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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turns out THIS is who's eating your tax dollars

Turns out THIS is who's eating your tax dollars
Aug 30, 2012 |



Our prison system is a beast, gobbling resources that should be going to communities. Watch this video to find out why. Then get involved at http://beyondbars.org.

This video was done in partnership with the ACLU, Equal Justice Initiative, All of Us or None, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NAACP, A New Way of Life, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Justice Policy Institute, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the United Methodist Church, Justice Fellowship, and Partnership for Safety and Justice.

Saturn and its largest moon reflect their true colors

A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet
undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color
view of Titan and Saturn from NASA's Cassini
spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
Saturn and its largest moon reflect their true colors
Aug 30, 2012 | Phys.org

A wide-angle view in today's package captures Titan passing in front of Saturn, as well as the planet's changing colors. Upon Cassini's arrival at Saturn eight years ago, Saturn's northern winter hemisphere was an azure blue. Now that winter is encroaching on the planet's southern hemisphere and summer on the north, the color scheme is reversing: blue is tinting the southern atmosphere and is fading from the north.

The other three images depict the newly discovered south polar vortex in the atmosphere of Titan, reported recently by Cassini scientists. Cassini's visible-light cameras have seen a concentration of yellowish haze in the detached haze layer at the south pole of Titan since at least March 27. Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer spotted the massing of clouds around the south pole as early as May 22 in infrared wavelengths. After a June 27 flyby of the moon, Cassini released a dramatic image and movie showing the vortex rotating faster than the moon's rotation period. The four images being released today were acquired in May, June and July of 2012.

Read view more..

Hurricane Isaac batters New Orleans seven years to the day since Hurricane Katrina

© Mario Tama/Getty Images
A rescue boat passes a partially submerged
stop sign in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.
Hurricane Isaac batters New Orleans seven years to the day since Hurricane Katrina
Aug 30, 2012 | The Guardian

New Orleans issues curfew as torrential rain and harsh winds remain serious threat as storm weakens with little relief in sight

Heavy rain, high winds and floodwaters swept over Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday, as Isaac was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm and a fortified levee system appeared to have saved New Orleans from disaster.

Rescuers picked up dozens of residents who had ignored warnings to leave low-lying areas, seven years to the day after hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

Power lines were cut and debris littered the streets, prompting authorities in New Orleans to declare a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Louisiana officials said they would intentionally breach a levee in Placquemines parish, south of New Orleans, as Isaac lumbered inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Authorities feared many residents would need help after a night of torrential rain and harsh winds knocked out power to more than 700,000 households and businesses.

Isaac has top sustained winds of 70mph (112kph), just below the hurricane threshold of 74mph (119kph).

Read more..

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WISE survey uncovers millions of black holes

With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE,
has identified millions of quasar candidates.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
WISE survey uncovers millions of black holes
Aug 29, 2012 | Phys.org

Images from the telescope have revealed millions of dusty black hole candidates across the universe and about 1,000 even dustier objects thought to be among the brightest galaxies ever found. These powerful galaxies, which burn brightly with infrared light, are nicknamed hot DOGs.

"WISE has exposed a menagerie of hidden objects," said Hashima Hasan, WISE program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We've found an asteroid dancing ahead of Earth in its orbit, the coldest star-like orbs known and now, supermassive black holes and galaxies hiding behind cloaks of dust."

WISE scanned the whole sky twice in infrared light, completing its survey in early 2011. Like night-vision goggles probing the dark, the telescope captured millions of images of the sky. All the data from the mission have been released publicly, allowing astronomers to dig in and make new discoveries.

The latest findings are helping astronomers better understand how galaxies and the behemoth black holes at their centers grow and evolve together. For example, the giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, called Sagittarius A*, has 4 million times the mass of our sun and has gone through periodic feeding frenzies where material falls towards the black hole, heats up and irradiates its surroundings. Bigger central black holes, up to a billion times the mass of our sun, may even shut down star formation in galaxies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-wise-survey-uncovers-millions-black.html#jCp

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac - Update 8 (Aug 28, 2012, 1700UTC)

Hurricane Isaac - Update 8 (Aug 28, 2012, 1700UTC)
Aug 28, 2012 |

Isaac has intensified into a hurricane, after being very close to the classification for a while. Isaac poses a threat to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, most notably due to rainfall and storm surge potential, the former having already been noted in Florida. Isaac is not expected to strengthen much more than its current intensity of 75mph, and will eventually dissipate over the continental United States in a few days. Stay safe out there.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Toxic Pesticides and the Flight of The Bumblebee: Are We Poisoning Our Future?

Toxic Pesticides and the Flight of The Bumblebee: Are We Poisoning Our Future?
Aug 26, 2012 | Colin Todhunter

Have you heard the buzz lately? Billions of bumblebees have been dying off, and, as a result, the entire global food chain may be in danger. Along with other insects, such as moths and hoverflies, bees pollinate around a third of the crops grown worldwide.

Photo source Wikipedia
The humble bee is a much under-appreciated creature. In fact, life as we know it depends on it. Bees pollinate wild plants and agricultural crops, including some 90 per cent of the world’s commercial plants. Most fruits, vegetables and nuts, including okra, tomatoes, sunflowers, cucumbers, cashew, onion, cabbage, rapeseed, almonds, citrus fruits and cherries are all pollinated by bees, and coffee, soya beans and cotton are dependent on them to increase yields. Bees are at the forefront of a food chain that also sustains wild birds and animals.

