~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #105

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 3 May 2004 18:56:42 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #105

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (5/03/2004)

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--

The recent headline 'Home PCs to gain multimedia savvy' brought to mind  
a recurring thought that seems to be an obvious approach the the  
changing home-computer-network. When taking into account structural  
wiring and wireless connections, and the possibility of a blade-like  
server for a multiple OS computer with many peripherals and platforms--  
it seems much like the 'home stereo' cabinet where people have kept  
their equipment for years and still may use their equipment because it  
works and the quality is good, and can also be upgraded with new  

For instance, one may have had a phonograph for listening to records,  
an amplifier, radio tuner, and some decent speakers. Over time  
tape-cassette and CD-rom may have been added, additional (and better)  
speakers, say, for surround sound or something. And this may be tied  
into a DVD player.

Likewise, a home-server could be rack-mounted and have several modules  
which optimize and interoperate, such as DVR, media streaming to TV and  
radio, software management, power conditioning, UPS , home automation,  
networked printing, data management (records, PIM), RAID-storage,  
broadband connections, battery charging, in some enclosure designed for  
modularizing existing wirenets.

When considering the option of running, say, 5 home computers with  
networking and mutiple installs of operating systems and softwares on  
each computer, and troubleshooting these, it would seem more efficient  
to centralize redundant services when possible to save  
time/money/energy and also allow an approach which is not based on  
obsolescence but investments into basic modules which may range from  
audiovisual media to webserving to data services, who knows...

It seems one way to start to manage the spectrum from cellphones to  
PDAs to PCs to watches, data devices, automation, diagnostic, and other  
equipment (such as, clearing off the 'desk' from having a computer  
replace writing space, to allow musical keyboards, digital microscopes,  
drawing tablets, without the entirety of the computer being  
ever-present for the simplist task (say, a calculator). It seems such a  
shift could help innovation as the desktop is dead-ender design. Though  
the CEO as new-media-artist may continue the charade until bankrupted  
by not addressing basic needs of people, to serve media- not computing-  

01) --top stories--

'Laser vision' offers new insights -- A system that projects light beams
directly into the eye could change the way we see the world. // see  

	'The [Microvision] system uses tiny lasers, which scan their light  
onto the retina to produce the entire range of human vision, reported  
the journal of the Institute of the Electrical and Electronics  
Engineers, IEEE Spectrum.' ... 'The monocle is worn in front of the eye  
and reflects scanned laser light to the eye allowing mechanics to view  
car diagnostics and instructions superimposed on their field of  
vision.' ... 'There are four components to the system - electronics,  
light sources, scanners and optics.' ... 'There is still work to be  
done but potentially the system could become second only to  tapping  
into the optic nerve in terms of getting images to the brain.' ..  'It  
could provide three dimensional pictures in perfect colour, able to  
simulate near or distant objects with complete realism, which could  
provide gamers with an intense sense of reality.' .. 'Within five  
years, such systems could be incorporated into mobile phones or  
hand-held computers and appear to the brain as a brightly lit  
widescreen TV version of what is on the device.'

A girl capable of emitting electricity
	'"I told her to touch me again because I felt something strange and  
the same shock happened to me. I then told her to put her hand on the  
wall and saw lightning and sounds emerging from the wall," said Mr.  
Khong Viet Trung.'

China to Host N. Korean Nuclear Talks in May // nuclear diplomacy.

	'North Korea agreed to start the working level discussions following a  
rare and secretive visit this month by leader Kim Jong Il to Beijing.   
Analysts say China - eager to see negotiations progress - likely  
pressured Mr. Kim to be more flexible.'

