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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:04 PM   #81
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Such a shame some of the those millenial verbal histories lost for want of a translation
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #82
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Very true, MacDoc. Very true. Paix, mon ami.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 12:10 PM   #83
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Another remarkable human

Quote:
Man with no arms or legs can play football, swim and surf



Nick Vujicic was born with no arms or legs, but has learnt to play football, swim and even surf.

By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:00AM BST 02 Jul 2009

Nick Vujicic: Man with no arms or legs can play football, swim and surf
Mr Vujicic also enjoys the occasional round of golf, having mastered striking the ball using a club nestled under his chin. Photo: BARCROFT

The 26-year old is mainly torso but has a small foot on his left hip which helps him balance and enables him to kick.

Mr Vujicic uses his single foot to type, write with a pen and pick things up between his toes.

He claims that his lack of limbs is something of a benefit in the water because it means he has more flotation and can use his foot as a "propeller".

And during a trip to Hawaii in 2008, he learnt to surf with help from professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who had her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 12.

His ability to pull off 360 degree spins on his board got him on the front cover of Surfer magazine.

Mr Vujicic also enjoys the occasional round of golf, having mastered striking the ball using a club nestled under his chin.

His disability came at birth without any medical explanation – a rare condition called Phocomelia.

However, he has learnt to use his foot and a wheelchair to overcome every hurdle life has thrown at him.

"I call it my chicken drumstick," joked Nick, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, but now lives in Los Angeles, USA.

"I'd be lost without it. When I get in the water I float because 80 per cent of my body is lungs and my drumstick acts as a propeller."

From a young age his parents helped him become independent, teaching him to swim at the age of 18 months and creating gadgets to allow him to write and type.

Mr Vujicic added: "My dad put me in the water at 18 months and gave the courage to learn how to swim.

"I also got really into football and skateboarding. I totally love the English Premier League."

His parents also insisted that he attend a mainstream school in Australia, where he was teased and bullied.

"It was the best decision they could have made for me," Mr Vujicic added, who later achieved a degree in Financial Planning and Real Estate.

"It was very hard but it gave me independence."

Mr Vujicic is now a motivational speaker and has travelled to over 24 countries speaking to groups of up to 110,000 people.

In 1990 he won the Australian Young Citizen of the Year award for his bravery and perseverance.

Describing his surf tuition with Miss Hamilton, he said: "She was amazing. I was terrified at first, but once I got up there it felt absolutely fantastic and I caught some waves pretty well."

"I have a very low centre of gravity so I've got pretty good balance."
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 12:21 PM   #84
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 12:53 PM   #85
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You may have missed this story a few pages back

Feel Good story du jour

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ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #86
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Quote:
July 3, 2009

DIY on the Moon: how Buzz saved the launch back to Earth



An extract from Buzz Aldrin’s book, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon

“With Neil trying to sleep leaning back on the ascent engine cover, I curled up on the bottom of the LM, where I noticed some of the moon dust on the floor. It had a gritty, charcoal-like texture to it, and a pungent metallic smell, something like gunpowder or the smell in the air after a firecracker has gone off. Neil described it as having a ‘wet ashes’ smell.

In my fatigue, I was still thinking about the dust when I noticed something lying on the floor that really did not belong there. I looked closer, and my heart jolted a bit. There in the dust on the floor on the right side of the cabin, lay a circuit breaker switch that had broken off. I wondered what circuit breaker that was, so I looked up at the numerous rows of breakers on the instrument panel without any guard protectors, and gulped hard. The broken switch had snapped off from the engine-arm circuit breaker, the one vital breaker needed to send electrical power to the ascent engine that would lift Neil and me off the moon. During our powered descent, this same engine-arm circuit breaker had been in the closed position, pushed in to engage the descent engine for our landing, and once we touched down we pulled it back out, in the open position, to disengage the circuitry and disarm the engine. Somehow, one of us must have bumped it accidentally with our cumbersome backpacks as we moved around in the cramped space preparing to get out of the LM, or as we came back in. Regardless of how the circuit breaker switch had broken off, the circuit breaker had to be pushed back in again for the ascent engine to ignite to get us back home We reported it to Mission Control and then tried to sleep and forget about it — as if that were possible. But we knew Mission Control would help figure out a solution, and if we could not get that circuit breaker pushed in the next morning when we were ready to lift off, we would have to do something else. For now, they wanted us to leave the circuit breaker out. So, while Neil and I tried to rest, the guys in Houston debated how we could work around that circuit, in case it had to be left open.

