by Larry O'Hanlon
This is the most insanely interesting volcanic footage I have ever seen! Watch it all the way through because it gets closer up and more intense towards the end. Amazing stuff!
This is the most insanely interesting volcanic footage I have ever seen! Watch it all the way through because it gets closer up and more intense towards the end. Amazing stuff!
According to Michael Jackson's largest online fan club, MJ fanatics have been recently committing suicide because of the pop star's tragic death.
The Sun is reporting that up to 12 die-hard Jackson followers have taken their own lives since his passing on Thursday.
Gary Taylor, who runs MJJcommunity.com, recently said, "I know there has been an increase, I now believe the figure is 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life. It is a serious situation that these people are going through but Michael Jackson would never want this. He would want them to live."
This crazy news came to light when it was revealed that a Jackson lookalike in Russia cut his wrists after Michael's death was announced last week. The fan, Pável Talaláyev, was found bleeding heavily at his home in Moscow just hours after it was announced that Jackson had died. Luckily for him, an ambulance crew found him in time and managed to save his life. Apparently others have not been so fortunate.
The most insane aspect of this story has to be the conversation that took place in the ambulance after the paramedics had saved Talaláyev from death.
One of the paramedics stated, "He was in a terrible state and kept on saying: 'It's all the same to me. I'm going to kill myself. It's the worst tragedy of my life and I don't want to live any more. I don't know why you saved my life, I want to be with him'."
Pável is supposedly Russia's most famous Jacko lookalike and apparently modeled himself after MJ from the age of nine.
Source: Ben Stansall/Getty Images
The brewer is putting three once-in-a-lifetime experiences up for grabs themed on the colour of its famous black stout beer.
To mark its 250 years in business, the company is sending one winner into space, another to the depths of the ocean, and a third to an exclusive Black Eyed Peas concert.
A Guinness spokeswoman said: "Since 1759, Arthur Guinness and the Guinness brand have been behind some remarkable and hugely momentous achievements.
"To continue this legacy and as part of the 250 celebrations, Guinness is giving something back to supporters around the world."
The competition is open to adults in 28 countries at its website www.guinness.com until the 250-year anniversary on September 24 – dubbed Arthur's Day.
The Guinness space experience gives one person the chance to become one of the first non-professional astronauts to venture into space with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceline.
After training in New Mexico at the Virgin Galactic's home at Spaceport America, the winner will take a flight through the Earth's atmosphere at almost 2,500mph – three times the speed of sound.
Sitting 68 miles above the Earth's surface, they will experience the feeling of weightlessness before they view Earth from the blackness of space.
The winner of the Guinness sea experience will travel to the Lofoten Islands in Norway with two friends where they will venture to the depths of the sea and plunge into the black stuff in the first ever Guinness deep sea bar.
There the group will be surrounded by a breathtaking seascape to depths of up to 70m below sea level.
The final winner and two friends will get an exclusive live performance by The Black Eyed Peas at an intimate recording studio as part of their forthcoming world tour.
By Murray Wardrop
The Desert Rhubarb can hold 16 times more water than its rivals and has developed a unique ability to effectively water itself in its barren habitat.
Researchers were confounded by the metre-wide plant's giant leaves, compared to its desert counterparts, whose tiny leaves stop dangerous moisture loss.
But they found the plant's large leaves are the key to its success, because they are covered in microscopic streams through which water can be channelled.
Scientists claim ridges in the leaves act like mountain valleys, funnelling the water slowly and directly into the plant while stopping it evaporating.
A team from the Department of Science Education-Biology at the University of Haifa-Oranim, in Israel, said the leaves act like a mini irrigation system.
Lead researcher Professor Gidi Ne'eman said "We know of no other plant in the deserts of the world that functions in this manner.
"We have managed to make out the 'self-irrigating' mechanism of the desert rhubarb, which enables it to harvest 16 times the amount of water than otherwise expected for a plant in this region based on the quantities of rain in the desert.
"These deep and wide depressions in the leaves create a "channelling" mountain-like system by which the rain water is channelled toward the ground surrounding the plant's deep root.
"Other desert plants simply suffice with the rain water that penetrates the ground in its immediate surroundings."
Results of experiments and analysis of the plant's growth – in an area with an average annual rainfall of 75mm – showed that the desert rhubarb is able to harvest quantities of water that are closer to that of Mediterranean plants, reaching up to 426mm per year.
That is 16 times the amount of water harvested by the small-leafed plants of the Negev desert region.
