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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mascot Engulfs Titans’ Cheerleader

Inflatable mascots are eating cheerleaders again. Chris Johnson is breaking off 76-yard touchdown runs. Did my time machine just take us 8 months back in time?

I thought the giant cheerleader-eating inflatable mascot fad was dead, but I guess I was wrong. However, I am still left wondering what exactly goes on inside that giant suit once the mascot has fully engulfed his meal? After all, there is a lot that can happen in there that we will never get to see.

Age of Terminators comes a step closer as scientists invent 'e-skin' that could give robots a sense of touch

By Daily Mail Reporter


Feel the force:The new e-skin will help robots to measure their own strength - just like Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

Feel the force:The new e-skin will help robots to measure their own strength - just like Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

Scientists have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic skin which could one day be used to restore touch to patients who have prosthetic limbs.

The material, dubbed e-skin, is made from semiconductor nanowires made from silicon.

More sinister, however, is the prospect of the invention lending robots the ability to adapt the amount of roce needed to hold and manipulate objects.

The nanowires are incredibly thin structures, more than 10,000 times thinner than a single human hair.

They open up the possibility for a robot to be able to hold an egg by judging how delicate it is.

But in true Terminator style, robots would for once know their own strength - which the hero of those movies, John Connor, would presumably see as bad news.

The researchers' stated long-term goal is to use e-skin to restore the sense of touch to patients with artificial limbs.

At the same time scientists from Stanford University have developed an electronic sensor that it is so sensitive that can it can feel a touch as light as a butterfly.

Manufactured in large sheets, the sensors could be used in artificial electronic skin for prosthetic limbs, robots, touch-screen displays, automobile safety and a range of medical applications.

A section of the completed e-skin with nanowire circuits. Each dark square represents a single pixel

A section of the completed e-skin with nanowire circuits. Each dark square represents a single pixel

That degree of sensitivity could make the sensors useful in a broad range of medical applications, including robotic surgery, according to the research team.

Bandages equipped with the sensors could aid in healing of wounds and incisions. Doctors could use data from the sensors to be sure the bandages were not too tight.

Car safety could also be improved with sensitive, 'intelligent' material applied to the steering wheel.

'If a driver is tired, or drunk, or falls asleep at the wheel, their hands might loosen or fall off the wheel,' said Benjamin Tee, graduate student in electrical engineering and a coauthor.

'If there are pressure sensors that can sense that no hands are holding the steering wheel, the car could be equipped with some automatic safety device that could sound an alarm or kick in to slow the car down.

An artist's illustration of an artificial e-skin covering a hand. The finished product would give incredible touch and sensitivity

An artist's illustration of an artificial e-skin covering a hand. The finished product would give incredible touch and sensitivity

'This could be simpler and cost less than other methods of detecting driver fatigue.'

At the University of California, Berkeley , research scientists printed nanowires onto an 18-by-19 pixel square matrix measuring 7 centimetres on each side. Each pixel contained a transistor made up of hundreds of semiconductor nanowires.

Nanowire transistors were then integrated with a pressure sensitive rubber so that it would be able to detect touch.

The matrix required less than 5 volts of power to operate and maintained its robustness after being bent more than 2,000 times in tests.

In tests, the e-skin was able to detect pressure from 0 to 15 kilopascals, a range comparable to the force used for such daily activities as typing on a keyboard or holding an object.

‘The idea is to have a material that functions like the human skin, which means incorporating the ability to feel and touch objects,’ said Ali Javey, head of the UC Berkeley research team developing the artificial skin.

The artificial skin is described in a September 12th paper in the advanced online publication of the journal Nature Materials. It is the first such material made out of inorganic single crystalline semiconductors.

‘Humans generally know how to hold a fragile egg without breaking it,’ said Javey.

‘If we ever wanted a robot that could unload the dishes, for instance, we'd want to make sure it doesn't break the wine glasses in the process. But we'd also want the robot to be able to grip a stock pot without dropping it.’

The UC Berkeley engineers used an innovative fabrication technique that deposits nanowire ‘hairs’.

The researchers started by growing the germanium/silicon nanowires on a cylindrical drum, which was then rolled onto a sticky substrate.

As the drum rolled, the nanowires were deposited, or ‘printed,’ onto the substrate in an orderly fashion, forming the basis from which thin, flexible sheets of electronic materials could be built.

Previous attempts to develop an artificial skin relied upon organic materials because they are flexible and easier to process.

‘The problem is that organic materials are poor semiconductors, which means electronic devices made out of them would often require high voltages to operate the circuitry,’ said Javey.

‘Inorganic materials, such as crystalline silicon, on the other hand, have excellent electrical properties and can operate on low power. They are also more chemically stable. But historically, they have been inflexible and easy to crack.

‘In this regard, works by various groups, including ours, have recently shown that miniaturised strips or wires of inorganics can be made highly flexible – ideal for high performance, mechanically bendable electronics and sensors.’