Oil security: A top priority for China // strategic oil reserve  

	'... before opening up its oil market to the outside world, experts  
suggest the nation should do two things. Firstly set up a  
macro-adjustment and control system to improve market management while  
at the same time relaxing control over oil prices. Secondly break the  
territorial monopoly in the oil market and develop a rational  
competitive structure. In addition, in order to revitalize the oil  
market, independent oil sales corporations could be established in the  
railways, communications, civil aviation, agriculture and forestry  
sectors. The experts envisage that in addition to engaging in sales  
these corporations would also enjoy oil import-export rights and that  
private funds would be encouraged to enter the oil market.' ... 'Faced  
with substantial growth in the demand for oil, Chinese firms have not  
only been tapping more domestic oil sources but have also been  
energetically pursuing a "go-out" strategy, looking for new and stable  
sources of oil in the international market.' ... 'To date, China's  
overseas oil and gas cooperation has extended to Russia, Azerbaijan and  
Kazakhstan in Central Asia; Indonesia and Myanmar in Southeast Asia;  
Iran and Oman in the Middle East; Venezuela in Central/South America;  
and Libya and Sudan in Africa.'

The Victorians and electricity by Caroline Mcghie // interesting  

"Static" Electricity versus "Current" Electricity
1997 William Beaty // *** excellent, great EM diagram...

	'Electric field corresponds to voltage, and magnetic field corresponds  
to current. The "map" below is intended to show us that "static  
electricity" and "current electricity" are really just two fields of  
science. But electromagnetism itself is a seamless whole, and the  
boundaries between its various parts exist only in our minds.' ...  
'Something is seriously wrong with how we explain electricity.'

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Microwave ovens should warn of exploding eggs // 100^ Celsius

	'The opthalmologists made the appeal in a letter to the British  
Medical Journal . The letter described the case of a nine-year-old girl  
who reheated a boiled egg in a microwave for 40 seconds. About 30  
seconds later, when she was carrying the egg, the egg exploded, hitting  
her in the right eye and face.'

Brain-watching helps suppress pain

	'Biofeedback techniques based on electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings  
of brainwave patterns, in which electrodes are placed on the scalp, are  
used with some success to treat epilepsy and attention problems such as  

Spain to Remove Oil From Sunken Tanker

	'Robots will begin boring holes into a sunken tanker in an attempt to  
recover millions of gallons of petroleum some 2 1/2 miles beneath the  
ocean, Spanish officials said Monday.' .. 'The extraction from the  
tanker Prestige will begin in June, once holes are drilled into the  
ship's hull, said Lucia Perez, spokeswoman for a government commission  
formed after the November 2002 disaster off Spain's northwest coast.  
The wreck is believed to hold 3.5 million gallons of oil.' ...  
'Undersea extraction of oil is not new, but working at this depth is.'

Nuclear disarray as Europe pushes east // ***

	'Europe's decision to maintain the status quo on nuclear power  
highlights the confusion at the heart of its policy on nuclear energy -  
a confusion that will now intensify.' .. 'For while the five new  
members that do not have nuclear power stations (Poland, Estonia,  
Latvia, Malta and Cyprus) will be legally obliged to promote the  
industry's development, some of the others will face the opposite  
problem.' .. 'Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and the Czech  
Republic rely on nuclear power to meet their energy demands, yet two of  
these nations have already come under intense pressure from EU  
countries to shut down their old Soviet-style reactors to ensure that  
they do not trigger another Chernobyl-scale accident.' ... 'Euratom was  
born in 1957, when nuclear power's status as the technology of the  
future was unquestioned. Over the years it has funded over 55 billion  
euros worth of research into nuclear power, as well as lending hundreds  
of millions of euros to help build or improve nuclear plants.' .. 'As a  
result the EU is the world's leading nuclear generator. The enlarged EU  
operates 156 reactors that produce 32 per cent of its electricity, a  
higher proportion than in North America, Japan or Russia.'

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

Cheney Praises Fox News Channel // bizarre. surreality-TV...
Vice President Calls Network 'More Accurate' Than Others

	'Cheers could be heard erupting behind an insurance representative  
from Johnson County, Iowa, as she began asking Cheney her question. She  
complained about "the inconsistencies that we see in the media" and  
asked him to "clarify some of the things that are happening in Iraq  
that really are good but just never get through the media."' .. 'Cheney  
told the questioner he has "experienced the same kind of frustration  
you have."'

Radioactive Wastewater Spills Into Rhine

	'About 8,000 gallons of radioactive water poured into the Rhine river  
in southwestern Germany after a pump malfunctioned at a nuclear plant,  
a power company said Wednesday.' ... '"The water was lightly  
contaminated," said Ommeln, who likened the radioactivity exposure of  
drinking a gallon of the water to having a dental X-ray.'

Major Oil Spill Near San Francisco // ~1 million gallons into wetlands  

[and] Company Could Be Penalized After Calif. Fuel Leak

	'"It certainly looks like they knew something was wrong 18  hours  
before they notified the authorities, and if something  like that  
happens we expect a little more prompt notification  than that," Bud  
Leland told Reuters.' ... 'The pipeline carries diesel and jet fuels  
and gasoline from  refineries in the San Francisco Bay Area to  
Sacramento and  points east and north.' .. 'Experts said it would be  
unusual for news of an oil leak to  be kept two days from the public.'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Poindexter Confidential // interesting short interview...
The Caltech physics wonk infamous for Iran-Contra, Total Information  
and terrorism futures talks about life as a not-so-private citizen.

Sasser eyed over train outage // worm-drive

	'NSW TRAINS authority RailCorp has sent in software engineers to find  
the source of the outage that left up to 300,000 commuters stranded  
yesterday, saying the new Sasser worm, which has already spawned two  
variants, is being evaluated as a possible cause.'

Superglue gun could finger bomb suspects // remote fingerprint  

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Saudi determined to protect oil facilities

	'... Western oil executives said Saturday's attack demonstrated that  
despite tight security, the kingdom's facilities were vulnerable.' ..  
'"We were fearing the worst, and now it's happened," said a Western oil  
company official in Saudi. "Everybody is vulnerable now."'

[and] U.S. Urges Americans to Leave Saudi After Attack

[and] Saudi Says Shooting Spree Was 'Act of Madness'
	'"This is an act of madness which no sane person would carry  out,"  
Prince Saud bin Abdullah, chairman of the Royal  Commission for Jubail  
and Yanbu, said of Saturday's shooting,  the first assault on an energy  
facility and the most brazen  attack yet on Westerners.' .. '"We must  
treat our guests well, especially since they came  to help develop this  
country and participated in many of our  achievements," he told Okaz  
daily. "Islam forbids such acts."' .. 'Three Saudi men, employed at the  
ABB Lummus facility, used  their entry passes to enter the site and  
helped sneak a fourth  accomplice to carry out the attack.' .. 'They  
also tied the body of one American victim to their car  and dragged him  
through the streets of the industrial city.' ... 'It was not clear if  
the attack would prompt an exodus among  the 35,000 Americans -- a move  
that could badly damage the  economy of the world's biggest oil  

[and] Afghan tanker explosion kills 31

World Energy Resources // world geological maps

	'The USGS World Petroleum Assessment is the first of its kind to  
provide a rigorous geologic foundation for estimating undiscovered  
energy resources for the world.  The results have implications for  
energy prices, policy, security, and global resource balance.'

Putin Comments on Pipeline Network

	'Russia would welcome private investment in its oil and gas pipeline  
network but it still should remain under state control, President  
Vladimir Putin said Thursday.'

Record income at Chevron-Texaco

Bulgaria to build nuclear plant

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Top Italian TV news reader quits
A leading television journalist in Italy has resigned from her job,  
criticising Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over his media influence.

	'"Never, before now, has there been such a temptation in Rai -  
especially in its main news broadcast - to mould all information in the  
shape of the parliamentary majority and the government," [Ms Gruber]  
wrote on Tuesday.' .. '"The absence of common rules, the anomalous  
concentration of power in the hands of one man and the obvious,  
unresolved conflict of interest that this has given rise to, hurts both  
broadcasting and the credibility of our democracy."'

