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Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Official: Thousands of Chinese athletes faking ages

BEIJING, March 11 (Reuters) - The sports ministry in Guangdong Province says it has undertaken X-Ray bone analysis on 15,000 youth athletes and found a fifth of them had misrepresented their age, local media reported.

Suspicions of age faking have dogged Chinese sport over the last couple of years and at one stage threatened to cause huge embarrassment for the hosts at last year's Beijing Olympics.

Guangdong is hosting the Asian Games in its capital Guangzhou next year and the deputy sports bureau chief of the southern province said they would be taking no chances.

"We want to make sure fakers have no advantage," Ye Xiquan told the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.

The athletes tested were the top eight in each event at provincial youth competitions in 2008 and all those who had signed up for this year's Provincial Games.

The result showed 3,000 were older than they claimed, 2,000 of whom were no longer eligible for any youth sport and 1,000 who should have competed in different age categories. Ye said 16 athletes in one event had faked their age and the worst offenders were up to seven years older than they were allowed to be.

Funding follows success in China's state-run sports system so officials at city and provincial level have long been suspected of using overage players to help them win tournaments.

China was accused of adding years to the age of two gymnasts so they would be eligible to compete at last year's Olympics after media reports indicated the gold medallists might be younger than 16.

The governing International Gymnasts Federation (FIG) investigated at the behest of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and were satisfied with documentary evidence provided by the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) last year discovered 26 players who had inaccurately registered their ages playing in its top flight league.

New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian is officially listed as being 21 but a cloud of suspicion surrounded his age before was picked sixth by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2007 NBA draft. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney and Liu Zhen; Editing by John O'Brien)

The 10 Most Controversial 'South Park' Episodes (Videos)

Trying to choose the 10 most controversial "South Park" episodes is like trying to choose the worst Rob Schneider movie -- there are just so many to choose from. But as the show begins its 13th season, we thought we'd round up the episodes that have generated the most publicity over the years. And there have been a lot of them.

read more | digg story

Anddddddd your keyboard is now Daft Punk [woot!]

I played with this a bit longer than I'd care to admit.

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New iPod Shuffle moves controls to headphone cord

New iPod Shuffle moves controls to headphone cord


Available at 4GB, the fresh model is long, thin and sleek--somewhat like the original first-gen model, but with a clip. It's available in light gray and dark gray, and the controls are moved to a bulbous clicker on the cord.

My problem with this is going to be being stuck with Apple's headphones, or having to buy some fancy new officially licensed headphones that also have the new control block built-in. This isn't new, as far as little audio players go, but is still a shame: for today's show, the part of Sony will be played by Apple.

It also has a new feature called Voiceover: press it, and the Shuffle tells you what's playing.


They're up at the Apple Store for $80.

Update: Mute Kaiza points out that it might be easy to splice better headphones onto the control unit, so long as you're O.K. ruining your beautiful Appley lines.

As an aside, I imagine Belkin will announce an adapter within minutes. I still don't want to pay for one, even if it's just $10.

Great comment from reader Cyklo: "I'm amused that if you swap out the inline-control bundled earphones for your own, you reach Apple Zen: an iPod with zero buttons."

Apple Announces Incredible New iPod shuffle [Apple]

Georgia Max Coffee: Ski Toilets

Prints, Outdoor, Ads Georgia Max Coffee: Ski Toilets, Georgia Max Coffee, TUGBOAT,


Georgia Max Coffee chose to redesign the toilets of a number of key ski resorts in Japan. The cubicles were fully wrapped on all sides, so that the person caught short would have a ski jumper’s view when they were sitting on the loo. The person could look down at their skis (simply printed on the floor of the cubicle) and see the steep ski jump slope ahead of them. The toilet paper holder carried the only brand messaging in the cubicle, reading: “Seriously kick-ass intensely sweet for the real coffee super zinging unstoppable Max! Taste-explosion!” The message also featured the URL, where visitors could view videos of extreme sports as well as sign up to the MAX community.
See full size 1117x1500 px
Released: March 2009
Advertiser: COCA-COLA
Brand name: Georgia Max Coffee
Country: Japan
Category: Non-alcoholic drinks
Tags: Coffee

Will the NBA Ever Produce Another Quadruple-Double?

