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Figures & Facts
US national debt: $10+ tril, increasing $3.99 bil daily. US population: 305 mil; each citizen’s share: $35k
Shocking figures about the US National Debt:
The estimated population of the United States is around 305 million.
So each citizen's share of this debt is close to $35k.
The (National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.99 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007!
Original Source: brillig.com
Sculptures by the Sea - 107 sculptures from 7 countries on display at Australia's largest annual outdoor free exhibition
Every year, peculiar apparitions appear on the cliffs between popular Sydney beaches Bondi and Tamarama, yet not even the gulls take fright at the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition - Australia's largest annual outdoor free exhibition of sculpture. This year, more than 100 sculptures from seven countries, including Japan, the US, Iceland and New Caledonia, are on display on the cliff tops or around the rocky foreshore, expecting to attract 500,000 sightseers.
For David Handley, who founded the event 12 years ago, its popularity never ceases to surprise. "I would have needed therapy if you'd told me 12 years ago how big it was going to be," he says. "You wouldn't believe how much work goes on behind the scenes, but once Sydney responded the way it did, you just can't stop."
Diwali, the Festival of Lights - signifying victory of good over evil and celebrating unity in diversity
Diwali/Deepavali is a Sanskrit word which means path or array of lights and signifies the victory of good (light) over evil (darkness). Many legends are associated with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Lights," where people light deyas (small clay pots filled with coconut oil and a cotton like string(wick)is inserted) to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual. Officially, it fell on Oct. 28 this year.
In India, a land of festivals,Diwali is celebrated with fervor and gaiety. The festival is celebrated by young and old, rich and poor, throughout the country to dispel darkness and light up their lives.
Major discovery & giant step for biofuel: scientist finds rainforest fungus that naturally synthesizes diesel fuel
A tree fungus could provide green fuel that can be pumped directly into vehicle tanks, US scientists say. The organism, found in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similar to diesel. "These are the first organisms that have been found that make many of the ingredients of diesel," said Professor Gary Strobel from Montana State University. "This is a major discovery."
The discovery may offer an alternative to fossil fuels, said Strobel, MSU professor of plant sciences and plant pathology, who travels the world looking for exotic plants that may contain beneficial microbes. The find is even bigger, he said, than his 1993 discovery of fungus that contained the anticancer drug taxol. The fungus, called Gliocladium roseum and discovered growing inside the ulmo tree (Eucryphia cordifolia) in northern Patagonia, produces a range of hydrocarbon molecules that are virtually identical to the fuel-grade compounds in existing fossil fuels.
Obama, Biden win historical US election; both Obama and McCain call for unity to face the myriad challenges ahead
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," President-elect Barack Obama said after his victory. The first black president-elect cast his election as a defining moment in the country's 232-year history and a rebuke to cynicism, fear and doubt. "Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century," he said. "There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and, for us to lead, alliances to repair."
Obama’s victory speech was delivered before a multiracial crowd that city officials estimated at 240,000 people. He said he had received an "extraordinarily gracious" call from his Republican rival John McCain, who he said had "fought long and hard" for this campaign and for his country. "We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader," he said of the former Vietnam prisoner of war, "and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the month's ahead." read more »
Air, space, and frozen time at the Udvar-Hazy Center - a Smithsonian air museum about aircraft, and more aircraft
The first thing visitors encounter in the main display area of the Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles airport in the Virginia countryside, is a huge black spy plane. It’s an SR-71A Blackbird, the ultimate hot-rod aircraft, one of about 30 built at the Lockheed Skunk Works in California in the 1960s. This one last flew in 1990, traveling the 2,300 miles between Los Angeles and Washington in 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds - a transcontinental blur.
But now it’s at a standstill, giving visitors the chance to appreciate its outrageousness. There are the two massive engines on short, stubby wings; the tiny cockpit where the two-man crew was shoehorned in wearing bulky pressure suits; and the sweeping titanium fuselage that was built so loosely, to allow for expansion in the heat of supersonic flight, that the fuel tanks that made up the bulk of the plane routinely leaked, losing as much as 600 pounds of fuel taxiing to the runway.
Paperless - the future of newspapers? Century-old Christian Science Monitor ends daily print edition to focus online
The century-old Christian Science Monitor announced Tuesday that it will become the first nationally distributed newspaper to stop publishing a daily print edition, and focus on publishing online, succumbing to the financial pressure squeezing its industry harder than ever. The Boston-based paper is not forsaking print altogether - it will offer a weekly print version in addition to daily e-mail editions - but editors acknowledged shifting the focus to CSMonitor.com will save millions in addition to widening its audience.
The Boston-based general-interest paper, winner of seven Pulitzer Prizes, has long since established an extraordinary reputation for high-quality journalism. It was founded a century ago in 1908 by a religious visionary, Mary Baker Eddy, who "discovered" Christian Science and founded the paper in response to critical coverage of her in the New York World. She declared in the first edition that the role of the paper would be to "injure no man, but bless all mankind."