Where Do Presidential Turkeys Go When They Are Pardoned?


Where pardoned turkeys go to die

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Pardon that turkey

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Each year, an American president “pardons” a turkey or two just before Thanksgiving
  • President Barack Obama has sent his turkeys to Mt. Vernon for their “twilight years”
  • But a pardon just means the birds aren’t stuffed and eaten; they’re not expected to live long
  • American turkeys are bred to be consumed, many of them at Thanksgiving
 Mt. Vernon, Virginia (CNN) — Along a pastoral lane at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate sits a sizable wooden pen built specifically to house the two turkeys that will be “pardoned” at the White House on Wednesday.

The well-appointed pen includes a small coop to protect them from weather and foxes, and an area for them to strut their stuff for camera-toting tourists.

But there is one thing that is missing: other turkeys. That’s because all the turkeys ever pardoned at the White House are dead, including the six already given a pass from the roasting pan by President Barack Obama in previous years.

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“The bird is bred for the table, not for longevity,” said Dean Norton, the director at Mount Vernon in charge of livestock. “Some of [the pardoned turkeys] have been pretty short lived.”

 

Compared to domesticated animals, turkeys bred for consumption are usually plump and slaughtered after a period of months, and wouldn’t be expected to live much longer on their own. So, a pardon really can extend their lives a lot, relatively speaking.

The two turkeys pardoned in 2012 – Cobbler and Gobbler – died within a year of their White House appearance, despite what a spokeswoman at Mount Vernon said was diligent veterinary care.

Gobbler died on February 5, 2013, of natural causes. Cobbler lived a bit longer, dying on August 22, 2013, after he fell ill and had to be euthanized. Both are buried at Mount Vernon.

In the two years prior, three of the four pardoned turkeys died less than five months after their pardon.

The other turkey – Peace, who was pardoned in 2011 – lived 16 months after arriving at Mount Vernon.

So why do those birds — and others bred to be eaten — die faster than their wild brethren?

“The birds are fed in such a way to increase their weight,” Norton, who has worked at Mount Vernon since 1969, said. “[Americans] want a nice big breasted turkey and so they are fed high protein diet and they get quite large. The organs, though, that are in this bird are meant for a smaller bird. They just can’t handle the extra weight, so they end up living not as long [as wild turkeys].”

The differences extend beyond life expectancy, too.

“Your native bird can fly beautifully and roost in trees,” Norton said, while the type that receive pardons “does not fly, has very short stubbly legs and typically last right up to Thanksgiving.”

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Capt. Kirk’s new Command Will not be the Enterprise


Captain Kirk’s futuristic-looking vessel sports cutting-edge technology, new propulsion and powerful armaments, but this ship isn’t the Starship Enterprise.

The skipper of the stealthy Zumwalt is Navy Capt. James Kirk, and yes, he’s used to the jokes about the name he shares with the TV starship commander played by actor William Shatner.

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Kirk takes it in stride.

“I don’t take any offense,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. “If it’s a helpful moniker that brings attention to help us to do what we need to do to get the ship into the fleet and into combat operations, then that’s fine.”

While it’s no starship, the technology-laden Zumwalt taking shape at Maine’s Bath Iron Works is unlike any other U.S. warship.

Commanding Officer Captain James Kirk
photo credit: US Navy
Commanding Officer Captain James Kirk

The Navy’s largest destroyer will feature a composite deckhouse with hidden radar and sensors and an angular shape that minimizes its radar signature. Its unusual wave-piercing hull will reduce the ship’s wake.

It’s the first U.S. surface warship to use electric propulsion, and its power plant is capable of producing enough electricity to light up a small city and to power future weapons like the electromagnetic rail gun.

Inside, it’s just as unique. The number of sailors needed to stand watch will be reduced through the use of cameras and video monitors that show what’s going on outside. The bridge will indeed look like something from “Star Trek” with two chairs surrounded by nearly 360 degrees of video monitors.

A handful of reporters accompanying Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday got a first look at the ship’s interior while it’s under construction. It’s due to be christened in the spring.

The 610-foot-long ship has the highest level of automation on a U.S. surface warship, with systems in place to combat flooding and to put out fires, among other things. Because of automation and technology, the number of sailors needed to run it will be nearly half the current Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

All this whiz-bam technology comes at a price that sailors couldn’t have imagined in the 1960s, when the first episodes of “Star Trek” aired on television. The first-in-class Zumwalt will cost northward of $3.5 billion, a price tag so high that the Navy was forced to reduce the number of ships in the series to just three.

