A dog which was rescued at sea off the coast of Kesennuma, Japan, on Friday after being found drifting on a roof is believed to have survived for three weeks after being washed away by the killer tsunami triggered by the March 11 earthquake. Coast guard members aboard a helicopter involved in the day’s search for those still missing after the disaster found the dog on the roof drifting along some 1.8 kilometres off Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. It took several hours to catch the dog and bring him to the safety of a coastguard vessel. The dog’s collar has no clues about the owner such as address and contact numbers.
Nikkei down over 10% on Tuesday. 10%! And Nikkei did extremly poorly on Monday as well. Poor Japan, I hope they will be spared of more misery now and that damages can be mended effectively. It is comforting to see the international support for Japan.
Back to the stock exchanges however, one can’t help but notice that solar stocks have skyrocketed the last two days.
While the world markets have been down two days in a row, solar stocks have bucked the trend and skyrocketed as much as 20% in two days. And the momentum keeps building up.
The worlds largest producers of solar panels, Suntech Power and Yingli Green have shot through the roof today, with Yingli Green up from 10.50 on Friday to 12.25 today, Tuesday.
Solar stocks have been upgraded, nuclear power companies, such as Hitachi, that built the nuclear reactors in Japan have been hammered and downgraded, and even oil companies are being downgraded at the time of this writing.
Could this finally become the moment for solar companies to shine, not just economically as they already have over the last few years, but shine with a solid position ideologically and become immune to political instability from now on?
The woolly mammoth, extinct for thousands of years, could be brought back to life in as little as four years because of bored self-involved scientists looking for something to do that will make them rich and famous.
Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.
But a technique pioneered in 2008 by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama, of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology, was successful in cloning a mouse from the cells of another mouse that had been frozen for 16 years.
Now that hurdle has been overcome, Akira Iritani, a professor at Kyoto University, is reactivating his campaign to resurrect the species that died out 5,000 years ago.
“Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
He intends to use Dr Wakayama’s technique to identify the nuclei of viable mammoth cells before extracting the healthy ones.
The nuclei will then be inserted into the egg cells of an African elephant, which will act as the surrogate mother for the mammoth.
Professor Iritani said he estimates that another two years will be needed before the elephant can be impregnated, followed by the approximately 600-day gestation period.
He has announced plans to travel to Siberia in the summer to search for mammoths in the permafrost and to recover a sample of skin or tissue that can be as small as 3cm square. If he is unsuccessful, the professor said, he will ask Russian scientists to provide a sample from one of their finds.
“The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently but now stands at about 30 per cent,” he said. “I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years.”
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary tried to take the papers to the TV news reporter in today’s press conference in Oslo, Norway.
The company is being sharply criticized for its poor working conditions, including from an anonymous Rygge-employee who stands out in Moss Avis today – several trade unions are even boycotting the company.
NRK Østfold reporter Lars Håkon Pedersen experienced it all up close.
NRK’s reporter showed Michael O `Leary an employment contract that she wanted him to comment on. She tried to view a page that did not show the name of the contract owner. O `Leary took the contract out of her hands and tried to look at it,” says Pedersen.
The reporter was able to pull the document back again, so that O `Leary could not see who owned the contract.
What he saw was that it was not an employment contract, but a training contract for six months, “said Pedersen.
The incident happened at a press conference where Ryanair stated that they will have a fourth based plane in place at Moss Airport Rygge in March-April next year.
Conditions resembeling slave labor in Ryanair
The same day that Ryanair held the press conference, an employee spoke out about what he calls slave-like working conditions. The person who spoke to Moss Avis will remain anonymous. “Ryanair is firing people on the day over smaller issues than this. None of us are allowed to speak with the press,” said the employee, which tells of an hourly wage of 16 euros for the time the plane is in the air.
Ryanair again rejects all criticism
All Ryanair staff can theoretically join a union, but it is true that we do not negotiate with unions. We are instead in a dialogue with representatives of our own employees, “said McNamara to Moss Avis.
He denies that the employees will only get paid for the time they are in the air, and that one gets fired for getting too late, if it is not repeated after the warnings.
Dozens of entrepreneurs and space engineers will gather on the Isle of Man tomorrow to finalise plans for one of the world’s most technologically ambitious and financially lucrative competitions: the Lunar X prize.
