miércoles, 30 de abril de 2008

Hundreds of ducks die in oilsands pond

Environmentalists have managed to rescue five mallard ducks while their ten-folds sunk to deaths in a tailings pond filled with toxic byproduct of oilsand giant Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Tailings ponds are formed during the oilsands extraction process. These ponds are filled with mixture of clay, sand water and hydrocarbons and are toxic by nature. To protect wild lives and waterfowl from entering the ponds they are supposed to have protective measures in place. Authorities are blaming the winter for the delay in the deployment of these devices.

This sure is one more issue for environmentalists to attack the oilsand industry reputed for causing other major environmental problems. You can read the details in the issue in this CTV news report.

domingo, 27 de abril de 2008

World Record - ironing underwater

People do crazy thing for the sake of making records and these Australian scuba divers are doing one of such crazy things at the sea bed.

A group of 72 Australian scuba divers has created the world record for ironing under water, taking the plunge off a pier near the southern city of Melbourne with ironing boards and irons, and their linen. Read more in this reuters report.

Washing underwater does make sense but ironing underwater doesn't make sense to me. What do you think? Tags: strange, ironing underwater

viernes, 25 de abril de 2008

Simple Tips - how to zzz...zzz

Tension, competition and day to day hassles have caused people to loose sleep and wake up early. Have you tried and tried to sleep all night and woke up the next day tired, cranky and unproductive? If that is you, you have to know that studies suggest - not getting adequate sleep can increase your risk for heart disease and depression, and can even cause weight gain.

You might say "I can't help it!"

But 'where there is will there is way' too. Why don't you try these simple tips:

No mobile phones before sleep

Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit not to talk in your cell phone before bed. They found that people who were exposed to the slight radiation that emanates from cell phones took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in the deep stages of slumber.

Sleep prepared, get cozy

Make it dark - draw the blinds.
Block out distracting sounds - turn on a fan or a soothing CD of nature noises.
Swapping ordinary bedroom bulbs for yellow ones can help you feel more tranquil as you're getting ready to nod off.
Treat yourself to a cozy new comforter or put flowers on your nightstand - things that motivate you to go to bedroom.

Say Thanks

I am not that religious and even an atheist can take two minutes to reflect on the things one is grateful for. Practicing grateful thinking makes people more optimistic and going to sleep with happy thoughts help in sleeping more soundly.

That's it!

Net neutrality in danger?

Looks like a its a conspiracy against Net neutrality! Big service providers are are predicting Internet will essentially run out of bandwidth by 2010 without substantial investment in network infrastructure.
Decades of dealing with the trickle of bandwidth consumed by voice and dialup modems left AT&T twiddling its thumbs. The massive rise of DSL and cable modem service in the 2000s has had AT&T facing a monstrous increase in the volume of data transmissions. And that's set to increase another 50 times between now and 2015.
AT&T says that video alone will eat up 80 percent of traffic in two years which is just 30 percent now. The BBC has come under fire from service providers like Tiscali, which claim that its iPlayer online-TV service is becoming a major drain on network bandwidth.

Publishers and content creators have argued that Net neutrality should be legislated in order to protect consumers. ISPs reject the neutrality concept itself citing services like voip requires priority by default.

Is it going to cost more to watch videos in YouTube in future?

domingo, 20 de abril de 2008

Oldest person turns 115

In the adjacent photo, Edna Parker is seen holding a rose that she was given during a birthday party for her in Shelbyville, Ind., Friday, April 18, 2008. Parker, who was born April 20, 1893, is the oldest known human. She will turn 115 on Sunday, April 20, 2008. She was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest person living last August after the death of a Japanese woman four months her senior.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Scientists are analyzing DNA samples from people crossing 110 years to find the clue for the causes of longivity. DNA samples of more than 100 supercentenarians is already in the research database. It is believed that the secret to a long life is a mix of genetics and environmental factors such as health habits. A research on about 1,500 centenarians also show that they appear not to dwell on stressful events.

Only 75 living people ? 64 women and 11 men ? are 110 or older, according to the Gerontology Research Group of Inglewood, Calif., which verifies reports of extreme ages.Tags: oldage, oldest living

viernes, 18 de abril de 2008

Jailed for Staring

Staring too intensely at a woman, his mother's age, sitting in front of him on a train was enough to take the man to the court and sentenced for 10 days.

It was told that they met on a commuter train going from Lecco, a town in northern Italy, to Milan in 2005. A judge sentenced the man in his 30s to 10 days in prison and a 40 euro ($63) fine after the 55-year old woman filed a complaint for sexual harassment. (Reuters)
Tags: staring

domingo, 13 de abril de 2008

'April Fool' T-shirt on sale for real

It was an April Fools prank but thanks to numerous calls to make the joke a reality, a technology company has been forced to make it a reality.

First, look the prank video ThinkGeek made about the T-shirt that was 'on sale' on the website for $39.99 and offered wearers the chance to play a soundtrack to their lives using an integrated speaker on the front of the shirt.Embedded Video And now the company has decided to put the joke into production following what it calls "overwhelming positive response and hundreds of e-mails screaming to 'make the damn shirt already'". It says it will be looking to unleash the product on the world "asap" but warns that its "army of robotic factory monkeys are a bit slow, and it might take them some time to make the real version of this nifty product". ThinkGeek also admits that the "final version might deviate slightly in appearance, features or price" from the April Fool product but urges interested buyers to get in touch. (metro)
Tags: aprilfool, t-shirt, video

Biggest BBQ in Uruguay

To set a new Guinness world record and to promote the country's succulent top export more than a thousand barbecue fanatics in Uruguay grilled up 12 metric tonnes (26,400 lbs) of beef on April 13, 2008.

A grill of nearly 1 mile long was set up and firefighters had to lit six tonnes of charcoal to start the grand ceremony.

Some 1,250 people grilled the beef and about 20,000 spectators cried with joy when a Guinness judge confirmed the barbecue record had been broken. (Reuters)
Tags: Urugay, BBQ, record

sábado, 12 de abril de 2008

Texan entrepreneur crowned Miss USA

A 26-year-old entrepreneur from Texas was named Miss USA on Friday, besting 50 other beauty queens for the coveted crown. Crystle Stewart completed her degree in Consumer Science and Merchandising at the University of Houston. She won the Miss Texas USA 2008 title in a state pageant held in Laredo, Texas on July 1, 2007, after competing against 121 contestants.

She founded and runs her business "Inside/Out" which aids young women in building self-esteem and volunteers with many organizations in the community

Details in the official Miss USA 2008 site.
Tags: missUSA

viernes, 11 de abril de 2008

Site Review: Web 2.0 Directory

Been blogging for some time but Web 2.0 has been a bit elusive to me and I always resisted to know more about it.

The excuse: I am not a webmaster!

Well, knowing a bit of the balls and bearings of new web phenomenon doesn't hurt you. So I am trying to see if I can know what Web 2.0 actually means. I am going through a blog that gives directory of nice Web 2.0 sites. I wish there were how-tos and tutorials too. But as it is a review site I think the design and contents justify the theme of the blog. Nice work!

miércoles, 9 de abril de 2008

Fun with Maths

These are the maths we used to share with our friends in school. If you like playing with maths you will love them (well.... if you don't know 'em already).

1 x 9 + 2 = 11

12 x 9 + 3 = 111

123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

12 x 8 + 2 = 98

123 x 8 + 3 = 987

1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876

12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765

123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654

1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543

12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432

123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321
9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

987654321 x 9 - 1 = 8888888888

9876543210 x 9 - 2 = 88888888888

Nice symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321
Tags: mathsfun, digits

martes, 1 de abril de 2008

Google's April Fools 2008

Happy April Fools' Day!

Google has a tradition of releasing April fool hoaxes since 2000. With dominance in many web platforms, the scope of hoax has broaden in 2008. Some of the hoaxes for 2008 are listed below:
Google releases Adsense for conversations
Google's Orkut displays its name as Yogurt
Google announces a joint project with the Virgin Group that aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. This operation has been named Project Virgle. it also includes videos of Richard Branson as well as Larry Page & Sergey Brin (The Founders of Google) on YouTube , talking about Virgle.

Google launches Dajare in Japan (google.co.jp), with the mission of "organizing the world?s laughter."
Google announces gDay in Australia, a new beta search technology that will search web pages 24 hours before they are created.
Gmail's sign-in page announced a new feature, called Gmail Custom Time, that would allow its users to "pre-date" their messages and choose to have the message appear as "read" or "unread".
Around 11:00 p.m. EST March 31, 2008, on the newer and older version of Gmail, but not in the basic HTML version, in the upper right corner, next to Settings, a link appeared labeled, "New! Gmail Custom Time". The link led to a 404 error until April 1when it led to the full Gmail Custom Time hoax page. Clicking any of the three links at the bottom of the page brought the user to a page stating that Gmail Custom time was, in fact, their April Fool's day joke.
Google Books has a new section allowing users to 'scratch and sniff' certain books. Users are asked to "...please place your nose near the monitor and click 'Go'" which then 'loads odours'. When clicking on 'Help' users are redirected to a Google Book page entitled "Belgravia: A London Magazine"
Google launches Manpower Search (??????) in China (google.cn). This new feature is powered by 25 million volunteers who do the searching around the clock. When the user entered a keyword, volunteers will search any possible answers from a mass of paper documents as well as online resources. The user is expected to get the search result within 32 seconds.
A little easter egg was added, where a user can click the file menu and directly under new document is "New Airplane" which immediately opens a copy of a Google branded paper airplane. To reach the file menu, click the new menu, then "Document" then a new window opens.
Google launched their "Wake Up Kit" as a calendar notification option. The option sends a series of increasingly aggressive alerts, starting with an SMS message to your cellphone, and ending with a bucket of water dumped into your bed, which would then flip over, tossing you out (all using apparently-free equipment). Google also added the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button to its calendar feature. When you tried to create a new event, you were given the regular option of entering the correct details and hitting "Create Event," and also the new option of "I'm Feeling Lucky" which would set you up with an evening date with, among others, Matt Damon, Eric Cartman, Tom Cruise, Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, Johnny Depp, George W. Bush, or Lois Griffin.
If you want to know about previous april fool hoaxes from Google you can visit this wikipedia listing.
Tags: google, hoax, april fool