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Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of IndiaI remember my dad teaching me the power of language at a very young age. Not only did
my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood
words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success.

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always
climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our
lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot
tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree
could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big
limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad
did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves
start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind
yell, 'Bart, Hold on tightly.' So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming
at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.
I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not.
Apparently, when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, 'Tammy, don't
fall!' And Tammy did... fall.

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a
negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at
all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain
had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined.
Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me
hanging on tightly.

This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a
goal. You can't visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not
doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.
For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football
team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn't get it together at that age. I

remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, 'Don't
drop it!' Naturally, I dropped the ball. My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper 'self-talk.' They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn't. I'll never make it pro, but I'm now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just
climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, 'Okay, try to drop the pencil.' Observe what they do.
Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, 'You weren't paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again.' Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.

The point is made.

If you tell your brain you will 'give it a try,' you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a 'no try' rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won't. Either they will be at the party or they won't. I'm brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try. Do they think I don't know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words 'I'll try' come out of my mouth unless I'm teaching this concept in a seminar.

If you 'try' and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can't make a decision I will tell the truth. 'Sorry John. I'm not sure if I will be at your party or not. I've got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite.'

People respect honesty. So remove the word 'try' from your vocabulary.

My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism.
These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction.
So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, ' I'm fat. Nobody will like me. I'll try this diet. I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I'm broke, etc. etc.'

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.

Notice when you or other people use them.

Ø But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
Ø Try: Presupposes failure.
Ø If: Presupposes that you may not.
Ø Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.
Ø Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
Ø Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt.)
Ø Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
Ø Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.

Toxic phrase: 'Don't drop the ball!'
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: 'Catch the ball!'

Toxic phrase: 'You shouldn't watch so much television.'
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: 'I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!'

Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

Tiny deer

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car.

Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult's hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

Orphan: Vets were unable to save his mother

At just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

He has only recently opened his eyes.

Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: 'Rupert's mother had very severe injuries.

We brought him out and got him breathing and then he went into an incubator on oxygen.

He is now being fed by a tube.'

Tucked up: Rupert in an incubator

Dear deer: Rupert pulls a striking pose for the camera

Staff are optimistic Rupert, now five days old, will make a full recovery

'Deer are very, very tricky but this one has spirit. He's an extremely feisty little guy and quite pushy,'

Mr Stocker said.
Asleep: Rupert takes 40 winks

Breaking News: In a historic presidential win tonight (November 4, 2008), Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, addressed the nation for the first time as President-Elect. He will become the nation's first African American president when he is sworn into office on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.
During their third and final presidential debate, Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain clashed sharply over tax policies and some of the heated rhetoric that had been tossed between their campaigns.
The debate was held October 15, 2008, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Long Island, with CBS' Bob Schieffer moderating.
Obama and McCain also held debates on September 26 in Oxford, Mississippi, and October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee. The vice presidential nominees, Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden, met for their only debate on October 2 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Voters turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots on Election Day, November 4, 2008.

Biography: Barack Hussein Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British. Although reared among Muslims, Obama, Sr., became an atheist at some point.
Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he signed up for service in World War II and marched across Europe in Patton’s army. Dunham’s mother went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G. I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved to Hawaii.
Meantime, Barack’s father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya pursue his dreams in Hawaii. At the time of his birth, Obama’s parents were students at the East–West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced. Obama’s father went to Harvard to pursue Ph. D. studies and then returned to Kenya.
His mother married Lolo Soetoro, another East–West Center student from Indonesia. In 1967, the family moved to Jakarta, where Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro–Ng was born. Obama attended schools in Jakarta, where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.

Four years later when Barack (commonly known throughout his early years as "Barry") was ten, he returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and later his mother (who died of ovarian cancer in 1995).
He was enrolled in the fifth grade at the esteemed Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in 1979. He was only one of three black students at the school. This is where Obama first became conscious of racism and what it meant to be an African–American.
In his memoir, Obama described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. He saw his biological father (who died in a 1982 car accident) only once (in 1971) after his parents divorced. And he admitted using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years.