The $30m award, which is being backed by Google, will be given to the first company that builds a robot rover craft, lands it safely on the moon, and directs it on a journey of more than 500m across the lunar surface. In doing so, the competition organisers hope to galvanise the exploration of the moon by opening it up to private industry. A deadline of 2012 has been set for all attempts to win the full prize.
“Nasa currently puts the cost of landing a robot rover on the moon at more than US$1 billion,” said Julian Ranger, the UK financier who is raising cash for Astrobotic, one of the prize’s key competitors. “We believe we can get that cost down to less than US$50 million, a price tag that will transform lunar exploration and make the moon a target for all sorts of commercial operations,” he said.
Apart from being able to manoeuvre around the lunar surface, the little Astrobotic rover – which resembles a traffic cone on wheels – has been designed to carry people’s cremated ashes to the moon as well as a variety of small experiments. In addition, it is intended to land the probe near the 1969 landing site of Apollo 11 in the Sea of Tranquillity.
“Part of our business plan will be to get our rover to move round the site and take a 3D high-definition film of it,” said Ranger, a former engineer, software developer and self-confessed spaceflight fanatic who raised the initial investment that was needed to set up Astrobotic Technology.
“This [footage] would be shown on television around the world. If nothing else, it should prove to the doubters that the Apollo missions really took place.”
The Google Lunar X prize has been created following the success of the Ansari X prize. This was established in 1996 to inspire private investment in manned space travel and the US$10 million prize, backed by a number of US foundations, was won by aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan.
His SpaceShipOne craft was flown twice within a month to the edge of space in 2004. That technology is now being used to build Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic fleet of spaceships, which are scheduled to start carrying tourists to space by 2012. Tickets are priced at US$200,000 each.
One of the first customers to fly on the Virgin Galactic will be Ranger.
He said that Astrobotic Technology hopes to build its lander for US$15 million to US$20 million. The company is in negotiation with SpaceX – a private US launch company controlled by the software billionaire Elon Musk – which was recently awarded a US$1 billion contract by Nasa to ferry supplies to the International Space Station.
The deadline for a team to make an attempt to win the full US$20 million Lunar X prize has been set for December 2012. After that, the prize money will drop to US$15 million.
If no project has succeeded by December 2014, the competition will be scrapped – though there is a prospect of an extension, say the organisers. Bonus awards have been added to the prize.
If a rover cannot only travel half a kilometre over the lunar terrain, but survives the cold of a 14-day-long lunar night, an extra US$4 million will be awarded. Another bonus, of US$2 million, will be given if the craft is launched from Florida.
A total of 22 teams have put their names down as competitors for the prize.
Eurovision is upon us once again. Lot’s of craze about, well, what? Let’s face it, the music from the Eurovision Song Contest is always 99% rubbish. It’s one giant freakshow of so-called European nations, worse even than MTV these days. However, we can’t dismiss the Eurovision SC completly, for one good reason: it’s comical value.
There are some funny videos here I will admit, Eurovision Videos
“Oi don’t give a shit,” Germany’s newest pop star sings in her odd accent, Der Spiegel
Even BBC agrees to Eurovision being a cliche, Eurovision 2010: How to write the winning lyric
Let the show begin! Now who will win? Oi don’t give a shit. 🙂
Campaigns to save the job of an Australian banker caught viewing erotic images in the background of a live TV interview are growing on the internet.
Business website Here Is The City News has launched a Save Dave section, in support of Macquarie banker David Kiely, who reportedly could be fired.
More than a dozen groups sympathetic to Mr Kiely have been set up on Facebook.
Mr Kiely became an internet sensation after video of him viewing images of model Miranda Kerr appeared on YouTube.
He is due to meet bank chiefs this week, when his future will be decided, media reports say.
Mr Kiely was seen viewing images of a semi-naked Ms Kerr as a colleague was being interviewed live on the Channel 7 evening news programme.
He turned around part way through, apparently in surprise, fuelling speculation that he was the victim of a practical joke.
There are reports that Mr Kiely was deliberately sent an email containing the images and opened it unwittingly, before being told to look round, with the broadcast still in progress.
Messages of support for the banker’s plight have been posted on internet campaign sites.
“Macquarie will be making a PR mistake if David Kiely is sacked,” said a comment on Here Is The City News.
“I’m not a banker, but I have joined the campaign regardless,” said another. “The guy doesn’t deserve to be dismissed.”
The London-based website said it was campaigning for Mr Kiely to keep his job, and was urging readers to email the bank directly with messages of support.