Techno Dummies

Sunday, 12 May 2013

6 Mysterious Disappearances in U.S. History

This is some of 6 mysterious disappearances in U.S History that caught my attention, probably you already now names like Jimmy Hoffa or the Infamous D.B Cooper. This is the short summary of six mysterious disappearence on U.S History based on:
By: Jennie Cohen

The advent of cutting-edge forensic technology and DNA analysis techniques has shed new light on many of the world’s most famous—and infamous—disappearances. Still, some of the most puzzling cases remain unsolved—and some of them intersect with prominent figures and significant events in American history. From Jimmy Hoffa to the settlers of the doomed Lost Colony, these chillingly inexplicable disappearances continue to befuddle scholars and pique the public’s curiosity.

1. Jimmy Hoffa

On July 30, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappeared in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Born in 1913 to a poor coal miner in Indiana, the charismatic Hoffa proved a natural leader from a very young age. While working for a Detroit grocery chain he organized a labor strike that got him noticed by the powerful Teamsters union. Hoffa rose through the organization’s ranks over the next few decades and in 1957 took over its presidency. A savvy political playmaker and tireless advocate for the downtrodden, he became wildly popular within the Teamsters and beyond.

And yet, for all the battles he fought and won on behalf of American workers, Hoffa also had a dark side. During Hoffa’s tenure, Teamster leaders partnered with the Mafia in racketeering, extortion and embezzlement. Hoffa himself had relationships with high-ranking mobsters and was the target of several government investigations throughout the 1960s. Convicted first of obstruction of justice and later of attempted bribery, Hoffa began a 13-year prison sentence in March 1957. President Richard Nixon commuted the sentence in 1971, and Hoffa quickly began making a comeback within the Teamster leadership and penning his autobiography. These plans screeched to a halt, however, on July 30, 1975, when Hoffa was last seen in the parking lot of a Detroit restaurant, not far from where he got his start as a labor organizer. Though many have speculated that he was the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found, and Hoffa’s fate remains shrouded in mystery to this day. He was declared legally dead in 1982

2. Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart’s daring round-the-world-flight was cut short when her Lockheed Electra disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on June 2, 1937. Within hours, rescue workers began scouring the area for signs of the famed aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan. A living legend had vanished into thin air. In an official report, the U.S. government concluded that the two seasoned flyers, unable to locate their destination of Howland Island, ran out of fuel, crashed into the water and sank. Earhart was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939.

The question of why and where her plane went down, however, has never been put to rest. Indeed, in the seven decades since the Electra’s disappearance, a number of hypotheses have emerged. Some theorists, for instance, believe Earhart was actually a secret agent working for the U.S. government. They suggest that the plane crashed after its pilots intentionally deviated from their course to spy on Japanese-occupied islands in the Pacific, or that Earhart and Noonan landed on one of them and were taken prisoner. Yet another theory holds that Earhart returned safely to the United States, changed her name and lived a long life in obscurity. Another widely held belief is that Earhart and Noonan touched down on a remote South Pacific island called Nikumaroro and died there some time later.

3. The Mary Celeste

On a wintry November morning in 1872, Captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife Sarah, their 2-year-old daughter Sophia and a crew of seven set sail from New York Harbor on the Canadian-built brigantine Mary Celeste, bound for Genoa, Italy. Their journey quickly turned into one of history’s most chilling maritime mysteries. On December 4, some 600 miles west of Portugal, the helmsman of the merchant ship Dei Gratia spotted an odd sight through his spyglasses: a vessel with slightly torn sails that seemed to be careening out of control. The Dei Gratia’s captain, David Reed Morehouse, immediately identified the ship as the Mary Celeste; in a strange twist, he and Benjamin Briggs were old friends, and had dined together shortly before their respective departures from New York.

When a crew from the Dei Gratia boarded the Mary Celeste, almost everything was present and accounted for, from the cargo in the hold to the sewing machine in the captain’s cabin. Missing, however, were the ship’s only lifeboat—and all of its passengers. What happened to the Briggs family and the Mary Celeste’s crew members? Some have suggested that pirates kidnapped them, while others have speculated that a sudden waterspout washed them away. Over the years, the search for a true answer to the Mary Celeste puzzle has come to center on the ship’s cargo: barrels of industrial alcohol intended for fortifying Italian wines Industrial. Alcohol can emit highly potent fumes, which might have led the crew to fear an explosion and temporarily evacuate into the lifeboat. At that point, a gale could have swept the ship away, leaving its former passengers stranded and cementing the Mary Celeste’s reputation as the archetypal ghost ship.

4. The Lost Colony

In July 1587, roughly 115 English men, women and children landed on Roanoke Island, located off the coast of North Carolina in what is now Dare County. Less than a month after their arrival, the settlers welcomed the arrival of Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in the Americas. As tensions mounted between the colonists and local tribes, the fledgling town’s governor, John White, who was also Virginia’s grandfather, set sail for England to seek out help and supplies. When he returned three years later, the settlement was completely deserted and all of its inhabitants had vanished. The only clue they had left behind was a single word carved into a wooden post: “Croatan,” the name of a local—and friendly¬—Native American tribe.