When we received our wake-up call from Houston, the question of how to handle the broken circuit breaker had still not been solved. After examining it more closely, I thought that if I could find something in the LM to push into the circuit, it might hold. But since it was electrical, I decided not to put my finger in, or use anything that had metal on the end. I had a felt-tipped pen in the shoulder pocket of my suit that might do the job. After moving the countdown procedure up by a couple of hours in case it didn’t work, I inserted the pen into the small opening where the circuit breaker switch should have been, and pushed it in; sure enough, the circuit breaker held. We were going to get off the moon, after all. To this day I still have the broken circuit breaker switch and the felt-tipped pen I used to ignite our engines.

Astronaut Ron Evans had taken over as Capcom at Mission Control the morning we were preparing to lift off. Ron instructed us to make sure the rendezvous radar was turned off at the beginning of our ascent. I wasn’t too happy about that, as I preferred having it on, just in case, but at the time I hadn’t learned that it was the rendezvous radar that had overloaded our computers during our landing on the moon. I acquiesced to Mission Control and turned the radar off. We performed an intricate series of star-sightings through our telescope, ascertaining our position vis-à-vis several different stars including Rigel, Navi, and Capella, to align our guidance platform prior to liftoff. By averaging our readings, we would know what kind of orbit we needed to rendezvous with Mike again.
How US was nearly pipped to first moon rock samples

The liftoff from the moon was intrinsically a tense time . The ascent stage simply had to work. The engines had to fire, propelling us upward, leaving the descent stage of the LM still sitting on the moon. We had no margin for error, no second chances, no rescue plans if the liftoff failed. There would be no way for Mike up in Columbia to retrieve us. We had no provision for another team to race from Earth to pick us up if the Eagle did not soar. Nor did we have food, water, or oxygen for more than a few hours.

As we completed all the liftoff procedures, Ron Evans gave me one last bit of instruction. “Roger, Eagle. Our guidance recommendation is PGNS [preliminary guidance navigation system], and you’re cleared for takeoff.”

Knowing the pressure everyone felt, I spontaneously injected a touch of humor into the situation. Maintaining a steady, serious tone to my voice, I responded, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.” Unfamiliar with my sardonic sense of humor, Evans paused for a few seconds as he processed my remark, and then simply replied, “Roger.”

The computer continued to count down the seconds to liftoff. Standing side by side again, Neil and I looked at each other, took one more furtive glance at that impaired circuit breaker, threw the switches, and held our breath. The LM engine fired, belching a plume of flame and blasting lunar dust as we rose off the surface. The liftoff went smoothly. I wanted to cast a last look back at the surface, but our attentions were focused on navigating the spacecraft. The ascent of the Eagle was strikingly swift compared with the liftoff of the huge Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral. For the Eagle’s liftoff, we had no atmosphere resisting us, and only one-sixth gravity to overcome, so even though we had worked on this aspect of the flight in simulators, the Eagle’s speed in whisking us into space was almost surprising. Nothing we had ever practiced in simulators could compare with our swift swoop upward. Within seconds we were streaking high above the moon’s surface.”
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #87
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Quote:
Eco-farmer blossoms as urban planter
RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR


Sarah Nixon in a private backyard garden she tends in Parkdale.

Jul 14, 2009 04:30 AM
Be the first to comment on this article...
Catherine Porter
ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

Sarah Nixon surveys her crop. She's weeded, watered, fertilized with organic kelp. But the blooms she needs are slow to arrive, given the cool summer.

"I have two weddings coming up. I have to just figure that out. That's one of those things. It's farming," says Nixon, clipping the stem of a delicate purple cerinthe for a "romantic-sophisticated" bride coming to survey her bridal bouquet.

Nixon's farm isn't out near Milton or Orillia. It's on Indian Rd. and Marion St. – just a few blocks from Roncesvalles in the city's west end. She grows flowers in back and front yards around Parkdale and then sells them for weddings, office receptions and, perhaps this season, to one Ossington Ave. florist.
continues

TheStar.com | sciencetech | Eco-farmer blossoms as urban planter

$50k a year off a 1/2 acre......not bad income either
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #88
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Quote:
Jennifer MacMillan

Toddler takes a river ride on his toy truck

B.C. boy doing fine after floating more than 10 kilometres downstream

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Last updated on Tuesday, Jul. 14, 2009 12:03AM EDT

Ever since he learned how to walk, three-year-old Demetrius Jones's family has had to keep a close eye on the toddler when there are cars nearby. The boy's fixation with anything on four wheels earned him the nickname “Tire Man” among relatives, after his habit of carefully inspecting rims and tread. And his curiosity occasionally gets the adventurous roamer into trouble.

“If a car's unlocked, it's fair game to him,” says his grandmother, Anita Neudorf.

