Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Terahertz polarizer nears perfection: Research leads to nanotube-based device for communication, security, sensing

ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2012) ? Researchers at Rice University are using carbon nanotubes as the critical component of a robust terahertz polarizer that could accelerate the development of new security and communication devices, sensors and non-invasive medical imaging systems as well as fundamental studies of low-dimensional condensed matter systems.

The polarizer developed by the Rice lab of Junichiro Kono, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of physics and astronomy, is the most effective ever reported; it selectively allows 100 percent of a terahertz wave to pass or blocks 99.9 percent of it, depending on its polarization. The research was published in the online version of the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

The broadband polarizer handles waves from 0.5 to 2.2 terahertz, far surpassing the range of commercial polarizers that consist of fragile grids wrapped in gold or tungsten wires.

Kono said technologies that make use of the optical and electrical regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are mature and common, as in lasers and telescopes on one end and computers and microwaves on the other. But until recent years, the terahertz region in between was largely unexplored. "Over the past decade or two, people have been making impressive progress," he said, particularly in the development of such sources of radiation as the terahertz quantum cascade laser.

"We have pretty good terahertz emitters and detectors, but we need a way to manipulate light in this range," Kono said. "Our work is in this category, manipulating the polarization state -- the direction of the electric field -- of terahertz radiation."

Terahertz waves exist at the transition between infrared and microwaves and have unique qualities. They are not harmful and penetrate fabric, wood, plastic and even clouds, but not metal or water. In combination with spectroscopy, they can be used to read what Kono called "spectral fingerprints in the terahertz range"; he said they would, for instance, be useful in a security setting to identify the chemical signatures of specific explosives.

The work by Kono and lead author Lei Ren, who recently earned his doctorate at Rice, makes great use of the basic research into carbon nanotubes for which the university is famous. Co-authors Robert Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry, and his former graduate student Cary Pint developed a way to grow nanotube carpets and to transfer well-aligned arrays of nanotubes from a catalyst to any substrate they chose, limited only by the size of the growth platform.

While Hauge and Pint were developing their nanotube arrays, Kono and his team were thinking about terahertz. Four years ago, they came across a semiconducting material, indium antimonide, that would stop or pass terahertz waves, but only in a strong magnetic field and at very low temperatures.

At about the same time, Kono's lab began working with carbon nanotube arrays transferred onto a sapphire substrate by Pint and Hauge. Those aligned arrays -- think of a field of wheat run over by a steamroller -- turned out to be very effective at filtering terahertz waves, as Kono and his team reported in a 2009 paper.

"When the polarization of the terahertz wave was perpendicular to the nanotubes, there was absolutely no attenuation," Kono recalled. "But when the polarization was parallel to the nanotubes, the thickness was not enough to completely kill the transmission, which was still at 30-50 percent."

The answer was clear: Make the polarizer thicker. The current polarizer has three decks of aligned nanotubes on sapphire, enough to effectively absorb all of the incident terahertz radiation. "Our method is unique, and it's simple," he said.

Kono sees use for the device beyond spectroscopy by manipulating it with an electric field, but that will only become possible when all of the nanotubes in an array are of a semiconducting type. As they're made now, batches of nanotubes are a random mix of semiconductors and metallics; recent work by Erik H?roz, a graduate student in Kono's lab, detailed the reasons that nanotubes separated through ultracentrifugation have type-dependent colors. But finding a way to grow specific types of nanotubes is the focus of a great deal of research at Rice and elsewhere.

Co-authors are former Rice postdoctoral researcher Takashi Arikawa and research associate Iwao Kawayama and Professor Masayoshi Tonouchi of the Institute of Laser Engineering at Osaka University, Japan.

The Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation supported the research.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Rice University.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Lei Ren, Cary L. Pint, Takashi Arikawa, Kei Takeya, Iwao Kawayama, Masayoshi Tonouchi, Robert H. Hauge, Junichiro Kono. Broadband Terahertz Polarizers with Ideal Performance Based on Aligned Carbon Nanotube Stacks. Nano Letters, 2012; : 120130102151002 DOI: 10.1021/nl203783q

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120130172615.htm

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Kind of a drag (Balloon Juice)

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Evi hits the App Store, provides a low-cost alternative to Siri (Appolicious)

The success of Siri, Apple?s voice-activated personal assistant app built into the iPhone 4S, has brought on a flood of imitators. It?s hard to blame developers who are trying to catch a little bit of the voice-activated lightning in a bottle that has helped Apple hit a record quarter at the end of 2011, but none of the apps offered on iOS or Google?s Android platform quite match the power of Apple?s version.

The latest contender, and one that?s receiving a lot of attention, is Evi. It just hit the iTunes App Store and Google's Android Market, with price tags of $0.99 and free, respectively. Evi can do some of what Siri can, and do it similarly, although the app isn?t quite as robust as its Apple-made counterpart.

What Evi can do is search the Internet and answer voice-delivered questions, much in the same way Siri can. As Mashable reports, Evi access the Internet to find information in much the same way as Siri, finding answers to questions by referencing multiple sources, often providing simple answers to questions after searching. It also provides links that can be accessed in its built-in browser. And of course, Evi responds to plain-English questions, which is the hallmark of Siri.

But Evi also has its limits. Because Siri is an Apple product, Apple gives it access to lots of other apps, which is why you?re able to use the app to dictate text messages or emails and send them without ever pushing a button. Evi can?t access those apps, and so it?s limited in comparison to Siri. It?s also only 99 cents, and being so cheap, it makes sense that it?s not so robust as a piece of software backed by Apple and its mounds of cash.

But although Evi might not be up to the same level of power that Siri packs, that hasn?t stopped it from seeing quite a few downloads and a lot of interest since it was launched on Jan. 23. It also has garnered quite a few reviews on iTunes in which users complain about receiving ?server is busy? messages from the app when asking it questions. It seems Evi has been a little too popular for its own good, and a flood of users downloading and running the app has bogged its servers down quite a bit.

In testing Evi late on a Sunday night, the results were fairly good. Evi found my nearest Starbucks and tracked down a decent answer as to the reasons why a cat might have accidents on the furniture, and only stalled out with a server issue once. Notably, though, Evi just about always knew what I was asking it with little work on my part.

For $0.99, it seems Evi might be a decent alternative to Siri, although one shouldn?t expect the power of Apple?s new software darling out of an app that costs a buck. Still, if you?re itching for the power of Siri without the upgrade, Evi is one solid alternative. It seems that for the real deal, however, iPhone owners who didn?t spring for the 4S might want to wait to see what Apple rolls out on the Siri front with the iPhone 5, expected out this summer.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/applecomputer/*http%3A//us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/external/appolicious_rss/rss_appolicious_tc/http___www_appolicious_com_articles10903_evi_hits_the_app_store_provides_a_low_cost_alternative_to_siri/44353260/SIG=13f1b2ec4/*http%3A//www.appolicious.com/tech/articles/10903-evi-hits-the-app-store-provides-a-low-cost-alternative-to-siri

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Karen Dalton-Beninato: Brad Pitt and the Business of Making it Right ...

"Blogger Karen Dalton-Beninato sent me this beautiful picture of the project Brad Pitt is working on..."

Five years ago, Arianna Huffington posted my husband's photo of pink tents in a planned green community in New Orleans. That was two years post Hurricane Katrina levee failures, and it often felt like New Orleans was stuck in neutral.

It was 2007 and the 9th Ward still looked like an overgrown prairie strewn with concrete slabs, all that was left of most houses near the Industrial Canal. Residents were coming back to FEMA trailers, if they could get one, and gutted out homes. In the years since then, Make It Right NOLA has assembled a living study in sustainable architecture for returning residents.

"After Hurricane Katrina, many people said the Lower 9th Ward could not be rebuilt, but the spirit of the Lower Ninth and its residents is vibrant and resilient," Brad Pitt recently said through his Foundation. "Today, the neighborhood is growing and alive with new homes, playgrounds, gardens and block parties. With the help of generous partners like Hyatt, Make It Right will fulfill our goal of building 150 sustainable homes for those in this community who lost everything in the storm." Pitt is hosting a March 10th MIR benefit at the newly reopened Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, and the Hyatt is underwriting the cost of the event so all proceeds go to rebuilding.

Why the focus on New Orleans, and Pitt and Jolie's move to the French Quarter? Robert Kinney described it as well as anyone in his 1941 guidebook, The Bachelor in New Orleans: "New Orleans is the lotus land, to which all travelers return - once visited, it haunts you, calling your blood always."

"I'm from New Orleans, I love New Orleans and I love that Make It Right continues to help the people there rebuild their beautiful city," event co-chair Ellen DeGeneres said of the project. "Brad Pitt is amazing - not only for what he started, but also because, who else can make a hard hat look like a jaunty fall fashion accessory?"

DeGeneres will be joining my friend Mac Rebennack a/k/a Dr. John, and other NOLA natives Wendell Pierce and Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the benefit. And they will be joined by Seal, Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Randy Jackson, Josh Brolin, Chris Paul, Djimon Hounsou, Spike Lee, Blake Lively, Sean Penn, and Kevin Spacey, with dinner prepared by chefs John Besh, Giada DeLaurentiis and Emeril Lagasse. Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation is hosting the after-party. With all the celebrities expected, it would probably be shorter to list who's not coming.

The event will sprint the project to its final goal of 150 platinum LEED certified homes in its 16-block neighborhood, and eventually help Make it Right move into helping Pitt's home territory of Joplin, Missouri with what they've learned from rebuilding green in New Orleans.

Steve Ragan is MIR's Development Director, and he walked us through the neighborhood's homes. We started out at the one that was built to float, designed by Tom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. Modular construction was assembled at UCLA, shipped to New Orleans and reassembled as the first home in the United States permitted for a floating foundation. All the connections to utilities are flexible tubing and piping, and if the home did begin to float they would be safely cut leaving its two masts to support it, Ragan explained. "It's probably our most cutting edge design. If we opened our program up to young hipsters, it would have sold quickly." The home eventually sold to an older man who needed a smaller space than the multi-generational homes occupied by many of his neighborhood.

"The most important thing is the immediate good for people who live here," Ragan says. "Second most important is advancing construction of energy efficient homes. Third, if you can imagine, is having the final neighborhood of 150 homes designed by 21 of the greatest architects in the world. In 20 years the people who will be touring the homes hopefully won't be thinking of them as advanced technology any more, but because they're architecturally significant."

Landscaping is largely made up of indigenous plants that help soak up water. Make it Right has patented a permeable concrete with 100 percent drainage throughout the development, and Ragan pours his coffee onto the surface to show us how quickly it disappears. That drainage also helped along with gray water collected beneath the homes. One of MIR's contractor was at a funeral and thought of using concrete crypts under the residents' homes to collect gray water. It's the right size, half the cost of building a container and feels appropriate in a city where dancing at funerals is not out of the norm.

Homes are built at least 4 feet off the ground, but MIR encourages residents to go higher. Residents have skin in the game, typically paying $75,000 with the rest of the $150,000 subsidized with a forgivable mortgage. With solar panels, Energy Star appliances and every possible new green technology on hand, only two homes in the development regularly use more energy than they produce, and those are multi-generational.

"If we had not focused on one area, we would have been able to build faster but people would have been pioneers sitting on their own," Ragan said. He's seen the crawfish boils, family reunions and arrivals of other developers as the area came to life. The 9th Ward was at 80 percent home ownership before Katrina, families who had lived there before the Industrial Canal was built and passed their homes down through generations. Some former residents are now back home, with green rooftop decks offering a view across the river.

"Homeowners choose their home as long as it's something that through our assistance they can afford. They're treated with the same respect, able to make the same decisions about design as a private developer would," Ragan said. "You can see some differences between first of the homes and later. We've managed as we've gone along with every iteration of homes to increase energy efficiency and lower costs. It's great when you can get an academic architect to take pause and say, 'how did you do that?"

