Moreover, there is a belief, that colours have a great influence on our mood, choices, actions and many other different things in our life.
Some descriptions of colours are :
Red: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism.
Pink: loveorange: stability, reassurance, warmth and is thought to aid digestiongreen : nature and energy, calming and restful, balance (halfway between red and blue)
Blue: calming and soothing, promotes intellectual thought, believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative, prevents nightmares.
Yellow: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellectlilac: spiritual matters - suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine.
Purple: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex.
Brown: security, stability and very practical.
Black: death, eccentricity, drama.
NASA hoped the bat would fly away before the spacecraft's Sunday evening liftoff, but photos from the launch now show the bat holding on for dear life throughout the fiery ride.
"He did change the direction he was pointing from time to time throughout countdown but ultimately never flew away," states a NASA memo obtained by SPACE.com. "Infrared imagery shows he was alive and not frozen like many would think ... Liftoff imagery analysis confirmed that he held on until at least the vehicle cleared [the] tower before we lost sight of him."
Officials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where Discovery launched from a seaside pad, said the bat's outlook after launch appears grim.
"Based on images and video, a wildlife expert who provides support to the center said the small creature was a free tail bat that likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist," NASA officials said Tuesday. "The animal likely perished quickly during Discovery's climb into orbit."
Because the Kennedy Space Center is also home to Florida's Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, NASA's launch pads are equipped with several countermeasures, including warning sirens, to ward off birds and other wildlife. NASA also relies on radar to make sure large flocks of birds won't be struck by the shuttle during liftoff.
But the bat on Discovery's tank did not budge, even after engine ignition.
The bat was perched between one quarter and one third of the way up on the north side of the fuel tank, which is the side that faces away from the orbiter. NASA estimated the surface temperature of the tank at that location was between 58 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, even though the canister was filled with super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
In the hours before Discovery's liftoff, NASA's Final Inspection Team (called the "ICE team") investigated whether the creature would pose a risk to the shuttle if its body impacted the orbiter's sensitive heat shield tiling. Ultimately, NASA officials signed a waiver confirming that the bat was safe to fly with.
"The bat eventually became 'Interim Problem Report 119V-0080' after the ICE team finished their walkdown," the memo said. "Systems Engineering and Integration performed a debris analysis on him and ultimately a Launch Commit Criteria waiver to ICE-01 was written to accept the stowaway."
This isn't the first time a bat has attempted to travel into space. Another bat was seen clinging to the side of the external tank attached to the shuttle Endeavour on its STS-72 flight in 1996. That one maybe have been a bit more cautious, though: It flew away to safety right before launch.
Coincidentally, an astronaut aboard that flight, Koichi Wakata of Japan, also flew on Discovery this week, making him the first spaceflyer to share two rides with bats. Discovery's STS-119 mission is headed to the International Space Station to drop off the final segment of the lab's backbone truss and set of solar array panels.
NASA officials said a bat also set down on the external tank for the shuttle Columbia during its STS-90 mission in 1998. That bat also flitted away to safety during liftoff, they added.
In a recent Self.com poll, 85 percent of women said that worries interfere with their ability to catch zzz's, while 71 percent say they're more irritable due to stress. And given the recent headlines about the state of our economy, it's not surprising that 52 percent of women say they are under considerably more stress than they were six months ago. (What is your stress level?)
Grim, yes, but there IS hope. Just as our bodies are wired to react to stress, we're all also programmed to know how to wind down, whether it's by watching a funny movie, sitting in the sauna, sipping some chamomile tea (while dunking a cookie, of course!) or drinking a glass (or two) of wine with dinner. These activities switch on the brain's pleasure centers, blocking the production of the stress hormone cortisol and churning out happiness-inducing chemicals like serotonin instead.
When I feel a tightening in my back or neck coming on, I cope by doing things I love, like going for a long, slow run in the park with my dog. Try a few of these instant soothers, and watch your own stress go from ARGH! to Ahhh.
Turn up the tunes. Listening to music that has a steady (not frenetic) beat may cause brain waves to keep time and relax you, research from a music symposium at Stanford University in California reports. Load your iPod with a playlist of the songs that make you happiest.
Phone a friend. Pouring your heart out to pals can help you cope with bad feelings and brainstorm new ways to solve problems. And don't forget to return the favor: Lending an ear and offering support can make you feel needed and reduce anxiety. (Or drop them an e-card to say thanks!)
Break a sweat. Exercising for 30 minutes makes your body release chemicals that dull the physiological effects of stress response for up to a full day. But the effect only works when the activity is something you really want to do, so make sure you're psyched about channeling your energy in that cardiovascular direction.
Use a better bulb. Outfit your office lamp with an incandescent bulb, particularly if your cubicle is brightened by fluorescent lights. Incandescent and fluorescent lights work together to more closely mimic outside light. And it's sunshine (or the perception of it) that regulates the body's biorhythms. Not getting enough of it can affect hormone levels, suppressing the immune system and increasing the probability of mood swings, depression and sluggishness.
Pamper yourself. Whether you get a pedicure or splurge on a blowout, giving yourself special treatment reduces your blood pressure and gets your mind off what’s bothering you. Science supports this coping mechanism as well: A warm bath can activate neurons that increase serotonin, and a study from Bowling Green State University in Ohio found that a 15-minute massage can significantly cut anxiety levels. Not up for a splurge? Get the same effect from an at-home pedicure, manicure or blowout.
Dine by candlelight. The effect won't just make you look gorgeous. The dim setting actually signals your brain to release melatonin, the good-for-you sleep hormone which ensures a better night's rest. And catching enough zzz's helps keep your stress levels under control and your immune system humming. Can't sleep? See what your stress dreams are trying to tell you.
Snuggle with your sweetie. A simple 20-second kiss or hug increases endorphin levels, while having sex releases more calming hormones than any other form of sex play, researchers at the University of the West of Scotland at Paisley note.
Keep a journal. Jotting down your stressful thoughts can help you look at them more logically, potentially easing anxiety, mentally and physically. A study in the Journal of Health Psychology finds that a mere month of expressive writing can help reduce hypertension. Keep a pretty notebook handy at all times.
Anticipate something awesome. Or something tiny that makes you smile. The point is to look forward to something each day, whether it’s enjoying your morning java or counting down to an exotic vacation. Practicing this will keep your mind from focusing on what could go wrong that day.
Exhibit your exhilarating moments. Tape up pictures of three amazing days you’ve experienced, such as dancing at your wedding or crossing the finish line of a half-marathon. Honing in on the images for at least 10 seconds can lower muscle tension and stabilize your heartbeat.
Give someone props. Go on, pay a compliment to someone deserving. Research has shown that the more warm personal connections you make, the better your body is at jettisoning the effects of stress.
By Lucy Danziger
Gregg Valentino: World's Biggest Biceps
Markus Rühl: some of the biggest shoulders in history
Well known for his freakish size, german Markus Rühl is a former IFBB professional bodybuilder. He possesses some of the biggest shoulders in bodybuilding history, and is one of the strongest bodybuilders alive along with Johnnie O. Jackson and Ronnie Coleman.
Ronnie Coleman: eight straight wins as Mr. Olympia
Born May 13, 1964 in Bastrop, Louisiana, Coleman is a retired American professional bodybuilder who shares the record of eight straight wins as Mr. Olympia. He also holds the record for most wins as an IFBB professional with 26 wins. Coleman graduated Cum Laude from Grambling State University with a degree in accounting.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: youngest Mr. Universe at age 20, then won Mr. Olympia seven times
Before becoming a famous actor and a controversial politician, Schwarzenegger was considered to be one of the greatest and most influential names in the field of body building to this day. Schwarzenegger began weight-training at 15 and became the youngest Mr. Universe at age 20 and going on to win Mr. Olympia a total of seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, and has written several books and numerous articles on the sport.
Lou Ferrigno: the Incredible Hulk
Known for being long time bodybuilding rival of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the original Hulk on the TV show, Lou Ferrigno was also a deputy sheriff. After graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1969, Ferrigno won his first major titles, IFBB Mr. America and Mr. Universe, four years later. In 1974, he came in second on his first attempt at the Mr. Olympia competition. He then came third the following year, and his attempt to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger was the subject of the 1975 documentary Pumping Iron. Following this, Ferrigno left the competition circuit for many years, and went for his acting career.
Johnnie O. Jackson: notable powerlifter
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Lights went out at tourism landmarks and homes across the globe on Saturday for Earth Hour 2009, a global event designed to highlight the threat from climate change.
From the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and London's Houses of Parliament, lights were dimmed as part of a campaign to encourage people to cut energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
Organizers said the action showed millions of people wanted governments to work out a strong new U.N. deal to fight global warming by the end of 2009, even though the global economic crisis has raised worries about the costs.
"We have been dreaming of a new climate deal for a long time," Kim Carstensen, head of a global climate initiative at the conservation group WWF, said in a candle-lit bar in the German city of Bonn, which hosts U.N. climate talks between March 29 and April 8.
"Now we're no longer so alone with our dream. We're sharing it with all these people switching off their lights," he said as delegates and activists sipped bluish cocktails.
The U.N. Climate Panel says greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet and will lead to more floods, droughts, heatwaves, rising sea levels and animal and plant extinctions.
World emissions have risen by about 70 percent since the 1970s. China has recently overtaken the United States as the top emitter, ahead of the European Union, Russia and India.
BILLION PEOPLE TAKE PART
The U.N. Climate Panel says rich nations will have to cut their emissions to a level between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst effects of warming. Developing nations will also have to slow the rise of their emissions by 2020, it says.
Australia first held Earth Hour in 2007 and it went global in 2008, attracting 50 million people, organizers say. WWF, which started the event, is hoping one billion people from nearly 90 countries will take part.
"The primary reason we do it is because we want people to think, even if it is for an hour, what they can do to lower their carbon footprint, and ideally take that beyond the hour," Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley told reporters at Sydney's Bondi Beach.
In Asia, lights at landmarks in China, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines were dimmed as people celebrated with candle-lit picnics and concerts.
Buildings in Singapore's business district went dark along with major landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, a giant observation wheel.
Other global landmarks that switched off their lights included the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Reserve Bank in Mumbai, the dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Egypt's Great Pyramids and the Acropolis in Athens.
(Reporting by Reuters bureau; Writing by Jon Boyle)
Evolutionary theorist Alastair Clarke has published details of eight patterns he claims to be the basis of all the humour that has ever been imagined or expressed, regardless of civilization, culture or personal taste.
Clarke has stated before that humour is based on the surprise recognition of patterns but this is the first time he has identified the precise nature of the patterns involved, addressing the deceptively simple unit and context relationships at their foundation.
His research goes on to demonstrate the universality of the theory by showing how these few basic patterns are recognized in more than a hundred different types of humour.
Clarke explains: "One of the most beautiful things about the theory is that, while denying all previous theories, it also unites them for the first time. For decades researchers have concentrated on limited areas of humour and have each argued for causality based on their specific interest. Now that we have pattern recognition theory, all previous explanations are accommodated by a single over-arching concept present in all of them.
"The eight patterns divide into two main categories. The first four are patterns of fidelity, by which we recognize the repetition of units within the same context, and the second four are patterns of magnitude, by which we recognize the same unit repeated in multiple contexts.
"What this all means is that the basic faculty of pattern recognition equips us to compare multiple units for their appropriateness within a certain context, effectively selecting the best tool for the job, and then to apply our chosen unit to as wide a range of contexts as possible, effectively discovering the largest number of jobs that tool is good for.
"Basically humour is all about information processing, accelerating faculties that enable us to analyse and then manipulate incoming data."
Clarke lists the patterns that are active in humour as positive repetition, division, completion, translation, applicative and qualitative recontextualization, opposition and scale.
"Some are more intuitive than others," he admits.
"The most basic, positive repetition, simply means that the unit is repeated in a similar form with the same purpose. As with all patterns, the repeated unit can be composed of any information available to the human brain, whether an entity, action or property. Then there's opposition, in which we take the unit and turn it against itself, such as can be seen in a mirror image or if we turn an arrow back to point in the other direction, producing a pattern of symmetry. However, while all the patterns are relatively simple in structure the activity of some forms of translation and recontextualization can seem counter-intuitive at first sight.
"In instances of humour these patterns may be recognized individually or in any possible combination of the eight. Most instances are founded on one or two, although theoretically there is no limit to the number of patterns a person has recognized when they find something funny. Pattern recognition remains a subjective matter, just like any other perception."
Details of the patterns and how they relate to more than a hundred forms of humour are published in 'The Eight Patterns Of Humour', which is also available as a free eBook from the publisher's website at www.pyrrhichouse.co.uk/eightpatterns for a period of 30 days.
"The patterns reflect vitally important cognitive frameworks. Those of fidelity provide us with a basic arithmetical toolkit, while those of magnitude provide everything required to develop syntactical systems. Pattern recognition is in many ways pattern cognition, since the promotion of patterns through the reward systems associated with humour has massively accelerated humankind's ability to order and manipulate multiple units for multiple uses. Put like that, there are few better ways to express human ingenuity and adaptability."
This publication is one of several within a series regarding Clarke's Pattern Recognition Theory Of Humour, which posits the fundamental role humour has played in the development of the intellectual and perceptual capacities of the species.
The theory is based on extensive observation and analysis. "While countless thousands of instances were informally considered over the years, ten thousand specific instances were analysed in a single document known as 'The Humour Ten Thousand'."
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an "international treasure," is expected to rule within weeks that the salvaged items must remain together and accessible to the public. That would ensure the 5,900 pieces of china, ship fittings and personal belongings won't end up in a collector's hands or in a London auction house, where some Titanic artifacts have landed.
The judgment could also end the legal tussle that began when a team of deep-sea explorers found the world's most famous shipwreck in 1985.
The salvage company, RMS Titanic Inc., wants the court to grant it limited ownership of the artifacts.
At the same time, a cadre of government lawyers is helping Smith shape covenants to strictly monitor future activity at the Titanic wreck 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. Amid evidence of the ship's deterioration, experts and government lawyers say the sanctity of the Titanic must be properly protected as a memorial to the 1,522 people who died when it went down.
"For the most part, the value of Titanic is its history — and not from some pile of gold, silver and jewels," said Ole Varmer, an attorney in the international law office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose office has developed guidelines for the Titanic.
Because the Titanic sank in international waters on April 15, 1912, and the ship's owners are long gone, the wreck site and its artifacts have been subject to competing legal claims since an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard found it 24 years ago. The courtroom survivor is RMS Titanic Inc., also known as RMST, which gathered the artifacts during six dives. Courts have declared it salvor-in-possession — meaning it has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic — but have explicitly stated it does not own the 5,900 artifacts or the wreck itself.
RMST is a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions Inc., an Atlanta company that bills itself as "a major provider of museum-quality touring exhibitions." Its offerings include sports memorabilia, a traveling Star Trek homage and "Bodies," an anatomy exhibit featuring preserved human cadavers.
RMST conducts traveling displays of the Titanic artifacts, which the company says have been viewed by 33 million people worldwide.
Last month, RMST underwent a shakeup of its board and saw its director resign over the company's poor financial performance, according to Premier Exhibitions filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and statements by dissident shareholders. Smith had expressed concerns before the board shakeup about RMST's ability to continue properly managing the collection, considering the company's financial situation.
No one familiar with the case or the artifacts has questioned RMST's handling of them.
RMST is seeking limited ownership of the artifacts as compensation for its salvage efforts. In its court filing for a salvage award, the company put the fair market value of the collection at $110.9 million. The same filing states that RMST's costs associated with the recovery and conservation of the artifacts have exceeded revenues from their display.
If the court agrees to RMST's request, the company could sell the entire collection to a museum with court approval.
Robert W. McFarland, an attorney for RMST, declined to comment before Smith rules.
Smith is drawing upon the State Department and NOAA to help craft the covenants to keep the artifacts preserved, intact as a collection and available to the public, and to guide future salvage operations at the Titanic wreck by RMST. At a hearing in November, the no-nonsense judge made clear the stakes.
"I am concerned that the Titanic is not only a national treasure, but in its own way an international treasure, and it needs protection and it needs to be monitored," the judge told lawyers in the case.
Congress has expressed its interest in preserving the Titanic as a memorial. U.S. lawmakers have not, however, implemented an agreement with the United Kingdom, which has already embraced a ban on unregulated salvage of the wreck.
J. Ashley Roach, a retired State Department lawyer who worked on the Titanic case, said the Titanic is the first major shipwreck in international waters to receive such close scrutiny.
"You have a domestic court and now the branches of government working together to make sure the wreck itself continues to be available in the future for the public good," he said.
International protections have been sought for the Titanic almost since the wreck was discovered. Ballard, who led the team that found the ship, told a congressional hearing in October 1985:
"Titanic is like a great pyramid which has been found and mankind is about to enter it for the first time since it was sealed. Has he come to plunder or appreciate? The people of the world clearly want the latter."
By STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press Writer
Malware creators love to target April Fool's Day with their wares, and the latest worm, called Conficker C, could be one of the most damaging attacks we've seen in years.
Conficker first bubbled up in late 2008 and began making headlines in January as known infections topped 9 million computers. Now in its third variant, Conficker C, the worm has grown incredibly complicated, powerful, and virulent... though no one is quite sure exactly what it will do when D-Day arrives.
Thanks in part to a quarter-million-dollar bounty on the head of the writer of the worm, offered by Microsoft, security researchers are aggressively digging into the worm's code as they attempt to engineer a cure or find the writer before the deadline. What's known so far is that on April 1, all infected computers will come under the control of a master machine located somewhere across the web, at which point anything's possible. Will the zombie machines become denial of service attack pawns, steal personal information, wipe hard drives, or simply manifest more traditional malware pop-ups and extortion-like come-ons designed to sell you phony security software? No one knows.
Conficker is clever in the way it hides its tracks because it uses an enormous number of URLs to communicate with HQ. The first version of Conficker used just 250 addresses each day -- which security researchers and ICANN simply bought and/or disabled -- but Conficker C will up the ante to 50,000 addresses a day when it goes active, a number which simply can't be tracked and disabled by hand.
At this point, you should be extra vigilant about protecting your PC: Patch Windows completely through Windows Update and update your anti-malware software as well. Make sure your antivirus software is actually running too, as Conficker may have disabled it.
Microsoft also offers a free online safety scan here, which should be able to detect all Conficker versions.
Despite the tumor and his age, the man is in very good health, thanks to his love of Kung Fu, which he has practiced since he was a child.
He uses his weight lifting skills to train and earn money on the street.
Airfares hit the roof last year as fuel prices skyrocketed. But this year, fuel prices plunged and passenger demand dropped in a recessionary economy, so now carriers are rolling out deep discounts to try and fill planes.
Tom Parsons, Chief Executive of air fare comparison site Bestfares.com calls the discounts "distress airfare sales."
"Right now, the airlines have to cater to the people who want to fly cheap, which is their worst nightmare," he said.
The Air Transport Association of America, the industry trade group, said the average domestic fare for major U.S.-based airlines dropped 15 percent in February, compared with June, 2008, when fares hit a seven-year peak in tandem with record-high fuel prices.
But the lower prices haven't bolstered business. On Friday, the ATA said revenue from domestic and international passengers plunged 19 percent in February, compared with the same month in 2008.
"The sharp decline in spending by passengers and shippers demonstrates how the global recession is taking an increasing toll on the traveling public," said ATA chief economist John Heimlich, in a prepared statement.
This recessionary trend has been going on since last year. On Thursday, the Commerce Department said that travel and tourism prices fell 16 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Spending on travel and tourism dropped even more sharply, by 22 percent, during that same period, demonstrating that many Americans are unwilling or unable to take advantage of declining prices.
Southwest Airlines, a discount carrier, is among the most aggressive in offering low-cost flights. Last week, the domestic airline launched a round of deals between cities all over America, including $39 one-way flights (not including taxes and fees) connecting Houston to other Texas cities like San Antonio and Austin, as well as other connections, like Oklahoma City to Jacksonville, Fla. Southwest also offers connecting major hubs, like $49 for a one-way flight between Chicago and Detroit.
"We've said, in our last earnings, that we are seeing a softer travel demand," said Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King. "In order to stimulate that and get more people on board, we are offering these great deals to get out of town."
There are certain restrictions, like the 21-day advance purchase requirement, with no flying on relatively high demand days like Friday and Sunday.
In an even more direct sign of the times, discount airline JetBlue is offering a "promise program," providing a full refund to any passenger suffering an involuntary job loss prior to their trip. On Tuesday, the airline said it was expanding the program to include its "getaways" vacation packages. The refund applies to flights booked between Feb. 1 and June 1, 2008.
JetBlue is also offering a "buy two, get one free" deal for flights between Boston and the West Coast.
Not just discounters
Legacy carriers have also gotten in on the act. US Airways is offering three-day sales of $39 one-way flights between Las Vegas and Los Angeles or Orange County, and $59 fares from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Delta Air Lines is offering $39 one-way flights between Chicago and Minneapolis, and between Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., or Charleston, S.C.
"This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy tickets for air travel," said Rick Seaney, Chief Executive of Farecompare.com, noting that lower fuel prices have helped the airlines survive despite plunging demand from the recession.
"The craziest [deals] are coast-to-coast," said Seaney. "The Holy Grail of air travel is $99 coast-to-coast, and we've seen lots of deals for $99 or less."
The best deals of all
Seaney said that flexibility is key for thrifty air travelers. Those willing to travel on off-peak days like Tuesday and Wednesday have the best chance of finding the best deals, and those willing to incorporate travel packages will find the greatest deals of all.
"This is the first time ever that I've had two [hotel] nights free and a $200 gift card," said Seaney, who had just gotten back to Dallas from a family trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. "It's the cheapest experience I've ever had at Disney."
Some of the greatest deals are for overseas travel, said Parsons of Bestfares.com, especially for transatlantic trips to Ireland, which has some of the lowest fuel surcharges in Europe. Parsons said he found $315 round-trip air fares between New York City and Dublin for April and May, including all taxes and fees, as well as a $390 flight connecting Dublin to San Francisco.
"This exceeds my expectations," said Parsons. "The leisure traveler and the business traveler are sitting in the pilot seat."
/Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Victims cautiously welcomed the move, nearly 50 years after France conducted its first atomic tests. But they say it's still too stingy, and is only a first step toward healing wounds left by explosions that sent blinding white flashes cascading over French Polynesia and the Sahara Desert.
The French government will set aside some euro10 million ($13.5 million) for the compensation for the first year, Morin said. The U.S. government, by comparison, has approved more than $1.38 billion in compensation to victims of nuclear tests since the enactment of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in 1990.
French army veteran Pierre Leroy recalled being present when a nuclear test explosion blasted through its containment structure and sent a radioactive cloud over the Sahara in 1962.
"We were 19, 20 years old. They told us, 'There are no risks, it's not dangerous,'" he said. "There were no precautions."
He described being worn down by years of subsequent government denials of negligence and refusals to compensate victims.
"We're not asking for the moon," Leroy said.
Some 150,000 people, including civilian and military personnel, were on site for the 210 tests France carried out, both in the atmosphere and underground, in the Sahara Desert and the South Pacific from 1960-1996.
But Morin said only a few hundred were likely to be eligible for compensation, which would be decided on a case-by-case basis and granted only to those who suffered health problems related to the tests.
The bill will be presented in the coming months to parliament, and while it is likely to pass, victims' groups are pushing to add amendments to broaden the number of people eligible.
Descendants of victims who have since died would be entitled to apply for payouts, Morin said.
Morin said anyone with health problems who resided near the test sites would be eligible to seek payouts under the bill — including Algerians, whose country won independence from France in 1962, after the nuclear test program had started.
Algerian officials and activists hoped the move would encourage broader atonement and reparation — but held back praise while waiting to see the fine print of the draft law.
Abderahmane Laksassi, the head of Algeria's test victims association, called it "a good first step." He estimated that some 10,000 people have suffered disease or material losses because of the tests — including tribes of nomads whose herds could have been exposed for years.
Morin defended the need for the tests at the time when France was building up its nuclear arsenal during the Cold War.
These tests "allowed us to obtain an independent force of dissuasion, guaranteeing the protection of our vital interests and allowing us to be a power respected in the world alongside the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council," Morin said.
All five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council possess nuclear arsenals: the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China.
In Britain, no formal government compensation program exists. Nearly 1,000 veterans of Christmas Island nuclear tests in the 1950s are seeking to sue Ministry of Defense for negligence, saying they were warned of potential dangers only after the experiments. Lawyers for the servicemen say the ministry argues the case should be dropped because too much time has passed.
Veterans of nuclear tests say time should not be an issue, and note they have been demanding compensation for decades.
Leroy warned that the "case-by-case" study could work against the victims.
"They are going to see if people smoke, and they will say, 'OK, you have lung cancer, it's because you smoke. Your liver hurts? It's because you drank,'" he said.
France tested its first atomic bomb on Feb. 13, 1960, in the Algerian Sahara. Most French nuclear tests — a total of 123 — were detonated in the volcanic rock beneath Mururoa Atoll southeast of Tahiti. France halted atmospheric testing in 1974, and performed its last underground blasts at Mururoa in 1996.
As recently as 2003, then-President Jacques Chirac said during a visit to Tahiti that tests had shown no ill effects to health from France's nuclear detonations in Polynesia.
Designer: Julien Bergignat