Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rules and Strategies for CRAPS

Perhaps you shied away from playing craps because the game looks so daunting. True, at first glance, a craps table layout looks quite confusing. There are a variety of bets that you can make, and everything seems so complicated. Actually the basic game is quite simple and easy to learn.
Craps involves rolling a pair of dice. The player who rolls the dice is known as the "shooter". When two dice are rolled, any number between 2 and 12 can come up. Some numbers appear more often than others. For example there are six different ways to roll a 7, but only one way to roll a 2 or a 12. The number 7 has a better than 16% chance of coming up on each roll, whereas there is less than 3% chance of rolling a 2 or 12. Probabilities for other numbers are as follows: 6s and 8s under 14%, 5s and 9s nearly 11%, 4s and 10s almost 8%, 3s and 11s slightly less than 6%.
As you can see 7 is the most frequently rolled number, that’s why the game revolves mostly around that number. The number 7 wins only if it comes up on the come-out roll. If it’ is rolled while the shooter is trying to repeat his point number, the 7 loses, but the point number wins. More about that in a moment.
Craps table layouts at online casinos usually show only one half of the table. In a live casino the second half is exactly the same, making it a bigger table so that more players can join in and place bets.
When a new shooter rolls the dice the first time it’s called the "come-out" roll. Supposing the shooter rolls a 7, then a 5, that means the 5 becomes the point. The shooter continues to roll the dice until his point number (in this case 5) repeats or he "sevens-out" (rolls another 7). When either of these things happen, that particular round of play is over. A new shooter makes a new come-out roll.
The game is tracked using a plastic marker. This marker is black on one side, and white on the other. When the marker is turned black side up, it indicates that the shooter is making a come-out roll. After the shooter makes his point, the marker is flipped over, with the white side up, and placed on the number that corresponds to the point.
While this is going on, you can place your first bet. On the table layout you’ll see two lines, one marked "pass", the other "don’t pass". For now we’ll concentrate on the more popular of the two, which is "pass". Pass and don’t pass bets are basically direct opposites of each other but carry about the same odds,
To place your bet, simply put your wager somewhere on the pass line. If the number rolled on the come-out is 7 or 11 you win and are paid 1:1. You would then bet on a new come-out roll. If the dice thrown total 2, 3 or 12 (a "crap"), you lose your bet. If the total is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that number becomes the "point".
Let's say you have made a pass line bet and a point of 5 has been established. You may now bet an amount equal to your pass line wager by placing it behind your pass line bet, but outside the pass-line strip. This means an "odds bet" on 5. If 7 turns up before 5, you lose both bets. If 5 is thrown before 7, you win both bets.
The odds bet is the best bet you can make in a casino because the house has absolutely no edge. The casino will pay you true odds. For example, if you’ve bet pass line with odds and the point is 10, you will receive a 2-1 payment on your odds bet. The amount you win depends on what the point is, and how difficult it is to roll that point number. (See the percentages in an earlier paragraph.) On points of 4 or 10 the pay-off is 2 to 1, on points of 5 and 9 it's 3 to 2 and on points of 6 or 8 you get 6 to 5.
Now you know the most favorable and most popular bets you can make in Craps. The casino edge on a pass line with odds bet is less than 1%. There are many other types of bets, most of which have too great a house advantage. For now stick to what you’ve learned here. You will get to know about the "sucker" bets soon enough.
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Winning at Craps:
Here is my formula for winning at craps: Set your perimeters. Decide in advance how much of a bankroll you're willing to risk and how big a win you'd be happy with.
Personally, my aim is to win an amount equal to what I start with. If I buy-in for $50, I will quit when I've doubled my stake or lost it. With my objectives clearly defined, I can not get into a situation I might sorely regret later. Whether the session ends positive or negative, I take an extended break before trying again.
In craps, as in most other games, if you want to win big money, you have to risk big money. There is probably no way around this fact. But, as a smart gambler you don't make large bets with the money you brought to the table. Keep your wagers small until you can bet back what was the casinos money -- your winnings.
Start cautiously, wager no more than the minimum unit required. When you win, bet two units. Win again, risk three units. If you win a third time, bet five units. Then stay at that level until you lose. Revert back to the table-minimum after a loss. This assures that you risk only your winnings in pursuit of larger gains, while making your own, original bankroll last as long as possible.
Don’t risk more than your predetermined stake. Conversely, once you've reached what you set out to win, cash in and pat yourself on the back for being so smart!
Good Luck!

Lasagna with White Sauce

• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) tomatoes, cut up
• 2 Tbs. tomato paste
• 1 beef bouillon cube
• 1-1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 1/4 tsp. ground red or cayenne pepper
• White Sauce:
• 2 Tbs. butter or margarine
• 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 2 cups milk
• 1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
• 10 to 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain. Add tomatoes and their liquid, tomato paste, bouillon cube, and seasonings. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in about half of the cheese; set aside. Pour half of the meat sauce into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cover with half of the uncooked lasagna noodles. Cover with remaining meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles. Pour white sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Alfredo Sauce

½ C. Butter
2 C. grated Parmesan Cheese
½ C. Heavy Cream plus 2 Tbsp.
1 lb. dried pasta
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter, heavy cream, and half of the Parmesan cheese, cook over low to medium heat. When the pasta is done drain and pour into a bowl. Then add the melted cheese mixture to the pasta. Combine and then add the remaining Parmesan cheese. If you like you can add some salt, and white pepper to season.
Mixing the sauce with the pasta is an Italian way to serve up this particular dish. It coats the pasta well, and gives you a delicious bit of sauce in every bite. You do not need to rinse your pasta. Following these directions you can make delicious Alfredo sauce at home.

beer brewed bratwurst

1) yellow or white onions. The yellow give more flavor
2) johnsonville beer brewed brats...only johnsonville do not get the generic
3) budweiser beer, not bud light ( diesel fuel only for this recipe)
1) Dump budweiser into large cooking pot.
2) poke holes in the thawed bratwurst the more holes the better.
3) you can either put the brats in the beer, get the beer boiling, cook brats until they are grey and slowly cook them on an open grille flame. Or for more kick or flavor let the brats sit in the beer in the pot for 2-4 hours the do the above steps.
3) add the onions into beer with brats when brats go in beer
4) dump beer once brats on grille, save onions for topper as they are now sauted onions that melt in your mouth...

385 Norths Tataki of Beef (Marinated Beef)

1 1/2 tsp. grated Ginger Root 3/4 tsp. grated Garlic1/2 C. dark Soy Sauce1 bunch Chico (ooba Leaf) julienne1/2 C. Lime Juice14 oz. New York SteakBlack Pepper to taste2 Tbsp. Peanut OilGreen Onions, Sliced
Combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chiso and limejuice in flat glass dish just large enough to hold steak and set aside. Trim steak to remove excess fat and season to taste with pepper on top and bottom. Sear beef quickly in hot peanut oil on all sides over high heat. Cook to rare stage only. Place in dish with marinade and turn to coat well. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least one hour. Steak should be very cold and firm before slicing. To serve thinly slice diagonally. Sprinkle steak sauce with thinly sliced green onions cut on the bias and spoon small amount of marinade over or sliced vegetables, if desired.

Applebee's Bourbon St. Steak

1/2 cup bottled steak sauce
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
4 beef rib, round, or chuck steaks (10 ounces each)
Combine all the ingredients except the steaks in a baking dish or resealable plastic storage bag; mix well. Add the steaks; cover (or seal) and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight. Preheat the
grill to medium-high heat. Grill the steaks for 12 to 15 minutes, or until desired doneness, turning them over halfway through the grilling.

Applebee's Quesadillas

2 Slices of Lean Bacon (sliced into 1/2" pieces)2 Flour Tortilla Shells (8" diameter)Softened Butter (softened for lightly spreading on tortilla shells)1 Tbsp. Pico de Gallo1/4 C. Shredded Colby/Monterey Jack CheeseSour CreamGuacamolePicante Sauce
Slice bacon and fry until bacon starts to turn crisp but not hard and brittle. Remove from pan, drain bacon and set aside. Spread butter lightly on one side of the flour tortilla shell. Place buttered side of shell down, into a non-stick fry pan that has been preheated on medium heat. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bacon over entire shell, then add 1 Tbs. Pico de Gallo, and 1/4 cup shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese over the bacon. Place the second flour shell on top of fixings, buttered side up. Cook for about one - two minutes just long enough to heat the inside ingredients and then carefully flip the quesadilla on the other side and finish cooking. The quesadilla should be heated through but not browned. Remove quesadilla and place on a serving dish and cut into individual triangle serving pieces. Serve quesadillas with your favorite guacamole sour cream, and Picante sauce.

Area 51

Area 51 is a nickname for a military base located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake is a large military airfield and one of the most secretive places in the world. The base's primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.[1][2]
The base lies within the United States Air Force's vast Nevada Test and Training Range. Although the facilities at the range are managed by the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, the Groom facility appears to be run as an adjunct of the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, around 160 miles (260 km) from Groom, and as such the base is known as Air Force Flight Test Center (Detachment 3).[3][4]
Other names used for the facility include "Dreamland", "Paradise Ranch",[5] "Home Base", "Watertown Strip", Groom Lake[6] and most recently "Homey Airport".[7] The area is part of the Nellis Military Operations Area, and military pilots refer to the forbidden airspace around it (R-4808N[8]) as The Box.
The intense secrecy surrounding the base, the very existence of which the U.S. government barely acknowledges, has led it to become the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to UFO folklore.
1 Geography
2 Operations at Groom Lake
2.1 U-2 program
2.2 Blackbird programs
2.3 Have Blue/F-117 program
2.4 Later operations
3 Area 51 commuters
4 Runways
5 U.S. government's positions on Area 51
5.1 Environmental lawsuit
5.2 1974 Skylab photography
6 UFO and other conspiracy theories concerning Area 51
7 Portrayal in Popular Culture
8 See also
9 References
9.1 General references
9.2 Specific references
10 External links


Map showing Area 51, NAFR, and the NTS
Area 51 shares a border with the Yucca Flat region of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the location of 739 of the 928 nuclear tests conducted by the United States Department of Energy at NTS.[9] The Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility is approximately 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Groom Lake.
The designation "Area 51" is contentious, appearing on older maps of the NTS but not newer ones[citation needed], yet the same naming scheme is used for other parts of the Nevada Test Site.[10][11]
The area is connected to the internal NTS road network, with paved roads leading south to Mercury and west to Yucca Flat. Leading northeast from the lake, the wide and well-maintained Groom Lake Road runs through a pass in the Jumbled Hills. The road formerly led to mines in the Groom basin, but has been improved since their closure. Its winding course runs past a security checkpoint, but the restricted area around the base extends further east. After leaving the restricted area, Groom Lake Road descends eastward to the floor of the Tikaboo Valley, passing the dirt-road entrances to several small ranches, before converging with State Route 375, the "Extraterrestrial Highway", south of Rachel.

