Showing posts tagged news

Some cool University of Arizona scientists got together and built the first biologically accurate robotic legs that mimic how humans walk. Looks like we’re bypassing CP3O and halfway to Terminator.

Science Daily reports:

The neural architecture, musculoskeletal architecture and sensory feedback pathways in humans have been simplified and built into the robot, giving it a remarkably human-like walking gait… 
  
Hiker finds stolen Picasso leaning against a fence
MARIN COUNTY — A Pablo Picasso lithograph worth an estimated $30,000 has been recovered after it was taken from the Novato mansion of imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko… “It’s something that you don’t find usually on your morning hikes,” said Greg Atamaniuk, the man who found the piece at the entrance to an open space trail.

Hiker finds stolen Picasso leaning against a fence

MARIN COUNTY — A Pablo Picasso lithograph worth an estimated $30,000 has been recovered after it was taken from the Novato mansion of imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko… “It’s something that you don’t find usually on your morning hikes,” said Greg Atamaniuk, the man who found the piece at the entrance to an open space trail.

  

Protest against Putin in Moscow


  
End of the world omen?
Dead sardines started washing up on Japan’s shore on June 3. Now a Japanese port is covered with 200 tons of them. 
Reports suggest that the fish died of a lack of oxygen, but what caused that isn’t quite clear. Online comments, Japan Today reports, are suggesting the dead fish are an omen, the sign of a coming disaster.

End of the world omen?

Dead sardines started washing up on Japan’s shore on June 3. Now a Japanese port is covered with 200 tons of them. 

Reports suggest that the fish died of a lack of oxygen, but what caused that isn’t quite clear. Online comments, Japan Today reports, are suggesting the dead fish are an omen, the sign of a coming disaster.

  

Ray Bradbury: Sci-fi will miss you!

Along with Ray Bradbury’s memorable contributions to science fiction, he leaves us with his example of how to live an extraordinary life.

I heard Bradbury speak at Antioch University Los Angeles, and he was incredibly funny, wise and encouraging. During his talk he gave such good advice that I thought he would’ve had a great career as a motivational speaker, but writing was his first love. Bradbury had tremendous focus and clarity about what he wanted to do. Add his fantastical imagination to the equation and success was inevitable. He was and is so inspiring.  

"If I hadn’t discovered writing, I think I really would have become a magician," the iconic author explains in Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer, a 25-minute documentary about his life and work. He gives an impassioned speech to a group of students about four minutes into the film, about his own struggles as a writer, with a bit of advice:


The first year I made nothing, the second year I made nothing, the third year I made 10 dollars, the fourth year I made 40 dollars. I remember these. I got these indelibly stamped in there. The fifth year I made 80. The sixth year I made 200. The seventh year I made 800. Eighth year, 1,200. Ninth year, 2,000. Tenth year, 4,000. Eleventh year, 8,000 …

Just get a part-time job! Anything that’s half way decent! An usher in a theater … unless you’re a mad man, you can’t make do in the art fields! You’ve gotta be inspired and mad and excited and love it more than anything else in the world! 

It has to be this kind of BY GOD I’VE GOTTA DO IT! I’VE SIMPLY GOTTA DO IT! If you’re not this excited, you can’t win!

(Source: The Atlantic)

  

Everyone knows about Darfur, but…

Right now Sudanese citizens in the Nuba Mountains are starving to death because they’re caught in the crossfire of their government’s year-long killing campaign. New York Times reporter Nicholas D. Kristof, who’s been writing about the situation, recently snuck into the country “on a dirt track controlled by rebels” to provide a first-person update about the crisis. He writes:

PERHAPS hundreds of thousands of people here have no food and are reduced to eating leaves and insects, as Sudan’s government starves and bombs its own people in the Nuba Mountains. Children are beginning to die…

This week will mark a year since Sudan began its brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the Nuba Mountains, intended to crush a rebel force that is popular here and controls much of the region. Sudan has expelled aid workers, blocked food shipments and humanitarian aid, and dropped bombs haphazardly — and almost daily — on its own citizens…

World leaders are mostly turning a blind eye. There isn’t even serious talk about damaging the military airstrips that Sudan’s warplanes take off from before dropping bombs on civilians, or about forcing a humanitarian corridor, or about arranging airdrops of food. As a result, the only certainty is that many Nuba will starve to death in the coming months.

