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Friday, May 20, 2011

Man Flies Over Grand Canyon Attached To Jet-Propelled Wing [VIDEO]

by Kyle Thibaut
from http://translogic.aolautos.com/

Jetman flies over Grand Canyon

We all wish we had the ability to fly like Superman, but this guy actually made it happen last weekend. Former Swiss fighter pilot Yves "Jetman" Rossy flew his jet-propelled wing across the Grand Canyon at speeds of over 190 mph.
Jetman jumped out of a helicopter at 8,000 feet over the Grand Canyon and stayed airborne for over eight minutes.

This isn't his first rodeo; he has flown over some beautiful sites. Jetman has winged over Lake Geneva and the English Channel, but came with high hopes for his first US flight. "My first flight in the U.S. is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands," Jetman said.

I know what you're thinking, but we just couldn't risk our host Bradley's safety; however, the next closest thing is just around the corner. Stay tuned.



The Best Beers to Enjoy When Judgment Day Comes this Saturday

by Ian Cheesman
from http://digg.com/

draught-picks-header

(For this article I am going to touch on some potentially delicate religious topics. There may even be moments where I get somewhat, for lack of a better word, blasphemish. I do not take such things lightly. As a beer writer on a semi-pornographic website, I understand that many naturally look to me as a moral touchstone. I’ll do my best to not belittle anyone’s cherished beliefs, except for maybe the Buddhists. After all, what are those pussies going to do about it? Meditate me to death?)

Before we dive into the specifics on the beers below, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to learn a little bit more about you, my dedicated readers. First off, how are you? I trust this article finds you well? I certainly hope tha-

nigh

Sorry. I really would have preferred to ease you into that, but I thought it best to just rip the bandaid off. This is one of those rare moments in life where shitting your pants is totally appropriate, so feel free to indulge.

This revelation came to me as it has to so many prophets before – a sign from above:

judgment
It’s 100% guaranteed. Experience the Rapture or your next plane of existence is FREE!

This billboard is not a farce, despite the graphic designer’s choice to incorporate the silhouette of a man crapping on the beach. The eBible Fellowship are as earnest in this message are they are funded to share it.

Using a potent combination of faith and math (which I call “fath”), they have calculated Judgment Day to be exactly 7,000 years after Noah’s flood. It is nice to know that God, a being beyond the reach of time, has as big a hard-on for round numbers as humanity does. Their fath places this harrowing date on Saturday, May 21st. If there was ever any doubt in God’s omnipotence, consider that He planned this event over 7 millennia ago such that even the end of the world wouldn’t mess with His Sunday. Working for the weekend, indeed.

So there you have it. Either the world as we know it is going to end on Saturday or it’s not. Even if you’re not religious, those are 50% odds, people. Luckily some of the world’s finest and most clairvoyant brewers have prepared for this eventuality. The question is are these beers worth skipping the Rapture for?

Judgment Day Ale (10.5% ABV) – The Lost Abbey/Port Brewing

abbey

From the instant you pop the cork (fancy, right?!) on this murky ale the smells fly at you. There’s an alluring mix of figs, booze, brown sugar, currants and maybe a little milk chocolate in the nose. This beer would make a fantastic plug-in air freshener, but all my attempts to create it have ended poorly.

physics
Stupid physics is always trying to stifle my creativity

The dark fruit flavors build with a sweetness akin to a maduro cigar. (That’s right, ladies. I’ve cultivated two different pastimes that give me dragon breath. Three if you count my competitive eating in the balut circuit. And you still want me.) I taste hints of pear, raisin, licorice and some of that peculiar soapy flavor I get from certain Belgian yeasts.

There’s a pretty substantial alcohol presence that makes things a bit astringent, but it has enough big flavors around it to compensate. For all that sweetness, the finish is surprisingly dry and crisp, with an herbal, spicy finish.

While not every dimension of this beer is suited to my personal tastes, there’s a lot here to surprise even seasoned beer drinkers.

Grade: B+

Salvation Ale (9% ABV) Avery Brewing

salvation

The Salvation has a kind of tropical smell to it. The aroma hovers somewhere between peach and guava. There’s a faint citrus smell and must to it as well.

There’s a strong fruity component to the flavor. It also has a warming spice that most would call cinnamon, but I instantly recognized it as pepper spray. I guess you could say this beer tastes like apricot and violated restraining orders to me.

pepper
We only hurt the ones we love, right? RIGHT?

The alcohol is also prominent, but not with the same bite as the Judgment Day. The finish is a lovely blend of Belgian mustiness and a flowery hop note.

I’ve had this creamy golden ale before, but I like it more than I recalled. My palate must really be evolving. I’m glad that’s the case because otherwise this wild inconsistency would just be totally unprofessional.

