Monthly Archives: May 2011

“The Hobbit” films get titles and release dates

Peter Jackson’s two upcoming movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” have been given official names and release dates.

The first of the two films, which are currently being filmed back-to-back in New Zealand, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” arrives in theaters on December 14, 2012.

The sequel, opening December 13, 2013, will be known as “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Both will be released through Warner Bros.

The two prequels to Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy follow the adventures of Bilbo Baggins — to be played by Martin Freeman, with Ian Holm reprising his role as the elder Bilbo — in his quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.

The sprawling cast includes a number of other “Rings” veterans: Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey; Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.

Space Shuttle Atlantis / Endeavour crossover

The space shuttle Atlantis will make one final trip to its Florida launch pad tonight (May 31) as NASA prepares the orbiter to launch the last mission of its 30-year shuttle program on July 8.

The shuttle’s rollout, set for 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT Wednesday), also comes on the eve of the final landing of Atlantis’ sister orbiter, Endeavour. Endeavour is slated to return to Earth at 2:35 a.m. EDT (0635 GMT) on June 1, carrying six astronauts home after a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.

Both Endeavour’s landing, and Atlantis’ rollout, will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rare confluence of the two milestone events is expected to draw several thousand employees and reporters as spectators.


Space Shuttle: Endeavour
Primary Payload: Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and ELC-3
Launched: May 16
Launch Time: 8:56 a.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39A
Landing: June 1
Landing Time: 2:35 a.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mission Duration: 16 days
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles


Mission: STS-135
Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Primary Payload: Raffaello Multi-purpose Logistics Module
Launched: July 8 (Targeted for)
Launch Time: ~11:40 a.m. EDT
Launch Pad: 39A
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mission Duration: 12 days
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Happy Birthday, Big Ben

The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster–the headquarters of the British Parliament–in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock atop a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While many clockmakers dismissed this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a formidable barrister known for his expertise in horology, or the science of measuring time.

Denison’s design, built by the company E.J. Dent & Co., was completed in 1854; five years later, St. Stephen’s Tower itself was finished. Weighing in at more than 13 tons, its massive bell was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. Once it was installed, Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker designed by Denison cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.

The name “Big Ben” originally just applied to the bell but later came to refer to the clock itself. Two main stories exist about how Big Ben got its name. Many claim it was named after the famously long-winded Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time it was built. Another famous story argues that the bell was named for the popular heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, because it was the largest of its kind.

Even after an incendiary bomb destroyed the chamber of the House of Commons during the Second World War, St. Stephen’s Tower survived, and Big Ben continued to function. Its famously accurate timekeeping is regulated by a stack of coins placed on the clock’s huge pendulum, ensuring a steady movement of the clock hands at all times. At night, all four of the clock’s faces, each one 23 feet across, are illuminated. A light above Big Ben is also lit to let the public know when Parliament is in session.

Happy Memorial Day!

Flag at Half Mast

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

It Has Always Been The Soldier

My New Golf Book

Dear Friends,

Many of you may not know it, but I have been very busy over the last 2 years putting my thoughts and ideas together in a book.

I believe my new book on GOLF gives the reader valuable playing tips and insider information that I have gained through my years of struggle and experience. I’m hopeful you find this a useful tool to help you enjoy your game that much more as you enjoy the great outdoors.

Chapter 1 – How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt.

Chapter 2 – How to Hit a Nike from the Rough, when you Hit a Titleist from the tee.

Chapter 3 – How to Avoid the Water when You Lie 8 in a bunker.

Chapter 4 – How to Get More Distance off the Shank.

Chapter 5 – When to Give the Ranger the Finger.

Chapter 6 – Using Your Shadow on the Greens to Maximize Earnings.

Chapter 7 – When to Implement Handicap Management.

Chapter 8 – Proper Excuses for Drinking Before 9:00 a.m.

Chapter 9 – How to Rationalize a 6 Hour Round.

Chapter 10- When Does A Divot become classified as Sod.

Chapter 11 – How to Find That Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go in the water.

Chapter 12 – Why your Spouse Doesn’t Care That You Birdied the 5th..

Chapter 13 – Using Curse words Creatively to Control Ball Flight.

Chapter 14 – When to Let a Foursome Play through Your Twosome.

Chapter 15 – How to Relax When You Are Hitting five off the Tee.

Chapter 16 – When to Suggest Major Swing Corrections to Your Opponent.

Chapter 17 – God and the Meaning of the Birdie-to-Bogey Three Putt.

Chapter 18 – When to Regrip Your Ball Retriever.

Chapter 19 – Throwing Your Clubs: An Effective Stress-Reduction Technique.

Chapter 20 – Can You Purchase a Better Golf Game?

Chapter 21 – Proper Apology for Clearing Your Throat During Opponent’s Backswing.

Chapter 22 – Why Male Golfers Will Pay .00 a Beer from the Cart Girl and Give her a Tip , but will balk at .50 at the 19th Hole and stiff the Bartender.

Thanking you in advance for your order.

Happy Birthday, Ian Fleming!


Ian Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming (May 28, 1908 – August 12, 1964)

Ian Lancaster Fleming  was an English author and journalist, best remembered for writing the James Bond series of novels as well as the children’s story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Wikipedia Link

Sinking of the Bismark

On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.

On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.

In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down, all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British Home Fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27 three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off.

Happy Birthday, Bocephus!

Hank Williams, Jr. is an American country and southern rock artist, son of country music pioneer Hank Williams and father of Hank III and Holly Williams.

Known by the nickname Bocephus (a name given to him by his father because he thought his son as a baby resembled a TV ventriloquist dummy named Bocephus), he was raised by his mother Audrey after his father’s death in 1953. He was destined for fame, being taught how to play piano by Jerry Lee Lewis and guitar by Johnny Cash. He began performing when eight years old.

Hank Williams, Jr.

Hank Williams, Jr. (May 26, 1949 - )

Wikipedia Link

Hoe Knife

Hoe Knife 1

Hoe Knife 2

Hoe Knife 3

A hoe weighing 8 tons is on top of a flatbed trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, reinforced with 1 1/2 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing.

Solve: When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half? (Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver.)


Photographs displayed above capture the aftermath of an accident that occurred on the evening of February 13, 2006 on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The driver of a semi-tractor trailer that was hauling a track hoe excavator on a flatbed misestimated the clearance at an overpass, and the boom of the hoe collided with the overpass and knocked a 45-foot gap through the deck of the bridge. The accident forced an 11-day closure of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70. (The bridge itself remained closed even after the highway reopened.)

The driver of the rig was uninjured, although he was later cited for not having clearance to drive on the interstate. The Kansas Department of Transportation said the construction company for which the driver worked would be liable for the cost of repairs to the overpass, which were estimated at $134,000 as of late March 2006.

34th Anniversary of Star Wars

Star Wars

On this day in 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

Wikipedia Link

Towel Day

Towel Day

Today is Towel Day, a day of remembrance for Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. Observe it by carrying a towel all day.


There’s an elephant in the room…

The expression “elephant in the room” refers to a situation where something major is going on, it’s on everyone’s mind and impossible to ignore — like an elephant in the room. But nobody talks about the “elephant” because nobody knows what to do about it.

Sinister 6

Sinister 6 BMW

Sinister 6 BMW

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Cat with an Attitude

Cat with an Attitude

Three Events

Today in History

Three events have anniversaries on this day. Two of them have had a great impact on my life, and one had a great impact on the lives of many others, of which I was not one.

On this day in 1988, at 10:55 p.m., just outside Carrollton (KY), a bus’s headlights illuminated an oncoming black pickup — a drunken driver going the wrong way on the interstate. It smashed into the bus, puncturing the fuel tank and crushing its main door. 27 people died, most of them either burned to death, or from smoke inhalation.

On this day in 1994, I moved from Western New York to Louisville, Kentucky. My life was changed forever by the move from the rural life I had always known, to living in the 16th largest city in the US (2007).

And finally, on this day in 2008, my mom, Sarah Louise Fulford – Weise – Walters, and my dad, Barry Arthur “Red” Walters were buried together in a ceremony in Mayville, New York. Dad passed away in December 1996, and mom in April 2008.