President Obama, you harshly criticized President Bush for failing to stand up to Sudan’s slaughter in Darfur. So now what are you going to do as Sudan kills again — on your watch?”

(Source: Starving Its Own Children - NYTimes.com)

Want to help? Learn more here: http://www.nubasurvival.com/.


  

China’s Jiaolong submersible completed two diving practices for its 7,000-meter dive to the Mariana Trench scheduled for Sunday, June 3.


  

Anonymous painting in museum for hundreds of years identified as a Van Gogh

"Officials said … that "Still Life With Meadow Flowers and Roses" is the work of the Dutch master and that he likely created it while living with his brother, Theo, in Paris in the 1880s. Experts said they used X-ray technology to look beneath the painting, where they found a depiction of two wrestlers.

Van Gogh once wrote in a letter to his brother about painting a pair of wrestlers, and experts believe that the correspondence refers to the image found underneath the painting. (The depiction of the wrestlers can be seen on the BBC News site.)”


  
Red Deer Cave People: another set of new, old humans
“An article in PLoS One discusses a set of human remains from China, dating to about 11,000 years old, containing a mix of modern and archaic hominid traits and may suggest a late-surviving set of archaic hominids, or part of an earlier human migration out of Africa that has been undetected until now.”

Red Deer Cave People: another set of new, old humans

An article in PLoS One discusses a set of human remains from China, dating to about 11,000 years old, containing a mix of modern and archaic hominid traits and may suggest a late-surviving set of archaic hominids, or part of an earlier human migration out of Africa that has been undetected until now.”


  
Archaeologists in Bulgaria discovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europe. 
"According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasiusmonastery, still functioning near the village, has been founded in 344 by St. Athanasius himself, reports the BGNES agency.
St. Athanasius of Alexandria (296/8-373) was for a long time Bishop of Alexandria, and is revered as one of the greatest Christian saints.”

Archaeologists in Bulgaria discovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europe. 

"According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasiusmonastery, still functioning near the village, has been founded in 344 by St. Athanasius himself, reports the BGNES agency.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria (296/8-373) was for a long time Bishop of Alexandria, and is revered as one of the greatest Christian saints.”


  

China bans “sex” and “God” from health supplements

REUTERS — China’s State Food and Drug Administration will outlaw words it classed as ‘vulgar or linked with superstition, such as: sex, God, immortal,’ from the names of health products, according to the report on official news agency Xinhua.

The terms “powerful”, “magical results”, “miraculous” and “extraordinary” will also be proscribed, it said.

For years, China has been plagued by a series of cases involving quality concerns over food and drugs that have alarmed many of its citizens.

The government has tried to restore confidence in the country’s goods by pledging repeated crackdowns on the loosely regulated food and drug industry, in response to rising consumer complaints about bogus medical guarantees and inadequate drug supervision.

Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, was executed in July 2007 for taking bribes and dereliction of duty after a series of drug safety scandals on his watch.

(Source: in.reuters.com)

  

Argentine Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion for rape cases

Under Argentine law, abortion is only allowed in cases where the mother’s life or health are at risk, or if the woman is deemed “of feeble mind”.

The Supreme Court confirmed a lower court’s decision to allow a 15-year-old rape victim to terminate her pregnancy.

An estimated 500,000 illegal abortions are carried out in Argentina each year.”

(Source: nicewebtools.com)

  
  
Libya frees two British journalists accused of spying
Gareth Montgomery-Johnson and Nicholas Davies work for Iran’s Press TV and were arrested by militia group in February

Libya frees two British journalists accused of spying

Gareth Montgomery-Johnson and Nicholas Davies work for Iran’s Press TV and were arrested by militia group in February


  

I will miss holding you, Encyclopedia Britannica! Making the move to online only. No more print editions after 244 years.