As with other crucial pollinators, bees have been in serious decline around the world for the past few decades. Sydney Cameron, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, led a team on a three-year study of eight species of bumblebees in the US. The findings showed that the relative abundance of four of the sampled species had declined by up to 96 per cent and that their geographic ranges had contracted by 23 to 87 per cent, some within the past two decades. In the US, 50 to 90 per cent of commercial bee colonies are affected by ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’. The decline is however not restricted to the US. It’s a major global issue.

In the UK, for instance, three of the 25 British species of bumblebee are already extinct, and half of the remainder has shown serious declines, often up to 70 per cent, since around the 1970s. Bee populations have also been affected in the mainland Europe, China and India.

Reasons for the decline of bees may be many, including parasites, viral and bacterial infections, changes to habitat, pollution, poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods and even mobile phone frequencies. However, one of the causes points to the use of neonicotinoids, a nicotine-based pesticide that has been banned in France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Slovenia.

In 2010, writer and activist Tom Philpott wrote that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed the widespread use of clothianidin, a neonicotinoid manufactured by the chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer, despite warnings from the EPA’s own scientists.

Philpott’s evidence was based on a leaked internal EPA memo that revealed clothianidin has serious health impacts on bees, which may be directly related to their disappearance. The memo reported that studies show clothianidin is highly toxic and that information from standard tests and field studies, alongside incident reports involving similar insecticides, suggests the potential for long-term toxic risk to honeybees and other beneficial insects. In December, beekeepers and environmentalists in the US asked the EPA to remove its approval of the pesticide.

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Nevertheless, the EPA has allowed the widespread use of the pesticide on corn, wheat and other staple food products. Meanwhile, Bayer raked in $262 million in 2009 from its sales of neonicotinoids to farmers.

Bayer continues to export or manufacture its pesticides across the world, including in India. In fact, imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid, is one of India’s highest selling pesticides.

Dr Parthiba Basu from the University of Calcutta argues that India is also experiencing a decline. His research team’s findings show that the yields of pollinator-independent crops have continued to increase, whereas pollinator-dependent crops have levelled off. In an attempt to identify an underlying cause for the pollinator decline, the team is comparing conventional agriculture with ecological farming. Basu states there is an obvious indication that within the ecological farming setting (where harmful pesticides are not used), there is pollinator abundance.

He added that if the team’s findings were extrapolated, this would offer a clear indication that India was facing a decline in natural pollinators, as ecological farming was only practiced on about 10-20 per cent of the country’s arable land. There are serious implications. Unlike those with access to a varied diet, Basu says there are certain vegetable crops that many people living near the poverty threshold rely on. If there is a pollination crisis, Basu suggests nutritional security could be affected.

In India, wild honey collection in the Kutch region of Gujarat in 2010 fell to 50 tonnes from the usual 300 tonnes in previous years because of the fall in the number of honey bees. The yield of certain native crops like date palms, lemon, papaya and kesar mangoes has also decreased. In Malda, West Bengal, mango honey was once good business, but farmers say bees are now avoiding mango trees.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the massive bee die-offs. But one thing we do know is that bees are in trouble — by implication, we are too.

Given the revelations concerning the EPA in the US with regard to neonicotinoids, another thing we know is that we should no longer leave our food chain or ecology in the hands of the big chemical and pharmaceutical companies — nor should we rely on the regulating and policy bodies that are too often seen to be in their pockets.

Colin Todhunter : Originally from the northwest of England, Colin Todhunter has spent many years in India. He has written extensively for the Deccan Herald (the Bangalore-based broadsheet), New Indian Express and Morning Star (Britain). His articles have also appeared in various other newspapers, journals and books. His East by Northwest website is at: http://colintodhunter.blogspot.com

Global Research Articles by Colin Todhunter

2MIN News August 26, 2012: Gulf Coast Alert

2MIN News August 26, 2012: Gulf Coast Alert
Aug 26, 2012 |



TODAY'S LINKS
Isaac Video: http://www.reuters.com/video/2012/08/25/isaac-roars-through-the-caribbean?vid...
Isaac Video 2: http://www.weather.com/weather/videos/news-41/top-stories-169/raw-isaac-cause...
Venezuela Oil Explosion: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/25/us-venezuela-refinery-idUSBRE87O02R...
Venezuela Fire Video: http://www.reuters.com/article/video/idUSBRE87O02R20120825?videoId=237280302

REPEAT LINKS
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]

HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]

SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]

SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]

Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]

SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it... trust me]

SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]

iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]

NASA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov:8080/IswaSystemWebApp/iSWACygnetStreamer?timestamp=...
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/

NOAA Bouys: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]

JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/

LISS: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/operations/heliplots_gsn.php

Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]

BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]

TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]

GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]

EL DORADO WORLD WEATHER MAP: http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/satellite/ssec/world/world-composite-ir-...

PRESSURE MAP: http://www.woweather.com/cgi-bin/expertcharts?LANG=us&MENU=0000000000&...

HURRICANE TRACKER: http://www.weather.com/weather/hurricanecentral/tracker

INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]

NASA News: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/

PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]

Always Check the Foreign News Sources as well!!!
Iran: Mehr News, TehranTimes
China: Xinhua, China.org, Chinadaily
Asia Times dot Com
Russia: Ria Novosti
Israel: Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, Haaretz
M/E: ArabNews, AlJazeera

David Icke: "Stuff Your Foreclosure, We Ain't Moving!"

David Icke: "Stuff Your Foreclosure, We Ain't Moving!"
Aug 16, 2012 |

The Sun - Where's the convection?

