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Name: Brad
Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: Jersey City, NJ
Member since: Sat Mar 15, 2008, 12:21 PM
Number of posts: 11,700

Journal Archives

Video: Maryland Student Hovers 8 Feet High in Human-Powered Helicopter, Smashing Previous Records

Records are made to be broken, and a bunch of students at the University of Maryland are smashing the ones they just set earlier this summer. They're so close to winning the crazy-hard American Helicopter Society's Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter competition — watch an amazing eight-foot flight past the jump.

Henry Enerson, a freshman at UMD, is one of a handful of pilots taking turns furiously pedaling in the cockpit of the Gamera II, a human-powered quadcopter. The team has already met one major requirement of the Sikorsky Prize this week, hovering for 65 seconds. Now if they can hit one minute and get a little higher than 8 feet -- to exactly 3 meters, or 9.8 feet -- they'll win the $250,000 32-year-old prize.

The team has been testing all week but had to take a break for a few hours today so the students could go to class. We're following their progress and we'll update here if they set any further records -- meanwhile, watch Henry's flight below.

More: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-08/video-maryland-student-hovers-8-feet-human-powered-helicopter-smashing-previous-records

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 07:55 PM (0 replies)

"Troubling ineptitude" in security at U.S. nuclear bomb plant

By Roberta Rampton
August 31, 2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Guards at a government plant for storing weapons-grade uranium failed to spot activists, including an 82-year-old nun, who cut through its fences until they walked up to an officer's car and surrendered, an official report said on Friday.

The report from the Energy Department's inspector general, Gregory Friedman, criticized multiple failures of sophisticated security systems and "troubling displays of ineptitude" at the plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in July.

Three anti-nuclear activists, including an 82-year-old nun, were not initially spotted or detained as they cut through three perimeter fences on July 28.

They painted slogans and threw what they said was human blood on the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key component of nuclear bombs, is stored.

More: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-08-31/news/sns-rt-us-usa-security-nuclearbre87u0wa-20120831_1_security-systems-nuclear-weapons-security-features
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:29 PM (0 replies)

Yiddish Curses for GOP Jews

That hot new website making fun of Jewish Republicans? My husband and I made it—and you’re welcome.

By Rachel Shukert
August 30, 2012

You know how it is.

You’re standing in the hallway outside the bathroom watching your husband shave, your always-simmering wrath toward the state of American politics in general and the Republican Party in particular brought to a rolling boil by several cups of coffee drunk at injudicious speed, and you’re both inveighing against certain distant-ish relatives whose ideological leanings are a constant source of ire, wondering aloud what terrible misfortune might need to befall them to bring them around, or at least lay their hypocrisy bare. That they should suffer a catastrophic illness that their insurance refuses to cover, leaving them nothing to be so bent out of shape about re: the estate tax? That they should be so hot for Israel to bomb Iran that their son drops out of medical school to join the IDF? That their son should be elected president and they should have no idea what the hell they did with his birth certificate? And then a light bulb goes on.

Consider this a coming-out of sorts: My husband, the long-suffering Ben, and I are the force behind Yiddish Curses for Republican Jews, a mom-and-pop operated website that in less than a week has generated more than 4.5 million page views throughout the world, including four people in Iran, all of whom I would very much like to treat to a cup of coffee.

But while it’s certainly exciting watching the numbers tick up from the little corner in our kitchen that is our designated command center/smoking area, kind of like one of those spinning-newspaper montages from old movies that end with someone being really, really famous —and believe me, I can only wish that every child from a left-leaning Jewish family should get to hear at least once the sound of her father’s voice when he calls to tell her that something she wrote was linked to by Paul Krugman —what’s been most fascinating about it to me is to see how perfectly the Yiddish language lent itself to the emotions and ideas undergirding this project. With a cadence alternately baroque and colloquial, Yiddish—or rather, our Anglicized approximation of it—seems uniquely calibrated to lay bare any hypocrisy, pick the bones of self-righteousness, puncture the balloons of pompousness, and many other such metaphors. If, as W.C. Fields once had it, wars should be fought in a giant stadium by world leaders armed with socks filled with horse manure, perhaps all political discourse should take the form of Yiddish-style curses.

Let’s look at what makes a Yiddish curse so special, shall we? As Michael Wex, the lauded author of Born To Kvetch (and who, I would like to point out, had nothing to do with any of this, he should live and be well) has written, a Yiddish curse “isn’t a matter of yelling out bad words; the trick is to put them together in the most damaging possible way.” Unlike Irish or Italian curses, Yiddish curses rarely wish the target irreparable bodily harm. There have always been plenty of other people more than willing to give us that—and besides, as every Jew knows, there are things worse than death. Like having every tooth in your head fall out except one, to give you a toothache. Or going to the toilet every three minutes, or every three days. As Aunt Ceil said upon witnessing Uncle Abe’s gasping indigestion upon eating pork chops in the Woody Allen film Radio Days: “A heart attack? A heart attack is too good for him! He deserves an enema!”

More: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/110695/yiddish-curses-for-gop-jews
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:11 PM (0 replies)

Small Ky. Town Focus Of Eclipse Chasers

August 31, 2012
The Associated Press

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — This southwestern Kentucky town has hit the astronomical jackpot.

When a total eclipse of the sun darkens skies on Aug. 21, 2017, the show will last longer in a stretch of bucolic hill country near Hopkinsville than any place on the planet. It will last two minutes and 40 seconds, not much longer than the Kentucky Derby.

But already this town of 32,000 near the Tennessee border is making preparations to cash in on the fortuitous celestial alignment. And like the Derby, run three hours away in Louisville, the eclipse itself will be a blip in time compared to the buildup.

"We will be the Mecca of the solar eclipse because we are the dead center," said Cheryl Cook, executive director of the Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

More: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?device=iphone&storyId=160364987
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 01:54 PM (0 replies)

Another foul post in the EarlG thread (They're so gay...)

AUTOMATED MESSAGE: Results of your alert

At Wed Aug 29, 2012, 04:11 PM you sent an alert on the following post:

Awwww!! http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1218841


This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/? com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)


Romney and Ryan are gay! This website is as funny as Free Republic!


A randomly-selected Jury of DU members completed their review of this alert at Wed Aug 29, 2012, 04:13 PM, and voted 3-3 to LEAVE IT ALONE.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: Jeebuz, people are still too dense to know this is not appropriate?
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Being gay would only be an insult to homophobics

Thank you.

My response: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1226544
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Wed Aug 29, 2012, 04:22 PM (53 replies)

Al Jazeera - Witness: Permission to Engage

If you have a chance, watch this. It's shocking.

Victims' families and an ex-US soldier unpick the Wikileaks film that showed US forces killing Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Filmmaker: Shuchen Tan

On July 12, 2007, the US military shot several Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, an event that shocked the world when footage of the attack was later released by Wikileaks.

"The attack took place on a Thursday, when residents of the area had gone to a local market," explains filmmaker Shuchen Tan. "When they saw helicopters hovering over, they ran to their houses, thinking they'd be safe in there but it was those very houses that were blown up."

Permission to Engage traces the people involved in that fateful day and hears their versions of what happened.

Those killed included a young Iraqi photojournalist and his assistant, a father out with his children and some neighbours who were caught in the attack while trying to help the wounded.

More: http://aje.me/PejSbq
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Wed Aug 29, 2012, 06:02 AM (1 replies)

Laura Bush should have said this in 2004

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Tue Aug 28, 2012, 08:06 PM (1 replies)

Friends of Felines Rescue Center 24/7 Kitty Cam

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:39 PM (0 replies)

Twelve killed in car bombing of funeral at Druze cemetery in Damascus

Source: Reuters

August 28, 2012

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Twelve people were killed and dozens wounded when a car bomb exploded on Tuesday at a funeral in Damascus, state television reported, in an attack that an activist group said had targeted supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

Witnesses said the bomb exploded at the entrance to a Druze cemetery in the Jaramana district of southeast Damascus, hitting the funeral procession of two men killed in bombings a day earlier.

One witness said as many as 150 people had been wounded. Another said she saw charred bodies including children. Syrian television said 48 people had been wounded in the "terrorist car bombing".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition body which monitors the violence in Syria, said the two men being buried on Tuesday were supporters of Assad, who is fighting to crush a 17-month-old uprising against his rule.

Read more: Damascus funeral http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE87R0KV20120828
Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Tue Aug 28, 2012, 01:04 PM (5 replies)

Where are copyright violation alerts sent?

Who receives the alert? Is any action taken? This was asked before but was never answered.

Here's an example. This OP didn't need eight paragraphs to get the point across.

Posted by UnrepentantLiberal | Tue Aug 28, 2012, 05:18 AM (16 replies)
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