~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #76

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Thu, 15 Jan 2004 22:57:38 -0600

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #76

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (1/15/2004)

01) Top Stories of Electromagnetism
02) Electromagnetic health & safety
03) Electromagnetic trash & treasure
04) Electromagnetic security & surveillance
05) Electromagnetic power & energy
06) Electromagnetic current & human affairs
07) Electromagnetic transport & communication
08) Electromagnetic matter & information
09) Electromagnetic trends & inventions
10) Electromagnetic weaponry & warfare
11) Electromagnetic business & economics
12) Electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

00) --commentary--

Timing is quite interesting these days. The Enron case
has flip-flopped in a week, so too has Halliburton with
oil contracts in Iraq, first looked into, then reversed,
now out of nowhere is back under review. The Mars robot
lands, 'spirit' it may be called, and this week's news-
letter has a quote from VP Cheney who is at Nasa with a
new human-to-mars program, saying he did not touch the
controls (quite a funny joke). This had me thinking of
robots, those that Sony has been developing and of the
mysterious leak on the international space station (ISS),
in addition to future space voyages. It would seem an
opportune time to consider these small, humonoid-like
robots for long space missions, such that unlike human
beings, they could possibly go farther, longer, faster,
more economically, yet have the UAV qualities of remote
control, vision, a set of tools/skills (hands/grippers),
and act as a backup system and a remote science team,
inside or outside a craft millions of miles away, or on
the ground on mars, chipping away at the rocks or even
bouncing across the landscape. After a three year trip,
they could be fully activated, versus humans which need
to be incubated and protected. Then had the thought of
such robots working remotely, say on the moon, to set
up experiments. The cost of losing a robot in a mission
is nowhere near that of a human being, in terms of the
psychological, physical, or other risks it would seem.
This appears an inevitable development, if crafts can
be controlled, then these can be extensions of those
on the ground versus shuttling up a geologist or an-
other profession, unlimited professions could access
the tool, additional equipment could reach the robot
to conduct new tests, it could even construct things.
Things such as a moon-base could be constructed like
a base-camp for robots to build a telescope or what-
not, some decades in the future, then humans may be
able to visit and enhance the construction project.
There was something written recently about mapping
the moon's magnetic fields. It is a dead place, or
so it seems. And it is curious how its fields are
different (visually, say) than those of our Earth's.
As so much revolves about 'what is inside' the core
of the planet, that it would seem the patterns of
EM fields would be different, though in what way?

An update on the site. The 'education' section has
been under consideration, most of the present site
is matter-of-fact and meant to be somewhat removed.
Yet, this approach to education when no such thing
exists (that can be found) relating to EM literacy
may require a different approach. Only small parts
are known, so building out a whole structure as is
the usual way is not possible. One of the ways that
brought fascination of the subject was when young,
looking through catalogs and seeing the different
kinds of electrical things, from blenders to new
developments such as computers, and reading about
their information. It is an approach that is also
helpful today, not with regard to buying things,
though to reading the information and getting a
sense of how things relate, through categories,
pictures, relations to other technologies. So,
for instance, one approach to learning could be
starting with such catalogs whether it is in the
weekly paper of advertisements or a store catalog
(if they still have them, big books of merchandise
that old 'department stores' used to have), or the
'surplus' stores that carry electronics stuff, of
an often idiosyncratic nature or the brute force
catalogs for everything for electronics engineers.
Though, as with the entire category of education,
there may be places this relates or does not to
one's goals in getting a sense of the field. What
is the number one issue, in self-learning, is that
there is no one path or entire path through the
research and study of electromagnetism, in itself.
There is the science, the technology, the arts,
yet to be able to do basic electronics (making
your own circuit) is, as far as is known, not
within the skillrange of a hobbyist. Though, at
the same time, one can learn to program today's
microcontrollers, which is almost better than
anything imaginable in terms of the power that
is available today, in learning more about these
things- (that is, one could make a complex proto-
type with sensors and things, do some basic types
of soldering, and probaby have a working circuit).
This area of 'circuit' design is, so far, one
that is not accessible. It can be found in young
person's toys, and in recipe-like kits. There is
a gap between doing and learning to do on own's
own. So, there is an obvious complexity yet there
is also this whole range before that, learning
how various things work, like diodes, learning
how circuits basically function, about sensors,
about various material properties of components,
there is a lot that can be learned, yet then a
huge gap, and also, the entire cultural meaning
and understanding of electromagnetism which is
happening now in economics, society, politics,
and not yet integrated in some empirical sense.