After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science.

After working at Business International Corporation (a company that provided international business information to corporate clients) and NYPIRG, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. There, he worked as a community organizer with low-income residents in Chicago’s Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the city’s South Side.

It was during this time that Obama, who said he "was not raised in a religious household," joined the Trinity United Church of Christ. He also visited relatives in Kenya, which included an emotional visit to the graves of his father and paternal grandfather.

Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. In February 1990, he was elected the first African–American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama graduated magna cum laude in 1991. After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer, joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught at the University of Chicago Law School. And he helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Obama published an autobiography in 1995 Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. And he won a Grammy for the audio version of the book.
Obama’s advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat. He was elected in 1996 from the south side neighborhood of Hyde Park.
During these years, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans in drafting legislation on ethics, expanded health care services and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also created a state earned-income tax credit for the working poor. And after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, Obama worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

In 2000, Obama made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U. S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Obama was an early opponent of President George W. Bush’s push to war with Iraq. Obama was still a state senator when he spoke against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq during a rally at Chicago’s Federal Plaza in October 2002.

"I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars," he said. "What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."

"He's a bad guy," Obama said, referring to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U. S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences," Obama continued. "I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."

The war with Iraq began in 2003 and Obama decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. In the 2004 Democratic primary, he won 52 percent of the vote, defeating multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes.

That summer, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech in support of John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Obama emphasized the importance of unity, and made veiled jabs at the Bush administration and the diversionary use of wedge issues.

"We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states," he said. "We coach Little League in the blue states, and yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

After the convention, Obama returned to his U.S. Senate bid in Illinois. His opponent in the general election was suppose to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, a wealthy former investment banker. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004, following public disclosure of unsubstantiated sexual allegations by Ryan's ex wife, actress Jeri Ryan.

In August 2004, diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who was also an African American, accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan. In three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts.

In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes's 27%, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. Obama became only the third African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.
Sworn into office January 4, 2005, Obama partnered with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then with Republican Sen. Tom Corburn of Oklahoma, he created a website that tracks all federal spending.

Obama was also the first to raise the threat of avian flu on the Senate floor, spoke out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative energy development and championed improved veterans´ benefits. He also worked with Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress.

His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006.

In February 2007, Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He was locked in a tight battle with former first lady and current U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton until he became the presumptive nominee on June 3, 2008.
Obama met his wife, Michelle, in 1988 when he was a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin. They were married in October 1992 and live in Kenwood on Chicago's South Side with their daughters, Malia (born 1998) and Sasha (born 2001).

Varya Akulova, also called "Girl Hercules" is capable of lifting up to 350 kg, while she weighs only 40 kg and she is the strongest girl in the world. This fact has already been confirmed twice by Guinness Book of World Records. Varya's muscles are barely visible but she has tremendous will-power, translucent body and thread-like tendons. Varya says, "I wish I could be big, really big: 190 cm tall and weigh more than 100 kg, like my dad." Despite the daily workouts, Varya is a top student in her class. she was in 7th grade while the latest picture was taken.

Grandmother Omkari Panwar has given birth to twins at the age of 70

She was utterly determined to have a son.The fact that to do so would make 70-year-old Omkari Panwar the world's oldest mother didn't even cross her mind.Her resolve was matched by her husband Charan Singh Panwar, 77

Proud parents: Omkari Panwar, 70, with her husband Charan, 77

Omraki Panwar recovers in hospital after delivering her twin via Caesarean section

