Friday, February 15, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14: how to spot it

Asteroid DA14

On Friday evening asteroid 2012 DA14 skims closer to our planet than any other known asteroid. Although invisible to the naked eye, binoculars can bring the space rock into focus. Or simply watch the webcast.

Space rock 2012 DA14 is only 50 metres across. It will pass the Earth on Friday evening (UK time) just 17,100 miles above our heads. There is no danger of a collision. Nevertheless, this is closer to the Earth than many artificial satellites.

It will pass from the southern to northern hemisphere and set the record for the closest pass of any known asteroid since systematic surveys of the sky began in the mid-1990s.

Animated asteroid map

Animated visibility map for asteroid 2012 DA14 between 18:00 and 21:30 GMT. The asteroid will be visible from green areas. Image: Geert Barentsen

According to Don Yeomans of Nasa's Near-Earth Object Observation Programme, an asteroid like 2012 DA14 flies this close on average only once every 40 years.

February 15, 2013 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Russian meteor causes blast; hundreds injured -


Moscow (CNN) -- A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's Urals region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt.

The number of injured continues to rise as new reports come in from across a wide area.

Is this one of the sign of the times, I wonder…

February 15, 2013 in Current Affairs, Science, Space, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 28, 2013

アフリカのリスクを地図で見る。本当に危険な場所はどこ? アルジェリア人質事件で現実となった “レッドゾーン”

via Nikkei Business

アフリカ諸国のリスクの状況を、英調査会社エクスクルーシブ・アナリシスが作成しているリスクマップで見てみたい。上の地図(出所:Exclusive Analysis、以下同)は、同社がアフリカ大陸をリスクの度合いによって色分けしたものだ。青→黄→赤の順に危険度が上がっていく。


January 28, 2013 in Business, Current Affairs, Economy, Politics, Religion, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Leaked UN climate report slammed for citing WWF, Greenpeace


via Fox News

Critics are blasting a draft U.N. climate change report that combines studies by advocacy groups like the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace alongside scientific research papers -- the same issue that led independent auditors to slam the U.N.'s last report.

“You'd think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications,” said Donna Laframboise, the head of, an investigative website skeptical of the scientific consensus on global warming.

January 24, 2013 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Economy, Media, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

PBS' NOVA to Premiere Documentary on 'Rise of the Drones'

via Mashable

The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as well as the role drones will play in domestic law enforcement.

There are controversies in both of these worlds. Are drone strikes in accordance with international law? Are they killing too many civilians? "We’ve entered an era where we’re conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war," Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. "When you’re conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you’re conducting an equivalent of at least an ‘Air War’ campaign. But we don’t call it that now."

On the civilian side, most of the questions are related to privacy and security. Can citizens' privacy be respected when there are thousands of eyes in the sky? "I think anybody that can use a device to peer into your activities even if it’s the air outside your window or the air above your property, I think there is a right to privacy," Rep. Rand Paul tells NOVA. "The worry is that in two [to] three years we will have 30,000 drones crisscrossing the sky accumulating all this information."

January 23, 2013 in Current Affairs, Economy, Media, Politics, Science, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obama to use Lincoln's and Martin Luther King's Bibles for swearing-in | World news | The Guardian


President Barack Obama is putting a symbolic twist on a time-honored tradition, taking the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed not on a single Bible but on two – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr and one by Abraham Lincoln.

The use of King's Bible is particularly significant since the inauguration is on 21 January, the federal holiday in honour of the civil rights leader, who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago at the Lincoln memorial. Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. King's Bible, which his children say he used early in his career as a preacher, has never been part of a presidential inauguration.

image: President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

There were some great words and phrases in his speech, some of which were historically remarkable actually, and that go in line with “I have a dream” speech by civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.

But putting his words into action would be very tough job for him during next four years term.

And I sincerely hope that he will not be crucified by his own words.  

January 22, 2013 in Current Affairs, Economy, Fashion, Media, Politics, Religion, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Original Batmobile sold for $4.2m at US auction


The Batmobile used by actor Adam West in the original TV series of Batman has sold for $4.2m (£2.6m) at a US auction.

The car was bought by Rick Champagne, a logistics company owner from Phoenix, Arizona.

