Archive for December, 2010

Brown Water Advisory For Oahu, Kauai, Maui Recent Rains Send Runoff To Ocean

December 29, 2010

Sewage and Chemical Spills

   The public should avoid contact with surface waters, such as the ocean or streams, that may be contaminated by a sewage spill or chemical spill. Sewage can contain harmful micro-organisms (pathogens) that can cause illness. Chemicals can cause various illnesses that can be fatal.
Usually coastal waters are safe to enter due to tidal flushing after 48 hours. However, the public should wait for further instructions from the Department of Health through media releases as to when the stream or coastal water is safe to enter.

Storm Water

   The public should stay out of beaches or streams that are contaminated by storm (brown) water. Storm water can contain harmful micro-organisms (pathogens) and other harmful pollutants from overflowing sewage systems, such as cesspools or septic tanks, and animal feces flowing into storm drains.
   Excessive storm water can also contain sewage from overflowing manholes or chemicals from polluted runoff from comercial and industrial facilities.
Standing water from heavy rains can also contain pathogens from cesspools in unsewered areas, such as the North Shore Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.
   Questions regarding the safety or cleaning of standing water or “brown water” in the coastal and inland areas of the State should be directed to the Department of Health, Clean Water Branch on Oahu at (808) 586-4309 during normal business hours.

 

An advisory also is still in effect for parts of Maui, from Kealia Pond to Kalama Park, and Waiehu Beach Park to Paukukalo. A brown water warning remains for Kauai at Kikiaola Harbor.

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paulhugel.tumblr.com The Kiwikiu blessing

December 27, 2010
Maui S.A.V.E. Program

The Kiwikiu blessing and name dedication ceremony, a culmination of two years of collaboration from multiple agencies, took place in Waikamoi Preserve September 12th, 2010 at 10am. Arriving to a sunny morning on the mountain, a group of 85 people hiked into the forest for a ceremony to celebrate the critically endangered Maui Parrotbill or Kiwikiu. The group was comprised of biologists, conservation donors, and community members.
For reasons no one fully knows, this bird had no historically recorded Hawaiian name. Working with ornithologists to get an intimate understanding of this species, the Hawaiian Language Lexicon Committee decided on Kiwikiu as an appropriate Hawaiian name for the Parrotbill in May 2010.
With only about 500 birds still in existence today, the Kiwikiu, an endemic species to the island of Maui, is one of our most precious biodiversity jewels. The Kiwikiu is a classic example of adaptive radiation. As an insectivorous honeycreeper, the Kiwikiu uses its robust parrot-like bill to snap through twigs and pry insect larvae out of wood in the ‘ōhi’a and koa forests of Maui.

Cody Pueo Pata offered a mele inoa (name song) for the Kiwikiu as a mele hula along with two of his ‘olapa, Ku’ulei Alcomindras-Palakiko and Kapua Nacua. Pueo is the kumu hula of the Maui halau,
Ka Malama Mahilani and is trained in traditional aspects of haku mele (song composition)

Since 1992 I have held the vision of establishing Maui, Hawaii as the environmental sciences center of the world. After His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet came to Maui This vision has expanded to establishing Maui as the environmental & peace center of the world.

In 1995 At Maui High Performance Computing Center The Scientific Analysis & Visualization of the Environment Program was incubated. I was the principal investigator of this independant research project which was a joint development between MHPCC, Silicon Graphics Computers (SGI) & nko.org.

Today with no major funding The Maui S.A.V.E. Program continues and has evolved from Internet based virtual reality modeling to Internet based video distribution highlighting the environment and peace efforts of humans across the globe.
Comments or questions are welcome.

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UN to investigate treatment of jailed leaks suspect Bradley Manning | World news | The Guardian

December 22, 2010
Bradley Manning Bradley Manning was charged in July with leaking classified material related to WikiLeaks. Photograph: AP

The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011.

The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning’s supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture. This month visitors reported that his mental and physical health was deteriorating.

The Pentagon denies the former intelligence analyst is mistreated, saying he is treated the same as other prisoners at Quantico, Virginia, is able to exercise, and has access to newspapers and visitors.

He was charged in July with leaking classified material including video posted by WikiLeaks of a 2007 US attack in Baghdad by a Apache helicopter that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver. He is also suspected of leaking other material to the website, which is posting more than 250,000 secret state department cables. Manning has not commented on whether he is the source.

In an interview with MSNBC, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, described Manning as a political prisoner and called on human rights organisations to investigate.

Nowak, an Austrian rights lawyer, has been involved in cases related to the Balkans, Guantánamo Bay, Iraq and China.

Rap News 6 – Wikileaks' Cablegate: the truth is out there

December 19, 2010

Drug ‘Ecstasy’ May Help Individuals with Schizophrenia, Autism | Psych Central News

December 19, 2010
Home » News » Substance Abuse News » Drug ‘Ecstasy’ May Help Individuals with Schizophrenia, Autism

Drug ‘Ecstasy’ May Help Individuals with Schizophrenia, Autism

By Traci Pedersen Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on December 17, 2010

Drug ‘Ecstasy’ May Help Individuals with Schizophrenia, AutismSome scientists believe that the drug MDMA (ecstasy), which is known to increase feelings of social connection and empathy, may have psychotherapeutic benefits for those with disorders often associated with a lack of feeling connected to others, such as in schizophrenia, autism, or antisocial personality disorder.

Up until now, scientists have had a hard time objectively measuring the effects of this drug, and there has been very little research in humans. Researchers from the University of Chicago, who conducted research on healthy volunteers, have reported their new findings in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.

“We found that MDMA produced friendliness, playfulness, and loving feelings, even when it was administered to people in a laboratory with little social contact. We also found that MDMA reduced volunteers’ capacity to recognize facial expressions of fear in other people, an effect that may be involved in the increased sociability said to be produced by MDMA,” said author Dr. Gillinder Bedi.

These findings suggest that MDMA makes others appear more attractive and friendly, and this may be the reason for its popularity as a recreational drug. Furthermore, it makes others appear less intimidating, which may allow an individual to feel more confident in social risk-taking.

“Within the context of treatment, these effects may promote intimacy among people who have difficulty feeling close to others,” said Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry.

“However, MDMA distorts one’s perception of others rather than producing true empathy. Thus, MDMA may cause problems if it leads people to misinterpret the emotional state and perhaps intentions of others.”

Further studies in controlled settings will be necessary before MDMA can be considered for use as a psychotherapeutic drug. However, these findings also emphasize the importance of understanding how different drugs affect social experiences, since abused drugs are often used in social situations.

This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Source:  Elsevier

 

 

Autism, Brain and Behavior, Medications, Psychology, Relationships and Sexuality, Research, Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse –>

Courage to Resist – How to donate to Bradley Manning's defense

December 17, 2010

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1,454 individuals have donated a total $98,358! Another 111 supporters have given $11,953 directly to Bradley’s legal trust account. (Updated: 5pm PST Dec. 13, 2010)

Bradley Manning’s total legal defense will cost about $100,000. We have transferred $62,000 towards that expense so far, are in the process making additional transfers, and are committed to funding the total needed. The defense fund also supports international public outreach and activities.

 

Bradley Manning defense fund (tax-deductible donations)

The Bradley Manning defense fund is hosted by Courage to Resist in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network. About 50% of each donation is currently allocated to legal defense expenses, 35% towards public education and support activities, and 15% to direct admin expenses and credit card fees. For more information, check out the defense fund FAQ.

Donate online
(https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38591)

Or, send checks payable “Courage to Resist” to: Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610. Please note “Manning defense” on the check’s memo line.

 

Bradley Manning IOLTA legal trust account
(NOT tax-deductible)

The Bradley Manning IOLTA legal trust account is managed by attorney David Coombs under regulation of the Massachusetts IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) Program, and the American Bar Association. All proceeds, after online credit card transaction fees if applicable, will offset Bradley’s legal expenses. Any funds remaining in the trust account at resolution of the legal case will become Bradley’s with interest.

Donate online
(https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=37428)

Or, send check payable “IOLTA / Manning” to: Courage to Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610

Checks received will be deposited to: Bank of America, Massachusetts IOLTA Trust Account, Account: 0046-2853-2833.

 

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Contributions via PayPal will be used in support of the “Stand with Brad” public statement and petition (standwithbrad.org). These contributions are not tax-deductible.

Beamsteering Could Cut Mobile Power Consumption By Half – Technology Review

December 15, 2010

Switch on your mobile phone, netbook or tablet and it’ll start hunting for another node to connect to. Once this connection is established, however, your device will broadcast to the world, sending data in every conceivable direction even though most of it falls on deaf ears.

Surely there’s a better way of communicating. There sure is, say Hang Yu and buddies at Rice University in Houston: broadcast only in the direction of the next node. Simple really.

The challenge, of course, is to do this in a way that saves power and that doesn’t dramatically increase the size of the device. Today, Yu and co show us how.

Electrical engineers have long known how to steer radio beams by broadcasting with several antennas. The trick is to make the signals from all the antennas interfere and combine so that they form a narrow beam. Fairly straightforward changes to these signals then steer the beam.

There are two problems with this method that have prevented it being used in mobile devices. First, having two or more antennas is bulky. Second, each antenna circuit requires its own power and although there is a drop in the transmitted power, it’s not always clear that the overall power budget is lower.

So beamsteering has only really been used with bulky transmitters connected to the mains.

Yu and co say it needn’t be like this. They point out for a start that antenna technology has shrunk to the point that an extra two or three could easily be incorporated into a device the size of an iPad, Kindle or netbook.

They go on to show that the tradeoff between power eaten up by the extra antenna circuits and the transmitted power works in favour of the mobile device. That’s an important consideration.

There’s another problem too. A netbook beaming a signal with four antennas at a nearby wifi node could drown out other users. So there’s also a trade-off that needs to be made between all the users and that’s harder to manage.

But Yu and pals have a solution to this problem too, in the form of a piece of software called BeamAdapt. This sits on all the mobile devices, negotiating between them to discover the broadcast settings that achieves the best transmission for everyone.

They’ve tested BeamAdapt on small network and on a larger simulated one and believe it works well. “BeamAdapt can reduce client power consumption by 40% and 55% with two and four antennas, respectively, while maintaining the same network throughput,” they say.

That’s a significant power reduction, which will turn the heads of more than a few mobile device makers. Yu and pals also show that the beamsteering works while the devices are moving and rotating (although it’s not clear how robust it would be in practice).

The problem, of course, is that the benefit is hard to realise unless everyone uses this software. And it only takes a few refusals to ruin the airwaves for others.

The way round this is build this technology into a future comms standard. That’s feasible but it’ll require significantly more testing to ensure the technique can work in the real world, perhaps combined with various other potential standards being lined up for the future. Bottom line: don’t hold your breath.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1012.2830: Beamsteering on Mobile Devices: Network Capacity and Client Efficiency

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Al's Journal : Fox News Manipulates Climate Coverage

December 15, 2010

Fox News Manipulates Climate Coverage December 15, 2010 : 12:38 PM

Today, Media Matters posted an alarming email sent by Bill Sammon, the Washington, DC, managing editor at Fox News. Sammon sent the email to Fox News producers on December 8, 2009 – just as the Climate Conference in Copenhagen was beginning:

“Subject:Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data”
“we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”

But there’s no legitimate debate: the planet is warming. Moreover, man-made global warming pollution is the principal cause. To drive the point home, Media Matters points to something that happened just fifteen minutes before Sammon sent the email:

“On the December 8 edition of Happening Now, one of Fox News’ daytime straight news shows, Fox White House correspondent Wendell Goler delivered a live report from Copenhagen and was asked by host Jon Scott about ‘U.N. scientists issuing a new report today saying this decade is on track to be the warmest on record.'”

“Goler accurately reported that, indeed, 2000-2009 was ‘expected to turn out to be the warmest decade on record,’ following a ‘trend that has scientists concerned because 2000-2009 [was] warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s.’ Goler went on to explain that ‘ironically 2009 was a cooler than average year in the U.S. and Canada,’ which, he said, was ‘politically troubling because Americans are among the most skeptical about global warming.'”

“When Scott brought up the ‘Climategate’ emails, Goler explained that although people had raised questions about the CRU data, ‘the data also comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and from NASA. And scientists say the data of course across all three sources is pretty consistent.'”

Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis. The leaked emails now suggest that this bias comes directly from the executives responsible for their news coverage.

COP15 was a critical moment in the fight against the climate crisis. It is unsurprising, yet still disturbing, that Fox would allow its political bias to infiltrate its news reporting about the conference. Over all the media’s coverage of climate issues has been atrocious. However, Fox seems determined to set the bar even lower.

Columbia j-school staff: WikiLeaks prosecution ‘will set a dangerous precedent’

December 14, 2010

Jim Romenesko by Jim Romenesko Published Dec. 14, 2010 1:11 pm Updated Dec. 14, 2010 1:24 pm

Romenesko Misc.
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism faculty and officers tell President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder that “while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment” and that “as a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves.”


President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

December 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President and General Holder:
As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated with Wikileaks.

Journalists have a responsibility to exercise careful news judgment when classified documents are involved, including assessing whether a document is legitimately confidential and whether there may be harm from its publication.

But while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment. Any prosecution of Wikileaks’ staff for receiving, possessing or publishing classified materials will set a dangerous precedent for reporters in any publication or medium, potentially chilling investigative journalism and other First Amendment-protected activity.

As a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves.

The U.S. and the First Amendment continue to set a world standard for freedom of the press, encouraging journalists in many nations to take significant risks on behalf of transparency. Prosecution in the Wikileaks case would greatly damage American standing in free-press debates worldwide and would dishearten those journalists looking to this nation for inspiration.

We urge you to pursue a course of prudent restraint in the Wikileaks matter.
Please note this letter reflects our individual views, not a position of Columbia University or the Journalism School.

Respectfully,

Emily Bell, Professor of Professional Practice; Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Helen Benedict, Professor

Sheila Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative;
Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

June Cross, Associate Professor of Journalism

John Dinges, Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor of Journalism

Joshua Friedman, Director, Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Journalism in the Americas

Todd Gitlin, Professor; Chair, Ph.D. Program

Ari Goldman, Professor

LynNell Hancock, Professor; Director, Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship

Marguerite Holloway, Assistant Professor; Director, Science and Environmental Journalism

David Klatell, Professor of Professional Practice; Chair, International Studies

Nicolas Lemann, Dean; Henry R. Luce Professor

Dale Maharidge, Associate Professor

Arlene Morgan, Associate Dean, Prizes and Programs

Victor S. Navasky, George T. Delacorte Professor in Magazine Journalism; Director,
Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism; Chair, Columbia Journalism Review

Michael Schudson, Professor

Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
Alisa Solomon, Associate Professor; Director, Arts Concentration, M.A. Program
Paula Span, Adjunct Professor

Duy Linh Tu, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice; Coordinator, Digital Media Program

Salty solar plant stores sun's heat

December 14, 2010