Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Superstar Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr.; September 23, 1920 – April 6, 2014) was an American actor of film, television, Broadway, radio, and vaudeville. In a career spanning nine decades and continuing until shortly before his death, he appeared in more than 300 films and was one of the last surviving stars of the silent film era.

At the height of a career that was marked by precipitous declines and raging comebacks, Rooney played the role of Andy Hardy in a series of fifteen films in the 1930s and 1940s that epitomized American family values. A versatile performer, he could sing, dance, clown, and play various musical instruments, becoming a celebrated character actor later in his career. Laurence Olivier once said he considered Rooney "the best there has ever been." Clarence Brown, who directed him in two of his earliest dramatic roles, National Velvet and The Human Comedy, said he was "the closest thing to a genius I ever worked with."

Rooney first performed in vaudeville as a child and made his film debut at the age of six. At thirteen he played the role of Puck in the play and later the 1935 film adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. His performance was hailed by critic David Thomson as "one of cinema's most arresting pieces of magic". In 1938, he co-starred with Spencer Tracy in the Academy Award-winning film Boys Town. At nineteen he was the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in Babes in Arms, and he was awarded a special Academy Juvenile Award in 1939. At the peak of his career between the ages of 15 and 25, he made forty-three films and co-starred alongside Judy Garland, Wallace Beery, Spencer Tracy, and Elizabeth Taylor. He was one of MGM's most consistently successful actors and a favorite of studio head Louis B. Mayer.

Rooney was the top box office attraction from 1939 to 1941, and one of the best-paid actors of that era, but his career never rose to such heights again. Drafted into the Army during World War II, he served nearly two years entertaining over two million troops on stage and radio and was awarded a Bronze Star for performing in combat zones. Returning from the war in 1945, he was too old for juvenile roles but too short to be an adult movie star, and he was not able to obtain acting roles as significant as before. Nevertheless, Rooney was tenacious and he rebounded, his popularity renewed with well-received supporting roles in films such as Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and The Black Stallion (1979) for which he was nominated for an Oscar. In the early 1980s, he returned to Broadway in Sugar Babies and again became a celebrated star. Rooney made hundreds of appearances on TV, including dramas, variety programs, and talk shows. During his career, he received four Academy Award nominations and was nominated for five Emmy Awards, winning one.

At his death, Vanity Fair called him "the original Hollywood train wreck." He struggled with alcohol and pill addiction and married eight times, the first time to Ava Gardner. Despite earning millions during his career, he had to file for bankruptcy in 1962 due to mismanagement of his finances. Shortly before his death in 2014 at age 93, he alleged mistreatment by some family members and testified before Congress about what he alleged was physical abuse and exploitation by family members. By the end of his life, his millions in earnings had dwindled to an estate that was valued at only $18,000. He died owing medical bills and back taxes, and contributions were solicited from the public.

Becoming a Star

In 1937, Rooney received top billing as Shockey Carter in Hoosier Schoolboy but his breakthrough-role as a dramatic actor came in 1938's Boys Town opposite Spencer Tracy as Father Flanagan, who runs a home for wayward and homeless boys in Omaha, Nebraska, and helps the boys get their lives back together. Rooney was awarded a special Juvenile Academy Award in 1939 and Tracy won the Oscar for Best Actor. Wayne describes one of the "most famous scenes" in the film, where tough young Rooney is playing poker with a cigarette in his mouth, his hat is cocked and his feet are up on the table. "Tracy grabs him by the lapels, throws the cigarette away and pushes him into a chair. 'That's better,' he tells Mickey."

                                                      Mickey Rooney with Spencer Tracy

The popularity of his films made Rooney the biggest box-office draw in 1939, 1940 and 1941. For their roles in Boys Town, Rooney and Tracy won first and second place in the Motion Picture Herald 1940 National Poll of Exhibitors, based on the box office appeal of 200 players. Boys' Life magazine wrote, "Congratulations to Messrs. Rooney and Tracy! Also to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer we extend a hearty thanks for their very considerable part in this outstanding achievement." Actor Laurence Olivier once called Rooney "the greatest actor of them all.". In 1939, he was the first of many Hollywood stars to appear as an animated caricature in the Donald Duck cartoon The Autograph Hound.

A major star in the early 1940s, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1940, timed to coincide with the release of Young Tom Edison; the cover story began:

Hollywood's No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U.S. cinema audience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat.

During his long career, Rooney also worked with many of the silver screen's greatest leading ladies, including Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet (1944) and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)." Rooney's "bumptiousness and boyish charm" as an actor would develop more "smoothness and polish" over the years, writes biographer Scott Eyman. The fact that Rooney fully enjoyed his life as an actor played a large role in those changes:

You weren't going to work, you were going to have fun. It was home, everybody was cohesive; it was family. One year I made nine pictures; I had to go from one set to another. It was like I was on a conveyor belt. You did not read a script and say, "I guess I'll do it." You did it. They had people that knew the kind of stories that were suited to you. It was a conveyor belt that made motion pictures.

Clarence Brown, who directed Rooney in his Oscar-nominated performance in The Human Comedy (1943) and again in National Velvet (1944), enjoyed working with Rooney in films:

Mickey Rooney is the closest thing to a genius that I ever worked with. There was Chaplin, then there was Rooney. The little bastard could do no wrong in my book ... All you had to do with him was rehearse it once.

In 1991, Rooney was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award recognizing his achievements within the film industry as a child actor. After presenting the award to Rooney, the foundation subsequently renamed the accolade "The Mickey Rooney Award" in his honor.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Art of Dance

Dance is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

                                                                    modern dance

An important distinction is to be drawn between the contexts of theatrical and participatory dance, although these two categories are not always completely separate; both may have special functions, whether social, ceremonial, competitive, erotic, martial, or sacred/liturgical. Other forms of human movement are sometimes said to have a dance-like quality, including martial arts, gymnastics, figure skating, synchronized swimming and many other forms of athletics.

Performance and Participation Dance Forms

Theatrical dance, also called performance or concert dance, is intended primarily as a spectacle, usually a performance upon a stage by virtuoso dancers. It often tells a story, perhaps using mime, costume and scenery, or else it may simply interpret the musical accompaniment, which is often specially composed. Examples are western ballet and modern dance, Classical Indian dance and Chinese and Japanese song and dance dramas. Most classical forms are centred upon dance alone, but performance dance may also appear in opera and other forms of musical theatre.

Participatory dance, on the other hand, whether it be a folk dance, a social dance, a group dance such as a line, circle, chain or square dance, or a partner dance such as is common in western Western ballroom dancing, is undertaken primarily for a common purpose, such as social interaction or exercise, of participants rather than onlookers. Such dance seldom has any narrative. A group dance and a corps de ballet, a social partner dance and a pas de deux, differ profoundly. Even a solo dance may be undertaken solely for the satisfaction of the dancer. Participatory dancers often all employ the same movements and steps but, for example, in the rave culture of electronic dance music, vast crowds may engage in free dance, uncoordinated with those around them. On the other hand, some cultures lay down strict rules as to the particular dances in which, for example, men, women and children may or must participate.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hawaiian Served in U.S. Civil War

Timothy Henry Hoʻolulu Pitman (March 18, 1845 – February 27, 1863) was an American Union Army soldier of Native Hawaiian descent. Considered one of the "Hawaiʻi Sons of the Civil War", he was among a group of more than one hundred documented Native Hawaiian and Hawaii-born combatants who fought in the American Civil War while the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was still an independent nation.

                                                            Timothy H, Pitman

Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, he was the eldest son of Kinoʻoleoliliha, a Hawaiian high chiefess, and Benjamin Pitman, an American pioneer settler from Massachusetts. Through his father's business success in the whaling and sugar and coffee plantation industries and his mother's familial connections to the Hawaiian royal family, the Pitmans were quite prosperous and owned lands on the island of Hawaiʻi and in Honolulu. He and his older sister were educated in the mission schools in Hilo alongside other children of mixed Hawaiian descent. After the death of his mother in 1855, his father remarried to the widow of a missionary, thus connecting the family to the American missionary community in Hawaiʻi. However, following the deaths of his first wife and later his second wife, his father decided to leave the islands and returned to Massachusetts with his family around 1860. He continued his education in the public schools of Roxbury, where the Pitman family lived for a period of time.

Leaving school without his family's knowledge, he made the decision to fight in the Civil War in August 1862. Despite his mixed-race ancestry, Pitman avoided the racial segregation imposed on other Native Hawaiian recruits of the time and enlisted in the 22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a white regiment. He served as a private in the Union Army fighting in the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign. In his company, Private Robert G. Carter befriended the part-Hawaiian soldier and wrote in later life of their common experience in the 22nd Massachusetts. Compiled decades afterward from old letters, Carter's account described the details surrounding his final fate in the war. On the march to Fredericksburg, Pitman was separated from his regiment and captured by Confederate guerrilla forces. He was forced to march to Richmond and incarcerated in the Confederate Libby Prison, where he contracted "lung fever" from the harsh conditions of his imprisonment and died on February 27, 1863, a few months after his release on parole in a prisoner exchange. Modern historians consider Henry Hoʻolulu Pitman to be the only known Hawaiian or Pacific Islander to die as a prisoner of war in the Civil War.

For a period of time after the end of the war, the legacy and contributions of Pitman and other documented Hawaiian participants in the American Civil War were largely forgotten except in the private circles of descendants and historians. However, there has been a revival of interest in recent years in the Hawaiian community. In 2010, these "Hawaiʻi Sons of the Civil War" were commemorated with a bronze plaque erected along the memorial pathway at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New A.I. Steals Code for User

DeepCoder: Microsoft’s New AI Writes
Code For People Who Don’t Know Coding
It steals the code to do so.

DeepCoder is an artificial intelligence system built by the researchers at Microsoft and the University of Cambridge. Based on a technique called program synthesis, DeepCoder can write working code after searching from a huge code database. It tries to make the best possible arrangement for the harvested code fragments and improves its efficiency over time.

We have about the very basic artificial intelligence systems to the ones capable of helping humans. Now, various neural networks have started to write their own code, they can fix security flaws in routers. Now, here is DeepCoder, an AI trained to use pieces of code from existing software and write a code of its own.

DeepCoder is a collaborative effort from the researchers at Microsoft and the University of Cambridge. To solve programming problems and write code, it uses a technique known as program synthesis. The work is published in the research paper, DeepCoder: Learning To Write Programs.