The world's oldest mum, who gave birth to twins at 70 after IVF, proudly showed off her son, then admitted: 'Now I've got another daughter to feed too.'Omkari Panwar, and her husband Charan Singh Panwar, 77, underwent IVF all for the sake of producing a male heir to take over the family's smallholdings.The elderly Indian couple, who already have two daughters in their thirties, and five grandchildren, are near destitute after mortgaging their land, selling their buffalo and taking out a loan for the £4,400 fertility treatment

Omkari and her twins (a boy with white hat and a girl) on the day after they were discharged from hospitalNow the pensioner parents will rely on family handouts and the charity of fellow villagers to bring up the little boy they so wanted, and the little girl they didn't.But the Panwars, who live in a tiny community in Uttar Pradesh, North India, were delighted to finally see and hold their two babies, now weighing a healthy 4lbs, six weeks after they were born on June 27.'We have not been able to see or hold them all this time," said frail Omkari. "They had to stay in the hospital because they were so small.'We could not afford to stay there, so we had to leave them.' And she added: 'We paid all this money to the doctors for a son, but now we have the extra burden of another daughter as well.' Boys are cherished in India because daughters are not allowed to inherit property but leave to marry and become part of their new husband's family.The twins were born at 34 weeks by emergency caesarian section at a hospital in the nearest town of Muzaffarnagar.They weighed just 2lbs each and had to be rushed to the Jaswant Roy Speciality Hospital which has a neonatal intensive care unit.

The twins were born at 34 weeks by caesarian section and weighed just 2lb eachOmkari, who saw her babies just once, a week after their birth, said: 'I could only just touch them lightly with my fingers.'They were so tiny, they would have fit into the palm of my hand.' The Panwars had to scrape together a further £500 to pay for part of their children's medical care and are now almost penniless.Their little boy is now likely to take over a tiny piece of land with a large mortgage still to pay on it.But Charan insists the cost was worthwhile, after he became a laughing stock in his village because he had no son to carry on the family name.'I've finally got what I wanted and I can die a happy man now,' said Charan.'My wife will look after the babies when I am gone, and after she dies my other daughters will care for them.'It will be an honour for them to raise their new brother.'Now my daughters will have a family home to return to on religious days and special occasions.' It is tradition for sons to remain in the parental home with their wives. On festival days the daughters of the family come to visit with their own husbands and children.Villagers welcomed the jubilant pair back to the village, which lies 20km from Muzaffarnagar, with numerous gifts for the new babies.The twins will be named at a special Hindu ceremony next week when the whole community will celebrate their arrival into the world.'It is customary to name the babies after two weeks," said Omkari, who does not have a birth certificate, but insists she is 70-years-old.'We have not seen the babies all this time, so we haven't been able to hold the naming ceremony.'Now, we can arrange one, but cannot reveal their names until that day.' Omkari suffered a personal heartbreak more than 40 years ago as a much younger woman, when she miscarried a baby boy.'For more than 40 years I have thought God did not think I was fit to produce a boy,' she said. 'But fate works in funny ways. It must have been meant to be that I waited all this time.' The couple do not even understand the fertility procedures carried out to allow Omkari to give birth so long after going through the menopause.It is likely donor eggs were used to allow her to carry a child, but the Panwars simply do not know what happened when they went to a fertility clinic in Meerut last year.Omkari, who remembers being nine when India gained independence in 1947, said: 'We saw a doctor at the Baby Shastri Nursing Home and I was given treatment.'Later we were told I was carrying twins, a boy and a girl.' Screening embryos to discover the sex of the baby is illegal in India, following the outlawing of female foeticide - the aborting of girls - more than 10 years ago.The couple do not even know such medical techniques exist and they do not think anything was specifically done to ensure they would have a boy.'We just count ourselves blessed that we have a boy. We prayed for it to happen,' said Charan.'We don't know how. We're just glad the doctor was right, and we do have a son.' The world's previous oldest mothers were Romanian Adriana Iliescu, who gave birth to a daughter, aged 66 and 320 days in May 2005, and Spanish woman Carmela Bousada, who was 66 and 358 days old when her twins were born in December 2006.Omkari does not care that she has broken the world record and said: 'If I am the world's oldest mother it means nothing to me.'I just want to be with my new babies and care for them while I am still able.'

Source : ritemail

"The more the booze,the tinier the brain"
The more you drink alcohol, the smaller your total brain volume gets, according to a
new study by Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Alcohol The study found that even moderate alcohol consumption can lead to decline in brain volumes. Lower brain volumes have been linked to progression of dementia and problems with thinking, learning and memory. In the study involving 1,839 adults, the participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a health examination. "Most participants reported low alcohol consumption, and men were more likely than women to be moderate or heavy drinkers," the authors write. "There was a significant negative linear relationship between alcohol consumption and total cerebral brain volume," they added. The research team led by Carol Ann Paul, M.S., of Wellesley College also found that although men were more likely to drink alcohol, the association between drinking and brain volume was stronger in women. This could be due to biological factors, including women''s smaller size and greater susceptibility to alcohol's effects. "The public health effect of this study gives a clear message about the possible dangers of drinking alcohol," the authors write. "Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these results as well as to determine whether there are any functional consequences associated with increasing alcohol consumption. “This study suggests that, unlike the associations with cardiovascular disease, alcohol consumption does not have any protective effect on brain volume," they added. The report appears in the October issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Source: ANI

Central-Mid-levels escalators

in Hong Kong is the worlds longest outdoor escalator.

From Escalator

Hong Kong Island is dominated by steep, hilly terrain, which makes it the home of some rather unusual methods of transport up and down the slopes.

Since it was officially opened to the public on 15 October 1994, it has played a very important role in transport in Hong Kong since it links Des Voeux Road in Central with Conduit Road in the Mid-levels, passing through narrow streets. Daily traffic exceeds 55,000 people, although originally forecast to transport 27,000, and using it is free of charge.

The whole system is 800 meters long with a vertical climb of 135 meters. The total travel time is twenty minutes, but most people walk while the system moves to shorten their trip. Due to its vertical climb, the same distance is equivalent to several miles of zigzagging roads if travelled by car. It consists of twenty escalators and three moving sidewalks. According to Guinness World Records, these escalators together form the longest outdoor covered escalator system.
The escalator daily runs downhill from 6:00am to 10:00am and uphill from 10:30am to midnight. Apart from serving as a method of transport it is also a tourist attraction and has restaurants, bars, and shops lining its route. There is an entrance and exit on each road it passes, often on both sides of the road.

Although smoking is prohibited in the escalator area evidenced by the "no smoking" signs throughout the route, a small number of people disregard this.
The project's conception began in November 1987, when the Government was faced with increasing vehicular traffic of mid-levels residents going to and from Central by car instead of negotiating the steep inclines on foot.

In operation since 1993, it cost HK$240 million (US$30 million) to build although it was originally approved in March 1990 with a budget of HK$100m and annual maintenance costs of $950,000. Since its conception in March 1987, its scope and its budget were considerably increased.

Bisecting streets

The escalator runs through Cochrane Street between Queen's Road Central and Lyndhurst Terrace. Then it runs along Shelley Street
The escalator bisects the following streets/roads:
• Des Voeux Road Central
• Queen's Road Central
• Stanley Street
• Wellington Street
• Gage Street
• Lyndhurst Terrace
• Hollywood Road
• Staunton Street
• Elgin Street
• Caine Road
• Mosque Street
• Mosque Junction
• Robinson Road
• Conduit Road

Since the escalator system opened, most pedestrians gather at the elevated level; previously they gathered at the street level. This has opened up large tracts of intermediate levels above ("SoHo") and below ("NoHo") Hollywood Road, to pedestrians and commerce. Many restaurants have opened around all the elevated level, in the first or second floors of buildings already present.

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Source : wikipedia

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of." And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, he graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.

His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

Work like you don't need the money.

