Saturday, August 29, 2009


Claims that a blurry object in a satellite photo is the mythical Loch Ness Monster have sparked a flurry of interest among enthusiasts.

Security guard Jason Cooke said he "couldn’t believe it" after seeing a Google Image photograph of the oblong-shape moving through the waters in the Scottish Highlands.

"It's just like the descriptions of Nessie," Mr Cooke was quoted in The Sun newspaper as saying.

The object measures about 20m in length — the same length of a plesiosaur, a carnivorous marine reptile from the Jurassic period which "Nessie" believers say lives in the waters.

Five lines trail the main shape, raising claims they could be the fins and tail stemming from the mythical creature's body.

Others say it is simply a boat leaving waves in its wake.

Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster have been reported for centuries but scientists say the monster is nothing more than a myth.

The most famous piece of photographic "evidence", which appears to show a snake-like head rising out of the water, was taken by British surgeon Colonel Robert Wilson in 1934.

The Google Earth object was located at co-ordinates Latitude 57°12'52.13"N, Longitude 4°34'14.16"W.

Acknowledgements: MSN NZ

Nessie from space

Friday, August 28, 2009


"On the morning of the day before the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin, Senator Ted Kennedy called the White House to inquire if it was appropriate to bring to the burial some earth from Arlington National Cemetery. The answer was essentially a shrug: Who knows? Unadvised, the senator carried a shopping bag onto the plane, filled with earth he had himself dug the afternoon before from the graves of his two murdered brothers. And at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, after waiting for the crowd and the cameras to disperse, he dropped to his hands and knees, and gently placed that earth on the grave of the murdered prime minister.

No spin, no photo op; a man unreasonably familiar with bidding farewell to slain heroes, a man in mourning, quietly making tangible a miserable connection."

I really don't know how to sum up a life of so much diligence, striving, and tragedy (as both victim and perpetrator, yes), so all I can say is that as a liberal and an American I hope Ted Kennedy can now rest and that our government will honor his life's work."

Certainly a man used to losing those close to him over many, many, years. Who will the Kennedy clan turn to now?

Read story:

Vice President Biden just gave a very emotional speech about the passing of his long-time friend, Ted Kennedy:

"You know, Teddy spent a lifetime working for a fair and more just America. And for 36 years I had the privilege of going to work everyday and literally -- not figuratively -- sitting next to him. and being a witness to history every single day the Senate was in session. I sat with him on the Senate floor, in the same aisle, I sat with him on the jUdiciary committee, physically next to him, and I sat with him in the caucuses.

"And it was in that process, every day I was with him -- and this is gonna sound strange -- he restored my sense of idealism and my faith in the possibilities of what this country could do. He and I were talking after his diagnosis, and I said, you know, I think you're the only other person I've met who like me is more optimistic, more enthusiastic, more idealistic, sees greater possibilities, after 36 years than after we were elected. He was 30 years old when he was elected, I was 29 years old. And you'd think that would be the peak of our idealism. But I genuinely feel more idealistic about the prospects for my country today than I have at any time in my life. And it was infectious when you were with him."He also paid tribute to Kennedy's abilities to fight for his beliefs, but not with malice towards his opponents:

And you know, he was never defeatist, he never was petty -- never was petty. He was never small. And in the process of his doing, he made everybody he worked with bigger, both his adversaries as well as his allies. Don't you find it remarkable that one of the most partisan, liberal men in the last century, serving in the Senate, had so many of his (long pause) so many of his foes embrace him, because they know he made them bigger. He made them more graceful by the way in which he conducted himself.And Biden told a very personal story about how Kennedy helped him get elected, and then helped him very personally, when Biden's first wife and a daughter were killed in a car accident, in which his sons were also injured, soon after Biden's first election:

"And for the hundreds, if not thousands of us, who got to know him personally, he -- he actually, how can I say it -- he altered our lives, as well. Through the grace of God and an accident of history, I was privileged to be one of those people. And every important event in my adult life, as I look back this morning and talking to Vicky, every single one, he was there. He was there to encourage, to counsel, to be empathetic, to lift up.

"From 1972, as a 29 year old kid with three weeks left to go in a campaign, him showing up at the Delaware armory in the middle of what we called Little Italy, which had never voted nationally for a Democrat, I won by 31,00 votes and got 85% of the vote in that district, or something to that effect. I literally would not be standing there, were it not for Teddy Kennedy. Not figuratively, this is not hyperbole, literally.

"He was there, he stood with me when my wife and daughter were killed in an accident. He was on the phone with me literally everyday in the hospital, when my two children were tempting, and God willing, God thankfully, survived very serious injuries. I'd turn around and there'd be some specialist from Massachusetts, a doc I'd never even asked for, literally sitting in the room with me. You know, it's not just me that he affected like that. It's hundreds upon hundreds of people.

"I was talking with Vicky this morning, and she said, "he was ready to go, Joe. But we were not ready to let him go. He's left a great void in our public life, and a hole in the hearts of millions of Americans and hundreds of us who were affected by his personal touch throughout our lives. People like me who came to rely on him. He was kind of like an anchor.

"And unlike many important people in my 38 years I've had the privilege of knowing, the unique thing about Teddy was, it was never about him. It was always about you. It was never about him. There's people I admire -- great women and men -- but at the end of the day it gets down to being about them. With Teddy, it was never about him.

"Well today, we lost a truly remarkable man, and to paraphrase shakespeare, I don't think we shall ever see his like again. But I think the legacy left is not just in the landmark legislation he passed, but in how he helped people look at themselves and look at one another."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Geothermal Energy & Electricity Generation
Geothermal energy produces about 10% of New Zealand's electricity supply. Most of New Zealand's installed geothermal generating capacity of about 600 MWe is situated in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, with another 25 MWe installed at Ngawha in Northland. The temperature and conditions of a particular geothermal reservoir determine which type of generation technology is used: dry steam, flash steam or binary cycle.

When the first generator was commissioned at Wairakei in 1958, it was only the second geothermal plant in the world to begin large-scale commercial operation and the first to exploit a wet (rather than dry steam) geothermal resource. The impetus for the development of Wairakei came in 1947 from severe electricity shortages following two dry years which restricted hydro generation, and a desire by the New Zealand Government for the electricity supply to be independent of imported fuel. New Zealand is now faced with a similar situation which geothermal energy has the potential to alleviate.

There are currently six fields used for geothermal electricity generation, which is dominated by Contact Energy Ltd (a listed company) and Mighty River Power (a State Owned Enterprise). A significant factor in recent geothermal projects has been the high level of commercial participation by Maori-owned enterprises.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A man who used a public toilet in a shopping mall In Cairns, Australia, was taken to a hospital to have the toilet seat removed from his backside after someone smeared it with glue in what an official condemned Monday as a sick joke.

Police urged possible witnesses to come forward after the 58-year-old man was humiliated in the northeastern city of Cairns by the prank.

An ambulance was called to help the man after he was found stuck by fast-acting adhesive glue to a toilet seat on Saturday in the busy shopping mall.

Paramedics removed the seat from the toilet and took him to a hospital, where medical staff used industrial solvents to get it off.

Cairns local government official Di Forsyth said the man, who was not identified, was not injured but was "extremely embarrassed" by his experience.

"I'm disgusted that a gentlemen has had to go through that because someone thinks it's funny," Forsyth said. "It's a sick joke."