NASA: Discovery appears safe to return to Earth

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NASA: Discovery appears safe to return to Earth

Thursday, July 28, 2005

NASA has said that preliminary investigations show that Discovery is safe to fly home.

Final findings will not be available for several days as a team of 200 experts study all video and stills footage taken of the shuttle during launch, and on approach to the International Space Station (ISS), with which Discovery docked earlier today.

Images from new cameras have revealed that a section of foam weighing some 250 g fell away from the external fuel tank during launch, but did not strike the Orbiter. However, NASA has announced the grounding of all further planned Shuttle launches until they have a firm understanding of why the foam comes away, and what to do about it.

A piece of foam striking the Columbia‘s wing during take-off in January 2003 was responsible for the loss of the craft as it made its reentry to Earth’s atmosphere.

As part of the check for damage the crew of Discovery used a laser-scanner on the robotic arm to inspect the craft’s wing leading-edges and nosecone. The belly of the Orbiter will be checked later this week.

In a first, the Shuttle also performed a slow back-flip in some 180 m from the ISS enabling the two-man crew of the space station to take high-resolution images of the underside of the Orbiter.

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Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

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Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

Monday, May 21, 2007

Do you have a hard time finding a parking space? Take the bus or tram if you go to the city. That’s the message Belgian bus company De Lijn (The Line) is sending to promote public transport as a solution for car parking problems. As a part of their media campaign, they have jokingly suggested that people use the top of the busses as parking space.

Another idea they are using in their media campaign: maybe you could park your car on the bottom of a canal? The bus company is using an invented diving company called Cardive, which has divers that offer to dump your car in the canal. The divers walk around in cities and hand out free bus tickets and maps of the bus network.

To reach car drivers who are not using public transport, the media campaign has several radio commercials that present other solutions to the car parking problem. You could use “asphalt-spray” to camouflage your car, making it invisible for policemen (although you then need to remember where you’ve parked). Or you could use the “flat tire kit”, which comes with a fake flat tire and an inflatable dummy, so it looks like you’re replacing your flat tire. The final idea the bus company has is to use a View-Master to fool parking guards into believing that your car has been stationed correctly.

A survey among 4000 customers of De Lijn shows that two out of three car owners who use public transport, do so to avoid parking space troubles, and in cities this percentage rises to 90%. The survey further shows that 39% use the bus to go shopping.

During the month of May, the auto-bus and the divers tour several cities in Flanders (Leuven, Hasselt, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp).

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Havianas Great Comfort For Both Men And Women

By Jenna Elliott

Individuals that are not too into their footwear will quite often go out and buy your normal bargain-basement type flip-flop. Once individuals such as this are introduced to the Havianas, their concept of this type sandal completely changes. They find that there is just no comparison between the cheaper models and this exquisite footwear.

One of the reasons for this is that the Havianas are made with secret formulated rubber. This allows for durability as well as comfort. Quite often with the cheaper make of flip-flops, individuals find that they just are not able to walk a great distance with them. This is the opposite with this footwear as people can walk miles and their feet are still comfortable.

The other nice point about this footwear is the various styles and colors that they come in and yet still conform to the flip-flop style. Havianas are available for both men and women. Getting the right size is important and this varies somewhat according to the style that particular person is buying.

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There are several Havianas to choose from. There is the Havianas Slim and then there’s the Havianas Slim Indian elephant which is a whimsical type of Havianas and quite enjoyable to wear.

Another style that quite well received is the Havianas top and one of the reasons that these are well received is because they have a foot that that is more cushioned which gives even extra protection. It has a 38-inch heel and weighs a little bit more than the others coming in at 6 ounces do. The upper part of this particular model is made from the superior rubber that is found in the Havianas.

When one is not sure just what particular type of Havianas to buy ideally if can get the chance to try on two or three different models to find one which conforms to your foot the best that makes you feel the most comfortable is the best way.

Everyone has a different type of foot and a different instep and some find some models more comfortable than others do. Although it does not matter when it comes right down to it any of the models of the Havianas, you are going to find our comfortable.

When it comes to color there is going to be no shortage. Many of them are in the earth tones because this is the preference up people wanting to them to wear them with colorful summer clothing so they do not want other colors to clash. On the other hand, some individuals want to match the color into the outfit they are wearing when it comes to the pink tones there are some great pinks in this shoe line. Not only that you can find some that are whimsical and a little more bright and innovative. Again, the choice will be yours.

It will not matter which type of Havianas you choose you will not be disappointed. You may find them a bit pricey but in the end because of the durability and the length of time that you are going to have them you will find that they are well worth the money.

About the Author:

Havianas

is just no comparison between the cheaper models and this exquisite footwear available at http://www.shopwishlist.com

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Thomson Corporation and Reuters agree to merge

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Thomson Corporation and Reuters agree to merge

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Thomson Corporation and Reuters Group PLC announced Tuesday that they have agreed to combine the two companies. The boards of both Thomson and Reuters will recommend the merger to their shareholders.

The Canadian Thomson-family holding company Woodbridge, which controls 70% of Thomson, has agreed to vote in favour of the deal and the Reuters Founders Share Company, which controls a special share in Reuters, will also support the merger.

Based on the TSX CA$46.36 closing share price of Thomson on May 14, 2007, each Reuters share would be valued at 691 pence and, therefore, the full capital of Reuters valued at approximately £8.7 billion. Cash requirements for the deal are to be provided by Thomson. Woodbridge will own approximately 53 percent of the combined company, other Thomson shareholders 23 percent and Reuters shareholders about 24 percent.

The merger arrangement will leave two separate companies that will be operated as a single entity. The boards of the two companies will be identical as will the senior executive management team. Thomson will be renamed to Thomson-Reuters Corporation, and will be listed on both the TSX and the NYSE. Thomson-Reuters PLC will list on the London Stock Exchange and the NYSE.

Reuters current CEO, Tom Glocer, will become CEO of the combined company while Thomson President and CEO Richard J. Harrington will retire at the completion of the merger.

Thomson has currently 32,000 employees worldwide, with operations in 37 countries and revenues of US$6.6 billion in 2006. Thomson’s major business operations centre around financial information and legal services, with smaller ventures in tax accounting, health care, and the scientific field. Thomson is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, in the United States.

Reuters is one of the world’s largest news agencies, with a total of 16,800 staff in all divisions, but derives more than 90 percent of its revenue from its financial service business. It is the merger of Thomson and Reuter’s financial services divisions that may have been the genesis of the talks. It has been suggested that both companies wanted a better economy of scale to compete with Bloomberg, the American financial services giant.

“We are enormously proud of the evolution of The Thomson Corporation and the value it has created for all our shareholders,” said David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson. “We recognize the rich history of Reuters and are committed to uphold the Reuters Trust Principles.”

The chairman of Reuters, Niall FitzGerald, expressed his satisfaction with the merger. “The shared expertise and complementary strengths of these two companies makes for a strategically compelling and financially attractive combination,” said FitzGerald in a joint press release. “I am especially proud that Reuters journalism will continue to be governed by the powerful Reuter Trust Principles of independence, integrity and freedom from bias.”

The new company is projecting efficiencies of greater than US$500 million per year, by the end of the third year after closing the deal.

Criticisms were raised by Reuters journalists, who voiced concerns in an open letter to the Reuters Founders Share Company. They worried whether or not “a reconstituted Reuters would maintain the high standards of journalism and the integrity, independence and freedom from bias that have shaped the company’s 156-year-old reputation.”

It is expected that the merger will draw the attention of regulators due to the size and nature of the transaction. “Antitrust authorities in Europe and the U.S. are almost certain to apply a more detailed and lengthy review of the acquisition than is typical, because of the limited number of companies that supply prices, data, news and financial tools,” said Simon Baker, analyst, Credit Suisse in London.

Posted: December 16th, 2018 by MbEe89

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News briefs:July 29, 2010

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News briefs:July 29, 2010
Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
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Recorded By
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Written By
Turtlestack
Listen To This Brief

Problems? See our media guide.

[edit]

Posted: December 16th, 2018 by MbEe89

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Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

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Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005File:Turing1.jpg

More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.File:ALICE Birthday Cake.jpg

Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots.Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

Posted: December 15th, 2018 by MbEe89

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Hair Salons In Louisville Ky And Spa Packages

byAlma Abell

Modern hair salons no longer cater only to hair and nails. Some salons are full-service and provide spa services including facials, massage therapy, makeovers, hair removal (waxing), and packages for a day of beauty or a special occasion. The following will describe the spa package treatments you can expect from full-service Hair Salons in Louisville, KY.

Spa Day Package

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A basic spa day will begin with a relaxing body massage in a comfortable, tranquil environment. Once you are relaxed, you will enjoy a facial to get rid of impurities in your skin. The next treatment is a manicure so your fingernails will look well-groomed and healthy. You cannot neglect your toes and feet, so your manicure will be followed by a spa pedicure. Finally, you get to end your experience with the professional application of makeup.

Beauty Package

Just like the basic spa day, you start your day with a relaxing massage and facial. After these treatments, you get a break to enjoy a gourmet lunch with your choice of tea or coffee. Next, you will have a manicure with hot oil treatment followed by a spa pedicure. An additional treatment with this package that is not included with the basic spa day is a shampoo and hair-styling service before you end your day with professional makeup services.

Ultimate Package

Just like all the spa packages you start your ultimate day spa package with a body massage. After your massage you will enjoy a skin glow body buff. Once you are relaxed and buffed, you will take a break for your gourmet lunch with champagne. Following your lunch break, you will have your facial, manicure with hot oil and paraffin wax treatments and spa pedicure. Your ultimate spa package experience ends with a shampoo, hair-styling service, and professional makeup application.

These are a few of the spa packages you can expect from quality Hair Salons in Louisville, KY. You can also choose from the many spa services provided by The Chopping Block Day Spa & Salon for a custom package suited to your needs. You can mix and match facials and skin care treatments, hair treatments, massage therapy styles, manicure and pedicure treatments, hair removal, and cellulite treatments for your custom spa day.

Posted: December 15th, 2018 by MbEe89

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Two Iraqi women, one pregnant, killed by US soldiers

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Two Iraqi women, one pregnant, killed by US soldiers

Friday, June 2, 2006

Two women, one of them about to give birth, were shot dead by US forces as they rode in a car headed toward a maternity hospital in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, according to witnesses and Iraqi police Capt. Laith Mohammed.

Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the gunfire, according to the Associated Press. Jassim, a mother of two, was pregnant with her third child; doctors at a nearby hospital tried unsuccessfully to save the baby.

Khalid Nisaif Jassim told reporters that he was rushing his sister to the hospital for childbirth. “I was driving my car at full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans. It was not until they shot the two bullets that killed my sister and cousin that I stopped.

“God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here,” he added. “They have no regard for our lives.”

A US military statement released Friday disputed the account. “A local national sedan entered a clearly marked prohibited area near coalition troops at an observation post,” the statement read. “As the vehicle neared the troop location and failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory signals, disabling shots were fired into the vehicle. The vehicle stopped, changed direction, and quickly departed the area.”

The e-mailed statement to the Associated Press also expressed regret for the loss of life, noting that “coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them.”

The Washington Post reported that the women’s bodies were “wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital before being taken to the morgue, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat”.

The US military has increased the number of investigations into charges of misconduct against US troops, most notably following the alleged mass murder of as many as 24 civilians in the town of Haditha, west of Baghdad. Initially, 15 civilians and eight insurgents were reported dead in gunfire following a roadside bombing that killed a US Marine. Military spokesman Major-General William Caldwell said, “there are three or four (investigations) at least at this time” and that they are in “the first stages.”

Posted: December 15th, 2018 by MbEe89

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Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

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Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A conservative Democratic United States senator has agreed to supply the key 60th vote needed for passage of a sweeping health care reform package. Senate Democrats have reached a breakthrough in their struggle to pass sweeping heath care reform legislation, lining up the 60 votes needed to overcome fierce Republican opposition. Senators met Saturday in Washington, D.C. during a driving snowstorm in a frenzied effort to move forward on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The spotlight was on moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had been the last holdout as Senate Democrats raced against the clock and against determined Republican opposition to pass their health care bill by their self-imposed deadline of December 25th, Christmas.

Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform.

Nelson said he is now ready to vote for cloture, which would advance the bill. “Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform,” he said.

Nelson said he decided to support the bill after winning new concessions from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to limit the availability of abortions in insurance sold under the new legislation along with millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for Nebraska.

The legislation would extend health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans and impose new regulations on the health insurance industry.

Senator Reid of Nevada has been working for months to win over one holdout Democratic senator after another, repeatedly altering the bill to satisfy different demands. Reid says reform is essential. “The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose,” he said.

The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose.

Nelson’s support should pave the way for Senate Democrats to win the first of a series of crucial procedural votes scheduled to begin at one o’clock in the morning on Monday and set to conclude — if everything goes smoothly for them — with final passage on Christmas Eve.

Republicans have been using a number of parliamentary procedures to delay action on the bill, including forcing a reading on the Senate floor Saturday of Reid’s 338-pages of last minute amendments. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky responded to the apparent Democratic breakthrough. “And Democrats are forcing a vote on it, as I indicated, over the weekend, counting on the fact that the American people are preoccupied with Christmas and not paying much attention to what they are doing,” he said.

The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people.

Republicans are unified in their opposition, saying the bill is too expensive and will not solve the problems with the current health care system. Senator McConnell dismissed claims by Democrats that the bill is historic. “The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people,” he said.

Senator John McCain of Arizona echoed those comments in the weekly Republican radio address saying, “Regrettably, there’s nothing in this legislation that effectively addresses the problem of health care hyperinflation. In fact, experts tell us the Democrat legislation makes matters worse.”

Democrats say they have been trying to reform the nation’s health care system for close to 70 years, ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut was emotional as victory seemed within reach. “All we are trying to do is to guarantee that if you are a fellow citizen of ours, and you are struck with illness or a loved one is, that you will never again have that fear, that you will end up losing your home, your job, your retirement and your life savings because you have been afflicted with an illness through no fault of your own.”

If the Senate is able to pass a bill next week, it would be viewed as a major victory for President Obama. But the bill would still need to be reconciled with a health-care reform bill passed last month by the House of Representatives before the president could sign it into law next year.

Posted: December 14th, 2018 by MbEe89

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Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

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Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a program of the United Nations and a global authority on human health. In an interview with Wikinews, the WHO tells about the current H1N1 pandemic.

The organization’s 93rd update as of March 26, 2010 states 213 countries, territories, and other communities have laboratory-confirmed cases and there have been at least 16,931 confirmed deaths, including 4,653 deaths in Europe and 7,673 in the Americas.

Wikinews reporter Mike Morales talks with Karen Mah, a media relations representative for the WHO, and asks her several questions.

Posted: December 14th, 2018 by MbEe89

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