The Sun - Where's the convection?
Aug 26, 2012 |



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Friday, August 24, 2012

Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Research Suggests

New research links the origins of Indo-European
with the spread of farming from Anatolia 8000-9500
years ago. (Credit: Image courtesy
of Radboud University Nijmegen)

Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Research Suggests
Aug 23, 2012 | Science Daily

The Indo-European languages belong to one of the widest spread language families of the world. For the last two millenia, many of these languages have been written, and their history is relatively clear. But controversy remains about the time and place of the origins of the family. A large international team, including MPI researcher Michael Dunn, reports the results of an innovative Bayesian phylogeographic analysis of Indo-European linguistic and spatial data.

Their paper appears this week in Science.


The majority view in historical linguistics is that the homeland of Indo-European is located in the Pontic steppes (present day Ukraine) around 6,000 years ago. The evidence for this comes from linguistic paleontology: in particular, certain words to do with the technology of wheeled vehicles are arguably present across all the branches of the Indo-European family; and archaeology tells us that wheeled vehicles arose no earlier than this date. The minority view links the origins of Indo-European with the spread of farming from Anatolia 8,000 to 9,500 years ago.

Lexicons combined with dispersal of speakers

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The minority view is decisively supported by the present analysis in this week's Science. This analysis combines a model of the evolution of the lexicons of individual languages with an explicit spatial model of the dispersal of the speakers of those languages. Known events in the past (the date of attestation dead languages, as well as events which can be fixed from archaeology or the historical record) are used to calibrate the inferred family tree against time.

Importance of phylogenetic trees 

The lexical data used in this analysis come from the Indo-European Lexical Cognacy Database (IELex). This database has been developed in MPI's Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture group, and provides a large, high-quality collection of language data suitable for phylogenetic analysis. Beyond the intrinsic interest of uncovering the history of language families and their speakers, phylogenetic trees are crucially important for understanding evolution and diversity in many human sciences, from syntax and semantics to social structure.

Time Wars

Picture: Alan Cleaver (CC)
Time Wars
Aug 24, 2012 | Disinfo.com

Science fiction is tackling the issue of economic inequality using the metaphor of rationed time and mortality. Radical blogger and professor of ‘cultural analysis’ Mark Fisher doesn’t see this as too far from the truth.

His writing examines autonomy, workerism, post-Marxism, post-Fordism, punk, post-punk, neoliberalism, new atheism and anarchism. As fear of losing one’s job, debt closing in, mortality, apocalypse, the devastating end of capitalism or Malthusian collapse tick away in our background, all of us feel that constant tremor, further emphasized by the endless updates to our devices, making us addicted to our own anxiety. Society stalls and experimental innovation is crushed under the systemic pressure of time constraints. As he writes:  “Given all of this, it is clear that most political struggles at the moment amount to a war over time.

Via Gonzo Circus:
For most workers, there is no such thing as the long term. As sociologist Richard Sennett put it in his book The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism, the post-Fordist worker “lives in a world marked … by short-term flexibility and flux … Corporations break up or join together, jobs appear and disappear, as events lacking connection.” Throughout history, humans have learned to come to terms with the traumatic upheavals caused by war or natural disasters, but “[w]hat’s peculiar about uncertainty today,” Sennett points out, “is that it exists without any looming historical disaster; instead it is woven into the everyday practices of a vigorous capitalism.”

It isn’t only work that has become more tenuous. The neoliberal attacks on public services, welfare programmes and trade unions mean that we are increasingly living in a world deprived of security or solidarity. The consequence of the normalisation of uncertainty is a permanent state of low-level panic. Fear, which attaches to particular objects, is replaced by a more generalised anxiety, a constant twitching, an inability to settle.

The consequence is a strange kind of existential state, in which exhaustion bleeds into insomniac overstimulation (no matter how tired we are, there is still time for one more click) and enjoyment and anxiety co-exist (the urge to check emails, for instance, is both something we must do for work and a libidinal compulsion, a psychoanalytic drive that is never satisfied no matter how many messages we receive). The fact that the smart phone makes cyberspace available practically anywhere at anytime means that boredom (or at least the old style, ‘Fordist’ boredom) has effectively been eliminated from social life. Yet boredom, like death, posed existential challenges that are far more easily deferred in the always-on cyberspatial environment. Ultimately, communicative capitalism does not vanquish boredom so much as it “sublates” it, seeming to destroy it only to preserve it in a new synthesis. The characteristic affective tonality for the insomniac drift of cyberspace, in which there is always one more click to make, one more update to check, combines fascination with boredom. We are bored even as we are fascinated, and the limitless distraction allows us to evade confronting death – even as death is closing in on us.
Read more of Mark’s work, or his twitter.

Hundreds of racing pigeons vanish in UK 'Bermuda triangle' of birds

Hundreds of racing pigeons vanish in UK 'Bermuda triangle' of birds
Aug 24, 2012 | Daily Mail UK


Pigeon racers are mystified after hundreds birds disappeared in an they have now dubbed the Bermuda Triangle.

Only 13 out of 232 birds released in Thirsk , North Yorkshire, on Saturday by a Scottish pigeon racing club made it back to Galashiels, Selkirkshire.

It follows a summer in which hundreds more have vanished in the same area.

Keith Simpson, of the East Cleveland Federation, said pigeon racers across the region had all suffered massive losses since the season started in April - with many losing more than half of their birds.

Some fanciers are considering stopping flying the birds until they establish why so many failed to return.