It's something to see, and the visitors are coming in ever-increasing numbers. "I counted tour buses one day, and we were at 48," Ragan said. That number will only grow, with the Hollywood of the South bringing even more tourists to New Orleans. The Pugh Scarpa home we walked through had far more natural light than you would expect from the exterior view. Window direction adds to passive heating and cooling technologies, much like early Creole homes in the French Quarter. In the morning, the home is flooded with light. But by afternoon, the side with fewer windows, all hurricane resistant, cools the home down. Wireless lighting systems save on wiring costs, and directed vents at the top of the wall where hot air rises help cool the house faster. The architects are clearly familiar with Louisiana summers. Floors are reclaimed pine, and all the paint in the home is VOC-free. "We haven't had hard data, but anecdotally children who suffer from asthma have fewer problems once they move in." Architects meet with stakeholders early on, and the project has focused on residents who had lived in the Lower 9th Ward. One of the main design alterations requested has been larger porch and terrace areas for neighborhood socializing.

"I just love to come out here on a Saturday," Ragan said. "You've got construction crews working, you've got homeowners socializing, this neighborhood has come back to life. Architects talk about how architecture engages people. Tourists come outside, and a homeowner will come out and start explaining the home to them. Then another will come out and say, let me tell you about mine."
Plantings and mulch are available to community members. And the Make it Right playground, made of recycled materials, has wi-fi installed so children can compete with children in a playground on the other side of the world with the same system installed. Bayou Bienvenue backs up to the development, but its original cypress trees were killed off years ago as canals brought saltwater intrusion from the Gulf to the city. An older man walks up and reminisces about the years when the bayou was fresh water and the cypress trees grew. He talks about trapping and walking through the bayou, pointing to the stumps that now exist.

We meet Robert Green, a Make it Right resident and its unofficial ambassador. "I've been fortunate enough to be here when most people come by," he said. Green asked for the Waiting for Godot sign from the 9th Ward production starring Pierce, so the front of his house greets visitors with words by Samuel Beckett. Green often takes people into his home to show them construction, which he's proud of. His was the second lot in the program, and he bought the adjacent lot through the city's Lot Next Door program. He's considered putting in a gazebo.

Green was sent back from the Superdome when they couldn't offer adequate help to his mother who had Parkinson's Disease. So the family returned home, and the next day the water started rising. Green saved two of his granddaughters, but he lost his mother and granddaughter in the floodwaters that came through the broken levee on August 29, 2005. A marker for each rests in front of his home, under his Waiting for Godot sign.

A country road. A tree. Evening.

Details on A Night to Make It Right are available at: nighttomakeitright.com

Illuminated Pink Tents

1? of ?15


Illuminated Pink Tents



Photos by Jeff Beninato


Follow Karen Dalton-Beninato on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kbeninato

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-daltonbeninato/brad-pitt-and-the-busines_b_1239228.html

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Ford Motor Co.'s 2011 profits at a glance (AP)

Ford Motor Co.'s 2011 profits at a glance - Yahoo! News Skip to navigation ? Skip to content ? AP By The Associated Press The Associated Press ? 1?hr?8?mins?ago
Ford Motor Co. released its full-year earnings on Friday. This shows the automaker's operating profits, by region, and the comparison to profits in 2010.
Region 2011 Operating Profit/Loss 2010 Operating Profit Percent change
North America $6.2 million $5.4 billion 15 percent
South America $861 million $1 billion -14 percent
Europe -$27 million $182 million -114 percent
Asia-Pacific/Africa -$92 million $189 million -148 percent
Source: Ford Motor Co.
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  • Copyright ? 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

    Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/earnings/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120127/ap_on_bi_ge/us_earns_ford_glance

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    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Demi Moore "smoked something" before convulsions: 911 tape (Reuters)

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) ? Actress Demi Moore suffered convulsions and seemed only semi-conscious after smoking an undisclosed substance before being rushed to hospital earlier this week, according to the tape of a medical emergency call released on Friday.

    "She smoked something, it's not marijuana but it is similar to incense. She seems to be having convulsions of some sort," a female friend of Moore told emergency services when calling for an ambulance on Monday.

    "She has been having some issues. I don't know what she has been taking," another woman at Moore's house that night told the 911 dispatcher. Moore was also described as "burning up", unable to speak and semi-conscious before help arrived at her Beverly Hills mansion.

    The tape shed the first official light on the emergency that sent recently-separated Moore to the hospital, and later to seek treatment for what her spokeswoman has described only as "exhaustion".

    Los Angeles officials said portions of the tape recording had been edited for privacy and to remove references to specific substances.

    Celebrity website TMZ.com has reported that one of the friends at Moore's home on Monday told paramedics the actress had been inhaling nitrous oxide -- a substance also known as whip-its or poppers that gives users a high by briefly depriving the body of oxygen. The substance was not mentioned on the version of the tape recording released to the media.

    The "Ghost" and "G.I. Jane" actress, 49, filed for divorce from husband Ashton Kutcher, 33, in November after the "Two and a Half Men Star" had a widely publicized fling with another woman.

    Her gaunt appearance in paparazzi photos over the last few months has raised alarm bells in the celebrity media.

    Her spokeswoman said on Tuesday Moore had decided to seek professional treatment for "exhaustion and (to) improve her overall health" because of stress. Moore's representatives have declined to give any details or comment further on her problems.

    Moore and Kutcher were married for six years and their 16-year age gap made them the subject of constant media fascination.

    Kutcher returned to Los Angeles from Brazil on Thursday, refusing to comment to the media about Moore.

    (Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

    Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/celebrity/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120127/en_nm/us_demimoore

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    Pitt to attend New Orleans homebuilding group gala (AP)

    NEW ORLEANS ? Talk show host Ellen Degeneres and "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson are hosting a star-studded gala in New Orleans to benefit Brad Pitt's Make It Right home rebuilding effort.

    Pitt will attend the $1,000-per-person gala on March 10 called "A Night to Make It Right," which will include performances by singers Sheryl Crow, Rihanna, Seal and Dr. John, said foundation spokeswoman Taylor Royle.

    Pitt launched Make It Right in 2007 to help Lower 9th Ward residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Lower 9th Ward was one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods when Katrina caused levees to fail, inundating roughly 80 percent of the city with floodwater.

    Pitt worked with architects to come up with designs for stronger, safer and more energy-efficient houses than the ones residents lost. So far 75 homes have been built, six more are under construction and construction is set to begin on roughly eight others in coming months.

    "Our goal is 150 houses, and this fundraiser is going to help us reach that goal," said Royle, noting that all proceeds will benefit Make It Right.

    Royle said it has taken more time and money than the foundation originally thought to build 150 homes. Getting in touch with families, making decisions about their homes, getting finances in order and clearing paperwork takes months, she said.

    "It's been a long road to get these families home," Royle said. "But we're happy with our progress, and we're looking forward to celebrating the progress we've made."

    Royle said a video of Make It Right's work over the past four years will be presented at the gala. A four-course dinner organized by chef John Besh will include courses by chefs Emeril Lagasse and Giada de Laurentiis.

    Degeneres, a New Orleans native, has already donated more than $2 million to Make It Right.

    "She's been one of our biggest supporters," Royle said.

    Jackson, a Baton Rouge native, was quick to offer his participation in the event, Royle said.

    Other celebrities serving on the event's host committee who may also be attending include actors Josh Brolin, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey and director Spike Lee.

    The gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans. Comedian Aziz Ansari will host an after party. Tickets for that event start at $150.



    Tickets are available online at www.nighttomakeitright.com.

    Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/celebrity/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120126/ap_on_en_mo/us_make_it_right_gala

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    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Taking Care of Pets While Deployed ? Family Matters Blog

    Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Disney and his wife, Tess, gather their dogs, Sasha, Minnie and Wall-E, for a photo at their home, Feb. 24, 2011. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

    Guest blogger Navy Lt. Theresa Donnelly, of U.S. Pacific Command, is the owner of Hawaii Military Pets, which provides pet resources for military families. She?s offered to share her pet-related knowledge in a series of blogs for Family Matters.

    By Theresa Donnelly
    Jan. 26, 2012

    Although the wars are drawing down, the deployment schedules for our men and women in uniform aren?t easing up. Troops continue to meet multiple operational needs, such as theater security exercises with partner nations, Navy ship cruises and other training requirements.

    Many military pet parents struggle with what to do with their forever friend when serving our nation away from home. It can be tough to stay focused on the mission at hand if family affairs aren?t in order.

    Enter our partners in the nonprofit sector. For the past several years, many organizations have stepped up to the plate, providing foster pet services to our deploying troops.

    ?Military members have a hundred things to worry about when deployment or training comes up. The last thing they should have to worry about is the care of their pets while they?re away,? said Alisa Johnson, a Marine Corps officer and president of Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit organization matching service members needing a foster pet family with volunteers who have agreed to take in their animals.

    Alisa and her husband, Shawn, a Navy officer, observed the challenges military families face when it comes to pet care, which led to the creation of this service.

    ?We?re especially concerned with those military members that may live on one coast, while all their family lives on another, limiting those that they can rely on in their times of need,? Alisa said.

    Since they launched the organization in June, more than 140 families have volunteered to be ?boarders? and 20 dogs have been placed in temporary foster care. ?

    Along with national organizations helping troops ? including Dogs on Deployment and Guardian Angels for Soldier?s Pet ? many local animal shelters are answering the call of duty and creating programs in their communities to help deployed service members with pet care.

    The Hawaiian Humane Society?s Pets of Patriots program provides pet care assistance to military personnel deploying on short notice due to war. Families living on Oahu can sign up to be foster parents, while military pet owners provide food and medical care while away from their duty station. The society assists with the written agreements, provides sample forms and helps find suitable volunteers.

    Additionally, the San Diego County Humane Society offered a low-cost seminar in December for military families to provide information on pet resources for relocation and deployment.??

    If you need a home for your pet while deployed, check with your local animal shelter to see if they might have a military pet outreach program, contact a national foster military pet organization or see if your command has a spouse communication network to seek temporary pet parents. The military in our own community can act as our second family, helping to provide resources for our furry friends.

    This entry was posted on January 27, 2012, 10:44 am and is filed under Family Matters. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    Source: http://afps.dodlive.mil/2012/01/27/taking-care-of-pets-while-deployed/

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    American writer still held in Somalia; rescue for him?


    By NBC News and msnbc.com staff

    Lost in the coverage of the Navy SEAL rescue mission in Somalia is the fact that another American was kidnapped there?four days ago?and?is being held for ransom.

    It?s also not clear?if President Obama?s vow on Tuesday?to protect U.S. citizens would extend to a rescue operation on his behalf.

    Michael Scott Moore, an American writer?who started?his career tracking the surfing world and who was in Somalia to report about piracy, was kidnapped on Saturday.

    In a statement released by the White House after the overnight rescue of American Jessica Buchanan and?Poul Hagen Thisted of Denmark, Obama on Wednesday vowed:?"The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice."

    Asked Wednesday about Moore at a press briefing, a State Department spokeswoman said she had??no information but would get back to reporters.

    "This is not a new problem, unfortunately, which is why we have to be vigilant and have to be prepared to do the kinds of operations like we saw last night,"?added Victoria Nuland.

    ????A man described as one of?Moore's captors told somaliareport.com on Sunday that his group was working on how much to demand for his release.

    "If they try or there is an attack by any Western people," he said, " the second plan will be to move on board the MV Albedo," a hijacked ship being used to hold other foreign hostages.

    Moore had been reporting for the German magazine Der Spiegel when he was abducted on a road as he was heading to an airport. He was kidnapped in the same area as Buchanan but is being held by different captors, somaliareport.com reported.

    Moore holds dual U.S. and German citizenship. He?now lives in Berlin but grew up in?Southern California and started his writing career?covering the surfing world.

    NBC News associate producer Catherine Chomiak contributed to this report.

    More from msnbc.com and NBC News:


    Source: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/25/10235986-american-writer-still-being-held-in-somalia-us-rescue-for-him

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    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Five ways to invest in Europe ? seriously

    Just because there's a sovereign debt crisis doesn't mean there's no opportunity in Europe, especially if investors are selective and defensive.

    Invest in Europe? Now!?

    Skip to next paragraph

    These days, the idea may seem as inspired as lighting a match to a paycheck. Fund investors appear to be fleeing the debt-troubled continent.

    But all that tumult and fear can mask opportunities. For market-savvy investors who want to keep a hand in Europe, there are ways to play the still-economically vital region, some investors and market pros say.

    "As long as you are selective and take a two-year investment time horizon, you can find interesting investments," says Stan Pearson, head of European equities at Standard Life Investments, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. "Valuations are quite moderate, and you don't have to pay up" to buy the shares of world-class companies.

