Aerial Assault: Bird Attacks Tiger
|10:18:33 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
World's First 'Live' Video Feed of Earth from Space
|4:57:03 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
Bugatti Unveils Veyron Grand Sport L'Or Blanc
|4:45:28 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
"This is a Bugatti Veyron with porcelain bits on it. Yep, we've had chrome-effect R8s, snakeskin-shod Escalades, wide-mouth Cayennes, but now there's this - the crockery-spec Grand Sport L'Or Blanc (White Gold to you and I).
Built in conjunction with Bugatti and chinasmiths, Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin) it was unveiled at a premiere ceremony in Berlin at the KPM workshops.
And according to Bugatti, the fastest production convertible in the world is the first car ever to wear porcelain inside and out. Which could be because people don't want bits of sculpted bog in their car.
Nevertheless, the wheel centres, fuel and oil filler caps, EB badge on the rump, centre console surround and rear interior centre trim are all rendered from china. Some even have relief elephants in them..."
Caricature Map of Europe 1914
|5:34:17 PM, Monday, July 04, 2011|
-- Love it! Follow the link for explanation.
Wide Angle Camera Mounted on Firework
|2:11:51 PM, Monday, July 04, 2011|
-- Happy 4th of July! USA USA USA!!! ;)
North Korea Shuts Down Universities for 10 Months
|8:30:45 PM, Sunday, July 03, 2011|
"North Korea has shut down its universities for the next 10 months and sent students to work in factories, agriculture and the construction sector as it struggles to rebuild its economy.
Pyongyang has told the North Korean people that the nation will have achieved its aim of becoming "a great, prosperous and powerful nation" in 2012, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founder of the reclusive state, Kim Il-sung.
In addition, Kim Jong-il will turn 70 in February and the "Dear Leader" hopes to be able to transfer his power and an economically stronger nation to his son and heir-apparent, Kim Jong-Un.
Reports in South Korea indicated that the government in Pyongyang on Monday ordered all universities to cancel classes until April of next year. The only exemptions are for students who will be graduating in the next few months and foreign students.
The reports suggested that the students will be put to work on construction projects in major cities while there are also indications that repair work may be needed in agricultural regions that were affected by a major typhoon recently.
Analysts in Japan claim there may be other reasons behind the decision to disperse the students across the country..."
|6:00:46 PM, Sunday, July 03, 2011|
Previous The Marble Caves: Patagonia's Sculpted Azure Caverns
|1:01:32 PM, Saturday, July 02, 2011|
Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Southern Cliff in the Lagoon
|12:49:59 PM, Friday, July 01, 2011|
-- "Undulating bright ridges and dusty clouds cross this close-up of the nearby star forming region M8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. A sharp, false-color composite of narrow band visible and broad band near-infrared data from the 8-meter Gemini South Telescope, the entire view spans about 20 light-years through a region of the nebula sometimes called the Southern Cliff. The highly detailed image explores the association of many newborn stars imbedded in the tips of the bright-rimmed clouds and Herbig-Haro objects. Abundant in star-forming regions, Herbig-Haro objects are produced as powerful jets emitted by young stars in the process of formation heat the surrounding clouds of gas and dust. The cosmic Lagoon is found some 5,000 light-years away toward constellation Sagittarius and the center of our Milky Way Galaxy."
Krokodil - The Drug That Eats Junkies: Flesh Eating Drug Destroys Body Parts With Every Injection
|12:28:08 PM, Friday, July 01, 2011|
"(22 JUNE 2011, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/krokodil-the-drug-that-eats-junkies-2300787.html) Oleg glances furtively around him and, confident that nobody is watching, slips inside the entrance to a decaying Soviet-era block of flats, where Sasha is waiting for him. Ensconced in the dingy kitchen of one of the apartments, they empty the contents of a blue carrier bag that Oleg has brought with him – painkillers, iodine, lighter fluid, industrial cleaning oil, and an array of vials, syringes, and cooking implements.
Half an hour later, after much boiling, distilling, mixing and shaking, what remains is a caramel-coloured gunge held in the end of a syringe, and the acrid smell of burnt iodine in the air. Sasha fixes a dirty needle to the syringe and looks for a vein in his bruised forearm. After some time, he finds a suitable place, and hands the syringe to Oleg, telling him to inject the fluid. He closes his eyes, and takes the hit.
Russia has more heroin users than any other country in the world – up to two million, according to unofficial estimates. For most, their lot is a life of crime, stints in prison, probable contraction of HIV and hepatitis C, and an early death. As efforts to stem the flow of Afghan heroin into Russia bring some limited success, and the street price of the drug goes up, for those addicts who can't afford their next hit, an even more terrifying spectre has raised its head.
The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or "crocodile". It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be "cooked" from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.
It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.
"If you miss the vein, that's an abscess straight away," says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.
"She won't go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore," says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death..."
-- WARNING THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC, don't watch if you'd rather not see.
Aluminum Panels Set To Take On Pollution As 'Smog Eaters'
|1:40:30 AM, Friday, July 01, 2011|
"In the witch's brew of gases and particles that make up smog in most cities, nitrogen oxides are a plentiful ingredient. The pollutants also help create ground-level ozone, a nasty irritant for lungs, and bothersome fine particles.
