Thursday, February 28, 2008

Google Street View Maps Update

The Google Street View Maps has updated with new cities this last month. I saw a few cities pop up in the middle of the month including Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while I did my weekly look for the Knoxville, Tennessee, layer of Google Street View Maps.

The Google Street View layer is starting to get crowded as they seem to add a handful each month. I found by mistake (after zooming out) that somewhere along the line they added Juneau, Alaska. Time to start looking for some moose.

Get ready to Google-ize your health records

Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt will detail the company's plans for Google-izing the health care industry at a health care trade show on Thursday morning, starting with a consumer destination site called Google Health.

Schmidt is scheduled to give the morning keynote speech at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2008 annual conference here and will outline Google's vision on tackling the next Internet frontier of medical data. The move, rumored for a few years, makes sense, given how much people use the Web to get health information and how much they spend on medicines and health care.

Google Map Builder: Good, but good enough?

Being able to show people where things are on a map has become increasingly important as online mapping has improved. With the rise of services such as Google Maps and Microsoft Live Search Maps it has become relatively simple to send someone a map of a location and even directions on how to get there, which has increased the perceived value and has thereby increased the value of mapping and so on.

But setting up maps particularly complex ones for business use is still somewhat daunting. A new service has appeared that aims to simplify this task: Google Map Builder.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Guam Island Map

guam map Map of Guam (more Guam Maps)
(description via Wikipedia) Guam, officially the Territory of Guam, is an island in the Western Pacific Ocean and is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States. It is one of five U.S. territories with established civilian government.[1] The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agana). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.

The Chamorros, Guam's indigenous inhabitants, first populated the island approximately 6,000 years ago. The island has a long history of European colonialism beginning in 1668 with the arrival of Spanish settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Spanish missionary. The island was captured from Spain by the United States during the Spanish American War in 1898. As the largest island in Micronesia and the only American-held island in the region before World War II, Guam was occupied by the Japanese between December 1941 and July 1944. Today, Guam's economy is mainly supported by tourism (primarily from Japan) and U.S. military bases.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pick The Oscars, Win Justice League DVD

A quick post to let you all know I'm giving away a copy of the new Justice League: The New Frontier DVD. We're having a contest on the Dave and Thomas site to pick the winners for this weekends Academy Awards. Pick from the list of Oscar Nominations and you could win.

Check out the details here and remember the deadline is Sunday, Feb. 24th.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dubai's Mile-Long Super Bridge

The construction crews in Dubai are getting set again to build a project like nothing else. The latest build centers around an enormous bridge that will connect parts of Dubai.
As if the Burg Dubai tower wasn't already taking the worldwide skyscraper race to new heights, this as-yet-unnamed span will be the world's largest arch bridge, with 2000 vehicles set to cross its 12 lanes—per hour, in each direction—when it's slated for completion in 2012.

At 670 ft. tall, Dubai's next super structure will stand higher than the George Washington Bridge (604 ft.) but fall short of San Francisco's existing Golden Gate Bridge (746 ft.). (source)

Timeline: US-Cuba relations

Fidel Castro speaks

The US has long sought the end of President Fidel Castro's regime and has had an economic embargo in place against Cuba since 1960. BBC News tracks the rocky relationship between the two countries. (source)

1898: US declares war on Spain.

1898: US defeats Spain, which gives up all claims to Cuba and cedes it to the US.

1902: Cuba becomes independent with Tomas Estrada Palma as its president. But the Platt Amendment keeps the island under US protection and gives the US the right to intervene in Cuban affairs.

1906-09: Estrada resigns and the US occupies Cuba following a rebellion led by Jose Miguel Gomez.

1909: Jose Miguel Gomez becomes president following elections supervised by the US, but is soon tarred by corruption.

1912: US forces return to Cuba to help put down black protests against discrimination.

1933: Gerardo Machado overthrown in a coup led by Sergeant Fulgencio Batista

1934: The US abandons its right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs, revises Cuba's sugar quota and changes tariffs to favour Cuba.

1953: Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful revolt against the Batista regime.