This cryptic message has led some scholars to believe that the Croatans killed or kidnapped the colonists. Others have suggested that the settlers assimilated and intermarried with the Croatans or other Native Americans and moved farther inland. Another theory holds that Spanish troops wiped out the settlement, as they had done to the French colony of Fort Caroline earlier in the century. Until more concrete evidence emerges, historians will be left to speculate on the fate of Virginia Dare and the other members of America’s “Lost Colony.”

5. D.B. Cooper

On November 24, 1971, a man wearing a black raincoat, a dark suit and wraparound sunglasses took his seat on Northwest Orient Flight 305, scheduled to take off in Portland, Oregon, and arrive in Seattle, Washington. After takeoff, he handed a note to a flight attendant, who assumed he was hitting on her and placed it in her purse. He then told her he had a bomb in his briefcase and demanded $200,000, four parachutes and “no funny stuff.” The passenger identified himself as Dan Cooper, but thanks to a reporting error as the story was breaking he was forever immortalized as “D.B.” Cooper.

The plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where authorities handed over the items and evacuated most of the passengers. Cooper then instructed the pilot to fly toward Mexico City at a low altitude and ordered the remaining crew into the cockpit. A short time later, he jumped out of the plane and into a raging thunderstorm. He was never seen or heard from again. Since his disappearance, the FBI has investigated and subsequently ruled out more than a thousand suspects; they agency now believes it is likely Cooper died in the fall. While his body has never been recovered, in 1980 an 8-year-old boy found a stack of nearly $5,880 of the ransom money in the sands along the north bank of the Columbia River, five miles from Vancouver, Washington.

6. Joseph Force Crater

The disappearance of New York Supreme Court judge Joseph Force Crater captured so much media attention that the phrase “pulling a Crater” briefly entered the public vernacular as a synonym for going AWOL. On August 6, 1930, the dapper 41-year-old left his office and dined with an acquaintance at a Manhattan chophouse. He was last seen walking down the street outside the restaurant. The massive investigation into his disappearance captivated the nation, earning Crater the title of “the missingest man in New York.” Crater was infamous for his shady dealings with the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine and frequent dalliances with showgirls. In the days leading up to his disappearance, he had reportedly received a mysterious phone call and cashed two large personal checks. These details spawned rampant speculation that the judge had been a victim of foul play. He was declared legally dead in 1939.

In 2005, New York police revealed that new evidence had emerged in the case of the city’s missingest man. A woman who had died earlier that year had left a handwritten note in which she claimed that her husband and several other men, including a police officer, had murdered Crater and buried his body beneath a section of the Coney Island boardwalk. That site had been excavated during the construction of the New York Aquarium in the 1950s, long before technology existed to detect and identify human remains. As a result, the question of whether or not Judge Crater sleeps with the fishes remains a mystery.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

SR-71 Blackbird Facts, Performance, and Research Process

SR-71 Blackbird Facts

Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment
Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the 1990s two SR-71 Blackbird aircraft were used by NASA as testbeds for high-speed and high-altitude aeronautical research at Dryden. The aircraft included an SR-71A and SR-71B (the trainer version), loaned to NASA by the U.S. Air Force.

The SR-71, the most advanced member of the Blackbird family that included the A-12 and YF-12, was designed by a team of Lockheed personnel led by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, then vice president of Lockheed's Advanced Development Company Projects, commonly known as the "Skunk Works" and now a part of Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Blackbird design originated in secrecy during the late l950s with the A-12 reconnaissance aircraft that first flew in April 1962 and remained classified until 1976. President Lyndon Johnson publicly announced the existence of the YF-12A interceptor variant on Feb. 29, 1964, more than half a year after its maiden flight. The SR-71 completed its first flight on Dec. 22, 1964. More than a decade after their retirement the Blackbirds remain the world's fastest and highest-flying production aircraft ever built.

The Blackbirds were designed to cruise at Mach 3.2, just over three times the speed of sound or more than 2,200 miles per hour and at altitudes up to 85,000 feet. The extreme operating environment in which they flew made the aircraft excellent platforms for conducting research and experiments in a variety of disciplines: aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, thermal protection materials, high-speed and high-temperature instrumentation, atmospheric studies and sonic boom characterization.

SR-71 activities at Dryden were part of NASA's overall high-speed aeronautical research program and involved other NASA research centers, other government agencies, universities and commercial firms. Data from the SR-71 research program will aid designers of future supersonic/hypersonic aircraft and propulsion systems.

Research at Mach 3

The Lockheed SR-71 was an advanced, long-range...
The Lockheed SR-71 was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the first major experiments flown on the NASA SR-71 involved a laser air-data sensor. The sensor used laser light instead of air pressure to generate airspeed and attitude data such as angle-of-attack and sideslip, data normally obtained with small tubes and vanes extending into the airstream or from tubes with flush openings on an aircraft's outer skin. These flights also provided information on the presence of atmospheric particles at altitudes above 80,000 feet, where future hypersonic aircraft will operate. The system used six sheets of laser light projected from the bottom of the airplane. As microscopic-size atmospheric particles passed between the two beams, direction and speed were measured and processed into standard speed and attitude references. An earlier laser air-data measurement system was successfully tested at Dryden on a modified F-l04 testbed aircraft.

The first of a series of flights using the SR-71 as a science camera platform for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., was flown in March 1993. From the nose bay of the aircraft, an upward-facing ultraviolet video camera recorded data on celestial objects in wavelengths blocked to ground-based astronomers by Earth’s atmosphere. In another project, researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles used the SR-71 to investigate the use of charged chlorine atoms to protect and rebuild the ozone layer.

