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Showing posts from September 5, 2010

BBC News - Today - Britain's brainiest cemetery

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The Ascension Burial Ground might have more IQ interred in one acre than any other in the world, writes Cambridge University history teacher Dr Mark Goldie. It's one of Cambridge's best kept secrets - scarcely known to local people, let alone the thousands who visit the city each year. Perhaps it's best kept that way, to preserve its special charm and peacefulness. A galaxy of talent lies buried here, in a little city of the distinguished dead. The story of academic life, of the birth of whole new disciplines since Victorian times, can be told through those who have their resting place here. Far and away the most sought-out grave is that of Ludwig Wittgenstein, perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Students come to pay homage. Singer-songwriter Patti Smith turned up recently. Her Polaroid of the grave is part of the recent exhibition of 250 of her favourite things, on show in Paris.

BBC News - Mates with machines

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11 September 2010 Last updated at 02:24 ET Share this page Facebook Share Email Print Mates with machines By Jamillah Knowles Reporter, BBC Radio 5 live's Outriders Chess often appeals to programmers Thousands of years old, transcending geographical boundaries and cultures, the game of chess is still evolving and new technologies are aiding that progression. Simon Terrington has made a documentary called Seeking the Endgame for BBC World Service about the technical and cultural changes in the game. "I have been a keen chess player since I was very young. My dad taught me to play chess. "Back then you would go to your local chess club and there were three people available to play. "Now you go online and there's around 20,000 people, they all have a numerical grading and you can compare your

BBC News - 9/11 anniversary dominates newspapers

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11 September 2010 Last updated at 00:44 ET Share this page Facebook Share Email Print 9/11 anniversary dominates newspapers On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, many papers consider whether an anti-Muslim sentiment has burst on the scene. The Independent says the familiar ritual of remembrance may be drowned out by the roar of maddening squabbles around the threat to burn the Koran. "Burning Hatred," declares the Daily Mirror, which sees the stand-off as a symptom of a wider disease "gnawing away at democracy". It says the far-right is gaining ground across the US in an alarming trend. Pope visit Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports the threat to burn the Koran is sparking world riots. Attitudes towards the Roman Catholic Church are another topic for discussion as the papers look ahead to Pope Benedict's visit to Britain. The Guardian war

BBC News - Toast tickles the tastebuds of childhood memory

Advertisement 11 September 2010 Last updated at 05:06 ET Help Researchers at Cardiff University say they have discovered why so many people like toast. Their research suggested that toasting bread releases a chemical which helps evoke memories and the preference for toast was much stronger in people who had it for breakfast as a child. The research, commissioned by the Flour Advisory Bureau, set out to discover what it was about toast which made it such an integral part of breakfast for many people. Carwyn Jones reports. via bbc.co.uk Posted via email from Peace Jaway

Cisco - 'Here You Have' Worm Caused Brief Havoc

The "Here you have" worm that clogged e-mail systems on Thursday briefly caused one of the worst spam outbreaks of 2010, according to Cisco Systems. For a few hours -- between 17:45 and 20:30 GMT -- the worm accounted for between 6 percent and 14 percent of all spam measured by Cisco's IronPort group. It was the biggest spam outbreak since scammers pounced on the iPad launch back in March to try to trick people into visiting malicious websites, said Nilesh Bhandari, a product manager with Cisco. "That is humongous," he said. "Here you have" spread primarily via e-mail, in messages that tried to entice victims into visiting a website that would install a malicious script on their computers. That script then scoured the victim's Outlook contacts list and sent similar messages to new victims. The worm also spread over the network, using a special PsExec script and via USB drives. The worm's advance has been halted now for two re

Art in the Park brings thousands out to admire local artistry | Idaho News from KTVB.COM | Boise news, Idaho weather, sports, traffic & events | Home

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Art in the Park brings thousands out to admire local artistry Credit: Zach Stotland/KTVB Art in the Park brings thousands out to admire local artistry by KTVB KTVB.COM Posted on September 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM BOISE -- It was a packed house at Julia Davis Park Saturday for the second day of Art in the Park. 260 painters, metalworkers, photographers, and sculptors from across the Northwest are in Boise to show their wares to thousands of people who crowded into the downtown park. The annual event is in its 56th year and just keeps getting bigger. "I think it gets bigger every year, for sure,” said Hope Hoseck, who went to Art in the Park. “Which is a good thing. It's a good opportunity for lots of local artists and vendors to come out and showcase their stuff. So, it's great."

