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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 36,566

Journal Archives

Mars Colonization: 200,000 People Apply To Live On Red Planet

Plans to colonize Mars are set to proceed after 200,000 people applied to live on the Red Planet, even though they won’t ever return to Earth if they actually go.

The Mars One foundation announced on Tuesday that their planned expedition, which will see four individuals sent to Mars, has secured its lead suppliers for a 2018 unmanned mission. Elements needed for this trip included a communications satellite and a robotic lander.

If this first mission proves to be successful then they plan to send a manned shuttle to Mars in 2025. It’s believed that The Mars One foundation hopes that 2018′s journey will demonstrate the technology that human settlement can be achieved on Mars.

This is the first privately funded exploration mission of Mars, with the funds coming from partners and sponsors.

Bans Lansdorp, Mars One’s CEO, confirmed that over 200,000 have applied for the project since it was announced in April. The application window has now closed, but individuals selected for Round 2 will be informed by the end of this year.

Applicants are apparently fine with the knowledge that they would have to live out the rest of their lives on the Red Planet. This is because a one-way journey there severely reduces the company’s costs, plus there’s also the major factor that there’s no Kennedy Space Center launch pad on Mars at the moment.


I'm tempted because it would allow me to get away from the nutbars here once and for all, but there's no guarantee that I wouldn't be stuck with a different set of nutbars on Mars...

William Browder: The man behind the Magnitsky List

Browder got the phone call in the early morning of 17 November 2009. It was an unseasonably warm day in London, and he was still in bed.

A colleague told him the news. Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who had uncovered what he said was a $230m (£140m) tax refund fraud in Moscow and was being held in a detention centre, was dead.

Years later Browder still remembers how he felt when he heard. "It was like a knife in the heart," he said.

Browder got out of bed and raced to the offices of his hedge fund company, Hermitage Capital, in the Golden Square area of London. He sent out a press statement pledging an independent investigation into Magnitsky's death.

On that day and in the years that followed, Browder approached the case in the way he was trained at Stanford business school - methodically. He analysed documents and focused on the money.

Browder pushed people in Washington to support a bill, the Magnitsky Act, that was signed into law in December 2012. It featured a list of 18 individuals, including three from Russia's interior ministry. Magnitsky's List, as it is known, includes people "who signed the documents", claimed Browder, that led to the lawyer's imprisonment and death.

The US government will deny visas to these individuals, if they request one, as well as freeze assets in the US.


Admitted child abuser keeps his Navy career


When a Navy officer was accused of sexually molesting two of his children, city social workers investigated and concluded that the allegations were credible. They placed his name on the State Child Abuse and Neglect Registry.

He was forbidden under court order from going within 2 miles of the home, school or workplace of any of his four children until they turn 18.

But when the Navy examined the same allegations, the result was the opposite. The officer was cleared. He has faced no criminal prosecution. To the contrary, he has been promoted and allowed to stay in his $96,000-a-year job unhindered.

Meanwhile, the Navy lieutenant is divorcing his wife, who has been left destitute. The family home in Virginia Beach has been lost to foreclosure. The wife and four children have moved five times in four years, ending up in a cockroach-infested motel room at the Oceanfront, where they live among the homeless and drug addicts.

The judge in the divorce case, persuaded that the allegations were impeding the officer's Navy career, has declared his wife in contempt of court and sentenced her to 10 days in jail - time that she will have to serve unless she pays a $5,000 fine.

She has no money to pay the fine. She is barely able to feed her children.

How could this happen?


I finally saw "Rear Window" for the first time...

Who knew this "Grace Kelly" was such a hottie?

Man puts wife up for sale along with Harley:

Bob White, of Charles City, Virgina, posted an ad on craigslist reading: "Wife says: 'Harley goes or she goes'... Your choice. Both in excellent condition: $5,900."

Mr White says he will consider best offers under his target price and also trade-ins. He is also offering either a pick-up or delivery service.

His humourous ad reads: "Sportster: 2006 XL1200L Sportster in excellent condition. Wife: 1959 model year in excellent condition, considering.

"Sportster: Only 6,500 miles (less than 900 miles per year!). Wife: High Mileage.

"Sportster: Well maintained... and it shows - see the pictures. Wife: High maintenance - and it shows - see the pictures."

He goes on to describe the Harley as "great for beginners or seasoned riders alike" and a "beautiful bike, pearl white with black and orange accent strips".

While his wife, who he does not name, is described as "the expert's only model" and "beautiful edition, white with a mean streak".

And he concludes: "Sportster: Come out and test ride before you buy. Wife: Don't even go there."



