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31 December, 2006

Happy New Year

Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge during New Year's eve celebrations January 1, 2007.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year 2007!

Link & Image: Yahoo news
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Artist at work

Sea lionNine-year-old sea lion Jonao holds a brush between his teeth to write a letter of wild boar in Chinese characters, in preparation for the new year at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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LightCap: Solar powered LED light & water bottle

LightCapThe LightCap is not only used as a water bottle, it also doubles as a lamp.

The cap has a built-in waterproof solar panel, battery pack and powerful, long-lasting LED light. Fill it with your favorite drink and never worry about finding it in the dark again. Set it in the sun or hang it from a railing during the day and you’ll have light all night long!

It weights just 11 ounces and costs $24.95.

Link & Image: Sollight via Popgadget
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The Post-It Note Jaguar

Jaguar covered in post-it notesI have absolutely no idea why these people stuck post-it note onto a real Jaguar but it sure looks hilarious. More pictures after the jump.

Image: Scott Ableman / Flickr
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Recycled Ski Picnic Table

Recycled Ski Picnic TableThe Recycled Ski Picnic Table is a standard size picnic table made of recycled skis. It costs $485 each.

Link & Image: SnowShack via Cribcandy
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Aircraft carrier built from 300,000 lego bricks

Lego ShipLego fan Malle Hawking, a 36-year-old, used 300,000 Lego bricks to construct a scale model of one of the largest ships afloat, the mighty USS Harry S Truman aircraft carrier.

His model is now the largest Lego ship in the world, measuring 4.5m (14.7ft) and weighing more than 160kg (353lb). The vessel will go on display in Cologne next month before going to the Brickworld 2007 Lego convention in Chicago.

Link & Image: Metro
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Colour Changing Spoons

Colour Changing SpoonsThis spoon changes colour when a certain temperature is reached.

Attention cooks on the go & cooks at the office! These 3 colorful spoons are meant for microwave meal preparations only. Plastic spoons change color at (120 F) when food is hot. Simply heat, stir & serve.

They are available at US $9.50 for a set of three.

Link & Image: Shop.com via Engadget
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The man with 30-seconds memory

Man with worst case of amnesiaThis video is about a man with the worst case of amnesia with memory that lasts only about 30 seconds. However, he does remember his wife and musical abilities. Watch the video to find out what his life is like.

Video: Haha
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World’s Oldest Mother

PregnantThe world’s oldest mother is a 67-year-old woman from Spain who had given birth to twins in Barcelona.

The woman, whose name has not been revealed, became pregnant after fertility treatment in Latin America. She gave birth to the twins, who have been placed in an incubator, by caesarean section early on Saturday.

It was the woman's first birth and she is expected to spend a few days in the Sant Pau hospital recovering. A spokesman for the hospital, which specialises in high-risk births, said that both the mother and her babies were doing well.

Link & Image: BBC
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Piggy bank with a life

The Bank of LifeThis is a programmable LCD piggy bank called “The Bank of Life” produced by toy maker, Takara Tomy. It is able to hold up to 200 pieces of 500 yen coins. A little Japanese man living in the screen starts off by living in a shoebox home and gradually upgrades to a luxury apartment reflecting on the amount of money in it. The company has just started selling this product in Japan on the 28 Dec 2006 at the price of US $40 each.

Click on image for a larger view.

Link & Image: MPINews
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30 December, 2006

Custom Tissue Box

Tissue BoxHere’s an interesting tissue box which you can customize.

Photo tissue box cover is a real "pick"-me-up when you're feeling under the weather. Just add a favorite picture of a family member, friend or pet. Tissues dispense humorously through the snout, making it easier to face colds and allergies.

Link & Image: Taylor Gift via Random Good Stuff


Vacuum Shoes

Vacuum ShoesThis shoe is a concept design by Electrolux. Wouldn’t it be great if you can vacuum the floor just by walking around with a pair of shoes?

The green coloured shoes have two parts – a rechargeable base that contains the vacuum motor and an elastic sock which holds the user's foot in place.

The base has a semi-flexible nylon structure and a flexible rubber sole to ensure comfort while walking. A laser sensor switches the vacuum on and off automatically to save energy. Electrolux said: 'As you walk, the base collects the dust without requiring any effort. It is a simple, yet creative cleaning concept that doesn't take up any precious free time.’

Link & Image: Metro
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How to make Green Eggs and Ham

Green egg and hamMichales has a tutorial on his flickr site which teaches you how to make green eggs and ham with artificial food colouring. The results look pretty “alien”. For the eggs, if you prefer not to use artificial colouring, you can use the juice from cooked red cabbage by pouring it over a frying egg and the egg white will turn green too. New Scientists have an explanation for this phenomenon.

Source: Michales / Flickr & New Scientist via BoingBoing
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The vaccine to prevent every strain of flu

Flu VaccineBritish scientists are on the verge of producing a revolutionary flu vaccine that works against all major types of the disease.

Described as the 'holy grail' of flu vaccines, it would protect against all strains of influenza A - the virus behind both bird flu and the nastiest outbreaks of winter flu.

Just a couple of injections could give long-lasting immunity - unlike the current vaccine which has to be given every year.

Link & Image: DailyMail
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Tin Can Storage

Shelving UnitThis is a fine example of how one can recycle tin cans. Just create a shelving unit by attaching them to the wall.

Link & Image: The Canadian Design Resource via Cribcandy
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Trans-Atlantic teenager near goal

Michael PerhamMichael Perham, a 14-year old boy is set to make history as the youngest person to cross the Atlantic Ocean single-handedly.

Michael Perham, who lives with his parents in Potters Bar, Herts, is due to arrive in Antigua on New Year's Eve. He has been at sea for three weeks on a 3,500 mile course from Gibraltar, past Africa and across the Atlantic. Michael's yacht, Cheeky Monkey, is being shadowed by his father, Peter, a quantity surveyor, who is also in radio contact.

Link & Image: BBC
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Ancient ice shelf breaks free from Canadian Arctic

Ice ShelfScientists said that a giant ice shelf equivalent to the size of 11,000 football fields broke free from Canada’s Artic creating a new island as a result.

The mass of ice broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the North Pole, but no one was present to see it in Canada's remote north.

The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 kilometers (155 miles) away picked up tremors from it. The Ayles Ice Shelf, roughly 66 square kilometers (41 square miles) in area, was one of six major ice shelves remaining in Canada's Arctic.

Within days, the floating ice shelf had drifted a few miles (kilometers) offshore. It traveled west for 50 kilometers (31 miles) until it finally froze into the sea ice in the early winter.

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in Canada in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.

Link & Image: CNN
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29 December, 2006

Kid transported in mail bag

Kid in mail bagMany pedestrians and passer-bys of a bustling street in Guangzhou, China, were concerned for the safety of a 3 year-old kid that was placed in a bicycle back seat's mail bag. The poor child was curious and unceasingly looking around, not realizing the dangers surrounding him.

This really makes me wonder why people are so foolish in doing things that may make them regret for life.

Link & Image: XinHua
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Fishing in Siberia

FishingFor a moment, I thought I saw 2 polar bears in plastic bags! In fact they are actually two men sitting under plastic covers as they fish in a frozen lake at -15 degrees Celsius (5 degress Fahrenheit) near the Siberian village of Beryozovo in the Kemerovo region, some 4,000 km (2,485 miles) east of Moscow.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Cute Winnie the Pooh Speakers

Cute SpeakersNope! These are not soft toys. Rather, they are the cutest speakers I have ever seen. From Run At Corp Japan, these speakers take the shape of Winnie the Pooh and Stitch. If you look carefully enough, you will notice that the speakers are located at its foot. Other than an AC adapter, the speakers can be powered by a USB connection too. These speakers with a dimension of 280x180x280 mm (width x depth x height) weighs around 400g. They are available in Japan for approximately $40. I just love these speakers.

Click on the image for a larger picture.

Link & Image: Runat via Gizmodo

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Snakes in China 'predict quakes'

SnakeScientists in China have come up with a new way of predicting earthquakes - - by observing erratic behaviour in snakes.

Scientists said the serpents can sense a quake from 120km (75 miles) away, up to five days before it happens. "When an earthquake is about to occur, snakes will move out of their nests, even in the cold of winter. If the earthquake is a big one, the snakes will even smash into walls while trying to escape," he told the newspaper.

Source: BBC
Image: CaptPiper
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Nepal Buddha Boy 'sighted again'

Buddha boyA Nepalese teenage, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Buddha, has reappeared after a 10 month fast. The boy told the local reporters that he lived on herbs, but did not take other food!

A missing Nepalese teenager popularly known as Buddha Boy has reappeared after nine months, eyewitnesses say.

Thousands of people are thronging a jungle in southern Nepal to catch a glimpse of Ram Bahadur Bomjan, 17.

The boy's meditation and apparent 10-month fast attracted global attention before he vanished in March.

Bomjan's followers say he is an incarnation of Lord Buddha who was born in Lumbini, in present-day Nepal, more than 2,500 years ago.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of people had reached the jungle in Bara district to get a glimpse of him.

The boy attracted international attention earlier this year when he was reported to have meditated for months without food.

But there has been no information about his whereabouts over the last nine months.

Eyewitnesses said that he had become thinner. The boy told the local reporters that he lived on herbs, but did not take other food.

Video after the jump.

Link & Image: BBC News
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28 December, 2006

Parrot's oratory stuns scientists

N'kisiA parrot was found to have a remarkable ability to communicate with people. Scientists were baffled by this finding.

The bird, a captive African grey called N'kisi, has a vocabulary of 950 words, and shows signs of a sense of humour.

He invents his own words and phrases if he is confronted with novel ideas with which his existing repertoire cannot cope - just as a human child would do. N'kisi is believed to be one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world.

He uses words in context, with past, present and future tenses, and is often inventive. One N'kisi-ism was "flied" for "flew", and another "pretty smell medicine" to describe the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, an artist based in New York.

When he first met Dr Jane Goodall, the renowned chimpanzee expert, after seeing her in a picture with apes, N'kisi said: "Got a chimp?" He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."

Dr Goodall says N'kisi's verbal fireworks are an "outstanding example of interspecies communication".

Link & Image: BBC
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Dolphin's leap crushes woman in freak accident

Bottlenose DolphinA woman was crushed and seriously injured yesterday by a dolphin in an accident described by a marine biologist as "three million to one".

A 27-year-old Pukekohe woman was onboard a boat with four others in Slipper Island's south bay, just off the Coromandel Peninsula, when what is thought to be a bottlenose dolphin leapt out of the water in a normal display of acrobatics.

But it crashed down onto the front of the boat sending one woman through a windscreen and crushing another. The second woman received minor injuries. The 27-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest at the beach before being flown to Auckland Hospital. She is described as being in a serious, but stable condition.

A fully grown bottlenose dolphin can weigh up to 600 kilos. "It's definitely not something you'd want to be hit by. It's a very solid, heavy animal... they're just muscle and bone these animals," says DOC Marine Mammal Ranger Kirsty Russell.

Link & Image: OneNews
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Treskilling Yellow - Most Expensive Stamp in The World

Treskilling YellowThe most expensive stamp in the world which was printed in Sweden in the year 1855 comes with a hefty price tag -- US $2.3 million.

But that’s not the only surprising thing about the most expensive stamp in the world named Treskilling Yellow - The stamp samples are actually a result of an unnoticed mistake in stamp-printers and were later discounted in 1858.

The question of how many stamps of this kind have been printed remains unanswered, but only 1 copy is known to exist, which was sold for $2.3 Million in 1996, a whopping $71 Billion per kilogram.

Link & Image: The Daily Buzzer
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Japanese gadget has plants talking back

HanakotobaJapanese romantics will have the chance to hear some truly flowery language with the help of a playful gadget purported to express the feelings of plants.

Through the voice of a small doll, the device will share what the plant is supposedly 'thinking' when a person strokes it. The "Hanakotoba", or "Communication Flower", consists of a small rod topped with a fairy figurine that can be put inside a potted plant or vase of water.

When the owner touches the stem or leaves, a small electric current passes from the rod through a wire to a small doll. "What a beautiful day!" the doll, wearing a green vest and cone hat, will say once the flower is touched, or "Let's stay friends forever!"

Hanakotoba has up to 200 different phrases, some as potentially uncomfortable as "Do you have a boyfriend?" But the plant can still become angry. If the device senses there is insufficient water, the doll says in a shrill voice: "Come on, what are you looking at? Give me more water!"

The toy was released this month at 4,179 yen (35 dollars) each and, if successful in Japan, will make its way abroad, the company said.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Tiger's Nest Monastery

Tiger's Nest MonasteryThis is an amazing photograph of Tiger's Nest Monastery. Perched on the side of a cliff 914 meters (3000 feet) from the floor of the Paro valley, Tiger's Nest is the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. A place of pilgrimage for Buddhists.

Link & Image: Leopalmer Photography via Notcot
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Baby factories

It always start with a promise of better life for a young, attractive, healthy woman living in poverty - by getting her a false passport and papers to enable her to enter a land of more opportunities. She is then presented with a huge bill which she cannot afford to pay and the nightmare begins, whereby she is told that the debt will be written off if she gets pregnant and gives up her baby. She has no other option but to comply as she would not want to upset these people. It is believed that these women are made pregnant by members of the gang - a man inevitably caught up in the other mafia 'businesses' of drug dealing and prostitution. Once the woman has served her purpose, she is as good as dead. The gang will force her into prostitution and drive her into the ground.

The Baby Factory is run with brutal efficiency. As soon as an order has been placed, a woman is chosen to produce a baby. Only the beautiful girls are selected to join the production line.

The customers will, the owners of the factory know all too well, pay a higher price for an angelic-looking baby. The blue-eyed ones are particularly prized.

The woman is impregnated by mafia racketeers and then looked after, housed, fed and clothed for the next nine months.

She does not give birth in hospital in case someone asks too many questions. Rather, she has the baby in a makeshift maternity suite - a room in a house rented by the factory for the purpose.

A trained midwife in the pay of the factory is on hand to ensure a safe delivery. There is, after all, a lot of money at stake. Up to £20,000, in fact.

Such a baby factory in Athens run by the Albanian and Russian mafias was uncovered, catering to the demands of wealthy Western women unable to have children of their own. They come from Britain, Europe and as far afield as America, hand over a huge wad of cash and take the child back home.

The baby factory in Athens is doing a booming trade. The girls selected by the gangs for the production line are mostly Bulgarians and Romanian gipsies.

Consequently, there are very real fears that when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU next month, giving nationals from those countries an open door to Britain, the gangs will set up similar baby factories here.

This is the shocking and sad truth of baby factories where countless children are being bred to order in Mafia-run baby farms. In short, it's a dirty business that brings cash to the gang, but misery to the women.

Link & Image: Daily Mail
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"Robin Hood" restaurants

Robinhood RestaurantIn One World Cafe, customers are invited to barter and pay what they think the meal is worth. Such pay-as-you-can cafes have missions that are unapologetically altruistic — call it serving up fare Robin Hood style.

Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service — sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden — for a meal. Likewise, guests who have money are encouraged to leave a little extra to offset the meals of those who have less to give. "We're a hand up, not a hand out," says One World owner Denise Cerreta, who prides herself on the fact that everyone can afford a meal at her café. "Our philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy, organic food while being treated with dignity."

Link & Image: TIME.com
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Polar bear Inuka celebrates 16th birthday

Polar BearInuka - a polar bear of Singapore Zoo - celebrated his 16-year old birthday in Singapore with more than 50 guests and well-wishes.

Birthday celebrations which included a polar bear ice carving and a birthday cake, made of ice, carrots and frozen fish, were presented to the birthday boy. But this may well be his last birthday in Singapore, as the zoo announced that it would be relocating Inuka to a temperate-climate zoo when his mother, Sheba, dies.

His mother, Sheba, at 29, is four years over the average 25-year lifespan for polar bears in captivity. The zoo has made plans for the relocation as it will now be focusing more on species from the tropical rainforest, to be in line with its Rainforest Zoo theme.

Adopted since his birth by the SPH Foundation, a non-profit organisation, expressed that Inuka will be moved to a temperature-climate zoo where he can find a mate. Despite some heated debate over the sensibility of keeping polar bears in a tropical climate, the zoo has expressed no regrets over the animals' stay, as the bears were given to the zoo by Canada as the enclosure was found to be satisfactory. Others, on the other hand, were glad that Inuka may be relocated to somewhere more comfortable and suitable for him.

Link & Image: XinHua
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27 December, 2006

Slow Internet Connection

InternetThe number of post for today is lighter than usual. And that’s because our internet connections are slowing down to a miserable crawl here. The reason is as follows.

A snippet from Yahoo News:
Telecommunications around Asia were severely disrupted on Wednesday after earthquakes off Taiwan damaged undersea cables, slowing Internet services and hindering financial transactions, particularly in the currency market.

International telephone traffic was restricted from some countries and Internet access slowed to a crawl. Sources working with Asian telecoms providers said it could take several weeks before all the cables were repaired.

Never expected an earthquake in Taiwan to have such a huge impact on the internet networks of the region. Hope this issue will be resolved soon. In the meantime, we will try our best to continue publishing. Please bear with us.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Parasite 'turns women into sex kittens'

Toxoplasma gondiiAccording to an Australian researcher, Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite, makes men more stupid but increases a women’s attractiveness to the opposite sex.

About 40 per cent of the world's population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii, including about eight million Australians.

Human infection generally occurs when people eat raw or undercooked meat that has cysts containing the parasite, or accidentally ingest some of the parasite's eggs excreted by an infected cat.

"Infected men have lower IQs, achieve a lower level of education and have shorter attention spans. They are also more likely to break rules and take risks, be more independent, more anti-social, suspicious, jealous and morose, and are deemed less attractive to women.

"On the other hand, infected women tend to be more outgoing, friendly, more promiscuous, and are considered more attractive to men compared with non-infected controls.

Link & Image: News.com.au
Image: Vox
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Man transforms discarded aluminum containers into bells and ornaments

Jeff ClappJeff Clapp of Brunswick, Maine, has created a business of transforming those banged-up aluminum containers discarded from hikers while climbing Mount Everest into gleaming bells, bowls and ornaments. More images of his excellent works after the jump.

Bells made from discarded oxygen bottles.

Christmas Ornament
Christmas Ornament
Christmas ornaments made from metal shavings from discarded oxygen bottles.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Dazzling Headphones

Swarovski headphonesSwarvoski has got another new design with the Rasa Music’s DJ Headphones from Donna D’Cruz that’s studded with Swarovski crystals. These dazzling swarvoski headphones are currently not yet available for purchase but will go on sale for $2,500 in the future!

Link & Image: Born Rich
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Bike Tree!

Bike treeNow, who says that you have to park your bike on the ground, when there's a solar-powered “Bike Tree” that allows you to hang your bicycle vertically in a tree-like fashion. A “Smart Card” is required to check-in or retrieve the bicycle. Pretty cool isn't it? Video after the jump.

Video: YouTube
Link & Image: TechEBlog
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Fat is beautiful

Fat WomanAlthough most people prefer slim and beautiful women, it seems that if someone lives in the African nation of Mauritania, he’s much more likely to believe that big is beautiful. In fact, fat women are so revered there that only a generation ago, a third of girls were force-fed, making it one of the few African countries where girls received more food than boys! Fat,apparently, is in the eye of the beholder.

Link & Image: MentalFloss
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26 December, 2006

Hula Champ performing with 70 Hula Loops

Kareena OatesThe Guinness World Record Champion of Hula Hoops, Kareena Oates from Australia, performs with 70 Hula Hoops at a local shopping mall, in Hong Kong. Impressive!