And on Sunday morning, Demetrius's fondness for cars got him into some very deep trouble. The boy wandered off from his parents' campsite near Taylor, B.C., with his prized toy, a motorized truck. While no one was looking, Demetrius angled his truck down a steep boat launch into the Peace River and suddenly found himself caught in the swift current, clinging to the toy as he was swept 12 kilometres downstream.

Incredibly, when rescuers caught up to Demetrius two hours later he was unscathed – cold, but still gripping his floating truck.


Demetrius Jones river journey map

Don Loewen was on the boat that spotted the boy in the water, about 25 metres from shore. The four-wheeler had been flipped by the current, but the toddler had managed to climb on top of the upturned toy.

“He was kneeling on it on all fours, holding on to the steering axle. He was as still as he could be,” said Mr. Loewen, who dived in and swam over to the boy.

Mr. Loewen and the other men in the boat quickly stripped off their own shirts to warm him up, but Demetrius – wearing just a T-shirt, a diaper and sneakers – wasn't concerned about the cold.

“ He won't even remember all that in a few years, but everybody else will.”

“The first thing he said when they were wrapping him up was ‘Where's the car at?'” said Mr. Loewen, a 54-year-old contractor from Rose Prairie who happened to be staying at the same campground that weekend.

The men dutifully dragged the truck onto the boat and brought it back to shore where Demetrius's panicked family were waiting. The RCMP officers who had been called in to co-ordinate the search took him to hospital, where he was treated for mild hypothermia and released a few hours later.

Demetrius's grandmother said his parents, who also have a four-month-old boy, are too shaken up to talk about what happened. Ms. Neudorf said that when Demetrius's parents asked him how he ended up in the water, he said just three words: “truck, boat, river.”

“We think he meant his truck was his boat and he floated down the river,” explained Ms. Neudorf.

Demetrius returned to the campground on Sunday, where a family party to mark the boy's upcoming birthday turned into a celebration to thank the dozens of other campers who had helped find him.

“He won't even remember all that in a few years, but everybody else will,” Mr. Loewen said. “There's logjams and everything down that river.

Toddler takes a river ride on his toy truck - The Globe and Mail
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #89
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Loved this story - it's a very good read



Amber Ale: Brewing Beer from 45-Million-Year-Old Yeast

Amber Ale: Brewing Beer from 45-Million-Year-Old Yeast
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Old Aug 27th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #90
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Quote:
Kidnappee surfaces after 18 years

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was snatched near her home in 1991, when she was 11, walked into police station recently



Sacramento, Calif. — The Associated Press
Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 02:37PM EDT

Sheriff's officials said Thursday they believe a woman who walked into a police station had been kidnapped as an 11-year-old in 1991 outside her South Lake Tahoe home.

The woman came into a San Francisco Bay area police station and said she was Jaycee Lee Dugard, a blond, pony-tailed girl when she was abducted as she headed to a school bus stop 18 years ago, said sheriff's Lt. Les Lovell of the El Dorado Sheriff's Department.

“We're 99 per cent sure it's her,” Lovell said. He said DNA tests were being conducted. It was not immediately clear when she had surfaced at the station.

Lt. Lovell said Concord police did an investigation after the woman surfaced, and he received a call Wednesday from investigators who had tentatively identified her as Ms. Dugard.

Her family has been contacted and they are in the process of arranging a meeting, said Lovell, who was a detective assigned to help investigate the kidnapping in 1991. “We are very confident at this point in time that it is her.”

Two people were in custody, but Lowell did not elaborate.

Ms. Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, said the news was like winning the lottery.

“To have this happen where we get her back alive, and where she remembers things from the past, and to have people in custody is a triple win,” he told The Sacramento Bee.

Witnesses reported that a vehicle with two people drove up to Ms. Dugard and abducted her while her stepfather was watching on June 10, 1991, the Sheriff's Department said in a news release Thursday.

In media reports at the time, the girl's stepfather said he heard Jaycee scream then jumped on a bicycle and frantically pedalled after the car in a failed effort to follow it up a hill. He then turned around and screamed at neighbours to call 911.

The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's America's Most Wanted , which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.

Mr. Probyn said his wife, Terry, had spoken with Ms. Dugard by phone on Wednesday. He said the mother and their 19-year-old daughter were flying from their Southern California home to meet with Ms. Dugard in Northern California.

Investigators first visited with his wife about three weeks ago, he said.

Mr. Probyn said he endured years of suspicion from FBI agents who believed he may have been involved in the abduction. He eventually lost hope that he would ever see his stepdaughter alive.

“Then you pray that you get her body back so there is an ending,” Mr. Probyn said.

Ms. Lovell said investigators have been working the case consistently since she was abducted and new leads had surfaced over time.

“You bet it's a surprise. This is not the normal resolution to a kidnapping,” he said.
Kidnappee surfaces after 18 years - The Globe and Mail
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