Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dude Perfect - Ranch Edition

Taking our original Amazing Basketball Shots to a whole new level- Ranch Style- Visit for bloopers, deleted scenes, and more. Music: "What Scares You Most" by Manic Bloo...

Fighting for the Right to Chew Coca

Bolivians celebrate the 'acullicu' day or 'coca chewing day.'
Bolivians celebrate the 'acullicu' day or 'coca chewing day.'
Martin Alipaz / EPA

Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have avoided war, but now two other Andean nations are gearing up for battle. This time the foe is the United Nations, and the cause is the right to chew coca, the raw material of cocaine. It may not sound as important as the diplomatic row that shook the region earlier this month. But the dispute is momentous for millions of people in Bolivia and Peru — where the coca leaf is sacred to indigenous culture and a tonic of modern life — and for anti-drug officials in the U.S. and other countries who are desperate to stem the relentless flow of cocaine. Says Silvia Rivera, a sociology professor at San Andres University in Bolivia's capital, La Paz, "This is the most aggressive attack [Bolivians] have faced" since the U.N. designated coca a drug in 1961.

The latest affront, they say, is a recommendation this month from the UN's drug enforcement watchdog, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), that Bolivia and Peru criminalize the practice of chewing coca and drinking its tea. The move has provoked widespread anger and street protests in the two countries, especially among the majority indigenous populations. For them, coca has been a cultural cornerstone for 3,000 years, as much a part of daily life as coffee in the U.S. (La Paz is home to perhaps the world's only coca museum.) From the countryside to swanky urban hotels, it is chewed or brewed to stave off hunger or exhaustion or to ease the often debilitating effects of high-altitude life in the Andes. It is also "used by healers and in ceremonial offerings to the gods," says Ana Maria Chavez, a coca seller in La Paz, who refers to her product as "the sacred leaf." Pope John Paul II even drank coca tea on a 1988 visit to Bolivia. It is, says Chavez, "part of who we are."

The problem is, it's also considered the building block of broken lives in the rest of the world, where cocaine consumption and addiction remain rampant in developed regions like North America and Europe. The U.S. has spent more than $5 billion this decade aiding Colombia's largely failed efforts to eradicate coca cultivation. Meanwhile, Washington and the U.N. have tried to get Bolivia and Peru to reduce their coca crops to the bare minimum for traditional consumption. Peru and Bolivia are the region's second and third largest coca producers, behind Colombia, with about more than 75,000 hectares (185,000 acres) under cultivation, or almost half of global supply.

The 1961 U.N. convention called for coca's elimination by the late 1980s. A new accord struck in 1988 recognized the plant's traditional attributes and allowed for limited local use, while anti-narcotics forces continued to work to wipe out coca's drug-related cultivation, destroy the labs that process it into cocaine and intercept traffickers. But this month's INCB report seeks to end that uneasy arrangement. A big reason is that despite the decades-long, multi-billion-dollar drug war in Latin America, cocaine production has remained stable at best. Criminalizing even traditional coca use may be the only means agencies like the INCB feel they have left to salvage the anti-drug mission. Consuming the raw, unprocessed leaf, says the INCB report, abets "the progression of drug dependence."

Critics of the report call that conclusion an absurd stretch, especially since there is no published evidence that the coca leaf itself is toxic or addictive. Foremost among the detractors is left-wing Bolivian President Evo Morales, who remains head of one of the country's largest coca-growing unions and was elected as Bolivia's first indigenous head of state in 2005 in part because of his defense of the leaf. "This leaf," Morales said at last year's U.N. General Assembly, holding one up at the podium, "represents... the hope of our people." Bolivia accounts for about 17% of worldwide coca supply and Morales gets much of the international blame for coca's persistence. But while critics like the U.S may call him disingenuous for arguing that coca and cocaine are apples and oranges — analysts say that despite government efforts, much of the coca grown in Bolivia ends up in drug cartels' hands — he has also helped lead what experts like Rivera call "a revaluation of the coca leaf." "Many people," says the sociologist, "have begun to rediscover its nutritional and medicinal benefits."

Indeed, several international studies, including one published by Harvard University, say that raw coca is loaded with protein, calcium, iron and a range of vitamins. As a result, Morales has encouraged a local industry, with an eye to exporting, that is turning coca into everything from flour to toothpaste, shampoo and curative lotions. (Morales sent Fidel Castro a coca cake for his 80th birthday last year.) Even as the INCB was issuing its report, the Bolivian government was reaffirming its desire to increase Bolivia's legal coca crop limit from 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) to 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). The Bush Administration has warned that the latter move would put Bolivia in violation of its international agreements — it is "not consistent with Bolivia's obligations," said the State Department — and risk tens of millions of dollars in U.S. aid.

Seemingly undeterred, Bolivia said this month it was also set to invest another $300,000 for developing new, legal coca markets. Not surprisingly, the Bolivian delegation was the first to issue what it called an "energetic protest" against the INCB's recommendations during the agency's annual meeting this week in Vienna. It also put forward a proposal to remove coca from the U.N.'s narcotics list. That's not likely to happen. The big question is whether the U.N. will adopt the INCB proposal — which would essentially leave Bolivia and Peru in breach of international law if they continue to allow coca's non-narcotic use and commercialization. That in turn could result in the U.N. calling for commercial or other embargoes against them.

Many Bolivians say they don't care. "My grandfather and my grandmother sold coca and I've been doing it for 48 years," says Josefina Rojas, another La Paz coca seller. "We aren't going to let them take coca away from us no matter what." Such is the latest Andean conundrum. One that might be harder to solve than a potential war.

