|Hydrogen Car Hype! |
Elephant Man, Orphan Star Clusters,
Rosetta Stone, The TRON Guru,
Hubble's Dark Matter & More!
|Hydrogen Car Hype!|
University of California - Berkeley Press Release
President George W. Bush has proposed a federally funded, five-year, $1.7 billion FreedomCAR and Fuel Initiative to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, a hydrogen infrastructure and advanced automotive technologies.
Several announced candidates for president have also proposed major research efforts to develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles and technologies to produce, transport and store the hydrogen, while many scientists have praised the initiative.
More billions of dollars will be needed to develop hydrogen fuel cells that can match the performance of today's gasoline engines, he said.
Petroleum substitutes like ethanol that can be used in today's vehicles also are a possible way to reduce oil imports, the researchers say, but more research is needed to reduce the environmental impact and cost of these options.
Because these heavy freight vehicles have higher emissions, this strategy could provide greater air quality benefits. On-board hydrogen storage would be less of a problem also, and it would require a smaller fuel distribution network.
|Elephant Man Mystery Revisited|
Discovery Health Channel Press Release
In addition, descendants of the Elephant Man's family, many who didn't even know they were related to him, were reunited.
Moreover, because NF 1 is more common, some in the program suggest another intriguing possibility - that the Elephant Man was tragically cursed with both debilitating diseases. The program gives viewers a sensitive and poignant inside look at these diseases and offers a strand of hope for people today who suffer from similar deformities and debilitations.
|Midget Dinosaur Stolen from Australian Museum|
SYDNEY July 21, 2003 (Reuters) - Thieves broke into a museum near Sydney and snatched the fossil of a 110-million-year-old midget dinosaur on loan from China, officials said Monday.
Thieves eluded police and guards Sunday and carried off the skeleton within five minutes of breaking through an armored window, having first scaled a spiked, eight-feet fence.
"Apparently there is a market, but in this instance I'd suspect it was more opportunism and bravado than a professional job," Fry said. "There were other things in the exhibition which were more valuable and would excite more scientific interest."
|West Nile Virus Found in Birds|
|Oxford UK July 19, 2003 (BBC) - Evidence of the potentially deadly West Nile virus has been found in a high proportion of British birds, scientists have revealed. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and the researchers have warned that the risk of the virus spreading to humans is increasing with the impact of climate change. |
It can cause fatal inflammation of the brain in humans. There have been no cases of the virus in the UK but it killed more than 270 people in the US last year.
Scientists at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford tested birds mainly in Cambridgeshire, but also in Dorset and South Wales. They found evidence of the virus in more than half the birds tested - an "unexpectedly high" proportion, BBC science correspondent Christine McGourty said.
It was found in more than 20 species in all, including crows, magpies, swallows, chickens, turkeys and ducks.
While the birds were healthy and showed no symptoms, scientists did detect antibodies to the virus. This indicated the birds had come into contact with the virus and that their natural defenses had successfully fought it off. It is thought the virus is being brought into the country by migrating birds.
The researchers said there was no immediate threat to humans - but added the warning about climate change increasing the risk. The research, published on Saturday, comes after increased surveillance measures for the virus were introduced in the UK.
The chief medical officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson, announced the measures in early July, saying the risk to human health was low, but doctors and health officials had been urged to be on the look-out for symptoms.
|Orphan Star Clusters Roam the Universe|
IAU Press Release
|Klamath Salmon Plan Found Illegal|
|Oakland CA July 17, 2003 (Earthjustice) - A federal court rejected the Bush administration’s plan to protect threatened Klamath River coho salmon from the harmful effects of the Klamath Irrigation Project. The court ruled that the plan was illegal because it fell well short of meeting the requirements of the Endangered Species Act. Salmon advocates have been pointing to the plan’s inadequacies since it was released in May 2002. |
"This decision gives hope to the families that depend on Klamath River salmon," said Glen Spain of PCFFA. "This case was about restoring balance to the basin so that fishermen, Native Americans, and irrigators can all receive a fair share of the water. We will now work on a new vision for the basin, and the legislation recently introduced by Congressman Thompson is the perfect place to start." PCFFA is the west coast’s largest organization of commercial fishing families.
A coalition of commercial fishermen, conservation groups, and Congressman Mike Thompson filed the lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and Bureau of Reclamation in September 2002 because the agencies’ 10-year plan failed to leave sufficient water in the river for salmon and relied on future, speculative actions from the states of California and Oregon to make up for the missing water. In the first five months of the challenged plan, low flows caused by unbalanced irrigation deliveries killed over 33,000 adult salmon.
Because Klamath River coho are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the National Marine Fisheries Service must approve any long-term irrigation plan devised by the Bureau of Reclamation. In May 2002, the Fisheries Service held that the Bureau’s plan would jeopardize the continued survival of the Klamath River coho. However, when the Fisheries Service issued its final approval of the Bureau’s plan, it failed to require adequate measures to protect the salmon.
Kristen Boyles, an attorney with Earthjustice said, "A promise to provide a fraction of the water salmon need, sometime in the future, from somewhere, meets neither the requirements of the law nor of sound science. The fish in the Klamath are in real trouble right now; they need real action, not vague promises."
Inadequate river flows that result when the Bureau of Reclamation diverts water for irrigation in the high desert hurt salmon in a number of ways. Newly hatched salmon, called fry, need safe habitat in and around bank vegetation to hide and feed. Lower river flows force these young fish into the mainstream of the river where they are easy prey. Year-old salmon, called smolts, need adequate river flows in the spring to safely make the journey to the Pacific Ocean. Adult salmon, returning upriver to spawn, are hurt or killed by high water temperatures and poor water quality due to low river flows.
"The Bush Administration has worked hard to maintain the status quo in the Klamath Basin, but last summer the status quo killed 33,000 salmon," said Bob Hunter of WaterWatch of Oregon. "Hopefully this court ruling will end the Administration’s policy of denial and delay and put us on track to actually solve this crisis."
The Klamath was once the third mightiest salmon-producing river in the continental US, behind only the Columbia and Sacramento in productivity. The River has been reduced to a shadow of its former self largely as a result of the Bureau of Reclamations’ re-plumbing of its headwaters to maximize irrigation in the arid upper basin desert. The long-term answer could include buying back some of the agriculture land in the Klamath Basin to reduce water demand.
The lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of PCFFA and Institute for Fisheries Resources, joined by The Wilderness Society, WaterWatch of Oregon, Northcoast Environmental Center, Oregon Natural Resources Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Klamath Forest Alliance, Headwaters, and Congressman Mike Thompson. Plaintiffs were joined by the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes, and amicus briefs supporting the plaintiffs were filed by the Cities of Arcata and Eureka, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties, and the Humboldt Bay, Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
Klamath Basin Coalition - http://www.klamathbasin.info
|Egypt Demands Rosetta Stone!|
London July 21 2003 (The Telegraph) - Egypt is demanding that the 2000-year-old Rosetta Stone be returned to Cairo and has threatened to pursue its claim "aggressively" if the British Museum does not agree to give it back.
Vivian Davies, keeper of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the museum, indicated that a voluntary return was unlikely.
Cheshire UK July 17, 2003 (BBC) - British inventors have come up with a new way to catch mice - by luring them into a chocolate-scented trap.
In tests, the smell of chocolate proved irresistible to rodents, more so than vanilla or even cheese.
|TRON Guru Ain't Bill Gates|
By George Nishiyama
|A Pizza a Day Could Keep Cancer Away|
Rome July 21 2003 (Cape Times) - There is good news for lovers of pizza: a study has found eating the hugely popular meal regularly could help stave off certain forms of cancer.
|Hubble Maps Dark Matter|
IAU Press Release
In 1937, Fritz Zwicky realised that the visible component of a cluster (the thousands of millions of stars in each of the thousands of galaxies) represents only a tiny fraction of the total mass.
About 80-85% of the matter is invisible, the so-called 'dark matter'. Although astronomers have known about the presence of dark matter for many decades, finding a technique to view its distribution is a much more recent development.
Tracing dark matter is not an easy task because it does not shine. To make a map, astronomers must focus on much fainter, more distant galaxies behind the cluster. The shapes of these distant systems are distorted by the gravity of the foreground cluster. This distortion provides a measure of the cluster mass, a phenomenon known as ‘weak gravitational lensing’.
|Genre News: Stargate, Enterprise, Dead Zone, Spider-man, Angel, MI-5, Tru Calling, Angelina Jolie & More!|
Genre Rumors and News
"Forget Trek! Stargate SG-1 is now sci-fi's biggest hit!"
Talk about backstabbing the Federation when it's down! Ask any Treker and the chances are good you'll get this response: where would Stargate be without all those "sort of like Star Trek" plotlines?
Time to face the music, Mr. Berman, and you've already got the talent onboard.
And speaking of music (say this is fun), Mr. Monk got a Randy Newman tune for his second season theme, but the delightful original theme for season one of Monk wasn't missed by the Academy. Jeff Beal's sweet little jazz ditty was nominated for Outstanding Main Title Theme. I like Newman anytime, but I thought the Beal theme fit Monk better.
And speaking of complaints, apparently I wasn't the only one who got mad as hell about the excessive pop-ups running over The Dead Zone's first summer episode.
Dark Horizons reports that Bryan Singer has completed his treatment of X3, the second sequel for X-Men, and indicated that he will be back as director.
Whether this is just for Hef's own private screenings or the rest of us remains to be seen (pun intended), like a lot of Playboy's media projects.
Oh, and don't get taken in by MTV's hype (does anybody anymore?) about the "new" Spider-man cartoon series. If Stan Lee misses with Stripperella, Sony TV really blows it with this all-CGI, yuppie version of Spidey.
I watched two episodes and the entire Spider-man social relevance message thing has been digitized out.
Stargate SG-1 Solutions - http://www.savedanieljackson.com/news/newsybits.shtml
Stargate SG1 Official site - http://www.stargate-sg1.com
Angel Official site - http://www.thewb.com/Shows/Show/0,7353,||139,00.html
This London-based agency, whose staff today totals 1,900, is now the subject of a smart new spy drama, "MI-5," which, complete with supplemental hyphen, has been imported for American viewers by A&E.
A second episode in the series' regular 10 p.m. slot finds Tom and a female colleague posing as a married couple to nail a businessman suspected of planning a race war.
Dushku Speaks on Tru Calling
Those hopes were stymied when Dushku signed on to star in the FOX pilot "Tru Calling," opting for a new beginning, rather than reliving a past role.
"And I love that show and that character's been good to me and I love the people involved and there wasn't a doubt in my mind we could have made an interesting show, but I think that you kind of go down the road less traveled sometimes."
As if that isn't bad enough, she then has to relive the entire day to save the life of the body on the slab, prevent a murder.
Fox 2003 Fall Schedule - http://www.fox.com/schedule/schedule_2003.htm
Quinn, Fenn, Sedgwick and Bacon Aboard Showtime's 'Cavedweller'
Showtime - http://www.sho.com
Cameron Diaz Will Repay Illicit Funds
Leonardo DiCaprio's father, George repaid $2,000 and composer Philip Glass repaid $2,500, the crime Web site said.
Angelina Jolie Says UN Changed Her life
She adopted Maddox from Cambodia last year as her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton was collapsing. The couple divorced in May.
"He has given me strength. I've never known this kind of relationship or love before."
Her upcoming films also include "Beyond Borders" and "Sharkslayer." The new Lara Croft adventure opens July 25th.
Martin & Lewis - The Sequel?
Charmed Producer Spelling Blasts Reality TV
"But I've got to tell you, the reality trend makes me puke."
[I never thought I say this, but bless you, Aaron Spelling! Bravo to you, sir, and I hereby officially forgive you for The Mod Squad! Ed.]
Spelling instantly fell for the Danny Nucci/Ernie Hudson drama, which is about a veteran in the L.A. County Sheriffs Dept. training a wiseacre younger partner, but which the producer describes as focusing on a love affair between two men.