Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finally An End To The Obnoxious Car Warranty Robo-call Scam?

Finally An End To The Obnoxious Car Warranty Robo-call Scam?: "An U.S. federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday shutting down a telemarketing campaign that made hundreds of millions of alleged deceptive “robocalls” promoting vehicle warranty contracts."

Mulheres na Pintura - Women in Painting

Repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope

The Frame: Repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope: "Atlantis' astronauts headed out for another spacewalk Friday, this time to give the Hubble Space Telescope some new, badly needed gyroscopes and batteries. Replacing Hubble's gyroscopes is the top priority for this final repair mission to the 19-year-old observatory. The gyroscopes are part of the telescope pointing system, and half of the old ones are broken."

Can Happiness Be Inherited?

Can Happiness Be Inherited?: "Dr. Halabe Bucay suggests that a wide range of chemicals that our brain generates when we are in different moods could affect 'germ cells' (eggs and sperm), the cells that ultimately produce the next generation. Such natural chemicals could affect the way that specific genes are expressed in the germ cells, and hence how a child develops.

In his article in the latest issue of Bioscience Hypotheses, Dr Alberto Halabe Bucay of Research Center Halabe and Darwich, Mexico, suggested that the hormones and chemicals resulting from happiness, depression and other mental states can affect our eggs and sperm, resulting in lasting changes in our children at the time of their conception."

50 essential sci-fi films

50 essential sci-fi films with Time Out Film - Time Out London: "With JJ Abrams's 'Star Trek' already making waves and McG's 'Terminator Salvation' peeking up over the horizon, Time Out thought it would be a perfect time to select 50 essential sci-fi films, some of them classics, some not so classic, but all need to be seen..."

Southern Yellowjacket Queen

Surfing for Seniors

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Social Networking - 1935

Body by what?

This poster is up in my daughter's school cafeteria.

The break of the curveball

The break of the curveball

Like a curveball, the spinning disks in the illusions appear to abruptly change direction when an observer switches from foveal to peripheral viewing.

Top 10 Great Cover Songs

Top 10 Great Cover Songs: "We are all in search of those few songs when the artist has perfected the lyrics, rhythm, and sound to bring us something special. Often this comes from a new twist on an old song. Whether it be in the studio, at a live concert, or amoungst friends, there are very few lead singers that have not covered their favorite tunes. In order to reach musical perfection all elements of a recording must align. In many of these selections the record pace was a bit slow or fast, the acoustics a little dry, or maybe one version just outshines another. One thing is constant and that is all of these songs have great lyrics and tell a vivid story. I have compiled a list of the Top 10 Greatest Cover Songs."

15 Amazing Castle Pictures

15 Amazing Castle Pictures: "There isn’t anything quite as mysterious and spectacular as an old castle. Many castles carry with them scars from histories most influential moments. In the Middle Ages rulers began building castles for protection. In a time of war, the castle was the strong hold for conquering nations. Many have been battered and left inhabitable, but it is difficult to completely destroy a well built castle. It is a fairly tale dream to live in a castle on a big hill overlooking the city. In modern times many contemporary castles are being built, but they are mainly used for hotels and entertainment. I have compiled a list of some of the most fascinating castles in the world."

You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat | GOOD:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To kill fire ants, turn them into headless zombies

To kill fire ants, turn them into headless zombies: "Some researchers in Texas are trying an unusual approach to combat fire ants — parasitic flies that turn the pesky insects into zombies whose heads fall off.

“It’s a tool. They’re not going to completely wipe out the fire ant, but it’s a way to control their population,” said Scott Ludwig, an integrated pest management specialist with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service in Overton, in East Texas.

The tool is the tiny phorid fly, native to a region of South America where the fire ants in Texas originated. Researchers have learned that as many as 23 phorid species along with pathogens attack fire ants to keep their population and movements under control.

So far, four phorid species have been introduced in Texas, where fire ants cost the economy about $1 billion annually by damaging circuit breakers and other electrical equipment, according to a Texas A&M study. They can also threaten young calves.

The flies “dive-bomb” the fire ants and lay eggs, and then the maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain. Later, the ant gets up and starts wandering for about two weeks, said Rob Plowes, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin."