"Goode Family" Going Green: Mike Judge's New Show

See the original image at — — Meet the "Goode Family". Mike Judge and the people behind "Beavis and Butthead" and "King of the Hill" are going green with their new animated series for ABC. We interviewed the Goode Family co-creator, John Altschuler, on what makes "The Goode Family" a good family.

click here for the audio and video "Goode Family" Going Green: Mike Judge's New Show

Amazing Gymnast - Damien Walters Showreel 2009 — This is Damien Walters doing alot of amazing freerunning and gymnastics. I found this on Reddit, checked to see if it was on Digg, it was but with only 5 diggs i felt this was worthy of more.

Ferris Bueller's Ferrari House Now For Sale

By Jesus Diaz

Ferris Bueller wannabes—like me—with enough money—unlike me—have a reason to be happy: The stunning Ben Rose Home, which was Cameron's house in the movie, is now available for sale.

The property includes two buildings. One of them was used as a garage/car museum in real life and in the movie. The home has four bedrooms and four full baths, with beautiful forest views. Total size: 5300 square feet. But beyond the Ferris Bueller lore, the Ben Rose Home—designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid—this is my dream home: Simple, elegant, built with glass, aluminum, cedar wood, and steel over a wild ravine in the middle of the Highland Park's woods, in Illinois. In other words, Grade A architecture/property porn.

If I had the $2,300,000 I would buy it in a heartbeat. Sadly, I don't. Who wants to buy this for me? Anyone? Anyone? [Realtor via Retro Thing]

Thousands of marauding caterpillars trap car in silky web

By Daily Mail Reporter

It's the stuff of traffic wardens' dreams - a giant silky web trapping cars that have been parked for too long.

In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, however, it's a reality.

This car, which looks like a Honda, was attacked by thousands of spindle ermine moth caterpillars, which had already devoured a nearby tree.

Moth attack: spindle ermines moth caterpillars covered this car with a giant silk web in Rotterdam

Moth attack: Spindle ermines covered this car with a giant silk web in Rotterdam

Webbed tree

Webbed tree: The moths spin their web as a form of protection from wasps and birds before they pupate in their cocoons

Stuart Hine, an insect expert from the Natural History Museum, said the creatures spin webs for protection from wasps and birds before they pupate in their cocoons.

And they're not just native to Holland either.

Eight types of ermine moths, which turn into white butterflies with black dots, grow in the UK.

Their webs can be spotted in hedgerows around the country.

Their favoured tree is the spindle - which is often used in car parks and lining motorways.

'They spin them over large areas and tend to migrate when they've used up one tree.

'I've never heard of them spinning over a car before, but why not?' said Mr Hine.

The owner can relax, however - their car hasn't been lost forever.

'It only takes a few days. But we aren't talking about anything from Indiana Jones here.

'They can bear a but of weight but the car owner will be able to back the car out and clean it.'

Ad: Is She Really Saying "Do You Want a Bl*wj*b?"

Gorgeous Sunset. Horeshoe Bend, Colorado River, Arizona

Al Pacino circles Kevorkian biopic

Barry Levinson directing HBO Films project

By Borys Kit

Al Pacino is in negotiations to star in "You Don't Know Jack," an HBO Films biopic about Dr. Jack Kevorkian that Barry Levinson will direct.

Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, assisted in more than 150 cases of suicide and had beaten the state court system in Michigan numerous times, but was finally convicted after he willingly sent a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to "60 Minutes." He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 and is serving his sentence in a maximum-security prison in Michigan.

The film will trace his rise as he builds his infamous "Mercy Machine," conducts his first assisted suicide, and starts a media frenzy with his epic legal battles defending a patient's right to die.

Adam Mazer ("Breach") wrote the script, which is loosely based on "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia" by Neal Nicol.

Levinson is exec producing along with Steven L. Jones, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Glenn Rigberg.

The project has been in development for some time, with Ben Kingsley once attached to play Kevorkian.

Levinson, repped by ICM, last directed "What Just Happened?" while CAA-repped Pacino's last outing was "Righteous Kill."

Pee-to-Water Converter Is Neat And Kinda Gross

by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA

Pee to Water Instructions

Photo courtesy of: The Design Blog

Pee-cycling is getting more and more popular. Especially with water scarcity causing alarm planet-wide. Heck, even NASA astronauts are in on it. Like, whatever happened to just drinking Tang?

The latest entry is by designer Leonardo Manavella. The "Aqua H20" works both with human or animal urine. The liquid waste is handled via the Activated Carbon which removes both the color and the flavor.

No word on how this thing holds up against asparagus.

Pee to Water Device

Photo courtesy of: The Design Blog

Once the urine is "cleansed" a container filled with fresh clean water is available for drinking.

The device is designed for drought-affected areas, or any sorta apocalyptic scenario starring Kevin Costner. But if it comes down to this or bottled water...then I am clearly fighting for the wrong team.

I'll just stick to writing my name in the snow.

Pee to Water Stand

Photo courtesy of: The Design Blog

Source: The Design Blog

Sawyer's Favorite Nicknames From "Lost"

Our favorite names James Ford has called his fellow Lost characters.

May 19, 2009 - Well, another season of Lost has come and gone. Season 5's finale may just have set a new record for frustration levels and "I can't believe I have to wait 9 months to see what happens next!" Syndrome. But like it or not, that's all she wrote until 2010. That doesn't mean we're just going to shove Lost out of our brains for the remainder of the year. We're still as obsessed as ever, and we're already digging through our DVDs and hunting for new clues.

As we're re-watching seasons past, we're reminded of one simple truth. Sawyer is a funny guy. His particular brand of Southern-fried humor has led to one memorable nickname after another for his fellow castaways, usually to their deep chagrin. So now we're honoring Sawyer and his quips in a new Line-O-Rama feature. These ten quotes, listed in chronological order, are our top favorite Sawyer-isms from all five seasons.

And make sure you let us know your personal favorites by posting in the comments section. As with past Line-O-Ramas, our favorite reader picks may be gathered for a Readers' Choice follow-up feature.

Fostering International Trade

Line: "I traded Mr. Miyagi the last of my water for a fish he caught."
Episode: White Rabbit (Season 1)

Jin is a beloved member of the Lost cast now, but back in season 1 viewers knew very little about this mysterious man from Korea. He didn't speak a word of English. He preferred to yell at his wife in Korean and occasionally tackle random people and start punching them. Also, he spent a lot of time fishing.

To Sawyer, Jin was just a vague Asian man with useful skills. Hence, the comparison to the eccentric martial arts teacher of yore. It's funny to to think how far these two have come in their friendship since then.

click here for the rest: Sawyer's Favorite Nicknames From "Lost"

Mega-Telescope Net To Stare Down Massive Black Hole At Center of Milky Way

6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e54f418f828834-800wi Scientists are setting up a super-telescope-network to study Sagittarius A*, the suspected black hole at the center of our galaxy. It's eight terra-yotta-kilograms , aka "so vast we don't even have prefixes that high", four million solar masses. So why is it so hard to see? Well, it's buried behind half a galaxy's worth of light-emitting stars, interstellar dust over thirty thousand light years kind of reduces the signal, and - minor issue - black holes eat light. Which makes things trickier.

Luckily astronomer Shep Doeleman of MIT remembers Voltron, and realized that if one telescope isn't enough, you just plug more of them together until it works. The technique is called Very Long Baseline Interferometry, VLBI, and it effectively creates a vast virtual dish as big as the distance between the telescopes - and he's using telescopes all over the planet.

The second part of his strategy is tuning the telescopes to 1 mm radiation, which is not as strongly absorbed by the half-a-galaxy's worth of junk between us and the action. And what action it is - if we can observe Sagittarius A*'s surroundings we can confirm once and for all whether it's a black hole - and prove Einstein right (or wrong!)

Relativity describes how large masses can bend space, and a black hole is where the mass is so large that space gives up altogether and becomes a singularity. Black holes are already well understood, we think, but we've only ever observed them at second hand - the behavior of orbiting objects or bent light rays. To actually view the shadow of a black hole, the cut-off point where light is swallowed and cannot escape, would be a massive advance - and only the beginning.

Detailed observation of the area around the Sag A* border would be a goldmine of information. The spin and rate of matter inflow into the central black hole will tell us about the Milky Way's creation, as well as providing further extreme tests of general relativity. We could even see frame dragging, which sounds like a video game hardware issue but is actually something that could happen to reality - where a spinning black hole grabs hold of space and literally pulls reality around after it.

Posted by Luke McKinney.

Payoff Over a Web Sensation Is Elusive

Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Susan Boyle is seen by millions online, but cashing in on the clicks has been tricky.

Published: May 24, 2009

Susan Boyle, the frumpy Scotswoman who became a worldwide singing sensation last month, may wind up as the winner this week of “Britain’s Got Talent,” the hit ITV show.


An image from a YouTube video of Simon Cowell during a performance by Susan Boyle.

After a six-week absence, she returned on Sunday night to sing “Memory” from the musical “Cats,” wowing the crowd and advancing to Saturday’s finale. The producers immediately posted her performance on the Internet for the rest of the world to see.

She has already won a popularity contest on YouTube, where videos of her performances in April have been viewed an astounding 220 million times.

But until now, her runaway Web success has made little money for the program’s producers or distributors.

FremantleMedia Enterprises, a production company that owns the international digital rights to the talent show, hastily uploaded video clips to YouTube in the wake of Ms. Boyle’s debut, but the clips do not appear to be generating any advertising revenue for the company. The most popular videos of Ms. Boyle were not the official versions but rather copies of the TV show posted by individual users.

The case reflects the inability of big media companies to maximize profit from supersize Internet audiences that seem to come from nowhere. In essence, the complexities of TV production are curbing the Web possibilities. “Britain’s Got Talent” is produced jointly by three companies and distributed in Britain by a fourth, ITV, making it difficult to ascertain which of the companies can claim a video as its own.

Before the current season of the talent show started on April 11, the parties tried to cut a distribution deal with YouTube, but they could not agree on terms, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. The people asked for anonymity before they would discuss confidential negotiations.

YouTube, a unit of Google, has been keen to make money from its hulking library of online video by signing contracts with copyright owners and sharing the revenue from ads it sells before, during, after and alongside the videos. Major media companies have shown varying degrees of interest in these deals, in part because they are reticent to split much money with Google.

Then Simon Cowell, an “American Idol” judge who is also a producer and a host of “Britain’s Got Talent,” helped introduce Ms. Boyle to the world.

Her performance was a made-for-TV fairy tale: a dowdy 48-year-old makes awkward jokes, the audience engages in a collective eye-roll, then the performer shocks everyone by bursting into a soulful, Broadway-worthy rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.”

Cut to the amazed faces in the theater, hear the judge Piers Morgan call her singing “without a doubt the biggest surprise I have had in three years on this show,” and cut to commercial.

On YouTube, though, where the segment was viewed by more people than could ever have witnessed it on TV in Britain, there were no commercials. The tens of millions of views swiftly brought YouTube and the producers back to the negotiating table, according to the people with knowledge of the talks, and soon they reached a deal for video clips.

YouTube was especially interested in a deal, according to the people with knowledge of the talks, because the company was essentially losing money by serving every video stream without recouping any of the costs.

FremantleMedia, which had registered YouTube accounts for the next several seasons of “Britain’s Got Talent” in advance, uploaded dozens of clips from the show in late April. But American viewers are not seeing ads on the video pages, suggesting that the companies still do not see eye to eye.

FremantleMedia “is investigating the best routes to monetize the channel in conjunction with relevant partners,” said a spokeswoman, Belinda Thomas, who said the company would not comment further.

The production companies and YouTube worked through the weekend on a more comprehensive deal, one of the people with knowledge of the talks said. The deal would enable FremantleMedia to place ads against unofficial copies of the show, using YouTube’s “Content ID” system, which companies like Universal Music already use. For now, the copies simply show a message directing users to the official talent show channel managed by FremantleMedia.

“We’re glad to be helping Britain share its talents with the rest of the world,” a YouTube spokesman, Ricardo Reyes, said. “It’s up to our partners to decide what to do with their videos on YouTube.”

How much money have the parties lost? In the days after Ms. Boyle’s debut, The Times of London published what it called a “crude estimate” suggesting that the parties involved had left $1.87 million on the table.

That is based on 75 million streams of the various clips of Ms. Boyle, which the newspaper estimated could get $20 to $35 for every 1,000 views in the United States, and more than that in Britain.

While other TV networks act quickly to remove videos when users upload them without copyright permissions, ITV has “nonexistent piracy enforcement on YouTube,” said David Burch, a marketing manager at TubeMogul, an online measurement firm.

The broadcaster and producers allowed the copies to stay online because they created buzz for the program. The clips have received more than a half-million user comments.

The view counts continued to grow as people awaited Ms. Boyle’s next performance. Visible Measures, a company that tracks online video placements, said Ms. Boyle was responsible for the fastest-growing viral video in the roughly five-year history of Web video. Only three other videos have received more clicks, said the company, which tracks viewing across about 150 sites. (YouTube is the biggest by far.)

Matt Cutler, the vice president for marketing and analytics at Visible Measures, said the level of interest was “off the charts.”

“On TV, watching the content is the end of the experience. Online, watching the content is the beginning of the experience,” Mr. Cutler said.

The history of viral videos has shown that when new clips about a subject become available — in Ms. Boyle’s case, her new performance on Sunday — it “actually boosts the viewership of the existing assets,” Mr. Cutler said.

Six hours after the new performance, dozens of copies were already circulating on YouTube.

Miguel Helft contributed reporting.

Eminem Freestyles Video Tim Westwood Show HQ

Autistic girl connects with animals

A True Inspiration

What really inspired me to rant about this was a video I saw about a young girl who has autism and she actually connects to animals. This video was truly inspiring to watch.

In the video the girl explains how her love for animals and bonding with them makes her forget about her disorder. The girl tells you how she never tells people she has autism simply for the fact of getting made fun of and people thinking right away she has a very low IQ.

What I admired about this girl was her positive outlook on life that we all have our own talent no matter if we have autism or not. The girl tells you that you may reach your goals and talent in life if you stick by your dreams, which is so true I believe. We all have certain goals in life, but if you give up on them how do you expect to achieve them? The girl actually connects better with animals than humans, which sometimes I really don't blame her thinking that way.

People can really hurt us in so many ways, where with animals they just show us love and give us respect.

This is definitely a story worth looking at.

Red Bull's New Cola: A Kick from Cocaine?

Red Bull Cola
Rolf Vennenbernd / EPA

"The [Health Institute in the state of North Rhine Westphalia] examined Red Bull Cola in an elaborate chemical process and found traces of cocaine," Bernhard Kuehnle, head of the food safety department at Germany's federal ministry for consumer protection, told the German press on Sunday. According to this analysis, the 0.13 micrograms of cocaine per can of the drink does not pose a serious health threat — you'd have to drink 12,000 L of Red Bull Cola for negative effects to be felt — but it was enough to cause concern. Kuehnle's agency is due to give its final verdict on Wednesday when experts publish their report. (See pictures of America's cannabis culture.)

Red Bull has always been upfront about the recipe for its new cola. Its website boasts colorful pictures of coca, cardamom and Kola nuts, along with other key "natural" ingredients. The company insists, however, that coca leaves are used as a flavoring agent only after removing the illegal cocaine alkaloid. "De-cocainized extract of coca leaf is used worldwide in foods as a natural flavoring," said a Red Bull spokesman in response to the German government's announcement. Though the cocaine alkaloid is one of 10 alkaloids in coca leaves and represents only 0.8% of the chemical makeup of the plant, it's removal is mandated by international antinarcotics agencies when used outside the Andean region. (Check out a story on how Bolivia is preaching the virtues of coca culture.)

Meanwhile, in Bolivia, halfway around the world and smack in the middle of the Andes, the controversy is causing chuckles. Coca is a fundamental part of Andean culture and for years, Bolivians have tried to get the world to understand that the leaf is not a drug if it's not put through the extensive chemical process that yields cocaine. Left-wing President Evo Morales, a coca-grower himself, has made coca validation a personal quest, chewing leaves in front of world leaders and press cameras during his travels. "Let's say [Red Bull Cola] doesn't take out the cocaine alkaloid. Have any of those millions of people across the world who have drunk that soda ever gotten sick or felt drugged?" asks Dionicio Nunez, a coca-growers' leader from the Yungas region. "We've always known that coca isn't harmful. Now maybe others will realize it too."

In Germany, the Red Bull spokesman insisted that his company's product, along with others containing the coca-leaf extract are considered safe in Europe and the U.S. And already, some experts have come to Red Bull's defense. "There is no scientific basis for this ban on Red Bull Cola because the levels of cocaine found are so small," Fritz Soergel, the head of the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in the city of Nuremberg, tells TIME. "And it's not even cocaine itself. According to the tests we carried out, it's a nonactive degradation product with no effect on the body. If you start examining lots of other drinks and food so carefully, you'd find a lot of surprising things," he says. (Read about the anti-Red Bull: a drink that can calm you down.)

Coca leaves, of course, have a long record in modern soda-pop history. Most prominently, there was Coca-Cola whose original 19th century formula used unaltered coca leaves. In the early 1900s the company said it would only use "spent," or decocainized leaves, though the company refuses to confirm whether leaves in any form are still used.

But the problem is when it comes to coca and cocaine, it's not just a health concern, but a legal one. Since 1961, trade of coca outside the Andean region — where people have chewed or brewed coca in tea to stave off hunger and exhaustion for centuries — has been prohibited unless the cocaine alkaloid is removed. Few companies in the world have authorization to trade in the leaf and most are pharmaceutical companies that perform this decocainizing process. The most prominent is New Jersey-based Stepan Chemical Company which has been reported to supply Coca-Cola with its narcotic-free derivative.