The 56-year-old, who was just 10 when the high-camp TV series began in 1966, said it "was a dream come true".

The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company.

It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris, who transformed it in 15 days, at the cost of $15,000 (£9,400), into the superhero's famous vehicle.

The Batmobile was definitely one of my Dream Car when I was a kid…  I have not seen it for very long time, but I think it still looks awesome!

January 20, 2013 in Art, Business, Current Affairs, Design, Fashion, Media, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, January 18, 2013

The battery that grounded Boeing


U.S. officials grounded Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner because the aircraft's advanced batteries appear to be malfunctioning. But what's the problem? And can it be fixed?

To reduce weight on the plane, Boeing relied heavily on lithium ion batteries -- the same type found in mobile phones and laptops.

Can it be fixed? Fixing the fire issue is obviously the main problem. Boeing chose a particularly risky type of chemical makeup in its lithium ion battery, one that provides more power but does not stand up well to overheating.

"Boeing made a conscious design decision, and is now paying the price," he said.

January 18, 2013 in Business, Current Affairs, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Now's a REALLY good time to update these Facebook privacy settings | How To - CNET


No, Graph Search doesn't affect your privacy settings, but it surely makes digging up information about you really easy. Now's a REALLY REALLY good time to review what you're sharing and how you're sharing it.

Your data. Easily accessible to friends AND…. 

In the new search bar, a Facebook user can search for something like, "Friends who like 'Star Wars' and cooking." Immediately, Facebook will dig through that user's friends' likes and interests to find relevant matches. Facebook doesn't magically know which of your friends like these things, it will simply use the data they provided.

These are just a couple examples of how Facebook will use the data you willfully surrendered to make its new search tool effective and accurate, but Graph Search goes beyond just Likes and music history. Everything -- I mean, everything -- you've shared with friends on Facebook will be contributed to the index.

For example:

  • Shared data from apps you use, like Spotify (it's not yet used in Graph Search, but will be in the near future)
  • Tagged photos, including those with associated locations and times
  • Interests, like music, TV shows, and blogs
  • Facebook check-ins
  • Your "About" section, including career, relationship status, and religious or political views

No matter how subtle the piece of information, friends can and will dig it up using Graph Search.

So, let’s get to it!  RIGHT NOW!!  Shall we?

January 17, 2013 in Business, Current Affairs, Media, Politics, Science, Web Culture, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In pictures: Beijing pollution


And this will affect Our atmosphere soon or later.

My question is, would it be more hazardous than...say Fukushima?

Anyway, I think Chinese government should put ridiculously high taxes on automobiles which uses fossil energies, and encourage all to switch to EVs instead, or better yet, go back to bicycles like they used to...

January 16, 2013 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Economy, Politics, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies - Council on Foreign Relations


Zenko puts forward a substantive agenda. He argues that the United States should end so-called signature strikes, which target unidentified militants based on their behavior patterns and personal networks, and limit targeted killings to a limited number of specific terrorists with transnational ambitions. He also calls Congress to improve its oversight of drone strikes and to continue restrictions on armed drone sales. Finally, he recommends that the United States work internationally to establish rules and norms governing the use of drones.

January 15, 2013 in Current Affairs, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 14, 2013

Top tip if you're going out in Beijing: don't breathe | World news | The Guardian


Sooo, it’s like “If you want to live in Beijing, DON'T BREATH THE AIR!!”

I guess Chinese government should seriously consider going back to bicycles instead of modernized motorization, or switch all vehicles to EV, and they need to do it TODAY!

January 14, 2013 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Politics, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, January 07, 2013

First Meteor Shower of 2013 Peaks Tonight

Kick off the New Year with the annual Quadrantid meteor shower, which will peak tonight into tomorrow morning.
Two Quadrantid meteors streak over the Mojave Desert.


January 7, 2013 in Current Affairs, Science, Space | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, March 04, 2011

Gaddafi Speech Looney Tunes Version


March 4, 2011 in Current Affairs, Web Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, February 25, 2011

Anonymous and the global correction - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The seeds of cyber revolution

Anonymous is a means by which people across the globe can assist in the hard work being performed by the Tunisian people - who have long taken issue with their government, but first began protesting in earnest after a fruit vendor set himself ablaze in response to police cruelty.

