CHINA TOWN BANGKOK Mad Mad World of Yen Yang Flow
Mad Mad World of Yen Yang Flow
Students' energy-efficient house designs compete in Solar Decathlon, Germans win
It has just been announced that the German University, Technische Universität Darmstadt is the winner of this years Solar Decathlon competition! In order to win this prestigious design competition, the German team had to beat out a whole slew of American universities on U.S. turf (the National Mall in Washington DC). Frankly, however, we’re not surprised to see a winning design emerge from the land of high-quality engineering. And the Darmstadt Solar Decathlon house was a worthy winner of the coveted prize. The stunning solar house was simple, elegant, and extremely innovative in its use of solar shutters and fold-up interior space.
There's a gallery of the exterior of all the entries at the official site.
The first visual impression of the bunch is boxes, and shoeboxes, slants and angles. Only one, below, has a visible curve. but Inhabitat has better photos of some, with interiors.
My favorite took second place,Maryland’s Solar Decathlon Zero Energy Home, with an indoor waterfall — "a liquid desiccant wall system that's used to control humidity." The outdoor wall is pretty nice, too. (Rainwater from the roof is collected to water the plants.) Morning glories, of course, in my version.
Three other awards were given, including one to Percy and Louise Schmeiser, a Canadian farming couple who are challenging Monsanto over genetically modified seed.
via Jeff Hess's Have Coffee Will Write.
Panties for Peace uses superstition against Burma's junta
The bilingual blog Lanna Action for Burma spearheads the women's panty-protest movement against the government of Burma:
· Post Your Panties for Peace! Global action Beginning 16th October The Burma military regime is not only brutal but very superstitious. They believe that contact with a woman’s panties or sarong can rob them of their power
So this is your chance to use your Panty Power to take away the power from the SPDC!
Post or deliver your panties to the closest Burmese Embassy ongoing from 16th October.
132 Sathorn Nua Road
Here's a list of contact addresses -- street, phone, fax and email -- for Burmese embassies around the world, including Washington, D.C. and the U.N. Mission in New York.
It reports “Panties for Peace” Campaign Wins Wide Support,
Liz Hilton, a supporter of the Lanna Action for Burma and a member of the Empower foundation, said that by sending underwear to the men of Burma’s overseas embassies women would be delivering a strong message to the regime.
“The SPDC is famous for its abuse of women, so this can be a very strong signal from women around the world supporting the women in Burma,” she said.
“Many feel there’s little we can do. It is like living next to domestic violence when we see the military government brutal crack down in Burma. We can hear that fighting in the next-door house or in the same village. We have tried to talk, we have tried to do many things. But we need to express our feelings.”
In another unusual popular protest action, people in Rangoon are hanging pictures of Than Shwe around the necks of stray dogs. It’s a very serious insult in Burma to associate anybody with a dog.
...“The people of Burma are doing what they can inside [the country],” said Liz Hilton. “We should do whatever we can outside. Most of us are not politicians, we are not powerful people. But women do have the power of their panties—let’s use that.”
In this photo released by the Democratic Voice of Burma, Buddhist monks stand in front of riot police as they demonstrate in Yangon Myanmar on Wednesday Sept. 26, 2007. Security forces fired warning shots and tear gas into swollen crowds of demonstrators in Myanmar's biggest city Wednesday, while hauling away defiant Buddhist monks into waiting trucks, the first mass arrests since protests in this military dictatorship erupted last month. (AP Photo/Democratic Voice of Burma)
Cruise Ship Built at Home
Francois Zanella, a 58 year old former mine worker has built a cruise ship at his home in Morsbach, Moselle in North-Eastern part of France.
He started building his ship on August 10-th, 1994. By that time, he had already spent more than 3,500 hours designing in excruciating detail all the components of the ship. It took him 11 long years to build the ship, a process that was completed on June 23, 2005. On that day his ship started sailing from port Sarreguemines.
Francois built his ship based on the model of Royal Caribbean's 1992 cruise ship Majesty of the Seas, but on a smaller scale. Because of that, he also named his ship Majesty of the Seas. Building this ship was a dream come true for Francois, a dream for which he happily spent 25,000 hours of his life.
He also became quite famous in France because of this project. One of the main TV channels in the country - France 3 - created a special program named Thalassa which followed his work during the construction process. He received considerable amount of fan mail because of that.
Currently Francois is enjoying the fruits of his labor by traveling around the world in his own cruise ship - Majesty of the Seas.
Here is the cruise ship sitting in the exact place where it was built.
Here is how the ship was transported to sea.
Here is Francois Zanella, the man who built the ship.
Surrealism, Halloween and a... barking spider?