Committee Urges Harvard to Expand the Reach of Its Undergraduate  

	'The committee's underlying conclusion, that students in a  
fast-changing world need  a wider range of knowledge,  is likely to  
have an impact on universities across the nation, many of which are  
also trying to modernize their curriculums. In making its  
recommendations, the committee was asked to address what it would "mean  
to be an educated man or woman in the first quarter of the 21st  
century."' ... 'Among the findings in its  report, which was released  
yesterday,  the committee said it was no longer sufficient to satisfy  
the science requirement with broad-based survey courses. Instead,  
students should focus on scientific principles and methods...' ..  
'"Graduates of Harvard College should be able to understand the news  
and expository articles in journals such as Science and Nature," the  
committee said.' ... 'One of the most striking recommendations is that  
every undergraduate at Harvard "be educated in the sciences in a manner  
that is as deep and broadly shared as has traditionally been the case  
in the humanities and the social sciences."'

Sheep Lost for 6 Years Gets Sheared on TV // a nice media story for a  

	'Shrek the hermit ram took six years to grow his massive fleece. On  
Wednesday, a champion shearer clipped it off in just 20 minutes on live  
television in this nation of 4 million people and 42 million sheep.'

[followup] Celebrity sheep meets NZ leader // non-EM, very funny photo  

	'He went to parliament to promote the children's charity Cure Kids but  
missed the state lunch - and its menu of lamb.' .. 'Shrek sported a  
special jacket made of merino wool to keep warm.'

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

Robotic bollards to take control // humorous image sequence...

Israel Attacks Hamas Radio Station in Gaza

	'Screaming women stood on the balconies. The building, filled with  
apartments and businesses, in the upscale Rimal neighborhood is also  
home to the two main Palestinian newspapers, Al Ayyam and Al Quds.' ..  
'Military sources said the army had attacked a Hamas radio station that  
had been broadcasting "incitement."'

// surely the following issue is more complex than the news story  
states, as the
// militarization of space and other agendas coincide and compete in  
this arena,
// yet with recent mention by the .US of .CN's 'peaceful rise' it would  
seem an
// option to collaborate and possibly utilize the ISS for peaceful  

China "shocked" at US cold shoulder in space // have space hatch, can  

	'The Chinese, who launched their first astronaut into space last year,  
are "shocked" the United States has not welcomed them into the  
tight-knit community of space-faring nations, a leading U.S. expert  
said on Tuesday, urging the U.S to cooperate with China.' .. 'Joan  
Johnson-Freese, who chairs the National Security Decision Making  
Department at the U.S. Naval War College, said one space official she  
met on a recent trip to China was very emotional as he asked for U.S.  
recognition and cooperation.' .. '"They are shocked that the U.S. is  
not reaching out to them. They want very much to work with the United  
States," she said.' .. 'The Chinese went so far as to build a docking  
ring onto their Shenzhou spacecraft that would allow it to park at the  
$95 billion International Space Station, said Johnson-Freese.' ... '...  
Johnson-Freese warned that if the U.S. falters, the nation could  
undergo something similar to the "Sputnik shock" experienced after the  
Soviets became the first to launch a satellite into Earth orbit.'

Free software project undaunted despite Apple threats // PlayFair...

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Nanogold Does Not Glitter, But Its Future Looks Bright // turns to  

	'... if gold is created in small enough chunks, it turns red, blue,  
yellow and other colors, says Chris Kiely, who directs the new  
Nanocharacterization Laboratory in Lehigh's Center for Advanced  
Materials and Nanotechnology.' .. 'Kiely, a professor of materials  
science and engineering, explores the properties of "nanogold," or gold  
particles so tiny - containing only hundreds or even tens of atoms -  
that they must be measured in nanometers... '"If... you shrink gold  
down to a nanoparticle, its properties change dramatically. Its color  
changes, it becomes a very good catalyst, and is no longer a metal -  
instead it turns into a semiconductor."'