But no one knows where Red Bull Cola's coca leaves come from or where they are processed. Red Bull did not respond to immediate requests for comment and Rauch Trading AG, the Austria-based food company that actually manufactures Red Bull Cola was quick to tell TIME that they are not allowed to speak about the product. Meanwhile, Bolivia, which has lots of coca leaves to sell, is getting a kick out of the fact Red Bull Cola admits to using coca in any form (since Coca-Cola evades the question). Ironically, the drink is not actually available yet in Bolivia. But, the locals say, this is a great opportunity to show that coca isn't harmful — with or without the cocaine alkaloid. With Reporting by Tristana Moore/Berlin

Free boob jobs offered to nurses at Prague clinic

AN understaffed Prague clinic has signed up nurses by offering boob jobs, liposuction and tummy tucks as a bonus.
Nurses, doctors and secretaries who sign up with the small private clinic for three years can choose their free plastic surgery.

"It has been a success," Jiri Schweitzer, a manager at the Iscare clinic, said, adding the establishment was now fully staffed and had to reject dozens of beauty-hunting job applicants.

Petra Kalivodova, a 31-year-old nurse who has been working at the clinic for four years, has had a breast implants - the most popular choice among nurses - so she underwent liposuction for her signing on perk.

"I have mentioned this to colleagues and friends, and the interest in working here is huge," she said.

The clinic charges up to 75,000 koruna ($5060) for a breast implant, almost three times the average nurse's monthly wage, and up to €1880 ($3380) for liposuction.

Many Czech nurses have been tempted out of the country by higher wages offered in western European nations and the Czech health system now needs about 6000 nurses in addition to the 90,000 it already employs, according to official data.

Artist creates pictures by folding paper

Artist Simon Schubert has created an extraordinary collection of pictures - made up of hundreds of tiny folds in paper.

paper artist
Artist Simon Schubert's creations are composed of tiny folds in paper Photo: SOLENT

At first glance the elaborate pictures, which sell for up to £3,800, seem to have been created with pencil or paint but they are actually composed of tiny folds in the paper.

Mr Schubert spent two years perfecting the art of folding paper into his elaborate designs.

Now the 33-year-old takes up to a week to create each of his unusual pictures.

He said: "The first attempt was not really so successful, took quite a white to get the technique perfect."

Paper art: Artist creates pictures by folding paper
Paper art: Mr Schubert spent two years perfecting the art of folding paper into his elaborate designs. Photo: SOLENT

Mr Schubert, who lives in Cologne, Germany, with his wife Cosima, 37, and their twin children Lilith and Kilian, two, said he often had to convince people his pictures aren't painted.

He said: "Most of the people who see the work are surprised that the pictures are created by folding paper, they don't believe it when I tell them.

"Many of them think I've used paint or pencil to create the affect of light and shade.

"But when they realise the pictures are actually folded they are quite impressed."

Mr Shubert is currently exhibiting in the Kudlek van der Grinten gallery in Cologne.

He also has a display at the Upstairs gallery in Berlin, where one room has been covered in 150 of Mr Shubert's designs - giving the impression the whole room is folded.

Don't give your pets pot brownies, okay?

When Tank, a 3-year-old male pit bull mix, arrived with his owner at a veterinary office in Humboldt County, his jaws packed with white powder, it was clear that something was seriously wrong.

Earlier, Tank had mysteriously consumed an entire box of baking soda -- odd behavior, even for an animal with famously indiscriminate eating habits.

But more disturbing was Tank's demeanor. He sat trembling, his front legs stuck out at an awkward angle, his dilated eyes fixed on a distant point. A check of the heart revealed a coma-like 32 beats per minute, far below normal.

Joseph Humble, the attending veterinarian, suspected poisoning. But from what? The dog's owner pleaded ignorance. Tank, distracted, wasn't saying.

A few minutes later, the mystery was solved. "The guy called me right back and said, 'Doc, I know what happened,' " Humble recalls. " 'The dog ate some pot -- kind of a lot of pot.' "

Marijuana's action on humans is well understood: Once its psychoactive agent, tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is carried from the lungs or stomach by blood to the brain, it binds to nerve cells and activates the brain's pleasure centers. Effects include sensory sensitivity, motor impairment and an increased desire for Doritos.

The plant's effect on canines is considerably less benign. Even a few grams can cause staggering, vomiting, urinary incontinence and, in severe cases, seizures and coma. "Some people may enjoy pot, but I assure you dogs do not," Humble says.

Although no statistics are kept on marijuana poisonings, the nation's canine-to-pot ratio reveals potential for a problem. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn. estimates that 43 million U.S. households include a dog, while more than 25 million Americans fessed up on a 2003 government survey to having used marijuana at least once in the previous year.

In Northern California, which is believed to have the highest concentration of medical marijuana users in the country and where pot cultivation is a popular hobby, vets face a preponderance of such cases, with some attending to several zonked-out dogs a week.

But unlike in human medicine, where entire textbooks are dedicated to doctor-client communication, there are no such rules for vets, leaving them to their own strategies for broaching a touchy question: Any chance the dog ate your stash?

Because marijuana toxicity can resemble the early stages of a life-threatening poisoning by garden chemicals or antifreeze, identifying the toxin quickly is critical. But due to pot's shaky legal status, many people are reluctant to admit that their pet is stoned, and most vets choose to skirt the issue rather than confront owners.

"The classic question is, 'Do you have teenagers?' " says Edward Haynes, a Mendocino County veterinarian who sees a spike in such cases during the fall pot harvesting months. "Then you say, 'Is it possible that the dog came in contact with any recreational drugs?' " he says.