In his first game with the Chicago Bulls, on Oct. 18, 1974, Nate Thurmond amassed 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocked shots in a 120-115 overtime win against Atlanta. More than 11 years would pass before Alvin Robertson would join Thurmond in the quadruple-double club...

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Glass pyramid that could house 1m people

With its sharp angles and its glass walls shimmering in the sunlight it looks like a piece of modern art.

But this innovative design is actually a blueprint for the city of the future - a giant glass pyramid that could house up to one million people.

The development, named the 'Ziggurat', will be self sufficient and carbon neutral with power being supplied by wind turbines.

No cars will be allowed inside the 2.3 square kilometre building, with residents being whisked around by a monorail network which operates both horizontally and vertically.

Security in the city will be provided by biometrics with residents relying on facial recognition to enter their homes.

Dubai based designer Timelinks has already patented the design and technology incorporated into the project.

Ridas Matonis, managing director of Timelinks, said the city would work by 'harnessing the power of nature.' He said: "Ziggurat communities can be almost totally self-sufficient energy-wise.

"Whole cities can be accommodated in complexes which take up less than ten per cent of the original land surface. "Public and private landscaping will be used for leisure pursuits or irrigated as agricultural land.

"If these projects were realised today the world would see communities that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and in tune with their natural surroundings."

ReEngineered Battery material for rapidly recharging devices

MIT engineers have created a kind of beltway that allows for the rapid transit of electrical energy through a well-known battery material, an advance that could usher in smaller, lighter batteries -- for cell phones and other devices -- that could recharge in seconds rather than hours.

read more | digg story

Bristol Palin & Fiancé Split

Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin Photo by: huck Kennedy / MCT / Landov

Bristol Palin & Fiancé Split
Bristol Palin and her fiancé Levi Johnston have broken up, two sources tell PEOPLE.

The split happened "a few weeks ago," according to a source close to the couple, but it's unclear what precipitated it. "It was a mutual thing," adds the source.

Bristol, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, spoke with FOX News in February and told Greta Van Susteren that she and Levi – who are parents to 2-month-old son, Tripp – expected to get married after they completed high school.

"It kind of just happened," says the source, referring to the split. "I thought they would stick it out. But I think they can work together to raise Tripp."

"I'm not sure what caused [them to break up] – it's common knowledge," says another source who knows the family.

Despite the breakup, Levi still sees the couple's son. Levi's dad, Keith Johnston, told PEOPLE recently that his son is a devoted and "proud father."

Plans for the Future

Bristol, meanwhile, is attending Wasilla High, taking a class to supplement course work she is completing at home. She also is considering enrolling in college next fall and studying nursing.

Bristol has been spotted around Wasilla shopping and exercising. She recently returned from Juneau where she was visiting her mother, who is spending the winter in the state's capital with daughter Piper and son Trig during the legislative session.

As for how she is holding up after the split, the source tells PEOPLE: "Bristol's doing okay. Tripp is fine."

Representatives for Gov. Palin have not returned calls for comment.

Famous prostitute gets top grave

The corpse of a famous prostitute from Geneva has been transferred from an ordinary graveyard to a prestigious cemetery.

read more | digg story

Obama To Name Drug Czar Whose Son Was Arrested For Drugs

By Chris Cillizza

Washington Post Staff Writer

President Obama will name Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske as the nation's drug czar today, ending a long search that was slowed as details of drug arrests involving Kerlikowske's son came to light.

The administration will remove the job's Cabinet designation -- reversing an elevation of the office under President George W. Bush -- although one senior official said that Kerlikowske would have "full access and a direct line to the president and the vice president." The source also noted that Vice President Biden was instrumental in the creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and would continue to be an outspoken advocate on the issue.

Kerlikowske has long been speculated to be the front-runner to serve as the drug czar. But revelations concerning the arrests of his son, Jeffrey, on drug-related charges complicated the process.

The White House acknowledged Jeffrey Kerlikowske's past drug use but offered no specifics or comment.

