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April 20, 2009

Cleoparta's tomb unearthed?

Archaeologists in Egypt believe that the body of former Egyptian queen Cleopatra may be lying in a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, reported Reuters.

Egypt's premiere archeologist, Zahi Hawass, showed the Associated Press 22 coins, 10 mummies, and a fragment of a mask. He believes these things are evidence that the bodies of Cleopatra and her lover Marc Antony are near.

Hawass' past discoveries have been met with skepticism by Egyptians. (AP)

Dominican archaeologist Kathleen Martinez, after three years of excavating the site, has unearthed coins bearing the queen's face and carvings that depict both her and Marc Antony, who is believed to be buried with her. (AP)

Egyptian and Dominican archaeologists plan to begin digging to unearth the tomb this year. Radar scans show three tombs roughly 20 meters below the ground. (Reuters)

The Associated Press reported that the radar scan shows the tombs to be 12 meters underground.

Digging may not begin until the fall due to security reasons. (Reuters)

The Associated Press reported that excavation will begin Tuesday, with a second radar scan set for April 22.

April 14, 2009

Obamas host Easter egg roll

Over 30,000 participants came out to the White House Monday to take part in the White House Easter Egg Roll, reported Voice of America.

First Lady Michelle Obama told participants that the goal of the event "was to have fun", according to United Press International.

The tradition began in 1878 when children would come to the White House lawn and pushed Easter eggs with big spoons. (VOA)

Other activities at the event included soccer and basketball. Pop singer Fergie sang the national anthem at the event as well. (UPI)

After two microphones died, President Obama attempted to adjust the Easter Bunny's ears to get better reception. Obama's daughter Malia eventually got a mic to work.

The president and first lady also took turns reading from Maurice Sendak's book "Where the Wild Things Are". The first lady also read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff. (VOA)

The Obama's new puppy Bo was not present at the event. (VOA)

April 7, 2009

Pilot of stolen plane was on suicide run

The man who stole a small Cessna aircraft in Canada wanted to be shot down by the U.S. Airforce, the Times Online reported.

The Associated Press reported that Adam Dylan Leon, 31, landed the plane on a small rural road in Missouri and was arrested at a convenience store shortly after. His flight lasted six hours.

Leon was arrested in the convenience store while sitting and drinking a bottle of Gatorade, Missouri state trooper Justin Watson said, according to Times Online.

Times Online reported that Leon is a native of Turkey, and that the plane was never seen by the FBI as a terrorist threat due to its avoidance of build-up areas.

Leon was in a Poplar Bluff, Mo., jail Tuesday. (AP)

The plane was stolen from Confederation College Flight School at Thunder Bay International Airport in Ontario Monday. It was intercepted by F-16 fighter jets as it crossed the Michigan border.

The plane caused the state capitol of Wisconsin to be evacuated as a safety precaution. (AP)

March 31, 2009

Potential war between North Korea and Japan heats up

North Korea threatened Tuesday to wage war against Japan if the country attempts to shoot down a missile carrying a communications satellite, Bloomberg reported.

On March 27 Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada gave orders to his troops to shoot down any North Korean object that entered Japanese airspace.

North Korea's government called the object a peaceful satellite, and has accused the Japanese of using the launch as an excuse to build its own nuclear weapons.

Japan's upper and lower parliamentary houses unanimously passed a resolution to protest against the launch, reported AFP.

The launch is scheduled to take place sometime between April 4-8.

Japan will appeal to the U.N. if North Korea does launch their missile, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso told parliament Tuesday, according to AFP.

Japan does not currently have any nuclear weapons. North Korea tested their first nuclear weapon on a Korean peninsula in 2006. (Bloomberg)

March 25, 2009

Alaskan volcano erupts for sixth time

Mount Redoubt in Alaska erupted for the sixth time Monday night, reported Reuters.

The eruption sent volcanic ash more than 50,000 feet into the air. It was the first major eruption in 20 years for Mount Redoubt.

The blast on the over 10,000 foot volcano lasted 15 to 20 minutes.

The ash from the volcano drifted to the north and west.

The Associated Press reported Alaska Airlines has resumed flights to and from Alaska after the ash from the eruption cleared the air.

Thirty-five flights were canceled Tuesday morning due to the eruption that occurred about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Ash from a blast in December almost downed a KLM jetliner. (Reuters)

According to the Associated Press further eruptions could alter scheduled flights.

March 10, 2009

Study says hot weather may lead to bad headaches

Higher temperatures and lower atmospheric pressure may lead to severe headaches, a new study in the journal Neurology announced Tuesday.

CNN reported that some are a bit skeptical about the new research, including Dr. Joel Saper, director of the Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute.

Dr. Saper, who was not involved in the study, believes that temperature and pressure could be indirectly affecting headaches.

The study followed 7,000 patients in a Boston medical center, 75% of whom were women.

Researchers followed the weather on days when the patients were in and found that the cases of headaches increased 7.5% for each 5 degrees Celsius.

"Warmer days were associated with higher risk, even in the winter," Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, an intern at the medical center working on the project said, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Researchers also found that pollution had no effects on headaches.

Dr. Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, told U.S. News and World Report that the headaches could be caused by barometric pressure affecting the layer of fluid in the brain that protects the brain.

March 3, 2009

Presidential helicopter data leaked

Technical data relating to one of President Obama's helicopter's is now believed to be from the computer of an executive at a defense contractor in Iran, reported the BBC.

The defense contractor, who is based in Bethesda, reportedly inadvertently divulged the data last year. The U.S. government investigated the matter right away last summer.

The file pertaining to the helicopter was found on Feb. 24.

The executive's computer also contained file sharing software, allowing any number of users to access the sensitive material.

The Washington Post reported that the data was in regards to the presidents V-60 helicopter, which is used to carry guests and staff, and not the V-60 helicopter used to carry the president himself.

The technical data on the V-60 helicopter is currently unclassified. (BBC)

The Washington Post also reported that the data did not involve a new helicopter that is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin.

February 24, 2009

Google debunks Atlantis discovery theory

The BBC has reported that Google has announced that the mysterious lines that many people saw in a picture discovered on their Google Earth software yesterday are not the lost city of Atlantis.

The lines that appear in the ocean about 600 miles off the coast of Africa, are what Google calls "ship tracks", according to CNET news.

The site is where the Greek philosopher Plato once said the mythical city might be. (BBC)

When the story broke it received over 6,000 Diggs according to CNET. Apart from theories about Atlantis, some thought the lines represented sea farming by aliens.

This isn't the first discovery that Google Earth has provided. According to a Google statement obtained by the BBC the software has discovered a forest in Mozambique containing previously unknown species, and the remains of an ancient Roman villa. But they assured the public that the new lines are merely a result of ship data gathering.

"The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data. The fact there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world's oceans," said Google in the statement, according to the BBC.

February 17, 2009

Rampaging chimp shot dead by police

Police in Stamford, Connecticut have shot and killed a 200-pound chimpanzee after it attacked its owners friend and a police cruiser, reported Reuters.

The chimp bit and mauled Charla Nash, 55, who sustained life threatening injuries and is currently in very critical condition. The BBC reported that Nash suffered "serious blood loss" from facial injuries.

The chimp also injured several police officers and tried to enter the squad car to attack another officer when it was shot in self defense and later died as a result of the gunshot. (BBC)

The owner Sandra Herold, 70, tried to stop the chimp by stabbing it with a butcher knife and hitting it with a shovel, but was unable to stop the rampage. (Reuters)

The chimp, whose name is Travis, has appeared in several TV commercials for companies like Coca-Cola and Old Navy.

It is unknown what prompted the chimp, who several sources say was normally very well behaved, to go on the rampage. He was on medication for Lyme disease, and was ill at the time of the attack.

February 11, 2009

Eight arrested over Phelps photo

Bloomberg reported that eight people have been charged in connection with the photo taken in November of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps smoking marijuana.

Seven were charged with possession of marijuana while the other was charged with distribution.

The source that Bloomberg cites did not reveal their source for the information and did not list the names of those arrested. The source did state that the eight were arrested by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina.

Fox Sports also reported that according to the Los Angeles Times, the police department is quoted as saying they are not the unknown source.

According to Fox Sports Phelps was not among those charged.

Fox Sports also reported that the bong seen in the photo was confiscated by police after the owner attempted to sell it for $100,000 on eBay.

The Richland County sheriff's department is still undecided about whether or not to pursue charges against Phelps, which they are said to have considered since last week.

February 3, 2009

Google maps the oceans

Search engine giant Google announced an update to its Google Earth software on Monday that allows users to explore the planet's vast oceans, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The update was brought about in 2006 after a marine scientist made a remark to a Google worker regarding the lack of an oceanic presence in the software.

Google calls its software a "powerful educational tool" and hopes that it will get people interested in marine exploration. Currently only 5% of the marine floor has been mapped. (Los Angeles Times)

“Electronic images can boost awareness and sometimes even inspire, but there’s no substitute for direct experience in nature,? said Cheryl Charles, the president of Children and Nature Network, speaking to the New York Times.

According to the New York Times the update also includes a feature called Historical Imagery, which enables users to go back in time and see how coasts and populated land has changed.

Also included in the update is a 3-D map of the planet Mars.

January 27, 2009

DTV switch delayed by Senate

Americans who have not yet prepared for the switch to all digital over-the-air TV broadcasts will get a four-month extension to get ready, reports Reuters.

The U.S. Senate voted on Monday to delay the transition until June 12. The former date for the proposed switch was February 17.

The delay was due to fears over technologically unprepared residents. The U.S. government also ran out of money for its program to help subsidize the cost of converter boxes needed to receive digital signals. Prior to running out of money the government was providing households with $40 coupons for converter boxes.

Reuters reports that 2.5 million Americans are on the waiting list for converter box coupons while The New York Times reports only 1.4 million are on the list.

"The Senate acted responsibly to give the Obama administration time to attempt to bring order to a mismanaged process," said Senate Commerce Chairman John Rockefeller.

Lawmakers fear an estimated 20 million households of poor or elderly citizens are not ready for the switch that requires them to either purchase a converter box, a new TV, or cable or satellite service.

Broadcasters say the switch to digital will open up more airspace for emergency and increase the picture quality of broadcasts.