Latham quits as Australian Labor leader

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Latham quits as Australian Labor leader

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

AUSTRALIA –Following hospitalisation for pancreatitis and ongoing speculation about his leadership, Mark Latham has resigned from his roles as leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and also the Federal Member for Werriwa. He cited as reasons the media harassment, and a desire to put his family and health first.

Mr Latham became leader of the ALP just over a year ago, on 2 December, 2003, leading the party during the October 2004 federal election. He was hospitalised in the run-up to that election, also for treatment of pancreatitis. Following the defeat of his party, his leadership increasingly came under question.

He fell ill a second time almost simultaneously with last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. His failure to issue a statement on the tsunami drew criticism from the media and calls for his resignation from within his own party, even after it was revealed that he had been incapacitated at the time.

Mr Latham’s resignation sidesteps the possibility of a leadership challenge by other members of the party and leaves no clear successor.

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Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall

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Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

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Public disclosure made of final report on deaths of nine in Finnish school shooting

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Public disclosure made of final report on deaths of nine in Finnish school shooting

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation yesterday released 600 pages of the 2,000 page final report into the Jokela school shooting. 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen opened fire at Jokela High School, killing eight before turning his gun on himself, receiving fatal wounds.

The remaining 1,400 pages of the report are to remain confidential. The public section reveals a number of problems that may have impacted on Auvinen’s decision to conduct the attack, but says that police failed to find any conclusive motive. Also released was an animation depicting events at the school.

The report says Auvinen had been bullied since the age of ten and concludes the extent of this problem was greater than previously thought. Auvinen suffered from anxiety and blushing, especially in lessons, and had been diagnosed with a panic disorder, for which he had been prescribed medication. Auvinen also suffered from sleep disorders and loneliness, and had few friends, although one former bully did go on to become a good friend of Auvinen’s. His mother said inability to settle on a suitable ideology contributed to Auvinen’s depression.

His parents had noticed and reacted to the bullying problem, but their intervention only served to worsen the situation. According to entries in Auvinen’s diary, he first began planning the shooting – which he gave the English name “Operation Main Strike” – about eight months prior to actually conducting the shooting.

Auvinen had told his mother that under certain circumstances he could approve of violence. He had often viewed web sites promoting violence and had a number of online contacts whom he discussed his ideas with. One of these was a United States teen arrested for planning a similar attack, and two others discussed the Columbine High School Massacre with him and traded videos they found online. However, there is no evidence he informed anyone of his plans until immediately prior to the attack.

The report called Auvinen a moderately good student, but noted his mental problems had impacted his performance at school. He had been interested in politics from an early age, being involved with the Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Left Alliance, and the Finnish Communist Party.

“In the best case, this (attack) would create massive destruction and chaos, or even a revolution,” read one diary entry. “In any case, I want this to be remembered forever. Maybe I’ll even have a follower; after all, I am a super-person, almost God.” Another revealed he intended to “kill as many of you bastards as possible”. His diary also reveals he was aware he would be dead by the end of the attack.

He obtained a .22 calliber handgun which he named Catherine, having been denied a license for a 9mm gun, and submitted his plans online – including to YouTube – just 14 minutes prior to firing his first shots, having cycled to school. It was determined that, given the time-frame, there was little that could have been done by anyone who saw the material to prevent the attack. He fired 75 shots, 50 of which struck his eight fatally wounded victims, who were apparently chosen at random. Thirteen others were injured in the event.

The deceased were six students, the school headmistress and the school nurse. Auvinen shot at each several times in the region of the head and upper torso. He ultimately shot himself in the school toilet, and died in hospital from head wounds ten hours later, having never regained consciousness.

Police could not determine why he chose the date he did, although it was noted his online relationship with a foreign girl had ended just days before. It was also determined little could be done to predict and prevent future incidents, although one measure being sought is to require medical checks for gun licences and parental consent for prospective owners under 18.

The confidential section of the report discusses causes of death and police operations.

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Woman with world’s longest fingernails loses them in car crash

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Woman with world’s longest fingernails loses them in car crash
Published by
Jul 05

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A woman who held the Guinness World Record for having the world’s longest fingernails has lost them in a four-car accident in her hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States.

66-year-old Lee Redmond was seriously injured after she was ejected from the sports utility vehicle (SUV) she had been a passenger in. It had collided with one car, causing it to collide with two other cars on Tuesday February 10. She is expected to make a full recovery.

