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Something to think about. The number of ships coming to our ports in the USA that are loaded down with containers.These ships are huge and carried hundreds or thousands of containers.
Each year 11 million cargo containers enter American ports with little screening. And the volume of those containers, roughly equivalent to 590 Empire State Buildings of cargo, could contain nuclear weapons. The Port of Savannah (above) is the fourth largest container port in the United States, handling cargo in large metal containers on ships like these. (Credit: Georgia Department of Economic Development)
DUKE (US) â Physicists have identified new âfingerprintsâ of nuclear materials, such as uranium and plutonium. The fingerprints could be used in new cargo scanners to locate dirty bombs.
The physics might also be used to improve analysis of spent nuclear fuel rods, which are a potential source of bomb-making materials.
The problem starts at ports, where terrorists may try to smuggle an entire dirty bomb or even smaller amounts of plutonium or uranium by hiding it within the mountains of cargo that pass into the country each day. Cargo scanners using the new nuclear fingerprints would be sensitive enough to spot an entire bomb or the smaller parts to build one, according to Mohammad Ahmed, a nuclear physicist at Duke University.
Ahmed and his colleagues are developing the fingerprints for the next-generation detectors with HIGS, the High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source. It is the worldâs most intense and tunable source of polarized gamma rays and is located on Dukeâs campus as part of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory. HIGS produces gamma rays that are guided to collide with target materials, causing a variety of nuclear reactions.
Read more here: Physics gets dirty to stop terrorism
And do read the rest of this site: Futurity.org As it is loaded with a lot of information and articles.
RiskyRoads.org “Find out if you live or work near a Fatal Accident Hot Spot. The Risky Roads map shows which roads and highways have the most traffic fatalities. Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, RiskyRoads.org maps the concentration of fatal traffic accidents that occur within 1000 feet of one another. The result is a heat map that shows the nation’s worst hot spots for traffic fatalities.”
The above is Huffington Post, also go here for the original site loaded down with some really awkward and funny photos: Awkward Family Photos
Americaâs âIsland of Enchantmentâ: Environmental Hazards and Hope in Puerto Rico:
Politicians, business leaders, and environmentalists wrangle over the islandâs environmental future
By Julie Schwietert | May 9, 2011
Its nickname is “Isla del Encanto,” or “Island of Enchantment,” and on the surface, Puerto Rico seems to fulfill every paradisiacal promise made about it by glossy travel magazines. The 111 x 36 mile island has a remarkable range of geological, biological, and habitat diversity, including a rain forest, a dry forest, mangroves, karst formations, three bioluminescent bays, and one of the largest underground cave systems in the world. Mona, one of the five islands in the Puerto Rican archipelago, has been called the “Galapagos of the Caribbean,” and approximately 75 miles offshore is the Puerto Rico Trench, recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean.
One sunny March morning, freed murder convict and tireless rabble-rouser Mark Clements was getting the kind of attention that had eluded him in the nearly three decades he spent in prison. Clements was leading a small rally outside the dreary Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California. The demonstrators were celebrating the fact that Jon Burge, the notorious former Chicago police commander, would be reporting to prison in North Carolina on this particular day to begin a four-and-a-half-year sentence for obstruction of justice and perjury. Burge oversaw the torture of innumerable suspects in south-side police stations in the 1970s and â80s, and the fallout from that scandal helped Clements extricate himself from a life sentence.
Clements, whoâs 46 and African-American, has a broad face with full eyebrows, a thin mustache, and gapped teeth. Heâs balding and his back is rounded. He wore a hooded sweatshirt and dress slacks. He has a playful side, but heâd left it at home this morning. Heâd alerted media to the rally, and before it began he strode across California Boulevard to meet a Fox Chicago reporter and cameraman.
âIâm an Area Three torture victim of Daniel McWeeny and John McCann,â he told the reporter, a young Asian woman.
The reporter was confused; he wasnât tortured by Burge? Clements explained that the vast majority of torture victims werenât victimized by Burge himself but by detectives under his command. The detectives who Clements says tortured him at Area Three in 1981 werenât even under Burgeâs commandâBurge was serving at Area Two thenâbut Clements knows how to smooth corners for TV.
âYou were 16 at the time?â the reporter asked.
Do read this!
A Gay Girl in Damascus: Martyrsâ Day
An out Syrian lesbianâs thoughts on life, the universe and so on âŠ
Today was Martyrsâ Day here. That is not a new name but an old one, held both here and in Lebanon to remember the execution on May 6, 1916 in Marjeh Square (here) and in Beirut of Arab nationalists by Jamal Pasha, the Ottoman governor.
