Copper gets broken finger – saves his own life


The piece that Miller and Reddin took away from Graves

A police sergeant saved his own life by sticking his finger between the hammer and cylinder of a gun jammed into his stomach by a desperate suspect during a Brooklyn struggle. Police said the suspect pulled the trigger of the loaded .38 caliber revolver several times during the struggle before he was subdued.

Sgt. Michael Miller emerged with a broken finger.

The incident began about 4 a.m. after Miller and Officer William Reddin of the 81st Precinct’s anti-crime team, on patrol in an unmarked car, stopped a speeding livery car on Quincy St. and Malcolm X Blvd. in Bedford-Stuyvesant…

…When Miller felt a gun in the waist of one passenger during a frisk, he ordered him to put his hands behind his back…

The suspect attacked the cop, pushing the gun against his stomach. Miller used his right ring finger to prevent the suspect, identified as Eugene Graves, 30, of Madison St., Brooklyn, from firing. Reddin jumped into the fray and helped subdue Graves. His companion fled, cops said.

Graves was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, criminal possession of about 2 ounces of what cops believe to be crack cocaine, weapons possession, assaulting a police officer, menacing and resisting arrest.

It’s an old stunt that still works. Good for you Sgt. Miller – glad you made it, OK.

After Graves lands in the slammer – throw away the key.

A lawsuit filed in Georgia to require allow guns in church

A legal battle is brewing in Georgia over whether licensed gun owners should be allowed to carry firearms to churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, heard arguments last week on a lawsuit brought by a central Georgia church and the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org claiming that a state law banning firearms in places of worship violates their constitutionally protected religious freedoms.

State lawyers said it was a small price to pay to allow others to pray without fearing for their safety. The panel of judges roundly criticized the suit after hearing arguments but did not immediately make a ruling…

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston, where the Rev. Jonathan Wilkins said he wanted to have a gun for protection while working in the church office. The judges also questioned how banning firearms in a place of worship violates religious freedoms…

“I think that by continuing to arm ourselves, we’re perpetuating this cycle of violence that only ends up hurting the whole society,” said Bradley Schmeling, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta. “And faith communities in particular should have the right to say no weapons in this place.”

I laugh over the crap ideology that prompts reactionary nutballs to prate about their opponents having a “hidden agenda”.

Seems to me it’s rightwing ideologues who say they’re only defending the 2nd Amendment – who end up trying to drag firearms into churches and bars. A parallel to the liars who say they’re defending life though they never seem to show up for anti-war demonstrations – who end up trying to restrict any number of rights including that of choosing to use birth control.

Hypocrites all.

Ionic liquid catalyst helps turn industrial emissions into fuel

An Illinois research team has succeeded in overcoming one major obstacle to a promising technology that simultaneously reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide and produces fuel.

Professor Paul Kenis and his research group joined forces with researchers at Dioxide Materials, a startup company, to produce a catalyst that improves artificial photosynthesis…Artificial photosynthesis is the process of converting carbon dioxide gas into useful carbon-based chemicals, most notably fuel or other compounds usually derived from petroleum, as an alternative to extracting them from biomass.

In plants, photosynthesis uses solar energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to sugars and other hydrocarbons. Biofuels are refined from sugars extracted from crops such as corn. However, in artificial photosynthesis, an electrochemical cell uses energy from a solar collector or a wind turbine to convert CO2 to simple carbon fuels such as formic acid or methanol, which are further refined to make ethanol and other fuels.

“The key advantage is that there is no competition with the food supply,” said Richard Masel, a co-principal investigator of the paper and CEO of Dioxide Materials, “and it is a lot cheaper to transmit electricity than it is to ship biomass to a refinery.”

However, one big hurdle has kept artificial photosynthesis from vaulting into the mainstream: The first step to making fuel, turning carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, is too energy intensive. It requires so much electricity to drive this first reaction that more energy is used to produce the fuel than can be stored in the fuel.

