Thursday, May 31, 2007

Museum Show Spotlights Artistry of Manga God Osamu Tezuka

The Asian Art Museum here isn't exactly what you'd call contemporary. Its last exhibit from Japan was of 18th-century screen paintings, and even that was considered pretty recent. But this summer, the museum is jumping into modern culture with an interactive exhibit of the works of Osamu Tezuka, routinely referred to as "the god of manga."

Many Americans have seen Astro Boy on TV, but this is the first time manga and anime fans in the United States are being exposed to the artistic genius of its creator. It's not always easy for foreign audiences to understand why manga is so important to the Japanese, but the museum hopes that the exhibit will provide a little perspective.

Source : wired

Mozilla Firefox (Firefox 2)

What's New in Firefox

Security Update
: The following security issues have been fixed.

Windows Vista Support: More enhancements and fixes for Windows Vista are included, with the following caveats.

New Languages: Afrikaans (af) and Belarusian (be) are now available. Beta releases for several new languages are also available for testing.

This is absolutely good news for all the Mozilla Firefox users....

Source : mozilla

Japanese robot dances to iPod music

A new Japanese robot twists and rolls to iPod tunes in an intricate dance based on complex mathematics, a technology developers said will one day enable robots to move about spontaneously instead of following preprogrammed motions.

Equipped with Kenwood Corp. speaker systems, Tokyo-based venture ZMP Inc.'s 14-inch long Miuro robot — which looks like a white ball wedged between two halves of an egg — wheels about in time with music from an iPod portable player, which locks into the machine.

At a demonstration in Tokyo on Thursday, the 11-pound Miuro pivoted about on a stage in time to beats of a pop music track. Its dance wasn't preprogrammed, but generated by the robot itself.

Scientists involved in the robot's development believe the technology could one day lead to robots capable of spontaneous motion. Miuro uses algorithms, or mathematical rules, to analyze music and translate the beats into dances, according to ZMP President Hisashi Taniguchi.

...the new prototype is fitted with software based on what scientists call chaotic itinerancy, a mathematical pattern similar to the movements of a bee circling from flower to flower as it collects nectar.

That allows the new Miuro to act spontaneously and unpredictably — "just like a child playing," said Tokyo University researcher Takashi Ikegami, who developed the software.

The 108,800 yen ($895) original Miuro can also receive wireless signals from a personal computer to play iTunes and other stored digital files.

Source : Yahoo News

Firefighters Make Dramatic Escape From Burning Building

A fast-moving fire at an apartment in Northeast Minneapolis forced two firefighters to make a dramatic escape......

Two veteran firefighters, Cory and his partner Dylan Taylor, went upstairs to search and ventilate.

It took just minutes, and soon the room looked and felt, very different.

With fire coming up behind them, the window was the only way out...

Both firefighters went down the ladder, sliding face first. It's what they're trained to do. They usually go feet first, unless there's no time to spare and in this case, there wasn't.

"Just the fire conditions changed so rapidly, that was basically the only thing we could do," said Hermann.

It was all in a day's work for firefighters like Cory and Dylan. And the dramatic escape with their lives was just a memory 12 hours later when the two were sent on the next call.

Source : kttc

Biofuel from Saltwater

Retired TV station owner and broadcast engineer, John Kanzius, wasn't looking for an answer to the energy crisis. He was looking for a cure for cancer.

Four years ago, inspiration struck in the middle of the night. Kanzius decided to try using radio waves to kill the cancer cells.

But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough.

His machine could actually make saltwater burn.

John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame.

Source : wkyc
Video : Youtube

Carrie Underwood's boyfriend calls for timeout

...NFL quarterback Tony Romo has told Underwood that he wants to bench their relationship during the football season, according to the National Enquirer. Football season begins in September and lasts until January.

“Carrie thought that they were moving closer to a more committed relationship,” a source tells the tab. Romo asked Underwood to give him space for his career once before, and she did, but this time, the request has hit a sour note with her, says the source, who adds, “Carrie wants a firm commitment from Tony.”

Source : msnbc

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The missing of golden tub at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki

A bathtub made of gold, worth 120m yen ($1m; £500,000), has disappeared from a Japanese resort hotel in circumstances that remain unclear, police said.

Staff reported the tub was missing on Wednesday at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki, a resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean, east of Tokyo.

Police said they had no idea how it was stolen, saying they had found no sign it was dragged on the floor.

The tub weighed 80kg (175lb) and was made of 18-carat gold.

It was normally chained to the door and padlocked when the room was closed, Japanese TV reported.

Source : BBC

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface is a gesture based touch panel interface that lets you 'grab' digital information with your hands, interacting with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard. The UI is multi-touch aware, so it can understand gestures like zooming into a photo with two fingers.

Surface can be used by multiple users at the same time enabling you to perform collaborative tasks. The coffee table computer also recognizes physical objects when placed on the screen.

Link & Image : I4U
Video : Youtube

Performance artist woofs down a corgi

A British performance artist ate a corgi live on radio overnight in a protest at alleged animal cruelty by the royal family.

Mark McGowan, who once ate a swan in a performance art show, said the cooked canine - the Queen's favourite breed of dog - tasted "really, really, really disgusting''.

Yoko Ono, who was also a guest on the Bob and Roberta Smith radio program broadcast on London-based arts station 104.4 Resonance FM, tasted the dog but "looked a bit strange'', McGowan said.

Source : News

Windows Vista no more secure than XP: report

Windows Vista only offers "marginal security advantages over XP" according to tests completed by CRN. "Vista remains riddled with holes, despite its multilayer security architecture and embedded security tools." The report's findings are mixed and at times a little unfair, but it does demonstrate the problems that Microsoft has to face—technical and otherwise.

The report faults Vista for "providing no improvement in virus protection vs. XP," but of course Windows Vista does not ship with antivirus software—something the reviewer fails to mention. Faulting an AV-less Vista for not stopping viruses is a bit like faulting a door without a lock for opening when the handle is twisted. Any business that is deploying Vista (or XP) without an antivirus solution is, of course, out of its mind.

Source : Arstechnica

Photoshop Pro's Animals pets funny

A few special creatures you haven't seen before.....

Source : Youtube

Women in Art

Wow... a really good video for those interested in female portraits.

Source : Youtube

Natural "Skim Milk"

In a few years, skim milk may come straight from the cow, it was reported this week.

Skim milk is usually produced by taking all of the fat out of regular milk, but in 2001, researchers found a cow that skipped that step. While screening a herd of cows, they found one with a natural gene mutation that makes her produce lower-fat milk than a normal cow.

Marge, as researchers later named her, makes milk that has 1 percent fat (as compared to 3.5 percent in whole milk) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. And remarkably, Marge’s low-fat milk still has the same delicious taste as conventionally produced low-fat milk, according to the report in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

The low saturated fat content of Marge’s milk also means that butter made from it is spreadable right out of the fridge, while most butter has to come to room temperature before it can be spread on toast.

After researchers found that Marge’s daughters also produced low-fat milk, they surmised that the genetic trait was dominant and planned to breed herds of skim milk-producing cows.

Source : LiveScience
Image : Intangibility

Everyone better at reading maps than women

IT has long been a tedious joke that women are bad at reading maps.

But could there be some truth in it?

A new study into the mental skills required to read a map has handed blokes new ammunition and dealt heterosexual women a final indignity.

The research, from the University of Warwick in the UK, suggests that not only are straight women worse at map reading than straight males, they are also outperformed by bisexual men, gay men, gay women and bisexual women - in that order.

The study looked at what's called mental rotation. This is our ability to mentally visualise an object from different perspectives.

Applied to real life, the most practical example of mental rotation is map reading, says Dr Michael Tlauka, an expert in gender differences and spatial ability from Flinders University.

This is one mental task where studies have shown that men consistently outperform women, Dr Tlauka says.

"It is absolutely true that mental rotation is the task of all spatial tasks where you get the biggest sex difference," he says.

"Men tend to be much better at mental rotation than women."

He says the old chestnut about men being better map readers than women is actually rooted in fact.

"It's not a myth at all - map reading and spatial skills in general, you'll find that men outperform women."

