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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Fast Five' was downloaded 9M times

'Fast Five' is the most pirated movie of 2011

"Fast Five" will probably not be at the top of many year-end movie lists -- best, worst, biggest hits or otherwise. But it is No. 1 somewhere, although probably not where its studio, Universal, would want it to be.
The movie was the most pirated film of 2011, according to data compiled by TorrentFreak. The Vin Diesel-Paul Walker-Dwayne Johnson action saga was swapped almost 9.3 million times via BitTorrent.

That's a lot, but it's way down from 2010 piracy leader "Avatar," which racked up more than 16 million downloads. TorrentFreak says the average for the Top 10 this year was also way down from 2010, although the number of BitTorrent users didn't decline.

"The Hangover Part II" and "Thor" were second and third on the list, each with more than 8 million downloads.
Best picture winner "The King's Speech" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" also made the Top 10, but it wasn't all hits. Middling box-office performers like "Source Code" and "Sucker Punch" also made the list. 

Here's the Top 10, per TorrentFreak:
1. "Fast Five"
2. "The Hangover Part II"
3. "Thor"
4. "Source Code"
5. "I Am Number Four"
6. "Sucker Punch"
7. "127 Hours"
8. "Rango"
9. "The King's Speech"
10. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"

Adapted from MSN
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 5:12 PM
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Top 3 Movies of 2011

These are top three movies of 2011:

3. 'The Descendants' 
A number of major movies this year were about looking into the past and attempting to find some sort of solace or meaning there, creatively, personally or otherwise. But as Woody Allen revealed in his "Midnight in Paris," our view of the past is often distorted by our own desires, and things weren't truly any better then than they are now. That's why there's not a whole lot of emotional truth in a simple homage. But there's a ton of it in "The Descendants," which is ultimately about taking one's eyes off the rearview mirror and peering into the future. That means letting go, and the grief that Matt King (George Clooney) and his two daughters must work through as they say goodbye to their dying wife and mother is acute and real. So is the sense of loss that Matt feels over the possibility of relinquishing his family's stake in their home state of Hawaii. In both cases, Matt comes to terms with the mistakes of the past and attempts to move forward -- forging a new relationship with his daughters now that their "primary parent" is gone, and finding a way to preserve his family's land. Your reaction to "The Descendants" may depend on what point in your life you're at while watching it. For us, it was somber, funny and terribly moving. It's a beautiful film about trying to live right now, to know the people around you and where you all come from, before everything slips away and becomes just another distant, nostalgic dream.

2. 'The Tree of Life' 
If, in one sense, the power of Terrence Malick 's filmmaking comes from its ambiguity, "The Tree of Life," has to rank as his most potent and daring work yet. The movie begins and ends with an image of a swirling energy, a smoky, dancing light which means ... what? The spark that began the universe? The essence of everything that began and will eventually end what we perceive as reality? Yes ... and ... sure, why not? With Tree," it's always more about the questions than the answers. Malick's heartfelt meditation on life's mysteries, as filtered through a portrait of a West Texas family in the 1950s, has been fashioned to allow his audience the space to experience the emotions it might evoke within themselves. So as you watch the film's three young boys caught in the middle between the physical embodiments of grace (their lovely mother, played with such tender feeling by Jessica Chastain) and nature (a never-better Brad Pitt as their stern, thwarted father), we, too, feel the push and pull between the physical and infinite aspects of the human existence. There's beauty, poetry, tyranny, death. There's the birth of the universe. There are dinosaurs! Why dinosaurs? Short answer: (Again) Why not? Long answer: Perhaps Malick is reminding us that the creatures that once held dominion over the Earth no longer exist. Could the same fate befall their successors? Or maybe that little moment of grace where the big lizard spares its sickly cousin shows a way of avoiding that destiny. Again, it's all about the questions, and Malick gives you enough to chew on here that you could return repeatedly to "Tree" for years to come, knowing (and savoring) that your experience will be different each time you watch it.


1. 'Melancholia' 

Universal and personal, blatant and mysterious, sorrowful and funny, nihilistic and yet, sublimely, romantically, celebratory, Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" takes the black bile of its namesake -- the depression of its heroine -- and transforms the "humor" into exaltation. A terrifying, dazzling planet that, true to Dane Von Trier's dip into German romanticism, is set to destroy life on Earth: Götterdämmerung via Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" (used in the picture's rapturously beautiful overture), via Ophelia via Cassandra via Von Trier's personal mythology. Clinically depressed Justine (a stunning Kirsten Dunst, Von Trier's surrogate) does what's often expected of those afflicted -- wear a brave face and a wedding dress, embrace love, work, family (no matter how dysfunctional) and rules. Well, Von Trier cannot accept that fate, and in the picture's first half, in which Justine destroys her nuptials, her actions serve as depressive, rebellious self awareness. "What did you expect?" she asks. Indeed. And then comes planet Melancholia, inching closer, leaving stable sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) panic stricken while Justine, calmly, grimly and at times, cheekily, accepts annihilation, not as easy suicide but as a kind of cosmic extension of despair. Finally. Justine isn't wallowing in depression, she's embracing, seducing it, and in one of the picture's most exquisite moments, lying beneath it naked, basking in the glow of doom. Von Trier, a sufferer himself, sincerely understands depression (just as he understood anxiety in "Antichrist"), which may be why he maddens many. Weaving himself into his characters, he's sadistic, masochist, empathetic, self obsessed, morbid and morbidly funny and then honest and honestly confused. With "Melancholia" he grants depressives a gift. Taking Justine's depleted darkness and imbuing her with celestial life through doomsday, he, to recall another German Romantic, creates an "Ode to Joy" through heartbreaking and gloriously inspirational...woe. 




Adapted from MSN


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Deer find safe home at FBI firing range, academy

'They're pretty immune to the sound ... they don't know what a gun is,' says FBI instructor

QUANTICO, Virginia — Call it a playground for Bambi and G-Men, where imaginary criminals are hunted and deer are the spectators.
Deer roam atop a berm surrounding the shooting range at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., on Dec. 19.
The 547-acre FBI Academy, where some of America's best marksmen fire off more than 1 million bullets every month, happens to be one of the safest places for deer during hunting season.
The property on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va., is home to some of the FBI's most elite forces and training programs as well as a de facto wildlife refuge where deer, fox, wild turkeys, groundhogs and vultures roam fearless and free.

