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By Admin (from 06/10/2011 @ 14:00:43, in en - Global Observatory, read 382 times)

Prior to this discovery, such alloys were only able to revert to their original form in the much narrower range of -20 to 80 degrees Celsius. They have published their findings in the journal Science.

Superelastic alloys are metals that revert naturally back to their original shape after being bent or deformed by outside forces once those forces are removed, and are generally created by mixing two or more other metals together in certain combinations.

In this new effort, the research team added a small amount of nickel to an iron based alloy, which according to lead author Toshihiro Omori, in an email interview with Reuters, says makes their product far more elastic than anything else out there. He also said that because the ingredients for the new metal are plentiful, the resultant alloy should be very cheap to produce.

The reason that superelastic allows are able to revert to their prior shape is due to their unique crystal structure that allows all of the atoms it’s made of to shift as one when a force is applied, as opposed to normal metals where the force is diffused through the crystal structure changing it’s composition.

Superelastic alloys are used in many applications such as eyeglasses, antennas, and medical tools and equipment. Omori, says he hopes that this new alloy, because of its ability to revert in virtually any real world temperature conditions, can be used in buildings to protect against earthquake damage, or in other applications where things get hot under stress, such as in cars, airplanes and spacecraft.

Because many tall buildings are supported by metal beams, the thinking goes, if the those metal beams were made of a superelastic alloy, they would be able to snap back to their original positions after each gyration of the ground, rather than suffering compound trauma as the quake continues, making it much less likely that the building would crumble or fall.

Source: PhysOrg

 
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The New York Times reported Thursday that Tristane Banon, the French journalist who has accused disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting to rape her back in 2003, was questioned jointly with DSK at a Paris police station for over two hours. This, of course, is on the heels of the high-profile rape allegations against DSK made by a hotel maid in the U.S. According to the Times, "The joint questioning, a normal part of sexual assault cases in France, could represent a last legal step for prosecutors before either bringing formal charges, or dropping the case." How does this joint questioning work?

Cécile Dehesdin, a reporter at Slate's French sister site, Slate.fr, says that this joint questioning isn't mandatory. If the accused rapist denies the charges, according to a French organization for women devoted to helping rape victims, the alleged victim can accept the joint questioning, refuse it outright, or ask that the face-to-face happen, not with the police, but with the judge who will eventually be in charge of investigating the case. In France, unlike in the U.S., the judge (juge d'instruction) is in charge of investigating for both the alleged victim and the accused. DSK has called Banon's accusations of rape "imaginary and slanderous" in a recent interview. For her part, Banon has always said she relished the idea of facing DSK in person:

The police asked me if i'd agree to a face to face, of course I said yes. I'd like him to be facing me and telling me to my face that those are imaginary facts. I'd like to see him try and say that.

In this joint questioing, Dehesdin points out, the victim and alleged attacker are in the same room, but they don't address each other directly. They just answer the police or judge's questions. Whoever has conducted the questioning gives the information to the district attorney, who then decides if there is enough evidence to move forward with the case (updated to add: if the juge d'instruction has done the questioning, he doesn't need permission from the DA to pursue the case).

Even if the D.A. decides not to pursue the case, Banon has some recourse. Since she was questioned by police, she could refile the criminal complaint along with a civil complaint, and at that point the juge d'instruction would have to investigate. According to press reports in France, DSK did admit that he made a pass at her.

Source: Slate.com

 
By Admin (from 29/09/2011 @ 21:34:12, in en - Global Observatory, read 783 times)

A continuous and repetitive thread in the commentary on the decade since 9/11 — one might almost call it an endless and open-ended theme — was the plaintive observation that the struggle against al-Qaeda and its surrogates is somehow a “war without end.” (This is variously rendered as “perpetual war” or “endless war,” just as anti-war articles about the commitment to Iraq used to relentlessly stress the idea that there was “no end in sight.”)

I find it rather hard to see the force of this objection, or indeed this description. Was there ever a time when we involved ourselves in combat, or found ourselves involved, with any certain advance knowledge about the timeline and duration of hostilities? Are there two kinds of war, one of them term-limited? A bit like that other tempting but misleading separation of categories — between “wars of choice” and “wars of necessity” — this proves upon closer scrutiny to be a distinction without much difference.

In order even to aspire to such a nebulous timeline, there would first have to be consensus on when the war actually started. For example, I would say that hostilities between the United States and Saddam Hussein began in the early 1990s, if only at a relatively low level, after he had violated all the conditions of the cease-fire that had allowed him to retain power in 1991, and after he had begun regularly firing upon the planes that patrolled and enforced the cease-fire and the “no-fly” zones. For more than a decade, the only response to this was more air patrols and a reliance on a crumbling regime of sanctions. That really was a case of “no end in sight.” But something tells me that this is not the sort of example that my opponents have in mind.

Then again, one might ask how long we have been at war with al-Qaeda or its equivalents. Since the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993? Since the destruction of the U.S. embassies in Africa? Since the near-sinking of the USS Cole in Aden harbor in 2000? Even to invite these questions is to arouse the unnerving suspicion that there was quite a long period during which al-Qaeda was at war with us, but we did not understand that we were at war with it. It was precisely that queasy feeling that was beginning to creep over some of us a while before the events of a decade ago dispelled most doubts. And it would have been just as true to say “no end in sight” on Sept. 12, 2001, as it would be to say it today — more true, if anything. So once again, those who want to set the clock must be crystal clear about when they think the confrontation started running.

Attitudes toward length are often a good clue to attitudes toward outcome. During the Bosnian conflict, those of us who favoured using force to lift the siege of Sarajevo were accused of advocating a tactic that would “lengthen” the war. Even in the trivial sense of being true by definition (anything that denied Gen. Ratko Mladic a cheap, easy and swift victory over civilians was necessarily war-prolonging to some extent), this wasn’t true in any serious way. The relatively brief bombardment of Serbian artillery positions had the effect of exposing the hollowness of Mladic’s military strength: Within an amazingly short time, Slobodan Milosevic himself was at Dayton asking for terms. One might phrase it like this: Intervention slightly lengthened hostilities in the short term, but drastically shortened them in the long term. (Milosevic later misinterpreted the Dayton agreements as lenience and tried to repeat his Bosnian tactics in Kosovo. But even if this could be construed as war-prolonging, it also led to the eventual defeat of his army and overthrow of his regime, and thus to a conclusive finish.)

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore/Getty Images

A U.S. Marine runs to avoid sniper fire during an operation in Ramadi on Jan. 17, 2007, in the Anbar province of Iraq.

Arguments about duration are often of great historical significance, going far beyond the battles of mere hindsight. For instance, the conventional wisdom among historians holds that United States military intervention in Europe in 1917 had the salutary effect of persuading the German high command that, with another fresh and well-equipped force deployed against it, it could not hope to prevail against the British and French alliance. But another explanation of the same events shows the war on the Western Front actually being prolonged. Before President Woodrow Wilson abandoned neutrality and committed American forces in strength, the Germans had been fighting with exceptional success. Their prowess had led to calls, especially in London, for a negotiated peace. But the arrival of a new ally dissipated all such talk and compelled the Germans to fight until the bitter end. Not only that, but when peace terms were finally discussed, the French were allowed and enabled to press their most vindictive economic and territorial claims against Germany. That the Versailles Treaty led to the rise of Naziism and thus to the “Second” World War, or rather Part 2 of the first one, is a conclusion that few historians now dispute. So short-war advocates should know to beware of what they ask for.

A final objection to the dogma of brief engagements is more commonsensical. On the whole, perhaps it is best not to tell your opponent in advance of the date when you plan to withdraw your forces. Many American generals, we understand, were critical of the president’s original decision to announce a deadline for the endgame in Afghanistan. Certainly, there seem to be upsetting signs of Afghan national army units, in particular, basing their calculations on who can be counted on to be still present as the months go by. Difficult to blame people for consulting their own self-interest in this blunt way.