In those days, the Committee of Union and Progress â better known as the Young Turks â was ruling the Ottoman Empire and had dragged us into an increasingly unpopular war. Their policies had been to promote Turkish nationalist interests over those of the rest of the population, forcing Turcification of Arabs and, of course, instigating the massacres of Christians in Anatolia. The war meanwhile was dragging on and the war economy meant widespread famine here. Revolt and ideas of an independent Arab state were increasingly in the air.
The Turkish military junta got wind of the growth of Arab nationalism and ordered the arrest of Arab leaders, demanding that they renounce their nationalist ideals of a democratic and independent Syria. They refused and, so, on May 6, 1916, all of them were executed by hanging in Damascus and Beirut. The nationalists executed were Shukri al-Assali, Omar al-Jazairi, Rushdi al-Shamaa, Abdelhamid al-Zahrawi, Shafiq al-Muayyad, and. Abdel Wahab al-Englizi.
Today, Assad went and visited the war memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There, five paintings depict battles fought by the Arab nations: Yarmouk, Sultan Yacoub, Jebel Shaikh, Maysaloun, and Hattin.
In past years, I remember going there or to the tomb of Saladin in a somber mode, laying flowers and so on. This year though was different. Martyrsâ Day fell on a Friday and came after a great many new martyrsâ had died for the cause of freedom in Syria. The masscres and suppression of Deraâa has had us all on edge and more has been expected.
The regime has been rounding up dissidents across the country. They claim in public that the opposition is led by âsalafisâ, Islamic extremists from outside. But thatâs not who they are arresting: they are arresting liberal advocates of a civil society, lawyers, journalists, lesbians âŠ well, at least theyâre looking for me!
Two fragmented skeletons of the ancient marsupial, Pucadelphys andinus, (left), and a reconstitution of the dead animals before fossilization (right). The two specimens are slightly difference as the bones shifted slightly after they fossilized.
CREDIT: Â© Lemzaouda/MNHN; reconstitution Â© Fernandez/MNHN
A large trove of bones found in Bolivia is giving researchers a new look at the social lives of ancient marsupials. These ratlike animals lived in large packs, a very uncommon scenario in modern marsupials.
âWe found a large number of complete skeletons from marsupial mammals. Itâs very exceptional,â said study researcher Sandrine LadevĂšze, of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. âWe can have access to how they lived and to their ecology.â [Image of marsupial skeletons]
The 35 partial skeletons are of the ancient marsupial Pucadelphys andinus, a ratlike member of the marsupial mammals, which included the extinct marsupial lion. Itâs the most complete collection of fossilized South American marsupials found; researchers donât even have access to this many samples of many currently living marsupials.
For years many colleges and universities have been paying speaker fees — some quite substantial — to celebrities, prominent academics and other well-known personalities to deliver commencement addresses or to give speeches during the academic year on campus and at student meetings.
It has been one of the best kept secrets of academic life, until the newspapers recently reported that Rutgers University had invited Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate in literature, to deliver this yearâs commencement address for $30,000. It was then reported that Rutgers students had upped the ante by inviting Snooki, of “Jersey Shore” fame, to the campus to talk about partying and having fun for the tidy sum of $32,000.
That Snooki should command more money than Morrison was somewhat surprising, but even more shocking was the willingness of Rutgers to spend a large amount of money on a commencement speech at a time when the university has experienced financial difficulties, cancelled pay raises and last June froze the salaries of 13,000 employees.
While many colleges and universities are able to attract well known and thoughtful commencement speakers free of charge either through personal contacts or the awarding of honorary degrees, a large number of these institutions rely on financial inducements to bring speakers to their campuses. Michael Frick, president of the Speakers Platform, told The Los Angeles Times that about 30 percent of all colleges pay their commencement speakers. Other speaker agencies seem to agree with this estimate.
Commencement fees range from a couple of thousand dollars to over $100,000. Katie Couric received an astonishing $110,000 to deliver the commencement address at the University of Oklahoma in 2006. Rudy Giuliani, a year earlier, charged $75,000 to speak at High Point University. Giuliani reputedly now gets about 100,000 plus a private jet for a speech. In 2007 Senator John Edwards received $55,000 for a speech at the University of California at Davis. The rates have probably increased significantly with inflation in recent years.
Originally posted 2011-05-09 10:10:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter