Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Light show sparks UFO buzz - Cosmic Log -


Light show sparks UFO buzz

Posted: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 6:56 PM by Alan Boyle

Click for video: A spiral seen in Norwegian skies has sparked speculation
worldwide. Click on the image for Brian Williams' report on "NBC Nightly News."

A spectacular light show visible from northern Norway has energized the UFO crowd. Was that blazing pinwheel in the sky a signal from the aliens? Was it a practice run for an elaborate worldwide messianic hoax?

You'd expect the experts to come out with a less sensational explanation, and they have: They suggest that the display was caused by a Russian submarine-launched missile that went into a midair spin, causing a spiral-shaped rocket plume.

The glowing spiral, with a bluish column of smoke trailing down toward the horizon, was seen in eastern skies early this morning from a wide area of northern Norway. Photos and video clips of the display quickly proliferated - first in Norwegian news media, then around the world via the Internet. For a sampling, check out NRK, The Daily Mail and

The effect looks almost too good to be real, and tabloids floated some out-of-this-world suggestions for its cause - such as a previously unknown manifestation of the Northern Lights, a black hole or a "Stargate" to another dimension.

A former UFO analyst for the British Ministry of Defense, Nick Pope, was mystified by the flare-up. "It's ironic that something like this should happen the very week after the [Ministry of Defense] terminated its UFO project," he told The Sun. "It just goes to show how wrong that decision was."

Russia Today's video clip about the sightings, posted to YouTube, was headlined "UFO show in Norway sky welcomes Obama for Nobel Prize ceremony."

One Internet forum debated whether the fireworks were a test run for "Project Bluebeam," which supposedly involves creating huge projections in the sky that show scenes of the Second Coming or an alien invasion. The hoax would clear the way for a one-world government to take over - well, at least that's what the conspiracy theorists think.

Russian and Norwegian news reports gave strong support to the missile hypothesis. The news site and Norway's Barents Observer referred to Russian advisories about missile test launches that were to take place around the time of the sighting.

"The missile was most likely yet another failed test launch of a Bulava missile from the Typhoon submarine Dmitry Donskoy in the White Sea area," the Barents Observer said. A similar phenomenon was spotted a month ago, but without the spectacular spiral.

Over at the Bad Astronomy blog, Phil Plait points out that a simulation of particles being spewed out from a spinning rocket booster can produce an effect that looks much like the Norwegian sighting.

NBC News space analyst James Oberg, an expert on UFO sightings as well as the Russian space program, says the missile spin is a plausible explanation.

"But it is still not clear that the missile actually failed. ... Spiral rocket plumes are also created by rocket stages spinning to create gyroscopic stability," Oberg said in an e-mail. "Also, Norwegian observers were looking 'up the tailpipe' of the rocket as it sped eastward, away from them - so even a slight thrusting wobble might manifest itself as an expanding spiral, exactly what was seen."

Oberg noted that the Bulava missile has been at the center of a Russian military scandal. "The continuing failures of its test program in the past two years is putting the Russian nuclear weapons retaliatory capability in doubt as older missiles degrade in their silos and the replacement missile is still years from deployment," he said.

So what does the Russian military have to say? Not much. "On this matter we do not confirm, we do not deny, we do not comment," a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told

If the spiral in the sky really was a missile failure, Moscow's higher-ups just might prefer to have the world think it was a UFO.

For more case studies from the ex-Soviet X-files, check out Oberg's reports on Tunguska's 'alien' artifacts, the 1984 Minsk UFO sighting and Russia's space dumping ground in the Pacific. Search for UFOs on, and tune in to "The Rachel Maddow Show" tonight on MSNBC for an update from Oberg.

Light show sparks UFO buzz - Cosmic Log -

Sunday, December 6, 2009

FW: Batman! by Bernie Wrightson



Feed: Fantasy Ink
Posted on: Thursday, December 03, 2009 7:47 AM
Author: tom
Subject: Batman! by Bernie Wrightson


A couple of Batman covers by Bernie Wrightson.

Detective Comics #425.

Detective Comics
#425, July 1972. I always really liked this one.

Batman #320

Batman #320, February 1980.

More Wrightson Batman fun posted previously.

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Swamp Thing! By Bernie Wrightson


By Bernie Wrightson

DC Special Series Vol. 1, #2. Reprint from 1977. This comic was my introduction to the work of Bernie Wrightson.

DC Special Series Vol. 2, #14. Reprint comic from Summer 1978.

Cover for Roots of the the Swamp Thing #1. Reprint comic from July 1986.

Promotional sticker for Swamp Thing, 1974.

Cover rough for Swamp Thing #8.

Original art for splash page from Swamp Thing #4.

Original art for the cover of Swamp Thing #5. Note on the published cover below, Swamp Thing does not have the axe in his back.

Original art of splash page from Swamp Thing #2.

Original art for the cover to House of Secrets #92.

House of Secrets #92

House of Secrets #92. First appearance of the Swamp Thing, July 1971.

Swamp Thing #1

Swamp Thing #1, November 1972.

Swamp Thing #2

Swamp Thing #2, January 1973.

Swamp Thing #3

Swamp Thing #3, March 1973.

Swamp Thing #4

Swamp Thing #4, May 1973.

Swamp Thing #5

Swamp Thing #5, August 1973.

Swamp Thing #6

Swamp Thing
#6, October 1973.

Swamp Thing #7

Swamp Thing #7, December 1973. (Batman!)

Swamp Thing #8

Swamp Thing #8, February 1974.

Swamp Thing #9

Swamp Thing
#9, April 1974.

Swamp Thing #10

Swamp Thing #10, June 1974.

Previous post on some nice Danish reprints of Swamp Thing.

Pencil/Ink blog reviews
Wrightson's Swamp Thing.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Install ANY version of Windows 7 by making your own USB install drive

Microsoft had recently released a utility that allowed you to make a USB memory stick to install Windows 7 on computer’s that did not have a DVD drive. However Rafael Rivera of the “Within Windows” blog pointed out that the tool contained some GPL v2 licenced code and Microsoft have now quickly removed it from their web site. UPDATE: Microsoft has admitted that they violated the GPL v2 licence and have now released the tool under open source. In any case the instructions below show you how to build a much better bootable USB install memory stick that allows you to install ANY version of Windows 7.

If you have bought multiple version of Windows 7 and compared the DVD’s you might have noticed that they are the same with the exception of one file (ei.cfg). This one file tells Windows what version to automatically install during the install process. Because all the DVD’s are essentially the same you can use any Windows 7 DVD to perform a version upgrade of Windows 7 using the “Upgrade Anytime” option.

Now to make this bootable universal Windows 7 install USB memory stick you will need at least one Windows 7 DVD 32bit or 64bit depending on what version you want to install and a blank 4gb USB memory stick. Note you will need to create a separate 32 or 64bit USB memory stick of Windows 7 but it will let you install the different SKU’s.

Step 1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD into your computer and the USB memory stick into your computer

Step 2. Open an “Command Prompt” and run “DISKPART”.

This will launch the diskpart utility in a separate windows and perform a UAC prompt.

Step 3. Type “LIST DISK” and take note what the disk number is of the USB memory stick. This will be the same size as the USB memory stick (eg. 3824 MB = 4 GB).

Step 4. Then type “SELECT DISK X” where X is the disk number of the USB memory stick.

Step 5. Type “CLEAN”. Warning – This will wipe all data from the USB memory stick.



Step 8. Type “ACTIVE”

Step 9. Type “FORMAT FS=FAT32” (and wait about 5 minutes depending on the size and speed of the USB memory stick)

Step 10. Type “ASSIGN”.

You will notice the auto play window now appears. Take note of the drive letter (e.g. F:\ ) and close this window.

Step 11. Type “EXIT”

Step 12. Back at the command prompt type “xcopy d:*.* /s/e/f F:” where D: is the drive letter of you DVD and F: is the drive letter of your USB Memory stick.

Don’t worry if it takes a long time to copy boot.wim and install.wim as these are the two largest files on the DVD.

Step 13. Once the xcopy is finished  run “del F:\sources\ei.cfg” from the command prompt and you Windows 7 Bootable USB memory stick is ready to go. Doing this step is what makes the USB memory stick allow you to install any version of Windows 7 as it no longer has a default version configured.

