~e; Electromagnetic News & Views #108

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 17 May 2004 22:39:38 -0500

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #108

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (5/17/2004)

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-- 	oil.

(revised the structure of http://www.electronetwork.org/ to consolidate
a few sections by attempting to  bonsai prune the springtime website.)

01) --top stories--

U.S. troops find electricity and work remain biggest concerns of most  

Russia Wants Faster Aid for 'Rotting' Nuclear Subs // *** nuclear  

	'"The longer a submarine remains without being scrapped and without  
the nuclear fuel being removed... the more danger for the environment,  
the greater the risk of these materials falling into the hands of  
terrorists or other groups for malicious purposes," [Deputy Atomic  
Energy Minister Sergei] Antipov said in an interview.' .. '"Any of the  
submarines -- and we have 96 waiting to be scrapped -- could sink. Any  
of them could rust through or break up. Anything could happen," he told  
Reuters in Berlin, where he attended a 14-nation meeting on the issue  
last week.' .. 'The submarines are decommissioned vessels of the former  
Soviet fleet, some of which "have been rotting at their piers for  
several decades," Antipov told parliament last November.'

[and] Fire Shuts Down Nuclear Plant in France

Oil Prices Fuel Rise in Strategic Reserves // via drudgereport.com

	'With crude oil trading above  $41 a barrel and terrorism fears  
helping to inflate the price, the U.S. has quietly continued to fill  
its emergency reserves to the highest level ever -- an amount experts  
say could be used to bring prices down, Monday's Wall Street Journal  
reported.' ... 'Terrorism fears have resulted in a so-called terrorism  
premium that has pushed up crude prices as much as  $5 to  $10 a barrel  
over what supply and demand would suggest, some experts say.'

A Crude Shock By PAUL KRUGMAN // ~very, very high prices, oil driven  

	'The oil crises of the 1970's began with big supply disruptions: the  
Arab oil embargo after the 1973 Israeli-Arab war and the 1979 Iranian  
revolution. This time, despite the chaos in Iraq, nothing comparable  
has happened — yet. Nonetheless, because of rising demand that is led  
by soaring Chinese consumption, the world oil market is already  
stretched tight as a drum, and crude oil prices are $12 a barrel higher  
than they were a year ago. What if something really does go wrong?' ...  
'... with more bad news, we'll be looking at a real crisis — one that  
could do a lot of economic damage. Each $10 per barrel increase in  
crude prices is like a $70 billion tax increase on American consumers,  
levied through inflation. The spurt in producer prices last month was a  
taste of what will happen if prices stay high. By the way, after the  
1979 Iranian revolution world prices went to about $60 per barrel in  
today's prices.'

U.S. Oil Flow, 2000 // infographic... (see transportation use! vs.  
power gen.)

The Refining Process // with infographic.

[and] How Refining works // ** infographic...

	'Different hydrocarbon chain lengths all have progressively higher  
boiling points, so they can all be separated by distillation. This is  
what happens in an oil refinery - in one part of the process, crude oil  
is heated and the different chains are pulled out by their vaporization  
temperatures. Each different chain length has a different property that  
makes it useful in a different way....'


	'In a refinery, crude oil is converted by physical and chemical  
processes into a wide range of useful products. There are more than 900  
refineries in operation around the world, more than a quarter of which  
are in the USA. Many have sophisticated conversion facilities which  
enable them to handle many different types of crude and provide the  
range of products from oil each market needs.' ... [note] "One group of  
products deserves a special mention: many chemicals are derived from  
oil. The petrochemical industry is closely allied to the oil industry  
-- indeed many petrochemical plants share facilities with oil  
refineries. Petrochemicals provide products which compete with products  
made from scarce natural resources: synthetic rubbers instead of  
natural rubbers, detergents instead of soap. They also provide entirely  
new products which have transformed our daily lives: plastic durable  
household products, packaging in supermarkets, "easy-care" fabrics,  
dyes, adhesives and paints. The chemical industry depends on supplies  
of oils as feedstocks for the manufacture of thousands of products  
which contribute to the comfort and convenience of our modern  