Operations at Groom Lake
Groom Lake is not a conventional airbase, as frontline units are not normally deployed there. It instead appears to be used during the development, testing, and training phases for new aircraft. Once these aircraft have been approved by the United States Air Force or other agencies such as the CIA, operation of that aircraft is generally conducted from a normal air force base. Groom is reported, however, to be the permanent home for a small number of Soviet-designed aircraft[12] which are analyzed and used for training purposes.
Soviet spy satellites obtained photographs of the Groom Lake area during the height of the Cold War, and later civilian satellites produced detailed images of the base and its surroundings. These images support only modest conclusions about the base; they depict a nondescript base, long airstrip, hangars and the lake, but nothing that supports some of the claims about underground facilities.

Satellite view of Area 51 from 1968.
Though no ICAO identifier for the base appears on any official document, in December 2007, airline pilots noticed that the base had appeared in their aircraft navigation systems' latest Jeppesen database revision as "KXTA".[13]

U-2 program
Main article: Lockheed U-2
Groom Lake was used for bombing and artillery practice during World War II, but was then abandoned until 1955, when it was selected by Lockheed's Skunk Works team as the ideal location to test the forthcoming U-2 spy plane.[14] The lakebed made an ideal strip from which they could operate the troublesome test aircraft, and the Emigrant Valley's mountain ranges and the NTS perimeter protected the test site from prying eyes and outside interference.
Lockheed constructed a makeshift base at Groom, consisting of little more than a few shelters, workshops and trailer homes in which to house its small team. The first U-2 flew at Groom in August 1955, and U-2s under the control of the CIA began overflights of Soviet territory by mid-1956.
During this period, the NTS continued to perform a series of atmospheric nuclear explosions. U-2 operations throughout 1957 were frequently disrupted by the Plumbbob series of atomic tests, which detonated over two-dozen devices at the NTS. The Plumbbob-Hood explosion on July 5 scattered fallout across Groom and forced a temporary evacuation.

Blackbird programs
Main article: SR-71 Blackbird

OXCART aircraft on the ramp at Groom Lake/Area 51 in 1964. There are ten aircraft in the photo; the first eight are OXCART machines, and the last two are Air Force YF-12As.
Even before U-2 development was complete, Lockheed began work on its successor, the CIA's OXCART project, a Mach-3 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, a later variant of which became the famed USAF SR-71 Blackbird. The Blackbird's flight characteristics and maintenance requirements forced a massive expansion of facilities and runways at Groom Lake. By the time the first A-12 Blackbird prototype flew at Groom in 1962, the main runway had been lengthened to 8,500 ft (2,600 m), and the base boasted a complement of over 1,000 personnel. It had fueling tanks, a control tower, and a baseball diamond. Security was greatly enhanced, the small civilian mine in the Groom basin was closed, and the area surrounding the valley was made an exclusive military preserve. Groom saw the first flight of all major Blackbird variants: A-12, SR-71, the abortive YF-12 interceptor variant, and the D-21 Blackbird-based drone project. The A-12 would remain at Groom Lake until 1968.

Have Blue/F-117 program
Main article: Lockheed Have Blue
The Lockheed Have Blue prototype stealth fighter (a smaller cousin of the F-117 Nighthawk) first flew at Groom in December 1977.[15] Testing of a series of ultra-secret prototypes continued there until mid-1981, when testing transitioned to the initial production of F-117 stealth fighters. In addition to flight-testing, Groom performed radar profiling, F-117 weapons testing, and was the location for training of the first group of frontline USAF F-117 pilots. Subsequently, the still highly classified active-service F-117 operations moved to the nearby Tonopah Test Range, and finally to Holloman Air Force Base.

Later operations

This section needs additional citations for verification.Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2008)

