Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Vintage Pepsi Cans



1950:




1970's (Pepsi can only):







1948:




[Sources: Flickr, flickr, usasoda]
Pepsi Cucumber-flavored drink to be released in Japan




Yes, you read the headline correctly: Pepsi is planning to release a special Ice Cucumber-flavored drink in Japan this summer. According to the official press release (in Japanese), the new drink flavor will hit stores across Japan on June 12th, but it will only be available for a limited time. Are you ready for the ultimate Pepsi experience?




[Source]

Mysterious Skeleton Found in Melting Iceberg



Jun 04, 2007 06:27 PM
Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S – Marine scientists in Canada and abroad are puzzled by bizarre photographs that appear to show the skeleton of a large mammal jutting out of an iceberg that recently drifted past Newfoundland's east coast.

The six pictures show what looks like a brown rib cage and spinal column, slightly bent, sticking out of a crust of ice.

But researchers throughout Canada, Greenland and Norway are unable to determine the origin of the skeleton, said Garry Stenson, a marine mammal scientist with the federal Fisheries Department.

"It's definitely unusual," Stenson said today. "It's not something that I've encountered before."

His colleagues have been debating whether the carcass belongs to a bearded seal, a walrus or a beluga whale. But without the actual specimen in his hands, Stenson said he can't resolve the mystery.

"It would be really nice to get a copy, a sample, a hold of it, but at this point we're not quite sure what it is," he said.

The photos were taken near Newtown, in Bonavista Bay, by Eli and Donna Norris on the weekend of May 26, said Ruth Knee, a friend who forwarded them to the Fisheries Department in hopes of identifying the bones.

The Norris family couldn't be reached for comment today.

Knee said the retired couple didn't want to be interviewed, but said she could vouch for the authenticity of the photos.

"Not everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame," Knee said.

Stenson said he is fairly certain the pictures aren't a hoax.

"If it was Photoshopped, it's a damn good job," he said. "The way that it's laying there, with what looks to be part of it underwater, looks authentic."

Stenson said he was told the backbone was roughly 2.4 metres out of the ice, leading him to believe the spine belonged to a large mammalian creature.

But he is uncertain whether the animal would have fallen into a crevasse in an iceberg and then got stuck, or if it simply died on an ice floe and later became embedded by other pans of ice.

"It could be a walrus, for example, that died and is laying on its back and the pressure of the snow and the ice has flattened those ribs," he said.

The bones don't appear very weathered, and it looks like there may be tissue still attached to them. Stenson wouldn't speculate on how old they are because the ice may have preserved them for years.

The iceberg's location, or if it was still intact, weren't known Monday.

"Sometimes a lot of my mysteries never get solved," Stenson said with a sigh.

The province's coastline has been the setting of a number of strange discoveries in the past.

In July 2001, residents of St. Bernard's, in Fortune Bay, were awed by a seven-metre carcass that washed ashore. Because of its decomposed state, researchers were initially unable to determine what it was, prompting locals to nickname it "the sea monster."

But two weeks later a Memorial University biologist confirmed through DNA testing that it was a decaying sperm whale.

[Link via Thestar]

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Opinion on Atheism

Atheism is just a fad, it's the latest thing people are catching on to either for attention, for a sense of "belonging" to a certain group, or just for the sake of being controversial. Why are people making such a fuss about it, (especially on the blogosphere)? There are people who worship all sorts of things and those who worship nothing at all, big deal. This fad will die down as fast as it started.
U.S. attacks Somalian base

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.

The attack from a U.S. destroyer took place late Friday, said Muse Gelle, the regional governor. The extremists had arrived Wednesday by speedboat at the port town of Bargal.

Gelle said the area is a dense thicket, making it difficult for security forces from the semiautonomous republic of Puntland to intervene on their own.

A local radio station quoted Puntland's leader, Ade Muse, as saying that his forces had battled with the extremists for hours before U.S. ships arrived and used their cannons. Muse said five of his troops were wounded, but that he had no information about casualties among the extremists.

A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.

CNN International, quoting a Pentagon official, also reported the U.S. warship's involvement. A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.

"This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

"We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven," Whitman said. "The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies."

Puntland's minister of information, Mohamed Abdulrahman Banga, told the AP that the extremists arrived heavily armed in two fishing boats from southern Somalia, which they controlled for six months last year before being routed by Ethiopian troops sent to prop up a faltering Somali government.

"They had their own small boats and guns. We do not know exactly where they came from - maybe from Ras Kamboni, where they were cornered in January," he said.

Local fishermen, contacted by telephone, said about a dozen fighters arrived Wednesday, but Puntland officials said the number could be as high as 35.

The United States has repeatedly accused Somalia's Council of Islamic Courts of harboring international terrorists linked to al-Qaida and allegedly responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The U.S. sent a small number of special operations troops with the Ethiopian forces that drove the Islamic forces into hiding. U.S. warplanes have carried out at least two airstrikes in an attempt to kill suspected al-Qaida members, Pentagon officials have said.

[Source]

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Vending machine for live Lobsters





Claw game machine where you could win a live lobster. Source and full size pic here
Man described as a top spammer arrested

SEATTLE (AP) -- A 27-year-old man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.

"He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. "He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day."

A federal grand jury last week returned a 35-count indictment against Soloway charging him with mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Soloway pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to all charges after a judge determined that - even with four bank accounts seized by the government - he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer.

He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.

A public defender who represented him for Wednesday's hearing declined to comment.

Prosecutors say Soloway used computers infected with malicious code to send out millions of junk e-mails since 2003. The computers are called "zombies" because owners typically have no idea their machines have been infected.

