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Visible Earth: The Blue Marble July 31, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment, Photography.
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Visible Earth: The Blue Marble
This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. Click on the image for more and click for More details and views.

Why we Yawn July 30, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Ahh, the Science of Yawning
“Brains are like computers,” he said. “They only operate efficiently and effectively when they’re cool. And, therefore, there are some very intricate cooling mechanisms that serve to regulate the temperature of the brain.”

He said many things associated with yawning, like being tired, actually make the brain hot, and yawning can alleviate the heat. “Extended periods of sleep deprivation raise brain temperature and do produce excessive yawning,” Gallup said. In a sense, the yawn is like the brain’s air conditioner, which may make some rethink societal assumptions. Maria saw this on GMA and sent us the link. (more…)

Barry Bonds Rookie Card July 30, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor, Sports.
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Found for sale on E-Bay.


Stuck Mega-Yacht Running Out Of Time July 27, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, News.
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California boating guide-news & classifieds
What happens if rescue efforts fail again? After all, Halmos has spent about $1 million trying to free the boat, most notably with a 50-by-1,000-ft. flat-bottom canvas structure that would have eased the vessel into deeper waters. But the yacht didn’t budge. Neither have other efforts worked.

Siegfried concedes Legacy may eventually have to be carefully dismantled, piece by piece, to prevent environmental damage to the marine reserve. A final decision about when to end the 2-year marooning could be reached in a month or so.

“Nothing on the market has proved to be viable,” Siegfried said. “We’re down to the final course of action to make this work. Hopefully, Halmos will be successful.”

Bird does the MoonWalk July 26, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Humor, Music, Streamingvideo, Video.
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This is a red-capped manikin, apparently from Belize. Now we know where Michael Jacskon learned his moves. Thanks Natalia for this version. There have been quite a few over the last year.

Powerball wife back in custody July 25, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Lifestyle, News.
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Daily Independent (Ashland, KY) – Powerball wife back in custody
The wife of a Boyd County Powerball winner is back in jail less than a week after being released.

Shawna Edwards, 32, of the 3400 block of Elton Avenue in Ashland, failed a drug test, then failed to show up for a follow-up test at the courthouse, according to a motion filed by the county attorney’s office.

A warrant was issued for her arrest Monday, and Edwards was picked up by Boyd County sheriff’s deputies at her husband’s hospital room in Ashland, sources said. Thanks to Julie for bringing this to our attention. (more…)

A Rising Tide Lifts Mood in the Developing World July 25, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics, In The News, philosophy & politics.
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Pew Global Attitudes Project: Summary of Findings: A Rising Tide Lifts Mood in the Developing World
The planet is a happier place these days, at least in many parts of the world where incomes are low and life is tough … but economies are improving. In particular, as economic growth has surged in much of Latin America, East Europe and Asia over the past five years, people are expressing greater satisfaction with their personal lives, family incomes and national conditions. The picture is considerably different in most advanced nations, where per capita GDP gains have been less robust and citizen satisfaction has changed little since 2002.

Among the most striking trends in predominantly Muslim nations is the continuing decline in the number saying that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are justifiable in the defense of Islam. In Lebanon, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, the proportion of Muslims who view suicide bombing and other attacks against civilians as being often or sometimes justified has declined by half or more over the past five years.

Wide majorities say such attacks are, at most, rarely acceptable. However, this is decidedly not the case in the Palestinian territories. Fully 70% of Palestinians believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be often or sometimes justified, a position starkly at odds with Muslims in other Middle Eastern, Asian, and African nations.

The decreasing acceptance of extremism among Muslims also is reflected in declining support for Osama bin Laden. Since 2003

Can Scientists Be Taught To Share? July 25, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Science & Technology.
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Will John Wilbanks Launch the Next Scientific Revolution? – Popular Science

Right now, it’s still in scientists’ interest to follow the classical model of one scientist working alone. In today’s system, you don’t get rewarded for sharing—no one gets tenure for choosing to publish preprints of their papers in molecular biology, or for spending weeks making cells for other labs to do research. And you sometimes get ahead by deliberately withholding. If you think you can squeeze more papers out of your data, you might not share it even if it takes years for someone else to replicate the research you’ve written about. Thanks to John Brittain  for this article on how to drag Science into the 21st century.

Live Panorama of Pu`u `O`o Vent, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i July 24, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Cool Sites, Enviroment, Video.
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Live Panorama of Pu`u `O`o Vent, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Check-out the current eruption. This panorama is a composite of three images from a research camera positioned on the north rim of Pu`u `O`o’s crater. The images update every 5 minutes. At times, clouds and volcanic fume obscure visibility. The camera is subject to sporadic breakdown, and its remote location makes immediate repair impossible. Cameras can be where people should not. Pu`u `O`o is off-limits to the general public because of multiple and significant volcanic hazards.

171 Starbucks in 20 hours July 24, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Food, Humor, Lifestyle, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Mark Malkoff Takes the Starbucks Challenge .:. Watch the Video!

On the day that Starbucks raised prices the Today Show featured this guy on his bicycle, who had a coffee at 171 Starbucks stores in 20 hours and filmed it. He didn’t include the 17 bathroom stops.

Tiny brain no obstacle to French civil servant July 23, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Humor, In The News, Lifestyle, Science & Technology.
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Scotsman.com News – Latest News – Odd – Tiny brain no obstacle to French civil servant
A man with an unusually tiny brain managed to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, caused by a fluid buildup in his skull, French researchers reported on Thursday.

Scans of the 44-year-old man’s brain showed that a huge fluid-filled chamber called a ventricle took up most of the room in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue.

“He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant,” Dr. Lionel Feuillet and colleagues at the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille wrote in a letter to the Lancet medical journal. On neuropsychological testing, he proved to have an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 75: his verbal IQ was 84, and his performance IQ 70.

Zoom liquid lenses for digital cameras July 23, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Science & Technology, Technology.
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» Zoom liquid lenses for digital cameras | Emerging Technology Trends | ZDNet.com
Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have developed zoom lenses which closely replicate the working of the human eye. These adaptive lenses should be manufactured at a dramatically smaller size than conventional zoom lenses without compromising clarity. After being granted no less than 5 U.S. patents, the UCF team has licensed the technologies to a manufacturing company. So we might soon get better zoom lenses in our cell phones and digital cameras.

Sam the Snack-napping Seagull July 23, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Humor, In The News.
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This Gull from Aberdeen has been picked up by the International media. 

The Spy Who Won The Vietnam War July 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News.
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During the Vietnam War, Time reporter Pham Xuan An befriended everyone who was anyone in Saigon, including American journalists such as David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan, the CIA’s William Colby, and the legendary Colonel Edward Lansdale not to mention the most influential members of the South Vietnamese government and army. None of them ever guessed that he was also providing strategic intelligence to Hanoi, smuggling invisible ink messages to the jungle inside egg rolls. His early reports were so accurate that General Giap joked, “We are now in the U.S. war room.” For more than twenty years, An lived a dangerous lie and no one knew it because he was a master of both his jobs. After the war, An was named a “Hero of the People’s Army” and promoted to general – one of only two intelligence officers to ever achieve that rank.

C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success July 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Books, Business, Lifestyle.
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C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success – New York Times
Serious leaders who are serious readers build personal libraries dedicated to how to think, not how to compete. Forget finding the business best-seller list in these libraries.

Perhaps that is why — more than their sex lives or bank accounts — chief executives keep their libraries private.

Top Selling U.S.Restaurant July 22, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Food, Lifestyle.
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Tao Las Vegas – Venetian Hotel – Setting Restaurant Records by Selling the Sizzle – New York Times
Tao Las Vegas, the highest grossing independent restaurant in the United States, according to Restaurants & Institutions magazine, which for 24 years has been ranking the top 100. In 2006, its first full year open, Tao did $55.2 million in business, or $16 million more than its closest competitor, Tavern on the Green in New York.

Even judged against other huge-volume restaurants, where revenues in the tens of millions are not unusual, Tao is setting a new standard. In figures for 2000, when Tavern on the Green was in the No. 2 spot behind Windows on the World, the gap between them was a razor thin $485,000. http://www.taolasvegas.com/

Free Books Online July 20, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Books, Cool Sites, cool stuff, Lifestyle.
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The Open Library

Now you can download books in the public domain in an easy to read Adobe Reader format, with easy page turning.