Effing Hail - Game

5 Unethical Psych Experiments

5 Unethical Psych Experiments

The Enemies of Reason

Unveiling the "Sixth Sense"

Teenagers Are Becoming Increasingly Logical

Teenagers Are Becoming Increasingly Logical, Swedish Study Finds: "A research project at the University of Gothenburg has been testing large groups of 13-year-olds in Sweden since the early 1960s using the same intelligence test. The tests have taken place at approximately five year intervals and consist of an inductive-logic test, a verbal test and a spatial test."

The secret life of penguins revealed

The secret life of penguins revealed: "PARIS (AFP) – Famous for its cuteness and comic gait on land, the penguin also has an enigmatic life at sea, sometimes spending months foraging in the ocean before returning to its breeding grounds.

Zoologists have long wondered where the flightless seabird goes during these long spells away from land -- and now French scientists, in a study published in Wednesday, believe they can supply the answer.

A team from National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) attached monitoring devices to a dozen male and female macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) at the onset of winter on the French Indian Ocean territory of the Kerguelen Islands."

That Viral Thing: Awkward Family Photos

That Viral Thing: Awkward Family Photos - TIME: "It all started a month ago over lunch. Childhood friends Mike and Doug (who'd rather not divulge their last names) were swapping typically cringeworthy stories about their relatives when it dawned on them: there's something universal about the awkwardness of family. And, as Mike recalled thinking, 'What better way to show that than through the family photo, something everyone can relate to.' So the men trekked back to Mike's house and began Googling in earnest. 'Doug found the one with the family on the tree. That was it,' Mike wrote in an e-mail from his Los Angeles abode. 'It was so beautifully awkward ... That was the moment we realized there might be something here.' Thus, was born."

Bipolar Chihuahua

The Ten Most Revealing Psych Experiments

The Ten Most Revealing Psych Experiments: "Psychology is the study of the human mind and mental processes in relation to human behaviors - human nature. Due to its subject matter, psychology is not considered a 'hard' science, even though psychologists do experiment and publish their findings in respected journals. Some of the experiments psychologists have conducted over the years reveal things about the way we humans think and behave that we might not want to embrace, but which can at least help keep us humble. That's something."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Top 10 Forgotten Hatchbacks

Top 10 Forgotten Hatchbacks: "The annals of U.S. automobile history may be littered with the occasional hatchback success story, but for every Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Prius, there are dozens of failed three- and five-door hatches that, for whatever reason, fizzled out shortly after hitting the American market. In fact, this particular Top 10 list could easily have been fleshed out into a Top 20 if we had the patience, but cars like the Toyota FX, Plymouth Laser, and Nissan NX failed to meet our tough standards for relative obscurity, and thus they will have to be reserved for future lists."

The 75 Movies Every Man Should See

The 75 Movies Every Man Should See

Kick off's Movie Week with our unranked, incomplete, utterly biased list of the greatest films that have shaped American men. Find out how many you've watched, and add to your Netflix queue along the way."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Can a Golf Ball Covering Improve MPGs?

Can a Golf Ball Covering Improve MPGs? - Popular Mechanics: "The mounting pressure from legislators to improve fuel economy means automakers are sweating the details to eke out all the miles per gallon they can get. Every system on a new vehicle is optimized to return the best fuel economy, given the available technology and that vehicle's specific mission. So finding mpg improvements with simple devices from outside the vast engineering tech labs of the major automakers and suppliers is difficult."

10 Useless Human Body Parts

10 Useless Human Body Parts

The Remarkable Rita Levi-Montalcini

Webphemera: The Remarkable Rita Levi-Montalcini: "Late April saw the one hundredth birthday of a remarkable woman. As the oldest living recipient of a Nobel award, she still works every day and puts her remarkable longevity down to her own discovery – NGF (Nerve Growth Factor). So astonishing is her vitality at her centenary year that many have asked the question – does this woman have the secret of eternal life? Not only that, as a Jew her own life took many dramatic turns in the Europe of Hitler and Mussolini. It is a life which, if depicted in a movie, would have many people incredulous that the makers would think they could get away with something quite so unbelievable."

Living Rock: Massive Monuments Sculpted In Situ

Living Rock: Massive Monuments Sculpted In Situ: "Most buildings and sculptures are made out of stone which is quarried and then taken somewhere else to be carved or used in construction. However, some are created in situ and you can probably think of a few right now. Forget the usual suspects - these lesser known places where the sculpting took place on site, give us some of the most remarkable destinations in the world."