Grade: A-

Ommegeddon (8% ABV) Brewery Ommegang

funk

The description on this beer may require a little explanation. First off, “funkhouse” is a house made of funk. This is detailed in the “Ommegang Field Survival Guide” as a rudimentary structure constructed with James Brown’s skeletal remains. It’s an oddly specific and morbid thing to reference for a beer, but we are talking about a brewery that celebrates the apocalypse.

lean
It’s technically more a Funk-Lean-To

Brettanomyces is quite literally another animal altogether. This yeast strain is often associated with Belgian or Belgian-style beers. Its reputation for delivering weird flavors and aromatics is legendary. It’s not an easy yeast to refine or constrain, but with proper diligence it can usually be detected in culture:

biology
This Photoshop joke officially satisfies my yearly obligation to leverage an otherwise useless biology degree.

This beer of doom has an inappropriately sunny straw color with a thick beady head. The nose is heavy with lemons and farmhouse aromas. If the luscious combination of mildew and cow sweat don’t charge your batteries, you’ll probably want to seek your beer adventures elsewhere.

Its first sip is incredibly dry. It leeches all the moisture out of your mouth like a Dementor’s kiss feeding off your soul. However, it has a creaminess and effervescence reminiscent of a slightly warm butterbeer (minus the sickly butterscotch notes). It’s lemony, mildly spicy and tart, has hints of pear and would pair perfectly with the Harry Potter movie on basic cable right now that in no way infected the content of this review.

Grade: A

Transformers 3: Or, How James Cameron Got Michael Bay to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love 3-D


from http://www.movieline.com/

Leader image for Transformers 3: Or, How James Cameron Got Michael Bay to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love 3-D

When Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon barrels into theaters this summer in 3-D — the first 3-D outing for the film series and for Bay himself — you’ll have one man to thank for it: James Cameron. Fittingly, Bay took the stage at a Transformers 3 footage screening Wednesday night on the Paramount Studios lot to compare notes on the format, its future, and its frustrating limitations with none other than Cameron himself.

Sitting side-by-side with moderator Jay Fernandez of The Hollywood Reporter leading a conversation filled with tech details and friendly banter, Bay and Cameron took it back to the beginning, when Avatar had yet to prove itself worth the giant leap of faith and money and Bay was still hesitant to leave his comfort zone.

Having once invited Bay years ago to the set of Titanic, a film whose vertical sinking ship set piece is evoked in a building-toppling sequence from Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Cameron welcomed Bay onto the set of Avatar while he was in production. But Bay, a purist at heart who still prefers film over digital, felt alienated by Cameron’s tech-heavy production. “3-D is all ones and zeroes,” Bay explained to the audience of journalists and film students. When Paramount asked him to make Transformers 3 in 3-D, Bay says, Cameron (“the man who talked me into it”) insisted he give it a shot: “[He said] Michael, we’ve done everything. You’ve got to look at it as a toy, another tool to get emotion and character in the experience.”

Cameron, meanwhile, has been drinking the 3-D Kool-Aid for years. It was his desire to make 3-D a viable cinematic form that led him to abandon film for digital in 1997, knowing that the advancement of digital tools was a prerequisite for working in 3-D.

[SLIDESHOW: Click for images from Transformers: Dark of the Moon.]

But current 3-D rigs aren’t yet ideal in weight or versatility — at least, current to the time when Bay was filming Transformers 3. So in order to shoot his film in 3-D, Bay had to adjust his preferred methods: shooting 10 shots per day instead of 50, for example. And the unique risks involved were unprecedented to the director. After the first day of filming on Dark of the Moon, Bay woke up exclaiming, “I’m in love with 3-D,” only to discover that the hard drives housing that day’s worth of footage had been corrupted and his precious footage lost.

Bay, then, is much more frustrated with the limitations of current 3-D filmmaking than Cameron seems to be; practically speaking, it requires him to change the way he shoots. But judging from the approximately 10 minutes of footage shown, including the first five minutes of Dark of the Moon and an extended reel of footage, 3-D might have been one of the best things to happen to him.

Perhaps because working with 3-D required him to slow things down in terms of action, Bay’s action sequences appear to be clearer and more discernible. Extensive hand to hand robot fight sequences, robot transformations, aerial scenes, and a show-stopping set piece involving a massive robot constricting itself around a skyscraper in downtown Chicago are much easier to follow than similar scenes in the first two films. Also impressive are scenes of a squadron of military paratroopers, led by Josh Duhamel, who leap out of a plane mid-air and wind their way through a cityscape in freefall like flying squirrels caught on the wind.

