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Monday, June 14, 2010

iPhone 4’s Crystal Clear Retina Display [VIDEO]

Last week, Steve Jobs unveiled the forthcoming iPhone 4 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Among the most praised features of the new smartphone is its new “retina display,” but how good does the iPhone 4’s screen really look?

At 326 pixels per inch, the pixel density of the iPhone 4 is four times that of the iPhone 3. Jobs claimed at the conference that the resolution surpassed that of the unaided human eye, which cannot differentiate detail past 300 pixels per inch; Wired revealed later, however, that this claim was false.

According to blogger Robert Scoble, it’s the best smartphone display “by far.” This morning, he posted a high-resolution photograph and video of the new iPhone; see below for close-ups. The video is particularly telling.



[img credit: Robert Scoble]

'Grow-your-own' organs hope after scientists produce liver in lab from stem cells

By Fiona Macrae

From :

Scientists have grown a liver in a laboratory, offering fresh hope to hundreds of thousands of patients with diseased and damaged organs.

It raises the prospect of those in need of transplants one day being offered livers that are ‘made to order’.

The first pieces of lab-grown livers could be used in hospitals within just five years, the researchers said.

Decellularised rat liver

A decellularised rat liver retaining its network of blood vessels, a technique grown by scientists which could be used to grow livers for human transplants

Patches of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

Other possibilities include sections of artificial livers to keep those needing transplants alive – in much the same way as a dialysis machine is used to treat kidney failure.


1. Donated but damaged liver bathed in detergent to remove the cells.

2. All that remains is a 'scaffold' made of collagen and blood vessels.

3. Scaffold is seeded with healthy liver cells, made from the stem cells created from the patient's skin.

4. The new liver is used to replace the patient's damaged one. As it is made from their own cells, the body will not reject it.

At least one million of Britons live with liver disease and it claims more than 16,000 lives a year – more than diabetes and traffic accidents combined. Up to 600 transplants are carried out a year.

The latest experiments, which were carried out on animal livers, are still in the early stages but could one day lead to an alternative supply of organs.

The process began with a donor liver being ‘washed’ in detergent, stripping it of its cells, leaving only a collagen and blood vessel ‘scaffold’ in which the new liver cells could grow.

The U.S. scientists then injected it with up to 200 million healthy liver cells, in four shots, each ten minutes apart.

The cells spread across the scaffold, and, provided with an artificial blood supply, the liver survived in a petri dish for up to ten days, the journal Nature Medicine reports.

Tests showed that, just like a real liver, it was capable of breaking up toxins.

The researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, also transplanted the liver into a rat, for several hours.

Lead researcher Dr Korkut Uygun said: ‘As far as we know, a transplantable liver graft has never been constructed in a laboratory setting before.

‘Even though this is very exciting and promising, it is a proof-of-concept study only. Much more work will be required to make long-term functional liver grafts that can actually be transplanted into humans.

‘We haven’t been able to go beyond several hours in rats, but it’s a great start.’

Hurdles to overcome include creating a liver with all the types of cells needed for full function, including specialised cells that destroy bacteria and other invaders.

Changes in cigarette pack colors called not so mild


"Lights" out: Faced by a ban on labels such as  "mild" and "light," cigarette makers have lightened  package colors. "Lights" out: Faced by a ban on labels such as "mild" and "light," cigarette makers have lightened package colors.

Changes in cigarette pack colors called not so mild

In anticipation of a ban against using words such as "light" or "mild" on cigarette labels and ads, tobacco companies have lightened package colors to convey the same message, a move the American Lung Association and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., have attacked as disingenuous.

The ban, part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act signed a year ago by President Obama, takes effect June 22. The act gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products.

As an FDA guidance document notes, many smokers mistakenly believe that cigarettes labeled "light" or "mild" "cause fewer health problems" than others.

As for the color changes, "this is a transparent attempt by the tobacco industry to evade the law and mislead consumers," Waxman said Friday.

"The tobacco industry is masterful in its knowledge of consumer behavior and marketing," says Paul Billings, vice president for national policy at the lung association.

David Howard of R.J. Reynolds, maker of Salem and other brands, says the "smoking experience," not safety, is "light" cigarettes' appeal. Different-colored packages ensure smokers can still get the taste they desire, Howard says. All Salem packages used to be the same shade of green, but now packages previously called "lights" are a lighter green and white, and "ultra lights" are a pale gray and white. "The bottom line is there is no safe cigarette," Howard says, "and that is certainly well-known among adult cigarette consumers."

But, says research scientist Maansi Basal-Travers of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, more than half of the more than 1,000 smokers she surveyed "believed that a high-tar or full-flavored cigarette is twice as likely to cause illness as a low-tar."

And, she says, studies show that the lighter the package, be it food or cigarettes, the more healthful it seems.

The FDA "should conduct a thorough science-based review and then ban any deceptive use of colors," Waxman said.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a pediatrics professor at the University of California-San Francisco, says "it's plausible that just the packaging difference is enough" to make young smokers think certain cigarettes are safer.

FDA spokeswoman Kathleen Quinn said that though the ban covers "light," "low" and "mild" as of June 22, the FDA will evaluate other potential violations case by case.

Oh, The Difference Glasses Can Make..

The Evolution of Shanghai: 1990 to 1996 to 2010

Shanghai in 1990 Skyline Photograph

Shanghai in 1990

Shanghai in 1996 Skyline Photograph

Shanghai in 1996

Shanghai in 2010 Skyline Photograph

Shanghai in 2010

Conan O'Brien, Jack White Team for Surprise Show


Legally Prohibited band covers Elvis, the White Stripes at rocker's Third Man Studios

Courtesy of

By Daniel Kreps

Three hundred loyal Team Coco supporters were treated to a concert by Conan O'Brien and his Legally Prohibited touring band at Jack White's Third Man Studios yesterday in Nashville. The surprise gig, which was announced by White in a mysterious video on the Third Man site, came just one day before O'Brien began his stint as emcee of the comedy tent at Bonnaroo in nearby Manchester. About 24 hours before the performance, more than a thousand Conan fans had already lined the Third Man building in the scorching Nashville heat, hoping to get in. Conan and Jack White tossed water bottles from the Third Man roof to the fans waiting below, the AP reports.

Once inside, fans were treated to an intimate performance highlighted by cover versions of Elvis Presley's "Blue Moon" and "Poke Salad Annie," the Stray Cats' "Rock This Town," the Band's "The Weight" and a humorous version of Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" ("My old show again/I just can't wait to get my old show again" — only 150 days until Conan's TBS tenure begins.) O'Brien and his band also paid tribute to their host with a raucous rendition of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."

Read our full report from O'Brien's first Legally Prohibited live show.

Rolling Stone previously spoke to Conan about his special bond with White, which led the Stripes to stage a four-night residency on Late Night With Conan O'Brien in 2003 and briefly end the White Stripes' still-ongoing hiatus with a performance of "We're Going to Be Friends" on Conan's final Late Night episode.

"The BEST part of the night was that the whole thing was being recorded on a reel to reel tape! Why reel to reel? Because tonight's performance is going to be pressed into a record that people at the show could buy," Conan's Team Coco blog reports. "What that also meant for the show was that halfway through, Conan & the band had to stop for a few minutes so that the reel could be changed!" According to reports, the vinyl was already up for pre-ordering for the lucky 300 in attendance, but details regarding the sure-to-be-limited-edition release have not yet been posted on the Third Man Records site.

While Conan and his band took their performance seriously for the most part, O'Brien did have some fun when the band detoured off the set list to cover Radiohead's "Creep," a song he previously sound-checked during a Legally Prohibited tour stop in Eugene, Oregon. "This is the only way I can sing Thom Yorke songs, as a 19th-century chimney sweep with a top hat and a smudge on my cheek," O'Brien said. Midway through the performance, Jack White jumped onstage to put a top hat on Conan's head. White eventually came onstage, guitar in hand, for the evening's last song, a cover of Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock." "This is probably the most fun I've had in show business," O'Brien said prior to the encore.

O'Brien and White — with the Dead Weather — will both perform to much larger audiences this weekend at the Bonnaroo Festival. For Rolling Stone's full 'Roo coverage, click here:

Rolling Stone's Essential Bonnaroo 2010 Coverage

And to read Max Weinberg's most recent comments on whether he'll be joining Conan on TBS this fall, check out Max Weinberg on His Future With Conan and Bruce.

50 Year Old Discovery in London Subway (PICS)

Hidden_passageway Back in the 1950’s, old lifts were removed in the Notting Hill tube station in favor of more modern escalators. Recent work at the station revealed these posters in the old lift passageway.

click here for the full gallery:

LINO - A Stop Motion Surf Film This is a cool little surf video. Stop motion Lino Surfing - The pursuit of perfect waves in the plastic world...

9 jaw-dropping caves


9 jaw-dropping caves


A spelunker's dream

Humans have discovered and stepped on almost every swath of terrain on the planet, yet there are still places that have not been explored. Modern spelunking expeditions are unlikely to produce such fantastical results as Jules Verne's "A Journey to the Center of the Earth", but there are still some stunning sights to behold. Here are nine amazing caves from around the world that will make your jaw drop. (Text: Caitie Leary/MNN)

Cave of the Crystals
CREDIT: Courtesy of Carsten Peter/National Geographic

Cave of the Crystals

The discovery of the Cave of the Crystals in 2000 by miners working 1,000 feet underground proved that there are still astounding natural wonders that humans have yet to stumble upon. Located in the Naica Mine near Chihuahua, Mexico, the cave features enormous crystalline blocks and beams jutting out from all directions. The selenite crystals — some of the largest ever found — formed when the cave, situated along an ancient fault, filled with hot, mineral-rich water. The water remained in the cave for about 500,000 years, providing an ideal climate for the giant crystals to grow.

Fingal's Cave
CREDIT: wanderingz/Flickr

Fingal's Cave

Fingal's Cave, a sea cave located on the uninhabitated island of Staffa, Scotland, consists of a large series of hexagonally shaped basalt columns. It was named after the hero of an 18th century Scottish epic poem by James Macpherson. Because of its arched ceiling, it produces eerie echoing sounds, which prompts its name, "Uamh-Binn," which means "cave of melody" in Gaelic.

The Eisriesenwelt
CREDIT: Inspiration Point Studio/Flickr

The Eisriesenwelt

About 40 kilometers south of Salzburg, Austria, in the market town of Werfen, lies the largest ice cave in the world. It's called Eisriesenwelt, which means "World of the Ice Giants" in German. It was first explored in 1879 by scientist Anton Posselt. Long before he arrived, locals knew about the cave and believing it was the entrance to hell — and they avoided it. The cave extends 42 kilometers, though only the first kilometer or so is covered in ice, which was formed when snow from outside the cave melted, drained in the cave and froze again during winter. Today the Eisriesenwelt is a popular tourist destination, with about 200,000 visitors every year.

Mammoth Cave
CREDIT: Dave Bunnell

Mammoth Cave

As the longest known cave system in the world, it’s no wonder Mammoth Cave was established as a national park. The Kentucky cave has 367 miles of passageways, and it’s widely believed that many more miles have yet to be discovered. The cave's name originates from it's vast length, as opposed to the popular (yet false) belief that it has something to do with the now-extinct woolly mammoth.

Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

This famous sea cave is located off the coast of the island of Capri, Italy. It is notable for its gorgeous and brilliantly blue waters, a color created by sunlight shining through the seawater into the underwater passageway. During the times of the Romans, the cave was thought to be the home of witches and monsters, but that doesn't deter visitors today — it remains one of the most popular attractions on the island of Capri.

Cave of the Swallows
CREDIT: Stubb/Wikimedia

Cave of the Swallows

First documented in December 1966, the Cave of the Swallows is a pit cave located in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, that plunges more than 1,400 feet down. It attracts many tourists, especially BASE jumpers and vertical cavers. The cave gets its name from the large number of birds — mainly white-collared swifts and green parakeets — that live within the walls of the cave.

Dongzhong Cave

Dongzhong Cave

Even though its name means "in cave" in Chinese, Dongzhong is both a cave and a school. Opened in 1984 in Ziyun County in China's Guizhou Province, this natural, air hangar-sized cave serves as an educational institution for 186 students and their eight teachers. The cave was carved out from wind, water and other natural forces over the course of thousands of years. It now features small buildings, rooms and sport and recreational areas.

Carlsbad Caverns
CREDIT: Wikimedia/GNU/CC license

Carlsbad Caverns

Discovered in the late 1890s by cowboy Jim White, Carlsbad Caverns is located near the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and boasts the third largest cave chamber in the Americas. The park features a vast array of rooms and chambers: the Big Room, the New Mexico Room, King's Palace, Queen's Chamber, the Spirit World and more than 100 others. It was officially established as a national park in 1930, and since then, it has welcomed 400,000 visitors a year.

Waitomo Glowworm Cave
CREDIT: Yam Bare Munch/Flickr

Waitomo Glowworm Cave

The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island. It is part of the Waitomo Caves system, which includes Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave. As the name suggests, the cave serves as the home to glowworms, specifically Arachnocampa luminosa, which are a type of fungus gnat species that glow in their larval stage. Because it was underwater 30 million years ago, the cave is made from limestone composed of fossilized shells, skeletons and coral.

18 amazing Star Wars sand sculptures


Summer's just around the corner, so what better time to share some of the most awesome Star Wars sand sculptures ever created?

Click here for the Full Gallery of 18 amazing Star Wars sand sculptures