    Of course, venturing into Europe with its still growing sovereign debt woes requires fortitude. Last year (through Dec. 14), bond funds targeting Europe saw net outflows of $27.7 billion, according to EPFR Global, a Cambridge, Mass., firm that tracks fund flows. European stock funds experienced $11.2 billion in outflows (minus Germany, where the outflow was more than $30 billion). So where do you invest when others are pulling out?

    Here are five possible strategies:

    1. Buy selected European stocks. Collectively, eurozone stock markets fell almost 20 percent in US dollar terms in 2011. That trimmed the stock prices of world-class European companies that do sizable business outside the eurozone, points out Mr. Pearson. Among those he likes: Ryanair Holdings, based in Dublin, Ireland, a provider of discount air travel; ASML, based in the Netherlands, a world leader in producing machines for making semiconductors; Saipem, headquartered in Milan, Italy, an international provider of oil and gas construction and drilling services; and CFAO, based in France, a major distributor of autos, pharmaceuticals, and other industrial products in Africa and in French overseas territories and communities.

    Among the European companies he likes outside the eurozone: Denmark-based Novo Nordisk, a global health-care company.

    2. Use Europe to diversify. Portfolios with a globally diversified mix of stocks and high-quality corporate bonds allow the investor or active money manager to choose when and where to invest, says Stephen Wood, chief market strategist at Russell Investments, based in Seattle. Right now, he recommends underweighting European markets versus other regions. But as concerns ebb about the European debt crisis, "disciplined investors will see opportunities in European stocks and bonds, understanding that European government bonds will be problematic for some time to come," he says.

    Source: http://rss.csmonitor.com/~r/feeds/csm/~3/OU3mNOnV08E/Five-ways-to-invest-in-Europe-seriously

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    Pride, Frustration and Determination as Egyptians Celebrate Their Revolution (Time.com)

    Tens of thousands of Egyptians packed shoulder to shoulder into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Some, particularly Islamist supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the ultra-Islamist Salafis' Nour party, came out to celebrate their victories after a year of political discovery.

    Between them, the Islamist parties won a combined 72% of available seats in the lower house of parliament in the country's first democratic election in more than a half century. "We are here to celebrate what we've achieved, and reiterate what we haven't achieved," said Mohamed Abdel Ghafar, a 40-year-old teacher sporting a Freedom and Justice Party hat. "We achieved the elections and the ousting of Mubarak, putting the symbols of corruption on trial, setting a date for the transition of authority, and lifting the emergency law," he added. Nearby, a speaker on the Brotherhood's stage trumpeted congratulations to Egypt's heroes -- that would be everyone who came out to help overthrow the president.

    But thousands of those on Tahrir Square, Wednesday, also came out to protest. While many express satisfactin with the election result, frustration over economic woes, endemic corruption, and the slow pace of reform has deepened in the year since Mubarak's fall. The focus of much of that anger has been the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the junta that took over from Mubarak last February and has shown little interest in ceding complete executive authority to a civilian government. (MORE: Egyptians Mark Their Revolution's Anniversary with Mixed Feelings)

    Men, women, and families thronged beneath banners demanding an end to military rule and justice for those killed and injured by security forces during the uprising and protests since. Liberal youth activists even chanted for the execution of SCAF chief Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, hoisting posters depicting faces of Mubarak officials, as well as Tantawi and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    "We believe that SCAF lost its legitimacy in August and now it's ruling the country with force," said Mohamed al-Essawy, 24, who held a large stencil depicting the faces of Tantawi and the Brotherhood's speaker of parliament hovering over bodies of slain activists. "They're playing chess with the revolution," he explained. "Anything supervised by SCAF is illegitimate, ranging from the parliament to the constitution."

    Liberals, youth activists, and political analysts have increasingly alleged that a conspiracy exists between the Brotherhood and the junta, pointing to the former's seeming compliance with military-drafted rules and declarations. However, the majority of Egyptians seem to disagree. (PHOTOS: Revolution in Egypt: 18 Days That Shook the World)

    On January 24th, Tantawi announced the termination of the country's emergency law on national television, in a move aimed at currying favor with the protesters ahead of the one year anniversary of the uprising. For Brotherhood supporters, and many others in Tahrir on Wednesday, the concession seemed like an additional victory. But an exemption decreed by Tantawi, which allows the emergency law's provisions to be applied in cases of "thuggery", had human rights groups crying foul -- the imprecise term has been widely used by the military to prosecute activists over the past year. Human Rights Watch warned that the exception would "invite abuse."

    Demonstrators poured into the downtown square throughout the day, many marching the same routes they had taken a year ago to start the historic rebellion. That day was fraught with tension and violence, as protesters broke through police lines and braved volleys of tear gas, astounded and emboldened by the power of their collective action. There were no police lines to cross to get to Tahrir for the anniversary event, and the crowd was far larger this time than it had been a year ago. But nostalgia ran high. Tahrir pulsed with the national pride that had characterized the 18-days that brought down Mubarak. And the crowd's diversity stirred the familiar debate and exchange of ideas that many Egyptians had reveled in a year ago, as men and women from across the country and its social classes first camped in the square, united by the common goal of ousting Mubarak. (PHOTOS: Police and Protesters Clash in Cairo)

    "We were not divided back then," remembered Mohamed Farghaly, a university student. "On January 25th 2011, we were unified. We came down to call for the fall of the regime, and at the time, we thought that Mubarak was the regime," he said. "Then we found out that he wasn't." Farghaly admits that his realization hasn't been shared by everyone. "The majority is staying at home," he added, claiming they had been swayed by the "liars" on state TV. "That's the division, and it's one of the biggest challenges."

    Indeed, how the numbers fall on either side of that division will impact Tahrir's dynamic in the days ahead. Already, many say they will camp in the square as long as it takes to force the military from power. Some have predicted a repeat of the violent clashes between protesters and security forces that characterized a series of demonstrations in November and December, particularly if large numbers remain in Tahrir and the military moves to clear it. "Some of the people think that we need to stay until SCAF leaves," said one Brotherhood supporter, Mohamed Said. "As Muslim Brotherhood, we don't believe that. We are here to deliver a message." That doesn't mean the revolution is over, he added, but Egyptians can make their voices heard in other ways.