He continued his activities even after Microsoft won a $7 million civil judgment against him in 2005 and the operator of a small Internet service provider in Oklahoma won a $10 million judgment, prosecutors said.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said Wednesday that the case is the first in the country in which federal prosecutors have used identity theft statutes to prosecute a spammer for taking over someone else's Internet domain name. Soloway could face decades in prison, though prosecutors said they have not calculated what guideline sentencing range he might face.

The investigation began when the authorities began receiving hundreds of complaints about Soloway, who had been featured on a list of known spammers kept by The Spamhaus Project, an international anti-spam organization.

The Santa Barbara County, Calif., Department of Social Services said it was spending $1,000 a week to fight the spam it was receiving, and other businesses and individuals complained of having their reputations damaged when it appeared spam was originating from their computers.

"This is not just a nuisance. This is way beyond a nuisance," Warma said.

Soloway used the networks of compromised computers to send out unsolicited bulk e-mails urging people to use his Internet marketing company to advertise their products, authorities said.

People who clicked on a link in the e-mail were directed to his Web site. There, Soloway advertised his ability to send out as many as 20 million e-mail advertisements over 15 days for $495, the indictment said.

The Spamhaus Project rejoiced at his arrest.

"Soloway has been a long-term nuisance on the Internet - both in terms of the spam he sent, and the people he duped to use his spam service," organizers wrote on Spamhaus.org.

Soloway remained in federal detention pending a hearing Monday.

[Source]

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

British"Mirror" Reflects Slo Mo Images in Real Time


Time warp anyone? English art fans visiting the 19th century Belsay Hall can interact with images of themelves from a few seconds earlier by staring into the slo-mo Hereafter mirror created by United Visual Artists

What appears to be a conventional looking glass is in fact a flat video display embedded with a hidden high-speed video camera and a massive terabyte hard drive, reports Pixelsumo.

The camera enables the viewer to witness instant replay in slow motion while simultaneously viewing blurred real-time images.

And if that's not freaky enough, "Hereafter" periodically splices in previously recorded slo mo footage compiled over the course of the exhibition to create a ghostly "Where the hell did that chicken come from?" effect drawing on images photographed months earlier.

[Source via UAV]

Researchers Find ‘Skim Milk Cows’

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. (Marge and her offspring live in New Zealand.)

ViaLactia, the company that owns Marge, expects the first commercial herd of cows supplying natural low-fat milk and spreadable butter for the market by 2011.

But because cows are normally selected for breeding because they give a high milk yield, this new selection criteria could mean the skim milk cows would produce less milk, said Ed Komorowski, technical director at Dairy UK and who is not affiliated with the research—so more cows could be needed to produce the same amount of milk.

And “normal” cows wouldn’t disappear, he told LiveScience, as their milk would still be needed to make fattier products such as cream.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Source]
Russian Submarine surfaces near beach









This is in Severodvinsk city, Russia. The beach is located near a marine base, so apparently this is not an unusual sight there.

[Source]
Top 10 Poisonous Plants


(10) These cheerful yellow and white harbingers of spring, aka daffodils and jonquils, are actually mildly toxic if the bulbs are eaten in large quantities (Narcissus pseudonarcissus is shown). Some people confuse them for onions. Daffodil bulb diners tend to experience nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. A doctor might recommend intravenous hydration and/or drugs to stave off nausea and vomiting if symptoms are severe or the patient is a child.


(9) Rhododendron Rhododendrons and azalea bushes (a variety of rhododendron), with their bell-shaped flowers, look great in the yard come springtime, but the leaves are toxic and so is honey made from the flower nectar. Eating either from these evergreen shrubs makes your mouth burn, and then you'll probably experienced increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and a tingling sensation in the skin. Headaches, weak muscles and dim vision could follow. Your heart rate could slow down or beat strangely, and you might even drop into a coma and undergo fatal convulsions. Before that, doctors will try to replace your fluids and help you breath more easily and administer drugs to bring back your normal heart rhythm.



(8) Ficus Also known as weeping fig, benjamin tree, or small-leaved rubber plants, all ficus have milky sap in their leaves and stems that is toxic. There are about 800 species of ficus trees, shrubs and vines (Ficus benjamina is shown), many of which are cultivated indoors in pots and tubs and outdoors in warm areas where some varieties can grow to up to 75 feet tall. The worst that will happen is your skin will itch and puff up and your doctor will give you something for the allergy or the inflammation.



(7) Oleander Every bit of the oleander plant is toxic, unlike the case for other plants where just the flower or sap might be poisonous. Even accidental inhalation of the smoke from burning oleander is a problem. Other trouble comes from using the sticks for weenie or marshmallow roasts or drinking water in which the clusters of red, pink or white flowers have been placed. These evergreen shrubs (Nerium oleander is shown) are common as tub plants or in gardens in the Southwest and California, any locale that approaches the plant's native Mediterranean climate. Typically the symptoms involve a change in heart rate, be it a slow down or palpitations or high potassium levels. A doctor might prescribe a drug to bring your heartbeat back under control and try to induce vomiting with ipecac, pump your stomach or absorb the toxin with ingested charcoal.



(6) Chrysanthemum Also known as mums, orange and yellow varieties of these showy flowers often turn up in foil-wrapped pots on people's front steps around Halloween and Thanksgiving. There are 100 to 200 species of Chrysanthemums, and they generally grow low to the ground, but can turn into shrubs. Gardeners plant mums to keep rabbits away. Guess what? The flower heads are somewhat toxic to humans too. But not terribly. Touching them can make you itch and puff up a bit, but probably the doctor will just give you something for the inflammation and allergic reaction.



