Showing posts from December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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- Dazzling Christmas Constellations Visible in the Winter Sky

The Yuletide evening sky should provide a dazzling sight for anyone willing to brave the cold this season. The eastern sky is filled with brilliant stars, creating a sort of celestial Christmas tree . This December 2010 sky map  depicts a view of some of the constellations visible on Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. Distinctive groupings of stars forming parts of recognized constellations, or lying within their boundaries, are known as asterisms. Ranging in size from sprawling naked eye figures to minute stellar arrangements, they are found in every quarter of the sky and at all seasons of the year.  The larger asterisms – ones such as the Big Dipper in Ursa Major and the Great Square of Pegasus – are often better known than their host constellations. One of the most famous asterisms is in the northwest sky these frosty evenings.  [ Top 10 Winter Sky Targets ] The Northern Cross Originally known simply as "the Bird" in ancient times

Iran Stops Sending Fuel, Afghanistan Says

KABUL, Afghanistan — Government officials expressed alarm on Wednesday about what they described as Iran ’s unexplained ban on fuel exports to Afghanistan , asserting that at least 1,400 loaded tankers were parked on Iran’s side of three border crossings. Abdul Karim Barahwe, the governor of Nimroz Province in western Afghanistan, said the Iranian authorities had started halting tankers bound for Afghanistan about 10 days ago. The effect is driving up fuel prices just as winter is setting in. “We really don’t know the exact cause of the ban; Iran doesn’t officially say the cause of the ban,” he said. Now, he said, both the Interior and Commerce Ministries, as well as President Hamid Karzai ’s office, “are trying to sort out this problem with Iran.” The governor said that tankers full of fuel were backed up at the border crossings of Nimroz, Farah and Islam Qala. There has been no word in Iran about a ban on Afghanistan-bound fuel.

OUR VIEW: Are these appointees arbiters, or advocates? | Editorials | Idaho Statesman

R oyce Chigbrow worked more than 40 years as a certified public accountant, a sound professional background for a State Tax Commission appointee. Chigbrow’s political ties are also a matter of public record. He has served as campaign treasurer for Republican candidates, including Butch Otter. In 2006, Chigbrow ran for state controller, losing in the GOP primary. A year later, Otter appointed Chigbrow to a full-time job on the Tax Commission. As one of the state’s four tax umpires, is Chigbrow rendering professional decisions, or decisions tainted by personal and political ties? The answer reflects not only on Chigbrow, but on an embattled commission. According to an Associated Press story last week, Tax Commission employees say Chigbrow interceded on behalf of some of his son’s clients, over the objection of agency workers. His son, Cordell Chigbrow, has followed his father into the field of accounting and into the political arena; the younger Chigbrow has served as treasurer

DVR Users Watch More TV, Just Not Live TV

For years, TV execs fretted that DVR usage was cutting into the amount of time spent watching commercials. Now there’s some evidence that not only do DVRs contribute to more TV viewing, but they also add more commercial time. Nearly 40 percent of all U.S. households now have a DVR, according to data released by Nielsen on Tuesday, and those DVR viewers make up an ever-growing portion of overall TV viewing. In fact, Nielsen reports that when DVR playback is counted, those users actually watch more primetime TV than non-DVR owners. When DVR usage is counted among households that own one, it adds 7.9 ratings points to their viewing. Despite the fact that non-DVR users watch more TV live, those with time-shifted device watched nearly a full ratings point more TV in total. Not just that, but viewers tend to watch shows not long after they’re recorded. Nearly half of all DVR viewing happens the same night that a show is recorded, and almost 90 percent of all t

Audrey Louise Reynolds - A Dyed and True Imprint

IT is rare for fabric makers to get much buzz, let alone credit in fashion bibles like Vogue and Lucky magazines. But Audrey Louise Reynolds, a 27-year-old self-taught designer who lives in Brooklyn, has emerged as the fashion world’s artisanal fabric dyer. Her earthy, one-of-a-kind dyes, which she makes in small batches in her backyard in Red Hook, Brooklyn, using only natural and organic ingredients like bark and squid ink, have earned her a loyal following. Avant-garde designers like Rogan, Loomstate, No. 6, Bodkin and Wendy Nichol commission her to create unique colors and patterns. For Rogan, Ms. Reynolds suffused a floor-length silk dress using five types of gray dye, including one made from recycled rubber tires that she dip-dyed, splattered and over-dyed to create deep waves of color. For Wendy Nichol, she soaked the designer’s leather tote bags, creating a light wash that wrinkled the leather. She accentuated the look with hand-painted accents and used

Google Adds the Human Body to Its Search Functions

On Dec. 16, Google released the first version of its Body Browser , a simulation of the human body. Users can travel, as in the 1980s classic “Innerspace,” through various layers of human anatomy, zooming in on internal organs, navigating around bones and peeling back layers of the human body until all that’s left are the stringy tangles of the nervous system. The Body Browser works only in browsers that support WebGL, a new 3-D graphics tool that is appearing in the latest versions of popular browsers like Chrome 9 Beta from Google and Firefox 4 Beta. With WebGL, users do not need plug-ins like Flash or Java — the browser itself can handle complex graphics tasks. The Body Browser is still a work in progress. Presently, only a female figure is available, and some of the controls are a bit balky. But the ability to zoom straight into a body and fly through it is remarkable — not to mention addictive. via Posted via email from Peace Jaway

The Ayres'

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