    With reporting by Sharaf al-Hourani / Cairo

    MORE: How Democracy Can Work in the Middle East

    VIDEO: Why They Protest: Egypt, Libya and Syria

    View this article on Time.com

    Most Popular on Time.com:

    Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/world/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/time/20120125/wl_time/08599210538400

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    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    NYC officials dodge blame over 'SHCOOL X-NG' sign

    (AP) ? Everyone who's ever gone to school should know how to spell "school."

    But someone who plastered a school crossing sign on the street in front of a New York City high school got it wrong.

    The New York Post reports (http://nyp.st/zzfXDj ) that the big white letters in front of Marta Valle High School on the Lower East Side say "SHCOOL X-NG."

    A spokesman for the city Department of Transportation said the error was made by a utility provider, not by the city.

    The Post says workers apparently cut into the several months ago to get to underground utility lines. When utilities or contractors perform work on a city street, they are responsible for restoring it correctly.

    The Department of Transportation spokesman said the error will be corrected.


    Information from: New York Post, http://www.nypost.com

    Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/aa9398e6757a46fa93ed5dea7bd3729e/Article_2012-01-24-Misspelled%20School%20Crossing/id-a0f222e4247a41219612e12495f85aa9

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    Family, football meant everything to Joe Paterno

    FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2010 file photo, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno leaves Beaver Stadium after his weekly NCAA college football news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 in State College, Pa. Paterno, the longtime Penn State coach who won more games than anyone else in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation for winning with integrity, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. He was 85. (AP Photo/Pat Little, file)

    FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2010 file photo, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno leaves Beaver Stadium after his weekly NCAA college football news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 in State College, Pa. Paterno, the longtime Penn State coach who won more games than anyone else in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation for winning with integrity, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. He was 85. (AP Photo/Pat Little, file)

    FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2004 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno leads his team onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Akron in State College, Pa. Paterno, the longtime Penn State coach who won more games than anyone else in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation for winning with integrity, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. He was 85. (AP Photo /Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 6, 1999, file photo, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, poses with his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky during Penn State Media Day at State College, Pa. In a statement made Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, retired Penn State assistant coach Sandusky, who faces child sex abuse charges in a case that led to the firing of Paterno, says Paterno's death is a sad day. (AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File)

    A woman pays her respects at a statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State University campus after learning of his death Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    A flag and Penn State scarf are displayed on a statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus as fans pay their respects after learning of Paterno's death Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

    (AP) ? Other than family, football was everything to Joe Paterno. It was his lifeblood. It kept him pumped.

    Life could not be the same without it.

    "Right now, I'm not the coach. And I've got to get used to that," Paterno said after the Penn State Board of Trustees fired him at the height of a child sex abuse scandal.

    Before he could, he ran out of time.

    Paterno, a sainted figure at Penn State for almost half a century but scarred forever by the scandal involving his one-time heir apparent, died Sunday at age 85.

    His death came just 65 days after his son Scott said his father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Mount Nittany Medical Center said he died at 9:25 a.m. of "metastatic small cell carcinoma of the lung," an aggressive cancer that has spread from one part of the body to an unrelated area.

    Friends and former colleagues believe there were other factors ? the kind that wouldn't appear on a death certificate.

    "You can die of heartbreak. I'm sure Joe had some heartbreak, too," said 82-year-old Bobby Bowden, the former Florida State coach who retired two years ago after 34 seasons in Tallahassee.

    Longtime Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said he suspected "the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it."

    And Mickey Shuler, who played tight end for Paterno from 1975 to 1977, held his alma mater accountable.

    "I don't think that the Penn State that he helped us to become and all the principles and values and things that he taught were carried out in the handling of his situation," he said.

    Paterno's death just under three months following his last victory called to mind another coaching great, Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant, who died less than a month after retiring.

    "Quit coaching?" Bryant said late in his career. "I'd croak in a week."

    Paterno alluded to the remark made by his friend and rival, saying in 2003: "There isn't anything in my life anymore except my family and my football. I think about it all the time."

    The winningest coach in major college football, Paterno roamed the Penn State sidelines for 46 seasons, his thick-rimmed glasses, windbreaker and jet-black sneakers as familiar as the Nittany Lions' blue and white uniforms.

    His devotion to what he called "Success with Honor" made Paterno's fall all the more startling.

    Happy Valley seemed perfect for him, a place where "JoePa" knew best, where he not only won more football games than any other major college coach, but won them the right way. With Paterno, character came first, championships second, academics before athletics. He insisted that on-field success not come at the expense of graduation rates.

    But in the middle of his final season, the legend was shattered. Paterno was engulfed in a child sex abuse scandal when a former trusted assistant, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year span, sometimes in the football building.

    Outrage built quickly after the state's top law enforcement official said the coach hadn't fulfilled a moral obligation to go to authorities when a graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, reported seeing Sandusky with a young boy in the showers of the football complex in 2002.

    McQueary said that he had seen Sandusky attacking the child with his hands around the boy's waist but said he wasn't 100 percent sure it was intercourse. McQueary described Paterno as shocked and saddened and said the coach told him he had "done the right thing" by reporting the encounter.

    Paterno waited a day before alerting school officials and never went to the police.

    "I didn't know which way to go ... and rather than get in there and make a mistake," Paterno told The Washington Post in an interview nine days before his death.

    "You know, (McQueary) didn't want to get specific," Paterno said. "And to be frank with you I don't know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it."

    When the scandal broke in November, Paterno said he would retire following the 2011 season. He also said he was "absolutely devastated" by the abuse case.

    "This is a tragedy," he said. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

    But the university trustees fired Paterno, effective immediately. Graham Spanier, one of the longest-serving university presidents in the nation, also was fired.

    Paterno was notified by phone, not in person, a decision that board vice chairman John Surma regretted, trustees said. Lanny Davis, the attorney retained by trustees as an adviser, said Surma intended to extend his regrets over the phone before Paterno hung up him.

    After weeks of escalating criticism by some former players and alumni about a lack of transparency, trustees last week said they fired Paterno in part because he failed a moral obligation to do more in reporting the 2002 allegation.

    An attorney for Paterno on Thursday called the board's comments self-serving and unsupported by the facts. Paterno fully reported what he knew to the people responsible for campus investigations, lawyer Wick Sollers said.

