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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Imax books 'Spider-Man 4' for 2011

Action pic opening in early May slot

By Carl DiOrio


In less than 19 months, Spidey again will be slinging webs around Imax theaters.

Sony said Tuesday that "Spider-Man 4" will be released in Imax's specialty venues simultaneously with the comic book actioner's worldwide bow in conventional venues on Thursday, May 6, 2011. The scheduled opening gives the film a one-day jump on the first frame of the 2011 summer boxoffice season.

Imax also participated in the theatrical release of the past two "Spider-Man" pics.

"The 'Spider-Man' franchise has been so important to the growth of our network and fan base over the years," Imax Filmed Entertainment president Greg Foster said.

Animal Oddites

Made By euphoria

Is animal oddities Mother Nature’s way of telling us to let things happen naturally and stop giving animals hormones and to stop using pesticides? You be the judge. All over the world for decades there have been animal babies born with some sort of strange thing happening to them.

Pink Dolphin

From what is being dubbed as the hot pink dolphin off of the Gulf of Mexico to two headed animals, oddities seem to happen a few times a year and they fascinate us every single time.

pink dolphin

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Giant Hog

This giant hog was discovered weighing over one thousand pounds and was nine feet, four inches long.

gian  hog

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Giant Squid

A giant squid was discovered and it weighs and astounding nine hundred and ninety pounds.

giant squid

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Giant Killer Sea Worm

A giant killer sea worm was discovered when workers couldn’t figure out what was killing the reef. This worm can numb a person for the rest of their life.

giant killer sea worm

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Six Foot Tall Cow

This six foot tall cow was discovered by its owners. Even though he only eats during the day he is still the biggest cow on record.

six foot tall cow

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Giant Jumping Rat

A Giant jumping rat the size of a rabbit was discovered lately and it is the largest one ever discovered of its kind.

giant jumping rat

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Giant Shark

This giant shark was caught and weighed eleven hundred pounds and measured thirteen feet in length. This shark was the largest of the species of shark.

giant shark

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Giant Stingray

The giant stingray was discovered and weighed in at seven hundred and seventy one pounds.

giant stingray

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Giant Stick Bug

This giant stick bug was discovered and measured in at a whopping twenty-two inches in length.

the giant stick bug

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Giant Alligator

This giant alligator was discovered and he was 17 feet in length and weighed in at thirteen hundred pounds.

the giant alligator

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Giant Bunny

This giant bunny is well fed and the owners are proud to have it in their home.

the giant bunny

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Cyclops Cat

This Cyclops cat was born without a nose and with only one eye. He only lived for one day.

cyclops cat

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Six Legged Frog

Six legged frogs are found all over the country and they are believed to be developing that way due to water run off from farms, which contains poison and pesticides.

six legged frog

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Two Faced Kitten

Two faced kittens are born and can live to be full grown cats.

two faced kittens

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Albino Alligator

Albino alligators are a rarity to see, but are fascinating nonetheless.

albino alligators

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White Buffalo

White buffalo’s are seen as sacred by the Native American tribes, when theses calves are born the Native American’s hold drum ceremonies to honor them.

white buffalo

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Two-faced Cow

Two-faced cows are born and are not slated to survive very long, but can have a productive life.

two faced cows

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Four Legged Duckling

Four legged ducklings are a rare occasion, but are interesting to see.

four legged ducklings

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Giant Shortraker

Giant animals are another in the worlds oddities that have been discovered as of lately. This giant shortraker rockfish was discovered and is forty-four inches in length and weighs sixty-six pounds.

giant shortraker rockfish

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With all these strange oddities happening, whether they are by the hands of us and the chemicals we use to make our food or by the hands of just Mother Nature herself we can only guess at what is causing these things to happen in every day life. Maybe it is a wake up call and maybe it is just something we all need to be in awe of.

Written by Harmony Stalter – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com

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Man invents line of solar-powered lawn equipment


Longmont Times-Call/Lewis Geyer
Boulder County resident Tom Lopez demonstrates his battery-powered push mower, recharged with its solar panels.

