Archive for June, 2008

guidelines

Saturday, June 28, 2008

 

Dyatlov Pass Accident

‘The Dyatlov Pass Accident refers to an incident that resulted in the death of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains. The incident happened on the night of February 2, 1959 on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl (Холат Сяхл) (a Mansi name, meaning Mountain of the Dead). The mountain pass (N61°45’17″, E59°27’46″) where the accident occurred has been named Dyatlov Pass (Перевал Дятлова) after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov (Игорь Дятлов).

The mysterious circumstances of the hikers’ deaths have inspired much speculation. Investigations of the deaths suggest that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow; while the corpses show no signs of struggle, one victim had a fractured skull, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. The victims’ clothing contained high levels of radiation. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths, barring entry to the area for years thereafter. The causes of the accident remain unclear.’


faq

Hospital sued for parting lesbian couple

‘A Washington woman said she filed a federal lawsuit accusing a Miami hospital of “anti-gay animus” after workers refused to let her see her dying partner.

Janice Langbehn and her partner Lisa Marie Pond, both aged 39, intended to enjoy a vacation cruise with three of their four children, marking the women’s 18 years as a couple in February 2007, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.

The trip abruptly ended when Pond had a massive stroke as the ship was preparing to leave port, the newspaper said.

She was taken to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Langbehn said workers would not let her see her ailing partner.

A social worker allegedly said the couple was in an “anti-gay city and state.”‘


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Martian soil appears able to support life

‘”Flabbergasted” NASA scientists said on Thursday that Martian soil appeared to contain the requirements to support life, although more work would be needed to prove it.

Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which has already found ice on the planet, said preliminary analysis by the lander’s instruments on a sample of soil scooped up by the spacecraft’s robotic arm had shown it to be much more alkaline than expected.

“We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past present or future,” Sam Kounaves, the lead investigator for the wet chemistry laboratory on Phoenix, told journalists.

“It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. … It is very exciting for us.”‘


Man dressed as penis disrupts graduation

‘A 19-year-old man dressed as a penis was arrested for disturbing a high school graduation today at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Calvin Morett of 337 Pyramid Pine Estates allegedly interrupted the Saratoga Springs High School graduation by marching across SPAC’s stage in an inflatable 6-foot penis costume while diplomas were being given out, Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. Sean Briscoe said.

Morett purchased the full-body costume and sprayed parts of the 5,000 people in the crowd with Silly String, Briscoe said.

His motive? “He thought it would be funny,” Briscoe said. [..]

“Once I stopped laughing, he was pretty easy to catch because he was tripping on the lower portion of the costume,” said Briscoe, who made the arrest.’


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Broken Skateboard Has Last Laugh

That looks fairly painful. That’ll teach him I s’pose.

(1.0meg Flash video)

see it here »


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Friday, June 27, 2008

 

School locked down after ‘ninja’ sighted in woods

‘It’s the case of the nonexistent ninja. Public schools in Barnegat were locked down briefly after someone reported seeing a ninja running through the woods behind an elementary school.

Turns out the ninja was actually a camp counselor dressed in black karate garb and carrying a plastic sword.

Police tell the Asbury Park Press the man was late to a costume-themed day at a nearby middle school.’


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

 

Scientists: It Once Rained on Mars

‘Drizzle once fell on Martian soil, according to a new geochemical analysis by Berkeley scientists, though the rain probably stopped several billion years ago.

Drawing on soil data from the five missions to Mars before the current Phoenix Lander and comparing it to information collected in Earth’s driest places, the scientists concluded that water must have fallen from above, not welled up from below, as has been thought. [..]

Amundson’s key observation is that Martian soil has a layer of sulfates sitting on top of chlorides. That’s a pattern consistent with water moving downward from the atmosphere to the regolith in places on Earth.

Though he can’t say for sure whether the precipitation on Mars fell as snow, sleet or rain, the evidence of reacting with rocks suggests that the water was liquid on the ground.’


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

 

When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws

‘Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators. [..]

“It’s surprising enough to find a frog with claws,” says Blackburn, a doctoral student in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. “The fact that those claws work by cutting through the skin of the frogs’ feet is even more astonishing. These are the only vertebrate claws known to pierce their way to functionality.”

“Most vertebrates do a much better job of keeping their skeletons inside,” he adds.

Blackburn first became aware of the clawed frogs while conducting fieldwork in the central African nation of Cameroon. When he picked up one of the hulking fist-sized frogs, it flailed its hind legs violently, scratching him and drawing blood.’


