Tag Archive: University of Michigan


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YouTube/University of Michigan

Tre extinct creature is believed to have roamed the Earth between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago.

 

When farmer James Bristle and his neighbor discovered a “wood-like” object while digging in his Michigan soybean field on Monday, the duo thought they had uncovered something fairly mundane.

We thought it was a bent fence post,” Bristle told the Detroit Free-Press. “It was covered in mud.”

But upon closer inspection of the object, it started looking more and more like bone, said the farmer.

“We knew it was something that was out of the norm,” he said. “My grandson came over to look at it, he’s 5-years-old, he was speechless.”

Paleontologists confirmed this week that the discovery, in Washtenaw County’s Lima Township, was indeed “out of the norm.” The “fence post” Bristle found turned out to be a part of a skeleton of a woolly mammoth that roamed the Earth between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago.


University of Michigan Professor Dan Fisher has been leading the dig to remove the mammoth’s remains from Bristle’s property this week. He told Ann Arbor News that the mammoth was probably 40 years old when it died, and had been hunted by humans who likely butchered it and stashed it in a pond.

 

Read More Here

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

Undersea warfare: Viruses hijack deep-sea bacteria at hydrothermal vents

Date:
May 1, 2014
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
More than a mile beneath the ocean’s surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war.

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Credit: NOAA

[Click to enlarge image]

More than a mile beneath the ocean’s surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war.

Like pirates boarding a treasure-laden ship, the viruses infect bacterial cells to get the loot: tiny globules of elemental sulfur stored inside the bacterial cells.

Instead of absconding with their prize, the viruses force the bacteria to burn their valuable sulfur reserves, then use the unleashed energy to replicate.

“Our findings suggest that viruses in the dark oceans indirectly access vast energy sources in the form of elemental sulfur,” said University of Michigan marine microbiologist and oceanographer Gregory Dick, whose team collected DNA from deep-sea microbes in seawater samples from hydrothermal vents in the Western Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.

“We suspect that these viruses are essentially hijacking bacterial cells and getting them to consume elemental sulfur so the viruses can propagate themselves,” said Karthik Anantharaman of the University of Michigan, first author of a paper on the findings published this week in the journal Science Express.

Similar microbial interactions have been observed in shallow ocean waters between photosynthetic bacteria and the viruses that prey upon them.

But this is the first time such a relationship has been seen in a chemosynthetic system, one in which the microbes rely solely on inorganic compounds, rather than sunlight, as their energy source.

“Viruses play a cardinal role in biogeochemical processes in ocean shallows,” said David Garrison, a program director in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research. “They may have similar importance in deep-sea thermal vent environments.”

 

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Jan 10, 2014 by Sci-News.com

According to paleontologists from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, long-extinct Bandringa sharks migrated downstream from freshwater swamps to the ocean to spawn in shallow coastal waters and left behind fossil evidence of one of the earliest known shark nurseries.

This is an artist's impression of Bandringa shark. Image credit: John Megahan / University of Michigan.

This is an artist’s impression of Bandringa shark. Image credit: John Megahan / University of Michigan.

The long-snouted Bandringa shark (Elasmobranchii, Chondrichthyes) – a bottom-feeding predator that lived in an ancient river delta system in what is today the Upper Midwest – is likely one of the earliest close relatives of modern sharks.

It resembled present-day sawfish and paddlefish, with a spoon-billed snout up to half its body length. Juveniles were 4 to 6 inches long and grew into adults of up to 10 feet.

Bandringa sharks were discovered in 1969 and soon became one of the most prized fossils from the well-known Mazon Creek deposits in northern Illinois.

Until now, paleontologists believed that the genus Bandringa contained two species – B. rayi and B. herdinae, one that lived in freshwater swamps and rivers and another that lived in the shallow ocean.

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MLive

ice lighthouse.JPG
Ice on Lake Michigan is a major concern for those exploring wind turbines on the Great Lakes as this winter scene from Muskegon shows. (Chronicle file photo)

By Dave Alexander | dalexan1@mlive.com

on October 22, 2013 at 6:45 AM, updated October 22, 2013 at 7:27 AM

MUSKEGON, MI – Ice on Lake Michigan is apparently not a “show stopper” for those exploring wind turbine farms on the Great Lakes.

That is the initial conclusion of University of Michigan marine engineer Dale G. Karr based upon his work for the U.S. Department of Energy studying Great Lakes ice and its impact on wind turbine towers.

“I have not found ice to be a show stopper but our research will be useful in determining that question,” Karr told a lecture audience Monday, Oct. 21 at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.

That is not to say that lake ice isn’t an issue, far from it.

ProfessorKarrMAREC.JPGUniversity of Michigan Professor Dale G. Karr makes a point Monday, Oct. 21 at a lecture on Great Lakes ice and wind turbines at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.

“The Department of Energy is supporting this research to see if there is a show stopper,” Karr said. “Ice is a major issue if not the major issue for wind energy on the Great Lakes. The answer will start to emerge next spring when we will determine the designs and costs.”

Already offshore wind production is three times the cost of onshore wind farms such as the Consumers Energy Lake Winds Energy Park now producing electricity in Mason County south of Ludington, according to MAREC Director Arn Boezaart. Factoring in the cost of engineering wind tower protection against the ice is just one more reason that Great Lakes wind farms are likely more than a decade away, if the political will for such installations ever materializes, he said.

Karr said that the United States has taken an economic and technological back seat to Europe – especially Germany – and now both China and Japan in exploring, developing and deploying offshore wind. With the controversy of offshore wind in the United States for more than a decade, no offshore wind turbine has been installed although seven test projects are underway with federal funding.

“Europe is ahead of us probably a decade or so,” Karr said of offshore wind. “The German government is making offshore wind development the equivalent of our 1960s moon program. We are not the world leaders (in offshore wind) but now playing catch up.”

As the University of Michigan’s world-renowned department of marine engineering and naval architecture decided several years ago to delve into offshore wind technology questions, Karr began to study the effects of ice – an expertise he has obtained through studying oil and natural gas rigs in Arctic waters.

“We always get the question, why put wind turbines in the Great Lakes when there is ice?” Karr said of his research.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

    

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New bird flu kills 8 in China

Eight people have died and 28 confirmed infected with a new type of bird flu in eastern China, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday. But officials say China’s come a long way in watching for and controlling new disease outbreaks.

Chinese authorities are rushing to test patients with respiratory illness to see how far the new H7N9 bird flu has spread. They’re also starting culls of chickens and other birds, which are suspected of spreading the infection, and have closed some live bird markets.

The new strain of flu — never before seen to cause serious illness in people — appears to have first started making people ill in February. Chinese authorites announced  the first cases in March.

Flu occasionally passes from animals to people, and most experts believe that new pandemics of influenza have originated in animals – most likely pigs, but also possibly chickens and ducks. Dr. Arnold Monto, an expert on influenza and other infectious diseases at the University of Michigan, notes that several cases were reported last summer of people infected with a strain of flu called H3N2 from pigs at state fairs.

One woman died but the flu did not spread widely.

“What is going on in China is a little scarier,” Monto told NBC News. “The reason it is a little scarier is that it seems to be causing severe disease.”

 

Read Full Article Here

Science  –  Alternative Energy

Technology Harvests Energy from Railroad Train Vibrations

ScienceDaily

Stony Brook University engineers have won a national award for an innovative energy harvester that has the potential to save millions of dollars in energy costs for railroads while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The team’s work, “Mechanical Motion Rectifier (MMR) based Railroad Energy Harvester,” was awarded “Best Application of Energy Harvesting” at the Energy Harvesting and Storage USA 2012 conference, held in Washington, DC on November 7-8, 2012.

The Stony Brook team, led by Professor Lei Zuo and two graduate students Teng Lin and John Wang from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, developed a new type of energy harvester that converts the irregular, oscillatory motion of train-induced rail track vibrations into regular, unidirectional motion, in the same way that an electric voltage rectifier converts AC voltage into DC.

Professor Zuo estimates that the invention could save more than $10 million in trackside power supply costs for railroads in New York State alone, along with a reduction of 3000 tons per year of CO2 and a half million dollars of electricity savings.

“The U.S. has the longest rail tracks in the world, approximately 140,700 miles; that are often in remote areas. It is very important but also very costly to power the track-side electrical infrastructure, such as the signal lights, cross gates, track switches and monitoring sensors,” Professor Zuo said. “Our invention, the ‘Mechanical Motion Rectifier (MMR) based Railroad Energy Harvester,’ can harness 200 watts of electric energy from train-induced track deflections to power the track-side electrical devices. By using two one-way clutches, the innovative mechanical motion rectifier converts the irregular up-and-down vibration motion into unidirectional rotation of the generator, thus breaking the fundamental challenge of vibration energy harvesting and offering significant advantages of high efficiency and high reliability.”

The technology of the MMR based Railroad Energy Harvester has been licensed to Electric Truck, LLC/Harvest NRG, Inc. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Research Center (UTRC-II), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), SUNY Research Foundation and private industry.

In addition to the economic, environmental and energy benefits of the device, Professor Zuo said the most important technical innovations in this harvester are the unique mechanical motion rectifier that changes the irregular up-and-down vibration into regular unidirectional rotation of the electrical generator, and synergistically integrating the fly wheel into the energy harvesting system to further increase energy conversion efficiency and stable power output. Another important feature is the creative implementation of MMR in one shaft design, which proves to increase the energy converting efficiency to over 70 percent.

“With the MMR design, the technology advances the traditional energy harvesting, including directly generating high-quality DC power without an electrical rectifier in the vibration environment; enabling an electrical generator to rotate in one direction with relative steady speed in a more efficient speed region; and changing the negative influence of motion inertia into positive, thus reducing the mechanical stress and increasing system reliability,” he said. “Such a design not only avoids the challenges of friction and impact induced by oscillation motion, but also enables us to make full use of the pulse-like features of track vibration to harvest more energy.”

Professor Zuo and his team have been working on vibration and thermoelectric energy harvesting in the past several years to harness power from different sources, including trains, cars, tall buildings and ocean waves. In 2011, the team won a prestigious R&D 100 Award — dubbed the “Oscar of Invention” — for the development of retrofit energy-harvesting shock absorbers that convert vibration, bumps, and motion experienced by the suspension of a vehicle or train into electric power. The regenerative shock absorber for cars can harvest 100-400 watts from the vehicle vibrations under normal driving conditions. The shock absorbers also won the Energy Harvesting and Storage USA 2010 award for Best Technology Development of Energy Harvesting.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Stony Brook University.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

IT :  Global Community – Video Games

Violent Video Games Not So Bad When Players Cooperate

ScienceDaily

New research suggests that violent video games may not make players more aggressive — if they play cooperatively with other people.


In two studies, researchers found that college students who teamed up to play violent video games later showed more cooperative behavior, and sometimes less signs of aggression, than students who played the games competitively.

The results suggest that it is too simplistic to say violent video games are always bad for players, said David Ewoldsen, co-author of the studies and professor of communication at Ohio State University.

“Clearly, research has established there are links between playing violent video games and aggression, but that’s an incomplete picture,” Ewoldsen said.

“Most of the studies finding links between violent games and aggression were done with people playing alone. The social aspect of today’s video games can change things quite a bit.”

The new research suggests playing a violent game with a teammate changes how people react to the violence.

“You’re still being very aggressive, you’re still killing people in the game — but when you cooperate, that overrides any of the negative effects of the extreme aggression,” said co-author John Velez, a graduate student in communication at Ohio State.

One study was recently published online in the journal Communication Research, and will appear in a future print edition. The second related study was published recently in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

The CBSN study involved 119 college students who were placed into four groups to play the violent video game Halo II with a partner. The groups differed in whether they competed or cooperated in playing the game.

First, all participants filled out a survey about their video game history and a measure of their aggressiveness.

Those in direct competition played in multiplayer mode and were told that their task was to kill their opponent more times than they were killed.

Those in indirect competition played in single-player mode, but were told their task was to beat their opponent by getting further in the game.

In the cooperative condition, participants were told to get as far as they could through the game by working with their partner in Halo II’s cooperative campaign mode. In this case, the pair worked together to defeat computer-controlled enemies.

The final group simply filled out the measures and played the game at the end of the study. Their game playing was not recorded.

After playing the violent video game, the same pairs of participants who played with or against each other took part in a real-life game where they had the opportunity to cooperate or compete with each other.

In this game, they played multiple rounds where they were given dimes which they could keep or share with their partner. The researchers were looking to see if they engaged in “tit for tat” behavior, in which the players mirrored the behaviors of their partner. In other words, if your partner acts cooperatively towards you, you do the same for him. Tit for tat behavior is seen by researchers as a precursor to cooperation.

The results showed that participants who played the video game cooperatively were more likely than those who competed to show cooperative tendencies in this later real-life game.

“These findings suggest video game research needs to consider not only the content of the game but also how video game players are playing the game,” Velez said.

The second study, published in Communication Research, extended the findings by showing that cooperating in playing a violent video game can even unite people from rival groups — in this case, fans of Ohio State and those of their bitter rival, the University of Michigan.

This study involved 80 Ohio State students who, when they came to the lab for the experiment, were paired with a person who they thought was another student participant. In fact, it was one of the experimenters who was wearing an Ohio State t-shirt — or one from the rival University of Michigan.

One of the researchers made sure to point out the t-shirt to the student participant.

The student and confederate then played the highly realistic and violent first-person-shooter video game Unreal Tournament III together — either as teammates or as rivals.

After playing the video game, the participants played the same real-life game used in the previous study with their supposed partner, who was really one of the researchers.

They also completed tasks that measured how aggressive they felt, and their aggressive tendencies.

The results showed the power of cooperatively playing violent video games in reducing aggressive thoughts — and even overcoming group differences.

As in the first study, players who cooperated in playing the video game later showed more cooperation than did those who competed against each other.

It even worked when Ohio State participants thought they were playing with a rival from the University of Michigan.

“The cooperative play just wiped out any effect of who you were playing with,” Velez said. “Ohio State students happily cooperated with Michigan fans.”

Also, those participants who played cooperatively showed less aggressive tendencies afterwards than those who played competitively, at least at first. In fact, those who played competitively with a rival actually showed less aggression than those who played with a supporter of their own team.

“If you’re playing with a rival, and that rival is cooperating with you, that violates your expectations — you’re surprised by their cooperation and that makes you even more willing to cooperate,” Ewoldsen said.

Eventually, even those who competed with each other in the video games started cooperating with each other in the real-life games afterwards.

“The point is that the way you act in the real world very quickly overrides anything that is going on in the video games,” Ewoldsen said. “Video games aren’t controlling who we are.”

These results should encourage researchers to study not only how the content of violent video games affects players, but also how the style of play has an impact.

“What is more important: cooperating with another human being, or killing a digital creature?” Ewoldsen said.

“We think that cooperating with another human overrides the effects of playing a violent video game.”

Other authors of the CBSN paper were Cassie Eno of Waldorf College; Bradley Okdie of Ohio State’s Newark campus; Rosanna Guadagno of the University of Alabama; and James DeCoster of the University of Virginia.

Other authors of the Communication Research paper were Chad Mahood and Emily Moyer-Guse, both of Ohio State.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Ohio State University. The original article was written by Jeff Grabmeier.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal References:

  1. J. A. Velez, C. Mahood, D. R. Ewoldsen, E. Moyer-Guse. Ingroup Versus Outgroup Conflict in the Context of Violent Video Game Play: The Effect of Cooperation on Increased Helping and Decreased Aggression. Communication Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/0093650212456202
  2. David R. Ewoldsen, Cassie A. Eno, Bradley M. Okdie, John A. Velez, Rosanna E. Guadagno, Jamie DeCoster. Effect of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively or Competitively on Subsequent Cooperative Behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2012; 15 (5): 277 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0308
 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Health And Wellness Report

ploaded by on Aug 29, 2011

http://www.celestialhealing.net/healthintro..htm
The Heath Benefits of Ginger are many. Ginger is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices. It has been widely regarded for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Find out why and how ginger can benefit you in this video.

 

 

 

6 Health Benefits of Ginger

For centuries, ginger has been used as a home remedy, and by homeopathic doctors to help ease numerous health complaints. Ginger is very easy on the body, and does not cause unpleasant side effects like typical western prescription drugs. Although ginger should never replace an important medication your doctor has recommended, it can be extremely useful in treating some common every day problems.

1. Nausea
The most well known ailment that ginger is helpful for is nausea. Ginger has shown to be highly effective in easing nausea and motion sickness. Remember when you were young and your mom had you drink ginger ale for an upset tummy? That is because ginger is widely known to ease a sick stomach. Ginger is even good for nausea that is caused by morning sickness in pregnant women.

2. Migraines
Ginger helps to ease migraines by inhibiting platelet aggregation. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology cited a case where a woman took 500 mg of ginger at the onset of a migraine. The study reported the migraine began to subside shortly after the ginger was ingested. When taken regularly, the study also claimed ginger could reduce the frequency and intensity of the migraines.

3. Menstrual Cramps
Chinese medicine has used ginger tea with brown sugar to ease menstrual cramps for centuries. Ginger is a natural painkiller, helps to improve circulation, and relax the muscles. This calming tea is made by peeling a fresh ginger root, slicing into small pieces, and letting it simmer in hot water for about 20 minutes. After the tea is strained, you can add one teaspoon of brown sugar to make a delicious and relaxing warm tea.

4. Heartburn
Another benefit of ginger on the digestive system is the ability to rapidly ease heartburn pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help it to quickly tackle heartburn. Many people will add ginger to their food, or eat a small amount of ginger before each meal to prevent the onset of heartburn. If heartburn has already set in, however, making a warm cup of ginger tea can help to ease the heartburn pain in as little as 20 minutes.

5. Colds and Flu
Studies have shown that ginger extract cultured with a live flu virus helps inhibit viral growth. This not only means that ginger can help fight a cold and flu you already have, but when taken regularly, can also help prevent your body from catching the germs to begin with.

6. Ovarian Cancer
The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has released findings that conclude ginger induces cell death when applied to cancerous cells. The researchers say ginger helps to control inflammation, which is a key factor in cancer growth.

No matter which of these health problems trouble you, adding ginger to your diet in the form of a spice, tea, or capsule, is a safe and effective way to gain extra relief.

 

 

This article was written by Bob. He loves any and all things to improve his health and longs to live life like they did 100 years ago. He acquired NaturalHealthEzine.com in 2009 and has been the editor since.View all posts by Bob →

Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air 

Force Base
by Staff Writers
Ann Arbor MI

Terra Daily

 


Core microanalytical components of the recently field-tested U-M analyzer. Image courtesy: Edward T. Zellers.

A lab-on-a-chip technology that measures trace amounts of air contaminants in homes was successfully field-tested by researchers at the University of Michigan. Even in the presence of 50 other indoor air contaminants, the U-M-built microsystem found levels of the targeted contaminant so low that it would be analogous to finding a particular silver dollar in a roll stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City.

“This is the first (known) study of its kind,” said Ted Zellers, professor in the U-M School of Public Health and the Department of Chemistry, and project director.

“Most lab-on-a-chip technologies are used for biomedical analysis of liquids,” Zellers said. “Our technology is designed for monitoring contaminants in the air, and this groundbreaking study is the first to prove that it can work outside the laboratory in real-life applications.”

The applications are potentially limitless because the device, called a microfabricated gas chromatograph, can be tailored to detect any contaminants, Zellers said. For instance, the team is adapting the same technology to detect certain industrial chemicals in the breath and saliva of exposed workers, biomarkers of cancer and other chronic disease, and markers of explosives for airport screening applications.

The Department of Defense contracted the U-M team to adapt and test two prototypes devices in homes near Utah’s Hill Air Force Base to measure indoor concentrations of trichloroethylene, or TCE. TCE was used on military bases until the 1970s, and improper disposal caused TCE to become a pervasive groundwater contaminant that can seep into homes above plumes.

“The core microfabricated silicon chips, when stacked, are roughly the size of a wristwatch,” Zellers said. They require less power and can be made smaller and less expensively than traditionally manufactured counterparts.

The microsystem was designed and built by faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems in the College of Engineering.

Zellers said the group is currently negotiating with several companies interested in commercializing the technology.

A series of articles describing the results appeared this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Co-authors include Sun Kyu Kim, Hungwei Chang, and Jonathan Bryant-Genevier, of U-M; David Burris of IST, Inc., and Kyle Gorder and Erik Dettenmeier of Hill Air Force Base.

 

Related Links
University of Michigan
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Politics and Legislation

The Hill: McKeon wants to stop sequestration—and previous Pentagon budget cuts

By Carlo Munoz and Jeremy Herb

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Wednesday he wants to reverse $487 billion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget that were included in last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-approriations/216125-mckeon-wants-to-stop-sequestrationand-previous-pentagon-budget-cuts

The Hill: Obama, Cameron toast ‘essential relationship’ at black-tie state dinner

By Meghashyam Mali

President Obama hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron at a black-tie state dinner in Washington on Wednesday night.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/216095-reform-groups-use-goldman-takedown-to-push-for-tough-wall-street-rules

The Hill: State lawmakers blast House GOP’s medical malpractice reform bill

By Julian Pecquet

The nation’s leading advocacy group for state lawmakers wrote to House leaders on Wednesday to share their “strong, bipartisan opposition” to federal medical malpractice reform because it would infringe upon states’ rights.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/state-issues/216099-state-lawmakers-blast-medical-malpractice-reform-bill-

The Hill: Dem presses USDA to ban ‘pink slime’ in school lunches

By Mike Lillis

A Maine Democrat is pressing the Obama administration to ban “pink slime” in school cafeterias.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/216109-dem-presses-usda-to-ban-pink-slime-in-school-lunches

Selling Out Pays
When a Congressman Becomes a Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average)

By Lee Fang

What’s the best way to “buy” a member of Congress? Secretly promise them a million dollars or more in pay if they come to work for you after they leave office.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30817.htm

UN panel approves sidelined report praising Gaddafi’s human rights record :

A United Nations panel has adopted a report praising the human rights record of the former government of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a year after it was sidelined amid international objection.

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-173120.html

Economy

More austerity needed in Greece: EU/IMF

Greece will have to slash a further 5.5 percent of GDP in government spending in 2013 and 2014 to meet agreed fiscal targets underpinning the second international bailout for Athens, a European Commission report said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/13/us-eurozone-greece-austerity-idUSBRE82C0KP20120313

J.P. Morgan Chase’s Ugly Family Secrets Revealed

In a story that should be getting lots of attention, American Banker has released an excellent and disturbing exposé of J.P. Morgan Chase’s credit card services division, relying on multiple current and former Chase employees.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/j-p-morgan-chases-ugly-family-secrets-revealed-20120313#ixzz1p6CRq0i1

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314#ixzz1p7dZGHK5

11 Reasons Why America Would Be A Better Place Without Goldman Sachs

Would America be a better place without Goldman Sachs? Of course it would. The “vampire squid” of Wall Street does not care about the future of America. Sadly, Goldman Sachs apparently does not even care much about their own clients. What Goldman Sachs is all about is making as much money as humanly possible. In the end, there is nothing wrong with making money, but there are constructive ways to make money and there are destructive ways to make money. Unfortunately, Goldman Sachs seems to find the destructive path almost irresistible. Greg Smith, the head of the U.S. equity derivatives business for Goldman Sachs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa made headlines all over the world on Wednesday when he resigned publicly from Goldman Sachs in a scorching editorial in the New York Times. Smith said that he could “honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it”.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/11_Reasons_Why_America_Would_Be_A_Better_Place_Without_Goldman_Sachs/18458/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback

Jon Henley finds a medical aid organisation trying to plug the gaps as the health service nears breakdown

The savage cuts to Greece’s health service budget have led to a sharp rise in HIV/Aids and malaria in the beleaguered nation, said a leading aid organisation on Thursday.

The incidence of HIV/Aids among intravenous drug users in central Athens soared by 1,250% in the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece, while malaria is becoming endemic in the south for the first time since the rule of the colonels, which ended in the 1970s.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2012/mar/15/greece-breadline-hiv-malaria

Israeli strike on Iran could mean $6-per-gallon gas

By Ben Geman

An Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear enrichment sites would spike gas prices to between $5 and $6 per gallon, according to market analysts.

This would be well beyond the record highs hit in 2008, when nationwide average retail prices hit $4.11-per-gallon, analysts say.

“I think you will see $5 and $6 dollar a gallon gas,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216179-iran-strike-could-mean-6-per-gallon-gas

5 Principles for Money and Banking in a New World System

Eric Blair Activist Post

Increasing numbers of global citizens are becoming aware that the monetary system and international cartel of banks are rotten to the core and represent the root cause of all economic disparity to mankind.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/5-principles-for-money-and-banking-in.html

Foreign buyers are snapping up U.S. homes

With foreign entities wary of mortgage-backed securities, buyers are focusing on individual homes — a welcome occurrence in regions suffering from a glut of properties on the market.

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20120311,0,7203197.story

European Zombie Banks and Vampire Governments

The term “zombie banks” refers to banks that refuse to lend to the private sector. They are run by fearful bankers who do not trust other bankers. They do not trust many potential borrowers. According to legend, zombies survive by eating the brains of their victims. It seems to me that zombie bankers must be limiting their diet to brains of other bankers and investment fund managers.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33596.html

Making 9 Million Jobless ‘Vanish’: How The U.S. Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics

When we look at broad measures of jobs and population, then the beginning of 2012 was one of the worst months in US history, with a total of 2.3 million people losing jobs or leaving the workforce in a single month. Yet, the official unemployment rate showed a decline from 8.5% to 8.3% in January – and was such cheering news that it set off a stock rally.

How can there be such a stark contrast between the cheerful surface and an underlying reality that is getting worse?

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33590.html

Wall Street retreats after rally, but Apple up again

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 broke a five-day streak of gains on Wednesday as investors found little reason to extend a rally that took the benchmark index to four-year highs.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-index-futures-signal-mixed-094024399.html;_ylt=AidcdvEcpLn4Uz593cgZHlCiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQzZXBscGdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIEp1bWJvdHJvbiBMaXRlBHBrZwM1ZDVkNjdlYi1mZDU5LTMwYmYtOGJjMy1iMjQ4Y2EzMjU5ODAEcG9zAzEEc2VjA2p1bWJvdHJvbgR2ZXIDZGM5YzFkMjAtNmUxNi0xMWUxLWJiZmItMWM0NDJjOTRmZmI4;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Recovery for the 1%, Recession for the Rest

Christopher Petrella, Op-Ed:

“Historically, one of the most problematic features of a neoliberal economy has been the sharp rise in precarious employment, as employers have unwaveringly pursued strategies that ‘flexibilize’ work and destabilize the very concept of job security. Precarious labor in this sense refers to forms of work typically marked by temporary contracts, limited or no social benefits and statutory guarantees, high degrees of job insecurity, low job tenure, sub-standard wages, and high risks of occupational injury and disease.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/recovery-1-recession-rest-1331826118

13 Reasons Goldman’s Quitting Exec May Have a Point

Cora Currier, News Report:

“An executive at Goldman Sachs left the firm today with a bang, penning a New York Times op-ed accusing the company of increasingly putting profits ahead of clients. Greg Smith started as an intern 12 years ago and last headed a derivatives department. Not surprisingly, Goldman quickly and strongly disagreed with his take.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/13-reasons-goldman-s-quitting-exec-may-have-point-1331824190

Homeless In The USA
One Family’s Story In Pictures

By Lucy Nicholson

One in 45 children, totalling 1.6 million, is homeless, the highest number in United States history.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30818.htm

Wars and Rumors of War

Kony 2012, US War Crimes, Coltan & Depleted Uranium make “Invisible Children”

Uploaded by chatzefratz on Mar 12, 2012

When Americans talk about helping children, then things get real scary; depleted uranium in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Irak, Libya and soon in Uganda – Agent Orange in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Wrecked children, babies, offspring and human genetics for hundreds of thousands of years – all this while Americans sing about love, showing half naked ladies and their pharaonic signs and symbols. Watch “The Pharaoh Show” from user giureh for total understanding.

Suicide attack at Camp Bastion today looking like more pro war propaganda…

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is feared to have been the target of a suicide attack at Camp Bastion today.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Suicide_attack_at_Camp_Bastion_today_looking_like_more_pro_war_propaganda…/18452/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Australian ‘special forces gathering intelligence in Africa’

The Sydney Morning Herald said 4 Squadron of the elite Special Air Service (SAS) had mounted dozens of clandestine operations in places such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya in a role normally carried out by spies.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9139759/Australian-special-forces-gathering-intelligence-in-Africa.html

Terror, Trauma, and the Endless Afghan War

Amy Goodman, Op-Ed:

“We may never know what drove a U.S. Army staff sergeant to head out into the Afghan night and allegedly murder at least 16 civilians in their homes, among them nine children and three women. The massacre near Belambai, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, has shocked the world and intensified the calls for an end to the longest war in U.S. history. The attack has been called tragic, which it surely is. But when Afghans attack U.S. forces, they are called “terrorists.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/terror-trauma-and-endless-afghan-war-1331826602

Taliban Suspend Talks with U.S.; Karzai Calls for Faster Transition

Ali Safi, News Report:

“The Taliban said Thursday that they had suspended negotiations with the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on international troops to withdraw from villages in the latest apparent fallout from a U.S. soldier’s alleged murder of 16 Afghan villagers.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/taliban-suspend-talks-us-karzai-calls-faster-transition-1331827784

Netanyahu is Preparing Israeli Public Opinion for a War on Iran

By Aluf Benn

Haaretz’s editor-in-chief says that what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30821.htm

Top Ten Media Failures in the Iran War Debate

By Stephen M. Walt

Americans haven’t been well-served by media coverage of the Iran debate.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30819.htm

Cold-blooded Murder
Targeted Killings: US and Israeli Specialties

By Stephen Lendman

International law permits justifiable self-defense. Targeted killings are prohibited, especially premeditated ones like America and Israel repeatedly commit for reasons other than claimed.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30828.htm

Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist in Prison?

By Democracy Now!

The Obama administration is facing scrutiny for its role in the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who exposed how the United States was behind a 2009 bombing in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30820.htm

Pakistan Says End Drone Strikes:

Pakistan has told the White House it no longer will permit U.S. drones to use its airspace to attack militants and collect intelligence on al-Qaeda and other groups, according to officials involved in the talks.

http://bloom.bg/ypQzVv

Netanyahu warns: Israel has defied U.S. wishes before:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday told the Knesset that Tehran was behind the recent rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip and ratcheted up his rhetoric regarding a possible military strike on Iran, broadly hinting that Israel might act even without American approval

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-warns-israel-has-defied-u-s-wishes-before-1.418719

AIPAC’s Iran “Expert” Briefs Hill Staff on Tehran’s “Terror Threat”:

Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, briefed some 40 congressional staffers on Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide.

http://www.aipac.org/in-the-news?newsid=F3BF617C-9E77-4D33-A0F7-62B160A7798E

Iran strike imminent: Russian diplomat:

“The attack will be mounted before the end of this year. Israel is blackmailing [U.S. President Barack] Obama by confronting him with a dilemma: either he supports the war option or will lose the support [of the U.S. Jews],” a high-ranking official of the Russian Foreign Ministry told the newspaper ahead of the U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria on Monday.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2995203.ece

SWIFT Cuts Off Iran As Sanctions Vice Tightens :

Iran was effectively cut off from global commerce on Thursday, when the company that handles financial transactions said it was severing ties with many Iranian banks

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/swift-iran-sanctions_n_1347361.html?ref=world

Iran food stockpiling grows as grain ships near port: –

Vessels carrying at least 360,000 tonnes of grain are lined up to unload in Iran, Reuters shipping data showed on Thursday, a sign that Tehran is succeeding in stockpiling food to blunt the impact of tougher Western sanctions.

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E8EF6BE20120315

No sanctions on US wheat?
Iran makes second US wheat purchase-USDA:

A weekly export sales report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday showed that Iran has bought an additional 60,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/15/usa-wheat-iran-idUSL2E8EF25S20120315?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews&rpc=401

U.S. May Sanction India Over Level of Iran-Oil Imports:

India has failed to reduce its purchases of Iranian oil, and if it doesn’t do so, President Barack Obama may be forced to impose sanctions on one of Asia’s most important nations, Obama administration officials said yesterday.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-15/u-s-may-sanction-india-over-level-of-iran-oil-imports.html

Pro-government rallies held across Syria:

Millions of Syrian government supporters dashed through streets and main squares nationwide, to stage rallies in support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

http://www.inform.kz/eng/article/2448700

Activism

Reclaiming the Commons: Taking Human Lessons in the Era of H.R. 347, Corporatism and Perpetual War

Phil Rockstroh, Op-Ed:

“With increasing velocity, since the advent of the post-Second World War national security state, then gaining speed with the incessant search and destroy mission waged on the U.S. Constitution known as the War on Drugs, and kicking into a runaway trajectory in the post Sept. 11, 2001 era — the increase in totalitarian impulses, among both the general population and corporate and governmental elite of the nation, has proceeded at an alarming rate.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/reclaiming-commons-taking-human-lessons-era-hr-347-corporatism-and-perpetual-war-1331820296

Cyber Space

US Government Admits It Has Seized Hundreds Of Domains Registered Outside The US
from the this-has-been-happening-for-a-while dept

After the US seized Bodog.com, we pointed to a writeup by EasyDNS that has created quite a stir, claiming that this was the first time that the US had seized a domain that was registered through a non-US registrar by going straight to the register (in this case VeriSign). But as we pointed out, that’s simply untrue. Back in 2010 we wrote about how most of the federal government’s domain seizures went directly to the register.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120309/04064518045/us-government-admits-it-has-seized-hundreds-domains-registered-outside-us.shtml

US e-voting system cracked in less than 48 hours

Broken Padlock Icon Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported that it took them only a short time to break through the security functions of a pilot project for online voting in Washington, D.C. “Within 48 hours of the system going live, we had gained near complete control of the election server”, the researchers wrote in a paperPDF that has now been released. “We successfully changed every vote and revealed almost every secret ballot.” The hack was only discovered after about two business days – and most likely only because the intruders left a visible trail on purpose.

http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/US-e-voting-system-cracked-in-less-than-48-hours-1463881.html

Misc

KONY 2012: Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa

Edward Bernays believed that society could not be trusted to make rational and informed decisions on their own, and that guiding public opinion was essential within a democratic society. Bernays founded the Council on Public Relations and his 1928 book, Propaganda cites the methodology used in the application of effective emotional communication. He discovered that such communication is capable of manipulating the unconscious in an effort to produce a desired effect –

http://www.blacklistednews.com/KONY_2012%3A_Merchandising_and_Branding_Support_for_US_Military_Intervention_in_Central_Africa/18461/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Justice Department Investigating Whether MEK Speakers Accepted Illegal Fees From Terror Group

Did Alan Dershowitz accept blood money (aka speaker’s fee) from the MEK, a designated terror group? If so, he may’ve violated federal law.

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/03/13/justice-department-investigating-whether-mek-speakers-accepted-illegal-fees-from-terror-group/

In ‘highly unusual’ move, Marines asked to disarm before Leon Panetta speech

In a highly unusual move, around 200 U.S. Marines were asked to leave their weapons outside the tent where U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was set to speak during his trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday.

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/14/10684063-in-highly-unusual-move-marines-asked-to-disarm-before-leon-panetta-speech

Automated License Plate Recognition

Uploaded by DeputyKen on Dec 19, 2006

Automated License Plate Recognition currently being used in Central Florida.

Both The Market and Government Are Irrational

By Paul Craig Roberts

Those dependent on Social Security and Medicare are finding that these programs are being blamed for budget deficits caused by multi-trillion dollar wars of choice.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30822.htm

Welcome to the USA:

Canadian women allege U.S. border groping:

Four female U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Detroit are being sued by three Canadian women who allege they were sexually fondled at the border.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/03/14/Canadian-women-allege-US-border-groping/UPI-46311331743360/#ixzz1p7C7mig1

Soledad O’Brien on Breitbart’s Bombshell:

‘Where’s the Bombshell?’:

In this CNN clip, Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak is grilled by Soledad O’Brien in a way I wish more journalists would follow

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40034_Soledad_OBrien_on_Breitbarts_Bombshell-_Wheres_the_Bombshell

Afghanistan massacre by U.S. sergeant reveals epidemic of psychiatric drugging of soldiers

By Mike Adams,

(NaturalNews) The recent massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan by a rampaging U.S. military sergeant has something in common with nearly every school shooting in the USA — something the mainstream media typically refuses to report: These shooters frequently have a history of psychiatric drug “treatment” by psychiatrists. Psychiatric drugs are now being routinely used across the U.S. military, where violent suicides have skyrocketed to levels never before seen in human history. 18 veterans commit…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035232_US_troops_psychiatric_drugs_Afghanistan.html