Human history seems to register many more years of conflict than of tranquillity. In one sense, then, it is fatuous to whine that war is endless. We do have certain permanent enemies—the totalitarian state; the nihilist/terrorist cell—with which “peace” is neither possible nor desirable. Acknowledging this, and preparing for it, might give us some advantages in a war that seems destined to last as long as civilization is willing to defend itself.

Source: Slate.com

 

A new analysis by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) now is challenging that notion, one widely held in both the United States and China.

Well before mid-century, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab's China Energy Group, that nation's energy use will level off, even as its population edges past 1.4 billion. "I think this is very good news,'' says Mark Levine, co-author of the report, "China's Energy and Carbon Emissions Outlook to 2050," and director of the group. "There's been a perception that China's rising prosperity means runaway growth in energy consumption. Our study shows this won't be the case."
Along with China's rise as a world economic power have come a rapid climb in energy use and a related boost in human-made carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, China overtook the United States in 2007 as the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases.

Yet according to this new forecast, the steeply rising curve of energy demand in China will begin to moderate between 2030 and 2035 and flatten thereafter. There will come a time -- within the next two decades -- when the number of people in China acquiring cars, larger homes, and other accouterments of industrialized societies will peak. It's a phenomenon known as saturation. "Once nearly every household owns a refrigerator, a washing machine, air conditioners and other appliances, and once housing area per capita has stabilized, per household electricity growth will slow,'' Levine explains.

Similarly, China will reach saturation in road and rail construction before the 2030-2035 time frame, resulting in very large decreases in iron and steel demand. Additionally, other energy-intensive industries will see demand for their products flatten.

The Berkeley Lab report also anticipates the widespread use of electric cars, a significant drop in reliance on coal for electricity generation, and a big expansion in the use of nuclear power -- all helping to drive down China's CO2 emissions. Although China has temporarily suspended approvals of new nuclear power plant construction in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the long-range forecast remains unchanged.

Key to the new findings is a deeper look at patterns of energy demand in China: a "bottom-up" modeling system that develops projections of energy use in far greater detail than standard methods and which is much more time- and labor-intensive to undertake. Work on the project has been ongoing for the last four years. "Other studies don't have this kind of detail,'' says Levine. "There's no model outside of China that even comes close to having this kind of information, such as our data on housing stock and appliances."
Not only does the report examine demand for appliances such as refrigerators and fans, it also makes predictions about adoption of improvements in the energy efficiency of such equipment -- just as Americans are now buying more efficient washing machines, cars with better gas-mileage, and less power-hungry light bulbs.

Berkeley Lab researchers Nan Zhou, David Fridley, Michael McNeil, Nina Zheng, and Jing Ke co-authored the report with Levine. Their study is a "scenario analysis" that forecasts two possible energy futures for China, one an "accelerated improvement scenario" that assumes success for a very aggressive effort to improve energy efficiency, the other a more conservative "continued improvement scenario" that meets less ambitious targets. Yet both of these scenarios, at a different pace, show similar moderation effects and a flattening of energy consumption well before 2050.

Under the more aggressive scenario, energy consumption begins to flatten in 2025, just 14 years from now. The more conservative scenario sees energy consumption rates beginning to taper in 2030. By the mid-century mark, energy consumption under the "accelerated improvement scenario" will be 20 percent below that of the other.

Scenario analysis is also used in more conventional forecasts, but these are typically based on macroeconomic variables such as gross domestic product and population growth. Such scenarios are developed "without reference to saturation, efficiency, or usage of energy-using devices, e.g., air conditioners,'' says the Berkeley Lab report. "For energy analysts and policymakers, this is a serious omission, in some cases calling into question the very meaning of the scenarios.''

The new Berkeley Lab forecast also uses the two scenarios to examine CO2 emissions anticipated through 2050. Under the more aggressive scenario, China's emissions of the greenhouse gas are predicted to peak in 2027 at 9.7 billion metric tons. From then on, they will fall significantly, to about 7 billion metric tons by 2050. Under the more conservative scenario, CO2 emissions will reach a plateau of 12 billion metric tons by 2033, and then trail down to 11 billion metric tons at mid-century.