Diamonds on Demand

‘I’m sitting in a fast-food restaurant outside Boston that, because of a nondisclosure agreement I had to sign, I am not allowed to name. I’m waiting to visit Apollo Diamond, a company about as secretive as a Soviet-era spy agency. Its address isn’t published. The public relations staff wouldn’t give me directions. Instead, an Apollo representative picks me up at this exurban strip mall and drives me in her black luxury car whose make I am not allowed to name along roads that I am not allowed to describe as twisty, not that they necessarily were.

“This is a virtual diamond mine,” says Apollo CEO Bryant Linares when I arrive at the company’s secret location, where diamonds are made. “If we were in Africa, we’d have barbed wire, security guards and watch towers. We can’t do that in Massachusetts.” Apollo’s directors worry about theft, corporate spies and their own safety. When Linares was at a diamond conference a few years ago, he says, a man he declines to describe slipped behind him as he was walking out of a hotel meeting room and said someone from a natural diamond company just might put a bullet in his head. “It was a scary moment,” Linares recalls.’


Director Kevin Smith Remembers George Carlin

‘They say you should never meet your heroes. I’ve found this a good rule to live by, but as with any rule, there’s always an exception.

My first exposure to George Carlin was in 1982, when HBO aired his “Carlin at Carnegie” stand-up special. When I saw the advert—featuring a clip of Carlin talking about the clichéd criminal warning of “Don’t try anything funny,” and then adding, “When they’re not looking, I like to go …,” followed by a brief explosion of goofy expressions and pantomime—I immediately asked my parents if I could tape it on our new BetaMax video recorder.

That was a hilarious bit. But when I finally watched the special, Carlin blew my doors off. Whether he was spinning a yarn about Tippy, his farting dog, or analyzing the contents of his fridge, Carlin expressed himself not only humorously, but amazingly eloquently as well. I was, as they say, in stitches.’


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Sports bra saves US hiker in German Alps

‘An American hiker stranded in the Bavarian Alps for nearly three days was rescued after using her sports bra as a signal, police in southern Germany said Monday.

Berchtesgaden police officer Lorenz Rasp said that he helped lift 24-year-old Jessica Bruinsma of Colorado state to safety by helicopter on Thursday after she attracted the attention of lumberjacks by attaching her sports bra to a cable used to move timber down the mountain.

“She’s a very smart girl, and she acted very resourcefully,” said Rasp. “She kept her shirt and jacket for warmth, but thought the sports bra could work as a signal.”‘


guidelines

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

 

Study shows that chronic grief activates pleasure areas of the brain

‘Grief is universal, and most of us will probably experience the pain grief brings at some point in our lives, usually with the death of a loved one. In time, we move on, accepting the loss.

But for a substantial minority, it’s impossible to let go, and even years later, any reminder of their loss — a picture, a memory — brings on a fresh wave of grief and yearning. The question is, why? Why do some grieve and ultimately adapt, while others can’t get over the loss of someone held dear?

Reporting in the journal NeuroImage, scientists at UCLA suggest that such long-term or “complicated” grief activates neurons in the reward centers of the brain, possibly giving these memories addiction-like properties [..]‘


Monday, June 23, 2008

 

NASA Plans To Visit The Sun

‘For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there.

“We are going to visit a living, breathing star for the first time,” says program scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA Headquarters. “This is an unexplored region of the solar system and the possibilities for discovery are off the charts.”

The name of the mission is Solar Probe+ (pronounced “Solar Probe plus”). It’s a heat-resistant spacecraft designed to plunge deep into the sun’s atmosphere where it can sample solar wind and magnetism first hand. Launch could happen as early as 2015. By the time the mission ends 7 years later, planners believe Solar Probe+ will solve two great mysteries of astrophysics and make many new discoveries along the way.

[..] “To solve these mysteries, Solar Probe+ will actually enter the corona,” says Guhathakurta. “That’s where the action is.”‘


faq

Saturday, June 21, 2008

 

Is There Ice On Mars? Apparently So

‘NASA spent $420 million to send the Phoenix Lander to Mars last year. Festooned with state-of-the-art detection equipment, the rover’s task was to scour the red surface in search of elusive Martian ice. And today, the NASA mission finally did uncover some extraterrestrial frost, and it did it with its simplest tool, a shovel.

The rover was digging a trench nicknamed Dodo-Goldilocks with its robotic arm when it hit some hard, refelective material. The scientists back on Earth who control Phoenix halted the digging, and spent the next couple of days taking photographs of the hole, trying to figure out what they were looking at in the ditch. Was the whitish material a kind of salt? But over those days of photography and scrutiny, something interesting happened to the marble-sized chunks. They evaporated. Long entombed beneath the iron-oxide surface of the red planet, the substance turns out to be part of a frozen layer of water just below the ground covered by Phoenix.’


