British Grand Prix/Silverstone set for next 17 years

Formula 1 will continue to take place in Britain for the next 17 years after a deal was struck between Silverstone’s owners and the sport’s chief Bernie Ecclestone…

Silverstone’s comeback took place despite rival track Donington Park being awarded the contract to host the British Grand Prix from 2010. However, that circuit lost out after failing to secure the $200 million needed to fund redevelopment plans. That had led to fears Ecclestone would look to move the race abroad…

“But 17 years gives us the ability to invest and move forward. We’ve always had the belief the British Grand Prix was an important cornerstone of Formula One but, with Bernie, you’re never quite sure.

No kidding!

Phillips described the deal as “peace in our time” between the circuit’s owners, the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), and Ecclestone.

Pretty similar to negotiating with the last clown who promised the same.

Chicago man charged in 2008 terrorist plot to attack Mumbai


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The Chicago man with roots in Pakistan who was arrested two months ago for planning to attack a Danish newspaper now faces the much more serious charge that he was deeply involved in planning the 2008 massacre in India that killed more than 150 people, according to court documents filed by the Justice Department.

Court documents charge that David Coleman Headley, 49, an American citizen who is the son of a former Pakistani diplomat and a Philadelphia socialite, conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai, India, for more than two years prior to the attacks by the terrorist group called Lakshar-e-Taiba, which is based in Pakistan. Six Americans were among the dead in those attacks.

He has been charged with conspiracy to murder and maim in a foreign country, and material support of terrorism. Federal officials said the most serious charges, conspiring to carry out bombings that resulted in deaths, carry possible sentences of death or life in prison.

The Justice Department said that Mr. Headley, who is cooperating with the government’s investigation, spent several years and considerable effort on behalf of the plotters, attended training by the group in Pakistan, videotaped targets and briefed the other conspirators on how to carry out the attack on India’s largest city.

“Cooperating” he may be – now – but, the narrative of Headley’s activities on behalf of terrorists is pretty chilling. I realize that once caught pretty much anyone may choose to be useful to further investigation and arrests in hope of getting a reduced sentence for himself. This dude sounds like he was deeply involved in the essential planning of serious destruction. Throw away the key!

RTFA. Not a nice guy. Thoroughly dazzled by his religious dementia.

Google will include real-time data in search results

Google has introduced so-called “real-time web” results into its search engine.

It means that Google will display information from news organisations, blogs and platforms, such as Twitter, as soon as it is published.

Google said it was “the first time” that a search engine had integrated the real-time web into its results page…

Our users will get the results as they are produced,” said Google fellow Amit Singhal at an event in Mountain View in California…

The real-time data will be displayed in a constantly updating stream within the normal results page.

Har! This should really contribute to world-class paranoia over search engines in general and Google in particular.

Kit Kat certified – big boost for Fairtrade chocolate

The UK’s best-selling chocolate biscuit bar, Kit Kat, is to receive ethical certification through the Fairtrade quality mark, announced today.

After lengthy talks between the UK arm of the Swiss food giant Nestlé and the Fairtrade Foundation, the familiar blue and green logo will appear on the wrappers of Kit Kats in the UK and Ireland from January. Initially the certification will only apply to the larger four-finger Kit Kats but it will be extended to the smaller bars.

The move represents a major coup for Fairtrade, which earlier this year certified Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and means chocolate is now a mainstream Fairtrade product alongside bananas, tea and coffee.

It follows the October launch of Nestlé’s global Cocoa Plan, a £65m investment programme over the next 10 years to tackle the key economic, social and environmental issues facing cocoa farming communities. Farmers living and working in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producing country, will be the main beneficiaries.

As well as the Fairtrade price (or market price if higher) for the cocoa, farmers’ groups receive extra Fairtrade premium payments to invest in long-term community and business projects of their own choice, such as education and healthcare. The sugar in the product will also be Fairtrade certified, sourced from Belize.

Kit Kat, made in York, is the UK’s favourite chocolate biscuit bar, with 1 billion sold here each year. Launched in 1935 and originally called Chocolate Crisp, it has grown to become Nestlé’s biggest confectionery brand in the UK, making up approximately 23% of its UK sales.

I think they just need to work out the weight vs. cost design of the Kit-Kat to achieve similar market share here in the States. You have to feel like you’re not paying for too much air when you heft the confection.

Oh, Fairtrade? Beneficial and useful. It’s part of our shopping plan each week. But, I like Kit-Kats, too.

Base-jumper electrocuted – Darwin Award candidate

An Arizona man was electrocuted when he parachuted from a cellphone tower at night and landed on high-voltage power lines, police said.

Darrell Dunafon, 23, of Casa Grande, had broken through a fence surrounding the cell tower with two friends and climbed the tower Friday night, KSAZ, TV, Phoenix, reported.

Dunafon fell onto a 12,000-volt live wire in Casa Grande, Lt. Tamatha Villar of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office told The Arizona Republic…

Dunafon’s friends may face criminal charges, Villar said.

His friends probably aren’t any brighter than he was.

‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation’

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world’s response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days. We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone.

The science is complex but the facts are clear. The world needs to take steps to limit temperature rises to 2C, an aim that will require global emissions to peak and begin falling within the next 5-10 years. A bigger rise of 3-4C — the smallest increase we can prudently expect to follow inaction — would parch continents, turning farmland into desert. Half of all species could become extinct, untold millions of people would be displaced, whole nations drowned by the sea. The controversy over emails by British researchers that suggest they tried to suppress inconvenient data has muddied the waters but failed to dent the mass of evidence on which these predictions are based.

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Study finds that cats don’t sleep much with bulky cameras strapped to their necks


If you look real carefully, you can see the camera.

Fifty house cats were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes. The results put a digital dent in some human theories about catnapping.

Based on the photos, about 22 percent of the cats’ time was spent looking out of windows, 12 percent was used to interact with other family pets and 8 percent was spent climbing on chairs or kitty condos. Just 6 percent of their hours were spent sleeping.

“What surprised me was how active the cats were. I believed my three cats were sleeping during the day,” said Jill Villarreal, an animal behavior scientist who collected the data for Nestle Purina PetCare’s Friskies brand of cat food.

Body at centre of inheritance row – goes missing!

Wealthy Spanish timber trader Crisanto López was good at both business and seduction. On his death he left behind not just a fortune valued at €12m but three legitimate daughters and, possibly, one or two illegitimate children.

In a country where offspring cannot be disinherited, his death seemed bound to lead to squabbles over his fortune but no one expected it would end with Crisanto’s corpse disappearing from the cemetery in Cee, north-west Spain, where it was laid two years ago.

When Spanish police opened the niche where he was buried in order to take DNA tests that would help identify his offspring, however, Crisanto’s body had vanished.

A fresh silicone seal had been used to glue back the carved granite stone that covered the niche, suggesting the corpse has only recently been stolen.

Now investigators are busy trying to work out who pinched the body, which they believe must have been taken in the past fortnight…

“I can’t imagine that they have taken the body far,” local parish priest Manuelo Vázquez told El País . “I think it must be in the niche above or below. It would be too big a job to move it elsewhere.”

Police apparently agree…They are waiting for permission to open a couple of nearby niches where the silicone seal also looks suspiciously new.

Har! Good at least for a zombie movie remake.