Hovering UFO beams light towards ground in Northumberland County, PA
2/17/2014 - I was driving my tractor trailer north on US15, approximately 4-5 miles south of the intersection of PA44. Straight above the Susquehanna River, to my northeast, also, in the direction of Watsontown, PA, I saw two bright white lights. They were probably about 1.5-2 miles away when I first saw them. Maybe even slightly farther. I thought it was an aircraft that had taken off from Montoursville regional airport, heading south. But as I drove further, I realized the lights were not moving. I would describe them as very bright white, large-looking headlights. They appeared to be pointing towards the river, as a beam projected from them straight down. I would guess the beam only projected about 25-40 from the craft, which was around 600-800 feet above the river. The entire duration of seeing it was probably about 3-4 minutes or so. I slowed my speed from 55-60 to low 40s once I realized the object was not moving. The truck seemed to drive itself as I got "lost" watching this. This may sound odd, but I had an overwhelming feeling that "nothing was going on". That's the best way I can describe how I felt.
There was nowhere for me to pull my truck over until a mile or so down the road, where I know of a small diesel station where I have been before. In hindsight, I regret not pulling into the shoulder to film it. I was able to capture a 20 second iPhone5 video of it. The video is shaky because I was still driving, and using elbows to steer. The object appears to be moving because the phone is bouncing everywhere. The object was definitely not moving though. When I pulled into the diesel station, trees and a ridge blocked any view I could have had.
I also pinned on an iPhone map where the object was. It is the PURPLE pin, not the red pin. Red pin denotes the town of Dewart, PA, which I simply searched as a starting place to pinpoint location. I am born and raised about 15 miles from this location, I drive the roads often, and am very literate with maps. The purple pin is an accurate location.
Before I filmed, I zoomed iPhones video camera because with no zoom it probably would not not have picked up the lights. Although the zoom does increase blurriness, it was necessary here. - MUFON CMS
NOTE: this sighting was approx. 7 miles north of the Todd Sees incident location...Lon
Link - video download
NOTE: All current information can be found at Todd Sees Investigation (Ongoing)...Lon
Chihuahuas pack running wild
Chihuahuas are apparently overrunning Maryvale, a Phoenix neighborhood, where animal control officers report stray dogs.
Officials said foreclosures and undocumented workers being forced away led to a large number of small dogs running wild. Animal control workers said they've had thousands of calls about stray Chihuahuas.
"If at all possible, if you see a stray, if you can safely contain him in your yard and then call us, that makes a big difference. Because what's happening is people are calling saying, 'hey I see a stray' by the time we get there, it's long gone," Melissa Gable, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, said.
According to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, the small dogs are one of the most popular breeds up for adoption at Phoenix shelters. - ABC Local
Near-Earth Asteroid Disappears
Last night, a giant asteroid was supposed to streak by the Earth, close enough for us to catch a glimpse as it zipped by. Except it never showed, and now astronomers say they have no idea just where the 900-foot asteroid has gone.
So, just how does one misplace an asteroid the size of three football fields? The most likely explanation is that its orbit was miscalculated. Even with its current whereabouts unknown, the near earth asteroid poses no present danger to Earth — in fact, if anything, its loss indicates that 2000 EM26 is probably further out in space that was originally thought.
Still, the Slooh observatory is trying to track down the asteroid using robotic telescopes, and has also asked amateur astronomers to help out with the search. "We don't have the authority to name the asteroid after [its finders]," the observatory said, "but we would if we could."
Of course, if the incentive of not having an asteroid named after you fails to motivate, there's also the added plus of knowing just where the giant space rock that was set to hurtle by our atmosphere has gotten off to. I know I'd probably sleep better. - io9
Ray Kurzweil: 'Her' will be a reality by 2029
Spike Jonze's Her raised many questions on the future of artificial intelligence (AI), and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified to discuss the technology that permeates through the movie than the renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil. In a blog post, the author, who joined Google in 2012 to work on machine learning and voice processing, discusses the feasibility of Her's AI, concluding that companions with a similar capacity to Samantha could become reality within 15 years. He suggests other futuristic elements found in the movie, such as pin-sized "freckle cameras" and diffident video game characters, may be with us at the end of the current decade.
