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Saco-Indonesia.com - Menjelang pameran Computex 2013 tanggal 4 Juni besok di Taiwan, Intel mengumumkan sejumlah model prosesor Core i Generasi ke-4 (Haswell). Batch pertama ini terdiri dari model-model quad core papan atas untuk desktop dan mobile.

Total terdapat lima model prosesor laptop Core i7 dan 12 prosesor desktop Core i7 dan Core i5 yang diperkenalkan.

Seperti dikutip dari Venture Beat, untuk chip mobile, di urutan teratas ada Core i7 4930MX (3-3,9 GHz, 57 watt) seharga 1.096 dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 10,5 juta.

Di bawahnya menyusul Core i7-4800MQ dan Core i7-4900MQ yang masing-masing dihargai 278 dollar AS dan 568 dollar AS. Ketiga prosesor ini diperkuat pemroses grafis Intel 4600. Intel berencana merilis 13 model prosesor Haswell seri M tahun ini.

Ada pula chip mobile seri H berupa Core i7-4850HQ yang dibanderol seharga 468 dollar AS dan memiliki rentang frekuensi kerja 2,3 GHz hingga 3,5 GHz. Model lain dalam seri ini adalah Core i7-4950HQ (657 dollar AS) dengan rentang frekuensi 2,4 GHz hingga 3,6 GHz.

Kedua chip di atas mengkonsumsi daya sebesar 47 watt dan dilengkapi pemroses grafis high-end Iris. Tahun ini, ada enam model chip Haswell seri H yang akan dirilis.

Untuk desktop, Intel mengumumkan beberapa chip dengan range harga 192 dollar AS hingga 339 dollar AS. Kecepatan mereka bervariasi antara 3 Ghz hingga 3,9 GHz.

Chip desktop di urutan teratas (339 dollar AS) adalah Core i7-4770K yang diklaim sanggup menjalankan game StarCraft II: The Heart of the Swarm dengan frame rate 62 FPS. Sebagai prosesor dengan multiplier terbuka, kecepatan chip ini juga bisa digenjot lebih jauh dengan mudah melalui teknik overclocking.

Momen penting

Model-model prosesor baru yang mengusung arsitektur Haswell ini dijanjikan bakal meningkatkan daya tahan baterai notebook hingga 50 persen dibandingkan generasi terdahulu (Ivy Bridge), dengan kemampuan olah grafis yang dua kali lebih kencang.

Dari sisi kemampuan CPU, peningkatannya diklaim hanya sebesar 5 hingga 15 persen.

Peluncuran Haswell pada pameran Computex tahun ini adalah momen penting untuk para pelaku bisnis komputer. Prosesor baru dari Intel itu diharapkan bisa menyelamatkan industri PC yang pada 2013 diprediksi bakal mengalami penurunan 7,8 persen, menurut perkiraan IDC minggu lalu.

Sejumlah produsen PC pun berinovasi menanamkan Haswell dalam berbagai konsep komputer unik, seperti tablet yang bisa berubah menjadi laptop dengan docking keyboard.

Dengan Haswell, Intel menjanjikan desain-desain unik semacam itu bakal bertambah banyak sepanjang tahun ini. Laptop baru dengan prosesor Haswell diklaim bakal lebih tpis dan lebih murah, dengan kisaran harga di bawah 500 dollar AS.

Editor:Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Berapa Harga Sebuah Prosesor

POSO, Saco-Indonesia.com — Sebelum meledak, pelaku bom bunuh diri sempat dihentikan oleh penjaga di depan Mapolres Poso, Sulawesi Tengah. Namun, dia nekat menerobos masuk.

Menurut Kapolres Poso AKBP Susnadi, pelaku memasuki gerbang Mapolres sekitar pukul 08.03 Wita, Senin (3/6/2013). Pelaku mengendarai sepeda motor.

"Pas di depan gerbang, pengendara dihentikan oleh anggota. Tapi pelaku yang merupakan seorang laki-laki itu menerobos. Sekitar 15 meter dari penjagaan, kemudian terjadi ledakan," kata Susnadi dalam wawancara dengan MetroTV.

Ledakan terjadi tepat di depan mushala di halaman Mapolres Poso. Biasanya, di halaman Mapolres Poso digelar apel. Namun, apel hari ini tidak biasa. Apel dilakukan di halaman belakang Mapolres Poso sehingga tidak ada korban tewas selain pelaku.

Setelah dilihat, tubuh pelaku hancur berkeping-keping. Yang terlihat jelas adalah potongan kaki kanan beserta motornya.

"Selain pelaku, untuk anggota tidak ada korban. Ada pekerja bangunan, terluka ringan, di lengan kiri atas," tuturnya.

Selanjutnya, Susnadi telah memerintahkan penjagaan di polsek-polsek yang berada di sekitar Poso ditingkatkan agar tidak terjadi peristiwa serupa.

 
Editor :Liwon Maulana
Sumber:Kompas.com
Kronologi Meledaknya Bom di Depan Mapolres Poso Kemarin

TOKYO, Saco-Indonesia.com — Dari hasil penelitian Credit Suisse dalam laporannya, Global Wealth Databook 2013, yang terbit pada akhir Oktober 2013 menunjukkan bahwa Indonesia di peringkat ke-24 dunia untuk negara dengan jumlah orang kaya paling banyak. Jumlah orang kaya terbanyak berada di Amerika Serikat, lalu Jepang, Italia, Perancis, Inggris, Jerman, China, Kanada, Australia, dan Spanyol.

Dari laporan tersebut, terdapat 22 orang superkaya Indonesia yang memiliki harta di atas 1 miliar dollar AS atau sekitar Rp 12 triliun (kurs Rp 12.000 per dollar AS). Sayangnya, Credit Suisse tidak mengungkapkan siapa saja 22 orang terkaya Indonesia tersebut.

Global Wealth Databook 2013 membagi dua kategori orang kaya, yaitu yang di atas 100.000 dollar AS dan yang di atas 1 juta dollar AS. Warga Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan minimal 100.000 dollar AS atau lebih mencapai 2,18 juta orang (0,6 persen). Adapun yang di atas 1 juta dollar AS sebanyak 123.000 orang (0,4 persen).

Jumlah orang kaya Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan minimal 100.000 dollar AS melebihi jumlah orang kaya Singapura, yang hanya 1,81 juta orang. Namun untuk yang memiliki kekayaan di atas 1 juta dollar AS, Singapura lebih banyak dari Indonesia, yaitu 174.000 orang. Secara peringkat, Indonesia berada di peringkat ke-24, sedangkan Singapura ke-23. Artinya, secara perorangan, warga Singapura lebih kaya daripada orang Indonesia.

Apabila dirinci lebih detail lagi, kategori di atas 1 juta dollar AS terdiri dari perorangan yang memiliki kekayaan 1 juta-5 juta dollar AS, 5 juta-10 juta dollar AS, 10 juta-50 juta dollar AS, 50 juta-100 juta dollar AS, 100 juta-500 juta dollar AS, 500 juta-1 miliar dollar AS, dan di atas 1 miliar dollar AS.

Adapun jumlah orang Indonesia yang memiliki kekayaan antara 1 juta-5 juta dollar AS berjumlah 106.739 orang, 5 juta-10 juta dollar AS berjumlah 9.579 orang, 10 juta-50 juta dollar AS berjumlah 6.032 orang, 50 juta-100 juta dollar AS berjumlah 541 orang, 100 juta-500 juta dollar AS berjumlah 341 orang, 500 juta-1 miliar dollar AS berjumlah 31 orang, dan di atas 1 miliar dollar AS sebanyak 22 orang.

Lembaga ini juga mengungkapkan, saat ini 80 persen kekayaan Indonesia masih banyak dalam bentuk fisik, seperti properti, peternakan, dan bangunan kantor, ketimbang kekayaan saham dan produk finansial. Namun lama-kelamaan, hal ini akan berubah. Kepemilikan bentuk produk finansial akan semakin banyak, seperti dituliskan dalam laporan tersebut.

Data kekayaan orang Indonesia dalam bentuk produk finansial per orang rata-rata hanya 1.948 dollar AS (15,7 persen). Adapun kepemilikan non-finansial 10.444 dollar AS (84,3 persen) dan utang 553 dollar AS per orang. Sementara itu, kekayaan kotor (gross wealth) rata-rata per orang sebesar 12.393 dollar AS.

Tahun 2000, jumlah kepemilikan produk non-finansial seperti properti dan sebagainya jauh lebih banyak lagi, yaitu 92,3 persen. Adapun kepemilikan produk finansial hanya 7,7 persen.

Dengan perkembangan perekonomian yang semakin baik di Indonesia, lembaga keuangan tersebut menempatkan kualitas data Indonesia pada kategori Cukup (Fair), dengan pendapatan per kapita sebesar 6.104 dollar AS. Sementara itu, pendapatan per kapita Amerika Serikat pada 2013 sebesar 68.673 dollar AS, sedangkan Jepang 57.422 dollar AS. (Koresponden Tribunnews.com, Richard Susilo, dari Tokyo, Jepang)

Sejumlah 22 Orang Indonesia yang Punya Kekayaan di Atas Rp 12 Triliun

    saco-indonesia.com,

    Datanglah sayang, dan biarkan ku berbaring
    Di pelukanmu, walaupun ‘tuk sejenak…
    Usaplah dahiku dan ‘kan kukatakan semua

    Reff:
    Bila ku lelah tetaplah di sini
    Jangan tinggalkan aku sendiri
    Bila ku marah biarkanku bersandar
    Jangan kau pergi untuk menghindar

    Rasakan resahku dan buat aku tersenyum
    Dengan canda tawamu, walaupun ‘tuk sekejap…
    Kar’na hanya engkaulah yang sanggup redakan aku


    Reff:
    Kar’na engkaulah satu-satunya untukku
    Dan pastikan kita selalu bersama
    Kar’na dirimulah yang sanggup mengerti aku
    Dalam susah ataupun senang…


    Editor : Dian Sukmawati

SHEILA ON 7 BUAT AKU TERSENYUM

Sama seperti mandi, keramas, dan menggososok gigi, Anda pun juga harus membersihkan tubuh dari dalam. Cara tersebut telah dikenal dengan detoksifikasi atau mengeluarkan racun yang ada di dalam tubuh secara alami. Anda juga dapat mengonsumsi air perasan jeruk lemon atau minum banyak air putih untuk detoks.

Selain itu, berikut adalah alasan penting kenapa Anda harus melakukan detoks pada tubuh Anda.

Membersihkan usus
Usus juga merupakan salah satu organ tubuh yang vital di dalam tubuh Anda. Oleh karena itu proses detoksifikasi yang mampu untuk membersihkan usus mampu menyehatkan tubuh Anda.

Memperkuat sistem kekebalan tubuh
Apakah Anda sering mengalami flu dan sembelit? Hal itu juga merupakan tanda dari menurunnya sistem kekebalan tubuh. Oleh karena itu cobalah detoks untuk dapat mengeluarkan racun di dalam tubuh yang mampu membuat tubuh Anda menjadi mudah sakit.

Menyehatkan kulit
Karena proses detoksifikasi mampu untuk mengeluarkan racun di dalam tubuh termasuk kulit, maka kulit Anda akan menjadi cerah dan sehat.

Menurunkan berat badan
Detoksifikasi akan meningkatkan kemampuan tubuh Anda untuk membakar lemak secara alami. Sehingga hal ini akan bermanfaat untuk program penurunan berat badan.

Menambah energi
Detoksifikasi akan membantu untuk dapat mengeluarkan racun di dalam tubuh sehingga dapat mengatur ulang jam tubuh Anda. Sehingga efek positif dari hal ini adalah Anda mendapatkan tambahan energi dari dalam tubuh untuk beraktivitas.

Memperlambat penuaan dini
Membersihkan tubuh dari luar memang penting. Namun membersihkan tubuh secara alami dari dalam juga jauh lebih penting. Radikal bebas, racun, dan logam berat yang dapat menyebabkan penuaan dini mampu Anda bersihkan dengan proses detoks.

Mempercepat penyerapan nutrisi
Proses detoks yang membersihkan pencernaan Anda akan dapat membantu mempercepat penyerapan nutrisi di dalam usus. Sehingga tubuh Anda pun akan lebih sehat.

Meningkatkan gaya hidup sehat
Detoksifikasi telah memerlukan konsumsi segala sesuatu yang sehat, seperti buah, sayur, dan rempah-rempah. Oleh karena itu proses ini akan memacu Anda untuk lebih serius dalam menjalankan pola hidup sehat.

Proses detoks mulai dikenal saat ini sebagai upaya untuk dapat meningkatkan kesehatan tubuh. Oleh karena itu tidak ada salahnya apabila Anda mencobanya sebab proses ini mendatangkan banyak manfaat untuk kesehatan tubuh Anda.

8 Alasan penting kenapa harus melakukan detoksifikasi tubuh

Late in April, after Native American actors walked off in disgust from the set of Adam Sandler’s latest film, a western sendup that its distributor, Netflix, has defended as being equally offensive to all, a glow of pride spread through several Native American communities.

Tantoo Cardinal, a Canadian indigenous actress who played Black Shawl in “Dances With Wolves,” recalled thinking to herself, “It’s come.” Larry Sellers, who starred as Cloud Dancing in the 1990s television show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” thought, “It’s about time.” Jesse Wente, who is Ojibwe and directs film programming at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, found himself encouraged and surprised. There are so few film roles for indigenous actors, he said, that walking off the set of a major production showed real mettle.

But what didn’t surprise Mr. Wente was the content of the script. According to the actors who walked off the set, the film, titled “The Ridiculous Six,” included a Native American woman who passes out and is revived after white men douse her with alcohol, and another woman squatting to urinate while lighting a peace pipe. “There’s enough history at this point to have set some expectations around these sort of Hollywood depictions,” Mr. Wente said.

The walkout prompted a rhetorical “What do you expect from an Adam Sandler film?,” and a Netflix spokesman said that in the movie, blacks, Mexicans and whites were lampooned as well. But Native American actors and critics said a broader issue was at stake. While mainstream portrayals of native peoples have, Mr. Wente said, become “incrementally better” over the decades, he and others say, they remain far from accurate and reflect a lack of opportunities for Native American performers. What’s more, as Native Americans hunger for representation on screen, critics say the absence of three-dimensional portrayals has very real off-screen consequences.

“Our people are still healing from historical trauma,” said Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked out. “Our youth are still trying to figure out who they are, where they fit in this society. Kids are killing themselves. They’re not proud of who they are.” They also don’t, he added, see themselves on prime time television or the big screen. Netflix noted while about five people walked off the “The Ridiculous Six” set, 100 or so Native American actors and extras stayed.

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But in interviews, nearly a dozen Native American actors and film industry experts said that Mr. Sandler’s humor perpetuated decades-old negative stereotypes. Mr. Anthony said such depictions helped feed the despondency many Native Americans feel, with deadly results: Native Americans have the highest suicide rate out of all the country’s ethnicities.

The on-screen problem is twofold, Mr. Anthony and others said: There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.

In his Peabody Award-winning documentary “Reel Injun,” the Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond explored Hollywood depictions of Native Americans over the years, and found they fell into a few stereotypical categories: the Noble Savage, the Drunk Indian, the Mystic, the Indian Princess, the backward tribal people futilely fighting John Wayne and manifest destiny. While the 1990 film “Dances With Wolves” won praise for depicting Native Americans as fully fleshed out human beings, not all indigenous people embraced it. It was still told, critics said, from the colonialists’ point of view. In an interview, John Trudell, a Santee Sioux writer, actor (“Thunderheart”) and the former chairman of the American Indian Movement, described the film as “a story of two white people.”

“God bless ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ” Michael Horse, who played Deputy Hawk in “Twin Peaks,” said sarcastically. “Even ‘Avatar.’ Someone’s got to come save the tribal people.”

Dan Spilo, a partner at Industry Entertainment who represents Adam Beach, one of today’s most prominent Native American actors, said while typecasting dogs many minorities, it is especially intractable when it comes to Native Americans. Casting directors, he said, rarely cast them as police officers, doctors or lawyers. “There’s the belief that the Native American character should be on reservations or riding a horse,” he said.

“We don’t see ourselves,” Mr. Horse said. “We’re still an antiquated culture to them, and to the rest of the world.”

Ms. Cardinal said she was once turned down for the role of the wife of a child-abusing cop because the filmmakers felt that casting her would somehow be “too political.”

Another sore point is the long run of white actors playing American Indians, among them Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, Johnny Depp, whose depiction of Tonto in the 2013 film “Lone Ranger,” was viewed as racist by detractors. There are, of course, exceptions. The former A&E series “Longmire,” which, as it happens, will now be on Netflix, was roundly praised for its depiction of life on a Northern Cheyenne reservation, with Lou Diamond Phillips, who is of Cherokee descent, playing a Northern Cheyenne man.

Others also point to the success of Mr. Beach, who played a Mohawk detective in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and landed a starring role in the forthcoming D C Comics picture “Suicide Squad.” Mr. Beach said he had come across insulting scripts backed by people who don’t see anything wrong with them.

“I’d rather starve than do something that is offensive to my ancestral roots,” Mr. Beach said. “But I think there will always be attempts to drawn on the weakness of native people’s struggles. The savage Indian will always be the savage Indian. The white man will always be smarter and more cunning. The cavalry will always win.”

The solution, Mr. Wente, Mr. Trudell and others said, lies in getting more stories written by and starring Native Americans. But Mr. Wente noted that while independent indigenous film has blossomed in the last two decades, mainstream depictions have yet to catch up. “You have to stop expecting for Hollywood to correct it, because there seems to be no ability or desire to correct it,” Mr. Wente said.

There have been calls to boycott Netflix but, writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, which first broke news of the walk off, the filmmaker Brian Young noted that the distributor also offered a number of films by or about Native Americans.

The furor around “The Ridiculous Six” may drive more people to see it. Then one of the questions that Mr. Trudell, echoing others, had about the film will be answered: “Who the hell laughs at this stuff?”

Native American Actors Work to Overcome a Long-Documented Bias

Ms. Plisetskaya, renowned for her fluidity of movement, expressive acting and willful personality, danced on the Bolshoi stage well into her 60s, but her life was shadowed by Stalinism.

Maya Plisetskaya, Ballerina Who Embodied Bolshoi, Dies at 89

WASHINGTON — During a training course on defending against knife attacks, a young Salt Lake City police officer asked a question: “How close can somebody get to me before I’m justified in using deadly force?”

Dennis Tueller, the instructor in that class more than three decades ago, decided to find out. In the fall of 1982, he performed a rudimentary series of tests and concluded that an armed attacker who bolted toward an officer could clear 21 feet in the time it took most officers to draw, aim and fire their weapon.

The next spring, Mr. Tueller published his findings in SWAT magazine and transformed police training in the United States. The “21-foot rule” became dogma. It has been taught in police academies around the country, accepted by courts and cited by officers to justify countless shootings, including recent episodes involving a homeless woodcarver in Seattle and a schizophrenic woman in San Francisco.

Now, amid the largest national debate over policing since the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, a small but vocal set of law enforcement officials are calling for a rethinking of the 21-foot rule and other axioms that have emphasized how to use force, not how to avoid it. Several big-city police departments are already re-examining when officers should chase people or draw their guns and when they should back away, wait or try to defuse the situation

Police Rethink Long Tradition on Using Force

Ms. von Furstenberg made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.

Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83

Ms. Meadows was the older sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Kramden on “The Honeymooners.”

Jayne Meadows, Actress and Steve Allen’s Wife and Co-Star, Dies at 95

Mr. Fox, known for his well-honed countrified voice, wrote about things dear to South Carolina and won over Yankee critics.

William Price Fox, Admired Southern Novelist and Humorist, Dies at 89

A former member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Smedvig helped found the wide-ranging Empire Brass quintet.

Rolf Smedvig, Trumpeter in the Empire Brass, Dies at 62

The bottle Mr. Sokolin famously broke was a 1787 Château Margaux, which was said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Sokolin had been hoping to sell it for $519,750.

William Sokolin, Wine Seller Who Broke Famed Bottle, Dies at 85

WASHINGTON — A decade after emergency trailers meant to shelter Hurricane Katrina victims instead caused burning eyes, sore throats and other more serious ailments, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of regulating the culprit: formaldehyde, a chemical that can be found in commonplace things like clothes and furniture.

But an unusual assortment of players, including furniture makers, the Chinese government, Republicans from states with a large base of furniture manufacturing and even some Democrats who championed early regulatory efforts, have questioned the E.P.A. proposal. The sustained opposition has held sway, as the agency is now preparing to ease key testing requirements before it releases the landmark federal health standard.

The E.P.A.’s five-year effort to adopt this rule offers another example of how industry opposition can delay and hamper attempts by the federal government to issue regulations, even to control substances known to be harmful to human health.

Continue reading the main story
 

Document: The Formaldehyde Fight

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can also cause respiratory ailments like asthma, but the potential of long-term exposure to cause cancers like myeloid leukemia is less well understood.

The E.P.A.’s decision would be the first time that the federal government has regulated formaldehyde inside most American homes.

“The stakes are high for public health,” said Tom Neltner, senior adviser for regulatory affairs at the National Center for Healthy Housing, who has closely monitored the debate over the rules. “What we can’t have here is an outcome that fails to confront the health threat we all know exists.”

The proposal would not ban formaldehyde — commonly used as an ingredient in wood glue in furniture and flooring — but it would impose rules that prevent dangerous levels of the chemical’s vapors from those products, and would set testing standards to ensure that products sold in the United States comply with those limits. The debate has sharpened in the face of growing concern about the safety of formaldehyde-treated flooring imported from Asia, especially China.

What is certain is that a lot of money is at stake: American companies sell billions of dollars’ worth of wood products each year that contain formaldehyde, and some argue that the proposed regulation would impose unfair costs and restrictions.

Determined to block the agency’s rule as proposed, these industry players have turned to the White House, members of Congress and top E.P.A. officials, pressing them to roll back the testing requirements in particular, calling them redundant and too expensive.

“There are potentially over a million manufacturing jobs that will be impacted if the proposed rule is finalized without changes,” wrote Bill Perdue, the chief lobbyist at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a leading critic of the testing requirements in the proposed regulation, in one letter to the E.P.A.

Industry opposition helped create an odd alignment of forces working to thwart the rule. The White House moved to strike out key aspects of the proposal. Subsequent appeals for more changes were voiced by players as varied as Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and Senator Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, as well as furniture industry lobbyists.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 helped ignite the public debate over formaldehyde, after the deadly storm destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes along the Gulf of Mexico, forcing families into temporary trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The displaced storm victims quickly began reporting respiratory problems, burning eyes and other issues, and tests then confirmed high levels of formaldehyde fumes leaking into the air inside the trailers, which in many cases had been hastily constructed.

Public health advocates petitioned the E.P.A. to issue limits on formaldehyde in building materials and furniture used in homes, given that limits already existed for exposure in workplaces. But three years after the storm, only California had issued such limits.

Industry groups like the American Chemistry Council have repeatedly challenged the science linking formaldehyde to cancer, a position championed by David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, who is a major recipient of chemical industry campaign contributions, and whom environmental groups have mockingly nicknamed “Senator Formaldehyde.”

Continue reading the main story

Formaldehyde in Laminate Flooring

In laminate flooring, formaldehyde is used as a bonding agent in the fiberboard (or other composite wood) core layer and may also be used in glues that bind layers together. Concerns were raised in March when certain laminate flooring imported from China was reported to contain levels of formaldehyde far exceeding the limit permitted by California.

Typical

laminate

flooring

CLEAR FINISH LAYER

Often made of melamine resin

PATTERN LAYER

Paper printed to resemble wood,

or a thin wood veneer

GLUE

Layers may be bound using

formaldehyde-based glues

CORE LAYER

Fiberboard or other

composite, formed using

formaldehyde-based adhesives

BASE LAYER

Moisture-resistant vapor barrier

What is formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in many industrial and household products as an adhesive, bonding agent or preservative. It is classified as a volatile organic compound. The term volatile means that, at room temperature, formaldehyde will vaporize, or become a gas. Products made with formaldehyde tend to release this gas into the air. If breathed in large quantities, it may cause health problems.

WHERE IT IS COMMONLY FOUND

POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS

Pressed-wood and composite wood products

Wallpaper and paints

Spray foam insulation used in construction

Commercial wood floor finishes

Crease-resistant fabrics

In cigarette smoke, or in the fumes from combustion of other materials, including wood, oil and gasoline.

Exposure to formaldehyde in sufficient amounts may cause eye, throat or skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing or asthma.

Long-term exposure to high levels has been associated with cancer in humans and laboratory animals.

Exposure to formaldehyde may affect some people more severely than others.

By 2010, public health advocates and some industry groups secured bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that ordered the E.P.A. to issue federal rules that largely mirrored California’s restrictions. At the time, concerns were rising over the growing number of lower-priced furniture imports from Asia that might include contaminated products, while also hurting sales of American-made products.

Maneuvering began almost immediately after the E.P.A. prepared draft rules to formally enact the new standards.

White House records show at least five meetings in mid-2012 with industry executives — kitchen cabinet makers, chemical manufacturers, furniture trade associations and their lobbyists, like Brock R. Landry, of the Venable law firm. These parties, along with Senator Vitter’s office, appealed to top administration officials, asking them to intervene to roll back the E.P.A. proposal.

The White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews major federal regulations before they are adopted, apparently agreed. After the White House review, the E.P.A. “redlined” many of the estimates of the monetary benefits that would be gained by reductions in related health ailments, like asthma and fertility issues, documents reviewed by The New York Times show.

As a result, the estimated benefit of the proposed rule dropped to $48 million a year, from as much as $278 million a year. The much-reduced amount deeply weakened the agency’s justification for the sometimes costly new testing that would be required under the new rules, a federal official involved in the effort said.

“It’s a redlining blood bath,” said Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown University Law School professor and a former E.P.A. official, using the Washington phrase to describe when language is stricken from a proposed rule. “Almost the entire discussion of these potential benefits was excised.”

Senator Vitter’s staff was pleased.

“That’s a huge difference,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for Mr. Vitter, of the reduced estimated financial benefits, saying the change was “clearly highlighting more mismanagement” at the E.P.A.

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The review’s outcome galvanized opponents in the furniture industry. They then targeted a provision that mandated new testing of laminated wood, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. (The California standard on which the law was based did not require such testing.)

But E.P.A. scientists had concluded that these laminate products — millions of which are sold annually in the United States — posed a particular risk. They said that when thin layers of wood, also known as laminate or veneer, are added to furniture or flooring in the final stages of manufacturing, the resulting product can generate dangerous levels of fumes from often-used formaldehyde-based glues.

Industry executives, outraged by what they considered an unnecessary and financially burdensome level of testing, turned every lever within reach to get the requirement removed. It would be particularly onerous, they argued, for small manufacturers that would have to repeatedly interrupt their work to do expensive new testing. The E.P.A. estimated that the expanded requirements for laminate products would cost the furniture industry tens of millions of dollars annually, while the industry said that the proposed rule over all would cost its 7,000 American manufacturing facilities over $200 million each year.

“A lot of people don’t seem to appreciate what a lot of these requirements do to a small operation,” said Dick Titus, executive vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, whose members are predominantly small businesses. “A 10-person shop, for example, just really isn’t equipped to handle that type of thing.”

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Becky Gillette wants strong regulation of formaldehyde. Credit Beth Hall for The New York Times

Big industry players also weighed in. Executives from companies including La-Z-Boy, Hooker Furniture and Ashley Furniture all flew to Washington for a series of meetings with the offices of lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and about a dozen other lawmakers, asking several of them to sign a letter prepared by the industry to press the E.P.A. to back down, according to an industry report describing the lobbying visit.

Within a matter of weeks, two letters — using nearly identical language — were sent by House and Senate lawmakers to the E.P.A. — with the industry group forwarding copies of the letters to the agency as well, and then posting them on its website.

The industry lobbyists also held their own meeting at E.P.A. headquarters, and they urged Jim Jones, who oversaw the rule-making process as the assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, to visit a North Carolina furniture manufacturing plant. According to the trade group, Mr. Jones told them that the visit had “helped the agency shift its thinking” about the rules and how laminated products should be treated.

The resistance was particularly intense from lawmakers like Mr. Wicker of Mississippi, whose state is home to major manufacturing plants owned by Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture maker, and who is one of the biggest recipients in Congress of donations from the industry’s trade association. Asked if the political support played a role, a spokesman for Mr. Wicker replied: “Thousands of Mississippians depend on the furniture manufacturing industry for their livelihoods. Senator Wicker is committed to defending all Mississippians from government overreach.”

Individual companies like Ikea also intervened, as did the Chinese government, which claimed that the new rule would create a “great barrier” to the import of Chinese products because of higher costs.

Perhaps the most surprising objection came from Senator Boxer, of California, a longtime environmental advocate, whose office questioned why the E.P.A.’s rule went further than her home state’s in seeking testing on laminated products. “We did not advocate an outcome, other than safety,” her office said in a statement about why the senator raised concerns. “We said ‘Take a look to see if you have it right.’ ”

Safety advocates say that tighter restrictions — like the ones Ms. Boxer and Mr. Wicker, along with Representative Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, have questioned — are necessary, particularly for products coming from China, where items as varied as toys and Christmas lights have been found to violate American safety standards.

While Mr. Neltner, the environmental advocate who has been most involved in the review process, has been open to compromise, he has pressed the E.P.A. not to back down entirely, and to maintain a requirement that laminators verify that their products are safe.

An episode of CBS’s “60 Minutes” in March brought attention to the issue when it accused Lumber Liquidators, the discount flooring retailer, of selling laminate products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. The company has disputed the show’s findings and test methods, maintaining that its products are safe.

“People think that just because Congress passed the legislation five years ago, the problem has been fixed,” said Becky Gillette, who then lived in coastal Mississippi, in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina, and was among the first to notice a pattern of complaints from people living in the trailers. “Real people’s faces and names come up in front of me when I think of the thousands of people who could get sick if this rule is not done right.”

An aide to Ms. Matsui rejected any suggestion that she was bending to industry pressure.

“From the beginning the public health has been our No. 1 concern,” said Kyle J. Victor, an aide to Ms. Matsui.

But further changes to the rule are likely, agency officials concede, as they say they are searching for a way to reduce the cost of complying with any final rule while maintaining public health goals. The question is just how radically the agency will revamp the testing requirement for laminated products — if it keeps it at all.

“It’s not a secret to anybody that is the most challenging issue,” said Mr. Jones, the E.P.A. official overseeing the process, adding that the health consequences from formaldehyde are real. “We have to reduce those exposures so that people can live healthy lives and not have to worry about being in their homes.”

The Uphill Battle to Better Regulate Formaldehyde

At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Suzman’s signature accomplishment was the central role he played in creating a global network of surveys on aging.

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Ms. Crough played the youngest daughter on the hit ’70s sitcom starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.

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Though Robin and Joan Rolfs owned two rare talking dolls manufactured by Thomas Edison’s phonograph company in 1890, they did not dare play the wax cylinder records tucked inside each one.

The Rolfses, longtime collectors of Edison phonographs, knew that if they turned the cranks on the dolls’ backs, the steel phonograph needle might damage or destroy the grooves of the hollow, ring-shaped cylinder. And so for years, the dolls sat side by side inside a display cabinet, bearers of a message from the dawn of sound recording that nobody could hear.

In 1890, Edison’s dolls were a flop; production lasted only six weeks. Children found them difficult to operate and more scary than cuddly. The recordings inside, which featured snippets of nursery rhymes, wore out quickly.

Yet sound historians say the cylinders were the first entertainment records ever made, and the young girls hired to recite the rhymes were the world’s first recording artists.

Year after year, the Rolfses asked experts if there might be a safe way to play the recordings. Then a government laboratory developed a method to play fragile records without touching them.

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The technique relies on a microscope to create images of the grooves in exquisite detail. A computer approximates — with great accuracy — the sounds that would have been created by a needle moving through those grooves.

In 2014, the technology was made available for the first time outside the laboratory.

“The fear all along is that we don’t want to damage these records. We don’t want to put a stylus on them,” said Jerry Fabris, the curator of the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. “Now we have the technology to play them safely.”

Last month, the Historical Park posted online three never-before-heard Edison doll recordings, including the two from the Rolfses’ collection. “There are probably more out there, and we’re hoping people will now get them digitized,” Mr. Fabris said.

The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable.

“We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

The Rolfses said they were not sure what to expect in August when they carefully packed their two Edison doll cylinders, still attached to their motors, and drove from their home in Hortonville, Wis., to the National Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The center had recently acquired Irene technology.

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Cylinders carry sound in a spiral groove cut by a phonograph recording needle that vibrates up and down, creating a surface made of tiny hills and valleys. In the Irene set-up, a microscope perched above the shaft takes thousands of high-resolution images of small sections of the grooves.

Stitched together, the images provide a topographic map of the cylinder’s surface, charting changes in depth as small as one five-hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Pitch, volume and timbre are all encoded in the hills and valleys and the speed at which the record is played.

At the conservation center, the preservation specialist Mason Vander Lugt attached one of the cylinders to the end of a rotating shaft. Huddled around a computer screen, the Rolfses first saw the wiggly waveform generated by Irene. Then came the digital audio. The words were at first indistinct, but as Mr. Lugt filtered out more of the noise, the rhyme became clearer.

“That was the Eureka moment,” Mr. Rolfs said.

In 1890, a girl in Edison’s laboratory had recited:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

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Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good.

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Recently, the conservation center turned up another surprise.

In 2010, the Woody Guthrie Foundation received 18 oversize phonograph disks from an anonymous donor. No one knew if any of the dirt-stained recordings featured Guthrie, but Tiffany Colannino, then the foundation’s archivist, had stored them unplayed until she heard about Irene.

Last fall, the center extracted audio from one of the records, labeled “Jam Session 9” and emailed the digital file to Ms. Colannino.

“I was just sitting in my dining room, and the next thing I know, I’m hearing Woody,” she said. In between solo performances of “Ladies Auxiliary,” “Jesus Christ,” and “Dead or Alive,” Guthrie tells jokes, offers some back story, and makes the audience laugh. “It is quintessential Guthrie,” Ms. Colannino said.

The Rolfses’ dolls are back in the display cabinet in Wisconsin. But with audio stored on several computers, they now have a permanent voice.

Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard

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Many bodies prepared for cremation last week in Kathmandu were of young men from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

KATHMANDU, Nepal — When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men.

Hindu custom dictates that funeral pyres should be lighted by the oldest son of the deceased, but these men were too young to have sons, so they were burned by their brothers or fathers. Sukla Lal, a maize farmer, made a 14-hour journey by bus to retrieve the body of his 19-year-old son, who had been on his way to the Persian Gulf to work as a laborer.

“He wanted to live in the countryside, but he was compelled to leave by poverty,” Mr. Lal said, gazing ahead steadily as his son’s remains smoldered. “He told me, ‘You can live on your land, and I will come up with money, and we will have a happy family.’ ”

Weeks will pass before the authorities can give a complete accounting of who died in the April 25 earthquake, but it is already clear that Nepal cannot afford the losses. The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country.

Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake
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