Love like you've never been hurt.

Dance like nobody's watching.

Around 120m years ago, as the dinosaurs neared the climax of their dominion, high above their heads an extraordinary creature flitted from tree to tree. The bizarre lizard, named the "flying dragon" by its Chinese discoverers, glided using a flap of skin spread over eight ribs.
The find is remarkable because almost all gliding species, such as "flying" frogs and squirrels, use a membrane spread between their toes or between their body and legs to generate lift. Only two other species evolved the rib-gliding tactic. Xianglong zhaoi is also the first lizard fossil with gliding ribs to be found.

Li Pipeng and colleagues at the Shenyang Normal University in north-eastern China say: "Gliding is an energetically efficient mode of locomotion that has evolved independently, and in different ways, in several tetrapod groups."

The fossil lizard, which was found in Liaoning, north-eastern China, is 15.5cm (6in) long, including a 9.5cm tail. But its strangest feature is eight elongated ribs around 4cm long, covered in a skin flap. The fossil's extraordinary preservation meant scientists could see details of the flap as well as the bones.

Giant tooth found in wreck of paleontologist's home Found in debris following hurricane Ike, tooth is thought to be that of a Columbian mammoth from 10,000 years ago

A giant tooth was found by two paleontologists in the wreckage of a Texan home destroyed by Hurricane Ike.

Dorothy Sisk, a scientist at Lamar University, had returned to her beachfront home in Caplen, on the Bolivar Peninsula, with her colleague Jim Westgate to assess the damage following the hurricane when they found the football-sized fossil tooth amid the debris.

Westgate, who is a paleontologist and research associate at the University of Texas Memorial Museum, said they were looking through the scraps of concrete and splintered pilings in the front garden when he saw the tooth.

"It was while we were looking at the house, or at least what was left of the foundation, that I saw it lying there with lots of shell debris in what had been the front yard,'' he said.

The six-pound tooth is said to resemble slices of bread stuck together.
''This is the first one I've found in 19 years,'' he said. ''People bring in pieces and parts off the beach for me to identify, and I haven't seen one in this good a condition.''

It is thought that the tooth probably belonged to a Columbian mammoth, which was common in North America around 10,000 years ago.

It is expected the tooth will be sent to the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin.

An almost perfect 29m-year-old fossilised skull from one of humankind's earliest ancestors has been unearthed in Egypt.

The specimen is from a young female that lived in the early Oligocene, a period of global cooling, volcanic eruptions and seismic disturbance, driven by the collision of the Indian and Asian continental plates. The skull, from a species known as Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, or dawn ape, is the most complete and well-preserved known and only the second to be found.

Researchers led by the Egyptian Geological Museum in Cairo uncovered the fossilised remains in a quarry on the outskirts of the city and were able to perform detailed x-ray scans of the skull, revealing the size and shape of the brain.

The skull was half the size of the first dawn ape skull, a male found in 1966, suggesting modern apes and monkeys developed larger brains later in evolution.

Elwyn Simons, a primatologist on the team from Duke University, North Carolina, said the skull weighed about 5.5lbs (2.5kg). Measurements led the scientists to believe it was capable of forming large social troops similar to those seen in modern day primates. The shape of the eye sockets suggest the species was active during the daytime, like modern apes.

Fossils of dawn ape have been found in two quarries about half a mile apart on the Fayum depression near Cairo. While it is now arid, scientists believe it was a flourishing rain forest when they were alive.

China has unveiled the world's largest science and technology museum in the southern city of Guangzhou that will demonstrate the country's newest achievements in the field.

The Guangdong Science Centre, with an area of 450,000 square metres, is
situated at the far western tip of Xiaoguwei Island, also the location of Guangzhou University Town in Guangdong province. With a floor area larger than Beijing's Tian'anmen Square, the steel-structured
main building of the museum features a blooming kapok flower. To be officially opened to the public Sep 27, the science centre offers eight exhibition areas, four science cinema halls, two open laboratories and a digital 'family experience' hall.

Outside the main building, there is an 80,000-square-metre artificial lake for water-theme exhibitions and an outdoor science square. It cost the government about 1.9 billion yuan ($279.4 million) to build over a period of five years, Zhang Ming, deputy head of the Guangdong science and technology bureau, said at the centre's unveiling ceremony Friday night.

He said the centre would demonstrate China's newest achievements on science and technology. Among 400 items of such exhibits in the centre, more than half would be on their debut show.

He said the outdoor area of the non-profit science centre would be ticket-free.
Zhang added the provincial government hoped that the museum would become an
attraction for the promotion of new science and technology and a venue for academic exchanges.

Visitors to the interactive science centre can also experience simulated earthquake and typhoon environments, or a satellite launch process, and play with a robot.

Two years from now when a person will enter any European Union airport shall be 'virtually stripped' - for security purposes.

By 2010 airports at EU will be installing digital body scanners that creates an almost naked body image of travellers.

The new imaging technology, called the new millimetre wave imaging scanners, creates an image of an unclothed body which privacy critics argue 'amounts to a virtual strip search'

According to a draft European Commission regulation, the scanners are to be used "individually or in combination, as a primary or secondary means and under defined conditions" to provide a "virtual strip search" of travellers.

The new EU regulation is expected come into effect across the continent by the end of April 2010. It will be binding on Britain.

Dominic Grieve, Shadow Home Secretary, stressed that while body scanners may be an effective security tool and need to be implemented fairly.

"The implementation must be carried out by the British government in a proportionate manner, based on UK security requirements rather than the dictates of Brussels. Ministers need to explain publicly and transparently what these proposals are and why they are suitable to the UK," Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

The technology has already been tested on a voluntary basis at Heathrow's Terminal Four. But, a Heathrow spokeswoman has said that the trial has now been discontinued.

Passengers have to walk into a large booth for getting scanned, where electromagnetic waves are beamed on to their body to create a virtual three-dimensional "naked" image from reflected energy.

The scanners generate graphic black and white images including revealing outlines of genitalia, which has alarmed travellers, rising concerns about privacy.

Gareth Crossman, Director of Policy at Liberty, said: "I don't think people are aware of what these scanners can do and how demeaning it is to have your body on display. Heathrow was right to discontinue their use and they should not be used in Britain except as an alternative to strip searches."

Thinking Cap

They say the spark of genius lurks hidden within all of us. Now, a group of researchers is developing a "thinking cap" that can make the notion a reality and unlock the potential of the brain.

The revolutionary device works by switching on and off certain sections of the brain, thereby unlocking its hidden potential.

Wearing the hairnet-like cap for a few minutes improved artistic ability and proofreading skills.

Once perfected, the device could be marketed as a cap slipped on to boost creativity and intellectual capacity.

The technique is based on research into savants, like the Dustin Hoffman character in the film 'Rainman', who have extraordinary abilities as well as severe mental disability.

The cap can reproduce the same affect by careful targeting of the magnetic pulses allows over or under-active parts of the brain to be calmed down or jump-started.

Professor Allan Snyder at Sydney University believes the experiments show we all have hidden talents, we just have trouble tapping into them.

"I believe that each of us has within us non-conscious machinery which can do extraordinary art, extraordinary memory and extraordinary mathematical calculations," Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

"We don't normally access these skills because they are the machinery behind our daily lives and everything we do.

"My theory is that there is a lot happening and maybe you could see it by shutting off that conscious part of the brain," he added.

A genetic variant believed to be associated with dyslexia can be partly blamed for poor reading ability, according to anew study.

The researchers from University of Oxford have found that people carrying the key sequence tended to perform worse than average in tests of their reading ability, however, there was no impact on general intelligence.

Previous studies have identified at least six candidate genes that appear to affects likelihood of developing dyslexia, a learning difficulty, which affects the development of literacy and language skills.

