June 7, 2007
Yes, you read the headline correctly: Pepsi is planning to release a special Ice Cucumber-flavored drink in Japan this summer. According to the official press release (in Japanese), the new drink flavor will hit stores across Japan on June 12th, but it will only be available for a limited time. Are you ready for the ultimate Pepsi experience?
June 7, 2007
Jun 04, 2007 06:27 PM
ST. JOHN’S – Marine scientists in Canada and abroad are puzzled by bizarre photographs that appear to show the skeleton of a large mammal jutting out of an iceberg that recently drifted past Newfoundland’s east coast.
The six pictures show what looks like a brown rib cage and spinal column, slightly bent, sticking out of a crust of ice.
But researchers throughout Canada, Greenland and Norway are unable to determine the origin of the skeleton, said Garry Stenson, a marine mammal scientist with the federal Fisheries Department.
“It’s definitely unusual,” Stenson said today. “It’s not something that I’ve encountered before.”
His colleagues have been debating whether the carcass belongs to a bearded seal, a walrus or a beluga whale. But without the actual specimen in his hands, Stenson said he can’t resolve the mystery.
“It would be really nice to get a copy, a sample, a hold of it, but at this point we’re not quite sure what it is,” he said.
The photos were taken near Newtown, in Bonavista Bay, by Eli and Donna Norris on the weekend of May 26, said Ruth Knee, a friend who forwarded them to the Fisheries Department in hopes of identifying the bones.
The Norris family couldn’t be reached for comment today.
Knee said the retired couple didn’t want to be interviewed, but said she could vouch for the authenticity of the photos.
“Not everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame,” Knee said.
Stenson said he is fairly certain the pictures aren’t a hoax.
“If it was Photoshopped, it’s a damn good job,” he said. “The way that it’s laying there, with what looks to be part of it underwater, looks authentic.”
Stenson said he was told the backbone was roughly 2.4 metres out of the ice, leading him to believe the spine belonged to a large mammalian creature.
But he is uncertain whether the animal would have fallen into a crevasse in an iceberg and then got stuck, or if it simply died on an ice floe and later became embedded by other pans of ice.
“It could be a walrus, for example, that died and is laying on its back and the pressure of the snow and the ice has flattened those ribs,” he said.
The bones don’t appear very weathered, and it looks like there may be tissue still attached to them. Stenson wouldn’t speculate on how old they are because the ice may have preserved them for years.
The iceberg’s location, or if it was still intact, weren’t known Monday.
“Sometimes a lot of my mysteries never get solved,” Stenson said with a sigh.
The province’s coastline has been the setting of a number of strange discoveries in the past.
In July 2001, residents of St. Bernard’s, in Fortune Bay, were awed by a seven-metre carcass that washed ashore. Because of its decomposed state, researchers were initially unable to determine what it was, prompting locals to nickname it “the sea monster.”
But two weeks later a Memorial University biologist confirmed through DNA testing that it was a decaying sperm whale.
June 3, 2007
Atheism is just a fad, it’s the latest thing people are catching on to either for attention, for a sense of “belonging” to a certain group, or just for the sake of being controversial. Why are people making such a fuss about it, (especially on the blogosphere)? There are people who worship all sorts of things and those who worship nothing at all, big deal. This fad will die down as fast as it started.
June 2, 2007
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.The attack from a U.S. destroyer took place late Friday, said Muse Gelle, the regional governor. The extremists had arrived Wednesday by speedboat at the port town of Bargal.
Gelle said the area is a dense thicket, making it difficult for security forces from the semiautonomous republic of Puntland to intervene on their own.
A local radio station quoted Puntland’s leader, Ade Muse, as saying that his forces had battled with the extremists for hours before U.S. ships arrived and used their cannons. Muse said five of his troops were wounded, but that he had no information about casualties among the extremists.
A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.
CNN International, quoting a Pentagon official, also reported the U.S. warship’s involvement. A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.
“This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
“We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven,” Whitman said. “The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies.”
Puntland’s minister of information, Mohamed Abdulrahman Banga, told the AP that the extremists arrived heavily armed in two fishing boats from southern Somalia, which they controlled for six months last year before being routed by Ethiopian troops sent to prop up a faltering Somali government.
“They had their own small boats and guns. We do not know exactly where they came from – maybe from Ras Kamboni, where they were cornered in January,” he said.
Local fishermen, contacted by telephone, said about a dozen fighters arrived Wednesday, but Puntland officials said the number could be as high as 35.
The United States has repeatedly accused Somalia’s Council of Islamic Courts of harboring international terrorists linked to al-Qaida and allegedly responsible for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The U.S. sent a small number of special operations troops with the Ethiopian forces that drove the Islamic forces into hiding. U.S. warplanes have carried out at least two airstrikes in an attempt to kill suspected al-Qaida members, Pentagon officials have said.
May 31, 2007
Claw game machine where you could win a live lobster. Source and full size pic here
May 30, 2007
Time warp anyone? English art fans visiting the 19th century Belsay Hall can interact with images of themelves from a few seconds earlier by staring into the slo-mo Hereafter mirror created by United Visual Artists
What appears to be a conventional looking glass is in fact a flat video display embedded with a hidden high-speed video camera and a massive terabyte hard drive, reports Pixelsumo.
The camera enables the viewer to witness instant replay in slow motion while simultaneously viewing blurred real-time images.
And if that’s not freaky enough, “Hereafter” periodically splices in previously recorded slo mo footage compiled over the course of the exhibition to create a ghostly “Where the hell did that chicken come from?” effect drawing on images photographed months earlier.
May 30, 2007
Researchers Find ‘Skim Milk Cows’
In a few years, skim milk may come straight from the cow, it was reported this week.
Skim milk is usually produced by taking all of the fat out of regular milk, but in 2001, researchers found a cow that skipped that step. While screening a herd of cows, they found one with a natural gene mutation that makes her produce lower-fat milk than a normal cow.
Marge, as researchers later named her, makes milk that has 1 percent fat (as compared to 3.5 percent in whole milk) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. And remarkably, Marge’s low-fat milk still has the same delicious taste as conventionally produced low-fat milk, according to the report in Chemistry & Industry magazine.
The low saturated fat content of Marge’s milk also means that butter made from it is spreadable right out of the fridge, while most butter has to come to room temperature before it can be spread on toast.
After researchers found that Marge’s daughters also produced low-fat milk, they surmised that the genetic trait was dominant and planned to breed herds of skim milk-producing cows. (Marge and her offspring live in New Zealand.)
ViaLactia, the company that owns Marge, expects the first commercial herd of cows supplying natural low-fat milk and spreadable butter for the market by 2011.
But because cows are normally selected for breeding because they give a high milk yield, this new selection criteria could mean the skim milk cows would produce less milk, said Ed Komorowski, technical director at Dairy UK and who is not affiliated with the research—so more cows could be needed to produce the same amount of milk.
And “normal” cows wouldn’t disappear, he told LiveScience, as their milk would still be needed to make fattier products such as cream.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.