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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Japan's Earthquake on: April 20, 2011, 01:54:15 PM
Wow, I didn't see that video on the news! That is really scary! Imagine being on that small outcropping of land and wondering just how high all that water would come. Freaky!

There are continuing updates about the Fukushima disaster here too: - the latest in this ongoing disaster is there.

2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage on: March 08, 2011, 11:38:30 AM
That's a good woman. Her husband disgusts me.

I don't think the husband is disgusting. I think it's hard to really encapsulate what he was going through. I'm not condoning it but at the same time, people are human and it's impossible to say how you would react if you would have such overwhelming feelings like he probably had. I think the wife was really taking a gamble but I'm really relieved that everything worked out for her!

3  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movies/TV of interest on: March 03, 2011, 12:58:28 PM
Anyone check out the movie Skyline yet?
It's a B-list movie but I watched it last night and it was actually pretty good.
Cheesy in some areas but the effects and action where pretty awesome!

4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Astronomy on: March 03, 2011, 12:49:18 PM
WOoW! Absolutely gorgeous image! I can't believe how far we've come. Everytime I look up at the stars, I have to tell myself that it's not just a ceiling to our world but a completely vast universe. Sounds ridiculous but it's easy to just forget.
Nice shuttle launch pic:

Discovery's Rainbow
Credit: NASA, Ben Cooper (Launch Photography)
Explanation: Just one minute before midnight EDT, Friday, August 28, the Space Shuttle Discovery began a long arc into a cloudy sky. Following the launch, a bright and remarkably colorful trail was captured in this time exposure from the Banana River Viewing Site, looking east toward pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. On STS-128, Discovery docked with the International Space Station Sunday evening. The 13-day mission will exchange space station crew members and deliver more than 7 tons of supplies and equipment. Of course, the equipment includes the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT).

5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: entertainment on: March 03, 2011, 12:44:13 PM
Larry King has just become a household name - much like Oprah herself. He does entertain me but just for the mere fact that I can't believe he's still alive! lol!

6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: February 18, 2011, 03:51:09 PM
WOW! I can't believe how detailed that was! I'm not sure if its always a good thing to release information like that - especially if someone actually died.

Long, but it has the 911 transcript


(CBS) The 911 call came from a Pasadena, Tex., resident, who alerted police to two burglary suspects on a neighbor's property. Before he hung up, two men were dead by his hand.

Joe Horn, 61, told the dispatcher what he intended to do: Walk out his front door with a shotgun.

"I've got a shotgun," Horn said, according to a tape of the 911 call. "Do you want me to stop them?"

"Nope, don't do that - ain't no property worth shooting somebody over, OK?" the dispatcher responded.

"Hurry up man, catch these guys, will you? 'Cause I'm ain't gonna let 'em go, I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm not gonna let 'em go. I'm not gonna let 'em get away with this ----."

Shortly after, Horn said he sees one suspect was standing in front of his house, looking at it from the street.

"I don’t know if they’re armed or not. I know they got a crowbar 'cause that's what they broke the windows with. ... Man, this is scary, I can't believe this is happening in this neighborhood."

He gets more agitated. The dispatcher asks if he can see the suspects but they had retreated into the target's house, out of view: "I can go out the front [to look], but if I go out the front I'm bringing my shotgun with me, I swear to God. I am not gonna let 'em get away with this, I can't take a chance on getting killed over this, OK? I'm gonna shoot, I'm gonna shoot."

"Stay inside the house and don’t go out there, OK?" the dispatcher said. "I know you're pissed off, I know what you're feeling, but it's not worth shooting somebody over this, OK?"

"I don’t want to," Horn said, "but I mean if I go out there, you know, to see what the hell is going on, what choice am I gonna have?

"No, I don’t want you to go out there, I just asked if you could see anything out there."

The dispatcher asks if a vehicle could be seen; Horn said no. The dispatcher again says Horn should stay inside the house.

Almost five minutes into the call, police had not arrived.

"I can’t see if [the suspects are] getting away or not," Horn said.

Horn told the dispatcher that he doesn’t know the neighbors well, unlike those living on the other side of his home. "I can assure you if it had been their house, I would have already done something, because I know them very well," he said.
Dispatcher: "I want you to listen to me carefully, OK?"

Horn: "Yes?"

Dispatcher: "I got ultras coming out there. I don't want you to go outside that house. And I don't want you to have that gun in your hand when those officers are poking around out there."

Horn: "I understand that, OK, but I have a right to protect myself too, sir, and you understand that. And the laws have been changed in this country since September the First and you know it and I know it."

Dispatcher: "I understand."

Horn: "I have a right to protect myself ..."

Dispatcher: "I'm ..."

Horn: "And a shotgun is a legal weapon, it's not an illegal weapon."

Dispatcher: "No, it's not, I'm not saying that, I'm just not wanting you to ..."

Horn: "OK, he's coming out the window right now, I gotta go, buddy. I'm sorry, but he's coming out the window. "

Dispatcher: "No, don't, don't go out the door, Mister Horn. Mister Horn..."

Horn: "They just stole something, I'm going out to look for 'em, I'm sorry, I ain't letting them get away with this ----. They stole something, they got a bag of stuff. I'm doing it!"

Dispatcher: "Mister, do not go outside the house."

Horn: "I'm sorry, this ain't right, buddy."

Dispatcher: "You gonna get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun, I don't care what you think."

Horn: "You wanna make a bet?"

Dispatcher: "Stay in the house."

Horn: "There, one of them's getting away!

Dispatcher: "That's alright, property's not something worth killing someone over. OK? Don't go out the house, don't be shooting nobody. I know you're pissed and you're frustrated but don't do it."

Horn: "They got a bag of loot."

Dispatcher: "OK. How big is the bag?" He then talks off, relaying the information.

Dispatcher: "Which way are they going?"

Horn: "I can't ... I'm going outside. I'll find out."

Dispatcher: "I don't want you going outside, Mister..."

Horn: "Well, here it goes buddy, you hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going."

Dispatcher: "Don't go outside."
On the tape of the 911 call, the shotgun can be heard being cocked and Horn can be heard going outside and confronting someone.

"Boom! You're dead!" he shouts. A loud bang is heard, then a shotgun being cocked and fired again, and then again.

Then Horn is back on the phone:
"Get the law over here quick. I've now, get, one of them's in the front yard over there, he's down, he almost run down the street. I had no choice. They came in the front yard with me, man, I had no choice! ... Get somebody over here quick, man."

Dispatcher: "Mister Horn, are you out there right now?"

Horn: "No, I am inside the house, I went back in the house. Man, they come right in my yard, I didn't know what the --- they was gonna do, I shot 'em, OK?"

Dispatcher: "Did you shoot somebody?

Horn: "Yes, I did, the cops are here right now."

Dispatcher: "Where are you right now?"

Horn: "I'm inside the house. ..."

Dispatcher: "Mister Horn, put that gun down before you shoot an officer of mine. I've got several officers out there without uniforms on."

Horn: "I am in the front yard right now. I am ..."

Dispatcher: "Put that gun down! There's officers out there without uniforms on. Do not shoot anybody else, do you understand me? I've got police out there..."

Horn: "I understand, I understand. I am out in the front yard waving my hand right now."

Dispatcher: "You don't have a gun with you, do you?

Horn: "No, no, no."

Dispatcher: "You see a uniformed officer? Now lay down on the ground and don't do nothing else."

Yelling is heard.

Dispatcher: "Lay down on the ground, Mister Horn. Do what the officers tell you to do right now."
Two days later, Horn released a statement through an attorney.

“The events of that day will weigh heavily on me for the rest of my life," it said. "My thoughts go out to the loved ones of the deceased.”

The identities of the men killed were released Friday.

They are Miguel Antonio Dejesus, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30. Official records show that each of them had a prior arrest in Harris County for drug offenses.

The men were reportedly shot at a distance of less than 15 feet.

A woman who lives nearby who asked not to be identified told CBS News affiliate KHOU correspondent Rucks Russell that she always saw Horn as a grandfather figure. "He is the guardian of the neighborhood," she said. "He takes care of all our kids. If we ever need anything, we call him.”

But according to Tom Lambright, Horn’s attorney and a friend for more than four decades, he’s the one in need now. “He just needs everyone to know he’s not a villain, he’s not a bad guy,” Lambright said.

He went on to say that Horn voluntarily gave an extensive video statement to police immediately following the shooting.

Horn was not taken into custody after the shooting. A Harris County grand jury will decide if charges are to be filed.

Lambright says Horn acted in complete and total self defense and has nothing to hide.

Local opinion has been passionate on both sides of the shooting.

One letter to the Houston Chronicle said, "He didn't shoot them in the legs, to make sure they did not run away, or hold them at gunpoint until police arrived. No, he was judge, jury and executioner."