The Illinois group used a novel approach involving an ionic liquid to catalyze the reaction, greatly reducing the energy required to drive the process. The ionic liquids stabilize the intermediates in the reaction so that less electricity is needed to complete the conversion…

Next, the researchers hope to tackle the problem of throughput. To make their technology useful for commercial applications, they need to speed up the reaction and maximize conversion.

“More work is needed, but this research brings us a significant step closer to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions that are linked to unwanted climate change,” Kenis said.

Bravo!

Not the only researchers studying this sort of solution to problems causing climate change, industrial pollution negatively affecting air chemistry. But, this is one of the first I’ve seen that appears to have some success in qualitatively reducing the cost of the transformation of carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide.

Regulators finally notice high-frequency stock trading – WTF?


May 6, 2010
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Regulators in the United States and overseas are cracking down on computerized high-speed trading that crowds today’s stock exchanges, worried that as it spreads around the globe it is making market swings worse…

Regulators are playing catch-up. In the United States and Europe, they have recently fined traders for using computers to gain advantage over slower investors by illegally manipulating prices, and they suspect other market abuse could be going on. Regulators are also weighing new rules for high-speed trading, with an international regulatory body to make recommendations in coming weeks.

In addition, officials in Europe, Canada and the United States are considering imposing fees aimed at limiting trading volume or paying for the cost of greater oversight.

Perhaps regulators’ biggest worry is over the unknown dynamics of the computerized stock market world that the firms are part of — and the risk that at any moment it could spin out of control. Some regulators fear that the sudden market dive on May 6, 2010, when prices dropped by 700 points in minutes and recovered just as abruptly, was a warning of the potential problems to come. Just last week, the broader market fell throughout Tuesday’s session before shooting up 4 percent in the last hour, raising questions on what was really behind it…

High-frequency trading…done by independent firms or on special desks inside big Wall Street banks, now accounts for two of every three stock market trades in America…

Even the traders’ authorized activities are coming under fire, especially their tendency to shoot off thousands of orders a second and suddenly cancel many. Long-term investors like pension funds complain that the practice makes their trading harder…

In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been looking into the new market structure for almost two years…Looking and looking and looking. Though it gets in the way of lunch – sometimes.

And the S.E.C. last year proposed what would be an even more high-powered monitoring system called a consolidated audit trail that would gather data on trades in real time from all United States exchanges, and be a powerful tool in helping regulators piece together events in case of another flash crash…

That’s called building a better barn door after the stables are empty. But, the SEC will have sufficient information on how to construct a great looking screenplay about one more failure to act on behalf of investors.

Merkel, Sarkozy meeting to tackle Euro crisis


I’ll meet you at the Maginot Line

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will thrash out differences with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Sunday over how to use the euro zone’s financial firepower to counter a sovereign debt crisis threatening the global economy.

With the turmoil threatening to spiral into financial meltdown as the value of banks’ sovereign bond holdings slide, Merkel and Sarkozy are likely to discuss in Berlin both how to manage Greece, prevent contagion and strengthen lenders.

The implosion of Belgian lender Dexia, the first victim of the crisis, has added a sense of urgency to the talks…

Germany and France have so far been split over how to recapitalise Europe’s banks, which Ireland estimated Saturday may need more than 100 billion euros to withstand the sovereign debt crisis, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the banks need 200 billion in additional funds.

Paris wants to tap the euro zone’s 440 billion European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to recapitalise its own banks, while Berlin is insisting the fund should be used as a last resort…

The two euro zone heavyweights have come under pressure worldwide to resolve Europe’s crisis which is roiling markets. U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday urged Europe to “act fast,” calling the common currency bloc’s crisis the largest obstacle to the United States’ own recovery.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick told Wirtschaftswoche magazine there was a “total lack” of vision in Europe and Germany in particular needed to show more leadership.

Assign the cost of “leadership” to the nations who showed the same quality when they allowed the Lehman Brothers-style accounting that brought Greece into the EU in the first place. It would be like turning the bill for the US wars in the Middle East over to the states whose congress-critters voted for them. Or handing the tab for the stimulus programs to the politicians who voted to ease oversight and regulation on mortgage banks and financial traders “because the trickle-down” would create jobs.

Yeah, I know. Ain’t likely any of these happen, right?