    "He did what he thought was right with the information he had at the time," Sollers said.

    The lung cancer was found during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness. A few weeks later, Paterno broke his pelvis after a fall but did not need surgery.

    The hospital said Paterno was surrounded by family members, who have requested privacy.

    Paterno had been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation after what his family called minor complications from his cancer treatments. Washington Post writer Sally Jenkins, who conducted the final interview, described Paterno then as frail, speaking mostly in a whisper and wearing a wig. The second half of the two-day interview was done at his bedside.

    On Sunday, two police officers were stationed to block traffic on the street where Paterno's modest ranch home stands next to a local park. The officers said the family had asked there be no public gathering outside the house, still decorated with a Christmas wreath, so Paterno's relatives could grieve privately. And, indeed, the street was quiet on a cold winter day.

    Paterno's sons, Scott and Jay, arrived separately at the house late Sunday morning. Jay Paterno, who was his father's quarterbacks coach, was crying.

    "His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," the family said in a statement. "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

    Paterno built a program based on the credo of "Success with Honor," and he found both. He won 409 games and took the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl games and two national championships. More than 250 of the players he coached went on to the NFL.

    "He will go down as the greatest football coach in the history of the game," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said after his former team, the Florida Gators, beat Penn State 37-24 in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

    The university handed the football team to one of Paterno's assistants, Tom Bradley, who said Paterno "will go down in history as one of the greatest men, who maybe most of you know as a great football coach."

    "As the last 61 years have shown, Joe made an incredible impact," said the statement from the family. "That impact has been felt and appreciated by our family in the form of thousands of letters and well wishes along with countless acts of kindness from people whose lives he touched. It is evident also in the thousands of successful student athletes who have gone on to multiply that impact as they spread out across the country."

    New Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien, hired earlier this month, offered his condolences.

    "There are no words to express my respect for him as a man and as a coach," O'Brien said in a statement. "To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor."

    Paterno believed success was not measured entirely on the field. From his idealistic early days, he had implemented what he called a "grand experiment" ? to graduate more players while maintaining success on the field.

    The team consistently ranked among the best in the Big Ten for graduating players. As of 2011, it had 49 academic All-Americans, the third-highest among schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision. All but two played under Paterno.

    "He teaches us about really just growing up and being a man," former linebacker Paul Posluszny, now with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, once said. "Besides the football, he's preparing us to be good men in life."

    Sandusky, who has maintained his innocence, lauded his former boss in a statement that said: "He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition. Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached."

    Paterno certainly had detractors. One former Penn State professor called his high-minded words on academics a farce, and a former administrator said players often got special treatment. His coaching style often was considered too conservative. Some thought he held on to his job too long, and a move to push him out in 2004 failed.

    But the critics were in the minority, and his program was never cited for major NCAA violations. The child sex abuse scandal, however, did prompt separate inquiries by the U.S. Department of Education and the NCAA into the school's handling.

    Paterno didn't intend to become a coach. He played quarterback and defensive back for Brown University and set a school record with 14 career interceptions, but when he graduated in 1950 he planned to go to law school. He said his father hoped he would someday be president.

    But when Paterno was 23, a former coach at Brown was moving to Penn State to become the head coach and persuaded Paterno to come with him as an assistant.

    "I had no intention to coach when I got out of Brown," Paterno said in 2007 in an interview at Penn State's Beaver Stadium before being inducted into college football's Hall of Fame. "Come to this hick town? From Brooklyn?"

    In 1963, he was offered a job by the late Al Davis ? $18,000, triple his salary at Penn State, plus a car to become general manager and coach of the AFL's Oakland Raiders. He said no. Rip Engle retired as Penn State head coach three years later, and Paterno took over.

    At the time, Penn State was considered "Eastern football" ? inferior ? and Paterno courted newspaper coverage to raise the team's profile. In 1967, PSU began a 30-0-1 streak.

    But Penn State couldn't get to the top of the polls. The Nittany Lions finished second in 1968 and 1969 despite perfect seasons. They were undefeated and untied again in 1973 at 12-0 again but finished fifth. Texas edged them in 1969 after President Richard Nixon, impressed with the Longhorns' bowl performance, declared them No. 1.

    "I'd like to know," Paterno said later, "how could the president know so little about Watergate in 1973, and so much about college football in 1969?"

    A national title finally came in 1982, after a 27-23 win over Georgia at the Sugar Bowl. Another followed in 1986 after the Lions intercepted Vinny Testaverde five times and beat Miami 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl.

    They made several title runs after that, including a 2005 run to the Orange Bowl and an 11-1 season in 2008 that ended in a 37-23 loss to Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

    In his later years, physical ailments wore the old coach down.

    Paterno was run over on the sideline during a game at Wisconsin in November 2006 and underwent knee surgery. He hurt his hip in 2008 demonstrating an onside kick. An intestinal illness and a bad reaction to antibiotics prescribed for dental work slowed him for most of the 2010 season. He began scaling back his speaking engagements that year, ending his summer caravan of speeches to alumni across the state.

    Then a receiver bowled over Paterno at practice in August, sending him to the hospital with shoulder and pelvis injuries and consigning him to coach much of what would be his last season from the press box.

    "The fact that we've won a lot of games is that the good Lord kept me healthy, not because I'm better than anybody else," Paterno said two days before he won his 409th game and passed Eddie Robinson of Grambling State for the most in Division I. "It's because I've been around a lot longer than anybody else."

    Paterno could be conservative on the field, especially in big games, relying on the tried-and-true formula of defense, the running game and field position.

    He and his wife, Sue, raised five children in State College. Anybody could telephone him at his home ? the same one he appeared in front of on the night he was fired ? by looking up "Paterno, Joseph V." in the phone book.

    He walked to home games and was greeted and wished good luck by fans on the street. Former players paraded through his living room for the chance to say hello. But for the most part, he stayed out of the spotlight.

    Paterno did have a knack for jokes. He referred to Twitter, the social media site, as "Twittle-do, Twittle-dee."

    He also could be abrasive and stubborn, and he had his share of run-ins with his bosses or administrators. And as his legend grew, so did the attention to his on-field decisions, and the questions about when he would hang it up.