‘This is the first truly macroscale integration of ordered nanowire materials for a functional system – in this case, an electronic skin,’ said study lead author Kuniharu Takei.

‘It's a technique that can be potentially scaled up. The limit now to the size of the e-skin we developed is the size of the processing tools we are using.’

The Best Oktoberfest Beer?

Brian Yaeger
Our Oktoberfest lineup, identities scrupulously concealed.
​In honor of the 200th anniversary of the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, better known today as the derivation of Oktoberfest, this month's blind tasting panel lined up samples of Festbiers. Over six million people will fill the tents and bierhalls of Munich beginning Sept. 18. They'll be drinking mostly Märzen-style lagers known for their toasty maltiness, with Nobel hops scarcely carrying their load. Märzen (like the Gordon-Biersch flagship we couldn't find as a single) means "March" in German, which is when this beer is historically brewed, then cellared ― or lagered ― through the summer to enjoy in fall. If Munich's too far, there's always Pier 48. At Oktoberfest by the Bay, where you'll be able to do the chicken dance Sept. 23-26.

Other than this blogger, tasting panelists included Jason King and Danielle Oakley (owner and "bartendress," respectively) of Church Key, and beer blogger Jeff McClure. The following is every single Festbier bottle we could find (sadly, most breweries release Oktoberfests closer to October, even though it's in September; too bad we didn't get a growler of Bear Republic's).

We scored them on a scale of 1 to 10 based purely hedonistically ― they're listed here in order of overall preference. (Note: ABV stands for "alcohol by volume"; prices are approximate)

Brian Yaeger
The reveal: Note the three-way tie for second place.
1. Paulaner Oktoberfest (Munich): 23 points. Not surprisingly, five of our six samples were imported from Germany. And therefore not surprisingly, there wasn't a huge disparity in the quality or flavor. They all exhibited medium body, toasty malt, and workhorse carbonation. For Paulaner, King ("pleasant breadyness") and Oakley ("mellow but fits the style") scored it the highest, even though this blogger couldn't get past the DMS infection too often present. (5.9 percent ABV, $2.50)

2. Schönramer Festbier (Schönram, Germany): 22 points. Yours truly got into the "super butter-toasty" flavor, but the beer lost points once it warmed up, and it was those same "sour, stale" notes that turned off McClure. (6.2 percent ABV, $4)

2. Sam Adams Oktoberfest (Cincinnati,Ohio): 22 points. Oakley said this one "smells like August in die Vaterland," which is funny since it's the only one not from the Fatherland. Still, on account of it having the shortest distance to travel, it was the freshest, gentlest at the fest. (5.3 percent ABV, $2.25)

2. Weihenstephaner Oktoberfest (Freising, Germany): 22 points. Not that anyone objected to the Paulaner, but the panel afterward said they'd have expected this sample to take top billing. The balance and complexity in this beer from the world's oldest brewery demonstrated the power of fundamentals. King felt this leaned more towards a Munich Helles lager on account of being "wonderful, full-bodied (with a) rich grain profile." (5.8 percent ABV, $4)

5. Spaten Oktoberfest (Munich): 20 points. The overtly sweet nose and taste stemmed from diacetyl, which is often present in lagers but isn't the goal of Märzens. Thus, the "wet cardboard" flavor that McClure noted was the result of oxidation, and another reason why, if you're going to do Oktoberfest, you should do it in München. (5.9 percent ABV, $1.50)

6. Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest (Munich): 19 points. This one lost points across the board for oddly displaying little to no aroma. It had hints of butterscotch and mild hops, and ultimately, only earned four fewer points than the Paulaner, but someone's gotta lose. (5.8 percent ABV, $1.50)

The tasters, from left: Danielle Oakley, Jason King, Jeff McClure, the author.
​Tune in next month when a new panel will blindly taste pumpkin beers. After all, Halloween candy is already on the shelves.

Some of the Sexiest Got Milk Ads

Let’s face it. Milk mustache? Come on people! It’s just another way for the Milk industry to lure celebrities into looking like they’re taking facials. Or at least that’s about the closest we’ll get. Actually no. The use of photoshop has taken care of every pornographic fantasy we’ve ever had about celebrities.

Still though, one must admit that the “Got Milk” campaign does have its allure. It ain’t quite like the PETA ads we see on a daily basis but I’m a fan of calcium so it works for me.

Check out some Got Milk chicks after the jump

Man I used to love Elizabeth Hurley back in the days when she played the devil. I feel like I haven’t seen her in 10 years.

More sexy milk ladies

Stairs? No Thanks, I’ll Take the Escalator

Tip 2 Tip: Riding Waves with Surfer Babes

More Surfing Videos
Stephanie Gilmore is only 22 years old and she's already a legend. Her paws are immortalized in Huntington Beach's Surfing Walk of Fame. She is officially an icon to every female surfer on the planet. And not surprisingly, she's rubbed off on Alana, Bethany and Tyler quite a bit lately. But in the close quarters of the Quest 1, everyone begins to become a piece of each other. And thank God for that, or Glitter and the Shaman would have never been created...

