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Cute cute cute: like a star falling from the sky, don't be surprised if someone sends a plane to land in your backyard

*update* Dec. 01, 2012
The first-ever flying drone competition “In the next few years the idea of drones will dramatically change. You no longer need a PhD... The same functions every Web programmer uses to build apps can now make drones navigate, take pictures, find people, fly through windows, play games, and so on. When the low level control of hardware comes built-in, hobbyists can focus on writing algorithms and routines." "Autonomous Flight, with a Few Lines of Javascript"

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July 4, 2012 U.S. drone 'hijackings' - University of Texas professor and grad students manipulate unmanned crafts' flight paths...even able to make them land

Thousands of drones are destined for US skies. The use of drones is taking off in America. Local governments and private businesses see them as a cheap and effective way of maintaining an eye from the sky.

But will the drones be fully under their control? A college professor and his students say not necessarily.

A civilian drone aircraft was "hijacked" by Professor Todd Humphreys and his graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. They were able to hack into the drone's GPS signals. Later, in an exercise done in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security at White Sands, N.M., they were even able to make the drone land.  read more »

Sweden:Malmo shut down nuclear plants, 1st carbon-neutral neighborhood; Japan:reactor re-activated despite disaster&mass protest

The Western Harbour neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, has led strides in sustainability.

officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima nuclear plant

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Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

Europe’s ‘First Carbon-Neutral Neighborhood’: Western Harbour
With a smart heating and cooling system and renewable energy, the city district of Västra Hamnen (Western Harbor), in Malmö, Sweden has established itself as the first carbon-neutral neighborhood in Europe, says Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu.

Västra Hamnen, also known as the City of Tomorrow, was transformed from a former shipyard in 2001 and is now home to 4,000 people.

The district uses an aquifer thermal energy storage system to store water collected during the summer 70 meters (230 feet) underground and pump it up with wind energy to heat the homes during the winter. The chilled water is then reused to cool buildings in the summer. “There’s no need for air-conditioners in the district,” Reepalu proudly told the audience at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Forum, held during the World Cities Summit on July 2 in Singapore.  read more »

"Just the two of us": loving panda mom Shin Shin takes good care of her new baby, first panda cub born in Japan in 24 years

a tiny newborn panda cub clings to its mother, Shin Shin, at Ueno Zoo, Japan

Shin Shin rested at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo last month. The zoo announced on June 25 that Shin Shin had shown signs of pregnancy

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Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo released photographs of its newborn giant panda on July 6, showing its mother breastfeeding the tiny cub.

Born to 7-year-old Shin Shin on July 5, the panda--a male--is the first born at the zoo in Taito Ward as a result of natural breeding. “Even though she is a new mother, Shin Shin takes very good care of her cub,” said Yutaka Fukuda, deputy director of the zoo. “I'm sure she will be a good mother.”  read more »

Honor student needs help not jail: supports 2 siblings, runs fr job to job, homework til 7am..too tired for school, missed class

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Diane Tran, Honor Student At Texas High School, Jailed For Missing School
Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes, KHOU-11's Sherry Williams reports.

The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school. "She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework." Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.

Tran's case has spread online, with dozens of news outlets across the country picking up her story. HelpDianeTran.com, a site set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks, has raised over $28,000

A petition at Change.org that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 28,000 signatures on Monday afternoon.

*Update May 31, 2012*

Charges dropped against honor student jailed for truancy
The 17-year-old Willis High School honor student whose 24-hour stay in jail for excessive truancy drew national attention had the charge rescinded Wednesday, records show.  read more »

Oceans of trash? >9 million volunteers remove 153 million lbs of trash from >312000 miles of coastline and waterways in 26 years

Ocean trash: enough food packaging to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years

top ten items of garbage found in the oceans

ocean trash killing wildlife: fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, corals & sponges

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New Data Shows What Trash is in Your Ocean and Waterways
New data released by the Ocean Conservancy highlights the need for humans to clean up their acts. The numbers, generated during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup last September, are staggering.

With 598,076 volunteers around the world who picked up 9,184,428 pounds of trash from 20,776 miles of shorelines, rivers and lakes, it’s not surprising what is the most prolific item found – cigarette butts. If you are wondering how Ocean Conservancy knows down to the last one, how many butts there were, each volunteer is issued an inventory control sheet to keep tabs.

By now you are probably feeling a little ill, seeing just how much junk is floating around and landing on the world’s shores. But what about the damage being done to our wildlife? We know better — they don’t.

Stop Trash at the Source – You  read more »

Diving Line: prosperity or debt / ww3? 2012 landmark election rolling beyond US boundary: Dr. Ron Paul with CNN on Iran

Question from apolitical minds who have no clue but simply follow instinct: Does Dr. Ron Paul sound like George Washington leading peasants across the Delaware River fighting the Battle of Trenton? Jefferson (together with other Founding Fathers Adams, Franklin...) writing the US Constitution? Churchill stubbornly holding the floor without audience (deserted by his British Parliament peers), insisting on warning about looming WWII? Or Ronald Reagan (who once said, veteran and physician doctor "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country!")?

*UPDATE March 19, 2012*
Wikipedia: "Greece public debt-to-GDP ratio: 159.1% of nominal GDP"; "US public debt-to-GDP ratio: 115% since Feb/2012”
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
"US Outstanding Public Debt as of 19 Mar 2012 is: $15,580,446,972,442
The estimated population of US is 312,429,020
Each citizen's share of this debt is $49,868.76.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.02 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007!"


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Ruin of Nature. US new law "to slaughter or kill 50,000 native wild horses"; Canada closes slaughterhouse doors to US horses

wild horses in Montana's Pryor Mountains run through a field of wildflowers

a majestic and elegant brown arabian horse galloping freely

magnificent black stallion galloping on grass

white horse trotting on beach

horse trotting on green grass under blue sky

brown horse in gallop on the beach

horse rears on hind legs

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Washington Times - The week before US Thanksgiving 2011, President Obama quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry
President Obama last month quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry.

The ban on horse slaughtering had been imposed in 2006 when Congress defunded the government’s ability to inspect plants that butchered horses for consumption. Without inspections, the meat couldn’t be sold, and the industry withered.  read more »

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