Friday, July 13, 2012

Tackling Wine Allergies

Tech Tackles Wine Allergies -- Discovery News

Some people are allergic to certain wines -- that nice Loire Valley red gives them a rash or headache, or that California Chardonnay makes them sneeze. The University of British Columbia's Wine Research Center might have found a way to solve this problem.

The team at UBC has modified two genes of a strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which has been used in winemaking for decades (if not centuries). The yeast was modified to eliminate the need for a species of bacteria needed for the winemaking process. That bacteria produces chemicals that cause allergic reactions. About 30 percent of the population has some allergy to wine.

Read more

My Comment: What struck me about this article was the following stat .... about 30 percent of the population has some allergy to wine. that's a big market being left out.

New Wi-Fi Hotspots For New York City

A pilot program will turn 10 New York City payphone kiosks into wireless hotspots, with more to follow.

Wi-Fi Hotspots To Revive NYC Payphones -- CNN

(CNN) -- Remember payphones? This might sound crazy, but if New York City has its way, people might actually start using them again to communicate with each other.

The city announced Thursday that it has created Wi-Fi hotspots at 10 payphone kiosks in three of the city's boroughs. It's the first step in a pilot program designed to make wireless access available to as many people as possible in the city.

The kiosks (seven in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn and one in Queens) have antennas that create Wi-Fi hotspots providing free wireless service up to 300 feet away. More will be added in the coming months, according to the blog post announcing the program.

Read more ....

My Comment: If it is free .... it will succeed.

Apple Goes Green Again

Thanks to its non-removable battery, Apple's MacBook Pro with retina display may be difficult to recycle or disassemble.

Apple: No Wait, We're Green Again -- CNN

(CNN) -- Calling its decision to abandon a green certification system for electronics "a mistake," Apple on Friday announced it would again submit its products for EPEAT certification.

"We've recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system," Apple's senior vice president for hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, said in a statement. "I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT."

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My Comment: This was a screw-up.

Evidence Of 'Dark Galaxies' Discovered

Ultraviolet light from a quasar (in the red circle) causes hydrogen gas in dark galaxies (blue circles) to fluoresce. ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/S. Cantalupo (UCSC)

First Evidence Of 'Dark Galaxies' Discovered -- The Telegraph

Astronomers in Chile have observed what appears to be evidence of the existence of dark galaxies, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced on Wednesday.

Dark galaxies are small, gas-rich galaxies from the early universe that are believed to be the building blocks of today's bright, star-filled galaxies, said the ESO, an intergovernmental organisation supported by 15 countries.

"For the first time, dark galaxies – an early phase of galaxy formation, predicted by theory but unobserved until now – may have been spotted," the ESO said in a statement.

"Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team thinks they have detected these elusive objects by observing them glowing as they are illuminated by a quasar," it said.

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How Did Dinosaurs Mate?

Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs mating - like most dinosaur species, the creatures mated like dogs

The Joy Of T-Rex: Scientists Show How Dinosaurs Had Sex (Tricky, When You Weigh 30 Tonnes And One Crucial Part Is 12ft Long) -- Daily Mail

Palaeontologists answer many tricky questions about dinosaurs - but perhaps the most interesting is how did 30-ton animals larger than four-storey buildings have sex.

A surprising amount of research has been devoted to the subject - and most researchers have concluded that dinosaurs made love like dogs

'All dinosaurs used the same basic position to mate,' said Dr Beverly Halstead, an English researcher who was one of the first to tackle the subject. 'Mounting from the rear, he put his forelimbs on her shoulders, lifting one hind limb across her back and twisting his tail under hers.'

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My Comment: 12 feet long?

Native American Settled The New World In Three Major Waves

Americas 'Settled In Three Waves' -- BBC

The biggest survey of Native American DNA has concluded that the New World was settled in three major waves.

But the majority of today's indigenous Americans descend from a single group of migrants that crossed from Asia to Alaska 15,000 years ago or more.

Previous genetic data have lent support to the idea that America was colonised by a single migrant wave.

An international team of researchers have published their findings in the journal Nature.

Read more ....

A New Way to Treat Diabetes?