1956: Castro lands in eastern Cuba from Mexico and takes to the Sierra Maestra mountains where, aided by Ernesto "Che" Guevara, he wages a guerrilla war.

1958: The US withdraws military aid to Batista.

1959: Castro leads a 9,000-strong guerrilla army into Havana, forcing Batista to flee. Castro becomes prime minister

April 1959: Castro meets US Vice President Richard Nixon on an unofficial visit to Washington. Nixon afterwards wrote that the US had no choice but to try to "orient" the leftist leader in the "right direction".

1960: All US businesses in Cuba are nationalised without compensation; US breaks off diplomatic relations with Havana and imposes a trade embargo in response to Castro's reforms.

1961: US backs an abortive invasion by Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs; Castro proclaims Cuba a communist state and begins to ally it with the USSR.

1961: The CIA begins to make plans to assassinate Castro as part of Operation Mongoose. At least five plans to kill the Cuban leader were drawn up between 1961 and 1963.

1962: Cuban missile crisis ignites when, fearing a US invasion, Castro agrees to allow the USSR to deploy nuclear missiles on the island. The US released photos of Soviet nuclear missile silos in Cuba - triggering a crisis which took the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war.

It was subsequently resolved when the USSR agreed to remove the missiles in return for the withdrawal of US nuclear missiles from Turkey.

1980: Around 125,000 Cubans, many of them released convicts, flee to the US, when Castro temporarily lifted restrictions.

1993: The US tightens its embargo on Cuba, which introduces some market reforms in order to stem the deterioration of its economy. These include the legalisation of the US dollar, the transformation of many state farms into semi-autonomous co-operatives, and the legalisation of limited individual private enterprise.

1994: Cuba signs an agreement with the US according to which the US agrees to admit 20,000 Cubans a year in return for Cuba halting the exodus of refugees.

1996: US trade embargo made permanent in response to Cuba's shooting down of two US aircraft operated by Miami-based Cuban exiles.

1998: The US eases restrictions on the sending of money to relatives by Cuban Americans.

November 1999: Cuban child Elian Gonzalez is picked up off the Florida coast after the boat in which his mother, stepfather and others had tried to escape to the US capsized. A huge campaign by Miami-based Cuban exiles begins with the aim of preventing Elian from rejoining his father in Cuba and of making him stay with relatives in Miami.

June 2000: Elian allowed to rejoin his father in Cuba after prolonged court battles.

October 2000: US House of Representatives approves the sale of food and medicines to Cuba.

November 2001: US exports food to Cuba for the first time in more than 40 years after a request from the Cuban Government to help it cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Michelle.

January 2002: Prisoners taken during US-led action in Afghanistan are flown into Guantanamo Bay for interrogation as al-Qaeda suspects.

May 2002: US Under Secretary of State John Bolton accuses Cuba of trying to develop biological weapons, adding the country to Washington's list of "axis of evil" countries.

May 2002: Former US President Jimmy Carter makes landmark goodwill visit which includes tour of scientific centres, in response to US allegations about biological weapons. Carter is first former or serving US president to visit Cuba since 1959 revolution.

September 2002: The Cuban Government is particularly exercised by the actions of James Cason, the head of the US Interest Section in Havana, who is increasingly active in support of the internal opposition.

October 2003: US President George Bush announces fresh measures designed to hasten the end of communist rule in Cuba, including tightening a travel embargo to the island, cracking down on illegal cash transfers, and a more robust information campaign aimed at Cuba. A new body, the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, is created.

October 2004: President Castro announces a ban on transactions in US dollars, and imposes 10% tax on dollar-peso conversions.

July 2005: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announces the creation of a new post to help "accelerate the demise" of the Castro regime in Cuba. Caleb McCarry, a veteran Republican Party activist, is appointed as the Cuba transition co-ordinator.

February 2006: A propaganda war breaks out in Havana as President Castro unveils a monument which blocks the view of illuminated messages - some of them about human rights - displayed on the US mission building.

July 2006: The US Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba recommends an $80m fund to support Cuba's opposition and the deployment of US aid once a transitional government is in place.