I'll hazard a guess and say Bob White of Charles City is the DUer we call "underpants"

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the 2015 Ford Mustang:


I drive an '11 and my reaction to this is kinda mixed at the moment....

32 Mugshots of Black Men on Cover of Tenn. Newspaper Cause Uproar

Tenn. Paper Catches Heat for Front Page Array of Mug Shots

"On Nov. 5, the Times Free Press published a front-page story about the arrests of 32 men charged with gun and drug crimes after a four-year local and federal investigation. Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd called the suspects the 'worst of the worst' in Chattanooga's criminals," Alison Gerber, editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee, wrote to readers on Sunday.

"We heard no reaction from readers. Not a peep.

"On Nov. 17, the newspaper published a second front-page story about the suspects and their criminal histories. This time, we were barraged with feedback. Some of the words used to describe the report: irresponsible, distasteful, racist.

"The difference? The second story included the mugshots of all 32 suspects. And the photos highlighted something: All 32 suspects are black men.

"See their faces all in one grouping and you can't ignore that. You can't just shrug it off.

"It was an in-your-face presentation, and some readers thought it was a mistake, that we should not have published the mugshots at all. Even some in the newsroom disagreed with the decision to run them — or thought we should have placed them on an inside page where they wouldn't be as noticeable and would be seen by fewer people.

"Many argued with the choice to refer to the men as the 'worst of the worst,' even though those words were chosen by Dodd, a man who's been in law enforcement for a quarter of a century.

"The combination of those two things — the photos of 32 faces and the label 'worst of the worst' — prompted a visceral reaction.


Talking Trayvon with kids isn't exclusive to African-American parents

(CNN) -- Amiyrah Martin of Edison, New Jersey, an African-American mom of two, says she and her husband are still trying to figure out how to sit their 8-year-old son down and explain the Trayvon Martin case and its conclusion -- without getting emotional.

"My biggest issue is ... giving him the facts rather than getting upset and giving him how I feel, because I want him to come to his own consensus," the host of the blog Four Hats and Frugal said in an interview. "My husband is the same way. He's very emotional about it ... so he doesn't want him to think, 'Well, Dad feels this way so I should.' He wants him to create his own opinion."

When Martin, who is not related to Trayvon Martin's family, ultimately has the conversation with her little guy, who always "likes to know the why," he'll no doubt ask about race, she said.

"We're going to have to tell him that it may have been due to Trayvon's race, and this is how it happened, and this is how George Zimmerman decided to react to it," she said. "It's going to be very hard to sit him down and have the conversation, but we know we have to do it."

While not everyone agrees that Martin was racially profiled, the case and the protests that followed have led to larger conversations between parents and kids. Some are focusing on race -- Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic, so it's not just a black and white issue. Still, others aren't even talking about race but are focusing on behavior.


Oh, there's a word to describe those who still claim he wasn't profiled...

Shannon Harkins, the face of African American ballet dancers’ struggle

The Washington Ballet rehearsal studio is warm and humid from bodies in motion. Overhead lights reflect the sheen on the young dancers’ foreheads, and for the fourth time, Shannon Harkins and her fellow “Nutcracker” castmates have to start their routine again.

“Can you soft! Soft!” demands teacher Vladi­mir Djouloukhadze, demonstrating to the group the artistic, “flowy” hands the Chinese scene calls for — a nearly imperceptible difference from what the dancers had been doing. He runs over to Harkins. “Always keep this vertical,” he barks, straightening the umbrella she carries while she dances on point.

Harkins, 13, nods. She doesn’t especially like being singled out, although in the elite world of ballet, she is often singular. “Again,” says Djouloukhadze, and the dancers from the first cast — who dance the premiere shows with the company stars — scramble back into their starting positions.

Shannon is the only African American girl in the lineup.

This is Harkins’s eighth year at the Washington School of Ballet and her seventh year in “The Nutcracker.” She’s been a party girl, a soldier, a butterfly. She’s a Chinese girl in this year’s production, but she’s aiming for corps of ballet roles, such as a snowflake. After that, she wants a professional role such as the Sugar Plum Fairy.


Memphis Officials Propose an African-American Trail

Memphis, Tenn., officials have pitched the idea of an African-American historical trail to the City Council, the Associated Press reports.

The trail, which would be dedicated to black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., would include new monuments around the downtown area, according to the AP.

Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb reportedly said that the concept for the trail, which was still in its early stages, includes new monuments in the downtown area that visitors could learn about with the help of a cellphone app. Officials are looking for grants to absorb the cost of the trail.

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