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes -- a major public health concern in the United States due to the current obesity epidemic. (Credit: Image by Peter Allen, UC Santa Barbara)

Discovery of Chemical That Affects Biological Clock Offers New Way to Treat Diabetes -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (July 12, 2012) — Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes -- a major public health concern in the United States due to the current obesity epidemic.

Their discovery, detailed in a paper published July 13 in an advance online issue of the journal Science, initially came as a surprise because the chemical they isolated does not directly control glucose production in the liver, but instead affects the activity of a key protein that regulates the internal mechanisms of our daily night and day activities, which scientists call our circadian rhythm or biological clock.

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My Comment: A promising direction to help type 2 diabetes patients.

Robotic Hand Also Doubles As A Human Exoskeleton

Festo's robotic ExoHand also works as a human augmentation device.

Sophisticated Robotic Hand Also Doubles As A Human Exoskeleton -- Singularity Hub

It may be time to jettison the notion that robots in the future will have grippers or claws for hands. The German robotics company Festo recently unveiled the ExoHand, a sophisticated robotic hand that is capable of the fine motor skills that allows the human hand to have a delicate touch or perform complex manipulations.

The ExoHand comes in two forms: as the extremity of a robotic arm or a wearable exoskeleton glove. The system is designed so that the glove can aid assembly line workers performing repetitive tasks with their hands or be used for the remote manipulation of the robotic arm by a user wearing the glove.

Read more

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scientists Bring 500 Million-Year-Old Bacteria Back To Life

The new 'chimeric' bacteria has mutated rapidly - and some have become stronger and healthier than today's germs

Jurassic Park In A Petri Dish: Scientists Bring 500 Million-Year-Old Bacteria Back To Life - What Could Possibly Go Wrong? -- Daily Mail

* 'Frankenstein' germ spliced with gene from 500-million-year-old bacteria
* Bacteria is now thriving in lab
* Some of the 'chimeric' E Coli is now stronger than normal bacteria
* Scientists hope to 'restage' evolution
* Will answer questions about how and why organisms evolve

A 500 million-year-old bacteria has been brought back to life in a laboratory at Georgia Tech in an experiment with echoes of Jurassic Park's disastrous recreation of the dinosaurs.

The researchers have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene and inserted it into a modern E Coli bacteria.

The 'Frankenstein' germ has thrived. In the lab, the creation has now lived through 1,000 generations.

Read more ....

My Comment: It's only a matter of time before they start working on larger gene sequences.

Giant Sunspot Shooting Out Intense, X-Class Solar Flare Detected

Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite image of solar flare (NASA)

Giant Sunspot Shoots Out Intense, X-Class Solar Flare -- Washington Post

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) just posted the following:

The R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout today at 12:49 EDT (1649 UTC) was accompanied by an earth-directed CME. Hampered by limited observations of the event, SWPC forecasters are now anticipating the passage of the [coronal mass ejection] around 1:00 a.m. EDT, Saturday, July 14. G1 (minor) Geomagnetic Storm activity is expected to then ensue through the rest of the day.

In short, NOAA is predicting minor effects from this space weather event - no major impacts on the power grid or satellites anticipated - although we remind you forecasting space weather is difficult and surprises are possible. Sky watchers in northern U.S. (and high latitudes) may have an opportunity to see aurora late Friday night into early Saturday morning.

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Your Facebook Chats Are Not Private

Facebook Monitors Your Chats for Criminal Activity -- Mashable

Facebook and other social platforms are watching users’ chats for criminal activity and notifying police if any suspicious behavior is detected, according to a report.

The screening process begins with scanning software that monitors chats for words or phrases that signal something might be amiss, such as an exchange of personal information or vulgar language.

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My Comment: Should not be surprised by this news. Our online activity is monitored for advertising purposes .... so for law-enforcement and Facebook .... the technology is already there for them to use.

Cybercom Commander: Destructive Cyber Attacks Are Coming

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Cyber War -- Washington Free Beacon

Cybercom chief: Destructive cyber attacks are coming

The commander of the military’s new U.S. Cyber Command said digital attacks are evolving from disrupting network functions to destructive strikes.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the Cybercom commander who is also head of the National Security Agency electronic spy service, said current forms of attack emanate from nation states, criminals, hackers, and others, and mainly disrupt temporarily the work of computer networks and systems.

