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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Video: BlackBerry 9000 vs. Curve and Pearl Plus Full OS Tour (Smoothest BlackBerry Ever)

Crackberry follows up their rave review of the pre-distro Blackberry 9000 they snagged off eBay with a full video tour that compares it to the Curve and Pearl before diving into the OS for the most in-depth look yet. If you've been staring at BlackBerries for years, it looks like the new UI will feel pretty refreshing, since all of the apps benefit too, not just the home screen. And menus have transparencies! Plus YouTube support (vid opens in BlackBerry media player, but it's there). Must watch if you're at all interested in the 9000. [Crackberry]

7 States Weigh Lowering The Legal Drinking Age


3 states are considering to lower the drinking age for 18-20 y/o's enlisted in the military, while 4 more are considering lowering the age for all citizens. On the topic of 18-20 y/o's who are enlisted in the military State Rep. Fletcher Smith said “If you can take a shot on the battlefield, you ought to be able to take a shot in a bar.”

read more | digg story

Seen Girls Doing All This With Penises in Public? [Not Porn]


"I thought a lot of people would be somewhat shy around the giant phallus, but its pretty much the opposite. I was really surprised how people were not only posing but holding their poses and waiting for everyone to take photos!" The pictures are - well, kinda NSFW (conservative attitudes vary) but yeah, to most cultures, this would be VERY bizarre

read more | digg story

Earthrace Biodiesel Boat Circumnavigates Globe, Aims For World Speed Record

Earthrace biodiesel powerboat

This 100% biodiesel-powered, 78 ft wave-piercing trimaran aims to set an around-the-world speed record while maintaining a net zero carbon footprint. The Earthrace left Sagunto, Spain, on April 27, and has already made excellent time across the Atlantic, landing in Panama just 8 days later.

Inspired by the desire to “connect with people about the need to get renewable fuels into our energy mix and to inspire them to do something,” the Earthrace has already generated a whirlwind of publicity. Much of this is due to the boat’s eco-technological appeal. It’s been described as “a rally car but for oceans”, with the ability to submerge up to 23 feet underwater while powering through the ocean. The “eco-” part doesn’t just include circling the globe on 100% biodiesel. Parts of the boat are made from a hemp-based composite, bedding foams are made from canola oil, and the operation’s total carbon footprint has been balanced by purchasing carbon credits.

The Earthrace also seems to have pretty good fuel economy for a powerboat. At 6 knots, it can go 24,000 km on one tank of biodiesel, which is over halfway around the world. 6 knots is pretty slow; at a more reasonable cruising speed of 25 knots (29 mph) the powerboat can go 3700 km (2300 miles) on a single tank.

Race rules state that the voyage passes through both the Suez and Panama canals, which makes the fastest route run close to the equator. The crew will make 12 refueling stops along the way in places where biodiesel is available, hoping to beat the previous circumnavigation record of 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes set by UK boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ in 1998.

This will be Earthrace’s second attempt at breaking the speed record. The team left Barbados in March of last year, but ran into significant mechanical problems that prematurely ended their trip. Let’s hope they have better luck this time.

Check out the Earthrace blog where you can follow along with the voyage. Also check out the sponsorship video (sorry about the gratuitous corporate advertising pitch, just watch the first few minutes to see what the boat looks like):

Post Related to Biodiesel or Boating:

Colossal Castle or Humble Home? Same Price – Your Choice

By: Neha Grey (Little_personView Profile)

The subprime mortgage crisis has hit. America is homeless, broke, foreclosed, and in the midst of a financial crisis. Similar to when there were rumors of the draft resurfacing, many of us are saying, “I’m moving to Canada.” However, I urge you to look beyond our friendly northern neighbor to a more majestic and—dare I say—regal era. From the rolling green pastures of France, to the sparkling coastline of Mexico, why live in a cramped, rat-infested junior one-bedroom when you can reign high in your very own castle?

South Africa v. San Francisco – $500,000
In South Africa, for half a million dollars, you can purchase a genuine castle complete with armor, high security, and a golf course. Stradford Castle, nestled in South Africa’s most gorgeous lake, is engraved with words of wisdom from ancient dukes and holds precious hand-crafted stained glass.

In San Francisco, for 500K you’ll afford a junior one bedroom with a spacious sleeping alcove. If you crane your neck out the bathroom window, you may even get a “peek-a-boo view” of the Bay Bridge.

France v. Los Angeles $500,000
Half a million dollars in France will get you five-bedrooms, or one quarter, of a nineteenth century chateau. This chateau is encircled with a rushing river, lush landscape, gardens, sauna, and swimming pool.

In the concrete jungle suburb of Los Angeles, Downey, your half a mil will buy this lovely four bedroom two-point-five bathroom home. It is encircled with growing weeds, a dead tree, and your own garden hose.



Ukraine v. New York $1,800,000
In Ukraine, you can buy a Medieval Castle for just $1,800,000. This majestic palace is reminiscent of a luxury hotel and boasts an impressive European patrimony.

If you prefer, you can take your 1.8 million dollars and dump it into a converted two bedroom loft in Chelsea, New York. At least this apartment will provide easy access to the subway.



Dominican Republic v. Boston – $1,150,000
In the Dominican Republic, $1,150,000 will get you a Caribbean mountaintop castle with glittering pastoral views on a fifty-acre lot. Your humble abode will include thirty-three archways, a turret leading to the observation room, a twenty-four foot galleria, two living rooms, and service wing. Don’t forget the 1,500 square foot guest house (a short walk away) and the personal well.

In Boston, the same $1,150,000 will get you three-bedroom, two-point-five bath suburban colonial. This house includes grass, a sprinkler system, and a microwave oven.


Italy v. New York – Just Under $1 Million
In Sabina Hill, Italy, $927,600 will buy you the Castle of Stimigliano. This antique piece of art has been blessed by the Italian society of preservation and bestowed with the name “Belle Arte.” It is restored, yet maintains of the aura of pastimes.

In New York’s West Village, for just $41,400 more, at $969,000 you can purchase a two-bedroom apartment. Not even a house—an apartment—in a building, with other people who live in their own apartment (not in your maid’s quarters).


Mexico v. San Francisco $1.5 Million
In Mexico 1.5 mil will get you an eleven-bedroom hacienda, complete with maids’ quarters and a fruit orchard with orange, tangerine, and lime trees. This castle also includes an expansive swimming pool, a well for water, and of course, a private chapel.

In San Francisco, that same 1.5 mil will get you a two-bedroom home with an attic, dryer, and breakfast nook.




Sweden v. Orange County $830,000
In Motala, Sweden, $830,000 will make you the owner of Castle Sjoskum, a famous white palace, custom-built by an affluent Swedish sea captain and crafted by the hands of renowned British architects. With 6,500 square feet and three stories, this palatial estate will make you sleep like Queen Elizabeth.

In Orange County, California, just $19,000 more, or $849,900 will buy you a three-bedroom, two bath, one-story home. There’s even a spot to park your RV.



It’s a tough call—a palatial estate that could have been Princess Diana’s stomping grounds, or a studio above a Moroccan restaurant in Manhattan? I’m going with the castle.

First published May 2008

Nine Extremely Odd Jobs


By: Brie Cadman (Little_personView Profile)

Sometimes, while sitting in a cubicle in a tall office building with re-circulated air and fluorescent lighting, it is fun to imagine the jobs of others, whose day-to-day encompasses the challenging, the arduous, the unsavory, and the random. These jobs make you happy to be in a cubicle.

Smokejumpers
If parachuting near the heart of a burning fire doesn’t sound challenging enough, smokejumpers, who combat wild fires in remote locations, must traverse over mountainous terrain, carry supplies on their backs, and be self-sufficient for multiple days. Job requirements include a high level of fitness, mental stability, and extensive safety and technical training. Long, unpredictable hours are offset by rewarding manual labor in awesome settings. Median income for firefighters is $40,000 but varies widely based on location, experience, and overtime.

Antarctic Swimmer
Lynne Cox’s job is to test the limits of endurance and temperature by swimming long distances in cold water. She was first person to swim across the Strait of Magellan (42° F) and the eight miles around the Cape of Good Hope. Most recently, she defied the limits of human physiology by swimming 1.2 miles in the 32° Antarctic water, wearing only a swimsuit. In addition to a Tyr sponsorship and participation in numerous scientific experiments, she has also written two books about her adventures. Swimming for a living would be fun—but glaciers, polar bears, jellyfish, and heart stopping water temperatures make this a job most mortals couldn’t hack.

Dairy Cow Midwife
Midwifes don’t just assist insemination, they actually do it. An entire arm is shoved inside a cow to drop off semen. Of course, that semen had to come from somewhere, leading to another unsavory bovine job—the bull masturbator.

Full Time Guinea Pig
For human guinea pigs, being paid to participate in a clinical trial isn’t just a one-time source of funds, it’s a career. Sleep deprivation, tubes up your nose and lungs, altered diets, poop examinations, and frequent blood draws are some on-the-job threats, not to mention long-term consequences of potentially dangerous drugs. And as more and more clinical trials are outsourced to private companies, ethical standards are sometimes questionable. However, lengthy trials can pay in the thousands; industrious guinea pigs have reported making upwards of $80,000 a year.

Podiatrist for the Indigent
Podiatrists make good money—averaging $108,220 in 2006 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—but it is a job few people can stomach: treating toenails gone wrong, banishing plantar warts, cutting off bunions, and dealing with problem feet, all day, every day. There is one population of clientele who categorically have the most troubled feet of all: the homeless. Substance abuse problems coupled with chronic disease (like diabetes) and lack of proper (or any) footwear can lead to unchecked infections, tinea eating away at the flesh between toes, and other oozing, pussing maladies. The podiatrists treating this population often volunteer their time at free clinics, making their commitment to dealing with troubled tootsies all that more admirable.


Oil Patch Roughneck
A roughneck, the lowest person on the oilrig totem pole, is the person tasked to deal with the general grunt work of oil drilling—connecting pipes, fixing rigs, and heavy labor. The job is dirty, loud, and demanding, requiring long hours in difficult conditions. According to Salary.com roughnecks can make around $47,000 and because they often must go to remote places to drill, room and board is often included. Plus, once you’ve served your time (and learned new skills), there is nowhere to go but up.

Port-a-Potty Pumper
When defining the worst job in the world, dealing with sewage and human fecal matter seems like a requirement. Plumbers, sewer inspectors, and sanitation consultants all have to do it, but there’s something about cleaning a port-a-potty, which most people tried to avoid having to use in the first place, that ranks it the worst of the worst. But, according to CareerBuilder.com, they are compensated fairly well—annual wages are around $50,000.

Drug Dealer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics rates fishing—in particular crab fishing in Alaska—as the most dangerous job in America. But that’s only counting legal jobs. Being a member of a drug dealing gang, for instance, is much, much more dangerous. According to a research paper by the economists Steven Levitt and Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, the per person likelihood of death in the gang under study was 1 to 2 percent a month; gang members active year round had a one in four chance of being killed. This is far higher than the rate for the commercial fishers, which is 1.42 for every 1,000 people. And risk doesn’t always confer reward. In both professions, rank and bounty largely determine earnings. The average hourly wage for gang members was $11, ranging from $7 for foot soldiers to $97 for the leaders. Fishers make an average of $19,000 a year, but can reap up to $60,000 in a few months for a big crab haul.

Breath Odor Evaluator
While some people with good senses of smell become sommeliers or perfume testers, others take their noses to the extremes by becoming bad odor arbiters. To test the efficacy of mouthwashes or breath mints, they have to smell bad breath before and after treatment with the supposed neutralizer.

This is just the short list for odd jobs; the long list would obviously include prostitutes, mink farmers, porn stars, bounty hunters, and psychics. And while few kids grow up wanting to be condom manufacturers or crime scene cleaners, it’s nice to know there’s a job out there for everyone.

First published May 2008

5 of History's greatest robberies

bank-robberies.jpg

When the famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he supposedly replied, “That’s where the money is.” Sutton claimed he never actually said it. Pity. Someone should have. Anyway, here are the stories of five famous bank robberies.

1. The Great Northfield, Minnesota, Raid

OK, in terms of actual success, this 1876 robbery was a bust. But it had a heck of a cast: legendary bandits Frank and Jesse James; Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger; and three lesser known outlaws. Their target was Northfield’s First National Bank, which the gang settled on after casing a half-dozen other towns. Clearly, not enough casing, as the robbery couldn’t have gone worse. The bank’s cashier refused to open the safe, an alert passerby sounded the alarm, and townspeople killed two of the robbers as the rest escaped. A week later, a posse killed or captured all of the other outlaws except the James brothers, who escaped home to Missouri. It was the beginning of the end for 19th-century America’s most notorious bandits. Worse still? The take from the Northfield bank was a mere $26.70.

2. Hitler’s Treasures

merkers-manet-army.jpg

As the German army rolled through Europe in World War II, it ransacked the banks of other countries, transferring the loot to the central Reichsbank in Berlin. But when the U.S. Third Army neared the German capital, the stolen booty was hidden in mines near the village of Merkers. Unfortunately for the Nazis, the Third Army captured Merkers before the treasure could be moved again. And it was truly a treasure: 55 boxes of crated gold, 8,198 bars of
gold bullion, and a few tons of artwork. The total value of the precious metals and currency was put at $520 million, and it took 50 years to return the loot to the robbed countries. In 1997, several countries waived their remaining claims, and the funds were used to aid Holocaust survivors. [Image courtesy of GlobalSecurity.org. Lots more great photos from inside the mines here.]

3. Thinking Inside the Box(es)

british-bank-mid-east.jpg

In early 1976, the Lebanese capital of Beirut was in the throes of a civil war. Palestinian guerrilla groups had gained control of the city’s aptly named Bank Street and set about knocking off a dozen banks. The biggest prize on the lot? The British Bank of the Middle East. To get to the loot, a PLO-affiliated group blasted through the wall of a Catholic church next door to the bank. Next, imported Corsican safe-crackers were employed to open the vault to get to the safety-deposit boxes. Over a two-day period, the robbers loaded trucks with $20 million to $50 million in currency, gold, jewels, and stocks and bonds (not bad for a couple days’ work). The bad guys got away, though some of the stocks and bonds were later sold back to their owners.

4. More Francs Than a Wiener Schnitzel

How many Frenchmen does it take to rob a bank? Well, at least 10, if you’re talking about the 1992 Bank of France robbery in Toulon. Using inside information from a bank employee, the gang kidnapped a guard’s family and forced the guard to open the bank’s doors. But just in case the “we’ve got your family and we’d be happy to off them” tactic wasn’t convincing enough, the group decided to ensure the poor guy’s cooperation by strapping explosives to him. Apparently, it was pretty effective. Once inside, the robbers removed the film from the surveillance cameras, emptied the vaults of 160 million francs (about $30 million), and took off in several vans—including one belonging to the bank. Within two months, most of the gang was caught, betrayed by the bank employee (not to be confused with the guard) who’d helped in the job. But several of the robbers still got away, and amazingly, less than 10% of the loot was ever recovered.

5. The Trench Coat Job

seafirst.jpg

It was past quitting time when two men wearing buttoned-up trench coats let themselves into the Seafirst Bank in Lakewood, Washington, a suburb of Tacoma. Flashing a gun, the pair stuffed 355 pounds of cash—$4.46 million—into sacks and made a clean getaway. This 1997 heist wasn’t the work of amateurs. Nope. Ray Bowman and William Kirkpatrick were real pros. In fact, between 1982 and 1998, Bowman and Kirkpatrick were believed to have robbed 28 banks around the country for a total of more than $7 million. Even more impressive: only once was there gunfire, and no one was hurt. A special FBI task force was formed, but it was stupidity that finally tripped them up. Kirkpatrick was stopped for speeding in late 1998 by a Nebraska state trooper. A search of the car turned up four handguns, fake badges, two ski masks—and $1.8 million in cash. Meanwhile, Bowman had failed to pay the rent on a storage locker in Kansas City, Missouri. When the owner opened it, and found a virtual armory of guns, he called the cops, and they collared Bowman at his suburban Kansas City home a few weeks after Kirkpatrick’s arrest. The dapper duo was convicted in 1999, with Bowman getting slapped with 24 years, Kirkpatrick with 15.

Ed. Note: This list was pulled from the mental_floss book Forbidden Knowledge.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Poster Revealed!!!


Here it is! This is the poster for the upcoming Clone Wars animated feature hitting theaters this August 15th! Judging from the previews and now this poster, this is going to be one action heavy flick! Click on the picture to check it out in hi-res!!

check out a teaser video:

Avoid Sex With Anyone From The Following Schools

BC SUCKS AT SEXUAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

b

Collegeotr.com -If you needed more incentive to use condoms, here it is. Find out if your school is a festering pool of gonorrhea and herpes - or a safe haven from sexually-transmitted diseases. For the past two years, Trojan Brand Condoms has provided the collegiate community with rankings based on sexual health. The Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, the most recent includes 139 schools, surveys colleges and then scores them by a "grading system" that resembles a GPA. In honor of the Trojan Evolve Tour, we are listing the best and worst campuses on the list.

The Best:

1. University of Minnesota (a thunderous round of applause for being the least STI-riddled)

2. University of Wyoming

3. University of Washington

4. Rutgers University

5. Purdue University

Honorable Mentions
:
Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Oregon, University of Michigan, and Duke University

The Ickiest:

135. Villanova University

136. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

137. Arkansas State University

138. University of Louisiana at Monroe

139. Louisiana Tech University (Congrats for being dirtier than Paris Hilton's thongs)

Dishonorable Mentions:
St. John's University, Vanderbilt, Baylor University, Georgetown and Boston College.



At least BC is in the top 5 in the Nation in something right? (Hockey doesn’t count since there are only 5 teams to begin with) I mean if you can’t compete for the National Championship in Football then you might as well go for the National Title in shittiest sexual prevention and awareness programs. I just hope the campus is equipped to deal with what happens when football players rape chicks like last week.

- Thanks to Dan for the tip

Top 10 Amazing BBQ Grills [+More Pics]


Summer is nearly here, and with it comes the great American culinary tradition: barbecue! BBQ is both a rite of summer and a rite of manhood (yes, BBQ is associated with male cooking, probably because any sane woman would not go near the combination fire, meat and beer). In some parts of the USA, BBQ is not just food, it’s a religion.

read more | digg story

Juror in Houston Pot Trial Caught Smoking Pot Outside Court

Cornelia Turner Mayo went from prospective juror in a marijuana possession trial to a prospective defendant in her own case after authorities accused her of smoking a joint outside the courthouse
Harris County Sheriff's Office

photos


May 6, 2008, 6:57PM
Police: Prospective juror in Houston pot trial caught smoking it
Woman charged with drug possession on break from trial


But authorities say prospective juror Cornelia Mayo might have taken that concept a bit too far after she was caught smoking a joint outside the courthouse during a break.

The 49-year-old Houston woman was one of 20 people in a jury pool in Criminal Court at Law No. 10.

Ross said he realized something was wrong when juror No. 2, Mayo, didn't return from a 45-minute break. Before the judge could file a bench warrant for the missing juror, his bailiff got a call from police notifying him that Mayo was being booked on a charge of smoking marijuana outside the criminal courthouse.

"I've had prospective jurors get lost before, but it never occurred to me that they might be getting ready for a marijuana trial by, allegedly, smoking marijuana," Ross said.

He also said it was a strange coincidence for a court that also sees trials for DWI's, family violence and many other misdemeanors.

"It's the first weed case I've tried in years," Ross said. "People usually plead out."

The former juror was charged with possession of marijuana. She is scheduled to be arraigned next week in Criminal Court at Law No. 11 —across the hall from Ross' courtroom.

Mayo remained in the Harris County Jail on a $500 bail Tuesday night and could not be reached for comment.

brian.rogers@chron.com

A Time-Lapse Take on the Carnival [Vid]


Cinco De Mayo Carnival from Andrew Curtis on Vimeo.

Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon.

Some details:
Shooting 1 second exposures every 2 seconds
A total of 2683 images in this video, played back at 12fps.
Shot on 2 consecutive nights. First night was the panning tripod. While we were shooting, a guy called me back about an ad on craigslist for his Peleng 8mm fisheye. We went and picked it up at midnight and brought it along the 2nd night, when we did all the still shots.

The 10 most stylish cities in the world

London tops list of cool capitals, thanks to its cosmopolitan vibe

The Spice Girls and David Beckham may have both benefited from Tony Blair's Cool Britannia campaign in the late '90s, positioning London as cool, hip and happening, but it's also the city's history, multiculturalism and wealth that send it to the top of the most stylish cities list.

By Nicola Ruiz
Forbes
updated 1:31 p.m. ET, Wed., May. 7, 2008

Paris has La Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. New York is home to Fifth and Madison avenues. And shoppers need look no further than Via Monte Napoleone in Milan, Italy, for the latest prêt-a-porter.

But none can match London's cosmopolitan vibe. One third of the city's population was born outside Britain; that's 2.3 million Londoners sharing their cultural style, fashion and cuisine. This mix gives tremendous vibrancy to the city, the world's most stylish according to a recent survey.

"The only downside to London is its safety and expense," says Simon Anholt, editor of the journal "Place Branding and Public Diplomacy" and author of the 2008 City Brands Index survey on which the rankings, released last month, are based. Anholt also consults with city and national governments on policies, investments and strategies for improving their national reputations. "But these two factors also help its image: If it was too safe people wouldn't find it as exciting, and if it was cheaper it would get less respect."

Sydney, Australia; Rome; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; Berlin; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Madrid, Spain, round out the top 10.

The Anholt City Brands Index surveyed 18,000 people from 18 countries. Cities were judged on lifestyle, buzz, multiculturalism, cultural life and attractiveness. Respondents, for example, were asked to rank 40 cities on climate and weather, pollution and the physical attractiveness of buildings and parks. They were asked how warm and welcome they expect the people of each city to be, and how important each city's contribution to the world has been over the last 30 years in the areas of science, culture and government.

"The smarter governments have always looked at their city as a brand that needs to be marketed," says Anholt. "But one of the effects of globalization is that competition has become incredibly intense between cities for tourists, investors, business [and] major events, so proper attention to reputation is now mandatory in a way it never was before."

Capitals of cool
London landed atop the list in part because almost one-third of the world's population (including those in Australia, India and Canada) has ties to the British Commonwealth and consider London the financial, fashion and music capital of the world. The announced 2012 Olympics also gives it a stylish stamp of approval.

Its ability to produce charismatic leaders doesn't hurt either. When he came to power in 1997, Prime Minister Tony Blair launched the "Cool Britannia" campaign positioning London as cool, hip and happening to a world audience. The advertising slogan was an attempt to rebrand Britain as progressive, forward-looking and diverse, while promoting "Brit pop" bands such as Oasis, the Spice Girls and Blur.

Image: Berlin at night
Herbert Knosowski / AP
"Berlin is perceived as being stylish and in recent years has earned a reputation for being a trendsetting city," says study author Simon Anholt. "It has youth appeal, great nightlife and a strong youth culture."








It seems to have worked. "It has history [and] a multi-cultural population," says Philip Kotler, professor of international marketing at Northwestern University and author of over 40 books on place marketing. "It's the world financial center, art center and antique center, and has a dynamic quality of energy."

While Paris came in second, Anholt says it's done less to deserve this elite spot than other cities. With no notable new buildings going up since the Arche de La Defense 20 years ago, and few new crowd-pleasing events of late, Anholt says that Paris, like Rome and Milan, is riding on its reputation.

"It's almost cliché that Paris is one of the most stylish cities," he says. "It's burned into the global, popular culture. Particularly in developing countries, people expect that in Paris they'll get the best food and fashion as well as a chic lifestyle. It could turn into an awful place for many years and it still wouldn't lose that reputation."

If you want to surround yourself with beauty, however, Paris is still the place to go. When asked to rate a city's beauty, 50 percent of survey respondents said that Paris was very attractive, 46 percent felt that way about Rome, 29 percent about New York and only 5 percent found Beijing attractive.


Image: Paris skyline
S. Greg Panosian / iStockphoto
"There's a beauty about Paris that other cities just don't have," says Philip Kotler, professor of international marketing at Northwestern University. "It's romantic, classic, stylish and fashionable ... not to mention the wonderful food. It's no surprise that Paris is near the top of the stylish list."








Milan, which scored 15th on the most stylish list, was selected as the city that made the most important contribution to the world — with fashion — followed by Washington with politics, Madrid with culture and Tokyo with technology.

Of course each city has its own unique reputation to maintain. While some governments aim for their city to be perceived as safe and clean, others work to crank up their cool factor.

"Holland is viewed as solid, reliable, efficient, wealthy and boring, but Amsterdam is considered much more stylish ... it's all about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, and the city governments want it to keep that edgy, cool appeal," says Anholt, who adds that Amsterdam, ninth on the style list, is one of the few cities that passes the "cool T-shirt test." "If you put ‘I heart Amsterdam' on a plain, white T-shirt, it will sell for more than if it were just a plain, white T-shirt."

Sydney also passes Anholt's cool T-shirt test and surprisingly to all but those who enjoy living in this vibrant city, it ranks third in the most stylish list ahead of New York, Rome and Barcelona.

"Everyone loves Australia," says Anholt. "It's a fantastic brand, and it basically all comes down to Crocodile Dundee. That film did wonders for the image of Australian cities. It's had so much airtime all over the world and Australia is now perceived as the perfect country: warm, rich, welcoming and civilized."

© 2008 Forbes.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24413710/

Grizzly polar bear hybrid | Grolar bear |


“One of the real things that is happening is that grizzlies are moving north, at the same time the polar bears are forced to be on the beach and we have found a number of grizzly bear polar bear hybrids. Dr Divoky has witnessed the onset of climate change first hand and its effects, which includes Cooper Island being invaded by

read more | digg story

7 Unpopular Themes for Hit Shows

Syndication may have gotten you used to a particular version of a show's theme song, but some programs had some weird themes before they had an audience. Here's seven alternate themes that probably kept its shows from popularity.

read more | digg story

Amazing & Full of Color Fields Of Flowers

Dutch farmers tip-toe through the tulips as landscape is transformed into a spectacular display of colour

Last updated at 00:01am on 8th May 2008

At first glance, it looks like a giant child armed with a box of crayons has been set loose upon the landscape.

Vivid stripes of purple, yellow, red, pink, orange and green make up a glorious technicolour patchwork.

Yet far from being a child's sketchbook, this is, in fact, the northern Netherlands in the middle of the tulip season.

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tulip fields

Rainbow view: The stunning tulip fields of the northern Netherlands

Enlarge the image

With more than 10,000 hectares devoted to the cultivation of these delicate flowers, the Dutch landscape in May is a kaleidoscope of giddy colours as the tulips burst into life.

The bulbs were planted in late October and early November, and these colourful creations are now ready to be picked and sold as bunches of cut flowers in florists and supermarkets.

More than three billion tulips are grown each year and two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to the U.S. and Germany.

In the first picture, an extraordinary 60 million tulips can be seen coming into flower.

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Dutch tulips

The fields of northern Holland explode into a colourful springtime display

Enlarge the image

Their dazzling colours are thanks to the years in the 17th century when Tulipmania swept the globe and the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small fortune.

But like a rainbow, this colourful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon.

When the flowers are gone, the land will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of vegetables.

Dutch tulips

The Netherlands produce more than nine million bulbs a year

China’s Huge Self-Sustaining Soar LED Wall

solar_media_wall.jpg

It’s called the GreenPix Zero Energy Media Wall, and with 2,292 individual color LEDs, comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft. monitor screen, it’s said to be the largest color LED display in the world. The wall is solar-powered too — photovoltaics are integrated into the wall’s glass curtain, and it harvests power during the day, to illuminate the display at night.

led_wall_solar.jpg

Designed by, Simone Giostra & Partners Architects, the GreenPix wall is part of the Xicui Entertainment Complex in Beijing, near the site of the 2008 Olympics.

The polycrystalline photovoltaic cells are laminated within the glass of the curtain wall and placed with changing density on the entire building’s skin. The density pattern increases building’s performance, allowing natural light when required by interior program, while reducing heat gain and transforming excessive solar radiation into energy for the media wall.

solar_self_sufficient_wall_china.jpg

led_building1.jpg

The building will open to the public in June 2008, with a specially commissioned program of video installations and live performances by artists.

More photos here.

21 Dining Rooms That Are Better to Eat in Than the Office

How to Quit Soda Pop


If you're someone who's drinking eight or more cups of soda pop a day, instead of eight cups of water, then it may be time for a change. Sweetened drinks are one of the substances linked directly to weight gain, comprising a good portion of daily calorie intake.

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Lose Weight While You Geek


If you're anything like me...you're one good-looking dude. But you see, as a man who spends all day in front of a computer (several computers actually), it's difficult to stay in good, healthy shape.

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