Meteorite Fell in Carancas, Peru

This is a pretty odd report … Why? Its the first meteorite story I’ve heard of where people in the surrounding area to the impact site fell ill. Seems to have made animal and people very sick (200 people by all accounts).

“It was 11:45 AM on Saturday, September 15, 2007, when alpaca farmer, Justina Limache, heard a “thunderous roar from the sky.” Scared, she grabbed her 8-year-old granddaughter and ran into her house. For the next few minutes, Justina heard rocks raining down on the roof so loudly that she worried her house would collapse. What 74-year-old Justina Limache did not know was that a meteorite had fallen near her Carancas, Peru, home 62 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Puno and not far from Lake Titicaca. Carancas is a farm community of about 2,000 people who raise cows, alpacas, llamas and other animals on the high Andean plateau near the Bolivian border.

According to Jorge Lopez, Director, Puno Health Department, at least two hundred residents suffered headaches, nausea and breathing problems after inhaling “toxic fumes” emitted from the crater hole measured at 26 feet in diameter and several feet deep where ground water seeped in.”

You can read more of this report here:

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Northwest Passage.

This is a pretty momentus event to happen in some ways … A New Shipping route … The Northway Passage. What’s this? Its a new direct shipping route that is now completely clear of ice that connects Europe and Asia. To quote the BBC – “historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year.” Not any more …

Andrea Thompson writes that since “the opening of the fabled Northwest Passage and the recent announcement that Arctic Sea ice has reached a new record summer low are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to polar problems.”

That’s not all either, it now seems that many parties are arguing over who actually controls this new passage. Canada, the US and the European Union are all arguing and jostling for the position of master in order to control these new open waters. Canada is claiming full control and the US and the EU are wanting the passage to be under international control so that any vessel can use the route.

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Our Whales are Being Destroyed–by the US Navy

Not very many people are aware of this issue at the moment but it’s something that needs some serious attention as far as i’m concerned.

“‘Nuke the whales” stickers have made the suffering of these animals a joke, but they are enduring a ferocious new onslaught from Naval sonars that have recently been deployed.

These sonars generate sound pulses of 235 deceibels [that is a frankly indescribable volume – a jet at take off is about 130db if your stood 100 feet away], the equivalent of a gigantic rocket launch. They shatter the sensitive audio sensors of whales, cause them internal bleeding, and kill them.

Recently, a federal court gave the go-ahead for the Navy to deploy this killer sonar system, but you can still make your concerns known, and perhaps get the Navy to reconsider the use of this cruel system, which is designed to detect enemy submarines–a need that can be just as effectively served using a number of other systems.”

You can register your objections here:
http://www.nrdconline.org/campaign/Act_Now_To_Save_The_Whales_JT

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Google Moon

Google has offered $30,000,000 to any company that lands a robot on the Moon and starts snapping photo’s and sending data back (presumably to Google …). A five million dollar bonus is offered for a robot vehicle that discovers ice or water, that can travel further than five kilometers or captures images of space vehicles abandoned there from old missions.

Interesting competition to say the least … and we’ll find out if we have actually been there already or not. Going on from that, if we had indeed already been there the easiest way to proove it would be to turn Hubble around and point it to the abandonded Lunar Lander and publish the photo’s … so why haven’t they?

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Joe Zawinul

Well it seems that we have lost another great musician today, Pavarotti a few days ago (yes, Joe occupies the same level of respect in my book!) and Joe Zawinul today. Joe Zawinul is an amazingly well respect jazz musician who played on some of the most important jazz recordings ever made. He played on Miles Davies’ ‘Bitches Brew’ for instance. He really shot to fame playing along side Jaco Pastorius in the seminal fusion band ‘Weather Report‘ in the 70’s and beyond. Some of his keyboard playing and specifically his sound design for some of the more experiment WR live gigs was stunningly ahead of its time. He’ll be sadly missed for sure.

His home page is here – Zawinul Music

Some video here (with Jaco) – You Tube Link1You Tube Link2

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Visual Studio 2005 & ASP.NET 2.0 Step By Step – Microsoft Press

This week I have been mostly installing software … WOW, how long did it take to install VS2005? 2.1GB application! A very big thumbs down to the Microsoft Press however. I started working through the “ASP.NET 2.0 Steb By Step” guide yesterday and basically gave up after having to hack all the example codes provided in the book. I guess that was still a learning experience but not the one I wanted or needed. Thankfully its a book I borrowed from my employers library and I had not shelled out my own cash for it … avoid at all costs … -10/10 .

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Yale Scientists Use Nanotechnology To Fight E. Coli

Amazing! SWCNT (single walled carbon nanotubes) are being used in the lab to combat bacteria. These technologies could one day provide the replacements for antibiotics and as far as my laymans understanding goes there wouldn’t be any way for these bacteria to combat nanotech as its the nanotubes that more or less batter the actual cells of the bacteria and destroy them physically rather than chemically. Really quite mental!

“We began the study out of concerns for the possible toxicity [Nanotoxicology] of nanotubes in aquatic environments and their presence in the food chain,” said Menachem Elimelech, professor and chair of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale and senior author on the paper. “While nanotubes have great promise for medical and commercial applications there is little understanding of how they interact with humans and the environment.”

“Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The microbes were killed outright – but only when there was direct contact with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.”

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Calling Some 4×4 Owners

I have just one point but I think its an important one … if you are going to bomb around the countryside in such a hulking great lump of metal you have a responsibility to the rest of us not unlike that of any other driver of large vehicles (a lot of them have to take specific tests to do so remember!):

a) Learn to drive that monstrous vehicle with confidence and conviction.
b) Buy a smaller car, you obviously can’t drive the one you own.
c) Get out the way of the rest of us!

This message isn’t aimed at all 4×4 owners by any stretch, some of you can drive your 4×4 perfectly well, however there is a large community of 4×4 owners that have simply bought one for the wrong reasons.  When you encounter them on the roads you can see the fear in their eyes that they are totally out of their depth … these are the people i’m referring too!

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IBM Makes Molecular Switch

This is just insane … apparently IBM has made some serious advances in the NanoTech field and is now talking about the fact that molecular computing is closer to being a reality. I can remember not very long ago that chip manufacturers were talking about reaching the upper limit of silicon based CPU’s where the switches were becoming so small and tightly packed that single atoms were responsible for processing errors, now we are looking at the potential for single atoms to *be* the switches themselves … all very clever stuff.

The molecule being used for this process is called naphthalocyanine which contains two hydrogen atoms in it inner core which has two possible positions making them good candidates for storing binary data. These processes turn this molecule into a microscoping logic-gate.

Although this isn’t the first time a molecular switch has been made it appears to be a very strong candidate so far for actually making the jump from absolute zero degrees to a working room temperature example!

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