Saturday, 12 February 2011


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This posting is a relaxant from the recent more involved postings, I just want to say thanks to all the people that strive every day to help our race evolve to something better than previously struggled, life is sometimes difficult and for many of you people who browse my journal the generaters of good time, opportunity and hope are essential.

Ten city / That's the way love is

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AERO INDIA: Embraer and Gulfstream see Indian growth

Business jet manufacturers Embraer and Gulfstream remain optimistic about India's prospects, with both companies saying that the growth continues despite several challenges.
Embraer expects the executive jet business in India to grow four times over to around $8.9 billion by 2020. "We see this as the main market in Asia-Pacific," says Embraer Asia-Pacific executive jet sales director Manfred Baudzus.
While demand leans towards its medium and large size business jets like the Lineage, Embraer says that its entry-level Phenom aircraft that can reach the entire subcontinent is also popular.
Gulfstream points out that while it had five aircraft in service in India in 2001, that has grown to 17 today. Of those, 12 are its large-cabin long-range G550, which can travel more than 12,000km nonstop.
"We see great long-term potential in the Indian market as infrastructure for business aviation expands and government officials focus more on this segment," says Roger Sperry, Gulfstream's regional senior vice president for international sales. "The rapid development of commercial air traffic is a vital focus on the part of government; we believe attention will soon turn to business aviation, as well."
Much of this is driven by India's growing wealth. The country reportedly has 47 billionaires, according to Forbes' 2010 list. It also has more than 126,000 millionaires, the world's eighth-largest base of high-net-worth individuals.
Several challenges remain. Jose Eduardo Costas, Embraer's Asia Pacific vice-resident for marketing and sales, points out that the Indian government's high import tax on business jets shows a "narrow vision". However, he adds: "We are confident, regardless of taxes, [that] there is demand".
Infrastructure problems must also be overcome, says Sperry. These include a shortage of fixed base operations, expanded ramp space and hangar facilities, and curfews in major cities limit that limit operating slots for business jets.
"These are the challenges of a fast-growing economy, and we expect they will be addressed, because business aviation is an important component of the transportation system," he says.

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Obviously my support of President Barack Obama is selflessly biased because of my ability to guarantee his loyalty to our race, interest in politics is concern for modern political analysts particularly because of administration developments that seem to obliterate real cause in the socio economic community, my admiration of Barack Obama has become a larger commitment because of his shining ability to correspond his acumen and prowess in an administrative defecting government practice that by all ''surface'' accounts belies an impoverished melody.

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Alanis Morrisette / Ironic

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Malaria's Newest Pathway Into Human Cells Identified

(Sep. 27, 2010) — Development of an effective vaccine for malaria is a step closer following identification of a key pathway used by the malaria parasite to infect human cells. The discovery, by researchers at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, provides a new vaccine target through which infection with the deadly disease could be prevented.

Each year more than 400 million people contract malaria, and more than one million, mostly children, die from the disease. The most lethal form of malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Part of the parasite's success lies in its ability to deploy multiple ways to invade red blood cells, a process essential for the survival of the parasite within the human host.
Professor Alan Cowman, head of the institute's Infection and Immunity division, led the research with Dr Wai-Hong Tham, Dr Danny Wilson, Mr Sash Lopaticki, Mr Jason Corbin, Dr Dave Richard, Dr James Beeson from the institute and collaborators at the University of Edinburgh.
For decades, it has been known that malaria parasites use proteins called glycophorins as a means of entering red blood cells. This new research reveals an alternative pathway used by the parasite to enter red blood cells. The pathway does not involve glycophorins, instead requiring the binding of a parasite molecule named PfRh4 to Complement Receptor 1 (CR1), a common protein found on the surface of red blood cells.
"The parasite is like a master burglar - it will try a variety of different methods to get into the house, not just the front door," Professor Cowman said. "Although the human body has evolved a variety of methods to keep the parasite out, it keeps finding new ways to get in."
Professor Cowman said the PfRh family of surface proteins is involved in the recognition of red blood cell receptors, which allows the parasite to attach to the red blood cell surface and gain entry.
"We think that the parasite uses this protein to correctly identify the red blood cell and say 'Yes, this is the one we want to invade', it's like a quality assurance process," Professor Cowman said.
"The PfRh4-CR1 pathway is one of the most important of the pathways we've identified for entry of malaria parasites into cells," Professor Cowman said. "We are now at the stage where we have identified the best combination of proteins for a vaccine, and are ready to start clinical development.
"When both glycophorin and CR1 pathways are blocked, there is a 90 per cent decrease in infection of the cells with the parasite. These results suggest that if a vaccine were to stimulate the immune system to recognise and generate antibodies to the prevalent invasion pathways, there is a good chance it would lead to a significant decrease in malaria infection."
The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh, the Wellcome Trust and the Victorian Government.