“What I am concerned about and what I think we really need to be concerned about is when these transition from disruptive to destructive attacks, and I think those are coming,” Alexander said during remarks Monday to the American Enterprise Institute.

Read more ....

More News On Warnings From The Cybercom Commander On Future Cyber Attacks

Cyber chief warns of rising danger from cyber attacks -- CNN
NSA General on Cyberattacks: 'Probability for a Crisis Is Mounting' -- US News and World Report
US must adopt cyberattack law, says NSA chief -- The Telegraph
Cyber Command chief urges action on information-sharing legislation -- The Hill
Cybersecurity Chief Urges Action by Congress -- ABC News/AP
Legislative action needed now on cybersecurity, says US cyber chief -- Defense Systems
Cyber command chief urges greater role for agencies in infrastructure protection -- Stars and Stripes
Cybersecurity Law Is No Threat To Privacy: NSA Chief Gen. Alexander -- Aol Defense
US NSA chief backs cybersecurity law -- AFP
NSA Chief Says Spy Agency Does Not Read Private Email -- The New American
US Needs Cyber Defense From China, General Says -- Epoch Times
Pentagon cyber chief downplays NSA email snooping; says attack is 'coming our way' -- RT
NSA chief discusses challenges, opportunities of cyberworld -- US Air Force

The Next Holy Grail For Physics

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

The Next Holy Grail For Physics: Finding The Anti-World -- Spiegel Online

The apparent discovery of the Higgs boson was hailed as a historic milestone, but for particle physicists it mainly marks the beginning of a new search. Rival teams at CERN in Switzerland are trying to decipher the secrets of antimatter. If they succeed, the laws of physics will have to be rewritten.

Sheep are grazing to the left of the gate to the anti-world. On the right-hand side, a pair of rust-brown steel bottles is waiting to be picked up. A sign warns: "Caution. Radiation!" Another sign prohibits the use of bicycles.

Read more

The Sexiest Car On The Planet?

It's Official: The Aston Martin Virage Is The Sexiest Car On The Planet - -Business Insider

We spent an entire weekend cruising around in a 2012 Aston Martin Virage Volante. The verdict?

This Aston Martin drop top convertible is hands-down the sexiest car we've ever driven. It looks, sounds, and feels great – not to mention it's also a frickin' Aston Martin.

Read more ....

Editor: The full review of the car is here.

Strategies For Farming In A Changing Planet

Better Seeds. David Arky

Strategies For A Changing Planet: Farming -- Popular Science

Wheat, rice and corn provide 60 percent of the world's calories -- here's how to prepare them for the future

Climate change is already happening, and it's time to get ready. Here's how we could adjust our most basic needs--food, water, shelter--to survive.

The biggest challenge in preparing crops for climate change is knowing what to prepare them for. Even within agricultural regions, the effects of global warming will vary.

Read more

My Comment: Was not aware that wheat, rice and corn provide 60 percent of the world's calories.

US Declares The Largest Natural Disaster Area Ever Due To Severe Drought

U.S. Declares Drought-Stricken States Largest Natural Disaster Area Ever -- The Lookout/Yahoo News

The United States Department of Agriculture has declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 drought-stricken states, making it the largest natural disaster in America ever.

The declaration—which covers roughly half of the country—gives farmers and ranchers devastated by drought access to federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.

Read more ....

More News On The US Declaring The Largest Natural Disaster Area Ever Due To Severe Drought

Disaster Declared in 26 States as Drought Sears U.S. -- Bloomberg
U.S. Declares the Largest Natural Disaster Area Ever Due to Drought -- The Atlantic
USDA Declares Biggest Disaster Ever -- Newser

My Comment: This will not only mean higher food prices in the U.S., but also higher prices worldwide. In a world where even small swings in the price of food commodities an bring about disaster, one can then only expect a future of even more unrest and suffering in regions that are dependent on this food aid and assistance.

New Pluto Moon Discovered By The Hubble Space Telescope

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and M. Showaler (SETI Institute)

New Pluto Moon Discovered -- Red Orbit

Scientists announced on Wednesday they have discovered the smallest moon yet, orbiting around the dwarf planet Pluto.

