Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Via Disclose.tv: Cerro Armazones is a crumbling dome of rock that dominates the parched peaks of the Chilean Coast Range north of Santiago. Dramatic change is coming to Cerro Armazones, however - for in a few weeks, the 10.000ft mountain is going to have its top knocked off. "We are going to blast it with dynamite and then carry off the rubble", says engineer Gird Hudepohl. "We will take about 80ft off the top of the mountain to create a plateau - and when we have done that, we will build the world's biggest telescope there". When completed, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and its 39-meter mirror will allow astronomers to peer further into space and look further back into the history of the universe than any other astronomical device in existence.
Via The Local: Anyone hoping for a one-room apartment in Sweden will have to wait an average of 2.5 years, but the wait is far worse in Stockholm, new statistics showed on Tuesday. The Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) found in a new review that queues for open-term rental contracts were long nationwide. A one-room apartment, on average, required that home hunters stood in the queue for two and a half years. "Imagine comparing these queues to other things in life", report author Jonas Hagetoft said in a statement. "In two and a half years you could have two children or sail around the world almost three times". While studios remained property-market gold for first-time home hunters, the average national wait for a four-room home was even longer. To secure a contract for a family-sized flat of that size took on average four and a half years to secure, the tenants union found. The organization found that the wait was longer in thriving and urbanizing areas, where the average wait for a four-room home was close to six years. The queue for a home in Stockholm stretches out the furthest, to seven and a half years. "If you're recently divorced then it's an eternity". Long queue times will come as no surprise to home hunters who have tried to crack the system in Sweden. Last year, a Stockholm woman finally got the keys to her dream home after a 28-year wait.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Via EUobserver: Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have declined to honor a peace deal brokered in Geneva by the E.U and U.S. with Russia. Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, told press on Friday (18 April) his forces will not surrender arms, vacate government buildings, or put off a referendum on independence on 11 May. "[Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov] did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation … We will persevere until the end", he said, according to Reuters, in a reference to the Geneva accord. "As far as vacating of buildings and areas is concerned - everyone must leave them including [Ukraine’s interim PM] Yatsenyuk and [interim President] Turchynov - as they also took them illegally … We are ready to do it after them",
Via Disclose.tv: It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced. The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA's Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8.700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the "Goldilocks zone" of its star, Kepler 186 - not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Via EUobserver: Russia is rolling out two major projects – a gas pipeline and a Crimea deep water port – with China, as E.U. countries and the U.S. weigh options on economic sanctions. Russia’s ambassador to the E.U., Vladimir Chizhov, told EUobserver on Wednesday (16 April) that work on the "Power of Siberia" pipeline and the Chinese construction of a 25-meter-deep port in Crimea are proceeding as normal despite the Ukraine crisis. The Eurasian Economic Union is due to be launched on 1 January 2015 regardless of the situation in Ukraine or any other country not involved at this stage in the integration process. Negotiations on accession of Armenia are expected to be completed soon and those with Kyrgyzstan are also under way.
Via WWTDD: You can’t just want then, cougar cub, you need to say you want them. Heidi Klum has one rule when it comes to mounting the multitude of young cock she intends to ride because she’s 40 and rich and horny. You must appreciate the flapjacks. She will shove them in your face, ring the triangle and show them to the world, and even draw smiley faces on them for her children’s school carnivals. In all cases, respect the titties or get the fuck out. I’m not sure how young Frenchy is handling the supplication before his older girlfriend’s drooping yams. If he’s having an inkling to wonder why a chick with all the cash in the world wouldn’t get a 90210 light lift, he better hide it. Or the cougar moves on and you get none, son.
Via Disclose.tv: Rijnmond TV News in the Netherlands is reporting on an interesting UFO video captured by a man in the town of Maassluis. The object appears to be a large lens-shaped blue object and has no apparent means of propulsion. Maassluis is a few miles south of The Hague, in an area surrounding Rotterdam called the Rijnmond. It is at the mouth of the Rhine River. The UFO video was captured by Maassluis resident Dick Smits at approximately 3 pm last Friday. According to Rijnmond TV, the object hung silently in the air for a long time before disappearing in the clouds. The object has a slightly curved bottom and a domed top. It makes no sudden movement, which could indicate an inflatable object. However, it is at an angle and is not in the shape of a blimp. The universe is full of extraterrestrial life and we are in store for more UFO sightings.
