Tuscany by Maciej Duczynski

4:50:29 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011
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Godman Performs Miracles and Heals the Sick (Supernatural Revealed in India)

4:43:21 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

-- See the end for the tricks behind the miracles.

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Unpaid Interns, Complicit Colleges

3:55:19 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

"On college campuses, the annual race for summer internships, many of them unpaid, is well under way. But instead of steering students toward the best opportunities and encouraging them to value their work, many institutions of higher learning are complicit in helping companies skirt a nebulous area of labor law.

Colleges and universities have become cheerleaders and enablers of the unpaid internship boom, failing to inform young people of their rights or protect them from the miserly calculus of employers. In hundreds of interviews with interns over the past three years, I found dejected students resigned to working unpaid for summers, semesters and even entire academic years — and, increasingly, to paying for the privilege.

For the students, the problems are less philosophical and legal than practical. In 2007, for instance, Will Batson, a Colgate University student from Augusta, Ga., and a son of two public-interest lawyers, worked as an unpaid, full-time summer intern for WNBC and had to scramble for shelter in New York City.

“It definitely hurt my confidence,” Mr. Batson told me. He recalled crashing on more than 20 floors and couches, being constantly short on cash and fearing he would have to quit and go home. His father, he said, felt like a failure for not being able to help him rent an apartment.

What makes WNBC — whose parent company, General Electric, is valued at more than $200 billion — think it can get away with this? In Mr. Batson’s case, a letter from Colgate, certifying that he was receiving credit for doing the internship. (Now 24, he gave up on journalism and is at a technology start-up. NBC calls its internship program “an important recruiting tool.”)

The uncritical internship fever on college campuses — not to mention the exploitation of graduate student instructors, adjunct faculty members and support staff — is symptomatic of a broader malaise. Far from being the liberal, pro-labor bastions of popular image, universities are often blind to the realities of work in contemporary America.

In politics, film, fashion, journalism and book publishing, unpaid internships are seen as a way to break in. (The New York Times has paid and unpaid interns.) But the phenomenon goes beyond fields seen as glamorous.

Three-quarters of the 10 million students enrolled in America’s four-year colleges and universities will work as interns at least once before graduating, according to the College Employment Research Institute. Between one-third and half will get no compensation for their efforts, a study by the research firm Intern Bridge found. Unpaid interns also lack protection from laws prohibiting racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

The United States Department of Labor says an intern at a for-profit company may work without pay only when the program is similar to that offered in a vocational school, benefits the student, does not displace a regular employee and does not entitle the student to a job; in addition, the employer must derive “no immediate advantage” from the student’s work and both sides must agree that the student is not entitled to wages..."

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Shocking Accident: Yet Another Reason For Maintaining A Safe Following Distance

2:55:05 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

-- ;)

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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Giant Galaxy NGC 6872

2:47:20 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

-- "Over 400,000 light years across NGC 6872 is an enormous spiral galaxy, at least 4 times the size of our own, very large, Milky Way. About 200 million light-years distant, toward the southern constellation Pavo, the Peacock, the remarkable galaxy's stretched out shape is due to its ongoing gravitational interaction, likely leading to an eventual merger, with the nearby smaller galaxy IC 4970. IC 4970 is seen just below and right of the giant galaxy's core in this cosmic color portrait from the 8 meter Gemini South telescope in Chile. The idea to image this titanic galaxy collision comes from a winning contest essay submitted last year to the Gemini Observatory by the Sydney Girls High School Astronomy Club. In addition to inspirational aspects and aesthetics, club members argued that a color image would be more than just a pretty picture. In their winning essay they noted that "If enough colour data is obtained in the image it may reveal easily accessible information about the different populations of stars, star formation, relative rate of star formation due to the interaction, and the extent of dust and gas present in these galaxies"."

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Libyan Rebels Receiving Covert Training

2:35:13 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

-- No surprising since President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Just how far will this go however?

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Armin van Buuren Presents Gaia - Status Excessu D

2:08:52 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011
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A Bacterium That Acts Like a Toothbrush

2:00:40 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011

"Researchers have identified a new ally in the war against tooth decay: an enzyme produced by a mouth bacterium that prevents plaque formation. The finding could eventually lead to the development of toothpaste that harnesses the body's own plaque-fighting tools.

The human mouth is awash with bacteria. More than 700 species thrive in the hot, moist conditions, including Streptococcus mutans, one of the main components of plaque. Clinging to the teeth in thin layers called biofilms, S. mutans digests sugars and produces acids that can eat into enamel and cause cavities. Other bacteria are more gracious guests. In 2009, for example, scientists found that S. salivarius, a type of bacterium found on the tongue and other soft tissues in the mouth, decreases the buildup of S. mutans biofilms.