Jacek Yerka, The Walking Lesson
Locally surreal: Today's Lifebeat section is full of Halloween -- things to do in the real world, especially if you're in Rhode Island.
Here are some spooky things to browse on the Web that aren't on everybody's route:
The Museum of Supernatural History is divided into a number of departments, each of which focuses on a magical, malefic or fantastical area of study. Each haunted antique (hauntique) is a gateway between two worlds. Individuals known as 'sensitives' are the key that can open these gateways. Of course, activating certain artefacts in the collection entails a risk of triggering a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions.
The Haunted Museum: Ghosts of the Prairie's Chronicle of Ghost Research, from the Heyday of Spiritualism to the Modern Era.
Poppycock! Balderdash! Cold water! The Skeptiseum: The skeptical museum of the paranormal.
And a ringer...
By E&P Staff Published: September 23, 2007 10:25 AM ET
NEW YORK Colorado State University's student newspaper has lost $30,000 in advertising and had to cut pay and other budgets by 10 percent due to fallout from the use of a four-letter word in an editorial about President Bush, the paper reported Saturday. In large type, the Collegian editorial included the words "Taser this Fuck Bush." The editorial said it had the support of the Collegian's editorial board. The editor says he will not step down. His name has a familiar ring. Two years ago, David McShane drew national attention when, as a high schooler, he carried out an elaborate "sting" operation to expose how the U.S. Army was lowering its wartime standards in recruitment. McShane pretended he had a marijuana habit and secretly taped the conversations with recruiters. The two recruiters were later suspended and Army recruitment shut down temporarily across the country. Here is a profile of McShane written by Graham Webster for E&P on July 1, 2005. David McSwane had seen the military recruiters around town. He had seen them at the high school. And he knew that with recruitment rates down due to the Iraq war, they were working hard to attract new cadets. And it gave him an idea. "I wanted to see how far they'd go to get another soldier," says McSwane, a reporter for the Westwind at Arvada West High School in Arvada, Colo. So he set up a sting investigation, posing as a high school dropout with a marijuana habit and went down to his local Colorado Army recruitment station to enlist. It would lead to a national shutdown of such recruitment and fame for him in The New York Times and other national news outlets. McSwane, 17, knew he would have to document his conversations with the recruiters, so he taped the telephone conversations, enlisted his sister to pose as a proud sibling so she could photograph parts of the process, and asked a friend to operate a video camera across from a local head shop. But how did McSwane get an recruiter to visit a head shop with him? Simple. The honor student, pretending to have a ganja habit he couldn't kick, went there to score a detoxifying kit the Army office claimed had helped two previous recruits pass drug tests, according to a taped phone conversation broadcast on local TV. McSwane told his recruiter he didn't know what the detox formula looked like, so the man agreed to go to the store with him. Aside from his drug problem, McSwane said he had no high school diploma — which at that time was true, as he graduated about two months later — and that he had dropped out of high school. No problem, the recruiters told him. There are Web sites where anyone can order a diploma from a school they make up. "It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or whatever you choose," one recruiter can be heard saying on one of the taped exchanges. After the fruits of his investigation ran in the Westwind, there was a brief lull.
Then a Denver TV station picked up the story and ran with it, first airing McSwane's findings on April 28. Within a few days the boy's sting had made national headlines, and the U.S. Army froze recruiting operations nationwide for a day. (His two would-be recruiters were suspended.)
"It's been kind of cool to see a reaction from the Pentagon on a story done in a high school paper," the teen reporter says. He has appeared on local and national TV, and articles on his investigation have appeared in the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and The New York Times. One could understand if the school was a bit unaccustomed to all the media attention.
Rick Kaufman, a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools, said that after the initial report ran in Westwind, "the principal was very clear with David that the articles could not go any further into his undercover actions." Because the school paper is produced as part of a class, the principal reviews the paper prior to publication and has the power to spike any story.
McSwane says his scrupulous documentation has for the most part prevented naysayers from calling his investigation false. Still, he says, some have questioned the ethics involved in a deceptive operation like the one he orchestrated: "Any undercover investigation, you're going in there as a lie. And a lot of people don't like it." In the fall McSwane plans to start on a journalism degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. But he's not taking it easy in the meantime. "I work retail graveyard shifts right now, because I've got to make money for college," he says, upon waking in the mid-afternoon. On his days off, he interns at the Arvada (Colo.) Press.
Like any good romance, McSwane's love of journalism started with something of an accident. "I guess I've always had a knack for writing," he says. "One day one of my English teachers just put me in newspaper class without my permission."e mid-afternoon. On his days off, he interns at the Arvada (Colo.) Press.
Lasso the Link