The “Star Trek” comparisons were inevitable even before “Star Trek” actor George Takei used his popular Facebook page to point out the similarities of Kirk’s name.

Kirk, a Bethesda, Md., native and 1990 Naval Academy graduate, said the jokes about his name began early in his career, with colleagues telling him that they couldn’t wait for him to reach the rank of captain.

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The Navy skipper points out that his name is actually James A. Kirk, while the fictional Starship Enterprise captain was James “Jim” T. Kirk. But that didn’t stop him from earning the call sign “Tiberius” — the fictional Kirk’s middle name — while working with an aircraft carrier strike group. That was later shortened to just “T.”

While he doesn’t mind the Starfleet jokes, Kirk said that people sometimes focus too much on the technology incorporated in the futuristic-looking Zumwalt.

“Yes, we’re going to talk about all of the wonderful technology, but it still requires the sailors who are going to bring her to life,” he said.

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EPA thinks Cow farts are a Problem


Big methane burp: Cow farts a greater problem than EPA previously thought

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WASHINGTON –  The United States is spewing 50 percent more methane — a potent heat-trapping gas — than the federal government estimates, a new comprehensive scientific study says. Much of it is coming from just three states: Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

That means methane may be a bigger global warming issue than thought, scientists say. Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the most abundant global warming gas, although it doesn’t stay in the air as long.

Much of that extra methane, also called natural gas, seems to be coming from livestock, including manure, belches, and flatulence, as well as leaks from refining and drilling for oil and gas, the study says. It was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The study estimates that in 2008, the U.S. poured 49 million tons of methane into the air. That means U.S. methane emissions trapped about as much heat as all the carbon dioxide pollution coming from cars, trucks, and planes in the country in six months.

While the world has a good handle on how much carbon dioxide is pumped into the air, scientists have been more baffled by methane emissions.

That’s more than the 32 million tons estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration or the nearly 29 million tons reckoned by the European Commission.

“Something is very much off in the inventories,” said study co-author Anna Michalak, an Earth scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. “The total U.S. impact on the world’s energy budget is different than we thought, and it’s worse.”

EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson said her agency hasn’t had time to go through the study yet, but hopes it will help “refine our estimates going forward.”

While the world has a good handle on how much carbon dioxide is pumped into the air, scientists have been more baffled by methane emissions. They have had to use computer models to estimate how much methane is going into that air.

This study, however, was based on nearly 13,000 measurements from airplane flights and tall towers, the most used in any such research.

The information was collected in 2008, right at the beginning of the natural gas boom from hydraulic fracturing. So these measurements, which will be repeated for 2012, don’t include much impact from fracking, Michalak said. Studies recently have shown conflicting results about how much methane escapes during fracking and other forms of fossil fuel drilling.

Outside experts praised the study. Robert Howarth at Cornell University called “it very compelling and quite important. This is the most comprehensive study yet.”

Michalak said because of the way they measured methane — just looking for it in the air as opposed to tracking it from a source — it is hard to say what is putting more methane into the air. But she said by looking at concentrations — especially within Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas — the scientists have a good idea: Cows, oil and gas.

Nearly one-quarter of the U.S. methane emissions came from those three states. Texas is by far and away the No. 1 state for refineries that turn oil into gasoline. Texas and Oklahoma have been big oil and gas drilling states and Kansas is a big cow state.

Cows seem to be spewing twice the methane that scientists previously thought, Michalak said.

While burps and flatulence are part of the methane emission from cattle, University of California Santa Barbara professor Ira Leifer said a bigger factor is manure.

“If you shovel it into an artificial lagoon you are creating the perfect production for methane, but it cuts down on the smell and your neighbors complain less,” he said.

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Technology Innovators Forge Ahead in Provide Cutting Edge Applications: NXT-ID, Apple, Zynga, Camtek, Synaptics


Technology Innovators Forge Ahead in Provide Cutting Edge Applications: NXT-ID

CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, November 26, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Market news updates & trend reports for transcendent leaders in the technology and biometrics sector: NXT-ID, Inc. (otcqb:NXTD), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) , Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) , Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ:CAMT) and Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNA)

NXT-ID, Inc. (otcqb:NXTD), a biometrics company focused on the growing m-commerce market, announces it will be presenting at the 9th annual “Livingston Nanotechnology Conference” to be held Dec 11th – 13th in Midtown Manhattan. Mr. Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID, will present at the December 11th session, introducing the company’s next generation suite of MobileBio(TM) biometric technologies. From facial recognition to voice biometrics, the company’s technology is at the forefront of change in the mobile and security sectors.

