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I've got the customary Xmas Virus - Urgh.

Buyer beware.




India plants flag on Moon

"Impact probe" crashlands to glory

India has become the fourth nation to join the stuff-on-the-Moon club,
after the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in lunar orbit successfully launched
an impact probe at the lunar surface this afternoon. The 35-kg impactor
was blazoned with the Indian flag.

"It will signify the entry of India on Moon," an Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) official said, quoted by the Times of India. The
probe drop was described as a "perfect operation".

The Moon Impact Probe (MIP) module was primarily intended "to
demonstrate the technologies required for landing the probe at a desired
location on the Moon", according to ISRO. It consisted of a "honeycomb
structure" and carried a video camera and a mass spectrometer for
examination of the tenuous lunar atmosphere during descent.

Indian TV reported the story under the headers "Indian flag lands on
lunar surface" and "Tricolour on Moon".

Chandrayaan-1 will remain in orbit above the Moon for two years,
carrying out scientific research. Apart from the MIP it carries a
further ten experiments and instruments.


Am I going to change?


Met some friends from work last night. A company I worked at in 2000.
We all remarked how we remain as we were, just older wiser and slower.

I am continually told at work that I must change to advance in roles.
Yet I get pushed forward anyway.

Last night confirmed for me that being me is best. I harm very few,
care fir many, help as many as possible and still have integrity
through it all.

That's me. Frivolous, mad and yet reliable.

Will I change? Maybe but not on purpose.


How the mighty fallen...


India beat Australia by 172 runs in the final Test in Nagpur to seal a
2-0 series victory and win back the much-coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Harbhajan Singh (4-64) and Amit Mishra (3-27) wreaked havoc on the final
afternoon as the Aussies collapsed from 111-2 at lunch to 209 all out.

Test Match Series: India v Australia
06-11-2008 at Nagpur , Day 5 of 5
India beat Australia by 172 runs
India won the toss and decided to bat

India 1st Innings
441 all out (124.5 overs)

India 2nd Innings
295 all out (82.4 overs)

Australia 1st Innings
355 all out (134.4 overs)

Australia 2nd Innings
209 all out (50.2 overs)

Pretty decent result - wonder who the Aussies are lined up to take
revenge on?!?


What is an authoritarian government really like?


Is it like Saddam? Is it like a mad dictator that does things regardless
of popular opinion?

I tell you, this is the dumbest thing that Labour have decided to do -
frankly I'm not looking at them as viable leaders until they reverse this:


Perhaps we should introduce some of them to prisioners who had their IDs
stamped on them by the Nazis. Perhaps that might change their opinion -
or judging the current flurry of IQ-challenged persons in the cabinet,
maybe not.


From Scientific American - Destruction...


World without Frogs: Combined Threats May Croak Amphibians

From climate change to herbicide pollution, it's not easy being an amphibian

The northern leopard frogs that inhabit the boreal U.S. have never recovered from some catastrophic population declines in the 1970s. Some blame it on the acidifying lakes and streams caused by coal-burning, others point to the ongoing loss of wetlands to development, and now new evidence shows that the herbicide atrazine—widely sprayed on crop fields throughout the region—is killing the frogs by helping parasitic worms that feast on them.

"Atrazine provides a double whammy to frogs: It increases both amphibian exposure and susceptibility," says biologist Jason Rohr of the University of South Florida in Tampa, who tested the impact by re-creating field conditions in 300-gallon (1,135-liter) tanks in his lab. "Atrazine is one of the more mobile and persistent pesticides being widely applied. In fact, residues have been found in remote, nonagricultural areas, such as the poles."

That may explain why amphibians are on the decline worldwide. As many as one third of the nearly 6,000 known amphibian species—frogs, toads, salamanders, even wormlike caecilians—are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). And no one knows why.

In the case of the northern leopards, the culprit appears to be the common herbicide acting as a double-edged sword: It suppresses the frogs' immune systems while boosting the population of snails that play host to parasitic worm larvae, the latter of which infect the weakened leopard frogs.

Such herbicides are present in 57 percent of U.S. streams, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and it is that water pollution—not inbreeding—that is the prime suspect in the high rate of deformity in U.S. amphibian populations, according to new research from Purdue University.

But national parks and other areas protected from pollution and development are providing no refuge. The frogs and salamanders of Yellowstone National Park have been declining since the 1980s, according to a Stanford University study, as global warming dries out seasonal ponds, leaving dried salamander corpses in their wake. Since the 1970s, nearly 75 percent of the frogs and other amphibians of La Selva Biological Station in Braulio Carrillo National Park in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica have died, perhaps due to global warming.

Throughout the tropics, amphibians are also falling prey to a devastating disease, believed to be exacerbated by climate change: chytrid fungus. This pathogen is marching though Central America at present, leaving silent streams—those without the chorus of dozens of frog species—behind. Researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens have surveyed such streams before, during and after such extinctions, and documented the impacts in those waters that have lost all of their amphibians, including muddier waters and a less productive food web.

"There are a whole lot of things that aren't being eaten, mostly insects," says biologist Joseph Mendelson of Zoo Atlanta. "And there are a whole lot of other creatures that don't have prey."

But the really bad news is that amphibians may be just the first sign of other species in trouble. Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, have shown that amphibians are the first to respond to environmental changes, thanks to their sensitivity to both air and water. What goes for amphibians may soon be true of other classes of animal, including mammals.

Whereas the exact causes of the amphibian decline remain a mystery, it is clear that man-made problems like atrazine pollution and climate change are contributing factors, both of which can be reversed. "The easiest thing to do," Rohr notes, "would be to identify an alternative herbicide that controls the desired pests but is less detrimental to amphibians."


In a way I am ashamed...


...it is coming to the end of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. It
is supposed to represent a multitude of the great things of the human
condition, triumph of justice over injustice, good over evil, female
over male etc.

However, I have just now, to the benefit of the internet, seen a clip of
something that makes me ashamed to be associated with people of the same
'following' as me. I am someone who believes in equality, in the basis
of philosophy, that the human mind and being is based on universal
principles that are immutable across time-creed-religion-and country. So
it is with great SHAME that I write this. When people of my
'following/religion/belief system' call for destruction of others it is
embarrassing and upsetting.

How can a place of great tradition, of philosophy of the mind and heart,
spout such CRAP?

So here it is, the mission of tnn - love, peace and harmony to all -
whoever you are, and wherever you are from, whatever you believe and
however you live - as long as your heart is true, your actions good and
your will intact, I stand with you.

And to those of mine, who say such ignorant things - I'm sorry, I'm
above you...can't stand with you at all. You're on your own in the dark,
in the past, and in ignorance.

Happy New Year to the best of us...


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Weekly musings from a confused mind. This blog, and all posts within it, are just ramblings. They are in no way affiliated with any past, current or future employers. Neither do they represent my deep felt views, or those of my friends or family. Really, its just a blog, which is a new thing, and has new dimensions. So please, dont take anything seriously. If you do, contact me via a comment, and I will get back to you to resolve the situation. Seriously, enjoy life, ignore this blog, and views within it.


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