So, this is like a hanging-chad of a question,
a lot of uncertainty about how to proceed yet
have tidbits of experiences, ideas, approaches
yet not one approach. Everyone may have ideas
and improvements and better approaches to share.
If somehow 'sketches' could be allowed instead
of having to make everything into HTML, to have
to formalize it in some arcane structures and to
relate it in so many layers of information, the
most basic, simplest idea related to another.
An encyclopedia may work better it is not known
yet how to proceed. Though it is now in orbit.

01) --top stories--

Federal court voids administration's weakened energy rule

	'The three-judge panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in  
New York said the Energy Department violated federal energy and  
environmental laws by rolling back a Clinton administration rule that  
required manufacturers to increase residential air conditioners'  
efficiency by 30 percent by 2006.' ... 'The Natural Resources Defense  
Council and attorneys general from 10 states that challenged the Bush  
action said Tuesday's ruling eventually will reduce electricity peak  
demand by 14,500 megawatts a year -- the equivalent of the output of  
about 48 average-sized power plants -- and save consumers $1 billion a  
year in utility bills.'

Former Finance Chief of Enron Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

Earth loses its magnetism: Scientists have known for some
time that the Earth's magnetic field is fading. // thanks *

	'Magnetic reversals were always preceded by weakened magnetic fields,  
said Dr Gallet, but not all weakened fields bring on a flip-flop.' ...  
'The last time the field lines kinked into a dipole reversal was  
780,000 years ago.'

A Real-Life Debate on Free Expression in a Cyberspace City

	'Because they believe that such graphical environments are turning  
into important vehicles for communication, economists, lawyers and  
social critics have lately begun to study the world of multiplayer  
games as virtual laboratories that can provide insight into familiar  
realities even as they breed a new hybrid.' ... '"For us to be gagged  
so we can't criticize other Sims is an enormous frustration," said  
Catherine Fitzpatrick, 47, a freelance translator in Manhattan. "You  
can't improve this society without being able to talk about what's  
wrong with it."' ... 'Harassment, cheating and use of obscene language  
are prohibited under the game's "terms of service" that players agree  
to when they subscribe. If one player is breaking the rules, another  
can click a button to alert an Electronic Arts employee, who may then  
intervene, suspending or banning the violator.' .. 'That may have been  
what happened to Mr. Ludlow, who appears to have had as many critics in  
Alphaville as he had loyal readers. But even if Mr. Ludlow could prove  
Electronic Arts bounced him because it did not like his reporting,  
legal scholars say he does not have a First Amendment case, at least  
for now.'

// "The academics are having a field day as they see real-life
// issues of power and control played out in cyberspace."

[and] Blood on the virtual carpet: tempers flare as 'editor'
is thrown out of online town with 80,000 inhabitants

	'Alphaville could have become a socialist utopia, a grand experiment  
in free-market capitalism or simply a reflection of the allure and the  
pitfalls of any real Western city.' .. 'As it was, Alphaville quickly  
turned into a hellhole of scam-artists, crime syndicates, mafia  
extortion artists and teenage girls turning tricks to make ends meet.  
It became a breeding ground for the very worst in human nature...' ...  
'Shortly before he was thrown out of Alphaville, Urizenus and his  
fellow reporters were openly questioning whether teenage game players  
should be allowed to trade in human flesh, albeit virtual flesh, and  
wondering whether the Sims Online should be restricted to adults.' ...  
'[John Suler, a psychology professor at Rider University] added: "The  
more an online game simulates real life, the more the social problems  
in that game will simulate real life."'

Source of Rotterdam Yellowcake Probed // odd indeed...

