Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2010«

Qur’an etched in Saddam Hussein’s blood poses dilemma for Iraq leaders

December 23, 2010

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It was etched in the blood of a dictator in a ghoulish bid for piety. Over the course of two painstaking years in the late 1990s, Saddam Hussein had sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher; the former drawing 27 litres of his blood and the latter using it as a macabre ink […]

Google’s own office blurred out on Street View

December 23, 2010

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Sometimes, even those companies that are supposedly open turn out to operate under a cloud of deep, dark secrecy. Google, it turns out, has become one of those–at least in Germany, and not of its own volition. I am indebted to loyal reader Ingo Klein, who directed me to the news that Google’s office at […]

Samuel Sevian, 9, Becomes Youngest US Chess Master

December 23, 2010

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A 9-year-old California boy has become the youngest American to earn the title of “national master” in chess. Samuel Sevian of Santa Clara earned the United States Chess Federation title at a match in San Francisco on Dec. 11, the federation’s website says. He earned a rating of 2,201, just over the threshold of 2,200 […]

Ancient humans, dubbed ‘Denisovans’, interbred with us

December 23, 2010

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DNA from a tooth (pictured) and a finger bone show the Denisovans were a distinct group Scientists say an entirely separate type of human identified from bones in Siberia co-existed and interbred with our own species. The ancient humans have been dubbed Denisovans after the caves in Siberia where their remains were found. There is […]

The man who repeatedly beats the weather scientists

December 23, 2010

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Piers Corbyn not only predicted the current weather, but he believes things are going to get much worse … Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets […]

Nanotechnology Christmas card created by university

December 23, 2010

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Nanotechnology experts have unveiled a Christmas card so small that more than 8000 of them could fit on a first-class stamp. The card produced by the University of Glasgow, said to be the smallest in the world, is invisible to the naked eye. The university’s school of engineering drew up the design to highlight its […]

12 new fresh-water fish species discovered in Vietnam

December 23, 2010

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The Wildlife at Risk (WAR) has announced the discovery of 12 species of fresh-water fish in Vietnam. These new species were discovered in surveys in Phu Quoc Island conducted since late 2008. “The discovery reveals that perhaps many species of fresh-water fish have not been discovered yet. The discovery also helps research the change of […]

iPhone Fix: “Cannot Get Mail – The connection to the server failed” with Exchange Activesync

December 23, 2010

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It seems AT&T has to have your iPhone on the Microsoft Push (aka Enterprise Data) plan. If you purchased an Unlimited data plan and your iPhone stops working, check that they didn’t slyly switch you to a different smaller data plan. You should be grandfathered in… at the same price. I may have to still […]

Fox Slammed by L.A. Times — ‘Shouldn’t Call Itself a News Organization’

December 23, 2010

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On Friday, the Los Angeles Times broke a taboo of sorts among mainstream news organizations by urging Fox News to “crack down on… partisanship in its news ranks” or ”stop pretending to be an objective news source.” The editorial was prompted by the leak of an internal Fox News memo ordering its “reporters” to “refrain […]

Bank of America Accused: Breaking Into Homes, Stealing Ashes?

December 23, 2010

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When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks. When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clothes and family photos. Also missing […]

Biologist: Sasquatch legend true

December 23, 2010

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YouTube – Sasquatch legend true. The whole basis of the reality of the Bigfoot legend rests largely on the hundreds of footprint casts that have been made and collected. It would be foolish to assume that every footprint is genuine as the Bigfoot mystery is contaminated more than any other, by hoaxers. However it would be […]

Men With Red Eyes: Creepy Encounters in Chile, U.S., and U.K.

December 23, 2010

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If you were walking down the street and encountered a man with ‘glowing red eyes’ what would you do? Start to dial 911 then imagine the response from the operator before you punch in the numbers. An operator who will ask if you’re under psychiatric care? Or, a man with glowing red eyes floating down […]

Vaginal steam bath finds a place among Southern California spa options

December 23, 2010

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Pungent steam rises from a boiling pot of a mugwort tea blended with wormwood and a variety of other herbs. Above it sits a nude woman on an open-seated stool, partaking in a centuries-old Korean remedy that is gaining a toehold in the West. Vaginal steam baths, called chai-yok, are said to reduce stress, fight […]

Skype apologises for losing half of daily call traffic

December 23, 2010

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Millions of people around the globe have been hit by an outage at the popular internet phone service Skype. Users as far afield as Japan, Europe and the US have all reported problems. The company which prides itself on providing relatively reliable service last suffered a major outage in 2007. “We take outages like this […]

Why Surgeons Dread Redheads

December 22, 2010

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Meredith Melnick – As the authors of a recent study published in BMJ attest, society’s red-haired members don’t always get a fair shake. Hoary stereotypes, such as the idea that redheads are also hot heads, are mixed together with actual physiological differences — such as a heightened sensitivity to pain. Now science is getting a […]

French village which will ‘survive 2012 Armageddon’ plagued by visitors

December 22, 2010

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Bugarach, population 189, is a peaceful farming village in the Aude region, southwestern France and sits at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach, the highest mountain in the Corbières wine-growing area. But in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an […]

Defence lifts lid on Kiwi X-files

December 22, 2010

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STACEY WOOD – Thousands of secret files on New Zealand’s UFO reports are set to be made public, nearly 32 years to the day after our most famous sighting. The files include every witness account of unidentified flying objects reported to authorities since the early 1950s, including the 1978 Kaikoura mystery. They had been held […]

Husband turned out to be a woman and a thief

December 22, 2010

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It took more than six months for 27-year-old Minati Khatua of Rourkela to realise that she had allegedly married a woman and not a man. By the time she realised, her ‘husband’ had vanished with a car and a jeep bought with loans taken from a bank in her name, police said. Minati today lodged […]

Christmas the deadliest day of the year

December 22, 2010

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Misty Harris – A new U.S. analysis of mortality rates during different times of year found that people are more likely to die during the holidays — notably on Christmas and New Year’s Day — and researchers cannot explain the yearly spike. After analyzing all official United States death certificates over the 25-year period between […]

Shipwrecked 2,000-Year-Old Pills Give Clues to Ancient Medicine

December 22, 2010

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Lee Speigel – Scientists are trying to unravel the mystery of whether pills found in a 2,000-year-old shipwreck were, in fact, created and used as effective plant-based medicines. And the bigger question: Could the ingredients of these ancient tablets still work to help with modern illnesses? Around 130 B.C., a ship, identified as the Relitto […]

Woman Cited for Urinating in Convenience Store Freezer

December 22, 2010

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David Lohr – There are just some things you shouldn’t do on a date. A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief for urinating inside a convenience store’s freezer and spoiling hundreds of dollars worth of food, police said. The bizarre incident occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday at the Country Fair […]

Christmas Lights Powered By Human Waste

December 22, 2010

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Doug Schepman – A small lighted Christmas tree in a UC Denver laboratory proves the practicality of a novel renewable energy source, and points to its enormous potential. Jason Ren, an assistant professor of civil engineering, calls it “bug power” referring to the millions of bacteria that help generate electricity from wastewater. The process creates […]

Family says missing dog can predict seizures

December 22, 2010

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A Paradise family is offering an $1,800 reward for a missing dog that Heather Bannister says can predict the seizures of her daughter Nicole. Nicole has a genetic disorder and doesn’t speak much to strangers. Heather says that when their Yorkshire Terrier Carly ran away Nicole lost her best friend. What’s more, the untrained dog […]

‘Flash Mob’ of Christmas Carolers Force Evacuation of California Mall

December 22, 2010

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Mara Gay- A holiday “flash mob” of merry Christmas carolers forced the evacuation of a California mall when shoppers reported that the floor had begun to buckle. Nearly 5,000 people showed up Monday night at the Sacramento-area mall to spread holiday cheer in an event organized on Twitter and Facebook by a local choral society. […]

Meat-eating dinosaurs not so carnivorous after all

December 22, 2010

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Tyrannosaurus rex may have been a flesh-eating terror but many of his closest relatives were more content with vegetarian fare, a new analysis by Field Museum scientists has found. The scientists, Lindsay Zanno and Peter Makovicky, who will publish their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used statistical analyses to […]

Venezuelan parliament votes to tighten internet rules

December 22, 2010

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The parliament in Venezuela has approved a law which will tighten the rules regulating internet content. Under the bill, online messages inciting hatred, or political and religious intolerance, are banned. The new law also prohibits contents which is deemed to disrespect public officials. Opposition politicians voted against the measure, which they say is a threat […]