To read the full press release, please click: here:http://www.fnmprofiles.com/profiles-nxtd.php

Website: http://www.nxt-id.com

About NXTD:

We are a technology company that is focused on developing and marketing products, solutions, and services for organizations that have a need for biometric secure access control.

We have three distinct lines of business that we believe will form our company: law enforcement, m-commerce, and biometric access control applications.

Our initial efforts are focused on our secure products offering for the growing m-commerce market, most immediately a secure mobile electronic wallet.

We believe that this constitutes unique technology because it takes a very different approach relative to the current offerings: instead of replacing the wallet through a smartphone, our aim is to improve it.

The Wocket™ will reduce the number of cards to be carried in a consumer’s wallet while supporting virtually every payment method currently available at Point-of-Sale (POS) at retailers around the world including magnetic stripe, EMV/NFC and barcode all within a secure biometric vault.

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Mobile Biometric Company NXT-ID, Inc. to Present at the 9th Annual “Livingston Nanotechnology Conference” December 11th


NXT-ID to Discuss The Wocket™, Its Next Generation Biometrically Secure Wallet

SHELTON, CT–(Marketwired – Nov 25, 2013) – NXT-ID, Inc. (OTCQB: NXTD), a biometrics company focused on the growing m-commerce market, announces it will be presenting at the 9th annual “Livingston Nanotechnology Conference” to be held Dec 11th – 13th in Midtown Manhattan.

Mr. Gino Pereira, CEO of NXT-ID, Inc., will present at the December 11th session, introducing the company’s next generation suite of MobileBio™ biometric technologies. From facial recognition to voice biometrics, the company’s technology is at the forefront of change in the mobile and security sectors.

Mr. Pereira’s presentation will focus on the pending 2014 launch of its leading product, The Wocket™. The Wocket™ is a new biometrically secure device designed to replace the traditional wallet and the number of cards consumers carry. Its dynamically programmable magnetic stripe, NXTCard, can replace more than 100 cards and can include medical records, ID, coupons etc. that are currently kept in a wallet, with one single secure card.

The “Livingston Nanotechnology Conference” is a must-attend event for those interested in disruptive technologies and in getting involved in next generation technologies before they are in the popular press.

It is the largest and longest running gathering of investors, entrepreneurs and innovators in New York and always attracts a unique and high-end audience.

“We expect investor presentations by over 50 public and soon-to-be-public companies at the event, and are tentatively scheduling site visits to Albany Nano and the Brookhaven National Labs,” said Scott Livingston.

“Every year the conference highlights next generation technologies. This year we are already planning tracks to help our attendees learn about technologies that seem far fetched but are much closer to commercial reality than people realize, including 4D printing (3D printing with smart materials that change their properties over time),” he went on to say.

For more info on last year’s presenters visit:
http://www.livingstonsecurities.com

About NXT-ID Inc.

~ Mobile Security for a Mobile World
NXT-ID, Inc.’s (OTCQB: NXTD) innovative MobileBio™ solution mitigates consumer risks associated with mobile computing, m-commerce and smart OS-enabled devices. The company is focused on the growing m-commerce market, launching its innovative MobileBio™ suite of biometric solutions that secure consumers’ mobile platforms. NXT-ID’s wholly owned subsidiary, 3D-ID LLC, is engaged in biometric identification and has 22 licensed patents in the field of 3D facial recognition http://www.nxt-id.com/, http://3d-id.net/

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Bloody Wooly Mammoth found in Russia


Woolly mammoth containing liquid blood discovered in Russia

The discovery of a woolly mammoth’s body in Siberia this week has amazed Russian scientists because of how well preserved the animal’s blood and muscle tissue is.

The mammoth, which is estimated to have lived 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, was discovered on the Lyakhovsky Islands in northeastern Russia by an expedition team from North-Eastern Federal University.

The expedition team with the body of the mammoth discovered in Siberia.
The expedition team with the body of the mammoth discovered in Siberia.
Reuters

The scientists believe the blood and tissue of the animal was preserved due to the permafrost, permanently frozen soil.

Despite freezing temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the mammoth’s blood was liquid, still leaking under the animal.