More on the footage, briefly: [SPOILER ALERT] The opening first five minutes set up the premise of Dark of the Moon. A massive Star Wars-esque battle between robots is raging on Cybertron, where an escaping bot is attacked and crash-lands on the moon. Meanwhile, in 1960s America — think Michael Bay’s version of Mad MenNASA and the government catch wind of the landing and race to put a man in space to beat the Russians to the crash site. Mixing archival footage with face-replicating CGI, Bay depicts the secret U.S. mission that we never knew about: Neil Armstrong isn’t on the moon to make one small step for man, he’s there to investigate the Transformers landing, bringing back to Earth the knowledge that we’re not alone in the galaxy. [END SPOILERS]

Reaction to the footage was mixed, though the reel drew applause. The 3-D looks fantastic — and, as Cameron himself complimented, one can’t tell the difference between native-shot footage and converted footage. (The percentages, according to Bay: 60 percent native 3-D, 15 percent digital, and the rest conversion.) “I like that you’re using 3-D aggressively,” he told Bay.

“The question is, how many millions more will it make in 3-D?” Cameron asked, turning to Bay. “I guarantee more than $30 million.”

But 3-D isn’t just an involving process, requiring complex added technical steps to shoot — it’s expensive, given the labor, equipment, and added post work involved. Bay spent seven months testing various conversion houses to find companies he trusted with the job, and made sure his fx techs got footage well in advance. The extra cost of 3-D for a film, Bay estimates, is $30 million. To Cameron, that $30 million is worth every penny. “The question is, how many millions more will it make in 3-D?” Cameron asked, turning to Bay. “I guarantee more than $30 million.”

Finally, conversation turned to the problem with the current state of 3-D filmmaking: Bad 3-D conversion jobs. “Bullshit 3-D is turning off audiences,” said Bay. Cameron agreed, citing bad 3-D as a step backwards in the struggle to get audiences back in theaters. The appeal of 3-D, he claims, is a direct solution to the threat of VOD. “But we’re abusing it,” he said, blaming studios for rushing through the time-consuming process of fine-tuning the 3-D treatment.

Another problem facing would-be 3-D filmmakers? Brightness levels in theatrical projection, another result of money-saving efforts, only controlled by theater owners. “Laser projectors are the future,” he predicted. Also in the near future, according to Cameron: Passive vs. active shutter home 3-D glasses, “tablets and laptops that don’t require glasses and are auto-stereoscopic,” and within 5 years, glasses-free 3-D television screens. We’re in the 3-D equivalent of the auto industry circa 1905, Cameron insisted.

Bay had a slightly different take: “It’s the Wild Wild West,” he said, of the current disconnect between filmmakers, exhibitors, technology, and the audience. But if Cameron has his way, it won’t be this way for long.

Ghostbusters Firehouse Being Put Out Of Business

Author: Josh Tyler
From http://www.cinemablend.com/

Ghostbusters Firehouse Being Put Out Of Business image
When someone says the word “firehouse” the image that pops up in my head isn’t of the one-story structure about two blocks from my house with the big, red fire engine parted out front. The picture indelibly burned into my brain is of the firehouse from Ghostbusters, complete with fire pole and ghost fighting gear stacked up somewhere in the corner.

The iconic firehouse used in the Ghostbusters films is actually a real, working, New York City firehouse. Or at least it has been. New York Mayor Bloomberg is pushing a plan to shut it down.

According to the NYPost the Ghostbusters station is one among 20 different firehouses which the city is considering closing due to budget cuts. It’s home to Ladder 8 and while you’d hate to see them out of a job, if they do shut it down maybe someone in New York should have the good sense to turn it into a tourist destination to help that sagging city budget.

Judging from the picture including with the Post story, the place is in good repair, even 20 years later. Look:


And here’s what it looked like in the film:





The ironic thing here is, of course, that in the 1984 film Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and their ghost busting team were only able to move in to the firehouse because the city had closed it down. If you’re planning to start your own ghost busting business, the ideal location for your headquarters may soon show up on the real estate market.

Now Even You Can Be An Expert DSLR Photographer

by Dylan Schenker

from http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/

So you’ve finally decided to pony up the money and make the transition from your trusty point-and-shoot to a shiny new DSLR. Sure, those point-and-shoot photos look fine on Facebook, but if you’re going to make the transition to Flickr, you’ll want something with a little bit more versatility. Of course, DSLRs have automatic settings too, but hey, you spent all this money on a fancy camera, might as well learn to use the damn thing. But here’s the kicker, now you’ve got to contend with figuring out how to set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focus exactly right to get the optimal picture. It can be confusing enough to make the most confident snapper cower away to the automatic settings (not that we’ve ever been there or anything…).