Japan’s Namba Parks Has an 8 Level Roof Garden with Waterfalls

by Yuka Yoneda

Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it’s one of the first places that visitors to the city might see, owner Nankai Electric Railway asked the Jerde Partnership to envision the new development as a gateway that would redefine Osaka’s identity. Jerde designed Namba Parks as a huge green space and an oasis amidst Osaka’s dense urban streets.

The entire development includes a 30-story office tower and adjacent mall, but what really makes Namba Parks stand out is its rooftop park that gradually ascends eight levels and gives passers-through the feeling that they are actually standing high on a mountaintop in nature when they’re actually right in the middle of the city. Right below the park, a gradiated “canyon” carves a path through the mall, as they stroll past shops, entertainment spots and dining venues. Different flavors of restaurants (Japanese, Korean, Italian, etc.) can be found on the 6th floor, and shops are located on the 2nd through 5th floors. There are also terraces located both on the rooftop and amidst the canyons, an amphitheater for live shows, and space for small personal vegetable gardens and wagon shops.

+ The Jerde Partnership

Just hanging around: Chilean illusionists stage amazing levitation to celebrate country's anniversary

By Mail Foreign Service


A pair of Chilean twins have broken the world levitation record by hovering above the ground for an extraordinary 200 minutes.

Nicolas Luisetti and John Paul Olhaberry staged the event in Chile's capital Santiago to mark the country's 200th anniversary.

The magic twins stunned thousands of passers-by as they floated above the city's streets.

Chilean illusionists Nicolas Luisetti (L) and John Paul Olhaberry

Record breakers: Nicolas Luisetti (left) and John Paul Olhaberry (right) levitated above the crowd for 200 minutes

Chilean illusionists Nicolas Luisetti (L) and John Paul Olhaberry

The magic twins staged the event to mark the 200th anniversary of Chile

Chilean illusionists Nicolas Luisetti (L) and John Paul Olhaberry

The stunt brought traffic to a standstill as thousands of people tried to work out how the trick was done

Their only visible support was a post which each had one hand placed on.

The feat, which involved the pair levitating seven metres above the ground, was broadcast on a giant screen as traffic was brought to standstill.

The crowd gathered below suggested a number of different explanations for how the twins may have carried out the stunt, including having some sort of iron bar through their clothing and attached to the pole.

Chilean illusionists Nicolas Luisetti (L) and John Paul Olhaberry

Magic: The twins have not said how they managed to carry out the extraordinary stunt for over 8 hours

The twins are already considered the most famous illusionists in the country.

The pair have made numerous television appearances in the past and are set to carry out further high-profile events to mark the country's anniversary.

Their stunts are similar to those carried out by U.S magician David Blane who became famous for his extraordinary levitation trick.

Nation-wide celebrations for Chile's bicentenary are set to take place on September 18.

Watch a video of the twin's amazing stunt below:

Read more:

Bizarre Chicken Wire Sculpture by Ivan Lovatt


Michael Jackson

We may have lost the King of Pop in the summer of 2009, but his music lives on, as does his likeness, now preserved in chicken wire.

Artist Ivan Lovatt makes remarkably lifelike sculptures of famous folks, icons and wildlife out of material so paltry it’s usually reserved for poultry – chicken wire.

13 PhotosAlbert Einstein

Here, the father of relativity is lovingly rendered in chicken wire.

Sir Edmund Hillary

What better way to honor the fabled New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and environmental champion than to recreate his likeness in wire fencing?

Grace Jones

She’s posed for fashion magazines, recorded hit records and even battled James Bond, but here she is immortalized in the finest of sturdy barnyard materials for posterity.

Dame Edna Everage

Australian comedian Barry Humphries’ beloved character, Dame Edna Everage. Perhaps her boa includes some actual chicken feathers.

Jimi Hendrix

The fleet-fingered guitar legend finally gets his posthumous due as a chicken wire sculpture.

Mick Jagger

The mouthpiece of the Rolling Stones may have been knighted in 2003, but you know you’ve really made your stamp on the world when someone sculpts your face out of chicken wire.

John Lennon

As one quarter of the Beatles, John Lennon inspired a generation and helped define rock ‘n’ roll as we know it. It’s fitting, then, that he should be canonized in chicken wire.

The Beatles

Depicted during their Sgt. Pepper era, the Fab Four is captured in all their epauletted, facially hirsute glory.

Bob Dylan

Having introduced both profound poetry and a keen social conscience to rock n’ roll in the 1960s, Bob Dylan gets the Lovatt treatment, looking suitably cool and wiry.

Wings of wire

Who said chicken wire was just for poultry and … er… celebrity depictions? Here, Lovatt presents a sculpture dubbed, “The Eagle.”

A clucking masterpiece

Twelve slides in and what’s this? Yes, it’s a chicken made of chicken wire. Who saw that coming?

A meshy, metallic marsupial

Here, Lovatt creates a cuddly koala bear, clinging tenaciously to a tree.