Out of which, a gene called KIAA0319, which lies on chromosome six was discovered to be the most likely candidate.

Earlier study by Oxford team focussed on the DNA sequence - called a haplotype, which included part of the key gene.

In the current study, the researchers examined the link between this haplotype and reading ability in a sample of 6,000 seven to nine-year old children.

"On average, people carrying this common genetic variant tended to perform poorly on tests of reading ability," BBC quoted Dr Silvia Paracchini, from University of Oxford, as saying.

"However, it's important to note that this is only true for reading ability and not for IQ, so it doesn't appear to be connected to cognitive impairment,"

The team has also previously shown that the same haplotype is linked to reduced activity of the KIAA0319 gene during development of the foetus.

This affects development of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain responsible for thought processes.

In animal studies, switching off KIAA0319 affects neuronal migration, the process that enables nerve cells created in the inner layer of the cerebral cortex area to migrate outwards to their final destination.

"This is clearly only part of the jigsaw puzzle that explains why some people have poorer reading ability than others or develop dyslexia,"

"There are likely to be many other contributing factors, but our research provides some valuable clues.

"We need to carry out studies into the exact role that this gene plays in brain development and how this affects people's reading ability,"

Touchless Technology

Andy Greenberg,

In the future of Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, Tom Cruise turns on a wall-sized digital display simply by raising his hands, which are covered with black, wireless gloves. Like an orchestra's conductor, he gestures in empty space to pause, play, magnify and pull apart videos with sweeping hand motions and turns of his wrist.

Minority Report takes place in the year 2054. The touchless technology that it demonstrates may arrive many decades sooner. In fact, John Underkoffler, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab who advised the Minority Report filmmakers, has already founded a firm to bring gesture-recognition computing into the real world.

His company, Oblong Industries, is in "stealth" mode, and he declined to comment. But Underkoffler's former professor at MIT, Hiroshi Oshii, says Underkoffler is working on a system of gloves and cameras that allow just the sort of ethereal interface that Spielberg imagines and that he has spoken with major tech firms about licensing the technology.

Oblong is one of a wave of companies hoping to retire the mouse, that ancient piece of hardware that has dominated computer interfaces for nearly 25 years. But while multi-touch interfaces like Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Surface seem to represent the likeliest mouse-killers in the near term, a few firms are already developing science fiction's next intersection with reality: computers that can be controlled with simple gestures in the air.

On July 14th, Toshiba will release the Qosmio G55, a laptop selling for around $1500 and offering what may be the first integration of gesture recognition and day-to-day computing. With Toshiba's media center software, users can pause or play videos and music by holding an open palm up to the screen. Make a fist, and your hand functions as a mouse, pulling a cursor around the screen. Flip your thumb up and down to click.

Mark Lackey, a product manager at Toshiba, imagines a chef using the gestures to control a movie's playback in a kitchen without smearing grease or flour on his keyboard or trackpad. "Everybody uses technology differently," Lackey says. "We're really trying to expand the horizon for how users can choose to connect with their computers."

GestureTek, another player in the nascent gesture-recognition market, has been developing motion-sensing interfaces for around 20 years, and builds software systems for integrating gesture-sensing cameras into video game systems including the Playstation Two's EyeToy and Xbox Live Vision. Those cameras integrate players' movements, allowing an onscreen avatar to mimic arm gestures or walking motions.

More recently, GestureTek has been working to bring that touchless tech to the non-gaming world. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has built demonstrations of interfaces that allow users to control Windows Media Center completely by hand motions. Flashing an open palm to the screen "wakes up" the gesture interface; moving your hand in a circular motion cycles through a menu, as if the user were using a large, invisible iPod clickwheel. All motions can be performed as far as 10 feet from the camera.

