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strange stories, interesting facts, fun stuff

Million Dollar Homepage

Friday, December 30, 2005
Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, earned a $1 million in four months on the Internet.
He had the brainstorm for his million dollar home page, called, logically enough, while lying in bed thinking out how he would pay for university.
The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.
He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.
That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites.
read full article...
7:30 PM :: 3 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years

Here is PC World's official list of the top 50 tech gadgets of the last half century.
Included in the list are Sony Walkman, Apple Ipod, Sony Handycam, Atari Video Computer System, Kodak Instamatic, Nintendo Gameboy, Iomega Zip Drive, and Sharp Wizard OZ-7000 (the grand daddy of modern PDA's). Check this out!

Apple Ipod

Sharp Wizard OZ-7000

Sony Walkman
7:20 PM :: 2 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

2005: The Year In Biology And Medicine

2005 is a year that opened and closed with controversy, amid a feverish anticipation of a global bird flu pandemic.
It began with continued trouble over serious side-effects of certain COX-II inhibitor arthritis drugs, including Vioxx, allegations of a cover-up, and the award of a multi-million dollar payout against a drug company. The close of 2005 saw a storm of allegations over the veracity of landmark stem cell papers.
Major breakthroughs in 2005 included the publishing of several complete genomes, including a dog called Tasha, the chimpanzee, three human parasites, ancient cave bears, as well as a map of genetic variations called SNPs in the human genome.
The year also saw the world's first human face transplant by French surgeons - one of several international teams vying to achieve this high-profile goal.
read full article...
7:14 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

2005: The Year In Technology

Many weird and wonderful new gadgets, gizmos and inventions were revealed in 2005. Autonomous cars, robotic assistants and nano-circuitry provided a bright view of the future, while cellphone viruses, virtual crime sprees and "non-lethal" crowd control weapons hinted at technological troubles ahead.
The busiest inventor of the year was almost certainly Google, which continues to grow from a search engine into a many-tentacled technological titan. 2005 saw Google launch a service for hosting and searching video clips, an internet phone program, a searchable map of the world and an effort to digitise books from some of the world's largest libraries, to name a few of its projects.
read more on inventions...
7:11 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

RL Mechs on the Way

Gizmondo reports:

Listen up, you video-game-playing hooligans: DARPA and the U.S. military are at it again, trying to impress us, the video game playing community, with badass mech jobbers like this. This is the Berkeley lower-extremity exoskeleton (Bleex). The Bleex 1 has been in the works for a while and it seems they have begun work on the 2nd prototype, the Bleex 2. The exoskeleton system has two hydraulic leg braces that include 40 electronic sensors, a monitoring computer and an internal-combustion engine. The exoskeleton is attached to the legs of the soldier and allows for backpack loads upwards of 220 lb. to be carried with ease.
6:24 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Seasons Greetings, My Blogger Friends

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Get Your Own Christmas BlogCard Here!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year / Happy Holidays /Season's Greetings to you Vasco, Nana, Elisha, AW, Blogginbizatch, Rob&ZJ, and to all of you who read/subscribe to this blog via Feedburner.
5:14 PM :: 3 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Good and Bad Procrastination (???)

Monday, December 26, 2005
(image from

Paul Graham writes an article on procrastination:

The most impressive people I know are all terrible procrastinators. So could it be that procrastination isn't always bad?
Most people who write about procrastination write about how to cure it. But this is, strictly speaking, impossible. There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you're not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well.
There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I'd argue, is good procrastination.
read full article...

Great reading for those making New Year's resolutions!
4:40 PM :: 2 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

New Year To Come 1 Second Late

(image from naturalist almanac webpage about leap seconds)

The Associated Press reports:
The year 2006 has been postponed. But not for long.
The U.S. Naval Observatory says a leap second will be inserted in the world's clocks just before midnight Greenwich mean time on New Year's Eve.
That means 7 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 31 will occur one second later than it would have otherwise.
Leap seconds are occasionally needed because modern atomic clocks are more precise than the rotation of the Earth, which can be inconsistent.
The rotation of the Earth has been slowing down, so leap seconds keep the clocks and the Earth from getting out of synch with one another.
This will be the 23rd leap second that has been inserted since 1972. The last one was inserted seven years ago.

Excellent links: How to Watch a Leap Second
3:49 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Spoon Study

(image from the black spoons)

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian scientists have proved what is common knowledge to most people -- that teaspoons appear to have minds of their own.
In a study at their own facility, a group of scientists from the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne secretly numbered 70 teaspoons and tracked their movements over five months.
Supporting their expectations, 80 percent of the spoons vanished during the period -- although those in private areas of the institute lasted nearly twice as long as those in communal sections.
"At this rate, an estimated 250 teaspoons would need to be purchased annually to maintain a workable population of 70 teaspoons," they wrote in Friday's festive edition of the British Medical Journal.
The scientists offered a few theories to explain the phenomenon:
Taking a tip from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books, they suggested that the teaspoons were quietly migrating to a planet uniquely populated by "spoonoid" life forms living in a spoonish state of Nirvana.
They also offered the phenomenon of "resistentialism" in which inanimate objects like teaspoons have a natural aversion to humans.
On the other hand, they suggested, people might simply be taking them.
3:39 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

The Differences Between Men And Women

Thursday, December 22, 2005
A man has six items in his bathroom - a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of Dial soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.
A woman will dress up to: Go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.
6:30 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

World Wide Web Inventor Now Has A Blog

Sir Timothy "Tim" John Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, now keeps a diary in blogosphere.

Welcome to our world, 'celestial being'.
6:17 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Furry Christmas

A whippet wears Christmas deer antlers at an international dog show in Kiev, December 18, 2005. REUTERS/Ivan Chernichkin

A guinea pig wears a Santa costume in an animal show in Moscow on November 27, 2005.

Chinese girl tries a Santa costume on a dog in north China's Hebei province last December 12, 2005
1:10 PM :: 2 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Radical Ride

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
From Yahoo! Most Emailed Photos and Slideshows:
An ostrich jockey rides a two-year old male ostrich during a training at a Ostrich farm in Kitengela, Kenya. (AFP/Simon Maina)
6:05 PM :: 1 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Tests Dash Hopes Of Rapid Production Of Bird Flu Vaccine

(image from Aljazeerah. Diseases of the 21st Century - from right to left - Mad Cow, Bird Flu, and Security Paranoia)

The results of first large-scale trials of a low-dose vaccine against H5N1 bird flu have been announced - and they are unexpectedly disappointing. Scientists had hoped that very low doses of vaccine virus would make humans immune if injected along with an immune-stimulating chemical called an adjuvant.
But French vaccine company Sanofi pasteur announced that in tests on 300 people in France, they did not. "The prospects for adequate global supplies of an effective pandemic vaccine of any kind are dimmer now than they were last week," said David Fedson, founder of the vaccine industry's pandemic task force.
The first tests of H5N1 vaccine in the US in August 2005 found that the virus on its own does not stimulate much immunity in people. To elicit enough to ward off disease, a vaccine required 90 micrograms of the virus's main surface protein - six times more than is needed in ordinary flu vaccine.
read full article...
6:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Beckinsale Embarrassed by Safety Training Film

British actress KATE BECKINSALE used to vet potential suitors by showing them her performance in a safety training video.
"(In that video) I played a factory worker who dreams of becoming a pop star. Then I run down a corridor, skid on some cleaning fluid and become a paraplegic."
"(The video) is fantastically bad. I look terrible, and the whole thing is ghastly. It's one of those things I put every boyfriend through to make sure he can actually handle being with someone who has done something so appalling."
The actress, now married to director LEN WISEMAN, adds, "It's like telling them I've had a sexually transmitted disease."
5:30 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Women Who Struggle to Conceive More Likely to Have Sons

(image from scrapneeds)

Women who take longer to get pregnant are more likely to bear sons than those who conceive quickly, a new study indicates.
The chance of a woman having a baby boy was 58% in a group of 500 women who took more than a year to conceive, the Dutch study showed. But among the 4800 women who conceived in less than a year this fell to 51%.
For every additional year a couple tries to conceive a baby naturally, there is an almost 4% higher probability of having a baby boy, the researchers calculate. The increased chance remains after allowing for confounding factors such as smoking, alcohol and variability in the menstrual cycle.
read full article...
5:18 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Stem-Cell Therapies Make A Comeback

(image from derazzii's fotos: Stem Cell Research Gone Bad)

A phenomenon that just two years ago was seen as the death knell for many stem-cell therapies is now being investigated as a possible fast track into medical use. It all centres around encouraging stem cells from bone marrow to fuse with cells elsewhere in the body.
Our bodies contain populations of "adult" stem cells that divide and replenish tissues that would otherwise wear out. Medical interest in using these cells for therapies exploded after early experiments suggested that under some circumstances, they can colonise other tissues and "transdifferentiate" to replenish the cells in their new home. This opened up the possibility of using the plentiful stem cells found in bone marrow - known as haematopoietic stem cells or HSCs - to treat a wide variety of diseases.
But those hopes were deflated in 2003 when it became clear that rather than undergoing a transformation, migrant HSCs were fusing with cells in the other tissues (New Scientist, 5 April 2003, p 17). "At first people said it was 'merely' fusion," says Helen Blau of Stanford University in California. "They couldn't imagine that it was a useful thing. But maybe this is something the body uses for repair."
Also that year, Markus Grompe and his team at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland studied mice with a disease called tyrosinemia type 1, which is caused by the lack of an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid tyrosine. Its symptoms include jaundice, lethargy and cirrhosis of the liver, but the mice can be cured by infusing their livers with HSCs from healthy mice. Grompe's team showed that this is a result of the HSCs fusing with liver cells, and providing the gene for the missing enzyme.
read full article...
5:10 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Version

Friday, December 16, 2005
This is inspired by a passage of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 (known as the love chapter) and was posted in a team blog that I'm a part of:

1 If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
2 If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
3 If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
4 If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
5-12 Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
13 Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!
5:35 PM :: 1 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Byebye Internet Anonymity

Thursday, December 15, 2005
As the joke goes, on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog. But although anonymity has been part of Internet culture since the first browser, it's also a major obstacle to making the Web a safe place to conduct business: Internet fraud and identity theft cost consumers and merchants several billion dollars each year.
Change, however, is on the way. Already over 20 million PCs worldwide are equipped with a tiny security chip called the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), although it is as yet rarely activated. But once merchants and other online services begin to use it, the TPM will do something never before seen on the Internet: provide virtually fool-proof verification that you are who you say you are.
The TPM chip was created by a coalition of over one hundred hardware and software companies, led by AMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Sun. For now, TPM-equipped computers are primarily sold to big corporations for securing their networks, but starting next year TPMs will be installed in many consumer models as well. With a TPM onboard, each time your computer starts, you prove your identity to the machine using something as simple as a PIN number or, preferably, a more secure system such as a fingerprint reader.
read full article...
4:51 PM :: 2 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink


(image from raine's laboratory)

Pregnant Skydiver Survives Face-first Fall Into Parking Lot.

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Shayna Richardson was making her first solo skydiving jump when she had trouble with her parachutes and, while falling at about 50 mph, hit face first in a parking lot.
Although badly hurt, she survived -- and doctors treating her injuries discovered she was pregnant. Four surgeries and two months later, Richardson said she and the fetus are doing fine.

Woman Gives Up Junk Food, Loses 330 Pounds

WATERVILLE, Maine - Cathi Lee is less than half the woman she used to be. In three years she's lost 330 pounds. She gave up junk food and started exercising. Lee says she used to eat a couple of dozen doughnuts a day, and bags of cookies and potato chips. Now, she eats yogurt, salads and stir-fry veggies.
4:38 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Britannica and Wikipedia Not So Different?

Boing Boing reports: Britannica averages 3 bugs per entry; Wikipedia averages 4!
Nature, the renowned science journal, asked scientific experts to blind-compare selected entries in Wikipedia to their Encylopoedia Britannica counterparts. The reviewers concluded that Britannica has a marginally lower error-rate than Wikipedia:
The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three...
4:30 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Antiquarian E-Store Fascinated By Death

Tear Drop is an e-store that sells a myriad of mourning mementos and mysteries. In there you'll find fine funeral fancies, exit strategies and vintage tangible aids to the grieving process, rare cemetery memorial ornaments, antiquarian books and photographic images post mortem, and just plain bizarre mortuary collectibles.

Funeral Coffin Toy Cradle. Little angel at the head board. Perhaps the connection is from the cradle to the grave. This cradle measures 6" long and 3 1/2" wide.

Antique Embalming Tool. This medical surgery, Veterinary and post mortem instrument features two brass hooks for case closure and a soft felt lining.

Antique church collection baskets with wooden handles and warm moss green velvet bags.

Mourning antique vanity brush with flaxen blonde human hair and butterfly under glass.
4:09 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Chameleon Scarf Coordinates With Your Outfit

Saturday, December 10, 2005
(image from samantha lillian duvert.)

People lacking any sense of fashion no longer need worry about their scarf clashing with their clothes this winter - researchers have created one that automatically changes colour to suit an outfit.
The colour-shifting garment, dubbed a chameleon shawl, was developed by Akira Wakita and colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.
Interwoven into the scarf material are pixels containing red, blue and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs), so adjusting the brightness of each type of diode turns the scarf a different overall shade.
A small sensor embedded in the garment also enables it to identify the colour of the nearest item of clothing. A microcomputer then selects a suitable colour for the scarf itself to adopt.
The scarf was demonstrated at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC2005) in Osaka, Japan, in October 2005.
1:08 PM :: 3 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

How to Dress to Make Yourself Look Skinnier

(image from a russian fitness site.)

Here's a wiki (a web page anyone can edit) women would like to read. You are free to edit this page and add your own tips, if you have any.

"Whether you've got a hot date or big interview, read on for some great tips on how to look slimmer..."
12:42 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Wonder Vase

The 'Wonder Vase' comes as a flat sheet of paper that you can post to someone, but once placed into hot water it becomes all bendy. Then you can open it out into its vase shape, cool it down in cold water and suddenly you've got a solid, waterproof vase. Once you're done with it, you can run it under the hot tap once again and it will revert back to its flat shape. It only costs $5.95 as well.

12:35 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Mr and Mrs become Mrs and Mrs

A husband and wife have 'remarried' as a gay couple - 14 years after the groom had a sex swap operation!

Bernard and Joyce Rogers wed in 1967. Bernard, now known as Bernadette, underwent gender surgery in 1991.
The retired physicist is now legally recognised as a woman because of the Gender Recognition Bill which became law last year. And that meant she was able to have a civil partnership ceremony with Joyce. Before "remarrying", the couple first had to divorce - because the Gender Recognition Bill does not acknowledge a change in a transsexual's gender if the person remains married. A judge granted the couple an early release from divorce proceedings at Northampton County Court, giving Bernadette a new birth certificate which showed she is a woman. They were then able to have their civil union ceremony.
The proud 76-year-old added: "I stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom this morning and thought, 'Yes, you have done it now.' It is a sense of completion."

Excuse me????? I think this is not just strange; I think its sick! What's happening to our world?
12:02 PM :: 3 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

More From A Crazy World

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish villager who ran away with his friend's wife has offered his own wife in exchange, newspapers said.
11:21 AM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Sony / BMG Copy Protected CD

The notorious Sony/BMG copy-protected CD.
Sony's ill-considered decision to put rootkit software as copy-protection on some of its music CDs caused an uproar.


Sony Repents Over CD Debacle

The head of Sony BMG's global digital business, Thomas Hesse, told the BBC that the company was "re-evaluating" its current methods.
It follows widespread condemnation of the way anti-piracy software on some Sony CDs installs itself on computers.
10:22 AM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

The Many Faces Of Santa

Monday, December 05, 2005
Santa Claus actually started out as a version of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, known as Neptune by the Romans. The Romans and Greeks held a festival on December 6 in his honor. But due to the rise of Christianity, the day was changed to St. Nicholas Day in honor of an Asian bishop, Nicholas of Myra.
In America, they celebrate with Santa and his flying reindeer. But many countries still celebrate with their own unique version of Santa:
In Sicily, it is the spirits of departed loved ones who bring gifts to children.
Italian children wait for a kindly old witch named Befana who flies through the air on a broom.
A Russian counterpart is known as Baboushka. Also called Grandfather Frost in some parts of the country.
In Holland "Sintirklass" arrives by boat on December 6th. Children leave a wooden shoe filled with hay and carrots for the donkey which carries the pack of toys.
In Sweden a gnome called "Juletomten" brings gifts in a sleigh driven by goats.
In Germany and Switzerland the "Christkindl", or Christ Child, brings the gifts. In some towns, Christkindl is an angel who comes down from heaven to give gifts.
In Australia Santa rides water skis, has a white beard, and red bathing suit.
In China, Christmas Old Man, brings gifts to children.
read full article...
10:03 PM :: 1 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink


This incredible 12-inch plush ingeniously transforms itself from a lumberjack into a werewolf. Not a very good gift to give away for Christmas.
7:56 PM :: 1 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Slow Mosaic

Saturday, December 03, 2005
SlowMosaic is a moody site that will display slideshows with mosaic patterns accompanied with moody music. Just feed it with a keyword and you are in the game. Cool!
6:30 PM :: 1 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Veoh-The Future Of TV?

The San Francisco based company Veoh has a really interesting concept; they have developed a free to use TV broadcasting system where Internet is the data carrier. Fee-based viewing is coming in the future, but at the moment everything is free.
The broadcasting is managed by a technology called PeerCasting, which can be described as a peer-to-peer network for distributing reviewed video material. They desceribe it as 'It's what happens when you cross the Internet with television'. The timing couldn’t be better since the demand for free video material for iPods and PSPs currently is huge.
Read report or see the Veoh tour...
6:19 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Diarrhea Germ May Be More Widespread

A diarrhea-causing germ that once contained in hospital patients has become widespread in the United States-sometimes fatal, health officials said.
The bacterium, Clostridium difficile, has caused diarrhea, particularly in patients taking antibiotics. The antibiotics kill other microbes that keep C. difficile in check, allowing it to grow and cause illness.
read article...
2:40 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Most Online Shopping Done By A Few

Do you ever get the feeling that just a few people are doing most of the online shopping? Well this looks to be true, reports analyst firm Nielsen//NetRatings, which released a survey Friday showing that the heaviest online buyers represent only 18 percent of online shoppers but account for 46 percent of online spending.
Nielsen has dubbed these ardent shoppers "Most Valuable Purchasers" (MVPs)for their spending more dollars online and making more purchases on the Internet compared to the rest of the online buying population.
The study segmented online shoppers into four categories based on the amount of their online spending (low or high) and their frequency of purchases (low or high). According to Nielsen, in addition to the MVPs who comprised 18 percent of the online buyers, those spending the fewest dollars online and making the fewest purchases made up the majority, or 55 percent, of online buyers; this group accounted for 21 percent of online purchases.
read article...

NOTE: I really dont understand what this is all about. Do you?
2:35 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Stem Cell Research Controversy

The spectacle of the world's top stem-cell scientist resigning from a major research center in disgrace over an ethical lapse offers an object lesson for those who worry this fledgling science is running out of control.
South Korean stem-cell pioneer Hwang Woo-suk last week admitted he knew about ethically dubious payments to women who worked in his lab for eggs he used in his research, and later lied about it.
The response to Hwang's missteps among scientists internationally shows that ethical self-regulation is alive and well in the world of stem-cell research.
read story...
2:27 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink

Doctors Find 3 Needles Embedded in Patient's Brain

Doctors in the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg have found three needles in the brain of a 67-year-old male patient who complained of headaches. The doctors said they will not remove the needles because the patient has lived with them for some time.
The man, identified as Gennady Varlamov, has told Russia's Channel 4 television that he was shocked by what he saw on an x-ray photo. His relatives at first thought the news was a joke, but the doctors said that the needles were real, although neither they nor Varlamov himself could explain how they got inside the patient's skull.
read story...
2:19 PM :: 2 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink


This Chinese sign reads this way in English:
"Have no the adult the child that look after with the old man prohibition against the next sea swimming"
2:07 PM :: 0 comments ::

Edgar :: permalink