“We have put the blood sample into the freezer of the Mammoth Museum. It still did not freeze at -17 degrees Celsius [1.4 degrees Fahrenheit]. We need to study it thoroughly to draw any conclusions,” Semyon Grigoriev, expedition participant and director of the Mammoth Museum of North-Eastern Federal University, told Russian media.

He suggested that the blood could contain cryoprotective features, that would protect cells or tissues from damage during freezing, which could have helped the animal survive the long winters.

The expedition team believe the creature died from starvation after possibly getting stuck in a swamp.

Russian media reported that this discovery is the first time scientists have managed to obtain mammoth’s blood so well preserved.

Since the 1990’s, scientists have made several unsuccessful attempts to clone the long-extinct animals by using cells from previously discovered mammoths.

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Nazi WWII Sub Wreck found in Java Sea


Wreck of Nazi U-boat submarine located in Java Sea

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Thu, November 21 2013, 8:22 AM
 

Far from home: The wreckage of a suspected German U-boat discovered by archeologists on the seabed 100 kilometers from Karimunjawa Island in the Java Sea. The submarine is believed to have sunk during World War II. (National Archeology Center)

Far from home: The wreckage of a suspected German U-boat discovered by archeologists on the seabed 100 kilometers from Karimunjawa Island in the Java Sea. The submarine is believed to have sunk during World War II. (National Archeology Center)
 

A group of Indonesian archeologists has discovered what is believed to be the wreck of a German U-boat that sank during World War II lying on the floor of the Java Sea about 100 kilometers from Karimunjawa Island.

“This is a spectacular discovery in the history of Indonesian archeology. This is the first of its kind in the country,” chairman of the National Archeology Center, Bambang Sulistyanto, said on Wednesday.

The search, which was conducted as part of a joint effort by the National Archeology Center, the Yogyakarta Archeology Center and the Yogyakarta Diving Center on Nov. 4-17, located the submarine on Nov. 9, said Shinatria Adhityatama, an undersea archeologist with the National Archeology Center.

The team of 16 people has yet to find any physical evidence such as symbols on the hull of the submarine to confirm that it was a German vessel, but it has found plates with the Nazi swastika printed on them. “We found two plates inside the submarine. This finding strengthens our belief that it is one of the two German U-boats that sank in the Java Sea during World War II,” Shinatria told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

According to website uboat.net, which gathers all information relating to the German U-boats of both world wars, two U-boats were sunk in the Java Sea during Word War II.

The type IXC/40 submarine U-183 sank on April 23, 1945, after being hit by a torpedo from the US submarine, USS Besugo. The type IXC/40, U-168, sank on Oct. 6, 1944, after being hit by a torpedo fired by the Dutch submarine, HNLMS Zwaardvisch, the website says.

“We suspect that the submarine we’ve found is the U-168, which was built in Germany in 1942,” Shinatria said, adding that 40 percent of the submarine’s hull was damaged.

He said that the team also found skeletons, presumed to be of members of the U-boat’s crew, remains of a torpedo, a telescope, shoes and cups inside the submarine. “The discovery is one of Indonesia’s best finds in maritime archeological research,” Priyatno Hadi of the National Archeology Center said.

Shinatria declined to disclose the exact location of the wreck to prevent it from being looted by unauthorized divers. Priyatno said that he would establish coordination with other relevant institutions to provide security for the wreck.

According to Shinatria, Germany used the U-boat submarines to sink ships carrying logistics for the Allies in Southeast Asia, especially supplies for Britain from India. “Germany and Japan were allied. The former helped to secure the Pacific Ocean, which was under Japanese control at that time,” he said.

Bambang praised the discovery because it was conducted by Indonesian archeologists using limited technology. “We must be proud of this achievement because it was achieved purely by Indonesia’s own people,” he went on.

Although the discovery of the wreck is crucial to the development of Indonesian maritime archeology, research on it has stopped due to budget issues.

“We really want to lift the submarine and carry out more research, but we cannot do anything as we’ve run out of funds,” Bambang said.

 

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Coin vs.The Wocket A Battle For Your Bulging Wallet


Coin vs.The Wocket A Battle For Your Bulging Wallet


http://americanlivewire.com/coin-vs-the-wocket/

You may have heard something lately about something called Coin, thanks to an aggressive social media and deep intro discount pricing campaign currently underway. Perhaps you have heard of The Wocket, which claims to be a “biometrically secure device”? Both products are pure genius and aim to replace your bulging wallet with their single slick all-in-one card.