(5) Anthurium The leaves and stems of these bizarre-looking plants, with dark green, heart-shaped leathery leaves and a scarlet, white or green spike surrounded by a red, pink or white "spathe," are toxic. Also known as flamingo flowers or pigtail plants, eating tropical Anthuriums could give you a painful burning sensation in the mouth that then swells and blisters. Your voice might also become hoarse and strained and you might have difficulty swallowing. Most of this will fade with time, but cool liquids, pain pills and gluey herbs and foods like licorice or flaxseeds may bring relief.



(4) Lilly-of-the-Valley These darling droopers, also known as mayflowers, are entirely poisonous, from the tips of their tiny bell-shaped white flowers that coyly fall off like parted hair to the very water in which they might be placed. A little bit of Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) probably won't hurt much, but if you eat a lot, you'll probably experience nausea, vomiting, pain in the mouth, abdominal pain, diarrhea and cramps. Your heart rate might also become slow or irregular. A doctor might decide to clean out your stomach by pumping it or feeding you absorbing charcoal, and might give you drugs to bring your heart rate back to normal.



(3) Hydrangea These poofy-flowered bushes (Hydrangea macrophylla) are popular yard ornaments that can grow up to 15 feet tall with rose, deep blue or greenish-white flowers that grow in huge clusters and look as edible as cotton candy or a big bun to an imaginative mind. But those blooms will give you a belly ache that sets in sometimes hours after eaten. Typically, patients also experience itchy skin, vomiting, weakness and sweating. Some reports indicate that patients can even experience coma, convulsions and a breakdown in the body's blood circulation. Luckily, there is an antidote for hydrangea poisoning, and doctors might also give you drugs to address to ease your symptoms.



(2) Foxglove Foxglove is a magical looking plant that grows to 3 feet tall with drooping purple, pink or white flowers, sometimes dotted inside, along a central stalk. Its Latin name is Digitalis purpurea, which might sound familiar; leaves from the plant are a commercial source of the heart drug digitalis. If you eat any part of these plants in the wild, you too will likely have heart problems after a spell of nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and pain in the mouth. A doctor might administer charcoal to absorb the toxin or pump your stomach, and might also administer drugs to bring your heart rate back to normal. Other names for this plant include fairy bells, rabbit flower, throatwort and witches' thimbles.



(1) Wisteria Wisterias form romantic cascades of sweetpea-like flowers that fall in lush blue, pink or white masses from woody vines that grow mainly in the South and Southwest. The entire plant, also known as a kidney bean tree, is toxic, though some say the flowers are not. Better safe than sorry, because most reports are that eating this plant will cause nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea that could require treatments such as intravenous hydration and anti-nausea pills.

[Source]
UFO Buffs to Offer 'Proof' of Aliens

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Proof that a 12-foot creature with fiery red eyes spooked Braxton County schoolchildren in 1952. Proof that aliens crashed a spaceship near Roswell, N.M., in 1947. Proof that the U.S. military engaged alien spaceships in battle over the Atlantic Ocean more than 50 years ago.

"You're going to see some hard evidence" at the Flatwoods Monster 55th Anniversary and Flying Saucer Extravaganza on Sept. 7-8 in Charleston, said promoter Larry Bailey. "That's a promise. That's not just promotional talk."

The UFO conference coincides with the 60th anniversary of an unexplained sighting of a crashed aircraft in New Mexico that is still a source of controversy and speculation of a government coverup. It's also the 55th anniversary of sightings of a noxious-odor-emitting monster in Flatwoods in Braxton County.

Freddie May, one of the boys who saw the monster after a fireball fell from the sky in September 1952, is scheduled to attend. He will refute those who dismiss the monster as a hoax and others who say it was a gaseous ball that formed during a meteor shower.

Also on the lineup is author-illustrator Frank Feschino, who penned "The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of The Flatwoods Monster." His follow-up book, "Shoot Them Down," details aerial combat he says was waged in 1952 between U.S. aircraft and alien ships over the ocean.

Feschino spent 14 years researching the sighting and plans to present a 53-minute documentary on his findings at the conference.

Staton Friedman, a former nuclear physicist who helped investigate the Roswell crash and has published more than 70 papers on UFOs, is also scheduled to attend.


[Source]


High-speed video of water balloon that does not burst


Submarine surfacing through 2 feet of ice




ARCTIC OCEAN (March 18, 2007) - Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) is submerged after surfacing through two feet of ice during ICEX-07, a U.S. Navy and Royal Navy exercise conducted on and under a drifting ice floe about 180 nautical miles off the north coast of Alaska. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund (RELEASED)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mobile Promo Girl














Incredible Dubai Architecture


No other place in the world is so saturated in architectural "creative juice" right now, as Dubai. Powered by the government's idea of creating some kind of Flash Gordon /Buck Rodgers tourist trap (and by the injections of pure cash, of course), the place sports ridiculous amount of mind-boggling projects, part of which we covered in The Rotating City and Burj Dubai Highest Building articles. Now's the time for a quick overview of what's already on the plate, and what's coming on the (decidedly gourmet) Dubai's architectural menu. [Full Article Here]


Dubai Land


Lagoon Hotel



Burj Dubai: The tallest building in the world (for now)























































Construction update:

- Designed by Chicago architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Emaar Properties.
- Will house hotel and condominiums, be largely residential.
- Completion date: June 30, 2009
- 959 meters high, 189 - 200 floors?
- An observation deck will be located on the 124th floor.
- The top residential level will only be 8 meters wide.
- Will have the fastest elevators in the world with a speed of 700m/min (42.3 kmh / 26.1 mph)
- When finished, It will be almost 40% taller than the the current tallest buil
ding, the Taipei 101.

[More here]


Tree with a face




A staff photographer on the Shropshire Star spotted this melan­choly face on a tree standing in Ashton Road in Shrewsbury, next to Shrewsbury High School’s junior department, in January 2006. Staff and pupils had walked past the tree every day without noticing the striking simulacrum – or, at least, without drawing anyone else’s attention to it.

[Source]
The Army's vision for soldier tech

The U.S. Army tends to be a poor cousin among Defense Department kin when it comes to high-tech systems; the big-bucks, high-profile technology programs tend to accrue to the Navy and the Air Force. It's also looking to take advantage of developments in areas from robotics to high-speed networks.

Enter the Future Combat Systems program, the Army's largest modernization initiative. Now about four years old, the program envisions a family of high-tech gear including sensors, aerial drones, and manned and unmanned ground vehicles, all fully networked and linked to individual soldiers. Pictured here in a recent training exercise is the program's Class I unmanned aerial vehicle; the UAV is intended to help dismounted soldiers with reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.

While the timeline for developing the FCS systems extends well into the next decade, the Army hopes to get some components deployed as early as fiscal year 2008, which starts in October. And therein lies a very important rub.

Credit: U.S. Army

[Source]
The Pistol shrimp



It uses its snapping claws for communication and as a "sonic weapon" to knockout it's prey with a heated collapsing bubble traveling at 100Kmh (62 mph). The video states that the resulting temperature momentarily reaches the temperature of the sun. I have found no other source that supports this. National Geographic states the temperature could reach 18,000 farenheit (9982.22 Celcius)

From Wikipedia: "The pistol shrimp snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation wave that generates noise in excess of 180 to 200 decibels relative to 1 ╬╝Pa at a distance of 1 m, and is capable of killing small fish. The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from a collapsing bubble, also known as cavitation bubble (collapsing bubble). The heat generated by the snap exceeds more than 114 degrees Fahrenheit"

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Toxic sludge mud has been flowing out of a hole in indonesia for one year now (and counting)




























Muziati, a refugee of Indonesia's "mud volcano", stares at her baby and hopes that the meagre food she gives him will be enough.

"He has to be fed rice juice (formed during cooking) because there's no milk," Muziati says of conditions in a makeshift shelter in Porong on the main island of Java.

"He is small for his age," she adds of her six-month-old boy.

Muziati is among more than 15,000 people who have been forced from their homes across Sidoarjo district in East Java since last year when steaming mud began spewing from the depths of the earth at an exploratory gas well.

One year after the May 29 disaster started, thousands are still living in shelters, and the flow of toxic sludge shows no sign of stopping.

Muziati was three months pregnant last year when she lost her job at a prawncracker factory that was submerged in the massive flow.

Six months later, on the day she gave birth, an embankment, hastily built to contain the hot mud, burst and later swallowed her home.

Muziati, her husband Sudarto and neighbours sought shelter wherever they could before moving to a vacant market building in nearby Porong where they survive on rations of rice from the drilling company blamed for the disaster, Lapindo Brantas.

"Nobody cares enough to even visit us. Not the mayor, not the governor," says Sudarto.

Nine villages, industrial areas and farms over more than 600 hectares (1,500 acres) have been engulfed by the thick mud as authorities grapple with the extent of the disaster.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered Lapindo, an Indonesian firm, to pay 3.8 trillion rupiah (420.7 million dollars) in compensation and mud containment efforts.

But Sudarto and his family have refused an initial cash payment of 20 percent of the value of their homes and land. Like many of the 3,200 sheltering in Porong, they want Lapindo to buy their land so they can rebuild elsewhere.

"We are not beggars, we just ask for our rights," says Sudarto who has named their baby David Lapindo -- after the firm, which has links to welfare minister Aburizal Bakrie, one of the nation's richest men.

The disaster has left international engineers scratching their heads and environmentalists fuming about damage to the local ecosystem.

Massive dykes have been built around the volcano to contain the mud, and heavy machinery works overtime carrying dirt and pebbles to strengthen the embankments.

"The dykes are very vulnerable," says security guard Waliyanto pointing to muddy water leaking from the walls around the crater.

Cracks have led to larger leaks, forcing authorities to declare the area off-limits to the public.

The sludge has reached a depth of up to 20 metres in the worst-hit areas with rooftops barely visible. Villages in the outer areas, caked in mud, have been abandoned for safety reasons.

Initiatives to stop the flow have ranged from the scientific to the spiritual.

Engineers spent two months trying to plug the hole with chains of large concrete balls dropped into its core, but the move appears to have failed. Authorities continue to try and channel mud from the dams into a nearby river.

Ahmad Chairusin, 64, arrived at the dykes earlier this month from nearby Kediri town, convinced that he can stop the flow through prayer.

"I fast and pray here twice a day," Chairusin told AFP.

"We should look inwards to ourselves, what have we done wrong (to spark the flow)?" he asks, adding that "the only thing we can do is pray and pray."

Others, including healers and mystics, regularly perform rituals at the dykes, make offerings and cast spells.

Despite the efforts, some 120,000 cubic metres of sludge -- equivalent to 48 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- continues to spew daily from the hole, says Ahmad Zulkarnain, a spokesman for the government agency set up to tackle the crisis.

Supari, 40, remembers watching animals and plants die as the mud moved across the district last May. He never thought the flow would reach his village outside Indonesia's second city of Surabaya so quickly.

"The mud spread so fast, it flooded my house before I could save many of my belongings," he says, adding that he fled in the middle of the night with his wife and two sons.

In the chaos, Supari says he left behind the deeds to his home, the documents he needs to prove ownership and gain compensation.