As part of NASA's commercialization assistance program, the SR-71 served as a testbed in development of a commercial satellite-based, instant wireless personal communications network, called IRIDIUM. The IRIDIUM system was developed by Motorola's Satellite Communications Division and during developmental testing, the SR-71 acted as a surrogate satellite for transmitters and receivers on the ground.
Because of its high-speed capabilities, scientists used the SR-71 in a program to study ways of reducing sonic boom overpressures that are heard on the ground much like sharp thunderclaps by aircraft exceeding the speed of sound. Aircraft designers have used data from the study in efforts to reduce the "peak" of sonic booms and minimize the “startle effect” they produce on the ground.

In 1997 and 1998 the SR-71 carried the NASA/Lockheed Martin Linear Aerospike SR-71 – or LASRE – experiment. The LASRE test apparatus was a half-span scale model of a lifting body with eight thrust cells of a linear aerospike engine, mounted on the back of an SR-71 aircraft during flight at high speeds and altitudes. Outfitted with the test fixture, the aircraft operated like a kind of flying wind tunnel that allowed engineers to gather aerodynamic data under realistic flight conditions.

By the time the Air Force loaned the two SR-71s to Dryden the center already had a decade of past experience with the Blackbirds. Three of the aircraft were flown at the facility between December 1969 and November 1979 in a joint NASA/Air Force program aimed at learning more about the capabilities and limitations of high-speed, high-altitude flight. The first two were YF-12A prototypes of a planned interceptor aircraft based on the initial A-12 design that ultimately evolved into the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft. While plans were under way to add another aircraft to the fleet, one YF-12A was lost in a non-fatal mishap in 1971. The third aircraft, an SR-71A that was given the designation YF-12C for administrative purposes, soon took its place.

NASA researchers used the YF-12s for a wide variety of experiments involving aerodynamic and thermal loads, aerodynamic drag and skin friction, heat transfer, airframe and propulsion system interactions, inlet control system improvements, high-altitude turbulence, boundary-layer flow, landing gear dynamics, measurement of engine effluents for pollution studies, noise measurements and evaluation of a maintenance monitoring and recording system. On many YF-12 flights medical researchers obtained information on the physiological and biomedical aspects of crews flying at sustained high speeds. Research data from the YF-12 program also validated analytical theories and wind-tunnel test techniques that will improve design and performance of future military and civil aircraft.

Three SR-71 aircraft were used at different times during the 1990s by NASA as test beds for high-speed and high-altitude aeronautical research. From February 1972 until July 1973, one YF-12A was used for heat loads testing in Dryden's High Temperature Loads Laboratory (now the Thermostructures Research Facility). The resulting data helped improve theoretical prediction methods and computer models dealing with structural loads, materials, and heat distribution at up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, the surface temperatures reached during sustained speeds of Mach 3.

SR-71 Specifications and Performance

SR-71 Blackbird in hanger at Robins AFB
SR-71 Blackbird in hanger at Robins AFB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two Pratt and Whitney J58 axial-flow turbojets with afterburners, each producing 32,500 pounds of thrust, powered the Blackbirds. Less than 20 percent of the total thrust used to fly at Mach 3 was produced by the engine itself, however. During high-speed cruise conditions the balance of total thrust was produced by the unique design of the engine inlet and a moveable conical spike at the front of each engine nacelle. Under these conditions, air entering the inlets bypassed the engines, going directly to the afterburners and ejector nozzles, thus acting as ramjets.

The airframes were built almost entirely of titanium and other exotic alloys to withstand heat generated by sustained high-speed flight. Capable of cruising at Mach 3 continuously for more than one hour at a time, the Blackbirds provided a unique research platform for thermal experiments because heat-soak temperatures exceeded 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

The aircraft was 107.4 feet (32.73 meters) long, had a wingspan of 55.6 feet (16.94 meters), and stood 18.5 feet (5.63 meters) high (from the ground to the top of the rudders when parked). Gross takeoff weight was about 140,000 pounds (52,253.83 kilograms), including a fuel weight of 80,000 pounds (29,859.33 kilograms). Aerodynamic control surfaces consisted of all-moving vertical tail fins above each engine nacelle and elevons on the outer wings and trailing edges between the engine exhaust nozzles.

NASA crews flew four Lockheed SR-71 airplanes during the 1990s. Two were used for research and two to support Air Force reactivation of the SR-71 for reconnaissance missions. Although the Air Force retired the Blackbirds in 1990, Congress reinstated funding for additional flights several years later. SR-71A (61-7980/NASA 844) arrived at Dryden on Feb. 15, 1990. It was placed into storage until 1992 and served as a research platform until its final flight on Oct. 9, 1999. SR-71A (61-7971/NASA 832) arrived at Dryden on March 19, 1990, but was returned to Air Force inventory as the first aircraft was reactivated in 1995. Along with SR-71A (61-7967), it was flown by NASA crews in support of the Air Force program. SR-71B (61-7956/NASA 831) arrived at Dryden on July 25, 1991, and served as a research platform as well as for crew training and proficiency until October 1997.

