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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Creepy Slacks Ad from 1970

If you can't read the print on the picture, it reads:

"Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn’t have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her. That noble styling sure soothes the savage heart! If you’d like your own doll-to-doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these he-man Mr. Leggs slacks. Such as our new automatic wash wear blend of 65% “Dacron®” and 35% rayon–incomparably wrinkle-resistant. About $12.95 at plush-carpeted stores."

Weinsteins roll with 'Fraggle Rock'

'Fraggle Rock'
The Weinstein Co. is reviving Jim Henson series 'Fraggle Rock' as a live-action musical pic

Cory Edwards, who directed the animated "Hoodwinked!" for TWC, will helm the picture and write the screenplay. The Jim Henson Co. will produce and TWC will distribute.

Just like the series, the film will be populated by a mix of human characters and Fraggle Rock puppets. TWC co-chair Harvey Weinstein, who has been steering his company more aggressively into the family film arena, made the marriage with Lisa Henson, who runs JHC with her co-CEO brother, Brian Henson.

Ahmet Zappa will be exec producer with Brian Inerfeld.

Pic will take the core characters Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red outside of their home in Fraggle Rock, where they interact with humans, which they think are aliens. The show premiered on HBO in 1983, ran five seasons and was broadcast in more than 80 countries. It posted strong sales recently when the first three seasons were released on DVD.

The deal furthers the relationship between TWC and the "Hoodwinked!" creative team. Edwards is reteaming with "Hoodwinked!" co-writer Tony Leech on the animated alien adventure "Escape From Planet Earth," on which Leech is making his directing debut.

Edwards is separately developing a live-action feature adaptation of Cedar Fair's Halloween Haunt franchise, designed to be shot in 3-D by Kerner Optical and produced by Davis Entertainment, Dave Phillips and Tracey Edmonds. That pic is looking for a backer.

"One of our main priorities when we first launched the Weinstein Company was to feature a broad range of family-friendly franchises like 'Fraggle Rock,' " Weinstein said.

Read the full article at:

Ferrari California revealed

MARANELLO, Italy — The official name of the Ferrari GT was revealed on Tuesday, along with three photographs. The new Ferrari California, which will make its official debut at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, is undergoing a slow striptease that seems to be working to the advantage of the Prancing Horse brand.

The reveal of the name of the GT comes on the heels of yesterday's word that Lamborghini will set up its U.S. operations in Santa Monica, California. Apparently, the West Coast has become the darling of the Italian exotic marques.

Ferrari bragged in a statement that "the Ferrari California site has been up and running under theferrarigtcountdown name since last Friday and, purely on the strength of word of mouth between Ferrari fans on the Web, it attracted more than 60,000 hits from all over the world in just one weekend." Most of the visitors, the company noted, were from the U.S., followed by Italians.

Enthusiasts got a peek at the car today via three photographs, showing front, rear and side views of the car. Ferrari says new photos of the cabin and other details will be posted in the coming weeks.

Ferrari says the new model "will be available exclusively as a convertible with a folding hardtop. Both chassis and bodywork are aluminum, in line with the rest of the current range. The California will be powered by a new V8 engine mounted for the first time in the marque's history in the mid-front position."

The California's 4.3-liter V8 features direct fuel injection and a "flat" crankshaft. It generates 460 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Ferrari California sprints from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds. The California also gets the F1-Trac traction control system that debuted on the 599 GTB Fiorano and a new multilink rear suspension system, as well as Brembo brakes with carbon-ceramic discs.

What this means to you: Take two in the slow reveal of the latest Prancing Horse GT. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent

Get Vista's Best Features in Windows XP

Despite the fact that most of you prefer XP to Vista and would rather Microsoft extended XP's shelf-life, several new and improved features available in Vista would be great to have in XP. This new functionality may not be enough to get you to switch to Vista, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck.

read more | digg story

Dead at 98: Heroic Irena Sendler, who helped save 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis

Hero: Irena Sendler worked as a social worker during the war and helped save 2,500 Jewish children

A woman who risked her life saving 2,500 Jewish children from the gas chambers died yesterday aged 98.

Irena Sendler, a social worker, smuggled them out of the Warsaw Ghetto and gave them false identities.

She died at a Warsaw hospital after she had been in hospital for a month with pneumonia.