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Scottish pigeon racer Austin Lindores said: "When they fly down to the Thirsk, Wetherby and Consett area we call it the Bermuda Triangle because something always seems to happen.

"This is not the first time it has happened in that area. I won't be racing there again."

The loss of homing pigeons, which can be worth up to £200,000, has baffled experts, but the most popular theory is the abnormal number of summer showers, sending birds off course as they attempt to fly around the downpours.

Unusually high levels of solar activity distorting magnetic fields and even signals from Menwith Hill spy base, near Harrogate , an electronic monitoring station, have also been blamed.

Wendy Jeffries, president of the Thirsk Social Flying Club, said: "I just don't know what it is down to.

"The weather wasn't too bad around here on Saturday. It has been an atrocious year. I am down to ten young birds out of 29 and the people I have talked to are the same."

The high numbers of birds going missing in the region have also been linked to the high numbers of pigeons being released within minutes of each other at weekends, meaning different groups of pigeons send each other off course.

Darlington pigeon racer Stuart Fawcett, who has been racing pigeons for more than 30 years, said: "It is the worst year in the memory of people who have been racing for 60 years.

"The area being talked about is very heavily congested with pigeons because the raptor problem became so great elsewhere that races have moved to east England."

8/23/2012 -- Severe weather overview -- Tropical storm Isaac -- Hail, possible Tornadoes

8/23/2012 -- Severe weather overview -- Tropical storm Isaac -- Hail, possible Tornadoes
Aug 23, 2012 |



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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bonobo chimp makes stone tools like early humans did

Bonobo chimp makes stone tools like early humans did
Aug 23, 2012 | Phenomenica

Bonobo Kanzi.
 
After learning sign language or making up “words” for things like banana or juice, Kanzi, the 30-year-old male bonobo chimp, continues to impress researchers with his new skill of making stone tools like early humans did.

Eviatar Nevo of the University of Haifa in Israel and his colleagues sealed food inside a log and watched Kanzi try to extract it.

While a companion bonobo attempted the problem a handful of times, and succeeded only by smashing the log on the ground, Kanzi took a longer and arguably more sophisticated approach, New Scientist reported.

Both had been taught to knap flint flakes in the 1990s, holding a stone core in one hand and using another as a hammer. Kanzi used the tools he created to come at the log in a variety of ways: inserting sticks into seams in the log, throwing projectiles at it, and employing stone flints as choppers, drills, and scrapers. In the end, he got food out of 24 logs, while his companion managed just two.



Perhaps most remarkable about the tools Kanzi created is their resemblance to those made by early Homo: wedges and choppers, and scrapers and drills.

Though it’s hard to say whether all bonobos possess similar skills, the findings will fuel the ongoing debate over whether stone tools mark the beginning of modern human culture, or predate our Homo genus.

They appear to suggest the latter – though critics will point out that Kanzi and his companion were taught how to make the tools.

ANI

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Avoid Florida Black Widows and Wasp Stings

 How to Avoid Florida Black Widows and Wasp Stings - R. Mark Sink

If you live in the midst of Florida and have a back yard, you are most likely going to have many spiders. Most of these varieties are harmless unless noticeably vivid in color. However, I've begun to see a different variety that is not vivid black, but a chameleon color that is hard to see.

From Red Orbit Reference Library

The Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus), also known as the Brown Button Spider, Geometric Button Spider, or Gray Widow, is a species of arachnid that is related to the famous Black Widow Spider. The Brown Widow is found in the northern and southern United States. States include Florida, Alabama, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. It is also found in some regions in Japan, Australia, South Africa and Cyprus. The origins of the species is unknown as it was independently discovered in both Africa and the Americas. They are commonly found in buildings.

The color of the Brown Widow can range from tan to dark brown or even black, though its generally lighter in color than the Black Widow. Some shades of gray have also been recorded in this species. There is an “hourglass” marking on the underside of the abdomen. This hourglass is orange or yellow in color. There is also a black and white geometric pattern on the upper side of the abdomen. The pattern is not always visible, especially as the spider darkens in color over time.

An easy way to find a Brown Widow is by searching for the easily identifiable egg sac. The egg sacs resemble sandspur (having pointy projections all over that resemble small spikes). The eggs hatch in about 20 days.

The neurotoxic venom of this species has been reported as being more potent than that of the Black Widow, but is usually confined to the bite area and surrounding tissue. Other sources believe the toxin is less venomous. Either way, people that have been bitten describe the experience as quite painful. Extreme care should be taken when playing or working in areas that this species are abundant.

Photo Copyright and Credit
An easy way to recognize their presence is their eggs that resemble a brown sack-looking spiked apparatus that is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. If you see the eggs, you can guarantee the mother is near. They gather at all locations approximately 1 to 2 feet off the ground in and around anything that accommodates a hub of protection. 

I have many ladders that are often stored outside so killing black widows has become a past time as these locations are guaranteed infestations. If you spray your yard with pesticides, you will reduce their presence while also exposing your family to neurotoxins.

Today, I killed a rather large brown widow by using a stick to draw her out which she then immediately created a silk escape line approaching the ground where she then was destroyed. Any type of ledge or inside corner, underneath patio furniture, and in the approximate height zone is capable infestation. I've killed hundreds while living in Florida, mostly black, and it is recommended to become aware of the practice of ensuring your interaction with the stuff we accumulate has not become their home.

From Florida Wasps
Avoiding black widows may seem scary, actually I've never been bit by one. That is not the case for the wasp, as understanding how to avoid them is quite different in nature. They most often require higher ground clearance to build their nests automatically out of your normal view. They also have range factor, if you are within their range and disturb them, an attack is announced to the entire crew. They fly similar to F-15s to acquire their target and can sting you many times.