August 2006: US President George W Bush - in his first comments after President Castrol undergoes surgery and hands over power to his brother Raul - urges Cubans to work for democratic change.

December 2006: The largest delegation from the US Congress to visit Cuba since the 1959 revolution goes to Havana. Jeff Flake, a Republican congressman heading the 10-member bipartisan delegation, said he wanted to launch a "new era in US-Cuba relations", but the group is denied a meeting with Raul Castro.

July 2007: Cuba accuses the US of issuing far fewer visas to Cubans wanting to leave than allowed for under an agreement between the two nations. A deal reached in 1994 allows Washington to grant up to 20,000 entry visas a year for Cubans.

July 2007: Acting leader Raul Castro again indicates he may be open to a warming of relations with the US. He offers to engage in talks, but only after the 2008 US presidential election.

Cuba: Country Profile and Maps

cuba mapMap of Central America and Caribbean Islands. Cuba lies Northeast of Mexico and directly south of Florida.

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, 144km (90 miles) from the shores of the United States. It was home to the Taino and Ciboney peoples before they were wiped out following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the ensuing Spanish Conquest.

The island became an important asset for Spain, which brought in African slaves to work the coffee and sugar plantations.

cuba map

Map of Cuba

A series of strongmen held power in the years that followed independence in 1902, including two-time coup leader Fulgencio Batista.

Batista fled Cuba after an insurgency by nationalist rebels, including Fidel Castro, took Havana on 1 January 1959. Castro went on to become president in a single-party state.

Relations with the US have been openly antagonistic, with crises ranging from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the 1962 Cuban missile crisis to the 2000 custody battle over five-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez.

guantanamo bay cuba

Guantanamo Bay Map

On February 19, 2008, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced he would retire from his post and not seek re-election. Cuba has survived more than 40 years of US sanctions intended to topple the government of Fidel Castro. It also defied predictions that it would not survive the collapse of its one-time supporter, the Soviet Union.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Angry Cuttlefish

Shot at Disney Epcot Center. Cuttlefish are very visually-oriented sea creatures. I showed one his image in my camcorder's flip-out screen - and got him very upset.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Man's effect on world's oceans revealed

Almost half of the world's oceans have been seriously affected by over-fishing, pollution and climate change, according to a major study of man's impact on marine life.

An international team of 19 scientists have published the first ever comprehensive map showing the combined impact of human activity on the planet's seas and oceans.t shows that more than 40 per cent of marine regions have been significantly altered, while just four per cent remains in a pristine state.

Previous studies have largely focused on the impacts of specific activities such as pesticide runoff or fishing, or have looked at damage in certain areas.

The North Sea is one of the most heavily affected regions, along with the South and East China Seas, the Caribbean, the east coast of North America, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The least affected areas are near the poles. (....more)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dubai - The Palm Islands Photos

palm islands dubaiThe Palm islands in Dubai
The Palm Islands are artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on which major commercial and residential infrastructure will be constructed. The islands are the largest land reclamation projects in the world and will result in the world’s largest artificial islands.

The islands were commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in order to increase Dubai's tourism. Each settlement will be in the shape of a palm tree, topped with a crescent, and will have a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment centers. The Palm Islands are located off the coast of The United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf and will add 520 km of beaches to the city of Dubai.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mother Stunned To Find Daughter On Google

google maps garden city A Garden City mom was surprised and outraged to find pictures of her children on a Google Map Search Internet page.

"I have rules when my daughters are on the Internet," said Toni Rizkallah of Garden City. "They don't give their address, their names, no personal information."

Rizkallah said she and her daughters discovered the pictures when the children decided to "Google their address." To the girls' surprise, and Rizkallah's dismay, the search turned up a virtual tour of their neighborhood, which includes a picture of the girls, in bathing suits, in their backyard swimming pool. (source)

Right Brain vs Left Brain

To reduce the severity of his seizures, Joe had the bridge between his left and right cerebral hemisphers (the corpus callosum) severed. As a result, his left and right brains no longer communicate through that pathway. Here's what happens as a result.