Source : News

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Miss USA 2007 Falls Down

Miss USA 2007 slipped and fell during the Miss Universe pageant...

Source : Youtube

28 newfound planets in Milky Way spur hunt for Earth look-alikes

All of a sudden the Milky Way is filling up with far-off solar systems never seen before -- more and more planets of all shapes and sizes, wheeling in orbits around their own sunlike stars.

Astronomers on teams from UC Berkeley and Australia reported the discovery of 28 new planets all at once on Monday, and their leader -- working through the night all this week at the world's biggest telescope in Hawaii -- is now on the hunt for rocky planets that might resemble Earth.

"An overarching question now is whether our own solar system is really alone," said Geoffrey Marcy, the Berkeley astronomer whose team has led in the discovery of what are now widely known as "exoplanets."

Marcy and many of his colleagues are in Honolulu for a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and in telephone interviews and e-mails he said he and Katie Peek, 26, a Berkeley graduate student, are scanning 70 more stars right now to seek still more of the increasingly common objects.

"It's all most amazing and fascinating," Jason Wright, a Berkeley postdoctoral fellow, said in a telephone conversation. He and colleague John Asher Johnson described the group's findings in detail at the astronomy meeting.

The 28 planets they and their Anglo-Australian colleagues reported bring the total number of exoplanets discovered to 236 since the first one was detected barely a dozen years ago, and now the rush is on.

The two teams reporting Monday said that besides the 28 planets they discovered during the past year, they also found seven brown dwarfs -- huge and strange objects much larger than Jupiter that are called "failed stars" because they never grew to a size and mass big enough to turn on their nuclear fires and blaze forth as true stars.

Source : SFGate

Net Artist's Power Shift

The Empire State Building melts in the hands of prominent net artist Mark Napier. His custom code gives the iconic skyscraper a new look for the digital age, while reminding viewers that software, not steel, is the new medium of power.

A trained painter, Napier spent 20 years working as a software developer, and he's been coding his designs exclusively for the web since 1995. As one of the net's first breakthrough artists, his digital creations have gone on to appear in top-tier terrestrial museums like the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Source : Wired

Cow entrails spell blessing for Malaysian wedding

A Malaysian woman is claiming to have seen the names of Allah and Mohammed spelled out in the entrails of a cow she was butchering, state media reported Tuesday.

Salmah Nayan told Bernama news agency she could decipher the words written in Arabic script among the intestines of the cow, which had been slaughtered ahead of a wedding party.

"I cut those intestines twice. At first I didn't notice it but after I turned it around a few times it became clear the words 'Allah' and 'Mohammed' were there," she said.

Source : Breitbart

Sky-high Chinese Emperor's Throne

Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho paid 13.76 million Hong Kong dollars (1.76 million US) Tuesday for Chinese emperor's throne at an auction here, smashing the previous record price.

The gilt-incised brown lacquered throne of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1772) also fetched higher than the expected 12 million Hong Kong dollars, auction house Christie's said.

The previous record, set by a 18th-19th century Chinese throne, was 477,900 US dollars in New York in 2004.

A pair of tiny famille rose bowls also went under the hammer Tuesday for 50.72 million Hong Kong dollars, beating the previous record of nine million dollars set a decade ago. They had been estimated at 30 million dollars.

The 14-centimeter (5.5-inch) bowls from the Yongzheng period (1723-1735) decorated with peaches growing on branches were bought by London art dealer Eskenazi Ltd.

The two items were among the 90 items sold on Tuesday at the Imperial Sale and among hundreds of lots which are going under the hammer at the four-day Asian art sale.

Source : Breitbart

Funny Pet Video

The video was absolutely hilarious, but it was slightly cruel...

Source : Youtube

Miss Japan crowned Miss Universe 2007

A 20-year-old dancer from Japan was crowned Miss Universe 2007 on Monday night, marking only the second time her country has won the world beauty title.

Dressed in a black, red and purple Japanese-style gown, Riyo Mori nervously grabbed the hands of first runner-up, Natalia Guimaraes of Brazil, just before the winner was announced. Then she threw her hands up and covered her mouth, overcome with emotion.