The paper wasps is more common where I live which is central Florida. If the wasps don't look as wimpy as these, be sure and increase your range. These require a range of approximately 10 feet, so a stick 10 feet long can be used to remove the nest attachment. There is no reason to kill the wasps as they only care about the nest. Once the nest is removed, they will wander around and eventually build another nest, and sometimes in the same location.

For the more scary looking variety, use a 16 foot stick as this is out of range, although you do want to retreat once your attempt is completed just as assurance they cannot set you as a target. The paper wasps range is rather small, but a minimum of 10 feet is recommended with the additional retreat upon displacing unwanted nests.

Nests can be difficult to spot and wasps love to hide under areas you would not expect. Their nesting is broader than the spider and also can be close to the ground unexpectedly. Their sting is quite painful depending on the location. Anywhere on the hands or arms is critical, the back and neck not so much, and the face of course critical.

I use a Melaleuca oil bath immediately on all stings and repeat applications. Some more natural methods of treatments are available from Natural News.

Could Mosasaurs be breeding off the coast of New Zealand?

Could Mosasaurs be breeding off the coast of New Zealand?
Aug 19, 2012 | Tony Lucas

There have been many encounters with unknown creatures off the coast of New Zealand, with the East coast being particularly favoured.

There is a very good reason for this, running parallel to New Zealand's coastline is the Hikurangi Trench. A deep gouge on the ocean floor, that descends in places to depths of 3,750 metres (12,300 ft).[ (Lewis, Collott, & Lallemand, 1998, pp. 441-468.)

New Zealands unique oceanography

These deep troughs bring a wealth of nutrient rich organisms to the surface allowing for a mass of biodiversity to flourish in the nutrient rich upper waters.

Krill are profuse here along with smaller fish species which create a nutrient rich environment for larger predatory animals such as Giant Squid, which in turn are preyed upon by Sperm Whales. So there is no deficit of vast food supplies for large predatory animals cruising the depths of New Zealand's coastline.

Where the Hikurangi Trench joins up with the Tonga Trench, the area is heavily spotted with areas of geothermal activity which provide warm waters as well as a warm current which flows from the equatorial region.

This area of the Tonga Trench has a rich diversity of marine life previously undiscovered until recent expeditions. This is a very harsh environment where reshaping of the seafloor is happening continually, to quote from the results of a joint project between the Universities of Durham and Oxford, and funded by the National Research Centre.

"Where the Pacific plate collides with the Indo-Australian plate, it is forced downwards into the trench, a subduction zone, and the volcanoes are carried with it.

The trench, reaching a depth of 10.9km, forms the second deepest stretch of seabed anywhere in the world - easily large enough to hold Mount Everest"

What would make this an ideal nursery and breeding place?

The abundant food supply, warm, water and lack of large predatory animals would make this an ideal breeding and nursery ground for Mosasaurs. Migrating whales along these routes would also provide a range of suitably sized animals for the young mosasaurs to feed on, and just returning from the feeding grounds would make these whales wholesome additions to their diet.

Personally, I think the primary reason that many of these creatures are avoiding detection is the fact that they have learned to avoid the sound of a ship's engine and stay well away from any encroaching vessel or main shipping lane.

These out of the way areas often lead to shallow bays which are warmed by the circum-tasmanian current which brings warm water to the Bay of Plenty, which coincidently boarders the Kermedec trench. Warm water, shallow bays and a deep nutrient rich feeding ground create ideal nutrient rich conditions. Likewise a high percentage of creature observations have been made in these very waters.

So what has been seen in these waters?

The earliest known reference to Mosasaur like creatures in New Zealand waters comes from a report dated August 1st 1899 from the Union Steam Ships Chief Officer of the Rotomahama, Lindsay Kerr.

He reported a huge Conger Eel, except it had two fins, one on each side of the body. This colossus Rose up to a high of 30 feet out of the water. This sighting occurred near the Portland Light situated between Gisborne and Napier.

Right in the area of suitable Mosasaur habitat coincidently.

When shown pictures of various types of Eels, Mr Kerr said it had a more crocodilian type head rather than anything he was shown.

In April 1971 the crew of the Kompira Maru saw a "Bug-Eyed Monster" which resembled a large crocodile, but had fins instead of Legs, which were clearly visible as it leaped and dived under the water.

1972 three women were whitebaiting at the mouth of the Orari River near Temuka watched a huge creature wallowing in the breakers about 30 m away from them.

They described a light grey lizard like beast that was around 15 m long, which at one point opened its mouth to reveal numerous small sharp teeth.

(SamYivano, 2007)

There is nothing to be said to make me think otherwise but personally, I do believe these creatures are out there as there have been too many sightings that are so closely reminiscent of mosasaurs as to be easily dismissed.

There have been 11 reported sightings of Mosasaur like animals reported in New Zealand waters, a higher number than anywhere else.

Are they a new species?

Perhaps.

I would more like to think of a Coelacanth scenario, an ancient species that has adapted to survive into the modern age.