Ethanol kills the Gulf of Mexico July 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business, Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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Gulf Of Mexico Dead Zone Could Reach Record Size
The dead zone of lifeless water in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed the largest size ever recorded, in 27 years of monitoring, a team of federal and university scientists said today.

At 8,500 square miles — roughly the size of New Jersey — it has the potential to be more than 75% larger than the 4,800-square mile average recorded since 1990, and more than 25 % bigger than last year’s 6,662-square mile zone. Thanks to Natalia for this. (more…)

Unbeatable Checkers Computer July 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, In The News, Lifestyle, Science & Technology, Technology.
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news @ nature.com – Checkmate for checkers – Computer program is unbeatable at English draughts.
Long-time world checkers champion Marion Tinsley consistently bested all comers, losing only nine games in the 40 years following his 1954 crowning. He lost his world championship title to a computer program in 1994 and now that same program has become unbeatable; its creators have proved that even a perfectly played game against it will end in a draw.

Jonathan Schaeffer and his team at the University of Alberta, Canada, have been working on their program, called Chinook, since 1989, running calculations on as many as 200 computers simultaneously. As Chinook has worked out all relevant lines of play, it needs virtually no time to ‘think’ to work out each perfect move in a game. The results were announced today in the journal Science1. The paper and supporting materials, including the ability to play Chinook, are available on the web at http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook.

Powerball wife out of jail July 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Life, News.

Daily Independent (Ashland, KY) – Powerball wife out of jail
The wife of Powerball winner David Edwards was released from the Boyd County Detention Center on Wednesday, under the condition that she pay the $17,000 she owes in child support.

Shawna Edwards, 32, has been in the county jail for nearly a month after she was arrested on a warrant charging her with failing to make child support payments on two children she had previous to her marriage to David Edwards. She also served 10 days in jail for giving police officers a false name when she was arrested. Thanks to Melinda for sending us this one. (more…)

Stretch Of Daytona Beach Closed After Dozens Of Cars Sink In Sand July 19, 2007

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Stretch Of Daytona Beach Closed After Dozens Of Cars Sink In Sand – Local News Story – WKMG Orlando
TV News Truck Gets Stuck Covering Stuck-Vehicle Story

Norwegians Irritation grows over taxes July 19, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Economy & Business.
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Irritation grows over taxes – Aftenposten.no
Norwegians have long accepted high taxes to finance their social welfare state, but a new survey indicates rising dissatisfaction and, in some cases, outright hatred of some taxes that are viewed as way too high and unfair.

Japan’s lonely hearts turn to dolls for sex, company July 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Humor, Lifestyle.
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Japan’s lonely hearts turn to dolls for sex, company | U.S. | Reuters
The man, who says he has had sex with five women but prefers the dolls, is one of a gradually increasing, though secretive, group of Japanese men who have given up on women.

A Japanese maker said it started producing its life-sized and anatomically correct dolls 30 years ago, targeting initially handicapped men who might find it difficult to find a partner.

Orient Industry Co. now makes 80 dolls a month in an eastern Tokyo factory to nine designs that sell for between $850 and $5,500 each. The more expensive models are made of silicon and have 35 movable joints. More pictures at under-lined story link at top.

» Diamonds are fuel cells’ best friends July 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology, Technology.
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» Diamonds are fuel cells’ best friends | Emerging Technology Trends | ZDNet.com
Researchers at UC Davis have used nanocrystals made of diamond-like cubic zirconia to develop cooler fuel cells. Even if hydrogen fuel cells have been touted as clean energy sources, current fuel cells have to run at high temperatures of up to 1,000 °C. This new technology will allow fuel cells to run at much lower temperatures, between 50 and 100 °C. Obviously, this could lead to a widespread use of fuel cells, which could become a realistic alternative power source for vehicles.

The dangers of Science by Consensus July 18, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment.
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MichaelCrichton.com | Aliens Cause Global Warming
An historical approach detailing how over the last thirty years scientists have begun to intermingle scientific and political claims.

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