Since they are so similar, here’s a closer look and comparison of:
Coin vs. The Wocket, A Battle For Your Bulging Wallet.

Coin and The Wocket address the common problem of the overstuffed wallet. Replacing all the credit cards, debit cards, membership and rewards cards we have into one card!

The issue of back pain caused by sitting on a stuffed wallet has been made fun of on Seinfeld (“Curse of the Large Exploding Wallet” episode) but is very real, according to a New York Times health report which confirmed sitting on an overstuffed wallet, golf ball, etc. leads to sciatica.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKNUKQVHUf8

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Coin’s aggressive media storm successfully produced 43 media/new outlet write ups on November 14th alone. Their website is offering a 50% discount for the next 22 days on pre-orders of the slick black (they call it “Midnight”) card for just $50 (very limited quantities available-of course), the regular price will be $100. Due to ship summer 2014 the company is relying upon the pre-orders to cover expenses including the manufacturing costs.

Here are some basics:

COIN:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Sx34swEG0

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*Holds up to 8 cards

* Battery lasts for up to two years (after the battery dies you must replace the coin). Two years battery life is based on “normal usage”, which they designate as 10-20 per day, syncing the coin also uses the battery.

*Works at ATM machines

*Does Not hold/store ID’s

*The key advanced signature security feature works with your smart phone, not allowing you to get too far away from your Coin.

*A mobile app helps you set up, change, update which cards you have on your Coin.

The Wocket:

http://nxt-id.com/portfolio/bio_wocket/

NXT-ID has developed The Wocket which aims to eliminate the overstuffed wallet and claims to be a “biometrically secure” device. Instead of an aggressive media campaign, The Wocket hired an independent research firm, SoundView Research, who sent out a simple press release on NXT-ID’s “leading product”, confirming in part that The Wocket could capture 6 million users in the United States (translating into $1 billion) and they anticipated the market opportunity for the company would be between $780-$930 million initially. The Wocket is due to launch within the first quarter of 2014 and will cost $99 (including optional insurance).

*The Wocket holds up to 100 cards which can include medical records, ID’s coupons and yes, credit cards, debit cards, and rewards/loyalty/membership cards.

*Using MobileBio Voicematch and proprietary algorithm for The Wocket, it can be programmable by word choice, voice and intonation, basically voice command security.

*Works like a regular credit card with a magnetic stripe and can read QR codes, barcodes and will be NFC capable (contactless payment).

*According to SoundView’s Research the average person is carrying 3.5 credit cards.

*No smart phone required.

*The name is obviously inspired playfully by Dr. Seuss with the slogan, “Do You Have a Wocket in Your Pocket?”

The competition for what’s in your wallet is not just about Capital One anymore, now the battle is on for everything in your wallet. It’s a great idea that men and women can both benefit from. So who will win, Coin vs. The Wocket in the battle for your bulge?

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$200.000 Toll Bill for a Virginia Driver


How One Driver Racked Up A $200,000 Toll Bill Traveling From Virginia To D.C.

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Just because there’s no man in the booth, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay the toll.

One Virginia driver learned that the hard way when he was recently slapped with a $200,000 toll bill for failing to pay his dues while driving on the Dulles Toll Road every night for three-and-a-half years.

“They provided me with a stack of summonses that was 12 inches high,” Jason Bourcier told NBC Washington.

According to FOX 5 D.C., Bourcier owed only $440 in missed tolls. (Since January 2013, it costs $1.75 per car to pass through the toll road’s main plaza.) However, that sum swelled to a whopping $202,000 because of fees and fines. The Virginia Department of Transportation charges a $25 administrative fee per violation and up to a $500 fine per infraction, depending on the number of offenses.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Christopher Paolino said Bourcier had incurred 335 toll violations, USA Today reports.

“I can also say his were one of the largest number of violations that had been taken to court,” Paolino told the publication.

However, Bourcier is not the only driver in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area who has racked up a hefty bill. Last year, The Washington Post reported that eight car rental companies owe between $80,000 and $200,000 in unpaid tolls and penalties.

Fortunately, Bourcier and his lawyers managed to wrestle his bill down to $40,000 in court this week. Now, he has to fork over $150 a month until the bill is paid in full.

If Bourcier sticks to the payment plan, he estimates that his balance — including interest — should be paid off by 2067.

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