LONGMONT — With the gentle push of a lever, the battery-powered motor hums to life, and Tom Lopez begins mowing the grassy strips between his garden plots.

Just as the sun makes the grass — and the garden — grow, it also bakes the solar panels that charge the batteries that power the lawn mower.

“That’s the thing about this stuff — it’s not rocket science,” said Lopez, a 1962 University of Colorado-Boulder graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering. “It just uses standard technology.”

Standard technology mixed with a creative mind can lead to great things, and Lopez is hoping to license his solar-powered farm equipment to another company and see it mass-produced. As soon as he’s ready, that is — and he’s almost ready.

Lopez and his wife, Kristin, live on Lone Hawk Farm west of Hygiene, a 120-acre spread they bought in 1975.

When his wife’s gardening equipment started breaking down years ago, he removed the two-stroke motor in a tiller she was using and replaced it with an electric motor driven by solar-charged batteries.

That was the beginning.

He then bought a few dozen surplus electric mowers from Black and Decker and put solar panels on the frames. He sold quite a few and still has some he uses on his property.

Next came the walking tractors, used for plowing or weeding, that he converted to run on solar-powered batteries. He built 10 of them and sold them all. Word of his work spread after he was featured in a national magazine.

“One local (customer), and the rest are nationwide,” Lopez said. “I’ve even got one in Alaska.

“I haven’t pursued sales while I’m doing this other thing. I want to have a complete line (of equipment).”

That “other thing” is a riding tractor he’s been working on for about four years.

Summer is a busy time on Lone Hawk Farm, between gardening, raising hay, and hosting weddings and other special events.

Now that fall is nearly here, Lopez said, he’ll have more time to devote to his latest creation. He hopes to have the riding tractor ready by spring.

“It’s basically all together but not totally debugged,” he said.

He’s assembling a tractor in his basement, where he also has his machine shop. It’s a smallish machine that would handle up to about 10 acres, Lopez said.

The tractor also could be used by commercial landscapers, he said.

It runs on eight 6-volt batteries. Four 12-volt solar panels mounted on top of the tractor charge the batteries. Or, through a converter mounted on the tractor, the batteries can be charged directly from a standard, 110-volt electrical outlet.

“The solar is just the charger,” Lopez said. “There’s a misconception that they’re running on solar. The solar is just the charge.”

Lopez, who has 25 years of experience in manufacturing and has launched a couple of companies himself, said that once he proves the riding tractor works, he’ll shop his inventions around to a company that will manufacture all his solar-powered lawn equipment.

“If I were younger, I would start a company and then just go and start manufacturing these things,” said Lopez, 70.

He can count Tom Wilson, owner of Small Planet E-Vehicles in Longmont, as a fan.

Lopez bought an electric bike and a solar-powered pickup from him, said Wilson, who hopes his store can one day carry Lopez’s equipment.

Wilson said he doesn’t know of any tractors available anywhere with solar panels on their canopy.

“I think it’s fabulous. I think it’s revolutionary,” Wilson said of Lopez’s inventions. “You can imagine how many farm tractors are polluting all over the world. Replacing them with these things would make a huge difference.”

Stone Age satnav: Did ancient man use 5,000-year-old travel chart to navigate across Britain

By David Derbyshire

It's considered to be one of the more recent innovations to help the hapless traveller.

But the satnav system may not be as modern as we think.

According to a new theory, prehistoric man navigated his way across England using a similar system based on stone circles and other markers.

Enlarge Paths of the ancients

Connected by triangles: Some of the sites created by Stone Age man (below)

Connected by triangles: Some of the sites created by Stone Age man

The complex network of stones, hill forts and earthworks allowed travellers to trek hundreds of miles with 'pinpoint accuracy' more than 5,000 years ago, amateur historian Tom Brooks says. The grid covered much of southern England

and Wales and included landmarks such as Stonehenge and Silbury Hill, claims Mr Brooks, a retired marketing executive of Honiton, Devon.

He analysed 1,500 prehistoric sites in England and Wales and was able to connect all of them to at least two other sites using isosceles triangles - these are triangles with two sides the same length.

This, he says, is proof that the landmarks were deliberately created as navigational aides. Many were built within sight of each other and provided a simple way to get from A to B.

For more complex journeys, they would have broken up the route into a series of easy to navigate steps.

Anyone starting at Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, for instance, could have used the grid to get to Lanyon Quoit in Cornwall without a map.

Mr Brooks added: 'The sides of some of the triangles are over 100 miles across, yet the distances are accurate to within 100 metres. You cannot do that by chance.

Silbury Hill, Wiltshire

One of the monuments was on Silbury Hill, Wiltshire. It was part of a giant geometric grid used for navigating

'So advanced, sophisticated and accurate is the geometrical surveying now discovered, that we must review fundamentally the perception of our Stone Age forebears as primitive, or conclude that they received some form of external guidance.'

On the question of 'external guidance', he does not rule out extraterrestrial help.

However, Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, said: 'The landscape of southern Britain was intensively settled and there are many earth works and archaeological finds. It is very easy to find patterns in the landscape, but it doesn't mean that they are real.'

Kill Your Phone Remotely


Many of today's most popular smartphones can be erased remotely if they are lost or stolen. Here's how to do it.


A handset may be valuable, but it's easily replaced. The data on it, however, is often much more important. Cell phones carry all kinds of personal and business information these days, and preventing it from getting into the wrong hands is key.

While a stray personal address book won't matter much to an unsavory type who finds a lost iPhone—they'd much rather just sell the phone—cached online banking passwords, corporate documents and VPN access are better off kept secure. That's why many of today's smartphones support a mobile kill switch, also called "remote wipe" capability. Remote wipe lets a device owner or IT support engineer remotely erase the handheld's data in case it's lost or stolen.

All of the major smartphone platforms have some kind of remote erase capability. There are several ways of doing it, such as installing apps on the handset, using a management console on the IT side, or signing up for a cloud-based service. Here's a rundown of what's out there for each platform. No matter which smartphone OS you or your employees use, you're bound to find something that can help put your mind at rest.

Though it varies by kill switch and platform, remote wipes aren't fail safe. If someone finds the phone before the remote wipe occurs—which could happen if the battery dies, or there's no signal to receive the command—a thief or corporate spy could disable the network connections and then hack into the device (the procedures would depend on the particular phone). Your best insurance is to flip the kill switch quickly, the same way you would call your credit card company the moment you noticed the card was missing.

Note: By "kill switch" we mean remote wipe capability; this is not to be confused with the "kill switch" found in iPhone OS and Android 1.5 that lets Apple and Google delete mobile apps they no longer approve of on existing handsets.

Apple iPhone 3G SApple iPhone
Apple's $99-per-year MobileMe service offers Mac users the ability to push e-mail, contacts, and calendar entries to the iPhone (among other things). But one key feature, first announced in March and later introduced with iPhone OS 3.0, lets MobileMe users perform a remote wipe on a lost or stolen iPhone. It's found under Account -> Find My iPhone -> Remote Wipe. It can also display a message on the phone's screen, like "please call Jamie at 718-555-1212 if found."

Palm prePalm Pre
All Palm Pre owners set up a Palm Profile when first activating their new devices. The Palm Profile lets users back up settings, receive over-the-air updates, or—ta da—remotely erase a lost or stolen handset. To begin, head to palm.com/palmprofile, enter your profile e-mail address and password, and click Erase Device (for more information on this, read Palm's detailed instructions). In addition, Palm's Exchange ActiveSync implementation in webOS 1.1 now supports Remote Wipe, which lets IT administrations do the same thing for centrally managed Pres.

Blackberry StormBlackBerry OS
Any BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) handset can be erased remotely via the Erase Data and Disable Handheld IT administration command over the wireless network. IT admins can also specify if the handset should revert to factory default settings or retain the IT policy it had before. Individual users with BIS can install Roblock for BlackBerry 2.0, a $9.95 app that remote locks or wipes devices, offers GPS tracking, and recovers lost contacts.

iTouch? No, It's myTouchAndroid OS
SMobile Anti-Theft for Android is a $19.95 app that features GPS locate and remote wipe functions for the T-Mobile G1, T-Mobile myTouch 3G, or any other Android-powered smartphone. The app can erase both the handset and any SD card data. The $29.95 Security Shield for Android also protects against viruses and other malware, but that's not much of a concern in the U.S. (at least at the time of this writing).

Palm Treo ProWindows Mobile
Microsoft's new My Phone Windows Mobile service, currently in beta, lets users locate lost handhelds via GPS and erase their data remotely. It also backs up contacts, photos, text messages, and calendar entries to Microsoft's storage cloud. My Phone (Beta) works with any Windows Mobile 6.0 handheld.

Microsoft Exchange Server can handle the same task for enterprise devices, along with Absolute Software's Computrace Mobile, which can manage enterprise devices running Windows Mobile or BlackBerry and issue remote wipe commands.

CableCARD Now Open To All, No Need For OEM Installations

For HTPC owners, most thought this day would never come. It's a liberation celebration, and frankly, it's coming way too late. Still, we'll take late over never almost all of the time, so we can't help but thank those involved for finally freeing CableCARDs of the OEM chains. This past week at CEDIA, Microsoft announced that anyone could now purchase an off-the-shelf CableCARD and install it into their system. This has absolutely not been the case in years past.



Up until now, users have had to purchase an entirely new system from a certified OEM (think Dell, HP, etc.) with a CableCARD installed at the factory. If you even attempted to install a loose CableCARD into your own machine, you'd never get anything to work. Without that OEM touch, CableCARDs were worthless. Obviously, this ensured that only the affluent ponied up for a CableCARD-equipped HTPC. After all, who wants to buy an entirely new rig just to use one $100 part?

As Windows 7 enters the fray, users will be able to add CableCARDs to their own systems with little to no hassle. These cards will allow users to access all of their carrier's cable channels right on their HTPC, eliminating the need for a cable box and a media center PC. Switched Digital Video support was also added into Windows Media Center for Windows 7, which definitely comes in handy for those looking to tune into SDV channels.



Switched Digital Video (SDV) Support Added for Windows Media Center

In response to customer requests and cable providers' deployment of SDV, Microsoft now supports SDV in Windows Media Center for Windows 7. In conjunction with a device known as a tuning adapter, supplied by a customer's cable provider, Windows Media Center and a digital cable tuner with CableCARD will be able to tune to SDV channels. Customers can enjoy SDV broadcasts on PCs running Windows Media Center in Windows 7 and a digital cable tuner with CableCARD.

End Customers Can Now Add Digital Cable Tuners With CableCARD to Their PCs

Microsoft and CableLabs announced that customers will now be able to add digital cable tuners with CableCARD to a Windows 7-based PC with Windows Media Center. A new tool will be provided by Microsoft that assesses the PC's ability to support the solution. This tool will analyze the customer's PC and enable digital cable support if the PC meets requirements, opening digital cable options to Windows Media Center customers across the country. Microsoft also announced that, with Windows 7, it has increased the number of TV tuners that can be connected to the PC from two to four per tuner type, thereby allowing customers to simultaneously record or watch as many as four digital cable TV channels.

"We are excited that digital cable customers will now be able to take advantage of this new opportunity to bring great cable TV programming to the PC," said So Vang, vice president of OpenCable at CableLabs. "We are dedicated to helping customers get the most from their cable service, and this will be a great win for both the customer and the cable operators."

Digital Cable Customers Can Now Enjoy More TV Portability in Windows Media Center

Microsoft and CableLabs also announced that they worked together to enable digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more portability for digital cable TV that is marked as "copy freely" (CF). Customers will be able to play CF-marked digital cable recordings, such as those from local channels, on other PCs, devices and portable media.

Windows Media Center Features in Windows 7 Highlighted

Using new Windows 7 features such as Windows Touch, HomeGroup, Remote Media Streaming and PlayTo, sharing recorded TV, videos, music and pictures throughout the home, while on the road and to remote locations has never been easier. There is also support for the AVCHD format. This allows customers to view HD video from many popular HD video cameras.

In addition, support for the international broadcast TV standards that was released with the Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008 will also be included in Windows Media Center in Windows 7. This includes native support for both ATSC and QAM, the ability to remap channels, and support for subchannels.

New Firmware for ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuners

In conjunction with the Microsoft and CableLabs announcements, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) will be providing a new firmware update that is available to all ATI TV Wonder digital cable tuners being used with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. This firmware update will allow existing digital cable tuner with CableCARD customers to enjoy more portability for digital cable TV marked as CF. Customers will be able to play CF-marked digital cable recordings, such as those from local channels, on other PCs, devices, and portable media. In addition, the firmware will contain support for SDV. When installed on a Windows 7-based PC with a digital cable tuner with CableCARD and a tuning adapter from a cable provider, it enables access to switched digital channels in locations where SDV has been deployed.

New hybrids proclaim their German engineering

I'm a big fan of "German engineering"--that combined focus on power and precision that distinguishes the better automobiles designed or manufactured in Germany.

At Frankfurt's International Motor Show, BMW will be showing off two new hybrid cars intended to deliver the full promise of German engineering. This is no small thing because most hybrid cars to date have been lightly built and somewhat underpowered in order to improve fuel economy.

The two new BMWs are more like previous offerings from that company: big, solid cars with lots of power to maintain performance in spite of the weight. They're also real cars, not just prototypes.

Fortunately, I don't need to describe these new cars here; there's a great article by Antuan Goodwin over on CNET's Car Tech blog that does a fine job of that (see "BMW unveiling two big hybrid models at Frankfurt"). What I would like to do instead is to drill down into their respective powertrains, which represent two different solutions to high-performance hybrid design, using images provided by BMW.

The ActiveHybrid X6, due to go on sale in the U.S. later this year, represents one end of the spectrum: higher-power electric motors and a larger battery pack. As the first image shows, the new X6 model has a twin-turbo V8 gas engine with 400 horsepower. Though this is a reasonably efficient engine for its size, it certainly wasn't chosen primarily for its fuel economy.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 cutaway drawing

BMW's ActiveHybrid X6 uses a large NiMH battery pack and a new transmission with two integrated electric motors to augment its 400-horsepower gasoline engine.

(Credit: BMW)

The large NiMH (nickel metal hydride) battery pack is also visible in this view, mounted above the rear drivetrain components and below the floor of the luggage compartment. This battery pack holds 2.4 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy; BMW also specifies a "nominal" 1.4 kWh figure, but doesn't explain the difference between total capacity and nominal capacity. I suspect the difference may be related to improving battery lifespan, or perhaps provide some extra storage to ensure that electric braking assist (regenerative braking) is always available. BMW does say that this braking mode can generate as much as 50 kilowatts of power and 0.3 g of deceleration force.

In the following view of the X6's transmission, the electric motors are shown built right into a new transmission that BMW describes as an "electric continuously variable transmission"--the electric motors and three planetary gearsets work together to provide the equivalent of seven gear ratios.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 transmission cutaway drawing

The transmission in the ActiveHybrid X6 has two integrated electric motors totalling 177 horsepower.

(Credit: BMW)

Interestingly, with ratings of 91 and 86 horsepower respectively, the two electric motors could provide a total of 177 horsepower, but the vehicle isn't designed to operate that way. BMW specifies a maximum system output for the ActiveHybrid X6 of 480 horsepower, reflecting a maximum contribution from the electric motors of around 80 horsepower.

Part of the issue here is that the battery pack is rated at a maximum output of 57 kW, roughly 76 horsepower, so there isn't enough electrical power to drive both motors at full power. I expect there are also some issues related to heat and torque, but BMW hasn't offered a full explanation of this limitation.

It's also interesting to note that while the new X6 supports a pure electric drive operating mode, it's only good up to 37 mph and 1.6 miles. This figure is well below the energy capacity of the battery pack, probably reflecting more limitations imposed in the name of long-term reliability.

The ActiveHybrid 7, a hybrid version of BMW's 7-series luxury sedan due out in the spring of 2010, takes a very different approach. It has only a small electric motor positioned between the engine and transmission, and it comes with only a small lithium-ion battery pack. The following figure shows that the battery pack is located to the side of the trunk, leaving plenty of space for golf bags. (BMW says that four standard bags will still fit, which I suppose is a critical specification for 7-series customers.)

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 cutaway drawing

The ActiveHybrid 7 is powered by a 440-horsepower gasoline engine and a small 20-horsepower electric motor with a lithium-ion battery pack.

(Credit: BMW)

Zooming into the transmission in the following picture, we can see the pancake-style electric motor in front of what appears to be a fairly conventional 8-speed automatic transmission. In its press release, BMW does emphasize that this is a new transmission design "specifically tailored to the demands of hybrid technology," but the release doesn't explain how this gearbox differs from the 8-speed automatics on previous BMW cars.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 transmission cutaway drawing

The ActiveHybrid 7's electric motor is tucked away between the gas engine and a conventional 8-speed automatic transmission.

(Credit: BMW)

The new 7's electric motor produces a mere 15 kilowatts, roughly 20 horsepower. Together with the gas engine, the vehicle's maximum output is rated at 455 horsepower. The electric motor also functions as a starter motor for the gas engine and a generator to charge the two batteries on the car: a conventional 12V lead-acid battery and the 120V lithium-ion pack in the trunk.

The latter is a small pack storing only 400 watt-hours of energy--that's about like eight average laptop batteries. BMW doesn't mention whether the new 7 can run solely on the electric motor, but I doubt it; 20 horsepower probably isn't enough for that. Certainly the range would be negligible given the low battery capacity.

Instead, BMW describes the value of the electric motor in terms of two uses: first, it's powerful enough to restart the gas engine almost instantly (in less than one rotation of the crankshaft) so the engine can be shut down at stoplights, just as the Toyota Prius does. Second, the electric motor provides supplemental power while the gas engine is running, thus improving overall fuel efficiency. Since the battery can be charged by recovering braking energy, the power from the electric motor is often free.

BMW says the hybrid systems in the ActiveHybrid 7 were developed jointly with Daimler, maker of Mercedes automobiles. This partnership also led to some Mercedes models, and indeed, Mercedes has also introduced hybrids with powertrains similar to that of the ActiveHybrid X6. (Mercedes is announcing a new S500 hybrid in Frankfurt but didn't provide such nice pictures, so I didn't include it in this post.)

Both of these approaches will need to be developed substantially before they can reduce the total cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle. But it's clear that BMW, having waited this long to get into the hybrid car business, is giving its customers two very different choices. What the company does in the future will probably depend on how its customers respond.

Peter N. Glaskowsky is a computer architect in Silicon Valley and a technology analyst for the Envisioneering Group. He has designed chip- and board-level products in the defense and computer industries, managed design teams, and served as editor in chief of the industry newsletter "Microprocessor Report." He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

Unwanted fat can be used as 'natural' breast implants: Two-in-one op joy for women

By Paul Sims

It promises to give women going under the knife a double boost.

A 'two-in-one' breast enlargement operation takes excess fat from the thighs and stomach and moves it to the bust.

The pioneering technique has been tested in Britain and the U.S. and is expected to be offered to British women by early next year.

A woman being readied for liposuction procedure. Unwanted body fat can now be used to augment the breasts

The procedure transfers fat from unwanted areas to create 'natural' breast enlargements. Doctors believe it will bring several benefits, including a more natural shape and feel compared with augmented breasts.

It could also avoid the problems associated with some artificial implants, which can harden and change shape and may need to be replaced.

More than 2,500 women have already expressed interest in the surgery, which is expected to cost £8,000.

Mel Braham, chairman of the Harley Medical Group which will offer the technique, said: 'This is the most exciting breakthrough in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery that I have seen over the last two decades.

