In 1758 the Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus dubbed our species Homo sapiens, Latin for “wise man.” It’s a matter of open debate whether we actually live up to that moniker. If Linnaeus had wanted to stand on more solid ground, he could have instead called us Homo megalencephalus: “man with a giant brain.”
Regardless of how wisely we may use our brains, there’s no disputing that they are extraordinarily big. The average human brain weighs in at about three pounds, or 1,350 grams. Our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, have less than one-third as much brain—just 384 grams. And if you compare the relative size of brains to bodies, our brains are even more impressive.
As a general rule, mammal species with big bodies tend to have big brains. If you know the weight of a mammal’s body, you can make a fairly good guess about how large its brain will be. As far as scientists can tell, this rule derives from the fact that the more body there is, the more neurons needed to control it. But this body-to-brain rule isn’t perfect. Some species deviate a little from it. A few deviate a lot. We humans are particularly spectacular rule breakers. If we were an ordinary mammal species, our brains would be about one-sixth their actual size.
U.S. Census Bureau: The 2011 Statistical Abstract “The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.”
While it is a myth that stress can turn hair gray, stress can cause hair loss. In fact, telogen effluvium (hair loss) can begin up to three months after a stressful event. – Provided by RandomHistory.com
Space Shuttle Discovery – 360VR Images – June 22, 2011 Nice panoramic view!
The first Olympic Marathon in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Established (1958)
NASA is an agency of the US government charged with aeronautics research and the nation’s civilian space program. During its history, it has been responsible for manned trips to the Moon, orbiting observatories, and unmanned programs that explored other planets and interplanetary space. Today, its goals include improving human understanding of the universe and establishing a permanent human presence in space. NASA was created by an act of Congress passed largely in response to what 1957 event? More…
ASPEN, Colorado — Drop the unilateral U.S. drone war in Pakistan. Rethink the idea of spending billions of dollars to pursue al-Qaida. Forget chasing terrorists in Yemen and Somalia, unless the local governments are willing to join in the hunt.
Those aren’t the words of some human rights activist, or some far-left Congressman. They’re from retired admiral and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair — the man who was, until recently, nominally in charge of the entire American effort to find, track, and take out terrorists. Now, he’s calling for that campaign to be reconsidered, and possibly even junked.
Starting with the drone attacks. Yes, they take out some mid-level terrorists, Blair said. But they’re not strategically effective. If the drones stopped flying tomorrow, Blair told the audience at the Aspen Security Forum, “it’s not going to lower the threat to the U.S.” Al-Qaida and its allies have proven “it can sustain its level of resistance to an air-only campaign,” he said.
It’s one of many reasons why it’s a mistake to “have that campaign dominate our overall relations” with countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. “Because we’re alienating the countries concerned, because we’re treating countries just as places where we go attack groups that threaten us, we are threatening the prospects of long-term reform,” Blair said.
The “unilateral” strikes in Pakistan have to come to an end, he added, and be replaced with operations that had the full cooperation of the government in Islamabad. The effort needed “two hands on the trigger,” Blair said. And strikes should be launched only when “we agree with them on what drone attacks” should target.
The statements won’t exactly win Blair new friends in the Obama administration, which forced him out of the top intelligence job about a year after he was nominated. Not only has Obama drastically escalated the drone war — there’ve been 50 strikes in the first seven months of this year, almost as many as in all of 2009. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the remotely-piloted attacks the “only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al-Qaida leadership.”
Plus, American relations with the Pakistani government are at their lowest point in years. And every time Washington tries to tip off Islamabad to a raid, it seems, the targets of the raid seem to conveniently skip town. No wonder the U.S. kept the mother of all unilateral strikes — the mission to kill Osama bin Laden — a secret from their erstwhile allies in Pakistan.
But Blair believes the cooperation — not only with Pakistan, but also with the government in Yemen and with whatever authorities can be found in Somalia — is the only way to bring some measure of peace to the world’s ungoverned spaces. “We have to change in those three countries,” he told the Forum (Full disclosure: I’m a moderator on one of the panels here.)
The reconsideration of our relationship with these countries is only the start of the overhaul Blair has in mind, however. He noted that the U.S. intelligence and homeland security communities are spending about $80 billion a year, outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet al-Qaida and its affiliates only have about 4,000 members worldwide.
“You think — woah, $20 million. Is that proportionate?” he asked. “So I think we need to relook at the strategy to get the money in the right places.”
Blair mentioned that 17 Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by terrorists since 9/11 — 14 of them in the Ft. Hood massacre. Meanwhile, auto accidents, murders and rapes combine have killed an estimated 1.5 million people in the past decade. “What is it that justifies this amount of money on this narrow problem?” he asked.
Blair purposely let his own question go unanswered.
The He Shi Bi
The He Shi Bi is a piece of jade that features prominently in Chinese history. According to legend, a man named Bian He found a large stone that he believed contained jade in the hills of Chu. He presented it to the king and later to his successor, but they disbelieved the man’s claims and had his legs cut off as punishment. Finally, he presented it to a third king, who recognized the stone’s potential and had it sculpted into an incomparable disk of jade. What was the disk made into in 221 BCE? More…
The US Treasury Department has designated six al Qaeda members who work for a terrorist headquartered in Iran. The Treasury Department explained that the six operatives are members of an al Qaeda network “headed by Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, a prominent Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator, operating under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government.”
Today’s designation is the second time in less than three years that al Qaeda’s network inside Iran has been targeted by the Treasury Department.
“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen is quoted as saying in a press release. “Today’s action also seeks to disrupt this key network and deny al Qaeda’s senior leadership much-needed support.”
Comedian Steve Martin grabbed the mic at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 29, 2010. Together with The Steep Canyon Rangers, he shared what he called “the entire atheist hymnal” (on one page of paper). Hilarious!
MAJORCAN summers are infamous for the swells they attract: the billionaires on their megayachts, the movie stars at their mountain estates. Michael Douglas has a house in Deià, and in nearby Sóller, there is an outpost of the Ashram, Malibu’s answer to asceticism, at which studio heads pay thousands of dollars a week to eat like vegan hippies. Then there’s that other summer crowd, the European lads who flood the developments that spread out from lovely, medieval Palma and make the beach scenes there cautionary tales of the evils of alcohol. During the off-season, which runs from fall to early summer, however, this mountainous, gnarled island is largely yours. Set yourself up with a rental car (there’s a lot of driving to be done on this island) and prepare to be hypnotized by ancient terraced landscapes with twisted olive trees, the tiny medieval villages and the extraordinary food and wine.
Shell has unveiled plans to build the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform. The 600,000-tonne behemoth – the world’s biggest “ship” – will be sited off the coast of Australia. But how will it work?
FLNG project in figures
Deep beneath the world’s oceans are huge reservoirs of natural gas. Some are hundreds or thousands of miles from land, or from the nearest pipeline.
Tapping into these “stranded gas” resources has been impossible – until now.READ MORE HERE.
Subject: The Only Surviving Photo Album of Auschwitz
This is the story of a Hungarian Jewish woman who survived Auschwitz . Immediately
after her liberation, she found a coat belonging to a guard, which she took to shield herself from the
cold. In the pocket of this coat she found a photo album. It contained pictures of what went on in
this extermination camp. Imagine her reaction when she saw a picture of herself coming off of the
train, as well pictures of her family, who had already been murdered. This album at Yad Vashem in
Jerusalem was donated by this woman in 1980, and will forever be displayed there. When you have
5 minutes of peace and quiet in front of your computer, watch it and consider passing it around to
people that you know so they can share it and know about it. It is truly moving and important.
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
Hilarious video! Watch and listen! SANTA SWARM