsman in the Navy. We exchanged a couple sea stories. He uncuffed me early. And he allowed as to how he would only charge me with disorderly conduct, letting me go on charges of criminal trespass and weapons possession -- a pocket knife -- which he said would have to be destroyed (something I rather doubt since it was a nifty Swiss Army knife with not only a bottle opener, but a tweezers and a toothpick). After informing me I could either pay the $275 fine on the citation or appear in court, Ousley escorted me off the premises, warning me if I returned with "that shirt" on, I'd be arrested and booked into jail.I'm sure I could go back to officers Adkins' and Ousleys' fiefdom with a shirt that said, "Nuke all the hajis," or "Show us your tits," or any number of truly obscene things and no one would care. Just so it's not "that shirt" again. And just for the record? I'm not paying the fine. I'll see Adkins and Ousley and Dubya's Director of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, if he wants to show up, in United States District Court on the appointed date. And if there's a Chicago area attorney who'd like to take the case, I'd really like to sue them -- from Dubya on down. I have to believe that this whole country has not yet gone insane, just the government. This kind of behavior can't be tolerated. It must be challenged.I was at the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center because I'm participating in the Voices for Creative Nonviolence's 30-day, 320-mile "Walk for Justice," from Springfield to North Chicago, Illinois, to reclaim funding for the common good and away from war 


Fri Jun 23, 6:21 AM ET
SYDNEY (AFP) - A 176-year-old giant tortoise believed to have been studied by famed English naturalist Charles Darwin, has died in Australia after a short illness. The extremely elderly tortoise, Harriet, was hatched on the
Galapagos Islands in 1830 but lived out her final years at Australia Zoo in southeast Queensland where she was the star attraction.

Senior veterinarian John Hangar said the 150-kilogram (330-pound) reptile died on Thursday night after a short illness.

"She had been sick yesterday with, in effect, heart failure," Hangar told ABC radio. "She had a fairly acute heart attack and thankfully passed away quietly overnight."
Hangar said Harriet, who had made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living animal, had been credited with helping Darwin pioneer his theory of evolution.

"It's thought she may have been taken off there (Galapagos) by Charles Darwin," he said. "She's spent a period of time in Britain and found herself at the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane from about 1850 or 1860 onwards and eventually she found her way up to Australia Zoo."
Harriet was originally named Harry, as she was mistakenly identified as male, an error which was not rectified for more than a century.


NASA tracks cataclysmic asteroid

Knight Ridder Tribune News Service

NASA tracks cataclysmic asteroid.

CAPE CANAVERAL - Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 13, 2036. That's when a 1,000-foot-wide asteroid named Apophis could hit the Earth with enough force to obliterate a small state.

The odds of a collision are 1-in-6,250. But while that's a long shot at the racetrack, the stakes are too high for astronomers to ignore.  For now, Apophis represents the most imminent threat from the worst type of natural disaster known, one reason NASA is spending millions to detect the threat from this and other asteroids.

A direct hit on an urban area could unleash more destruction than Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake combined. The blast would equal 880 million tons of TNT or 65,000 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Objects this size are thought to hit Earth about once every 1,000 years, and, according to recent estimates, the risk of dying from a renegade space rock is comparable to the hazards posed by tornadoes and snakebites. Those kind of statistics have moved the once-far-fetched topic of killer asteroids from Hollywood movie sets to the halls of Congress.

"Certainly we had a major credibility problem at the beginning - a giggle factor," said David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. "Now, many people are aware this is something we can actually deal with, mitigate and defend against."


Sunday May 7, 2006
Yahoo News

A Sphynx kitten is held before a referee while being evaluated at an international cat beauty contest in Bucharest Romania Sunday May 7, 2006. Rare breed cats sell for prices ranging from 300 to over 1,000 euros ($US380/ $US1,270). The average monthly income in Romania is around 150 euros. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) 

 Murphy bed converts from a computer desk

Saturday May 6, 2006

This "computer bed" starts out as a hinged desk with room for a PC, printer, and so forth. When you're ready to sleep, the whole desktop swings to the floor and a bed with matress swings down from the wall in its place, converting it to a bed. It's clever as hell. Link (via Make Blog

Guy learned to sing Stairway to Heaven backwards

Saturday May 6, 2006 
  Matt sez, "Jeroen Offerman took three months to learn to backwards-sing Stairway To Heaven and performed it *memorized*. Backwards speaking is incredibly non-intuitive; to speak in true acoustic reverse, elements like dipthongs and plosive consonants have to be reversed, and they do so in surprising ways. To truly complicate matters, add in the backwards rise and fall of the intonations of speech. When I experimented with backwards speech, this last element made my head hurt. Singing, however, effectively removes the complex pitch contours of speech, and makes things much easier. I'm not sure if Offerman had all this in mind when he set to work on his crazy project, but it very impressive for its breadth and zeal!" Link (Thanks, Matt!)