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Doctors and nurses wear helmets!

Doctors and nursesDoctors and nurses at a Chinese hospital started wearing helmets after they were attacked by relatives seeking compensation over a patient’s death.

Staff at Shanxia hospital in the booming southern city of Shenzhen had been pushed and shoved and spat at for days by the relatives and hired protesters, the Beijing News said.

"There was no other option," the newspaper quoted a nurse as saying. "To ensure our safety, the hospital gave everyone a helmet."

The patient, who was injured in a car accident, unexpectedly died when he was ready to go home after 17 days' treatment, the newspaper said. The relatives demanded the hospital take responsibility and called for compensation.

Disputes between patients and hospitals are now common in China, where market reforms of the 1980s ended cradle-to-grave welfare for the masses.

Link & Image: ChinaDaily
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Tsunami aims at Philippines after quake

From Yahoo News:
A powerful quake struck off southwestern Taiwan on Tuesday, triggering a potentially destructive tsunami that was headed toward the Philippines on the second anniversary of the deadly waves that killed thousands in south Asia.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of between 6.7 and 7.2, was felt throughout Taiwan. It swayed buildings and knocked objects off the shelves in the capital, Taipei.

No damage or injuries were immediately reported.

Japan's Meteorological Bureau said a 3-foot-high tsunami was expected to hit Basco in the Philippines.

"There is a possibility of a destructive local tsunami," the bureau said. "However at some coasts, particularly those near the epicenter, higher tsunami may arrive."

Read more after the jump.

Link & Image: Yahoo News
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Dog, cat and mice become friends

Dog, cat and miceGreg Pike's dog Booger, cat Kitty and white mouse Mousie, rest at the end of a day in Bisbee, Arizona, United States. Dog, cat and mice coexisting peacefully. Cool! Two more pictures after the jump.

Dog, cat and mice
Dog, cat and mice
Link & Image: ChinaDaily
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Knock Off Lamp

Knock Off lampThe Knock Off lamp is a fun addition to your home. Not only is it designed like a bowling pin, it is made to be “knocked down” too. When it is lying on its side, it is turned off. When it stands up, it is turned on. A clever design that closely resembles that of the real bowling pin. It is priced at US $22 each.

Link & Image: Shopfosters via Funfurde
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OlmThis amphibian animal called Olm, is capable of going on for years without feeding.

From Wikipedia:
Their extremely slow metabolisms allow them to remain dormant for extremely long periods of time. In one reported case, an olm was placed in a jar in a refrigerator for more than a decade. It was reportedly still alive when finally removed, though with severe damage to its internal organs, including the reabsorption of its own digestive tract for sustenance.

The animal is white or slightly pink and has small extremities with two toes on the hind leg and three toes on the foreleg. Due to its fair complexion, it is locally referred to as "human fishlet" or "humanoid fish". External gills are also present in adult forms. It is usually 25–30 centimetres long. Due to its subterranean life, the Olm's eyes have degenerated and are covered by skin.

The Olm lives in subterranean waters of the karst areas of the Dinaric Alps along the Adriatic coast of northeastern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Montenegro.

Link & Image: Wikipedia
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Cute piggy keyring doubles as a mini torch

Piggy Light KeyringThis cute little piggy Keyring not only holds your keys, it acts as a mini torch too. Just give it a gentle squeeze on its belly and volla, instant light. Now, you only need to aim the piggy’s nose at the desired location. Sure would come in handy someday. These adorable animals are available for US $2.61.

Piggy Light KeyringLink & Image: Rakuten via ShinyShiny
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Video games may be beneficial to the brain

PS3Video games have been maligned by many as "a mindless activity," but playing them may be good for the brain, says a researcher who is conducting studies on the possible benefits.

It seems that people who play video games tend to make about eight per cent fewer errors when performing a memory manipulation task, he said, and were about 45 milliseconds faster than non-video game players. Now, I wonder what's the side-effects?

Link & Image: Yahoo News
Image: TrojanDan / Flickr
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