Monday, July 16, 2012

Lockheed Martin: Planes Could Be Refueled By Ground-Based Lasers

Planes could in soon be refueled mid-flight by ground-based lasers after successful tests of the technology.

Lockheed Martin said that its Stalker Unmanned Aerial System - a type of drone - can now be powered by a high-powered laser.

[ ... ]

Potentially such a system could result in powered craft that could stay in the air indefinitely.


Most Profitable Route for Emirates Airline? Greece

An escalation in the euro zone debt crisis, and particularly economic conditions in Greece, would have major consequences for revenues and profitability, Emirates Airline President Tim Clark told CNBC’s “Access: Middle East.

“So far, so good, paradoxically, Greece is our most profitable route in Europe today. It has the highest seat factor, the highest yield and the highest profit,” Clark said.

The industry veteran admitted that a significant amount of the company’s business is in euros, and that a “halo effect” on Spain and Italy is equally worrying. And a return to drachmas in Greece was one of the scenarios the airline was preparing for.

“I need to be absolutely sure that we have a contingency for the airline if things go a little bit wonky in Europe.”


New Blog: Big Bank Theory

It's official! Meet Circle of 13's offspring: Big Bank Theory

Spawned on Friday the 13th of July, 2012!

Upcoming Bollywood Movie Features UFOs, Aliens and Crop Circles 3-D!

This is the official trailer of "Joker" which releases on 31st Aug, 2012. The film is an "out of this world" comedy about an NRI (Akshay Kumar) and his beautiful wife (Sonakshi Sinha) who return home to discover that their village has dropped off the map of India. To put it back on the world's radar they must now forge an unlikely alliance of crazy villagers & aliens that will turn their village into the biggest "tamasha" the universe has ever seen!

All Muslims, like Turks, don’t see contradiction between democracy and Islam

The surveys conducted in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and Jordan are proof that the famous questions of the 1980s and 1990s as to “whether Islam and democracy is compatible” and the dichotomies of “Islam vs. democracy” are extremely wrong and unnecessary. The survey findings indicate that it is not only Turks but also other Muslims who believe that all kinds of individual or group rights and freedoms, particularly the freedom of religion and faith, will improve in parallel with developments in democracy. Muslims’ demands for giving a greater role in political and social life to Islam do not contradict, but overlap, with their demands for democracy and freedoms, provided that religious references are seen as part of the democratic culture and are not interpreted to restrict the rights and freedoms of others. It is impossible not to see that the rising trend in the popular revolts or revolutions collectively known as the “Arab Spring,” despite the fact that they currently tend to be referred to as the “Arab Crisis,” is attributable to these basic expectations.


Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar

Opinion piece by Moshahida Sultana Ritu for the NYT:

Last spring, a flowering of democracy in Myanmar mesmerized the world. But now, three months after the democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won a parliamentary seat, and a month after she traveled to Oslo to belatedly receive the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, an alarm bell is ringing in Myanmar. In the villages of Arakan State, near the Bangladeshi border, a pogrom against a population of Muslims called the Rohingyas began in June. It is the ugly side of Myanmar’s democratic transition — a rotting of the flower, even as it seems to bloom.

Cruelty toward the Rohingyas is not new. They have faced torture, neglect and repression in the Buddhist-majority land since it achieved independence in 1948. Its constitution closes all options for Rohingyas to be citizens, on grounds that their ancestors didn’t live there when the land, once called Burma, came under British rule in the 19th century (a contention the Rohingyas dispute). Even now, as military rulers have begun to loosen their grip, there is no sign of change for the Rohingyas. Instead, the Burmese are trying to cast them out.

The current violence can be traced to the rape and killing in late May of a Buddhist woman, for which the police reportedly detained three Muslims. That was followed by mob attacks on Rohingyas and other Muslims that killed dozens of people. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, state security forces have now conducted mass arrests of Muslims; they destroyed thousands of homes, with the impact falling most heavily on the Rohingyas. Displaced Rohingyas have tried to flee across the Naf River to neighboring Bangladesh; some have died in the effort.


See also:

Occupying the Bohemian Grove

Anti capitalism in the Age of Austerity Alex Callinicos

See also:

International Survey - Crisis Batters Global Faith in Capitalism

Gravity, the Higgs boson and the law of the TRPF

'How can we transform the university into an institution of the common?'

From: The revolution of living knowledge, by Gigi Roggero

We’re living in a revolutionary situation. We could reformulate the classical definition in the following terms: the ruling elites of global capitalcannot live as in the past; the workers, the precarious, the students, the poor, the living knowledge refuse to live as in the past. In the global crisis, the transnational struggles – from the North Africa insurrections to the acampadasin Spain or Syntagma Square, from the Chilean university movement to Occupy and the Québec uprising – are composed by the convergence of a downgrading middle class and a proletariat whose poverty is directly proportional to its productivity.

In this context, the university is a key site. Not so much of knowledge production: on the contrary, the more that knowledge production spreads throughout the social factory, the less the university is a privileged site of its transmission – the Ivory Tower is definitely falling down. But the university is a key site of struggles, of the possibilities of territorialization and generalization.

The Edu-Factory Collective has defined this context as “double crisis” – that is, the crisis of the university and the global economic crisis. In fact, it’s impossible to grasp the transformations and struggles of the university without linking them to transformations and struggles of labor and production. So, in a stenographic way, let’s sketch five global trends of the political economy of the university, and its crisis.


Capitalist Decline And Fascist Ascendancy: An Analysis of Events in Greece by Thano H.

Special to The New Direction Of Time:

By targeting the downtrodden and trying to use them as scapegoats, the bourgeois state embarked on a campaign of racism that played right into the hands of a group of thugs who have used the conditions created by the crisis to further their own neo-nazi campaign. Almost non-existent before 2007, the neo-nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ accumulated 7% of the vote in the May 6th general election, up from 0.29% in 2009. Even with the new elections to be held on June 17th (given that no party won an overall majority in last month’s election and that talks for a pro-austerity coalition government failed), the neo-nazis are still set to enter the Greek parliament. Lenin’s words can be heard echoing through time, “Fascism is capitalism in decay”.


Syria: To oppose, or not to oppose?

Those who still buy Assad’s anti-imperial rhetoric should know that the old man whose story is mentioned above was imprisoned simply because he and other fellow citizens organised a small rally to denounce the illegal US invasion of Iraq.

In fact, it is not uncommon to find prisoners - including some of those I met in Sednaya prison** – whose only “crime” was to help Palestinian groups. How could a regime that claims to be anti-Israel not even dare to protect itself against the frequent Israeli air incursions throughout the past decade?

I remember vividly the day I was released, when Israeli warplanes bombarded a site inside Syria under the pretext that it was being used to train Palestinian fighters. Syria’s response on that day was mute – as had always been the case. Finally, it is no secret that Syria, like many other Arab countries, cooperated closely with the US in the so-called “war on terror”. I am only one of few living examples of this covert cooperation.


** Human rights activist Maher Arar is the publisher of Prism Magazine, and first came to public attention after he was rendered by US authorities to Syria, his native country.

Lakota to UN: Enforce Treaties

Owe Aku International Justice Project’s conference room paper and supporting annotation can be found at

The intervention and conference room paper is personally signed by Chief Red Cloud and is being carried to the United Nations in Geneva by the Eyapaha, or Spokesperson, for the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Alexander White Plume.

The primary purpose of the conference room paper was for the Lakota Oyate to explore, within the United Nations, action-oriented mechanisms based on creative solutions to enforce international treaty law. Imposing sanctions, diplomatic pressure and international court proceedings have all been suggested. The Lakota Oyate is ready to stand up in defiance of colonial arrogance and suggest that the violation of international law by the United States is, for example, no different than the violation of international law by Iran. We invite Indigenous peoples and nations, with or without treaties, along with member nations with a sense of justice, to join with us in this struggle.


Occupy Movement 'Leader' as Villain in Trailer for 'Official Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' Game

Raul Menendez is idolized as the Messiah of the 99%, yet underneath the surface lurks an insidious mastermind hell bent on global insurrection.

Saudis fear revolution will hit kingdom

Tens of thousands of Saudi Arabian protesters have held a demonstration against the Al Saud regime in the Qatif region of oil-rich Eastern Province.

The demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday to condemn the Riyadh regime for the deadly crackdown on protests.

The protesters were also condemning the detention of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr, who was attacked and arrested earlier in the day.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Kamel Wazni, political analyst, to hear his opinion on this issue.

See also:

Analyst: Popular uprising against Al Saud regime to make history

Story of Experimental Film

From ZeitEYE – a film on media innovation

“The measure of an artist’s originality, put in its simplest terms. is the extent to which his selective emphasis deviates from the conventional norm, and establishes new standards of relevance. All great innovations which inaugerate a new era, movement or school, consist in sudden shifts of a previously neglected aspect of experience, some blacked-out range of the existential spectrum. The decisive turning-points in the history of every art form…uncover what has already been there: they are “revolutionary”, that is destructive and constructive, they compel us to revalue our values and impose new sets of rules on the eternal game.”

~ Arthur Koestler: The Act of Creation (1964)

Spanish Sex Workers Punishing Banks By Withholding Sex From Employees

The key to getting banks to do what you want may be as simple as adopting a strategy that women's magazines have been advocating for years: withholding sex.

Members of the trade association for high-class escorts in Spain have stopped having sex with bank employees until they start providing credit to Spanish families and small businesses, according to RT. The union got the idea for the protest after one escort was able to convince a bank employee to grant a loan simply by saying she would stop her services until he "fulfills his responsibility to society."


Livestreamer Tim Pool interviews satirical candidate Vermin Supreme

Vermin Supreme, who is perhaps the best known gag candidate for president during the current election year, is often taken to be no more than a loveable eccentric.

During an interview with livestreamer Tim Pool at the HOPE9 conference on Saturday, however, anarchist and performance artist Supreme, whose platform is based on free ponies, mandatory tooth-brushing, and zombie preparedness, showed himself to be very much in control of the image he projects.


Ursula K. Le Guin writes a fable of Occupy Wall Street

If you've been wondering just what's wrong with unemployed people, and why they won't just go get a job, then Ursula K. Le Guin has some answers for you. In the time-honored tradition of fantasists and fabulists, she's phrased her answers in the form of a fable.

Her story "Ninety Nine Weeks: A Fairy Tale" is just as political and confrontational as Vonda McIntyre's story from the same site a while back.

[ ... ]

It really gets interesting once the unemployment fairy shows up.



image from

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