Update: Andy sez, "Here's something for people to try - record yourself saying something, reverse it, record your imitation of the reversed version and reverse it again. Spooky! It's the audio version of the film trick where action is recorded backwards and the actors all have to move / lip sync backwards through the scene."
(original link)   

Giant Slab "Growing" Out of Mount St. Helens

 Friday May 05 2006:
SEATTLE (AP) -- If the skies are clear as forecast, volcano watchers who turn out for the reopening of the Johnston Ridge Observatory on Friday will get a spectacular view of a hulking slab of rock that's rapidly growing in Mount St. Helens' crater.

It's jutting up from one of seven lobes of fresh volcanic rock that have been pushing their way through the surface of the crater since October 2004.  The fin-shaped mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 feet to 5 feet a day, said Dan Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey..(read_more) 

Also... go to the "video" section of this site to see a time lapse photo/video of the slab growing b/t Apr 28 - May 3 2006, & check the link for mor infos & photos.

Asteroid Passes Close to Earth 

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 22 December 2004
10:24 am ET

Astronomers spotted an asteroid this week after it had flown past Earth on a course that took it so close to the planet it was below the orbits of some satellites.
The space rock was relatively small, however, and would not have posed any danger had it plunged into the atmosphere.
The object, named 2004 YD5, was about 16 feet (5 meters) wide, though that's a rough estimate based on its distance and assumed reflectivity. Had it entered the atmosphere, it would have exploded high up, experts figure.

Satellite territory

The asteroid passed just under the orbits of geostationary satellites, which at 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) altitude are the highest manmade objects circling Earth. Most other satellites, along with the International Space Station, circle the planet at just a few hundred miles up.  2004 YD5 is the second closest pass of an asteroid ever observed by telescope, according to the Asteroid/Comet Connection, a web site that monitors space rock discoveries. The closest involved a rock that flew by last March and was not announced until August.

2004 YD5 was discovered Tuesday, Dec. 21 by Stan Pope, who volunteers his time to examine images provided by the FMO (Fast Moving Object) project, an online program run by the University of Arizona's Spacewatch Project. After the initial detection, other observers noted the object's position during the day and its path was then calculated back. Closest approach occurred on Dec. 19.

The rock approached Earth from near the Sun and so would have been nearly impossible to detect prior to close passage. It soared over Antarctica -- underneath the planet, Washington State University researcher Pasquale Tricarico told the Asteroid/Comet Connection.

Astronomers are aware of this significant blind spot for asteroids that approach Earth while in the glare of the Sun. Only a space telescope could detect such objects before they arrive. 
Similar events

Asteroids orbit the Sun, mostly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. Some are redirected closer to the Sun, often by gravitational nudges provided by the planets. Earth has been hit by devastatingly large asteroids many times in the distant past. Astronomers say sooner or later the planet will be struck again, but the odds of a large impact occurring in any given century are extremely small.

This has been an interesting year for asteroid encounters.

On March 18, a giant boulder about 100 feet (30 meters) wide passed just above the orbits of geostationary satellites. Its path was bent about 15 degrees by Earth's gravity. The asteroid, 2004 FH, was discovered a mere three days prior.

On Sept. 29, the largest asteroid ever known to pass near Earth, named Toutatis, roamed by at about four times the distance to the Moon. Astronomers had known for years the flyby would occur, since Toutatis is 2.9 miles (4.6 kilometers) long and had been in Earth's vicinity before.

But many near misses by small asteroids likely go unnoticed, astronomers say, because the entire sky is not continuously monitored. Such small asteroids have been detected only in recent years as more sophisticated telescopes have been hooked up with digital cameras.

And some asteroids come even closer, entering the atmosphere. Most never reach the ground because they break apart under the stress of entry. One study of data collected by U.S. military satellites logged 300 in-air asteroid explosions.

2004 YD5 was announced Tuesday evening by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass, where comet and asteroid observations from around the globe are digested.

Asteroids orbit the Sun, mostly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. Some are redirected closer to the Sun, often by gravitational nudges provided by the planets. Earth has been hit by devastatingly large asteroids many times in the distant past. Astronomers say sooner or later the planet will be struck again, but the odds of a large impact occurring in any given century are extremely small.

This has been an interesting year for asteroid encounters.

On March 18, a giant boulder about 100 feet (30 meters) wide passed just above the orbits of geostationary satellites. Its path was bent about 15 degrees by Earth's gravity. The asteroid, 2004 FH, was discovered a mere three days prior.

On Sept. 29, the largest asteroid ever known to pass near Earth, named Toutatis, roamed by at about four times the distance to the Moon. Astronomers had known for years the flyby would occur, since Toutatis is 2.9 miles (4.6 kilometers) long and had been in Earth's vicinity before.

But many near misses by small asteroids likely go unnoticed, astronomers say, because the entire sky is not continuously monitored. Such small asteroids have been detected only in recent years as more sophisticated telescopes have been hooked up with digital cameras.

And some asteroids come even closer, entering the atmosphere. Most never reach the ground because they break apart under the stress of entry. One study of data collected by U.S. military satellites logged 300 in-air asteroid explosions.

2004 YD5 was announced Tuesday evening by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass, where comet and asteroid observations from around the globe are digested. 

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 Page updated 10/21/06 1:51pm