	'A recycling company found uranium oxide -- a radioactive material  
also known as yellowcake -- in a shipment of scrap steel it believes  
originally came from Iraq, the company said Thursday.' ... 'Experts  
said that around 2 pounds of yellowcake, the amount found, would not be  
useful for either a bomb or fuel.' ... '"Anybody can dig it up and  
purify it to make the yellow stuff," he said. "It's the separation of  
U-235 that people are concerned about."' .. 'However, he said there was  
no obvious non-nuclear industrial use for yellowcake and it would be  
strange to find it in random scrap metal.'

[and] Arrest Ties Pakistan to Nuke Black Market // nuclear realities

	'The arrest this month of a businessman accused of smuggling nuclear  
bomb triggers to Pakistan is the latest sign that the important U.S.  
ally in the fight against terrorism remains a major player in the  
nuclear black market.' ... 'Pakistani officials say the government is  
not involved in any black-market nuclear deals. But Pakistan has  
questioned three top nuclear scientists in recent months based on  
information from the International Atomic Energy Agency.' ... 'The deal  
involved triggered spark gaps, electrical devices whose uses include  
breaking up kidney stones and triggering nuclear detonations.' ...  
'While spark gaps can be used in machines called lithotripters to break  
up kidney stones, even the largest hospital would need only a  
half-dozen or so, experts say. Orders of large numbers raise red flags  
with nuclear experts.'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

EM-related quote from: Al Gore's Speech on Bush and the Environment
is Demagoguery, Says  National Center for Public Policy Research
	'"Despite Gore's wish, the science on global warming is not  settled.   
Even the models and theories of those who support the theory disagree  
with one another.  Climate science is too complex  to be settled.  But  
if Gore believes the science is settled, why  didn't the Clinton-Gore  
Administration submit the Kyoto global  warming treaty to the Senate  
for ratification?  Gore condemns  Bush for not supporting a treaty Bush  
believes is harmful and  unnecessary -- yet Gore, holding the opposite  
view, didn't fight for it where it counted.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Single living 'creates eco woes':
Gadget-hungry people and shrinking households are
creating huge, unnoticed climate problems, a report says.

	'As manufacturers produce increasingly energy-efficient goods to  
protect the climate, people are simply buying more of them - wiping out  
green benefits.' ... 'Dr Kooijman says the current trend of people  
living alone is making matters worse because each household needs  
hundreds of essential items from toothpaste to toilet brushes and bread  
knives to clocks.'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

// note: VP Cheney is an ardent proponent of reviving nuclear power,
// which on the whole, as an industry, has the worst safety record
// with regard to terrorist targets. then, nuke & dirty terror bombs...

Energy Dept.: Watch foreign scientists // 'nuclear' as DoE watchdog?

	'The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the  
weapons labs, disputed the contention that the Energy Department "as a  
whole had not adequately controlled access to sensitive technologies"  
or that it risked compromising sensitive technologies.'

Currency Detector Easy to Defeat

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

// note: prices at gas pumps are fluctuating again in .US ...

More than $4 billion in oil revenue missing
from Angolan state coffers, rights group says

	'A total of $4.22 billion, representing about 9.25 percent of gross  
domestic product annually, is unaccounted for, according to an analysis  
of figures from the International Monetary Fund. President Jose Eduardo  
dos Santos' government denied any wrongdoing, claiming the missing  
funds could be explained by oil price fluctuations.' .. 'Meanwhile, an  
estimated 900,000 Angolans are displaced, millions have almost no  
access to schools and hospitals, and nearly half the country's 7.4  
million children suffer from malnutrition, according to U.N. figures.'

EM-related quote: Gore Slams Bush Administration on Environment

	'Gore, in a speech before a full house at the Beacon Theater in  
Manhattan, said it sometimes appeared that "the Bush-Cheney  
administration is wholly owned by the coal, oil, utility and mining  

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Orgasms 'at the touch of a button':  Women around the world are
being told they can now have an orgasm at the touch of a button.

Women put off by gadget shopping: A new generation of tech-
savvy women is emerging but they are still being treated
like idiots when it comes to selling gadgets, say experts.

