11th Hour IC News November 15th, 2006

(News graphic & background designed by Nysie)








DULLES, Va.- In an auditorium on America Online's rolling campus, a glorious expanse of the heavens is projected on a big screen. Reggie Evans, a former Redskin running back turned emissary of Christ, has come to spread the Holy Word in the secular corridors of one of the biggest, richest Internet companies in the world. He has brought along some football cards and a stack of Bibles.
About 75 Christian workers listen raptly as Evans advises them to carry out their work as if Jesus were sitting next to them. But when he suggests that they knock on a colleague's cubicle and propose, "Here's a Bible, maybe we can read this together," even the most devout among them know they will not be following his advice.
"My eyes rolled back when I heard that," said Jack Clark, a technical project manager and member of a recently formed employee group called Christians @ AOL, which had invited Evans to speak. "We're not here to convert people."

Pushed primarily by evangelical Christians, faith is finding a growing presence in corporations that for years have been resistant to religious expression, including such giants as AOL Inc., Intel Corp., American Express Co., American Airlines Inc. and Ford Motor Co.
But it is an uneasy, risk-prone experiment. An evangelical movement emboldened by its strength in the 2004 presidential election, and pressing hard to advance its agenda in the battles over abortion and same-sex marriage, is finding that it must accept limits to secure a place in the corporate world.
One AOL executive who recently passed through the company's glass lobby stopped short when the electronic bulletin board, which usually lists snow days or changes in the dental plan, advertised a seminar called "God at Work."
"It really required a double take," said the executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because his comments were not authorized by the company. "I looked at it the way you slow down for a car wreck."








by Laura Bauer


NORTHWEST -- It was a normal night when Joe Rogers and his partner, Chris Richards, both employees of Brinks Armored Transportation were parked in front of the Bank Of America building. They were eating a late night dinner after the end of business deposit from the bank when Rogers says he suddenly felt a shudder rip through the cabinet of their armored vehicle. Before either of them men could react another shudder and the sound of metal ripped from metal ran through the air.

"I had no idea what it was. I thought maybe a bomb. It had to be some sort of explosion I thought to do that kind of damage" Richards said. In the 10 years he has worked for Brinks he's never experienced anything like this.

Richards and Rogers say then then got out of the truck fully expecting to see shrapnel around them, but they did not; What they did see was the doors to their vehicle laying on the ground behind it and someone running from the scene down the street at 'Unusual speed'.

DCPD responded as well as Brinks own investigation staff to find that no weaponry or explosives had been used in the robbery. The heavy steel doors had literally ripped from their hinges. Rogers and Richards were questioned but have since been released and are not believed to be suspects in the case. No other suspects have been linked to the case and DCPD is requesting anyone with information to please contact them as soon as possible.  Crime Stoppers (202) 555-1000





NORTHWEST -- In a public announcement on Friday, Assistant District Attorney Macy Shapiro said that Bukalski was declared criminally insane and unable to stand trial for the murder of Harmony Neal.

"While this will not bring peace or closure to her family and friends who suffer on now without [Neal] in their life; it does explain how a human could perform such a vicious act." Shapiro told reporters outside of the Courthouse.

Doctors for the Ethical Treatment of the Mentally Ill located in Maryland became involved after the press leaked a possible mental illness being the cause of the murder and instigated the investigation into the case.

Bukalski has been transported from a un-named jail house to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Mentally Ill on Saturday.

St. Elizabeth's has recently been in the news as the new home for the only known survive of the Little Death Drug scare, Stuart Dixon. An Independent source at the hospital has commented that Dixon and Bukalski have already met and are working together in therapeutic group setting. No reports yet if Bukalski will eventually stand trial for his crime.





SOUTHWEST - Things are normally quiet at the small bookstore/coffee shop nestled between a clothing shop and antique store in southwest DC.

Until last week when there was a break in the shop by an unknown man who assaulted one patron, Teacher's Assistant Caleb Brown and kidnapped another, Ms. Siobhan O`Brannon an employee at the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland. Ms. O`Brannon was later returned to the store.

The shops owner, professor Eriond Tekenduis, said that outside of property damage, several rare books he was working on translating and restoring were also stolen.

There have been no leads in the case and Ms. O'Brannon nor Mr. Brown were aware of who their attacker was or what he wanted.

DCPD is requesting anyone with information to please contact them as soon as possible at Crime Stoppers (202) 555-1000.





NORTHWEST- The case of the mysterious death of DCPD officer Anthony "Tony" Laike has been officially closed Wednesday.

After extensive research into his case by criminal profiler and doctor of psychology, Moira Reynolds, professor at George Washington University it has been found that Laike's cause of death was indeed self inflicted, and that he likely suffered from more than one psychological condition including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.

This report did not surprised DCPD's Medical Examiner or the force in general. Reports claiming Laike had been deeply troubled since the death of his partner were well known.

A Fund has been set up by the DCPD to further help officers to cope with the intense stresses of the jobs they perform. The Washington Star News would like to send our sympathy to the family of Officer Laike.








NEW YORK - Escalating the war on spam, a California company wants to let thousands of users collaborate to disable the Web sites spammers use to sell their wares.
A leading anti-spam advocate, however, criticized Blue Security Inc.'s Blue Frog initiative as being no more than a denial-of-service attack, the technique hackers use to effectively shut down a Web site by overwhelming it with fake traffic.
"It's the worst kind of vigilante approach," said John Levine, a board member with the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail. "Deliberate attacks against people's Web sites are illegal."
Levine recalled a screen saver program that the Web portal Lycos Europe distributed briefly last year. The program was designed to overwhelm sites identified by Lycos as selling products pitched in spam.
Eran Reshef, Blue Security's founder and chief executive, denied any wrongdoing, saying Blue Frog was merely empowering users to collectively make complaints they otherwise would have sent individually.
Here's how the technique works:
When users add e-mail addresses to a "do-not-spam" list, Blue Security creates additional addresses, known as honeypots, designed to do nothing but attract spam.
If a honeypot receives spam, Blue Security tries to warn the spammer. Then it triggers the Blue Frog software on a user's computer to send a complaint automatically.
Thousands complaining at once will knock out a Web site and thus encourage spammers to stop sending e-mail to the "do-not-spam" list.
Reshef acknowledges that the technique only works if enough users - say, 100,000 - join. The program is initially free, but Reshef said Blue Security might eventually charge new users.



ASSOCIATED PRESS - As Bill Bundock's Alzheimer's progressed he became more and more locked into his own world.
He withdrew into himself and stopped communicating with his wife, Jean.
Jean said Bill lost his motivation, and his desire and ability to hold conversations, but all this changed when the couple started attending a local sing-song group, aimed especially for people with dementia.
Jean said Singing for the Brain had unlocked Bill's communication block.
"The first time we went to Singing for the Brain he did not join in. On the second session he was starting to join in and by the third he was thoroughly taking part.
"It was wonderful for us. The singing had started to change something. It really did make a tremendous difference. He started to come out of himself.
Clive Evers, of the Alzheimer's Society said Singing for the Brain was proving so popular and beneficial that he hoped more groups would soon be established.
Doctors say what Chreanne Montgomery-Smith, the programs leader, is tapping into is very important. It is not the stream of consciousness, but a level of consciousness, a level of awareness people have with the real world.
"The music allows them to engage. Her project is very important and shows what can be done."
Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society and Professor of Age Related Diseases at King's College, London, said singing as an activity did seem to help people with dementia.
"People seem to enjoy doing something jointly with other people and there is a lot of evidence that being socially engaged is good for people with dementia."
He said the part of the brain that worked with speech was different to the part that processed music, allowing those who had lost their speech to still enjoy their music.
Mr Ballard said rhythm had also been shown to be beneficial, particularly for those with diseases like Parkinson's where movement was a problem. He said listening to rhythms, even just a metronome, could help.