He used to earn four million rupiah a month selling snacks to schools, and sometimes clothing and coal briquettes. But worrying about his family's future now consumes him.

"It's not that there are no jobs now, but I cannot think straight. Riding this motorcycle taxi is all I dare do," says Supari, motioning to the bike.

"I usually get lucky on Sundays, I guide tourists around the mudflow site."

Supari and his family have rented a house nearby and, unlike other residents, refuse to sell their land. "I cannot sell the land, it has been passed down for generations."


Copyright AFP 2005, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

[Source]

Saturday, May 26, 2007

World's oldest camera auctioned for 800,000 dollars




An 1839 daguerreotype camera, ancestor of modern photography, was sold at auction in Vienna Saturday for nearly 600,000 euros making it the world's oldest and most expensive commercial photographic apparatus.

An anonymous buyer paid 588,613 euros (792,000 dollars), bidding by Internet, said the Galerie Westlicht auction house here.

The opening price was 100,000 euros for the wooden box structure, which is in its original state and had been lying forgotten in a loft in Munich since the year 1940 until the present owner of the premises accidentally came across it.

Bids came from as far afield as South Korea, Japan, the United States and France, the auction house said.

Michel Auer, a Swiss photographer and photographic historian, carried out an expertise on the device and concluded that it was the only remaining known example made by a French firm, the Susse Brothers.

Before it resurfaced, the oldest known and most expensive daguerreotype apparatus in the world had been one also dating from 1839 but made by Alphonse Giroux, brother-in-law of the inventor Daguerre.

Only 12 remaining original Giroux daguerreotype cameras are known to be preserved in various collections around the world.

The daguerreotype, named after the French artist and chemist Louis Daguerre, is an early type of photograph in which the image is exposed directly onto a mirror-polished surface of silver bearing a coating of silver halide particles deposited by iodine vapour.

It was not the first-ever photographic process. But previous attempts had required such lengthy exposure that the daguerreotype became the first commercially viable photographic process. [Source]
Tree eats bicycle




[From Neatorama] On Vashon Island (near Seattle, Washington), a tree grows carrying a rather unusual passenger - an old bike. Apparently some kid chained a bike to the tree decades ago and never picked it up, leaving the tree no choice but to grow around the bike. The tree and island gained some level of notoriety when Berkeley Breathed, creator of Bloom County, wrote a children’s book inspired by the bicycle eating tree entitled Red Ranger Came Calling.



Infants stun scientists with ‘amazing' insights

Babies only look clueless — they know a lot more than you think


[From msnbc]:

Babies might seem a bit dim in their first six months of life, but researchers are getting smarter about what babies know, and the results are surprising.

The word "infant" comes from the Latin, meaning "unable to speak," but babies are building the foundations for babbling and language before they are born, responding to muffled sounds that travel through amniotic fluid.

Soon after birth, infants are keen and sophisticated generalists, capable of seeing details in the world that are visible to some other animals but invisible to adults, older children and even slightly older infants.

Recently, scientists have learned the following:
  • At a few days old, infants can pick out their native tongue from a foreign one.
  • At 4 or 5 months, infants can lip read, matching faces on silent videos to "ee" and "ah" sounds.
  • Infants can recognize the consonants and vowels of all languages on Earth, and they can hear the difference between foreign language sounds that elude most adults.
  • Infants in their first six months can tell the difference between two monkey faces that an older person would say are identical, and they can match calls that monkeys make with pictures of their faces.
  • Infants are rhythm experts, capable of differentiating between the beats of their culture and another.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Castro Blasts Bush As 'Apocalyptic'


HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro called George W. Bush "an apocalyptic person" on Friday, hours after the U.S. president signed a bill that will pay for military operations in Iraq without setting a timetable for troop withdrawal.

In the 12th signed statement released by the Cuban leader in recent weeks, Castro accused Bush of "faking rationality" and manipulating U.S. public opinion.

"Just yesterday, Bush bragged about having won the battle over his adversaries in Congress," Castro wrote in the wandering four-page statement. "He has $100 billion, all the money he needs to duplicate, however he wishes, the sending of American troops to Iraq and continue the slaughter."

The $120 billion bill approved Thursday by the U.S. House 280-142 funds the war through September and sets no date for a troop pullout to begin. The Senate approved it 80-14, and Bush signed it Friday.

"Meanwhile, the region's problems get worse," Castro wrote, referring to the Middle East.

"Bush is an apocalyptic person. Look at his eyes, his face and his obsessive preoccupation with pretending that all he sees on the 'invisible screens' is spontaneous," Castro wrote in an apparent reference to the use of teleprompters.

The 80-year-old Castro is recovering from a series of emergency intestinal surgeries and has not been seen in public for nearly 10 months.

His previous statements have been published the following day on the front pages of Cuba's two main state-run newspapers and read over and over again on government radio and television stations.

Most of Castro's recent editorials have blasted U.S.-backed plans to use food crops for biofuels, though Cuba's "maximum leader" on Wednesday revealed key details about his health and recovery. He wrote that he underwent not one but several surgeries, the first of which did not go well and has slowed his recuperation.

Castro stunned Cuba and the world in late July, when he announced he was seriously ill and was temporarily stepping aside in favor of a provisional government headed by his brother Raul, the 75-year-old defense minister.

Though his condition and exact ailment are state secrets, top Cuban officials have insisted for months that Castro is on the mend. He has given no indication of if or when he might resume his full presidential responsibilities. [Source]

Secret memo said to prove Israel knew occupation was illegal


A secret memo proves that the Israeli government knew that its occupation of Palestinian land was illegal after it won the Six Day War in 1967, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

Theodor Meron, who wrote the memo as the Israeli foreign ministry's legal advisor at the time, said "I believe I would have given the same opinion today," according to The Independent newspaper.