We are still but children taking our first unsteady paddling steps into a very wide and portentous ocean that holds many secrets and undisclosed treasures we thought once lost.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Depression 10 racing in Atlantic

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite
captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm
Isaac on Aug. 22 at 2:05 a.m. EDT, as it was
bringing heavy rainfall to the Lesser Antilles.
Strong thunderstorms appeared in a band of
thunderstorms in Isaac's western quadrant that
had cloud top temperatures as cold as -63F
(-52C) (in purple). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA sees Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Depression 10 racing in Atlantic
Aug 22, 2012 | Phys.org

There are now two active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and NASA is generating satellite imagery to monitor their march westward. Tropical Storm Issac is already bringing rainfall to the Lesser Antilles today, Aug. 22, Tropical Depression 10 formed in the eastern Atlantic, and another low fizzled in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Isaac formed late on Aug. 21 from Tropical Depression 9 and immediately caused warnings and watches. Tropical Depression 10 formed during the morning hours on Aug. 22 in the central Atlantic, east of Isaac and appears to be following the tropical storm on NOAA's GOES-13 satellite imagery. NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of Tropical Storm Isaac over the Lesser Antilles, and newborn Tropical Depression 10 trailing behind on Aug. 22 at 1445 UTC (10:45 a.m. EDT). The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Both storms are showing good circulation.

 The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Isaac on Aug. 22 at 2:05 a.m. EDT, as it was bringing heavy rainfall to the Lesser Antilles. Strong thunderstorms appeared in a band of thunderstorms in Isaac's western quadrant that had cloud top temperatures as cold as -63F (-52C).

This visible image captured by NOAA's GOES-13
satellite on Aug. 22 at 1445 UTC shows Tropical Storm
Isaac over the Lesser Antilles, and newborn Tropical
Depression 10 trailing behind in the central Atlantic.
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Watches and Warnings in Effect 

The National Hurricane Center has posted Warnings and Watches for Tropical Storm Issac. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe and the surrounding islands, and St. Martin, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, and Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

There are also hurricane and tropical storm watches in effect. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands; the south coast of the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona westward to the Haiti-Domenican Republic southern border. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the north coast of the Dominican Republic from the Haiti-Dominican Republic northern border eastward to north of Isla Saona.

Globalists Combine Geoengineering and Family Planning to Ensure Population Deduction

Globalists Combine Geoengineering and Family Planning to Ensure Population Deduction
Aug 22, 2012 | Susanne Posel

The US Geological Survey has been analyzing rising sea levels from North Carolina to Boston and expect there to be a doubling of current levels. By 2050, the sea levels are assumed to be higher than 1.5 feet, according to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in Delaware. Several federal and state-sponsored scientific agencies agree. Computer models say a 3 foot rise would flood waterside communities along the Eastern seaboard.

Alarmists claim we are just a few years away from a “tipping point” where current weather patterns will become drastically different – as evidenced by comparison of the changes in the last few decades. The US Department of Energy published a report that shows CO2 emissions in the US have dropped; yet not enough to stave off the devastation of the tipping point.

Rich Collins, member of Delaware’s Sea-Level Rise Advisory Committee , explains: “I have real concerns, because there are many environmental programs that I believe are designed to drive people away from the water.”

David Keith, director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy is pushing the releasing of nanotechnology with sulfuric aerosols into the Earth’s atmosphere to reflect sunlight back out into space. Keith manages the million-dollar geoengineering research that is funded by Bill Gates and the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research.

Keith claims : “You could manipulate the Earth’s climate at large scale for a cost that’s of the order of $1 billion a year. It sounds like a lot of money, but compared to the costs of managing other environmental problems or climate change, that is peanuts.”

These engineered nanoparticles are assumed, according to Keith, to be “less likely to harm the planet’s protective ozone layer” and that controlling the Earth’s weather patterns is more important than the consequences of such an endeavor.

Read more..

US Prison Population: The Largest in the World

US Prison Population: The Largest in the World
Aug 22, 2012 | Activist Post



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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Walmart to start selling unlabeled insecticide-laced GMO corn from Monsanto

A bag containing "MON 810", a variety of genetically
modified maize (corn) developed by Monsanto
Company has been ripped opened by anti-GMO
activists (AFP Photo/Eric Cabanis)
Walmart to start selling unlabeled insecticide-laced GMO corn from Monsanto
Aug 21, 2012 |Rt.com

America’s largest bio-agriculture company and the biggest retailer in the country are joining forces, but a happy ending isn’t necessarily in sight. Walmart will soon be stocking their shelves with GMO corn made by Monsanto.

Millions of Americans shop at Walmart, but that doesn’t mean that they all know what they’re getting as they check out in shopping centers across the country. The retail giant says they won't advertise which of their products are made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which could become a big problem very soon. Zack Kaldveer explains in an editorial published by the California Progress Report this month that Walmart will soon sell a special factory-made corn manufactured by Monsanto, which while it will allow most of Americans more easy access to affordable food, will also fill them with unknown insecticides: the very GMO crop Walmart will be selling has been genetically engineered to include chemicals right inside the corn.

Voters in California will decide later this year if retailers on the West Coast will be legally bound to correctly label all foodstuffs sold in shopping centers that are made from lab-alerted, genetically modified foods. Notwithstanding that ruling, one of the largest retailers in the world says that they won’t worry about advertising their GMO foods as the product of scientists in the meantime because, simply, they don’t see enough of a reason to do as such.

"After closely looking at both sides of the debate and collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts, we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product," company representative Dianna Gee tells the Chicago Tribune.

Critics of that stance say that the explanation is flawed, though. With GMOs still being a relatively new science and industry, the true safety of foods made in labs has not been thoroughly tested because the long-lasting effects have yet to be analyzed. That’s why people in California are rallying to pass Proposition 37, a legislation that will require that products sold in the state are labeled as GMOs if they fit the description.

