Optical Illusions That Trigger Your Brain

9:13:41 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Hubble Finds Most Distant Object Ever Seen in Universe

8:39:05 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 7293 The Helix Nebula

8:31:39 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 10 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this remarkably deep view of the nebula. It shows details of the Helix's brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but also follows fainter outer halo features that give the nebula a span of well over six light-years. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry.

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The Evolution of Social Networking

4:47:26 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- via Current

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Stained Glass Resistance: Portrait of Hitler Discovered in French Church Window

3:38:02 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“A stained glass window in a small church has caused a sensation in France. Unveiled in 1941, it depicts Adolf Hitler executing a saint who symbolizes the Jewish people. Local priests have praised the work as a brave act of resistance against the Nazi occupiers.

In the popular imagination, the French Resistance against the Nazi occupation of France is associated with heroic acts of guerrilla warfare, such as blowing up bridges or derailing trains. But in one small town near Paris, two artist brothers also resisted the occupation in their own quiet way -- with a politically charged stained-glass window.

Local historians in the town of Montgeron have rediscovered a stained-glass church window that criticizes the Nazi occupation by depicting Adolf Hitler as an executioner. The dictator is shown in the act of killing St. James, who was one of Jesus' 12 apostles.

Although Hitler's distinctive hairstyle can easily be recognized in the portrait, his trademark moustache has been left out. "The glassmakers hid it behind his arm, to avoid any trouble," local priest Dominique Guérin told the French newspaper Le Parisien…”

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Still No Government in Belgium: 226 Days and Counting

9:10:17 PM, Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"289 is the world record of days without any government in a country, currently owned by Iraq. On March 30th 2011, Belgium will beat it!"

-- lerecorddumonde.be is a website dedicated solely to counting the days that Belgium has been operating without a government, a number that could soon dethrone Iraq from its "champion" position. I do not know if this is commendable that they held it together without an official government for so long, or criticized for their failure at forming one, - probably both. Either way, it is something significant. If you're interested and would like to learn more, especially about the fermenting dissatisfaction among the Belgian population, - PRI’s The World - Still No Government in Belgium

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Griborob Helders by Matveeva Yulia

7:37:30 PM, Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Almond the Cat, Was Born and Lives in a Tree, Never Leaves It

11:14:47 AM, Tuesday, January 25, 2011

-- I too want a tree-cat!!!

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Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic - Smooth Criminal Played with Two Cellos

4:32:08 PM, Monday, January 24, 2011

-- Whoo! This is beyond awesome. Also check out their carbon fiber cellos! Wow Wow Wee Waa!

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Sea Bed Hunting On One Breath

4:25:29 PM, Monday, January 24, 2011

-- Video of a sea bed hunter who can hold his breath for up to 5 minutes at a time while descending as deep as 20 meters to the ocean floor to hunt for fish.

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Split-Cycle Engine Now More Efficient than Traditional Combustion Engine

4:18:30 PM, Monday, January 24, 2011

“Split-cycle engines have been around for some time but until now have never matched the fuel efficiency of traditional internal combustion engines. That is about to change, with the latest split-cycle engines from the Scuderi Group offering greater fuel efficiency and up to 80 percent reduction in NOx emissions and 50 percent reduction in CO2.

Split-cycle engines feature paired cylinders, so a four-cylinder engine has two sets of paired cylinders working together, with a crossover passage linking the two cylinders in each pair to each other. The four strokes of the engine are split into two groups, with the left cylinder handling intake and compression and the second handling combustion and exhaust. The Scuderi™ Air-Hybrid design adds an air storage tank and controls that allow it to recapture and store the energy lost as the engine operates.

The new design solves some of the problems that have hampered previous split-cycle designs. The low volume breathing problem is solved by outward-opening pneumatic valves and a reduction in the clearance between the piston and cylinder head to under 1 mm, which means virtually 100 percent of the compressed air is pushed out of the cylinder…”

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Baby Baiting, oooh Piece of Candy

10:02:54 PM, Sunday, January 23, 2011

-- Toddler follows a sweet sweet trail of candy to his own doom. By the way, this is also Pedobear's favorite pastime.

Oh, and, - Ooh a Piece of Candy

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Pepsi Reduces Landfill Waste by 88% in Two Years, While Growing 15%

9:37:08 PM, Sunday, January 23, 2011

“Leave aside for the moment the health effects of Pepsi's products, and your rightful concerns about highly-processed food in general, while reading how much Pepsi has done to reduce its environmental impact... Last Friday PepsiCo issued an update on its goals of sending no waste to landfills by 2020, being entirely fossil fuel free by 2023, and making all of its packaging recyclable or biodegradable.

Business Green reports that since 2008, PepsiCo has grown by more than 15%, but has reduced overall carbon footprint by 3.7%, reduced total energy use by 7.3%, reduced water use by 14.6%, and cut landfill waste by 88%.

In the next five years, Pepsi intends on working with its farmers to reduce the carbon and water intensity of producing their crops by 50%…”

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The Man Who Owns the Internet

9:21:23 PM, Sunday, January 23, 2011

“Kevin Ham is the most powerful dotcom mogul you've never heard of, reports Business 2.0 Magazine. Here's how the master of Web domains built a $300 million empire.

Kevin Ham leans forward, sits up tall, closes his eyes, and begins to type -- into the air. He's seated along the rear wall of a packed ballroom in Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel. Up front, an auctioneer is running through a list of Internet domain names, building excitement the same way he might if vintage cars were on the block.

As names come up that interest Ham, he occasionally air-types. It's the ultimate gut check. Is the name one that people might enter directly into their Web browser, bypassing the search engine box entirely, as Ham wants? Is it better in plural or singular form? If it's a typo, is it a mistake a lot of people would make? Or does the name, like a stunning beachfront property, just feel like a winner?

When Ham wants a domain, he leans over and quietly instructs an associate to bid on his behalf. He likes wedding names, so his guy lifts the white paddle and snags Weddingcatering.com for $10,000. Greeting.com is not nearly as good as the plural Greetings.com, but Ham grabs it anyway, for $350,000.

Ham is a devout Christian, and he spends $31,000 to add Christianrock.com to his collection, which already includes God.com and Satan.com. When it's all over, Ham strolls to the table near the exit and writes a check for $650,000. It's a cheap afternoon…”

-- This guy can make domain shopping real hell, but one must also admire the business savvy.

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Full-Arm Louis Vuitton Tattoo

9:04:25 PM, Sunday, January 23, 2011

-- No comment.

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