Seventy years ago, on December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 350 Japanese aircraft attacked in two waves, strafing, dropping bombs and torpedoes. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, four other battleships were damaged, and eight other ships were either sank or damaged. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan, officially entering World War II. This year’s 69th anniversary coincides with the dedication of a new $56 million Pearl Harbor visitors center. Collected here are photos from that infamous day. (34 photos total)(yes, this is from last year)
[2 favorite Am songs during WWII]
Just before 8 on the morning of December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote. Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States, and again Congress reciprocated. More than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined World War II.
Shirley, an orangutan at the Malacca zoo in Malaysia has been caught on camera smoking cigarettes thrown to her from zoo guests. The zoo now claimed they were taking care of her ‘smoking habits,’ and that she has ‘quit’ cold turkey….but authorities didn’t buy it and have seized Shirley and other animals the zoo, after complaints that the animals were living in poor conditions.
Fondly called “Smoking Shirley” by zoo keepers and visitors alike, the orangutan was taken to a zoo in the neighbouring state of Melaka where she will be monitored and rehabilitated for two weeks before being sent to a wildlife centre on Borneo island.
[WATCH: Check out the oddball antics of orangutans in the wild]
Melaka Zoo director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed said Shirley has been “responding well” to her new environment despite being required to go cold turkey and she hasn’t shown any abnormally aggressive behaviour which would be expected, according to the Times online.
Holiday Mail for Heroes “The holiday season is just around the corner and it’s time again to start thinking about being part of the 2011 American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes. For a fifth year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.”
Even before the 2010 earthquake, Haiti was one of the least developed and least stable countries in the Western Hemisphere; the UN’s Human Development Index ranked Haiti 145th (out of 169 nations) in 2010. – Provided by The World Almanac 2012
Dog People vs. Cat People: The Surprising Differences.
For the second time in just over a year, the city of South Fulton, TN, has found itself having to respond to a flurry of criticism over a controversial fee it requires of residents outside city limits who wish to be protected from fire damage.
When Vicky Bell called 911, firefighters from South Fulton rushed to her mobile home just outside the city. But once it was determined that Bell and her boyfriend had not paid the $75 “pay for spray” fee, firefighters simply stood around and watched her home burn to the ground.
The scene was reminiscent of a similar incident which occurred in October of last year. In that instance, the home owner reportedly offered to pay whatever it took for firefighters to help, but was told it was “too late.”
Mayor David Crocker stood by the city’s policy, telling Local 6 that “there’s no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department.”
Crocker believes that helping even one non-subscriber would result in a lack of incentive to pay the fee. “After the last situation, I would hope that everybody would be well aware of the rural fire fees, this time,” he said.
Indeed, Bell told the news station she was aware of the fee, but didn’t think this could happen to her.
No word on why the couple wasn’t given the option of paying a fine in exchange for the services of the firefighters who, according to bell, were already at the scene “sitting at a distance.”
Ebola Vaccine Effective in Mice
The Ebola virus, which causes severe hemorrhagic fever, has no cure and kills up to 90 percent of the people it infects. Though few people contract Ebola each year, and only around 1,200 people have died from it since it was first identified in 1976, there are concerns that it could be used by terrorists as a form of biological weapon. Existing vaccines against the virus degrade over time and therefore cannot be stockpiled for use in the event of such an attack. However, a new vaccine that does remain viable long-term has been developed and successfully conferred immunity to 80 percent of the mice tested. More …
Iran probably did scoop up one of America’s stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel spy drones after the bat-winged aircraft crashed near the Iran-Afghanistan border last week. Multiple news outlets have cited anonymous U.S. government sources confirming Tehran’s claims that it’s in possession of the radar-evading Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
What’s still uncertain is exactly why the drone went down, what it was doing in or near Iranian airspace and who was operating it. The Iranians claim they captured the RQ-170 “with little damage” after an electronic-warfare unit jammed its control signal. But the RQ-170, like most modern drones, doesn’t need orders from its human operators to stay in the air.
Escalating tension over Iran’s alleged nuclear-weapons program could explain the stealthy ‘bot’s presence over the border, but less clear is who programmed the drone’s mission. We know the U.S. Air Force operates the hush-hush RQ-170s — the flying branch has admitted as much. But sources told ABC News that the crashed Sentinel was a CIA asset.
Most Atlantic readers know that, although the U.S. spends more per student on K-12 education than any other nation except Luxembourg, students in a growing number of nations outperform our own. But think about this: Among the consistent top performers are not only developed nations (Japan, Finland, Canada), but developing countries and mega-cities such as South Korea, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
Even if we find a way to educate our future work force to the same standards as this latter group — and we are a very long way from that now — wages in the United States will continue to decline unless we outperform those countries enough to justify our higher wages. That is a very tall order.
You would think that, being far behind our competitors, we would be looking hard at how they are managing to outperform us. But many policymakers, business leaders, educators and advocates are not interested. Instead, they are confidently barreling down a path of American exceptionalism, insisting that America is so different from these other nations that we are better off embracing unique, unproven solutions that our foreign competitors find bizarre.
Some of these uniquely American solutions — charter schools, private school vouchers, entrepreneurial innovations, grade-by-grade testing, diminished teachers’ unions, and basing teachers’ pay on how their students do on standardized tests — may be appealing on their surface. To many in the financial community, these market-inspired reform ideas are very appealing.
Yet, these proposed solutions are nowhere to be found in the arsenal of strategies used by the top-performing nations. And almost everything these countries are doing to redesign their education systems, we’re not doing.
Vintage Christmas photos from the 1920s. (gallery)
BIOENGINEERING Dharmendra S. Modha of I.B.M. leads a team developing chips that structurally resemble the brain.
Ever since the early days of modern computing in the 1940s, the biological metaphor has been irresistible. The first computers — room-size behemoths — were referred to as “giant brains” or “electronic brains,” in headlines and everyday speech. As computers improved and became capable of some tasks familiar to humans, like playing chess, the term used was “artificial intelligence.” DNA, it is said, is the original software.
For the most part, the biological metaphor has long been just that — a simplifying analogy rather than a blueprint for how to do computing. Engineering, not biology, guided the pursuit of artificial intelligence. As Frederick Jelinek, a pioneer in speech recognition, put it, “airplanes don’t flap their wings.”
Originally posted 2011-12-07 11:46:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter