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Monday, January 3, 2011

No Quarter - Led Zeppelin - John Paul Jones turns 65 - MUSIC VIDEO


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John Paul Jones -  January 3, 1946 (1946-01-03) (age 65) - 
bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist

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Copyright 1973

Led Zeppelin

The Song Remains The Same (Live)

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Moonless Night, Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight, How to See 2011 Quadrantids


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Quadrantid meteors streak across the sky above Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, in 2009.
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Andrew Fazekas
Published January 3, 2011

If your New Year's resolution is to catch more sky shows, you're in luck: The 2011 Quadranitds—which peak tonight—are slated to be one of the best meteor showers of the year.

During the peak, around 1 a.m. UT on Tuesday, upward of a hundred shooting stars an hour may be visible in dark, rural areas, astronomers estimate.

The Quadrantids will be best viewed in Europe and Central Asia. North American observers will see the trailing end of the peak in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

"What better way to kick off the year than to have nature provide a fireworks show in the form of a meteor shower," said Conrad Jung, staff astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Centre in Oakland, California.

The Quadrantids are considered one of the most reliable and productive of the annual meteor displays, Jung said, but they're not as well known for two reasons: their brevity and their awkward timing in the calendar year.

While the Quadrantids' hourly rates are estimated to range anywhere from 60 to 130 meteors, the shower lasts for a period of just two to four hours—so timing your observations is essential, Jung said.
"While it doesn't grab much headlines, being set in the tail end of the winter holidays, the Quadrantids are about as intense as the Perseids, and promise to put on a pretty light show for those skywatchers willing to brave the chilly weather to look for them."

Stellar Year for Quadrantids?

The 2011 Quadrantids promise to be better than average, astronomers say. That's because the meteor shower's peak time will coincide with the new moon in Tuesday's predawn hours.

This should make for ideal conditions to see many of the fainter meteors, which would otherwise be lost in the moon's glare.

The best way to view the show is to dress warmly, lie back in a reclining chair, and find a dark spot with a good northeastern horizon, said Jim Todd, planetarium manager at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. (See pictures of our vanishing night in National Geographic magazine.)

The shooting stars will appear to come from a region high in the late-night northeastern sky just off the Big Dipper's handle.

But Todd stressed that observers should not concentrate on just the source of the shooting stars alone: The show will encompass the entire night sky.

"While you can trace the individual meteors back toward the Big Dipper area, you will actually see meteors streaking across all parts of the sky, so keep your eyes open," Todd said.

Quadrantids Named For "Missing" Constellation

Like other meteor showers, the Quadrantids (pronounced Kwa-drun-tids) get their name from the constellation from which the meteors appear to radiate.

Dubbed Quadrans Muralis in the 19th century, this shower's namesake pattern of stars isn't found in any map of the heavens today. Overcrowded star charts forced the removal of the constellation in 1922.

Astronomers decided to have Quadrans Muralis absorbed by the neighboring constellation Bootes, the Herdsman. (Explore a solar system interactive.)

As for the Quadrantids keeping their name, Todd said it's likely that astronomers at the time decided to maintain it to avoid any confusion with the already established Bootid meteor shower.
. Click Here for more info.

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Microsoft Says Lost Hotmail E-Mails Restored

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Jan. 3, 2010

Microsoft Says Lost Hotmail E-Mails Restored



Microsoft says it has fixed the glitch that caused some Hotmail users to lose all of their e-mails.

Frantic Hotmail users posted complaints on Microsoft Corp.'s online message board over the weekend saying messages had disappeared. Spokeswoman Catherine Brooker says all the affected users now have their e-mails back.

On Saturday, Brooker said a limited number of people had been affected. Microsoft is still investigating the cause of the problem.

Microsoft's free e-mail service is the world's most popular, with 360 million users worldwide, according to the Web traffic measurement firm comScore Inc.

Microsoft's Hotmail message board contains 476 pages of complaints about lost and deleted e-mail messages that date back to early November.

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by The Associated Press Jan. 1, 2001

Hotmail Investigates Disappearing E-Mails Dating Back to November 2010

Some users of Microsoft Hotmail are starting off the new year scrambling to get back e-mails of old. A chorus of frantic users has posted complaints on Microsoft's online forum that all of their messages have disappeared.


"Please help me get them back,'' one user wrote in a post dated Saturday. "All my kids' info and pictures are in there!''


Others complain that the majority of the e-mail in their inboxes was sent to their deleted mail folders instead. It is unclear from the posts how widespread the problem is. The free Web-based e-mail service is the world's most used with about 360 million users, according to comScore Inc. Windows Live support technicians have said in numerous threads that the Hotmail team is aware of the problem and working on a fix.


"At this point it appears to be a limited issue, and Microsoft is working with individual users who are impacted. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers,'' Microsoft spokeswoman Catherine 
Brooker said in statement Saturday. She declined to disclose what caused the glitch.


Microsoft's forum contains 476 pages of complaints about lost and deleted e-mails that date back to early November.
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Nintendo Warns Parents Of Eye Risks In Hand-Held Gaming Console 'Nintendo 3DS'


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Nintendo Warns Parents Of Eye Risks In 3-D Game


Three-D effects are everywhere — in movies, on television and in video games. But now Nintendo, which is releasing a 3-D, hand-held gaming console called the Nintendo 3DS, will be putting a health warning label on the new device.

Other 3-D media manufacturers have issued similar warnings because there's a risk that using a display so close to the eyes could cause eye fatigue and headache.
Nintendo's website says the 3-D effects in its new game could cause vision problems in children under the age of six, and some vision scientists agree.

Forming The 3-D View
A three-dimensional effect is created on a flat screen like a video game device or television by filming a scene with two cameras.

"Each camera gets a slightly different view, and that creates what's called binocular disparity," says Ahna Girshick, a vision researcher at New York University. Binocular disparity is what you get when you look at the world with two eyes. Each eye sends an image to the brain that sees the world from a slightly different angle.

"The brain is accustomed to processing that. And it creates this 3D impression," she says. Makers of 3D media are taking advantage of that. "So they're just piggy-backing what's already built into our eyes and brains."

Artificial Conflict In The Brain
But there's a problem: We also get some information about how far away an object is by how much we adjust the lens in our eyeball to bring it into focus.

"So with a near display, like if you're looking at a TV and you are sitting up close, your eyes actually focus on the surface of the TV, and that's at one distance," Girshick explains. But if the TV is showing a 3-D image, your brain might think an object is far off in the distance, even though your focus is on the screen right in front of you.

"And these two systems are now in conflict. In the natural world they're never in conflict," she says.

It's this artificial conflict that's causing some concern about children using 3-D video games. Vision scientist David Hoffman, who works at the semiconductor company Mediatek, says children's visual systems are changing as they grow.

"Any time you've introduced something from what they're normally exposed to, there's a chance that they begin to adapt to whatever this new condition is," Hoffman says. That new condition would be unnatural and could possibly not be good for the children when they weren't playing video games.

There's not a lot of good data about just how much long-term damage these game could cause. They may cause no damage at all. But some game manufacturers have decided to err on the side of caution and recommend that young children not use the 3-D mode. Enforcing that recommendation, though, falls to the parents.


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National Weather Service Releases Details Of Robertsville, Washington Missouri Tornados


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The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado that struck eastern Franklin County on New Year's Eve was rated an EF2, one of the stronger storms to hit the state Friday. The tornado touched down shortly after 11:00 a.m. near Bruns Bridge on Mill Hill Road, and traveled nearly 6.5 miles northeast, according to the NWS.
 

The storm caused "considerable damage to trees along the entire path, including uprooted and snapped trees," according to information from the NWS. "A house near the intersection of Eagle Ridge Road and Woods Creek Road was completely destroyed. Tree and minor structural damage continued as the tornado moved northeast through the Politte/Lynch Lake Area and towards Robertsville."
 

Once the tornado entered Robertsville, it damaged seven homes on Hayfield Drive, with two sustaining significant damage, the NWS said. The tornado then hit the Shiloh Baptist Church, causing severe damage to its west facing wall and leveling an annex building (the previous sanctuary) just north of the main church. The tornado then destroyed a building at the intersection of Route O and Route N as it exited town, the NWS said. Several other homes and structures suffered various degrees of damage.
 

That was not the only tornado reported in the local area. A survey a few miles south of Washington revealed two short tornado tracks, the NWS said. The first tornado touched down along County Club Road and produced minor tree damage. It continued northeast and struck a farm, where it removed the majority of the roof from a large metal pole barn, the NWS said. Another outbuilding sustained roof damage, and the residence had some shingles blown off. The damage to the pole barn was rated EF1 intensity, while the rest of the damage at that location was EF0.
 

The tornado crossed Country Club Road near a sharp curve to the west, according to the NWS. A house had shingles missing at this location, as well as minor tree damage.
 

A second, weaker tornado formed near the intersection of Country Club Road and Country Club Lane where it blew over a road sign and produced minor trim damage to a home. The tornado continued northeast and passed through a new subdivision and produced minor tree damage. The tornado lifted before reaching Highway 47.
 

There were no reports of any injuries in Franklin County.



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Oil Industry Analyst predicts $3.75 per gallon for gas this spring


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Expert: $3.75 per gallon for gas this spring


By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY

Drivers in the USA could be paying as much as $3.75 a gallon for gas this spring, oil experts predict.

Prices at the gas pump have inched up all year as the cost of crude oil neared $100 a barrel. On Christmas Day, the average nationwide price of self-serve regular hit $3, a record for that day. By year's end, the average price reached $3.06.

Prices creeping toward $4 a gallon could have dire consequences for some industries and slow the economic recovery, analysts say.

The record price is $4.11 a gallon on July 17, 2008.


"We learned in 2008 that $4-a-gallon gas is a deal-breaker for the economy," says Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "If it happens, it's not sustainable. There's only so much the consumer will bear."

He says drivers who need gas to get to work will buy it, but they'll cut spending elsewhere, sucking money out of the recovering economy.

Consumers react when the price reaches $3.50, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. People living paycheck to paycheck will cut back on other spending to compensate for higher gas prices, he says, and gas at $4 a gallon "throws us into a consumer slowdown."

"Oil prices ripple through every part of the economy," Kloza says. "I think it'll be the second highest year for oil prices on record."

He predicts the price of a gallon of gas will range from $3.25 to $3.75 in the spring and crude oil will exceed $100 a barrel for a short time. He attributes much of the increase to speculation in oil futures.
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Military Flights Race To Flood-Hit Rockhampton Australia town of 75,000 people completely stranded

Rising floodwaters spread across the runway of the airport at Rockhampton, in eastern Queensland.
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Military Flights Race To Flood-Hit Australian City

Military flights rushed Monday to restock an Australian city before it was cut off by floodwaters that have turned a huge swath of the Outback into a lake, while police confirmed two more deaths in the crisis.

Drenching rain that started before Christmas has flooded an area the size of France and Germany combined in northeastern Queensland state. Rivers are overflowing and at least 22 towns and cities in the farming region are inundated.

In the coastal city of Rockhampton, waters from the still-swelling Fitzroy River closed the airport and cut the main highway to the state capital of Brisbane. Scores of families abandoned their homes for relief centers on high ground.

By Monday night, floodwaters had inundated the last route into the city, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.

"Rockhampton is now completely stranded — a town of 75,000 people — no airport, rail or road," Bligh told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Residents emptied supermarket shelves of food and bottled water in recent days as they stocked up to reduce the need to get around in waist-deep waters.

Acting Defense Minister Warren Snowdon said a C-130 military cargo plane would fly to a town north of Rockhampton on Monday carrying food, medical supplies and other items that would then be trucked to the stricken city.

Authorities have warned the Fitzroy will continue rising until late Tuesday or early Wednesday local time.

Mayor Brad Carter has said about 40 percent of the city could be affected by the surging waters, and residents could be forced to wait at least two weeks before returning home.

State authorities say about 200,000 people have been affected by the floods, Australia's worst in a decade, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday extended emergency relief to those affected, including low-interest loans to farmers to begin cleaning up and get their businesses running again.
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World Wide Natural Disasters 'Killed 295,000 in 2010' worst since 1983


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Breitbart.com

The Haiti earthquake and floods in Pakistan and China helped make 2010 an exceptional year for natural disasters, killing 295,000 and costing $130 billion, the world's top reinsurer said Monday. "The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change," said Munich Re in a report.
The last time so many people died in natural disasters was in 1983, when 300,000 people died, mainly due to famine in Ethiopia, spokesman Gerd Henghuber told AFP.
A total of 950 natural disasters were recorded last year, making 2010 the second worst year since 1980. The average number of events over the past 10 years was 785.
And in terms of economic cost, insured losses amounted to approximately $37 billion, putting 2010 among the six most loss-intensive years for the insurance industry since 1980.
"2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful," said Torsten Jeworrek, the firm's chief executive.
The earthquake in Haiti in January was by far the worst disaster in terms of human cost, killing 222,570 people, Munich Re said. Some 56,000 died in a combination of heatwaves and forest fires in Russia, it said.
The other most destructive events were an earthquake in China in April that killed 2,700, floods in PakistanChina in which 1,470 perished  between July and September that cost 1,760 lives and August floods in .
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Report says Facebook nets $500 million investment from Goldman Sachs and Russian investor


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January 3, 2011

Social networking behemoth Facebook has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investment firm in a deal that values the company at $50 billion, The New York Times reported.

Goldman invested $450 million and Digital Sky Technologies invested $50 million, the newspaper reported Sunday in its online edition, citing people involved in the transaction that it did not name. Goldman has the right to sell part of its stake, up to $75 million, to the Russian firm.

The report said representatives for Facebook, Goldman and Digital Sky Technologies declined to comment.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly looking into the booming trade in privately held shares of popular social networking sites. A big reason the SEC may be curious about the trading of these popular private startups' shares is because once a company hits 500 shareholders, it must disclose certain financial information to the public, even if it hasn't filed for an initial public offering. 


The Times reported that Goldman is planning to create a "special purpose vehicle" that may be able to circumvent the 500 shareholder rule because it would be managed by Goldman and considered just one investor, even though it could conceivably be pooling investments from thousands of clients.

Shares of privately held companies can be traded on private stock exchanges such as SecondMarket, based in New York, and SharesPost, based in San Bruno, California. The shares are generally sold by former employees or early investors in these companies. Only institutional investors or high net-worth individuals — those worth more than $1 million — can buy the shares.

But for those who can sell them, the market is on fire. On SharesPost, a completed contract between a buyer and a seller valued shares of Palo Alto, California-based Facebook at $25 each. This implies a valuation of nearly $57 billion for the world's largest social network, with 500 million-plus users worldwide.

Facebook recently tightened its privacy settings after criticism that personal information was being disseminated without users' knowledge or permission. Founder Mark Zuckerberg was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" and was the subject of a high-profile movie about Facebook's creation. Zuckerberg, who owns about a quarter of Facebook's shares, is one of the world's youngest billionaires.

The newspaper said the deal may double Zuckerberg's personal fortune, which Forbes estimated at $6.9 billion when Facebook was valued at $23 billion



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Navy opens investigation into raunchy videos from USS Enterprise second-in-command


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By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent

Washington (CNN) -- The Navy has opened an investigation into how a series of raunchy videos, full of sexual innuendo and anti-gay remarks, were produced and shown to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise while on deployment supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Navy spokesman Cmdr. Chris Sims said the videos, which were shown to the crew in 2006 and 2007, are "inappropriate."

Excerpts from the videos and descriptions of their content were first published Saturday by The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia.

The videos on the paper's website, reviewed by CNN, feature a man identified by two Navy officials and The Virginian-Pilot as Capt. Owen Honors, who at the time was the executive officer, or second-in-command, of the Enterprise. He recently took command of the carrier, winning one of the most coveted assignments in the U.S. Navy, which has only 11 aircraft carriers.