// this is a hard story to explain as it is complex. one point is
// that non-lethal weapons may be better than guns with bullets in
// dealing with certain situations. and then, demonstrating or even
// demystifying this approach by showing it is a safe method. there
// are other aspects, in these times, such as using such weapons in
// times of civil disobedience, where they may be used more because
// they are not as lethal, yet still pose a threat in their use if it
// is seen as different from firing a bullet, thus used more often.

St. Paul police add a jolt to their arsenal // local EM news...

	'Minutes after getting zapped with 50,000 volts of electricity and  
being left writhing on the floor in pain, Omar Jamal was more than  
ready to support the St. Paul Police Department's latest crime-fighting  
weapon.' .. 'The Taser X26 is an energy gun that shoots two barbs at a  
suspect and then delivers 50,000 volts of electricity to the body,  
paralyzing the person for about 5 seconds.'

[image] Omar Jamal is stunned by the Taser // in local paper...

A Girl with an X-ray vision // via drudgereport.com

	'Natasha is capable of distinguishing even the tiniest pathology on a  
molecular level in the deepest corners of a human body, which are  
usually left undetected by regular ultrasound. "It's like having double  
vision. I can switch from one to the other in no time if I need to know  
a person's health problem," says the teenager. "I see an entire human  
organism. It is difficult to explain how I determine specific  
illnesses. There are certain impulses that I feel from the damaged  
organs. The secondary vision works only in daytime and is asleep at  

Sony robot makes debut as voiceover actor at Tokyo studio

Chinese Go Online in Search of Justice Against Elite Class

	'The trial in December lasted less than two hours, with  Mrs. Su  
receiving a suspended sentence. The death was ruled an accident.' ..  
'And that would have ended it, except for two things. First, the "BMW  
case" tapped into sharp class resentments emerging in this Communist  
country, which long espoused a classless society. And second, that  
anger was able to coalesce in what is becoming an increasingly  
influential court of appeals in China: the Internet, which boiled with  
online outrage....'

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

// heard that there is a hybrid that can get 600 miles on full tank...

Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil // .MN.US specific

	'The first step in a self-reliant transportation fuel strategy is to  
make hybrids the cars of choice. The second step is to expand the  
electric-only driving range of these vehicles by enlarging the battery  
capacity. The electricity for these batteries could come from the  
existing electricity grid. Such vehicles are now described as Plug-In  
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). The average car travels only 20 miles  
a day. A hybrid car that can travel 60 miles on its batteries can  
displace almost all of the fuel needed for the engine.' ... 'The  
widespread use of HEVs and PHEVs enables the third step, running cars  
on biofuels.'

Bugs Taking Over Robot Guidance 

	'Relying on circuits and algorithms based upon insect visual systems,  
Barrows' imaging chips fundamentally mimic an intelligent retina by  
partially "digesting" the image before sending the data to a backend  
processor. Conventional vision systems are, by contrast, heavy data  
crunchers, needing to process megabytes of dumb data using power-hungry  
processors before extracting relevant information.'

EM-related quote from: Cheney touts Bush policies
in LA visit, congratulates Mars team

	'Cheney toured the Mars mission control center.' .. '"Don't worry, I  
did not touch the controls," Cheney quipped later in remarks to  
hundreds of JPL employees.'

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Shedding light on dark matter // via scitechdaily...
When science is more imaginative than science fiction

	'The problem facing cosmologists has been that their calculations for  
the expansion of the universe demand more matter than they can detect.  
We can see billions of stars in countless galaxies, but it's not  
enough. It's not enough by a long way. Cosmologists concluded that  
there must be missing matter, and lots of it. Science writers Mary and  
John Gribbin put it like this in their book, "The Science of Philip  
Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'"': '"There must be at least five times  
as much extra material, not made of atoms at all, out there. It cannot  
be made of atoms, so it must be made of some sort of particles never  
yet detected on Earth. And it cannot shine, or we would see it. It is  
dark material."' ... 'With discoveries like these, about an ancient,  
dark universe filled with unknown matter, pulled by an unknown energy,  
it's not enough to say that science fiction has become science fact.  
Science is more imaginative than science fiction. And it will require  
the most inspired scientific imagination to determine the nature of the  
dark materials of the universe.'