Hidenobu Senpuku, a biologist at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, and colleagues wanted to know what substance conferred S. salivarius's cavity-fighting powers. Using chromatography, a method that divides the molecules in a mixture based on charge or size, they separated out individual proteins from samples of the microbe. The scientists then mixed each kind of protein with S. mutans cells and measured which cultures grew the smallest amount of biofilm on plates in the lab. The protein FruA, an enzyme that breaks apart complex sugars, was the most powerful biofilm blocker.

The researchers also found that a form of FruA, produced by the common fungus Aspergillus niger and available off-the-shelf, stymies plaque equally well. This commercial FruA worked despite the fact that its amino acid sequence is somewhat different from that of S. salivarius FruA. That might speed the development of toothpastes that include FruA, says Senpuku..."

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Armin van Buuren vs Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Not Giving Up On Love

1:45:54 PM, Monday, April 04, 2011
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Love At First Sight

12:24:38 AM, Monday, April 04, 2011

Drunk calling and voice-mailing FTW!!! Haha, - "No one else likes holding... Likes Yo-Yos like WE likes Yo-Yos!!!"

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All-Female Team Launches Historic Mission Over Afghanistan

12:04:57 AM, Monday, April 04, 2011

"BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- A team of female Airmen made history here March 30 when the F-15E Strike Eagles of "Dudette 07" blazed down the runway to provide close air support for coalition and Afghan ground forces.

The two-ship formation consisted of all females, two pilots and two weapons system officers, but more importantly, it marked the first combat mission flown from Bagram to be planned, maintained and flown entirely by females.

This mission represents the first combat sortie on record to involve only female Airmen from the pilots and weapons officers to the mission planners and maintainers, said Lt. Col. Kenneth Tilley, the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing historian.

Although the call sign for the mission may have been lighthearted, the sortie was all business calling for the pilots to travel to the Kunar Valley just west of the Pakistan border in support of a large Army operation that was underway.

"I have flown with female pilots before, but this was the first time I have flown in an all female flight," said Maj. Christine Mau, a 455th AEW executive officer. "This wasn't a possibility when I started flying 11-years ago."

While planning of the mission required support from women at all levels such as Capt. Kristen Wehle, the F-15 liaison officer at the combined air operations center, those involved evoked memories of legendary Women's Army Corps pilots and others for inspiration..."

-- Hey Taliban - How's that whole woman hating thing workin' for ya?

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Say Cheese! Mirage 2000-5F Over the Arabian Desert

10:45:36 PM, Sunday, April 03, 2011

-- Photo by Sergio (ElDoctor on DeviantArt.com)

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Alone on the DC Metro: We So Excited!

9:38:09 PM, Sunday, April 03, 2011

-- Look! NOBODY is in freaking METRO!!! I can do what I want! I can JUMP! I can ROLL if I want! I can roll!

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Birdy - Skinny Love

4:26:24 PM, Sunday, April 03, 2011
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US Extends Airstrike Role in Libya Through Monday

4:18:47 PM, Sunday, April 03, 2011

"The U.S. agreed to NATO's request for a 48-hour extension of American participation in coalition airstrikes against targets in Libya and U.S. lawmakers cautioned Sunday the allies need to know more about the rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi's forces before providing them with weapons.

Two weeks into the assault on Gadhafi, Republican lawmakers expressed concern that a stalemate could leave him in control of portions of Libya and with access to stockpiles of chemical weapons.

The U.S. is shifting the combat role to Britain, France and other NATO allies, but American air power is still in demand. Air Force AC-130 gunships and A-10 Thunderbolts and Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers will continue to attack Gadhafi's troops and other sites through Monday evening. These aircraft are among the most precise in the American arsenal.

After Saturday, no U.S. combat aircraft were to fly strike missions over Libya unless NATO officials specifically asked and authorities in Washington gave their approval. NATO assumed full control last week from the U.S.-led international force for all aspects of the operation in Libya as authorized by U.N. resolutions that include an arms embargo, enforcing the no-fly zone, and protecting civilians from Gadhafi's forces.

In an emailed statement, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Sunday that "poor weather conditions over the last few days" were the reason the alliance made the request. She would not elaborate. "This is a short-term extension which expires on Monday," she said.A senior U.S. military official said heavy cloud cover over Libya late last week curtailed allied airstrikes. Gadhafi took advantage of the lull, pushing east into the port cities of Ras Lanouf and Brega, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military planning. The 48-hour extension is intended to roll back the progress made by Gadhafi's army, the official said.

A decision yet to be made by the Obama administration is whether to arm the rebels with the firepower they need to take and hold ground against Gadhafi's forces..."

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