Honors is shown cursing along with other members of his staff in an attempt to demonstrate humor, according to videos. There are also anti-gay slurs, simulated sex acts, and what appear to be two female sailors in a shower together.

The investigation was ordered Friday by Adm. John Harvey, the four-star head of the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, after the videos were detailed in The Virginian-Pilot. The paper also posted a link to some of the material, but edited it so that expletives were censored and some identities of junior Navy crew were disguised.
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Doe rescued from Mississippi River recovering - RESCUED via HELICOPTER Deer trapped on ice floe in Mississippi River


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Original Story:
http://hermannmonews.blogspot.com/2010/12/deer-trapped-on-ice-floe-in-mississippi.html

Doe rescued from Mississippi River recovering
The adult white-tailed deer rescued after being stranded on treacherous Mississippi River ice for two days shows significant signs of recovering from her life-threatening ordeal.
Since her deliverance by brave volunteers, the deer has been cared for lovingly by certified animal rescuers Rodney and Pam Starr of Centralia.
Their nurturing care has paid off -- the doe now can stand on all four legs, albeit briefly.
"When she came to us, she could use her front legs but not her back ones," Rodney Starr said. "Then, it reversed, and she could use her back legs but not her front ones."
The deer and a younger doe presumed to be her daughter were rescued from the slippery, ice-covered river some 100 yards from shore and a quarter-mile east of Stanka Lane, off the Great River Road (Illinois Route 100), on Dec. 17.
Once the older deer was in their care, the Starrs consulted with local veterinarians, who expressed concern that the doe, which the Starrs affectionately have named Noel, had suffered a spinal injury, based on her inability to coordinate movement.
The hair on the deer's hind legs appeared to have been frozen to the ice for two days.
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Sony Expected to Launch PlayStation Smartphone in Spring 2011


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Sony's long-rumoured PlayStation Portable smartphone is set to be launched in North America and Europe as early as the spring, according to a Japanese newspaper report Wednesday.
The device would likely be based on Sony's handheld PSP Go game console, would be made by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and run Google's Android operating system, said the Asahi Shimbun's English edition, citing unnamed sources.

Sony hopes to take on Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's BlackBerry and Nokia devices by offering the first smartphone that is based on a portable game console, with a set of controls that allows very advanced gaming.

The PSP Go, launched in November 2009, already features software downloads through a wireless connection, allowing players to also browse the Internet, watch movies, play music and read books and comics.

The new PlayStation handset would similarly work with Sony's online media platform, the company's answer to Apple's iTunes.
Sony hopes the phone will stimulate sales in the sluggish video game console market, said the Asahi.

Sony called the newspaper report "speculation" and declined to comment.



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Another Hermann Business Shuts Down 2nd eatery to close this holiday season


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Trappers Bar & Grill closed their doors for good yesterday, due to lack of business. There are no plans to reopen.  


This marks the second eatery to close during the holiday season.  Time for Pie also closed recently but has hopes to reopen in a new location, possibly in the spring of 2011.

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Missouri Colleges find area freshmen unready, far behind in reading and math


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More than 40 percent of area public high school graduates in 2009 entered Missouri colleges and universities so far behind in reading and math that they took at least one remedial course once they arrived on campus, data show.

Of the 7,067 area graduates who enrolled that year as freshmen in state-funded schools, 3,029 of them landed in academic purgatory, taking catch-up classes that didn't count toward a college degree, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

The proportion of Missouri public school students who end up in remedial college classes has risen only slightly in recent years but is up sharply since 1996. Thirty-eight percent needed remediation before moving on to college-level courses in 2009, compared with 26 percent 14 years ago.

In Missouri, state and college officials partly blame the increased demand for college remediation on high schools, where graduation standards don't always line up with what students must know to succeed in college. They also say the proportion reflects the fact that enrollments are up at two-year colleges — schools that typically accept all students no matter what their skill level.. Click Here for more info.

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