With Israel now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the war, the 76-year-old Meron, who went on to become a leading international jurist, challenges Israel's long-held argument that settlements do not violate international law.

The Independent said it obtained a copy of his legal opinion, which was marked "Top Secret" and "Extremely Urgent."

Quoting its author, the newspaper said the memo concluded "that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Meron also told the newspaper that then foreign minister Abba Eban was "sympathetic" to his view that civilian settlement would go against the Hague and Geneva conventions governing the conduct of occupying powers.

But the Labour government at the time progressively approved the settlements in the captured West Bank despite the secret legal opinion which had been passed on to then prime minister Levi Eshkol.

Such actions paved the way for at least 240,000 Israelis to settle in the the West Bank.

Meron, who served as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, was also quoted as telling the Independent that the settlements have proven to be a real stumbling block.

"It's obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult," he was quoted as saying.

In the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. [Source]

World's First Mobile Phone

[Source] The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X was the first mobile phone to receive FCC acceptance in 1983. DynaTac was actually a abbrievation of Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage.



The First Cellphone Specs:

Name: Motorola Dyna-Tac
Size: 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Display: None
Number of Circuit Boards: 30
Talk time: 35 minutes
Recharge Time: 10 hours
Features: Talk, listen, dial



The Inventor of the mobile phone
[Source] Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone in April 1973. The first call he made was to his rival, Joel Engel, Bell Labs head of research.

AT&T's research arm, Bell Laboratories, introduced the idea of cellular communications in 1947. But Motorola and Bell Labs in the sixties and early seventies were in a race to incorporate the technology into portable devices.

Cooper, now 70, wanted people to be able to carry their phones with them anywhere.

While he was a project manager at Motorola in 1973, Cooper set up a base station in New York with the first working prototype of a cellular telephone, the Motorola Dyna-Tac. After some initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C., Mr. Cooper and Motorola took the phone technology to New York to show the public.

In 1973, when the company installed the base station to handle the first public demonstration of a phone call over the cellular network, Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to allocate frequency space to private companies for use in the emerging technology of cellular communications. After some initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C., Mr. Cooper and Motorola took the phone technology to New York to show the public.

On April 3, 1973, standing on a street near the Manhattan Hilton, Mr. Cooper decided to attempt a private call before going to a press conference upstairs in the hotel. He picked up the 2-pound Motorola handset called the Dyna-Tac and pushed the "off hook" button.

The phone came alive, connecting Mr. Cooper with the base station on the roof of the Burlington Consolidated Tower (now the Alliance Capital Building) and into the land-line system. To the bewilderment of some passers-by, he dialed the number and held the phone to his ear.

Who is he?
Cooper grew up in Chicago and earned a degree in electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After four years in the navy serving on destroyers and a submarine, he worked for a year at a telecommunications company.

Hired by Motorola in 1954, Mr. Cooper worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967. He then led Motorola's cellular research.
The 22 Worst Place Names in the World

22. Cockburn, Western Australia
Although this name is often pronounced "Coburn" by those who stand to lose from its awfulness, who actually reads that when they see this word? Oh, how it burns.

21. Twatt, Orkney, Shetland Islands, Scotland
The Shetland Islands, pronounced "Shitland Islands" if you have an accent like mine, make up a happy little area north of Scotland where it's too cold for trees to grow. I am related to approximately half the population of the Shetland Islands, share a last name with a quarter of them, and can probably trace my ancestry back to Twatt if I try hard enough. The pride!

[Full list here]
The 22 Worst Place Names in the World

22. Cockburn, Western Australia
Although this name is often pronounced "Coburn" by those who stand to lose from its awfulness, who actually reads that when they see this word? Oh, how it burns.

21. Twatt, Orkney, Shetland Islands, Scotland
The Shetland Islands, pronounced "Shitland Islands" if you have an accent like mine, make up a happy little area north of Scotland where it's too cold for trees to grow. I am related to approximately half the population of the Shetland Islands, share a last name with a quarter of them, and can probably trace my ancestry back to Twatt if I try hard enough. The pride!

[Full list here]
Funny Cursor


Check out this funny computer cursor
The World's Thinnest Notebook








[Link] When Intel asked designers to build a better laptop, its instructions were simple, really. The machine has to be fashionable, able to connect to all manner of wireless networks, and full of the latest, fastest computing capabilities. Oh yes, and make it as thin as Motorola's Razr. Its own engineers in conjunction with Ziba Design in Portland, Ore., rose to the challenge.

The result, code-named Intel mobile Metro notebook, is less than 0.7 inches thick—about one-quarter of an inch thicker than Motorola's (MOT) iconic cell phone, making it the world's thinnest notebook. And at 2.25 pounds, it's also one of the lightest small-sized portable computers. Other features include always-on Internet connectivity via various wireless technologies.

And unlike other computer prototypes, including some from Intel, this one actually may line the shelves of a retailer before long. Intel hasn't announced an official release date but people familiar with the matter say a PC maker will announce plans to start manufacturing the machine later this year.

Hilarious Indian Superman and Spidergirl movie




[Via BoingBoing]: "This song and dance clip taken from a Hindustani film (I think) has got to be one of the weirdest ever to come out from the Bollywood studios. The lousy special effects used for the flying scenes - you can look through both of them - coupled with really horrendous Superman and Spiderwoman costumes, make this a real classic!"
Boy kills half-ton monster boar with pistol




Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig. An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long.

Regardless of the comparison, Jamison is reveling in the attention over his pig, which has a Web site put up by his father—http://www.monsterpig.com —that is generating Internet buzz.