The discovery was made by a team of scientists who used the Hubble Space Telescope to scout out Pluto’s neighborhood ahead of a NASA spacecraft that is scheduled to arrive in 2015.

The new moon, known as P5 currently, appeared as a small fleck in the Hubble images, and scientists believe it is about 6 to 15 miles across.

Read more ....

My Comment: Incredible. This new moon is only 6 - 15 miles across .... but it can still be spotted by the Hubble telescope.

Tree-Rings Prove Climate Was WARMER In Roman And Medieval Times Than It Is Now

Global cooling: It is the first time that researchers have been able to accurately measure trends in global temperature over the last two millennia

Tree-Rings Prove Climate Was WARMER In Roman And Medieval Times Than It Is Now - And World Has Been Cooling For 2,000 Years -- Daily Mail

* Study of semi-fossilised trees gives accurate climate reading back to 138BC
* World was warmer in Roman and Medieval times than it is now

How did the Romans grow grapes in northern England? Perhaps because it was warmer than we thought.

A study suggests the Britain of 2,000 years ago experienced a lengthy period of hotter summers than today.

German researchers used data from tree rings – a key indicator of past climate – to claim the world has been on a ‘long-term cooling trend’ for two millennia until the global warming of the twentieth century.

This cooling was punctuated by a couple of warm spells.

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My Comment: More fuel to the climate warming debate.

Truvada Drug Trials Signal 'Turning Point' In The Battle Against AIDS

Truvada Drug Trials Signal 'Turning Point' In AIDS Epidemic -- USA Today

A trio of new studies highlights the promise and challenges of preventing the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS: Giving anti-AIDS drugs to healthy but high-risk patients can dramatically reduce the risk of infection.

Two studies from Africa in heterosexual patients found that the drugs reduced the rate of HIV infection by 62% to 75%, a success rate that's comparable to results from studies of gay men, according to research in today's New England Journal of Medicine. A third study in African women at high risk of infection, however, was ended early after researchers saw the drugs had no effect on HIV rates, largely because fewer than 40% of study participants took their pills as instructed.

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My Comment:
Say what they want .... the battle against AIDS is a long battle that will years (if ever) to succeed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Could Wine Reduce The Chance Of Arthritis by half?

Drink up: Women who drink three glasses of wine a week could be halving their risk of arthritis

Three Glasses Of Wine A Week Could Reduce Chance Of Arthritis By Half -- Daily Mail

* Around 400,000 Britons are affected by rheumatoid arthritis and the majority are women, aged 40 to 70

The next time someone offers you a glass of wine, be grateful – it could save you from the agony of arthritis.

Women who indulge in moderate drinking halve the risk of certain forms of the illness, researchers have found.

Swedish academics found that women who drank at least three medium-sized glasses of wine a week - or the equivalent in beer or spirits - were up to 52 per cent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

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My Comment: I will drink to that.

Was This Mercedes Hitler's Car?

The owner of an auto repair shop in New Jersey believed this 1942 Mercedes once belonged to Adolf Hitler. It did not. But it did belong to a Nazi general. Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

N.J. Car Dealer: Mercedes Bought Online Was "Hitler's Car" -- CBS News

(CBS News) EDGEWATER, N.J. - An auto repair shop owner was shocked to find out that a Mercedes-Benz he purchased over the Internet for a customer has strong ties to Adolf Hitler.

"He was surprised," Zenop Tuncer, owner of Euro Tech Motors, told in recalling his conversation with the customer. "We were all surprised!"

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Update: It is not Hitler's 'car'.

How New Scanners Will Revolutionize Security And Warfare

Cutting the queues: The laser scanners will be ten million faster than existing security scanning technology, which would presumably shorten lines at airports but also cause privacy issues

Homeland Security Buys 'Big Brother' Laser Scanner That Can Tell If You Are High, What You Are Carrying And Even What You Had For Breakfast... From 50 Meters Away -- Daily Mail

The latest scanners acquired by the U.S. government will be able detect the most minute traces of molecular discrepancies in both individuals' bloodstream and carry on luggage from 50 meters away.

Using advanced laser technology, Picosecond Programmable Laser scanners will show traces of drugs, chemicals, weapons, and even food you recently digested at the push of a button.

A non-governmental company originally developed the technology but has since partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, implying that the scanners will likely be deployed throughout airports and other high-risk areas.

Read more ....

My Comment: The security and military applications for this tech .... which is portable .... is astounding.

The Age Man Suit

The Age Man Suit, which has ear-protectors that stifle hearing and a yellow visor that blurs eyesight.

Suit Lets Medical Students Experience Symptoms Of Old Age -- The Guardian

The Age Man Suit, developed by German scientists, is designed to make future doctors aware of older people's needs

It's nothing if not depressing. I drop a coin on the floor and bend down to pick it up. The bending is laborious and with it comes the risk of toppling over. My head is heavy and moving it causes dizziness. And there's still that coin to pick up – a five-cent piece, which, with my clumsy hands whose fingers are not very flexible and lacking a proper sense of touch – seems to defy my attempts to grab it, five, six times. Those around me joke: "Hurry up, grandma, we haven't got all day."

Read more

My Comment: I am 52 years old .... and I feel the years already. Can only imagine what I will feel like when I am 72 .... or .... here is a scary thought .... when I am 92.

Advances In Telescopes Will Make It Possible To View Exoplanets By Hiding Interfering Starlight

Sifting Starlight These two images show HD 157728, a nearby star 1.5 times larger than the sun. The star is centered in both images, and its light has been mostly removed by an adaptive optics system and coronagraph belonging to Project 1640, which uses new technology on the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch Hale telescope to spot planets. Project 1640/NASA-JPL

New Telescope Optics Can Directly View Exoplanets By Hiding Interfering Starlight -- Popular Science

For now, the thousands of potential exoplanets discovered in the past two years are little more than curvy dips on a graph. Astronomers using the Kepler Space Telescope pick them out by examining the way they blot out their own stars’ light as they move through their orbits. But if astronomers could block out the stars themselves, they may be able to see the planets directly. A new adaptive optics system on the storied Palomar Observatory just started doing that — it’s the first of its kind capable of spotting planets outside our solar system.

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My Comment: I am now looking forward to see some interesting sights.

The Crusaders' Last Stand

Buried treasure: The coins - worth a fortune even in 1265 when they were thought to have been buried - were deliberately hidden inside a broken jug to prevent them being discovered

The Crusaders' Last Stand: Pot Of Gold Worth £300,000 Found In Fortress Where It Was Buried By Doomed Force Of Christian Knights -- Daily Mail

* Pot of gold 'Dinals' were buried by Crusaders as enemy forces closed in
* 100 coins worth up to $5000 each
* Remained hidden in fortress since 1265
* Hidden inside broken jug to prevent conquerors taking treasure

A pot of gold from the Crusades worth up to $500,000 has been found buried in an ancient Roman fortress in Israel.

The coins were buried by Christian soldiers of the order of the Knights Hospitalier as the Crusaders faced an unstoppable attack by a huge Muslim army.

The knights were annihilated in April 1265.

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My Comment: Buried for almost 750 years .... what a remarkable story it can tell.

Priciest Car Accident Ever? $31-Million Ferrari Crashes In France

A Ferrari 250 GTO is seen at Retromobile 2012 Convention at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles (July 10, 2012)

Priciest Accident Ever? $31-Million Ferrari Crashes In France -- L.A. Times

It was a prized Ferrari, one of a rare model known as the “Picasso of motoring” that is often included by elite automobile magazines among the top wheels in the world.

Now its owner, American businessman Christopher Cox, has a new and less desirable distinction: Driver in what could be the most costly car crash ever seen.

The Ferrari 250 GTO smashed into another car last week during a parade of pricey race cars through France, breaking the leg of his wife Ann Cox and sending two passengers in the other car to the hospital, the British newspaper Metro reported.

Read more

My Comment: That hurts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Breeding GM Mosquitoes To Stop The Spread Of Dengue Fever

Scientists To Breed GM Mosquitoes To Stop Spread Of Dengue Fever -- The Telegraph

Huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes are to be breed by scientists in Brazil to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.

Dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, causing fever, muscle and joint ache as well as potentially fatal dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

The disease is caused by four strains of virus that are spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. There is no vaccine, which is why scientists are focusing so intensely on mosquito control.

Read more

Look At That Flipping Ship!

Look At That Flipping Ship! U.S. Navy Celebrates Research Vessel's 50th Year With Acrobatic Display -- Daily Mail

Seen out of context, it looks like a ship silently slinking under the waves, like the final scene in a disaster movie.

But have no fear, this is simply a very special U.S Navy ship, taking a 'flip' as it celebrates 50 years of cartwheels.

With an ability to drift over the ocean like a ship - yet transform into a vertical buoy in pursuit of scientific research - the Navy's Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) is one of the most unique ships on (or under) the water.

Read more ....

Tornado Passes By A Man In A Car On His Cell

My Comment: Way to close for comfort.

Cows Raised On Fine Wine

Jean-Charles Tastavy, who came up with the idea, said the two Angus and one Camargue were initially fed the wine in a mix of barley, hay and grapes Photo: Alamy

French Cows Reared On Fine Wine -- The Telegraph

French cows are enjoying up to two bottles of high quality wine every day as farmers attempt to produce the best beef in Europe.

The extraordinary development has seen a 'Vinbovin' label of meat established which is already being championed by some of the best restaurants in Paris.

It follows an experiment in Lunel-Viel, in the southern Herault region of France, which saw three cows fed local wine for four months.

Jean-Charles Tastavy, who came up with the idea, said the two Angus and one Camargue were initially fed the wine in a mix of barley, hay and grapes.

It soon became clear that they were 'happy cows' who ended up producing an exceptionally succulent meat.

Read more

My Comment: Lucky cows.

Look Who Is Coming To Dinner


Great White Shark Stalks Cape Cod Kayaker -- 7News

ORLEANS, Mass. (WHDH) -- Nauset beach was evacuated Saturday afternoon when a 12 to 14-foot shark was spotted only 100 feet out.

A great white's dorsal fin cut through the top of the water as it cruised the shoreline.

“All of a sudden, we saw this person in a kayak, and we saw a fin 10 feet from it,” said Lizzy Jenkins.

Everyone else in the water immediately ran onto the beach.

“We started swimming and people on the shore started waiving us in,” said Christina Proulx.

Read more ....

My Comment:
The above picture is a classic.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nasa Releases 360 Degree View Of Mars

Nasa Releases 360 Degree Image Of Mars -- The Telegraph

After months of image collection, Nasa publishes two new images from the surface of Mars.

Described by Nasa as the 'Greeley Panorama' from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the first image documents the fifth Martian Winter of the mission.

The full-circle scene combines 817 images taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on Opportunity.

Nasa scientists say the image shows the terrain that surrounded the rover while it was stationary for four months of work during its most recent Martian winter.

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My Comment: A truly impressive view of the martian landscape.

The Closest Robotic Legs Have Ever Gotten To Mimicking Human Gait

Video: The Closest Robotic Legs Have Ever Gotten To Mimicking Human Gait -- Popular Science

Getting a robot to walk is doable. Getting it to walk exactly like a human? Not so easy. But now we're getting there, with researchers from the University of Arizona unveiling a first-of-its-kind set of biologically accurate robot legs.

To make it possible, researchers set up a fake half-center, a simple neural network of two neurons that fire interchangeably, producing the rhythm of human walking, while sensors in the robot send feedback about its environment. Researchers believe babies might operate on a similar half-center system, even before they walk, and that a half-center might be what provides a framework for people with spinal cord injuries to re-learn how to walk.

Read more ....

My Comment:
Getting better with each new development.

Map Of Every Major Earthquake Since 1898

Michigan-based designer John Nelson charted a century's worth of earthquakes (a staggering 203,186 of them) across the globe

Shaking All Over: Map Of Every Major Earthquake Since 1898 Reveals Stunning Image Of Planet's Danger Zones -- Daily Mail

If you are looking for somewhere safe from an earthquake, this might help.

For this map shows the where every major quake has struck since 1898, and as you can see, the edge of the Pacific Ocean appears particularly dangerous. In total there are a staggering 203,186 of them, dotted all over the world.

The neon-coloured map was created as a side-project by mapping manager John Nelson, in a case of taking his work home with him, as he works for data-visualisation software maker IDV Solutions.

Read more ....

My Comment: This map clearly illustrates the 'ring of fire'.

China's Giant Man-Made Waterfall As Floodgates Are Opened

A cloud of water: The floodwater churns through Yellow River as bystanders stand and stare

Apocalypse Dam: China's Giant Man-Made Waterfall As Floodgates Are Opened To Send Millions Of Tons Of Silt Downstream -- Daily Mail

It is an scene of almost apocalyptic proportions.

Bystanders are dwarfed as they stand watching a tremendous rush of water gushing through gaps in a dam in China, part of a carefully-choreographed operation to remove silt from the Yellow River in Luoyang, in the Henan province.

This annual operation sees more than 30 million tonnes of silt sent downstream a year, with more than 390 million tonnes shifted this way over the last 13 years.

Read more ....

My Comment: Awesome pictures .... nature held back until man has to let it go.

The Higgs Boson: Why You Should Care About The God Particle.

Scientists have identified the Higgs boson using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Image credit: CERN

The Higgs Boson: Why You Should Care About the God Particle. And, Sadly, Why You Don't -- Forbes

Here’s what you need to know about the God Particle.

The Higgs boson (Higgs is a guy’s name, BTW, and a boson is a subatomic particle) is the biggest scientific discovery of the 21st Century. Period.

This discovery is up there with Copernicus. If we did not find the Higgs boson, everything that we understood about how the universe works would have been wrong. We would have had nice equations that describe things we observed in the world, but they would have been crap. That would have been $10 billion flushed down the toilet with the creation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and we would have gone back to the drawing board with our tail between our legs after fifty years of an aimless pursuit.

Read more ....

Finding Buried Treasure

Exciting: Silver and gold, pictured here among the coins, has been discovered by experts working on the record £10million coin hoard that was discovered in Jersey last week

Silver And Gold Discovered Among Record £10Million Jersey Hoard Of Coins That Date Back To Julius Caesar's Invading Army -- Daily Mail

Silver and gold has been discovered by experts working on the record £10million coin hoard that was discovered in Jersey last week.

The haul contains between 30,000 and 50,000 Celtic coins and was discovered by metal detector enthusiasts Reg Mead and Richard Miles.

They are currently in one solid mass and work is being carried out to evaluate what else is in the find.

Read more ....

My Comment
: Makes one wonder how many more hidden hoards of treasure exist in England.

Hot To Fix A Machine Infected With DNSChanger

If you see this or similar warnings when using Google or other services, then be sure to check your system for malware. (Credit: CNET)

How To Detect And Fix A Machine Infected With DNSChanger -- CNet

The FBI will be closing the DNSChanger network on Monday, after which thousands worldwide are expected to no longer be able to access the Internet.

On July 9, the FBI will close down a network of DNS servers that many people have been depending on for proper Internet access. These servers were originally a part of a scam where a crime ring of Estonian nationals developed and distributed a malware package called DNSChanger, but which the FBI seized and converted to a legitimate DNS service.

This malware scam has been widespread enough that even third-party companies like Google and Facebook and a number of ISPs like Comcast, COX, Verizon, and AT&T have joined in the effort to help remove it by issuing automatic notifications to users that their systems are configured with the rogue DNS network.

Read more ....

My Comment: If you are reading this, your computer is probably clean.

Remembering Sergio Pininfarina Who Designed Classic Ferraris

Sergio Pininfarina, left, and Renzo Carli. Pininfarina was responsible for the sleek shapes of Ferraris and many other sports cars. (European Pressphoto Agency / July 3, 2012)

Sergio Pininfarina Dies At 85; Designed Classic Ferraris -- L.A. Times

Pininfarina's firm, based in Turin, Italy, was responsible for the Ferrari 250 and 500, the Dino and the Daytona. He was named an Italian senator for life.

Sergio Pininfarina, who headed a family company known for its designs of sleek Ferraris and other cars, has died. He was 85.

Pininfarina died Monday night at his home in Turin, the company announced Tuesday. No cause was given.

The company founded in 1930 designed cars for Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Volvo but is most closely associated with Ferrari, designing nearly all of its models since the 1950s.

Read more ....

My Comment:
His designs are still classic Ferrari.