Russian and US satellites collide

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The American civilian communications satellite Iridium 33 and the defunct Russian military communications satellite Kosmos-2251 collided over Siberia on Tuesday, according to NASA. The satellites, each weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds, and traveling at approximately 17,500 miles per hour, collided 491 miles above the earth.

The Iridium satellite was launched in 1997, and the Russian satellite was a Strela-2M model. The American satellite is expected to be replaced within the coming month as Iridium will maneuver one of its in-orbit satellites to replace the lost unit.

Although the first such satellite crash in space, such an event has been long predicted. Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist of NASA’s Orbital Debris Office at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center stated, “We knew this was going to happen eventually and this is it — this was the big one.”

While the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope are at minimal risk, the event does raise concerns that the debris cloud could collide with other satellites in the region, triggering an exponentially growing series of collisions and debris known as an ablation cascade.

The United States Strategic Command of the U.S. Department of Defense office is tracking the debris. The result of plotting analysis will be posted to a public website.

US voters go to the polls

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Republican John McCain has conceded the election to Democrat Barack Obama. After two years of campaigning, today United States citizens went to the polls to vote for the Presidency and for numerous Senate, House, state and local races across the country. The District of Columbia and at least 32 states had early voting before election day. By October 31, over 23 million people had voted by mail or at early voting locations. Of the approximately 6 million people of known party affiliation who voted early, 58% were Democrats and 42% were Republicans.

Record numbers of voters were expected to the polls on election day. There were reports of technical problems and long lines across the country. Heavy turnouts were reported in Indiana, Ohio, and Wyoming, among other states.

By 11:45 A.M. EST Obama is projected to have won 349 electoral votes to McCain’s 163 votes. The popular vote at this time was 62,992,553 (52%) for Obama, 55,796,823 (46%) for McCain.

Plumbing Jacksonville Fl

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byAlma Abell

So, you have decided on your building project, whether it was a new construction, renovation, or a simple plumbing repair. Carefully choosing the right Plumbing company Jacksonville FL is important to the success of your project. While a qualified contractor can turn your plans into a success, the wrong one can turn it into a total nightmare. Here are some tips for selecting the right plumber for your specific job:

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1. The candidate must have a valid contractor’s license and is current on their liability insurance.2. Ask for references from recently completed projects, checking each one to see how the process went.3. Make sure the contractor can acquire building permits and certificates required for work, plumbing, electrical and other trades inspections (if necessary).4. Submit identical copies of detailed project plans for each potential candidate to get a quote for the project. You should get at least three different quotes before making your selection.

The Contract

After selecting a contractor in Plumbing in Jacksonville FL, make sure that all the details are included in the contract. This includes full names, addresses, and phone numbers of both parties, as well as the physical address of the project. Make sure the start and end dates of the project are included, and a payment plan is described (in detail). It is normal for a contractor to ask 10-35% in advance, with additional funds paid as the work progresses. However, if you feel that a percentage or a number is too high, you can dispute the number or choose another plumber.

If the project is to be completed as a priority, you may want to consider offering it to a contractor that takes jobs at a reduced rate for services. Some contractors will give a client a great deal if the client ensures that they will have another job in tow. This may be due to bad weather or because of a “reference.” This is a win-win situation for the property owner, because the job is completed at a reduced price, and the contractor gets more business.By following these simple steps, you can avoid a potential nightmare, ensuring your project is a pleasant experience for everyone involved. For more information on Plumbing in Jacksonville FL, contact your local plumber today.

Childhood pneumonia can be cured at home

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

A new study by researchers of Boston University’s School of Public Health and colleagues sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows children with severe pneumonia can be effectively treated at home and do not need to be hospitalized. This finding is hugely significant for developing countries where children cannot be brought to a hospital easily or where no hospitals exist.

Per the study the change of treatment could save many children’s lives and take pressure off health systems. Every year pneumonia kills 2 million children under the age of 5. The researchers found that antibiotics given at home could significantly reduce deaths.

The group examined 2,037 children between 3 to 59 months in seven areas in Pakistan. About half of them were given antibiotics and sent home while the other ones got intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. Both groups were found to show equal progress in healing off the illness.

Current WHO guidelines recommend that pneumonia should be treated in a hospital with injectable antibiotics. With the new study there are indicators that pneumonia can be treated just as effectively at home with oral antibiotics.

Category:June 4, 2010

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2008 AutoTronics Taipei: Participants from IT industry to participate COMPUTEX uncertainly

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Since the AutoTronics Taipei was held from 2006, companies from electronic and automobile-related industries steadily made their stages and a good complementary in this trade show.

Before the first holding in 2006, because of the establishment of Car Electronics Pavilion in 2005 TAITRONICS Autumn (Taipei International Electronic Autumn Show), it (the pavilion) ever became a hot topic in these 2 industries. And eventually, Yulon Group recruited their sub-companies grouping their own pavilion to showcase automobile parts, accessories, and applications.

Currently, automobile navigation, mobile entertainment, and road safety, were included in modern automotive devices. But in a keynote speech of TARC Pavilion, Jamie Hsu (Consultant of Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Republic of the China) pointed out several threats and opportunities on the automotive industry, his words also echoed a notable quote by Yi-cheng Liu (Chairman of Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association): “The automobile industry shouldn’t be monopolized by a company or its own industry. If this industry want to be grown up, it [the industry] should do more optimizations and transformations with the other related industries like IT and electronic.”

Although some participants like Renesas, Fujitsu, MiTAC, TomTom NV, and Agilent ever participated in Taipei IT Month, CeBIT, or Computex Taipei, but there were varied comments for participation on Computex 2008.

Computex 2008 will do a significant growth, of course. But we [Aglient] still consider to cooperate with Intel in a forum rather than showcasing in Computex.
We [the MiTAC Group] will appoint different sub-companies to participate in different trade shows by different industries. That’s why we showcase the same products in different shows by different sub-companies.

Renesas Technology, a participant of Computex 2007, won’t showcase in Computex 2008, but Fujitsu and TomTom both declared to participate in the 2008 Taipei IT Month.

Generally in the automobile industry, progressively conformed by the other industries, its success should depend on collaborations between different and similar industries because “not any company can do any monopoly in any industry” even though the automobile industry will become a “trillion industry” not only in Taiwan.

Ford offers US$78 million for Romanian auto plant

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ford Motor Company, the U.S. car maker, will reportedly pay €57 million (US$78 million) for a 72.4 percent stake in the Romanian assembly plant Automobile Craiova, a Romanian official said Friday.

“The offer of Ford Motor Company for a 72.4 percent stake is €4.1556 per share or €57 million overall,” said Sebastian Vladescu, head of the State Property Agency (AVAS), after opening Ford’s improved offer. Vladescu added that the contract may be signed on September 12, during the auto show in Frankfurt.

The Romanian government bought back the Craiova-based car maker from Daewoo Motors, in late 2006 for US$51 million. As the Korean company was bankrupt, the government had to pay another $10 million for debts stemming from past loans. Ford is the only bidder for the purchase of the factory.

According to Washington Post, many auto-part makers have set up in the new European Union member country, attracted by cheap labor, favourable tax rates and the rising output of Renault’s Dacia plant. The vice president of Dacia, Constantin Stroe, said that the price Ford offers is not important. “It’s important to have the factory working as soon as possible”, he added. “With this production facility, Romania will become an important auto production center in Europe”, concluded Stroe, cited by HotNews.

Wikinews interviews Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Vail, Colorado, United States — Yesterday, Wikinews sat down with Australian blind Paralympic skier Melissa Perrine who was participating in a national team training camp in Vail, Colorado.

((Wikinews)) This is Melissa Perrine. And are you like Jess Gallagher and just here training and not competing?

Melissa Perrine: I’m not competing right now.

