Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

New Thermal Imaging System Could Help Detect Drunk People -

New Thermal Imaging System Could Help Detect Drunk People - 

A new use for old technology could give police a hand in spotting drunks in public.

In a paper that was published in the “International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics,” Greek scientists Georgia Koukiou and Vassilis Anastassopoulos are developing new algorithms that will gather data about blood-vessels on a subject’s face.

The rosy red glow that alcohol gives drinkers is really blood vessels dilating on the skin’s surface, which changes the temperature of a person’s face. Thermal imaging devices can detect those changes.

What Koukiou and Anastassopoulos propose is taking that information and then running it through a comparison of thermal imaging scans of drunk and sober individuals.

Another algorithm they came up with is used to map the person’s face. When drinking a person’s nose becomes warmer as their forehead becomes cooler.

The paper recommends that this type of technology be used by police departments.

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Jimmy Carter slams ‘financial corruption’ in U.S. elections - 'We have one of the worst election processes in the world,' -

Jimmy Carter slams ‘financial corruption’ in U.S. elections - 'We have one of the worst election processes in the world,' - 

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter issued a blistering indictment of the American electoral process Tuesday, saying it is shot through with "financial corruption" that threatens democracy.

Speaking at the international human rights centre that bears his name, Carter said "we have one of the worst election processes in the world right in the United States of America, and it's almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money."

The dynamic is fed, Carter said, by an income tax code that exacerbates the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the electorate, allowing the rich even greater influence over public discourse and electioneering.

The 39th president lamented a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited contributions to third-party groups that don't have to disclose their donors.

He added that he hopes the "Supreme Court will reverse that stupid ruling," referring to the case known as Citizens United.

Carter praised Mexico and several countries where staff at his centre have monitored publicly financed elections, and he said the United States should return to publicly financed elections for president. The system technically is still in place, but it is voluntary and both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have chosen to bypass the taxpayer money because they can amass far more on their own.

"You know how much I raised to run against Gerald Ford? Zero," Carter said, referring to his 1976 general election opponent. "You know how much I raised to run against Ronald Reagan? Zero. You know how much will be raised this year by all presidential, Senate and House campaigns? $6 billion. That's 6,000 millions."


Could O.J. Simpson be Khloe Kardashian's biological father? - If the face fits, he must be it! -

Could O.J. Simpson be Khloe Kardashian's biological father? - If the face fits, he must be it! - 

If the face fits, he must be it!
That's basically what the National Enquirer is saying in a report that claims O.J. Simpson is Khloe Kardashian's real father, because Khloe closely resembles Sydney Simpson, O.J.'s daughter with Nicole Brown.
"O.J. Bombshell: 'I'm Khloe's REAL Dad!" the cover reads. "Shocking truth about O.J. & Kardashian mom." 
Khloe's father, Robert Kardashian, was one of O.J.'s attorneys during his murder trial, where he was famously acquitted from murdering his wife largely because a glove used in the murder did not fit his hand in court.
Khloe, Kim, and mom Kris Jenner all took to Twitter to laugh off rumors that Simpson was Khloe's real father. But it wasn't the first time claims were made that Khloe's dad was someone other than Robert Kardashian.
Earlier this year, the second wife and widow of the late Robert Kardashian made some seriously salacious claims against the Kardashians in a bombshell interview with Star magazine.
Jan Ashley, 63, is the woman who married Kardashian after his divorce from Kris Jenner was finalized. She claimed that before his death from cancer in 2003, he told her that Khloe is not his daughter.
“Khloe is not his kid – he told me that after we got married,” Ashley told Star. “He just kind of looked at me and said [it] like it was a matter of fact. He said, ‘Well, you know that Khloe’s not really a Kardashian, don’t you? And I said … ‘OK,’ and that was it.”
The rumors have plagued Khloe and her family for years, with one episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” even featuring the 27-year-old questioning if she was adopted.
“Khloe brought it up all the time,” Ellen Kardashian, who married the lawyer after his split with Jan Ashley and just two months before his death, said to the magazine. “She looked nothing like the rest. She was tall, had a different shape, light hair, curly hair. Didn’t look anything like the other three children.”
Kris Jenner also came forward in her memoir to confess that she had an affair during her marriage to Robert Kardashian. And both Jan and Ellen claim it was no secret that Kris had strayed.
“Robert did question the fact that Khloe was his,” Ellen told the magazine. “Any normal man would if they knew their wife had cheated on him … But he never would have considered a DNA test. He loved her very much.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/09/11/could-oj-simpson-be-khloe-kardashian-biological-father-no-way-say-k/?intcmp=features

SCREW UP: Russian Warships displayed at Democratic National Convention tribute to American Vets... -

SCREW UP: Russian Warships displayed at Democratic National Convention tribute to American Vets... - 
Retired Adm. John Nathman speaks on stage with military veterans during the final day of the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6 in Charlotte, N.C. Experts say the ships in the background are Russian.

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against.

“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee was not able to immediately comment Tuesday, saying he had to track down personnel to find out what had happened.

The veteran who spotted the error and notified Navy Times said he was immediately taken aback.

“I was kind of in shock,” said Rob Barker, 38, a former electronics warfare technician who left the Navy in 2006. Having learned to visually identify foreign ships by their radars, Barker recognized the closest ship as the Kara-class cruiser Kerch.

“An immediate apology [from the committee] would be very nice,” Barker said. “Maybe acknowledge the fact that yes, they screwed up.”

The background — featured in the carefully choreographed hour leading up to the president’s Sept. 6 speech accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination — showed four ships with radar designs not used in the U.S. fleet.

For example, the ship in the foreground, on the far right, has a square radar antenna at the top of its masthead. That is the MR-700 Podberezovik 3-D early warning radar, commonly identified as “Flat Screen” for its appearance, a three-dimensional early warning radar mounted on the Kerch, said Eric Wertheim, editor of “Combat Fleets of the World.”

Similarly, the third ship has a MR-310 “Head Net” air search radar, shaped like two off-set bananas, at its masthead and is mostly likely the guided missile destroyer Smetlivyy. The first two ships seem to be Krivak-class frigates, but it’s hard to discern from the silhouette, experts said.

But the fact they are Russian ships is not in doubt. In addition to the ship’s radar arrays and hulls, which are dissimilar from U.S. warships, the photo features one more give-away: a large white flag with a blue ‘X’ at the ships’ sterns.

Read more -