reseize logo;

Who is what? What is where? Where am I? Are you there?

You have hit the other collection, a newslog designed for the curious.

Add to Technorati Favorites!
  • Netvibes
  • Writely
  • Bubbleshare
  • CalendarHub
  • Rallypoint
  • MyLinkVault bookmarking service
  • YubNub
  • Techcrunch Blog
  • The best Web 2.0 software

  • Powered by FeedBlitz

  • Videolan
  • Open Office
  • Mozilla
  • Hazard Cards
  • kei-koo
  • Laboranova
  • Ajax by Joel Parish
  • The grand old dame of social tags ;-)
  • another bid on social bookmarking
  • Kaspersky
  • MediaMonkey
  • Flock
  • Google Blog
  • Google News
  • Home of Radi8
  • Radi8 at Garageband
  • Terminator Ted at Garageband
  • Coralie at Garageband
  • Radi8 at CD Baby
  • OpenWengo
  • VOIP Now
  • VOIP News
  • VOIP
  • VOIP
  • Skype
  • Google Talk
  • Free CA - by Barmala
  • Web Of Trust auch auf Deutsch
  • The Minstrel web of trust
  • Thawte Web Of Trust
  • 10 Punkte Web Of Trust Notar
  • Boing Boing
  • Engadget
  • Basenotes
  • Radi8 Mirror
  • Orkut
  • Blogarama
    Subscribe in Bloglines

    Subscribe in NewsGator Online

    Add to Google

    Subscribe in FeedLounge

    Add to My AOL

    Subscribe in Rojo

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Mice with glowing hearts

    Cornell researchers have genetically engineered mice whose hearts glow with a green light every time they beat.
    heart development of mouseProvided by Kotlikoff et al.
    This series reveals increases in cell calcium from a mouse embryo's upper heart through the lower heart on day 10 of development. Cell calcium rises when muscles contract. The bottom row shows a dramatic slowing of the conducted calcium wave between the upper and lower heart chamber
    The development gives researchers insights into how hearts develop in living mouse embryos and could improve our understanding of irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias, as well as open doors to observing cellular processes to better understand basic physiology and disease. The technique for making living, functional cells fluoresce, or glow, when the concentration of calcium ions rise within cells, is described online at PNAS and is to be published in a future issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
    "The proteins act as molecular spies that tell us what is happening within cells in the living mouse," said Michael Kotlikoff, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.

    Cornell researchers are breeding new lines of mice with similar proteins that target neurons in the brain, in parasympathetic nerves, in blood vessels or in Purkinje fibers, which prompt the heart's ventricles to pump. The researchers have also transplanted cells from the mice with glowing hearts into normal mice to see whether the transplanted cells function normally within the host heart, which could offer insights for heart repair. Read more...
    This was written by by Krishna Ramanujan & seized 4 u at Cornell University

    How to discover asteroid impacts using Google Earth

    On March 6 we, at, published a translation into spanish about the discovery of Kebira impact crater a 31km diameter structure in Egypt, at the border with Lybia, by investigators of Boston University. Two days later by using Google Earth program I decided to check how this crater looked like, as I knew image quality can vary from one place to another. I thought that logically the silhoute would be hard to appreciate and that would be the reason it took so much time to discover, but following the article guidelines I went directly to the Egypt/Lybia border and in less than a minute I perfectly saw the structure. El impacto de Kebira, Kebira as seen from 30km high distance. Suddenly the questions came to me. Nobody saw this before? How can a 31 km diameter structure not be noticed? So I decided to explore arround for a while to check for similar structures.
    This was seized 4 u at

    Microsoft is catching up in the battle on who will be dominating the future of the Internet