A new website called CameraSim, however, seeks to quell those concerns with a simulated guide to shooting photos with a DSLR. The simple interface offers a viewfinder that mimics that of a typical camera, with the portrait of a young girl in a park holding a spinning pinwheel. The portrait includes a lot of bright colors that would be perfect for a vibrant photograph. The simple settings let the user play around with the lighting, distance, focal length and of course the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. By divesting the settings from the case of the camera, it lets users more comfortably toy with them while getting a larger representation of what the photo would look like after it’s been snapped. It defaults to shutter priority and also allows for aperture priority and manual, letting novices ween themselves from the automatic settings one frame at a time.

The website also includes a guide to each of the important settings and clearly defines them, making it accessible for photographers of any level.

Star Tours’ New 3D Tech

From: http://furiousfanboys.com/


The newly upgraded 3D version of Star Tours officially opens tomorrow in Florida (with non-Cast Member previews beginning in California as well), and people will finally be able to experience Star Wars in 3D. What’s cool about the new Star Tours is that it uses a 3D technology, and glasses, that hasn’t yet been seen in many theaters. This isn’t the ancient two-projector film-based tech that’s used in 3D theme park movies like Captain EO. It’s also not the expensive 3D technology that most movie theaters use. Disney chose to go with Dolby’s new 3D technology that uses just one projector and unique 3D glasses.

Where current theater 3D tech requires the use of an expensive reflective silver screen and usually requires dual projectors; Dolby’s tech can be used on a normal white screen and a single digital projector that can display both 2D and 3D playback. The 3D playback uses an alternate red/blue/green color wheel in addition to the normal red/blue/green color wheel; which is why some people claim that the new Star Tours uses the old 1950′s red/blue style of 3D. It doesn’t but due to a second color wheel in the projector you may see additional colors when you view the screen without 3D glasses on. Basically the color information for each eye is projected at different wavelengths, which the glasses then are able to decode.

The glasses are also new. They aren’t the flimsy cheap polarized lenses that you normally get at a theme park or even a movie theater. Word is that they actually cost about $12 a pair, and they use a curved lens. This can cause some blurring on the edges for people who wear glasses, but they do fit over prescription glasses just fine. The 3D effect with these new glasses is actually clearer and smoother than what you got with traditional flat polarized lenses.




This weekend Disney soft-opened Star Tours 2 in Florida in anticipation for its big opening this coming Friday, and they let a picture of Darth Vader leak out. The pic comes from the beginning of the ride when you’re confronted by either a squad of Stormtroopers or Vader himself. The whole thing is in 3D, which this pic obviously cannot show, and the word from the ride is that the 3D effect is the best ever done in either a theme park ride or movie. The ride even uses Dolby’s new 3D technology (and glasses). These aren’t your typical cheap theme park glasses. Dolby charges theater owners about $12 a pair for them.

Star Tours opens in Florida on Friday, and there will be special previews of the ride for non-Cast Members beginning that day in Anaheim. Expect a lot more later this week.




For a while we’ve known that Star Tours II would naturally feature C-3PO, R2D2, and Admiral Ackbar among two new Droids. Now Disney has officially confirmed that Ackbar would me making an appearance in the ride along with a couple other characters. Darth Vader and Boba Fett will be there along with Stormtroopers and a brand new type of trooper created specifically for the new ride called a “skytrooper”. For the Rebellion, aside from Ackbar; riders will see Yoda and a young Princess Leia on their trip to one of many new destinations.

Star Tours II is scheduled to open in May, and we’re planning on being there opening day and will try to bring you live coverage of all the Star Wars craziness.


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Disney has released their official press release announcing the re-opening of Star Tours next month in Florida (and June in Anaheim), and it reveals some new details about the ride. In addition to it describing the new queue people will walk through, it confirms that the new pilot droid Ace will still be seen in the ride, despite C-3PO taking over the piloting duties when you enter the Starspeeder 1000. Here’s the full press release:

‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ Brings Star Wars™ Thrills in 3-D to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.

Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.

With eye-popping 3-D digital filming, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology, guests will be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction. Walt Disney Imagineering worked with Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Industrial Light & Magic – the groundbreaking visual effects division of Lucasfilm – to bring the out-of-this-world attraction to life.

Star Tours, which had thrilled Disney Parks guests since the 1980s, was “powered down” at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010 so Imagineers could begin work on the new attraction.

And in a new twist, guests may be able to enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours.

Just as the Star Wars films immerse movie-goers in storylines that keep them on the edge of their seats, Star Tours will feature multiple stories and scenarios that will hurtle park guests throughout the Star Wars galaxy. And all of the storyline’s twists and turns will be random, affording guests the chance to ride the attraction multiple times.

Whether it’s a battle with Darth Vader and his legion of stormtroopers or a plea from Princess Leia to help her save the Rebellion, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action – literally – in the 3-D, multi-sensory attraction.