[and] Products from Oil // infographic

02-- electromagnetic health & safety

Student's Ringing Cell Phone Sparks Fire While Pumping Gas // via  

Power Line Health Facts ...information for the concerned // (meters)  
thanks *

USDA: Cattle Brains May Be Turned Into Biofuels // via ae-l (mad cow  

	'Cattle brains and other remains that may carry the deadly mad cow  
disease would be turned into biofuels under a plan announced on Monday  
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.' .. 'Cattle brains, skull, eyes,  
spinal column, small intestine and other parts suspected of harboring  
mad cow disease were banned from human consumption in December as a  
safety precaution, shortly after the discovery of the first case of mad  
cow disease in the United States.' ... ' Under the new USDA program, a  
$50 million loan guarantee program would be set up to help small  
businesses in rural areas develop ways to turn cattle brains and other  
high-risk parts into a "bio-based source of energy."' .. 'Bill Hagy, a  
deputy administrator at USDA's rural development agency, said the  
purpose of the pilot program was to gauge commercial interest and to  
solicit ideas for alternate energy uses for the cattle parts.' ..  
'"There are incinerating facilities out there that possibility could,  
with some retooling, be able to accommodate the need," Hagy said.'

Placebos effect revealed in calmed brain cells

Study In Flies Allows Researchers To Visualize Formation Of A Memory

	'This is the first time that optical imaging has been used to  
visualize a memory trace, Dr. Davis says. "It's phenomenally powerful,  
like a movie appearing in front of you," he adds. The study suggests  
that the earliest representation of a new memory occurs by rapid  
changes – "like flipping a switch" – in the number of neuronal  
connections that respond to the odor, rather than by formation of new  
connections or by an increase in the number of neurons that represent  
an odor, he adds.' .. 'The fact that the flies continued to show a  
learned response even after the new synaptic activity waned suggests  
that other memory traces found at higher levels in the brain took over  
to encode the memory for a longer period of time, Dr. Davis suggests.  
If so, the rapid changes of nerve transmission that the researchers saw  
may be the all-important switch that initiates the formation of new  

03-- electromagnetic trash & treasure

em-headline: Report: Phone lines thwart "Idol" voters // (free-day-pass)

	'Many would-be "American Idol" voters are disenfranchised by  
overburdened phone lines and by "power dialers" who hog the system, the  
magazine Broadcasting & Cable reported.' .. 'According to the magazine,  
"the only people choosing the next 'American Idol" are the ones lucky  
enough to get through -- or skilled enough to get around --  
tremendously overtaxed phone lines."' .. 'Fox TV, which airs the talent  
contest, has failed to address the difficulties viewers face in logging  
votes, the magazine said in a story for Monday's issue.'

Man Hurls Phones, Causes $2K Store Damage // via drudgereport.com

	'Police said Perala took off his shirt and put on safety glasses  
before throwing around computers, phones and other items.'

UPS to recycle gear for tech companies: United Parcel Service has  
a new service for companies that want to recycle used and worn-out
electronic devices and components collected from their customers.

Farms transform cow manure into electricity

	'The Straus Family Creamery's new $280,000 methane digester, unveiled  
Thursday, converts manure from its herd of 270 cows into electricity  
that helps power the farm and creamery.' ... The technology not only  
provides an alternative form of energy, but helps cut emissions of  
methane -- a greenhouse gas far more damaging to the ozone layer than  
carbon dioxide. It also reduces agricultural runoff that pollutes  
surface and ground water with coliform bacteria and nitrogen.'