In his remarks today accepting the nomination, Kerlikowske is expected to reference his family struggles with drug abuse. "Our nation's drug problem is one of human suffering," according to his prepared remarks. "As a police officer, but also in my own family, I have experienced first-hand the devastating effects that drugs can have on our youth, our families and our communities."

In formally nominating Kerlikowske, Obama -- who admitted using cocaine as a teenager in his memoir "Dreams From My Father" -- offers a vote of confidence for a man who could face uncomfortable questions during his confirmation process. The position requires confirmation by the Senate.

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton praised the pick, saying, "As a City Police Chief, Gil sees every day the violence and tragedy that results from drug abuse in this country and will require no 'on-the-job training.' "

Historically, the White House's broad drug-control strategy has revolved around prevention, helping drug users and disrupting the market for illegal drugs. During the campaign, Obama supported prevention efforts as a way to combat not only drug abuse but also unemployment and crime.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have met in recent weeks with Mexican authorities to discuss the flow of drugs and violence across the border.

During the Bush years, the number of high-schoolers using drugs declined by more than 900,000, according to a January report issued by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. A separate national survey on drug use and health concluded, however, that nearly 7 million people in the United States show some signs of drug use or dependence, most often involving marijuana.

Kerlikowske served as police chief in two Florida cities, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, before becoming police commissioner in Buffalo in 1994. He left that job after 4 1/2 years to work in the Clinton Justice Department as the director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. During that time, he became close with Holder.

In his most recent stint, in Seattle, Kerlikowske drew national media attention in 2004 when, seeking to demonstrate the efficacy of the Taser stun gun, he allowed himself to be zapped with 50,000 volts of electricity in front of reporters and television cameras. He commanded less favorable media attention in 2001 when his department was criticized for its lack of aggressiveness in dealing with Mardi Gras riots that left one man dead and 70 injured.

In 2004, Kerlikowske's personal gun was stolen after he left it under the seat of his unmarked police car.

He currently serves as president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Staff writer Carrie Johnson contributed to this report.

Mexico drug lord on Forbes rich list with $1 bln

Source: Reuters
MEXICO CITY, March 11 (Reuters) - Mexico's most wanted man Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, blamed for thousands of deaths in a drug war, has made it onto the Forbes Magazine list of the world's richest people with an estimated $1 billion fortune.

Guzman, who is just 5 feet tall (1.55 metres), escaped from prison in 2001 to set off a wave of killings across Mexico in an attempt to dominate the country's highly lucrative drug trade into the United States.

"He is not available for interviews," Luisa Kroll, senior editor of Forbes, said on Wednesday. "But his financial situation is doing quite well."

Forbes placed Guzman at 701 on its list, tied with dozens of others worldwide with riches of some $1 billion.

Guzman, 51, who officials believe changes his cell phone every day to avoid being tracked, is often compared to the late Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar, whom Forbes has said amassed a fortune of $3 billion before he was killed by police in 1993.

The Mexican smuggler is "basically one of the biggest providers of cocaine to the United States," Kroll said. The magazine based its tally of his fortune on estimates from drug-trade analysts and U.S. government data.

Guzman's prison escape and ability to elude capture for eight years are an embarrassment to the Mexican government.

He has outwitted four major government drives to find him between 2002 and 2007. His escapades are the stuff of legend in the areas he controls and in popular "narcocorrido" songs that glorify drug traffickers.

Mexico's attorney general, Eduardo Medina Mora, told Reuters last week that defeating Guzman's cartel of traffickers from the Pacific state of Sinaloa was a priority in President Felipe Calderon's army-backed drug fight.

Some 7,000 people have been killed in drug violence across Mexico since the start of last year as rival gangs fight each other and Mexican security forces. Guzman's enforcers from the Sinaloa cartel are among the most vicious hitmen.

Forbes said Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale drugs shipments to the United States in 2008.

Guzman and his operation likely grossed 20 percent of that -- enough for him to have pocketed $1 billion over his career and earn a spot on the billionaire's list for the first time.

About 90 percent of all cocaine consumed in the United States comes through Mexico. It also is a major source of heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana in the United States.

10 Incredible Living Walls

The idea of a living wall conjures up all sorts of images, but in reality it is nothing more than a wall completely covered in vegetation. In order to create a living wall pre-vegetated or fabric panels containing plastic containers, or geotextiles, as well as irrigation systems and vegetation are attached to the wall or supporting structure. This form of urban gardening is often designed as an art form to decorate buildings in cities and has been hailed as one way to make cities more enjoyable, healthier and ultimately greener places.

1. Musee du Quai Branly [Paris]

One of the best loved vertical gardens inhabits the walls of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Created by Patrick Blanc, the inventor of vertical garden systems, this living wall is simply stunning. Not only do these types of vertical gardens improve the appearance of buildings, but they also improve air quality and lower energy consumption.

2. SkyFarm [Toronto]

This 714 foot structure in downtown Toronto, Canada is a superb example of how living walls and vertical gardens can actually be profitable as well as beautiful. The 58 story building only requires 1.32 hectares of land and yet will have 8 million square foot of agricultural space due to the vertical design of farm. It is said that the crops could yield up to $23 million in revenue per annum.

3. CaixaForum Museum [Madrid]

Another amazing living wall design created by Patrick Blanc, the CaixaForum museum has become a popular tourist attraction largely thanks to this creation. Approximately 15,000 plants of 250 different species were used to cover this 24 metre high wall. The juxtaposition of the old building with the vibrant and alive wall makes this a truly spectacular and memorable building.

4. Vancouver Aquarium [Vancouver]

This award winning living wall was created to act as a noise buffer from the city street and to prove that buildings and ecology can be integrated to enable cities to become greener. Covering 500 square feet the wall is made up of thick modular panels and supported by a galvanized steel frame, making the installation of replacement plants easier and more cost effective.

5. Marche des Halles [Avignon]

Another fabulous living wall design by Patrick Blanc, this creation illustrates that not only are urban vertical gardens ecologically beneficial but they can also prove to be highly artist creations as well. The ingenious design means that no soil is required and the careful selection of plants means that maintenance is kept to a minimum.

6. Qantas First Lounge [Sydney International Airport]

Traveling, even when on holiday, can be stressful. Airports are busy, noisy places and waiting for a flight is incredibly boring and sometimes frustrating - but not if you are one of the lucky few to wait in the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney Airport. Here everything is designer, and the presence of a living wall automatically de-stresses a person. Simple, elegant and a great work of art - this is definitely one of Patrick Blanc’s best pieces.

7. Parabienta [Japan]

This eco-friendly living wall is the result of a collaboration of two Japanese companies, Shimizu and Minoru Industries. Said to be relatively inexpensive to create and maintain, the living wall makes a significant contribution to cooling the building thereby helping to lower energy consumption.

8. Siam Paragon Shopping Centre [Bangkok]

The Siam Paragon Shopping Center would have looked positively dull if it wasn’t for the living walls strategically placed in the interior of the mall. Creating a calm atmosphere and adding color, the architecture now looks absolutely stunning. It is a great example of how bringing gardens indoors can spruce up any interior, especially 0% credit card carrying locals and tourists looking to splash some cash.

9. Rica Talk Hotel [Stockholm]

The restaurant in the Rica Talk Hotel was transformed into a botanical oasis by Michael Hellgren, a landscape architect. To fill the 82 meter square space, he used approximately 3000 plants from more than 100 different species. The effect is a cozy, natural environment making this a truly unique restaurant.

10. Oulu Bar & Eco-Lounge [Williamsburg]

Cited as Brooklyn’s first living wall, the Oulu Bar & Eco-Lounge certainly attracts attention with its huge external living wall. Manufactured by a company called ETL and installed by Green Living Technologies, this stunning vertical garden covers the entire front facade of the building and makes a beautiful contrast against the wooden door and window frame. The entire building looks designer chic proving that being green can be trendy.

Poll: Connecticut should legalize small amounts of marijuana

By Ken Dixon

HARTFORD -- Connecticut voters support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, but in a weird twist on this emerging liberal agenda, they oppose allowing grocery stores to sell wine and distilled spirits, according to the new Quinnipiac University Poll.

The poll, released Tuesday morning, also shows voters support Sunday liquor sales, which have been proposed as a way to create new sources of state tax revenue.

When asked if they would favor a law similar to the statewide ballot initiative passed last November in Massachusetts -- making possession of less than a ounce of pot an infraction punishable by a small fine similar to a traffic ticket, rather than a misdemeanor that must be adjudicated and create a police record -- voters approved 58-37 percent.

Even voters over age 65 agree with the idea, although Republicans oppose it 51-44 percent. Democrats approve 68-30 percent, and unaffiliated voters support decriminalization 58-35 percent.

Douglas Schwartz, director of the poll, said it's the first time it has asked voters in any state their feelings about decriminalizing marijuana.

"There is interest," he said of support for reducing penalties for possession.

Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said in an interview Tuesday that the poll reinforces legislation he has proposed this year that would mirror Massachusetts' marijuana possession law.

"This is pretty substantial," Looney said of the 58 percent approval rating. "The change in Massachusetts was passed with over 60 percent of voters in favor. Clearly the public sees this as a reasonable idea to prioritize within the criminal justice system."

Looney's bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Toni N. Harp, D-New Haven, has been raised in the Judiciary Committee, but a public hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Last year Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a so-called medical marijuana bill, which Looney said is entirely different from the decriminalization bill. The medical marijuana had a procedure for authorizing people to grow the weed in violation of overriding federal law.

"I think it has a chance this year partly because the public seems ahead of politicians on this issue," Looney said, adding that an estimated $15 million could be saved in Connecticut by freeing public defenders and prosecutors from handling low-level pot possession cases.

The poll found that voters approve Sunday alcohol sales by 54-44 percent, although the poll found a "substantial" gender gap, with men supporting the sales by 62-37 percent. Women are nearly evenly split. Package store owners recently went to the Capitol to defeat legislation that would allow Sunday sales.

"Although Connecticut is known as the land of steady habits, Nutmeggers appear willing to change the law so that Connecticut package stores can sell alcohol on Sunday," Schwartz said.

In an apparent inconsistency in the otherwise liberal reaction to questions on social issues, voters oppose allowing grocery stores to sell wine and distilled spirits by 58-39 percent.

The Q Poll surveyed 1,238 Connecticut registered voters from March 3 to 8, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

The poll found Rell's approval rating remains high, 75 percent, and voters approve, by 61-28 percent, the way she's handling the budget crisis.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal enjoys an 81 percent job-approval rating.۩

Turning sunlight into liquid fuels - an update w/ (Video)

March 11th, 2009 Artificial Photosynthesis System


Under the fuel through artificial photosynthesis scenario, nanotubes embedded within a membrane would act like green leaves, using incident solar radiation (Hγ) to split water molecules (H2O), freeing up electrons and oxygen (O2) that then react with carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce a fuel, shown here as methanol (CH3OH). The result is a renewable green energy source that also helps scrub the atmosphere of excessive carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Credit: Robert Flavio, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs

( -- For millions of years, green plants have employed photosynthesis to capture energy from sunlight and convert it into electrochemical energy. A goal of scientists has been to develop an artificial version of photosynthesis that can be used to produce liquid fuels from carbon dioxide and water. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have now taken a critical step towards this goal with the discovery that nano-sized crystals of cobalt oxide can effectively carry out the critical photosynthetic reaction of splitting water molecules.

"Photooxidation of water molecules into oxygen, electrons and protons (hydrogen ions) is one of the two essential half reactions of an artifical system - it provides the electrons needed to reduce carbon dioxide to a fuel," said Heinz Frei, a chemist with Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division, who conducted this research with his postdoctoral fellow Feng Jiao. "Effective photooxidation requires a catalyst that is both efficient in its use of solar photons and fast enough to keep up with in order to avoid wasting those photons. Clusters of are sufficiently efficient and fast, and are also robust (last a long time) and abundant. They perfectly fit the bill."

In this video, an aqueous solution contains silica particles that have been embedded with photooxidizing cobalt oxide nanocrystals plus a sensitizer to allow the water-splitting reaction to be driven by visible light. When laser light hits the solution it turns from gold to blue as the sensitizer absorbs light. Bubbles soon begin to form as oxygen gas is released from the spilt water molecules.

Frei and Jiao have reported the results of their study in the journal Angewandte Chemie, in a paper entitled: "Nanostructured Cobalt Oxide Clusters in Mesoporous Silica as Efficient Oxygen-Evolving Catalysts." This research was performed through the Helios Solar Energy Research Center (Helios SERC), a scientific program at Berkeley Lab under the direction of Paul Alivisatos, which is aimed at developing fuels from sunlight. Frei serves as deputy director of Helios SERC.

Artificial photosynthesis for the production of offers the promise of a renewable and carbon-neutral source of transportation energy, meaning it would not contribute to the global warming that results from the burning of oil and coal. The idea is to improve upon the process that has long-served green plants and certain bacteria by integrating into a single platform light-harvesting systems that can capture solar photons and catalytic systems that can oxidize water - in other words, an artificial leaf.

"To take advantage of the flexibility and precision by which light absorption, charge transport and catalytic properties can be controlled by discrete inorganic molecular structures, we have been working with polynuclear metal oxide nanoclusters in silica," Frei said. "In earlier work, we found that iridium oxide was efficient and fast enough to do the job, but iridium is the least abundant metal on earth and not suitable for use on a very large scale. We needed a metal that was equally effective but far more abundant."

Green plants perform the photooxidation of water molecules within a complex of proteins called Photosystem II, in which manganese-containing enzymes serve as the catalyst. Manganese-based organometallic complexes modeled off Photosystem II have shown some promise as photocatalysts for water oxidation but some suffer from being water insoluble and none are very robust. In looking for purely inorganic catalysts that would dissolve in water and would be far more robust than biomimetic materials, Frei and Jiao turned to cobalt oxide, a highly abundant material that is an an important industrial catalyst. When Frei and Jiao tested micron-sized particles of cobalt oxide, they found the particles were inefficient and not nearly fast enough to serve as photocatalysts. However, when they nano-sized the particles it was another story.

"The yield for clusters of cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nano-sized crystals was about 1,600 times higher than for micron-sized particles," said Frei, "and the turnover frequency (speed) was about 1,140 oxygen molecules per second per cluster, which is commensurate with solar flux at ground level (approximately 1,000 Watts per square meter)."

Frei and Jiao used mesoporous silica as their scaffold, growing their cobalt nanocrystals within the naturally parallel nanoscale channels of the silica via a technique known as "wet impregnation." The best performers were rod-shaped crystals measuring 8 nanometers in diameter and 50 nanometers in length, which were interconnected by short bridges to form bundled clusters. The bundles were shaped like a sphere with a diameter of 35 nanometers. While the catalytic efficiency of the cobalt metal itself was important, Frei said the major factor behind the enhanced efficiency and speed of the bundles was their size.

"We suspect that the comparatively very large internal area of these 35 nanometer bundles (where catalysis takes place) was the main factor behind their increased efficiency," he said, "because when we produced larger bundles (65 nanometer diameters), the internal area was reduced and the bundles lost much of that efficiency gain."

Frei and Jiao will be conducting further studies to gain a better understanding of why their cobalt oxide nanocrystal clusters are such efficient and high-speed photocatalysts and also looking into other metal oxide catalysts. The next big step, however, will be to integrate the water oxidation half reaction with the carbon dioxide reduction step in an artificial leaf type system.

"The efficiency, speed and size of our cobalt oxide nanocrystal clusters are comparable to Photosystem II," said Frei. "When you factor in the abundance of cobalt oxide, the stability of the nanoclusters under use, the modest overpotential and mild pH and temperature conditions, we believe we have a promising catalytic component for developing a viable integrated solar fuel conversion system. This is the next important challenge in the field of artificial photosynthesis for fuel production."

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (news : web)

8 Myths About Sleep And How To Make The Quick Fix

By Mike Michalowicz:

Listen up entrepreneur. Let’s talk about you, just you, for a moment. In addition to building your business, the most important thing you do every day is sleep. Without proper sleep your performance flounders. Without any sleep you become immobilized. Unfortunately, us entrepreneurs think there are easy work arounds and short cuts. We are innovators after all. But sleep is one thing you can skip over, or come up with a quick fix for. You just gotta do it. Here are the 8 big myths entrepreneurs have about sleep:

8. One Hour Less Won’t Hurt

The Facts: Even slightly less sleep will leave you feeling less energetic, hinder your alertness, affect your ability to think properly, affect cardiovascular health and even weaken your immune system.

The Quick Cure: It’s not when you wake up as much as when you go to sleep. Go to bed an hour earlier, and don’t use the excuse “I can’t fall asleep.” Instead make it a routine, and soon your body will adjust.

7. Your Body Adjusts Quickly To New Sleep Schedules

The Facts: It takes between one and two weeks for your body to fully adjust to a new sleep schedule when there is more than even a two hour time difference.

The Quick Cure: Jet lag when traveling to new time zones can be offset by changing your sleep schedule to be consistent with the destination’s clock a week before you head out.

6. The Older You Get, The Less Sleep You Need

The Facts: Adults of any age need about 8 hours a night. Older people simply don’t sleep as deeply as younger folks, and are more easily awakened.

The Quick Cure: Get back to basics - don’t drink caffeine for at least three hours before bedtime; don’t watch TV for at least an hour before bed (read a book instead); and don’t forget to use the toilet right before the lights go out.

5. More Sleep Means More Awake Time

The Facts: It doesn’t only matter that you sleep 8 hours, it also matters that you sleep soundly and deeply.

The Quick Cure: Get a “white noise” sound machine, for most people it is more effective than over-the-counter-drugs and supplements.

4. You Can Make Up For Lost Sleep During The Weekends.

The Facts: It actually kinda works, but you can’t “store up” for next week or “make up” for lost productivity the prior week. The Quick Cure: Pursue balance - nothing is better than the good old 8 hours a day.

3. Power Naps Are A Waste

The Facts: Nothing can replace a full nights sleep, but if you need some rest a power nap is the most effective. The Quick Cure: Keep the power naps to 45 minutes max. If you sleep more than an hour, you may find it difficult to get back up.

2. Snoring Is Normal

The Facts: It’s common, especially as we get older, but that doesn’t make it normal (aka healthy). Evidence indicates snoring may be an indication of heart disease and type 2 diabetics. Loud snoring may be an indication of sleep apnea, and that can lead to high blood pressure, impotence, and memory problems. The Quick Cure: Go for a regular check-up with your doctor. Also try natural products to open breathing passageways while you sleep.

1. A Reoccurring Inability To Sleep Is Usually Due To Stress

The Facts: Although stress can cause short periods of insomnia, a persistent inability to sleep can stem from a number of different issues including chemical/hormonal imbalances, depression, asthma, arthritis or other medical conditions. The Quick Cure: Review your diet and see a doctor.


When it comes down to it, getting the sleep that you need is majorly important to your companies current and future success. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

The 15 Most Disturbing Movies

A list of the 15 Most Disturbing Movies, looking back over the last few decades of cinema to find the films that made us feel dirty or voyeuristic or ashamed to be human, offered to you here in no particular order.

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Star Trek iPhone Is the Definitive iPhone (If You Are Picard or Jason Chen)

Reader Andrew Aitken saw the article on the iPhone prototype's user interface and sent us this: A video detailing a complete—and absolutely cool—Star Trek: The Next Generation makeover for Apple's cellphone.

I saw your call for a total ST:TNG makeover of the iPhone, and wanted to show you (and the world) mine! It is not completely designed by me, others started the work and I just continued it, or combined several existing models.

I then ported it to winterboard and added my own mods here and there, like the LCARS calculator and SBSettings, as well as sounds and an animated background to make the whole thing look cooler! I even ported the Enterprise's computer font—Swiss911, used for the Library Computer Access/Retrieval System's interface—to the iPhone.

It's not finished yet, my imagination and photoshop skills have really been put to the test, if this gets out to a wider audience, maybe some ideas would come in... here it is, so far

Top 10 Worst Dressed Guitarists

The Coolest Picture of a GIRAFFE

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