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Friday, 10 May 2013

iPad 2 heart risk: Finding of Giana Chen

English: iPad 2 wordmark, by Apple Inc.
English: iPad 2 wordmark, by Apple Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

iPad 2 heart risk: Finding of Giana Chen

English: Apple iPad Event
English: Apple iPad Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gianna Chien is somewhat different from all the other researchers reporting on their work to more than 8000 doctors at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver, Colorado. Chien is 14, and her study – which found that Apple's iPad 2 can, in some cases, interfere with life-saving heart devices because of the magnets inside – is based on a science-fair project that didn't even win her first place. I don't think anyone really knows about the risks. 

The research offers a valuable warning for people with implanted defibrillators, which deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart, said John Day, head of heart-rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Centre in Murray, Utah, and chairman of the panel that reviews scientific papers to be presented at the Denver meeting. If a person falls asleep with the iPad 2 on the chest, the magnets in the cover can "accidentally turn off" the heart device, said Chien, a high school freshman in Stockton, California, whose father is a doctor. "I definitely think people should be aware. That's why I'm presenting the study."

Defibrillators, as a safety precaution, are designed to be turned off by magnets. The iPad 2 uses 30 magnets to hold the iPad 2's cover in place, Chien said. While the iPad 2 magnets aren't powerful enough to cause problems when a person is holding the tablet out in front of the chest, it can be risky to rest it against the body, she found. Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman, declined to comment on the study, referring questions about the iPad 2's safety to its online product guide. The guide cautions users about radio frequency interference, suggests that patients with pacemakers keep the iPad at least six inches away and says they should be turned off in healthcare facilities when instructed by staff or posted signs.
While the study was done with an iPad 2, any device that incorporates magnets can, in theory, cause the same effects.

English: Rear of iPad 2 at Apple's first produ...
English: Rear of iPad 2 at Apple's first product demo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The study involving 26 volunteers with defibrillators found "magnet mode" was triggered in 30 per cent of patients who put the tablet on their chest. The iPad 2 didn't interfere with four pacemakers or a loop-recorder, which were also tested. Walter Chien, a cardiac electrophysiologist, helped his daughter co-ordinate the patient testing. Medtronic, the leading manufacturer of defibrillators, said its testing hasn't found any risks from iPad technology when used according to the manufacturer's instructions. The Minneapolis-based company does tell patients to avoid placing any magnets near the area where their devices are implanted.

"The presentation at Heart Rhythm 2013 is a good reminder for patients to remain vigilant on new technology and its accessories and maintain a distance of six inches between an iPad and an implanted pacemaker or ICD," the company said in a statement. Most defibrillators will turn back on once the magnet is no longer affecting the device. Some, however, remain off until the magnet is reapplied or the device is turned back on manually, the younger Chien said. Patients should be told about the risk and doctors should check the devices to see if they have been inadvertently turned off by magnets, she said. Chien said she received an iPad 2 for her birthday in August 2011. She was struck at the time by the number of older customers taking a class on how to use the device at the company store and, given her father's specialty, wondered if there could be a connection between the iPads and their heart devices.

"I don't think anyone really knows about the risks," Chien said.The results are important because they can help raise awareness of the danger in a very specific setting, said Day, the heart meeting official. "Defibrillator patients can still buy Apple products," he said. "Just don't put them on your chest."A regular at Johns Hopkins University's Centre for Talented Youth, Chien doesn't see herself becoming a doctor. At the camp, she regularly participates in the writing program and she said that one of her favourite parts of the iPad 2 project was summing up the results for publication in a medical journal. Eventually, she wants to write a novel, she said.Chien first presented her results in the San Joaquin County Science Fair's high school category in March, but the project was beaten out for the top spot by work on electromagnetics and on the effect of punctuation mark placement in keyboards on carpal tunnel syndrome.Chien, who rows in her free time, says she may revisit the issue for next year's science fair, looking at the risks with other electronic products.

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Pink Floyd:A Biography

Cover of
Cover of The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
Richard Wright
Cover of Richard Wright

Pink Floyd:A  Biography

With the release of 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd abruptly went from a moderately successful acid-rock band to one of rock music's biggest acts. The recording, in fact, remained on Billboard's Top 200 album chart for 741 weeks, longer than any other album in history. Along with 1979's The Wall, it established Pink Floyd as purveyors of a distinctively dark vision. Experimenting with concept albums and pot-friendly studio effects and breaking free of conventional pop-song formats, Pink Floyd prefigured the progressive rock of the Seventies and ambient music of the Eighties.

As early as 1964, Pink Floyd's original members, except Syd Barrett, were together studying architecture at London's Regent Street Polytechnic School. With Barrett, an art student who coined the name the Pink Floyd Sound after a favorite blues record by Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, they began playing R&B-based material for schoolmates. By 1967 they had developed an unmistakably psychedelic sound, performing long, loud suitelike compositions that touched on hard rock, blues, country, folk, and electronic music. Adding a slide-and-light show, one of the first in British rock, they became a sensation among London's underground as a featured attraction at the UFO Club. Barrett, who was responsible for most of the band's early material, had a knack for composing singles-length bits of psych-rock, and Pink Floyd hit the charts with two of them in 1967: "Arnold Layne" (Number 20 U.K.), the tale of a transvestite, and "See Emily Play" (Number 60 U.K.).

