Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/2 - Things That Will Happen In 2012, Pakistan To Produce Natural Gas, Iran Produces First Nuclear Fuel Rod

Monday, January 2, 2012, 10:40 AM
  • 2012 - Things That Will Happen 
  • Enemy Of The State
  • Austerity Reigns Over Euro Zone as Crisis Deepens
  • Pakistan to Produce Natural Gas - By Burning Underground Coal
  • Did Fukushima Really Put a Nail in Atomic Power's Coffin?
  • Iran Says It Has Produced First Nuclear Fuel Rod
  • How Iran’s Saber Rattling Could Affect Oil Prices and the Environment

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2012 - Things That Will Happen (roddickrr)

Mitt (the suit) Romney will be the Republican presidential candidate. The nomination will be a fight to the very end. Newt (the fool) Gingrich will come close, but will not get the nod. Romney will announce that his running mate will be South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. Her presence on the ticket will give Mitt a chance.

Enemy Of The State (jdargis)

Especially to the self-selected group that comes to the Iowa Republican caucuses, Paul’s positions are pulse quickening. If you are antitax, Paul has that sentiment nailed more than any other candidate. If you are antiwar, Paul is right there with you. If you fear for your personal freedoms, Paul has you covered. And if you want a sweeping philosophy, deeply grounded in fundamental texts (Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard), Paul is your man. Nobody has a better claim to be a protest candidate. He’s the only one who has ever run for office from a third party. He’s not about passing bills; he’s about root-and-branch change. His popularity, even if it’s temporary, demonstrates that all politics isn’t necessarily local—that big ideas can exert a pull on voters, too.

Austerity Reigns Over Euro Zone as Crisis Deepens (jdargis)

While the economic picture in the United States has brightened recently with more upbeat employment figures, Europe remains mired in a slump. Most economists are forecasting a recession for 2012, which will heighten the pressure governments and financial institutions across the Continent are seeing.


Pakistan to Produce Natural Gas - By Burning Underground Coal (James S.)

With about 50 per cent less electricity generation capability than the actual demand, Pakistan’s National Grid is facing more than a 5,000-megawatt shortfall in power generation, leading to blackouts in both urban and rural areas of the country. Due to unscheduled shortages by the National Power Control Center, urban areas are facing unscheduled minimum 8-hour power blackouts each day, while in rural areas the blackouts can last as long as 14 hours.

Did Fukushima Really Put a Nail in Atomic Power's Coffin? (James S.)

If you are doubtful about nuclear power, or you are simply a political opportunist, this event was the final nail in the coffin, the proof that the end had arrived. For you, it provided more evidence that nuclear power is inherently unsafe and that its use, as American scientist Alvin Weinberg once said, is a Faustian bargain. (It was a remark that Weinberg wished he had not made and which his staff and supporters tried to justify by explaining that in the German legend, Faust finally gets his soul back, having foolishly pledged it to the devil.)

Iran Says It Has Produced First Nuclear Fuel Rod (jdargis)

The announcement on the fuel rod came just a day after Tehran proposed a new round of talks on its nuclear program with six world powers. The last round of negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany was held in January in Istanbul, Turkey, but it ended in failure.

How Iran’s Saber Rattling Could Affect Oil Prices and the Environment (James S.)

Iran bombastic talk has some merit, having mine-laying and missile capability to wreak some damage to ships and seaman’s lives, but the real candidate for disaster would be the environment, as a lot of oil would spill into waters at war. Iran could go down in history as causing the single largest environmental disaster even seen. If the oil spilled was substantial and stays mostly in the gulf, the mess could turn a seawater gulf into dead zone. The Persian Gulf doesn’t seem to be as deep or robust or is as large as the Gulf of Mexico.

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While America freezes....


South Australia is sweltering with the hottest start to the year in more than a century as a hot air mass which can sear vegetation moves across the state and into Victoria.

The weather system is dragging heat from central Australia with it and causing humidity to plummet.

Weather conditions are so extreme that South Australia's power distributor cut electricity to some communities to prevent bushfires yesterday, and it has not ruled out doing the same again today.

Yesterday's power cuts meant that South Australia's holiday haven towns on the state's southern coast sweated through the soaring temperatures without the comfort of power to provide some relief.

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Fly Your Own Spy Drone … Using Your iPhone

Sunday, January 1, 2012

George Washington: Fly your own drone for under $300

By George Washington. Cross posted from Washington’s Blog.

Fly Your Own Spy Drone … Using Your iPhone

The Parrot A.R. Drone can be launched and controlled with your iPhone or iPad:

The Parrot A.R. Drone costs $299.

The Parrot A.R. Drone can maintain stable flight at an altitude of up to 20 feet, and a maximum altitude of up to 160 feet.

More sophisticated drones can fly higher and for longer, in a more stable fashion.

For example, protesters in Warsaw used a spy drone last month to see what police were doing. As diydrones.com notes:

People tend to assume that UAVs will be used by the police to keep watch on us, but as … video, taken by a RoboKopter of riots in Warsaw, shows, they can equally be used by citizens to keep tabs on the police. No need to wait for the local news to send a helicopter to get the aerial scene of a demonstration, just Do It Yourself!

Here is the video of the police shot by the Polish protesters:


(Here’s what the RoboKopter drone used by the Polish protesters looks like.)

Drones can range from simple:

To advanced:

For more amazing technology, see this and this.

For information on building your own drone, start here.

Disclaimer: The FAA apparently considers do-it-yourself drones to be legal. We don’t know whether there are any Department of Homeland Security or other regulations or laws prohibiting flying your own spy drone. Consult with a representative of all appropriate Federal, state, county and local agencies to determine whether or not you may fly your own drone.

NOTE If I’d run across this post a little earlier, I would have noted that a drone makes a great stocking stuffer! Also, drone with a camera is a lot harder to take out with a nightstick than a hand-held camera or cell. Subject, of course, to the caveats above. Anyhow, I love DIY. –lambert

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