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Nature runs away from human pollution into deep sea to sustain its mysterious miracles - unidentified marine life.

new species discovered during a deep-sea expedition off Canada's Atlantic coast
Spectacular deep-sea species: newly discovered purple octopus and species of vase sponge was one of the bottom dwellers.

Australia’s dragonfish
Australia's dragonfish uses many fangs to hook hard-to-find prey in the cold, dark depths.

Gulf of Mexico's Venus flytrap anemone and unidentified sea pen
Top left: Gulf of Mexico's Venus flytrap anemone acts much like its terrestrial namesake, stinging its prey with an array of tentacles. Bottom right: an unidentified sea pen discovered on Atlantic coast off Newfoundland.

unidentified sponge and recently identified bivalve mollusk off New Foundland
Top: unrecognizable sponge species found on volcanic mounds off Newfoundland. Bottom: recently identified species of bivalve mollusk was also discovered in survey of Newfoundland depths.

phronima sedentaria and spider conch
Phronima sedentaria sets up house by attacking and then hollowing out a transparent jellyfish-like animal called a salpa. Inset: Found in China, the spider conch a mollusk, one of the most common groups of species in the new Census of Marine Life inventory.

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Zephyr, unmanned plane doubled 30-hour record set in 2001 - significance: solar powered, hand-launched, non-stop 82-hour flight

Zephyr is prepared for takeoff. It has more than doubled the unofficial record of more than 82 hours

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Bertrand Piccard - "The pioneer is not always the one who succeeds, but the one who is not scared to fail." 'Zephyr is the world's first and only truly persistent aeroplane,' said Neville Salkeld, MD of QinetiQ's UK Technology Solutions Group. This amazing aircraft, launched by hand, can provide low-cost, non-stop surveillance over persistent surveillance and communications capability measured in terms of weeks, if not months. Not only is Zephyr game-changing technology, it is also significantly more cost effective to manufacture and deploy than traditional aircraft and satellites.'

the Zephyr solar-powered plane recently broke the endurance record for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

Zephyr at take off from the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona for its endurance record breaking flight for an unmanned air system

British solar-powered unmanned drone finally lands after flying non-stop for two weeks: It has more than doubled the unofficial record of more than 82 hours already held by Zephyr and has smashed the official record of more than 30 hours set in 2001  read more »

Solar powered 1st nonstop 26hr night flight, longest distance, highest altitude: Swiss Solar Impulse marks Solar Aviation Era

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a Swiss solar-powered plane, completed first non-stop night flight on solar energy after flying 26 hours and 9 minutes.

Swiss Plane Completes First Solar-Powered Overnight Flight

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Aviation News [July 8, 2010] Swiss Plane Completes First Solar-Powered Overnight Flight
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a Swiss solar-powered plane, completed the first non-stop night flight on solar energy after flying 26 hours and 9 minutes. It was the longest solar flight at the highest altitude in aviation history, Solar Impulse announced on Thursday.

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA has a huge wingspan, equal to the Airbus A340’s 63.4 meters. It includes approximately 12,000 photovoltaic cells, most of them on the wing and around 880 on the horizontal stabilizer.

Fly around the World with a Solar Powered Airplane

July 8 2010 Solar Impuse - longest solar flight at the highest altitude in aviation history

The plane took off on Wednesday morning from the Payerne airbase with André Borscherg, CEO and co-founder of the Solar Impulse project, at the controls. The HB-SIA flew at an altitude of 8,500 meters until 11:00 p.m., when the sun rays stop being enough to supply the solar cells.  read more »

EU voted down body scanners in 2008: "degrading measure". Concerns: Effective? Health? Dignity? Privacy? Heavy cost?

Cartoons. Top R: Sign in front of body scanner: ‘Remove All: shoes; belts; metal; dignity; rights’. Bottom L: ‘I hate it when fans of that Village People hit song step into the full body scanner!’
Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan - naked body scanners image of him were printed and circulated by airport staff

Craziness is not rare, neither is Crime. Else, there would be no need for law, law enforcement, etc. etc.. Does Fear lead to solutions, or to panic, shutting out common sense and wisdom? EU Justice Chief has the answer: "We have to have a very clear line on this. We must never be driven by fear but by our values."
MEPs not yet convinced about body scanners, await impact analysis: "legitimate questions"... "Technology has become the new religion in counter-terrorism"... "Violation of dignity"... "no matter how much technology you have, terrorists will manage to circumvent it"... "great cost implications" of using body scanners, and advised against "putting burdens on airport companies" (also tax payers?) without the certainty that such scanners would be useful.

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Solar plane, 1st of its kind, Airbus-sized, around the world without fuel & with zero emissions: prototype runway debut

Solar Impulse solar plane, and its founders / pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg

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The prototype of a solar-powered plane, the size of an Airbus and the weight of a mid-sized car, destined for a record round-the-world journey has made its 1st trip across a runway. The plane covered at least 2km at speeds of up to 5 knots on the landing strip in Switzerland. This test run saw the Solar Impulse plane outside its hangar for the first time, with tests of its motors and computer. As wide as a jumbo jet but weighing just 1,500 kg, the plane's maiden flight is scheduled for February in 2010, and a final version will attempt to cross the Atlantic in 2012. HB-SIA’s mission is to demonstrate the feasibility of a night flight making sole use of solar energy. It is a “no frills” plane built solely for verifying our technological choices. It is a true “flying lab”. The results gained from it will be used for optimizing the construction of the HB-SIB, whose mission it will be to fly around the world without fuel and with zero emissions as from 2012.

Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype: plane made of carbon fiber, on-board computing system helps minimize energy consumption, gondolas (x4) contain motor and batteries for storing power; wingspan: 61m, weight: 1500kg, max altitude: 8500m, speed: 70km/h  read more »

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