    Calls for his retirement reached a crescendo in 2004. The next year, Penn State went 11-1 and won the Big Ten. In the Orange Bowl, PSU beat Florida State, coached by Bowden, who was eased out after the 2009 season after 34 years and 389 wins.

    Like many others, he was outlasted by "JoePa."

    Associated Press

    Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2012-01-23-Obit-Joe%20Paterno/id-ef936728c6ff49a0950997755684d0cf

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    Study: Stem cells may aid vision in blind people

    LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Two legally blind women appeared to gain some vision after receiving an experimental treatment using embryonic stem cells, scientists reported Monday.

    While embryonic stem cells were first isolated more than a decade ago, most of the research has been done in lab animals. The new results come from the first tests in humans for a vision problem. Researchers caution the work is still very preliminary.

    "This study provides reason for encouragement, but plans to now get such a treatment would be premature," said stem cell expert Paul Knoepfler of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the research.

    Last summer, each patient was injected in one eye with cells derived from embryonic stem cells at the University of California, Los Angeles. One patient had the "dry" form of age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. The other had a rare disorder known as Stargardt disease that causes serious vision loss. There's no cure for either eye problem.

    After four months, both showed some improvement in reading progressively smaller letters on an eye chart. The Stargardt patient, a graphic artist in Los Angeles, went from seeing no letters at all to being able to read five of the largest letters.

    However, experts said the improvement of the macular degeneration patient might be mostly psychological, because the vision in her untreated eye appeared to get better too.

    Both patients remain legally blind despite their improvements, said experts not connected with the study.

    "One must be very careful not to overinterpret the visual benefit," said Vanderbilt University retina specialist Dr. Paul Sternberg, who is also the president-elect of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    The findings were published online Monday by the journal Lancet. This early test was meant to study whether the stem cell therapy was safe in people and not whether it would improve vision.

    Scientists at UCLA and Advanced Cell Technology, which funded the work, said they were pleased that there have been no signs of rejection or abnormal growth months after the procedure.

    Embryonic stem cells can transform into any cell of the body. Scientists are hoping to harness embryonic stem cells to create a variety of replacement tissues for transplant, but their use has been controversial because human embryos have to be destroyed to harvest the cells.

    The latest news comes two months after Geron Corp. halted its stem cell-based experiment for spinal cord injuries, saying it planned to focus instead on two experimental cancer drugs.

    Meanwhile, ACT is pushing ahead with its blindness study. The company said Monday that surgeons in London injected a patient with Stargardt disease last week.



    Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/journals


    Follow Alicia Chang's coverage at http://www.twitter.com/SciWriAlicia

    Associated Press

    Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/bbd825583c8542898e6fa7d440b9febc/Article_2012-01-23-US-MED-Stem-Cells-Blindness/id-ee1d128bc39c4f67870f8bb28fb46ffd

    derrick mason derrick mason lamichael james lamichael james epstein harrisburg pa chynna phillips

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Web music revenue growth stuck in single figures (AP)

    LONDON ? A report by the global music industry lobbying group says the growth in digital revenues remains stuck in the single figures.

    The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry blames piracy and government sluggishness for the failure of online business to take off.

    While a report out Monday says that digital revenue has risen by 8 percent over the past year one analyst says that isn't nearly enough to make up for the decline in sales elsewhere.

    Independent media analyst Mark Mulligan says that in Britain and the United States "we've already lost half of the music market in the past 10 years."

    IFPI chief Frances Moore acknowledged that digital growth "should be much higher" but said that widespread piracy still posed a challenge to the industry.

    Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/music/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120123/ap_en_mu/eu_digital_music

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    Evi Arrives In Town To Go Toe-to-Toe With Siri

    Screen Shot 2012-01-23 at 17.43.57When Siri arrived on the iPhone 4S I thought to myself, who else could do this? It would need to be a search engine with natural language processing, but also behave in the manner of artificial intelligence and respond to voice recognition. One company that sprung to mind was True Knowledge. I pinged them. Are you working on a Siri type application, I asked? Interesting question, was their response. And then they went quiet. Now they can reveal what they've been building. Evi is a new iPhone (iTunes link) and Android app in Beta (link) which might just give Apple's Siri a run for her money.

    Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/roHnB2ac67U/

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    Monday, January 23, 2012

    PFT: Rex Ryan says he might tone it down

    State College Reacts To News Of Joe Paterno's Grave ConditionGetty Images

    Our brethren at CFT have been covering the Joe Paterno situation thoroughly and appropriately, but we can?t overlook the passing of one of the most significant figures in football history, even though Paterno never played or coached pro football.

    Fewer than five months ago, Paterno reacted to the death of Raiders owner Al Davis by disclosing that Davis had tried to hire Paterno to be the team?s offensive coordinator when Davis was working as the head coach.? (Yes, Davis actually coached the Raiders from 1963 through 1965, giving up the reins at roughly the same time Paterno became head coach at Penn State.)

    ?When Al got the job [in Oakland], he called me to be his offensive coordinator,? Paterno said in October 2011.? ?I told Al, ?You and I would have trouble getting along, because I am smarter than you are.??

    In 1969, the Steelers offered Paterno a job that eventually went to Chuck Noll.? At the time, Paterno was making $20,000 per year; the Steelers offered him $70,000.? And Paterno passed.

    ?It was an awful lot of money, a fantastic offer,? Paterno had said. ?I?d never dreamed of making that much money. Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do.? I had put some things out of whack.? I haven?t done the job I set out to do at Penn State.?

    Paterno did the job, and in hindsight some will say he stayed too long.? But as Brent Musburger told Dan Patrick more than three years ago, Paterno feared that, if he retired, he?d soon die ? like Bear Bryant did less than a month after retiring from the University of Alabama.

    In the end, that?s what happened.? Officially caused by a form of lung cancer that when disclosed was described as not life threatening, Paterno?s life ended fewer than three months after he coached his final game.

    The circumstances surrounding the conclusion of his tenure should never be forgotten, primarily to ensure that the events won?t be repeated at Penn State, or elsewhere.? But few figures from any sport had the kind of impact, success, and longevity that came from the coaching career of Joe Paterno.

    We extend our condolences to his family, friends, assistant coaches, players, and the entire Penn State community.

    Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/21/rex-says-he-may-tone-it-down/related/

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