Beyond the Digital Speed Limit - How EUV Chipmaking Works

NOVA: The Elegant Universe // thanks *

[and] Smashing Pictures // slideshow of atom smashing

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Throwaway society speeds decline of electronics repairmen

	'Last summer at its annual convention, the PSA reported that more than  
20,000 repair shops listed in the Yellow Pages nationwide in 1992 had  
dropped to below 9,000 in 2002. And with schools cutting back on  
electronics-repair courses, the free-fall has yet to hit bottom.' ...  
'Ask John Eubanks where the breakdown began, and he’ll tell you it  
started with globalization and cheap foreign labor markets.' ... '"If  
people want things to change, they’re going to have to get smarter  
about it and look at something other than the bottom line," Hight says.  
"But I don’t see that happening."'

1 terabyte disk drives unveiled
A million-fold improvement in data storage in half a century

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

U.S. success with Libya exposes Pakistan's nuclear know-how

	'Pakistan presents a difficult diplomatic problem for the White House.  
Critics say the idea that a major ally has been giving nuclear  
technology to three countries on Washington's list of terror exporters  
is an embarrassment to President Bush, who has argued that his top  
priority is keeping weapons of mass destruction away from terrorists  
and rogue states.'

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Pentagon Asks For Probe of KBR Oil Deal // Halliburton & VP Cheney...

	'The referral on Monday to the inspector general, which the Wall  
Street Journal reported on its Web site Wednesday night, signals that  
the auditors now believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by either KBR  
or the Army Corps, which directed KBR to buy the fuel from Kuwait.' ...  
'"This was an audit," said Lt. Col. Roseanne Lynch, a Defense  
spokeswoman. "They saw something, and they referred it" to the  
inspector general.' .. 'The inspector general could pass on the request  
for an investigation to another agency, conduct its own audit or launch  
a preliminary inquiry.' .. 'Scott Saunders, a spokesman for the Army  
Corps, said yesterday that the referral to the inspector general "was a  
complete surprise." He declined to comment further.' .. 'Halliburton  
said it also had not been notified of the auditors' request for an  

[and] Documents Raise New Halliburton Questions

	'The Army Corps of Engineers document, obtained Thursday by The  
Associated Press, raises new questions about Vice President Dick  
Cheney's former company two days after Pentagon auditors requested an  
investigation of possible criminal wrongdoing.'

[and] Pentagon Seeks Further Halliburton Probe: Pentagon Auditors Ask
for Further Investigation of Halliburton, Dick Cheney's Former Firm

// get this- Lay or Skilling said they 'were on the side of angels'
// (we're the good guys) during the collapse of Enron energy co.'s.
// a betrayel of private greed and ambition for the public good, an
// inversion of betrayels, could be rather interesting to behold.
// truth, i.e. true facts, does not just vanish in paper shredders.

Lay Feels Betrayed by Enron 'Whiz Kid' // related to Bush campaign.
Company's Board Believed Fastow, Former Chairman's Lawyer Says

	'"Everybody at the board level believed what Andy Fastow was telling  
them," Ramsey said in an interview. "It is a betrayal of trust that is  
tragic in its proportions."' ... 'Bruce A. Hiler, a lawyer for  
Skilling, said he understood the pressure to plead guilty, but Fastow's  
deal "changes nothing about the true facts. Bottom line, if the truth  
is told, there still will be no case against Jeff Skilling."'

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

// tangential to EM. related to 'cultural empire', surface treatment.

In 2,000 years, will the world remember Disney or Plato?

	'So how much good does American culture bring to the world? And how  
long will it last?' ... 'As to the question of durability, some experts  
believe US domination of communication channels makes it inevitable  
that its messages will become far more entrenched than those of  
previous empires.' .. '"The main difference now in favor of American  
culture is the importance of technology - telephone, Internet, films,  
all that did not exist in ancient Greece or the Mongol empire," Kaspi  

Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary // thanks *

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