[...] Unlike other solid-to-liquid-fuel processes such as cornstarch into ethanol, this one will accept almost any carbon-based feedstock. If a 175-pound man fell into one end, he would come out the other end as 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water. While no one plans to put people into a thermal depolymerization machine, an intimate human creation could become a prime feedstock. "There is no reason why we can't turn sewage, including human excrement, into a glorious oil," says engineer Terry Adams, a project consultant. So the city of Philadelphia is in discussion with Changing World Technologies to begin doing exactly that.
[...] Today, here at the plant at Philadelphia's Naval Business Center, the experimental feedstock is turkey processing-plant waste: feathers, bones, skin, blood, fat, guts. A forklift dumps 1,400 pounds of the nasty stuff into the machine's first stage, a 350-horsepower grinder that masticates it into gray brown slurry. From there it flows into a series of tanks and pipes, which hum and hiss as they heat, digest, and break down the mixture. Two hours later, a white-jacketed technician turns a spigot. Out pours a honey-colored fluid, steaming a bit in the cold warehouse as it fills a glass beaker.
It really is a lovely oil. "The longest carbon chains are C-18 or so," says Appel, admiring the liquid. "That's a very light oil. It is essentially the same as a mix of half fuel oil, half gasoline."
[...] And it will be profitable, promises Appel. "We've done so much testing in Philadelphia, we already know the costs," he says. "This is our first-out plant, and we estimate we'll make oil at $15 a barrel. In three to five years, we'll drop that to $10, the same as a medium-size oil exploration and production company. And it will get cheaper from there."
Incidentally, Hooters is now hiring for their upcoming San Francisco location. I wonder if there will be lots and lots and lots of tattoos?
Singapore is using a walk-through heat detector to check if air travellers arriving from China and Hong Kong have fever. It is the first country in the world to use a thermal imaging system at its airport to spot travellers with SARS symptoms.
[...] Passengers just have to walk past the machine and the thermal scanner will show if the passenger has a higher body temperature than usual - one of the symptoms displayed by people with SARS. Essentially this is what officers manning the system will see. If a person is feverish, reddish spots will apear all over his face and that person will then be set aside for further examination by the nurses. The nurses will take the passenger's temperature and if neccesary send them to the hospital for checks.
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Travis Peterson, 29, dressed as the Easter Bunny at the Wausau Center Mall, said he was greeting kids Saturday when an apparently drunk man hopped into his lap, wrapped his arm around his neck in a headlock and punched him three times in the mouth.
"I was just sitting there in my chair, waving to the kids, and he came up and jumped in my lap and just started hitting my head," the Bunny told the local Wausau Daily Herald.
The suspect, whom police identified as 21-year-old Montell T. Howard, fled as shocked children looked on. Howard was nabbed Monday afternoon when mall security caught sight of him returning to the shopping center, the Herald reported. Peterson, still in Easter Bunny gear, positively identified Howard as the man who had assaulted him, according to the paper.
[...] Authorities said the fluffy, well-padded bunny outfit protected Peterson from significant injury. "Because of the bunny suit, (the victim) didn't get hurt, but it was unusual to get hit this way," police officer Chang Lee wrote in a report of Saturday's incident.
But Peterson said he is still feeling some physical effects of the attack. "Little fragments of (paint from) the bunny's eye got into my eye, and it's kind of irritating right now," he said.