Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Yemen rebels, government issue contradictory claims of battlefield success" by Haley Sweetland Edwards and Borzou Daragahi

Photo and article: Courtesy the Los Angeles Times

"Reporting from Beirut and Sana, Yemen - Yemeni rebels and government-controlled media issued contradictory claims of success in combat Wednesday, amid a 5-week-old army offensive that has roiled this Arabian peninsula nation.

The fighting in the northwestern province of Saada and elsewhere has created a growing humanitarian problem mostly beyond the reach of aid agencies, with about 35,000 people driven from their homes in the last month, according to the United Nations. That adds to the estimated 100,000 people who have been displaced in the combat zone in an on-and-off war that began in 2004."

"Entering Gaza: The Hard Way in from Egypt" by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Article and Photograph: Courtesy TIME

"Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock is chaos at Rafah Crossing, the Egyptian-controlled entrance to the Gaza Strip. Black-clad Egyptian security forces stand by their trucks, ready if things get out of hand. Aid convoys line up in front of the main gate. Hundreds of Palestinians have already massed before the first checkpoint, yelling at border security in their effort to push through. Off to one side, a group of travelers tries to revive a sick woman who has lost consciousness. Egyptian security look on. Tempers are mounting. This is Day One of a rare three-day border opening."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"The Answer to China's Future Energy Demands May Be Blowing in the Wind" by Sarah Wang

Photo and article courtesy Scientific American

"After just four years of rapid development, China has the world's fourth largest wind power capacity: more than 12 gigawatts. However, the power of the breeze has become available so fast that the nation is struggling to make use of it.

For instance, the Jiuquan wind power basein Gansu Province—better known as "Three Gorges on Land"—is expected to supply 10 gigawatts of electricity when it reaches peak capacity in 2020. The wind farm, under construction in the Gansu Corridor—a narrow natural passage cutting through the Gobi Desert, Qilian Mountains and the Alashan Plateau—is just one of seven such giant complexes approved by the Chinese government."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Could Auto Battery Advances Lead to Better Robots?" by Paul Voosen

Article courtesy Greenwire and The New York Times:

"Every robot has its limit.

For the famous Roomba vacuum, it's two to three hours. For the several thousand robots deployed in Iraq, about the same. For the warehouse robots sorting our sneaker orders, eight hours. And the Energizer Bunny? Forget about it -- a few minutes, tops.

Perhaps more than any other factor, the life span of batteries has limited the infiltration of robotics into daily life. As computer processing and sensors have become cheaper and more powerful by the year, batteries, woefully inefficient and slow to recharge, have slogged behind, leaving engineers to dream of a day when they'll have the juice to give life to their boldest creations."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"U.S. Airlines Fly into International Carbon Cap" by Paul Voosen

Photo and article courtesy of Scientific American:

"The first U.S. industry to face a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions is not, as may be expected, the coal-burning power utilities. It's not the oil refineries, churning through crude. It's not the automakers, manufacturing again.
It's the airline industry.

Sometime this month, the European Union will release a list of airlines it will regulate under its existing cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide. Beginning in 2012, all international flights landing in the region must abide by the regulations. And several airlines on that list will have a decidedly New World feel: Delta, United and American."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Review: "Quick Change" by Abigail Deutsch

Excerpt & photograph courtesy: N1BR

"In a 1998 essay recently reprinted in his book Close Calls with Nonsense, critic Stephen Burt christened the "Elliptical school" of poetry, which encompasses writers prone to "hinting, punning, or swerving away from a never-quite-unfolded backstory," who "believe provisionally in identities (in one—or in at least one—‘I' per poem)," but who, amid their "fast-forward and cut-up," "suspect the I's they invoke." He grants only an elliptical mention to April Bernard, noting that he wishes he had room to quote her first volume, Blackbird Bye-Bye (1989). That book embraces a rhetoric of zig-zags, shifting swiftly from one image or sentiment to the next, featuring speakers and selves who flicker in and out of poems, intimate yet unidentifiable."


Sunday, September 6, 2009

"DDT use provokes political battle in Uganda" by Alison Hawkes

Photo and article excerpt courtesy PRI's The World:

"The pesticide DDT, long banned in the United States, has made something of a comeback in Africa. DDT can be an effective weapon against malaria. The U.S. government, and the World Health Organization are encouraging African countries to use the insecticide, and say it is safe when handled properly. But in the East African nation of Uganda, DDT has provoked a fierce political battle. And the experience has taught a hard lesson: effective malaria control involves more than just fighting mosquitos. Reporter Alison Hawkes traveled to northern Uganda."

Download the documentary and read the remainder of the article HERE.

"As Mubarak Visits U.S., Strikes Cripple Egypt" by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER/AL-MAHALLA AL-KUBRA

Photograph and Article courtesy TIME Magazine:

"Saad al-Husseini may be a member of a banned political organization, but he's feeling the wind at his back. At the entrance to al-Mahalla al-Kubra, one of Egypt's largest industrial towns, the tall, bearded "independent" Member of Parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood — whose members are regularly arrested and tortured by the state — hops into a car, buoyed by signs of local dissent. "There are two strikes in Mahalla today," he says, cheerfully. "We will show you."

Read the remainder of the article, and watch a related video HERE

"Military Drones & the Ethics of Warfare" by Laura Colarusso

Courtesy HuffingtonPost: "On Aug. 27, at least six people died in a U.S. drone attack in the South Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan. According to the Associated Press, two missiles were fired at a militant hideout. Nine others were reportedly injured.

The unmanned missile strike, the fourth reported by the media last month, is the latest in a long line of attacks from remotely piloted aircraft. More than eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the military and CIA are increasingly relying on drones and robotic ground vehicles to fight an elusive and dangerous enemy on rough terrain. These weapons have an advantage over manned platforms because they can fearlessly fly through heavy anti-aircraft fire, defuse roadside bombs or be the first to go through the door of a building where insurgents might be hiding. And if they happen to meet an untimely demise, the commanders who sent them into battle don't have to write condolence letters to bereaved family members back home...."

Find the remainder of the story from Huffington Post HERE.