The neural network can make the lives of developers easier. It can take design clues and develop a program after harvesting appropriate lines of code from a massive code database using machine learning. It analyzes which lines would be the best fit and writes a working code, all of that in a matter of a few seconds.

DeepCoder’s efficiency improves over time, as it solves more and more problems. According to Marc Brockschmidt of Microsoft Research, who is a part of the project, such system could be of a great utility to non-coders. They only have to describe their program idea and wait for the system to create it.

We might end up having such system in the next few years. But for now, DeepCoder’s capabilities are limited to programs consisting of five lines of code. It does have a potential in automating code development, but according to Armando Solar-Lezama of MIT, it isn’t going to take away the jobs of developers. Program synthesis based system can be used to automate the tedious part of code development and let the developers focus on complex tasks.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Liberal Apostate David Horowitz

David Horowitz grew up a “red diaper baby” in a communist community in Sunnyside, Queens. He studied literature at Columbia, taking classes from Lionel Trilling, and became a "new leftist" during the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. He did his graduate work in Chinese and English at the University of California, arriving in Berkeley in the fall of 1959. At Berkeley, he was a member of a group of radicals who in 1960 published one of the first New Left magazines, Root and Branch. In 1962 he published the first manifesto of the New Left, a book titled, Student, which described the decade’s first demonstrations.

Horowitz went to Sweden in the fall of 1962 where he began writing The Free World Colossus, his most influential leftist book. In the fall of 1963 he moved to England where he went to work for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and became a protege of the Polish Marxist biographer of Trotsky, Issac Deutscher, and Ralph Miliband, an English Marxist whose sons went on to become leaders of the British Labour Party. While in England Horowitz also wrote Shakespeare: An Existential View, which was published by Tavistock Books. Under the influence of Deutscher, he also wrote Empire and Revolution: A Radical Interpretation of Contemporary History, 1969.

In 1967, Horowitz returned to the U.S. to join the staff of Ramparts Magazine, which had become a major cultural influence on the left. In 1969 he and Peter Collier, who became his lifelong friend and collaborator, took over the editorship of the magazine. Collier and Horowitz left Ramparts in 1973 to write three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987).

During these years Horowitz wrote two other books, The Fate of Midas, a collection of his Marxist essays and The First Frontier, a book about the creation of the United States. Following the murder of his friend Betty van Patter by the Black Panther Party in December 1972 and the victory of the Communists in Indo-China, which led to the slaughter of millions of Asians, Horowitz and Collier had second thoughts about their former comrades and commitments. In 1985 they published a cover story in the Washington Post called "Lefties for Reagan," announcing their new politics and organized a Second Thoughts Conference in Washington composed of former radicals. Four years later they published a book of the articles they had written about their new perspective and themovement they had left which they called Destructive Generation.

In 1997, Horowitz published a memoir, Radical Son(1996), about his journey from the left. George Gilder hailed it as “the first great autobiography of his generation,” and others compared the book to Whittaker Chambers' Witness.

In 1988, Horowitz and Collier created The Center for the Study of Popular Culture (the name was changed in 2006 to the David Horowitz Freedom Center) — to create a platform for his campaigns against the Left and its anti-American agendas. The DHFC is currently supported by over 100,000 individual contributors and publishes FrontpageMagazine.com, which features articles on “the war at home and abroad,” and receives approximately a million visitors per month. In 1992, Collier and Horowitz launched Heterodoxy, a print journal which confronted the phenomenon of "political correctness" focusing on the world of academia for the next ten years. In the same year he and film writer Lionel Chewynd created the "Wednesday Morning Club," the first sustained conservative presence in Hollywood in a generation. In 1996 Horowitz created the Restoration Weekend, which for the next two decades feature gatherings of leading conservative political, media and intellectual figures. In 2005 Horowitz created the website,DiscoverTheNetworks.org, an online encyclopedia of the political left, which has influenced the works of a generation of conservative journalists and authors.

With the support of the Center, Horowitz continued his writing about the nature and consequences of radical politics, writing more than a dozen books, including The Politics of Bad Faith (2000), Hating Whitey & Other Progressive Causes (2000), Left Illusions (2003), and The Party of Defeat (2008). His Art of Political War (2000) was described by Bush White House political strategist Karl Rove as “the perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield.” In 2004 he published Unholy Alliance, which was the first book about the tacit alliance between Islamo-fascists in the Middle East and secular radicals in the west.

Horowitz has devoted much of his attention over the past several years to the radicalization of the American university. In 2001 he conducted a national campaign on American campuses to oppose reparations for slavery 137 years after the fact as divisive and racist, since the since there were no longer any living slaves and reparations were to be paid and received on the basis of skin color). His book Uncivil Wars (2001) describes the campaign and was the first in a series of five books he would write about the state of higher education.

In 2003, he launched an academic freedom campaign to return the American university to traditional principles of open inquiry and to halt indoctrination in the classroom. To further these goals he devised an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure students access to more than one side of controversial issues and to protect their academic freedom. In 2006, Horowitz published The Professors (2006), a study of the political abuse of college classrooms. Indoctrination U., which followed in 2008, documented the controversies this book and his campaign had created. In 2009, he co-authored One Party Classroom with Jacob Laksin, a study of more than 150 college curricula designed as courses of indoctrination. In 2010, he published Reforming Our Universities, providing a detailed account of the entire campaign.

Along with these titles Horowitz wrote two philosophical meditations/memoirs on mortality, The End of Time (2005) and A Point in Time (2011), which summed up the themes of his life. A Cracking of the Heart (2009) is a poignant memoir of his daughter Sarah which explores these themes as well.
Many have commented on the lyrical style of these memoirs. The literary critic Stanley Fish, a political liberal, has described The End of Time as “Beautifully written, unflinching in its contemplation of the abyss, and yet finally hopeful in its acceptance of human finitude.”

In 2013 Horowitz began publishing a ten volume series of his collected journalistic writings and essays under the general title The Black Book of The American Left. The first volume, My Life & Times, was published in 2013; the second, Progressives, in 2014. The Black Book is filled with character and event—with profiles of radicals he knew (ranging from Huey Newton to Billy Ayers), analysis of the nature of progressivism, and running accounts of his efforts to oppose it. When completed, The Black Book will be a unique chronicle of the political wars between left and right as seen by an observer who has made a significant impact on both sides of the during his political and literary careers.

Cultural critic Camille Paglia has said of David Horowitz: “I respect the astute and rigorously unsentimental David Horowitz as one of America’s most original and courageous political analysts. . . . I think that, a century from now, cultural historians will find David Horowitz’s spiritual and political odyssey paradigmatic for our time.”

Norman Podhoretz, former editor of Commentary magazine, says of Horowitz: “David Horowitz is hated by the Left because he is not only an apostate but has been even more relentless and aggressive in attacking his former political allies than some of us who preceded him in what I once called ‘breaking ranks’ with that world. He has also taken the polemical and organizational techniques he learned in his days on the left, and figured out how to use them against the Left, whose vulnerabilities he knows in his bones.”

A full bibliography of Horowitz’s writings is available at: http://www.frontpagemag.com/bibliography

 The above biography is from the Horowitz biography page at Amazon.com – link:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Russian Professor Igor Panarin

Igor Nikolaevich Panarin (born 30 October 1958) is a Russian professor and political scientist. He is best known for predicting in 1998 that the U.S. would disintegrate within the next few years.

Igor Panarin has written 15 books and a number of articles on information warfare, psychology, and geopolitics. He is often interviewed by Russian and foreign (Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNN, BBC, Sky News) media on issues of Russian policy, development of relationships with the USA, etc. Panarin also has his own weekly radio programme.

He has led electoral campaigns in Russia and abroad, and his students have included parliamentary deputies, regional leaders, Kremlin officials, and Foreign Ministry spokespeople. His interests include history, philosophy, psychology, computer science, communication, election technology, conceptual problems of globalisation, and the theory and practice of information warfare.

Panarin condemns the activity of the last General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – Mikhail Gorbachev. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the latter's rise to power (on 11 March 1985), Panarin called him "the Antihero of Russia". On Panarin's initiative, an action called a Public Tribunal against Gorbachev for the downfall of the USSR and crimes against its peoples was carried out at the web portal KM.ru from 2 to 22 December 2005, resulting in 56,298 people condemning Gorbachev.

Panarin opposes the Houston programme of 1990 and criticises the Russian finance minister Alexey Kudrin for following it, saying the 2008 financial crisis in Russia is a part of it. He recommends selling oil and gas to Ukraine only for roubles (which in his view would automatically block its process of integration in NATO) and withdrawal of all Russian funds from the American "financial Titanic", buying gold and creating powerful Russian banks. He also recommends granting credits only in roubles.

Prediction of US Collapse in 2010

In the summer of 1998, based on classified data about the state of the U.S. economy and society supplied to him by fellow analysts at FAPSI, Panarin forecast the probable disintegration of the US into six parts in 2010 (at the end of June – start of July 2010, as he specified on 10 December 2008), following a civil war triggered by mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation. He forecast financial and demographic changes provoking a political crisis in which wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government, effectively seceding from the Union, leading to social unrest, civil war, national division, and intervention of foreign powers. Panarin sees the task of the world elite as not letting the USA follow the Yugoslavian model of disintegration; it is desirable that it follows the Czechoslovakian model of disintegration so that everything goes calmly and peacefully.


Explaining his theory in an interview with Izvestia, Panarin stated that "The [US] dollar isn't secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche; this is a pyramid, which has to collapse. ... Dissatisfaction is growing, and it is only being held back at the moment by the elections, and the hope [that President-elect Barack Obama] can work miracles. But when spring comes, it will be clear that there are no miracles.”


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thermal Energy Storage

Thermal energy storage (TES) is achieved with greatly differing technologies that collectively accommodate a wide range of needs. It allows excess thermal energy to be collected for later use, hours, days or many months later, at individual building, multi-user building, district, town, or even regional scale depending on the specific technology. As examples: energy demand can be balanced between daytime and nighttime; summer heat from solar collectors can be stored inter-seasonally for use in winter; and cold obtained from winter air can be provided for summer air conditioning. Storage media include: water or ice-slush tanks ranging from small to massive, masses of native earth or bedrock accessed with heat exchangers in clusters of small-diameter boreholes (sometimes quite deep); deep aquifers contained between impermeable strata; shallow, lined pits filled with gravel and water and top-insulated; and eutectic, phase-change materials.