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Chaka Khan / I'm every woman

I think everyman wants a woman to feel about him the way Chaka Khan describes herself, so, I'm going to keep it simple... This picture...

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Chaka Khan / I feel for you

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AERO INDIA: Raytheon foresees rocketing US-India relationship

US defence contractor Raytheon has a major stake in the two American aircraft in the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition, and is confident of US willingness to transfer technology.
"The big difference between this Aero India and previous ones is the support of the US government," says Walte Doran, president of Raytheon Asia.
He lists a number of top US government officials who have made the trek to Yehlanka air base this week. They include Commerce Secretary Garry Locke and top figures from the US military and government.
"There is an incredible centre of gravity around India following President Obama's visit last year," he says.
Raytheon has extensive equipment on both the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Viper. If one of the US aircraft is selected, Raytheon will also be in a very strong position to sell air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder. It will also have the opportunity to sell ground attack weapons, such as the AGM-154-C Joint Standoff weapon (JSOW).
Crucially, the Super Hornet is equipped with Raytheon's APG-79 advanced active electronically scanned array radar. Only one other fighter, the F-16IN, has a deployed AESA radar. As the APG-79 is deployed with the US navy it is a proven system with long-term upgrade potential.
Unsurprisingly, Doran is hoping for a US win. "If either US plane is selected, it's a good situation for Raytheon. An American aircraft is the right choice for India, these are top of the line fighters. We are supportive of both bids."
The other four aircraft in the competition are from Europe: the Saab JAS 39 Gripen IN, Eurofighter Typhoon, RSK MiG 35, and Dassault Rafale.
Doran, a former admiral in the US navy, is also confident that the US government will release advanced technologies to India.
"We spent the last week in Delhi, and there are apprehensions that the US won't release the top end," says Doran. "The US-India relationship is still developing. As it gets more mature a deeper understanding will occur. I'm confident that the US is committed to technology transfer. It is working hard to ensure India gets the equipment for its needs."

Chaka Khan / Ain't no body

I want to use this opportunity for something that I am sincerely ashamed of, honestly I am embarrissed and feel a total disgrace because of the standard of thoughts I wanted to employ during a particular situation while watching a star trek voyager episode. It was a scene when Jeri Ryan [seven of nine] and Kate Mulgrew [Captain Catherine Janeway] were standaing in front of each other quite closely and Captain Janeway was caringly encouraging seven of nine to interact with the crew more as a member of the crew, while they were standing together I had a strong urge to fantasize that they kissed, and honestly I wanted to feel the intimacy of them, I am deeply ashamed of my scientifically stimulated analysis of the situation which is how I want to explain my decision to clarify with as much cleanliness as possible.

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In our circle it is a dishonor for me to feel such a disgrace and, I want to say that the moments of whim can and will be backed with science fact, resolution and empiracle data.

I shall be in my pi until then.

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Candi Staton / You got the love

Predicting Divorce: Study Shows How Fight Styles Affect Marriage

(Sep. 29, 2010) — It's common knowledge that newlyweds who yell or call each other names have a higher chance of getting divorced. But a new University of Michigan study shows that other conflict patterns also predict divorce.