Another letter writer praised Horn, saying, "Where does the line form to pin a medal on Joe Horn? I want to get in line." Another wrote, "Let's get rid of the police force and just hire Joe Horn!"

Support for Horn was also running about 2-1 in an online survey of readers on the KHOU Web site.

The incident may prove a test for a new law recently passed in Texas which expands the right of citizens to use deadly force.

Under Texas law, people may use deadly force to protect their own property or to stop arson, burglary, robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night.

But the legislator who authored the "castle doctrine" bill told the Chronicle it was never intended to apply to a neighbor's property, to prompt a "'Law West of the Pecos' mentality or action," said Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth. "You're supposed to be able to defend your own home, your own family, in your house, your place of business or your motor vehicle."

park royal cozumel
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Chess on: February 18, 2011, 03:30:42 PM
I'm actually looking into starting playing chess with my sister's group. Problem is: I'm pretty horrible. I need to learn some skills and fast. I know there's a whole science to it and it's incredibly overwhelming when I've been doing my research... any suggestions? Should I be studying distinct moves or try to find my own style of playing?

catalonia bavaro beach
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: entertainment on: February 15, 2011, 01:47:58 PM
I laughed really hard at the Larry King comment. The guy is like a shriveled up raisin (if that's even possible). How old is that guy anyways?

9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Robots to get their own internet on: February 14, 2011, 05:20:36 PM
Got this article sent to me a few days ago and thought I'd share. It's from the BBC website:

Robots to get their own internet

By Mark Ward Technology correspondent, BBC News

Robots could soon have an equivalent of the internet and Wikipedia.

European scientists have embarked on a project to let robots share and store what they discover about the world.

Called RoboEarth it will be a place that robots can upload data to when they master a task, and ask for help in carrying out new ones.

Researchers behind it hope it will allow robots to come into service more quickly, armed with a growing library of knowledge about their human masters.
Share plan

The idea behind RoboEarth is to develop methods that help robots encode, exchange and re-use knowledge, said RoboEarth researcher Dr Markus Waibel from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

"Most current robots see the world their own way and there's very little standardisation going on," he said. Most researchers using robots typically develop their own way for that machine to build up a corpus of data about the world.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

    The key is allowing robots to share knowledge. That's really new”

End Quote Dr Markus Waibel

This, said Dr Waibel, made it very difficult for roboticists to share knowledge or for the field to advance rapidly because everyone started off solving the same problems.

By contrast, RoboEarth hopes to start showing how the information that robots discover about the world can be defined so any other robot can find it and use it.

RoboEarth will be a communication system and a database, he said.

In the database will be maps of places that robots work, descriptions of objects they encounter and instructions for how to complete distinct actions.

The human equivalent would be Wikipedia, said Dr Waibel.

"Wikipedia is something that humans use to share knowledge, that everyone can edit, contribute knowledge to and access," he said. "Something like that does not exist for robots."

It would be great, he said, if a robot could enter a location that it had never visited before, consult RoboEarth to learn about that place and the objects and tasks in it and then quickly get to work.

While other projects are working on standardising the way robots sense the world and encode the information they find, RoboEarth tries to go further.

"The key is allowing robots to share knowledge," said Dr Waibel. "That's really new."

RoboEarth is likely to become a tool for the growing number of service and domestic robots that many expect to become a feature in homes in coming decades.

Dr Waibel said it would be a place that would teach robots about the objects that fill the human world and their relationships to each other.

For instance, he said, RoboEarth could help a robot understand what is meant when it is asked to set the table and what objects are required for that task to be completed.

The EU-funded project has about 35 researchers working on it and hopes to demonstrate how the system might work by the end of its four-year duration.

Early work has resulted in a way to download descriptions of tasks that are then executed by a robot. Improved maps of locations can also be uploaded.

A system such as RoboEarth was going to be essential, said Dr Waibel, if robots were going to become truly useful to humans.

home security systems

10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: February 14, 2011, 04:59:24 PM
Beautiful and inspiring story! Thank you so much for sharing. It's rare that a spouse would be so excepting for a previous life and it's uplifting to hear her story.

home security systems
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: February 01, 2011, 02:10:57 PM
Anyone have any Oscar predictions for this coming year?
 Everyone seems to think that Natalie Portman has it in the bag for Black Swan
- haven't seen it yet but I'm not really a fan of her acting so I don't know what to think about that.