“[Her nails] were damaged beyond repair,” reported the BBC, quoting Guinness World Records, who also said that Redmond’s nails were “a fundamental part of her life and unique character”. The cause of the crash is not yet known and an investigation is ongoing.

Redmond is credited by the Guinness Book for having a combined fingernail length of 28 feet, the longest on record. She has been growing all eight fingers and two thumbnails since 1979. Her longest of all nails was her right thumb, which was 2ft and eleven inches long.

Before Redmond was named as the record holder in 2006, Shridhar Chillal from India had the longest at a combined length of just over twenty feet.

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Deadly illegal sexual enhancement products appear on the Singaporean market

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Deadly illegal sexual enhancement products appear on the Singaporean market
Published by
Jul 05

Friday, April 11, 2008

New ‘deadly’ sexual enhancement products have been found in Singaporean markets and can cause serious side effects on users.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced the presence of the illegal drugs, known as Power 1 Walnut, Santi bovine penis erecting capsule, Zhong Hua Niu Bian and fake Cialis, which have been discovered over the past 3 months. Santi bovine penis erecting capsule has been found to contain high amounts of glibenclamide, a potent drug used to treat diabetes. The tablets also contain sildenafil and tadalafil – potent western medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction. Zhong Hua Niu Bian also contains sildenafil and glibenclamide.

High consumption of the tablets can be potentially deadly as the glibenclamide in the capsules can lead to drastically reduced blood sugar levels which can lead to seizures, stroke, coma or death. Consuming half of a Power 1 Walnut capsule has led to unconsciousness and frothing at the mouth.

Consumption of Power 1 Walnut has led to the death of a middle age man last week who fell into a coma. Currently, one death and two cases of coma have been reported from the total of 89 hospitalised cases linked with the consumption of the illegal drugs. It has been revealed that patients obtained the drugs by purchasing them from illegal peddlers located in various parts of Singapore.

The HSA has advised people to stop consuming the drugs and to report on any cases of consumption to them.

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News briefs:June 9, 2010

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News briefs:June 9, 2010
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Jun 29
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Healthy cloned monkeys born in Shanghai

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Healthy cloned monkeys born in Shanghai
Published by
Jun 21

Thursday, January 25, 2018

In findings published Wednesday in the scientific journal Cell, a team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China have announced the first-ever cloning of a primate from post-embryonic cells, namely two macaque monkeys. They used somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same method that was used to create Dolly the sheep in 1996.

In somatic cell nuclear transfer, scientists remove the nucleus, which is the organelle that contains the chromosomes, from an unfertilized ovum, or egg cell, and implant the nucleus from a somatic cell, or non-reproductive cell, into that ovum. The ovum is then stimulated and develops in the normal way, growing into a whole organism that has the same nuclear DNA as the donor organism, though it will have all of the ovum’s mitochondria and other cellular machinery. Clones like these have been described as identical twins to their donors, but younger.

The scientists implanted 21 ova into surrogate mother monkeys, resulting in six pregnancies, two of which produced living animals. The young clones were named “Zhong Zhong” and “Hua Hua,” both derived from Zh?nghuá, the Chinese-language word for the Chinese people. They are both cynomolgus monkeys, or crab-eating macaques (Macaca fascicularis). The scientists also attempted to clone macaques using nuclei from adult donors. They implanted 42 surrogates, resulting in 22 pregnancies, but there were still only two infant macaques, and they died soon after birth. The Scotland-based team that created Dolly the sheep in 1996 required 277 attempts and produced only one lamb.

Generally, the older the donor organism, the more difficult it is to get the DNA from the harvested nucleus to reactivate the genes that allow the clone organism to grow. Previous efforts to clone rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) using embryonic donor cells have been successful, but the current attempt used significantly older donors: fetal fibroblast cells, which are key cells in connective tissue, and adult monkey cumulus cells.

“We’re excited — extremely excited,” said study co-author Muming Poo. “This is really, I think, a breakthrough for biomedicine.” He went on to say that the cloned monkeys could be used as test subjects for the study of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Primates are already a popular model organism for neurological studies. In the United States, for example, non-human primates are used in less than 0.3% of all animal experiments, most of them involving neuroscience, and macaques in particular are a well-established animal model of atherosclerosis, which causes heart disease.

“I think it’s a very exciting landmark. It’s a major advance,” agreed reproductive biologist Dieter Egli of Columbia University. “It should be possible to make models of human disease in those monkeys and study those and then attempt to cure it.”