'It amounts to two beneficial procedures in one - taking unwanted fat from one or two areas of a patient's body and transferring it to the breast area.'

He said a study of UK and U.S. patients who had the procedure four or five years ago had confirmed that the results were lasting.

He believes the procedure will eventually become more popular than implants and dominate the market within ten years.

The Harley Medical Group, which has a chain of 26 cosmetic surgery clinics, says it hopes the procedure will become commercially available in Britain early next year.

Zdenek Pros, one of the surgeons who will carry out the operations, said: 'Natural breast enlargement using fat grafting, in addition to increasing the size of the breast, has a more natural look and feel.

'In simple terms, the fat transfer procedure collects fat from a part of the body with excessive fat deposits and then places it in another part of the body where it is used for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes.

'This type of augmentation technique is very effective in enabling surgeons to shape the breast and achieve smooth, natural-looking contours.'

An increase of up to three cup sizes can be achieved by the redistribution of body fat, said surgeons.

A 34-year-old woman from Northampton, who had fat removed from her hips and transplanted to her breasts four years ago as part of the British pilot study, described the results as 'incredible'.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: 'I would never have considered having a breast implant, but a natural way of increasing my bust size was like a dream come true.

'I wanted a very natural increase of just one and a half cup sizes, which returned my breasts to their pre-childbirth form.

'Getting rid of my muffin top [fat around the waist] and getting my breasts back in one operation was incredible.'

The procedure will be discussed at the annual meeting of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons this week.


Plea to ease curbs on 'miracle' heroin drug

• Naxalone used to revive users who have overdoses
• Some fear proposals could encourage riskier habits

The government's advisers on illegal substances want curbs eased on a controversial "Lazarus" drug that reverses heroin overdoses, in an effort to cut the rising death toll among addicts.

When a heroin user has an overdose, one injection of naloxone revives them from unconsciousness and gives them enough time for medical help to arrive. It is already used by ambulance crews, casualty staff and out of hours GPs faced with someone who has taken a potentially fatal dose of heroin or another opiate.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, the body that advises the Home Office, is pushing for naloxone to be made much more widely available so that people working with the UK's estimated 300,000 heroin addicts can stock it.

The ACMD has asked the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the government's medicines watchdog, to allow frontline drugs workers, managers of hostels for the homeless and other staff who may witness an overdose to retain and inject the drug.

In a letter to the MHRA, Prof Les Iversen, chair of the ACMD's technical committee, said the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA)'s decision to let 950 relatives and carers of heroin addicts be trained in using naloxone "represents a step forward in tackling the high number of fatal opiate overdoses".

He adds: "We consider that provisions should be extended to cover others who may be in contact with drug users through their work."

Iversen, a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, has hailed naloxone as "a miracle drug in terms of opiate overdoses" that could save 500 heroin users from dying every year. It might have saved singer Michael Jackson's life if it had been administered after his overdose, he believes.

However, doctors and drugs experts are divided about proposals to make naloxone more readily available.

Some fear that it could encourage users to indulge in even riskier drug-taking. Others have warned that up to 3% of those receiving naloxone suffer potentially life-threatening side-effects ‑ and even that it can be used as a weapon in fights between users.

But interest in naloxone as an antidote and potential lifesaver is growing, especially following the most recent annual statistics for deaths from all types of drugs that showed they rose by 11% to 2,928 in 2008 – the highest figure since 2001.

The Medical Research Council hopes to give the drug to 58,000 heroin users who have recently been released from prison as a way of examining its advantages and disadvantages, and a £1m pilot project research project involving 5,800 ex-inmates is due to start soon.

Prof John Strang, one of those behind the MRC's move, said: "The downsides of naloxone are very little. It's not pleasant, because it induces almost instantaneous cold turkey, but it saves lives."

The NTA's director of delivery, Rosanna O'Connor, said: "Naloxone forms part of the government's harm reduction and overdose prevention strategy. The government recognises the life-saving potential of naloxone and supports its use in a number of settings."Hero

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