04-- electromagnetic security & surveillance

Wi-Fi networks can be jammed from PDAs // WiFiDoS

	'AusCERT says attacks will be hard to foil because the problem  
exploited is inherent in the Wi-Fi protocol. However, such an attack  
can only deny access to the network - it will not enable hackers to  
access user's data or computers.'

Israel Succeeding Against Media Piracy

EM-quote from: Science Fairs Are Turning to U.S. Security

	'Although corporations have long given scholarships, this is the first  
year that the Homeland Security Department participated. The department  
gave $10 million in scholarships and fellowships last year to students  
interested in security.'

Transmeta to add antivirus feature to chips // NX technology = No  

Labs-on-a-chip To Detect Milk Contamination // disposable mini-sensors

[and] NASA Partnership Produces Technology Breakthrough
That Allows On-the-spot Chemical Analysis // star trek.

	'The newly developed vacuum X-ray fluorescent analyzer can identify  
and characterize a wide range of elements, and is capable of detecting  
chemical elements with low atomic numbers — such as sodium, aluminum  
and silicon. It is the only hand-held product on the market with that  

05-- electromagnetic power & energy

Support grows for oil output rise:  Pressure is growing on members of
the oil cartel Opec to boost output in order to curb soaring price  

// see image of 'control room' as a common, repeating type in various  
// of buildings, from ports and airports (control towers) to media  
// to military and industry (traffic control, for instance), or even in  
// most ubiquitous images of Homer Simpson in a nuclear power control  
// it is imagined that the abilities of such places today are to be  
able to
// command infrastructures at a distance, in some centralized review  
// when things are automated or done remotely, or maybe decisions  
switch by
// way of information flows, it would seem likely this type of place is  
// of the critical infrastructure, if it is for a powergrid, city,  
// industry, or global warfare and tracking spacejunk via the Norad  

Why the Saudis May Not Rescue Oil Markets This Time
	'In fact, since the terrorist attacks in September 2001, the influence  
of the United States in Saudi Arabia's economy and internal affairs  
appears to be weakening a bit. American companies built much of the  
modern Saudi economy - Saudi Arabia Airlines started as a unit of  
T.W.A., for example, and Aramco began as a venture of four American oil  
companies. Recently, however, European, Chinese and Russian companies  
have won important contracts in  areas like natural-gas exploration. It  
is also less clear than it used to be that concerns over gasoline  
prices in the United States influence Saudi Arabia to produce more or  
less oil.

Oil Supply

World Oil Production by Region, 1980-1999 // infographic...

Oil Market Basics - Table of Contents

Oil Graphs and Charts

06-- electromagnetic current & human affairs

Iran 'anti-cleric' film withdrawn: The makers of an Iranian box-office  
hit seen
as satirising the religious establishment have decided to withdraw the  

	'Mr Mohammadi also lashed out at his critics.' .. '"Those who oppose  
Marmoulak do not want cinema to exist as a modern medium," he said.' ..  
'Marmoulak's release was delayed by a month as the religious  
authorities debated whether or not to ban it.'

// the 'antenna' political metaphor/analogy used again at the ending of  
// age of media monopoly, and the domination of one-way broadcasting  
// today might be considered narrowcasting writ large, versus  
// understanding and multi-directional signals and 'critical'  
// a downside for Sisyphus being 'the media messenger' as an  
// presidential commercials, presidential newscasts, presidential  
NASCAR flag,
// presidential epic stories, in line with megalomaniacal 20th c.  
leaders in
// amplifying the imagery beyond realities, many times the size of the  
// making larger than life and immortal. well-documented manipulation  
// the role of the microphone and loudspeaker and film and radio in the  
20th c.
// now merge with greater speed and global coverage, non-stop media  
// have been wondering for years if any political scientists have  
studied the
// specific use of EM technologies, beyond 'mass media' and into  
// from databases, polls & phones to radio, web, film, tv  
entertainment, etc.

EM-quote: from TPM May 13, 2004 -- 05:29 PM EDT. Reed Irvine-in-Chief?