The Negev makes up more than 50 per cent of Israel's land area to the south of the country near it's border with Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula.
Marijuana and cocaine for personal use should be decriminalised because the "war on drugs" has been a disaster, according to some of Latin America's most powerful politicians and writers.
The current international policy on drugs encourages corruption and violence that is threatening democracy throughout the continent, according to the former president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who is a co-president of the Latin American commission on drugs and democracy. As well as politicians, the commission includes the writers Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru, and Paulo Coelho of Brazil.
The election of Barack Obama has opened up the best opportunity for decades to address the failure of the "so-called drugs war", Cardoso told the Guardian today on a visit to London. He said he was hopeful that the international community would acknowledge that the time had come for a "paradigm shift" in the debate on drugs. "The war on drugs has failed in spite of enormous efforts in places like Colombia – the area of coca crops is not reducing," he said.
The current system of prohibition encouraged corruption among police officers, politicians and even judges. "It poisons the whole system, it undermines democracy," Cardoso said. "The war on drugs is based on repression … How can people believe in democracy if the rule of law doesn't work?" Users should be offered treatment rather than jail, he said.
"The starting point has to be the United States," he said. "Now we have a new American administration, which is much more open-minded than before." He said he had held talks with the US state department in the later years of the Bush administration and found that, privately, many of the officials there shared his views.
Cardoso said that the changes would have to be co-ordinated. "We need an international convention, otherwise you will have different countries doing different things," he said. "But the climate is changing for the first time for many years. Even in the US, they recognise we are in deadlock now." Obama had already made it clear that the idea of a "war on drugs" was not workable. The need for change is urgent, said Cardoso, because of what is happening in Latin America. "There is a very grave situation in Mexico," he said. "More people are being killed there (through the drugs war) than in Iraq." He said that it was easier for former presidents who were no longer in office or running for election to speak out on such a controversial issue. He added that ending the war on drugs would be not be a signal that drugs were acceptable but a recognition that current policies had failed.
"You have to show that drugs are harmful, even light drugs, like marijuana - it is better not to use drugs - but tobacco is harmful also yet its use is being reduced by education," said Cardoso. He added that the vast quantities of money being used to enforce "repressive" policies on drugs could be put into treatment and education. Hundreds of thousands of people were being unnecessarily criminalised and sent to prison, "which are schools of crime."
The previous UN drugs policy that aimed to eliminate all drug use by this year was ill-conceived, he said. "You can never stop drugs use," he said, likening it to some of the failed policies in the past over HIV/Aids. "You can't have zero drugs any more than you can have a zero sex policy but you can have a safe sex policy." He said that Brazil's success in halting the HIV/Aids epidemic, which meant promoting the use of condoms in a Catholic country, was an example of how people's behaviour could be changed by education rather than repression.
Segway inventor Dean Kamen is developing a hybrid electric scooter that can run on almost anything that burns.
According to the patent, the bike has a small two-piston Stirling engine right under the seat. Though with an engine of that size, it really isn’t going to provide much juice - not much more than 5bhp.
A Stirling engine is based on tech which predates internal combustion engines by almost 100 years. It’s kinda like a steam engine in the sense that it uses external combustion. They use pistons for the crankshaft, but unlike the alternatives they have no valves for no gas ever enters or leaves the cylinders.
Since there is no need for a fuel to be injected, it can run on almost anything that burns - everything from wood chips to old Barbies. This really opens the door for renewable fuel technologies and the standards they would have to meet.
With the engine’s low output, it won’t provide much of the bike’s performance on its own. But it can keep the rechargeable battery packs, which are located in the floor of the bike, topped off. Those reserves can be used for an extra kick in the pants!
Multimillionaire Kamen has already sunk more than $50 million into developing the Stirling engine technology.
A prototype of the bike has yet to be seen unlike Kamen’s Stirling-engined car. Though, rumor has it that Kamen rides one around his own estate.
A version of the Th!ink City also uses a Stirling Engine
But Kamen isn’t the only one looking at the Stirling as a viable solution. Honda has patented concepts using the Stirling to extract more power from a conventional internal combustion engine. Yah, say that three times fast. Other applications include autonomous robots for the US military that can “feed” themselves to remain active for years.
Um, anyone else thinking…SkyNet?
In the “land of the free,” nothing says Independence Day like an exciting fireworks display—a tradition since 1777, the first time our nation celebrated the Fourth of July. Just in time for this year’s festivities, WD has rounded up the most spectacularly patriotic events across the country for you and your family to enjoy—all guaranteeing an explosive holiday weekend.