Perhaps more interesting than the date projections are Kurzwell's thoughts on the themes and plot points presented in the film. Perhaps unsurprisingly given his scientific background, Kurzweil comes at Her pragmatically, calling her seemingly rapid "evolution" and her ultimate desertion unrealistic, both technically and cinematically.
From a technological perspective, Kurzweil cites his law of accelerating returns to note that human-level AI would be "roughly doubling in capability each year," while Samantha "appears to be progressing much faster than that." On a storytelling level, the departure of the AIs makes little sense to Kurzweil. Assuming Samantha's proclamations of love are genuine, and given her immense mental capacity, there's no reason why she couldn't continue her relationships with Theodore and others using a "trivial" portion of her cognitive ability.
Although Kurzweil, like so many of us, clearly found Her a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience, he doesn't believe such situations will become reality. Its central conceit — that AIs will outpace human development — is unlikely to come to pass. "In my view, biological humans will not be outpaced by the AIs because they (we) will enhance themselves (ourselves) with AI," argues Kurzweil. "It will not be us versus the machines (whether the machines are enemies or lovers), but rather, we will enhance our own capacity by merging with our intelligent creations. We are doing this already. Even though most of our computers — although not all — are not yet physically inside us, I consider that to be an arbitrary distinction." Read more at A review of 'Her' by Ray Kurzweil
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Saudi Arabia: Women’s visits to hospitals without male guardians banned
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) has officially prevented women from visiting medical clinics without male guardians.
This came after a member of the Council of Senior Scholars issued a “fatwa” (edict) prohibiting women from visiting male doctors without having male guardians present.
“Islamic law does not permit women to visit their doctors without male guardians,” said Qais Al-Mubarak, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars. “Women are prohibited from exposing body parts to male doctors in Islamic law, especially during childbirth. This does not include medical emergencies. Islamic jurisprudence makes exceptions,” he added.
Male guardians can only be the next of kin in Islam. They are sons, grandsons, husbands, brothers, fathers or uncles.
Sources said that Haia members recently issued orders to employees working at a nutrition center not to admit women patients unless a guardian accompanies them during their weekly visits. This decision caused huge losses to the nutrition center in a single week, according to the source.
Many women have opposed this decision, saying their male relatives are not available to accompany them on a weekly basis.
“This is going to be a huge burden for us. Many of us don’t have male guardians. Those of us who do, can’t depend on them, as they have work and travel commitments,” said Muneera Dawood, a stay-at-home mother.
“Does this mean that I have to wait for my husband to be free to go on my weekly checkup? This is a serious matter. Going to the doctor is not a luxury like going to the hair salon,” she said.
Al-Mubarak said male doctors could conduct medical examinations on female patients only if female physicians are unavailable and only if male guardians accompany them. “Unaccompanied visits to male doctors can have negative implications,” he said.
The owner of a private hospital in Jeddah said that most female patients already attend to their appointments with their male guardians.
“We do not allow any patient, whether a man or a woman, to be inside the doctor’s room without having a nurse present. Aside from them having to assist the doctor with their work, they are also there to prevent free mixing between doctor and patient,” he said.
“We don’t see women coming to the hospital as un-Islamic and we usually don’t even see women coming alone, so we don’t have a problem with this new fatwa,” he said.
A local Jeddah clinic said it has not received word from the Ministry of Health on the matter. “Our clinic is like a beauty center for women to get facials and undergo other forms of skin treatment. It is almost impossible for men to join them and I’m sure this would make other patients uncomfortable,” said Dr. Waleed Abdulmajeed, a dermatologist at the local clinic.
“We will not ask our patients to be accompanied by guardians unless we receive an official note from the ministry itself,” he said. - Arab News
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