Which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars?
According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.
Says Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch and senior author of the report: “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”
With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tons in 1999/2001 to 465 million tons in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tons.
The report, which was produced with the support of the multi-institutional Livestock, Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative, proposes explicitly to consider these environmental costs and suggests a number of ways of remedying the situation, including:
Land degradation – controlling access and removing obstacles to mobility on common pastures. Use of soil conservation methods and silvopastoralism, together with controlled livestock exclusion from sensitive areas; payment schemes for environmental services in livestock-based land use to help reduce and reverse land degradation.
Atmosphere and climate – increasing the efficiency of livestock production and feed crop agriculture. Improving animals’ diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, and setting up biogas plant initiatives to recycle manure.
Water – improving the efficiency of irrigation systems. Introducing full-cost pricing for water together with taxes to discourage large-scale livestock concentration close to cities.
These and related questions are the focus of discussions between FAO and its partners meeting to chart the way forward for livestock production at global consultations in Bangkok this week. These discussions also include the substantial public health risks related to the rapid livestock sector growth as, increasingly, animal diseases also affect humans; rapid livestock sector growth can also lead to the exclusion of smallholders from growing markets.





BBC NEWS - A new species of marine worm that lives off whale bones on the sea floor has been described by scientists.
The creature was found on a minke carcass in relatively shallow water close to Tjarno Marine Laboratory on the Swedish coast.
Such "zombie worms", as they are often called, are known from the deep waters of the Pacific but their presence in the North Sea is a major surprise.
A UK-Swedish team reports the find in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Adrian Glover and Thomas Dahlgren tell the journal the new species has been named Osedax mucofloris, which literally means "bone-eating snot-flower".
"They look like flowers poking out of the whale bone. The analogy goes a bit further because they have a root system that goes into the bone," Dr Glover, a researcher at London's Natural History Museum, told the BBC News website.
"The part of the animal that is exposed to the seawater is covered in a ball of mucus, so they are quite snotty. That is probably a defence mechanism."

Scientists have recently begun to recognise the importance of "whale fall" to ocean-floor ecosystems.
When the great marine mammals die and drift down to the sea bed to decay and disintegrate, they provide a food resource for a host of different organisms. Finding these locations to study is not easy, though.
In October 2003, Glover and Dahlgren sank the remains of a dead, stranded minke whale in 120m of water and monitored what happened to the carcass over a period of months using remotely operated vehicles.
In August 2004, the team was able to recover a bone from the skeleton.
To their astonishment, it hosted a type of marine worm previously only thought to exist at great ocean depths - down to almost 3km in the Pacific on the bones of gray whales.
Glover and Dahlgren say there are remarkable similarities between the worm species, despite being separated by two ocean basins and more than 2,500m in the water column.








Entertainment Weekly - After a surprise return to the stage at his club at Dark Asgard in Washington D.C. it appears that Loki has jumped right back into the swing of things.

With rumors of a performance Christmas Eve at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas already being confirmed it seems that Loki just doesn't slow down. Last week rumor mongers began to post on Loki's fan forums that soon their trickster Master would be taking a new Stage.

Loki's management has confirmed that Loki will be going to a new level of stage work. He will be playing the stage version of Alex De Large from Stanley Kubrick's 1971 Cult Classic, A Clockwork Orange.

The story is set in future Britain, where charismatic delinquent Alex De Large is jailed and later volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem but not all goes to plan. the Film was critically acclaimed Nominated for 4 Oscars in 1972.

Even after 34 years, this film still speaks volumes about our current culture, which many ideals are ringing true today. Let's hope the movie translates to the theater as well as the book did to the screen.





Entertainment Weekly - The Entertainment business is a fickle place especially when it comes to relationships. They normally stick to their own breed - after all look at Bradgelina, TomKat, Benifer and Marlo - so it came as quite a shock to the industry when rumors surfaced that Amelia Wentworth's (better known to her fans as "The Duchess") upcoming nuptials, to be held in London in December, were to a D.C. local Professor, who is incidentally also a Londoner.

We caught up with Amelia at Dark Asgard and she confirmed the rumor.

"What can I say? We fell in love" she said with a smile and showed off the 1 carat pink diamond she's now sporting. Saying she was glad her soon to be husband understood the concept of simple. "Its hard to play a harpsichord with a huge rock weighing down your hand."

The Duchess says that the wedding will be a small family affair, but she had no doubt "The Press will find a way in."

More details as they surface.