Area 51 border and warning sign stating that "photography is prohibited" and that "use of deadly force is authorized" under the terms of the 1950 McCarran Internal Security Act. A government vehicle is parked on the hilltop; from there, security agents observe the approach to Groom Lake.
Since the F-117 became operational in 1983, operations at Groom Lake have continued unabated. The base and its associated runway system have been expanded, and daily flights bringing civilian commuters from Las Vegas continue. Some commentators, after examining recent satellite photos of the base, estimate it to have a live-in complement of over 1,000 people, with a similar number commuting from Las Vegas. In 1995, the federal government expanded the exclusionary area around the base to include nearby mountains that had hitherto afforded the only decent overlook of the base. Subsequently, limited views of the area are available only from the summits of several distant mountains east.
Area 51 commuters
Defense contractor EG&G maintains a private terminal 36°05′31″N 115°09′54″W / 36.092, -115.165 at McCarran International Airport in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. A number of unmarked aircraft operate daily shuttle services from McCarran to sites operated by EG&G in the extensive federally controlled lands in southern Nevada. These aircraft reportedly use JANET radio call signs (e.g., "JANET 6") (the JANET airplanes are now using either call sign "Bland" or "JANET" on the radio, and "WWW" on their flight number identifier), said to be an acronym for "Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation" or (perhaps jokingly) "Just Another Non-Existent Terminal". EG&G advertises in the Las Vegas press for experienced military pilots, requiring applicants to be eligible for government security clearance, and that successful applicants can expect to always stay overnight at Las Vegas. These aircraft, painted white with red trim (the livery of now defunct Western Airlines), include six Boeing 737/T-43As and several smaller turboprops. Their tail numbers are registered to the U.S. Air Force. They are reported to shuttle to Groom, Tonopah Test Range, to other locations in the NAFR and NTS, and reportedly to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Observers tracking the number of departures and cars in the private EG&G parking lot at McCarran estimate several thousand JANET commuters each day. These shuttle flights were previously operated by Key Air, which had flown 22,000 passenger trips on 300 flights from Nellis Air Force Base to Tonopah Test Range per month from 1982 until early 1991.[citation needed]
Commuter service is provided along Groom Lake Road by a bus, catering to a small number of employees living in several small communities beyond the NTS boundary (although it is not clear whether these workers are employed at Groom or at other facilities in the NTS). The bus travels Groom Lake Road and stops at Crystal Springs, Ash Springs, and Alamo, and parks at the Alamo courthouse overnight.

The airbase, given the ICAO airport identifier code of KXTA and listed as "Homey Airport"[13] in aviation GPS databases, has seven runways including one that now appears to be closed. The closed runway, 14R/32L, is also by far the longest with a total length of approximately 7,093 meters (23,270 ft), not including stopway. The other runways are two asphalt runways, the 14L/32R with a length of 3,658 meters (12,000 ft) and 12/30 with a length of 1,652 meters (5,420 ft), and four runways located on the salt lake. These four runways are 09L/27R and 09R/27L, which are both approximately 3,489 meters (11,440 ft), and 03L/21R and 03R/21L, which are both approximately 3,057 meters (10,030 ft).[16][17]

U.S. government's positions on Area 51

A letter from the USAF replying to a query about Area 51
On July 14, 2003 the Federal Government admitted the facility's existence, tacitly conceding that the Air Force has an "operating location" near the lake, but does not provide any further information. The base is absent from Federal publications and inquiries to the government regarding the facility are rejected for reasons of national security.[citation needed]
Unlike much of the Nellis range, the area surrounding the lake is permanently off-limits both to civilian and normal military air traffic. Radar stations protect the area, and unauthorized personnel are quickly expelled. Even military pilots training in the NAFR risk disciplinary action if they accidentally stray into the exclusionary "box" surrounding Groom's airspace.[18]

A montage of available USGS satellite photography showing southern Nevada. The NTS and the surrounding lands are visible; the NAFR and neighboring land has been removed
Perimeter security is provided by uniformed private security guards working for EG&G's security subcontractor Wackenhut,[19] who patrol in desert camouflage Jeep Cherokees and Humvees, and more recently, champagne-colored Ford F-150 pickups and gray Chevy 2500 4X4 pickups. Although the guards are armed with M16s, no violent encounters with Area 51 observers have been reported; instead, the guards generally follow visitors near the perimeter and radio for the Lincoln County Sheriff. Deadly force is authorized if violators who attempt to breach the secured area fail to heed warnings to halt. Fines of around $600 seem to be the normal course of action, although some visitors and journalists report receiving follow-up visits from FBI agents. Some observers have been detained on public land for pointing camera equipment at the base. Surveillance is supplemented using buried motion sensors[20][21][22] and by HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.
The base does not appear on public U.S. government maps;[23] the USGS topographic map for the area only shows the long-disused Groom Mine.[24] A civil aviation chart published by the Nevada Department of Transportation shows a large restricted area,[25] but defines it as part of the Nellis restricted airspace. The official aeronautical navigation charts for the area show Groom Lake but omit the airport facilities.[26] Similarly the National Atlas page showing federal lands in Nevada[27] does not distinguish between the Groom block and other parts of the Nellis range. Although officially declassified, the original film taken by U.S. Corona spy satellite in the 1960s has been altered prior to declassification; in answer to freedom of information queries, the government responds that these exposures (which map to Groom and the entire NAFR) appear to have been destroyed.[28] Terra satellite images (which were publicly available) were removed from web servers (including Microsoft's "Terraserver") in 2004,[29] and from the monochrome 1 m resolution USGS data dump made publicly available. NASA Landsat 7 images are still available (these are used in the NASA World Wind). Higher resolution (and more recent) images from other satellite imagery providers (including Russian providers and the IKONOS) are commercially available. These show, in considerable detail, the runway marking, base facilities, aircraft, and vehicles.
Nevada's state government, recognizing the folklore surrounding the base might afford the otherwise neglected area some tourism potential, officially renamed the section of State Route 375 near Area 51 "The Extraterrestrial Highway", and posted fancifully illustrated signs along its length.[30]
Although federal property within the base is exempt from state and local taxes, facilities owned by private contractors are not. Area 51 researcher Glenn Campbell claimed in 1994 that the base only declares a taxable value of $2 million to the Lincoln County tax assessor, who is unable to enter the area to perform an assessment.[31]

