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30 September, 2006

Girl swallows 20 cobblestones !

Cobberstone in stomacheA girl from Foshan, China, swallowed down more than 20 cobblestones in a moment of anger after a big quarrel with her boyfriend. Initially, she thought the stones would be flushed out after clearing her bowels, but unfortunately they remained intact within her body for the next few days.

To make matters worse, she constantly felt that the stones were knocking against each other within her stomach which caused some pain and discomfort. After visiting the hospital and taking an X-ray, she was advised to undergo surgery to remove the stones. Shocked and not knowing what to do, she tried seeking for help at a local hospital’s online forum.

As further complications may occur if she delays her medical treatment, doctors have advised her to undergo treatment as soon as possible, with the first attempts through the non-painful gastroscope for extracting stones.

Click on the image for a larger view.

Link & Image: tom.com
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Naked car!

Car with a wire-pattern frame.Wow! This wiry little Volkswagen looks quite "naked". It appears that someone has replaced the car body with a wire-pattern frame. I wonder if it is functional though. If it does, it would be interesting to see what happens to the driver when it rains. Two more photos of the car are available on the following link.

Link & Image: Hemmings Auto Blog via Autoblog
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3.7 million dollars Rolls-Royce to make its first public appearance in China

3.8 million Rolls-RoyceThe world’s newest Rolls-Royce will be making its first appearance at Guangzhou’s first luxury goods exhibition in December 2006. Costing approximately 3.8 million dollars USD, this one and only Rolls-Royce is a lengthen version of the Phantom. Designed to be bulletproof and with a lengthened backseat space for rear passengers, it maintains Rolls-Royce’s first-class comfort and driving experience. Other well-know luxury cars like Porsche, Ferrari will also be showcasing their newest automobiles in the coming exhibition.

Please click on the image for a larger view.

Link & Image: Luxury
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29 September, 2006

Creating art with imagination

Clouds.Clouds are cute, fluffy and ever-changing. Are you good at inventing imaginary things or artistic forms when looking at it? This artist creates pretty interesting art from clouds.

A larger view is available by clicking on the above picture. See more imaginative clouds from the following links. Be amazed!

More Images: Cloud1, Cloud2, Cloud3
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Zingfu - Photo fun

Zingfu.Have you ever wanted to see yourself on the cover of Rolling Stone? How about appearing on a giant screen in Times Square? Zingfu has close to 100 different templates ranging from celebrities magazines to embarrassing situations of all kinds that allows you to do just that. Just select the desired template, upload your own photo followed by some minor adjustments and you are done. The results are amazing. Proceed to the following link to have some fun.

Link & Image: Zingfu via Photojojo
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Most advanced thermonuclear fusion reactor

Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST).Chinese scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the research of thermonuclear fusion. They have successfully conducted their first test of an experimental thermonuclear reactor, which replicates the energy generating process of the sun.

The first test lasted nearly 3 seconds, and generated an electrical current of 200 kilo amperes. The device is planned to eventually create a plasma lasting 1,000 consecutive seconds, the longest a fusion reactor has ever run. Wan Yuanxi, general manager of Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) said that the deuterium extracted from one liter of seawater could produce energy equivalent to that generated by burning 300 liters of gasoline.

The EAST is an upgrade of China's first-generation Tokamak device and the first of its kind in operation in the world, said Chinese scientists. The Institute of Plasma Physics spent eight years and 25 million USD on building the experimental reactor. The columniform device, made with special stainless steel, is about 5 meters in diameter, 12 meters high and weighs 400 tons. Compared with similar devices in other countries, EAST cost the least money and time to be built and is the first in operation, said Li Jiangang, director of the Institute of Plasma Physics.

The EAST would be the most advanced thermonuclear fusion reactor in the world for the next ten years, said Dr. Gary Jackson from General Atomics of the United States, who participated in the research.

Link & Image: Lian He Zao Bao
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Home makes unusual journey across harbor

1910 Queen Anne-style home.This old house took an unusual journey across a large natural harbor (Florida’s Tampa Bay) to its new home.

Perched on a barge, the 1910 Queen Anne-style home was moved across the bay while the curious gathered on the nearby Skyway bridge to watch the house pass underneath.

On Monday, movers lifted the 220-ton house from the lot where it was built and onto the barge. They had to wait for proper tides before crossing the bay.

George Corbett and his wife purchased the home because Palmetto City officials said the house had to go to make room for a waterfront revitalization plan.

Corbett spent nearly a year working out the details on how to move the house 25 miles to the north to a spot in Ruskin, Fla.

A video which shows the barge carrying the home across Tampa Bay is available on the following link.

Link & Image: Turnto10 via Arbroath
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28 September, 2006

Electronic Road Pricing using GPS system

Electronic Road Pricing gantry.Land Transport Authority(LTA) of Singapore is testing a new global positioning system(GPS) which may well replace the existing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system. This change removes the need for ERP gantries; each new gantry costs approximately 1 million SGD and although they can be removed and relocated to a new site for deployment in order to save costs, it is often inconvenient and expensive to do so. With GPS however, new ERP areas can be setup with more ease plus it's less time consuming. The new system will also require all vehicles to have their current In-vehicle Units (IUs) changed and operates as follows:

  • Prior to entering the ERP zone, there will be a board sign indication that there is ERP in operation further ahead.
  • If ERP is within 100m ahead, the new unit will sound and beep to inform the driver.
  • The GPS system will track if the vehicle has entered the ERP zone.

Singapore is the first country to setup a large scale ERP system with the aim of reducing traffic levels on congested roads during peak hours.

Link: Lian He Zao Bao
Image: Wikipedia
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Empires that control the Middle East

Middle East history.The following site has a cool animation which shows the various empires that control the Middle East from 3000 B.C. to 2006 A.D. along with their zones of influence. See 5000 years of history in 90 seconds from the following link.

Link & Image: Maps of War
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Colourful Coffins

CoffinI never knew such colourful coffins existed. That is until I came across the following site. Check out the other designs.

Link & Image: Colourful Coffins via Botinok
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Moscow City scale model

Moscow City scale model.This very cool scale model of Moscow City is now on sale for USD 3 million.

It is back from USSR times, when Soviet leaders had a little craze on making such epic compositions. It was ordered from an artist Efim Deshalyt in 1976. The size of the model exceeds 400 square feet.

The model really takes a lot of electricity - it turns on and off outdoor and indoor lighting according to the time of the day. Thousands of little lamps are used in every window of each house, even the boats on Moscow rivers have lights on board.

More photographs of this fascinating model can be found on the following link.

Link & Image: English Russia
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Researching on Mona Lisa using modern 3D technology

Mona LisaMona Lisa had just given birth to her second son when she sat for the painting, based on the discovery made by a team of Canadian scientists who used special infrared and three-dimensional technology to peer through hitherto impenetrable paint layers on the work. Bruno Mottin of the French Museums' Center for Research and Restoration said that on very close examination of the painting it became clear that the Mona Lisa's dress was covered in a thin transparent gauze veil.

Link: CNN
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302 carats Greenland Ruby

Greenland rubyThis Greenland gemstone was carved from a 440 carat uncut ruby discovered in 2005 in the Fiskenaesset district of Greenland and has an estimated value of $500,000 Canadian. Frankly speaking, I still prefer diamonds as they emit some form of mesmerising shine.

Link & Image: Luxist
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27 September, 2006

Gopher Broke

Gopher Broke.This short animation called Gopher Broke by Blur Studio is awesome!

In this Academy Award Nominated short animation, a hungry gopher hatches a clever plan to get a quick snack but discovers that even the best laid plans can go utterly awry. He quickly learns that no matter how hungry he may be, there is no free lunch.

Watch it from the following link. Have fun!

Link: YouTube
Image: Blur Studio
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Most expensive private island in the world

Hat Island.Vatu Vara, located in Fiji, is the most beautiful and expensive private island in the world. This magnificent island is on sale for 75 million dollars. Due to the summit's shape, it is also referred to as ‘Hat Island’. Its jungle-clad peak stands at 314 meters (1,030 feet) tall while its aquamarine lagoon contains a myriad of queer and familiar fish.

This is an extinct volcano that has become overgrown by coral reefs to form an atoll. The flat top was once at sea level, which is why the summit is flat. The topography of the island is more reminiscent of Krabi in Thailand, Langkawi in Malaysia or the Aru Islands in Irian Jaya.

Mel Gibson owns Mago Island just 30 kilometres to the east.

More photographs and information on the island can be found from the following link.

Link & Image: Dutton Direct via Arbroath
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Ugliest Vegetable

Winner of the Ugly Vegetable competition.
This parsnip with an uncanny similarity to a creature from the depths of the ocean is the winner of the ugliest vegetable competition in England. It was grown by Mrs Hilary in Bedford and stood out from the rest of the entries ranging from multi-layered tomatoes to twisted carrots.

Link & Image: The National Trust via Eglobe1
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Microscopic Art

Snow White and the 7 dwarfs in the eye of a needle.Willard Wigan, a resident of Birmingham UK, is the creator of the smallest works of art on Earth. He has a learning disability (Dyslexia) but is now emerging as one of the greatest micro-miniaturist of all time.

His sculptures are created within the eye of a tiny sewing needle, on the head of a pin, the tip of an eyelash or a grain of sand. Some of his creations are a couple of times smaller than the full stop at the end of this sentence. In order to meet the immeasurable precision and tolerances required to create the pieces, he works only around midnight. Some of his work can only be done between heartbeats.

You can find more of his amazing artworks from the following link.

Link & Image: Willard Wigan via Something Beautifull
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World's Biggest Burger

The world's largest burger.At a whopping 35 kg and measuring 60 cm in diameter and 35 cm in height, this burger is the largest burger on planet Earth. It is named Big Bob’s Texas Belt Buster and is available on the regular menu of Bob Schindler’s restaurant Bob’s BBQ & Grill in Thailand. Can’t help but wonder how many person it takes to finish such a gigantic burger? But it surely won’t be a problem for the dinosaurs.

“You can order it in the morning and it will be ready to eat in the evening“ says Bob Schindler… He was aiming to build a burger that hit the 60 pound mark but a few miscalculations resulted in the burger going well over the target weight.

The birth of the burger started off with a custom made bun made in Bob's in house bakery, and then 25 kg of Bob's top quality beef was cooked 6 ½ hours down to 20.4 kg. No burger is complete with toppings and this burger was topped off with 2 large heads of lettuce, 15 tomato's, 4 large onions, 35 slices of cheese, 1½ cups of mustard, 1 cup of ketchup, 4 whole pickles, 4 whole Jalapeños. Once the official certification is received, it will be added to the Guinness World records database under The World's Largest Commercially Available Hamburger.

Link & Image: Cheeseburger via Steveisbored
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26 September, 2006

Bulletproof Vest which repels armour piercing rounds

Bulletproof vest.These bulletproof vests are much lighter than traditional ones, stop armour piercing rounds and are even certified for dives, plus they do look better than traditional ones. What more can one ask for!

Link: DefenseTech via Gizmodo
Image: Gizmodo

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Tasty paper

Edible paperImage yourself having the stuff every day? How about eating some paper for a change? No kidding! At Moto restaurant in Chicago is offering food that will change the way that people perceive and eat food. All this is made possible by using a modified Canon i560 inkjet printer that prints flavoured images onto edible paper. The print cartridges are filled with food-based "inks", including juiced carrots, tomatoes and purple potatoes, and the paper tray contains sheets of soybean and potato starch. The printouts are flavoured by dipping them in a powder of dehydrated soy sauce, squash, sugar, vegetables or sour cream, and then they are frozen, baked or fried. Now, that's high-tech food for a change!

Link & Image: First Science
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Lap Mug

Lap Mug.The Lap Mug is designed for indulging on the sofa. Its uniquely shaped base allows you to nest it easily and securely in your lap. The only drawback to this mug is that it must be almost entirely empty before it can be set on the table or floor.

Link & Image: TheLermontHupton via Slashfood
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World's smallest cell phone

Xun Chi 138.Xun Chi 138 is the world’s smallest cell phone. It is just 6.7 cm long and weighs only 55 grams. Due to its relatively small size, it is not possible to include a keyboard. As a workaround, it features a touchscreen (260k colours) with handwriting recognition. In addition, the phone also features a 1.3 Megapixel camera, USB port, WAP, GPRS, MP3 player and 138 MB of onboard memory.

Link & Image: Gizmodo
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Toast Art

Toast art.Lennie Payne, an acclaimed "Toast Artist", creates works of art with slices of bread. The explaination of the whole process by Lennie is as follows:

"When bread is dry, it won't degrade or go moldy, so by flattening the bread, and then lacquering it, to keep the moisture out, the bread stays dry and won’t rot. This is done after the bread has been toasted. You use a gas blowtorch to scorch the bread and turn it black, and then scrap away the burnt bread to create different tonal values. Once the bread is lacquered on all sides, which helps to vitrify the bread, it is stuck onto a base with some silicone adhesive."

You can find more of Lennie's artwork on the following link.

Link & Image: Toast2Art via Make
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World's greatest competitive eater sets a new record

Takeru Kobayashi.The world’s greatest competitive eater, Takeru Kobayashi had set a new world record by eating 41 lobster rolls within ten minutes. At the World Lobster Eating Challenge, Kobayashi defeated a team of 4 eaters which managed just 25 rolls collectively. Wow. He managed to defeat the team by such a wide margin. That is an incredible feat indeed.

The Japanese star who was never defeated since turning professional in 1998 takes home a winning prize of $10,000 USD.

Link & Image: Market Wire
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Fruit & Wine Art

Fruit art 1.
Fruit art 2. Fruit art 3.
Fruit art 4. Fruit art 5.

The above are some creative ways of turning the fruits on your kitchen table into something decorative. They will surely brighten up anyone's days. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Wine caddies.These wine caddies made from steel and copper are so cute. Who says empty wine bottles are useless?

Link & Image: Sina
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Interesting designs

structure made of cards.
Gigantic watermelon house.Even the simplest designs can make a great impact. The gigantic watermelon sure makes me drool, whereas the structure made of cards sure looks beautiful yet complex!

Link & Image: Sina
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Poor kid with elephant skin

Kid with elephant skin.A 9 year old kid in Wuhan, China has contracted a rare skin disease since birth which causes the skin around his upper body, arms, neck and some small parts of his face to look like those of an elephant, with large amount of hair growing on the affected areas. As a result, other kids avoid playing with him and hence he tends to be very quiet and reserved. Unfortunately, doctors have yet to find a cure and they can only suggest that he can undergo a skin graft surgery for his face.

Link & Image: Chu Tian Du Shi Bao
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World class airport with no air-conditioning?

External view of Suvarnabhumi airport.
After a long construction period of 44 years, the Suvarnabhumi airport will start operating on 28th September 2006, replacing the 60 year old Don Muang airport. Some interesting facts of this fascinating airport are as follows:

Design architecture:

This airport costs 3.7 billion USD to construct, with a unique “camping tent” design. The 7-storey building has only one passenger hall and the first 2 levels are both underground. The airport has 2 parallel runways (60 m. wide, 4,000 m. and 3700 m. long) and 2 parallel taxiways to accommodate simultaneous departures and arrivals. It has a total of 120 parking bays (51 with contact gates and 69 remote gates) and 5 of these are capable of accommodating the Airbus A380 aircraft.

Internal view of Suvarnabhumi airport.
Airport with no air-conditioning:

Surprisingly, the Suvarnabhumi airport has no air-conditioning! However, it does use a green and environment friendly “co-generation plant” system – using cold water to flow through the ground for each and every floor and then directing the resulting cold air to above 2.5 metre above the ground, hence keeping the air temperature 21-24◦C. How innovative! But it may be difficult to maintain this temperature when a large number of passengers arrive at the airport in the near future.

Transportation System:

Suvarnabhumi airport is 25 km away from Bangkok city. In order to provide passengers with a faster router to the city, the Thailand government has plans to complete the construction of an underground a sky train system that links to the city area within one and a half year period. By then, it will only take 15 minutes to travel from the airport to Bangkok’s city area.

For more information or a video of the new airport, please click on the New Bangkok Airport Guide link.

Link: New Bangkok Airport Guide & Lian He Zao Bao
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25 September, 2006

Nosing around

A Proboscis monkey.The Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is a reddish-brown animal which spends most of its time in trees or bushes and feeds on leafs. It can only be found in the costal areas of East-Borneo and the Mentawai Islands west of Sumatra. The most distinctive trait of this monkey is of course its large protruding nose.

The reason behind having a large nose is still unclear and it has been suggested that it is simply a result of sexual selection: female Proboscis monkeys prefer big-nosed mates, thus propagating the trait.

This is a highly endangered species, and only 1,000 are known to still exist in the wild.

In this photograph,
Victo, a male Proboscis monkey, pauses during an afternoon feeding session at Singapore Zoo.

Link & Image: Stuff
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First drum under heaven

First Drum under Heaven.Wow. Look at the size of that drum. Liu Zhibin and his wife sit atop the “First Drum under Heaven” in Shangchuankou Village in Yangling, northwest China’s Shannxi Province. It took the couple along with 12 other drum makers 108 days to complete building it. With a diameter of 3.68 meters and a height of 1.98 meters, it might just enter the Guinness World Records.
Link & Image: China Daily
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Sound voting

Voting system.Gambia of Africa has a unique voting system for it’s presidential election as majority of it’s people has little or no education. Each of the 670,000 registered voters will cast his or her “sound vote” into one of the colored drums. When voting, each voter enters a small shed and throws the marble into the desired colored drums which represent the presidential candidates. As the marble rolls through a pipe and strikes the drum, a bell sound will be heard, and hence the official will know who the vote belongs to. If, however, the marble gets stuck along the pipe and no sound is heard, the vote will be treated as invalid. As this system is largely dependant on the bell sound, hence bicycles are forbidden to in areas nearby the polling booth in order to prevent the bicycle bell from disrupting the election process.

Link & Image: Sina
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24 September, 2006

Bird that can moonwalk

Bird's moonwalk.This Manakin bird moves in what look like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk dance. These beautiful moves are made in order to seduce his female. Check it out.

Video & Image: YouTube
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Anti-terrorist Luggage Lock

TSA Lock.Although the plot to blow up UK flights to the US was disrupted two months ago, it has once again highlighted the importance of airport security and screening of checked-in luggage. As a result, for all flights between UK and US, each passenger luggage to be checked in are required to have TSA locks installed; otherwise that piece of luggage must not be locked during luggage check-in.

What makes the TSA lock so special? The TSA lock has a number lock (what's new!) plus a special key lock which only certain airport security staff are equipped with. Hence in the event whereby a piece of suspicious luggage is found and the owner isn't nearby, the security personnel will be able to inspect that luggage without having to purposely locate the passenger or cause other passengers to panic. Otherwise, the security personnel will have to no choice but to force open the luggage, damaging the luggage in the process.

Link & Image: Mirrcolock
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23 September, 2006

Pig Mattress

Pig MattressEmily, an 8 year old girl, is lying comfortably on a 5 month old Yorkshire pig for the last time, as it is to be auctioned at a market in Oxford, US. Perhaps the bed mattress makers can consider using pigs as their inspiration for their next generation mattresses?

Source: Lian He Zao Bao
Image: Bits & Pieces
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Unique Meal - Crocodile Meat

Croc meal.Frankly, I have tasted many delicacies, but I guess I can never bring myself to try out the "Crocodile head" delicacy that was prepared during a Zhejiang gourmet competition. Although it looks scary, the Chinese believe that crocodile meat can be used to cure minor ailments such as cough, asthma, rheumatism and diabetes! This also proves a saying that Chinese typically eat anything ranging from those that crawl on ground to those that fly in the air.

In many countries, the crocodile is an endangered species, hence please don't try to prepare this dish at home!

Link & Image: GMW
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22 September, 2006

Gold pony to fete royal birth

A gold pony."All that glitters is gold!" It seems the shine and glitter of gold never fail to attract our love and affection. We've seen the Golden Palace in Hong Kong, Gold Mooncake from China and now in Japan there is a Gold pony specially made to to commemorate the birth of Prince Hisahito. The pony, whose market price is worth $1.3 million USD, will be sold if there is an order after being displayed at the company's main store in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, and outlets in Nagoya.

Link & Image: Kyodo
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World's smallest teddy bear

Tiny Ted.Tiny Ted.The world’s smallest teddy bear is only 5mm high. This teddy bear called Mini the Pooh is made by German sculptor Bettina Kaminski. It is so incredibly tiny that it is almost invisible to the naked eye. More photos of it can be found from the following link.

Link & Image: Ботинок

Update: There is an even smaller teddy at 4.5mm tall that holds the world record. It is hand sewn by Cheryl Moss. Some info about it:

From Mossie Bears:
He is fully jointed with hand sewn eyes, nose and mouth. He lives in the Cheju Island Teddy bear museum in Korea and is displayed under a magnifying glass, for all to see.

Thanks, Cheryl Moss !

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Flower that looks like a bird

A flower which look like birds.This vibrant flower when photographed from a certain angle looks very much like a bird. The results are quite cool. Check out the interesting photoset from the following link.

Link & Image: Photowebs
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Pole to Pole Manpowered 2007

Path taken from North Pole to South PoleJames Hooper and Rob Gauntlett, two 19 year old teenagers from UK are embarking on a remarkable journey that will take them from the North Pole to the South Pole using only human and natural power. They have already succeeded in setting foot on the summit of Mount Everest earlier this year on 17 May 2006. However, this is the first time such an expedition is attempted.

Their challenge called “180 Degrees – Pole to Pole Manpowered” will begin in March 2007. This groundbreaking adventure will be a combination of skiing, cycling and sailing. The whole journey will cover 17,000 miles over 3 continents and is estimated to take 10 months to complete. Check out the introductory video from the following link.

Link: Image: 180Degrees
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Very early recorded sound

An Edison cylinder phonograph.Have you ever wondered what the earliest audio recordings sound like? National Park Service has an amazing collection of some of the oldest audio recordings ever recorded by a phonograph. These recordings date back as far as 1888. Check it out from the following link.

Link: National Park Service
Image: Wikipedia
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Furniture made from bikes

A Milano Lounge Chair.Bike Furniture Design manufactures furniture from recycled bicycles parts as well as components from other transportation industries. Since the original bike, Bike Furniture Designs have grown to include a wide-ranging collection of high-quality tables, bar stools, loveseats, and more chairs. What an interesting way of recycling scrap. Check out all these neat looking furnitures from the following link.

Link & Image: Bike Furniture Design via Bicycle Design
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An artificial heart that doesn't beat

HeartMateII - A continuous flow cardiac assist device.At present, artificial hearts work by making use of an implanted hydraulic pumping system to simulate a natural heart beat. However if O.H. “Bud” Frazier, a prominent heart surgeon has his way, artificial hearts in the future will pump blood through the body continuously rather than with the periodic beat of the normal heart.

Pumps that work on this principle, known as continuous flow pumps, are already in clinical use as part of "ventricular assist devices," which are implanted into patients with some remaining heart function to help circulate blood through the body. (Artificial hearts replace the heart entirely).

"Continuous flow pumps are like little turbo machines," says Tim Baldwin, program director of the advanced technologies and surgery branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda MD. "They are more durable and allow you to make smaller devices."

With Frazier's continuous flow design for an entirely artificial heart, a severely damaged heart is removed and replaced with two rotor-based pumps that continually cycle blood through the body, completely taking over the function of the heart.

Link & Image: Technology Review
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