Owning up to the truth

Even in cases where the owner admits that the dog was exposed to pot, many are still reluctant to take responsibility. Humble, who says he treats dozens of marijuana poisonings every year, says, "It's always a roommate's or the neighbor's. It's never theirs."

As was the case with Tank. His owner explained to Humble that his roommate had baked a tray of potent marijuana cookies, leaving a warning that consumption should be limited to a quarter of a cookie. Left alone, Tank gobbled the entire batch. And the baking soda? "The animal had the munchies," Humble says.

Jeffrey Smith, a vet at Middletown Animal Hospital in Middletown, Calif., says he engages in profiling to aid diagnosis. "The majority of these cases, they tend to be young people, sort of 'living life and loving it' types," he says. "They come in two or three at a time with one pet, kind of nervous and looking at each other."

Other vets employ a mild form of blackmail. In cases where marijuana poisoning is suspected but not owned up to, some vets explain that if a more innocuous poison cannot be identified, their pet will need a full treatment of intravenous fluids, a stomach pump and an enema -- costing the owner hundreds of dollars, not to mention a seriously bad trip for the dog. "About two-thirds of people, you have to kind of squeeze it out of them," says Smith.

Once marijuana poisoning has been established as the cause of the patient's distress, vets say the best approach is to monitor the dog's vital signs and wait. "Most of the time, they do fine if you just let them sleep it off, just like people," says Haynes.

Because of the importance of distinguishing marijuana toxicity from other poisonings, some vets call the 24-hour poison hotline run by the ASPCA Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill. Since 1998 the center has consulted on about 600 cases of marijuana toxicity among animals from around the country, with New York and California leading the list.

More than 95% of cases involved dogs, a disparity that does not surprise veterinarian Caroline Donaldson, an ASPCA consultant who has written about marijuana toxicity for the journal Veterinary Medicine. "Dogs eat anything and everything. It's the nature of the beast," she says.

Although canines are clearly on the front lines of the pot-versus-pet drug war, the ASPCA has documented a handful of cases involving cats, rabbits and horses. Humboldt County vet Judy Horvath once treated an iguana that fell unconscious after snacking on some buds supplied by its owner.

"We had to hook it up to an electrocardiogram to even find a heartbeat," Horvath says. The iguana came to several days later, shaken but alive.

Is it animal abuse?

Such cases bring up the question of legal responsibility. Although 12 states, including California, have decriminalized marijuana, the federal government still classifies pot alongside heroin and LSD as among the most dangerous Schedule 1 controlled substances. In addition, a 2004 California law obligates vets to report cases of animal abuse or neglect, which could include animals irresponsibly exposed to toxins.

Melissa Stallings of the California Veterinary Medicine Assn. says, "It's really up to each vet to make a common-sense call. They have to ask, does it rise to the level of abuse?" So far there have been no reported cases of a vet turning in a pet owner for pot-related abuse.

Smith sums up the feelings of many vets regarding their role in drug law enforcement. "My only concern is the animal," he says. "I don't have to be the local cop as well as the local vet."

Others feel obliged to take it further.

"A lot of times a kid will stash some pot in his room and leave the door open. In goes the dog and out goes the evidence," Haynes says. Once marijuana poisoning is established, he says he feels obligated to inform parents, if only to protect a dog with impaired short-term memory. "I've busted a lot of teenagers that way."

The Ten Coolest American Military Land Vehicles

By Matt Hardigree

Is there a better way to honor those who served than honoring the vehicles they served in? Probably. But there's no more Jalopnik way of doing it than with a list of fierce olive American metal.

Capable of towing over 7,000 pounds while simultaneously transporting a dozen NATO troops, the M35 "deuce-and-a-half" is one mean machine. There are numerous varieties of this vehicle, but they typically include a small cab, large covered bed and some form of turbocharged multi-fuel engine. And by multi-fuel we mean you can put just about anything in the tank and it'll run, including but not limited to: diesel, gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel and vodka.
Photo Credit: B&B

Sherman Tank
The most successful American tank of WWII, the M4 Sherman was a powerful, quick, and reliable military machine capable of going toe-to-toe with most German armaments. Fitted with a variety of guns and engines, the M4 wasn't always the best tank, but the ability to produce and field them cheaply and quickly was good enough to overwhelm the enemy. USA! USA! USA!
Photo Credit: FourFold

DPV Fast Attack Vehicle
Like it sounds, the DPV Fast Attack Vehicle is capable of speeds over 80 MPH on desert terrain, launching a grenade, and traveling over 1,000 miles. Powered by a 200 HP VW engine, the vehicles have found use primarily by special forces and were a major part of the Desert Storm operations.

Bradley Fighting Vehicle
The M2 Bradley is a fast armored fighting vehicle quick enough to keep up with the M1 Abrams tank and, equipped with a 25 mm chain gun and a pair of TOW missiles, surprisingly deadly given its smaller armaments. The platform is so capable and easy-to-produce it's been modified into an amphibious vehicle, fire support vehicle, and air defense vehicle.
Photo Credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

Despite being developed in the late 1970s, the Humvee is the go-to vehicle for nearly every job the military has. Humvee is short for HMMWV which stands for high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle. With four-wheel drive, disc brakes, and an independent suspension the Hummer is worlds better than the Jeep. More than any other vehicle, it's the mechanical representation of the modern U.S. military. Photo Credit: OCINE ZAOURAR/AFP/Getty Images

Willys MB Jeep
With WWII around the corner, and the U.S. lacking anything better than a Model T or a bunch of horses, a vehicle was needed for European warfare. There were three versions of the original Jeep produced by different companies, but the Willys MB variant would prove to be the most enduring. The distinctive slotted-steel grille with embedded headlights is a design still used on Jeeps today.

M1 Abrams
Powered by a 1,500 HP gas-turbine engine and pure superiority, the M1 Abrams is more than 60 tons of badass rolling up to 45 MPH through wherever it wants. Equipped with composite armor and a 120 mm gun that can fire multiple times while in motion, the Abrams is a fearsome weapon in any theater.
Photo Credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

Though relegated primarily to tourist boat duty, the DUKW or "duck," amphibious six-wheel truck was part GMC truck and part yacht, capable of speeds up to 55 MPH on land and 7 MPH in the water. The story of its commissioning involves being considered too risky for military service before saving a group of stranded Coast Guardsman. Both because of its practicality and its strange look, we love the "truck that can swim."

Dodge M37 Power Wagon
The Dodge Power Wagon, a four-wheel drive 3/4-ton truck, is the basis for the modern four-wheel drive pickup. But before it found its way into the hearts of civilian truck owners, the Power Wagon was the marine truck of choice for most jobs during the Korean War. Whether carrying troops, wounded, or weapons, the M37 was a rock solid truck for Americans fighting on less-than-solid turf.

M60A1 Armored Vehicle Launched BridgeThe M60A1 armored vehicle launched bridge (ALVB) is exactly what it sounds like: a mobile, armored bridge. There's not always time to wait around for engineers to erect a crossing, so the AVLB carries on its back a 60-foot bridge strong enough and wide enough to support just about every land vehicle in the arsenal — including itself.

The 61-year-old who performs a balancing act with his BMX... on cliff edges

By Mail Foreign Service

Expertly balanced 300ft up a rock face, Khiv Raj Gurjar is the world's finest exponent of Extreme Yoga.

Using only a BMX bike for support, 61-year-old Khiv takes the ancient art of meditation to new levels as he performs complex forms of yoga merely inches from the sheer drop.

Travelling to the top of the rocky outcrop near to his home of Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Khiv begins his exercises at dawn, so as to avoid the raging desert heat.

Enlarge Khiv Raj Gurjar

Yoga master: Khiv Raj Gurjar thinks nothing of executing a few complex poses atop a rocky outcrop at dawn each morning

Enlarge Khiv Raj Gurjar

Balancing act: The 61-year-old has studied yoga since the age of 13

A student of yoga since the age of 13 and a keen sportsman, Khiv has combined his other great love, cycling, to create his new and extreme form.

'From my childhood I was passionate to do things which are extraordinary and look very dangerous,' says Khiv.

'I tried magic, learned acrobatics, yoga, did cycling, played football.

'As I grew into my twenties I found combining yoga and cycling stunts would be something very unconventional, but also deeply challenging.'

Presently able to perform up to 36 individual yoga poses on his bike, adventure enthusiast Khiv does his yoga exercises for one hour every day.

'I practise and exercise every day of the year,' explains the yoga master.

'This is enough time for me as I have been doing this since my childhood and I am very good at it.'

Khiv feels that his yoga, which takes him up clock towers in crowded bazaars and to the top of ancient forts is not only soul enriching, but exciting too.

Enlarge Khiv Raj Gurjar

Dawn rising: Khiv prefers to exercise at the start of the day, so as to make sure he avoids the raging desert heat

'For me, it is like when children get excited about something that they do not have any reason for,' explains Khiv.

'That is the case with me. I am crazy about performing it. And as it is dangerous so much the better.'

A natural athlete, Khiv has represented his country at a national level as a cyclist and even competed in his country's national football league.

'I like adventures and I actively search for those that can suffice my appetite,' Khiv says.

'In addition to my yoga and cycling I do acrobatics, bodybuilding, football, mountaineering, trekking, rock climbing.'

Very much active for a man of his age, Khiv has no plans to retire to a quiet garden to a more sedate form of yoga.

'I perform for my personal satisfaction and I always want to be best,' says Khiv.

'Whatever sport I played or exercise I did, I did it for my self. But my passion brought me to the top.'

Enlarge Khiv Raj Gurjar

Perfectionist: Khiv says he performs for his own personal satisfaction and is driven by his urge to be the best

In a country not known for a history of extreme sports, Khiv and his inspiration stand out.

'I have never liked cricket. There is no question of playing, I haven't ever watched it, even on TV,' he says.

'My hero is Pele. He was poor but achieved great things with his natural talent.'

It is not just Khiv who has dedicated his life to keeping his body a temple.

'My wife Kamla never worries about my desire to push myself to the limit,' says Khiv.

'She works in the gym I run and was fully aware of my passions before we got married. In fact she gives me all the moral support that I need.'

It is no surprise then that Kamla and Khiv's son Harish is also heavily involved in fitness.

'My son has followed his father's example to be a fit and healthy man,' says a proud Khiv.

'He has become a personal trainer to the stars, such as Bill Gates and Daniel Craig.'

Having been perfecting his extreme yoga for almost 50 years, Khiv has travelled the world to demonstrate his skills.

'I have been to Australia, the UK and Thailand, taking my trusted BMX with me,' he says.

'I have plans to develop my art, but I am keeping these plans close to my chest.'

Bruno: Restricted Red-Band Trailer

The first trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, Bruno, is finally here and, thankfully, it's red band. If there was any doubt that Cohen's next movie would be less offensive or hilarious than Borat, this trailer squashes it. As Bruno, an Austrian supermodel, Cohen goes from fashion show to fashion show, stopping off to talk with hicks along the way, and causing disasters as he goes.

Lenovo Goes Ion With 12.1" IdeaPad S12 Netbook

It's shaping up to be quite the month for Lenovo. Just weeks after it unveiled a refreshed version of its IdeaPad S10 netbook (understandably deemed the S10-2), the company is dropping yet another new rig on the world. Today, the IdeaPad S12 came to light, bringing with it the title of world's first netbook with NVIDIA's Ion technology. How significant will this be in the netbook world? If we had to guess today, we'd say "very."

If you'll recall, NVIDIA's Ion is a new chipset that aims to provide 1080p capabilities to otherwise underpowered and low-cost machines. It's the same technology that launched in Acer's Aspire Revo nettop, and the same technology that recently shipped in a Zotac mainboard. Most netbooks today ship with lowly integrated graphics that can't handle multimedia at 720p or higher and cannot run any of the latest 3D gaming titles. Thus, most netbooks are stricken to handle only Office-type tasks and Web browsing.