Environmental lawsuit
In 1994, five unnamed civilian contractors and the widows of contractors Walter Kasza and Robert Frost sued the USAF and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Their suit, in which they were represented by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, alleged they had been present when large quantities of unknown chemicals had been burned in open pits and trenches at Groom. Biopsies taken from the complainants were analyzed by Rutgers University biochemists, who found high levels of dioxin, dibenzofuran, and trichloroethylene in their body fat. The complainants alleged they had sustained skin, liver, and respiratory injuries due to their work at Groom, and that this had contributed to the deaths of Frost and Kasza. The suit sought compensation for the injuries they had sustained, claiming the USAF had illegally handled toxic materials, and that the EPA had failed in its duty to enforce the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (which governs handling of dangerous materials). They also sought detailed information about the chemicals to which they were allegedly exposed, hoping this would facilitate the medical treatment of survivors. Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told 60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl, "The Air Force is classifying all information about Area 51 in order to protect themselves from a lawsuit."[32]
Citing the State Secrets Privilege, the government petitioned trial judge U.S. District Judge Philip Pro (of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas) to disallow disclosure of classified documents or examination of secret witnesses, alleging this would expose classified information and threaten national security.[33] When Judge Pro rejected the government's argument, President Bill Clinton issued a Presidential Determination, exempting what it called, "The Air Force's Operating Location Near Groom Lake, Nevada" from environmental disclosure laws. Consequently, Pro dismissed the suit due to lack of evidence. Turley appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, on the grounds that the government was abusing its power to classify material. Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall filed a brief that stated that disclosures of the materials present in the air and water near Groom "can reveal military operational capabilities or the nature and scope of classified operations." The Ninth Circuit rejected Turley's appeal,[34] and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear it, putting an end to the complainants' case.
The President continues to annually issue a determination continuing the Groom exception.[35][36][37] This, and similarly tacit wording used in other government communications, is the only formal recognition the U.S. Government has ever given that Groom Lake is more than simply another part of the Nellis complex.
An unclassified memo on the safe handling of F117 material was posted on an Air Force website in 2005. This discussed the same materials for which the complainants had requested information (information the government had claimed was classified). The memo was removed shortly after journalists became aware of it.[38]

1974 Skylab photography
In January 2006, space historian Dwayne A. Day published an article in online aerospace magazine The Space Review titled "Astronauts and Area 51: the Skylab Incident." The article was based around a recently declassified memo written in 1974 to CIA director William Colby by an unknown CIA official. The memo reported that astronauts on board Skylab 4 had, as part of a larger program, inadvertently photographed a location of which the memo said "There were specific instructions not to do this. was the only location which had such an instruction." Although the name of the location was obscured, the context led Day to believe that the subject was Groom Lake.[39][40]
The memo details debate between federal agencies regarding whether the images should be classified, with Department of Defense agencies arguing that it should, and NASA and the State Department arguing against classification. The memo itself questions the legality of unclassified images to be retroactively classified.
Remarks on the memo,[41] handwritten apparently by DCI (Director of Central Intelligence) Colby himself, read:
He did raise it - said State Dept. people felt strongly. But he inclined leave decision to me (DCI) - I confessed some question over need to protect since:
USSR has it from own sats
What really does it reveal?
If exposed, don't we just say classified USAF work is done there?
The declassified documents do not disclose the outcome of discussions regarding the Skylab imagery, but were not placed in the federal government's archive of satellite imagery along with the remaining Skylab 4 photographs.

UFO and other conspiracy theories concerning Area 51
Its secretive nature and undoubted connection to classified aircraft research, together with reports of unusual phenomena, have led Area 51 to become a focus of modern UFO and conspiracy theories. Some of the activities mentioned in such theories at Area 51 include:
The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft (including material supposedly recovered at Roswell), the study of their occupants (living and dead), and the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology.
Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials.
The development of exotic energy weapons (for SDI applications or otherwise) or means of weather control.
The development of time travel and teleportation technology.
The development of unusual and exotic propulsion systems related to the Aurora Program (see Aurora aircraft).
Activities related to a supposed shadowy one world government and or the Majestic Twelve organization.
Many of the hypotheses concern underground facilities at Groom or at nearby Papoose Lake, and include claims of a transcontinental underground railroad system, a disappearing airstrip (nicknamed the "Cheshire Airstrip", after Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat) which briefly appears when water is sprayed onto its camouflaged asphalt,[42] and engineering based on alien technology. In 1989, Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked at a facility at Papoose Lake (which he called S-4) on such a U.S. Government flying saucer.
The 1996 documentary Dreamland directed by Bruce Burgess included an interview with a 71 year old mechanical engineer who claimed to be a former employee at Area 51 during the 1950s, working on a "flying disc simulator" built to train US Pilots, based on a disc originating from a crashed extraterrestrial craft. During his career at Area 51 he claimed to have worked with an extraterrestrial being whose name was "J-Rod", described as a telepathic translator.[43]
Dan Burisch (real name, Dan Crain) claimed in 2004 to have worked on cloning alien viruses at Area 51, alongside the alien named "J-Rod". Crain's scholarly credentials and credibility fell to pieces when it was revealed that he was working as a Las Vegas parole officer in 1989 when he was supposedly earning a PhD at SUNY.[44][45]

Portrayal in Popular Culture
Popular culture usually portrays Area 51 as a haven for aliens. The numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Area 51 have granted it a fairly high profile in popular culture, specifically in the area of science fiction. Dozens of movies and television shows deal with fictionalized events or happenings at the site. The most widely seen example is the 1996 action film Independence Day, in which the complex is shown to have been studying the crashed scout ship from the Roswell UFO incident of 1947. The heroes of the film later make their final attack from the airstrips at the base, and in a nod to established fact, Randy Quaid's character Russell Casse at one point refers to the base not being shown on a state map of Nevada.
The 1998-2001 television series Seven Days took place largely inside the Area 51 complex itself, with the base depicted as being run by a covert National Security Agency operation which used time-travel made possible by alien technology recovered from the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.
Lara Croft infiltrates Area 51 in Tomb Raider 3. She must find a special stone called 'Element 115'. A non-stealthy playing style closes doors and makes the task more difficult.
Joanna Dark infiltrates Area 51 in the multi-million selling first person shooter video game Perfect Dark. Her objectives are to meet up with a fellow secret agent, find the autopsy lab of the assumed to be dead alien named Elvis, and to get out successfully.
In the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, "Hangar 51" is revealed to be the location of the government warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant was stored at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and where KGB agents go to recover the remains of the Roswell alien, eventually revealed to be an interdimensional being with a crystalline skeleton. In his review of the film, the scene was likened to "a kind of Area 51" by Popular Mechanics writer Jack Donaldson.[46]
In the television series Stargate SG-1, Area 51 is used as a facility for storage and research of technology brought back to Earth from other planets.
In the Metal Gear Solid series, Area 51 turns out to be one of the headquarters of the Illuminati group known as The Patriots, who manipulate the government, public, and economy from behind the scenes. Character Raiden is injured during an attempt to rescue Sunny.

7 reasons the world will end in 2012

Scientific experts from around the world are genuinely predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well finish. Some are saying it'll be humans that set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it'll be God himself who presses the stop button...1. Mayan CalendarThe first mob to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things:Building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone andSacrificing Virgins.Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the Earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it's likely they've got the end of the world right as well.2. Sun StormsSolar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery: our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic, and it's supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the Earth with so much radiation energy, it's been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse, and calculations suggest it'll reach its deadly peak sometime in 20123. The Atom SmasherScientists in Europe have been building the world's largest particle accelerator. Basically its a 27km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the Universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it's properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They're predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.4. The Bible says...If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn't bad enough,religious folks are getting in on the act aswell. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between Good an Evil, has been set down for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings.5. Super VolcanoYellowstone National Park in the United States is famous for its thermal springs and Old Faithful geyser. The reason for this is simple - it's sitting on top of the world's biggest volcano, and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we're many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the Earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.6. The PhysicistsThis one's case of bog-simple maths mathematics. Physicists at Berekely Uni have been crunching the numbers. and they've determined that the Earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they're claiming their calculations prove, that we're all going to die, very soon - while also saying their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 percent- and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.7. Slip-Slop-Slap-BANG!We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that sheilds us from most of the sun's radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call north and south have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so - and right now we're about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is underway, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

Boost Your Metabolism

The best way to boost your metabolism is not with an overpriced, full-of-caffeine pill from a bottle. No matter what the magazine ads say, these supplements will not have a lasting effect on your metabolism.
Why is it important to boost your metabolism anyway?
Your metabolism is the rate at which you burn fat and calories. If you don’t do resistance-training exercise, your metabolism decreases with age as you lose muscle.
Oops, I just gave you the secret to boosting metabolism.
In a recent study, researchers divided subjects into three groups. One group changed only their diet, the second group changed their diet and added aerobic exercise, and the third group changed their diet and did resistance training. All three groups lost about 25 pounds.
However, the resistance-training group was the only one that maintained their lean muscle mass and, as a result, lost more fat (since they lost the same amount of weight as the two groups that weren’t able to maintain their lean muscle mass).
Plus, with their metabolism still running high, the resistance-training group had a greater potential for even more fat loss down the road.
So if you want to lose fat, sculpt your body, and boost your metabolism, there is no better way than to add two or three resistance-training workouts to your weekly schedule.

Do Diet Pills Work

How much money have you wasted on fat-burning supplements? Whatever the dollar amount, I assure you that you wasted every penny. Whether it is calcium, CLA, HCA, or some pill loaded with caffeine, no supplement can help you lose inches.
Researchers from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA looked at the latest weight-loss pill to come on the market - a combination of rhubarb, ginger, astragulus, red sage, and turmeric. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it? Well, the results were not impressive.
Twenty-four women followed a low-calorie diet and took either the supplement or a placebo for eight weeks. Both groups lost a little weight, but the placebo group lost more. Clearly, the supplement had no impact on the diet.
But you don’t have to wait around for a "real" miracle pill to come along. You can start changing your lifestyle today to lose fat and improve your health.
Here are three quick-start tips:
Set aside one to two hours on the weekend to plan, shop, and prepare your meals for the week ahead. This will help you eat right and avoid junk food.
Eliminate all sources of liquid calories. Drink water or unsweetened green tea.
Schedule three 45-minute exercise sessions per week. Start with 20 minutes of strength training (you can even use bodyweight exercises only) and finish with 20 minutes of interval training and five minutes of stretching.
Consistency, not pills, will help you lose the weight.

Protein Facts

What is protein?Proteins are large compounds made by combining smaller amino acids. Proteins in the diet are known as macronutrients, and contribute energy (calories) to the body. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories.There are 20 amino acids used to build proteins. Proteins that do not have all 20 amino acids are called incomplete proteins. Protein sources containing all 20 amino acids are referred to as complete proteins. Choosing complete protein sources will ensure you are getting all of the amino acids that your body needs.Some amino acids can be made in the body and are not essential in your diet. Amino acids that cannot be produced by the body are called essential amino acids, which should be included in your diet.

How is protein used by the body?Proteins have many different jobs within the body. As previously mentioned, the body uses proteins for energy. Protein is also used as an enzyme, which starts reactions within the body, including metabolism, and gene growth & repair. Proteins are also used by the body to carry signals from one part of the body to another and to form structures, including muscles.

How much protein do I need in my diet?Protein should account for 10-35% of your daily caloric intake. Many nutrition experts also recommend an intake of 1 gram of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight (0.4 g per pound).Consuming too much protein may be harmful to the body. High amounts of protein in the diet put stress on the kidneys and liver as they try to dismantle and dispose of the extra protein.

Which foods are good sources of protein?Sources of protein include meat products (hamburger, fish, chicken), dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs, tofu, lentils, and soymilk.Eating complete protein (containing all amino acids) will help ensure that you do not become deficient in essential amino acids. Complete proteins include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and soy (a non-animal source). Nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables are typically incomplete. For this reason, it is important for vegetarians to pair non-animal products wisely in order to consume all essential amino acids in their daily diet.

What is protein deficiency?Most Americans (including vegetarians) consume more than enough protein on a daily basis. Therefore, protein deficiency is not a huge concern in the United States. It can be found in people on restrictive diets and in the elderly population, who are more likely to have poor diets.In countries with a high rate of malnourished children, protein deficiency is more common. Without prevention, a protein deficient child can develop a condition known as Kwashiorkor. The symptoms of this disorder include a protruding stomach, edema, thin hair, overall weight loss, slowed growth, and discolored hair & skin. Kwashiorkor, if left untreated, can cause stunted growth, metal impairments, and death.

The Skinny On Fats

Moderation is key when it comes to how much fat to eat, but some fats are better for your health than others.
Randy Mayor
By Maureen Callahan
The Good Fats
Monounsaturated fat: The fat of choice for heart health helps lower total cholesterol levels and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and raises HDL, or "good" cholesterol. Foods that are rich in monos include avocados, most nuts and nut oils, olive oil, and canola oil.
Polyunsaturated fat: It lowers total cholesterol. Vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oil are rich in polyunsaturated fats. Fatty fish, such as salmon, are a rich source of a heart-healthy polyunsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids.
The Bad Fats
Saturated fat: It raises blood cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease. A good rule of thumb is to limit saturated fat to less than one-third of your daily fat intake. Foods rich in saturates include butter, full-fat dairy products, red meats, and two vegetable products -- palm kernel oil and coconut.
Trans fat: Preliminary studies suggest these fats, which are formed when liquid oils are made into solid (hydrogenated) shortenings, may raise the levels of LDL, lower levels of HDL, and increase the risk of heart disease. Sources include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and shortenings, found in snack crackers, cookies, and other packaged foods.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Gas Prices Work

In May 2008, average gas prices in the United States approached, and in some places passed, $4.00 a gallon, shattering records. But this was nothing new to American consumers. May was a month of records that broke one after another, and that came on the heels of months of rising prices.
Gasoline is the bloodline that keeps America moving, and tracking gas prices can feel like a roller coaster ride. They're down a little one month, up the next, and then they shoot up more than 50 percent in a year. Plus, they're different depending on where you look. Other countries -- and even other states and cities -- can have very different gas prices from your local Gas-N-Go. To the average person, it probably seems as though there's little rhyme or reason to how gas prices are determined. In this article, we will look at the forces that impact the price of gas at the pump, and we'll find out where your gas money actually goes.
Americans have an insatiable thirst for gasoline. Just look at the amount of traffic on roads and highways, and you'll see that a severe gas shortage would practically cripple the United States. Americans drive nearly 3 trillion miles per year, according to the Motor and Equipment Manufacturer's Association [source: MEMA]. That's about 820 trips from the sun to Pluto and back. The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil products per day (bbl/d), according to the Department of Energy [source: DOE]. Of that, almost half is used for motor gasoline. The rest is used for distillate fuel oil, jet fuel, residual fuel and other oils. Each barrel of oil contains 42 gallons (159 L), which yields 19 to 20 gallons (75 L) of gasoline. So, in the United States, something like 178 million gallons of gasoline is consumed every day.
Typically, the demand for gas spikes during the summer, when lots of people go on vacation. Holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July create logjams of tourist traffic during the summer. This high demand usually translates into higher gasoline prices. Cleaner-burning summer-grade fuels, which are more expensive to produce, can increase the price as well, but prices don't always go up in summer. For instance, while gas prices soared 31 cents in April and early May of 2001, reaching $1.71 per gallon (which seems inexpensive compared to today's prices), prices actually declined during the 2001 summer.
In 2004, prices continued to rise past the end of the summer travel season for a variety of reasons, including several hurricanes and an increase in the price of crude oil. And in 2005, Hurricane Katrina (along with a sizable increase in crude oil prices) pushed prices to $3.07 per gallon on September 5. Prices settled down somewhat in November and December of 2005. But now the numbers are among the highest they've ever been, only recently dipping back below the $4.00 mark after a month of average prices at $4.06 for a gallon of regular gas in July 2008 [source: EPA]. It seems the record high prices encouraged people to drive less, which in turn drove down demand and subsequently, prices. Whether the price drop is the beginning of a trend remains to be seen.
Price increases generally occur when the world crude-oil market tightens and lowers inventories. We will discuss who controls the crude-oil market later. Also, growing demand can sometimes outpace refinery capacity. In the spring, refineries perform maintenance, which can place a pinch on the gasoline market. By the end of May, refineries are usually back to full capacity.

2009 Honda Pilot vs. Ford Flex, Chevy Traverse, Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander

When we last visited Michigan’s Drummond Island [“Mud Puppies,” February 2008], we compared nine Lilliput SUVs and quickly found ourselves in over our heads. Which is to say, we sank a Jeep Liberty. See, the island—a short ferry ride from the eastern tip of the state’s Upper Peninsula—is a 25-mile-long series of limestone bowls (which hold water) and cedar swamps (ditto) surrounded by Lake Huron (ditto times a million). Drummond Island, thou art thine own soggy enemy.
This time, we asked Drummond Island Resort’s driving expert, Craig Hoffman, to sketch out a somewhat drier 16-mile loop, two-thirds of which comprised twisty, smooth pavement and one-third of which bumped through the resort’s private off-road facility. On any off-roader’s scale of difficulty, these private trails (notice we said “private” twice?) hover wholly in Wally Cox territory yet still represent pretty much the worst that any owner would throw at his investment. Along this route, we then ran the vehicles back-to-back until the local bowling alley’s neon “BEER” sign lit up.
Our goal was to compare six mid-size unibody crossovers with all-wheel drive, third-row seats, and the sort of interior volumes that would ensure family-hauling nirvana.
The Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander have recently been comprehensively refurbished, inside and out. Chevy’s Traverse is the latest flavor of the platform shared with Buick’s Enclave, GMC’s Acadia, and Saturn’s Outlook. The Traverse is the first we’ve tested with the direct-injection V-6, but the other three also get it for ’09. Hyundai’s Veracruz isn’t brand-new but has never competed in a C/D comparo. Having secured a position on our ’08 5Best Trucks list, Mazda’s CX-9 simply had to be in the mix. And although a Ford Taurus X might have looked a better fit in this group, we opted for the brand-new Flex. Both rely on the same drivetrain, and the Taurus X is soon to be discontinued.
Unibodies were the order of the day, so body-on-framers, such as Nissan’s Path­finder, were excluded. Ditto a couple of crossovers with notably smaller interior volumes—Subaru’s Tribeca, for instance.
We had hoped that with AWD and a nice load of options our vehicles would all max out at about $38,000. Alas, the only Highlander that Toyota could offer, at least with a third-row seat, was a loaded $42,799 Limited, so we used it for back-seat tests only. The Highlander Sport we drove to the island had no third-row seat and was sparsely outfitted—cloth seats, for instance—but was a whale of a bargain at $33,648. Adding a third row to our car would bump its price to $34,433, which is the number we used in the chart and for scoring purposes.
We were disappointed that our six crossovers managed an observed average of only 19 mpg. Sign of the times: On the way north, we observed a man riding a Schwinn. With a bag of golf clubs slung over his shoulder and a full-size Igloo cooler in his left hand, he was a candidate for a closed head injury. “What you got there,” observed associate editor Tony Quiroga, “is a guy with an SUV parked in his garage.”

Tim McGraw Apologizes for Release of New Greatest Hits Package

Tim McGrawArtists and record labels frequently disagree about business matters, but Tim McGraw has taken it a step farther by publicly apologizing to fans for Curb Records' decision to release his Greatest Hits 3 compilation which arrived in stores on Oct. 7.In a statement issued Tuesday (Oct. 14) by his publicist, McGraw said the new CD was released without his involvement. Noting he has been working on a new album for more than a year and debuted three new songs on this year's Live Your Voice tour, McGraw said he wanted to release the CD of new material this fall. However, he said Curb wanted to release the greatest hits album to extend the term of his recording contract."I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music," he said. "I've only had one studio album since my last hits package. It has to be just as confusing to the fans as it is to me. I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record. Sure, I love the songs, and I don't want to take anything away from all the creative people who were a part of making those records. But the whole concept is an embarrassment to me as an artist. In the spirit of an election year, I would simply say to my fans, 'I'm Tim McGraw, and I don't approve their message.'"McGraw has had previous disputes with Curb Records. In a similar situation that took place in 2000, McGraw wanted to release an album of new material, but the label instead released his first greatest hits album in time for the holiday gift-buying season. McGraw's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 was released on March 28, 2006.