BBC News - World record attempt for most expensive cheese sandwich

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11 September 2010 Last updated at 11:46 ET Share this page Facebook Share Email Print World record attempt for most expensive cheese sandwich Click to play Click to play Advertisement Chef Martin Blunos describes why the sandwich is so expensive A cheese show in Somerset is hoping to set the record for the world's most expensive cheese sandwich. The Frome Cheese Show claims to be the oldest in the country. And organisers hope its cheese sandwich, costing £110.59, is the world's most expensive. It was created by Bath-based chef Martin Blunos and is made with cheddar blended with white truffles and sprinkled with gold dust. There is no current official record for the most expensive cheese sandwich. Mr Blunos said: "We Brits are known to love our cheese sandwiches and here's on

BBC News - Anti-Pope rhetoric is overdone says Vatican

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11 September 2010 Last updated at 08:01 ET Share this page Facebook Share Email Print Anti-Pope rhetoric is overdone says Vatican By David Willey BBC News, Rome Pope Benedict is not officially scheduled to meet with victims of clerical sexual abuse while in Britain The Vatican is playing down fears over 'No Popery' demonstrations planned during the State visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland and England, which starts on Thursday. Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's official spokesman, told journalists that in the view of the Holy See, the British media have exaggerated the extent of local opposition to the four-day visit. Neither the Papal visit's estimated cost of more than £17m for security and logistics, nor its jogging of memories of past religious and political disput

Op-Ed Columnist - The Genteel Nation

Most people who lived in the year 1800 were scarcely richer than people who lived in the year 100,000 B.C. Their diets were no better. They were no taller, and they did not live longer. Then, sometime around 1800, economic growth took off — in Britain first, then elsewhere. How did this growth start? In his book “The Enlightened Economy,” Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University argues that the crucial change happened in people’s minds. Because of a series of cultural shifts, technicians started taking scientific knowledge and putting it to practical use. For example, entrepreneurs applied geological research to the businesses of mining and transportation. Britain soon dominated the world. But then it declined. Again, the crucial change was in people’s minds. As the historian Correlli Barnett chronicled, the great-great-grandchildren of the empire builders withdrew from commerce, tried to rise above practical knowledge and had more genteel attitudes about how to live. This

German Identity, Long Dormant, Reasserts Itself

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via nytimes.com Cool. The past is the past. While we're wisest if we don't repeat it's mistakes, we cannot thrive living in the shadow of it's tragedies. Posted via email from Peace Jaway

Wealth Matters - A Year to Give to Your Heirs, and Save on Taxes

THE estate tax is a great wedge issue in a politically polarized time. Take this oft-cited example: If a billionaire dies this year, no estate tax will be paid, but the estate of someone with more than $1 million who dies next year will pay a 55 percent tax on that extra amount. That seems arbitrary if not bizarre, but such is the tax regime unless Congress changes it. A bigger issue as 2010 winds down, however, has become the gift tax, which is linked to the estate tax to prevent people from giving away their fortune in life to avoid taxes at death. It now stands at 35 percent, the lowest rate since the 1930s. And since a retroactive reinstatement of the estate and gift taxes appears unlikely — or will be contested in the courts for years — the wealthy are starting to look at making large gifts this year to reduce their estates later. But why would they voluntarily pay a 35 percent gift tax now when they could roll the dice and end up paying less when they die? Because this

Your Money - Testing Software to Write Wills on the Home Computer

I drafted my will four times this week — not because I was obsessed with the macabre, but because I wanted to test how computer-generated wills would fare under human scrutiny. I confess that I didn’t have a will before I set out on this exercise, so I was a pretty good test case. Also, I was willing to endure what turned out to be a tedious exercise. So here’s what I did: After testing four programs, I asked an estate -planning lawyer to look over the final drafts for errors or potential issues. The verdict? Only after I tested all of the online services and analyzed their differences did I really feel as if I had a solid handle on the options available to me and what might be missing. That’s not to say that three of my four wills weren’t perfectly fine legal documents. But even though they seemed easy to draft, I still needed a lawyer to help decode some seemingly standard clauses and their consequences in my home state of New York. Laura M. Twomey, a partner in