A Capitol Fourth in Washington, DC
Beginning at dusk on July 4, the West Lawn of the Capitol building will be open to the public so citizens can celebrate our nation’s freedom with the first family. Performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington are always part of the festivities, as well as celebrity appearances—this year’s host is Jimmy Smits and musical performers include Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin and Natasha Bedingfield. Photo courtesy of Capitol Concerts
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular in Boston
One of the most anticipated shows in the country, this event will be hosted by Craig Ferguson and includes performances by Neil Diamond and, of course, the world-renowned Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. At this year’s 36th annual celebration, the 104th Fighter Wing will fly over the area as the Boston Pops perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will display a choreographed show with over 20,000 pounds of fireworks, including large shells that climb up to 1,500 feet in the air. Photo courtesy of Rich Moffitt via Flickr.com
Fireworks Display at Mount Rushmore in Keystone, SD
On July 3, the famous monument of our greatest presidents will be the scenic setting for this fireworks show. Only at Mount Rushmore’s Independence Day celebration will you travel down the Avenue of Flags from the Concession Building to the Presidential trail—a half-mile path that will put you in one of the prime viewing spots for all of the fireworks action, including the Grandview Terrace or the memorial’s amphitheater. Photo courtesy of TravelSD.com
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks in New York City
America’s favorite department store will host the Big Apple’s most spectacular display for the 33rd time with over 120,000 fireworks from around the world. In the past, the celebration has been over the East River, but this year, the action will take place over the Hudson River, where six barges, positioned between West 23rd and 50th Streets, will be setting off the pyrotechnics. Prior to the show, there will be a FDNY Fireboat water show and an Air National Guard jet flyover. Photo courtesy of C et C via Flickr.com
A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky in Orlando, FL
The festivities at Walt Disney World begin on July 3 with a fireworks display followed by the SpectroMagic parade, a standard at the theme park. On July 4, the celebrations kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade, and then, come nighttime, the sky over the Magic Kingdom will radiate for miles, allowing you to enjoy this truly magical commemoration alongside Mickey Mouse and other beloved Disney characters. Photo courtesy of Johnny9s via Flickr.com
LIVE on the Levee in St. Louis
Soaring above the Mississippi River on July 4 will be St. Louis’ fireworks display, which creates a gorgeous backdrop for the Gateway Arch. For this year’s celebration, the Counting Crows and Train will rock the main stage, while Nat and Alex Wolff perform on the side stage and kid-friendly bands perform on the Buster Brown Kids Stage. Photo courtesy of CelebrateStLouis.org
Lights on the Lake at Lake Tahoe
Rated one of the top five shows in the nation, Lights on the Lake is best viewed, well, on the lake, aboard boats like the Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie. Depending on where you are situated—Lake Tahoe is on the border of Nevada and California—Regan and El Dorado Beaches are also great viewing points for the Pyro Spectaculars Inc. fireworks show, which features an array of patterns, designs, lights and shapes. Photo courtesy of LTVA.org
Big Bay Boom in San Diego
Port San Diego’s 9th annual event—a.k.a. The Big Kahuna of fireworks displays—is best seen from a boat or on land around Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the North Embarcadero area and Seaport Village. The San Diego Symphony Pops perform their “A Star-Spangled Pops” show, while four barges dispersed throughout the San Diego Bay release 8,000 fireworks into the sky. Photo courtesy of Wendyness via Flickr.com
July 4th Fireworks Spectacular in Los Angeles
The Hollywood Bowl hosted its first fireworks celebration in 1969 and has since become one of the best venues for firework shows in the country. The combination of perfectly timed lights and corresponding sounds—this year, John Fogerty and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing—create a night you won’t soon forget. Photo courtesy of Scarlet Lark via Flickr.com
Go 4th on the River in New Orleans
For 19 years now, the Southern coastal city of New Orleans has been the home to this much-anticipated night. At 9 p.m., the Dueling Barges Extravaganza will begin, with fireworks shooting from two barges strategically placed on the Mississippi River. Earlier in the day, take in the sights and sounds of the bayou at various events along the waterway. Photo courtesy of Max Sparber via Flickr.com
Tempe 4th in Phoenix
From the Mill Avenue bridge, hundreds of fireworks, designed by ProTix Fireworks, will be launched into the night sky. Before and after the show, a variety of bands will hit the stage, performing everything from high-energy blues and Top 40s to indie pop and Arizona rock. And, before finding your fireworks viewing spot on the lawn, you can get your fill of hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ and more. Photo courtesy of Tempe4th.com
OS X is a popular platform for professional photographers, and offers a huge range of software which can help to take better photos, streamline post-processing, sell images, and publish them for others to view. Whether you’re a complete amateur or a seasoned pro, this roundup will have something new to show you.
We’ll be covering 50 fantastic applications for various areas of photography: organizing, post-processing, geo-tagging, panoramas, HDR images, uploading/sharing images, and more.
A huge selection of software is available for photographers, from direct tethered capturing right through to uploading images to a stock photography website. It’s always worth trying out a few options before settling on one in particular (especially when considering major software choices such as Aperture vs Lightroom).
Which pieces of photography software could you not do without? I’m interested to read about the applications that fit into your workflow.
empireonline.com — Tim Burton's style is instantly recognisable, as demonstrated in the recently released "Alice in Wonderland" pics. This piece looks back over his films to see how his style developed, in the man's own words.
clcik here to explore The Wonderful World Of Tim Burton
By David Kiley
Suddenly gasoline is in the headlines again as attacks on Nigerian oil pipelines and the summer driving season cause energy analysts to predict higher prices at the pump. That could pay dividends for Hyundai. On Tuesday, June 30, the Korean automaker is launching a summer promotion that guarantees buyers of its vehicles one year's worth of gas at $1.49 per gallon.
The gas giveaway comes on top of other offers that have helped Hyundai boost its share of the U.S. auto market from 2.9% to 4.2% so far this year. Earlier this year, Hyundai launched an "Assurance" program that guarantees that buyers can walk away from a new-car loan if they lose their jobs, with no adverse effect on their credit rating. It already offered one of the most generous warranty programs in the industry. Hyundai also bought a series of extremely high-audience TV ad buys, such as the Super Bowl and the first ad spot on CNN after then-President-elect Obama's election night acceptance speech.
Hyundai is trying to increase its market share amid the recession, as Detroit automakers regroup and even Japanese companies are hurting. It is making similar moves in China, where its share rose to 7.3% from 5.3% a year earlier. "Hyundai appears to be using the difficult industry situation as a good opportunity to vault into the league of major players in two or three years," says auto analyst Sokje Lee at brokerage Mirae Asset Securities in Seoul. "Taking advantage of a weak Korean currency, it is spending heavily on marketing."
Gas prices were already expected to rise above $3 a gallon this summer, before the violence in Nigeria that forced Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa) to close its primary oil field on Monday. Crude oil prices for August delivery climbed $2.33 a barrel, to $71.49, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Associated Press reported that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell by four-tenths of a cent, to $2.639, according to AAA, Wright Express, and the Oil Price Information Service. The U.S. imports almost half of Nigeria's production of light crude, which is the oil used in gasoline refining.
"A guarantee of such a low gas price could have a great psychological effect on car buyers, and it certainly will increase hits to Hyundai's Web site and create more interest in researching Hyundai, which is really the point of this promotion," says independent marketing consultant Dennis Keene. "Very few people actually take advantage of these headline-grabbing programs, but [the deals] stimulate Web site and showroom traffic."
Hyundai's Web site traffic is up 18% this year, according to the company. Its U.S. sales are down 7.9% through May of this year, but that's better than the industry's overall 30% drop.
Hyundai's research showed that nearly 40% of potential new-car buyers were staying out of the market specifically because of uncertainty around future gas prices. Chris Perry, director of marketing communications at Hyundai, says: "Our programs are designed to address consumer needs, the ones they are talking about around their kitchen tables." Indeed, while Hyundai's Assurance program increased Web interest when it was launched last January, fewer than 10 buyers have had to take advantage so far, the company says.
Consumers have to buy or lease a new Hyundai by Aug. 31 to take advantage of the discount gas offer. Perry says Hyundai is also running advertising reminding new-vehicle buyers of the Hyundai models that qualify for the Federal government's Cash for Clunkers program, which gives consumers up to $4,500 for trading in old vehicles that get below 18 mpg for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. "We already are marketing our vehicles that qualify on our Web site, and we will add it to our ads as the government program rolls out."
Hyundai is already benefiting from a bump in attention since it topped Toyota (TM) last week in J.D. Power & Associates Initial Quality Study, which measures problems in the first three months of owning a new vehicle, as reported by buyers. Hyundai was the top-ranked non-luxury brand in the annual study.
The Korean automaker is not the first to offer discounted gas. Last summer both GM and Chrysler offered big discounts on gas when prices were more than $4 a gallon nationally. Buyers who had to choose between the gas discount and other deals typically opted for the cash or cheap financing rather than discounted gas. And they were smart to do so, because gas prices subsequently plummeted below Chrysler's $2.99 per gallon three-year price lock. Of course, if gas climbs back to $3.50 per gallon in the next 12 months, those buyers will be able to cash in again.
Here is how Hyundai's program will work: After buying a new Hyundai, the buyer registers a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card, or a Visa or MasterCard check card, at hyundai.pricelock.com. After enrolling, the consumer gets a new Hyundai Assurance branded card to be used for all future fill-ups. The consumer is billed $1.49 per gallon of regular grade gasoline, regardless of the price at the pump, and Hyundai pays the difference. (The driver may elect to purchase mid-grade gasoline for $1.64 per gallon or premium gas for $1.79 per gallon as well, though all eligible Hyundai vehicles are factory-certified for regular fuel.)
The card can be used at any gas station in the Voyager credit -card network, which covers 93% of gas stations nationwide, including brands such as Exxon (XOM), Chevron (CVX), BP (BP), Shell, Texaco, and many more. Consumers are eligible for a maximum number of gallons, equal to 12,000 miles divided by the EPA combined fuel economy rating for the qualifying model.
Hyundai says buyers who opt for the gas discount have to subtract $1,000 from any rebate offered on its individual models. That may mean many buyers will pass on the gas discount. Why? The Elantra Touring model, for example, has a $1,500 rebate now. If gas prices average $3 per gallon in the next 12 months, the savings to a buyer would be about $720, based on the vehicle's 26 mpg rating. So buyers would be better off talking the full rebate unless they fear gas prices will again climb above $4 a gallon.
Read more about Pricelock's role in the Hyundai deal.
With Rebecca Reisner in New York and Moon Ihlwan in Seoul.
Kiley is a senior correspondent in BusinessWeek's Detroit bureau.
fhm.com:80 — So how does MacFarlane cope with the burden of his critics? Of a $100 million contract? Of devoted yet unforgiving fans? No one seems to know; notoriously private, he gives only two interviews a year. But no matter – FHM snared one of them, so they flew to LA to find out and took photos of his amazing office.
click here for the article and glimpse into his office: Seth McFarlane gives revealing interview & shows off office
My friend, Bill is dying of cancer. He probably has two or three days left. He's not conscious and while the caretakers say that he can recognize my voice, I doubt it. He's being given a lot of drugs including morphine, but they don't seem to give him peace. His body struggles as if he is trying to free himself from unseen restraints. Perhaps he's pain-free, but he definitely does not seem comfortable. However, I was able to say goodbye to Bill with a smile on my face because of something his wife told me a few minutes earlier. She said, "Bill spent the last five days of his conscious life smoking pot." Now, if you knew Bill you'd know how utterly preposterous that statement sounds. Bill was a retired Pediatric Cardiologist. He voted Republican all his life until he voted for Obama. He did not waste money or words. And he definitely had never smoked marijuana.
Some weeks back, Bill's internist suggested that he consider medical marijuana as a way to restore his appetite which had been destroyed by chemotherapy. Later Bill decided to give it a try. Bill and his wife found a dispensary nearby after a brief internet search. They called the dispensary and were told they would need a referral letter and that a "doctor" would be on the premises that afternoon. At the time, Bill could only walk short distances and he was very weak, but they went over to the dispensary. They stood in a queue of seemingly able-bodied young men also seeking relief from something. The doctor relieved them of $140 and provided each with the referral letter. Bill's wife said that she was less than impressed with the certification process and ventured an opinion that "Bill was the only truly ill individual that doctor would see all week." The young dispensary clerks were very helpful. They suggested that Bill purchase two thumb sized buds "one of indica for pain and one of sativa for depression". Bill also picked out a nice psychedelic pipe. Once home, bill tried it. His wife said that once he felt the effects of the first puff a little smile brightened his face. He smoked some more and the smile broadened. His wife chuckled as she remembered his fondness for the stuff. She said, "I'd ask him if he'd like anything and he usually answered, "I believe I'll have some of that marijuana." It made Bill happy at the end of his journey. What a gift!
I agree with those that say that medical marijuana is mostly used by recreational pot smokers, but I know that there are other people like Bill who are truly ill and can't get anything from the medical community that works as well as marijuana to put a smile on their faces.