But she gathered herself together enough to catch the diamond-and-pearl-studded headpiece valued at $250,000 as it slipped off her head when Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico crowned her. Mori immediately placed it back on her head.

The last time Japan won the pageant was in 1959 when Akiko Kojima became the first Miss Universe from Asia.

Source : Yahoo News

Monday, May 28, 2007

High speed healing with a gel made from your own blood

A gel made from patients' own blood cells dramatically speeds up the rate at which wounds heal after surgery.

The DIY gel could slash the risk of life-threatening hospital infections by shortening the recovery process.

Doctors who tested it on a small group of patients found that, two weeks after surgery, the wounds treated with the gel had healed completely in almost 80 per cent of cases.

But only 50 per cent of identical wounds treated with antibiotics had healed, researchers found.

Source : Dailymail

Desert pupfish in hot water

The last place anyone would expect to find fish is Devil's Hole, a chasm in the middle of the Mojave Desert where a 100-degree day is mild and the only thing bigger than the rocky expanse of desert is the sky above it.

But nature is nothing if not amazing -- as good an explanation as any of how the Devil's Hole pupfish has survived in the bottomless geothermal pool that gave the fish its name. It is tiny, just an inch long, yet few species loom so large in the history of American environmentalism.

The Devil's Hole pupfish is one of the rarest animals in the world. The seemingly endless effort to save it laid the foundation for the Endangered Species Act and shaped Western water policy a generation ago with a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

But after 20,000 years in the desert, the fish teeters on the edge of extinction. No more than 42 remain in Devil's Hole.

The Devil's Hole pupfish has been the beneficiary of one of the most aggressive campaigns ever to preserve a species, an effort every bit as intense as those to save the bald eagle and California condor. The Endangered Species Act requires nothing less. But saving the pupfish is more than a legal obligation for the biologists and bureaucrats involved.

Source : SFGate
Image link : SFGate

New Limbless Lizard Species Discovered

An Indian zoologist said Monday he has found a new species of limbless lizard in a forested area in the country's east. "Preliminary scientific study reveals that the lizard belongs to the genus Sepsophis," said Sushil Kumar Dutta, who led a team of researchers from "Vasundhra," a non-governmental organization, and the North Orissa University.

The newly found 7-inch long lizard looks like a scaly, small snake, Dutta said. "It prefers to live in a cool retreat, soft soil and below stones."

"The lizard is new to science and is an important discovery. It is not found anywhere else in the world," Dutta told The Associated Press. He is the head of the zoology department of the North Orissa University in the eastern Indian town of Baripada.

While modern snakes and lizards are derived from a common evolutionary ancestor, they belong today to two entirely separate groups of animals, or orders. Snakes, over millenia, gradually lost their limbs and developed their characteristic forms of locomotion. But modern limbless lizards are not snakes, Dutta said.

The lizard was found 10 days ago during a field study in the forested region of Khandadhar near Raurkela in Orissa state, about 625 miles southeast of New Delhi, he said.

Source: SFGate
Image & link : SFGate

Lindsay Lohan Booked on Suspicion of DUI

Lindsay Lohan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Saturday after her convertible struck a curb, and investigators found what they believe is cocaine at the scene, police said.

Lohan, 20, and two other people were in her 2005 Mercedes SL-65 when it crashed on Sunset Boulevard around 5:30 a.m., Sgt. Mike Foxen said. It appeared the actress was speeding, Lt. Mitch McCann said at an afternoon news conference.

Officers at the scene found a "usable amount" of a drug tentatively identified as cocaine, McCann said. He declined to say where the drug was found other than to say Lohan was not carrying it.

Lohan, who spent time at a rehabilitation center earlier this year, was driven in another car to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, McCann said. The two other people in her car were not hurt.

Officers received a 911 call about the accident and arrested Lohan at the hospital for investigation of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, McCann said.

She was released from custody because she was admitted to the hospital, police said.

McCann declined to comment on Lohan's blood-alcohol level. He said the case will be presented to the District Attorney's Office where the actress could face more charges, including felonies. Her tentative arraignment date is Aug. 24.