"It feels really good," Jamison, of Pickensville, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Hogzilla II. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50- caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.

Through it all there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation of doing.

"I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited," said Jamison, who just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school.

His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast with 5- inch tusks decided to charge.

With the pig finally dead in a creek bed on the 2,500-acre Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, trees had to be cut down and a backhoe brought in to bring Jamison's prize out of the woods.

It was hauled on a truck to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, where Jeff Kinder said they used his scale, which was recently calibrated, to weigh the hog.

Kinder, who didn't witness the weigh-in, said he was baffled to hear the reported weight of 1,051 pounds because his scale—an old, manual style with sliding weights—only measures to the nearest 10.

"I didn't quite understand that," he said.

Mike Stone said the scale balanced one notch past the 1,050-pound mark, and he thought it meant a weight of 1,051 pounds.

"It probably weighed 1,060 pounds. We were just afraid to change it once the story was out," he said.

The hog's head is now being mounted on an extra-large foam form by Jerry Cunningham of Jerry's Taxidermy in Oxford. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout.

"It's huge," he said. "It's just the biggest thing I've ever seen."

Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. "We'll probably get 500 to 700 pounds," he said.

Jamison, meanwhile, has been offered a small part in "The Legend of Hogzilla," a small-time horror flick based on the tale of the Georgia boar. The movie is holding casting calls with plans to begin filming in Georgia.

Jamison is enjoying the newfound celebrity generated by the hog hunt, but he said he prefers hunting pheasants to monster pigs.

"They are a little less dangerous."[Source: breitbart via AP]

Coca-Cola Agrees to Buy Glaceau


The Coca-Cola Co., which has been looking to expand its water and energy drink portfolio and jump-start sales in North America, said Friday it has agreed to buy Vitaminwater maker Glaceau in a cash deal valued at $4.1 billion.

The world's largest beverage maker said the agreement to acquire privately held Energy Brands Inc., known as Glaceau, provides Atlanta-based Coca-Cola with a strong platform to grow its "active lifestyle" beverages.

The acquisition, Coca-Cola's largest ever, will be financed with debt, and is expected to add to Coca-Cola's earnings starting in 2008, but will slightly dilute profits this year, executives said.

Coca-Cola's chief financial officer, Gary Fayard, said in a conference call with analysts that Coke will take full ownership of Glaceau, which for now is 30 percent owned by holdings of India's Tata Group, a conglomerate with interests spanning steel, software services, hotels, chemicals and insurance. The Tata stake will be acquired later than the majority stake, Fayard said.

Tata paid $677 million for the stake last year, a deal that valued the entire company at $2.2 billion, Coca-Cola said.

The deal could reduce Coca-Cola's financial flexibility to buy back its own shares. Coca-Cola had previously said it would buy $2.5 billion to $3 billion of its stock this year; Fayard said Friday the company now expects to repurchase at least $1.75 billion to $2 billion in shares in 2007.

Fayard said the company expects cost savings from the deal to develop later, and he added that Coca-Cola will invest those savings in further growth of Glaceau's brands.

Formed in 1996 and based in Whitestone, N.Y., Glaceau is the maker of Vitaminwater, Fruitwater, Smartwater and Vitaminenergy.

The deal to buy Glaceau, which would operate as a separate business unit within Coca-Cola's North America segment, is expected to close in the summer. It is subject to regulatory review. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction.

Glaceau is attractive for Coca-Cola because of its position in the enhanced-water and energy drink categories, which Coca-Cola is betting will make up a large portion of the beverage industry's growth in North America through 2010.

Coca-Cola said Glaceau's top three executives - founder and CEO J. Darius Bikoff, President Mike Repole and Chief Financial Officer Mike Venuti - intend to lead the business for at least three years, and that other key managers will remain in the business.

A spokeswoman for Glaceau, Nina Fiddian-Green, declined to discuss her company's corporate structure and financial information, and she referred questions to Coca-Cola. Glaceau does not release annual sales figures.

Coca-Cola has been trying to improve sales in its key North America unit, which has been a weak spot. The company's 14 percent increase in first-quarter profit came on a double-digit rise in overall sales, but in North America, unit-case volume declined 3 percent in the quarter.

Coca-Cola shares rose 62 cents to $51.86 in morning trading Friday. [Via AP]
Sony develops film-thin, bending display






Sony unveiled what is billed as the world's first flexible, full-color OLED display built on organic thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. The 2.5-inch prototype display supports 16.8 million colors at a 120 x 160 pixel resolution, is 0.3 mm thick and weighs 1.5 grams

In the race for ever-thinner displays for TVs, cell phones and other gadgets, Sony may have developed one to beat them all - a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-color video.

Sony Corp. released video of the new 2.5-inch display Friday. In it, a hand squeezes a display that is 0.3 millimeters, or 0.01 inch, thick. The display shows color images of a bicyclist stuntman and a picturesque lake.

Although flat-panel TVs are getting slimmer, a display that's so thin it bends in a human hand marks a breakthrough.

Sony said it has yet to decide on commercial products using the technology.

"In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing," said Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa. "Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper."

Tatsuo Mori, an engineering and computer science professor at Nagoya University, said some hurdles remained, including making the display bigger, ensuring durability and cutting costs.

But he said the display's pliancy is extremely difficult to imitate with liquid crystal displays and plasma display panels - the two main display technologies now on the market.

"To come up with a flexible screen at that image quality is groundbreaking," Mori said. "You can drop it, and it won't break because it's as thin as paper."

The new display combines two technologies: Sony's organic thin film transistor, which is required to make flexible displays, and organic electroluminescent display.