The Anonymous movement itself grew out of message boards frequented mostly by young people with an interest in internet culture in general - and Japanese media in particular; in 2005, participants began "attacking" internet venues as a sort of sport, and in the process honed their skills in a way that proved useful in "information warfare".

In 2007, some users proposed that the Church of Scientology be exposed for its unethical and sometimes violent conduct, sparking a coordinated global protest movement that differed from anything else seen, and which still continues today.

The Australian government was later attacked for introducing new internet censorship laws, and in the meantime, those within Anonymous who see the subculture as a potential force for justice have launched other efforts while also building new strategies and recruiting individuals from across the globe - some of whom hold significant positions in media, industry, and the sciences.

The revolution will be broadcast

The fact is that the technological infrastructure that allows these movements has been in place for well under a decade - but phenomena such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous have already appeared, expanded, and even become players within the geopolitical environment; others have come about since.

This is the future, whether one approves or not, and the failure on the part of governments and media alike to understand, and contend with the rapid change now afoot, ought to remind everyone concerned why it is that this movement is necessary in the first place.


February 25, 2011 in Current Affairs, Web Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Umbrella Man

Colonel Gaddafi's State TV Appearance 21/02/2011

February 23, 2011 in Current Affairs, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dispatch from "Free Libya": The Right to Laugh at Gaddafi - TIME

February 23, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Financial Times: The message for China from Tahrir Square

Beijing is right to be unnerved by Mubarak's fall '€“ the ostensibly resilient regime is afflicted by many of the same pathologies as Egypt, writes Minxin Pei

Read the full article at: Financial Times

February 12, 2011 in Current Affairs, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Algeria, Next Stop ?

Algeria braced for protests as Egypt celebrates new dawn

Domino Effect in Middle East

-- sent from iPad

February 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is so much more than a ‘webolution’ (Spiked)

This is so much more than a ‘webolution’

In the face of a historical rupture, and with events unfolding at dizzying speed, some find this a comforting thought: Egyptians have long suffered in silence, experiencing increasing levels of poverty and denial of basic freedoms. Then along came the start-up saviours of Twitter, Facebook and the rest, and finally there was change Egyptians could believe in.

But this Facebook fetishism gets things the wrong way around. There is no such thing as a ‘social media-led revolution’. What’s happening in Egypt today is a people-led upheaval, and it was not inspired or sparked by some Web 2.0 gizmo. As Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger and human rights activist, told spiked: ‘We’ve been using social media for years, but the decision to take action now was taken by the people… It cannot be credited to the internet. What’s taking place on the streets today is completely the role of the Egyptian people. The internet is used as a tool only – to campaign, to spread information, to call people to protest.’ Abbas believes that the internet has facilitated political activism: ‘It has enabled people to communicate without using traditional means of communication that are controlled by the regime.’

-- sent from iPad

February 12, 2011 in Current Affairs, Web Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Evolution of Revolution = WEBOLUTIOIN !!!

The Egyptian Revolution and Online Influence.


Not only has the social web been used to organize the demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, it has also been one of the main sources for disseminating minute-by-minute updates on what has happened on the ground, from the joyous and triumphant victories of an empowered public, to the darker moments of brutality and violence. Seeing social media’s power to inform, organize & influence these situations is wildly fascinating.

But at TRAACKR, we have never been concerned with social media in general or even in specific platforms. We have always been focused on finding the PEOPLE who are driving the information and influence. So, the situation in Egypt provided a brilliant petri dish for this type of analysis.

February 12, 2011 in ANNOUNCEMENT, Current Affairs, Politics, Web Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Must read contingency memo on Political Instability in #Egypt

RT @CFR_org: RT @PattyMechael: Must read contingency memo on Political Instability in #Egypt by @steveacook  - #jan25

January 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, June 14, 2010






AnserNote: vuvuzela

June 14, 2010 in Current Affairs, Design, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

[NASA Imagery of Oil Spill]


NASA Imagery of Oil Spill.

File:Deepwater Horizon oil spill - May 24, 2010.jpg

June 14, 2010 in Current Affairs, Ecology, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack