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news lite

some news items are of interest, but not rated by abelard as convincing or significant enough for placement in abelard’s main news archives. Such items may be found here.

New translation, the Magna Carta

K 'Y


article archives at abelard's news and comment zone previous news-lite items may be accessed from the news archives (click button on left)
XII-2005: 05 13 20 22 22-2 26 | I-2006: 04 06 11 13 29 | II-2006: 17 22 26

submarine-launched drones proposed

“Cormorant Spy Plane Concept”

“The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines.”

“The tubes are as long as a semi trailer but about seven feet wide—not exactly airplane-shaped. The Cormorant has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure 150 feet underwater—enough to cave in hatches on a normal aircraft—but light enough to fly.”

“The Skunk Works’s [1] answer is a four-ton airplane with gull wings that hinge around its body to fit inside the missile tube. The craft is made of titanium to resist corrosion, and any empty spaces are filled with plastic foam to resist crushing. The rest of the body is pressurized with inert gas. Inflatable seals keep the weapon-bay doors, engine inlet and exhaust covers watertight.”

end note

  1. Skunk Works made the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes.
the web address for the article above is
the France Zone at
Economics and money zone at




faces of tomorrow?

present and possible future inhabitants of Amsterdam
present and possible future inhabitants of Sydney
present and possible future inhabitants of Amsterdam present and possible future inhabitants of Sydney

“What is the face of London, New York, Paris? What does a Londoner, a New Yorker, a Parisian look like?” [In fact, New York and Paris are not yet illustrated.]

“The Face of Tomorrow attempts to find this face by taking photographs of the current inhabitants and compositing their faces to create a typical face. What we get is a new person - a mix of all the people in that city.”

the web address for the article above is

printing 3d products continues to move forward

“The tailored shoes are built layer by layer using a form of rapid 3D printing called selective laser sintering, in which a laser fuses together particles of a nylon-based material”

“So instead of trying to design the sole based on the forces acting upon it as a whole, Mahdavi's software breaks it up into hundreds of smaller parts and works out what forces each sub-component will experience. The program then calculates what microstructure is appropriate for that particular part of the sole, and the 3D design is replicated by the laser printer. By tailoring the thickness, density and strength of the material for each sub-component, Mahdavi says this technique also allows you to make the shoe lighter.”

the web address for the article above is

g’wan - give us a lift, mate

"Scientists had assumed that snails living on the Tristan da Cunha islands
midway between South Africa and Brazil were a different species from those
in Europe but researchers in the Netherlands and Britain have shown they
belong to the same family."

never assume!

"The arrival of the snails on the islands predates their discovery by
humans. So the scientists believe the European snails which cannot swim or
fly travelled the 9,000 km (5,592 miles) to the Tristan da Cunha islands
on birds.

"It must have gotten there, we think, on some sort of migrating bird,"
said Preece..."

the web address for the article above is

good and bad karma [politics]

“One of the themes of the post-Iraq period was that the three musketeers of the Anglosphere - Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard - were all in trouble with angry electorates. As we now know, they all won re-election. Meanwhile, the fellows who opposed intervention in Iraq are floundering: Gerhard Schröder is out of office and is now a frontman for Russia's state-owned Gazprom ('It's all about gaz!'), Jacques Chirac is the lamest of lame ducks, and Canada's anti-Bush Liberal government will lose the election on 23 January.”

the web address for the article above is

an mp3 to classify your favourites and choose related items for you

“By analysing the characteristics of a song - like timbre, rhythm, tempo and chord changes - then comparing it to a database of a million songs, the software can recommend similar pieces of music, and even rank them by characteristics, like their key or dance-ability.”

“One SIMAC partner, Royal Philips Electronics, is developing an MP3 player that uses the technology. The device would help users classify their own music collections.”

the web address for the article above is

suvs no safer for ‘children’

“[...] research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, shows that children riding in SUVs have similar injury risks to children who ride in passenger cars. The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, found that an SUV's increased risk of rolling over during a crash offset the safety benefits associated with larger, heavier-weight vehicles.

“[...] Rollover contributes significantly to risk of injury in both vehicle types and occurred twice as frequently in SUVs. Children involved in rollover crashes were three times more likely to be injured than children in non-rollovers.”

“ In the 2005 Partners for Child Passenger Safety Fact and Trend Report, Children's Hospital reported that SUVs in child-involved State Farm crashes increased from 15 percent in 1999 to 26 percent in 2004, while the percentage of passenger cars decreased from a high of 54 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2004. There was no or little growth in the percentage of minivans in the study population -- 24 percent in 2004.”

the web address for the article above is

now, a whole book on useful idiots

Short review

Short definition of ‘useful idiots’ [expression attributed to Lenin]
mindless people in the Western democracies who would always find ways to excuse whatever the Soviet Union did.
Useful idiots by Mona Charen (paperback)

Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First
Mona Charen

  • 2004, pbk, HarperCollins, 0060579412
    $4.99 [] {advert}
  • £7.21 [] {advert}
  • 2003, hbk, Regnery Publishing Inc.,U.S., 0895261391
    £18.99 [] {advert}
Useful idiots by Mona Charen (hardback)

Link taken from the auroran sunset

the web address for the article above is
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