"How would you ever know if there are adverse health effects?" Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, adds to the Tribune. "There has been a doubling of food allergies in this country since 1996. Is it connected to genetically engineered foods? Who knows, when you have no labeling? That is a problem."

Monsanto, one of the biggest biotech companies in the world, isn’t that okay with efforts to pass the bill, though. They have so far donated hundreds of millions of dollars towards a campaign established to stop the bill, No on 37. But in the latest incident to unfold in the saga, Monsanto isn’t exactly offering suggestions to come to a compromise either.

According to the New York Times, Monsantor Director of Corporate Communications Phil Angel said, ''Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job.''

The FDA, on the other hand, disagrees. California Progress Report reveals that, on the record, the Food and Drug Administration insists, “Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.”

Now unless the Proposition 37 passes, Walmart says that they will not go out of their way to inform their customers as to what exactly they are getting either, leaving millions of Americans to shop at the country’s most popular store without being aware of what risks are at hand.

Opponents of the effort to label foods insist that passing Prop 37 will leave America’s agriculture and food shopping economy in shambles because it will scare consumers, though.

"Prop. 37 leaves consumers with the incorrect impression that there is something wrong with GE crops, when that is not true,” No on 37 spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks tells the Associated Press.

Walmart agrees, and now plans on letting all GMOs go onto their shelves unlabeled at the 4,000 or so stores across this country. With Walmart growing from having 6 percent to a full quarter of nationwide grocery sales in just a decade and a half, though, a win for them can eventually mean a loss for anyone in America who is concerned with what’s going into their bodies.

“It’s an epic food fight between the pesticide companies and consumers who want to know what’s in their food,” Yes on 37 media director Stacy Malkan tells the Associated Press,

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Caldicott: UN lies about nuclear threat

Caldicott: UN lies about nuclear threat
Mar 18, 2012 |



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Record Radiation Found in Fish off Fukushima

Fish on sale near Japan's Fukushima
nuclear plant in 2011 (Agence France-Presse)
Record Radiation Found in Fish off Fukushima
Aug 21, 2012 | CommonDreams.org

Fish recently caught off the shores of Fukushima have shown the highest level of radioactive caesium detected in fish and shellfish caught in Japan since the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster last year.

 The fish were caught 12.5 miles off the plant on August 1 and registered 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said.

The amount is 258 times the level that the government has set for safe consumption.

The greenling fish may have fed in "radioactive hotspots", according to Agence France-Presse, but more samples of fish and seabed soil will be taken to measure patterns of radiation in the next few weeks.

35-Year-Old Voyager 2 Probe Is NASA's Longest Mission Ever

Artist's concept of Voyager 1 and
Voyager 2 at the edge of the solar system.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech
35-Year-Old Voyager 2 Probe Is NASA's Longest Mission Ever
Aug 21, 2012 | Meggan Gannon

The iconic Voyager 2 spacecraft celebrated its 35th birthday Monday (Aug. 20) in a milestone for NASA's longest-running mission ever.

Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 just 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1. The probes were tasked chiefly with studying Saturn, Jupiter and the gas giants' moons, but have continued on through the solar system and are now about to cross into interstellar space. Voyager 1 is due to cross first, becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond our solar system, and Voyager 2 is not far behind.

"Even 35 years on, our rugged Voyager spacecraft are poised to make new discoveries as we eagerly await the signs that we've entered interstellar space," Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in an Aug. 20 statement from NASA. "Voyager results turned Jupiter and Saturn into full, tumultuous worlds, their moons from faint dots into distinctive places, and gave us our first glimpses of Uranus and Neptune up-close. We can't wait for Voyager to turn our models of the space beyond our sun into the first observations from interstellar space." [Voyager 2 Still Trekkin' at 35]

 Voyager 2 is currently about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from the sun, NASA officials said. For the past five years it has been sending back information about the outer layer of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. No one really knows how long it will take to get to interstellar space, but NASA officials said the Voyager twins will have enough power to keep communicating with Earth until 2020, possibly 2025. [Photos From NASA's Voyager Probes]

"We continue to listen to Voyager 1 and 2 nearly every day," Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in NASA's statement. "The two spacecraft are in great shape for having flown through Jupiter’s dangerous radiation environment and having to endure the chill of being so far away from our Sun."

In case the spacecraft encounter any life beyond our solar system, they are each carrying a golden record with a collection of sights and sounds from Earth, including 117 images and greetings in 54 languages, with a variety of natural and human-made sounds like storms, volcanoes, rocket launches, airplanes and animals. The collection was chosen by a committee chaired by the late Cornell University astronomer Carl Sagan.

This story was provided by SPACE.com, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow SPACE.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

SECRET NASA PICTURES HACKED

SECRET NASA PICTURES HACKED
Nov 15, 2011 |



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Photographing Modern Day Slavery

Photographing Modern Day Slavery
Aug 17, 2012 | Waking Times

Photographer Lisa Kristine has been travelling the world for the last 2 years documenting the problem of modern day slavery.  Some 27 million people are thought to be enslaved worldwide even though human slavery is illegal.  From backbreaking labor in brick factories and underground mines, to sex slavery, to textile mills and farms, Lisa tells the story of the people featured in her heart-braking photographs.

In a world where the items being produced have far more value than the people producing them, and women and children are terribly objectified, slavery is sadly a persistent horror that requires worldwide attention.  Please watch this TedX presentation and support the work of FreeTheSlaves.net.

