Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monkeys Cured of Color Blindness

squirrel monkeyTwo male squirrel monkeys now see the world in an entire new way in full color.
Female squirrel monkeys can see in color, but male squirrel monkeys are normally red-green colorblind because they lack pigments in the retina that notice those wavelengths of light.

Now, researchers have performed gene therapy that permitted two male squirrel monkeys named Sam and Dalton to produce proteins that detect red light. As soon as the red-light-harvesting protein was made in the monkeys' eyes, the animals were able to distinguish between red and green spots in color vision tests, Jay Neitz of the University of Washington in Seattle and his collaborators report online September 17 in Nature.

The experiment wasn't supposed to work, Neitz says. People born with cataracts don't develop nerve relations that help the brain make sense of messages sent by the eye. If the defect isn't corrected early, these people stay essentially blind even if their eyes return to full function later.

Because there was no reason to assume color vision was different from other types of vision, the team had assumed it would not be possible to reverse the deficit in an adult animal.

Neitz polled experts in the vision field on whether they thought producing photoreceptors in colorblind adult monkeys could give color vision. "Every single person said, "absolutely not.'" But the researchers decided to move forward with the experiment to see if they could get the pigment protein to be made in the eye.
Male monkeys lacking the red photoreceptor protein were given injections of a virus carrying a gene for the protein.

Levels of the protein slowly rose in some retinal cells. After 20 weeks, Neitz and his colleagues started to see differences in the way Sam and Dalton performed on daily color vision tests. Around that time, protein production levels peaked and the monkeys have maintained stable color vision for two years since treatment.

Still, the monkeys' actual sensation of color what it looks like to them remains a mystery?

"The achievement is technically amazing and conceptually very cool," says Melissa Saenz, a neuroscientist at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. But even though the monkeys can distinguish some new wavelengths of light, "there's no proof that the monkeys recognize a new dimension of color," she says. For example, the monkeys may now perceive red and green as different shades of yellow and blue, colors the animals already knew.

"If it doesn't involve experiencing new sensations of color, it would not dramatically change the experience of colorblind people if the treatment were valid to humans," Saenz says.

West Ham 4 - 0 Man Utd

west-hamRampant West Ham booked a first League Cup semi-final for 20 years after banging holders Manchester United out of the Carling Cup at snowy Upton Park. Former Red Devil Jonathan Spector was in inspired form, scoring with a header and a close-range finish to nick his first goals in English football.

The disjointed visitors, before unbeaten this season, conceded again as Carlton Cole nodded in after the break. Cole then turned Jonny Evans to fire simply past Tomas Kuszczak.

Though Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson predictably did not select his strongest team, the preliminary XI could still boast the likes of Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez. So it still registers as something of a shock that West Ham, bottom of the Premier League, ran out such persuasive and deserved winners against the league leaders - especially in light of the Londoners' poor start to this season.

And under-pressure Hammers boss Avram Grant may now insist they are over their bad patch after a performance that was rich in assure, both individually - Nigerian striker Victor Obinna was hugely impressive as he created all four goals - and collectively.

The match started fast in freezing conditions, with both teams attacking each other as the play moved quickly from end-to-end. Obinna even tried an determined free-kick from over 30 yards before the end, displaying the confidence coursing through the veins of a west Ham side which notched their biggest win over United in 80 years.

World's Incredible Glaciers Caves

These are the amazing pictures from the 'Ice Man' - a frosty photographer who is prepared to go to strange lengths to capture the perfect picture. Eric Guth is the real life Jack Frost spending days hiding out in some of the world's most spectacular glacier caves. The 30-year-old regularly camps for days inside the eerie glaciers which can reach incredible temperatures sometimes as low as 20 degrees below freezing.

His adventures to find the perfect icy picture have taken him all over the world - from Patagonia in South America to Iceland in the North Atlantic. As these amazing pictures show his trips are well worth it as he captures the dramatic beauty of these hidden low temperature landscapes.

Eric, from Portland, USA, said 'I have been enthralled with ice for as long as I can remember so I can't imagine doing anything else.' 'My mum was a photographer and when she passed her camera down to me, taking pictures of glaciers just seemed like the natural thing to do.' 'I have been known to camp out for anything up to four or five days.'

'Some of the caves are minute and I can cover the whole thing in an hour or so but some take days to explore and I like to cover every nook and cranny.' 'The long camping trips can be pretty strong and it's definitely a change from the sun I am used to at home but I love it.'

'I've made it my mission to track down the most spectacular glaciers in the world and while I have seen dozens already the sight always takes my breath away'.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Even Chimp has right hand habbit

Humans are not the only species to prefer to use their right hand chimpanzees also share the mannerism, according to a new study by Spanish scientists.

The primates were provided with food concealed inside tubes and the scientists monitored them to see which hand they used to get at it, either their fingers or with the help of tools.

"The chimpanzees showed a special use of the right hand to get the food from the tube," the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeoecology and Social Evolution, which coordinated the study, said in a statement. "This feature had traditionally been considered exclusively human and had been believed to be caused by asymmetries experiential in the human brain that are related to the realization of complicated activities that require the use and coordination of both hands."

The study also found that female chimpanzees, like their human counterparts, are more likely to be right-handed than males.

The researchers said this suggests "that just like in our species, there are shared biological factors, genetic and hormonal, that modulate the functioning of our brain."

Wikileaks - let the truth out

Wikileaks let the truth outWikiLeaks is an international non-profit media organization that publishes submissions of otherwise unavailable documents from anonymous sources and leaks. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. Within a year of its launch, the site claimed a database that had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.

The organization has described itself as having been founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Newspaper articles and The New Yorker magazine (7 June 2010) describe Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and Internet activist, as its director.

In April 2010, WikiLeaks posted video from a 2007 incident in which Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. forces, on a website called Collateral Murder. In July of the same year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available for public review.

At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivalent population size.

World’s Largest Snow Drawing

These odd circles may look like messages from aliens or the humorous graffiti of penguins, but it’s in fact the ephemeral snow and ice art of earth artist Jim Denevan, best known for his temporary beach masterpieces. The snow circles are somewhat of a exit from Denevan’s usual medium, but he’s no stranger to large-scale natural art. This nine-square-mile snow drawing currently holds the record as the world’s largest snow drawing the record previous to that belonged to a sand drawing created in the Nevada desert by Denevan.

Jim Denevan’s art is all about impermanence. His large-scale artworks are meant to exist only for very short periods of time, after which they will be rinsed away by waves, wind and weather. This very big art was created on Siberia’s frozen Lake Baikal, the world’s largest lake.

Because of the steady threat of losing the entire piece to a sharp gust of wind, a team of helpers assisted in the creation of the gigantic masterpiece. Eight people in all got out onto the ice and used brooms to brush the snow into simple, elegant circles. The work was chronicled on The Anthropologist, a site that features new artwork for Anthropologie.

The team slept in a yurt on the ice, warming themselves by a fire in the lake bed that re-froze each morning in the brutal temperatures. The expedition was filmed by a documentary filmmaker and captured by a photographer; both of these documentation methods are essential when creating art in a medium as temporary as ice.

The tundra warmed up, Lake Baikal thawed, and Jim Denevan’s lovely circles melted away forever. But the artist isn’t losing any sleep over his lost masterpiece; his goal is to make beautiful and inspiring pieces of art that only exist for a moment in time. His ephemeral art reminds us all to savor every day, to find beauty in even the most fleeting moment.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Babies For Sale at Great Prices!!!

All Reborn dolls are made in one peace, and are only sold at auctions, or from the artists. Reborn baby dolls look so real, that sometimes it is impossible to distinguish them from real live babies. It takes months to manufacture such a doll, from time to time a whole year, depending on the workpiece.
According to the creator of Reborn puppets, an English artist Deborah King, her creations are not toys for children. All of these “substitutes for the child” are intended to brighten up the gray days of adults, to find some purpose to unspent parental love.

There are healthy, chubby babies, and there are sick-looked, in-need-for-your-attention kind of babies. There are smiley, sad, sleepy, babies, in all shapes and colours. Any wishes will be fulfilled for your precious money.

Half Scale Cars

Group harrington are producing half scale cars allegedly aimed for kids, but adults can cram into them to. They build accurate half scale of the legendary timeless typical like the "Porche 356", "Mercedes Benz 300SL" "Jaguar E-type" "Bugatti T35" and the more recent "Willys Jeep". They are produced in both petrol and electric models. They can build your own car to order, you can choose any colour (metallic or solid) for the body, and any colour for the interior.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Pink Dolphin Of Amazon Gets well-known

The feature “Amazon Alive! A Decade of Discoveries 1999-2009,” gives an account of the 257 types of fish, 55 species of reptiles, 216 species of amphibians, 16 types of birds and 39 types of mammals. It also discovered 637 species of plants. One of the cutest things that they have probably discovered, is the Inia Boliviensis.

It is a species of dolphin found in that region. However, it has sure unique features that makes this animal cuter than the general ones. Inia Boliviensis also known as the pink river dolphin has an unique figure, with including a pink nose and a circular head.

Initially the scientists consider that this species of dolphin, is a subspecies of Inia Geoffrensis, which is another species of dolphin found in the same region. However, in 2006, in was discovered that Inia Boliviensis is a separate species itself, as it has more teeth, a smaller, wider and rounder body, and a smaller head too. Dolphins have always been a friendly and endearing mammal.

It recent mention in the “Amazon Alive! A Decade of Discoveries 1999-2009,” has made every one more curious about this newly discovered species. Other interesting animals that have been mentioned in the articles are bald-headed parrot, Pyrilia Aurantiocephala, huge catfish that survive on monkeys, new type of anaconda, Ranitomeya Amazonica, a frog that has a burst of flames on its head etc.

500 th planet got discovered

Astronomers have discovered the 500th exoplanet outside our solar system, a database maintained by a French astronomer says. Astrobiologist Jean Schneider of the Paris-Meudon Observatory, who compiles the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia, says less than 20 years after the discovery of the first exoplanet he has logged No. 500, discovered Nov. 19, SPACE.com reported.

The 500th extrasolar planet was reported in the midst of the announcement of the discovery of several others, counting a planet tagged HIP 13044b astronomers say was born in another galaxy before being captured by our own Milky Way galaxy.

Less than two months ago astronomers announced a watershed moment, the discovery of the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Meanwhile, data is pouring in from planet-hunting instruments like NASA's Kepler space observatory.

Kepler has already identified more than 700 "candidate" stars worthy of further observation and confirmation, and a high percentage of those will probably be found to have planets, says Jon Jenkins of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.

Jenkins is the lead analyst for the Kepler mission.

Fehily lands Kauto ride

Noel Fehily will ride Kauto Star as he bids to make record in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Regular rider Ruby Walsh is missing with a broken leg as Paul Nicholls' star bids for an unprecedented fifth victory in the showpiece and a host of big-name jockeys had been linked with the mount.

However Fehily has been riding regular winner for the champion trainer and his presentation aboard Master Minded at Ascot on Saturday persuaded connections he was the man for the job.

Writing in his exclusive column at betfair.com/paulnicholls, the trainer said: "I am relieved to be able to tell you that we have made a decision on who rides Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day.

"I have literally just put the phone down to Clive Smith and Noel Fehily takes the ride on Boxing Day.

Woman under arrest after falcons found in luggage

Customs officials detained eight rare falcons at the Moscow airport after a woman tried to smuggle the wrapped, boxed birds out of the country, the International Fund for Animal Welfare reported.
The gyrfalcons were found in two cartons being loaded into the hold of a plane jump for Damascus, Syria, on Sunday, the group said. The woman who checkered the cartons as her luggage was detained and released pending a court appearance.

“At least 100 wild gyrfalcons are smuggled out of Russia each year, first and foremost driven by demand from the growing popularity of falconry in the Middle East,” said IFAW’s Russia director, Masha Vorontsova, in a statement.

The fast and commanding predator is the world's largest falcon. It breeds in arctic and subarctic regions and preys primarily on large birds, according to the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology.

They can command as much as $50,000 on the black market. Officials suppose the birds seized at Sheremetyevo International Airport were captured in Russia’s Far East and transported through two security checkpoints and a customs inspection before being detected.

The birds are expected to stay alive and will reside at IFAW’s raptor rehabilitation center until they are ready to be released into the wild, likely sometime next month.

Top secret U.S. ‘eavesdropping’ satellite blasted into space

Top secret U.S. ‘eavesdropping’ satellite blasted into space on back of 235ft rocket. A top secret U.S. spy satellite strapped to one of the most influential rockets in the world blasted into space yesterday.

The satellite was described by the National Reconnaissance Office as ‘the largest in the world’. It is believed it will help the U.S.’s eavesdropping abilities. The un-manned Delta 4-Heavy rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:58pm (2258 GMT).

‘This mission helps to ensure that vital NRO resources will continue to bolster our national defence,’ said Air Force Brigadier General Ed Wilson after take-off. The mission is classified and no other details are accessible.

The rocket is 235ft tall and can launch payloads of up to 24 tons into low Earth orbit.
The Delta 4-Heavy is America’s most powerful liquid-fuelled rocket and generated 2,000,000lb of thrust at take-off. It has been in use since 2004.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More New Amphibians Found

Nosing around for "lost" amphibian species in western Colombia in September, scientists stumbled across three entirely new species as well as this beaked toad. "Its long, pointy, snoutlike nose reminds me of the nefarious villain Mr. Burns from The Simpsons television series," expedition leader Robin Moore said in a statement released Tuesday.

The unnamed, 0.7-inch-long (2-centimeter-long) toad is "easily one of the strangest amphibians I have ever seen," added Moore, an amphibian-conservation expert for Conservation International.

The toad also has an odd reproductive habit: skipping the tadpole stage. Females lay eggs on the rain forest floor that produce into fully formed toadlets.

Rocket Frog

A new species of rocket frog (pictured), found in September, is less toxic and more drably colored than other poison dart frog species, conservationists said this week
Living in and around streams, the 1.2-inch-long (3-centimeter-long) frogs carefully carry newly hatched tadpoles on their backs awaiting they reach water, where the tadpoles total their development.

Red-Eyed Mystery Toad

Found in steep Colombian cloud forests in September, this new species of toad has puzzled scientists. The toad's genus is still secrecy as is the reason for its ruby-colored eyes.
"I have never seen a toad with such vibrant red eyes," Conservation International's Moore said in a statement released this week.
"This trait is highly unusual for amphibians, and its discovery offers us a terrific opportunity to learn more about how and why it adapted this way."

New Frog Gathers No Moss

All three newfound species (pictured, the red-eyed toad in September) were active during the daytime, an unusual occurrence in amphibians, according to Conservation International.
Their daytime habits likely helped the scientists spot the new animals during the weeklong expedition.
"Finding three new species in such a short space of time," Conservation International's Moore said, "speaks to the incredibly rich biodiversity of these relatively unexplored forests and highlights their importance for conservation."

Weird Lake Full of Blood

Go ahead and type in the following coordinates into Google Maps:
33 23 45.56N, 44 29 11.97E

A strange red watery body appears in the city of Baghdad, Iraq. Is this the path to Hell? Among Christian descriptions Dante’s Inferno depicts the innermost (9th) circle of Hell as a frozen lake of blood and guilt.

Having spent quite a bit of time dealing with Iraq and Baghdad, it was revealed that it is simply -base.

This body of water is part of the Grand Canal on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, specially this canal is on the north-eastern border of the neighborhood known as Sadr City (sometimes referred to as Ath-Thawra, Revolution City, or Saddam City - its former name). This canal derives its water partly from the Tigris, which splits Baghdad north and south, and the Diyala River which comes from north of the capital. This canal shouldn't be puzzled with the Army Canal (also known as Qanat al-Jaysh).

Both of these bodies of water are heavily polluted, and one must be grateful for that in many areas of urban Iraq, sanitation is a major problem and has been for years. At the height of the insurgency, it was chiefly bad, as IEDs would rip open water pipes and sewage lines, which flowed into the streets and surrounding land. Insurgents also threatened or killed individuals or organizations that picked up garbage on the streets, as that was a preferred medium for hiding explosives.

Depending on when this Google Earth photo was taken, the amount of pollution in and surrounding those canal areas was extremely high, as it leftovers today for the most part. Below is a photo that was taken by a US Army photographer on May 11th 2006. The water behind the Soldiers is horribly polluted by residential and commercial dumping, resulting in water that had bright pink hue.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Federer and Murray no difficulty past opponents

Roger Federer take pleasure in a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over David Ferrer to join Andy Murray at the top of Group B at the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena on Sunday evening. The four-time winner of the season finale had never lost to the Spaniard in 10 previous meetings and it became clear from the start that a distress was unlikely.

The 29-year-old Swiss broke the seventh seed two times to open up a 4-0 lead in the opening set, before Ferrer hit back with a break of his own.

Earlier in the day, Andy Murray made the perfect start to his campaign defeating Robin Soderling in straight sets 6-2 6-4. The 23-year-old Scot swept the Swede aside in just one hour and 20 minutes. Murray, who hadn't beaten Soderling since 2006, found the new world number four in inquisitively sedate mood.

Soderling, who won his first Masters title in Paris last weekend, never run to get going and was comprehensively outplayed. In front of a partisan crowd at the 17,500 capacity arena Murray quickly found his rhythm breaking Soderling in the third and seventh games to set up a 5-2 lead.
He made no fault on his next service game and duly served out the first set in 29 minutes. The world number five suitably served out the match to record his 45th victory of the season. In the opening Group A doubles matches, defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan opened with a 6-3 7-5 win over Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner.

Sixth seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski overcame third seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6-3 7-6.

Giant Hole in Dam Water!!

Giant Hole

At first glance you might mistake a bell-mouth spillway for a watery vortex into one more dimension. What can only be described as a giant hole in the water is actually a method for controlling the let go of flows from a dam or levee into a downstream area. These spillways help prevent floods from ‘dam’-aging or annihilate a dam.


A spillway is a structure used to provide for the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into a downstream area, characteristically being the river that was dammed. Spillways release floods so that the water does not overtop and injure or even destroy the dam. Except during flood periods, water does not usually flow over a spillway. In contrast, an intake is a structure used to release water on a regular foundation for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, etc.
Floodgates and combine plugs may be designed into spillways to regulate water flow and dam height. Other uses of the term “spillway” include bypasses of dams or outlets of a channels used during highwater, and outlet channels imprinted through natural dams such as moraines.


Some spillways are intended like an inverted bell so that water can enter all around the perimeter. These uncontrolled spillway devices are also called: morning glory, plughole, glory hole, or bell-mouth spillways. In areas where the surface of the reservoir may freeze, bell-mouth spillways are normally fitted with ice-breaking arrangements to stop the spillway from becoming ice-bound.


Ladybower Reservoir is a large Y-shaped reservoir, the lowest of three in the Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, England. The River Ashop flows into the reservoir from the west; the River Derwent flows south, initially through Howden Reservoir, then Derwent Reservoir, and finally through Ladybower Reservoir. Its longest dimension is just over 3 miles (5km), and at the time of construction it was the largest reservoir in Britain (1943)

Tigers could be vanished in 12 years if unprotected

Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still wander fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a "tiger summit" Sunday. The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic thrust from an estimated 100,000 a century ago.

James Leape, director general of the World Wildlife Fund, told the meeting in St. Petersburg that if the proper defensive measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger. The summit approved a wide-ranging program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that at rest have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia.

The Global Tiger Recovery Program guesses the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. "And you have to find a way to make it work for the local communities so that they would be partners in tigers protection and benefit from them," Leape said.

"To save tigers you need to save the forests, grasslands and lots of other species," he added. "But at the same time you are also conserving the foundations of the societies who live there. Their economy depends very much on the food, water and resources they get from those forests."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scott targets major titles after Singapore victory

Adam Scott hopes his third Singapore Open title triumph on Monday will act as a springboard for an attack on golf's four major tournaments next year. The Australian completed a final-round 68 after the tournament went into a fifth day following weather disturbances, finishing on 17-under-par 267 three shots clear of Denmark's second-placed Anders Hansen.

The victory, his first at Sentosa since the Asian Tour event became co-sanctioned by the European Tour last year, opened him back into the top-20 of golf's world rankings. It was the seventh European Tour title of the 30-year-old's career, and he will now turn his attention to maintaining a maiden major title in 2011.

"You just want your game to be in good shape when you get to Augusta [the Masters] or the U.S. Open, the British Open, PGA Championship," Scott told the tournament's website after following up his 2005 and 2006 successes.

Scott was happy with the form he demonstrated in the rain-affected tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club his second success of 2010 after winning the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open in May -- although he admitted to finding the harsh weather conditions challenging. "It was a great win but it was a rough week for us. Testing weather conditions with delays and even when we were on the route, it can get uncomfortable at times as it was not easy to play," he said.

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (66) shared eighth place with Keith Horne of South Africa (68) , with European Tour money-list leader Martin Kaymer the 2010 U.S. PGA champion down in 10th after closing with 69.

Mummies of 15th century dogs discovered in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have discovered six mummified dogs, all dating from the 15th century and it seems that presented as religious offerings at a major pre-Columbian site just south of Lima. The dogs "have hair and complete teeth," said Jesus Holguin, an archaeologist at the museum in Pachacamac, situated some 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Lima.

Holguin told AFP Wednesday that experts were still trying to conclude their breed. The mummified dogs were found two weeks ago draped in cloth and buried in one of Pachacamac's adobe brick pyramids.

Archaeologists believe the animals were offerings related to a funeral, "although we do not know if this was connected to an important personality of the Inca period," said archaeologist Isabel Cornejo. Researchers will x-ray the finds in an effort to determine the breed of the animals and whether the dogs were slaughtered.

Pachacamac museum director Denise Pozzi-Escot said that the find will let researchers broaden their knowledge of ancient Peruvian canines. The remains are well preserved due to the type of soil and the dry weather along the Peruvian coastline, where it rarely rains.

At its height, Pachacamac was the most important ceremonial center on Peru's central coast, where thousands of pilgrims flocked from afar bringing rich offerings. Human sacrifices took place at the site. At least three different societies occupied Pachacamac for hundreds before the Incas took it over around 1400. The Incas in turn were defeated by Spanish conquistadors who arrived in 1532.

Orango blooms for the first time in winter

Half-man, half-ape - better known as Orango. The opening of an unfinished grotesque opera by one of the towering composers of the 20th Century, Dmitry Shostakovich, “Orango” is to take place in Lost Angeles.

With hints to Mikhail Bulgakov’s famous “Heart of a Dog”, Orango revolves around a foreign journalist who, as a result of a biological experiment, plus a couple of human and political errors, assumes a new face and figure.

Shostakovich author of another mocking opera, The Nose was commissioned to write “Orango” by the Bolshoi Theater to mark the 15th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution.
The trailblazing young Russian composer, beaming with kinetic energy, started working on it in 1932, however it was never finished, some say, because the mastermind composer never had enough time; others believe it was due to the Soviet authorities being against the satirical plot of the composition.

According to the LA Times, the surviving prologue of “Orango” will have its world premiere in December 2011, in a semi-staged production at Walt Disney Concert Hall, “capping a multi-year process of musical sleuthing and unlikely discoveries that's nearly as eye-opening as the work's bizarre subject matter.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Classy France expose poor England

A late England rally could not disguise a gulf in class and technique as France earned a deserved victory at Wembley. Fabio Capello gave youth its opportunity in the shape of debutants Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson - but the friendly provided few positives for the coach as France's quality and composure left England distinctly second best.

Karim Benzema emphasized the visitors' superiority with an early goal, and once Mathieu Valbuena swept home a second from Bacary Sagna's cross just after the break, England were left with too much work to do.

Peter Crouch, on as alternate for the injured Steven Gerrard, capped an England surge of sorts with his 22nd goal in 41 England appearances, but France's narrow margin of victory did not truly reflect the dominance they exerted for so much of the game.

Carroll was passed fit and started, regardless of Newcastle's reservations about his groin injury - and he was one of the few pluses in a harrowing first 45 minutes for England.
With Everton's Phil Jagielka struggling in an unfamiliar right-back slot, France seized control from the start and refused to unwind their grip.
It was one more move which highlighted the difference between the sides as Sagna crossed invitingly for Valbuena to time his run perfectly and glide a finish low into the corner beyond Foster.
England caused minor worry for France after 62 minutes when Gerrard chased Johnson's free-kick to the far post, but his header landed on top of the bar.

Bothroyd was then introduced for his first appearance with 20 minutes left, and was almost presented with the chance to mark his entrance with a goal, but he was just unable to get the final touch after Johnson's shot caused an outbreak of mass confusion in the French penalty area.

After Samir Nasri fired a rising shot against the post, England coach Capello was enforced to introduce Crouch when Gerrard pulled up and limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury.

And Crouch made an instant crash when he stretched out a leg at the far post to turn Ashley Young's corner beyond France keeper Hugo Lloris.

England then attempted to grab an unlikely draw in a frantic final period, but France deservedly survived as the current limitations on the resources available to Capello were exposed.

Strange Facts About Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are very ingenious

The hermit and its diet.
Whenever somebody thinks of taking in a crab as a pet, the first thing that typically comes into that person’s mind is what he or she will feed the pet with. When they are in the wild, they are not picky eaters. They are mostly omnivores, and scavengers at that. This means that they can eat both plants and meat, which greatly increases their chances of survival especially in time of shortage. Some of the foods that crabs eat include descended fruits, brightly colored vegetables, meat of dead animals, and so on.

The hermit and the shells.

The hermit is a attractive defenseless animal it does not have a shell to protect its body. For this reason, the crabs usually use the shells of other animals such as sea snails to protect their own bodies. There is nothing particular about the seashells. They seem to be the most convenient and accessible for the crabs to use. When these sea shells are not there, crabs have been seen carrying about debris and glasses in place of these shells. These shells also do something like houses in one way or another.

Hermit crab breeding.

Another thing that will tell you that hermits are pretty ingenious creatures is their pattern when it comes to breeding. When the female hermit crab needs to lay her eggs, she usually rushes to the shore of the ocean and then lays her eggs there. She doesn’t just go and put them on the shore. No. She actually makes a hole and then lays eggs there in ample. She then covers her eggs with sand and then leaves them to hatch. After hatching, the baby hermits run to the ocean from where they grow up.

Most Republicans don’t trust in climate change

A new Pew poll shows a dramatic change in view on climate change among Republicans that seems to mirror a new tone on the issue taken up by GOP politicians. In the poll, 53 percent of Republicans said there is no proof for climate change, when only three years ago 62 percent of GOPers said they did believe in global warming. Almost 80 percent of Democrats and a majority of independents said there is solid proof for global warming.

Overall, 59 percent of adults thought there was good proof that the planet is warming, and 34 percent said global warming is mostly caused by human activity. Both numbers are down steeply from 2006.

An overwhelming number of scientists say global warming exists, is damaging and is caused by human-created carbon emissions, from cars, factories and other sources. Even climate-change "skeptics" have the same opinion that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means higher temperatures, as Bjorn Lomborg tells The Daily Beast. Lomborg made a documentary saying global pacts to reduce carbon emissions are not a good idea, but agrees that evidence for man-made climate change is undeniable.

"Ninety-seven percent of top scientists are in accord, but the public is crack about 50-50," University of Minnesota professor John Abraham told the AFP. Meanwhile, a group of hundreds of U.S. scientists bproclaim this month they want to speak out on climate change to fight misinformation.

So why the disconnect?
The campaign to raise awareness about global warming took a major hit in 2009 when leaked emails from scientists at the University of East Anglia suggested that some climate scientists were manipulating data. As censure over "Climategate" mounted and President Obama's efforts to secure a carbon-reduction pact at Copenhagen last year failed, Republican politicians especially those affiliated with the tea party movement began more boldly to deny man-made global warming.

The liberal blog ThinkProgress estimates that about half of the approximately 100 freshmen GOP Congressmen do not believe in man-made global warming. The soon-to-be chair of the House Science Committee is a climate-change skeptic. Even among more moderate Republicans, climate change has become a no-go zone.

Baby Black Hole Found Are You Elder Than a Cosmic Monster?

Just 50 million light-years away there's a black hole that may come into view younger than you. This week astronomers publicize the discovery of the youngest black hole yet spotted the light we're seeing today came from the black hole when the object was about 30 years old. The find is giving scientists a first peep into the early development of these cosmic predators.

It's thought most black holes are born when massive stars go supernova, leaving behind ultradense cores that either form small but extremely massive neutron stars or fall down into black holes. Although new supernovae are being discovered across the universe almost every week, seeing any newborn black holes can be difficult.