In recent years, a black bear was spotted running across a parking lot, and a groundhog cornered an FBI agent coming out of the cafeteria, hoping to score some human food, FBI spokesman Kurt Crawford said. Turkey vultures are often seen perched atop the 500,000 square foot national crime lab where the FBI analyzes evidence, including the remains of the former al-Qaida leader in Iraq.
The wild animals are as much a fixture at the academy as the hostage rescue team and criminal profilers.
The most common furry friends on the sprawling campus some 30 miles outside Washington are the deer, a regular at the shooting ranges, driving courses and physical training trails.
On a December afternoon, deer grazed above one of the academy's 16 practice shooting ranges. They stood just 15 feet away from the paper targets. Nearby, shots popped loudly from a Colt M4 Carbine rifle, and the white-tailed deer did not flinch.

"They're pretty immune to the sound," said Sean Boyle, supervisory special agent bomb technician and principal firearms instructor for the Critical Incident Response Group based at the academy. The deer typically graze on top of the berm, about 15 feet away from the targets and rarely go directly in the line of fire. Boyle said he doesn't recall an instance where a deer was shot accidentally.
"It's like they think, 'We've pushed the limit for this far, and all our generations have pushed the limit for this far,'" Boyle said. "They're just so docile around here. They don't know what a gun is."
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries does not keep direct tabs on the deer population at the FBI academy, but a spokeswoman said statewide the deer population has remained about the same over the past decade, partly because of regulated hunting. Licensed deer hunters are allowed on parts of the Marine Corps base but not at the academy where the FBI does not hunt its animals.
At the FBI Academy, the deer have even become part of the training in some of the driving courses, said Tim Moles, the supervisory special agent who oversees the Tactical and Emergency Vehicle Operations Center, where recruits learn to avoid crashing their cars and conduct surveillance without being spotted.

The deer are convenient when recruits learn to avoid collisions, Moles said. "There's times when it seems like they're playing chicken with us," Moles said. "We respect them because they can do damage. We'd rather avoid all deer stories in this end of the academy."
For the most part, the deer have stayed out of trouble. Twice, however, deer have eaten freshly-planted pansies at the academy's 9/11 memorial courtyard, Crawford said. Eventually a fence was built to keep the flowers off limits.
Deer have been known to interrupt physical training, too.
"We've had the deer walk across the middle of the track during the 300-meter sprint," said Susann Dreiling, unit chief of the academy's physical training unit.
To become an agent, recruits must pass a physical fitness test. They are scored on how fast they can run and how many push-ups and sit-ups they perform. Sometimes, training will involve running a quarter-mile path along the lake area of the academy, stopping for push-ups, running some more and breaking to box, Dreiling said.
During these exercises, a mother and her fawns are often close by.
"They just stand there and watch as if they're evaluating them," Dreiling said, "just like the instructors are."

Adapted from MSN
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 2:47 PM
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The 10 Best Guy Days of the Year

What makes a great day? For guys, they generally fall into two categories: days that involve some kind of success, either at work or with women, or days that offer simple pleasures and a respite from the stress of our adult lives. This list is devoted to the latter category. Here are 10 days of the year which, for men, offer an archipelago of sanity in the ocean of chaos that comprises the greater part of our daily lives.

Start of Fishing Season
Some things never go out of style. The act of casting a line into the water and hoping for a fish to rise has been immortalized in works as diverse as A River Runs Through It and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It's one of those heralded manly pursuits that gets at the heart of how we define leisure. Is it a pulse-pounding activity full of anticipation and excitement, or a couple guys spending the day sitting around drinking beer in a boat? It's both of these things, thus reflecting the dichotomy of how men have fun—we like excitement, but in limited doses, preferably supplemented with a cool beverage.







The Opening Round of March Madness
While other sports days like the Super Bowl are all about spectacle, March Madness is all about the game, or rather, the games—nothing in sport rivals the adrenaline rush of that first Thursday of the tournament, when 32 teams take the court to play all-out, do-or-die basketball. These are college kids, not jaded superstars. They play for pride and glory, backed by rabid student and alumni fans who follow every dribble and drive on a blood-and-bones level. There's a feeling that anything can happen, anybody can beat anybody, and any bracket—no matter how well-constructed—can fall apart in a heartbeat. It is the unquestioned pinnacle of the yearly sports calendar, and you will be hard-pressed to find a man anywhere who doesn't love it like he loves his first-born.





Your Birthday
Why shouldn't you enjoy your birthday? Too many guys waste the whole day complaining about getting older, as if there's anything they can do about it. The evolved man understands the nature of inevitability, and savors the increasing wisdom and perspective that comes with age. Plus, it's a day full of potential attention, with co-workers, friends and family all hovering around with well-wishes and presents. I don't know about you, but I can always use more well-wishes and presents.










The First Day of Barbecuing
As men, our hearts grow sick watching our precious grills spend the winter sheathed and forgotten on our decks and porches. Few things invigorate us more than that first sunny day of the year when the opportunity presents itself, the long-dormant grill is revived, and we savor the season's first whiff of flame-licked meat. The feeling can't easily be described. It rises up from a soup of primordial memory, an ancestral longing that dates back to our caveman origins. Men bond over a hot grill in a way that isn't repeated anywhere else. That all might sound a little overwrought. And maybe it is. But no matter how you feel about the age-old ritual of meat and fire itself, there's one thing we can all agree on: In the end, you end up with a delicious meal—and that at least is worth celebrating.




Father's Day
This day's worthiness for actual fathers is obvious; it's the only other day of the year besides your birthday (as we already discussed) when the focus is all on you. But even for non-fathers, the day has a certain appeal. First of all, fathers are much more blasé about the whole thing, and so the day lacks the pressure of Mother's Day (and don't get me started on "Mother-in-Law Day"). Plus, it's in mid-June, and so the pleasant onset of summer is palpably near.










The Summer Solstice
Human cultures have celebrated the summer solstice for millennia, and so for that alone this day merits acknowledgment. For modern men however, the day conjures a different set of visions. The official start of summer still seems like a holiday because of our childhood associations with long days off from school filled with idle play and hazy backyard afternoons. Even though we are now of working age, the kid inside rejoices when the constellations align just so, and we're gifted with daylight that lasts late into evening.








The Day Your Lawn Stops Growing
We men take great pride in our lawns. A well-maintained field of verdant grass is our Apollonian goal, a statement about not just our skill as gardeners and landscapers but a measure of our ability to exert control in an uncertain world. Our neighbors appreciate us, our friends respect us, and our wives love us all the more. That's all well and good, but let's be honest: The whole thing is a certifiable pain in the ass. In late spring, when we dream of lounging with the newspaper and a baseball game, we're instead dragging the mower out for yet another Sunday clipping. But then, mercifully, we hit a day somewhere in mid-late summer when nature shuts itself down. The grass takes on a slight brown hue, and though a few die-hards attempt to keep it lush year-round, the societal pressure is off. The mower can again be retired until next spring without complaint from the wife, and our Sundays are once again our own.


Your Anniversary
Yeah, I know what you're going to say. You'll say, "Are you nuts? I have to get a present, make restaurant reservations, find a sitter, and of course, remember the date in the first place. What's fun about that?" But it doesn't have to be that way. First off, you should memorize and remember the date. Period. It's just something you do when you're a mature man of the world. Second, if you play it right, it's actually a very easy win for you. You go out with your wife, who will be dressed to kill, and spend the evening canoodling over candlelight while reminiscing about the day you met. Good food is usually involved. And then—with any luck—you have sex. Keep it simple, enjoy your partner, and avoid having a bad day by not prioritizing it enough, in which case there will be no sex involved.




The First Cold Night of the Year You Can Light a Fire
The response men have to fire is high on the list of primal instincts. As we saw before, the urge to make fire expresses itself in summer by our frequent barbecuing. As winter sets in, things get more literal. Any man with a fireplace, whether gas or wood-burning, knows the joy of that initial flicker of flame. A cold, dark room is suddenly made warm and friendly. These men with fireplaces also know the erotic potential of a roaring fire, how easy it is to find oneself engaged carnally with women who—without exception—are made weak in the knees by firelight, soft music and a glass of white wine. If you know a man who is without a fireplace, buy him an outdoor fire pit for Christmas. He will thank you later.





Super Bowl Sunday
Why do we love it so much? It's not really about the game itself, though recent Super Bowls have yielded interesting match-ups and fantastic finishes. No, the real draw is the overt trashiness of it all. We eat retro, junky food like chili-cheese pizza and fried jalapenos slathered in ranch dressing. It's all about mass appeal, a celebration of modern excess and Americana that gives us an excuse to gather with friends and drink beer in the dead of winter. It's that rare television event we can all share together, like the "Seinfeld" finale or "Lost" (the first season, anyway). We even enjoy watching the commercials, for God's sake.







Adapted from MSN









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Published by Gusti Putra at: 3:03 PM
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Monday, December 19, 2011

186Gbps, New Records Speed ​​Data Transmission

This transfer speed defeated the record set in 2009 ago that is 119Gbps​​..

SuperComputing 2011 conference in Seattle, a group of researchers led by scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) managed to record a new record for data transfer over a network, reaching 186Gbps.

By this new speed, users can also transfer 2 gigabytes of data per day,
or approximately 100 thousand submit content Blu-ray in a day.
(speedtest.net)
Record speed data transfer between computer networks opens up new hope for the future of Internet browsing and good news for Internet service providers.
186Gbps speeds beat the record set in 2009 and the 119Gbps. With this new speed, users can transfer 2 million gigabytes of data per day, or approximately 100 thousand pieces of content Blu-ray in a day.

The transfer speed is achieved using a 100Gbps circuits made by non-profit BCNET and CANARIE. Data transmission is achieved when sending data from a data center owned by the University of Victoria in British Columbia to Seattle Convention Centre which reaches a maximum speed of 98Gbps and in the reverse direction, the data transmitted simultaneously at speeds up to 88Gbps.

The test is then performed by transferring data from Seattle to other areas in the United States, and also to Korea and Brazil. Observers say this achievement is significant because scientists use 100Gbps transmission lines are already available commercially, not through a private network in the lab or use a testbed with certain conditions.
Although users do not need to watch 100 thousand Blu-ray films per day, but for scientists, this speed is very important. For example to collaborate when examining the data space and others.

"It has a transmission speed allows us earlier achievements are not possible," said Harvey Newman, quoted from Digital Trends, December 16, 2011. "We can see a brighter future that may never have imagined before," he said.

Adapted from Vivanews
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:48 AM
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Samsung Beat Apple's popularity

Ad Galaxy S II a satirical iPhone 4S called to be one deciding factor.

Samsung competition with Apple not only held tight at the green table, but also in the popularity of the product. Although considered to be released that mimic Apple's products, but the popularity of Samsung managed to beat Apple.

Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II
(careace.net)
Based on the public perception survey conducted YouGov, the popularity of Samsung started to beat Apple since last week, or since December 8.

YouGov rate, advertising Samsung Galaxy S II line satirical iPhone 4S as the factors that most influence the popularity of Apple. The ad release 22 November to 1 December.

One of the popularity of Samsung's determination of the questions asked seem to YouGov, namely: "If you hear the brand was in the last two weeks, either through advertising, news, or speech, it's positive or negative?" The result, many positive rate.

Popularity of the iPhone itself began to decline since the end of November, with a value of (buzz score) 33. Currently, Apple's buzz score was recorded about 25.

Meanwhile, in late November, Samsung recorded a buzz score of 19. Whereas today, the Samsung buzz score is 26.

In the ad Galaxy S II, titled "Next Big Thing", Samsung's satirical Apple fanboy who would stand in line long after the iPhone 4S. In fact, according to Samsung's ads, the iPhone 4S does not have a lot of changes. Even the iPhone does not support the 4S 4G technologies, like those of the Galaxy S II.

Adapted from Vivanews
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:34 AM
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Hair More Shiny by Sugar.

Learn how easy that your crown more beautiful.

Like skin, scalp requiring treatment. Dead skin cells located on the scalp should be cleaned to your healthier hair growth. Anyway, no need to go to the salon to treat the scalp.
Healthy Hair
Make yourself at home, because it is very easy to do. Take advantage of just sugar, since the formula can create a healthier scalp and hair easier to manage.

"Sugar works like alpha hydroxy acid, which can clean the dead skin cells to penetrate the cortex of hair and stimulate the cellular activity of hair follicles," said Sam Brocato, owner of Sam Brocato, New York, as quoted from Youbeauty.com

Mix in oil almond oil and lime juice can be a herb "miracle" to make you more healthy crown and shiny. Simply create a special sugar ingredients for hair follows.

Materials:

- 2.5 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 2.5 tablespoons white sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons of almond oil
- 1.5 tsp lime juice

Pour all ingredients in a bowl. Stir until evenly mixed materials, can use a wooden spoon or chopsticks.
To use, first wash your hair with shampoo. In the event of wet hair, apply a mixture of sugar she gave a massage the scalp gently, for five minutes.
Let stand a few minutes to soak into the scalp. Then, rinse hair with warm water.

Adapted from Vivanews
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 1:24 AM
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Japanese Tunnel was Massacre's tunnel, West Sumatera

The longest Tunnel on the bottom of the town Bukittinggi

Japanese tunnel in Bukittinggi
Japan hole in Bukittinggi is one of the historical attractions in the city of Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Japan hole is a tunnel (bunker) the protection of the Japanese occupation forces built around the year 1942 for defense.

History

Earlier, Japan's Hole was built as a storage supplies and equipment Japanese soldiers of war, with a long tunnel that reaches 1400 m and winding and has a width of about 2 meters. A number of specific rooms contained in this tunnel, among them the space reconnaissance, ambush rooms, prisons, and armory.

One of Japan's entrance into the holes in the Ngarai Sianok 
In addition to its strategic location in the city that was once a center of government of Central Sumatra, the land that became the wall of this tunnel is a type of soil which, when mixed with water will be more robust. Even the earthquake that shook West Sumatra in 2009 and then not much damage to the tunnel structure.

It is estimated that tens to hundreds of thousands of forced labor or romusha deployed from the island of Java, Sulawesi and Kalimantan to dig this tunnel. Election workers from outside this area is the Japanese colonial strategy to maintain the confidentiality of this mega project. Labor from Bukittinggi itself deployed them to work on the tunnel defenses in Bandung and Biak Island.

Tourist Attraction

Japan began to run into holes historical attractions in the year 1984, by the town of Bukittinggi. Some of Japan's entrance into these holes are located on Gorges area Sianok, Panorama Park, next to the Bung Hatta Palace and Zoo in Bukittinggi.

Quoted from WIKIPEDIA
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 12:21 AM
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

4 soldiers die in training exercise


Two Army helicopters crash at Washington base, four soldiers killed

SEATTLE - Two Army helicopters crashed Monday night at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in an accident that killed four soldiers, a military spokesman said late Monday.

The two-seat OH-58D Kiowa Warrior observation helicopters crashed after 8 p.m. (11 p.m. ET) in the southwest training area of the sprawling base near Tacoma, Wash., according the Army.

KIRO TV reported that local fire crews reached the crash sites, but there were no survivors. The victims were not immediately identified, even by unit, pending notification of relatives.
It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft collided or crashed separately.
"We don't have details on what actually occurred," base spokesman J.C. Mathews said. "That will be part of the investigation."

He was unable to say whether the wreckage of the two helicopters was found in close proximity.
The crash site is geographically closest to the civilian community of Rainier, which is south of Tacoma, Mathews said. There were no injuries on the ground, KCPQ TV reported.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield
gives a brief statement about the crash of two Army OH-58 Kiowa helicopters Monday.

There are more than 40,000 military personnel stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and with dependent family members the population is 100,000, KCPQ TV said.

Base officials secured the crash site late Monday and immediately began an investigation. The Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Ala., will lead the overall investigation into the accident, base spokesman Joe Piek said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the soldiers involved in this tragic accident," said Maj. Gen. Lloyd Miles, acting senior Army commander at Lewis-McChord and deputy commanding general of I Corps.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident, and we will do everything in our power to support the families of the brave soldiers who died this evening," he said.

Temperatures at the base were around the mid-20 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday evening, and local media reported a likelihood of fog in the woods where the crash was said to have occurred.
The Kiowa Warrior is a single-engine, four-bladed aircraft used for armed reconnaissance, Mathews said. It's often called a scout helicopter.

Adapted from MSN
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Published by Gusti Putra at: 11:34 PM
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A Ghost Ship at Full Sail ... Without a Crew

Ghost Ship

In 1872, the crew of the Mary Celeste disappeared without a trace. Her story only got weirder from there.

The Mary Celeste
It's the stuff of maritime legend: a ship sighted in the distance, hailed without response, and boarded to reveal a vessel under full sail, its wheel creaking aimlessly, cabin doors slamming open and shut in the wind, and ...not a soul onboard.  

On Dec. 4, 1872, it actually happened. The Mary Celeste was discovered between the Azores and Portugal—her crew vanished without a trace of a struggle, the ship still fully provisioned. What calamity befell the ship remains a mystery. A final log entry, on Nov. 24, showed no hint of distress. The cabin of Capt. Benjamin Briggs was untouched, right down to the sewing machine and parlor melodeon belonging to his wife and infant daughter; the child's ghostly indentation remained visible on a bed. The crew must have "left in a great hurry," reported the boarding party, for their pipes and tobacco were still there—and no sailor, they noted, willingly abandons ship without his pipe.

Theories on the cause of the disappearance have ranged from cargo fumes to mutiny to (inevitably) alien abduction. The Mary Celeste's fate inspired fictional solutions in an Arthur Conan Doyle story (which blamed a race war), a 1935 Hammer horror film (a hook-armed Bela Lugosi), and a Dr. Who episode (Daleks, of course.)

What's not as well-known is that the Mary Celeste was also at the center of a second mystery. The disconcerting disappearance of its crew notwithstanding, the Mary Celeste still had plenty of life left in her, and soon went back into service. Thirteen years and 17 hapless owners later, Mary was mostly infamous for being in poor shape and for losing money on runs from Boston to Africa and the West Indies. It was merely one final indignity when she wrecked off Haiti in January 1885, slamming squarely into Rochelois Reef, a known hazard. The ship didn’t sink, but its hopelessly splintered remains would never leave the reef. Capt. Gilman Parker declared the cursed ship a loss, and then went ashore to sell the salvage rights to a load of ale, cutlery, and shoes for $500. That's where the story might have ended—except that police showed up at the captain's door in Boston three months later. The Mary Celeste, they charged, was a 282-ton, fully-rigged insurance scam.

The July 1885 trial of Capt. Parker and the ship's co-owners, now buried in the Boston Globe archives, offers a fascinating glimpse into a Gilded Age flimflam. Laying out charts and totting up blackboard figures in a broiling Boston courtroom, prosecutors revealed a chain of scams that reached from Haiti back to the alleyways of their own city.  

Capt. Parker might have pulled it off, too, except that he'd gotten greedy: Not content to rip off just his insurers, he also tried to con the local salvager in Haiti. The salvager hadn't found anything near the 125 casks of Bass ale promised on the ship's manifest, and the few he did locate weren't exactly good drinking. Called to the stand, a Boston bottler revealed they were moldy blanks with Bass labels pasted to them, and filled with "ullage"—bottom-of-barrel runoff from smashed and leaking bottles. The bottler hadn't even bothered filling many of them; some were “half full, some a third full, and some just enough to wet the bottle."
The rest of the cargo was similarly suspect. The 975 barrels of "New Fortune Herring"? That was actually 780 barrels of rotten fish that stank so badly that one fish merchant said it was good only "for fertilizers." Wooden barrels of "Fine" butter proved to be rank "slush." The Haiti-bound food cargo was so foul that one conspirator was overheard musing, "If these n— eat that fish and drink that beer, they will all be dead."

A crate supposed to contain $1,000 in cutlery, when pried open, revealed $50 worth of dog collars. Boxes of "women's high-button boots" were old galoshes. The ship and its cargo, covered by five insurers for a whopping $34,000, were hardly worth the kerosene necessary to burn the wreck. Capt. Parker, in short, was in deep trouble.

"The defense lawyers were wild," one investigator later marveled of Parker's shambolic team. Parker's attorney cited famed Massachusetts eccentric "Lord" Timothy Dexter—a late-18th-century merchant who supposedly shipped mittens and warming pans to the West Indies—to assert that the Mary Celeste's cargo belonged to a splendid tradition of crazy-like-a-fox speculations. If the vulpine side of the simile was left unexplained, the crazy part was easy to spot. Haitians didn't typically buy new Bass ale or salted herring, let alone rotten beer and fish.

"They say the goods were overinsured. Suppose they were. It is a common thing to overinsure," sputtered Parker's attorney. And if the crew said the goods were worthless, well, everyone knew they liked to tell stories. "Spinning a yarn is a sailor's phrase," he insisted. For more click Continue!


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Published by Gusti Putra at: 4:29 PM
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Google Logo Commemorates Birthday to Robert Norton Noyce 84th

Robert Norton Noyce Birthday 84th

Google Logo Commemorates Birthday to Robert Norton Noyce 84th
Robert Norton Noyce (December 12, 1927 - June 3, 1990), nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley", founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip that sparked the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley Noyce's name is also a mentor and father figure to a whole generation of entrepreneurs.

He was born on December 12, 1927, in Burlington, Iowa. He was the third of four sons of the Rev. Ralph Brewster Noyce His father is a 1915 graduate of Doane College, 1920 graduate of Oberlin College, and graduated in 1923 from the Chicago Theological Seminary. He was a Congregational pastor and associate superintendent of the Conference of Congregational Churches of Iowa in the 1930s and the 1940s. His mother, Harriet May Norton, a graduate of Oberlin College in 1921, is the daughter of the Rev. J. Milton Norton, a Congregational minister, and Louise Hill. He has been described as an intelligent woman with a will to rule

Robert Norton Noyce
Childhood memory of his father's beatings involving the ping pong and feel absolutely shattered when his mother's reaction to the news was thrilling disturbed "Is not that a good father to let you win?" Even at the age of five years, Noyce was offended by the idea of ​​intentionally losing anything. "That's not a game," he sulked to his mother. "If you're going to play, play to win!"

In the summer of 1940, when he was 12, he built a mini-sized airplane with his brother, which they use to fly from the cage roof Grinnell School. Then he built a radio from scratch and his sled motor with a propeller and welding machines from the former washing machine.


Education

He grew up in Grinnell, Iowa and attended local schools. He exhibited a talent for math and science while in high school and took courses in physics Grinnell College student's senior year. He graduated from Grinnell High School in 1945 and entered Grinnell College in the fall of that year. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in physics and mathematics from Grinnell College in 1949. He also received the signal honor of her classmates: Brown Derby Prize, which recognizes "the senior who won the best value with the least amount of work". He received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953. He studied first transistor, developed at Bell Laboratories, in Grinnell School classrooms.

Meanwhile, Noyce scholars attending courses physics professor Grant Gale and fascinated by physics. Gale won two of the first transistor ever come out of Bell Labs and showed them to his class and Noyce terpikat.Hibah Gale advised to follow the doctoral program in physics at MIT that he did.


Career

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953, he took his first job as a research engineer at Philco Corporation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He left in 1956 for the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Mountain View, California.

He joined William Shockley at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, a division of Beckman Instruments, but left with the "Eight traitorous" in 1957, after experiencing problems with respect to quality management, and co-founded the influential Fairchild Semiconductor corporation. According to Sherman Fairchild, Noyce passionate presentation of his vision is the reason Sherman Fairchild has agreed to create the semiconductor division to Eight traitor.

Noyce and Gordon E. Moore founded Intel in 1968 when they left Fairchild Semiconductor.Arthur Rock, chairman of the board of Intel and major investor in the company said that for Intel to succeed, Intel needed Noyce, Moore and Grove. And it requires them in that order. Noyce: visionary, was born to inspire; Moore: The Virtuoso technology; and Grove: technologist turned management scientists [22] relaxed corporate culture that Noyce brought to Intel is a carry over from the force at Fairchild Semiconductor.

He treats his employees as family, rewarding and encouraging teamwork. Your follow-happiness of his management style set the tone for many Valley success story. Noyce's management style could be called a "roll up your sleeve." He avoids the luxury car company, reserved parking spaces, private jets, offices, and furnishings that support a less structured environment, a relaxed working where everyone contributes and no one benefited from lavish perquisites.

With the decline in regular executive privilege, he stood as a model for future generations of Intel's CEO. At Intel, he oversaw Ted Hoff invention of the microprocessor-the second revolution.

Building the headquarters of Intel, Robert Noyce Building, in Santa Clara, California, named in his honor, such as Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center, which houses the science division of Grinnell College.
In a recent interview, Noyce was asked what he would do if he's "Emperor" of the United States. He said that he would, among other things, "make sure we are preparing the next generation to thrive in high-tech age, and that means low education and poor, as well as at the graduate school level .."


Family

He married Elizabeth Bottomley in 1953 and divorced in 1974. They have four children together. On November 27, 1974 married Ann Noyce Schmeltz Bowers. Bowers was the first Director of Personnel for Intel Corporation and the first Vice President of Human Resources for Apple Inc. He now serves as Chairman of the Board and founder trustee Noyce Foundation. Active all his life, Noyce enjoyed reading Hemingway, flying his own plane, hang gliding, and scuba diving.

He believed that microelectronics will continue to advance in complexity and sophistication far beyond its current state, leading to questions about what the public will make use of technology.

Noyce died of a heart attack at home on June 3, 1990 at Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. At the time of his death, he was president and CEO of Sematech Inc., a nonprofit consortium conducting basic research into semiconductor manufacturing. It was organized as a partnership between the governments of the United States and 14 companies in an effort to help the American computer industry catch up with Japan in the field of semiconductor manufacturing technology.


Awards and honors

In July, 1959, he filed U.S. Patent 2,981,877 "Semiconductor Device and Structure of Lead", the kind of integrated circuits. Efforts to independently recorded only a few months after the key findings of the inventor Jack Kilby. For his co-invention of integrated circuits and the impact of changing the world, three presidents of the United States in his honor.

Noyce is a holder of honorary degrees and awards. President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Technology in 1987. Two years later, George H.W. Bush appointed him to the Hall of Fame Business. President George HW Bush presented the award, sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, in a black tie ceremony held at the State Department. In 1990, Noyce also shared with Jack Kilby, inventor of the transistor John Bardeen, and several other celebrities, received the "Lifetime Achievement Medal" for the celebration of two centuries of the Patent Act.

Noyce received the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1966. [28] He was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1978 "for contributions to silicon integrated circuits, the foundation of modern electronics." In 1979, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. Noyce was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980. The National Academy of Engineering awarded him the 1989 Charles Stark Draper Prize.
Mr. Noyce inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1989. Science building at his alma mater, Grinnell College, named after him.


Legacy

Noyce Foundation was founded in 1991 by his family. The Foundation is dedicated to improving public education in mathematics and science in grade K-12.

Edited from Stanastanza



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Niagara Falls displays dazzling light shows

Niagara Falls displays dazzling light shows in winter

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – You can't take a boat ride into the roar and spray of Niagara Falls in the winter, but this time of year offers a different spectacle: Nighttime illumination of the falls in a changing array of colors - red, white, blue, purple, orange, amber and green.

The tourism season at Niagara Falls is slowing,
but November started the busy season for those
who light the falls in colors every night.
In spring and summer, the colored lights shine for just three hours, but with less daylight in winter, curtains of color wash over the falls each night for up to seven hours.

Crowds gather along the sidewalk and railing on Niagara Parkway to see the show as mist rises from the falls and basin in front of them; others watch from the windows of hotels and restaurants on the Canadian side.

The display starts with patriotic themes - red, white and blue for the American Falls, red and white for the horseshoe-shaped Canadian Falls - and frequently includes colors to honor a cause. When Niagara Falls hosted the first wedding following New York's legalization of same-sex marriage in July, Mayor Paul Dyster arranged for a rainbow of colors, the symbol of gay pride. On Nov. 16, the falls were lit by white light for 15-minute stretches for lung cancer awareness, a request made by Christine Dwyer, who founded a group called Make Some Noise for Lung Cancer Awareness after losing her best friend to the disease.

"I think it validates us a bit," said Dwyer, of Becket, Mass. She said supporters sent her emails after the lighting saying, "I heard about this, I'm in tears, I'm so grateful."

The light beams emanate from a bank of 18 spotlights, each 30 inches in diameter, sitting atop a raised stone bunker across the road. For more than 50 years, Peter Gordon, 80, has been manning the light show, splitting the week with "the rookie," Dick Mann, 78, who has been at it just under 30 years. Both are from Ontario.

"I never get tired of it," Gordon, 80, said one night in November, the start of his busy season, when fewer daylight hours mean longer nights to light.
The best views come on crisp winter nights, Gordon said, when the mist is transformed to sparkling ice crystals that catch the soft colors.

For the past year, Gordon and Mann have used a relatively new technology to control the lights - computerized touch screens. But the history of Niagara's illumination goes back more than 150 years. The falls were lit for the first time at 10 p.m. on Sept. 14, 1860, when 200 lights like those used to signal for help at sea were put in place for a visit from the Prince of Wales. Electricity was first used in 1879. An Illumination Tower, still used today, was built in 1899.

Colors appeared in 1907 when gelatin films were included in a 36-light system near the base of the gorge designed by General Electric Co. of Schenectady. Workers, including Peter Gordon's father, were paid $3 a night to change the gels when a foreman shouted cues.

The Niagara Falls Illumination Board, a cross-border body established in 1925, has kept the lights on most nights since with a few exceptions. They were turned off during World War II, for example, to conserve power.

The control room where Gordon and Mann work 75 feet above street level has a musty old feel with stone walls, well-worn wooden floors, cobwebby beams overhead and a couple of bare bulbs above a bank of humming generators. "This place is a dump, really," said Gordon, laughing.

But then there's that million-dollar view. After changing the lights' colors on the touchscreen, the controller can see the result 15 seconds later by looking out the windows or stepping through a door to a platform outside where the lights are mounted.

On the face of the waterfalls, colors fade to white as the next colored gel covers the spotlight and a new hue spills with the water over the falls. With each color change, it's as if someone has dumped dye into the river above as it careens over the edge to the rocks below.
The 4,000-watt spotlights burn with a combined brilliance of 8.2 billion candles, about what NASA used to light the runway for night space shuttle landings. Gordon staggers the lights to avoid repeating color combinations, changing them as often as every five minutes to keep things fresh for tourists milling across the street below.

Like other landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower, the falls have been lit to honor a variety of causes: Alzheimer's Disease, World AIDS Day, Canada's Remembrance Day, March of Dimes and others. The charities are not asked to pay the $85 an hour it takes to light the falls. The cost is split among Niagara Falls, N.Y., Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Parks and Ontario Hydro. Each bulb costs $1,500.

Not everyone loves the illumination. "All that does is make it into a sideshow," said Niagara Falls historian Paul Gromosiak, who advocates for keeping the falls in their most natural state and questions the logic and expense of using artificial light on a natural wonder. "The only light we should have on the falls is moonlight."
As midnight nears, Gordon goes back to the patriotic colors that began the night, leaving them on for 15 minutes. The colors retract and the water rushes white for the last few minutes, and the falls fade to black.

Republished from USAtoday
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

World's Oldest dog Dies

Mish Whalen writes

Pusuke, who was listed as the oldest living dog in Guinness World Records, died on Dec. 5, 2011 in Sakura, Japan. He reached the ripe old age of 26 years and 9 months.

A male cross-breed dog Pusuke is seen in this file photo from Dec. 24, 2010.
Pusuke was certified for the Guinness title last December. The previous record was held by a 28-year-old beagle from the U.S. who died in 2003.


Quoted from MSN
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

NASA finds alien planet in 'habitable zone'

NASA finds alien planet in 'habitable zone'

Closed captioning of: Planet found in 'habitable zone'
video
story of course has to do with our current earth but we learned today there may be another one out there. astronomers report the discovery of what they are calling an earth-like planet 600 light years away from here. while it is very big it looks like us and they believe it has a temperate climate, perhaps in the 70s all the time. now imagine what we could do with this new place. it could be our chance to start fresh. a place where the chicago cubs always win, where there is always free parking, productive lawmakers and uninterrupted cell phone service. it's called kepler 22-b. while we can work on the name it doesn't hurt to dream.


A 'major milestone' in search for Earth's twin
NASA's Kepler telescope confirms first alien planet found in habitable zone

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has confirmed the discovery of its first alien world in its host star's habitable zone — that just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist — and found more than 1,000 new exoplanet candidates, researchers announced Monday.
This diagram compares our own solar system to Kepler-22,
a star system containing the first "habitable zone" planet discovered by NASA's Kepler mission.

The new finds bring the Kepler space telescope's total haul to 2,326 potential planets in its first 16 months of operation. These discoveries, if confirmed, would quadruple the current tally of worlds known to exist beyond our solar system, which recently topped 700.

The potentially habitable alien world, a first for Kepler, orbits a star very much like our own sun. The discovery brings scientists one step closer to finding a planet like our own — one that could conceivably harbor life, scientists said.


"We're getting closer and closer to discovering the so-called 'Goldilocks planet,'" Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said during a news conference on Monday.

Hunting down alien planets 
The $600 million Kepler observatory launched in March 2009 to hunt for Earth-size alien planets in the habitable zone of their parent stars, where liquid water, and perhaps even life, might be able to exist.
Kepler detects alien planets using what's called the "transit method." It searches for tiny, telltale dips in a star's brightness caused when a planet transits — or crosses in front of — the star from Earth's perspective, blocking a fraction of the star's light.

The finds graduate from "candidates" to full-fledged planets after follow-up observations confirm that they're not false alarms. This process, which is usually done with large, ground-based telescopes, can take about a year.

The Kepler team released data from its first 13 months of operation back in February, announcing that the instrument had detected 1,235 planet candidates, including 54 in the habitable zone and 68 that are roughly Earth-size.

To date, just over two dozen of these potential exoplanets have been confirmed, but Kepler scientists have estimated that at least 80 percent of the instrument's discoveries should end up being the real deal.

More discoveries to come 
The newfound 1,094 planet candidates are the fruit of Kepler's labors during its first 16 months of science work, from May 2009 to September 2010. And they won't be the last of the prolific instrument's discoveries.

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin," Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.

Mission scientists still need to analyze data from the last two years and on into the future. Kepler will be making observations for a while yet to come; its nominal mission is set to end in November 2012, but the Kepler team is preparing a proposal to extend the instrument's operations for another year or more.

Kepler's finds should only get more exciting as time goes on, researchers say.
"We're pushing down to smaller planets and longer orbital periods," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler deputy science team lead at Ames.

To flag a potential planet, the instrument generally needs to witness three transits. Planets that make three transits in just a few months must be pretty close to their parent stars; as a result, many of the alien worlds Kepler spotted early on have been blisteringly hot places that aren't great candidates for harboring life as we know it.

Given more time, however, a wealth of more distantly orbiting — and perhaps more Earthlike — exoplanets should open up to Kepler. If intelligent aliens were studying our solar system with their own version of Kepler, after all, it would take them three years to detect our home planet.

Sources MSN



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Monday, December 05, 2011

Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian'

Lanya Olmstead was born in Florida to a mother who immigrated from Taiwan and an American father of Norwegian ancestry. Ethnically, she considers herself half Taiwanese and half Norwegian. But when applying to Harvard, Olmstead checked only one box for her race: white.

"I didn't want to put 'Asian' down," Olmstead says, "because my mom told me there's discrimination against Asians in the application process."

In this Nov. 18 photo, Harvard University student
Lanya Olmstead stands in front of an entrance to the school's quad.
For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it's harder for them to gain admission to the nation's top colleges.

Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges' admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians who are stereotyped as boring academic robots.

Now, an unknown number of students are responding to this concern by declining to identify themselves as Asian on their applications.

For those with only one Asian parent, whose names don't give away their heritage, that decision can be relatively easy. Harder are the questions that it raises: What's behind the admissions difficulties? What, exactly, is an Asian-American — and is being one a choice?

Olmstead is a freshman at Harvard and a member of HAPA, the Half-Asian People's Association. In high school she had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and scored 2150 out of a possible 2400 on the SAT, which she calls "pretty low."

College applications ask for parent information, so Olmstead knows that admissions officers could figure out a student's background that way. She did write in the word "multiracial" on her own application.
Still, she would advise students with one Asian parent to "check whatever race is not Asian."

"Not to really generalize, but a lot of Asians, they have perfect SATs, perfect GPAs, … so it's hard to let them all in," Olmstead says.

Amalia Halikias is a Yale freshman whose mother was born in America to Chinese immigrants; her father is a Greek immigrant. She also checked only the "white" box on her application.

"As someone who was applying with relatively strong scores, I didn't want to be grouped into that stereotype," Halikias says. "I didn't want to be written off as one of the 1.4 billion Asians that were applying."

Her mother was "extremely encouraging" of that decision, Halikias says, even though she places a high value on preserving their Chinese heritage.

"Asian-American is more a scale or a gradient than a discrete combination. I think it's a choice," Halikias says.

But leaving the Asian box blank felt wrong to Jodi Balfe, a Harvard freshman who was born in Korea and came here at age 3 with her Korean mother and white American father. She checked the box against the advice of her high school guidance counselor, teachers and friends.

"I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of trying to hide half of my ethnic background," Balfe says. "It's been a major influence on how I developed as a person. It felt like selling out, like selling too much of my soul."
"I thought admission wouldn't be worth it. It would be like only half of me was accepted."

Other students, however, feel no conflict between a strong Asian identity and their response to what they believe is injustice.

"If you know you're going to be discriminated against, it's absolutely justifiable to not check the Asian box," says Halikias.

Immigration from Asian countries was heavily restricted until laws were changed in 1965. When the gates finally opened, many Asian arrivals were well-educated, endured hardships to secure more opportunities for their families, and were determined to seize the American dream through effort and education.

These immigrants, and their descendants, often demanded that children work as hard as humanly possible to achieve. Parental respect is paramount in Asian culture, so many children have obeyed — and excelled.

"Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best," wrote Amy Chua, only half tongue-in-cheek, in her recent best-selling book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother."

"Chinese parents can say, 'You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you,'" Chua wrote. "By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out."

Of course, not all Asian-Americans fit this stereotype. They are not always obedient hard workers who get top marks. Some embrace American rather than Asian culture. Their economic status, ancestral countries and customs vary, and their forebears may have been rich or poor.

But compared with American society in general, Asian-Americans have developed a much stronger emphasis on intense academic preparation as a path to a handful of the very best schools.

"The whole Tiger Mom stereotype is grounded in truth," says Tao Tao Holmes, a Yale sophomore with a Chinese-born mother and white American father. She did not check "Asian" on her application.

"My math scores aren't high enough for the Asian box," she says. "I say it jokingly, but there is the underlying sentiment of, if I had emphasized myself as Asian, I would have (been expected to) excel more in stereotypically Asian-dominated subjects."

"I was definitely held to a different standard (by my mom), and to different standards than my friends," Holmes says. She sees the same rigorous academic focus among many other students with immigrant parents, even non-Asian ones.

Does Holmes think children of American parents are generally spoiled and lazy by comparison? "That's essentially what I'm trying to say."

Asian students have higher average SAT scores than any other group, including whites. A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it's 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100.
Top schools that don't ask about race in admissions process have very high percentages of Asian students. The California Institute of Technology, a private school that chooses not to consider race, is about one-third Asian. (Thirteen percent of California residents have Asian heritage.) The University of California-Berkeley, which is forbidden by state law to consider race in admissions, is more than 40 percent Asian — up from about 20 percent before the law was passed.

Steven Hsu, a physics professor at the University of Oregon and a vocal critic of current admissions policies, says there is a clear statistical case that discrimination exists.

"The actual dynamics of how it happens are really quite subtle," he says, mentioning factors like horse-trading among admissions officers for their favorite candidates.

Also, "when Asians are the largest group on campus, I can easily imagine a fund-raiser saying, 'This is jarring to our alumni,'" Hsu says. Noting that most Ivy League schools have roughly the same percentage of Asians, he wonders if "that's the maximum number where diversity is still good, and it's not, 'we're being overwhelmed by the yellow horde.'"

Yale, Harvard, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania declined to make admissions officers available for interviews for this story.

Kara Miller helped review applications for Yale as an admissions office reader, and participated in meetings where admissions decisions were made. She says it often felt like Asians were held to a higher standard.
"Asian kids know that when you look at the average SAT for the school, they need to add 50 or 100 to it. If you're Asian, that's what you'll need to get in," says Miller, now an English professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Highly selective colleges do use much more than SAT scores and grades to evaluate applicants. Other important factors include extracurricular activities, community service, leadership, maturity, engagement in learning, and overcoming adversity.

Admissions preferences are sometimes given to the children of alumni, the wealthy and celebrities, which is an overwhelmingly white group. Recruited athletes get breaks. Since the top colleges say diversity is crucial to a world-class education, African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders also may get in despite lower scores than other applicants.

A college like Yale "could fill their entire freshman class twice over with qualified Asian students or white students or valedictorians," says Rosita Fernandez-Rojo, a former college admissions officer who is now director of college counseling at Rye Country Day School outside of New York City.

But applicants are not ranked by results of a qualifications test, she says — "it's a selection process."
"People are always looking for reasons they didn't get in," she continues. "You can't always know what those reasons are. Sometimes during the admissions process they say, 'There's nothing wrong with that kid. We just don't have room.'"

In the end, elite colleges often don't have room for Asian students with outstanding scores and grades.
That's one reason why Harvard freshman Heather Pickerell, born in Hong Kong to a Taiwanese mother and American father, refused to check any race box on her application.

"I figured it might help my chances of getting in," she says. "But I figured if Harvard wouldn't take me for refusing to list my ethnicity, then maybe I shouldn't go there."

She considers drawing lines between different ethnic groups a form of racism — and says her ethnic identity depends on where she is.

"In America, I identify more as Asian, having grown up there, and actually being Asian, and having grown up in an Asian family," she says. "But when I'm back in Hong Kong I feel more American, because everyone there is more Asian than I am."

Holmes, the Yale sophomore with the Chinese-born mother, also has problems fitting herself into the Asian box — "it doesn't make sense to me."

"I feel like an American," she says, "…an Asian person who grew up in America."
Susanna Koetter, a Yale junior with an American father and Korean mother, was adamant about identifying her Asian side on her application. Yet she calls herself "not fully Asian-American. I'm mixed Asian-American. When I go to Korea, I'm like, blatantly white."

And yet, asked whether she would have considered leaving the Asian box blank, she says: "That would be messed up. I'm not white."

"Identity is very malleable," says Jasmine Zhuang, a Yale junior whose parents were both born in Taiwan.
She didn't check the box, even though her last name is a giveaway and her essay was about Asian-American identity.

"Looking back I don't agree with what I did," Zhuang says. "It was more like a symbolic action for me, to rebel against the higher standard placed on Asian-American applicants."

"There's no way someone's race can automatically tell you something about them, or represent who they are to an admissions committee," Zhuang says. "Using race by itself is extremely dangerous."

Hsu, the physics professor, says that if the current admissions policies continue, it will become more common for Asian students to avoid identifying themselves as such, and schools will have to react.
"They'll have to decide: A half-Asian kid, what is that? I don't think they really know."

The lines are already blurred at Yale, where almost 26,000 students applied for the current freshman class, according to the school's web site.

About 1,300 students were admitted. Twenty percent of them marked the Asian-American box on their applications; 15 percent of freshmen marked two or more ethnicities.
Ten percent of Yale's freshmen class did not check a single box.

Republished from USAtoday
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