A particularly toxic pattern is when one spouse deals with conflict constructively, by calmly discussing the situation, listening to their partner's point of view, or trying hard to find out what their partner is feeling, for example -- and the other spouse withdraws.
"This pattern seems to have a damaging effect on the longevity of marriage," said U-M researcher Kira Birditt, first author of a study on marital conflict behaviors and implications for divorce published in the current issue (October 2010) of the Journal of Marriage and Family. "Spouses who deal with conflicts constructively may view their partners' habit of withdrawing as a lack of investment in the relationship rather than an attempt to cool down."
Couples in which both spouses used constructive strategies had lower divorce rates, Birditt found.
The data are from the Early Years of Marriage Study, supported by funding from the National Institute of Aging and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It is one of the largest and longest research projects to look at patterns of marital conflict, with 373 couples interviewed four times over a 16-year period, starting the first year of their marriages. The study is also one of just a few to include a high enough proportion of Black couples that researchers can assess racial differences in conflict strategies and their effects.
The researchers looked at how both individual behaviors and patterns of behavior between partners affected the likelihood of divorce. They also examined whether behavior changed over time, and whether there were racial or gender differences in behavior patterns and outcomes.
Astonishingly, the researchers found that 29 percent of husband and 21 percent of wives reported having no conflicts at all in the first year of their marriage -- 1986. Nonetheless, 46 percent of the couples had divorced by Year 16 of the study -- 2002. Interestingly, whether or not couples reported any conflict during the first year of marriage did not affect whether they had divorced by the last year studied.
Overall, husbands reported using more constructive behaviors and fewer destructive behaviors than wives. But over time, wives were less likely to use destructive strategies or withdraw, while husbands' use of these behaviors stayed the same through the years.
"The problems that cause wives to withdraw or use destructive behaviors early in a marriage may be resolved over time," Birditt said. "Or, relationships and the quality of relationships may be more central to women's lives than they are to men. As a result, over the course of marriage, women may be more likely to recognize that withdrawing from conflict or using destructive strategies is neither effective nor beneficial to the overall well-being and stability of their marriages."
Birditt and colleagues found that black American couples were more likely to withdraw during conflicts than were white couples, although black couples were less likely to withdraw from conflict over time.
"We hope this study will lead to additional research on the complex dynamics of conflict between husbands and wives, and the potential explanations for changes versus stability in conflict behaviors over time," Birditt said.

Frankie Knuckles / Your Love

Junk food makes woman have orgasms

Gabi Jones, 25, has found that stuffing her face with junk food makes her orgasm
The 25-year-old has now ballooned in weight to 223kg (35st) after eating enough ice-cream, cakes and pizzas to reach the height of sexual pleasure.

She suffers from a medical condition called persistent genital arousal syndrome, where orgasms are triggered without direct sexual arousal.

In extreme cases, sufferers of the condition experience 300 orgasms a day.

She first noticed something unusual was happening as she tucked into a tub of ice-cream.
‘My friends thought I was making it up,’ said Miss Jones, of Colorado, ‘I was stunned but in no doubt of what had happened.’

She has put on 95kg (15st) in the past five years as she gorged and climaxed.

She decided to profit from her affliction by setting up a fetish website where punters pay to watch her scoff herself to orgasm

Joe Smooth / Promised land

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When I was a younger boy I was impressed with the colouful splendid brash American flag, it sort of stood out among the dulldrums of the world for what it wanted to accomplish, obviously the NASA moon Apollo programme was a centrifugal stance on American dreams, as a nation, as a developer of a democratic system that seemed to offer largeness to everyone who wanted to be involved, for little boys and little girls with big dreams America was an inspirational attraction, for 40 years Disney had been carving socio behaviour in children with exquisite craftsmanship and the parallel to NASA was a fantastic boon, I was building spaceships with lego bricks and studying Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's thunderbirds ships [Lady Penelope...], wondering why space in 1999 was such a big deal because space in '19100' would be bigger, and obviously these people needed me to explain the intricacies of the reptillian language, why they didn't sell space uniforms in school and why the Roman army failed to conquer the world in terms of intergration.

Anyway, Arnold Schwartzenegger kick's ass, black, white, brown and what ever else he doe's. Sorry, Arnold, I want someone to believe for the rest of my life!!!

Captain America is obviously a film that will earn a lot of cash for the effort, hopefully the owners of the royalties respectfully earn there fair share...

Special song, special people...

The waterboys / The whole of the moon

The Water boys / The whole of the moon

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Planet Hunters No Longer Blinded by the Light: New Way to See Faint Planets Previously Hidden in Their Star's Glare

(Oct. 17, 2010) — Using new optics technology developed at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, an international team of astronomers has obtained images of a planet on a much closer orbit around its parent star than any other extrasolar planet previously found.

The discovery, published online in Astrophysical Journal Letters, is a result of an international collaboration among the Steward Observatory, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the European Southern Observatory, Leiden University in the Netherlands and Germany's Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy.
Installed on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, or VLT, atop Paranal Mountain in Chile, the new technology enabled an international team of astronomers to confirm the existence and orbital movement of Beta Pictoris b, a planet about seven to 10 times the mass of Jupiter, around its parent star, Beta Pictoris, 63 light years away.
At the core of the system is a small piece of glass with a highly complex pattern inscribed into its surface. Called an Apodizing Phase Plate, or APP, the device blocks out the starlight in a very defined way, allowing planets to show up in the image whose signals were previously drowned out by the star's glare.
"This technique opens new doors in planet discovery," said Phil Hinz, director of the UA's Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics at Steward Observatory. "Until now, we only were able to look at the outer planets in a solar system, in the range of Neptune's orbit and beyond. Now we can see planets on orbits much closer to their parent star."
In other words, if alien astronomers in another solar system were studying our solar system using the technology previously available for direct imaging detection, all they would see would be Uranus and Neptune. The inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Saturn, simply wouldn't show up in their telescope images.
To put the power of the new optics system in perspective: Neptune's mean distance from the sun is about 2.8 billion million miles, or 30 Astronomical Units, or AUs. One AU is defined as the mean distance between the sun and the Earth.
The newly imaged planet, Beta Pictoris b, orbits its star at about seven AUs, a distance where things get especially interesting, according to Hinz, "because that's where we believe the bulk of the planetary mass to be in most solar systems. Between five and 10 AUs."
While planet hunters have used a variety of indirect methods to detect the "footprints" of extrasolar planets -- planets outside our solar system -- for example the slight gravitational wobble an orbiting planet induces in its parent star, very few of them have been directly observed.
According to Hinz, the growing zoo of extrasolar planets discovered to date -- mostly super-massive gas giants on wide orbits -- represents a biased sample because their size and distance to their parent star makes them easier to detect.
"You could say we started out by looking at oddball solar systems out there. The technique we developed allows us to search for lower-mass gas giants about the size of Jupiter, which are more representative of what is out there."
He added: "For the first time, we can search around bright, nearby stars such as Alpha Centauri, to see if they have gas giants."
The breakthrough, which may allow observers to even block out starlight completely with further refinements, was made possible through highly complex mathematical modeling.
"Basically, we are canceling out the starlight halo that otherwise would drown out the light signal of the planet," said Johanan (John) Codona, a senior research scientist at the UA's Steward Observatory who developed the theory behind the technique, which he calls phase-apodization coronagraphy.
"If you're trying to find something that is thousands or a million times fainter than the star, dealing with the halo is a big challenge."
To detect the faint light signals from extrasolar planets, astronomers rely on coronagraphs to block out the bright disk of a star, much like the moon shielding the sun during an eclipse, allowing fainter, nearby objects to show up.
Using his own unconventional mathematical approach, Codona found a complex pattern of wavefront ripples, which, if present in the starlight entering the telescope, would cause the halo part to cancel out but leave the star image itself intact. The Steward Observatory team used a machined piece of infrared optical glass about the size and shape of a cough drop to introduce the ripples. Placed in the optical path of the telescope, the APP device steals a small portion of the starlight and diffracts it into the star's halo, canceling it out.
"It's a similar effect to what you would see if you were diving in the ocean and looked at the sun from below the surface," explained Sascha Quanz from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's Institute for Astonomy, the lead author of the study. "The waves on the surface bend the light rays and cause the sky and clouds to appear quite different. Our optic works in a similar way."
In order to block out glare from a star, conventional coronagraphs have to be precisely lined up and are highly susceptible to disturbance. A soft night breeze vibrating the telescope might be all it takes to ruin the image. The APP, on the other hand, requires no aiming and works equally well on any stars or locations in the image.
"Our system doesn't care about those kinds of disturbances," Codona said. "It makes observing dramatically easier and much more efficient."
In the development of APP, Codona was joined by Matt Kenworthy (now at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands). Hinz, who is a member of the instrument upgrade team for the VLT, played a key role in the technique's implementation on the 6.5 Meter Telescope on Mount Hopkins in Southeastern Arizona.
Former UA astronomy professor Michael Meyer, now at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, where he led the group implementing the technology on the VLT, pointed out that APP is likely to advance areas of research in addition to the hunt for extrasolar planets.
"It will be exciting to see how astronomers will use the new technology on the VLT, since it lends itself to other faint structures around young stars and quasars, too."