In 1968 Barrett, allegedly because of an excess of LSD experimentation, began to exhibit ever more strange and erratic behavior. David Gilmour joined to help with the guitar work. Barrett appeared on only one track of Secrets, "Jugband Music," which aptly summed up his mental state: "I'm most obliged to you for making it clear/That I'm not really here." Without Barrett to create concise psychedelic singles, the band concentrated on wider-ranging psychedelic epics.

From 1969 to 1972 Pink Floyd made several film soundtracks — the most dramatic being Zabriskie Point, in which Michelangelo Antonioni's closing sequence of explosions was complemented by Floyd's "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" — and began using its "azimuth coordinated sound system" in concert, a sophisticated 360-degree P.A. With Atom Heart Mother, they topped the British chart in 1970; stateside success, however, still eluded them.

Their breakthrough came in 1973 with Dark Side. The themes were unremittingly bleak — alienation, paranoia, schizophrenia — and the music was at once sterile and doomy. Taped voices mumbling ominous asides (something the band had used before) surfaced at key moments. Yielding a surprise American hit in "Money," (Number 13, 1973), the album went on to mammoth long-running sales success. Dark Side showcased the talents of Pink Floyd's chief members: Waters' lyrics, Gilmour's guitar. The two would continue to dominate the band but soon furiously contend against each other.

Subsequent albums explored similarly dark territory, although the relatively warm Wish You Were Here (Number 1, 1975) was dedicated to Barrett, elegizing him with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." The Wall, a brooding concept album about a troubled, isolated rock star named Pink, topped the U.S. chart for 15 weeks, and its nihilistic hit, "Another Brick in the Wall," was banned by the BBC and in 1980 became the band's only Number One American single.

Meanwhile, Pink Floyd's stage shows had become increasingly elaborate. For the Dark Side and Wish tours, there were slide/light shows and animated films, plus a giant inflated jet that crashed into the stage; for Animals, huge inflated pigs hovered over the stadiums; for The Wall (due to enormous expense, performed 29 times only in New York, L.A., and London) an actual wall was built, brick by brick, across the stage, eventually obscuring the band from audience view. Shortly after touring for The Wall Wright left the band, due to conflict with Waters.

With The Final Cut (Number Six, 1983), subtitled A Requiem for the Postwar Dream, Waters penned his darkest work yet. It also marked the effective end of the original Pink Floyd, with Waters bitterly departing, and Gilmour and Mason cementing their alliance. (Two films related to the original band (minus Barrett) have been made: the documentary Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii [1971] and The Wall [1982]. The latter featured stunning animation by Gerald Scarfe; Bob Geldof starred in the live-action sequences. The first remains a cult movie; the second was a massive commercial success.)

In 1978, with Gilmour's David Gilmour and Wright's Wet Dream, Pink Floyd's members had started releasing solo albums. Mason had begun a sideline career as a producer in 1974 with Robert Wyatt; ultimately his very diverse roster included Gong, Carla Bley, the Damned, and Steve Hillage. Solo work continued into the Eighties: In 1984 came Waters' The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Wright's Identity, and Gilmour's About Face (with lyrical contributions by Pete Townshend). A year later Mason released Profiles. Concurrently, Gilmour played sessions with Bryan Ferry, Grace Jones, and Arcadia; in 1986 he formed David Gilmour & Friends with Bad Company's Mick Ralphs.

In 1986 Waters brought suit against Gilmour and Mason, asking the court to dissolve the trio's partnership and to block them from using the name Pink Floyd. A year later Waters lost his suit, and the other members, as Pink Floyd, released Momentary Lapse of Reason (Number Three, 1987). As Waters put out his own Radio K.A.O.S., the others launched a Pink Floyd tour that grossed nearly $30 million. (Though Wright was included on the tour and album, he wasn't legally considered an official band member but a salaried employee.) With the live Delicate Sound of Thunder, Gilmour, Mason, and Wright again billed themselves as Pink Floyd and went on to more successful touring, including a gig performed in Venice aboard a giant barge, which was televised worldwide.

In 1990 Waters presented an all-star cast, including Sinéad O'Connor, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison, in a version of The Wall performed at the site of the Berlin Wall (chronicled in The Wall - Live in Berlin). Two years later he released the dour Amused to Death.

With Wright rejoining Gilmour and Mason as a full band member, Pink Floyd garnered immediate success with The Division Bell (Number One, 1994) and the live album P.U.L.S.E. (Number One, 1995). In 1996 Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Still antagonistic with his former band mates, Waters didn't attend the ceremonies. After a successful solo tour in 1999, he embarked upon writing a modern opera about the French Revolution, recording with an 80-piece orchestra and 100-member choir.

In the interim, Dark Side of the Moon had taken on yet new life, when certain Pink Floyd fans began playing the album while watching The Wizard of Oz and noting how the 1973 album seemed to provide an uncannily appropriate soundtrack to the 1939 film. The band itself denied that it had intended any sort of parallel between its music and the movie, but rumors persisted of an eerie connection between the two. Pink Floyd also entered the new millennium by releasing a live version, from 1980, of The Wall, in double-CD format, with a lavishly illustrated history.

cdcovers/pink floyd/the wall.jpg
cdcovers/pink floyd/the wall.jpg (Photo credit: exquisitur)

After decades of turbulence, Dave Gilmour, Rick Wright, Nick Mason and Roger Waters finally stood on the same stage together to perform at the global Live 8 concert on July 2, 2005. It had been 24 years since all four band members had played together. Although the appearance remained a one-time only affair, the classic line-up embraced at the end of their set. One year later, on July 7, 2006, Syd Barrett died at his home in Cambridge from complications related to diabetes.

That same year the Rogers Water led line-up of Floyd hit the road — albeit in two different camps. David Gilmour hit theaters in America with Richard Wright on keyboards, while Roger Waters revived Dark Side Of The Moon in arenas with Nick Mason playing drums at select gigs. While promoters salivated over the prospects of a reunion tour, Gilmour remained steadfast in his refusal to even consider the possibility. Sadly, Wright's death in 2008 from cancer permanently ended any chance of a real reunion.

Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Andy Greene contributed to this article.

English: Pink Floyd performing at Live 8 in London
English: Pink Floyd performing at Live 8 in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Will It be possible to track your happiness on phones?

Will It be possible to track your happiness on phones?

Researchers at Cambridge University have developed an app that tries to track happiness by combining smartphone data with users' perception of mood.

EmotionSense collects information about where users are, how noisy the environment is and whom they are communicating with.

It then combines this data with the user's own report about mood.

The app is part of a project to see how mobile phones can be used to improve health and wellbeing.

Emotional state
Mood-tracking apps already exist but the team from the Cambridge Computer Laboratory think this is the first time that user-input data and phone information sources have been combined.

"Most other attempts at software like this are coarse-grained in terms of their view of what a feeling is," said Dr Jason Rentfrow, a senior lecturer in the department of psychology at Cambridge University.

"Many just look at emotions in terms of feeling happy, sad, angry or neutral. The aim here is to use a more flexible approach, to collect data that shows how moods vary between people. That is something which we think is quite unique to the system we have designed," he said.

When the app is opened for the first time, a sensor that tells the researchers what time of day it is is unlocked. The app spends roughly a week collecting data from this sensor and testing it against the user's emotional state.

'Journey of discovery'
At the end of this, the user is asked to complete a short life satisfaction survey, which unlocks a new sensor.

It takes about eight weeks to unlock all the sensors, which include gauging how sociable someone is dependent on how many texts they send or calls they make, their movements, location and how much they are interacting with their mobile phones.

It has been designed as "a journey of discovery" for the user to give them a step-by-step guide to what might be influencing their mood swings, said lead researcher Dr Neal Lathia.

"This helps us understand both how a person perceives things and how they are actually behaving," he said.

"Many, however, keep their phones with them most of the time. In terms of sheer presence, mobiles can provide an ongoing link with a person," he said.

The code used to collect sensor data is being made publicly available to allow other researchers to conduct their own experiments.

Initially the app will be available only for Android phones but the team is working on a version for other smartphones.

Users must explicitly consent to their data being used by members of the team, although it will not be made available more widely.
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What will Happen In The Next 75 years

What will Happen In The Next 75 years

This Can't Happen Here
This Can't Happen Here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is some good stuff i recently read at the site is not realy bad, hope it will be useful for you all. So this stuff is what they predict could be happened in 110 years but to make it different because i only want to list some important thing, lets make it in 75 years then and here we go.

  • People will be fluent in every language. With DARPA and Google racing to perfect instant translation, it won't be long until your cellphone speaks Swahili on your behalf. 
  • Software will predict traffic jams before they occur. Using archived data, roadside sensors, and GPS, IBM has come up with a modeling program that anticipates bumper-to-bumper congestion a full hour before it begins. Better yet, the idea proved successful in early tests—even on the Jersey Turnpike. 
  • Climate-controlled jackets will protect soldiers from extreme heat and cold. The secret to all-weather clothing, according to former MIT student Kranthi Vistakula, is Peltier plates, which can be used to warm you up or cool you down by sending an electric current across the junction between two different metals. U.S. soldiers have put the lightweight tech to the test. So have soldiers in India. Based on early reviews, it won't be long until others enlist. 
  • Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective. By delivering tiny doses of cisplatin and docetaxel right to cancerous cells, the mini messengers will significantly reduce the pain and side effects of today's treatments. 
  • Electric cars will roam (some) highways. Who says you can't road-trip in a Tesla? In a few years, the 1350-mile stretch of Interstate 5 spanning Washington, Oregon, and California will be lined with fast-charging stations—each no more than 60 miles apart. In some areas you will find stations to the east and west too. Don't get any bright ideas, though. If you try to cross the country, you won't get much farther than Tucson. 
  • Athletes will employ robotic trainers. Picture a rotor-propelled drone that tracks a pattern on your T-shirt with an onboard camera. Now imagine it flying in front of you at world-record pace. That's just the start—a simple concept developed by researchers in Australia. 
  • Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete. Invented by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li, the new composite is laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch. 
  • Digital "ants" will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks. Programmed to wander networks in search of threats, the high-tech sleuths in this software, developed by Wake Forest University security expert Errin Fulp, leave behind a digital trail modeled after the scent streams of their real-life cousins. When a digital ant designed to perform a task spots a problem, others rush to the location to do their own analysis. If operators see a swarm, they know there's trouble. 
  • Scrolls will replace tablets. Researchers have already reproduced words and images on thin plastic digital displays. If they want those displays to compete with the iPad, they need to fine-tune the color and refine the screens so you can put your feet up and watch LeBron throw down on YouTube
  • Contact lenses will grant us Terminator vision. When miniaturization reaches its full potential, achieving superhuman eyesight will be as simple as placing a soft lens on your eye. Early prototypes feature wirelessly powered LEDs. But circuits and antennas can also be grafted onto flexible polymer, enabling zooming, night vision, and visible data fields. 
  • Checkups will be conducted by cellphone. The technology is no problem. Scientists are hard at work trying to perfect apps that can measure your heart and respiration rates, perform blood and saliva tests even evaluate your cough. Question is how long will it take the medical industry to embrace them. 

