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Oldest WWI survivors join commemorations on Remembrance Day, pay tribute to fallen millions in 1st, 2nd World Wars

World War I Veterans Bill Stone, 108, Harry Patch, 110, and Henry Allingham, 112

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This year’s Armistice Day anniversary, com- memorating the millions of lives lost in the so-called War to End All Wars, comes 90 years after the guns fell silent in 1918. Anyone who was a part of it would have to be at least 108 by now. Astonishingly, there are still three men who fit the bill, three survivors who were in uniform 90 years ago as the First World War drew to a close. Yesterday, this trio marked Remembrance Sunday to the best of their abilities.

The Queen lays her wreath on Remembrance Day

The men - all well into their 100s - will attend a service at the Cenotaph in central London. Harry Patch, 110, a veteran of the horrors of Passchendaele, is the only survivor of the trenches. He ignored the rain and attended a parade at Wells, near his Somerset home. Allingham, Britain's oldest man at the age of 112, was an aircraft mechanic who saw action at sea, in the Battle of Jutland, and ashore on the Western Front. Bill Stone, a young pup of 108, ended up fighting two World Wars for the Royal Navy. Today, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, all three men will be on parade in London at the Cenotaph to mark the exact moment when the guns fell silent. Of the five million men and women who served in Britain's armed forces in the war, only four are still alive. The other surviving veteran, Claude Choules, 107, lives in Australia and will mark the 90th anniversary at local events there.  read more »

Prefab, high-concept and green: an eco-house that’s low-maintenance, small-carbon-footprint and also a work of art

the house fulfills the owners' ambition to create a work of art that is intensely green: it relies on cross-ventilation for cooling, passive solar energy for heating and recycled water for irrigating the garden

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Thomas Small is an accomplished cook, so it’s important for him to try new and exotic ingredients every now and then. When it came to the construction of his eco-friendly house, that’s exactly what his architects gave him. After all, crushed sunflower husks and shredded blue jeans don’t sound like typical building blocks. But in the world of green design, such ingredients are not rare. So now, Mr. Small and his wife, Joanna Brody, along with their two very young children and a pair of large French Briard dogs, share a prefabricated urban building that has become an example for others looking for creative ways to go green.

shredded jeans encased in wire mesh insulate the ceiling and walls of the living room. Red-lacquered Ikea cabinets, topped with the same black-stained concrete as the floor, define the open kitchen  read more »

3rd party candidates - 1860: Lincoln elected; 1992 last heard: Ross Perot; 2008: Bob Barr & Ralph Nader excluded

Abraham Lincoln, Ross Pert, Bob Barr, and Ralph Nader

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In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as a 3rd party US presidential candidate.
When Abraham Lincoln ran for office, the two major parties were the Whigs and the Democrats. As a Republican, Lincoln was elected as a third party candidate - even after being left off the ballot in the 11 states that seceded from the Union.

In 1992, for the last time a 3rd party candidate, Ross Perot, was heard in presidential debates.

In 2008, 3rd party’s voices of Bob Barr & Ralph Nader were excluded from debates though
- 55% of likely voters, both Democrat and Republican, said that they would want to see Bob Barr featured in the debates alongside Obama and McCain.
- 59% of independent voters stated that they want to see the debate commission allow Nader into the debates.
- A very important fact is that younger voters were more likely to favor the inclusion of the two independent candidates into the debates, demonstrating a sort of changing of the guard as younger voters are not as content with the status quo two candidate system.  read more »

US national debt: $10+ tril, increasing $3.99 bil daily. US population: 305 mil; each citizen’s share: $35k

US National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.99 billion per day since September 28, 2007

Shocking figures about the US National Debt:

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1.
7 Oct 08 - National Debt passes $10 trillion (Huffington Post)
Bush Administration adds $4 trillion to National Debt (CBS News)

2.
The estimated population of the United States is around 305 million.
So each citizen's share of this debt is close to $35k.

3.
The (National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.99 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007!

(unquote)

Original Source: brillig.com

Sculptures by the Sea - 107 sculptures from 7 countries on display at Australia's largest annual outdoor free exhibition

a visitor to Sydney’s Tamarama Beach enjoys a refreshment near a sculpture titled Soldier Scale 1:1

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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."

the free outdoor exhibition, now in its 12th year, stretches for two-kilometres (1.24 miles) along the coastline popular with walkers, joggers and tourists. Visitors view a work by artists Andy Townsend and Suzie Bleach  read more »

Diwali, the Festival of Lights - signifying victory of good over evil and celebrating unity in diversity

Diwali is marked by the lighting of lamps like these being prepared by a laborer in Amritsar

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Diwali/Deepavali is a Sanskrit word which means path or array of lights and signifies the victory of good (light) over evil (darkness). members of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) light earthen lamps assembled to form the word peace on the eve of Diwali in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, Oct. 27, 2008 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.

women light lamps in Ahmedabad, Western India, on the eve of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights  read more »

Major discovery & giant step for biofuel: scientist finds rainforest fungus that naturally synthesizes diesel fuel

the 'myco-diesel' fungus Gliocladium roseum, which grows inside the ulmo tree in northern Patagonia

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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.

Professor Gary Strobel in the Patagonian rainforest  read more »

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