Via The Local: A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. "I can't speak for other MPs, but I've had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer", Jan Lindholm, Green Party MP, told The Local. The queries came from Swedes who were "worried and afraid" about the white trails behind aeroplanes. Many callers were concerned, he said, that the planes were leaving poisonous gases. Conspiracy theorists suggest that governments are behind the trails, which they claim are a deadly concoction of heavy metals. "It's an attempt to geo-engineer the planet. We're talking weather control here", one chemtrail enthusiast told The Local on condition of anonymity. Lindholm, tired of getting the same questions and not knowing how to answer them, took matters into his own hands. He contacted Sweden's weather agency SMHI, the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (Luftfartsverket) and the air force. Unsatisfied with their responses, he requested an official probe from Sweden's Parliamentary Investigative Service (Riksdagens Utredningstjänst, RUT). "They studied it, perhaps for a few hours, I don't know, and they managed to give me a clear answer. Now, if someone asks me, I can answer", he explained. "I tell them that as far as I know - and I have seen the work done by serious scientists - chemtrails probably don't exist, and probably can't exist". While the investigation was completed in late 2012, it was only made public this week, reported Nyheter24 news site. Lindholm, who described himself as "an old man with an active curiosity", dismissed further claims that the study was a waste of time. "As an elected person, it is my responsibility to listen. I can't ignore people, I have to try and give them answers", he told The Local.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Via RIA Novosti: Moscow believes that the use of force in southeastern Ukraine is unacceptable and condemns preparations for a violent crackdown on protesters in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. "We are sure that the use of force to ease the situation in southeastern [Ukraine] is unacceptable", Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. "We categorically condemn and demand the cease of so-called initiatives to send security forces and army divisions that are in breach of the norms of Ukrainian and international law to quash protests", the Russian Foreign Minister added. Lavrov arrived in China for a working visit Tuesday to discuss preparations for President Vladimir Putin's visit to the country scheduled for May, in addition to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Minister thanked China for its unbiased stance on events in Ukraine, adding that the key to solving the crisis lies in constitutional reform for the country. Moscow has demanded Ukrainian authorities stop initiatives to crackdown on protests in the country's southeastern regions, and now awaits an objective assessment on the situation in the Ukrainian city of Slaviansk from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Lavrov said. Lavrov said Kiev's proposal to invite UN peacekeepers to solve the situation in southeastern Ukraine is "over the top", adding that the Kiev authorities are "inventing fables" to justify their "aggressive intentions".
Via EUobserver: Russia spends more on arms compared to its GDP than the US and European countries, according to fresh figures released Monday (14 April) by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), a military spending research group. The U.S. remains the world's top military spender in gross terms (€460bn), but its spending decreased by over 7 percent compared to the previous year, mainly because of the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Also in proportional terms, U.S. military spending represents only 3.8 percent of its GDP, while Russia (€63.4bn) has increased its arms budget to 4.1 percent of GDP in 2013, compared to 3.5 percent in 2004. Russia’s spending has risen as it continues to implement the State Armaments Plan for 2011–20, under which it plans to spend 20.7 trillion roubles (€403bn) on new and upgraded armaments. The goal is to replace 70 percent of equipment with "modern" weapons by 2020. Ukraine, on the brink of a war with the Russian neighbor, has also increased its military spending by 16 percent compared to the previous year. China, the world's second-largest military spender, has also upped its budget to an estimated €135 billion in 2013, representing two percent of its GDP, according to SIPRI. There are four European countries in the top 15 of largest military spenders in the world. France (€44bn), which last year ranked fourth after Russia, has now slipped behind Saudi Arabia, on rank five. Compared to 2004-2013, France has slashed its military budget by 6.4 percent. Britain is behind France, with €41 billion in military spending, a decrease by two percent compared to the previous decade. Germany, ranking seventh in the world (€35.2bn), is the only European country to have increased its military spending compared to 2004-2013, by 3.8 percent. Italy, by contrast, has slashed its arms spending by 26 percent, ranking 11th in the world with a budget of €23.6 billion in 2013. Falls of over 10 percent in military spendig since 2008 have also been recorded in Austria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, as well as all countries in central Europe except Poland and Estonia.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Via FHM: Yep. It's Jorgie Porter in the sexiest shoot we've ever seen her do...
Via ScienceDaily: Physicists have confirmed the existence of exotic hadrons -- a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model. "We've confirmed the unambiguous observation of a very exotic state -- something that looks like a particle composed of two quarks and two anti-quarks", said one of the scientists. "The discovery certainly doesn't fit the traditional quark model. It may give us a new way of looking at strong-interaction physics".