Several assumptions about China's efforts to "decarbonize" its energy production and consumption are built into the optimistic forecasts for reductions in the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. They include:

  • A dramatic reduction in coal's share of energy production, to as low as 30 percent by 2050, compared to 74 percent in 2005
  • An expansion of nuclear power from 8 gigwatts in 2005 to 86 gigawatts by 2020, followed by a rise to as much as 550 gigawatts in 2050
  • A switch to electric cars. The assumption is that urban private car ownership will reach 356 million vehicles by 2050. Under the "continued improvement scenario," 30 percent of these will be electric; under the "accelerated improvement scenario," 70 percent will be electric.

The 72-page report by Levine and colleagues at Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division was summarized in a briefing to U.S. Congressional staffers. The study was carried out under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, using funding from the China Sustainable Energy Program, a partnership of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Energy Foundation.
 
Source: ScienceDaily

 

While many people may assume the answer to that provocative and unsettling question is zero, the creators of a new Web site want to demonstrate how forced labor, especially overseas, is tantamount to slavery.

A nonprofit group, with funding from the State Department, will unveil the new site, www.slaveryfootprint.org, on Thursday in an effort to show that forced laborers are tied to all kinds of everyday products, from electronics and jewelry to the shirt on your back.

Ideally, they hope to get consumers engaged enough in the issue to do something about it, primarily hoping people demand that companies carefully audit supply chains to ensure, as best as they can determine, that no “slave labor” was used to manufacture its products.

“What we are trying to do is make it so it’s not just someone else’s business, it’s everyone’s business,” said Luis CdeBaca, ambassador at large for the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. “There’s a horror about it when they figure out what is going on.”

The slavery footprint is a twist on the more commonly known carbon footprint, and the new site tries to point out areas of a consumer’s life where the organization believes slavery is most likely used to manufacture products.

Slavery Footprint defines a slave as “anyone who is forced to work without pay, being economically exploited and is unable to walk away.” The State Department estimates that there are 27 million slaves globally. The Web site steers users through a set of prompts, where they can define where they live, the type of dwelling they live in, how many children they have, how many cars they use, what they eat and what types of things they have bought.

Sprinkled throughout are grim notations about slave labor and human trafficking, like this one: “In China, soccer ball manufacturers work up to 21 hours in a day, for a month straight. Even the toughest American coaches wouldn’t ask that from their squads.”

Or this claim: “Every day tens of thousands of American women buy makeup. Every day tens of thousands of Indian children mine mica, which is the little sparkles in the makeup.”

The site also asks users how many times they have paid for sex. While there is no way to answer, the site notes that people who pay for sex contribute to the demand for sexual trafficking.

Although the Web site had a few kinks before its official introduction, it informed me that I had 76 slaves working on my behalf, well above the average of 55.

The site was created by the Fair Trade Fund, a California-based nonprofit group that uses media to promote advocacy on issues, particularly human slavery. Among its projects are “Call + Response,” a documentary on the slave trade, and chainstorereaction.com, a Web site that encourages consumers to send electronic letters to companies challenging them to define their policies on human trafficking.

The companies’ responses, or lack thereof, are posted on the Web site.

Based on the movie and the Web site, the State Department sought out the Fair Trade Fund to create the Slavery Footprint site and provided it with a $200,000 grant.

Justin Dillon, 42, the organization’s chief executive, said the Slavery Footprint site did not make specific companies its targets. Instead, it shows consumers which products they use are most likely to involve forced labor.

He said a mobile application would allow consumers to find information on products at the point of purchase, and send companies electronic letters asking about their policies on slave labor. Those letters will also be sent to all of the consumers’ Facebook friends, in the hopes of applying consumer pressure for changes in practices. “Really the goal is to amplify the conversation between the consumer and the producer,” Mr. Dillon said. “Our torches and pitchforks are out for the slave traders, not the multinationals.”

Ideally, he said companies would hire third-party auditors to determine if their supply chains were employing slave labor.

The Slavery Footprint application is being started nearly a year after California passed a law that requires companies with global sales in excess of $100 million who do business in the state to disclose what efforts they have made to eliminate forced labor from their supply chains.