Other sources of thermal energy for storage include heat or cold produced with heat pumps from off-peak, lower cost electric power, a practice called peak shaving; heat from combined heat and power (CHP) power plants; heat produced by renewable electrical energy that exceeds grid demand and waste heat from industrial processes. Heat storage, both seasonal and short term, is considered an important means for cheaply balancing high shares of variable renewable electricity production and integration of electricity and heating sectors in energy systems almost or completely fed by renewable energy.

Approaches to Thermal Energy Storage


Footnote on Endothermic/exothermic chemical reaction text

“Storing energy in molecular bonds is being investigated. Energy densities equivalent to lithium-ion batteries have been achieved.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Obtaining Property by False Pretenses

Obtaining property by false pretenses is the obtaining of property by intentionally misrepresenting a past or existing fact.


The elements of false pretenses are: (1) a false representation (2) of a material past or existing fact (3) which the person making the representation knows is false (4) made for the purpose of causing (5) and which does cause (6) the victim to pass title (7) to his property [3] False pretenses is a statutory offense in most jurisdictions; subject matter covered by statute varies accordingly, and is not necessarily limited to tangible personal property - some statutes include intangible personal property and services. For example, the North Carolina false pretense statute applies to obtaining "any money, goods, property, services, choses in action, or any other thing of value ..."[4] Under common law, false pretense is defined as a representation of a present or past fact, which the thief knows to be false, and which he intends will and does cause the victim to pass title of his property. That is, false pretense is the acquisition of title from a victim by fraud or misrepresentation of a material past or present fact.

a false representation - there must be a description or portrayal of something that is false. If a person makes a statement about something that he mistakenly believes to be untrue there is no false representation. For example, if a person represents that the ring is a diamond solitaire when he believes that is in fact made of cubic zirconium he is not guilty of false pretenses if it turns out that the ring was in fact a diamond. The representation must be false at the time title passes. Thus if the representation was false when made but is true at the time title to the property passes there is no crime. For example, representing to a seller that you have funds available in your bank account to pay for the goods when in fact your account has a zero balance is not false pretenses if at the time the transaction takes place adequate funds are present in the account. The representation may be oral or written. The misrepresentation has to be affirmative. A failure to disclose a fact does not fit this misrepresentation in common law, unless there is a fiduciary duty between the thief and victim. Moreover, opinion and puffing are not considered misrepresentation as they color the facts but do not misrepresent them.

of a material past or existing fact - the representation must relate to a material past or existing fact. A representation concerning a future state of facts is not sufficient. Nor is merely an expression of opinion.

which the person making the representation knows is false - A mistaken representation about some past or existing state of facts is not sufficient for false pretense.

made for the purpose of causing and which does cause - It is essential that the victim of the false pretenses must actually be deceived by the misrepresentation: the victim must transfer title to the property in reliance on the representation; and the victim being deceived must be a major (if not the only) reason for the victim's transferring title to the defendant. Simply making a false promise or statement is not sufficient. It is not a defense to false pretenses charge that a reasonable person would not have been deceived by the false representation. No matter how gullible the victim, if he/she was in fact deceived the offense has been committed. On the other hand, the offense requires the victim believe the representation to be true. If the person to whom the representation has been made has doubts or serious misgivings about the truth of the representation but nonetheless goes through with the transaction he has not been deceived - he has basically assumed the risk of a false representation.

Title passes - False pretense is conventionally referred to as a crime against “title” and "title" must pass from the victim to the perpetrator for the crime to be complete. However, this is not to be taken literally for the simple reason that a person who obtains ownership of property by deceit does not obtain full title to the property; only a voidable title. False pretense applies to situations where the wrongdoer by deceit obtains “title or ownership – or whatever property interest the victim had in the chattel, if it was less than title.” If the victim has an interest is the property less than full title the acquisition of that interest through false representation can be false pretenses unless the only interest the person has is possession of the property. In such case the crime would be larceny by trick rather than false pretenses. Larceny by Trick also applies to situations where the wrongdoer by deceit obtains possession only, with the victim retaining ownership or some superior interest in the chattel.[5] Determining whether the victim obtained title or possession can present problems. Generally a sell or conditional sell is sufficient to pass title for purposes of false pretenses whereas lending property does not involve a transfer of title. Note that if property is falsely obtained for a specific purpose - for example money to buy a car that does not exist - the crime is larceny by trick rather than false pretenses because the victim intended to pass title to the money only upon completion of the transaction; until such time the victim intended to deliver possession only. The essential distinction between false pretenses and larceny and embezzlement is that false pretenses requires that the victim pass title to the defendant whereas the other offenses do not. The determination as to whether the offense is larceny or false pretenses can have significant effect on the ability of true owner to reclaim the appropriated property. If false pretenses, a bona fide purchaser for value would acquire title superior to the victim; whereas, if the crime is larceny a purchaser from the wrongdoer, bona fide or otherwise, would not acquire any title to the property and would have to return the property to the victim.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Basic English since 1930

Basic English is an English-based controlled language created by linguist and philosopher Charles Kay Ogden as an international auxiliary language, and as an aid for teaching English as a second language. Basic English is, in essence, a simplified subset of regular English. It was presented in Ogden's book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930).