The crash was Lohan's third accident in about two years. In October 2005, Lohan and a passenger received minor injuries when her convertible hit a van in West Hollywood. Authorities said the van driver, who also received minor injuries, was at fault.


RCTV Banned in Venezuela

Thousands of people have demonstrated in Caracas as Venezuela's oldest TV network went off air after President Hugo Chavez did not renew its licence.

Opponents of the decision to take Radio Caracas TV off air massed outside the station's HQ to voice their anger while Mr Chavez's supporters celebrated.

Within seconds of screens going blank, the insignia of a new state-sponsored broadcaster, TVES, appeared.

Mr Chavez said RCTV had tried to undermine his government.

The president says the new channel that took RCTV's place at midnight on Sunday (0400 GMT Monday) will better reflect the socialist revolution he has pledged to lead.

RCTV and rights groups say Mr Chavez is limiting freedom of expression.

Employees of Venezuela's most watched channel embraced and chanted "freedom", before bowing their heads in tearful prayer, during the final minutes on air. link

Healing Super-Water

US scientists have developed "super-oxidised" water which they say speeds up wound healing.

Oculus, the Californian firm which developed the water - made by filtering it through a salt membrane - says it kills viruses, bacteria and fungi.

It is also effective against MRSA and UK trials are being carried out on patients with diabetic foot ulcers, New Scientist magazine reported.

Experts said wound healing was a major problem for people with diabetes.

The key ingredient of the water, called Microcyn, are oxychlorine ions - electrically charged molecules which pierce the cell walls of free-living microbes.

The water can only kill cells it can completely surround so human cells are spared because they are tightly bound together in a matrix.

It is made by taking purified water and passing it through a semi-permeable sodium chloride membrane, which produces the oxychlorine ions.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Google launches search translation service

SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Wednesday launched a test version of a translation tool that enables people to search the Internet in any of a dozen languages and have the results converted into their chosen tongue.

A beta version of Google's "cross-language information retrieval" feature is online at

The service "in effect, will make the Web universal", Google vice president of engineering Udi Manber said while describing it to the press at the Internet search giant's campus in Mountain View, California, last week.

"We have been working on translating all of the Web to all languages," Manber said. "The results are probably not perfect, but the information you want will be there."

Google's new software translates queries to perform multi-lingual searches of the Internet and then converts the results to a searcher's language.

The languages included in the service are French, Arabic, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and traditional and simplified Chinese. link

Dead bodies to be recycled

Along with the mounting concern over landfill sites rapidly running out of space comes a new worry that the same thing is happening to Britain's graveyards. Even though over 50% of the population choose to be cremated after death, approximately 300,000 people are buried each year. It is estimated that graveyards will run out of space by 2009.

Environmental ministers have been discussing ways of alleviating the problem. Initial plans to dig graves deeper and stack coffins on top of each other have been rejected as being too distressing for the families. In death a person could find himself lying forever atop someone he hated in life.

Scientists now believe that the only solution is to recycle dead bodies. They claim that hair could be used to make wigs, teeth could be used in implants (saving recipients the cost of expensive crowns), artificial joints such as hip replacements could be re-used (saving the NHS money) and even breast implants could be cleaned up and re-used. Bones could be turned into first class fertilizer and flesh used in dog food.

Amazing Mantis Shrimp Video

...nice video showing the powerful grasping legs of mantis shrimp.

Army Ants Unusual Teamwork

A scientific study of the teamwork of army ants has discovered how they are prepared to let their fellow ants walk all over them to get the job done.

Scientists from the University of Bristol observed that, when ants were foraging on rough terrain, some of them used their own bodies to plug potholes.

They even chose which of them was the best fit to lie across each hole.

The flatter surface provided the rest of the group, which can number 200,000, a faster route between prey and nest.

The research, published in the journal of Animal Behaviour, said that the team first noticed the army ants' (Eciton burchellii) unusual behaviour in the insects' native rainforest home in Panama. link

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shrek 3 Trailer

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - At World's End Trailer

Parachute (Bear)

Just for Fun

Sony's flexible, full-color OLED

Friday, May 25, 2007

Kungfu Hustle

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