Fanciful Fads of the Fifties

Webphemera: Fanciful Fads of the Fifties: "They developed quickly and spread like wildfire. Some were gone within months and others are still around now. Here is a selection of the fulminant fads of the fifties."

SimMan 3G Patient Simulator Is One Creepy Way to Learn Medicine

SimMan 3G Patient Simulator Is One Creepy Way to Learn Medicine: "The SimMan 3G is a robot that can cry, bleed, convulse, go into cardiac arrest and do any number of other things that humans do when their bodies are malfunctioning. Also, it's super creepy looking.

This is one crazy robot. Here's just a partial list of features:"

Not creepier than a cadaver.

The Internet in 1969

Indian village with 250 sets of twins

Indian village with 250 sets of twins - Telegraph: "Baffled doctors are trying to unravel the mystery of an Indian village boasting more than 220 sets of twins born to just 2,000 families.

The phenomenon has seen almost six times as many twins born than the global average in the remote village of Kodinhi, in Kerala.

In 2008 alone 15 pairs of twins were born in the village out of 300 healthy deliveries and this year is expected to top that number.

In the last five years alone up to 60 pairs of twins have been born, with the rate of twins increasing year-on-year.

Local doctor and twin enthusiast Dr Krishnan Sribiju has been studying the medical marvel of Kodinhi for the past two years.

Although 250 sets of twins have been officially registered in the village Dr Sribiju believes the real number to be far higher."

World Beard and Moustache Championships

World Beard and Moustache Championships: "Every two years, the owners of the world's most elaborate facial hair come together for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. On May 23, 2009, the championships will return to the United States for the second time in their history, as the City of Anchorage, Alaska plays host to the world's bearded and moustached elite.

Best of all, everyone is invited to join the fun! Tickets are now on sale in three categories: General Admission, $20; VIP seating (sit with the contestants), $40; Special family pass (admits two adults and two children), $50. The entry fee for contestants is $40.

The championships feature competition in a variety of categories that include everything from the delicate Dali moustache to the outrageous full beard freestyle. The competitors appear before a panel of distinguished judges charged with the responsibility of awarding the coveted world titles to the best of the best.

This facial-hair celebration is open to everyone and spectators are welcome. The host for this event is the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club which is committed to making the WBMC 2009 the biggest and best ever. Major sponsors include the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau."

Metallica Enter Sandman performed on KAZOO

Hulu's tug of war with TV

Hulu's tug of war with TV - Los Angeles Times: "As online viewership surges, media companies reconsider the wisdom of sharing their content for free.

Online video site Hulu trumpeted its ascension to the media big time a few months back with a dash of sardonic humor. In its debut TV commercial, in which Alec Baldwin mocks the audience's addiction to the very shows he creates as a fictional network executive, the site calls itself 'an evil plot to destroy the world.'"

Drones: America's New Air Force

Drones: America's New Air Force - CBS News: "Every so often in the history of war, a new weapon comes along that fundamentally rewrites the rules of battle. This is a story about a revolution in unmanned aviation that is doing just that.

Most people know them as drones; the Air Force calls them 'unmanned aerial vehicles.' And right now, there are dozens of them in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, hunting down insurgents, every minute of every day.

They've become one of the most important planes in the United States Air Force - and yet, the pilot is nowhere near the aircraft or the battlefield. They are controlled by remote control, from thousands of miles away.

Many of the details of this weapons program are classified, but our 60 Minutes team was given secret clearance and unprecedented access to bring you this story."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

'Odious Column' of Metal

'Odious Column' of Metal - "The tower is so beloved that few today remember the storm of vitriol, mockery and lawsuits provoked by its selection as the startling centerpiece of the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. (One of the losing entries was a gigantic working guillotine!) Even as Eiffel was breaking ground by the Seine River in February 1887, 47 of France's greatest names decried in a letter to Le Temps the 'odious column of bolted metal.'"

7 Obscure Facts About The Statue Of Liberty

7 Obscure Facts About The Statue Of Liberty : NPR: "Beginning July 4, the public will once again be able to clamber up into the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announcement on the Today show Friday while standing in the crown with host Matt Lauer.

The statue was closed for security reasons after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base and other areas have since reopened. Salazar said about 30 people an hour will be able to visit the crown at first. New security measures and improvements eventually will enable about 200,000 people a year to get inside Lady Liberty's head."