2011 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept

Sesto Elemento

Sesto Elemento Rear

Sesto Elemento Top

Sesto Elemento Interior

Sesto Elemento Interior 2

Press release

Lamborghini is redefining the future of the super sports car with a unique technology demonstrator. Boasting an extremely lightweight construction thanks to advanced carbon-fiber technology, the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento has an overall curb weight of just 999 kilograms (2,202 lb) – including V10 power unit and permanent all-wheel drive. This makes the Sesto Elemento a unique demonstration of the technological expertise of Automobili Lamborghini. Innovative carbon-fiber technologies are being used here for the first time in an automotive application. As a 100 percent subsidiary of AUDI AG, the Italian carmaker also benefits from the undisputed expertise of the German manufacturer when it comes to lightweight construction.

With its amazing output of 570 hp, sensational power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per hp and 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration of only 2.5 seconds, the Sesto Elemento guarantees unparalleled driving fun. At the same time, fuel consumption also drops because of the extreme lightweight engineering applied throughout.

The name of this technology demonstrator is derived from the periodic table, where carbon is classified as the sixth element. Thus, the Sesto Elemento demonstrates the worldwide leading expertise of Lamborghini in carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) technology. The super sports car brand from Sant’Agata Bolognese is the only vehicle manufacturer in the world to have mastered the complete CFRP process across a range of technologies, from 3D design through simulation, validation, production and testing – all in a state-of-the-art industrial process that stands for the very highest quality standards.

Lamborghini drives the technology development in its two research centers the ACRC (Advanced Composite Research Center) and the ACSL (Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory) through collaborations with organizations such as Boeing, with the resulting technology secured under a host of patents.

“The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento shows how the future of the super sports car can look – extreme lightweight engineering, combined with extreme performance results in extreme driving fun. We put all of our technological competence into one stunning form to create the Sesto Elemento,” comments Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “It is our abilities in carbon-fiber technology that have facilitated such a forward-thinking concept, and we of course also benefit from the undisputed lightweight expertise of AUDI AG. Systematic lightweight engineering is crucial for future super sports cars: for the most dynamic performance, as well as for low emissions. We will apply this technological advantage right across our model range. Every future Lamborghini will be touched by the spirit of the Sesto Elemento.”

Microsoft to acquire Skype

Microsoft Skype

REDMOND, Wash., and LUXEMBOURG – May 10, 2011 – Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) and Skype Global S.à r.l today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype.

The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.

A-10 ‘Warthog’ Monster Truck

A10 Monster Truck

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Ultimate Trojan!

I have created a trojan which can automatically create a new user account on a computer, delete any and all files, and direct a computer’s browser to unsafe sites provided that it has physical access to a targeted computer.

It’s called ‘a human being’.

Go North

Go Northeast
Author : Imran Nazar

He found himself waking up in a field. There was nothing unusual about that; he’d camped up in fields many times during his travels. Something was different this morning, though. For one thing, he could feel the wind over his face, and that meant he was in the open.

He opened his eyes. Expecting to see the dark green of his tent over him, he found a blue sky, tinged with the orange of a rising sun. He was indeed in the open, so where was his tent?

He sat up, rubbing his eyes, trying to focus. Around him, there was just grass; it was an open field, and he was apparently asleep right in the middle. He couldn’t remember finding this field; even if he had picked this place to sleep overnight, his tent would’ve been over him, and he’d be nearer the woods. Maybe the tent blew away last night, but he couldn’t see it now. He’d have to find another at some point.

He looked behind him, and there was a house in the distance. With the sun behind it, lying in its own shadow, the house looked stark. He could see, though, that it was a wooden house. The walls were lime-washed, and it looked like some of the windows were broken. The front door had been boarded over at one point, but the board had fallen away on one side.

He felt himself being drawn to the house, for some reason. Maybe because the side window was open just enough for one person to get through, though anything useful was probably long gone. His plan was to head further south today; his old map showed a village by the road, which might prove a good source of food for the next couple of weeks.

He got up, and made ready to leave. Instead of heading south, he turned around to face the house. He found himself walking towards the open window, as though something was pushing him towards it; as though a command had been given.