Lenovo's IdeaPad S12 promises to be the first netbook that can seriously handle high-def tasks, with a 12.1" display and the ability to play back 1080p content (via the HDMI output, of course) in "silky smooth" fashion. As if that weren't enough, Lenovo also made sure to bless this machine with a 100% full size keyboard, something that's extraordinarily rare on netbooks. In fact, we'd say the tight, often misshaped keyboards are the worst attributes on netbooks. With this machine, it's just like typing on any standard 15.4" notebook. Nice touch, Lenovo.

The company hopes to begin shipping the S12 next month with prices starting at $449, though the Ion version (the flagship model) will cost $499. Still, for a netbook with a full size keyboard, Ion graphics and a six cell battery good for nearly six hours of life, that's not a lot to ask. Full specifications are below in the press release from Lenovo.

  • Display: 12.1 WXGA (1280 X 800) LED 200 nit, 250g
  • Processor: Intel Atom N270
  • Graphics: Intel integrated GMA 950, Nvidia ION
  • Memory: Up to 1GB DDR2 533 MHz
  • Hard Drive: Up to 160 GB SATA (160, 250, 320)
  • Battery Life: 3 hours with 3-cell, 6 hours with 6-cell
  • Weight: 1.4kg with 3 cell, 1.55kg with 6 cell
  • Dimensions: 292 X 216 X 22-28.9mm
  • Connectivity: 10/100m Ethernet, Broadcom 578M, Intel WiFi Link 5150 1X2 AGN, Intel WiFi Link 5100 1X2 AGN, Non-Intel wireless b/g, Non-Intel wireless b/g/n, Bluetooth
  • Other: 3 USB, 1 Expresscard slot (Intel and VIA platforms), 4-in-1 card reader, VGA, RJA45, HDMI
  • Software: XP Home SP3 (32 bit)

NVIDIA also took the opportunity to brief us on their proud new design win with Lenovo, underscoring the benefits of the platform over Intel chipset based solutions for the Atom processor.

And Lenovo's official press release came through over the wire this morning as well....

Lenovo Energizes Mini-Computing with its First 12-Inch Netbook Debuts World's First Netbook with NVIDIA's ION Graphics Processor

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – May 25, 2009: Lenovo today announced the IdeaPad S12, the company's first 12-inch netbook. The new netbook takes the best in connectivity, style and entertainment features in Lenovo's other netbooks and brings users the next level in netbook computing with improved usability and performance. These enhancements include a 12.1-inch screen, a 100 percent full-size keyboard and new graphics options with the NVIDIA ION™ platform.

"We've heard from consumers loud and clear about the need for affordable and extremely portable computing devices, and we've responded by introducing our third netbook with a completely new form factor, making mini-computing more usable and redefining value in today's market," said Dion Weisler, vice president, Business Operations, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. "We are pioneering new territory in the developing netbook arena by being the first vendor to give customers high quality video and entertainment capabilities in a netbook with optional NVIDIA ION graphics."

Elevating Power and Performance
Whether it's looking at photos, playing music, emailing or cruising online, consumers want smaller and more portable PCs. The Lenovo IdeaPad S12 netbook is raising the bar for higher levels of netbook computing with choices of the Intel Atom processor with Intel integrated graphics or the Intel Atom processor with NVIDIA ION graphics. Also, for the first time on a netbook with NVIDIA's ION graphics platform, users will be able to enjoy brilliant 1080p high definition video with silky smooth playback.
"NVIDIA ION graphics help deliver the same features found in premium PCs at lower price points and new form factors," said Rene Haas, general manager, Notebook GPUs, NVIDIA. "With enhanced graphics, the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 netbook is perfect for watching movies, playing popular games like Spore, flipping through vacation pictures or enhancing family videos."

The IdeaPad S12 netbook offers plenty of up and running time with up to six hours of battery life to support the mobile demands of netbook users1. Because netbook users need to stay connected wirelessly, the netbook comes with WiFi connectivity and ready for 3G with an ExpressCard slot to enable connectivity2. To hold the photos, music and videos users keep on their netbooks, the IdeaPad S12 netbook offers ample hard drive storage and memory with up to 160 GB of storage and 1 GB of memory. For peace of mind in case data becomes corrupted, Lenovo's OneKey™ Rescue System can help recover user data or device settings.

Loaded with Style and Entertainment
In addition to the netbook's sleek and sophisticated ring pattern design in black or white, users can make the netbook their one-stop entertainment device, starting from the moment they turn it on. Lenovo's expanded VeriFace facial recognition technology makes logging in a snap by recognizing the user's face. If users want "on demand" functionality, they can go into the Lenovo Quick Start environment and check email, browse the Internet and more without waiting for the full operating system to boot. They can also don any set of headphones and enjoy surround sound audio with Dolby Headphone technology. If opting to watch video on an external monitor, they can easily connect through the netbook's VGA port or HDMI port on select models. They can also choose among several multimedia formats to upload through the 4-in-1 multicard reader.

An Improved Computing Experience
Lenovo designed the IdeaPad S12 netbook for consumers looking for a super thin, portable and affordable device that offered a familiar, computing experience. Lenovo enlarged the netbook's WXGA screen from 10.1 inches to 12.1 inches for better viewing and made the keyboard 100 percent the size of a full-size laptop to make typing easier and less cramped. And when it comes to portability, by measuring less than an inch thick4, the netbook leads the industry for thinness compared to other 12-inch netbooks. The lightweight IdeaPad S12 netbook weighs in at just three pounds5.

Pricing and Availability
The IdeaPad S12 netbook will be available in June through business partners and Pricing for models starts at $449. Models with the NVIDIA ION graphics will be available later this summer.