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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It? 652

Lasrick writes Dawn Stover looks at unrealistic expectations and the distribution of limited energy resources: 'This is a question that should move from the fringes of the energy debate to its very heart. Economists and energy experts shy away from issues of equity and morality, but climate change and environmental justice are inseparable: It's impossible to talk intelligently about climate without discussing how to distribute limited energy resources. It's highly unlikely that the world can safely produce almost five times as much electricity by 2035 as it does now—which is what it would take to provide everyone with a circa-2010 American standard of living, according to a calculation by University of Colorado environmental studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. The sooner policy makers accept this reality, the sooner they can get to work on a global solution that meets everyone's needs. First, though, they need to understand the difference between needs and wants.' Not something most people even think about.

The Science of Hugo Chavez's Long Term Embalming 215

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Discover Magazine reports that Hugo Chavez will apparently get an embalming job designed to keep him looking alive for decades similar to that of Russia's Vladimir Lenin, whose body still lies in a mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square, nearly 90 years after his death. So how do you preserve a human body for decades without it turning into a pile of melted tissue? First, get to work quickly. Upon death, the human body starts decomposing immediately. The way to stop it is with formaldehyde, a preservative used for the past century, which inhibits the enzyme decomposition as well as killing bacteria. 'You pump the chemical in, and as the formaldehyde hits the cells of the body, it firms up the protein of the cell, or fixates it,' says Vernie Fountain, head of the Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills in Springfield, Mo. 'That's what makes them stiff.' With a body that will have to be on display for years, it's likely to require a top-shelf, super-strong solution. 'If I were doing Hugo Chavez, I would strengthen the solution and use more preservative product,' says Fountain. Next, get a good moisturizer. Formaldehyde preserves, but it also dries out the body. Vaseline or other moisturizers can preserve the look of skin, according to Melissa Johnson Williams, executive director of the American Society of Embalmers. Finally keep cool. Heat decomposes a body so for long term preservation, the body has to be kept at the temperature of a standard kitchen refrigerator, somewhere in the mid-40s. Lastly, if Venezuelans really want to keep Hugo Chavez around forever, like many other world figures, there's only one solution that works, according to Fountain. 'The best form of preservation is mummification.'"

Cuba Jails US Worker Handing Out Laptops, Cellphones 400

eldavojohn writes "An American citizen working as a contractor for the United States Agency for International Development has been arrested for giving away laptops and cellphones in Cuba. The intent was to enable activists to connect with each other and spread information of what's happening inside Cuba. From the article: 'Cellphones and laptops are legal in Cuba, though they are new and coveted commodities in a country where the average worker's wage is $15 a month. The Cuban government granted ordinary citizens the right to buy cellphones just last year; they are used mostly for texting, because a 15-minute phone conversation would eat up a day's wages.' A Representative on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the arrest was 'no surprise' while a human rights watch group cited a report outlining the Cuban Criminal Code offense of 'dangerousness,' which is most likely the one for which this individual was detained. There is at present no way to contact the individual nor official word on why he was detained." The article quotes an actvist with Human Rights Watch who said that "any solution to the contractor's case would probably be political" and that "the Cuban government often provokes a negative reaction in the United States just as [the two] countries begin to move toward more dialogue."

China Lauds iPhone App That Spreads Gov't Views 158

angry tapir writes "China's film and TV regulator has praised the growth of an iPhone application from state broadcaster CCTV as the country looks for new ways to project its political views abroad. The free iPhone app, one of a growing number from Chinese state-owned news outlets, has gained 500,000 users in the month or so since it went online and is adding 2,000 new users each day, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said in a statement on its Web site. The CCTV app has shown 'favorable performance' and proven especially popular during broadcasts of major events, such as a high-flown military parade held in Beijing last month, the statement said."

Emergency Government Control of the Internet? 853

TheZid writes "A newly proposed bill would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency.' As usual, our government is trying to take away our privacy by citing security. What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? How about disconnecting bloggers that criticize his health care reform? What counts as an emergency? Can political opponents be deemed a cyber-security emergency?"

"Violent" Video Games To Be Banned In Venezuela 420

An anonymous reader writes "The country that has bought Sukhois, tanks and 100,000 AK-103's, is planning to build a manufacturing plant of Russian rifles, and oppresses peaceful marches has decided to ban 'violent' video games because they 'promote violence and can alter the behavior of children.' The new legislation in Venezuela says, 'The violence found in video games is translated into the real world.' This new law affects people who sell, 'use,' produce, import and distribute these games. Video games as a whole have been labeled as 'a consequence of savage capitalism' by PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela), which is the political party led by Hugo Chavez. Days before this law was approved by the National Assembly, Chavez promoted the use of traditional toys like the Yo-Yo and Trompo, and suggested that electronic toys like 'the Nintendo' be put aside because they promote 'egoism, individualism and violence.' Just today the AFP released a report showing Caracas as the second most violent city on the planet — even more violent than Baghdad. I guess all those violent gangs in Venezuela are addicted to video games."

Fidel Castro Resigns 728

Smordnys s'regrepsA writes "Fidel Castro, the leader of the island nation of Cuba has declined the possibility of keeping his seat as President, after the February 24th National Assembly election. "I neither will aspire to nor will I accept — I repeat — I neither will aspire to nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," Castro wrote almost 19 months after a severe illness caused him to hand power temporarily to his brother Raul."

The IT Industry's Red Shift Theory 176

Stony Stevenson writes "Sun Microsystems' CTO, Greg Papadopoulos has come out with a Red Shift Theory for IT which posits that an 'elite group of companies are consuming inordinate amounts of IT infrastructure, well beyond most other businesses, and that their demand is growing exponentially. This trend, Papadopoulos maintains, has implications not just for IT's most insatiable consumers, but for the structure of the computing industry itself. It's not just about how many CPU cycles a company uses. Papadopoulos argues that red-shift companies will enjoy exponential business growth in the coming years. Blue-shift companies — those whose processing needs aren't exploding — will grow at about the same rate as GDP, he says.'"

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson