Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rare White Kiwi Chick Born

A rare white kiwi chick, named Manukura, hatched on May 1 at New Zealand's national wildlife center. It's believed to be the first all-white kiwi chick born in captivity.

The unusual chick is not an albino, but the rare offspring of kiwi that were transferred the center, called Pukaha Mount Bruce, from Hauturu/Little Barrier Island last year.

"The kiwi population on Little Barrier Island has birds with white markings and some white kiwi, but this was still a big surprise," Pukaha Mount Bruce Board chairman, Bob Francis said in a press release.

Manukura was the thirteenth of fourteen kiwis successfully hatched at Pukaha Mount Bruce this breeding season. When it is old enough to protect itself, Mankura may be released into a wildlife sanctuary.

But wildlife officials say they will make that decision carefully since, as Department of Conservation area manager Chris Lester pointed out, "A white kiwi might really stand out making it more vulnerable."

Pukaha board member, Jason Kerehi, said tribal elders saw the white chick as a "tohu" or "sign" of new beginnings. "Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A six years old young magneto in the making!!

Ivan Stoiljkovic, a six-year-old boy from a small town in norther Croatia, has been drawing media attention with his unusual gift of making large amount of metal stick to his torso.

Young Ivan may not look to be in the best likely shape for his age, but that’s never stopped him from taking off his t-shirt and attaching metal objects on his chest and belly. “We always felt he was a bit special. At 15 months-of-age he was rollerblading, he started on foot at eight months. He was less than two when he started driving a little motorcycle, and it was a bit weird,” says Ivan Surlovic, young Magneto’s grandfather.

It all started as a joke, a few months ago, when Ivan’s grandmother was watching a show about a boy with magnetic capabilities. Her grandson took his shirt off and asked if he could do something like that, so they tried putting metal things on him and they just stuck.

According to Ivan Surlovic’s family, his powers are strongest in the morning and when he is calm and focused. They say he is capable of carrying up to 25 pounds of metal on his body, with heavier objects actually sticking better than lighter ones. His upper body appears to be more magnetic.

And magnetism isn’t the only “super power” this boy has, according to his folks his wounds heal much faster than they normally should, leaving no scars, and his healing scars have been known to alleviate his grandfather’s stomach pains, and the pain of a neighbor who hurt his leg in a tractor accident.

The above story sounds pretty impressive, but after reading James Randi’s thoughts on the matter, I’m not that convinced of his magnetic powers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rare pink diamond fetches $10.8m in auction

A very rare translucent pink diamond fetched a price of $10.8 million (7.6 million euros) at a Sotheby's auction, the third-highest price ever paid for one of the pink stones at auction.

"Last chance: 8.5 million francs. Sold!" auctioneer David Bennett said before a throng of about 300 people gathered at a luxury hotel in Geneva, referring to the price before commission.

"It is the third-highest price for a pink diamond at auction," Bennett told press after the sale on Tuesday.

The 10.99-carat, emerald-cut stone was classed as a type IIa diamond, with the type II category making up less than two percent of gem diamonds, Sotheby's said on its website.

The pure color of the diamond, mounted in a ring, is classified as "Fancy strong Pink" by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Stones in this group are the most chemically pure and often have a rare transparency. They have been found in India and in more new times in Brazil and Africa.

Valued earlier at between 8.3 and 14.8 million Swiss francs, the pink diamond had come from a private collection and had not come into view on the market for more than 30 years.

Sotheby's said it was one of the highlights of its "Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels" auction in Geneva on Tuesday.

Another was an emerald and diamond tiara dating from 1900, as well as Kashmir sapphires and Burmese rubies.

The tiara sold for $10 million, not including commission, at the top end of how it had been earlier valued.

"I do not think that the market for colored diamonds has ever been as strong as it is today," Bennett said.

A 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond ring was sold for a record $46.16 million at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva in November.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Facebook Like Inspires Baby Name

First there was baby "Facebook" and now this: An Israeli couple has named their kid "Like."
Let the Valley Girl jokes result.

The Israeli news source Galgalatz reports that Lior and Vardit Adler are the proud parents of a lively baby girl named after the Facebook Like button, which newly celebrated its first birthday.

It seems that, the parents were looking to call their daughter something sole. The moniker is not meant to be a trick, and they say that they're not shilling for Facebook. They just like (pun intended) the sense behind the name.

The Adlers are hardly the first people to lumber their kid with a suspect name.

One man offered to name his son Batman if he could get 500,000 people to become fans of his Facebook Page, and another couple named their child Facebook in honor of the role the social network played in the revolution in Egypt.