	'This is a passage from Tuesday's ~Washington Times~, which is itself  
an excerpt from Bill Sammon's new insider account of the Bush  
presidency, ~Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism~, ~John  
Kerry and the Bush Haters.~  (emphasis added)' ... [quoting:  'The  
president prides himself on his ability to detect bias in ostensibly  
objective news stories.' .. '"My antennae are finely attuned," he said.  
"I can figure out what so-called 'news' pieces are going to be full of  
opinion, as opposed to news. So I'm keenly aware of what's in the  
papers, kind of the issue du jour. But I'm also aware of the facts."']'

07-- electromagnetic transport & communication

E3: Canadians love hockey games while Quebecers love racing titles //  

	'Jason Anderson, Xbox's group marketing manager in Canada, points to  
the success of driving games in La Belle Province.' .. '"RalliSport  
(Challenge) 1 sold 50 per cent better in Quebec than any other province  
- it's unbelievable," he said "I think that has a lot to do with a more  
European culture in Quebec, with driving bigger in Europe, and quite  
frankly the success of Jacques Villeneuve. Quebecers absolutely love  
driving games."' .. 'Nintendo says adventure games do much better  
proportionally in Canada than in the U.S.' ... 'Canadians share many  
gaming tastes with their American counterparts, but there are  
differences when it comes to sports.' .. '"What we found is most genres  
are fairly similar, action, first-person (shooter) role-playing games,"  
Anderson said. "Where we see the huge difference obviously is sports.  
Hockey versus football. Hockey is obviously huge for us, football is  
not. And then it's the opposite in the U.S."'

[and] Rome: First a Game, Now on TV // History Channel uses videogame  

[and] Sex and the single gamer: Video games tread paths of love and lust

	'"There is absolutely no violence in this game," Boxmeyer said.  
"Except for a comical knee to the groin."'

Hy-Wire Driving Is a Gas // ~monster golf cart.

	'Powered by 200 fuel cells inside an 11-inch-thick chassis fixed like  
a giant skateboard under the car, the Hy-wire's most exciting element  
is its environmental footprint. It has none, according to General  
Motors -- the car takes in only air and leaves behind nothing but  
water. Simple as fifth-grade science: O2 + H = H20. And this driver  
didn't detect even the H20.' .. 'The vibrating whine of its air  
compressor inhaling all that O2 made the Hy-wire sound like a getaway  
car in Minority Report -- or an electric hedge trimmer, depending on  
how impressed you are.' ... 'The vertical handles, or paddles, worked  
like a motorcycle -- twist to go, squeeze to stop. Steering is done by  
rotating the control mechanism like a joystick, causing the wheels to  
turn.' ... '"It's for the PlayStation generation, when they grow up,"  
the rep told me. I asked if they made an Atari version. Quite  
seriously, I was told that yes, they could make one...'

08-- electromagnetic matter & information

Following Earth's Magnetic Field: // sensitivity to artificial EMFs.  
humans too?
Chemical Reaction In Birds Provides Sense Of Direction During Migratory  

	'Migrating birds stay on track because of chemical reactions in their  
bodies that are influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field, a UC  
Irvine-led team of researchers has found.' .. 'The birds are sensitive  
even to rapidly fluctuating artificial magnetic fields. These fields  
had no effect on magnetic materials such as magnetite, indicating that  
the birds do not rely on simple chunks of magnetic material in their  
beaks or brains to determine direction, as experts had previously  
suggested.' [note ***] 'In the experiments, the robins could walk and  
flutter in their cages but could not fly. The birds oriented well in  
the Earth’s magnetic field alone, but were disoriented in the presence  
of a broad-band (0.1-10 megahertz) and 7 megahertz oscillating field,  
aligned at a 24 or 48 degree angle to the Earth’s magnetic field. When  
the same 7 megahertz oscillating field was aligned parallel to the  
Earth’s magnetic field, the robins showed normal migratory orientation  

