Planes could give tobacco the thumbs up


Don’t expected to see the “smoking permitted” light to flash the next time you fly.

But Boeing does hope to make tobacco part of regular flights.

The aircraft manufacturer is working on biofuel experiments. A new type of tobacco seeds may provide the jet fuel of the future, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

The plant, which is being grown in South Africa, produces oily, nicotine-less seeds that can be converted into aviation biofuel,  according to SkyNRG, the company that’s working with Boeing and several airlines, including Air Canada, Qantas and KLM.

Read more here and here.


Amelia Earhart’s plane part found in 1991


earhartPatchTIGHARIt looks like Amelia Earhart did go down on or near Nikumaroro, an atoll in Kiribati, according to  TIGHAR, an Oxford, Pa., research group.

A small piece of aluminum (above) was found on the uninhabited Pacific island in 1991. Now the researchers say they have identified it as  a patch made to her Lockheed Electra while the doomed plane was making a stopover in Miami. Continue reading


Watch a Taliban sniper target Marine’s head


UPDATE 2: A portion of the video remains on the WarLeaks channel on YouTube (posted here) and on CBS News and the Guardian. But all of Sam Arnold’s videos were taken down from YouTube by Thursday evening. There are no details at this time as to why.

UPDATE 1: The video has just been taken down on YouTube (Thursday about 5 p.m.) and can no longer be watched. No reason has been given. At this time, there are still three videos posted on YouTube by Sam Arnold. You can see them here.

ORIGINAL POST: A video was posted last month on YouTube of a Marine surviving a shot to the head by a Taliban sniper last year in Helmand Province. The footage was captured on a helmet-cam by a fellow Marine. It is so gripping, that in just a few weeks it has been watched 1.2 million times.

Warning: This video is not bloody, and it does have a happy ending. But it is shocking and may take your breath away. Viewer discretion is advised.

See more videos from Afghanistan posted by Sam Arnold here.


Find out what your zip code says about you


15205When you mix marketing and Census data, you can get a snapshot of who we are and what we like to do in Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation project.

What pops up for a local zipcode — 15205, for example? Not surprisingly, Rustbelt Traditions: Family time is important to us. We look for the American-made label, watch ESPN and like to read the newspaper, especially on Sunday.

Go here to plug in your zipcode, and find out what you and your neighbors are up to.