Via Newser: Police in Utah have been horrified to discover the bodies of seven babies in the garage of a home in a small town south of Salt Lake City. Megan Huntsman, 39, has been booked on six counts of murder. Investigators believe she gave birth to the babies, at least six of which were born alive, between 1996 and 2006 and suffocated or strangled them as soon as they were born, reports the Deseret News. "It's unfathomable", a police spokesman says. "I can’t even imagine what’s going through somebody’s head to do that". The woman's estranged husband is believed to be the father of the children but police say he is not a person of interest in the investigation and had recently been released after an 8 or 9-year term in prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. The husband called police after finding a dead infant in a box while cleaning out the garage, and police found six more bodies in taped-up cardboard boxes.
Via Disclose.tv: Russia’s strategic missile force and air and space defense force have test-launched an inter-continental ballistic missile RS-24 with a multiple warhead from the Plesetsk space site. The missile blasted off from a mobile launcher at 10:40 Moscow time, the Defense Ministry’s strategic missile force spokesman, Colonel Igor Yegorov has said. "The main task of the launch was to confirm the reliability of a batch of missiles manufactured at the Votkinsk plant, in Udmurtia", he said. The experimental warheads arrived at the designated area at the Kura testing range, in Kamchatka Peninsula. The objectives were achieved in full, Yegorov said.
Via The Local: A fortnight after a football fan died a violent death in Helsingborg, The Local’s Patrick Reilly joined the away fans at the first game in town since the killing - "It was, quite simply, the worst day in the club's history"...
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Via The Week: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his family are featured in a worshipful profile in this month's Washingtonian magazine. It's the sort of adoring journalistic exercise reserved for only the most handsome of the power elite. In it you can find out details about the Carney dog (a cousin to presidential pooch Sonny!), and how much the press secretary's tie costs ($135). But keen observers may notice the kitchen decor in the photo: Soviet propaganda posters. They really are the perfect pop of color whether you are the dour and sincere Nikita Khrushchev or the cheeky press-wrangler for a President who is constantly accused of being a socialist himself.
Via Disclose.tv: After a recent photograph of Mars ignited speculation that the Red Planet was home to intelligent life, NASA has come out with several different explanations for the mysterious light captured by the agency’s rover. As RT reported earlier this week, on April 3 the Curiosity rover managed to take a picture with its right-hand navigation camera that seemed to show a beacon of light emanating from the planet’s surface. Unfortunately for those excited by the possibility of discovering alien life forms, however, NASA poured some cold water onto the idea. "One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun," NASA imaging scientist Justin Maki said to the Houston Chronicle. "When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky". In a statement made to Space.com, Maki added another possibility, that the light could be caused by the way sunlight managed to hit Curiosity’s camera.
Via The Local: A 45-year-old woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a 59-year-old Swedish-born professor who was found dead in his home in Houston, Texas in June 2013, after having been stabbed repeatedly with a stiletto heel. The woman claimed that she had been acting in self-defence. "I never wanted to kill him", she said. The victim, Alf Stefan Andersson, had worked as a professor of women's reproductive health at the University of Houston since 2009. When he was found bloody and beaten in his apartment in the city, his body, both the face and neck, bore traces of having been stabbed with the sharp end of a 13 centimeter high heel at least 25 times. His girlfriend, 44-year-old Ana Lilia Trujillo, was arrested shortly afterwards and promptly admitted to the attack, claiming self defence and arguing that she was the victim of an abusive relationship. She told the court that on the evening of the murder he wrestled her to the ground and her lawyers claimed that she had been chased. "It was never my intention to hurt him. I loved him. I wanted to get away. I never wanted to kill him", she said, according to the BBC. The jury however went on the prosecutor's line of reasoning and concluded that the crime had been committed. They furthermore concluded that the killing had not occurred on the spur of the moment, which could have meant the prison sentence being reduced from 45 to 20 years. Jurors concluded that the some 25 stab wounds that the man had sustained could not be considered self-defence, pointing out furthermore that the woman had not sustained any injuries. News of Andersson's death left officials at the University of Houston reeling. "The University of Houston community is saddened to learn of the tragic death of Professor Stefan Andersson". "Our hearts go out to his colleagues, family and friends during this difficult time", the university said in a statement at the time.