[and] Solar wind to shield Earth during pole flip // it is still a  

	'A new model of the way the Earth interacts with the solar wind  
indicates that a replacement field will form in the upper atmosphere  
during the switch.' .. 'Scientists had previously thought that the  
planet would be left without a protective shield to stop lethal  
radiation from space reaching the surface.' .. 'The strength of the  
Earth's magnetic field is known to drop during "magnetic reversals",  
when the north and south poles swap places. Records of the field  
direction, frozen into sediments laid down on the seabed, show that the  
magnetic field has reversed hundreds of times in the past 400 million  
years.' ... 'Their simulations show that the solar wind - the  
million-kilometre-an-hour stream of hydrogen and helium nuclei from the  
sun - wraps itself around the Earth in a way that induces a magnetic  
field in the ionosphere as strong as the original field.'

[and] Magnetic Switching Slower Than Expected

	'The speed at which magnets switch polarity is 1,000 times slower than  
researchers previously expected, if new experimental results are  
correct.' ... 'Magnetic recording speed -- crucial to a computer's  
power and multimedia capabilities -- "depends on how fast one can  
switch a magnet's poles," Calder added.' .. 'At the speed limit,  
magnets start to behave chaotically, losing their ability to transmit  
organized information like a car spinning out of control at high speed.  
Experts expected to push up against this limit eventually, but not this  
soon.' ... 'Moving electrons forms magnetic fields, according to  
Maxwell's Laws, and Stanford's two-mile-long Linear Accelerator, or  
SLAC, created an electric current similar to that in a hard drive.' ..  
'The idea to use the linear accelerator as a data recorder "came to  
Siegmann in the mid-1990s, literally out of a lightning bolt," Calder  
told NewsFactor.' .. 'Siegmann surmised that the linear accelerator  
could record data magnetically in the same way lightning leaves a  
magnetic signature when it strikes a rock.' .. 'SLAC's beam moves  
electrons near light speed, creating some of the world's strongest and  
briefest magnetic pulses -- two picoseconds (two trillionths of a  
second).' .. 'Studying photographs of the firing electrons in magnetic  
recording media, the researchers realized their data resembled a  
chaotic system -- one whose parts behave in a random, unpredictable  
way.' .. 'At only picosecond and not femtosecond levels, "that's the  
new thing," Siegmann told NewsFactor.'

How Black Boxes Work

Scientists Prepare for Rare Astronomical Event // universal standards.

	'During the transit, the orbits of Venus and the earth, which tilt at  
different angles, around the sun will line up exactly. It occurs four  
times in every 243 years. There are two December transits, eight years  
apart, and then 121.5 years later there are two June transits, also  
eight years apart. After another 105.5 years the cycle begins again.'  
.. '"It is a very special period of six hours," said Bromage.' ..  
'British astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks recorded the first transit of  
Venus across the sun in 1639.' .. 'The event is significant because it  
happens so rarely. Previous transits have also given scientists an  
opportunity to measure the scale of the universe and the distance from  
the Earth to the sun, which is called the astronomical unit (AU).' ..  
'"Without that we couldn't measure any distances in the universe. Every  
other distances we measure...are all derived from the measurement of  
this basic yardstick -- the distance from the Earth to the sun,"  
Bromage said.'

image of Venus // amazing, maybe UV? via drudgereport.com

09-- electromagnetic trends & inventions

U.S. Navy Plans Submerged Composite Turbine To Generate Electricity -  
April 2004

	'The U.S. Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Div.  
(Bethesda, Md., U.S.A.) has signed a cooperative agreement with Florida  
Hydro Power and Light (FHPL, Palatka, Fla., U.S.A.) to design and test  
a prototype all-composite, subsea hydroelectric turbine for generating  
electricity from ocean currents.' ... 'Williams has applied for a  
federal permit to install hundreds of the turbines in the Gulf Stream  
current, according to a published story in the Miami Herald. He claims  
that the low-speed turbines, spinning at about 2 rpm in the current's 4  
mph flow, could produce cheap power, costing as little as 1 cent per  
kWh (USD) as compared to recent American Wind Energy Assn. (Washington,  
D.C., U.S.A.) statistics that report energy cost from state-of-the-art  
wind turbines at 3 to 6 cents/kWh with fossil-fuel/combustion turbines  
running 3.8 to 6 cents/kWh (see also "Changes in the Wind," in this  
issue, p. 26).'