The family of chemicals, called NOx in shorthand, can inflame people's airways and trigger asthma attacks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Reducing emissions is one way to curb NOx pollution. But aluminum giant Alcoa has another idea for taking on NOx: a building panel with an special coating, called EcoClean, that the company says can turn buildings into smog eaters.
The secret weapon against smog? Titanium dioxide. Used to coat Alcoa's aluminum panels, the material can neutralize harmful pollutants through simple oxidation.
When sunlight strikes the titanium dioxide, its electrons transfer energy to oxygen and water in the air, creating free radicals. Alcoa says these free radicals then oxidize NOx molecules, and they'll eventually wash away as nitrate. Alcoa had panels tested by an independent firm in Georgia, and the results "confirm that on a molecular level EcoClean neutralizes smog."
The panels aren't on the market yet, but they're expected to cost 4 percent to 5 percent more than conventional aluminum panels. The company says that 10,000 square feet of its panels "has the approximate air cleansing power of 80 trees." The European marketing tagline even asks: "How much forest can I build?"
That may be overstating the case a tad. EcoClean may remove a lot of NOx (and other oxidizable compounds) from the air. But air pollution is complex stuff.
According to research by David Nowak, project leader and research director for the Urban Forests, Human Health, and Environmental Quality unit of the U.S. Forest Service, trees can remove additional pollutants like particulate matter, ozone and carbon monoxide. Trees have the added bonus of improving air quality with their canopy cover, too, Nowak says..."
Watch Monster Tajima Tackle Pikes Peak and Break His Own Record
|12:05:47 PM, Thursday, June 30, 2011|
“There can be only one King of the Hill, and that is Nobuhiro Tajima; the ‘Monster' just beat his own personal best to claim overall victory at the annual Pikes Peak hill climb.
Held on the now-infamous Colorado mountain, Monster took his 850bhp Suzuki SX4 and gunned the 12.42mile race course (of which just three miles of unpaved surfaces remain) to register a scarcely believable time of 9m 51.28s, besting his own PB from 10m 01.41s.
Rhys Millen - son of Pikes legend Rod - returned to the mountain in his Hyundai Genesis PM580 but was beset with brake problems and settled for second place with a time of 10m 09.24s.
Just to reiterate, Monster Tajima is 61 years old. And he is the fastest man up the mountain. Watch and learn..."
Lady Gaga Dresses Up As A Panda For Japanese TV Show
|12:26:21 AM, Thursday, June 30, 2011|
American Tourist Left on Great Reef by Tour Boat Company
|8:51:12 PM, Wednesday, June 29, 2011|
“An American tourist fought off panic when an Australian tour boat company accidentally left him stranded near the Great Barrier Reef in his snorkeling gear.
Michigan 28-year-old Ian Cole says he grew frightened when he surfaced and realized the Passions of Paradise tour boat was gone last Saturday. Since American couple Tom and Eileen Lonergan disappeared after being left behind by a boat in nearby Port Douglas in the 1990s, tour companies have followed strict head count rules, the AFP reports. You can watch an Australian TV news report on the incident in the video above.
"Panic kicks in, your heart rate goes up, and you don't know what's going to happen. I was sucking water back into my snorkel and was really trying hard to stay calm," Cole told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Cole saw another tour boat and says he swam about 15 minutes to reach it. ''When I got to the other boat they looked down like 'what the hell are you doing here?' They said my boat had left 15 minutes ago. I thought they were joking.''
The staff member who failed to do an accurate headcount has been fired, the paper says, and Cole was given a $200 restaurant voucher and a refund for the trip.
But the spokesman of a regional tour operators association told local Australian CairnsBlog that he thought Cole was exaggerating the danger he faced in the incident. Association of Marine Park Operators' Col McKenzie said Cole was ''making a mountain out of a molehill'' to get media attention..."
Debris Gives Space Station Crew Members a 29,000-M.P.H. Close Call
|4:05:53 PM, Wednesday, June 29, 2011|
"One of the hundreds of thousands of pieces of space-age litter orbiting Earth zipped uncomfortably close to the International Space Station on Tuesday.
The six crew members of the space station took refuge in their “lifeboats” — two Soyuz space capsules they would use to escape a crippled station — as the unidentified object hurtled past them at a speed of 29,000 miles per hour, missing the space station by only 1,100 feet. The episode took place at 8:08 a.m. Eastern time.
“We believe the probability that it would the hit the station was about 1 in 360,” said Lark Howorth, who leads the team at NASA that tracks the space station’s trajectory. NASA rules call for precautions when the risk of impact is greater than 1 in 10,000.
In the section of the station run by the United States, astronauts closed the hatches in case the debris — commonly known as space junk — crashed through, to limit the danger of explosive decompression. To prepare for a rapid departure, the clamps holding the Soyuz capsules to the station were released.
“They would be one command away from releasing the hooks and undocking,” said Edward Van Cise, NASA’s lead flight director.
Mission controllers gave the all-clear signal four minutes later, and the crew members returned to work. There was no sign of damage or impact to the station..."
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