Some business groups opposed the measure, saying it unfairly tagged companies for “failing” on an issue they were powerless to change.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the United States Chamber of Commerce said he would not comment because officials at the organization had not yet seen the Slavery Footprint Web site. Mr. CdeBaca said the new grant recognized the need to encourage consumers to put pressure on the marketplace.

“Without some kind of demand, the traffickers wouldn’t be rushing to meet that through coercion and threats,” he said.

Source: finance.yahoo.com

 

The truth is, it doesn't. The one-way mirror and its smaller cousin, the mirrored sunglass lens, rely on lighting imbalances for efficacy. If the cops behind the one-way mirror were as brightly lit as the interrogation room, the suspect would be able to see them just fine.

Microphone in a soundbooth

But materials that genuinely discriminate between the direction of light or sound might be possible, according to a new study. That could make for true one-way mirrors or for directional soundproofing—imagine, for instance, a wall through which sound can enter but not escape

Stefano Lepri of the Italian National Research Council and Giulio Casati of the University of Insubria in Italy and the National University of Singapore have worked out the theoretical groundwork for materials that transmit waves in an asymmetric way, which they report in the April 22 issue of Physical Review Letters.

Their proposal relies on the use of nonlinear materials, in which the response of the material depends on the attributes of the wave passing through it. "When you introduce nonlinear interactions and forces, many of the intuitions we have are no longer valid," Lepri told Physical Review Focus, an American Physical Society publication that highlights studies from affiliated journals and explains them to a wider audience. "We can use this nonlinear interaction to break this fundamental result of reciprocity theory," which demands that all waves get the same transmission treatment regardless of the direction from which they arrive.

By stacking layers of nonlinear materials along with ordinary linear layers in an asymmetric fashion, the researchers have calculated, a wave would be able to pass through in one direction but would almost completely bounce off when it arrives from the other direction. The one-way bias isn't universal, however—the researchers note that each particular implementation would have a sweet spot of wave amplitudes and frequencies for which it would work best.

So far, the finding is based only on numerical simulations rather than laboratory experiments. But if those simulations prove to be a good approximation of real materials, the researchers report, the "results may open the way to novel strategies to control and optimize wave propagation and to design devices for sound or light rectification."

Source: Scientific American

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 2011 Zeitgeist Media Festival, Global:

The Inaugural 2011 Zeitgeist Media Festival Global Event set, which enabled a socially conscience Arts and Media platform across 20 countries, accessing about 10,000 people in person and almost 200,000 through free live Webcasts, was a notable success.

Organized by The Zeitgeist Movement [ www.thezeitgeistmovement.com ], a global, non-profit sustainability advocacy group seeking to change the current social order, this unprecedented concept has generated a resonance that is expected to grow every year as it continues its development. The integrity of the project seems to rest not only with the social intent, but also with the 1000s of Volunteers who worked to make it happen without any financial gain and even severe losses.

In a post event interview with Peter Joseph, the curator/sponsor of the Main Event at Hollywood's "Music Box", he stated "Yeah, I lost about $35,000 dollars when I expected to lose only $10,000. But it was worth every cent for the dedication and commitment of those who helped execute such a large production was unmatched and just glorious. This is what Community is about and we are only just beginning with our efforts to unify the world."

Coupled with its Global Food Drive Initiative via The Zeitgeist Movement's ongoing "Z-Drive", over 12,000 meals were facilitated through regional Food Banks to feed the ever growing the poor and starving population.

"The Zeitgeist Media Festival is a global, Non-profit, multimedia event working to utilize the Arts as an avenue to create sustainable values in the pursuit of a better world. Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, "The Zeitgeist Media Festival" engages the artistic community and their power to changes values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival hopes to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe, suspect or ever dangerous pursuit- but rather the highest and most honorable level of personal/social integrity we have."