    Last November, Microsoft the era of "Live software", a host of new ways for consumers, businesses, and developers to gain access to Microsoft's services over the Web. Four months in, the new era appears to be well under way.
    I think that Microsoft has made a big step in the right direction with its latest release at, its evolving to a very competitive alternative to Google and Netvibes. com portals.
    Windows Live is the centerpiece of an effort by Microsoft to catch pioneers such as Google and Yahoo! in Internet-related technology and sales., Microsoft's customizable search-oriented portal, has more than 3 million users and the second-highest Net Promoter score -- a metric showing how many users would recommend the site to others -- of all properties, writes Cole, a Microsoft senior vice-president. How are other Windows Live features faring?
    Windows Live Mail, the new version of Microsoft's flagship Hotmail e-mail, is hosting 750,000 users, and the company hopes it will host 20 million by June, according to the memo. Windows Live Mail "was rewritten from the ground enable high performance, client-like functionality, plus a host of security features, including anti-phishing," Cole writes.
    And Windows Live Safety Center, a free online service that helps protect customers' computers with virus cleaning and comprehensive PC health checkup capabilities, has received 13 million page views since its mid-November launch and has completed about 2 million free scans, the memo reports. Windows Live Messenger, which lets customers make calls and create a virtual workspace to share files with others, already has more than 1.5 million beta users and is seeing much grassroots viral marketing, according to the memo. Windows Live Local search, customized to the user's geographic location, "is surpassing our competition with industry-leading technology," the memo says. A slew of other features are on the way, the company says. "Over the next 3-6 months, we'll ship more innovative technology into the marketplace than during our entire 10-year history," writes Cole, who said in February he'll be taking a year's leave of absence starting in April. How will all that innovation be delivered? Services will be introduced with what he calls a "rolling thunder" approach. "We'll release new services as they become available, upgrade existing services, and launch marketing efforts in global phases," the memo says. One such service is a click-per-call capability that will let users connect to businesses via Web-based calls by clicking on MSN search links. Sources tell BusinessWeek Online that the capability will be unveiled the week of Mar. 13. Four months isn't very long, as eras go. But results have nonetheless imbued Microsoft with confidence. "I know we've spent the last few years coming from behind, but we've truly turned a huge corner," Cole says. "And I can assure you the onslaught of upcoming Windows Live services will place us in a strong competitive position and will reestablish our leadership in the industry." The onslaught has yet to translate to big inroads on rivals' turf -- but Google may want to ready the defenses to be on the safe side.
    Most of this was seized 4 u at BusinessWeek

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Prepares to Enter Mars' Orbit

    Spacecraft Turns to Burn Position for Orbit Insertion
    03.10.06 -- After a seven-month journey, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is going through maneuvers to place itself into orbit around Mars today. Coverage of the complex orbit insertion maneuver starts at 3:30 p.m. on NASA TV and the Web . Spacecraft milestones for the event can be followed below. The spacecraft is the most technologically advanced ever sent to Mars.


    This was seized 4 u at NASA

    Check out Julian Beever's Amazing 3D Pavement Art

    I recently came across Julian Beever's web site. From his web site: " Julian Beever has made pavement drawings for over ten years. He has worked in the U.K., Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, the USA and Australia.The pavement drawings have included both renderings of old masters plus a wealth of original inventive pieces of work."
    His work shows a mastery of perspective and spacial relation. What I find most extraordinary is the transitive nature of his preferred medium. Check out more of Julian Beevers' work...

    This was seized 4 u at Julian Beever's Web Page

    Easter Island Settled Later, Depleted Quicker Than Thought?

    New archaeological evidence suggests that Easter Island, mysterious home of titanic stone heads, was first settled around A.D. 1200, much later than previously thought.
    Once there, the colonizers quickly began erecting the famous statues for which the remote eastern South Pacific island (map) is famous. They also helped deplete the island's natural resources at a much faster rate than previously thought, the study says.
    With its barren landscape, the Chilean-controlled island, also known as Isla de Pascua and Rapa Nui, has come to symbolize an isolated civilization that once flourished but suffered ecological catastrophe. Terry Hunt, the study's lead author, says the new findings highlight the dangers of human-induced environmental change, especially to islands. "This shows that [such] changes can occur very rapidly," said Hunt, an anthropology professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
    The study is to be published in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science. Scientists have long treated Easter Island's extinct society as a textbook example of a once thriving civilization that doomed itself by wiping out its natural resources.
    Before humans arrived on the isolated island, which is 64 square miles (166 square kilometers) in area, had some 16 million giant palm trees. Twenty or more other tree and woody shrub species formed a forest on the island, as on other local islands. Yet when Dutch colonizers arrived on Easter Island in 1722, they found the eerie stone carvings and little else. The natural landscape was totally barren, the island's trees having been cut down—an environmental disaster examined in geographer Jared Diamond's latest best seller, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. (See Guns, Germs and Steel: Jared Diamond on Geography as Power.)
    In 1947 Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed a tiny raft, called Kon-Tiki, from Peru to Polynesia in an effort to prove that ancient civilizations could have sailed to the South Pacific.

    This was seized 4 u at National Geographic

    The Hunch Engine

    How do you look for something when you don't know what you're looking for?
    Or when you know it must be there somewhere but you have no idea what it looks like?
    Or when you have no idea how to formulate your query?
    Or when you would like to expand your exploration to adjacent or not-so-adjacent concepts?
    Imagine you could plug a computer into your brain and get the machine to do the donkey work while you concentrate on the creative bits. A novel piece of software that generates names and hunts down pictures gets close to doing just that.
    The "hunch engine" blends a computer's ability to rapidly sift through a large number of possible solutions to a problem with human hunches for what looks or sounds right. Whether you are trying to think up a company name or find the perfect image on the web, the system does the hard work and lets you have all the fun.
    If your only guiding principle is the "obscenity principle"--I know it when I see it--you need not a search engine but a hunch engine. Developed by Icosystem of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the hunch engine uses a genetic algorithm, an interactive evolutionary algorithms to help users navigate large spaces, combining the ability of computers to sift through massive amounts of data and that unique human ability to see "stuff" (sometimes even when stuff is not there) with their right brains. The hunch engine enables a form of "high-throughput screening by humans."
    Can this become a consumer application?
    Is it a new way of browsing?

    Life On Enceladus?

    Follwing up yesterdays story, it cannot be ruled out that Saturn’s tiny moon, Enceladus, is a distant outpost of life.
    So say Cassini mission scientists after studying the geysers of ice particles and water vapour found spewing out of the moon’s south polar region in 2005. An insulating shell of clathrate hydrates – a form of water ice containing trapped gas molecules – could help Enceladus retain more heat. Additional warming may come courtesy of the gravitational tug of war between Enceladus and Dione, a neighbouring moon. Read more...

    This was seized 4 u at New Scientist

    How fast is your internet?

    In a few short years, people and businesses have become dependent on their internet connection, to the point where if that connection even slows down, it is a major issue. Yet how do you measure your internet connection’s performance? Actually, in any number of ways which have now been catalogued. Organisations managing high traffic volumes have until now been forced to rely on the assurances of their provider, rather than being able to use a widely-understood and standard measurement method. This is the purpose of the IST project MOME, to build the knowledge and resources for such internet performance measurement.
    MOME aimed to develop a publicly-accessible data repository on the tools and data used for internet performance measurement. The project is completing at the end of March 2006, and already has accessible online a public database of IP (Internet Protocol) performance-measurement tools and data.
    “We looked at around 400 tools in total,” says project coordinator Felix Strohmeier of Salzburg Research in Austria. “These were refined down to 121 tools, which are described in the database together with the links to access them.”
    The tools database contains links to publicly-available data repositories, he says, stressing that many of the tools are freely available together with their source code. “What we have produced is a kind of online catalogue, where you can find the tool you need for a specific purpose, for example how to examine ‘denial of service’ attacks.” MOME’s IP measurement tools database currently contains information on some 66 open-source tools, 19 commercially-available programs and seven methods that do not make the source code available. For the remaining 29 tools listed in the database, source code availability is not specified. Strohmeier emphasises the contribution made by project participants to the standardisation bodies. “We have been very active in the IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force, an open international community concerned with the evolution of the internet], bringing the results from a number of IST projects into what is the main engineering body for internet protocol.”
    While the MOME project itself is finishing, Salzburg Research intends to maintain the site and the open-to-all online database together with three of the project partners, says Strohmeier. Users are also able to add comments on any of the tools, once they have registered (which is free).
    MOME was the first EU research project in this area and therefore something of a European pioneer. The US-based CAIDA research association, at the San Diego Supercomputing Center in California, has worked in this area of IP measurement for around ten years, and has now decided to deploy its own database of measurement tools, prompted in part at least by the cooperation and contact with MOME.
    This was seized 4 u at Information Society Technologies

    Cubicles: The great mistake

    NEW YORK (FORTUNE Magazine) - Robert Oppenheimer agonized over building the A-bomb. Alfred Nobel got queasy about creating dynamite. Robert Propst invented nothing so destructive. Yet before he died in 2000, he lamented his unwitting contribution to what he called "monolithic insanity."

    Propst is the father of the cubicle. More than 30 years after he unleashed it on the world, we are still trying to get out of the box. The cubicle has been called many things in its long and terrible reign. But what it has lacked in beauty and amenity, it has made up for in crabgrass-like persistence.
    Reviled by workers, demonized by designers, disowned by its very creator, it still claims the largest share of office furniture sales--$3 billion or so a year--and has outlived every "office of the future" meant to replace it. It is the Fidel Castro of office furniture.

    So will the cubicle always be with us? Probably yes, though in recent years individuals and organizations have finally started to chart productive and economical ways to escape its tyranny.

    The cubicle was not born evil, or even square. It began, in fact, as a beautiful vision. The year was 1968. Nixon won the presidency. The Beatles released The White Album. And home-furnishings company Herman Miller (Research) in Zeeland, Mich., launched the Action Office. It was the brainchild of Bob Propst, a Coloradan who had joined the company as director of research.
    After years of prototyping and studying how people work, and vowing to improve on the open-bullpen office that dominated much of the 20th century, Propst designed a system he thought would increase productivity (hence the name Action Office). The young designer, who also worked on projects as varied as heart pumps and tree harvesters, theorized that productivity would rise if people could see more of their work spread out in front of them, not just stacked in an in-box.

    The new system included plenty of work surfaces and display shelves; partitions were a part of it, intended to provide privacy and places to pin up works in process. The Action Office even included varying desk levels to enable employees to work part of the time standing up, thereby encouraging blood flow and staving off exhaustion.

    But inventions seldom obey the creator's intent. "The Action Office wasn't conceived to cram a lot of people into little space," says Joe Schwartz, Herman Miller's former marketing chief, who helped launch the system in 1968. "It was driven that way by economics."

    Economics was the one thing Propst had failed to take into account. But it was also what triggered the cubicle's runaway success. Around the time the Action Office was born, a growing breed of white-collar workers, whose job titles fell between secretary and boss, was swelling the workforce. Also, real estate prices were rising, as was the cost of reconfiguring office buildings, making the physical office a drag on the corporate budget. Cubicles, or "systems furniture," as they are euphemistically called, offered a cheaper alternative for redoing the floorplan.

    This was seized 4 u at CNN Money

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    NASA's Cassini Discovers Potential Liquid Water on Enceladus

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft may have found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in Yellowstone-like geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The rare occurrence of liquid water so near the surface raises many new questions about the mysterious moon.

    "We realize that this is a radical conclusion -- that we may have evidence for liquid water within a body so small and so cold," said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. "However, if we are right, we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms."

    High-resolution Cassini images show icy jets and towering plumes ejecting large quantities of particles at high speed. Scientists examined several models to explain the process. They ruled out the idea that the particles are produced by or blown off the moon's surface by vapor created when warm water ice converts to a gas. Instead, scientists have found evidence for a much more exciting possibility -- the jets might be erupting from near-surface pockets of liquid water above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), like cold versions of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone.

    Mission scientists report these and other Enceladus findings in this week's issue of Science.

    "We previously knew of at most three places where active volcanism exists: Jupiter's moon Io, Earth, and possibly Neptune's moon Triton. Cassini changed all that, making Enceladus the latest member of this very exclusive club, and one of the most exciting places in the solar system," said Dr. John Spencer, Cassini scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.

    This was seized 4 u at NASA

    Black Holes Or Dark Energy Stars?

    Dark energy and dark matter, two of the greatest mysteries confronting physicists, may be two sides of the same coin. A new and as yet undiscovered kind of star could explain both phenomena and, in turn, remove black holes from the lexicon of cosmology.
    The audacious idea comes from George Chapline, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin of Stanford University and their colleagues. Last week at the 22nd Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting in Santa Barbara, California, Chapline suggested that the objects that till now have been thought of as black holes could in fact be dead stars that form as a result of an obscure quantum phenomenon. These stars could explain both dark energy and dark matter.
    This radical suggestion would get round some fundamental problems posed by the existence of black holes. One such problem arises from the idea that once matter crosses a black hole's event horizon - the point beyond which not even light can escape - it will be destroyed by the space-time "singularity" at the centre of the black hole. Because information about the matter is lost forever, this conflicts with the laws of quantum mechanics, which state that information can never disappear from the universe.
    Another problem is that light from an object falling into a black hole is stretched so dramatically by the immense gravity there that observers outside will see time freeze: the object will appear to sit at the event horizon for ever. This freezing of time also violates quantum mechanics. "People have been vaguely uncomfortable about these problems for a while, but they figured they'd get solved someday," says Chapline. "But that hasn't happened and I'm sure when historians look back, they'll wonder why people didn't question these contradictions." While looking for ways to avoid these physical paradoxes, Chapline and Laughlin found some answers in an unrelated phenomenon: the bizarre behaviour of superconducting crystals as they go through something called "quantum critical phase transition". During this transition, the spin of the electrons in the crystals is predicted to fluctuate wildly, but this prediction is not borne out by observation. Instead, the fluctuations appear to slow down, and even become still, as if time itself has slowed down. "That was when we had our epiphany," Chapline says. He and Laughlin realised that if a quantum critical phase transition happened on the surface of a star, it would slow down time and the surface would behave just like a black hole's event horizon. Quantum mechanics would not be violated because in this scenario time would never freeze entirely. "We start with effects actually seen in the lab, which I think gives it more credibility than black holes," says Chapline.
    "Dark energy stars and black holes would have identical external geometries, so it will be very difficult to tell them apart," Lobo says. "All observations used as evidence for black holes - their gravitational pull on objects and the formation of accretion discs of matter around them - could also work as evidence for dark energy stars." Read more...

    This was seized 4 u at New Scientist

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Brain Controlled Typewriter Could Aid Disabled

    Researchers in Berlin have come a step closer to developing a device that will enable people to write and manipulate objects by reading their mind. The so-called mental typewriter that translates thoughts into cursor movements on a computer screen will be on display at the computer technology fair CeBIT, which opens in the German city of Hanover on March 9. "It'll be our first public presentation," says Mirjam Kaplow, spokesperson for the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology, which is developing the project along with the Department of Neurology at the Charite hospital. The teams led by professors Klaus-Robert Mueller and Gabriel Curio have spent several years working on the Brain Computer Interface -- a system which allows for a direct dialogue between man and machine. The long-term objective of the research is to create a brain-controlled device that could allow people with severe disabilities to communicate with the outside world. Even if a person who is completely paralysed cannot move his eyes left or right he can still think with the left and right parts of his brain. These thoughts or signals would be enough to activate the device. Signals from the brain are measured by 128 electrodes affixed to the subject's scalp, similar to an electroencephalogram (EEG). With the help of a software programme, specific signals are picked out among the nebulous mass of information. The computer's self-learning capacity allows it to identify individual brain patters and constantly improve its performance, says Mueller. "It's like being at a cocktail party when you have to absorb what the person opposite you is saying above the din of music, the clinking of glasses and the sound of other voices," Mueller told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

    This was seized 4 u at Mail & Guardian Online

    New animal resembles furry lobster

    PARIS, France (AP) -- Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday. Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it. A team of American-led divers found the animal in waters 2,300 meters (7,540 feet) deep at a site 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the French Institute for Sea Exploration. The new crustacean is described in the journal of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The animal is white and 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long -- about the size of a salad plate. In what Segonzac described as a "surprising characteristic," the animal's pincers are covered with sinuous, hair-like strands. It's also blind. The researchers found it had only "the vestige of a membrane" in place of eyes, Segonzac said. The researchers said that while legions of new ocean species are discovered each year, it is quite rare to find one that merits a new family. The family was named Kiwaida, from Kiwa, the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology. The diving expedition was organized by Robert Vrijenhoek of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.

    This was seized 4 u at CNN

    Sneak preview of Google Calendar

    TechCrunch has somehow obtained screenshots of the as yet unreleased Google Calendar. The application called CL2 seems to be way away from launch but the feature list seems impressive. Other online calendar applications are going to have a very hard time competing. "CL2 is closely, very closely, integrated with Gmail. It includes now-standard web 2.0 features - Ajax, suscription feeds for integration with iCal and other desktop calendars, event creation, search, sharing, notifications (including SMS) and more."
    This was seized 4 u at TechCrunch

    Human Genes Tell New Story

    Photo by Peter Thompson for The New York Times
    Dr. Jonathan Pritchard writing an equation to scan the human genome for signs of natural selection Monday at the University of Chicago.

    Providing the strongest evidence yet that humans are still evolving, researchers have detected some 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been reshaped by natural selection, a principal force of evolution, within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years. The genes that show this evolutionary change include some responsible for the senses of taste and smell, digestion, bone structure, skin color and brain function.
    The finding adds substantially to the evidence that human evolution did not grind to a halt in the distant past, as is tacitly assumed by many social scientists. Even evolutionary psychologists, who interpret human behavior in terms of what the brain evolved to do, hold that the work of natural selection in shaping the human mind was completed in the pre-agricultural past, more than 10,000 years ago.
    "There is ample evidence that selection has been a major driving point in our evolution during the last 10,000 years, and there is no reason to suppose that it has stopped," said Jonathan Pritchard, a population geneticist at the University of Chicago who headed the study. Read more...

    This was seized 4 u at The New York Times

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Where are the sunspots gone? (Solar Minimum has Arrived)

    Every year in February, the students of Mrs. Phillips's 5th grade class in Bishop, California, celebrate Galileo's birthday (Feb. 15th) by repeating one of his discoveries. They prove that the sun spins. It's simple. Step 1: Look at the sun. Galileo did this using a primitive telescope; Mrs. Phillips's students use the internet. Step 2: Sketch the sunspots. Step 3: Repeat daily. After only a few days, it's obvious that the sunspots are moving and sun is spinning, performing one complete turn every 27 days. This procedure worked fine in 1610. But in 2006, "we had a problem," says young Jonathan Garcia. "No sunspots,"explains his science fair partner Dakota Winkler.
    A picture of the sun taken Feb. 10,
    2006, by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
    For almost the entire month of February 2006 the sun was utterly blank. If Galileo had looked at the sun on his 442nd birthday, he would have been disappointed—no sunspots, no spin, no discovery. What's going on? NASA solar physicist David Hathaway explains: "Solar minimum has arrived." Sunspots come and go with an 11-year rhythm called the sunspot cycle. At the cycle's peak, solar maximum, the sun is continually peppered with spots, some as big as the planet Jupiter. But for every peak there is a valley, and during solar minimum months can go by without a single sunspot. "That's where we are now—at minimum," says Hathaway. Actually, we're at the beginning of the minimum. February 2006 was the first month in almost ten years with mostly no sunspots. For 21 of February's 28 days, the sun was blank. Hathaway expects this situation to continue for the rest of 2006.
    This was seized 4 u at NASA

    The first space tourist from Japan

    Space Adventures, Ltd., my favorite travel agency, has announced that Japanese entrepreneur Daisuke Enomoto (Dice-K) will be the next turist in space. The final contract for Dice-K’s flight on Soyuz TMA-9 in route to the International Space Station (ISS) has been signed. His expedition is currently planned for September 2006.
    "We, at Space Adventures, are proud to announce the commencement of Dice-K's orbital spaceflight training," said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures, Ltd. "We look forward to his launch in September when his dream of spaceflight will be realized and we hope and trust that he will be an inspiration to others around the world to pursue their own dreams of spaceflight."
    Space Adventures offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for orbital spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, commercial missions around the moon, Zero-Gravity and MiG flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts.

    This was seized 4 u at Space Adventures

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    The 62,000-Mile Elevator Ride

    (Business 2.0) - Every world-changing wonder has to begin somewhere. But it would be hard for the space elevator to have a less auspicious start than it got last October in a foggy office parking lot in Mountain View, Calif. This was the setting for the first Space Elevator Games, sponsored by NASA, which offered a $200,000 prize to the first team that could make a machine climb up a 164-foot tether, powered by nothing but a mirror and a beam of light from a 10,000-watt bulb.
    A short ride

    In fact, none of the home-brewed contraptions on display could reach higher than 40 feet. The device that got the most attention was built by Vince Lopresti, a wheelchair-bound Texan, and that's because he made it from an old wheelchair frame. Ask him why he did it, and he gazes skyward. "I'm doing it to get off this rock," he says with a smile.

    The theory behind the elevator is simple. First proposed 111 years ago by a Russian scientist, it was popularized by Arthur C. Clarke in his award-winning 1978 novel, The Fountains of Paradise, and goes like this: Earth is constantly spinning. So if you attach a counterweight to it with a cable, and put it far enough away--62,000 miles--the cable will be held taut by the force of the planet's rotation, just as if you spun around while holding a ball on a string. And if you've got a taut cable, you've got the makings of an elevator.

    As strange as that sounds--push the "Up" button, climb in, and soar off into weightless bliss--don't be surprised if it happens. The space elevator is where the PC was in the 1960s: The theory is solid, the materials exist, and people in garages are starting to tinker with the next step. Two Seattle startups are competing to build the elevator. Both believe they can do it within 15 years at a cost of $10 billion. NASA and China's space agency are eager to help make it happen.

    This was seized 4 u at Business 2.0

    Entire City of Toronto to Become Wireless Hotspot

    Toronto Hydro Corp. will announce Tuesday that it plans to turn Canada's largest city into one giant wireless hotspot, directly challenging the country's major mobile phone carriers for a chunk of the $8 billion a year wireless market. With the deployment, which sources say could be available in the downtown core as early as this fall, Toronto joins a growing list of North American cities, including Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco, that have announced plans to bring low-cost, broadband wireless access to their citizens and businesses. "I wouldn't be surprised if you see it in September or October of this year," said a source close to the project. Mayor David Miller will join Toronto Hydro executives on Tuesday to officially announce the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and could undermine commercial product offerings from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.

    This was seized 4 u at The Toronto Star

    Cool Robot

    Officially named the "Cool Robot" by students and faculty members at the Thayer School of Engineering, the robot designed to function in arctic temperatures may have surpassed "cool" and entered the realm of "out of this world," if the interest from NASA is any indication. The robot, envisioned and built by a team of students and faculty members at the Thayer School of Engineering, could potentially be used by NASA for research in Antarctica, according to Professor Laura Ray, the team leader and primary investigator for the project. NASA's goal is to use the robot to search for evidence of bacteria in Antarctic snow. The project would serve as a template for any future efforts to explore the terrain of Mars in search of life. Read more...
    This was seized 4 u at The Dartmouth

    Turbulence - the third power of time?

    Turbulence can be found everywhere: in the sun and in a cup of coffee, in a turbine engine and in biology. How turbulence works is one of the long-standing unsolved problems for scientists and engineers. Now, however, researchers have been able to test, experimentally, decades-old theories about how particles separate in strong turbulence; the work was done by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany; Cornell University in the United States; the Laboratory of Geophysical and Industrial Fluid Flows at the CNRS in Grenoble, France; and the Risø National Laboratory in Roskilde, Denmark. The scientists developed their own system of high-speed cameras; with them they showed that particles move more slowly than had previously been predicted. These results could lead to better transport and separation models of chemicals and biological substances.
    Fluid Turbulence is everywhere in the world around us. It impacts all of us on a daily basis, be it in stirring milk into our morning cup of coffee, mixing combustion gases in a burner, or in the spread of pollutants or bioagents in the atmosphere. Biologists are trying to learn how animals seek out partners and prey following scents transported by turbulent wind and water flows. Turbulence also influences how likely it is that two agents will come together and react chemically - how pollution or poisons spread out and fluctuate across oceans and air. Turbulen
    ce also affects how clouds form and atmospheric ozone gets depleted.
    Turbulence occurs naturally when a fluid, like air or water, is pushed at high speeds or at a large scale, and is characterized by chaotic, seemingly random flow patterns. It is most easily recognisable when "particles" are tossed around in a flow, like when leaves dance in an autumn wind or ribbons of mist appear behind a car speeding over a wet highway. For decades scientists have been trying to understand how exactly turbulence happens. One of their key questions has been: when particles start out near each other, how long does it take for turbulence to separate them? In the 1920s, a British scientist, Lewis Fry Richardson, predicted that the mean-square separation of a fluid element pair should grow as the third power of time. This result, known as the Richardson-Obukhov law, is commonly used in models of transport in turbulence. Because of turbulence’s high complexity, the law assumes that flow separation is independent of the original distance between the particles.
    In the 1950s, however, the Australian George Batchelor in Cambridge devised another separation formula which was indeed dependent on the initial distance between particles. He saw the pair separation as increasing with time squared, and further suggested that the Richardson-Obukhov law would, in the long-run, be obeyed.
    Now a German-French-United States research team, led by Professor Eberhard Bodenschatz, has experimentally tested both theories.
    They created a particle tracking system out of three high-speed cameras and a very bright laser. The scientists put very small particles into turbulent water flows and measured the particle movements. The cameras recorded the distance between particles over 25,000 times per second. This is about a million times smaller and faster than the movement of two snowflakes in a snowstorm.
    The researchers found results in excellent agreement with Batchelor's predictions, but which did not observe the Richardson-Obukhov law. Contrary to common expectations, Batchelor’s formula appears to predict particle movement in just about all turbulent flows on Earth; particle separation distance may indeed have its influence. The measurements also suggest that particles move more slowly away from each other than previously assumed. These results could have implications for a number of fields of science and engineering, from efficiently mixing industrial materials to modelling the interiors of stars.

    This was seized 4 u at Max Planck Society

    Hhhmmm... That's funny...

    Wired News has an interesting top ten list: The Top Ten "Accidental" Inventions. They say that more important discoveries are heralded in by the phrase "Hhmmmm.... that's funny." than "Eureeka!". Enjoy!


    This was seized 4 u at Wired News

    Red rain could prove that aliens have landed

    There is a small bottle containing a red fluid on a shelf in Sheffield University's microbiology laboratory. The liquid looks cloudy and uninteresting. Yet, if one group of scientists is correct, the phial contains the first samples of extraterrestrial life isolated by researchers. Inside the bottle are samples left over from one of the strangest incidents in recent meteorological history. On 25 July, 2001, blood-red rain fell over the Kerala district of western India. And these rain bursts continued for the next two months. All along the coast it rained crimson, turning local people's clothes pink, burning leaves on trees and falling as scarlet sheets at some points. Investigations suggested the rain was red because winds had swept up dust from Arabia and dumped it on Kerala. But Godfrey Louis, a physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, after gathering samples left over from the rains, concluded this was nonsense. 'If you look at these particles under a microscope, you can see they are not dust, they have a clear biological appearance.' Instead Louis decided that the rain was made up of bacteria-like material that had been swept to Earth from a passing comet. In short, it rained aliens over India during the summer of 2001.

    This was seized 4 u at the Guardian Unlimited

    The Simpsons are alive (The Simpsons with real actors)

    MAKERS of the hit cartoon The Simpsons have a filmed the show's opening titles using real actors. In the hit viral going around the world we get to see what Bart, Homer, Marg, Lisa and Maggie would look like if they were humans. And you can be among the first to watch the hilarious titles, filmed over 18 months in Britain, by visiting the The Sun Online.
    The clip re-enacts the title sequence to a tee beginning with the camera zooming into a schoolroom to see a blonde Bart scribbling lines on the blackboard.
    Simpson’s maker Matt Groening has approved the human version of the show’s opening credits to promote the brand new series.
    An insider said: "We're really excited about it. We used regular actors, not so much for their resemblance - as you can't copy a bunch of yellow characters - but becuase you can easily identify with them." A balding actor plays Homer as he leaves work dropping some nuclear waste out of the window on the way home. While a baby girl copies the scene where Lisa appears to be driving Marg’s car. The opening montage ends with the whole family squeezed on the settee ready to watch the cartoon version of the show.
    This was seized 4 u at The Sun Online

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    The Sonic Boom - an intergalactic shock wave

    Recent infrared observations made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed the presence of a huge intergalactic shock wave, or "sonic boom" in the middle of Stephan's Quintet, group of galaxies which is now the scene of a gigantic cosmic cataclysm. This discovery, made by an international research team including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg, provides a local view of what might have been going on in the early universe, when vast mergers and collisions between galaxies were commonplace.
    When astronomers turned their attention to a well-known group of galaxies called Stephan's Quintet, they were, quite simply, shocked at what they saw. There, sweeping through the group, lurks one of the biggest shock waves ever seen. For decades, astronomers using optical telescopes have known that the galaxies in this group, located about 300 million light years away, have a very distorted distribution of visible light from stars, indicating that the galaxies have
    experienced encounters in the past, and are now engaged in further collisions. But this, as it turns out, is only part of the drama. Recently, astronomers have become able to measure what, apart from the stars, is present in Stephan's Quintet. By looking in the radio and X-rays they discovered huge quantities of gas - about 100,000 million solar masses, mainly composed of hydrogen and helium - in the space between the galaxies, more than all the gas inside the galaxies themselves.
    Now, a team of scientists from Caltech, USA and from the Astrophysics Department of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics discovered that one of the galaxies, called NGC7318b,
    which is falling towards the others at high speed, is generating a giant shock wave in front of it - larger even than the Milky Way - as it ploughs its way through the intergalactic gas. The results of this amazing discovery are to be published on March 10th in a paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
    "Observing a nearby densely populated galaxy group, immersed in a thick gas cloud, gives us a local view of what might have been going on in the early universe about 10
    billion years ago, soon after the first galaxies formed, when the intergalactic medium and the galaxy density were much greater than today. In this respect these observations are a bit like stepping into a time machine", said Dr. Cristina Popescu, another team member from MPIK. The new results may indicate that some of the emission from the most luminous infrared galaxies seen in the very distant Universe may actually be created not by stars, but by vast shocks in the gas between the colliding galaxies.
    Though far in the future, it is likely that in about two billion years from now, we will collide with the slightly larger neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy, creating shocks of our own.

    This was seized 4 u at Max Planck Society