Entering the attraction queue area, Star Tours guests walk into a bustling spaceport. The famed Star Wars droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, greet them as the Starspeeder 1000 is prepped for service. Anthony Daniels, the voice of C-3PO and the only actor to appear in every theatrical chapter of the Star Wars Saga, reprises his role as the golden protocol droid. Daniels worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to record new dialogue for the attraction. Guests also are introduced to AC-38, a hotshot droid pilot known simply as “Ace,” and Aly San San (voiced by actress Allison Janney), the “spokesbot” for the spaceport.

After winding through the spaceport, guests board the Starspeeder 1000 spacecraft and prepare for Star Tours Flight #1401. Through a series of mishaps, however, C-3PO finds himself in the pilot’s seat instead of Ace, and it’s up to him and R2-D2 to navigate their passengers through the galaxy. However, the tyrannical Empire is out to stop the Starspeeder at all costs. C-3PO and R2-D2 take the controls and try to outwit and outrun the Imperial forces and a galactic bounty hunter hired to pursue the spaceship and its passengers.

Utilizing the 50+ random story combinations, the Starspeeder then embarks on a wild trip through the galaxy, visiting several planets made famous in the Star Wars films. Among the locations that might provide haven from the Empire’s pursuit are the icy planet of Hoth, the lush jungles of Kashyyyk and the underwater Gungan world of Naboo. And along the way guests may encounter Star Wars characters that offer to help (or hinder) their journey, including Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. “Skytroopers,” a legion of stormtroopers created just for the Star Tours attraction story, might even join in the chase.

In fact, with multiple ways to experience each flight, guests will never know where the Force will take them.

At Walt Disney World Resort, Star Tours opens May 20, 2011, the same day the annual Star Wars Weekends event begins at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends event activities are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

For more information and to purchase theme park tickets or book vacation packages, guests may visit disneyworld.com/startours or disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends.

Paralyzed man regains voluntary leg movement with electrode array implant

By Darren Quick

From: http://www.gizmag.com

Rob Summers, 25, in the harness that provides support while he receives electrical stimula...
Rob Summers, 25, in the harness that provides support while he receives electrical stimulation to his spinal cord (Image: Rob Summers)
Image Gallery (4 images)

In a move that gives cautious hope to the millions of people suffering some form of paralysis, a team of researchers from UCLA, Caltech and the University of Louisville has given a man rendered paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run accident in 2006 the ability to stand and take his first tentative steps in four years. The team used a stimulating electrode array implanted into the man's body to provide continual direct electrical stimulation to the lower part of the spinal cord that controls movement of the hips, knees, ankles and toes, to mimic the signals the brain usually sends to initiate movement.
Rob Summers was paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run accident in 2006 (Image:...Electrical leads implanted in the paraplegic patient (Image: Medtronic, Inc.)Implanted electrode array (Image: The Lancet)

Instead of bypassing the nervous system to directly stimulate the leg muscles, the electrical signals provided by the array stimulate the spinal cord's own neural network so it can use the sensory input derived from the legs to direct muscle and joint movements. The stimulation therefore doesn't induce movement, but taps into a network of spinal cord nerves that are capable of initiating movement on their own without the help of the brain, which then work together with cues from the legs to direct muscle movement.

The research team's work builds on previous research at UCLA that showed animals with spinal-cord injuries could stand, balance, bear weight and take coordinated steps while the outermost part of the spinal canal - or epidural space - is stimulated.

Thanks to the breakthrough the test subject, 25 year old Rob Summers, is able to supply the muscular push required to stand up and remain standing for up to four minutes at a time. With periodic assistance, Summers is able to stand for up to an hour, and with the aid of a harness support and some assistance from a therapist he is able to take steps on a treadmill.


Prior to implantation with the epidural stimulating array, Summers, who suffered a complete motor injury at the C7/T1 level of the spinal cord, was unable to move even his toes. But after implantation he was able to not only stand and make repeated stepping motions on a treadmill with the assistance of a harness, but also regained the ability to voluntarily move his toes, ankles, knees, and hips on command. However, once the stimulation is turned off, Summers loses the voluntary control of his limbs.

Over time, Summers also experienced improvements in several types of autonomic function, including bladder and bowel control and temperature regulation. The researchers say these autonomic functions began to return before there was any sign of voluntary movement, which took around seven months after he began receiving epidural stimulation to emerge.

Although the researchers still aren't yet fully sure how these autonomic functions were regained, the results indicate the treatment could help improve the quality of life of spinal cord injury sufferers other than those with the strength to undergo the rigorous physical training Summers did as part of his treatment. The researchers say the relief from secondary complications of complete spinal cord injury - including impairment or loss of bladder control, sphincter control and sexual response - could even prove to be ultimately as, or more important in terms of improving the quality of life of such patients

While obviously encouraged by the results, the researchers are quick to point out that the study represents just one case and that there's no way to tell how other patients may react. They also point out that Summers, who was an athlete in comparatively excellent physical condition before his accident, retained some sensation in his lower extremities after his injury indicating his spinal cord was not completely severed, which may have played a part in the level of success he was able to attain.