PENINSULA by Richard M. Pollastro, Amy S. Karshbaum, and Roland J. Viger

OF SOUTH ASIA by Craig J. Wandrey and Ben E. Law

VER. 2.0  Compiled By Feliks Persits 1, Thomas Ahlbrandt 2, Michele  
Tuttle 2,
Ronald Charpentier 2, Michael Brownfield 2, Kenneth Takahashi 2

NASA earth at night map // e-lights (i.e. global nervous  


	'Electric charges are easily visible to human eyes, even though their  
motion is not. "Electricity" is not invisible! Never has been. When you  
look at a metal wire, you can see the charges of electricity which  
would flow during electric currents. They are silvery/metallic in  
color. They give metals their mirrorlike shine. Some metals have other  
colors as well, brass and copper for instance. Yet in all cases, the  
"metallic"-looking stuff is the metal's electrons. A dense crowd of  
electrons looks silvery; "electric fluid" is a silver liquid. And if  
metals weren't full of movable electrons, they wouldn't look metallic.'


09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

Boom time back in mobile market

	'The boom in cheaper camera phones combined with a surge in upgrades  
in the US, Europe and Korea to drive the resurgence, the report said.'

// case-in-point: the .US shut down its Office of Technology  
// this is a cultural outcome not just an accounting of technical  
// as the teaching and literacy has not kept pace with change, and may  
// provide accurate models or contexts for building knowledge of systems
// due to outdated and outmoded views of events, including language  
// e.g. children use wireless toys yet are not taught about EM at the  
// age, or, how many people does it take to describe how a lightbulb  
// (then, how about IR, fiberoptics, lasers, LEDs, LCDs, etc, ad  

Americans are seen losing their scientific edge // core curriculum,  

	'Foreign advances in basic science now often rival or at times exceed  
America's, apparently with little public awareness of the trend or its  
implications for jobs, industry, outsourcing, national defense and the  
vigor of the nation's intellectual and cultural life.' ... 'These  
declines are important, analysts say, because new scientific knowledge  
is an engine of the American economy and technical innovation, its  
influence evident in everything from potent drugs to fast computer  

GM delivers first full-size hybrid pickup // ~mild hybrid with e-power  

	'The trucks feature a V-8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission  
coupled with hybrid technology that delivers 10 percent to 12 percent  
better fuel economy than GM's conventional half-ton pickups.' ... 'In  
addition to improvements in fuel economy and emissions, GM's first  
hybrid pickups -- the Silverado as well as the GMC Sierra -- feature  
four 120-volt, 20 amp electrical auxiliary power outlets under the rear  
seat of the cab and in the pickup bed.'

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Tomgram:  Oil wars // via cursor.org

	'Iraq, as we all know, sits on vast oil reserves that, for complex  
reasons, have turned out to be difficult indeed to get out of the  
ground and to market.  Despite the fact that the Bush administration  
is, by prior experience, an energy administration with a geo-energy  
view of how our planet works, our media spent much prewar time ignoring  
the issue of Iraqi oil and the clear desire of administration  
hardliners to plant further American military bases in the heart of the  
energy lands of our Earth.  Oil, as a subject, was largely left to the  
business pages, when dealt with at all during those prewar (and then  
postwar and then, again, war) months.' .. 'Anyway, that was then, this  
is now.  As Marshall Auerback and Brandon Sprague both indicate, we  
should brace ourselves for future oil "wars" of unexpected kinds.'

Surviving Armageddon: Beyond the Imagination of Disaster 
(c) Mick Broderick 1992. A revised version of this text appeared in
Science Fiction Studies, #62, Vol. 20, Part 3, November 1993, pp  

