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Monday, April 26, 2010

Brilliant Nikon camera ad!

Click to Enlarge Now this is good advertising

Nikon S60.  Detects up to 12 faces

Concert pianist plays iPad onstage

One of the world's foremost concert pianists has taken the iPad to a place it has surely never been. Yes, away from the thighs, where the device so often rests.

A few days ago, wandering onto the stage to perform his first encore at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, China's Lang Lang, one of the world's most dazzling piano players, proved the product's astounding versatility. The audience was clearly surprised he emerged clutching an iPad. They could be sure he wasn't going to use it to take a shot of the audience. But perhaps he needed to send an e-mail. Concert pianists are busy people.

Yet, no. For Lang Lang is a man who keeps time while being ahead of it. No sooner had the audience paused for a last cough than he broke into Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" with the help of the Magic Piano iPad app from Smule.
He held his iPad aloft. He placed it on the piano, while his left hand stroked his Steinway (yes, he's a Steinway man) and his right tickled his iPad. He even let a bemused conductor, who cursorily resembled a relative of Ben Kingsley and Dr. Evil, share in the experience.

As you can see from the video, Lang Lang's thighs were only used to sway a little to the music.

Launch of secret US space ship masks even more secret launch of new weapon

The X-37B sits on top of an Atlas V rocket
The X-37B sits on top of an Atlas V rocket

Somewhere above earth is America’s latest spaceship, a 30ft craft so classified that the Pentagon will not divulge its mission nor how much it cost to build.

The mysterious X37B, launched successfully by the US Air Force from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, using an Atlas V rocket, looks like a mini-Space Shuttle — but its mission is top secret.

It is officially described as an orbital test vehicle. However, one of its potential uses appears to be to launch a surge of small satellites during periods of high international tension. This would enable America to have eyes and ears orbiting above any potential troublespot in the world.

The X37B can stay in orbit for up to 270 days, whereas the Shuttle can last only 16 days. This will provide the US with the ability to carry out experiments for long periods, including the testing of new laser weapon systems. This would bring accusations that the launch of X37B, and a second vehicle planned for later this year, could lead to the militarisation of space.
US defence officials, who would not say how much the project had cost, insisted, however, that it was “just an updated version of the Space Shuttle activities”.

Thursday’s launch was more about testing the craft, a new generation of silica tile and a wealth of other advances that make the Shuttle look like yesterday’s space technology.

Nasa’s X37B programme began in 1999 and ran until September 2004 when it was transferred to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency before being taken over by the US Air Force.
The flight of the X37B is being managed by the US Air Force Space Command’s 3rd Space Experimental Squadron.

“This bird has been through all of the shake, rattle and roll, the vibration tests, the acoustic tests that any spacecraft would go through,” said Gary Payton, Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programmes.
With all the focus on the launch of the secret X37B, another space launch by a Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base in California received less attention.

It was carrying the prototype of a new weapon that can hit any target around the world in less than an hour.
The Prompt Global Strike is designed as the conventional weapon of the future. It could hit Osama bin Laden’s cave, an Iranian nuclear site or a North Korean missile with a huge conventional warhead.

Could Belgium split apart?

The Belgian government has fallen — again.

By Paul Ames - GlobalPost
A member of the Belgian Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang displays a badge reading "Division of Belgium" in the Belgian Parliament in Brussels on April 22, 2010. (Yves Herman/Reuters)Enlarge Photo

BRUSSELS, Belgium — It’s been a bad couple of days for Belgium.

On Thursday the government collapsed, plunging the country into a renewed political turmoil; politicians from the French-speaking south and Flemish north cast doubt on the country’s survival; Flemish separatists sang for independence in the parliament; and the press around Europe warned the country is teetering on the brink of disintegration.

Then, on Friday, one of Belgium’s best-known churchmen, the bishop of the beautiful medieval city of Bruges, resigned after admitting he had “sexually abused a boy who came from my close circle of friends.” The revelations added to the sense of malaise that has gripped the kingdom.

“Is there still any point to this country?” asked the leading French-language newspaper Le Soir.
“We are a country gone mad,” exclaimed Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx as the fifth government in three years came tumbling down.

(Watch a Flemish pop group's take on Belgium's national identity.)

The crisis could hardly have come at a worse time, as the country struggles to pull out of the economic downturn. Unemployment has soared to its highest level in 20 years and public finances are getting dangerously into the red. With the possibility that political instability could undermine investor confidence, business leaders have warned the country risks becoming a Greece on the North Sea.

“We cannot underestimate the dangers,” cautioned the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium. “It’s time to stop playing with fire.”

At the heart of the Belgian mess has always been the rift between the 6 million Dutch-speakers in the north and the 4 million French-speakers in the south.

The two communities have long drifted apart. They vote for different politicians, attend different schools and learn different histories. They don’t read each other’s books or newspapers, nor watch the same movies or television shows.

When Flemings head south for weekends in the rolling woodlands of Wallonia, or Walloons visit the beaches and historic cities of Flanders both are politely received. Apart from that, the compatriots mostly live separate lives.

Belgians will often joke that all they have in common is a love of beer, good food and a dedication to the hapless national soccer team.

Politicians from both sides are, however, forced to cohabit. Although many powers have been handed down to regional authorities over the years, the federal government that runs the country is always made up of complex coalitions of political groups from both language groups who often can’t stand each other.

The latest crisis was sparked by efforts by Flemish parties to roll back concessions granted to the French-speaking minority living in officially Dutch-speaking suburbs around Brussels.

To many Flemish politicians those rights encourage encroachment on their historic territory by francophones moving out from the capital. They are particularly incensed by arrangements dating back to the 1960s that allow French-speaking parties to campaign for votes in suburbs around Brussels that are officially Flemish.

Flemish parties in the coalition government had set an Easter deadline for an agreement to break up the so-called Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde electoral district. When that failed the Flemish Liberal Democrats, a previously moderate party, stormed out of the government, forcing Prime Minister Yves Leterme to present his resignation to King Albert II.

The monarch, whose role is largely symbolic, will spend the weekend in consultation with political leaders before deciding whether to call fresh elections, to ask Leterme to try to cobble together another coalition or to turn to somebody else to form a government.

Meanwhile, Flemish parties were threatening to use their overall majority in parliament to force a split of the contested electoral district — a move that would end the decades-old tradition of seeking a negotiated settlement to even the bitterest linguistic disputes. French-speakers warn that they might retaliate by using their majority in Brussels to limit the rights of the Flemish living there.

The separatist Flemish Interest Party celebrated the confusion by unveiling banners demanding the breakup of the country in the federal parliament and singing a nationalist anthem. In regional elections last year, more than 35 percent of Flemish voters backed Flemish Interest or other parties that openly support independence for the northern region.

However, despite the rabble-rousing words from politicians on both sides of the current dispute nobody is taking to the streets, and there is little sign that general public is anything more than bemused, bored and exasperated by the latest crisis provoked by their politicians.

“The worst thing about this is that politics is facing a crisis of legitimacy so deep that they risk making themselves irrelevant,” concluded political commentator Yves Desmet in the Flemish daily De Morgen.

Wow Chow: 10 Radical Restaurant, Bistro and Cafe Designs

Feeling a little peckish? Longing for a dining experience that transcends the ordinary, taking your taste buds on an otherworldly journey into hot damnnnn territory? Fret not, foodies, for the act of eating can be easily elevated to that of a culinary adventure when good food melds with even greater digs. Tantalizing our taste buds traditionally begins with fresh ingredients, masterful preparation and an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, but once the extra ingredient of architectural genius is added to the mix, a perfectly satisfying meal becomes that of an event that lingers within our minds long after we unceremoniously lap up the last scrumptious crumb from plates. (Waste not, want not…mom would definitely approve.) You might want to make a point of visiting at least one or two of the following radically designed chow palaces for an experience you’ll undoubtedly dine for!

Germany’s Fully Automated, Quick-n-Quirky Restaurant

(Images via: Crust Station, s Baggers, Be Update, Anita Coco, 2Day Blog)

Boasting a Wallace and Gromit-like, spiral-configured and entirely automated gravity feed rail system, Michael Mack is the brainchild behind ’s Baggers highly entertaining and quite efficient automated ordering and direct-to-table delivery service. Essentially rendering waiters and waitresses obsolete, his patented, computer-networked process could enable other restaurateurs to focus on the business of serving good food and pass their saved personnel costs onto patrons. Endowing diners with greater control over the pace of their meals, the novelty aspect alone is enough to help Mack gain a devoted following and court fast food chains like McDonald’s, which he is very eager to license the idea to.

Japan’s Deeply Rooted Eatery

(Images via: Storm Seed, RVM Gratz, Cube Me, Best House Design, Cyana Trendland)
Upon initial review, this novelty restaurant perched atop a rustic looking tree is quite impressive with its 20 foot tall weathered foundation and internal elevator which transports patrons up to the main dining area. The hearty vines ensconcing the trunk add to the overall impression that this is a tree with a storied life, but in actuality, it possesses the heart and soul of plain old concrete. In spite of that buzz kill, the Naha Harbor Diner has earned a reputation as offering an outstanding view of Onoyama Park and the harbor as well as serving up really tasty, locally sourced organic ethnic cuisine running the gamut from Japanese and Indian to Italian.

A Maldivian Deep Sea Spectacle

(Images via: Elite Choice, Sydney Table, Koormann, Trip Advisor, Funking Dave)

For those who never quite got their sea legs down pat but still long for the hypnotic views that only the ocean can provide will undoubtedly be enamored with the Maldivian spectacle known as Ithaa, which in the region’s native tongue means “pearl”. Indeed, the $5 million restaurant is an ocean bound treasure, located 15 feet below the Indian Ocean to be precise, but you better be prepared to sell off any spare gold dental fillings you might have or at least a whole bunch of platelets to afford their $120 lunch or $250 dinner. Still, some might feel that it’s an experience well worth the bank account damage. Situated on Rangali Island, Ithaa restaurant is believed to be a one-of-a-kind underwater restaurant encapsulated entirely in very thick clear, aquarium style R-Cast acrylic, enabling patrons to enjoy 270 degree views of coral reefs and the naturally indigenous marine life.

Funky French Archipelago Dining Design is Especially Tres Fine

(Images via: Komokokomoko)
In a land dotted with endlessly quaint outdoor cafes, French designer Matali Crasset conceived of a vibrant indoor eating configuration that offers a modern interpretation of an archipelago with multiple satellite dining zones. Located inside a shopping mall at Cab 3000, St Laurent du Var, this Nouveau cafe design concept offers a dash of eye candy as well as a festive indoor solution to the open air dining culture that is so intrinsically a part of the French lifestyle. Even better, the designer created a fully movable unit which can be easily relocated to future locations that may be more optimal.

The Bee’s Knees For Diners Who Speak Chinese

(Images via: Ricarch, Shenzen Party)
Have you heard what all the buzz is about in Shenzhen, China? Ever since SAKO Architects constructed the 1300 square meter Honeycomb restaurant, area residents have been enjoying its large public space for special events as well as its intimate dinner nooks, all stylistically divided with a white spiral honeycomb-studded staircase. Featuring sleek transparent acrylic plastic partitions, undulating wave-like white aerated room sectionals, black granite flooring and mirror-like ceilings, the contrast of carefully appointed details with a space-age undercurrent work harmoniously to create a dynamic dining space that any diligent worker bee would happily want to cool their heels off in.

Pricey Crane-Bound Vittles a Light-Headed Thrill (or Chill)

(Images via: Spot Cool Stuff Travel)
Better not be afraid of heights if you step on board the swinging platform of Dinner in the Sky’s instant movable restaurant with a view. Hatched up by an apparently wacky and thrill-seeking Belgium company, they seem to be doing quite well given the fact that they are offering their distinctive crane-hoisted experience in major cities around the globe, including directly above the Grand Canyon, Paris’ Notre Dame, the Las Vegas Strip and naturally, glitzy Dubai. For the equivalent of an average blue collar salary ($30,000), you too can achieve new heights of dining glory with (hopefully) 22 of your closest seriously seat-buckled friends as you clink glasses at a height of 162 feet for two ever-so-brief yet undoubtedly memorable hours. Mangia!

Darkness Abounds in a Lviv, Ukraine Din-Din Shroud

(Images via: English Russia)
A Ukrainian undertaker and funeral home director must have thought to himself, “Egads! I know what’s been missing from the dining scene for far too long…a little dash of death to help us digest the bitter pill of our mortality!!” In keeping with his whopper of a brainstorm, the enterprising entrepreneur created a massive pine coffin restaurant replica called Eternity — acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest in the world — and adhered to dreary thematic touches such as funeral music, depressingly crummy carnation wreaths and multiple human-sized coffins propped up against the black landscape plastic-lined walls. Whoo-eee, that’s one heavy scene. Who’s craving a Hello Kitty eatery instead?

Dining Kiwi-Style at What Seems Like a Mile (High, That Is…)

(Images via: Homedit, Cibo Archittetura, NZ Tramping, Springwise, Technovegy)

Standing 12 feet tall and spanning an equally impressive 10 feet in width, New Zealand’s plantation poplar-constructed Yellow Treehouse restaurant – nestled on the forest edge and accessible via a meandering 60 meter pathway – accommodates 18 diners in seriously lofty style. With its chrysalis-like vibe that spirals upward toward an open ended top, the organic design employs structural timber trusses which work in tandem with its central Redwood tree base to support the entire restaurant. Overall, the final look is one of an enchanting childhood fantasy come to life.

Airy, Woven Beauty With a Japanese-Themed Interior

(Images via: Dezeen, Design Boom)
With its bi-layer steel lattice exterior offering a practical yet highly dynamic way to repurpose what was previously an old house, Tori Tori Restaurant – located in Mexico City – is the exciting result of a collaboration between industrial designer Hector Esrawe and Rojkind Arquitectos. Filtered light streams through its open air pattern and into the perimeter of the very successful Japanese eatery, creating what seems to be an organic yet structured representation of the surrounding ivy-covered walls. This is one of those stop-and-stare structures that easily demonstrates that the days of cookie cutter box designs are fortunately over and done with – good riddance!

Sky-High Wood Pile (Better Keep the Splinters Out Of Your Eyes!)

(Images via: Ricarch)
Without its chaotic cacophony of criss-crossed wooden pieces streaming from four central cores and emanating up onto the ceiling, Sliver restaurant might easily be relegated to the ranks of attractive, modern dining spaces that are nevertheless easily forgettable at the end of the day. Fortunately, Russian based Dark Design Group exceeds our wildest design expectations with their simple yet incredibly compelling effect…as if a turbulent tornado of stripped trees is swirling overhead. Just be sure to shield your dinner plate from the splintery fall-out!

Airplane Made under 3 minutes [Time-lapse Assembly Video] Behind the scenes at Boeing as the newest Specialty Plane is unveiled!

grizzly bear vs caribou

Mother Nature at is best. Survival of the Fittest!

and Afterwards--

The Yacht Week 2010 - Official Trailer

LEDs Could Save Your Wrinkled, Pimpled Face


LEDs Could Save Your Wrinkled, Pimpled Face
Forget botox—if you want better-looking skin, start looking closer to home. At your LED-backlit LCD, for example. The Light Masque, pictured, is the secret to eternal beauty according to specialists, using red LEDs to diminish lines and spots.

Near-Infrared light might not sound like it can diminish lines and spots, but London-based inventor John Tsagaris is claiming it uses "the latest NASA technology" which has already been tested on astronauts and the US Navy. Nice to know the men upstairs and on our seas don't have spots or lines, then.

With blue LEDs medicating spots and rosacea, and red LEDs "supercharging" skin cells and going even deeper, the inventor of the Light Masque reckons his patients see effects after the first 25 minute session, but should have three sessions a week for two weeks just to ensure results stay. At £75 ($115) per session, it may be cheaper to just get botox. Not that you need it—Gizmodo readers are beautiful as is, obviously. [Daily Mail]

Send an email to Kat Hannaford, the author of this post, at