Select Links:

Main Website:
zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/The-Zeitgeist-Media-Festival/194115850637429

The Los Angeles Beat:
thelosangelesbeat.com/2011/08/zeitgeist-media-festival-at-the-music-box/

Examiner Interview:
www.examiner.com/local-music-in-los-angeles/peter-joseph-zeitgeist-movement-founder-on-innagural-zeitgeist-media-festival

The Zeitgeist Movement:
www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

 

Case in point, a new article in the Nature Nanotechnology journal details a new nanostructure-based cathode technology developed in Illinois University professor Paul Braun's lab. This new cathode allows extremely fast charging and discharging to the tune of 400C for lithium-ion and 1,000C for NiMH batteries. For those of you who never got into an electric-powered hobby, the "C" simply means the charge (or discharge) rate where 1C equals a charge in one hour. 400C means a full charge in 1/400 of an hour (9 seconds!). Braun figures this translates to practical lithium-ion batteries that could be recharged to 90 percent in two minutes.

With modern lithium-ion batteries on the market today, the ability to charge and discharge rapidly often results in reduced capacity, meaning less range in an EV. This new cathode, however, supposedly does not affect the total capacity, leaving the battery with, as Paul Braun puts, "capacitor-like power with battery-like energy".

It's worth taking a step back at this point and realizing that even if batteries like this were available right now, there is little to no infrastructure in place to allow for recharging at these high power levels. However, having a huge increase in discharge power-density would immediately allow hybrids and plug-ins to have a ton of power available from even a very small pack. This could give new meaning and life to the 'sport hybrid' segment, which we'd be all for.

Source: Autoblog Green

 

A startup called TenKsolar, based in Minneapolis, says it can increase the amount of solar power generated on rooftops by 25 to 50 percent, and also reduce the overall cost of solar power by changing the way solar cells are wired together and adding inexpensive reflectors to gather more light.

TenKsolar says its systems can produce power for as little as eight cents a kilowatt-hour in sunny locations. That's significantly more expensive than electricity from typical coal or natural-gas power plants, but it is less than the average price of electricity in the United States.

Solar cells have become more efficient in recent years, but much of the improvement has gone to waste because of the way solar cells are put together in solar panels, the way the panels are wired together, and the way the electricity is converted into AC power for use in homes or on the grid. Typically, the power output from a string of solar cells is limited by the lowest-performing cell. So if a shadow falls on just one cell in a panel, the power output of the whole system drops dramatically. And failure at any point in the string can shut down the whole system.

Dark Mirror: Solar panels (with silver lines) are paired with reflectors (the solid dark material) to increase the amount of power a rooftop array can generate.

TenKsolar has opted for a more complex wiring system—inspired by a reliable type of computer memory known as RAID (for "redundant array of independent disks"), in which hard disks are connected in ways that maintain performance even if some fail. TenKsolar's design allows current to take many different paths through a solar-panel array, thus avoiding bottlenecks at low-performing cells and making it possible to extract far more of the electricity that the cells produce.

The wiring also makes it practical to attach reflectors to solar panels to gather more light. When solar panels are installed on flat roofs, they're typically mounted on racks that angle them toward the sun, and spaced apart to keep them from shading each other over the course of the day. Reflectors increase the amount of light that hits a solar array, but they reflect the sunlight unevenly. So in a conventional solar array, the output is limited by the cell receiving the least amount of reflected light. The new system can capture all the energy from the extra, reflected light. "The small added cost we put in on the electronics is paid back, plus a bunch, from the fact that we basically take in all of this reflected light," says Dallas Meyer, founder and president of TenKsolar. "We've architected a system that's completely redundant from the cell down to the inverter," he says. "If anything fails in the system, it basically has very low impact on the power production of the array."

The reflectors use a film made by 3M that reflects only selected wavelengths of light, reducing visible glare. The material also reflects less infrared light, which can overheat a solar panel and reduce its performance.

Meyer says the system costs about the same as those made by Chinese manufacturers but produces about 50 percent more power for a given roof area. Power output is about 25 percent higher than from the more expensive, high-performance systems made by SunPower, he says.

The new wiring approach does have a drawback: because it's new, the banks that finance solar-power installations may have doubts that the system will last for the duration of the warranty, and this could complicate financing, says Travis Bradford, an industry analyst and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development.