10-- electromagnetic weaponry & warfare

Army plans battle biomonitors: // sensing intangibles...
Gadgets could transmit fatigue stats from the field

	'Not everyone agrees that high tech monitoring is the best way to  
predict fatigue.'

UN calls for new nuclear controls // International Community nuclear  
The head of the United Nation's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, has
called for a new global system to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Iraqi scientists targeted:
Killings prompt calls for US to evacuate weapons researchers.

	'Between five and ten scientists have been killed in the past six  
months, according to a US Department of State official who runs  
programmes aimed at keeping former weapons scientists in employment.  
"The most common explanation is that they've shown an interest in  
working with the coalition," says the official, who declined to be  
identified by name and who returned from Iraq earlier this month.' ...  
'Between them, the Iraqi scientists hold considerable knowledge of  
chemical, biological and nuclear weapons from programmes that now seem  
to have been defunct long before the US-led coalition invaded Iraq in  
March 2003. But the killings are only the latest setback in plans to  
redirect their knowledge and skills...'

11-- electromagnetic business & economics

Iraq car bomb slaying sends oil price up // ~if...then "much higher"...

	'The assassination highlighted the threat of sabotage hanging over the  
oil market, [Refco market analyst Marshall] Steeves said.' .. '"There  
is also a fear that it is going to spread to Saudi Arabia," he said.'

[and] Saudis 'too late' to stem fuel price rise

	'The most striking example of Opec's lack of spare oil supply is  
Indonesia, the group's only Asian member, which is on the cusp of  
becoming a net crude oil importer, raising questions about its  
membership of the organisation.'

After flashy failures, Internet grocery quietly grows to $2.4 billion  

	'The key struggle for grocers is to make their service convenient  
enough and the cost low enough - most charge less than $10 for delivery  
- to change decades of shopping habits. Online grocers also need to  
operate in cities with high population densities and heavy Internet  

12-- electromagnetic artworks & artifacts

Carnegie Mellon Student Develops Origami Folding Robot

	'Balkcom's thesis project uses kinematics, the study of mechanisms, to  
determine how folding motions are made and how paper can be treated as  
both a flexible and a rigid material. Because robots are so often used  
for industrial and manufacturing purposes, they are engineered to work  
with rigid materials, Balkcom said. Paper presents a significant  
problem because it is flexible.'

// imagery of 'sculpting with electrons' or 'sexed-up' metalworking...

Micro-sculptures give metal the Velcro touch // new built  

	'The projection is grown by repeating the process and sluicing molten  
metal over it from different directions. "It's a bit like sweeping up  
leaves, except you start at the point where you want them to  
accumulate," says Dance's colleague, Colin Ribton.' .. 'Electromagnetic  
fields controlled by software choreograph the electron beam's movements  
around the metal, teasing out many projections at once.' .. 'The  
process is fast. It takes less than 10 seconds to create thousands of  
projections on a plate 10 centimetres square. "The whole surface erupts  
seemingly simultaneously," Ribton says.' ... 'Like joining two pieces  
of Velcro, TWI says it can bond a metal to a composite simply by  
pressing them together. The carbon fibres in the composite wrap tightly  
around the protrusions, creating a firm bond without any kind of glue.'  
.. 'Dance says his early tests show that these joints will last far  
longer than current composite-metal joints, which are held together by  

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