((WN)) And you competed in 2010 in Vancouver?

MP: I did. Yeah.

((WN)) And who was your guide?

MP: Andy Bor.

((WN)) Why a male guide? He’s got to have different skis, and he can’t turn exactly the same way.

MP: I think that with me it was just that Andy was the fittest person that was with the team when I came along. He used to be an assistant coach with the team before I started with him.

((WN)) And you guys have a good relationship?

MP: Yeah!

((WN)) Like a husband and wife relationship without the sex?

MP: No, not at all. (laughs) Older brother maybe. Good relationship though. We get along really well.

((WN)) So have you ever lost communications on the course in an embarrassing moment?

MP: We ski courses without communications. (unintelligible)

((WN)) You’re a B3 then?

MP: I’m a B2.

((WN)) So you can see even less than Jessica Gallagher.

MP: Yes.

((WN)) How do you ski down a course when you can’t even see it?

MP: Andy!

((WN)) You just said you had no communications!

MP: Oh, I just have to be a lot closer to him.

((WN)) So if he’s close enough you can overcome that issue?

MP: Yeah.

((WN)) Why are you doing skiing?

MP: Why? I enjoy it.

((WN)) You enjoy going fast?

MP: I love going fast. I like the challenge of it.

((WN)) Even though you can’t see how fast you’re going.

MP: Oh yes. It’s really good. It’s enjoyable. It’s a challenge. I love the sport, I love the atmosphere.

((WN)) I’ve asked the standing skiers, who’s the craziest Paralympic skiers? Is it the ones who are on the sit skis, the blind ones or the ones missing limbs?

MP: I probably think it’s the sit skiers who are a bit nuts. I think we all think the other categories are a bit mental. I wouldn’t jump on a sit ski and go down the course. Or put the blindfold on and do the same thing.

((WN)) B1 with the black goggles. Is your eye sight degenerative?

MP: No, I’m pretty stable.

((WN)) Not going to become a B1 any time soon?

MP: Oh God, I hope not. No, I’m pretty stable so I don’t envision getting much blinder than I am now unless something goes wrong.

((WN)) And you’re trying for Sochi?

MP: Definitely.

((WN)) And you think your chances are really good?

MP: I think I’ve got a decent chance. I just have to keep training like I have been.

((WN)) Win a medal this time?

MP: I’d like to. That’s the intention. (laughs)

((WN)) Do you like the media attention you’ve gotten? Do you wish there was more for yourself and winter sports, or of women athletes in general?

MP: I think that promoting women in sport and the winter games is more important than promoting myself. I’m quite happy to stay in the background, but if I can do something to promote the sport, or promote women in the sport, especially because we’ve got such a small amount of women competing in skiing, especially in blind skiing. I think that’s more important overall.

((WN)) Most skiers are men?

MP: There’s more men competing in skiing, far more. The standards are a bit higher with the males than with the females.

((WN)) The classification system for everyone else is functional ability, and you guys are a medical classification. Do you think you get a fair shake in terms of classification? Are you happy with the classification?

MP: I think I’m happy with it, the way it’s set out. With vision impairment I’m a B2, against other B2s. It may be the same category, but we have different disabilities, so there’s not much more they can do. I think it’s as fair as they possibly can.

((WN)) You like the point system? You’re okay with it? Competing against B1s and B3s even though you’re a B2?

MP: The factors even all that out. The way they’ve got it at the moment, I don’t have any issues with them, the blind categories.

((WN)) What was it that got you skiing in the first place?

MP: An accident, basically. Complete by chance. A friend of mine in the Department of Recreation used to run skiing camps in the South West Sydney region, and she had a spare spot at one of the camps. Knew that I was vision impaired, and: “Do you want to come along?” “Yeah, why, not, give it a go.” This was back when I was about twelve, thirteen. I went, and I loved it. Went back again, and again, and again. And for the first five or six years I just skied for like a week a season sort of thing, like, you’re on a camp. Fell in love with the sport; my skiing and the mountain atmosphere, I love it, and then, when I finished my HSC, I decided to take myself off to Canada, and skiing Kimberley, the disabled race program that was run by the ex-Australian who coaches Steve Boba, and I’d heard about it through Disabled Winter Sports Australia. And I thought I’d spend some time in Canada, which is for skiing, and had a year off between school and uni, so… first time I ran through a race course actually. It was pretty awesome. So I went back again the next year, and Steve [Boba] recommended me to Steve [Graham], and he watched me skiing in September in the South Island, and invited me on a camp with the Australian team, and I trained for Vancouver, and I qualified, and I said “sure, why not?” And here I am!

((WN)) So you liked Vancouver?

MP: It was just an amazing experience. I came into Vancouver… I had quite a bad accident on a downhill course in Sestriere about seven weeks out from the games, and I fractured my pelvis. So, I was coming into Vancouver with an injury and I had only just recovered and was in quite a lot of pain. So it was an amazing experience and I was quite glad I did it, but wish for a different outcome.

((WN)) So you are more optimistic about Sochi then?

MP: Yes.

((WN)) One of the things about skiing is that it’s really expensive to do. How do you afford to ski given how expensive it is? And the fact that you need a guide who’s got his own expenses.

MP: I’m lucky enough to rank quite high in the world at the moment, so due to my ranking I’m awarded a certain amount of funding from the Australian Sports Commission, which covers my equipment and expenses, and the team picks up training costs and travel costs. All I’ve got to pay for is food and my own equipment, which is good, so I’ve managed to do it a budget.

((WN)) What do you do outside of skiing, because you look kind of young? And you being not like, 30 or 40?

MP: I’m 24. I’m a student still.

((WN)) Which university?

MP: University of Western Sydney. It’s my third university degree. I’ve completed two others prior to this one that I’m doing now.

((WN)) Which degree? That you’re currently pursuing.

MP: Currently, physiotherapy.

((WN)) Because of your experience with sport?

MP: Not really, except that my experience with sport certainly helped my interest and kind of fueled a direction to take in the physiotherapy field when I’m finished my degree, but more the medical side of injury, rehabilitation that got me interested in physiotherapy to begin with, burns rehabilitation and things like that.

((WN)) You view yourself a full-time student as opposed to a full-time professional skier.

MP: Not really. I’m a student when uni’s on and when uni’s finished I’m a skier. The way that the term structure is in Australia it gives me all this time to ski. The uni starts at the end of February and goes to the beginning of June, and then we’ve got a six or seven week break until beginning or mid-August, and uni starts again then, and we go up to mid way through November, and then we’ve got a break again. Skiing fits in very nicely to that.

((WN)) What’s the route for qualification to Sochi for you.

MP: Just maintaining my points. At the moment I’ve qualified. I just need to maintain my points, keep my points under, and then I qualify for the Australian team.

((WN)) So there’s a chance they could say no?

MP: If I’m skiing really badly. An injury.

((WN)) Or if you’re like those Australian swimmers who had the guns…

MP: I’ve no sign of picking up a gun any time soon. Giving a blind girl a gun is not a good idea. (laughs)

((WN)) It just seemed to us that Sochi was so far away on out hand, and yet seemed to be in everybody’s mind. It’s on their program. Sixteen months away?

MP: Yes, something like that. Sixteen. I think it’s been on our mind ever since Vancouver was over and done with. Next season, that was that, it was like: “what are our goals for the next four years?” And it was, “What are our goals for the next three years and two years?” And subsequently, next season, it’s Sochi. What we need to work on, what we need to accomplish for then, to be as ready as possible.

((WN)) What is your favourite event of all the skiing ones? You like the downhill because it’s fast? Or you like Giant Slalom because it’s technically challenging? Or…

MP: I prefer the speed events. The downhill; frightens me but I do love the adrenalin. I’m always keen to do a downhill. But I think Super G might just be my favourite.

((WN)) Do you do any other adrenalin junkie type stuff? Do you go bungee jumping? Jumping out of airplanes? Snowboarding?

MP: I don’t snowboard, no. I have jumped out of a plane. I thought that was fun but downhill has got more adrenalin than jumping out of a plane, I found. I do mixed martial arts and judo. That’s my other passion.

((WN)) Have you thought of qualifying for the Summer [Para]lympics in judo?

MP: As far as I know, Australia doesn’t have a judo program for the Paralympics. But, if I ever get good enough, then sure.

((WN)) They sent one.

MP: They’ve sent one, and he’s amazing. He beats up blind guys, able bodieds, quite constantly. I’ve seen video of him fight, and he’s very very good. If I ever reach that level, then sure, it’s something I’d look into it.

((WN)) Does judo help with your skiing?

MP: Yes, it increases my agility and balance, and strength, for sure.

((WN)) I want to let you get back to changing. Thank you very much.

Haze crisis over Malaysia prompts talks with Indonesia

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

A week-long choking smog-like haze over Malaysia has prompted crisis talks with Indonesia. Lingering smoke from forest fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra are the primary cause. Farmers regularly burn scrub and forest to clear land during the dry season, but this is the worst haze since 1997.

Air quality in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur is so poor, health officials are advising citizens to stay at home with doors closed. Some schools have been closed to keep children from being exposed to the haze. Schools that chose to remain open are keeping children indoors and require them to wear protective masks when they are forced to venture outdoors.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport was unaffected but smaller flights from Subang airport were suspended.

Malaysia’s Environment Minister, Adenan Satem, and Commodities Minister, Peter Chin, will meet with Indonesia’s forestry minister and officials from its environment ministry in Medan, according to Malaysian media. Malaysia has offered to send firefighters to fight the forest and scrub fires estimated at numbering more than 300.

Polish mine explosion kills 8

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Methane gas was blamed for the explosion deaths of 8 miners in southern Polish‘s Halemba coal mine Tuesday, November 21. Officials say at least 15 are missing.

Rescue efforts were halted because dangerously high levels of methane gas returned, according to Zbigniew Madej, spokesman for state-owned Coal Co., which operates the mine.

The missing miners’ locater devices were not emitting signals, increasing rescurers’ concerns for their well-being. Grzegorz Pawlaszek, head of Coal Co., said the 15 missing miners’ fate is “not known,” but added that “there is a chance to find someone still alive.”

“This is a tragedy. People have died here,” Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said when he came to Ruda Slaska to see the blast.

Earlier Wednesday, a reconnaissance rescue team descended 3000 feet toward the blast scene, only to retreat because of safety concerns related to high methane gas levels. Rescue digging efforts were also halted because of explosion concerns.

The missing men were aged 21-59. One of the miner’s family members, Andrzej Pytlik, 30, remained on scene with his sister, hoping and waiting for news of her husband, Krystian Gaszka.

Pytlik, also a miner, said through teary eyes that, “I work in the mines and I know that hope is scant because that’s the truth.”

The explosion occurred in a closed portion of the mine where the now-missing miners were working to retrieve abandoned equipment. According to Pawlaszek, the value of the equipment was $23 million, adding that “It was new equipment and that is why we decided to retrieve it.”

He indicated that the recovery work was performed under the supervision of gas detection specialists, and that the bodies of the recovered miners were difficult to identify because of the severity of burns and because their ID tags were blown away in the explosion.

The Halemba mine, located in Ruda Slaska, has produced coal for nearly 50 years, has been fraught with safety concerns and has a track record of serious accidents. One of the oldest mines in Poland, it is centrally located in the industrial Silesia region.

Earlier this year, a miner was trapped underground in the Halemba mine five days after a cave-in. In 1990, 19 miners were killed and 20 hurt in a gas explosion, and five were killed in collapse in 1991.

Inside, priests and mining officials were comforting and counseling with distraught relatives. Outside, eight white candles flickered on a main gate wall.