However, the researchers are hopeful that their work could one day provide some individuals suffering spinal cord injuries with the ability to stand independently, maintain balance and take effective steps through the use of a portable stimulation unit and the assistance of a walker. Additionally, the researchers believe the approach could potentially also help in the treatment of stroke, Parkinson's, and other disorders affecting motor function.

The team has received approval from the FDA to test five spinal-cord injury patients and will next try and replicate their initial results with a patient that matches Summers in terms of age, injury, and physical ability. They will then turn to patients who have no sensation to see how that influences the outcome.

Interestingly, the device implanted into Summers is FDA-approved for back pain only and its use was meant only as a test to see if the researcher's concepts would work. As a result, the researchers say the current implants have many limitations and that further advances in the technology should lead to better control of the standing and stepping process. They are also looking at whether it might be possible to move the array higher up on the spinal column to see if it could also be used to affect the arms and hands.

The UCLA, Caltech and University of Louisville researcher's work is detailed in the paper, "Epidural stimulation of the lumbosacral spinal cord enables voluntary movement, standing, and assisted stepping in a paraplegic human," which is published in The Lancet.

Professor V. Reggie Edgerton discusses the breakthrough in the following UCLA video:




Obama Sushi

Obama Sushi
 

Macho Man Randy Savage Dies In Car Accident

by TMZ Staff


Macho Man Randy Savage -- one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time -- died today in a car accident in Tampa, Florida ... TMZ has learned.

Randy Savage Car Accident Dead


TMZ spoke with Randy's brother, Lanny Poffo, who tells us the wrestling legend suffered a heart attack while he was behind the wheel around 9:25 AM ... and lost control of his vehicle.

Earlier this month, Savage celebrated his 1-year anniversary with his new wife Lynn.

Savage was 58.

Macho Man began wrestling in the WWF in 1985 and became a superstar with his trademark catchphrase "Ooooooh Yeaahhhhh." Savage was so popular, he became the spokesperson for Slim Jim in the mid '90s ... and became virtually synonymous with the brand.

UPDATE: Florida Highway Patrol tells TMZ ... Savage was driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he veered across a concrete median ... through oncoming traffic ... and "collided head-on with a tree."

Savage was transported to Largo Medical center, where he died from his injuries.

Savage's wife was a passenger in the vehicle during the collision -- but survived with "minor injuries." She was transported to a different local hospital where she was treated.

0520_randy_savage_wife_lynne_payne_getty_swipe_2

According to officials, Randy and Lynn were both wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.

Cops say alcohol was NOT a factor.

An investigation into the accident is underway.

KEEP REFRESHING FOR NEW DETAILS.


Randy Savage


Madrid's Green Wall is Flourishing as is the Caixa Forum

by Bonnie Alter
from: http://www.treehugger.com/

caixa wall photo
Photo: B. Alter

Madrid's green wall is a veteran... First noted here in 2008, it was designed by Patrick Blanc, who has created some of the most famous vertical gardens in Europe.

It was installed on an exterior wall of a former power station which was renovated by equally famous architects Herzog & de Meuron. The garden and the building have been braving the pollution, hot sun and elements for four years and we are pleased to announce that both mother and child are doing well.


meuron wall photo
Photo: B. Alter

First the building: it was a former power plant built in 1899 and one of the few examples of industrial architecture left in the old section of the city. Caixa Forum is a cultural and arts centre that hired Herzog & de Meuron to convert the building and retain the industrial feel. A Swiss firm, they renovated the Tate Modern in London which was formerly a power plant as well.

under pass photo
Photo: B. Alter

Their master stroke was to remove the base of the building so that it seems to hover over the ground. That created a large plaza which provides a place to sit and meet away from the burning sun. The building goes underground, for an auditorium, and three stories above with gallery space, shop and cafe. The rusted iron cladding on the top level has aged and corroded and is a warm bronze colour.

close up photo
Photo: B. Alter

The vertical garden, designed by Patrick Blanc, is 4 storeys high and takes up one outside wall, overlooking the plaza. It has 15,000 plants from more than 250 different species and most of it is flourishing.

There is an irrigation system which seems to be ongoing, given the gentle mist of droplets that emanates from the garden. The architects said that they wanted to "create a very unusual encounter between the rough and the natural, ...to incorporate nature so there can be the smell of a garden where you would not expect it."

The building, and garden are in the cultural quarter where the other famous museums are located. Caixa Forum has become an urban oasis in contrast to the more formal, and much older, buildings in the vicinity.