Granted, naming your child something strange is not relegated to the realm of social media -- apparently "Brooklyn" is an extremely popular name -- but the name choice surely is out there.

What do you think? Would you "Like" the name Like?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giant Guitar With 7,000 Trees Made By A Farmer

Pedro Martin Ureta, a 70-year old Argentine farmer from General Levalle, has used 7,000 cypress and eucalyptus trees to make a giant guitar in memory of his late wife, Graciela, who expired in 1977, when she was only 25. He discussed with a number of landscapers, but none of them were interested in such a daring try, so the farmer just had to do it himself.

Planting the tree guitar required a family effort. His kids would stand in a row, three meters apart, and the farm hands would plant trees in those exact spots, after which they re-formed the line in another position and more trees were planted. Most of the guitar, including the body and star-shaped hole were designed using cypress trees, as for the strings the bluish tones of eucalyptus trees were used.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

World’s Largest Ice-cream Cake - Canada

Yesterday, Canadian company Dairy Queen has placed a new world record by making the world’s largest ice-cream cake in Yonge and Dundas Square, Toronto.

It took 100 people over a year to plan the occasion, but after 30 years and 52 million ice-cream cakes sold, this was the ideal way to celebrate, according to Denise Hutton, vice-president of marketing at Dairy Queen Canada. Dozens of chefs worked around the clock using over 9,000 kg of ice-cream, 91 kg of sponge cake, around 136 kg of icing and Oreo crumbles, to beat the former world record, a nearly 8,000 kg ice-cream cake made by China, in 2006.

After the cake was finished and approved by the Guinness Book of Records, pieces of it were served to the crowd met in Yonge and Dundas Square, with 100% of suggested donations going to Children’s Miracle Network. “When else can eating ice cream cake help to fund medical care, research and educational programs so that Canadian kids have access to world-class care? It’s the best of all worlds – a delicious treat and a great cause.” said the charity’s Paul Lethbridge.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

First Successful Full Face Transplantation - United States

Dallas Wiens, the first person in the United States to undergo a full face transplant, has came into view publicly for the first time.

The construction worker suffered horrific burns in an accident in the United States more than two years ago, which left him blind and with no a nose or lips.

He underwent a 15-hour procedure in March, in which a team of 30 doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, transplanted an whole new face from an nameless donor.

Mr Wiens, 26, wearing dark sunglasses, said: "To me the face feels natural, as it if has turn out to be my own. I can never express what has been done, what I have been given.

"The ability to breathe through my nose normally, that in itself was a major gift."
He said his three-year-old daughter Scarlett liked his new face, adding: "She actually said 'Daddy, you're so handsome'."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New proof - Caffeine Is a Healthful Antioxidant in Coffee

Scientists are reporting an in-depth analysis of how the caffeine in coffee, tea, and other foods appears to defend against conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and heart disease on the most basic levels.
The report, which describes the chemistry behind caffeine's antioxidant belongings, appears in ACS' The Journal of Physical Chemistry B.

Annia Galano and Jorge Rafael León-Carmona describe evidence suggestive of that coffee is one of the richest sources of healthful antioxidants in the average person's diet. Some of the latest investigate points to caffeine (also present in tea, cocoa, and other foods) as the source of powerful antioxidant effects that may help defend people from Alzheimer's and other diseases. However, scientists know little about exactly how caffeine works in scavenging the so-called free radicals that have damaging effects in the body. And those few studies sometimes have reached contradictory conclusions.

In an effort to bolster scientific knowledge about caffeine, they present detailed theoretical calculations on caffeine's interactions with free radicals. Their theoretical conclusions show "excellent" consistency with the results that other scientists have report from animal and other experiments, bolstering the likelihood that caffeine is, indeed, a source of healthful antioxidant activity in coffee.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Talented Man creates detailed artwork with his mouth and right foot

Now you must shut your mouth if you say this 41-year-old Huang Guofu, is disabled. Because he does more than what an able person can do. This great man is from Chongqing, China, has learned to master the paintbrush with his mouth and right foot, after he lost both his hands in a childhood accident.

Huang Guofu lost his arms in dreadful electric shock accident, at the tender age of four, but that didn’t stop him from following his dreams, and at age 12 he began painting with his feet. The gifted artist remembers that in the start, his artworks didn’t look at all like what he future to paint, but as the years went by his skills improved significantly. Huang quit his studies when he was 18, as his father was very ill and he needed to make money for his treatments. He started travelling to other Chinese cities, creating stunning paintings on the side of streets and selling them to passers-by.

It was during his art actions that he began using his mouth to paint, after hearing some comments that painting with one’s leg isn’t very stylish. He put a brush in his mouth and started painting. During a trip to a city in China’s Sichuan Province, Huang Guofu met Hu Guoui, a woman who quickly fell in love with his strong will and artistic talents, and the two got married in 2000. Since then, she has become his helper, carrying his canvas and tools, whenever he needs to paint a scene on location.

Huang Guofu has been named vice-curator of the newly established Chongqing Talents Museum, for his artistic attainments and powerful spirit. Since then, many more mouth-and-foot painters have joined the museum. The artist believes that “when life closes one door to you, it must have opened another at the same time” and says publicly he is happy and content with what God has given him.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paul Gauguin statue sells for record price

A wooden bust by Paul Gauguin has sold for $11.3m (£6.8m) at Sotheby's in New York, a record price for a statue by the 19th Century French artist.

Jeune tahitienne (Young Tahitian) was last seen in public in 1961.

The work had been predictable to sell for between $10m (£6m) and $15m (£9m), the sale house said.
The current record for a Gauguin work is held by L'homme a la hache (The Man with an Axe), which sold for $40.3m (£24.4m) in 2006.

The latest auction agrees with a Gauguin exhibition taking place at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

It is the first main exhibit of the artist's career in the United States in approximately 20 years.

This week's sale contrasts with an earlier auction in London in February when a rare Gauguin picture failed to sell.

Nature Morte A L'Esperance (Still Life with Sunflowers) had been probable to fetch up to £10 million at the Christie's event.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

World Population to reach 10 billion by 2100 if Fertility in all Countries Converges to Replacement Level

The current world population of close to 7 billion is projected to reach 10.1 billion in the next ninety years, reaching 9.3 billion by the middle of this century, according to the medium variant of the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the official United Nations population projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which is being launched today. Much of this increase is projected to come from the high-fertility countries, which comprise 39 countries in Africa, nine in Asia, six in Oceania and four in Latin America.

Small variations in fertility can produce major differences in the size of populations over the long run. The high projection variant, whose fertility is just half a child above that in the medium variant, produces a world population of 10.6 billion in 2050 and 15.8 billion in 2100. The low variant, whose fertility remains half a child below that of the medium, produces a population that reaches 8.1 billion in 2050 and declines towards the second half of this century to reach 6.2 billion in 2100. For long-term trends the medium variant is taken as reference.

The medium-variant projection for 2050 is more certain than for 2100 because people who will be 40 years and older in 2050 are already born. According to the medium variant, it will take 13 years to add the eighth billion, 18 years to add the ninth billion and
40 years to reach the tenth billion. According to the high variant, an additional billion would be added every 10 or 11 years for the rest of this century.

Current fertility levels vary markedly among countries.
Today, 42 per cent of the world’s population lives in low-fertility countries, that is, countries where women are not having enough children to ensure that, on average, each woman is replaced by a daughter who survives to the age of procreation. Another 40 per cent lives in intermediate-fertility countries where each woman is having, on average, between 1 and 1.5 daughters, and the remaining 18 per cent lives in high-fertility countries where the average woman has more than 1.5 daughters (see map).

High-fertility countries are mostly concentrated in Africa (39 out of the 55 countries in the continent have high fertility), but there are also nine in Asia, six in Oceania and four in Latin America. Low-fertility countries include all countries in Europe except Iceland and Ireland, 19 out of the 51 in Asia, 14 out of the 39 in the Americas, two in Africa
(Mauritius and Tunisia) and one in Oceania (Australia).

Population for countries grouped by fertility level, medium variant, 1950-

Total fertility for countries grouped by fertility level, medium variant, selected periods

Small differences in fertility levels sustained over long periods have a major impact on the future population.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Korean Girl Removes Make-up after 24 Months

Doctors advise women remove their make-up every night before they go to sleep, in order to prevent harm to their skin, but a young South-Korean girl preferred to wear her make-up mask full-time, for the last two years.
20-year-old Bae Dal-mi first exposed make-up when she was just 14. You could say it was love at first brush, and ever as then, the young Koream urbanized her make-up talents to the point where she became so needy on it that she didn’t want to remove it anymore. As she kept applying ever-thicker layers of make-up on her face, the mirror became the most significant item in Bae’s life and she declares “I wanted to look perfect at all time, I even slept with the make-up on.” Shae wasn’t happy with her appearance, and said she wanted to have plastic surgery in 10 different places.

For the last two years, the young girl never used make-up removers, so her mother, infuriated by Bae’s behaviour, contacted a TV station and told them Bae’s unbelievable story. During a variety show, dermatologists managed to talk into Bae Dal-mi to finally remove the layers of make-up, and after a particular check-up they found her skin was two times older than her actual age. All because of an mania with beauty…