	'This survey argues that the substantial sub-genre of sf cinema which  
has entertained visions of nuclear Armageddon primarily concerns itself  
with survival as its dominant discursive mode, not disatser {sic} as  
suggested by Susan Sontag. From the early post-Hiroshima films which  
anticipated global atomic conflict, the Fifties cautionary tales of  
short and long-term effects, through to Eighties hero myths of  
apocalypse, a discernable shift away from an imagination of disaster  
toward that of survival is evident. These films have drawn upon  
pre-existing mythologies of cataclysm and survival in their renderings  
of post-holocaust life, the most potent being a recasting of the  
Judeo-Christian messianic hero. The cinematic renderings of long-term  
post-nuclear survival appear highly reactionary, and seemingly advocate  
reinforcing the symbolic order of the status quo via the maintenance of  
conservative social regimes of patriarchal law (and lore). In this way  
the post-nuclear survivalist cycle of the Eighties has signified  
another mode by which a generation has learned to stop worrying and  
love -- if not the bomb -- a (post-holocaust) future, which promises a  
compelling, utopian fantasy of a biblical Eden reborn in an apocalyptic  
millennia of peace on Earth.'
em-quote: Americans targeted in Saudi attack, suspected terrorists  

	'Gunmen opened fire Saturday at an oil refinery co-owned by Exxon  
Mobil and the Saudi company SABIC in northwestern Saudi Arabia, killing  
at least three Americans, two Britons, an Australian and a Saudi,  
company officials and diplomats said.'

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Oil Price Hits Highest Level Since 1990 // via drudgereport.com

Google gets philosophical in IPO notice // intriguing. free-day-pass

Study: shoppers deserting supermarkets

	'For financially pressed consumers, it's coming down to a choice  
between spending on gasoline or groceries, and gasoline is winning, a  
food industry analysis finds.'

Skittish Investors Toss Their Chips // ~bloodbath

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

// trying to learn about the intersection of electronics hardware and
// software, their relationship in mathematics is described in the book
// below, with electrical circuit 'switches' used as logical devices.
// while relatively out-of-date in terms of technology it was helpful
// as a basic introduction, it is well illustrated, and recommended...

Book: Thinking Machines by Irving Adler, Illustated by Ruth Adler
A Layman's Introduction to Logic, Boolean Algebra, and Computers
The John Day Company, NY (c) 1961. LoC Card Catalog number: 61-5924

	'Circuits and Logic: Switching circuits and propositions have the same  
algebra. It is the two-valued Boolean algebra. Because of this fact,  
any expression in the algebra may be given two different  
interpretations. It may be interpreted as a compound switch built out  
of elementary switches, or it may be interpreted as a compound  
proposition built out of elementary propositions.' [146] 'The ~or gate,  
the ~and gate, and the ~inverter are the electrical analogues of [Venn]  
union, intersection, and complementation of classes, and of  
disjunction, conjunction, and negation of propositions. They are the  
hardware embodiment of the logical concepts denoted by the words ~or,  
~and, and ~not. With these gates supplying the basic operations of  
addition, multiplication, and complementation, [electrical] currents  
become the elements of a Boolean algebra.' [151]

// recently there was an exhibit of .UK art in .IR that seemed to be a  
// and it was imagined that such exchanges would be very fulfilling so  
as to
// learn more about cultures and cultural riches, questions and  
// so as to find some common relation otherwise that may not occur as  
// likewise, with EM-media, the Arab and Islamic world has largely  
shown the
// religious blockbuster 'the Passion' by Gibson which would seem to  
// areas of exchange exist in the arts and media (beyond news media  
wars). so
// it was wondered if various types of artworks and approaches, such as  
// computers and technologies and how they are investigated could share  
how a
// lot of the questions of modernity are actively being questioned yet  
are also
// a shared questioning, no single answer and maybe it could start  

Iranian Film Mocking Clerics Is Box-Office Hit // the comedian cometh...
	'"It's unprecedented in Iran's cinema history," said Nasser Shabani,  
manager of the Fardis-e Barin film distribution company.'

[and, most .US youth get their news filtered through TV comedians today]

Sexy and Battery-Operated, She's Too Good to Be True By JANET MASLIN

	'It doesn't take long for this mixed human-robot marriage to fail, and  
for Phyllis to wind up alone in the world, recharging her batteries at  
the laptop stations in public libraries.'

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