More on Green Walls

Green Walls are Growing Inside and Outside in London
Europe's Largest and Newest Green Living Wall is in London
National Theatre Grows Green
Madrid Gets a Vertical Garden Too

Sexy Playboy Playmate Francesca Frigo Remakes Retro Air Jordan Commercial (Video)

From: http://www.totalprosports.com/

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Nike’s “It’s Gotta Be The Shoes” commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee’s alter ego, for those who didn’t know) was a classic. Who can forget Mars grilling Michael with question after question regarding what makes him the best player in the universe, only to have each of his guesses turned down with the same answer – “No Mars.”

Playboy took a shot at recreating this masterpiece as they get set to rank the top 23 Air Jordans ever. And while it can be difficult to replace the brilliant acting of Spike Lee and the incredible skills of Michael Jordan, Playboy was able to find a more than adequate replacement in the lovely Francesca Frigo.

I know most of us may be skeptical at times when it comes to remakes and sequels, but I don’t expect to hear many complaints in this case. After all, wouldn’t you like to hear this busty babe attempt to answer the question, “What makes Playmates the sexiest girls in the universe?”

I still think its the big boobs.

Here is a look at the original, featuring Spike Lee, a.k.a. Mars Blackmon, and Michael Jordan.


History of WEED

Uploaded by on Aug 12, 2009

Going all the way back to 8000 B.C, Weeds presents another look at the history of cannabis. New episodes Monday at 10PM ET/PT. Music is "Go Meet the Seed" by "Thee Oh Sees."


Awesome 2011 TV Shows We Already Can't Wait For

Summer's going to be a killer as we while away the hours dreaming of the best 2011 TV from NBC, FOX, ABC, The CW, CBS and AMC in UGO's list of 2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For!

From http://www.ugo.com/tv/2011-tv-shows
2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
25

Alcatraz

Where & When: Midseason Mondays at 9 on Fox

Why it's Awesome: Not only is there already a ton of buzz surrounding JJ Abrams latest pet project, featuring LOST's Jorge Garcia and Jurassic Park's Sam Neill, but the inclusion of time-traveling prison breaks and...you know what? I'll stop there. That's awesome enough.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
24

The Playboy Club

Where & When: Fall Mondays at 10 on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Jumping onto the period drama bandwagon, anything with Amber Heard as a Playboy bunny should be enough to perk our ears up, let alone the unusually mature and risque drama for NBC.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
23

Falling Skies

Where & When: Sunday, June 19th on TNT

Why it's Awesome: If you haven't been following this, you should. Something of a cross between The Walking Dead and an alien invasion, what we've seen of Falling Skies is extremely promising, with lots of despair and alien action to satisfy nerds and drama hounds of all ilk.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
22

Whitney

Where & When: Fall Thursdays at 9:30 on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Don't let the sitcom-y premise fool you. Whitney Cummings lives up to the name and brings plenty of sexy to her incisive and off-color relationship humor. Don't believe us? After the trailer, check out her stand-up special Money Shot. Yeah. She milks the name.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
21

The Finder

Where & When: Midseason Thursdays at 9 on FOX

Why it's Awesome: Finders spins off from the character's initial appearance on Bones, and while we don't yet have a proper trailer, the concept and presence of Michael Clarke Duncan in a regular TV role certainly means we'll find our way to the TV come this series' debut.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
20

Ringer

Where & When: Fall Tuesdays at 9 on The CW

Why it's Awesome: We loves us some Sarah Michelle Gellar, especially when she's back to the network that housed Buffy. But we suppose all the twin-switching drama, mob ties and Ioan Gruffudd are equally enticing as well. Buffy is totally boning Mr. Fantastic.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
19

Once Upon a Time

Where & When: Fall Sundays at 8 on ABC

Why it's Awesome: Because we always love watching Big Love star Ginnifer Goodwin and Stargate Universe's Robert Carlyle, even if the premise seems tonally close to NBC's Grimm. Hey, fairy tales are in! Judge for yourself.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
18

The New Girl

Where & When: Fall Tuesdays at 9 on FOX

Why it's Awesome: Whether or not you want to punch her in her darling indie face, color us highly intrigued by having the prospect of yet another Deschanel sister on the FOX network. Don't tell Emily, but Zooey's prettier anyway.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
17

H8R

Where & When: Fall Wednesdays at 8 on The CW

Why it's Awesome: Hosted by Mario Lopez, this reality series gives regular folk a chance to tell celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Snooki just how much we hate them, and why! And sure, the more vicious barbs will more likely be converted by episodes' end, but any due hatred for Snooki should prove richly cathartic.