  • · All 130 million books on the planet will be digitized. In 2010 Google planned to complete the job by decade's end, but as of March it still had 110 million tomes to go, so we're adding wiggle room. You might use the time to shop for storage, because given today's options and the average size of an e-book (3 MB), you'll need 124 3-terabyte drives to carry the library of humanity with you. It won't fit into a backpack, but it's small enough to schlep in a hockey bag. 

  • · Nurse Jackie will be a robot. By 2045, when seniors (60-plus) outnumber the planet's youth (15 and under) for the first time in history, hospitals will use robots to solve chronic staffing issues. Expect to find the new Nightingales lifting patients and pushing food carts. Engineers at Purdue University are thinking even bolder—designing mechanical scrub nurses that respond to hand gestures during surgery. 

  • · Supersonic jets will return—for good this time. The limit on supersonic flight is not one of engineering but of economics. Aircraft that break the speed of sound guzzle fuel, so new jet engines will have to be efficient. One solution—the pulse detonation engine, which uses a fuel—air mixture—was tested at the Mojave Air & Space Port in 2008. By 2030 a successor will power that fabled 2-hour hop from New York to London. 

  • · A virtual lawyer will help you plan your estate. "I don't mean avatars," Cisco's Dave Evans says. "I mean virtual people—self-contained, thinking organisms indistinguishable from humans." Sounds crazy, right? But surely you've seen the magic of CGI. What's to say you can't attach a lifelike visage to an interface fronting the crowdsourced wisdom of the Internet? Give it a nice head of hair, teach it how to smile, and you're looking at a brilliant legal eagle with awesome people skills. 

  • · Vertical farms will feed cities. There will be 9 billion people on the planet in 2050, seven out of 10 of them in urban areas, and everyone's got to eat. Future food production will depend on farmscrapers that grow pesticide-free crops year-round—making it much simpler to eat local. 

  • · Connecticut will feed the world. To keep up with all the hungry mouths, we may just have to rethink food. The folks at tech startup Pronutria claim to have discovered an industrious single-cell organism that converts sunlight, CO2 and water into low-cost nutrients. It works in tight quarters too. Instead of a few thousand pounds of crops per acre a year, we'd be looking at 100,000, according to the company's research. In other words, the planet's protein could be produced in an area half the size of Connecticut. 

  • · Scientists will discover direct evidence of dark matter. It may account for 23 percent of the mass in the universe, yet we haven't confirmed that dark matter exists. Why? "It's like a hidden magnet," says Dr. Fred Calef of the Mars Science Laboratory. "You can see what it pulls but can't see the source." Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku believes the proof we seek could arrive within 15 years, helping us to unlock the origins of our universe, and maybe even open the door to another one. 

  • · Navy SEALs will be able to hold their breath for 4 hours. Advances in nanotechnology will help us overcome not only illness but also the limits of being human. For example, robotic red blood cells called respirocytes could each hold 200 times the oxygen of their natural counterparts, enabling a man on a mission to, say, hide out underwater for half a day without a scuba tank. 

  • · Tuna will be raised on farms. Ah, the bluefin—powerful, dangerous, graceful ... and delicious served raw. Long reproduction cycles and a migratory lifestyle make it hard to tame, though. Pioneering fish farms in Mexico are now raising the species, fattening tons of fish in massive underwater pens. Similar efforts are underway in the U.S., Japan, and the Mediterranean.
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List of Common Misconception in Ancent To early Modern HIstory

From the statue in Rome. The Emperor Nero.
From the statue in Rome. The Emperor Nero. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

List of Common Misconception In History 

This list from wikipedia pertains to current, widely held, erroneous ideas and beliefs about notable topics which have been reported by reliable sources. Each has been discussed in published literature, as has its topic area and the facts concerning it. Note that the statements which follow are corrections based on known facts; the misconceptions themselves are referred to rather than stated. I hope this list will help you and useful.