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Thursday, June 19, 2008

 

Optical illusions used as virtual speed humps

‘Optical illusions are to be painted onto city streets in the United States in an effort to slow traffic.

The images will appear as 3D barriers to oncoming motorists, although the road is completely flat.

The fake speed humps are being installed at 100 junctions around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as part of a campaign against aggressive driving.

“The goal is to change the mindset,” said Philadelphia’s chief traffic engineer Charles Denny.

“The driver sees this in the roadway, and they think that it’s some protrusion up out of the roadway, and not a perfectly flat surface. So they slow down before they drive over it.”‘


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

 

Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab

‘A major evolutionary innovation has unfurled right in front of researchers’ eyes. It’s the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait.

And because the species in question is a bacterium, scientists have been able to replay history to show how this evolutionary novelty grew from the accumulation of unpredictable, chance events. [..]

But sometime around the 31,500th generation, something dramatic happened in just one of the populations – the bacteria suddenly acquired the ability to metabolise citrate, a second nutrient in their culture medium that E. coli normally cannot use.

Indeed, the inability to use citrate is one of the traits by which bacteriologists distinguish E. coli from other species. The citrate-using mutants increased in population size and diversity.’


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Japanese scientists create diesel-producing algae

‘Under the gleam of blinding lamps, engulfed by banks of angrily frothing flasks, Makoto Watanabe is plotting a slimy, lurid-green revolution. He has spent his life in search of a species of algae that efficiently “sweats” crude oil, and has finally found it.

Now, exploiting the previously unrecognised power of pondlife, Professor Watanabe dreams of transforming Japan from a voracious energy importer into an oil-exporting nation to rival any member of Opec. [..]

Professor Watanabe’s vision arises from the extraordinary properties of the Botryococcus braunii algae: give the microscopic green strands enough light – and plenty of carbon dioxide – and they excrete oil. The tiny globules of oil that form on the surface of the algae can be easily harvested and then refined using the same “cracking” technologies with which the oil industry now converts crude into everything from jet fuel to plastics.’


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Beatboxing Parrot

(1.0meg Flash video)

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Most complex crop circle ever discovered in British fields

‘The most complex, “mind-boggling” crop circle ever to be seen in Britain has been discovered in a barley field in Wiltshire.

The formation, measuring 150ft in diameter, is apparently a coded image representing the first 10 digits, 3.141592654, of pi.

It is has appeared in a field near Barbury Castle, an iron-age hill fort above Wroughton, Wilts, and has been described by astrophysicists as “mind-boggling”.

Michael Reed, an astrophysicist, said: “The tenth digit has even been correctly rounded up. The little dot near the centre is the decimal point. [..]‘


Study indicates grape seed extract may reduce cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease

‘A compound found in grape seed extract reduces plaque formation and resulting cognitive impairment in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, new research shows. The study appears in the June 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Lead study author Giulio Pasinetti, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues found that the grape seed extract prevents amyloid beta accumulation in cells, suggesting that it may block the formation of plaques. In Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid beta accumulates to form toxic plaques that disrupt normal brain function. [..]

Moderate consumption of red wine—approximately one glass for women and two glasses for men, according to the Food and Drug Administration—and its constituent grape compounds has reported health benefits, particularly for cardiovascular function. Pasinetti previously found that red wine reduced cognitive decline in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease. In subsequent studies, Pasinetti and colleagues have attempted to isolate which of the nearly 5,000 molecules contained in red wine are important in disease prevention. “Our intent is to develop a highly tolerable, nontoxic, orally available treatment for the prevention and treatment of Alzeheimer’s dementia,” Pasinetti said.’


Monday, June 16, 2008

 

Officer kills man who beat child to death

‘Police killed a 27-year-old man as he kicked, punched and stomped a toddler to death despite other people’s attempts to stop him on a dark, country road, authorities said.

Investigators on Sunday were trying to establish the relationship between the suspect and the child they say he killed Saturday night. The Stanislaus County coroner said the boy appeared to be between 1 and 2 years old based on his size, according to county sheriff’s deputy Royjindar Singh.

“It’s been a long night of wondering, ‘Why?’ — not only for the officers and the passers-by who stopped and tried to help out, but for anyone. Why would somebody do this?” Singh said.

Singh said the coroner does not plan to confirm the identities of the suspect and victim until Monday. Because his injuries were so severe, the child will have to be identified through a blood or DNA test, he said.’


Walt Bayes: Schools need separate bathrooms for gay students

‘Homosexual and heterosexual students should have separate bathrooms and showers in Idaho schools, a Wilder Republican running for the Idaho House said Friday.

Walt Bayes, who gained notoriety two years ago by going on an anti-abortion hunger strike that lasted 59 days, said he wasn’t sure how the issue could be handled other than providing different facilities for gay and straight students in schools.