2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
16

Napoleon Dynamite

Where & When: Midseason Sundays at 8:30 on FOX

Why it's Awesome: Give it a chance! Love or hate Napoleon Dynamite, you have to admit there's something oddly charming and apropos to the character in the below trailer. Not to mention the entire cast of the film returns to voice their roles!


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
15

Charlie's Angels

Where & When: Thursdays at 8pm on ABC

Why it's Awesome: Don't let the reboot factor or girl power scare you off, ABC will finally allow us to take the Angels seriously with an emphasis on action without losing the sexy "jiggle TV" we know and love. Minka Kelly, yours is an altar at which we worship.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
14

Smash

Where & When: Midseason on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Think of it like Glee, without any of that pesky high school drama. Instead, get ready for all-adult drama as newcomer Katharine McPhee vies for the lead role in a Broadway production under the thumb of FlashForward's Jack Davenport, as well as Debra Messing and Angelica Huston!


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
13

Apartment 23

Where & When: Midseason Tuesdays at 9:30 on ABC

Why it's Awesome: For one, we love Krysten Ritter. And as caricature of New York living though she may be, we love the idea of her BFF James Van Der Beek finally shedding the Dawson sadface for some real acting: playing himself.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
12

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea

Where & When: Midseason on NBC

Why it's Awesome: It's about time Laura Prepon got some steady work since That '70s Show. Plus, playing an analogue of the lush, oversexed young Chelsea Handler? Through in Rescue Me's Lenny Clarke as her father, and you've officially got our attention.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
11

Allen Gregory

Where & When: Sundays at 8:30 this Fall on FOX

Why it's Awesome: Produced and voiced by Jonah Hill, this animated series about a pretentious seven-year-old entering elementary school with two dads is a refreshing change from the usual Seth MacFarlane nuclear family fare.



2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
10

Free Agents

Where & When: Fall Wednesdays at 8:30 on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Remaking the original UK series with Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) reprising his role, we always trust Hank Azaria, especially to lampoon the Agenting industry after his many years in showbiz. Did we mention Anthony Stewart Head?


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
9

Grimm

Where & When: Fall Fridays at 9 on NBC

Why it's Awesome: This one needs a bit of love, starting its run opposite Chuck on Friday nights, but who doesn't like the idea of a procedural detective series set in a world where Grimm's fairy tale characters come to life?


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
8

Person of Interest

Where & When: Fall Thursdays at 9 on CB

Why it's Awesome: We don't even care what it's about. It's a collaboration between Jonathan Nolan and JJ Abrams, and stars Ben Linus and Jesus. And that has made all the difference.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
7

Torchwood: Miracle Day

Where & When: July 8th on Starz

Why it's Awesome: BECAUSE IT'S TORCHWOOD. IN AMERICA. But seriously, fan trepidation aside, we're excited at the prospect of a larger budget for Captain Jack and co. as they invade the States and investigate the creepy concept of why people on Earth suddenly stop dying. Development has been pretty hush-hush thus far, as seen in the miraculously vague teaser below...


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
6

The River

Where & When: Midseason on ABC

Why it's Awesome: Because Bruce Greenwood is awesome in everything? This one flew in pretty low under the radar, but the prospect of an Amazon-based mystery horror drama would set tongues wagging if we weren't afraid of some rain forest creature ripping it out.



2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
5

Pan Am

Where & When: Fall Sundays at 10 on ABC

Why it's Awesome: Adding the starpower of Christina Ricci to the period drama goodness of Mad Men, Pan Am taxis over a dash of Catch Me If You Can to get our interest soaring for the skies.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
4

Hell on Wheels

Where & When: Fall 2011 on AMC

Why it's Awesome: Has AMC ever led us astray? Well okay, so long as we pretend Rubicon never happened. But still! A badass western set against the development of the transcontinental railroad on AMC! Has sauce ever been more awesome?


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
3

Up All Night

Where & When: Fall Wednesdays at 8 on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Because we missed Will Arnett and Christina Applegate on regular TV, and we're pretending both Running Wilde and Samantha Who never happened. And while the young couple/family premise seems everywhere these days, the presence of Maya Rudolph and the mockumentary feel lends some serious steam to this baby.


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
2

Awake

Where & When: Midseason on NBC

Why it's Awesome: Formerly titled REM, this "Inception-style" thriller stars the always-awesome Jason Isaacs hopping between realities as he struggles to determine the truth behind whether he lost his son or his wife in a car accident. Our money's on him being dead all along. What a tweest!


2011 TV Shows We Can't Wait For
1

Terra Nova

Where & When: Fall Mondays at 8 on FOX

Why it's Awesome: The buzz for this high-concept (and expensive!) sci-fi epic couldn't be higher, especially with Stephen Spielberg's name attached and the presence of Avatar's Stephen Lang. Plus? F$%king DINOSAURS. Watch. Do that.


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