You can now either boot from the USB memory stick or just run setup.exe from the drive to start the install process. Either way you will now prompted for the version of Windows 7 you want to install.

Warning: This procedure will allow you to install a copy of Windows 7 that you are not licenced to have. Therefore you need to be very careful to only select a version that you have a licence key for as you will not be able activate Windows without a key that exactly matches the version you have installed.

By Alan Burchill

Twitter at @alanburchill


Related posts:

  1. How to install any version (or SKU) of Windows 7 Did you happen to grab the Professional Edition of the latest build and want to...
  2. Fix: Windows 7 boot screen shows a Vista boot screen instead Sometimes when you are trying to tinker with a multi-boot setup, you may end up...

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Live Meat Loaf DVD Hits Stores Today

Shot at the Stadthalle Offenbach, Bat Out of Hell: The Original Tour catches the raw exhilaration of Meat Loaf’s colossal stage performance. Larger-than-life songs such as “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)” and “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” sounded utterly extravagant performed live. Not only does Meat Loaf totally [...]

Source: Real Rock News

New Live Meat Loaf DVD Hits Stores Today

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Pink Floyd The Wall - 30th anniversary interview reminder

DISCLAIMER: Please notice that the article below is syndicated from another website. As such, APFFN is not responsible for its content.

Just a reminder to you of an unmissable two-part, two-hour radio special airing Monday (November 16th, 2009), and the following Monday (November 23rd, 2009). To help celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release, the well-respected interviewer Redbeard makes Pink Floyd The Wall the subject of his In The Studio show, interviewing Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason, all looking back at the album, and bringing the story right up to date. One not to be missed! In its 21st year, In The Studio is a weekly hour-long rockumentary syndicated each week to over 85 US cities, and listenable online worldwide. More details, including airing times, can be found at ( Click on the tab at the top of the homepage marked On the Radio for the station in your area; there's a link to each station's website for exact day, time, and radio frequency.If there's not a station in your area, and you are unable to tune in online, Redbeard has told us that he'll be posting the entire interview on the website one week after airing - so the first part will be available here ( from Monday, November 23rd, and the second part from Monday, November 30th.

Originally published in Brain Damage on 11-12-2009 09:11 PM in . Read the original article here.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

The World's Most Extreme Laptops - MSN Tech & Gadgets


The World's Most Extreme Laptops

Some laptops will give you a hernia, while others will fit in a coat pocket. Some cost a day's pay -- others, half a year's. Here are the outliers of the notebook world.

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6 of 15 pages

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6 of 15 pages

The World's Most Extreme Laptops
The World's Most Extreme Laptops // Eurocom D901C Phantom-X (Image courtesy of PC World)

The Fastest
Name: Eurocom D901C Phantom-X
Price: $5,950
Availability: Now
Extreme spec: 133 score in WorldBench 6
Reasons to love it: The Eurocom D901C Phantom-X is the Frankenstein's monster of the laptop world. Looking at the specs, you can almost imagine Eurocom's engineers scurrying around in a darkened, secluded laboratory somewhere, plunging a processor fit for a high-end desktop into the heart of this clamshell chassis, and then screaming, "It's alive! It's alive!" as the machine starts up for the first time, and the lights in the neighborhood dim.
This beast may not turn against its master or declare war on humanity, but it will scare even the most experienced laptop user with its $5,950 price tag ($3,000 for the not-so-frightening base model). Under the hood, it has 8GB of RAM, two 80GB solid-state drives with Windows Vista, one 320GB traditional hard drive running at 7200 rpm for file storage, an nVidia GeForce Go 9800M GTX graphics processor and a 3GHz Xeon Quad Core X3370 processor running the show. The Eurocom is currently the WorldBench 6 speed champion in the laptop division, with a score of 133. Translation: It's fast -- very, very fast.
If you want a speedy machine that won’t drain your bank account so quickly, consider Dell's Alienware M15X with Intel's new Core i7 processor. The M15x isn’t cheap ($1,499 just for the no-frills base model), but it is a little more portable at 9 pounds, and it still delivers an impressive punch.

The World's Most Extreme Laptops - MSN Tech & Gadgets - Slide Shows - Products - 6

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