Huge 6-Gilled Shark Found 1000m Underwater

This six-gill shark (Hexanchus) was filmed during a submersible dive off the northeast coast of Molokai at a depth of 1000m (3280ft). The 2 red laser dots are 6 inches apart, resulting in a length of about 18 ft for the shark.

Great ecstatic live commentary by University of Hawaii Oceanography Professor Jeff Drazen!


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Map of Popularity of SIRIUS in Each State

Map of Sirius Radio subscribers
A group has created a new interactive map showing the popularity of satellite radio company Sirius. Each state has a breakdown based on the sales of this particular company and they are not the actual figures set out by Sirius. However, it does show a nice cross section of the popularity of Sirius by the population of the U.S. (source)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Satellite Spotters Glimpse Secrets, and Tell Them

NATIONAL+RECONNAISSANCE+OFFICEWhen the government announced last month that a top-secret spy satellite would, in the next few months, come falling out of the sky, American officials said there was little risk to people because satellites fall out of orbit fairly frequently and much of the planet is covered by oceans.

But they said precious little about the satellite itself. Such information came instead from Ted Molczan, a hobbyist who tracks satellites from his apartment balcony in Toronto, and fellow satellite spotters around the world. They have grudgingly become accustomed to being seen as “propeller-headed geeks” who “poke their finger in the eye” of the government’s satellite spymasters, Mr. Molczan said, taking no offense. “I have a sense of humor,” he said.

In the case of the mysterious satellite that is about to plunge back to earth, Mr. Molczan had an early sense of which one it was, identifying it as USA-193, which gave out shortly after reaching space in December 2006. It is said to have been built by the Lockheed Martin Corporation and operated by the secretive National Reconnaissance Office. (...more)

The Recycling Myth

recycleSo what do you do with your waste? Most homes have a number of trash bins for different kinds of trash: batteries in one; biodegradables in one; wood in one; colored glass in one, other glass in another; aluminum in one, other metals in another; newspapers in one, hard paper in another, and paper that doesn't fit these two categories in a third; and plastic of all sorts in another collection of bins. The materials generally have to be cleaned before thrown away — milk cartons with milk in them cannot be recycled just as metal cans cannot have too much of the paper labels left.

The people of Sweden are thus forced to clean their trash before carefully separating different kinds of materials. This is the future, they say, and it is supposedly good for the environment.

But it doesn't end with the extra work at home and the extra space in each and every kitchen occupied by a variety of trash bins. What do you do with the trash that isn't collected? The garbage collection service (which nowadays doesn't offer collection too often, usually biweekly or monthly, even though the rates mysteriously seem to be much higher than before) only accepts certain types of garbage, generally only biodegradable food leftovers. But do not worry; it is all taken care of. (...more)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Garmin: Napoleon Super Bowl XLII Ad

Garmin returns to the Super Bowl Ads with another round of commercials advertising their popular GPS systems. They seem to have hit a hot streak last year and followed up this year with a nod to the ever short Napolean. Seems the little guy can't see over his steering wheel but thanks to a Garmin GPS he knows how to get to the battlefield.

Garmin Nuvi Super Bowl Commercial: Napolean Finds His Way w/ GPS Add to My Profile | More Videos

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Interactive Map

super bowl map The NFL has created an interactive map of the Super Bowl for fans and visitors. This years site is at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, featuring the new stadium with retractable roof and field.

The map features the events going on around the stadium as well as a close-up map of the stadium and field itself.

Sea captains' logbooks reveal secrets of New England's Overfishing

Researcher Bill Leavenworth collects logs from the mid-1800s, which offer clues about yesterday's – and today's – cod stocks. In the yellowing pages of these surviving logbooks lie the secrets of the ocean fisheries' past – and perhaps lessons for its troubled present.

The books contain daily entries on the vessels' movements, the weather, unusual occurrences, and careful tallies of the number of fish caught by each man aboard. The numbers and words have yielded some bracing revelations about just how many cod there once were in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. (...more)