The topic came up after Bayes mentioned it in his campaign literature, where he wrote, “It is absolutely wrong to force any student to share the same bathrooms and showers with homosexual teachers or students.”‘


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Miracle baby born twice

‘t may sound unusual, but Macie Hope McCartney was born twice. The baby, who is now one month old, was returned to the womb after surgery, only to have a second arrival 2 months later, reports the MSNBC news channel.

Keri McCartney was 23 weeks into pregnancy when an ultrasound scan revealed the foetus had a noncancerous tumour. It was the size of a grapefruit – and almost as big as the foetus itself.

Normally a tumour like this remains small and can be treated after birth, but this was not the case for little Macie Hope. It grew rapidly and was threatening the baby’s life as it was stealing nourishment from the foetus. Surgery was the only option.

Doctors put Keri into deep anesthesia to completely relax her womb and extracted about 80 percent of Macie Hope’s body – leaving only the head and upper body in the womb. Then they quickly removed the tumour and put the foetus back, since exposure to air could provoke a cardiac arrest. This part of the four-hour-long procedure lasted about 20 minutes.’


guidelines

Suspicious incident on-board MBTA bus resolved

‘Transit police have identified the man seen with a young girl on-board a bus at Sullivan Station Sunday night.

Officers have met with both the young girl, and the family member who was with her on the bus.

A passenger noticed a man holding the child’s hand. That passenger says she overheard the girl say she was hungry, and the man told her to “Please be quiet.”

T police say there was no criminal conduct. They consider the case closed.’


i need to find a bigger brand of condoms

‘even the magnums are too small for me, is there anywhere you can order bigger ones on line? they fit great on the shaft but it is way too tight around my ball sack and it squeezes my balls which is very uncomfortable.’


faq

Thursday, June 12, 2008

 

Long-Tailed Macaques Spotted Catching Fish

‘Long-tailed macaques eat mostly fruit — but when resources are scarce, they’ve been known to get creative with their cuisine. When living near humans, they raid gardens and learn to beg for food. Sometimes they even steal food from inside houses.

Now, for the first time, scientists have observed long-tailed macaques fishing with their bare hands. [..]

The macaques’ eyes scanned the water. After about three minutes, one of the macaques reached into the river. With her bare hands, she pulled out a fish and quickly ate it. Other macaques watched her — and one even tried unsuccessfully to catch a fish herself.

“Clearly it may raise the question of whether there is some sort of learning going on,” says Meijaard. “If perhaps a couple of generations back, one primate caught a fish and it was subsequently copied.”’


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Judge Presiding Over Obscenity Trial Posts Sexual Images Online

‘The chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posted sexually explicit photos and videos on a Web site he maintained that he has now blocked to the public, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday on its Web site.

The revelation about Judge Alex Kozinski came as opening statements were under way in an obscenity trial he is presiding over in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Kozinski, 57, told the Times that he thought the material on his Web site, which included a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, couldn’t be seen by the public. He took the site down and said he didn’t believe any of the images were obscene.

“Is it prurient? I don’t know what to tell you,” he told the newspaper. “I think it’s odd and interesting. It’s part of life.”‘


Ovulation moment caught on camera

‘A human egg has been filmed in close-up emerging from the ovary for the first time, captured by chance during a routine operation.

Fertile women release one or more eggs every month, but until now, only animal ovulation has been recorded in detail.

Gynaecologist Dr Jacques Donnez spotted it in progress during a hysterectomy.

The pictures, published in New Scientist magazine, were described as “fascinating” by a UK fertility specialist.

Human eggs are produced by follicles, fluid-filled sacs on the side of the ovary, which, around the time of ovulation, produce a reddish protrusion seen in the pictures.’


suggest

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

 

Rum the remedy for snake bite on penis

‘A man bitten on the penis by a deadly snake has told how he used a cold rum can to soothe the pain while he rang his mother to say a final goodbye.

“I thought I was gone,” Daryl Zutt said of his now notorious encounter with a brown snake during a roadside toilet stop in remote far north Queensland, The Cairns Post reported.

“I thought, ‘Maybe, this is it. Maybe, I’m gonna cark it’.”

The Cairns Post revealed details of the bizarre encounter two weeks ago but the identity of the victim remained unknown until Mr Zutt came forward to tell how the brown snake took a near-fatal swipe as he relieved himself.

“I squatted down … I reckon I must’ve nearly sat on his head,” he said.

“As soon as I felt it, I yelled.

“It really hurt. [..]‘

Followup to Deadly snake bites man’s penis.


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Kid Knocks Himself Out Tossing Log

‘He’s dead! Motherfucker!’

(4.0meg Flash video)

see it here »


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