BitConnect

Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Day At Fenway - Letus Extreme Film - Time Lapse - HDTV

I brought my PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX camcorder into work and shot a time lapse film at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

I set up next to my network hard camera position in the new left field Coke-a-Cola Corner.

I wanted to use my computerized pan head to preform a very slow left to right pan. I used a telescope head designed to follow the stars in the sky. I removed the telescope and modified the mount to accept my camera and Letus rail system. The model was the Celestron Nexstar 114GT. I set the pan rate to “one”, the slowest possible pan speed.

I shot this video through a Sigma 18mm f3.5 wide angle lens and used the Letus35 Extreme film lens adapter.

My thoughts on this time lapse was to show an empty ball park during the afternoon daylight hours and have the camera slowly pan across the field as time went by. As night fell, the camera would continue past the game action and back into the crowd. This crowd on the right, would watch the end of the game and file out of the shot, heading home.

I set the camera to 1080p 30p and ran the interval recording at 1 frame per ten seconds of time elapsed. These settings turned a 7 hour 15 minute event into a 1 minute and 27 second time lapse. The pan head moved about 160 degrees, left to right.

I ran the camera in auto iris, auto white balance and manual focus. I am still having trouble setting the wide angle 18mm lens to infinity. You will notice that this video is slightly out of focus. I think it is because I am using a cheap lens. You will notice the white balance changes as day turned to night.

It was windy and a few times, you can see that the camera and tripod took a hit from a gust of wind in a few instances. Surprisingly, no drunk fans interfered with the time lapse during the seven plus hours of recording.

I edited this in Final Cut Pro and color graded with Magic Bullet Looks. I over-saturated the colors in the video.

TRT: 1 minutes, 27 seconds

Go to tomguilmette.com for more info.

Albert Hofmann, inventor of LSD, dies.


Albert Hofmann, who died on Tuesday aged 102, synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938 and became the first person in the world to experience a full-blown acid trip. RIP Hofmann.

read more | digg story

Racing à la Kart: a review of Mario Kart Wii


Mario Kart makes its debut on the Wii with some great new elements and a strong online offering. The kart racer is still surviving in the HD era.

read more | digg story

A chilling film about FLDS polygamy sect



The women from the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch look like they’ve stepped out of the pages of “Little House on the Prairie. So you have to wonder, could things at their Texas compound have been that bad? Yes, it's that bad and worse, if a Tuesday WE documentary is to be believed.

read more | digg story

Half man, half chimp - should we beware the apeman's coming?

Creation of a hybrid using human sperm to impregnate a female chimpanzee would be legal (Picture: Bill Henry)
Creation of a hybrid using human sperm to impregnate a female chimpanzee would be legal (Picture: Bill Henry)

Published Date: 29 April 2008
A LEADING scientist has warned a new species of "humanzee," created from breeding apes with humans, could become a reality unless the government acts to stop scientists experimenting.
In an interview with The Scotsman, Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, warned the controversial draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill did not prevent human sperm being inseminated into animals.

He said if a female chimpanzee was inseminated with human sperm the two species would be closely enough related that a hybrid could be born.

He said scientists could possibly try to develop the new species to fill the demand for organ donors.

Leading scientists say there is no reason why the two species could not breed, although they question why anyone would want to try such a technique.

Other hybrid species already created include crossed tigers and lions and sheep and goats.

Dr MacKellar said he feared the consequences if scientists made a concerted effort to cross humans with chimpanzees. He said: "Nobody knows what they would get if they tried hard enough. The insemination of animals with human sperm should be prohibited.

"The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Bill prohibits the placement of animal sperm into a woman The reverse is not prohibited. It's not even mentioned. This should not be the case."

He said if the process was not banned, scientists would be "very likely" to try it, and it would be likely humans and chimps could successfully reproduce.

"If you put human sperm into a frog it would probably create an embryo, but it probably wouldn't go very far," he said.

"But if you do it with a non-human primate it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it could be born alive."

Dr MacKellar said the resulting creature could raise ethical dilemmas, such as whether it would be treated as human or animal, and what rights it would have.

"If it was never able to be self-aware or self-conscious it would probably be considered an animal," he said. "However, if there was a possibility of humanzees developing a conscience, you have a far more difficult dilemma on your hands."

He said fascination would be enough of a motive for scientists to try crossing the two species.

But he also said there was a small chance of scientists using the method to "humanise" organs for transplant into humans. "There's a desperate need for organs. One of the solutions that has been looked at is using animal organs, but because there's a very serious risk of rejection using animal organs in humans they are already trying to humanise these organs.

"If they could create these humanzees who are substantially human but are not considered as humans in law , we could have a large provision of organs."

He wrote to the Department of Health to ask that the gap in the draft legislation be addressed.

The department confirmed that the bill "does not cover the artificial insemination of an animal with human sperm".

It said: "Owing to the significant differences between human and animal genomes, they are incompatible and the development of a foetus or progeny is impossible.

"Therefore such activity would have no rational scientific justification, as there would be no measurable outcome."

Dr MacKellar disagrees. He said: "The chromosomal difference between a goat and a sheep is greater than between humans and chimpanzees."

Professor Bob Millar, director of the Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, based in Edinburgh, agreed viable offspring would be possible. He said: "Donkeys can mate with horses and create infertile offspring; maybe that could happen with chimpanzees."

But he said he would oppose any such attempt. "It's unnecessary and ridiculous and no serious scientist would consider such a thing. Ethically, it's not appropriate.

"It's also completely impractical. Chimps would never be a source of organs for humans because of the viruses they carry and the low numbers."

Professor Hugh McLachlan, professor of applied philosophy at Glasgow Caledonian University's School of Law and Applied Sciences, said although the idea was "troublesome", he could see no ethical objections to the creation of humanzees.

"Any species came to be what it is now because of all sorts of interaction in the past," he said.

"If it turns out in the future there was fertilisation between a human animal and a non-human animal, it's an idea that is troublesome, but in terms of what particular ethical principle is breached it's not clear to me.

"I share their squeamishness and unease, but I'm not sure that unease can be expressed in terms of an ethical principle."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "It's just not a problem. If you inseminate an animal with human sperm, scientifically nothing happens. The species barriers are too great."

HYBRIDS ARE AT CROSS PURPOSES

EVEN though hybrids of humans and animals have never been created, many other creatures have been crossed successfully.

Lions and tigers have been bred to create ligers, the world's largest cats.

And there are also zorses (zebra and horse), wholphins (whale and dolphin), tigons (tiger and lion), lepjags (leopard and jaguar) and zonkeys (zebra and donkey).

As well as these hybrid mammals, there are also hybrid birds, fish, insects and plants.

Many hybrids, such as mules, are sterile, which prevents the movement of genes from one species to another, keeping both species distinct. However, some can reproduce and there are scientists who believe that grey wolves and coyotes mated thousands of years ago to create a new species, the red wolf.

More commonly, hybrids mate with one of their parent species, which can influence the genetic mix of what gets passed along to subsequent generations.

Hybrids can have desirable traits, often being fitter or larger than either parent.

Most hybrid animals have been bred in captivity, but there are examples of the process occurring in the wild.

This is far more common in plants than animals but in April 2006 a hunter in Canada's North-west Territories shot a polar bear whose fur had an orange tint.

Research showed that it had a grizzly bear father, and it became known as a pizzly.

In 2003, DNA analysis confirmed that five odd-looking felines found in Maine and Minnesota were bobcat-lynx hybrids, dubbed blynxes.

21 Ways to Shoot Better Photographs


"Do you want to sharpen your creative picture taking instincts? Do you want to combine new ideas with your current projects and techniques? These techniques will be better executed with digital cameras and meant as some direction or guidelines to taking ‘better‘ pictures."

read more | digg story

31 of 53 teen girls at FLDS ranch are pregnant or had baby


By MICHELLE ROBERTS, Associated Press WriterMon Apr 28, 7:47 PM ET

More than half the teen girls taken from a polygamist compound in west Texas have children or are pregnant, state officials said Monday.

A total of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 are in state custody after a raid 3 1/2 weeks ago at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. Of those girls, 31 either have children or are pregnant, said Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar. Two of those are pregnant now, he said; it was unclear whether either of those two already have children.

"It shows you a pretty distinct pattern, that it was pretty pervasive," he said.

State officials took custody of all 463 children at the ranch controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, saying a pattern of teen girls forced into underage "spiritual" marriages and sex with much older men created an unsafe environment for the sect's children.

A bus with women and children of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, home for members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, pulls into the Methodist Children's Home, Friday, April 25, 2008, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)
AP Photo: A bus with women and children of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, home for members...
Slideshow: Polygamist Compound Raid


Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of these girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

A call seeking comment from FLDS spokesman Rod Parker was not immediately returned. Church officials have denied that any children were abused at the ranch and say the state's actions are a form of religious persecution.

Civil-liberties groups and lawyers for the children have criticized the state for sweeping all the children, from nursing infants to teen boys, into foster care when only teen girls are alleged to have been sexually abused.

No one has been charged since the raid, which was prompted by a series of calls to a domestic abuse hotline, purportedly from a 16-year-old forced into a marriage recognized only by the sect with a man three times her age. That girl has not been found and authorities are investigating whether the call was a hoax.

On Monday, CPS also revised its total count of children in state custody to 463, up one from Friday. Azar said the change resulted from finally getting the children out of the San Angelo Coliseum and into foster facilities around the state, where they were able to get a more accurate count.

Of those 463 children, 250 are girls and 213 are boys.

The sect, which broke from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints more than a century ago, believes polygamy brings glorification in heaven. Its leader, Warren Jeffs, is revered as a prophet. Jeffs was convicted last year in Utah of forcing a 14-year-old girl into marriage with an older cousin.

Britain's Got Talent - Michael Jackson



Britain's Got Talent - Michael Jackson. Suleman Mirza performing a brilliant act on Britain's Got Talent. Watch it the whole way through! Quality is the best on youtube. Subscribe to my channel for more Britain's Got Talent videos next week.

Suleman Mirza has his own youtube account - check him out @ http://www.youtube.com/sulemaninfo

Scientists link 17 living people to an aboriginal man found in glacier

MURRAY LANGDON

From Monday's Globe and Mail

April 28, 2008 at 5:40 AM EDT

Scientists have found a direct link between the frozen remains of a man found in a glacier in northern B.C. and 17 people living in B.C., Yukon and Alaska.

The news came at a symposium in Victoria this past weekend, focusing on Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi', an aboriginal man whose remains were found in 1999 by hunters in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, which is in the traditional territory of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.

"The connection to the people," said Al Mackie, an archaeologist on the project, "how they know his clan, how they know who his relatives are, that's amazing. You just don't get that in archaeology. It never happens."

Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi' means Long Ago Person Found, and he's believed to have died some time between the years 1670 and 1850. His remains were revealed after a glacier started to recede.

Since the discovery, scientists have been studying all facets of the man, including his clothes, tools, migratory patterns, even the contents of his stomach. But it's the DNA link to living people that has created the biggest stir.

"It's just thrilling," said Pearl Callaghan, a member of the Teslin-Tlingit First Nation. "The knowledge is so new to us; we're still in a state of amazement."

Her sister, Sheila Clark, said she was happy to be part of something special, but added, "it's overwhelming in a way."

"The significance is huge," said Chief Diane Stand of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. "A lot of people are really happy and really excited."

Chief Strand said it proves that there is not only a link between people, but also between cultures as well. Long Ago Person Found is believed to have spent time both in the Interior and on the coast.

"The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations have a huge number of people that live in Alaska ... and this discovery has made those ties even stronger."

"We never stuck to our villages," said Art Johns, of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation. Mr. Johns, also a DNA-linked descendant, said it was common for aboriginal people to be nomadic.

Chief Strand said the findings are important for her people, especially the youth, who seem captivated by learning about their people's past. "Their eyes got big and they got so excited."

Chief Strand applauded the news of the DNA link, but she expressed some frustration over the scientific community's attitude toward cultural issues. Chief Stand said that for years, she and others have tried to contribute to the investigative process by telling ancestral stories, but they were discounted or not taken seriously. She said the discovery lends greater credibility to first nations' traditions.

"This reaffirms the integrity of our oral history," Chief Strand said. "Our oral history needs to have a place in your scientific world."

At the symposium in Victoria, many praised the collaborative effort in investigating the iceman and the role it played in the research.

While the work on the human DNA project has opened new doors and work will continue on establishing a fuller family tree, Long Ago Person Found's descendants said they finally have the opportunity to give their ancestor a proper burial. Because his lineage had never been established, no memorial potlatch could be held. Of the 17 people linked through DNA, 15 self-identify with the Wolf Clan, meaning the young man was most likely Wolf as well.

"We needed to know who he is so we can treat him properly," said Chief Strand, "with the respect and dignity he deserves."

Special to The Globe and Mai

NO MORE GAS Personal Electric Vehicle


by Cate Trotter

No More Gas, myers motors, well-tech awards, milan 2008, personal electric vehicle, EV, Electric car, emissions free car, NmG, eco car, green car

With a name like ‘No More Gas’, you can bet that this cute little personal electric vehicle is as good to the environment as it is to the user. Its size, weight and fuel make it much better for the planet, while its look and driving experience make it great fun for the driver. Looking like it’s dropped straight out of an episode of The Jetsons, this tiny car can achieve speeds of over 75mph for a cost of $0.02 per mile. All this eco-goodness earned Myers Motors’ NmG vehicle kudos at this year’s Well-Tech Awards exhibit in Milan.

No More Gas, myers motors, well-tech awards, milan 2008, personal electric vehicle, EV, Electric car, emissions free car, NmG, eco car, green car

Much of the NmG’s benefits stem from its size. Holding just one person, it’s much smaller than the average car. Smaller cars means more commuters can fit on the roads, getting where they need to be in a shorter time. The size also enables drastic reductions in fuel consumption, earning it the title of the most energy efficient vehicle on the road today. Its size also allows the NmG to achieve a range of 25 to 30 miles, making it suitable for the vast majority of commutes.

No More Gas, myers motors, well-tech awards, milan 2008, personal electric vehicle, EV, Electric car, emissions free car, NmG, eco car, green car

Plug the vehicle into a 220 volt socket to fully recharge an empty battery in 3 hours. Fuel costs are around a quarter of the price of conventional oil-powered transportation. Charged using conventional electricity, NmG’s size and power type reduces emissions by around 70% compared to a conventional fossil fuel-powered car. And, of course, emissions are eliminated completely when the car is charged using a home-based renewable energy system.

The design sits halfway between a car and a motorbike so the manufacturers prefer to call it a ‘Personal Electric Vehicle’, or PEV. And because the US Department of Transportation classifies the NmG as a motorcycle, it’s permitted to go on highways traveling to speeds around 75mph while other electric vehicles are legally limited to speeds of 35mph or less. A speedier drive is also likely because the NmG is allowed in many carpool lanes, due to being ‘fully occupied’ by the driver alone.

The retro-futuristic vehicle is available in many bright colors for the reasonable price of $36,000. So, all in all, its an affordable, cheery, environmentally-friendly car that’s supported by existing infrastructures. We’re looking forward to spotting many more NmGs on the roads very soon.

+ Myers Motors
+ Well-Tech Awards
+ MILAN 2008: Best of the Well-Tech Awards

No More Gas, myers motors, well-tech awards, milan 2008, personal electric vehicle, EV, Electric car, emissions free car, NmG, eco car, green car

Related Posts

Refacing Government Tender - Drawings on Dollar Bills (PICS)


I like the My Spoon is Too Big Washington

read more | digg story

X Prize offers 100 million for Alternative Fuels

In a bid to speed innovation, the foundation plans awards for breakthroughs in biofuels and other alternative-energy fields

http://images.businessweek.com/story/08/600/0428_tech.jpg

Workers unfold a roll of photovoltaic solar panels on a roof of a warehouse in France on Apr. 15, 2008, to be part of the largest power producing energy by solar panels on a 54,000-square-meter roofsize.

The X Prize Foundation made its name handing out $10 million awards for cutting-edge innovation in promising but thinly financed fields of research. But now the Santa Monica (Calif.) foundation is targeting one of the most-crowded contests in technology: the race to discover clean alternatives to fossil fuels.

In its richest and largest competition yet, the foundation will divvy up some $100 million for transformations in biofuels, clean aviation fuel, energy storage, the provision of basic utilities for developing nations, and other categories.

The announcement, coming as oil approaches $120 a barrel, is a fresh jolt to the search for a replacement for fossil fuels in transportation and electricity. In terms of profit, a true breakthrough could create the equivalent of a new computer industry, analysts say, and 8% of all U.S. venture capital—about $2.2 billion—was poured into clean technology investment last year alone, according to the National Venture Capital Assn.

Progress Is Too Slow

Yet X Prize CEO Peter Diamandis says innovation is not happening fast enough, is not necessarily concentrated in the right areas, and is excluding the needs of the developing world. If the U.S. had declared energy independence a goal after September 11, "we would be there" already, Diamandis asserted in a telephone interview.

A seven-year solution—what Diamandis suggests was possible at the beginning of President Bush's first term—is almost certainly a stretch. David Victor, a law professor and expert on alternative fuel at Stanford University, for instance, says a resolution of the nation's energy problems would involve "a multidecade effort with costs today and benefits only in the more distant future—usually a losing formula for politicians."

But Diamandis thinks rapid breakthroughs are possible. "There is an incredible amount of brilliance and technological ability around us," he says.

The X Prize Foundation has previously launched competitions for breakthroughs in private space travel, genome mapping, and high-mileage cars. In 2004 aerospace entrepreneur Burt Rutan won the Ansari X Prize by sending his rocket-powered SpaceShipOne to an altitude of more than 367,000 feet with a pilot and the weight equivalents of two passengers. More recently, Google ( GOOG) has backed an X Prize of $30 million for the first team to send a robot to the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit video, images, and data back to Earth.

Ethanol's Pitfalls

The foundation has issued skeletal details on the new prizes in recent days on its Web site. In a telephone interview and an e-mail exchange, foundation President Tom Vander Ark said the biofuels prize would be launched late this year, followed by the other categories over the coming two years. The biofuels prize will be worth at least $10 million, he said.

The current spike in corn, wheat, and soybean prices, blamed at least in part on the production of ethanol, is reflected in the rules for the biofuels category. Among the rules are that contestants must produce a biofuels plant that uses nonagricultural fuel. The plant must also be small-scale and easily shipped, thus making the technology applicable anywhere in the world. "The current generation of biofuels is having terrible, unintended consequences, and we will try to avoid that with the next generation," Vander Ark says.

Vander Ark, who previously was executive director for education at the Bill — Melinda Gates Foundation, which is focused on the developing world, says the new categories will attempt to take the X Prizes into such countries. He says one prize will be for innovation in providing water, broadband, and clean electricity to villages in the developing world. Other energy categories will be for innovation in energy transmission and the construction of energy-efficient houses and commercial facilities.

LeVine is a correspondent in BusinessWeek's Washington bureau.

World's first cloned horse has foal

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

Last Updated: 3:01pm BST 29/04/2008

The world's first cloned horse, Prometea, has had a foal.

  • Going is good for the first cloned horse
  • Vatican vows to expel stem cell scientists from Church
  • From Dolly to Noah - a history of animal cloning
  • Pegaso, her son, is the first offspring of an equine clone confirms, once again, that cloned animals can grow and reproduce normally, giving rise to healthy offspring.

    Prometea with her foal Pegaso, world's first cloned horse has foal
    Prometea with her foal Pegaso: The development may help the breeding of champion racehorses

    The name Prometea, a Haflinger mare, is a reference to Prometeo (Prometheus), who was punished for stealing fire from Olympus for the benefit of mankind.

    She entered the history books in 2003 when she was unveiled as the world's first horse clone, one that offered a way to preserve the genetic heritage of many exceptional horses whose genes are presently lost because champion geldings are castrated.

    "During these five years Prometea has been in very good health and often at the centre of media attention," says her creator, Prof Cesare Galli of the Laboratory of Reproductive Technologies in Cremona.

    "The ultimate proof of her normality has just come with the birth of Pegaso, on March the 17th 2008, after a single insemination with the semen of the Haflinger stallion Abendfurst."

    Pegaso has special significance in racing because sporting horses are castrated at a young age. "When they become adult and demonstrate to be champion horses, they are unable to reproduce and it is therefore impossible to obtain the next generation: the champion's offspring," says Prof Galli.

    advertisement

    "This is a bitter reality that clashes with the driving principle of animal breeding and selection that is based on the reproduction of superior individuals to pursue genetic improvement of the breed.

    "Therefore, today, horse cloning is simply an assisted reproduction technique that allows us to obtain copies/clones of castrated champion horses and finally, from these clones, the champion's offspring that otherwise would never be born."

    Prof Galli showed the technology could revolutionise blood stock breeding when he unveiled a cloned foal of Pieraz, an Arab endurance champion, in 2005.

    He has cloned cattle and pigs too, and worked with human embryo cells, which led to him being excommunicated by the Catholic Church, even though he did not himself destroy embryos but used embryonic stem cells that had been derived in other countries.

    Prof Galli first encountered problems with the authorities when he unveiled Galileo, Italy's first cloned bull, which was confiscated by Italy's Health Ministry.

    "After having being nearly arrested by police for having cloned Galileo, the bull, I think I can bear the excommunication," he said at the time. "I suppose I will not need a criminal lawyer for that like in the days of the bull Galileo, though it will be same fun and much cheaper."

    Dr Eric Palmer, a pioneer of equine IVF, has set up a company, Cryozootech, in Evry, France, to "rescue" gelding genetics.

    Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. For the full copyright statement see Copyright

    Smart Car Roadster - V6 Turbo

    Smart Roadster-Coupe V6

    To keep with the theme of "SMART" here you go:


    Smart Roadster-Coupe V6 Smart Roadster-Coupe V6 Smart Roadster-Coupe V6 Smart Roadster-Coupe V6 Smart Roadster-Coupe V6 Smart Roadster-Coupe V6

    Eight Smart roadster-coupés with higher power and higher torque engines took part in the celebration rally to mark '100 years of the Solitude race' (25 – 27 July 2003). Two standard three-cylinder engines have been joined to create a v6 bi-turbo with 1,396 cc engine capacity, power output of 170 bhp and torque of 220 Newton metres.

    The prototypes are proof of the achievement potential and versatility of the production car concept. The bi-turbo engines serve to demonstrate the technology and underline the sporty handling performance of the Smart roadster and roadster-coupé. The cars entered in the Solitude rally had a power/weight ratio of just 4.9 kilogrammes per bhp, accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds and reach a top speed of more than 220 kilometres per hour.


    Web address:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/
    080428175345.htm

    Human Protein May Offer Novel Target For Blocking HIV Infection: Successful In Lab

    enlarge

    Researchers report that they have blocked HIV infection in the test tube by inactivating a human protein expressed in key immune cells. (Credit: NIH)

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2008) — A research group supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has uncovered a new route for attacking the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that may offer a way to circumvent problems with drug resistance. In findings published April 28 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that they have blocked HIV infection in the test tube by inactivating a human protein expressed in key immune cells.

    Most of the drugs now used to fight HIV, which is the retrovirus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), target the virus's own proteins. However, because HIV has a high rate of genetic mutation, those viral targets change quickly and lead to the emergence of drug-resistant viral strains. Doctors have tried to outmaneuver the rapidly mutating virus by prescribing multi-drug regimens or switching drugs. But such strategies can increase the risk of toxic side effects, be difficult for patients to follow and are not always successful. Recently, interest has grown in attacking HIV on a new front by developing drugs that target proteins of human cells, which are far less prone to mutations than are viral proteins.

    In the new study, Pamela Schwartzberg, M.D., Ph.D., a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH; Andrew J. Henderson, Ph.D., of Boston University; and their colleagues found that when they interfered with a human protein called interleukin-2-inducible T cell kinase (ITK) they inhibited HIV infection of key human immune cells, called T cells. ITK is a signaling protein that activates T cells as part of the body's healthy immune response.

    "This new insight represents an important contribution to HIV research," said NHGRI Scientific Director Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. "Finding a cellular target that can be inhibited so as to block HIV validates a novel concept and is an exciting model for deriving potential new HIV therapies."

    When HIV enters the body, it infects T cells and takes over the activities of these white blood cells so that the virus can replicate. Eventually, HIV infection compromises the entire immune system and causes AIDS. The new work shows that without active ITK protein, HIV cannot effectively take advantage of many signaling pathways within T cells, which in turn slows or blocks the spread of the virus.

    "We were pleased and excited to realize the outcome of our approach," Dr. Schwartzberg said. "Suppression of the ITK protein caused many of the pathways that HIV uses to be less active, thereby inhibiting or slowing HIV replication."

    In their laboratory experiments, the researchers used a chemical inhibitor and a type of genetic inhibitor, called RNA interference, to inactivate ITK in human T cells. Then, the T cells were exposed to HIV, and the researchers studied the effects of ITK inactivation upon various stages of HIV's infection and replication cycle. Suppression of ITK reduced HIV's ability to enter T cells and have its genetic material transcribed into new virus particles. However, ITK suppression did not interfere significantly with T cells' normal ability to survive, and mice deficient in ITK were able to ward off other types of viral infection, although antiviral responses were delayed.

    "ITK turns out to be a great target to examine," said Dr. Schwartzberg, noting that researchers had been concerned that blocking other human proteins involved in HIV replication might kill or otherwise impair the normal functions of T cells.

    According to Dr. Schwartzberg, ITK already is being investigated as a therapeutic target for asthma and other diseases that affect immune response. In people with asthma, ITK is required to activate T cells, triggering lung inflammation and production of excess mucus.

    "There are several companies who have published research about ITK inhibitors as part of their target program," Schwartzberg said. "We hope that others will extend our findings and that ITK inhibitors will be pursued as HIV therapies."

    NHGRI researchers received support for this work from the NIH Intramural AIDS Targeted Antiviral Program. Chemical compounds used in the research were synthesized at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, which was established through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research and is administered by NHGRI. The Boston University group originally participated in the research while at Pennsylvania State University, where they received support from Penn State Tobacco Formula Funds, and where Dr. Henderson received support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

    Adapted from materials provided by NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute.


    Huge Squid has World's Largest Eye


    Scientists studying the carcass of what they call the heaviest squid ever found have discovered it has eyes as big as soccer balls -- reportedly the largest in the world.

    read more | digg story

    Rebate Check Schedule - Distribution

    The exact date you receive a stimulus check will depend largely on the last two digits of your Social Security number.

    Mailing schedule

    This is the stimulus payment schedule for tax returns processed by April 15, the IRS said:

    Direct deposit payments

    If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your stimulus payment should be sent to your bank account by:

    00 - 20 May 2
    21 - 75 May 9
    76 - 99 May 16

    Paper check

    If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your check should be in the mail by:

    00 - 09 May 16
    10 - 18 May 23
    19 - 25 May 30
    26 - 38 June 6
    39 - 51 June 13
    52 - 63 June 20
    64 - 75 June 27
    76 - 87 July 4
    88 - 99 July 11


    There may be exceptions, the IRS warned. "A small percentage of tax returns will require additional time to process and to compute a stimulus payment amount. For these returns, stimulus payments may not be issued in accordance with the schedule above, even if the tax return was processed by April 15," the IRS said in it its press release Monday.

    IRS

    Floyd inflatable pig is recovered


    Advertisement

    Woman describes finding the inflatable pig in tatters on her driveway

    A giant inflatable pig which floated away during a Roger Waters concert at the weekend has been recovered in tatters in California.

    The pig, which measured the width of two buses, was found by two families on their driveways in La Quinta.

    They will split the $10,000 (£5,090) reward offered by the Coachella music festival, from where the pig was lost.

    The inflatable pig bore the image of a ticked ballot box for US presidential hopeful Barack Obama on its underbelly.

    Prototype pig

    The animal's flanks carried the slogans "fear builds walls" and "don't be led to the slaughter", with a cartoon of Uncle Sam holding two meat cleavers.

    Former Pink Floyd star Waters said "that's my pig" as it drifted away during Sunday's gig.

    The inflatable appeared at the Coachella festival in California

    Coachella spokeswoman Marcee Rondan said: "It wasn't really supposed to happen that way."

    The pig was tethered to the ground with ropes and floated away as Waters was playing Pink Floyd song Pigs on the Wing.

    Pink Floyd had used inflatable pigs during their concerts in the past, and the lost animal was the same prototype as all the others, according to Ms Rondan.

    The two families who found what was left of the inflatable have also decided to share four life tickets to the Coachella festival that were offered as part of the reward.

    Jokerized Dark Knight Movie Trailer

    Joker-fied Dark Knight Movie Trailer

    At the latest Dark Knight viral events, one winner was chosen from the audience to take home a 35mm print of The Dark Knight movie trailer. As it turns out, this 35mm print is actually defaced by The Joker himself. One of the winners put the Jokerfied trailer online. Check it out after the jump.

    Chismillionaire wants a Smartuki

    Following up on Mr Blass's post below:

    Smart Car plus GSXR equals “Smartuki,” a VERY Smart Car

    June 8th, 2005 by Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider"

    Smartuki - GSXR1000 powered Smart Car
    Let me introduce, Peter Bee. Peter is a sensible English fellow who took a liking to the Smart Car as soon as it was introduced, so he bought one. He found the car so much to his liking that he kept on buying them, great second car, nice for running errands, quick scoots around town, all very sensible. Problem is, Pete spends his days around MHP, makers of high performance exhaust systems. When you constantly see high performance vehicles of various sorts and drive a Smart, you soon get the urge to tweak it a bit and Peter did just that. He managed to get the engine up to around 100hp which isn’t a bad jump from the 60hp in the stocker, but Pete wanted more.

    After seeing nothing else in the option list he looked further afield and started thinking GSXR1000. He talked to the fellows over at Z Cars, you know them, R1 powered Mini’s and the like, and they said “Sure, we can do that.” So Peter dropped off a brand new Smart Car and the fun began. He also talked to Phil Seton of Seton Racing who took a look at a GSXR1000 engine and found room for improvement. The result? Peter’s own personal pleasure button, a way to send his bliss-o-meter straight into the red zone.

    Smartuki GSXR1000 engine in frameZ Cars had to build a separate frame to house the engine along with a Cosworth differential and complete independent rear suspension. Phil Seton massaged the GSXR until it was putting out a reliable 180hp. Peter built up a full race MHP titanium exhaust system and then created a handmade wiring harness to integrate all of the Suzuki’s engine controls along with the tach, the one that goes red around 13,000rpm. Spax made up a set of coil overs with full height and damping adjustments. Then, someone thought they might want to slow this beast down and they added full floating wavy rotors up front with 6 pot calipers and solid wavy rotors in the rear.

    Smartuki and EvoThey call the finished car the Smartuki. It’s the only one in existence and Z Cars is planning to offer it as an option. Does it run? 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, 1/4 mile in 12.4 seconds and tops out at 132mph. Definitely not your average Smart! Peter says running up to the traffic lights at 13,500rpm is always amusing since other drivers move over when they hear what sounds like a bike coming up fast. Autosport Magazine tested it against a Mistubishi Evo FQ-330. It didn’t win but fared better than the Subaru that tried a week earlier.

    GSXR clocks in the SmartukiA few other features:

    One off LED lights in the rear
    A nice set of minilights
    All braided hoses throughout
    Brake bias with lock out for lighting the rear wheels :-)
    Electronic shifter with full power shift ability
    Nice grill from Smarts R Us
    Full alarm with remote start and roof open and close

    Peter is very grateful for all of the assistance from the many who helped put this project together with special thanks to:
    Phil Seton of Seton Racing
    Mark at MHP
    Jason at AME for the alarm system
    Smarts R Us for the various bits and pieces
    and above all, Peter thanks his wife for understanding when she looks in the checkbook!

    UPDATE! The new rebuilt Smartuki
    UPDATE 2: The new Smartuki is for sale!

    Smart Car

    SMARTCARUSA

    Not sure if anyone has noticed but the Smart Car has arrived, dealerships are now opening up.

    here is some info on the domestic available:

    These things get great gas mileage, can park them anywhere, they even have a roadster version, in Europe.

    Smart ForTwo Pure

    starting at $11,590*

    All 2008 smart fortwos come packed with standard safety features that are more likely to be found in luxury vehicles. This includes the protective "tridion safety cell", developed especially for the smart to help ensure crash compatibility with larger passenger cars, electronic stability program (esp®), anti-lock braking system (abs), and four airbags, to name a few.

    The base pure model comes standard with convenience features such as a 5-speed automated manual transmission with manual or automatic mode, central remote locking system, 2-spoke leather steering wheel, and more. Be sure to check out the passion coupe and passion cabriolet that offer more standard features at an outstanding value.

    To see the smart fortwo in every color, click here.

    Standard Equipment

    Engine / drivetrain
    1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine
    5 speed automated manual transmission

    Wheels / tires
    Steel wheels with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
    Tire pressure control system

    Exterior
    Solid roof
    Projector beam halogen headlights
    Side indicators in yellow
    Exterior mirror cap in tridion color

    Interior
    2-spoke leather steering wheel and leather gearshift knob
    Basic seat with weight detection and seatbelt recognition
    Flat folding passenger seat with backrest adjustment
    Storage areas beside the steering wheel and in both doors
    Coin holder
    Dome light
    Mirror in passenger sun visor

    Storage
    Lockable glove compartment

    Audio
    Provision for radio installation (incl. antenna, 2 speakers, aux input jack for mp3 device)

    Safety
    Full-size driver and passenger airbags
    Head/Neck side airbags
    esp - electronic stability program with hill start assist
    Anti-lock braking system (abs) with electronic brake force distribution
    Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system
    Integral safety seats
    Seat belts with belt tensioner and belt-force limiter
    Drive lock - auto-activation of the central locking when driving
    Top Tether for child restraint system
    Panic button on key
    Tire repair kit

    Functional / electrical equipment
    Manual windows
    Manual side mirrors
    Central locking system with remote control
    Instrument cluster with multifunctional display (fuel-level indicator, coolant-level indicator, residual fuel indicator, service interval indicator, trip mileage indicator, clock)
    Outside temperature indicator
    Indicators with lane changer function
    Front windshield wiper with speed-dependent interval wiping and wiper-/wash function
    Intermittent rear windshield wiper with wiper-/wash function
    Electric rear window defroster
    Electric tailgate release
    Locking gas cap
    12-volt socket, with cover

    Factory installed options:
    Air conditioning with automatic temperature control (incl. dust, pollen filter) $600
    Metallic paint (metallic red, metallic blue, metallic silver) $225
    Silver metallic tridion safety cell $175
    Alarm system $160
    Panorama roof (sun screen included) $350
    Power steering $450
    Heated seats $220
    smart radio (AM/FM, single CD; incl. 2 speakers, aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 9]) $350
    smart premium radio (AM/FM, mp3-compatible 6 disc CD changer; incl. 2 speakers, aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 10]) $495


    Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe

    starting at $13,590*


    The value packed, sporty and well-equipped passion coupe includes a panorama roof, alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles, power windows, electric and heated side mirrors, and AM/FM radio with CD player.

    To see the smart fortwo in every color, click here.

    Standard Equipment

    Engine/ drivetrain
    1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine
    5 speed automated manual transmission
    Paddle shifters

    Wheels / tires
    9-spokes alloy wheels (15") with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
    Tire pressure control system

    Exterior
    Panorama roof (sun screen included)
    Projector beam halogen headlights
    Side indicators in yellow
    Exterior mirror cap in tridion color

    Interior
    3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel shift paddles (incl. leather gear knob)
    Basic seat with weight detection and seatbelt recognition
    Flat folding passenger seat with backrest adjustment
    Storage areas beside the steering wheel and in both doors
    Coin holder
    Dome light
    Mirror in passenger sun visor

    Storage
    Lockable glove compartment

    Audio

    smart radio (AM/FM, single CD; incl. 2 speakers, aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 9])

    Safety
    Full-size driver and passenger airbags
    Head/Neck side airbags
    esp - electronic stability program with hill start assist
    Anti-lock braking system (abs) with electronic brake force distribution
    Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system
    Integral safety seats
    Seat belts with belt tensioner and belt-force limiter
    Drive lock - auto-activation of the central locking when driving
    Top Tether for child restraint system
    Panic button on key
    Tire repair kit

    Functional / electrical equipment
    Air conditioning with automatic temperature control (incl. dust, pollen filter)
    Power windows with one-touch lowering function
    Electronic and heated side mirrors
    Central locking system with remote control
    Instrument cluster with multifunctional display (fuel-level indicator, coolant-level indicator, residual fuel indicator, service interval indicator, trip mileage indicator, clock)
    Outside temperature indicator
    Turn indicators with lane changer function
    Front windshield wiper with speed-dependent interval wiping and wiper-/wash function
    Intermittent rear windshield wiper with wiper-/wash function
    Electric rear window defroster
    Electric tailgate release
    Locking gas cap
    12-volt socket, with cover

    Factory installed options
    Metallic paint $225
    Silver metallic tridion safety cell $175
    Alarm system $160
    Power steering $450
    Heated seats $220
    Fog lamps $110
    Additional instruments $120
    smart premium radio (AM/FM, mp3-compatible 6 disc CD changer; incl. 2 speakers, aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 10]) $150


    Option packages

    smart premium sound system $350
    - smart premium radio (AM/FM, mp3-compatible 6 disc CD changer; aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 10])
    - smart sound system (2 tweeters, 2 mid range, and subwoofer)

    Comfort Package $850
    - Power steering
    - Leather seats
    - Heated seats
    - Rain and light sensor
    - Auto-off headlamps with exit delay



    Smartcar ForTwo Passion Cabriolet

    starting at $16,590*


    The passion cabriolet has all the features of the passion coupe plus an upgraded radio and sound system that includes an mp3 compatible in-dash 6-disk CD changer. The main difference lies in the soft top with a heated rear glass window that is fully automatic and can be infinitely adjusted to any position while driving at any speed. For the full cabriolet experience, simply remove the side roof bars - taken out in no time - and stow them in a special compartment in the tailgate.

    To see the smart fortwo in every color, click here.

    Standard Equipment

    Engine/ Drivetrain
    1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine
    5 speed automated manual transmission
    Paddle shifters

    Wheels/tires
    9-spokes alloy wheels (15") with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
    Tire pressure control system

    Exterior
    Fully automatic convertible top with glass rear window
    Projector beam halogen headlights
    Side indicators in yellow
    Exterior mirror cap in tridion color

    Interior

    3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel shift paddles (incl. leather gear knob)
    Basic seat with weight detection and seatbelt recognition
    Flat folding passenger seat with backrest adjustment
    Storage areas beside the steering wheel and in both doors
    Coin holder
    Dome light
    Mirror in passenger sun visor

    Storage
    Lockable glove compartment

    Audio
    smart premium radio (AM/FM, mp3-compatible 6 disc CD changer; aux input jack for mp3 device [radio 10])
    smart sound system (2 tweeters, 2 mid range, subwoofer)

    Safety
    Full-size driver and passenger airbags
    Head/Neck side airbags
    esp - electronic stability program with hill start assist
    Anti-lock braking system (abs) with electronic brake force distribution
    Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system
    Integral safety seats
    Seat belts with belt tensioner and belt-force limiter
    Drive lock - auto-activation of the central locking when driving
    Top Tether for child restraint system
    Panic button on key
    Tire repair kit

    Functional/electrical equipment
    Air conditioning with automatic temperature control (incl. dust, pollen filter)
    Power windows with one-touch lowering function
    Electronic and heated side mirrors
    Central locking system with remote control
    Instrument cluster with multifunctional display (fuel-level indicator, coolant-level indicator, residual fuel indicator, service interval indicator, trip mileage indicator, clock)
    Outside temperature indicator
    Indicators with lane changer function
    Front windshield wiper with speed-dependent interval wiping and wiper-/wash function
    Electric rear window defroster
    Electric tailgate release
    Locking gas cap
    12-volt socket, with cover

    Factory installed options
    Single options
    Metallic paint $225
    Silver metallic tridion safety cell $175
    Alarm system $160
    Power steering $450
    Heated seats $220
    Fog lamps $110
    Additional instruments $120


    Option packages
    Comfort Package $850
    - Power steering
    - Leather seats
    - Heated seats
    - Rain and light sensor
    - Auto-off headlamps with exit delay



    Smart Car vs. Ferrari




    Smart with Hayabusa engine

    Willie and Snoop

    Proving once and for all that potheads know no genre boundaries.

    Lisbon, Portugal




    FeedM8 - Go Mobile