By definition, black holes are so opaque that not even light can escape their gravitational pulls. The only way we can see the objects is to catch them collecting a surrounding disk of in falling material and the newfound baby black hole appears to be undergoing this process.

"This may be the first time the common way of creation a black hole has been observed," study co-author Avi Loeb, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement.
"However, it is very hard to detect this type of black hole birth, because decades of x-ray observations are needed to make the contai

3D origami art!

Origami like any other detailed form of art requires a lot of patience, eye for point and loads of creativity thinking. But you need to be actually good at it to make big money. Meet Jeffrey Nishinaka, a 52-year old Los Angeles based artist who used moulds paper based art with the right lighting to form amazing origami art work in 3D. While his art sells for anything between $1,530 and $25,490, his largest creation a 20 feet high, 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep tree set up complete with grass, leaves, birds and fishes earned him a enormous $ 101,985. More pictures after the jump.

Canadian Researchers Change Skin into Blood

When scientists at Hamilton’s McMaster University noticed that a petri dish full of long, thin skin cells now also had a quite different occupant characteristic, round blood cells they suspected they were on to something big. The researchers’ guess, it seems, was dead on. As described in the journal Nature yesterday, the team under Dr. Mick Bhatia seized on that chance microscopic sighting and devised a process that transforms skin cells directly into blood, a mind-bending breakthrough that one expert suggests may turn cell biology “upside down.”

The discovery opens the door to creating healthy blood from a measly patch of skin. For leukemia sufferers unable to find a bone-marrow donor and other patients the novelty could one day prove life saving. “This work from Mick Bhatia’s laboratory represents a very important, if not a seminal, contribution,” said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, head of the Stem Cell Network.

“When I read the paper, I went, ‘Wow, far out.’” Scientists in Japan managed to get a type of stem cell from skin in groundbreaking work unveiled three years ago. Stem cells are famous for their ability to change into any other type of human cell, holding out the promise of fixing diseased or damaged parts of the body, from injured spinal cords to ill hearts and diabetic pancreases. Dr. Bhatia’s discovery appears to go a major step further than that research, eliminating the middle stage of creating those induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and directly reprogramming skin into other types of cell.

“One of the most important things is, you’re actually making the right cells,” said Dr. Bhatia. More fundamentally, the findings propose that even cells that have differentiated into a particular type be it skin, heart or liver are not frozen in that state and can be directly reprogrammed to do other things, much like stem cells themselves, experts say. “It really underscores that the committed cell state is not so definite. We can modulate that and make a cell step sideways into any particular state we want,” said Dr. Rudnicki. “Everything gets turned upside down.”

And the process was not overly complex, said Dr. Cynthia Dunbar of the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Instiute. “If it’s that simple, it’s really interesting: that a single transcription factor, a single molecular signal in the cell, is able to make that big a difference.” “Instead of … taking an observation and ignoring it, thinking it’s an anomaly, you can try to repeat it,” said Dr. Bhatia. “When you can repeat it, creating round (blood) cells, you start to take it seriously.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Polar Bears Turning to Goose Eggs to stay alive Warming?

Polar bears may be turning to snow goose eggs to help them stay alive as Arctic sea ice melts due to global warming, scientists say. Polar bears classically hunt seals out at sea, returning to land when springtime temperatures melt the ice floes the bears use as rest stops. But climate change has been reason sea ice to melt earlier each year (pictures), forcing polar bears to come ashore sooner.

In a previous study, biologist Robert Rockwell and his colleague Linda Gormezano documented polar bears in Canada's Hudson Bay area (map) returning to land about two weeks earlier than they'd done in the past, near the end of June in its place of the middle of July. This early arrival brings the bears back to shore around the same time that nesting snow geese are hatching their eggs in Hudson Bay.

Snow goose eggs are more often food for skuas and Arctic foxes. But polar bears are famous for their insatiable appetites: One polar bear reportedly went on a "goose egg-fest," Rockwell said, devouring more than 800 eggs in four days. Accounts like this have caused some scientists to worry that hungry polar bears might severely reduce or clean out nesting snow goose populations.

But in new research, recently published online in the journal Oikos, Rockwell and his team show that the currently plentiful snow goose population is in no risk from the bears. In fact, the eggs might provide a valuable backup food source as polar bears are forced to end their seal hunts early. For one thing, a snow goose egg is about twice the size of a chicken egg, but it is much more nutritious, said Rockwell, a research connect at the American Museum of Natural History and a professor at the City University of New York.

Downing a goose egg is like "eating a stick of butter," he said. Rockwell guess that if a polar bear eats about 88 snow goose eggs, the bear will be consuming the caloric equivalent of a seal.
Bears and Geese will rarely "Mismatch"

Snow geese are traveling birds that spend their winters in warmer parts of North America. The birds typically arrive in the Arctic to type around the end of May and remain through August. Millions of snow geese arrive in Canada each year to breed, and each nesting female lays four eggs, on average.

Snow geese are currently considered a species of least concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, because they have a wide range and a large global population that seems to be increasing. Rockwell's initial research suggested polar bears are developing an alarming taste for their new food source. The biologist had even heard reports of some bears coming ashore before the sea ice melts to gorge on goose eggs.

"Bears are bears," Rockwell said. "Once they find a food source, they're going to capitalize on it."

New technique followed by Kobe Bryant

Well of course Kobe Bryant (notes) threw the ball off the backboard and back to himself so that he could nail an open jumper against the Suns on Sunday night. Kobe's got a basketball brain the size of Phil Jackson's ranch in Montana, and Phil Jackson has a very large farm in Montana.

And when you have a brain this big, along with skills this profound, this is what occurs.

It's all absolutely legal, of course. Kobe doesn't get an assist to/for himself, and the shot clock doesn't get to start all over after he throws it off the glass (this is why you don't see players chucking the ball at the backboard with the digits winding down), but the episode is lawful and very nice to watch. And it's not as if anyone else was open, though that fact likely won't deter some comments.

42 killed in Shanghai as fire surrounds high-rise

Death toll from the fire in a downtown Shanghai apartment block Monday had risen to 42, said a statement from the municipal exposure department. The 28-story building at the traffic circle of Jiaozhou Road and Yuyao Road in Jing'an District was being renovated when it caught fire at about 2:15 pm.

Chinese State Councilor and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu is speeding up to Shanghai to direct the rescue work. The fire was mostly extinguished at 6:30 pm. Fire fighters are probing for survivors in the building, the statement said. The upper half of the building was beyond the reach of fire appliances, making it hard to put out the fire. The fire was brought under control only after fire fighters set up pipes on top of a nearby building.

The number of injured people is not immediately known. But nearby hospitals have received more than 100 saved people. People keep spilling over to Jing'an District Center Hospital, where more than 50 injured people are being treated, to inquire about their family members. The cause of the fire was as yet mysterious, but a witness said he saw construction materials burning before the fire climbed up the scaffolding and quickly spread. A total of 25 fire units and 61 fire engines were sending out to the scene.

Helicopters were sent to save people trapped on the roof. Residents said the building, built in the 1990s, housed mainly teachers from several schools in Jing'an District, many of whom were go away. Residents of the building and three neighboring apartment blocks had get together in nearby shelters - a school, a stadium and other public facilities, waiting for temporary accommodation arrangements from the rescue headquarters. Evacuees are offered free food, water and medical services in the shelters.
"Construction workers used to litter cigarette butts all around in the building," said a woman surnamed Zhao who lived in the block. She said she had filed several complaints on the fire hazard. Zhao and her family members are staying in Jing'an Sports Center, a stadium in Jing'an district. Many people in the stadium are trying to contact their missing family members. "Such a horrible scene belongs to novels, not real life. I could hardly believe my eyes," she said. When she came back from work after hearing about the fire from a phone call, the building was engulfed by flame and smoke.

A resident surnamed Zhang, who lives on the top floor, said she and a dozen neighbors escaped down the stairs. "At first, I saw smoke belching out of the window and soon the room was engulfed by smoke too," said a woman worker surnamed Qian, who was installing thermal insulation on the 28th floor, and escaped down the stairs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Self-Cloning Lizard Found in Vietnam bistro

You could call it the surprise A popular food on Vietnamese menus has turned out to be a lizard before unknown to science, scientists say. What's more, the newfound Leiolepis ngovantrii is no run-of-the-mill reptile the all-female species replicates via cloning, without the need for male lizards.

Single-gender lizards aren't that much of a peculiarity. About one percent of lizards can reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning the females spontaneously ovulate and clone themselves to make offspring with the same genetic blueprint. "The Vietnamese have been eating these for time on end," said herpetologist L. Lee Grismer of La Sierra University in Riverside, California, who helped recognize the animal.

"In this part of the Mekong Delta [in southeastern Vietnam], restaurants have been serving this undescribed species, and we just staggered across it."

Who's Your (Lizard) Daddy?

The newfound reptile also had rows of distended scales on its arms as well as lamellae bone layers under its toes that set it apart from other species, according to the study, published April 22 in the journal ZOOTAXA. The species is almost certainly a hybrid from maternal and paternal lines of two related lizard species, a phenomenon that can occur in transition zones between two habitats. For instance, the new lizard's home, the Binh Chau-Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve, sits between scrub woodland and coastal sand dunes.

"So species that do actually well in one habitat or the other will occasionally get together and reproduce to form a hybrid," Grismer said. Genetic tests of the new lizard's mitochondrial DNA identified its maternal species as L. guttata. Because this type of DNA is passed down only through females, the paternal species isn't yet known.

"So what you get in the unisexual lizards is a mule that can clone itself."