Ogden's Basic, and the concept of a simplified English, gained its greatest publicity just after the Allied victory in World War II as a means for world peace. Although Basic English was not built into a program, similar simplifications have been devised for various international uses. Ogden's associate I. A. Richards promoted its use in schools in China. More recently, it has influenced the creation of Voice of America's Special English for news broadcasting, and Simplified Technical English, another English-based controlled language designed to write technical manuals.

What survives today of Ogden's Basic English is the basic 850-word list used as the beginner's vocabulary of the English language taught worldwide, especially in Asia.

Design Principles

Ogden tried to simplify English while keeping it normal for native speakers, by specifying grammar restrictions and a controlled small vocabulary which makes an extensive use of paraphrasing. Most notably, Ogden allowed only 18 verbs, which he called "operators". His General Introduction says "There are no 'verbs' in Basic English", with the underlying assumption that, as noun use in English is very straightforward but verb use/conjugation is not, the elimination of verbs would be a welcome simplification.

“What the World needs most is about 1,000 more dead languages – and one more alive.”

           — C. K. Ogden, The System of Basic English

Word Lists

Ogden's word lists include only word roots, which in practice are extended with the defined set of affixes and the full set of forms allowed for any available word (noun, pronoun, or the limited set of verbs).

The 850 core words of Basic English are found in Wiktionary's Basic English word list. This core is theoretically enough for everyday life. However, Ogden prescribed that any student should learn an additional 150-word list for everyday work in some particular field, by adding a list of 100 words particularly useful in a general field (e.g., science, verse, business, etc.), along with a 50-word list from a more specialized subset of that general field, to make a basic 1000-word vocabulary for everyday work and life.

Moreover, Ogden assumed that any student already should be familiar with (and thus may only review) a core subset of around 200 "international" words. Therefore, a first-level student should graduate with a core vocabulary of around 1200 words. A realistic general core vocabulary could contain 2000 words (the core 850 words, plus 200 international words, and 1000 words for the general fields of trade, economics, and science). It is enough for a "standard" English level. This 2000 word vocabulary represents "what any learner should know". At this level students could start to move on their own.

Ogden's Basic English 2000 word list and Voice of America's Special English 1500 word list serve as dictionaries for the Simple English Wikipedia.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Inertial Confinement Fusion

Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is a type of fusion energy research that attempts to initiate nuclear fusion reactions by heating and compressing a fuel target, typically in the form of a pellet that most often contains a mixture of deuterium and tritium.

To compress and heat the fuel, energy is delivered to the outer layer of the target using high-energy beams of laser light, electrons or ions, although for a variety of reasons, almost all ICF devices as of 2015 have used lasers. The heated outer layer explodes outward, producing a reaction force against the remainder of the target, accelerating it inwards, compressing the target. This process is designed to create shock waves that travel inward through the target. A sufficiently powerful set of shock waves can compress and heat the fuel at the center so much that fusion reactions occur.

The energy released by these reactions will then heat the surrounding fuel, and if the heating is strong enough this could also begin to undergo fusion. The aim of ICF is to produce a condition known as ignition, where this heating process causes a chain reaction that burns a significant portion of the fuel. Typical fuel pellets are about the size of a pinhead and contain around 10 milligrams of fuel: in practice, only a small proportion of this fuel will undergo fusion, but if all this fuel were consumed it would release the energy equivalent to burning a barrel of oil.

ICF is one of two major branches of fusion energy research, the other being magnetic confinement fusion. When it was first proposed in the early 1970s, ICF appeared to be a practical approach to fusion power production and the field flourished. Experiments during the 1970s and '80s demonstrated that the efficiency of these devices was much lower than expected, and reaching ignition would not be easy. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, many experiments were conducted in order to understand the complex interaction of high-intensity laser light and plasma. These led to the design of newer machines, much larger, that would finally reach ignition energies.

The largest operational ICF experiment is the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the US, designed using all of the decades-long experience of earlier experiments. Like those earlier experiments, however, NIF has failed to reach ignition and is, as of 2015, generating about 13 of the required energy levels. As of October 7, 2013, this facility is understood to have achieved an important milestone towards commercialization of fusion, namely, for the first time a fuel capsule gave off more energy than was applied to it. This is a major step forward. A similar large-scale device in France, Laser Mégajoule, was officially inaugurated in October 2014. Experiments have started since then, albeit with low laser energies involved.

Fusion reactions combine lighter atoms, such as hydrogen, together to form larger ones. Generally the reactions take place at such high temperatures that the atoms have been ionized, their electrons stripped off by the heat; thus, fusion is typically described in terms of "nuclei" instead of "atoms".

Nuclei are positively charged, and thus repel each other due to the electrostatic force. Overcoming this repulsion costs a considerable amount of energy, which is known as the Coulomb barrier or fusion barrier energy. Generally, less energy will be needed to cause lighter nuclei to fuse, as they have less charge and thus a lower barrier energy, and when they do fuse, more energy will be released. As the mass of the nuclei increase, there is a point where the reaction no longer gives off net energy—the energy needed to overcome the energy barrier is greater than the energy released in the resulting fusion reaction.