About 90% of the laboratory animals used in the United States are rodents. Although the first cloned mouse was born in 1998, cloned mice are not currently common in laboratory settings. This may be because producing inbred mouse lines is still relatively effective.

Although the announcement raised enthusiasm from researchers, it also drew caution from bioethicists. “Cloning one individual in the image of another really sort of demeans the significance of us as individuals,” says Harvard Medical School’s Dr. George Daley, speaking specifically of cloning humans. “There’s a certain sort of gut sense that it violates sort of natural norms.” While Muming Poo concedes it is now theoretically possible to clone a human, he says his lab has no plans to do so.

Although somatic cell nuclear transfer was used successfully in amphibians as early as 1952, getting it to work in mammals took much longer. Dolly, the first cloned mammal, was born in 1996. Teams have been trying to clone monkeys for decades, but primate DNA is notoriously difficult to work with. “The trick is we choose the right chemicals to turn on these genes we transfer into the egg,” Mu-ming Poo told the press. “So that’s what we did different. I think that’s the key.” One of the agents used to treat the ova was messenger RNA from the human Kdm4d gene.

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The Raveonettes on love, death, desire and war

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The Raveonettes on love, death, desire and war
Published by
Jun 21

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

“We’re only two days in and we’re already fucking tired,” says Sune Rose Wagner to David Shankbone as he walks into the dressing room at the Bowery Ballroom. Wagner and Sharin Foo comprise the Raveonettes, a group made for “nostalgists who long for Everly Brothers 45’s and diner jukeboxes, the Raveonettes tweak “American Graffiti”-era rock with fuzzed-out surf-guitar riffs,” said The New York Times. They recently left Columbia and signed with Fierce Panda because they felt constrained by their Columbia contract: “The major label system sometimes doesn’t allow for outside “help” to get involved, meaning that we don’t get to choose who we wanna work with. That can be a pretty terrible thing and bad things will surely come of it,” said the band on their MySpace site. Originally from Denmark, both musicians live in the United States now.

Their first EP, Chain Gang of Love, was a critical and commercial success. “Few albums provoke such amazing imagery,” said the BBC. “Pretty in Black is virtually fuzz-free,” said Rolling Stone of their next album, “highlighting the exquisite detail in the Raveonettes’ gift for pastiche: the prowling, garage-surf guitars in Love in a Trashcan; the ghost dance of Red Tan, wrapped in Phil Spector-style sleigh bells.” Of their current album, Lust Lust Lust, set to be released on November 5th (although Amazon says March 4, 2008), Sune told NME that, “There are a lot of songs that deal with desire, restlessness and the tough choices you have to make sometimes.” Fans can hear some of the new material at MySpace.com/TheRaveonettes.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo.


Contents

  • 1 On influences
  • 2 On America
  • 3 On death
  • 4 On war
  • 5 On love
  • 6 On themselves
  • 7 On touring
  • 8 On metaphysics
  • 9 Sources
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Category:June 7, 2010

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Category:June 7, 2010
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Things To Consider When Getting Health Insurance In Austin Tx

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Jun 20

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Staying in good health is a lot easier said than done. For most people, visiting the doctor on a regular basis is important to their overall level of well-being. Visiting the doctor can be a very expensive proposition for people who do not have health insurance. Finding the right Health Insurance in Austin TX is not easy due to the variety of options out there. The best way to get these options narrowed down is by taking the time to find the right professionals to help. A great insurance agency will be able to help a person find the right policies to suit their needs. Here are some of the things that a person will need to consider when trying to find the right insurance policy.

What are the Limitations?

Before going out to find an insurance policy, a person will need to think about the things they need the most. Having a list of needs is a great way for a person to narrow the options they have right away. The insurance agent will be able to find policies that match the needs of the customer. Getting a policy with that pays for wellness checks is a great way for a person to stay healthier over time.

Getting a Grasp on the Total Cost

When trying to find the right health insurance, a person will also have to think about how much it is going to cost them. The monthly cost of the policy is just a tip of the iceberg. A person will also need to think about what their major medical deductible cost is. An insurance agent will be able to breakdown the costs of a policy so that the buyer can make the right decision. Neglecting to find out this type of detailed information will put a person at a disadvantage when it comes time to choose the right policy.

By selecting the right Health Insurance in Austin TX professionals, a person will be able to get the help they need to make the right policy in place. State Farm has been in the insurance business for a number of years. Be sure to Click Here for more information on what they have to offer.

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