  • In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals.[1] Vomiting was not a regular part of Roman dining customs.[2]
  • Nero did not "fiddle" during the Great Fire of Rome (violins had not yet been invented, nor was he playing the lyre). In fact, according to Roman historian Tacitus, upon hearing news of the fire, Nero rushed back to Rome to organize a relief effort, which he paid for from his own funds, and he also opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, arranging for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors.[3] Finally, he made a new urban development plan that attempted to make it more difficult for fires to spread.[4]
  • It is true that life expectancy in the Middle Ages and earlier was low; however, many take this to mean that people usually died around the age of 30.[5] In fact, the low life expectancy is an average based on high infant mortality, and the usual lifespan of adults was much higher. A 21-year-old man in medieval England, for example, could by one estimate expect to live to the age of 64.[6]
  • There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets.[7] In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenographyof an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner.[8]
  • King Canute did not command the tide to reverse in a fit of delusional arrogance.[9] His intent that day, if the incident even happened, was most likely to prove a point to members of his privy council that no man is all-powerful, and we all must bend to forces beyond our control, such as the tides.
  • There is no evidence that iron maidens were invented in the Middle Ages or even used for torture. Instead they were pieced together in the 18th century from several artifacts found in museums in order to create spectacular objects intended for (commercial) exhibition.[10]
  • The plate armor of European soldiers did not stop soldiers from moving around or necessitate a crane to get them into a saddle. They would as a matter of course fight on foot and could mount and dismount without help. In fact soldiers equipped with plate armor were more mobile than those with chainmail armor, as chainmail was heavier and required stiff padding beneath due to its pliable nature.[11]
  • Modern historians dispute the popular misconception that the chastity belt, a device designed to prevent women from having sexual intercourse, was invented in medieval times. Most existing chastity belts are now thought to be deliberate fakes or anti-masturbatory devices from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The latter were made due to the widespread belief that masturbation could lead to insanity, and were mostly bought by parents for their teenage children.[12]
  • Christopher Columbus's efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth. Sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was roughly spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus's estimate of the distance to India, which was approximately one-sixth of the actual distance. If the Americas did not exist, and had Columbus continued to India, he would have run out of supplies before reaching it at the rate he was traveling. Without the ability to determine longitude at sea, he wouldn't have learned that his estimate was an error in time to return. Many of the educated classes believed the Earth was spherical since the works of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle.[13][14] Eratosthenesmade an accurate estimate of the Earth's diameter in approximately 240 BCE.[15][16][17] See also Myth of the Flat Earth.
  • Columbus did not "discover America" in the sense of identifying a new continent. Although some historians argue he knew he had found a land between Europe and Asia,[18] most of his writings show he thought he reached the eastern coast of Asia.[19] Most of the landings Columbus made on his four voyages, including the initial October 12, 1492 landing (the anniversary of which forms the basis of Columbus Day), were in the Caribbean Islands. Columbus was not the first European to visit the Americas: at least one explorer, Leif Ericson, preceded him by reaching what today is believed to be Newfoundland, and Newfoundland was already a popular fishing site for the European powers by the time of Columbus.
  • There is a legend that Marco Polo imported pasta from China[20] which originated with the Macaroni Journal, published by an association of food industries with the goal of promoting the use of pasta in the United States.[21] Marco Polo describes a food similar to "lagana" in his Travels, but he uses a term with which he was already familiar. Durum wheat, and thus pasta as it is known today, was introduced by Arabs from Libya, during their conquest of Sicily in the late 7th century, according to the newsletter of the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association,[22] thus predating Marco Polo's travels to China by about six centuries.
  • Contrary to the popular image of the Pilgrim Fathers, the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony did not necessarily wear all black, and theircapotains (hats) were shorter and rounder than the widely depicted tall hat with a buckle on it. Instead, their fashion was based on that of the lateElizabethan era: doublets, jerkins and ruffs. Both men and women wore the same style of shoes, stockings, capes, coats and hats in a range of colors including reds, yellows, purples, and greens. Children of both sexes wore identical clothing: a chemise, an ankle-length gown, an apron and a close fitting cap tied under the chin. At the age of seven, boys were "breeched", i.e. allowed to wear adult men's clothing.[23] According to Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker, the traditional image was formed in the 19th century when buckles were a kind of emblem of quaintness.
  • The thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony, widely believed to be the "First Thanksgiving", was not the first day of thanksgiving on the North American continent. Preceding thanksgiving days were held at the Spanish colony of Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565,[24][25] in Frobisher Bay in 1578,[26] in French Canada beginning in 1604, in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607,[27] and at Berkeley Hundred in 1619,[28] in addition to numerous similarly themed indigenous celebrations.[29] The association of Thanksgiving Day with the Plymouth celebration was largely the work of 19th-century writer Sarah Josepha Hale, who campaigned over multiple decades for a permanent national Thanksgiving holiday.[30][31][32]
  • Marie Antoinette did not say "let them eat cake" when she heard that the French peasantry were starving due to a shortage of bread. The phrase was first published in Rousseau'sConfessions when Marie was only 10 years old and most scholars believe that Rousseau coined it himself, or that it was said by Maria-Theresa, the wife of Louis XIV. Even Rousseau (or Maria-Theresa) did not use the exact words but actually Qu'ils mangent de la brioche ("Let them eat brioche [a rich type of bread]"). Marie Antoinette was an unpopular ruler; therefore, people attribute the phrase "let them eat cake" to her, in keeping with her reputation as being hard-hearted and disconnected from her subjects.[33]
  • George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth).[34]
  • The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence did not occur on July 4, 1776. The final language of the document was approved by the Second Continental Congress on that date and it was printed and distributed on July 4 and 5,[35] but the actual signing occurred on August 2, 1776.[36]
  • The United States Constitution was written on parchment, not hemp paper. However, drafts were likely written on hemp paper, as most paper at the time was made from hemp.[37]
  • Antonio Salieri did not despise Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, nor did he have any role in Mozart's premature death. While Mozart did have a certain amount of distrust of the elder Salieri, the two are otherwise believed to have been friendly, if somewhat rivalrous. The supposed acrimony between the two, which has been adapted in numerous works of fiction (including the play Amadeusand its film adaptation), is believed to have originated in a rivalry between German and Italian factions of the classical era musical scene.[38]

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