The best fuel from an energy perspective is a one-to-one mix of deuterium and tritium; both are heavy isotopes of hydrogen. The D-T (deuterium & tritium) mix has a low barrier because of its high ratio of neutrons to protons. The presence of neutral neutrons in the nuclei helps pull them together via the nuclear force, while the presence of positively charged protons pushes the nuclei apart via electrostatic force. Tritium has one of the highest ratios of neutrons to protons of any stable or moderately unstable nuclide—two neutrons and one proton. Adding protons or removing neutrons increases the energy barrier.

A mix of D-T at standard conditions does not undergo fusion; the nuclei must be forced together before the nuclear force can pull them together into stable collections. Even in the hot, dense center of the sun, the average proton will exist for billions of years before it fuses. For practical fusion power systems, the rate must be dramatically increased; heated to tens of millions of degrees, and/or compressed to immense pressures. The temperature and pressure required for any particular fuel to fuse is known as the Lawson criterion. These conditions have been known since the 1950s when the first H-bombs were built. To meet the Lawson Criterion is extremely difficult on Earth, which explains why fusion research has taken many years to reach the current high state of technical prowess.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Basics of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms; in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those infected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The historical term "consumption" came about due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. People with latent TB do not spread the disease. Active infection occurs more often in people with HIV/AIDS and in those who smoke. Diagnosis of active TB is based on chest X-rays, as well as microscopic examination and culture of body fluids. Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) or blood tests.

Prevention of TB involves screening those at high risk, early detection and treatment of cases, and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine. Those at high risk include household, workplace, and social contacts of people with active TB. Treatment requires the use of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem with increasing rates of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

One-third of the world's population is thought to be infected with TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year. In 2014, there were 9.6 million cases of active TB which resulted in 1.5 million deaths. More than 95% of deaths occurred in developing countries. The number of new cases each year has decreased since 2000. About 80% of people in many Asian and African countries test positive while 5–10% of people in the United States population tests positive by the tuberculin test. Tuberculosis has been present in humans since ancient times.

Risk Factors

A number of factors make people more susceptible to TB infections. The most important risk factor globally is HIV; 13% of all people with TB are infected by the virus. This is a particular problem in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates of HIV are high. Of people without HIV who are infected with tuberculosis, about 5–10% develop active disease during their lifetimes; in contrast, 30% of those coinfected with HIV develop the active disease.

Tuberculosis is closely linked to both overcrowding and malnutrition, making it one of the principal diseases of poverty. Those at high risk thus include: people who inject illicit drugs, inhabitants and employees of locales where vulnerable people gather (e.g. prisons and homeless shelters), medically underprivileged and resource-poor communities, high-risk ethnic minorities, children in close contact with high-risk category patients, and health-care providers serving these patients.

Chronic lung disease is another significant risk factor. Silicosis increases the risk about 30-fold. Those who smoke cigarettes have nearly twice the risk of TB compared to nonsmokers.

Other disease states can also increase the risk of developing tuberculosis. These include alcoholism and diabetes mellitus (three-fold increase).

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and infliximab (an anti-αTNF monoclonal antibody), are becoming increasingly important risk factors, especially in the developed world.

Genetic susceptibility also exists, for which the overall importance remains undefined.

Medication Resistance

Primary resistance occurs when a person becomes infected with a resistant strain of TB. A person with fully susceptible MTB may develop secondary (acquired) resistance during therapy because of inadequate treatment, not taking the prescribed regimen appropriately (lack of compliance), or using low-quality medication. Drug-resistant TB is a serious public health issue in many developing countries, as its treatment is longer and requires more expensive drugs. MDR-TB is defined as resistance to the two most effective first-line TB drugs: rifampicin and isoniazid. Extensively drug-resistant TB is also resistant to three or more of the six classes of second-line drugs. Totally drug-resistant TB is resistant to all currently used drugs. It was first observed in 2003 in Italy, but not widely reported until 2012, and has also been found in Iran and India. Bedaquiline is tentatively supported for use in multiple drug-resistant TB.

XDR-TB is a term sometimes used to define extensively resistant TB, and constitutes one in ten cases of MDR-TB. Cases of XDR TB have been identified in more than 90% of countries.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Squeezing Hydrogen from Methane

Four-Stroke Engine Cycle Produces Hydrogen from Methane and Captures CO2

By John Toon

Georgia Tech, February 16, 2017 -- When is an internal combustion engine not an internal combustion engine? When it’s been transformed into a modular reforming reactor that could make hydrogen available to power fuel cells wherever there’s a natural gas supply available.

By adding a catalyst, a hydrogen separating membrane and carbon dioxide sorbent to the century-old four-stroke engine cycle, researchers have demonstrated a laboratory-scale hydrogen reforming system that produces the green fuel at relatively low temperature in a process that can be scaled up or down to meet specific needs. The process could provide hydrogen at the point of use for residential fuel cells or neighborhood power plants, electricity and power production in natural-gas powered vehicles, fueling of municipal buses or other hydrogen-based vehicles, and supplementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.

Known as the CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor, the device operates at temperatures much lower than conventional steam reforming processes, consumes substantially less water and could also operate on other fuels such as methanol or bio-derived feedstock. It also captures and concentrates carbon dioxide emissions, a by-product that now lacks a secondary use – though that could change in the future.

Unlike conventional engines that run at thousands of revolutions per minute, the reactor operates at only a few cycles per minute – or more slowly – depending on the reactor scale and required rate of hydrogen production. And there are no spark plugs because there’s no fuel combusted.

