Friday, October 9, 2009
I want to start off by saying this is so F***ing Wrong!!!
On Nov. 1, a law in Oklahoma will go into effect that will collect personal details about every single abortion performed in the state and post them on a public website. Implementing the measure will “cost $281,285 the first year and $256,285 each subsequent year.” Here are the first eight questions that women will have to reveal:
1. Date of abortion
2. County in which abortion performed
3. Age of mother
4. Marital status of mother
(married, divorced, separated, widowed, or never married)
5. Race of mother
6. Years of education of mother
(specify highest year completed)
7. State or foreign country of residence of mother
8. Total number of previous pregnancies of the mother
Although the questionnaire does not ask for name, address, or “any information specifically identifying the patient,” as Feminists for Choice points out, these eight questions could easily be used to identify a woman in a small community. “They’re really just trying to frighten women out of having abortions,” Keri Parks, director of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma, said. The Center for Reproductive Rights is challenging the law, arguing that “it violates the Oklahoma Constitution because it ‘covers more than one subject’ — a challenge that previously worked to strike down an abortion ultrasound law.”
An Australian variety show has drawn international controversy for airing a sketch that featured performers imitating the Jackson 5 in blackface.
The show was a reunion episode of the long-running series "Hey Hey It's Saturday" that showcased an amateur act called the "Jackson Jive."
Guest judge Harry Connick Jr. gave the performance a "0" score and said, “If they turned up looking like that in the United States it's 'Hey Hey There's No More Show' ... If I knew that was going to be part of the show I definitely wouldn't have done it ... On behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons that when we see something like that we take it really to heart."
Host Darryl Somers apologized to Connick on air, then later said, “To most Australians I think it's a storm in a tea cup."
The five men who performed the skit apparently had done a similar act 20 years ago without controversy.
In the Times Online, one of the performers noted, "I am an Indian, and five of the six of us are from multicultural backgrounds and to be called a racist ... I don't think I have ever been called that ever in my life before. Anyone who knows us as a group, we are intelligent people, we are all from different racial backgrounds so I am really, truly surprised.”
Nissan is pulling out all the zero emission stops at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. In addition to the expected Leaf electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker will also be showing off a new concept called the Land Glider. Intended to be an urban runabout, the two-seat Land Glider is fully electric and is extremely narrow to ease congestion in dense city centers and make it easier to find suitable parking spots.
Inside the cockpit, the Land Glider's pilot sits front and center behind a suitably futuristic instrument cluster and a steering wheel that looks like twin joysticks. According to Nissan, the steering operations are computer controlled through a drive-by-wire arrangement, so there doesn't seem to be a direct connection between the steering wheel and the car's four contact patches.
Perhaps the most interesting bit Nissan pioneered with the Land Glider is the ability to lean into turns like a motorcycle. While this isn't an entirely new concept, it's a first for Nissan and the technology seems to be very well implemented in the Land Glider, as you can see in the video after the jump.
Gallery: Nissan Land Glider Concept
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NISSAN EXHIBIT AT THE 2009 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW
YOKOHAMA (October 8, 2009) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, will present various show cars at the upcoming 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, including 'Leaf', an electric vehicle (EV) which is slated for global launch and volume production in late 2010, 'Land Glider', an EV concept car, and 'Qazana', which is an entirely new type of compact sport crossover, which made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009. Nissan will also showcase the new mini MPV "Roox", to be launched later this year.
Nissan's ultimate goal in the environmental field is zero-emission. With its aim to be a leader in this field, the Nissan exhibits will focus on concept cars including 'Leaf' and on the development of related technologies and battery-charging infrastructure, in an effort to communicate the company's commitment to consumers.
Nissan is also continuing to work on the internal combustion engine (ICE) technology, for the development of environment-friendly technology to improve fuel economy and reduce gas emission. In addition to EV, the Nissan exhibit will feature a wide range of models and technologies such as hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), clean diesel technology and next-generation X-TRONIC CVT.
Overview of major concept cars and technologies to be exhibited are as follows.
The world's first EV designed for large-scale volume production
* High-performance, zero-emission power train and platform take the 'joy of driving' to another dimension.
* A design that evokes a clean and intelligent image and a body that achieves optimal aerodynamics and wind noise characteristics are packaged into this innovative and original five-passenger, five-door hatchback.
* Has a range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge, which is sufficient for most daily needs.
* Features an advanced IT system that is specially designed for zero-emission mobility. Navigation screen supports the driver by displaying range autonomy areas and battery-charging spots with a touch of a button.
A new proposal for urban mobility that can be enabled by zero-emission car
* The Land Glider has a potential to become a new means of transportation in urban areas; its linear acceleration and the narrow body, which only an ultra-compact, ultra-lightweight EV can achieve, will help reduce traffic congestion and promote effective use of parking space.
* Shift of the centre of gravity by leaning provides a new, exciting sense of driving and a powerful, crisp ride.
A whole new five-door compact sport crossover with innovative design
* Exterior and interior design inspired by images of beach buggies and motorcycles.
* Distinctive exterior features a large wheel arch that emphasises power and stability, high belt lines and a sporty upper body.
* The interior features a centre console that looks just like a fuel tank and seat of a motorcycle and a design that exposes the body framework.
* Combines sporty driving and environmental performance.
A super-spacious mini-sized vehicle that features a large interior space and dynamic design
* A comfortable interior space (interior height: 1365mm, interior length: 2085mm), one the largest for mini-sized vehicles, allows flexible seat arrangement.
* The sporty and sophisticated 'Highway Star' design exudes a strong presence that changes the image of mini-sized vehicles.
* To maximise the ease of getting in and out, a slide door (opening width: 580mm, opening height: 1230mm), which can be remotely controlled, and a rear step with low ground height are featured on both sides of the car.
NV200 Vanette Universal Design Taxi
A next generation Universal Design Taxi that pursues comfortable mobility for all customers
* Exterior design is readily identifiable as a taxi and also stylish.
* Will be officially introduced as the Universal Design Taxi by the end of 2010.
Next-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT)
The next-generation XTRONIC CVT is compact, lightweight and low-friction, and features an original structure
* Has achieved a world-best change gear ratio range of 7.3, which is more than 20% better compared to conventional CVT of the same class.
* Nissan's original, breakthrough design, which combines subtransmission, has succeeded in reducing total transmission length by 10% and weight by 13%.
* Unit efficiency has been improved by reducing friction by 30% through reduction of oil agitation resistance and others.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said today that all the medical marijuana dispensaries in the county are operating illegally, and that "they are going to be prosecuted."
There are hundreds of dispensaries throughout the county, including as many as 800 in the city of Los Angeles, according to the city attorney's office. They operate under a 1996 voter initiative that allowed marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and a subsequent state law that provided for collective cultivation.
Based on a state Supreme Court decision last year, Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have concluded that over-the-counter sales are illegal. Most if not all of the dispensaries in the state operate on that basis.
Cooley said his office had already begun preparing to prosecute a Culver City dispensary called Organica.
Widespread criminal prosecutions could deal a sharp blow to the medical marijuana movement in California, where advocates have argued that access to the drug has helped many cancer patients and others manage pain, nausea and other health issues.
Cooley and Trutanich announced their plans after a training session for narcotics officers at the Montebello Country Club. Outside about 100 medical marijuana advocates protested, saying that not allowing over-the-counter sales threatens the distribution of a product that many sick people have come to rely on.
Barry Kramer, operator of the California Patient Alliance, a dispensary on Melrose Avenue, said, "If this is the way it goes, we'll go underground again. There will be a lot more crime."
-- John Hoeffel
Photo: Vanessa Richards helps a customer from La Cresenta at the Roscoe Compassionate Collective in Canoga Park on July 21.
Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Related: Where's the weed? Use The Times' interactive map to see the locations in the city of Los Angeles ocations where applications for medical marijuana dispensaries have been filed.
powermat wireless charging
"I am not taking any credit for this do not delete this, just for fun"
Take a peek at these extraordinary jack-o-lanterns
It’s time to break out the carving knives and head to the pumpkin patch to select this year’s victim. If you’re anything like us, just whittling the basic eyes, nose and mouth is a big task. Luckily, there are a few experts out there that can carve a jack-o-lantern like nobody’s business. Take a look below to see how these pros transformed ordinary pumpkins into masterpieces—including a dead-ringer for the Statue of Liberty and a collection of Star Wars characters.
In 2008, the infamous Michigan carver dubbed as the “Pumpkin Bumpkin” created this version of pumpkin Siamese twins. Photo courtesy of ExtremePumpkins.com.
Filled with an oversized frankfurter and standard toppings, like chili, cheese and relish, this extra-long pumpkin from
Famous Canadian sand and snow sculptor David Bradley Billings decided to take a stab at pumpkin carving and in 2005 created this spooky fellow, called the “Sandemon.” Photo courtesy of ExtremePumpkins.com.
The Burger Pumpkin
Tom Nardone, author of Extreme Pumpkins, created this whopper of a burger using three pounds of beef, eight slices of cheese, tomato slices, lots of lettuce and pumpkin
Statue of Liberty
Texas-born Scott Cummins aims to create carvings that look as realistic as possible. This 2007 pumpkin carving of Lady Liberty shows just how sharp his knife skills are. Photo courtesy of Scott Cummins via PumpkinGutter.com.
Also created in 2007 by Scott Cummins (a.k.a. the “Pumpkin Gutter”), this Chewbacca pumpkin takes carving to an entirely different galaxy—one far, far away. Photo courtesy of Scott Cummins via PumpkinGutter.com.
Cats in the Window
In 2007, Kathy Green attended the Malcolm Blue Farm Festival in Aberdeen, North Carolina and watched as this sly pumpkin was created by a carver who’s been in the business for over 20 years. Photo courtesy of Kathy Green via Flickr.com.
At last year’s Louisville Zoo’s annual Halloween festival, carver Donna dubbed her creation above “Love Birds,” but we think Hitchcock’s The Birds might be more appropriate. Photo courtesy of Mark Wells via Flickr.com.
Several years ago, Dayna Flores captured this carved Star Wars pumpkin collection while visiting Beloit, Wisconsin. The carver uses craft pumpkins and adds a new one to the series every year. Photo courtesy of Dayna Flores via Flickr.com.
The fight against excessive commercial volume has two fronts, legislative and technological. The first line of defense on the legal side is the Federal Communications Commission, which mandates that commercials can be no louder than the loudest parts of the programming they accompany.
But this approach has serious limitations. An action show that climaxes in a burst of gunfire is one thing; a commercial that's as loud as a gun going off from start to finish is another -- especially if the lead-in to the commercial is relatively quiet. And in addition to making their commercials as loud as the FCC lets them, marketers also use various technological tricks to make them sound even louder than they are, like packing more sound energy into midrange frequencies, the ones that the human ear is most sensitive to.
To close this loophole, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last year, the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act. CALM would charge the FCC to enact regulations prohibiting commercials from being "excessively noisy or strident." The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to consider amendments on the bill Thursday.
And a parallel effort within the TV and consumer-electronics industries may also bear fruit soon. The Advanced Television Systems Committee, a nonprofit whose membership includes broadcast networks, cable operators, and electronics manufacturers, has been working to develop voluntary standards that will let broadcasters measure and effectively modulate the volume of commercials.
"We've been working for over two years to help broadcasters, cable operators, and others come up with a uniform strategy so we can minimize the subjective perception of the volume changing during commercials," Mark Richer, the group's president, tells DailyFinance. "Our experts have developed what we call a recommended practice, which provides guidance to broadcasters and others on how to use our standard in a way that will minimize the 'audio loudness differential,' let's call it, that is bothersome to many people. It's a little more complicated than you would think, and getting everybody to agree on how to do it was not easy."
This week, ATSC will send a ballot to about 190 members seeking approval of the recommendations. Richer expects it to pass within 30 days.
But consumers who don't wish to bet their delicate eardrums on legislation or self-regulation already have some options, and soon they'll have more. TV sets featuring Dolby Volume, a technology that automatically flattens out the sound spikes of commercials, have been on the market for two years. They'll soon be joined by a device called SRS TruVolume, a gadget that performs much the same function while claiming to offer some advantages over Dolby Volume -- above all, distinguishing between commercials and programming, and suppressing the sound levels of the former without affecting the latter.
From the 1930s, via France, Thailand, and Scranton we bring you the 6 most jaw-dropping Parkour scenes from the Big Screen.
Ahh perhaps the oldest known footage of Parkour from the long forgotten comedy movie Gizmo starring German stunt man Arnim Dala. Dala who’s motto was; “better 10 seconds of fear, than a month of work”. You got to respect a man with a motto like that. Amazingly he actually predates David Belle ‘the founder of Parkour’ by some 50 years…
Possibly one of the most famous Parkour scenes committed to film, David Belle founded Parkour in this very movie! Before this it didn’t exist. Don’t worry if your French is not quite up to scratch, this clip has been helpfully subtitled in Japanese. Banlieue 13 or District 13 in English is a movie directed by Luc Besson set in the distant future of 2010 (that was a joke), where the government has basically built a giant ghetto - D13 and left it to fend for itself. Gangs take over, and as ever when gangs take over anywhere in the world, men start jumping of roofs.
The launch of a new Bond, Daniel Craig burst onto our screens literally, in a hail of explosions, realistic action, and a sweet five minute opening Parkour sequence. When arguing who is the best Bond perhaps we have to now consider the fact that Sean Connery never jumped between two cranes - though I did hear that George Lazenby was David Belle’s inspiration for inventing Parkour.
Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior
Starring the incredible Tony Jaa contains some fantastic Parkour footage as you can see from the montage below. Unlike in District 13 (see above) there were “no stunt doubles, no computer images, no strings attached.” In fact that was how the movies was advertised, which make you appreciate all of the stunts in the movie even more. If you haven’t seen Ong Bak yet and love hard hitting martial arts or just a good action film - you need to check it out. Now!
Technically not the big screen but this is an example of Parkour at it’s most exhilarating and ‘jaw-dropping’, starring two of the best characters on US TV at the moment Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute. You can run and jump from roof tops to express your Parkour skills or alternatively you can roll around on a sofa and shout “Parkour” loudly to do it properly.
In Yamakasi a gang utilise their impressive Parkour skills to climb buildings and commit a series of breath taking burglaries to raise the money needed for their friend to get a much needed life saving operation. In a way this is like the French equivalent of Robin Hood, except that it’s not set in Nottingham and there are less bows and arrows and more jumping and climbing.
Oct 8th 2009
By Ian Fortey
A new high-rise building in Boston USA may be the future home of a bunch of green slime. Plans to turn the building into a vertical urban farm are moving ahead with the intended crop to be biofuel algae. Potatoes would be cooler, but hey, whatever works.
The project is going to be called Eco-Pod and confirms that we finally live in the future, where a bunch of detachable pods grow algae and act as incubators for scientists to study the production of biofuel. They also plan to include parks and gardens, because people like wandering through slime fields, especially if they're modular.
Slightly crazier than the concept itself is some of the infrastructure. Since the pods will be able to move and be reshaped, the whole structure will come complete with a robot arm, powered by the biofuel, that can rearrange the pods as necessary. We can all agree a giant, robot arm that moves around slime pods is just what Boston tourism needs.eco
A paralysed dog has been put back on his feet again, raising hopes of a treatment for humans with severe spinal injuries.
Henry the miniature dachshund was unable to walk after discs ruptured in his spine last November.
In a pioneering treatment, scientists at Cambridge University took cells from his nose and injected them into his spine.
Back on four legs: Henry the miniature dachshund, who was paralysed, has taken his first steps after pioneering treatment by scientists at Cambridge University
These cells are used because they aid the growth of new nerve fibres.
Now the six-year-old dog is walking and wagging his tail again.
Scientists originally found the treatment worked on rats. Professor Nick Jeffery and Professor Robin Franklin, who are running the trial, then decided to try the procedure on dogs because spinal injuries are common in many breeds.
Henry has also received physiotherapy and is monitored on a treadmill.
Dr Jeffrey said: 'We hope if the results are positive in a few years time the treatment could perhaps be used to help people.'
Scientists at Cambridge Veterinary School took cells from Henry's nose and injected them back into his spine.
'It's incredible, I didn't think Henry would ever be able to walk again, but over the last few months he has been wagging his tail and taking small steps,' said owner Sarah Beech, 34, from Birmingham.
'The vet told me to put him to sleep because he wouldn't have a very good quality of life and he was very depressed. But this treatment has really helped.'
Scientists took cells from Henry's nose and injected them into his spine
Henry had always enjoyed going for walks but suddenly lost the use of his legs about a year ago.
'One day he yelped when I picked him up and two days later he couldn't walk,' she added.
'The discs in his back were pushing into his spinal cord and eventually he lost the use of his back legs and continence.
'I think he may have fallen down the stairs at some point before I bought him as his spine was quite badly damaged.' Henry was given an operation to ease the pressure on his spine, but it didn't work.
Then Sarah heard about the new treatment for severe spinal cord injuries and decided to enlist him in the trial.
Cells were harvested from his nose in March and injected back into his spine after four weeks.
Just a month later Henry took his first steps.
Step by step: Henry undergoes treatment
'He can take at least four steps now so he is making good progress,' said Sarah.
'His tail is also starting to get back to its original shape which shows he is getting some feeling back.'
Dr Jeffery said: ''Most dogs with spinal injuries can be treated conventionally and make a good recovery, but this procedure is intended for particularly severe cases.
'Cells are collected from inside the back of the nose as these special cells are capable of supporting the growth of new nerve fibres.
'We then increase the cell numbers, purify them and place them back into the damaged region of the spinal cord, where they help new fibres to grow.'
After the procedure dogs are given physiotherapy and monitored on a treadmill to see how much movement has returned to their legs.
'The potential of this procedure is enormous,' Dr Jeffery added.
'We hope if the results are positive in a few years time the treatment could perhaps be used to help people.'
Written by Admin
When it comes to drinking games, anything goes. In the U.S., the Quarter Bounce, Bullshit, Shotgun, Moose, Fuck the Dealer, and Presidents and Assholes have all been favorites of many, but are now eclipsed by the popularity of younger rivals, like Beer Pong and Flip Cup. Some of us the States have become more than a little bored with Beer Pong, so we decided to look into the drinking games that people in other countries play. Maybe these games can even lead to some inspiration for our own party ideas — it’s worth a look.
We’ve all heard of Russian Roulette, the highest stakes drinking game in the world, but not all Russian drinking games are quite as intense. There are at least a couple that allow the drinkers to get their kicks, and get out alive.
Tiger has come or Enter the Dragon is a Russian drinking game that requires a lot of vodka, a table and cash. The weakest drinker starts out as the game leader, and he drinks only every other round, and holds his position until he passes out. A shot-glass of vodka is poured for each player as each antes up before the rounds hit the table. The game leader announces “tiger has come” or “dragon has entered,” at which point the players down their shots, then duck under the table and hide until the game leader says that the offending tiger or dragon is gone. As the game progresses, players who lose their balance coming out from under the table are eliminated. Winner takes all. Don’t think the winner too lucky a fellow, since he then hosts the next night of drinking — and provides the alcohol.
Bear Paw is also a popular drinking game in Russia, and it’s a bit cheaper. However, this game has no winners. An enormous beer mug is filled with beer and passed around, and wait for it — after each person drinks, the mug is topped off with vodka. This hilarious nonsense continues until everyone is passed out or the mug is full of pure vodka, at which point nobody would be left standing anyhow. If, by some miracle of alcoholism, the mug is full of vodka and players are still conscious, the mug continues to be passed around, this time topped-off with beer after every sip. This ridiculousness goes on until nobody is left awake.
Finger Guessing in China
Drinking is frowned upon in China, even more so than it seems to be in Amish country, so thirsty Chinese get together for parties as an excuse to play drinking games and get smashed. Sound familiar? One of the most popular drinking games in China is the finger-guessing game.
This one’s surprisingly simple: Players slyly make a shape with their fingers to represent a number between 1 and 20. Each player then tries to guess the total sum of all other players’ fingers. The closest guess is the winner, and the losers, of course, drink.
The alcohol of choice for Chinese drinking games is usually baijiu, a grain-based spirit with an alcohol content anywhere between 20 and 60 percent. Another favorite is Cantonese snake-wine, a potent, green concoction made by pickling snakes in a bottle of alcohol. A similar snake-wine is also popular in Vietnam.
Peer Pressure Ceremony in China
In Longi, China, guests at the Longi Rice Terraces are invited to rice wine ceremonies, hosted by the minority tribal villages of the Huang and Yao people. The local women sing before ambushing the guests and forcing them to knock back cup after cup of wine, in something similar to village-sized frat shots. The peer pressure is intense and the ladies constantly watch the glasses and refill them as soon as they are empty while ensuring the guests keep drinking. The ceremonies are as much a game for the hosts as for the guests, since the object is to get their chosen guests as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible. With this game, there’s fun to be had for all.
Rum and Jenga in Cuba
Many adults in Cuba play Dominos and card games while they gamble and drink, but Jenga and rum often come together at parties to form a drinking game. Discounting some regional variation, the participating Cubans basically play Jenga normally, except the consequences for mistakes are downing more rum. This goes on and on until the players are unable to even set up the pieces anymore, and a winner is declared.
A drinking game called Pon/Toma is played in Mexico with a six-sided dreidel. The sides of the dreidel are labeled with pon uno, pon dos, pon todo, tom uno, tom dos, tom todo. These translate to “give one, give two, give all, drink one, drink two, drink all,” respectively. Players start with a full glass of liquor, and an empty glass is placed in the center of the table. Each player spins the dreidel. If it lands on pon uno, the player puts a shot of their own drink into the glass. Toma uno, on the other hand, means the player has to drink a shot from the glass. When a player lands on a todos, they have to either fill the glass, or drink what’s in it.
One notorious drinking game known throughout the UK has never been successfully played through to finish, as far as anyone knows. Drinkers watch the film Withnail & I and attempt to match the characters drink for drink. Pints of beer are downed at ludicrous-speed until the players are either comatose or can simply drink no more. Technically, the end of the game is the end of the movie. Nobody knows what happens at the end of the movie.
Whenever a message in a bottle is discovered on a beach or floating in the ocean, it feels like something out of a fairy tale. The idea that two people have made a connection that mathematics would say is virtually impossible gives us hope that life is more than a series of random events. Here are five stories of the almost unbelievable connections these messages have brought about.
1. A Ticket to Freedom
During a 1979 cruise to Hawaii, Dorothy and John Peckham passed the time by writing notes and throwing them overboard inside empty champagne bottles. They asked anyone who found one of their bottles to write them back, and even went so far as to include a $1 bill to cover the postage.
On March 4, 1983, John’s 70th birthday, the couple received a letter from Hoa Van Nguyen. Nguyen, a former soldier in the Vietnamese Army, said he and his younger brother had found one of the Peckhams’ bottles as the two men were floating 15 kilometers from the shore of Songkhla Province in Thailand. They were braving the waters of the Pacific in a small, shallow riverboat in order to escape the Communist regime in Vietnam. When they saw the bottle, they felt as though a prayer had been answered, giving them the strength to carry on. After reading the letter, the Peckhams looked for Songkhla on a map and were shocked to find that the bottle had traveled 9,000 miles from Hawaii.
The Peckhams corresponded with Hoa for years, sharing in his joy when they received a photo from his wedding, then again nine months later when they saw his newborn son. But most of all, they empathized with Hoa’s desire to give his family the best life he could. So when Hoa asked if the Peckhams could help his family move to the U.S., they didn’t hesitate. After months of working with U.S. Immigration, the two families finally did meet in 1985, when a plane from Thailand landed in Los Angeles—the Nguyens’ new home.
[Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.]
2. Love in a Bottle
Ake Viking was a lonely Swedish sailor who decided to place his search for love in the hands of fate. He wrote a simple letter “To Someone Beautiful and Far Away,” corked it inside a bottle, and tossed it overboard in the hopes that it might help him find a young woman to marry.
Two years later, in 1958, he was surprised to receive a letter from a Sicilian girl, Paolina, who said, “I am not beautiful, but it seems so miraculous that this little bottle should have traveled so far and long to reach me that I must send you an answer…” The two began writing one another and, three years after he threw a bottle into the sea, Ake moved to Sicily to marry his very long-distance love.
3. A Soldier To Watch Over Them
When Josh Baker was 10 years old, he dumped an entire bottle of his mother’s vanilla extract down the sink. He then wrote a quick note that said, “My name is Josh Baker. I’m 10. If you find this, put it on the news. The date is April 16, 1995.” He stuffed the note inside the empty extract bottle and threw it into Wisconsin’s White Lake.
Life went on and, after high school, Josh signed up for the Marines. During his tour of duty in Iraq, he survived the dangers of fighting door-to-door in Fallujah and made it back home to the U.S. safe and sound. Tragically, shortly after his homecoming, Josh was killed in a car accident, leaving his family and friends devastated and asking the obvious question, “Why?” A few months later, Steve Lieder and Robert Duncan, friends of Josh’s, were walking on the banks of White Lake, when they saw something glimmer on the water. After fishing it out, they realized it was a vanilla extract bottle with a piece of paper inside.
To friends and family, the message from 10-year old Josh appeared when they needed it most. It felt as though he was reaching out, letting them know that he was watching, and trying to help them move on. This message of hope is currently displayed in the Bakers’ home as a constant reminder that their son is still with them, even though he’s gone.
[Image courtesy of CBS.]
4. The Right Fisherman
In 1999, Steve Gowan spotted something clinging to his fishing nets. It was a very old bottle containing two letters written by Private Thomas Hughes, dated September 9, 1914. The first message asked the person that found the bottle to forward the second message to Hughes’ wife, Elizabeth. The note for Elizabeth was a nice, simple love letter, showing that his wife was in his thoughts as he made his way to France to fight in the early days of World War I.
After reading the letters, Gowan felt a great personal responsibility to see that they found their way home, even though he assumed Mrs. Hughes had died long ago. He began searching for her descendants and soon learned that Thomas and Elizabeth Hughes’ daughter was still alive in Auckland, New Zealand.
Sadly, Hughes died in battle shortly after he wrote the letters, so he never got to see Elizabeth, nor his two-year old daughter, Emily, ever again. Due to her young age at the time of his death, Emily never knew her father, though she grew up listening to stories about him from her mother and cherishing his posthumously award medals. So when The New Zealand Post offered to send Gowan to Auckland to hand deliver the bottle to Emily, he jumped at the chance to help her connect to this lost piece of her past.
For Emily, the bottle was a great source of joy and comfort. She said her father’s message couldn’t come home “until the right boat came along at the right time with the right fisherman.”
5. Laura Buxton, meet Laura Buxton
(Technically this isn’t a “message in a bottle” story, but it’s the same concept—and the story is simply too good not to mention it.)
In June 2001, Laura Buxton (almost 10) released a red balloon into the air over her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. On one side of the balloon, she had written “Please return to Laura Buxton,” and on the other side, her home address. A few weeks later, a man 140 miles away in Milton Lilbourne found the balloon stuck in the hedge that separated his farm from the next-door neighbors. He noticed Laura Buxton’s name and address and immediately took the balloon to the neighbors’ house, showing it to the 10-year-old girl who lived there…whose name was also Laura Buxton.
Laura Buxton from Milton Lilbourne wrote Laura Buxton from Stoke-on-Trent to let her know that she had found the balloon. Thinking this coincidence was simply too amazing to be true, they decided they had to meet in person. And that’s when things got really weird.
On the day of the meeting, the two girls wore the same outfit – a pink sweater and jeans. The girls were the same height, which was unusual because they were both tall for their age. They both had brown hair and wore it in the same style. They both had three-year old black Labrador Retrievers at home, as well as gray pet rabbits. They both brought their guinea pigs, which were the same color and even had the same orange markings on their hindquarters. It was almost as though these two Laura Buxtons were the same person.
The strange events surrounding their meeting have helped the girls form a strong bond, and they remain friends eight years later. Both feel the circumstances that brought them together are too significant to be written off as mere coincidence.
Moscow is holding a championship in one of the sexiest sports on earth - pole dancing.
But during finals of the competition - one dance almost finished in tragedy.
by Lin Edwards
Vaio with flexible OLED screen. Image: Scott Ard/CNET
(PhysOrg.com) -- Sony is showing off prototypes incorporating its super-thin, flexible OLED technology at the CREATEC JAPAN 2009 IT and electronics trade show in Makuhari Messe (Chiba) in Japan.
Sony's new "bendable" and transparent organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology is being shown in prototypes featuring an OLED a mere 0.2 mm thick. The prototype devices are a Vaio notebook, a flexible e-book, and a Walkman bracelet.
The OLED screen is transparent and flexible, and the viewing angle range is almost unlimited. OLED technology has a number of advantages over LEDs, including higher efficiency, faster response times, and no requirement for backlighting. The devices also have very low energy needs.
Sony's flexible OLED-based Vaio notebook--not coming to a store near you. Image: Scott Ard/CNET
The Sony Reader and Walkman redone with flexible OLED technology. Image: Scott Ard/CNETEarly efforts to manufacture transparent and flexible OLEDs met with resolution problems and distortions of the image when the device was bent or folded.
Sony demonstrated an OLED television in 2008 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a flexible 0.2 mm thick OLED audio player at this year's show. Several other companies, such as Samsung and LG, are also working on flexible OLED displays.
The devices on show at CEATEC JAPAN are all at the concept stage and there is no indication of when, or even if, they will ever be marketed.
The CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies ) JAPAN event showcases IT and electronic innovations. The theme for 2009 is "Digital Convergence ? Defining the Shape of Our Future". The exhibition opened on October 6 and runs until October 10.
via CNet News© 2009 PhysOrg.com
Huge news that, if true, could produce a film that either rejuvenates one of the best comedy franchises in movie history, or could destroy the film industry forever. Yes, I'm talking about the fact that New Line/Warner Bros. have signed Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin to produce and possibly direct a National Lampoon's Vacation sequel.
Now, I'm someone who doesn't even consider Vegas Vacation a part of the franchise. It's why I've enjoyed referring to the Griswold's misadventures over the years as, "The Vacation Trilogy." After all, "Trilogy" has a nice ring to it and aside from Rusty's Mr. Papageorgio subplot and the casting of Marisol Nichols as daughter Audrey Griswold… Vegas Vacation was about as much fun as arriving at Wally World only to find out it's closed for remodeling.
And the rumor is that the next installment will actually focus not on Clark & Ellen, but on son Rusty and his new family. Chevy Chase may only have a bit part in the film, if that. And so, this led us to curate the following list of classic Clark Griswold clips. At the very least, they'll remind us of what's made the National Lampoon's Vacation series so everlasting. At the most, New Line/Warner Bros. and Mr. Dobkin will stumble across this page, tear up from laughter, realize what they're about to embark on and then either make a kickass Griswold family vacation for a new generation… or scrap the whole idea altogether.
National Lampoon's Vacation - "Dragging the Dog"
Why it's included: Because this is the perfect example of where the series was able to take a pitch black subject and turn it into something hilarious. And because no one negotiates his way out of animal cruelty charges better than Clark W. Griswold.
National Lampoon's Vacation - "Dog Piss Sandwich Dance"
Why it's included: Because Clark is such an oblivious primate at times, he's willing to dance to Lindsay Buckingham-style music and eat a sandwich covered in dog piss in order to flirt with Christie Brinkley while his family picnics mere feet away. Classic Clark.
Christmas Vacation - "Sh*tter's Full"
Why it's included: Because this is exemplary of the impropriety that Cousin Eddie is willing to bring to his extended family, and Clark's saintly tolerance for him. Cousin Eddie is such an integral part of the franchise, he managed to get his own made-for-TV spinoff flick with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. And even though we tried to burn our retinas after watching it, he needs to make an appearance in any new film that's produced.
European Vacation - "The Snooty French Waiter"
Why it's included: Because Clark is, and forever shall be, the Patron Saint of Ugly Americans. 'Nuff said (in English, anyway).
Christmas Vacation - "The Saucer Scene"
Why it's included: Because it exemplifies Clark's cartoon-like constitution, a huge reason why he's survived falls from rooftops and multiple cars collisions over the run of the series. He might be indestructible, actually. The John McClane of family comedy.
Christmas Vacation - "The Hap Hap Happiest Christmas Speech"
Why it's included: Because you haven't Vacationed until you've seen a Clark W. Griswold meltdown, and this one is a doozy. If you can track down the TV-safe version of this, you should, just to see the ridiculous second-pass dialogue they had to record to make it safe for all-ages viewing. Clark manages to expel every expletive and epithet from his mouth, and all in a warm, fuzzy seasonal setting that made us all feel good about how much we hated the Holidays. It can only be trumped by one scene...
National Lampoon's Vacation - "Clark's Wally World Meltdown"
Why its included: If you need to know... you are humorless. This is probably the best speech ever given by a leading man in a comedy. More explosive than Idiocracy's farting ass speech. More incendiary than Team America's "Ass, Dick, Pussy" diatribe. And possibly funnier than Bluto Blutarsky rallying his fellow Delta brothers with a little pep talk about Germany's raid on Pearl Harbor. This speech is one of the reasons I ever moved out to Los Angeles. And it wasn't to visit Wally World.