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Rocketeers find possible impact crater in Nevada

April 26th, 2019

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Imagine coming back from a camping trip in the desert. Then a few months later you notice in your photos from the trip that you camped inside a giant impact crater so big that no one documented it before. Could it happen?

During several trips to the Black Rock Desert, mostly while supporting the Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team for suborbital space rocket launch efforts, Ian Kluft KO6YQ noticed some oddities in rock formations. He had a little experience with volcanoes, and some rocks in the area looked unusual. There seemed to be some lava here and there – but where was the volcano? He observed that even a large caldera should have mostly volcanic rocks. He then noticed some curved geographic structures in satellite imagery which made him curious if it might be an impact crater.

A TV documentary about meteor impacts mentioned some characteristics of impact craters. He went to the Internet to learn more. He noticed some of his own pictures of the area had cone shaped structures which might be “shatter cones” due to an impact shock wave that passed through the rocks. Discussion with others produced suggestions and volunteers who joined the effort. More circular features in satellite photographs were found. Igneous dikes through white layers of rock had been described and were visible in many photos.

The possible impact crater is 30 miles (48 km) wide east-to-west and 40 miles (64 km) north-to-south centered around 40.984045 N, 118.916016 W. That is in northwestern Nevada halfway between Reno and the Oregon border. The apparent ancient geological structure is so old that much of it is eroded away. The forces that eroded the Black Rock Desert itself, whether glacier or stream, have apparently cut through the crater rims and floor to do it.

Following an expedition to the area in late January, more possible shatter cones were observed in one of the rock samples collected. These are only formed by the shock wave of an impact event or nuclear explosion. The nearest nuclear test was underground at Sand Springs Range in central Nevada. Atmospheric tests at the Nevada Test Site were at the southern, and opposite, end of the state. So that points toward an impact if confirmed. But professional geologists will want to have the final word on confirming them.

In addition to shatter cones, rock samples were thought to contain shocked quartz because the criss-cross fractures looked like examples in online documents. But this group of volunteers doesn’t have equipment for proper photography of shocked quartz. If found, that would be another way to prove the impact origin of the rocks.

Columnar jointed columns hundreds of feet tall appear on some bluffs in locations that appeared consistent with part of a slowly cooling crater floor. But that alone only helps as part of a bigger picture, because volcanoes can have lava cool in columnar joints as well.

They also found local geological studies which described oddities which could be explained by an impact event. Layers of rocks in the mining district called Sulphur left geologists with a mystery about the cause of chemical alterations since 1980. The group compared it with information in online geological texts like “Traces of Catastrophe” by Dr Bevan M French of the Smithsonian Institution. Layers of impact ejecta seemed to explain the rock layers better than the previous theory about acid uniformly cooking the rocks across the region, and only in one layer of rocks. A separate 1980 study 40 miles away identified an immense air-fall tuff layer in the Soldier Meadows area as having been deposited in a single unit, yet couldn’t locate the volcano which produced this enormous volume. Fault diagrams published online by a mining operation at Sulphur on the edge of the circular structure from the satellite photo also look like curved terraced faults in the wall of a crater.

The mining geologists who wrote papers from 1980 to 2002 had not mentioned the possibility of a crater. But they were each gathering single puzzling pieces of information. A larger image seemed to be forming when putting the pieces together. The group hopes the information will be helpful to geologists who do further work in the region.

The theory hasn’t been put to any test by professionals yet. Some responses point out that the elliptical region reported as the possible impact crater could also be the volcanic caldera that the 1980 study was looking for. If so, such a large volcanic caldera would still be a significant discovery for the region.

This will remain officially a mystery for a while until the professional geologists get to study it. There is a lot of information available online for those who are interested.

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Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam

April 26th, 2019

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

New York –”Buy cheap Viagra through us – no prescription required!” Anyone with an active email account will recognize lines like this one. According to some reports, unsolicited advertisements (spam) for Viagra and similar drugs account for one in four spam messages.

BACKGROUND

Spamming remains one of the biggest problems facing email users today. While users and systems administrators have improved their defenses against unsolicited email, many spammers now insert random words or characters into their letters in order to bypass filters. The Wikipedia article Stopping email abuse provides an overview of the various strategies employed by companies, Internet users and systems administrators to deal with the issue.

Ever since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer promised to cure erectile dysfunction once and for all with its blue pills containing the drug sildenafil citrate, spammers have tried to tap into male anxiety by offering prescription-free sales of unapproved “generic” Viagra and clones such as Cialis soft tabs. Legislation like the U.S. CAN-SPAM act has done little to stem the tide of email advertising the products.

Now Pfizer has entered a pledge with Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, to address the problem. The joint effort will focus on lawsuits against spammers as well as the companies they advertise. “Pfizer is joining with Microsoft on these actions as part of our shared pledge to reduce the sale of these products and to fight the senders of unsolicited e-mail that overwhelms people’s inboxes,” said Jeff Kindler, executive vice president at Pfizer.

Microsoft has filed civil actions against spammers advertising the websites CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct. Pfizer has filed lawsuits against the two companies, and has taken actions against websites which use the word “Viagra” in their domain names. Sales of controlled drugs from Canadian pharmacies to the United States are illegal, but most drugs sold in Canada have nevertheless undergone testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is not the case for many of the Viagra clones sold by Internet companies and manufactured in countries like China and India. While it was not clear that CanadianPharmacy was actually shipping drugs from Canada, Pfizer’s general counsel, Beth Levine, claimed that the company filled orders using a call center in Montreal, reported the Toronto Star.

For Microsoft’s part, they allege that the joint effort with Pfizer is part of their “multi-pronged attack on the barrage of spam.” As the creator of the popular email program Outlook, Microsoft has been criticized in the past for the product’s spam filtering process. Recently, Microsoft added anti-spam measures to its popular Exchange server. Exchange 2003 now includes support for accessing so-called real-time block lists, or RTBLs. An RTBL is a list of the IP addresses maintained by a third party; the addresses on the list are those of mailservers thought to have sent spam recently. Exchange 2003 can query the list for each message it receives.

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Ed Sheeran wins Song of Year Grammy for Thinking Out Loud

April 24th, 2019

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Yesterday, UK singer Ed Sheeran won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for his song Thinking Out Loud from his album × ahead of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright; Wiz Khalifa’s, featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again; Little Big Town’s Girl Crush; and Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. Girl Crush won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Welsh singer Amy Wadge co-wrote the song. Sheeran during the ceremony said they wrote the song on a couch in his house. In remarks to the Western Mail, Wadge said the album was already complete when they wrote the song.

Thinking out Loud remained #2 on Billboard Hot 100 for almost two months, and topped the UK rankings last year. Its video song has 969 Million YouTube views and has more than four million likes. The song also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.

US singer Stevie Wonder announced the winner for the Song of the Year, and the envelope was written in Braille script. He joked about it saying “You can’t read it, you can’t read Braille!”

Along with Ed Sheeran’s first Grammy, Canadians The Weeknd and Justin Bieber won Grammy awards for the first time.

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

April 23rd, 2019

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Worldwide markets fall precipitously

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Worldwide markets fall precipitously

April 22nd, 2019

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Stock markets around the world have fallen dramatically today. This is following the ongoing events in the financial world, including the US Government’s $700 billion bail out of the financial sector.

As of 14:48 UTC, the primary UK index, the FTSE 100, dropped in value by 6.50% (323.65 points) to a point even further below the 5000 mark at 4656.60. The Dow Jones, was down 3.76% at 16:08 UTC, a slight increase from earlier today. The Dow Jones currently has a value of 9936.94 points, below the ten thousand mark. The Nasdaq index has fallen by 100.12 points to 1847.27, while the DAX was 6.62% lower than the start of the day as of 16:08 UTC.

The Dow Jones index was one that fared particularly poorly today, as not one of its companies increased its share price. The same is true for the CAC 40 index. The Merval index is another one that fared badly today. It dropped in value by 10.12%, while the affiliated Merval 25 index dropped by nearly as much, 10.03%. One of the worst faring indexes of the day was the Brazilian Bovespa index. It has already fallen by 14.45% today, despite the fact that it is not even half way through the trading day.

20:15, 06 October, 2008 (UTC)
  • DJIA
  • 9.955,50 369,88 3,58%
  • Nasdaq
  • 1.862,96 84,43 4.34%
  • S&P 500
  • 1.056,85 42,38 3,86%
  • S&P TSX
  • 10.298,80 504,50 4.67%
  • IPC
  • 21.669,70 1,319,82 5,74%
  • Merval
  • 1.423,350 89.360 5,91%
  • Bovespa
  • 42.090,94 2,426.36 5,45%
  • FTSE 100
  • 4.589,19 391,06 7,85%
  • DAX
  • 5.387,01 410,02 7,07%
  • CAC 40
  • 3.711,98 368,77 9,04%
  • SMI
  • 6.458,72 421,10 6,12%
  • AEX
  • 312,56 31,46 9,14%
  • BEL20
  • 2.567,59 189,42 6,87%
  • MIBTel
  • 17.976,00 1,615,00 8,24%
  • IBEX 35
  • 10.726,00 692,50 6,06%
  • All Ordinaries
  • 4.544,70 158,10 3,36%
  • Nikkei
  • 10.473,10 465,05 4,25%
  • Hang Seng
  • 16.803,80 878,64 4,97%
  • SSE Composite
  • 2.173,74 120,05 5,23%

    Gallery seeks Control themed mail art for exhibit

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    Gallery seeks Control themed mail art for exhibit

    April 20th, 2019

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    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Canadian community art group Visual Arts Brampton is looking for entries for its international entry mail art exhibit “Control”.

    The exhibit’s entry information discusses the theme of the show: “Are you a control-freak, or more happy-go-lucky? What do you think of corporations’ control on the media and governments? Is your life quickly spinning out of control? Always hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del?”

    The exhibition dates have yet to be scheduled, but the show will run in early 2006 at either the Fridge Front Gallery or upcoming World Art Gallery in Shoppers World Brampton, a mall in suburban Toronto.

    While it prefers 4 x 6 inch artworks, VAB asks that entries are no larger than 6 x 6 inches. VAB’s address is “Snail Mail Central / 1 Bartley Bull Parkway, Suite 10 / Brampton ON / L6W 3T7”. Entries must be received by January 31, 2006.

    This show will help Visual Arts Brampton to continue to build up a reputation in the mail art world. The non-profit community art group is in the process of opening up the World Art Gallery, which will be the first permanent display space to solely exhibit mail art. Over the past few years, the club has organized three general no theme exhibits, and “SAT: An Exhibit of Chairs”, which is running currently.

    This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
    This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

    New Zealand mosque murder suspect appears in court at Christchurch

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    New Zealand mosque murder suspect appears in court at Christchurch

    April 18th, 2019

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    Sunday, March 17, 2019

    An Australian, Brenton Tarrant, aged 28, appeared in Christchurch District Court, New Zealand yesterday, charged with one count of murder pertaining to a mass shooting in Christchurch on Friday, which caused the death of at least 50 people. Judge Paul Kellar ordered the accused remain in custody until his next court appearance on April 5.

    Police alleged the accused performed two attacks. The first attack reportedly was in Al Noor Mosque at about 13:40 local time (0040 UTC), which left at least 42 people dead. The second attack reportedly was in Linwood Mosque, killing at least eight people, on the same day. Brenton Tarrant did not apply for bail. Further charges may be laid in the future, police said.

    Police arrested the accused in the neighborhood of Strickland Street, 36 minutes after the mass shooting in Al Noor Mosque according to police. After his arrest on Friday, Brenton stayed in the Christchurch central police station overnight before appearing in court on the next day.

    Brenton Tarrant had a valid gun licence allowing him to buy weapons, ABC reported. According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Brenton had a licence for the five firearms he allegedly used for the attack — two semi-automatic, two shotguns, and one lever-action. Professor Greg Barton, Chair In Global Islamic Politics in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the Deakin University, said “The attacker was using a couple of guns, one was a shotgun, one was an AR-15 — that’s the so-called civilian equivalent of the M-16. It’s an assault rifle”. The authorities seized these firearms.

    Prime Minister Ardern said at a press conference yesterday morning the gun laws should be changed. She said, “I have instructed ODESC [Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination] to report to Cabinet on Monday on these events with a view to strengthening our systems on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, firearms, border controls, enhanced information-sharing with Australia, and any practice reinforcement of our watchlist processes.”

    Brenton also allegedly released an anti-Muslim document online, outlining political motivation, prior to the murders. Social media have been struggling to censor the alleged gunman’s videos of the murder, according to reports.

    Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007

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    Wikinews Shorts: March 7, 2007

    April 18th, 2019

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    A compilation of brief news reports for Wednesday, March 7, 2007.

    The European Union has banned the 35 planes in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 45 aircraft fleet from flying in EU airspace. The reason provided by EU was that these plans do not fulfill the safety requirement for international planes and thus were banned. PIA has redeployed its Boeing 777 jets from US to EU flights to facilitate passengers in Europe. Flights PK 782 and PK 790 are still running on time from Toronto in Canada.

    Sources

    The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill introduced by lawmaker Patrick Anderson of Enid that enables police to seize vehicles when drivers fail to produce proof of insurance. The bill was tacked onto a measure to prohibit inserting microchips into people without their permission. 91,000 drivers have been ticketed for lack of insurance in Oklahoma to date.

    Sources

    The New Orleans Saints have released All-Pro wide receiver Joe Horn because of money issues. The Saints hope to draft LSU (Louisiana State University) wide receiver DeWayne Bowe in the NFL Draft to fill Horn’s place.

    Sources

    International exhibit of chair art starts in Canada

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    International exhibit of chair art starts in Canada

    April 18th, 2019

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    Monday, November 21, 2005

    The international entry mail art show SAT: An Exhibit of Chairs was put on display Friday in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Held in the Fridge Front Gallery at the Shoppers World Brampton mall, SAT is a diverse collection of artworks focusing on a generally mundane object, the chair.

    Works in the show range from realism to abstract, dadaism to surrealism, post-modern to collage.

    While some of the entries were submitted directly to Visual Arts Brampton, most came from a previous exhibit. Organized by Pati Bristow, No place to rest, chairs you can’t sit on ran at Shopping Trolley Gallery West and Seaman’s Library at Foothill College, both in Los Altos Hills, California, earlier in 2005. Guest curator Nicholas Moreau was unaware of the similarly themed exhibit, held so soon before. The theme for SAT was based on that of a 1987 juried art show organized by Visual Arts Brampton at the now-defunct Chinguacousy Library Gallery.

    Works in Visual Arts Brampton’s showing of the exhibition are from 17 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

    This is Visual Arts Brampton’s third mail art show. In 1999, Susan Williamson created The Great Canadian Mail Art Show for Artway at Bramalea City Centre; the show was so successful that the Art Gallery of Peel adopted it in 2001. The concept of a mail art show was revived in 2004 by Moreau, held at the new Artway Shoppers World. The Snail Mail World Postcard Art Show has been held annually since.

    Visual Arts Brampton’s Fridge Front Gallery primarily hosts artwork by youth from its kids classes, and from schools in Brampton and Oakville. In contrast, the nearby Artway Gallery hosts artwork by professional and amateur adult artists from across Peel. VAB has successfully sought permission to create a third display space in Shoppers World, in the Zellers corridor. The space will host shows of mail art and works on paper year-round. The planned “World Art Gallery” will be the first ever permanent display space for mail art.

    This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
    This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

    Nintendo releases GameBoy Micro in the US

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    Nintendo releases GameBoy Micro in the US

    April 17th, 2019

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    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    On the 20th birthday of Nintendo‘s mascots, Mario and his brother Luigi, Nintendo has released the newest addition to the popular Game Boy line.

    The Game Boy Micro is the smallest handheld release by Nintendo to date. Unlike other handhelds in the Game Boy Advance series, the Game Boy Micro can only play Game Boy Advance games and not games designed for the original Game Boy system. The handheld features a new link port, includes multiple removable faceplates, and additional faceplates can be purchased separately. This system has an MSRP of USD$99.99.