“We already have a nationwide natural gas distribution infrastructure, so it’s much better to produce hydrogen at the point of use rather than trying to distribute it,” said Andrei Fedorov, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor who’s been working on CHAMP since 2008. “Our technology could produce this fuel of choice wherever natural gas is available, which could resolve one of the major challenges with the hydrogen economy.”

A paper published February 9 in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research describes the operating model of the CHAMP process, including a critical step of internally adsorbing carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the methane reforming process, so it can be concentrated and expelled from the reactor for capture, storage or utilization.

Other implementations of the system have been reported as thesis work by three Georgia Tech Ph.D. graduates since the project began in 2008. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense through NDSEG fellowships, and the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF Global).

Key to the reaction process is the variable volume provided by a piston rising and falling in a cylinder. As with a conventional engine, a valve controls the flow of gases into and out of the reactor as the piston moves up and down. The four-stroke system works like this:

·                                 Natural gas (methane) and steam are drawn into the reaction cylinder through a valve as the piston inside is lowered. The valve closes once the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder.

·                                 The piston rises into the cylinder, compressing the steam and methane as the reactor is heated. Once it reaches approximately 400 degrees Celsius, catalytic reactions take place inside the reactor, forming hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen exits through a selective membrane, and the pressurized carbon dioxide is adsorbed by the sorbent material, which is mixed with the catalyst.

·                                 Once the hydrogen has exited the reactor and carbon dioxide is tied up in the sorbent, the piston is lowered, reducing the volume (and pressure) in the cylinder. The carbon dioxide is released from the sorbent into the cylinder.

·                                 The piston is again moved up into the chamber and the valve opens, expelling the concentrated carbon dioxide and clearing the reactor for the start of a new cycle.

“All of the pieces of the puzzle have come together,” said Fedorov, a professor in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “The challenges ahead are primarily economic in nature. Our next step would be to build a pilot-scale CHAMP reactor.” 

The project was begun to address some of the challenges to the use of hydrogen in fuel cells. Most hydrogen used today is produced in a high-temperature reforming process in which methane is combined with steam at about 900 degrees Celsius. The industrial-scale process requires as many as three water molecules for every molecule of hydrogen, and the resulting low density gas must be transported to where it will be used.

Fedorov’s lab first carried out thermodynamic calculations suggesting that the four-stroke process could be modified to produce hydrogen in relatively small amounts where it would be used. The goals of the research were to create a modular reforming process that could operate at between 400 and 500 degrees Celsius, use just two molecules of water for every molecule of methane to produce four hydrogen molecules, be able to scale down to meet the specific needs, and capture the resulting carbon dioxide for potential utilization or sequestration.

“We wanted to completely rethink how we designed reactor systems,” said Fedorov. “To gain the kind of efficiency we needed, we realized we’d need to dynamically change the volume of the reactor vessel. We looked at existing mechanical systems that could do this, and realized that this capability could be found in a system that has had more than a century of improvements: the internal combustion engine.”

The CHAMP system could be scaled up or down to produce the hundreds of kilograms of hydrogen per day required for a typical automotive refueling station – or a few kilograms for an individual vehicle or residential fuel cell, Fedorov said. The volume and piston speed in the CHAMP reactor can be adjusted to meet hydrogen demands while matching the requirements for the carbon dioxide sorbent regeneration and separation efficiency of the hydrogen membrane. In practical use, multiple reactors would likely be operated together to produce a continuous stream of hydrogen at a desired production level.

“We took the conventional chemical processing plant and created an analog using the magnificent machinery of the internal combustion engine,” Fedorov said. “The reactor is scalable and modular, so you could have one module or a hundred of modules depending on how much hydrogen you needed. The processes for reforming fuel, purifying hydrogen and capturing carbon dioxide emission are all combined into one compact system.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Toward Cheaper, Safer Batteries

Making Sodium-Ion Batteries that Last

American Chemical Society – February 15, 2017 -- Lithium-ion batteries have become essential in everyday technology. But these power sources can explode under certain circumstances and are not ideal for grid-scale energy storage. Sodium-ion batteries are potentially a safer and less expensive alternative, but current versions don’t last long enough yet for practical use. Now, scientists have developed an anode material that enables sodium-ion batteries to perform at high capacity over hundreds of cycles, according to their report in the journal ACS Nano.

For years, scientists have considered sodium-ion batteries a safer and lower-cost candidate for large-scale energy storage than lithium-ion. But so far, sodium-ion batteries have not operated at high capacity for long-term use. Lithium and sodium have similar properties in many ways, but sodium ions are much larger than lithium ions. This size difference leads to the rapid deterioration of a key battery component. Meilin Liu, Chenghao Yang and colleagues wanted to find an anode material that would give sodium-ion batteries a longer life.

The researchers developed a simple approach to making a high-performance anode material by binding an antimony-based mineral onto sulfur-doped graphene sheets. Incorporating the anode into a sodium-ion battery allowed it to perform at 83 percent capacity over 900 cycles. The researchers say this is the best reported performance for a sodium-ion battery with an antimony-based anode material. To ultimately commercialize their technology, they would need to scale up battery fabrication while maintaining its high performance.

The authors acknowledge funding from Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program, the Project of Public Interest Research and Capacity Building of Guangdong Province, Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation.