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  1.  (10152.1)

    Yep, it's a diamond 5x the diameter of the Earth.
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2011
    The Conan situation is complex, as a general rule of thumb:

    Anything published before 1923 is public domain (PD)

    Anything published between then and the early sixties (I think) has to have had its copyright specifically renewed - it appears the Conan material hasn't been so it should be PD, although I'm sure someone will pop up and dispute this as there is plenty of cash on the line.

    In Australia it is authors death + 50 and so (because REH died in 1936) their Project Gutenberg has his stories.

    In the UK it is death + 70, so technically they should be PD here.

    However, there are going to be exceptions:

    The trademark for Conan the Barbarian (and probably variations on the theme, plus I'd assume story names) can be trademarked and are.

    Works that are transformative of the original could also be under copyright, including adaptations based on story outlines or general jottings (someone will always try and mine anything left behind by an author for stories).

    It seems from the report that Stan Lee Media claim to have owned the rights to Conan and someone nicked it, which will be interesting to see how it plays out. Although it could get awfully arcane.
  2.  (10152.3)
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    Looks like supersymmetry's off the books, at least in it's current form: The Beeb reports.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    Interesting that Rikers Island (the big white blob between Long Island and the Bronx, and the location of New York City's jails) is apparently hurricane proof

    Yep. Bloomberg: "We are not evacuating Rikers Island." Which means about 12,000 people (including some people awaiting trial who haven't been convicted of anything, and presumably at least some prisons staff?) are about to take a dance with Irene.

    Other storm stuff: Radar image tracking the storm in motion.
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011 edited
    Old news, but this weekend might be a good time for New Yorkers to take a sec to appreciate that the Citigroup building isn't going to fall on anyone's heads, thanks to correcting a fatal construction change. The building's unsoundness was discovered after it was built and its fixing was kept secret for fifteen years.

    What happened, was that the famous slope-roofed skyscraper was built on a plot of land that has a church on the corner of it. That insisted on not being connected to the new building in any way. To solve this challenge, the Citigroup Center was built with corners that do not touch the ground. The whole thing was perched on four big columns in the center of each side instead of on the corners. This led to a crisis after the fact. 1st, it was found that no one thought what would happen if wind hit the thing at 45 degrees; 2nd, the joints transferring weight to the pillars were all built weaker than planned:

    The engineers did not recalculate what the construction change would do to the wind forces acting on two surfaces of the building's curtain wall at the same time; if hurricane-speed winds hit the building at a 45-degree angle, there was the potential for failure due to the bolts shearing. The wind speeds needed to topple the models of Citigroup Center in a wind-tunnel test were predicted to occur in New York City every 55 years. If the building's tuned mass damper went offline, the necessary wind speeds were predicted to occur every 16 years.

    This knowledge, combined with LeMessurier's discovery that his firm had used New York City's truss safety factor of 1:1 instead of the column safety factor of 1:2, meant that the building was in critical danger. The discovery of the problem occurred in the month of June [1978], the beginning of hurricane season. The problem had to be corrected quickly.

    The rest of the story at the Wikipedia link or the original New Yorker article in 1995 that revealed the story publicly.
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    Just ouch.

    Paintball shot ruptures woman's silicone breast implant
    A woman has had one of her silicone gel breast implants ruptured after it was hit by a paintball shot.
    The 26-year-old had been taking part in a game at an outdoor centre near Croydon on Saturday (20 August).
    She went to her doctor's surgery on Monday, where it was discovered one of her implants had been torn apart.
    "We respectfully ask that any ladies with surgical breast implants notify our team at the time of booking," says a statement on UK Paintball's website.
  3.  (10152.8)
    BART, the SF Bay Area's underground subway service, got hit in the past month by rush hour protests over its police shootings. So how is the managing board thinking of responding? By considering giving its personnel the authority to disrupt cell phone service to foil potential protestors. Hosni Mubarak would have smiled on the BART Board.
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2011
    Brad Pitt Saves Woman from Zombie Attack -- for Real!

    Yep, he is a proper hero now as he actually saved someone from being killed by zombies. Is there nothing he can't turn his hand to???
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
    New body 'liquefaction' unit unveiled
    A Glasgow-based company has installed its first commercial "alkaline hydrolysis" unit at a Florida funeral home.
    The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water. The makers claim the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.

    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
    Falser Words Were Never Spoken

    When you start to become aware of these bogus quotations, you can’t stop finding them. Henry James, George Eliot, Picasso — all of them are being kept alive in popular culture through pithy, cheery sayings they never actually said.
  4.  (10152.12)

    Debris slide - Trash from city dump avalanches into neighborhood due to typhoon, Baguio, Philippines, August 29 - AFP/Getty
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
    Aronofsky's next project is almost out.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
    Not, I think, where most people would expect to find Denis Kucinich's name... AJE Reports: Files: Americans aid Gaddafi in rebel fight
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011 edited
  5.  (10152.16)
  6.  (10152.17)
    Oh, and the global warming debate is settled for now (at least in the science community)...although the weird errors and typos present in the article make me a little skeptical of the quality/reliability of the source.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011
    @lampcommander: The study the Financial Post guy post points to is about cosmic rays being involved with cloud formation. Which is really interesting, but not enough to settle the global warming debate.
  7.  (10152.19)
    @lampcommander - Yeah, the guy who wrote that opinion piece doesn't have a horse in that race.

    - Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.

    I agree with StefanJ.
  8.  (10152.20)
    D'oh. Well, I'm sure EVERYone involved has a horse in the race, but still...yeah.