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New Booze Busting Device
Engineers Measure Blood Alcohol Content With Spectroscopy

November 1, 2007 — Using optical technology, engineers created a way to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s skin. They use near-infrared absorption spectroscopy to measure blood alcohol content. The light enters the arm and a detector collects reflected light. It uses a helium-neon laser as the internal reference source, and is a non-invasive alternative to current methods.

Save your breath, a new tool for testing suspected drunk drivers will have cops asking, ”Stick out your arm.”
Last year more than 17-and-a-half thousand people in this country were killed in alcohol related crashes. Getting drunk drivers off the street is a job for law enforcement and thanks to a new tool; their jobs may soon get easier.
“They really think with those few beers or shots that they’re okay and the fact is most drivers who cause fatality accidents are right around that legal limit of point eight or nine,” Sheriff Deputy Kyle Hartsock of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, DWI Unit, told Ivanhoe.
Just how drunk is registered now by a field sobriety test -- including a Breathalyzer, which can be messy and time consuming. But now, testing suspected drunk drivers is about to go hi-tech.
Developed by engineers, the TruTouch 1100 uses Spectroscopy by shining different wavelengths of light onto the skin.
“"It'’s the same as taking a flashlight, placing it over your hand like the kids do at Halloween ... you see the light come through,"” Jim McNally, President and CEO of TruTouch Technologies, told Ivanhoe.
"The system measures the light reflected back, which reveals how much alcohol is in the person's skin. “So all we do is simply lift this lid which exposes the touch pad ... this is how the light comes out of the machine and will go in and out of his tissue," McNally said.
It's non-invasive and results come back in minutes! Right now the new “booze-busting” system is being tested by officers in several cities and could be on the streets by next year. Besides getting drunk drivers off the street, the makers say the device can be used in emergency rooms, prisons, schools and work places -- anywhere where alcohol use and safety is a concern.
The Optical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

BACKGROUND: Law enforcement officials are enthusiastic about a new tool for alcohol testing that uses near-infrared absorption spectroscopy to determine a person’s blood-alcohol content more swiftly, and in a more sanitary and less invasive way, than current methods. The TruTouch 1100 system can also function as a biometric identity-verification system for prison work-release programs or airline pilots, for example.

HOW IT WORKS: The TruTouch 1100 system introduces very low power light (in the near-infrared wavelength regime of the spectrum) into the skin of the forearm. The light that returns to the tissue surface by reflection and is collected by a detector. The light reflecting from each type of molecule (water, alcohol, etc.) is unique. This allows the spectrum of alcohol to be discriminated from other molecules that are commonly present in the body. The entire process takes about one minute, compared to 30 minutes or more for a standard breathalyzer test.

ABOUT BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS: The amount of alcohol in the blood stream is referred to as Blood Alcohol Level (BAL). It is recorded in milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or milligrams percent. For example, a BAL of .10 means that 1/10 of 1 percent (or 1/1000) of the total blood content is alcohol. When a person drinks alcohol it goes directly from the stomach into the blood stream. This is why people typically feel the effects of alcohol quite quickly, especially if drinking on an empty stomach. BAL depends on the amount of blood (which increases with body weight), and the amount of alcohol consumed over time. Drinking fast will quickly raise a drinker’s BAL because as the liver can only handle about a drink per hour--the rest builds up in your blood stream. With a BAL of .02, you may experience an increase in body warmth, and a lowering of inhibition; at .05, you are less alert and begin to experience impaired coordination. A BAL of .08 is the legal limit for drunk driving in most states. With a BAL of .15, you experience impaired balance and are noticeably drunk. Many people lose consciousness with a BAL of .30 or higher, and breathing can stop with a BAL of .50, at which point many people die.

WHAT IS SPECTROSCOPY? Spectroscopy is a technique used by astronomers and physicists to study the make-up of an object based on the light it emits. Anything that produces light or radiates energy, whether a light bulb or a star, is telling us about itself and anything between us and the source. This is possible because each chemical element has a unique signature, emitting or absorbing radiation at specific wavelengths. For example, sodium, used in street lights, emits primarily orange light. Oxygen, used in neon lights, emits green light. By passing the light from a star or other object through a special instrument, called a spectrograph, the light is "spread" into a spectrum in much the same way visible light is spread into its colors by a prism. By carefully studying how the spectrum becomes brighter or darker at each wavelength, scientists can tell what chemical elements are present.

Drinking in higher altitudes is certainly a good tester for plasma research, I don't scribe my plasma research on this journal, but, I do encourage others to think more about it particularly regarding the different space vehicle's that will be available for use flying through different airspace, my earlier posting showing light spectroscopy on people could be important for future observations of people travelling space.

As a supporter of mature career people Britney is a credit to hard working acheivers in high profile business that require usually the best part of younger adult sociology, I myself during my music business years learnt the difficulties of blending long studios hours with relaxing and getting quality rest. It's terrific to see Britney sending a message to the music people that she considers music direction the way she does and show's that she is properly showing it's form.

I chose this earlier video to show Britney's prowess, It doesn't show her unique approach to music the same way you perhaps wouldn't notice if it were at another speed.

Totally scientific questions asked to the newer ranks of younger science people.

Britney Spears / Toxic

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ISS back in action after marathon spacewalk series

Everything is up and running again on the International Space Station following a marathon series of spacewalks to replace a critical cooling pump. The pump's failure had forced the US-Russian crew to shut down non-critical systems and put many experiments on hold for nearly three weeks.
The two-loop cooling system relies on the flow of ammonia coolant, but with one loop shut down the astronauts had to install electric power jumpers to transfer current between loops and route additional power to the Russian segment of the station. That allowed much of the station to continue near-normal operations with three of four stabilising gyroscopes, life support systems and critical communications equipment.
But experiments in the Japanese Kibo module and the European Space Agency's Columbus module had to be shut down, along with most of the science racks in the US portion of the station.
The eventual failure of one or both pumps was anticipated long ago. NASA had stored four spare cooling pumps, which weigh 355kg (780lb) on Earth, on an external stowage platform on the station in July 2006.
When a pump failed on 31 July, astronauts set into motion a long-ready plan. However, in attempting to remove the broken pump on the initial spacewalk on 7 August, US astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Doug Wheelock struggled to disconnect one of its four ammonia lines, spraying ammonia into space. A second spacewalk was needed just to remove the damaged system. Two more walks were required to complete the swap-out mission.
The final 7h 20min spacewalk pushed the total time for time in space to repair the coolant system to 22h 49min, and Wheelock into the record books. His total time over six career spacewalks now stands at 43h 30min, moving him into the number 10 slot on the list of most experienced spacewalkers.

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Hopefully the lesson's learned in the swimming pool were good enough to teach the 1 mile swimmers that a 100 meter sprint is...
Just a walk in the park...

Air-Conditioned Greenhouse Uses Alternative Energy

(Feb. 8, 2011) — Neiker-Tecnalia (The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development) has created an air-conditioned greenhouse using alternative energies that enable the reduction of energy costs, improvements in energy efficiency and an increase in crop yields. The novel system has a biomass boiler and thermodynamic solar panels, which reach an optimum temperature for the crop without using fuels derived from petroleum oil or gas.

Neiker-Tecnalia has installed a biomass boiler (using wood and other organic waste as fuel), together with thermodynamic panels, with the goal of air-conditioning greenhouses destined for intensive crop cultivation. With this method they have managed to reduce costs and improve crop yields, in such a way that seasonal products can be harvested throughout the year. This project seeks an alternative to the usual diesel or heating oil boilers, which emit significant amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere and are very costly for the farmer, given the high price of petroleum oil-derived fuels.

400 kW power

The project was undertaken at a greenhouse in NEIKER-Tecnalia located in Derio, in the Basque province of Bizkaia and near Bilbao. A biomass boiler which produces 400 kW power and is, to date, the largest in Spain using air-conditioning in greenhouses was installed. With the boiler there are 40 thermodynamic panels, employed for the first time in intensive greenhouse cultivation. The combination of both energies act to heat the water which circulates in tubes located a few centimetres above the floor and below the substrate of the crop, the aim being to heat the roots.

The tubes, distributed throughout the whole surface of the greenhouse, transport water at an average temperature of 80 degrees centigrade. Thus optimum air-conditioning for greenhouses is achieved, with the result that the plants grow as in the natural production period. Achieving less expenditure in consumption and having seasonal crops all year round considerably reduces the price of the final product and, thus, enabling competition in the market with products coming from other zones.

The thermodynamic panels used generate energy thanks to the difference in temperature between a cold gas that circulates through a closed circuit and the ambient air temperature. They outstand for their low energy cost, as they are able to function in situations without sunlight and, thereby, produce energy both by day and by night. Moreover, it drastically reduces emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere. They are capable of heating water to 45 degrees centigrade and their cost per kilowatt consumed is 60 % less than the one generated by conventional diesel or heating oil boilers.

The biomass boiler used by Neiker-Tecnalia works with organic waste, such as almond nut shells, olive oil stones, tree pruning cuttings, the waste obtained from clearing forests, granulated pellets of sawdust, sawdust itself, wood shavings or any other leftover from the timber industry. The expenditure in fuel for the biomass boiler is 55 cents for kilowatt consumed, well below the 92 cents of a euro needed for boilers fed by petroleum oil-derived fuels or by natural gas or propane.

Heating the roots to reduce costs

Air-conditioning using alternative energies developed by Neiker-Tecnalia is complemented with a technique known as 'hydroponic soil', involving placing the plants on substrate at a height of some ten centimetres above the hard floor of the greenhouse. This method also enables the roots to be heated by pipes through which water circulates at an average temperature of 45 degrees centigrade. Directly heating the substrate where the roots are found enables reducing the ambient temperature of the greenhouse overall, thus involving less energy expenditure.

This system involves a network of sensors (distributed throughout the greenhouse) that enables regulating the temperature of the market garden. The meters gather data in real time on the temperature and humidity of the crop zone. The data is sent to a computer which has software capable of programming different actions, such as increasing or reducing the temperature of the greenhouse or fixing the most appropriate hours for heating the plants.

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Hopefully Britney could be happy with this song choice...

Frankie Knuckles / Tears

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