Record-Breaking Phoenix Galaxy Cluster: By the Numbers

Microwave (orange), optical (red, green, blue)
and ultraviolet (blue) image of Phoenix
Cluster. Image released August 15, 2012.
CREDIT: UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M.McDonald;
Optical: AURA/NOAO/CTIO/MIT/M.McDonald;
Microwave: NSF/SPT
Record-Breaking Phoenix Galaxy Cluster: By the Numbers
Aug 18, 2012 | Mike Wall

The faraway Phoenix galaxy cluster may be the biggest and brightest such structure ever discovered, and it's forming stars at an unprecedented rate, scientists announced today (Aug. 15).

Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Phoenix cluster — formally known as SPT-CLJ2344-4243 — which researchers say could yield key insights into how galaxies and colossal clusters evolve:

2.5 quadrillion: How many times more massive the Phoenix cluster is than our own sun. This may be an all-time record for galaxy clusters — the most massive structures in the universe, composed of hundreds or thousands of individual galaxies bound together by gravity — researchers said.

"I would say it's in a dead heat for the most massive galaxy cluster," Michael McDonald of MIT, lead author of the study describing Phoenix's remarkable properties, told SPACE.com contributor Charles Choi. "The record-holder, 'El Gordo,' is slightly more massive, but the uncertainty in this estimate is high — it could turn out that with more careful measurements, Phoenix is more massive."

3 trillion: The number of stars that reside in the Phoenix cluster's central galaxy, compared to 200 billion or so in our own Milky Way. [Gallery: Chandra Spies Fastest-Growing Galaxy Cluster]

10 billion: The low-end estimate of the mass of the huge black hole at the heart of Phoenix's central galaxy, in solar masses. That's about as massive as the biggest black hole ever discovered.

For comparison, the Milky Way's central black hole weighs in at about 4 million solar masses.

Read more..

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dog stumbles upon 300 million-year-old fossil

© Nova Scotia Museum
The fossil comes from a branch of
reptiles described as mammal-like
as they are thought to be the ancient
ancestors of modern mammal species.
Dog stumbles upon 300 million-year-old fossil
Aug 16, 2012 | CBC

A family and their dog named Kitty have stumbled upon one of the most significant fossil finds ever in Nova Scotia.

The reptile fossil, affectionately nicknamed "Superstar," is the first of its kind to be found in the province.

While out walking along Nova Scotia's fossil-rich Northumberland shore, Patrick Keating, his family, and their dog, Kitty, found a fossilized rib cage, backbone and partial sail.

When they went back to the same area a week later, they found the creature's fossilized skull.

"We really had no idea how significant this was," said Keating. "My brother Peter and his kids took the pieces to the Nova Scotia Museum and when we learned what they were, we were truly amazed and so glad we brought them in."

Researchers estimate the reptile lived between 290 and 305 million years ago, during the Carboniferous Period or early Permian Period.

Based on fossil evidence, researchers believe Superstar was a juvenile, measuring about one metre long, weighing in at about 15 kilograms.

Paleontologists and other staff from the Museum of Natural History, the Fundy Geological Museum and the Joggins Fossil Institute are working together to unravel the mystery.

Read more..

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Revelation of the Pyramids

The Revelation of the Pyramids
Aug 16, 2012 | Phenomenica

The Revelation Of The Pyramids takes an in depth look into one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Mystery has surrounded these epic structures for centuries with theories varying from the scientific to the bizarre.

However with over thirty-seven years of in depth research taking in sites from China, Peru, Mexico and Egypt, one scientist has as at last managed first to understand and then to reveal what lies behind this greatest of archaeological mysteries: a message of paramount importance for all mankind, through time and space.



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U.S. lawmakers accuse Walmart of tax evasion and money laundering

Jared C. Benedict, Creative Commons
U.S. lawmakers accuse Walmart of tax evasion and money laundering
Aug 16, 2012 | Raw Story / Agence France-Presse

Two US lawmakers probing bribery allegations against Walmart in Mexico say they have documents suggesting the US retail giant may also have engaged in tax evasion and money laundering.

The congressmen, Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman, made their claim in a letter to Walmart Chief Executive Michael Duke dated Tuesday, urging him to respond to requests for information about allegations that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

"We have obtained internal company documents, including internal audit reports, from other sources suggesting that Walmart may have had compliance issues relating not only to bribery, but also to 'questionable financial behavior' including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico," said the letter, dated Tuesday.

Cummings and Waxman gave Walmart until August 28 to answer their call for documents and briefings.

"Although you have stated on multiple occasions that you intend to cooperate with our investigation, you have failed to provide the documents we requested, and you continue to deny us access to key witnesses," they wrote.

Walmart's head office had no immediate comment on the letter.

But its Mexico subsidiary Walmex said in a brief statement that it had no knowledge of any investigation by Mexican authorities into tax evasion and money laundering allegations.

The US congressional investigation is running in parallel to inquiries from the US Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Mexican government.

The scandal broke after the New York Times reported in April that the retail giant's largest non-US subsidiary made illicit payments to win market dominance and tried to cover them up.

During Walmart's rapid expansion of its Mexico operations in the early 2000s, the company allegedly shelled out $24 million in bribes to Mexican officials, according to the newspaper.

Speaking to shareholders in June, Walmart chairman Robson Walton vowed the retailer would not tolerate corrupt acts, promising "a thorough and comprehensive inquiry" into the Mexico accusations and said the company was cooperating with government investigators.

Secrets of the Nomen: The History of Keeping Time

The History of Keeping Time
Aug 16, 2012 |



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