China Explores a Frontier 2 Miles Deep

When three Chinese scientists plunged to the bottom of the South China Sea in a tiny submarine early this summer, they did more than simply plant their nation’s flag on the dark seabed. The men, who descended more than two miles in a craft the size of a small truck, also signaled Beijing’s intention to take the lead in exploring remote and inaccessible parts of the ocean floor, which are rich in oil, minerals and other resources that the Chinese would like to mine. And many of those resources happen to lie in areas where China has clashed repeatedly with its neighbors over territorial claims. After the flag planting, which was done in secret but recorded in a video , Beijing quickly turned the feat of technology into a show of bravado. “It is a great achievement,” Liu Feng, director of the dives, was quoted as saying by China Daily , an English-language newspaper, which telegraphs government positions to the outside world. The global seabed is littered with what expe

Boiseans launch online service to assist caregivers | Business | Idaho Statesman

Caring for an elderly parent or a special-needs child doesn't just demand reservoirs of emotion and energy. It also saps your available time and creates whirlwinds of medical, financial and practical information that need to be wrangled and organized. Two Boise couples who've experienced those challenges firsthand translated that need into an online organizational tool they hope will reach thousands of caregivers nationwide. Barbara and Dan Henderson and Carrie and Dean Hastriter launched Caregiver's Touch this past May as a Web-based program and an iPhone application. So far they have a couple of hundred subscribers and are forging deals with home-care providers, Barbara Henderson said. All four founders have seen the frustrations of caregiving up close - the Hastriters with elderly grandparents and the Hendersons with an infant son beset by medical problems. Their 2-year-old son, Jack, is doing fine now but spent about nine months of his infancy in and out of hos

Afghanistan: Whistleblower Claims Many US Interpreters Can't Speak Afghan Languages - ABC News

More than one quarter of the translators working alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan failed language proficiency exams but were sent onto the battlefield anyway, according to a former employee of the company that holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion to supply interpreters to the U.S. Army. "I determined that someone -- and I didn't know [who] at that time -- was changing the grades from blanks or zeros to passing grades," said Paul Funk, who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for the Columbus, Ohio-based contractor, Mission Essential Personnel. "Many who failed were marked as being passed." After being asked about the allegations, U.S. Army officials confirmed to ABC News they are investigating the company. Funk outlined his claims in a whistleblower lawsuit unsealed earlier this year against Mission Essential Personnel, saying the company turned a blind eye to cheating on language exams taken over the phone and hired applican

Afghanistan: Whistleblower Claims Many US Interpreters Can't Speak Afghan Languages - ABC News

More than one quarter of the translators working alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan failed language proficiency exams but were sent onto the battlefield anyway, according to a former employee of the company that holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion to supply interpreters to the U.S. Army. "I determined that someone -- and I didn't know [who] at that time -- was changing the grades from blanks or zeros to passing grades," said Paul Funk, who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for the Columbus, Ohio-based contractor, Mission Essential Personnel. "Many who failed were marked as being passed." After being asked about the allegations, U.S. Army officials confirmed to ABC News they are investigating the company. Funk outlined his claims in a whistleblower lawsuit unsealed earlier this year against Mission Essential Personnel, saying the company turned a blind eye to cheating on language exams taken over the phone and hired applican

Tractor Beams Get Real: Energy Ray Moves Tiny Objects | Tech News Daily

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The tractor beam in action suspends a small particle over an optics table. Credit: Courtesy of the Australian National University Tractor beams, energy rays that can move objects, are a science fiction mainstay. But now they are becoming a reality -- at least for moving very tiny objects. Researchers from the Australian National University have announced that they have built a device that can move small particles a meter and a half using only the power of light. Physicists have been able to manipulate tiny particles over miniscule distances by using lasers for years. Optical tweezers that can move particles a few millimeters are common. Andrei Rhode, a researcher involved with the project, said that existing optical tweezers are able to move particles the size of a bacterium a few millimeters in a liquid. Their new technique can move objects one hundred times that size over a distance of a meter or more. The device works by shining a hollow laser beam around tiny glas

Idaho officials take aim at pot substitute 'Spice' | Treasure Valley Crime | Idaho Statesman

The merchants who sell "Spice" in the Treasure Valley say it is meant to be burned as incense - not smoked as a substitute for marijuana. Each jar or package sold has a disclaimer that reads "not for human consumption." One store owner told the Idaho Statesman "It's aromatherapy, dude!" before hanging up the phone without further comment last week. But a coalition of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and members of state government say the mixture of herbs - sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to the chemical THC found in marijuana - is being used, and sold, as a marijuana substitute. They fear it could cause serious health problems to unsuspecting teens and young adults, and they want it banned in the state. The Drug Enforcement Agency has labeled Spice "a drug of concern" and says it can cause seizures, high blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Spice use is now banned in 11 states, including Utah. Boise police offi