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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surgeon finds foot in baby's brain

American neurosurgeon discovers tiny body parts while removing tumour from newborn

An American surgeon found a tiny foot and other partially formed body parts inside a tumour he removed from an infant's brain.

Dr Paul Grabb, a paediatric neurosurgeon, said he operated on Sam Esquibel at Memorial Hospital for Children, Colorado Springs, after an MRI scan showed a microscopic tumour on the newborn's brain. Sam was three days old and otherwise healthy.

Grabb said that while removing the growth he discovered it contained a nearly perfect foot and the formation of another foot, a hand and a thigh.

"It looked like the breach delivery of a baby coming out of the brain," Grabb said. "To find a perfectly formed structure (like this) is extremely unique, unusual, borderline unheard of."

Grabb was not sure what caused the growth but said it may have been a type of congenital brain tumour. However, such tumours were usually less complex, he said.

The growth may also have been a case of "fetus in fetu" in which a fetal twin begins to form within another. But such cases very rarely occurred in the brain, Grabb said.

Sam's parents, Tiffnie and Manuel Esquibel, said their son was at home now but faced monthly blood tests to check for signs of cancer or regrowth, along with physical therapy to improve the use of his neck. They said he had mostly recovered from the surgery.

"You'd never know if he didn't have a scar there," his mother said.

Phelps plans to dive into video game world

Following in the footsteps of John Madden and Tiger Woods, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps wants to start his own video game empire. But curiously enough, swimming might not be the main event.

"Swimming will be a part of it, but it won't be set in an Olympic pool going back and forth," said Adam Kline, president of 505 Games, the company releasing the series.

"This is a pure action game," he added.

Does that mean our local aquatic hero could be roughing up bad guys and saving the world? Or will he be running amok a la Grand Theft Auto? The folks at 505 are still toying with a few different ideas and can't comment just yet.

More details will emerge closer to the first installment's planned release in spring 2010. The game should be available on consoles and the iPhone. But the lack of specifics hasn't stopped video game experts from speculating.


"I'm intrigued," said Adam Sessler, host of the popular TV show X-Play on the G4 network. "There's no way to simulate what's impressive about swimming in a video game."

Other sports such as football and baseball work well in the video game realm because of the level of strategy, Sessler said. Swimming just doesn't translate.

"Swimming is so nuanced there's no way you could replicate it," he said.

"The other key element that makes swimming so impressive is the level of strain you're putting on your own body. Outside of just trying to make your arms tired with the [ Nintendo] Wii, there really is very little way to capture swimming in a game," Sessler said.

In fact, there aren't many video games on the market that take place underwater, period. It's easy to get lost in aquatic worlds, and the resistance of swimming in water tends to throw off gamers, Sessler said.

"Swimming - in even a Mario game - is a miserable experience," he said. "Water is always a bad zone for games in general."

Sessler is pulling for something more adventurous such as Michael Phelps: Navy Seals. But anything with the name "Michael Phelps" on it will fly off the shelves at first - especially considering how impulsive iPhone gamers tend to be, he said.

"That name alone is going to be the initial draw," Sessler said. "The quality of the game once purchased becomes a secondary matter. If they really are trying to make a franchise out of this, it's going to be tricky balance."

In the past, video games that have focused on the summer Olympics ended up being mundane button pushers, Sessler said. But if Phelps were open to the idea of doing something more tongue-in-cheek, this series could really be a hit, he said.

"If he has enough self-effacement to poke fun at that notion of celebrity, I think you could have something very clever," Sessler said. "I just don't know if anybody is comfortable going in that direction with a brand name as wholesome as Michael Phelps."

Regardless of the premise, Kline and the rest of the 505 crew said they plan to put a lot of muscle behind this series with the hope of giving it some staying power.

"We will spend a very pretty penny in marketing this project, because it's important to us," Kline said. "We believe it's the next Tiger Woods project. ... It could be here for the next 10 years."

Basketball Goes 3D

First live public broadcast in February


NBA 3D: How will the action look behind 3D glasses? Sean Captain; Inset: Courtesy NBA

Just a week after the NFL screened a live game in 3D to an invite-only audience, the NBA announced that it will broadcast its All Star Game to public theaters. The February 14 game will reach up to 160 screens in 80 locations around the US, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, LA, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Last week’s NFL screening had mixed results, with some viewers complaining that the broadcast was better for showing off the technology than showing fans the game. Basketball moves a lot faster than football, which could make it more challenging for camera operators to follow the action, but a basketball court is also a much smaller space to cover than an entire football stadium.

Joseph Piexoto, president of RealD, which has equipped most of the country’s 3-D capable theaters, had hinted at last week’s NFL game that a bigger, public event would soon follow. He also claimed that football was about the hardest event to cover in 3D. So perhaps the NBA coverage will come off with fewer of the satellite glitches, double images and confusing camera angles that plagued the NFL game.

North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists Announced

DETROIT — A Korean vehicle has made it into the final round of voting for the prestigious 2009 North American Car and Truck of the Year prize — beating out such powerhouse contenders as the Nissan GT-R and the Dodge Challenger. The Hyundai Genesis will go up against the Ford Flex and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI for 2009 North American Car of the Year, it was announced on Thursday.

Battling for 2009 North American Truck of the Year honors are the Dodge Ram, Ford F-150 and Mercedes-Benz ML320 BlueTEC. Those vehicles beat out such contenders as the BMW X6, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Infiniti FX 35/50, Nissan Murano, Subaru Forester and Volkswagen Tiguan — all of which made the semifinalist slate.

An August review of the 2009 Hyundai Genesis V6 on Inside Line described the car as "the Cadillac of Hyundais." The Genesis beat out such semifinalists as the Audi A4, BMW 1 Series, Cadillac CTS-V, Honda Fit, Jaguar XF, Lincoln MKS, Mazda 6 and Pontiac G8.

The Chevrolet Malibu was the 2008 North American Car of the Year, while the Mazda CX-9 was the 2008 North American Truck of the Year.

The award, arguably the most prestigious award of its kind in the U.S., will be announced during the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The jury is composed of automotive journalists.

Inside Line says: The champagne corks are popping in Seoul, while Chrysler and Ford also celebrate a much-needed bit of good news. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent

Ecstasy over G spot therapy


by Linda Geddes

It has evaded lovers for centuries, but in February we learned that the elusive and semi-mythical G spot had been captured on ultrasound for the first time.

Emmanuele Jannini at the University of L'Aquila in Italy discovered clear anatomical differences between women who claim to have vaginal orgasms - triggered by stimulation of the front vaginal wall without any simultaneous stimulation of the clitoris - and those that don't. Apparently, the key is that women who orgasm during penetrative sex have a thicker area of tissue in the region between the vagina and urethra, meaning a simple scan could separate out the lucky "haves" from the "have-nots".

Even better, Jannini now has evidence that women who have this thicker tissue can be "taught" to have vaginal orgasms. Ultrasound scans on 30 women uncovered G spots in just eight of them and when these women were asked if they had vaginal orgasms during sex, only five of them said yes. However, when the remaining three were shown their G spots on the scan and given advice on how to stimulate it, two of them subsequently "discovered" the joy of vaginal orgasms. "This demonstrated, although in a small sample, the use of [vaginal ultrasound] in teaching the vaginal orgasm," Jannini says.

Sadly, none of the have-nots had vaginal orgasms either before or after the scans, so they'll just have to make do with the old-fashioned clitoral kind. The results were presented at the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine in Rome in November.

Jannini is now investigating whether hirsute women are more likely to have G spots since they have higher levels of testosterone and both the clitoris and the G spot are thought to respond to the hormone.

The burning question is whether women with a small G spot can "grow" it with practice. Jannini is optimistic. "I fully agree that the use makes the organ. I do expect an increase with frequent use." So perhaps the only way to make the most of your G spot, if you have one, is to get practising.

RFID Video Poker Table adds zing to the game

by gautam on September 09, 2008

Featured in Popular Science this month.

RFID Video Poker Table adds zing to the game
How about holding a poker tournament from the comforts of your living room with all the fanfare? Here is the Video Poker Table which may appear like just another ordinary poker table but let me tell you it's different. This is not the run of the mill poker table rather it's an RFID backed Video Poker Table which tracks the movement of playing cards and the same information appears as video feed with the help of four video cameras.

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The standard KEM cards have been tagged with RFID smart labels and the game data collected is transmitted to a computer and processed using software applications. The edited video feed derived at the end of the day is uploaded on the web server which can be accessed by players later on. This would give the feel of a televised game to the players and increase their interest in the game too. The concept looks cool to me and I would surely like to get an RFID poker table for my home too!!

Whole website here: http://videopokertable.net/

also check out:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Put-an-LCD-in-your-Poker-Table/
http://www.homepokertourney.com/

"Bizarre" New Dinosaur: Giant Raptor Found in Argentina


José Orozco
for National Geographic News


Scientists have discovered what they say is a completely unexpected new giant dinosaur that lived 70 million years ago in Argentina.

At 16.5 to 21 feet long (5 to 6.5 meters) long, depending on its tail size, Austroraptor cabazai is among the largest of the slender, carnivorous, two-legged dinosaurs called raptors, said Fernando Novas, the lead researcher behind the discovery.

The dinosaur's incomplete skeleton—including head, neck, back, and foot bones—was extracted from rocks in the far-southern Patagonia region.

Novas and colleagues were able to virtually reconstruct Austroraptor's complete skeleton, by using the dinosaur's closest relatives as references, said Novas, who received funding for his work from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

The new raptor, or dromaeosaur, belongs to a South American dromaeosaur group known as the unenlagiines, Novas said.

In contrast to their relatives in the Northern Hemisphere, including the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park, unenlagiines had long, low heads and small conical teeth.

Northern dromaeosaurs had taller, shorter heads with fewer, but stronger, blade-like teeth.

The new raptor represents the "the largest dromaesaurid discovered in the Southern Hemisphere," according to a paper by Novas and colleagues published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Seventy million years ago Patagonia was a series of plains crossed by rivers filled with fish and turtles, whose fossils were found alongside Austroraptor, Novas said.

Living in this fertile land alongside duck-billed herbivores such as titanosaurs and hadrosaurs, Austroraptor preyed on larger animals than its smaller relatives, thanks to its increased heft and girth, he said.

Turns History Upside-Down

Because paleontologists have found mostly smaller crow- and turkey-size raptors in South America, the new find turns the evolutionary history of raptors—northern and southern—upside-down, said Novas, who is based out of Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales in Buenos Aires.

"It's the first documentation of giant raptors in Patagonia measuring 5 meters [16.5 feet] or more," Novas said. "No one expected this, it's a new lineage."

The researchers call Austroraptor "bizarre" because of its short arms, which, along with its large size, distinguishes the new raptor from its unenlagiine relatives.

Novas says the new raptor is the first ever found with short arms.

Its shorter arms and more robust thigh bones, which supported the heavy animal, rule out any possibility of flying, Novas said. Smaller, longer-armed crow- and turkey-size relatives in Patagoni probably did fly, he added.

The size of the Austroraptor probably made it a vicious predator, said Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago. The new find places raptors in the "big league" of dinosaurs, he said.

"This was a monster raptor that makes the Velociraptor look like kid's play," said Sereno, also a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. "At five meters long with a sickle-shaped claw, it was an amazing predator."

"Normally you'd hold an ostrich-size raptor's skull in your hand. This one's skull is almost a meter long."

The new fossils, combined with new finds from China, show that dromaeosaurs "weren't trying to become birds—they were, like all animals, diversifying over time," said Thomas Holtz, a vertebrate paleontologist from the University of Maryland.

(Related: "New Birdlike Dino Adds to Debate on Origins of Flight" [October 18, 2005].)

The new dinosaur also has a "weird" long skull, Holtz said.

"On first glance it looks like a pterodactyl," he said. "In fact, there has been a small and closely related dinosaur found in South America which has a similar skull. This suggests the whole radiation of southern dromaeosaurs have these long tapering skulls.

"What it does show is that we think we know a lot about the raptors, but even a relatively familiar group of dinosaurs continues to surprise us with their diversity," Holtz added.

Suddenly, the world of southern raptors looks a lot bigger and more complex.

Not only was the Southern Hemisphere home to giant raptors as well as smaller, birdlike specimens, but those large southern raptors were still living at a time when their northern counterparts had died off, Novas said.

"It means that raptors here had very different evolutionary paths from those up north," he said.

"This Austroraptor shows us that here in South America giant raptors evolved and survived until the end of the dinosaur age.

"This new evidence clearly indicates that South America was the site of a very prolific lineage of carnivorous dromaeosaurs, whose evolutionary history now begins to reveal itself," Novas added.

SnapTell: One Of The Coolest iPhone Apps Gets Even Better

From:

by Jason Kincaid

SnapTell, the awesome iPhone app that lets you take a photo of nearly any CD, DVD, book, or video game to get instant product reviews, has just released an upgrade that introduces a number of useful new features.

Most significant is the addition of local and online price comparisons through TheFind, which allows you to get a quick look at what the item you’ve photographed is going for at local retail stores as well as on online sites like Amazon. It seems to work fairly well, though I wish it had a more comprehensive price listing (a query for one of the Harry Potter books found only one online price, though it did find the book at a number of local stores). You can download the app on iTunes here.

The upgraded app also includes a number of UI changes (the ‘take photo’ button is now centered, as opposed to hidden up in the corner of the screen), and seems generally snappier.

Since launching a month ago, SnapTell has seen over 200,000 downloads and has been as high as #16 on the free apps list (which is frankly lower than it probably should be). And while a large portion of users are probably just trying out the app for the novelty of image recognition, SnapTell says that around 35% of its installs see repeated use, and that it has a 15% click-through rate to online stores.

THE 10 BEST SNL DIGITAL SHORTS OF ALL TIME


SATURDAY NIGHT NOT LIVE

THE 10 BEST SNL DIGITAL SHORTS OF ALL TIME

The whole novelty of Saturday Night Live being live was a nice gimmick in the 70's, 80's and 90's, but it's time for the show to come to grips with the fact that the live portion of the show is now its weakest link. I think they should change the name of show to "Saturday Night Not Live Anymore" and start the show after midnight. Then they can incorporate female nudity into the show and videos of animals having sex. Speaking of animals, how has there never been an actual monkey cast member on the show. Monkeys = ratings.

#10 Lettuce - There should be way more foods that come in "head" form. Who wouldn't buy a head of bacon?



#9 Andy's Dad - I think it's time for Jonah Hill to do his first action movie. He could be the world's first awesome fat action hero.

Stephen W Oachs Gallery: Emerald Bay



"Sunset Before The Storm"

Breathtaking Emerald Bay is a shining jewel found on the south shore of famous Lake Tahoe, California. This tranquil inlet of sparkling water is steeped in history. Legendary Vikingsholm Castle sits formidably below the tree line, and a small, crumbling 1920s-era stone house gracefully ages on Fannette Island.

This photograph captures a brief moment at sunset, just as a spring storm was beginning to brew over the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Click here for Stephen W Oachs Gallery

Season 2 Online Premiere - Flight of the Conchords


funnyordie.com — Bret and Jemaine are back and finally so is The Flight of the Conchords.

THE 20 HOTTEST PHOTOS OF CHEERLEADERS & DANCERS WEARING SANTA OUTFITS

Due to the economy, the Christmas season doesn't seem to be quite as spirited this year. Therefore, I think it's time to take drastic action and replace Santa Claus with a really hot and busty "Santa Maria Claus." The bottom line is Santa simply isn't hot enough to be a public figure in this day and age. If you were a kid, would you rather have a fat old man deliver your presents or the hot Santa Maria Claus with her giant holiday hooters hanging out? And we could all save money on milk and cookies because Santa Maria would provide the milk ... zing!

#20 ASU Cheerleader - This year, this ASU Cheerleader says that she's thankful that she's hot enough that she'll never have to work hard a day in her life.


#19 Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders - All they want for Christmas is their two front boobs and a new Jaguars defense line.

#18 Tennessee Titans Cheerleader - She told Santa that she hopes Kerry Collins doesn't fall off the wagon and drink too much eggnog this Christmas.

#17 Dolphins Cheerleaders - They asked Santa to give Chad Pennington a stronger throwing arm and Joey Porter a muzzle.

#16 Utah Jazz Dancers - They all chipped in and got Mehmet Okur an electric razor so he can finally separate his unibrow.

#15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Redhead Cheerleader - She asked Santa for her favorite Santa outfit, the "Tampa Two-Piece" and that's exactly what she got.

#14 Utah Jazz Dancers - This Christmas, the Jazz dancers still don't understand what the whole Mormon thing is really all about and they're also still incredibly confused about why their team is called the "Jazz."

#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders - They're thankful that the weather in Tampa allows them to wear mini-skirts everyday.

#12 Sacramento Kings Dancers - They wished for Reggie Theus to get fired this Christmas and it already came true.

#11 Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders - They're hoping Albert Haynsworth's knee gets better real soon and that Jack Daniels is not also affected by the economy.

#10 Blazers Dancer - She asked Santa to give Greg Oden new hands, feet, knees and ankles this Christmas.

#9 Washington Redskins Cheerleaders - They asked Santa to make Daniel Synder start spending his money more wisely.

#8 Tampa Bay Cheerleader - She did her part this Christmas by spreading her holiday cleavage.

#7 Houston Rockets Dancers - All they want for Christmas is for Rockets mascot Clutch to enter mascot rehab.

#6 Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders - They asked Santa to give Tony Romo more footballs to pass around to their prima donna receivers.

#4 ASU Cheerleaders Rock The Santa Hats - They're spending this holiday season spreading "shocker" cheer.

#3 Charlotte Bobcats Cheerleader - She's hoping that Adam Morrisson's mustache will finally grant the Bobcats franchise the power that it desires.



#2 Tennessee Titans Cheerleader - She asked Santa to give Lendale White NutriSystem for Christmas this year.

#1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader - She's doing her part to turn Jon Gruden's frowns upside down.

The Ruins of Detroit: 5 Abandoned Former Factories

By Ben Wojdyla
With the President mulling the use of TARP funds to help Detroit automakers weather the Carpocalypse, we thought it appropriate to show you these five Detroit industrial relics that didn't quite make it.

A few days ago, Time Magazine cashed in on the buzz around Detroit with a series of photos they called "The Remains of Detroit." While the images they portrayed were honest, they were not entirely fair. Painting a portrait of an entire city from a dozen pictures doesn't really do justice to either the rot of the city, or the renaissance. We're not here to preach about how Detroit as a city gets a bad rap or defend it from its warts, but if anyone wants to see what happens when an economy goes sour and competition shut plants down, we're happy to give you an honest look.

Over the years there have been myriad auto plants rising to power only to be wiped from the map when misfortune falls upon them. These hulking assemblages of glass and brick stand as a testament to the wills of men driven to greatness, and what happens when they, or their companies, are not continually vigilant of their profits or their contemporaries. What follows is only a slice of Detroit, so take it as it is.




Fisher Body Plant 21



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The Fisher brothers started life as carriage makers and eventually became body suppliers for Buick and Cadillac. Their Fisher Body Plant 21 was in service between 1919 and 1974 and was closed shortly after the brothers died. It was used by other companies but never built another car part. The build stands now in a largely abandoned state, a single security guard watches over the back of the plant as it's slowly being taken apart.



Hudson Plant



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The modestly-sized Hudson plant was originally home to the Aerocar company (no not that Aerocar) and was opened to produce Hudsons beginning in 1909. For the next three years Hudsons of the time were built there, but then in 1912 production was moved to a much bigger and more modern plant at Connor and Jefferson streets, which was demolished in 1961. The plant is currently a warehouse as far as we can tell and not vacant.



Ford Piquette Plant



Ford Piquette PlantFord Piquette PlantFord Piquette Plant

The Piquette plant was the first home of the Ford Model T and can be considered the birth place of the Ford Motor Company as we know it today. Completef in 1904 and tiny by modern standards, the small plant measures only 400 by 56 feet with three floors, but was successful enough to outgrow its capacity in only nine years. The plant is today kept as something of a museum to itself by the Detroit Historical Society.



Ford Highland Park Plant



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If Ford was born at the Piquette plant, it grew up at the Highland Park plant. When demand for the Model T exceeded the capacity of the old plant, Henry Ford and architect Albert Khan developed an all new type of plant built from reinforced concrete with many floors and large windows. This was also the site of the first moving assembly line in an automobile plant and could crank out a Model T every 24 seconds. Automobile production would move to the River Rouge Complex in 1917 where production continues to this day. The Highland Park plant was last used in the 70's for the production of Ford tractors and is largely vacant currently.



Packard Plant



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Perhaps the most spectacular ruins in the entire city, the Packard Plant rests just off interstate 94 on the east side. Of the empty factories, it is perhaps the saddest, having once been a seat of innovation and produced the finest cars money could buy. The nearly mile long facility has long been quiet, serving as warehouse space for a while, and a destination for urban exploration, but recently security has been pulled, the once mighty facade was auctioned to the highest bidder, and the factory has been given up to the looters and the scrappers.

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