Mrs Sendler was serving as a social worker with the city's welfare department during World War II when she masterminded the risky rescue operations of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

Records show that her team of some 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.

"A great person has died - a person with a great heart, with great organizational talents, a person who always stood on the side of the weak," Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising, told TVN24 television.

Under the pretext of inspecting the ghetto's sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, Mrs Sendler and her assistants went inside in search of children who could be smuggled out and given a chance of survival by living as Catholics.

Babies and small children were smuggled out in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.

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Terror: German soldiers round up Jews in Warsaw to be sent to concentrations camps

Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labour outside the ghetto.

They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.

In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families - most of whom perished in the Nazis' death camps - Sendler wrote the children's real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.

When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips, which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate's yard.

Some 2,500 names were recorded.

"It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child," Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler's team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an interview last year.

"Mrs Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come."

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Gratitude: Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger personally thanks Mrs Sendler

Anyone caught helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland risked being summarily shot, along with family members - a fate Sendler only barely escaped herself after the 1943 raid by the Gestapo.

The Nazis took her to the Pawiak prison, which few left alive. She was tortured and was left with permanent scarring on her body - but she refused to betray her team.

"I kept silent. I preferred to die than to reveal our activity," she was quoted as saying in Anna Mieszkowska's biography, "Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler."

Zegota, an underground organization helping Jews, for which she worked at the time, paid a bribe to German guards to free her from the prison. Under a different name, she continued her work.

After World War II, Sendler worked as a social welfare official and director of vocational schools, continuing to assist some of the children she rescued.

In 1965, Sendler became one of the first so-called Righteous Gentiles honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem for wartime heroics.

Poland's communist leaders at that time would not allow her to travel to Israel; she collected the award in 1983.

Despite the Yad Vashem honour, Sendler was largely forgotten in her homeland.

Only in her final years, confined to a nursing home, did she finally become one of Poland's most respected figures

Next president might be gentler on pot clubs

(05-11) 19:26 PDT -- Ever since California voters became the first in the nation to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, the state has faced unyielding opposition from the federal government, which insists it has the power to prohibit a drug it considers useless and dangerous.

That could all change with the next presidential election.

As the candidates prepare for a May 20 primary in Oregon, one of 12 states with a California-style law, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has become an increasingly firm advocate of ending federal intervention and letting states make their own rules when it comes to medical marijuana.

His Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, is less explicit, recently softening a pledge she made early in the campaign to halt federal raids in states with medical marijuana laws. But she has expressed none of the hostility that marked the response of her husband's administration to California's initiative, Proposition 215.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee-in-waiting, has gone back and forth on the issue - promising a medical marijuana patient at one campaign stop that seriously ill patients would never face arrest under a McCain administration, but ultimately endorsing the Bush administration's policy of federal raids and prosecutions.

Political battles over exempting medical patients from marijuana laws have been fought mostly in statehouses and at ballot boxes since 1996, when California voters repealed state criminal penalties for those who used the drug with their doctor's approval. But the federal government has played an important role in limiting the scope of those state laws, and their effectiveness over the next four years may be determined by the next president.

Bill Clinton's position

President Bill Clinton's administration opposed the California law from the start and won a court case allowing it to shut nonprofit organizations that supplied medical marijuana to members. Clinton's Justice Department also tried to punish California doctors who recommended marijuana to their patients by revoking their authority to prescribe any drugs, but federal courts backed the doctors.

The Bush administration has gone further, raiding medical marijuana growers and clinics, prosecuting suppliers under federal drug laws after winning a U.S. Supreme Court case, and pressuring commercial property owners to evict marijuana dispensaries by threatening legal action. The administration has also blocked a University of Massachusetts researcher's attempt to grow marijuana for studies of its medical properties.

Since 2001, federal prosecutors have won convictions in at least 28 California drug cases where defendants claimed they were supplying or using medical marijuana, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Prosecutors have filed charges in 22 more cases, and authorities have raided 10 growers or dispensaries without filing charges, the group says.

The presidential candidates haven't discussed the issue in speeches or debates, but medical marijuana advocates regularly questioned them in Iowa and New Hampshire. The most sweeping changes were proposed by second-tier candidates - Democrats Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd and Republican Ron Paul called for repealing federal criminal penalties for marijuana - but of the remaining contenders, Obama has been the friendliest to advocates of medical marijuana.

At a November appearance in Audubon, Iowa, Obama recalled that his mother had died of cancer and said he saw no difference between doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers. He said he would be open to allowing medical use of marijuana, if scientists and doctors concluded it was effective, but only under "strict guidelines," because he was "concerned about folks just kind of growing their own and saying it's for medicinal purposes."

Obama went a step further in an interview in March with the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford, Ore. While still expressing qualms about patients growing their own supply or getting it from "mom-and-pop stores," he said it is "entirely appropriate" for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana, "with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors."

In response to recent questions from The Chronicle about medical marijuana, Obama's campaign - the only one of the three contenders to reply - endorsed a hands-off federal policy.

"Voters and legislators in the states - from California to Nevada to Maine - have decided to provide their residents suffering from chronic diseases and serious illnesses like AIDS and cancer with medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering," said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

"Obama supports the rights of states and local governments to make this choice - though he believes medical marijuana should be subject to (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulation like other drugs," LaBolt said. He said the FDA should consider how marijuana is regulated under federal law, while leaving states free to chart their own course.

Obama would end DEA raids

LaBolt also said Obama would end U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana suppliers in states with their own laws.

Those raids have been the focus of Hillary Clinton's comments on the issue. At a July campaign event in Manchester, N.H., she told a medical marijuana advocate that she would end the federal raids, according to Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana, which recorded the exchange.

But the candidate was less absolute in a more recent interview with the Willamette Week newspaper in Hillsboro, Ore.

"I don't think it's a good use of federal law enforcement resources to be going after people who are supplying marijuana for medicinal purposes," Clinton said in the April 5 interview. But when asked whether she would stop the raids, she replied, "What we should do is prioritize what the DEA should be doing, and that would not be a high priority. There's a lot of other, more important work that needs to be done."

Clinton has also said she opposes repealing criminal penalties for marijuana, but told advocates in October that the government should conduct more research "into what, if any, medical benefits it has."

McCain has taken a variety of positions, according to comments recorded by medical marijuana advocates.

At an April 2007 campaign kickoff event, when asked if he would end federal raids, he said, "I would let states decide that issue." But less than two months later, he said he would not end the raids. Then, in November, he promised a man who described himself as a seriously ill marijuana patient that he would "do everything in my power" to make sure the man was never arrested for using the drug.

No policy paper

While maintaining that medical experts considered marijuana ineffectual and potentially dangerous, McCain promised at the same November event in New Hampshire to consult with experts and issue an "in-depth policy paper" on the topic within a few days. McCain's campaign has not responded to media inquiries, and marijuana advocates say the policy paper was never issued.

He was also asked during a November conference call whether the federal government should override the will of the people in states with medical marijuana laws. "Medical marijuana is not something that the, quote, people want," McCain replied.

Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project, said he remains hopeful that the federal climate will improve, no matter who becomes president.

"All it takes," he said, "is for the Justice Department to say, 'Leave these states alone.' "

Green views: Environmentalists find John McCain inconsistent. A5

Online resources

Statements and videos of the presidential candidates can be viewed at a Web site maintained by a pro-medical marijuana group, the Marijuana Policy Project. The Web site is

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws' list of federal medical marijuana cases in California is available at

E-mail Bob Egelko at

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU

The new short film by Blu
an ambiguous animation painted on public walls.
Made in Buenos Aires and in Baden (fantoche)

music by Andrea Martignoni
produced by Mercurio Film
assistant: Sibe

UPDATE: New Crazy Floating Man-Made Island Completed [PICS]

The original Spiral Island was the talk of the world: a man-made floating island constructed from 250,000 plastic bottles that could drift and relocate as needed ... until it was destroyed by disaster. Now the new amazing Spiral Island is finally finished and slated to open to the public within the next few months in Laguna Makax near Isla Mujeres.

read more | digg story

Understanding the Real Value of the U.S. Dollar — In this print campaign, JWT Sao Paulo shows that the newspaper makes deeper analyses of the financial market and informs readers on political and social events exercising influence on the world economy. On Dollar, Euro and Yen notes, some of the most important events of the last century.