In other models, GestureTek uses three-dimensional cameras that bounce infrared light off a user's hands and measure the beam's travel time. That allows the system to gauge distance and register motions toward and away from a computer screen, rather than merely side to side or up and down. In these 3D systems, users can "click" on an onscreen object by merely tapping the air in front of them. Hold a finger forward and move it laterally to drag and drop.

GestureTek co-founder Francis MacDougall says the technology will be integrated by a "major PC manufacturer" in the next three months. "This isn't a gimmick," he says. "If I can get 90% of applications like e-mail or checking stocks or the weather through simple gestures, everything starts to meld into a single display like a digital photo frame. The desktop is cleared off and all the extra pieces are eliminated."

As gesture-recognition technologies come to fruition, other touchless interface technologies are quickly taking their place in the realm of "too futuristic to be possible." One of the most eagerly anticipated is--yes, this is nonfiction--headsets that allow computers to be controlled with thought alone.

Gaming hardware makers like OCZ Technologies, Neurosky, and Emotiv offer gadgets that wrap around users' heads to read electrical impulses. OCZ describes its Neural Impulse Actuator, a headband with three sensors, as capable of allowing full control of a video game, while Emotiv's chief executive Nam Do describes the technology as "another layer" of control that can integrate mental responses into other kinds of interfaces. Trying to use a headset to replace a mouse, Do says, would lack accuracy and result in a 150 millisecond delay--too long for most users.

Some researchers, on the other hand, have successfully created brain implants that allow true mind-machine interfaces--accurately piloting an operating system with thoughts alone. Scientists like Brown University's John Donoghue and the University of Pittsburgh's Andrew Schwartz put aspirin-sized electrodes directly on a subject's cortex. The person (or animal) can then control games and other software programs just by thinking. Donoghue has recorded quadriplegic patients moving a cursor around a screen to play games and manipulate MP3 software. Schwartz recently published a paper in Nature demonstrating that monkeys were able to feed themselves with a thought-controlled prosthetic arm.

But for those who'd prefer not to have a piece of their skull removed--or wave their arms in the air--the most fruitful touchless technology under development may be eye-tracking software. Companies like Tobii, LC Technologies and Eye Response Technologies are developing systems that would allow users to control a computer's cursor just by moving their gaze around the screen. The camera-based technology works by tracking a spot of infrared light reflected in a user's eyes to determine the location of his or her head. Then it measures the location of the eye's pupil and uses it to guide a pointer around the computer's display.

In a study last year, Manu Kumar, a researcher at Stanford, showed that an interface for tracking a user's gaze with a camera was 14% faster than using a mouse in some cases, although it produced about 2.5 times as many errors. A bigger barrier may be price: A fully functioning interface costs around $25,000. Still, Kumar is confident that in two or three years, eye-tracking technology will find its way to the mainstream.

"Currently we can only poke our finger at a mouse or keyboard, but eye contact is a huge source of context about our interaction and attention," he says. "Once you allow a computer to know where we're looking, it really opens up a whole new dialogue between computers and humans."

Fridges that will be able to send consumers email or text alerts when food is going off are being created by a group of researchers.

Ten scientists at Manchester University are working on an advanced device that will be able to send consumers email or text alerts.

Project head Dr Bruce Grieve said: "Food wastage costs in the UK are massive."

UK boffins have created a battery-free label which can pick up when food is on the turn, reports the Sun.

The disposable 5p gadget - like a security label on a CD - measures the temperature of food and the time it is stored.

It will be used by stores next year for bulk foods

A New York man retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal. The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15years, the owner and wife both had died, and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes. There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it was not complimentary to the property anyway... So, nobody made an offer on the place.
The New York guy bought it at just over half of the property's worth, moved in, and set
about to tear in to the barn... couriosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator, and a couple of grinders and cut thru the welds. What was in the barn.....?


  • All up valued at $35 million NZ dollars.
  • This is a True story the man and his wife had full claim to the lot.
  • They had a great retirement.


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