TenKSolar, which has so far raised $11 million in venture funding and has the capacity to produce 10 to 12 megawatts of systems a year, is working on partnerships with larger companies to help provide financial backing for guarantees of its products.

Source: Technology Review

 

ImageAfter weeks of dithering on the precipice of his own downfall, Silvio Berlusconi tonight survived a crucial vote of confidence, by one of the narrowest possible margins, allowing his government it to push through its proposed package of deeply unpopular austerity measures.

The cutbacks and tax hikes had been demanded by the European Central Bank in exchange for its buy-up of Italian bonds on secondary markets, after markets turned their sights on Italy last month, pushing the government’s borrowing costs close to the level where Greece had previously required an EU bailout.

But as Parliament prepared to vote on the austerity measures, violent clashes broke out between protesters and riot police. Downtown Rome was left billowing in smoke and littered with debris as at least 40 protesters were injured by random rounds of police baton charges.

“The police displayed a disproportionate reaction,” one witness told La Repubblica. “They were hit with batons, even women. A mother, too, was pushed and fell to the ground.” Images on Italian TV showed several people with bleeding head wounds and other injuries.

“And all this,” lamented Luca Cafagna of Unicommon, “because they are protesting against a move that is not shared, that will affect precarious young people, and that will not contribute to development. We need mass mobilizations in the fall,” he concluded, “especially in light of October 15th.”

On that day, mass demonstrations are scheduled to take place around the world to demand global change and an end to the oligarchy of financial elites and their political patrons. Take the Square, the international wing of the 15-M movement in Spain, has transformed itself into the digital hub of these worldwide events.

As the Italian crisis deepens, the people finally appear to be waking up from their deep slumber of political apathy. Tonight’s violence begs the question if Italy may soon be headed down the same road as Greece, where mass resistance to the austerity memorandum has made its implementation virtually impossible.

Either way, whatever happens in coming days and weeks, one thing has now become abundantly clear: the wave of protests and clashes that has been shaking the Mediterranean since the beginning of this year has finally reached the Italian shores. Things could start to get very serious very soon indeed.

Pictures of the clashes here, video here and here (embedding disabled)

Source: WLcentral.org

 

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right on!!
12/07/2014 @ 20:07:45
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Cannabis is the best medicine in nature. Best everything. But shit, thc is important to!
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Keys
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Thanks I was just looking for a recipe - gotta love the way the Spirit moves
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unfortunately that is a reality these days - we humans - especially in the west - only want to hear "a" truth that fits our own limited perspective rather than one that is open & is truth in many ...
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CON L'UMANITŕ COSě MESSA CI MANCANO LE DROGHE ?
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A unique collection of seeds gathered from all corners of the globe, ranging from ephedra to morning glory seeds (Ayahuasca included).

These psychoactive plants and cacti are not only fun to cultivate, they can also provide you with a great psychedelic gift as a reward for the challenge. Mother Nature at her finest!

Azarius offers regular kanna herb as well as a variety of more potent kanna extracts.

These extracts of well-known herbs contain a higher concentration of the active substances which makes their effects stronger than the herbs themselves.

Category lists all our herbs under our Herbs of the Gods label, which includes some potent herbal extracts. Where to Buy?

Turismo Associati's partner shop Azarius offers legal highs, supplements and formulas for whatever mood you're in.

U.S. economy bounces back in second quarter

Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

Argentine debt talks go down to the wire to avert default

Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza refugee camp

Temporary ceasefire near Tripoli blaze, more diplomats flee Libya chaos

Moscow says 'short-sighted' sanctions will aggravate Russia-U.S. ties

Ultimele articole - Antena3.roDeziluzia optica: Colonel si Miaunel

Cameron: Rusia ar putea destabiliza tari precum România în lipsa unei atitudini ferme a UE si SUA

Ministrii, luati de val. Ce GAFE au facut politicienii la inundatii

Premierul Ponta a cerut demisia sefului de la Apele Române

Apa RADIOACTIVA, într-o conducta ce alimenta o localitate din Bulgaria

Anunt supriza pentru fanii filmului Fast and Furious. Cine va juca în noul film, alaturi de Vin Diesel





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