HOT NEW HYBRID CAR: The Fisker Karma

by Jorge Chapa

fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer

We love our green sports cars here at Inhabitat, and we have plenty of room on our favorites list for more than one. While we’ve been raving for the last two years about the Tesla Roadster, the Fisker Karma has been doing the one thing Tesla has yet to do: bring a hybrid sports car to market. Created by noted car designer Henrik Fisker, the ultra cool Karma is a sleek, power packed eco-luxury ride.

fisker automotive, green vehicles, hybrid, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, fisker1.jpg

The Karma’s performance specs rev out at 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, and a top speed of 125 mph. At $80,000 USD, The car is a plug-in hybrid based on technology of Quantum Technologies. The Q DRIVE consists of a small gasoline engine which in turn charges the lithium battery packs in the car. According to Fisker, if charged properly, the hybrid would need to use no more than a fuel tank per year, quite a claim!

Now before you think that the Fisker is just a concept vehicle, Wired managed to get some pics of the Fisker Karma in action. Here’s hoping that soon we can have two really cool sports cars that show that being green can be done at maximum speed.

+ Fisker Automotive

fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer

fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer

60 Photography Links You Can't Live Without

A list of what CameraPorn considers to be some of the best photo-related content out there. Read on for more photo link porn than you can shake a stick at including 25 blogs, 20 AMAZING photographers, and some other fun stuff that will make those days you feel stuck at your desk wishing you were shooting go a bit smoother…

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HP seals the deal, buys EDS for $14B

HP said Tuesday morning that it has signed a deal to acquire IT outsourcer EDS for just about $14 billion, or $25 per share. The deal has been approved by both companies' boards of directors, and is expected to close in the second half of this year.

read more | digg story

Slim Down Your Wallet with Your Phone

iphone-membership-cards.pngBlogger Albert Alberts loves a slim wallet, and after reading over some of our wallet-slimming tips, he realized he had a powerful wallet-slimming tool in his pocket all the time: his iPhone. His idea? Rather than reducing his membership cards to just one club card, he scanned his membership cards to his computer, then synced them to his iPhone as an album called WalletCards. According to the post, his phone-friendly cards even scan successfully. You're still going to be at the mercy of whether or not the workers are willing to accept your scanned cards, but if they are, you can carry around all the membership cards you want without adding any bulk to your wallet.

Monkey That Works in a Bar (Seriously. In Japan) watch! — "Video of a pet monkey that works at a bar in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. Apparently he learned how to bring things to customers through observation. I ’m guessing that’s also how he learned to dance." - JapanProbe

Strange Clouds Mesmerize Japanese Airliner Crew watch! — - These strange clouds were videotaped from the window of a Japanese airliner over the sea of Okhotsk last summer, they stretched over 100 Klm's. -

He's blind and 78, but this bowler still sees a perfect 300

Friday, May 9, 2008

As he held his 16-pound bowling ball in his hands and looked down the lane toward the pins standing before him, 78-year-old Dale Davis saw only a blur.

He couldn't see the lane. He couldn't see the pins. He couldn't see the people who had gathered behind him to see whether the blind man could accomplish something no one else at this alley ever had.

Dale Davis
Bowler Dale Davis had rolled a 299, but that was many years ago. Now, at 78 and without most of his vision, he's the owner of a perfect game.

Only if he turned his head to the left could Davis see a thing. It has been this way for 11 years, the World War II veteran losing all his vision except for a tiny sliver of peripheral sight out of the corner of his right eye. His impairment is the result of a medical condition known as macular degeneration, in which the inner lining of the eye atrophies, in certain cases resulting in the loss of vision. For Davis, it is that tiny sliver of sight, not to mention a multicolored cane and 10 weeks of education for the vision-impaired, that allow him to live by himself. To take care of himself.

"If somebody comes up to me and says, 'Hello,' unless I recognize their voice, I have no idea who they are," Davis said. "In the bowling alley, looking straight down the wooden lane, I'm completely blind. Everything is just very, very hazy."

But on the evening of May 3, none of that mattered. After bowling a 160, a 150 and a 185 in his three previous games, Davis had rolled 11 consecutive strikes in his fourth and final game of the 2007-08 bowling season. All that stood between him and bowling perfection was one more strike.

He had come close before, once throwing 11 strikes before pulling the 12th ball and settling for a 299. But that was many years ago. Before he had half his stomach removed because of a tumor. Before he had a bypass done on his left leg to improve his circulation. And before he had lost his vision.

Since then, he had undergone a divorce, lost his taste for life and moved from California back to his hometown of Alta, Iowa, population 1,865. It was his sister, three years ago, who dragged him back to the alley.

"I told her, 'I can't see,'" Davis said. "'What makes you think I can bowl?' But she convinced me and, for the second time in my life, I was hooked."

This past season, Davis averaged 180, often stringing four and five strikes together. Despite standing a fragile 120 pounds, he earned the nickname, "Hammer," for the power with which he threw his ball.

"He drove a truck, without power steering, for many, many years," said close friend Clem Ledoux, who owns Century Lanes, the alley in Alta. "He's strong. Put it this way, if you were going to arm-wrestle Dale, my money would be on him."

On this night, Davis needed to unleash the hammer one more time. But the odds were against him. According to James Benton, president of the American Blind Bowling Association, a 300 game is a rarity for someone with impaired vision. In the association's 60-year history, Benton said, his organization is aware of only four perfect games thrown by someone who is legally blind. And no one with complete loss of vision is known to have bowled a 300.

"It is extremely rare," Benton said.

Davis began preparing for his 12th toss the exact same way he had for the countless others. He tilted his head to the left so he could see the dots below him. He placed his left foot three-quarters of an inch to the left of the center dot -- "the big one," as Davis calls it -- then took his four steps forward and let go.

Century Lanes had pretty much shut down at that point. No one else was bowling. And everyone had left the bar. They all stood behind Lanes 3 and 4, waiting and watching to see whether Davis could bowl the alley's first perfect game in its 24-year history.

Dale Davis
One of the ways Davis evaluates his shots is how the ball feels coming out of his fingers.

Because he is unable to see, Davis evaluates his shots based on three criteria: how it feels coming out of his fingers, the crack the ball makes when it hits the pins, and whether his fellow bowlers tell him he can sit down because he threw a strike.

On this night, the last ball flew out of his fingers feeling good. "The instant I released it, I thought I tugged it a real little bit," Davis said. "But then I heard somebody say, 'Brooklyn.'"

In bowling, a Brooklyn is a strike that "crosses over" the 1-3 pocket, a term that originated in New York, where people in Brooklyn had to cross the East River to get to Manhattan.

A second later, Davis' ball crashed into the pins, unleashing a crackle that echoed through the four-lane alley. He knew all the pins had fallen because of the response of everyone who had been watching.

A perfect 300.

"Everybody starting hugging me, shaking my hand, hitting my hand," Davis said. "It was great."

From there, the celebration made its way to the bar. What did Davis drink to celebrate?

"I don't drink anymore," he said. "It's not real good for my health. So I bought a round for everybody else. What a thrill."

Wayne Drehs is a senior writer for He can be reached at

Man Arrested in Venice for Photographing 3000 Women's Asses!

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome
St Mark's Square

A man who allegedly photographed more than 3,000 women's bottoms as they toured Venice has been arrested.

The man was stopped after police became suspicious of a large bag he was carrying as he followed women through St Mark's Square.

He has been charged with infringement of privacy. It is a cheeky crime, which could earn this 38-year-old Italian from six months to four years in jail.

A police video shows a man in jeans and hooded top walking behind women.

He is trying to position his black holdall close to their legs.

Police said he was filming through a small hole in the side of the bag.

The officers had become suspicious when they realised he was only following women with short skirts. When they stopped or bent down to pick something up, he was clearly trying to angle the bag behind them.

When the voyeur was finally caught police recovered several DVDs which held more than 3,000 images of women's bottoms.

He confessed to police he had been filming in and around St Mark's Square for nearly two years.

Police have refused to name him but Mario Marina of Venice police said he is married with two young children and has a professional job in the nearby town of Padua.

He might have some explaining to do when he finally gets home.

Story from BBC NEWS:

88,000 UK Homes Get 100 Mbps via Sewer-Line Broadband

By Sky News SkyNews - Thursday, May 8 12:20 pm

It's a common sight - streets ripped up so companies can lay cable. But now sewage pipes are being enlisted to bring broadband to businesses and homes without digging up the road.

Putting fibre optic cable into sewer pipes is faster and cheaper than digging up the road to lay cable, according to the company behind the plans, H2O Networks.

Photo credit: H20 Networks

Bournemouth has become the first town in the UK to get super-fast internet connections - via the sewerage system

More than 88,000 homes and businesses in the Dorset town will benefit from internet speeds up to 100Mbps under the scheme, considerably faster than consumer broadband speeds on the market.

Fibre firm H2O Networks Ltd is funding the £30m project.

It will lay its special cables through the sewerage system over the next six months.

H2O has been offering the underground network to businesses and universities around the UK for several years and plans to create a nationwide network for consumers over the next few years.

It is also cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to use the UK's 360,000 miles of sewers rather than dig up roads to deploy the fibre.

Elfed Thomas, CEO of H2O Networks, added: "This is just the start of bringing next generation connectivity to the UK."

He added: "Many households and broadband customers in the UK have insufficient connectivity bandwidths because they are attached to legacy networks deployed in the 20th Century that just can't cope with demand."

There are fears that the UK is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speeds, with three operators in France offering speeds of between 50 and 100Mbps.

Faster broadband makes possible services such as on-demand high definition TV, quality DVD downloads in minutes, online video messaging, CCTV home surveillance and HD gaming.

The giant 6ft cow that is as big as a small elephant


His name is Chilli and he's described as a gentle giant.

Which is just as well for his handler, Tara Nirula, pictured by his side.

His owners have contacted the Guinness Book of Records who are currently assessing his credentials and comparing them to other big bovines.

The black and white Friesian bullock weighs well over a ton and at the same height as a small elephant, casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft.

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Chilli the giant bullock

Chilli the giant bullock stands at 6ft 6ins and weighs well over a ton

Despite his grand stature, Chilli only grazes on grass during the day and enjoys the occasional swede as a treat.

The heifer, who is almost as high as he is long, lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset, after he was left on their doorstep aged just six-days-old.

Nine years on, Chilli has kept on growing, and staff believe the giant will smash a record for Britain's tallest ever cow.

Naomi Clarke, manager at the sanctuary, said: "As Chilli was growing up we began noticing that he was bigger than our other cows.

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Chilli the giant bullock

Chilli dwarfs most horses, is the same height as a small elephant and casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft in height

"He now stands at 6ft 6ins from the floor to the top of his shoulder and he is massive when he holds his head up.

"We have made an application to Guinness Book Of Records and we are quite confident he will get it."

Chilli, who is 6ft 7ins long, was left running around on the doorstep of the sanctuary along with his twin sister Jubilee in 1999.

Over the years, staff noticed Chilli begin to tower over his sister and companions.

But it was only when he failed to fit in a standard cattle cage to have his hooves clipped that they realised just how big he had grown compared to normal bullocks.

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Chilli the giant bullock

Chilli lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Chard, Somerset

Miss Clarke said: "For some reason a farmer decided he didn't want Chilli and Jubilee so dumped them with three others on our doorstep nine years ago.

"He was only six days old and didn't look that big but as the years passed we noticed he was getting rather tall.

"People would always comment on how much bigger he was from the other cows and bulls when they visited the sanctuary.

"He does weigh over a ton but is quite lean and not as fat as some of his companions."

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Chilli the giant bullock

Despite his grand stature, Chilli only grazes on grass during the day and enjoys the occasional swede as a treat

She continued: "We don't know what has made him so tall. He doesn't eat that much and his feet and head are in proportion - he is just very large.

"He is a very friendly and gentle cow so we hopes he manages to break the record - he deserves it."

At present, the tallest bovine in the world is 6ft 8ins Fiorino, who lives in Italy.

A spokeswoman for the Guinness Book Of Records said: "I can confirm that an application has been received for Chilli which is currently under research."

Six months ago another bullock vying for a record breaking spot was The Field Marshal who weighed in at 3,000lb.

At the time he was on course to over take the current British record-holder, his former stablemate The Colonel, who stood 6ft 5in tall and weighed 3,500lb. He died in 2005.

R2-D2 Cake Brings Balance to the Force, Dorkiness to Wedding

The cake was the centerpiece in the wedding of two members of a Star Wars fan group in Alabama, which had all the guests dressed up as Star Wars characters, included the minister, who probably was wearing an R2-D2 beanie like mine.

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How to Turn Your Vacuum Cleaner into a Bazooka

vacuum powered bazooka
The processes to make a vacuum cleaner bazooka. Images compiled from Planet SciCast

Imagine my delight at discovering an absolutely epic experiment to turn your household vacuum cleaner into a bazooka. Word. Yay kids, this is where science helps you to shoot your friends in the gonads.

What You Will Need

Vacuum cleaner, Cardboard tubes (of similar size to vacuum tube), some duct tape, bubble wrap and play-dough or dowel.

things to make bazooka
Images compiled from 1, 2, 3 and own photo


Also see first Image for the following steps.

1. First you will need to create the T, which is the attachment to the vacuum tube and the horizontal pipe, essential for firing your projectile. To do this, cut about ten centimeters off your cardboard tube and shape the short tube nicely so that it will hug the horizontal one.

2. Cut a hole or a series of holes 5cm away from the end and place the smaller piece of tube directly over them. You will then need to seal the T using duct tape. Make sure no air escapes – otherwise - epic fail.

3. Then attach the vacuum hose to the short tube, again using duct tape and ensuring that no air escapes.

4. Now onto the projectile. Depending on how much of a psycho you are, you can either make it out of a dowel or bubble wrap. There are two different methods here:


If you are using a dowel, make sure that it fits in snuggly: too small and it won’t fly out and too large will result in friction. If it is too large you may have to sand it, but then you’re really trying too hard.

Bubble wrap

With the bubble wrap size isn’t too much of a problem, as you can basically create it as large as you like. To do so, roll a sausage of play-dough and then carefully wrap the bubble wrap cylindrically around it. To keep it in place, tape together.

5. Now for the fun part:
i. Turn on the vacuum cleaner
ii. Hold a piece of paper over the front end.
iii. Release a projectile from the back
iv. The projectile flies out at mega speed in a very satisfying way. It can reach between 30-40 feet.

You can see a video here of the bazoka in action, or below is a video of a much more powerful vacuum-powered bazooka being tested in Japan:

So, what’s the science behind this?

The bazooka works very much like a straw. Depending on how powerful your vacuum cleaner is, it can suck out between 10-20% of the air inside the tube, which although doesn’t sound like much, creates a huge difference between the high pressure of the air outside and the low air pressure inside. The force is strong enough for the projectile to move rapidly down the tube and knock the card off.

Ok, but how is this related to the environment?

The experiment illustrates low pressure incredibly well, which can be a deadly element in weather systems. Low pressure systems generally bring rain, cyclones or hurricanes. Perhaps the best analogy would be that like the vacuum powered bazooka, tornadoes suck up debris in much the same way that the vacuum bazooka fires projectiles.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4,

Tuesday Tunes with the Pig Roaster

Who doesn't love Pearl Jam? People without a brain, I suppose. We all know them, so there's not really much to be written, but I love 'em. Always have. They have an energy about them that few can match. A sound that many (Creed, Three Doors Down, Candlebox, etc. etc. etc.) have tried, and failed miserably, to copy.

Since they are so well known, I figure I'd see if I could dig up some videos of their lesser known stuff. Some B-sides. Some covers. Some of the more obscure stuff that maybe you've heard, or maybe you haven't. I spent way too much time in college digesting and over thinking a lot of this stuff. Yes, I had chemical help. I still love the music.

Footsteps (still one of my favorites - part 3 of the mythical 3 part trilogy (with parts one and two being Once and Alive respectively) that we hard cores discussed endlessly back in the mid to late 90's):

(interesting Footsteps footnote - those of you familiar with the Temple of the Dog album might recognize the guitar progression. It was written by Stone Gossard and used for both Footsteps - with Vedder's lyrics - and Times of Trouble - with Chris Cornell's lyrics and vocals.)

Dirty Frank (a song about a cannibalistic serial killer. Written in tribute to the band's bus driver. Quite the tribute, huh?)

Dock of the Bay (Pearl Jam does Otis Redding. What's not to like? A good friend had this on a treasured "bootleg" back in the days before Napster made the hard to find accessible to the masses):

Sonic Reducer (another cover - this from a band I've never heard of other than this song: The Dead Boys)

And finally, just because it plain rocks, is the version of State of Love and Trust from the famed 1992 MTV Unplugged session (originally featured on the soundtrack to the movie Singles):

Liberty City vs NYC - A photo tour

A side by side comparison of a photo tour in New York City and Liberty City (GTA IV) ...with many accurate and crazy details!

read more | digg story

Brand new backyard playground

They finished building it on Saturday evening, and the following morning, as mom was about to wake up the boys and have them go out to play in their new play center, this is what she saw from the upstairs window.

read more | digg story

A New Hope: The Future of Star Wars

Since the Star Wars universe is alive and well in today’s entertainmentlandscape with future animated films/series and live-action shows, what will the Star Wars universe look like in another couple of decades and beyond? Can a live-action TV series still create that same magic as the original trilogy and prequels?

read more | digg story

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Trailer Has Arrived!