Other companies, including LG. Philips LCD Co. and Seiko Epson Corp., are also working on a different kind of "electronic paper" technology, but Sony said the organic electroluminescent display delivers better color images and is more suited for video.

Sony President Ryoji Chubachi has said a film-like display is a major technology his company is working on to boost its status as a technological powerhouse.

In a meeting with reporters more than a year ago, Chubachi boasted Sony was working on a technology for displays so thin it could be rolled up like paper. He had predicted that the world would stand up and take notice.

Some analysts have said Sony, which makes Walkman portable players and PlayStation 3 video game machines, had fallen behind rivals in flat-panel technology, including Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and Sharp Corp. of Japan.

But Sony has been marking a turnaround under Chubachi and Chief Executive Howard Stringer, the first foreigner to head Sony, by reducing jobs, shuttering unprofitable businesses and strengthening its flat TV offerings. [Via AP]

Your Eye Gaze Has Power


She’s sitting across the room. She’s beautiful. You’ve got the skills to approach her. Maybe it’s a nightclub or a a bookstore and nobody knows each other.

Or maybe it’s a social circle situatoin. Maybe a house party. Maybe a dinner party. A seminar. A yoga class. An improv comedy class. A work function. A dance class.

In a non-social circle situation, you can approach the girl right away. Or you can talk to other people in the room. It’s not as big a deal.

But in social circle situations, sometimes you want to bide your time. You still want to be the most social guy in the room, but there’s no need to show interest right away. Biding your time can be in your favor.

At this point, I believe that body language is paramount. What you do with your eye gaze and body language orientation will demonstrate your power in this situation.

If you guys are like me, you love to look at beautiful women. I check out hot girls all the time.

Men are built differently. We get gratification from visual stimulation.

That hot girl walks by and I check her out. She walks by again and I check her out again. I keep looking. I enjoy looking.

Not that women don’t like looking at men, but it’s not as huge an urge. They don’t get as much pleasure as men do. Multiple studies have shown that the brain is not as visually stimulated seuxally in women as in men.

So what do I do in a social situation? I check the girl out. And I keep checking her out. Even though I already have the information.

I know she’s hot. I know I’m attracted to her.

This is the point at which I advise to NOT keep checking her out. After you initially look at her, do not keep looking her way.

Do not continue to “steal glances.” Do not continue to look at her without speaking to her. She can sense it. And so can everyone else in the room.

Your eye gaze has power. You gain confidence from people looking at you. And you get people looking at you when you are confident.

Lance Mason, founder of Pickup 101, talks about this concept as well. The manager of a restaurant will get attraction from all the waitresses in the restaurant simply because whenever he walks across the restaurant, all eyes are on him. Everyone is watching to see what he’s doing.

In studying social geometry in primates, Michael Chance reveals that in any social interaction

There is a persistent focusing of attention by all subordinate members of rank-ordered primate groups toward the alpha or dominant animal, usually without its taking specific action to attract this constant attention.

And this makes sense. Everybody watches the leader to see what he’s going to do next.

Think about this in a social situation. Instead of you stealing glances at the attractive girl, every once in a while you catch her looking at you.

How do you feel at that point? Pretty good, right? You start to gain confidence in that situation.

I’m not saying you should never look at an attractive woman. If and when you do look at her, look deliberately and slowly. Do not look away if she looks at you. Let her look away first.

And there are other aspects to being attractive in social situations, such as speaking loudly, being the most fun guy in the room, taking the lead. But pay careful attention where you place your gaze. Your gaze has power and should be treated as such.

Once you finally speak to the girl, whether you are introduced to her or take the opportunity to walk up to her and say “I don’t believe we’ve met,” your interest in her will be seen as interest from an equal or from an attractive cool guy, rather than someone already completely sold on her for her beauty. [Via ApproachAnxiety]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Scientists make '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.

One study showed that patients with advanced foot ulcers who were treated with the water, alongside an antibiotic had an average healing time of 43 days compared with 55 days in those who received standard treatment

Bleach-resistant bacteria

The results were presented at a Global Healthcare biomedical conference in Monte Carlo.

Bleach also contains a number of electrically charged molecules such as hypochlorite but in much higher concentrations than in the water.

However, US studies have shown the water kills 10 strains of bleach-resistant bacteria.

Professor Andrew Boulton, from Manchester Royal Infirmary, who is conducting one of the early UK trials, said the treatment seemed promising.

"Hopefully it will confirm our initial good experience."

About 15% of diabetic foot ulcers result in amputation.

Diabetes UK care adviser Tracey Kelly said: "The healing of wounds is a major problem for people with diabetes who do not have good blood glucose control or have circulatory problems.

"We would welcome any safe effective treatment which could help people with diabetes make a swift recovery.

"This research is very interesting and we look forward to the trial results."

Help the Aged spokesman Mike Foster said: "The team involved is a credible one and wound healing is a major area in the health of older people.

"There is an urgent need to understand the biology of our repair systems so that we can improve treatments that will help to restore more people's health and independence."

[Newscientist via BBC]

Handheld Blog? Sony's 6M digital camera has huge LCD & Wi-Fi




Sony displayed its 6M digital camera ‘CyberShot DSG-G1’ during P&I Show 2007, which adopted extra-fine LCD, Wi-Fi and 2GB built-in memory.



It is possible for up to four camera users of the DSC-G1 to send each other photos in real time and by adopting 2GB built-in memory, it can store up to 7,500 VGA images or 630 6M photos. Photos can be organized by 50 different labels and sorting functionality with which users can manage their images effectively. A company official said that the DSC-G1 could be considered as a 'handheld blog'.