12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: February 01, 2011, 02:06:42 PM
That's actually pretty intimidating - the thought that even our anatomies are going to be reduced to computer data and easily transmitted wirelessly. It is the inevitable future and some sinking feeling I have says that this is probably how our grandparents felt with our generation's emerging technology.

13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Intelligence on: January 18, 2011, 06:34:32 PM
Very interesting article but I found myself less disturbed by the Terminator-esque prediction of the future, and a little concerned with the fact that the doctor was completely fine with the A.I projecting "human" emotion so he WOULDN'T have to... anyone else find flaw in that?!

soundproofing materials

14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nanotechnology on: January 17, 2011, 04:06:50 PM
I found this website and it gives a nice little primer on nanotechnology and its application if anyone needs quick basics:
I'm not really a science genius but this is one field that I find absolutely fascinating!

15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: January 17, 2011, 04:01:24 PM
Some of these are more creepy than funny but the 'Marker Bandits' definitely get my vote Smiley

Mug Shot Hall of Fame

16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: December 10, 2010, 01:51:22 PM
Sort of along the line of twitter is the possibility to watch your home through your home security systems if you use an android phone. There is an android app that allows you to keep an eye on things at home, or wherever, while you're away. I think that's a pretty cool idea. Tiny Cam Monitor Free is one app:
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 01, 2010, 11:58:21 AM
It is total surveillance the the US government is pushing for. Your phone calls, emails and faxes haven't been private for years. Why would you expect your online surfing habits to be off limits? The child pornography thing is just an excuse to keep tabs on a lot of other stuff. You can install fancy
home security systems but so much about you is already in the public realm that even if your possessions aren't compromised your identity and personal information likely already is. Also, there is a big push in Washington to censor the Internet. Check this out:

EDITED TO ADD From Marc/Crafty:  The link here has been reported by one of our members as a "malicious" website.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: God's New Name on: September 10, 2010, 04:39:20 PM
 They pretend to have the answer to how the universe exists, while at the same time they can't answer how life began. It's one thing to claim that the existence of matter spontaneously came from nothing but are they going to claim that life came from nothing as well? They can't create life now and they can't recreate the conditions or process that began life. All life, every living thing on this planet, came from one starting point. All life, present now, comes from other existing life, there isn't any new life being created. Spontaneously life started from nothing, in the distant past? Then how about man's consciousness? They don't know how that came about as well; spontaneous awareness from nothing? Taoism has a better explanation of spontaneity and creation than Hawking does. Besides, this is just hype to get the word out about his latest book anyway; momma needs a new pair of shoes!
 Are we to believe that just by coincidence, three key events of spontaneity led to our existence? First the beginning of the universe, the beginning of life and then conscious awareness in man? Is it also a coincidence that these three events have from the earliest history of mankind been attributed to God; the creation of the universe and the creation of life on Earth and the creation of man? The only other source of spontaneous creation comes from man himself and I often wonder if smart guys like Hawking aren't jealous of people coming up with stuff out of nothing. I'm sure he would like writing a hit song or coming up with something useful like the wheel. And why is it man can do these things? Is there an equation that explains that? Could it be that men were made in the image of God and we too have the ability to create spontaneously something from nothing? Don't get me wrong here, I'm not a Hell fire and brimstone preacher and I my doubts about man's ability to know God's will are equal to my doubts about God needing or wanting our worship. Religions seem to me to be based on the same thing that Hawking bases his theory on. Nothing. That being said, God still exists, and in my mind all Hawking has done is given a new name to God. Spontaneous!

On one hand, as someone who has installed several home security systems just to disprove (successfully) religious mysteries, I do enjoy the mystery of our existence and really wonder if Science shouldn't just leave that one alone?

As I see modern advances in reading/translating brain waves, creating major organs, enabling the re-growth of lost limbs with DNA, etc.. I feel like a lot of the exciting mystery of how we work is getting spoiled!

Next thing you know scientists will have found some way to save us from the big-bang process, some automated method of saving our genetics and re-seeding the next planet that forms when ours is gone, totally giving us a head start on the next cycle and making a missing link between primates and humanoids.

19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: FBI uses cell phones as bugs on: August 24, 2010, 12:16:32 PM
What next huh? I mean if the FBI is going to bug your cell phone then why not just use home security systems against believed criminals. I guess the FBI could turn home surveillance systems against homeowners too by tapping into an existing structure. I don't know how that would be done but I bet they could do it with all of their know how.

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