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Trailer

The very first trailer for The X-Files: I Want to Believe has finally arrived! The buzz for this movie is definitely going to pick up with this trailer. It really doesn't reveal much, but still the perfect amount to start up discussion surrounding what the heck actually happens. Was that Daniel Craig I saw? No, it was just Callum Keith Rennie… I have a good feeling most of this movie is going to be centered around that frozen lake that the FBI is searching on. Doesn't it seem like Mulder and Scully are standing there at the end when they both turn and look at "something"? Hey X-Files fans makes sure you take a look at this trailer and chime in with your thoughts below! Are you excited to finally see Mulder and Scully return?

Thanks to IGN for debuting the trailer while we wait for the official site,, to update with their own high definition version for everyone to enjoy.

Watch the first trailer for The X-Files: I Want to Believe:

You can also watch The X-Files: I Want to Believe trailer in High Definition on IGN

The X-Files: I Want to Believe is directed by X-Files creator Chris Carter and co-written by both Carter and show regular Frank Spotnitz. The film arrives after a six year hiatus following the series' finale in May of 2002. The X-Files: I Want to Believe arrives in theaters this summer on July 25th. Believe! The first teaser poster is featured below.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Poster

Microsoft and RIM to Bring Windows Live Services to BlackBerry Smartphone Customers

Agreement will enhance the communications experience on BlackBerry smartphones through popular Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger services.

External Resources:

RIM Web site

Blackberry Web site

SEATTLE, Wash., and WATERLOO, Ontario — May 12, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced an agreement to provide Microsoft Windows Live services on BlackBerry® smartphones. As a result of this collaboration, BlackBerry smartphone customers will enjoy easy mobile access to Windows Live Messenger and an enhanced level of integration between Windows Live Hotmail and the BlackBerry platform.

The integration of Windows Live services into the BlackBerry platform will allow customers who use Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger on their BlackBerry smartphone to benefit from the BlackBerry platform architecture with the ability to communicate in real time using push technology, and an exceptional mobile communications experience. Customers will also be able to seamlessly access their Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger account from their BlackBerry smartphone by simply entering their Windows Live e-mail address and password once.

“The BlackBerry platform is respected around the world for providing optimized messaging capabilities, and RIM continues to look for ways to provide customers with a wide range of communications options and the best possible mobile experience,” said Mark Guibert, vice president, Corporate Marketing at RIM. “Our relationship with Microsoft and the addition of Windows Live services to BlackBerry smartphones help us build on that strategy for our customers.”

Among other features:

Windows Live Hotmail for BlackBerry will allow customers to do the following:

Use BlackBerry “push” technology for automatic message delivery and message synchronization so customers’ online account is up to date with actions taken on their BlackBerry smartphone

Use a dedicated inbox for Windows Live Hotmail messages, which are automatically delivered to the smartphone. Customers can also choose to receive their Windows Live Hotmail messages, along with messages from other e-mail accounts, within a single inbox on their BlackBerry smartphone

Display HTML e-mail with the ability to view graphics, Web links and contact photos in e-mails

Windows Live Messenger for BlackBerry will allow customers to do the following:

Send instant messages and join group chats

Set status and see the presence of friends and colleagues within Windows Live Messenger or their contact cards

Customize status messages

Save conversations

Showcase their Display Picture (Avatar)

Send and receive pictures and files

Use more than 60 emoticons

“Over 430 million people around the world rely on Windows Live to stay in touch,” said Brian Arbogast, vice president of the Mobile Services organization at Microsoft. “Our collaboration with RIM will enable BlackBerry smartphone customers to take full advantage of Windows Live, whether at work or on the go.”

Windows Live services for BlackBerry smartphones are expected to be available beginning this summer with support for multiple languages.

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit or

About Windows Live

Windows Live, a comprehensive set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web.

Windows Live and MSN are offered alongside each other as complementary services.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at