December 30, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - two faced calf & fast wheelchair

the death of the two faced calf

two faced calfa calf with two faces is dead about a month after her birth at a dairy farm owned by Kirk Heldreth in Rural Retreat, Virginia, USA. the word about the birth has spread quickly in southwest Virginia & drew crowds to the Farm. "I'll just have to tie the dogs extra tight," said the dairyman as he was expecting more that time.

The calf, which was born December 27, 2006, had two noses to breathes out & two tongues, which move independently, according to Heldreth. it had a single socket containing two eyes where the heads split. except for his weird & unusually large head, The animal had a normal body.

"It's the craziest thing I've ever seen," Heldreth said. he said that During the calf's birth, he first thought there were two calves. he was feeding her through a tube, and acknowledged he he wouldn't maintain that feeding schedule for long ... well, he didn't have to do.

The calf was the product of artificial insemination, which was supposed to create a "genetically superior specimen". "Genetically, this is one of my better calves," Heldreth said.

according to, the condition is called the Two-faced twin & Known medically as diprosopus:
two-faced twins are conjoined twins (incompletely separated identical twins). The twins have almost complete fusion of their bodies with one set of limbs. Part or all of the face is duplicated. The condition usually results in stillbirth.

wheelchair pushed five miles by truck

Paw Paw, Michigan, USA; Wednesday, June the 6th; A young man in his wheelchair found himself attached to a semi truck & pushed through streets a few miles before the truck driver stopped without even knowing about his uncommon passenger.

Ben Carpenter, 22, was forced into a wheelchair eight years ago because of a muscular dystrophy, the day of the accident was one of his twice-weekly outings. he crossed Red Arrow Highway in front of a semi truck & he didn't make the traffic light; while apparently the driver didn't see him & collided with the chair which caused the wheelchair's handles to become lodged in the truck's grille.

although Carpenter was crying for help, the driver wasn't able to hear him & continued the ride reaching speeds of 50mph (80km/h) down the Red Arrow Highway, "It was fast, I know that. Faster than this chair was made to go," Carpenter told local Wood TV.

Police, received strange reports from Passing motorists about the situation & initially thought it might have been a prank until they started receiving more calls. the truck driver luckily pulled over at the depot of his trucking company. "If I had gone any more miles, the tires would have been gone all the way," Carpenter said.

Police approached the driver and advised him of what happened. The driver did not believe them until he stepped out of the truck and saw Carpenter still sitting in the chair.

Mr. Carpenter was found unharmed & unfazed by the incident, but complained only that he had spilled his soda.
"I was happy. Thank God it was over, I thought it was kind of like a fair ride. I don't remember feeling any bumps though. I must have, but the road must have been pretty smooth." Carpenter said.
end of the third part, happy new year!

December 27, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - a tree & 17 kids

started with the duct tape bandit & the lawn chair pilot, let's continue with the 11 weirdest stories from 2007 & see numbers 3 & 4

the tree robber!

James Coldwell, 49, used duct tape (yes again duct tape if you read the first part!) to attach tree branches onto his clothing and head as a form of camouflage. He then walked into the Citizens Bank at 1550 Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, usa, decided to rob it. The "tree robber" was able to realize his plan and to escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.

the robbery happened on Saturday, july 8th in the morning. No one was hurt in the robbery and no weapons were used, according to police. The bank was closed and police cruisers blocked off the entrances to the bank as officials investigated the incident.

later at night Police nabbed Coldwell after surveillance video that played on TV news led to several anonymous tips of his identity. This is according to the police captain Dick Tracy. From the New Hampshire Union Leader:
"Coldwell was charged with one count of robbery after answering questions at the police station, Capt." Dick Tracy said... "I think he was hoping the disguise would camouflage him enough that no one would recognize who he was."
Aside from sporting tree branches, the suspect was also wearing a bluish-colored T-shirt, blue jeans and had thick glasses.

prefer news on TV? below is a short tv report from the WMUR New Hampshire's Channel 9

one more "j"! now they are seventeen ...

thursday, august 4th in the morning was born jennifer to the duggers family of Tontitown, Arkansas, usa. she's jim bob & michelle duggar's 7th daughter & 17th child.

jennifer joins her other siblings: Joshua, 19; the twins John David & Janna, 17; Jill, 16; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 9; twins Jedidiah & Jeremiah, 8; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 4; Jackson, 3 and Johannah, 2.

Michelle, the mother (41 years old) has been pregnant for ten and half years of her life now, and she says she still wants more kids, "J" named of course! below is a graph made end of 2005, representing & simplifying the duggars births:

the Duggars, from an article that appeared Monday, December 19 2005 on the dallas morning news

As a couple, the Duggars' approach to family planning is simple: They are born-again Christians who view the Bible as their life's manual – and the Bible describes children as a blessing from God. They will cheerfully accept as many blessings as God ordains.

in their big house built about two years ago, The girls in the duggars family do most of the cooking, though they've been taught to change a tire and check the oil. The boys are trained to fix the cars and make home repairs, though they cook occasionally – mostly on the grill.

having so many children is totally in the opposite of the trend in America, The U.S. Census Bureau's figures, for 2002, reveal that 0.3 percent of women ages 15 to 44 have given birth to seven or more children. Moreover, the number of U.S. women birthing seven or more children has declined steadily since the government began tracking the demographic in 1976.

finally, if you want a closer look to the happy family, nothing better than to visit their official site

end of the second part.

December 24, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - getting started

aol news, chose a list of events to be the "top 11 weird news stories of 2007", & opened a poll for aol users to choose the weirdest of them. let's try here to list the stories detailed & make an opinion about them ...

Duct Tape Bandit:

Duct Tape BanditA man, Kasey G. Kazee, 24, wrapped his head in duct tape and tried to rob an Ashland, Ky., liquor store. Kazee was charged with committing one of the area’s more bizarre crimes in recent memory.

According to the Ashland Police Department, Kazee entered the store with his entire face and head — save for openings for his eyes and mouth — covered with duct tape, and his shirt pulled up over his head in a manner reminiscent of “Cornholio”, the hyperactive alter ego of the character Beavis from the animated series “Beavis and Butthead”.

Kazee allegedly indicated to a female clerk that he had a knife and threatened to harm her if she didn’t give him the money out the cash register (later police said no weapon was found on the robber). The clerk complied and the robber turned and left.

Before he could make his getaway, though, an employee in the store, Craig Miller, tackled him in the parking lot. miller & several other men who came running over from the Foodland store next door helped to detain Kazee until the police arrived.

it seems that Kazee wasn't too greedy, as Manager Bill Steele said the register came up only $15 short when he counted it.

the Photo of Kazee above, was taken by police at the scene, show the suspect with his duct tape askew, his lip bloody and his eye swollen. Miller said that Kazee sustained those injuries when his face hit the blacktop after he tackled him.

more on the daily independent

193 miles floating on a chair attached to 109 balloons

on Saturday, July 7, Kent Couch from BEND, Oregon settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks and a parachute. Attached to the chair were 105 large helium balloons. his goal was to reach Idaho.

With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky.

Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer’s field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles from home:
“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind, When you’re laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them, This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It’s just like that.”
Couch told the Bend Bulletin

Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 without any flying experience, rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules. Larry Walters (April 19, 1949 – October 6, 1993) invented then what is now known as "Cluster ballooning":
Unlike traditional hot-air balloons, which possess vents for easy altitude control, cluster balloons rise uncontrollably, expanding as they go. Cluster balloonists must periodically cut balloons (disregarding where the balloons end up) loose to maintain altitude and descend. Bottled water is a common ballast, and can be partially emptied to slow descent.
wikipedia - Cluster ballooning

It was Couch’s second flight, In September 2006, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.

This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.

a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog "isabella", followed him from earth as he was making about 25 miles an hour.

more on msnbc

YOu can also visit the official site dedicated to the exploit:, you could maybe help couch find his lost chair & get a reward of $500 ... & below is a video with preparation then the fly, enjoy!

end of the first part.

December 13, 2007

tetris hysteria: playing the game in the biggest scale

tetris is a russian video game invented in the epoch of the ussr, exactly june 1985 by computer engineer alexey pajitnov, the game is basically a very addictive puzzle of falling blocks. tetris is famous for its simplicity & for its catchy melody (korobeiniki - a russian folk tune), it's a so old game & nevertheless didn't lose its popularity, especially that the game didn't really evaluate from its initial version, it gained in the quality of graphics & sounds, & in some advanced versions, new difficulties & elements were added, but the simple form of the tetris is still present & strong. in the ign (imagine games network) 2007 edition classification of the 100 greatest videogames of all time, tetris came in second place!

tetris is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players & pda's.

students of tampere university of technology in finland created what they called the "mikontalo lights project", it's one of the largest tetris games created ever, its platform wasn't less than a building & its lighten windows, they didn't just created the illusion, but a real game programmed professionally and played by a person on a cell phone. below is a short video of the game-play:

then, what about a marching band in a halftime show, making formations emulating tetris falling blocks & playing korobeiniki? it's below, enjoy!

December 08, 2007

beware! spider behind the clock!! - huntsman spider

can you imagine your reaction seeing what appear like the legs of a huge spider of twelve inches (30 cm) behind a clock inside you house? the guy who took the photos bellow had sufficient courage to remove the clock & take the pictures! I'd have rather, crushed the clock against the wall with the spider behind it! imagine you go to remove the clock & that thing starts running! omg! what a nightmare!

what's even stranger & scarier with this spider, is how big it is & (I guess) heavy & in the same time being able to climb a vertical & smooth surface like this wall!

huntman spider behind clock
huntman spider on wall
huge huntman spiderclick on pictures to enlarge

this spider is commonly known as the huntsman spider, scientifically it constitutes the "sparassidae family", & the larger specie of it is most called the wood spider in australia as it prefers to live in forests, mine shafts & other woody habitations.

huntsman spider can be found in australia, new zealand, south africa, southeast asia, the mediterranean, florida, hawaii & possibly other tropical and semi-tropical regions.

huntman spiders are not venomous or deadly to humans, only they might bite if provoked but that would result on minor harm to the victim, australians who find these spiders in their houses, usually relocate them to their gardens instead of killing them considering them "good & useful" animals as they feed on smaller but venomous spiders, scorpions & other insects.

by the way, you would maybe like to check my post on the scary camel spider as well, very interesting information there (trust me).

December 04, 2007

visual illusion - trick your eyes & get hypnotized

this was sent to me by a friend, honestly when he started saying it was awesome, amazing then asked me to follow exactly his instructions that were "to stare at the very center of the video & not blink eyes" .. honestly I thought it was one of those bad jokes that end with some image of a disgusting creature & a loud sound .. finally it was not, it's a real illusion, an "improved version of the classic multi-directional wheel" it seems :|. basically I can describe it as a number of moving black & white strips, some move from the center to the borders of the screen & some to the center & finish by tricking the eyes but overall the brain.

ok, my turn to give you some instructions before you watch the video, it's better to be close to your monitor or to enable full-screen mode, you may get a headache at the end, or like me nausea (obviously because I watched it five times), but I guess it's worth it anyways, enjoy! :)

December 03, 2007

indian stars worshiped -part 2

we learned in the first part about the stories of the goddess santoshi maa & the demigod rajkumar, let's continue, first with actor amitabh bachchan then actress shilpa shetty ...

a temple for superstar amitabh bechchan

amitabh bachchan is probably the biggest bollywood and india's star, he appeared in more than 100 films in three decades. he made his name in the seventies and eighties as an action hero. particularly in the 1970s he became known for his violent anti-heroes roles, and was admired by women for his handsome looks and deep voice.

to give you an idea about his popularity even outside india, in 1999 the bbc news online opened a survey to elect the greatest star of stage or screen of the last millennium & amitabh was voted in first by a large margin, pushing sir laurence olivier into second place, followed by sir alec guinness in third.

amitabh like rajkumar is worshiped by his fans, for example when he was seriously injured during the filming of coolie (1983), thousands of fans kept vigil outside his hospital. much later in 2001 for his 59 anniversary, bachchan was promoted from demigod to the status of god, this transition for his fans across the world was as smooth as their idol's metamorphosis from the idolized "angry young man" of the 1970s to a new dignified and fatherly image in his latest movies., described a ceremony in which started the traditional hindu way of worship at 8:30 a.m. first worshiping lord ganesh (the elephant god), then lord narayan and finally god amitabh bachchan. the ceremony was conducted by six qualified priests chanting hymns from scriptures in front of a huge garlanded framed photograph of young bachchan, at the amitabh bachchan fans association (abfa) club in the dumdum neighborhood, added to bachchan photograph , photographs of hindu gods ganesh & narayan, part of the pantheon as well. a sculptor even built a bust plaster of bachchan for the ceremony.

a diehard bachchan fan formulated the following question: "a person who has touched so many lives, can he be any less than a god?"

the day maked the beginning of amitabh utsav, a festival that lasted four months, in which, among other things, the abfa organized philanthropic activities in honor of bachchan, treated 1,000 patients at four microsurgery eye camps & undertook a campaign of eyes donation, the festival ended by feeding the poor people from the area in a community feast sponsored by the club.

a temple for amitabh bachchan in the dumdum area where an idol of the cine star has been installed. the "rules" for entering the temple are unique. a devotee wishing to pray before bachchan's idol would first have to recite dialogues from some of his famous films. also instead of religious hymns, bachchan's dialogues from his films would be chanted during prayer sessions.

shilpa shetty: a bollywood actress worshiped outside india

ok, as an introduction let's answer this question: are indians really special for worshiping their stars? in fact the answer is no! the act of idolizing movies & music stars & other celebrities is common everywhere, in india it's just characterized by its ceremonial & strictly religious dimension.

sadhavi sharma, a writer based in bombay, wrote an interesting article on denouncing the hypocrisy of the west when mocking indians for turning their favorite actors & actresses into gods & goddesses:
Many in the West view the wonderfully idiosyncratic world of Bollywood as bizarre. It is true that in Bombay [...], ardent fans will wait for hours outside the gates of certain film stars’ homes, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols – though that happens in Hollywood, too. [...] Perhaps – but let’s not forget that some locks of Britney Spears’ hair are reportedly up for sale for around £500,000. It is not only in apparently weird India where celebs are treated as oracles these days, and their possessions passed around like pseudo-religious relics.

the article titled "worshipping a bollywood actress? how backward", talks mainly about actress & model shilpa shetty who was transformed to a divinity, not in india but in britain!

shetty participated in the reality tv show "celebrity big brother 2007" on british "channel 4", first she was victim of racism by some housemates which was followed by a wide indignation in & outside britain, then the growing popularity of shetty turned her nearly to a goddess not only in the eyes of the masses but at the highest echelons of british society; politicians, journalists and community activists in britain have elevated shetty to the role of "high priestess of unity"; a potential saviour whose grace under fire should be a lesson, and whose values might help to fix a "broken nation" and unite the masses.

shitty finally was the winner of the show, a daily mail newspaper reader declared: "shilpa won because of her inner beauty. she is so forgiving and a wonderful human being.". after so she attended a reception at the house of commons, to meet with then-british prime minister tony blair. she was also invited to meet with queen elizabeth II. she was also the subject of a documentary entitled "the real shilpa shetty".

the british political class according to sadhavi sharma seemed "to be clinging to shetty in the hope that she will inject new meaning and purpose into british politics.". he also doesn't understand how a little argument in a reality show could have such a impact in the media & politics:
The British have transformed a rather boring incident (two celebrities arguing about Oxo cubes on a rubbish reality show) into a melodrama involving forces of good and evil, slags and a dignified Indian; in its fairytale simplicity, it is a match for anything produced by Bollywood in recent years.

sharma finishes his article with these words:
The Indians who ‘worship’ their screen gods and goddesses for taking them on three-hour fantastical journeys in the local cinema look perfectly rational in comparison to a British elite that believes a fading Bollywood actress can save Britain and unite the nation.

November 21, 2007

everybody wanted that iphone ...

we live in societies of consumption, we are always tempted to buy more, newer, better & dearer, & often we yield to the temptation because the sellers do well their job & target our weakest points to drive us give them our money, we may regret our spends later but it would be too late ...

the guys from olde english comedy made a very interesting sketch for june the 29th from this year 2007, which was if you remember "the iphone day", I didn't see it that time but only few days ago, you may say it's outdated, but "precisely" (in my opinion) the sketch denounces the "fashion" culture which gets us run to be "up to date" & promotes ideas like "you are less good then other people who bought this or that product till you buy the product".

ok, now there's a a great video you'll have to watch, it's another must see, a modern silent show made in the style of charlie chaplin, the sound tracks are an amazing work from jesse novak & the acting is just matching them perfectly. it's one of the best videos I ever watched online, enjoy! :)

November 18, 2007

bollywood moviestars worship - part 1

india, the country of philosophy, spirituality & religion; according to friedrich max muller (a german philologist and orientalist), the study of religion is incomplete unless it is studied with reference to india:
take religion and where can you study its true origin, its natural growth, and its inevitable decay better than in india, the home of brahmanism, the birth place of buddhism and the refuge of zoroastrianism even now the matter of new superstitions - and why not, in the future the regenerate child of the purest faith, if only purified from the dust of nineteen centuries?

max muller, 'india what can it teach us.' p.13.

india is also the cradle of hinduism, one of the world's most ancient religions, a colorful religion with a vast gallery of gods and goddesses. hindus could have as gods legendary divinities or as miserable creatures as rats & build temples for them. in this tradition and as a modern manifestation of it even bollywood stars have their idolaters in india!

a film scenario bring up a new divinity!

let's start with a rather old example taken from an article on goddess worship,

maha devi, is a powerful hindu goddess who could triumph over evil demoniac powers that even the gods (like brahma and vishnu) were powerless against. traditions in india assert that maha devi has the ability to manifest herself in infinitely many ways but that she is nevertheless one, one of these manifestations was the appearance of the goddess "santoshi maa" in the 1975 movie "jai santoshi maa"; of course before the film few (if any) people had ever heard of this goddess - but she became a major religious figure when the movie became a hit.

her devotees insist that she has always existed, and that there is no essential difference between her and other hindu goddesses. it is said that during public showings of the film, the theatre is:
... transformed into a kind of temple, and the act of seeing the film is often taken as an act of worship.

stanley kurtz, all the mothers are one: hindu india and the cultural reshaping of psychoanalysis, 18

do gods die?

the second case relates to riots in the city of bangalore following the death by heart attack of the south indian film actor rajkumar in april 2006; bangalore's streets on the 12th and 13th of the same month turned into a stage for tear gas, gunfire, burning cars and bloody street clashes between the police and 60 thousand of rajkumar's supporters. eight persons were dead including a policeman who got killed and strung up by outraged fans attempting to gain entry into their hero's funeral.

a little precision, the use of the term "bollywood" is inaccurate when talking about the films produced in the south of india, bollywood movies are those hindi-language films produced in mumbai in the north.
rajkumar was the face, hero and defender of the regional cultural identity. his rise coincided with the assertion of kannada language and culture, at a time when indian film was dominated by films from the north. he was an elder statesman and father figure who carried a burden much greater than that of film star. he represented a culture under siege.

stephen hughes, Indian film and culture scholar at the university of london's school of oriental and african studies.

end of the first part ... second part starts here

November 12, 2007

the mystery of greenberry hill & sir edmond berry's murder

sir edmond berry godfrey was an english magistrate in the 17th century; In 1678 he became involved in a clash between catholics and anglicans caused by the claims of two corrupt english clergymen named titus oates and israel tonge.

the pair announced that they had uncovered a "popish plot" to murder king charles II of england and replace him with james, his roman catholic brother. in fact the "plot" was a part of a conspiracy to discredit catholics in england.

oates and tonge appeared before godfrey and asked him to take their oath that the papers they presented as evidence were based on truth. godfrey demanded first to know the contents of the papers and then took their depositions on september 28th after receiving a copy. he probably warned one of his catholic acquaintances, edward coleman, of the content of the accusations.

oates's accusations became shortly known and the public concerned. godfrey has been supposed that he might be one of the victims of the scare. he disappeared on october the 12th 1678 and then was found dead on 17 october in a ditch on primrose hill, he was lying face down impaled with his own sword.

investigations didn't arrive to satisfying conclusions, statements about godfrey's whereabouts before the murder where contradictory; there was no evidence of struggle and godfrey still had his money and rings. the body was covered with bruises and a circular mark around godfrey's neck revealed that he had been strangled; and since the sword wound had not bled, it had been concluded that godfrey was already dead when he was impaled, probably for four or five days.

later captain william bedloe (a "reformed" catholic plotter as he named himself), related a few contradictory stories, in some of them he claimed that he had been taken on the night of 14 october to a house in which he saw the body of godfrey & that he saw two men, including samuel atkins who managed to prove that he had been on a yacht at greenwich at that time. bedloe claimed that catholic plotters had killed godfrey in order to steal his papers about the depositions (what would be pointless since the witnesses whose words had been recorded were still alive).

the second man bedloe claimed he had recognized was miles prance, catholic servant-in-ordinary, on 21 december, this last was arrested and imprisoned. his lodger (who was in debt to him), john wren, testified that he had been away for the four nights before godfrey's body was discovered.

prance announced that he had had a part in the murder but that the main instigators were some catholic priests. three of them would have witnessed the murder in the courtyard of the house where godfrey had been lured. godfrey would have been strangled and body taken to hampstead. prance named: robert green, henry berry and lawrence hill. coincidentally, the place in which godfrey was murdered was known at the time as "greenberry hill"!

prance later recanted his confession but as he was thrown back to prison he recanted his recantation causing the death of the three men who were hanged (ironic again) at greenberry hill.

it became manifest later that green, berry & hill were executed on false evidence and prance pleaded guilty to perjury & the case remains officially unsolved. there have been many theories: godfrey might either have been murdered by catholics, afraid that he knew some of their real secrets; by the anti-catholics because of his contacts to catholics and / or because he knew oates was lying and / or because his death could easily and usefully be blamed on the catholics; some even claimed suicide either because godfrey was in a quandary between catholics and anglicans or just because of his melancholy nature; l'estrange (1687) claimed that his brothers would have concealed the evidence of his suicide lest his estate had been forfeit.

modern analysts john dickson carr (1936) and hugh ross williamson (1955) analyzed the mentioned theories and their weak points and deduced that godfrey was murdered by philip herbert, 7th earl of pembroke who took his revenge for having been prosecuted for murder some time earlier by godfrey. the earl had been found guilty but a pardon from the house of lords prevented him from an execution.

November 07, 2007

pygmy marmoset - devilish looking animal

I think this is going to be a series of devil look like animals, in a previous post we saw the aye aye monkey (omg! how devilish it is!!) today let's see another monkey: the pygmy marmoset or scientifically: callithrix (Cebuella) pygmaea

despite its name, the pygmy marmoset is somewhat different from the typical marmosets classified in genus callithrix. as such, it is accorded its own subgenus, which was recognized as its own genus: cebuella. there are two subspecies of the pygmy marmoset: callithrix (cebuella) pygmaea pygmaea and callithrix (cebuella) pygmaea niveiventris.

it's native to the rainforest canopies of western brazil, southeastern colombia, eastern ecuador, and eastern peru. it is the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates. Its body length - excluding the 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) tail - ranges from 5.5 to 6.3 inches (14 to 16 cm). males weigh around 5 ounces (140 g), and females only 4.2 ounces (120 g).

twin pygmy marmosets, these animals are typically born in pairs (click to enlarge)

pygmy marmosets have tawny coat, ringed tails, sometimes as long as their body or longer and have specially adapted claws for climbing trees, a trait unique to the species.

they are omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves, insects, and even small reptiles sometimes. much of their diet, however, comes from tapping trees for sap. they spend up to two-thirds of their time gouging tree bark to reach the gummy sap; they have specialized incisors for gouging holes in bark.

unfortunately, they are very hard to observe in the wild because of their small size, and swift movements. in captivity, the pygmy marmoset can live up to 11 years.

two baby pygmy marmoset shortly after their birth at the frösö zoo in ostersund, sweden, exceedingly rare pair because they're albinos (deficient in pigment). as the national geographic article says, they are "resembling nothing so much as chewbacca's children" (click on the image to enlarge)

what about watching the pygmy marmoset in motion now? newquay zoo in cornwall, uk posted the first video below on youtube & asked people suggest names for two baby marmosets born there.

the second video was posted on august 1st after the twins were named; the keepers though have picked names that came from emails sent to the zoo & not from youtubers suggestions (a total of 104 names was suggested) ... oh! want to know how they were named? yes .. twiglet & alfonso :)

I hope you have some relaxing moments watching the two short nature videos ... personally I did :)

October 25, 2007

electromagnetic wormholes could allow invisibility

I always thought the things and creatures made invisible in the fictions on tv & cinema, weren't ready to be invisible in real, because invisibility involves three dimensions, a viewer can be anywhere around the object that should be hidden, & instead of this object, he should view the scenery behind it, this part of the scenery, when the object is visible, is hidden by it, & should be emulated by the layer that covers the object in order to hide it; as the scenery behind the object is different according to where the viewer is, the image reflected by that layer should be unique for each viewer & credible of course.

that's what in my eyes makes invisibility - artificial invisibility - too complicated.

never mind if you didn't get some of or all what I was trying to explain .. to enter the topic, it seems that a group of mathematicians, of the university of rochester, recently thought up a way to build a device called "electromagnetic wormhole" that could make objects traveling through it invisible.

according to the same scientists, the electromagnetic wormhole is not what's commonly known as a "wormhole" - a feature of spacetime that is essentially a 'shortcut' through space and time that could serve for traveling over vast distances - instead, the theorized wormtunel is supposed to make an object inside it electromagnetically invisible to outside observation.

one of the scientists allan greenleaf says:
It would create a complete a disconnection between the outside world and stuff inside the cloaking region, it's good for hiding things.

the stealthiness of the electromagnetic wormhole is originated from a coating of "metamaterials", artificial substances distinguished from other composite materials for having unusual properties such as the ability to bend light in novel ways ... if for instance light is bend from some surface, this one will become invisible.

previously, in october 2006, researchers from duke university led by david r. smith, had demonstrated that a shield of metamaterials about 5 inches (13 centimeters) wide could become invisible (more about that here), however, it was not a true invisibility cloak since it only worked in two dimensions and only at microwave frequencies while humans and other animals see light at much higher frequencies.

you can read more on national geographic site from which I got the information.

October 17, 2007

the aye-aye - devilish looking animal

scary aye aye animal
the aye-aye (daubentonia madagascariensis) is a lemur native to madagascar, it's the world's largest nocturnal primate, and mainly lives in forest canopies. it weighs about 2.5 kilograms. the adult aye-aye has black or dark brown fur covered by white guard hairs at the neck. the tail is bushy and shaped like that of a squirrel.

the animal has rodent-like teeth & long, thin middle fingers to fill the same ecological niche as a woodpecker. it's got a unique method of finding food: it taps on trees to find grubs, chew a hole into wood and get grubs out of that hole with its elongated and bony middle fingers.

the aye-aye's face is also rodent-like, the shape of a raccoon's, and houses bright, beady, luminous eyes. its incisors are very large, and grow continuously throughout its lifespan. these features contrast its monkey-like body, and are the likely cause of why scientists originally deemed it to be a rodent.

the aye-aye's hands are arguably its most unique feature. much like other primates, it possesses opposable thumbs, but like fingers they are long and thin, and appear to be in a curved position somewhat similar to that of a fairy-tale witch when the muscles are relaxed. the middle finger can be up to three times longer than the others.

daubentonia (the aye-aye) belongs to the the daubentoniidae family and chiromyiformes infra-order is the only genus under them; a second species: daubentonia robusta in the genus was exterminated over the last few centuries & the remaining aye-aye is unfortunately, currently an endangered species as well.

little aye aye animalkintana, a four days old aye-aye, revealed by bristol zoo gardens in the uk after becoming only the second to be born and reared in captivity. from the bbc's day in pictures.

the original meaning of the name aye-aye has been lost, as the originating language is extinct. the word "aye aye" might simply signify a cry of alarm to alert others to the presence of this animal, which many malagasy consider an ill omen. in fact if the aye-aye is an endangered species, it's not only because its habitat being destroyed, but also due to native superstition.

besides being a general nuisance in villages, ancient malagasy legend said that the aye-aye was a symbol of death. in a few areas only, it is viewed as a good omen.

researchers in madagascar report remarkable fearlessness in the aye-aye; some individuals have been reported strolling nonchalantly in village streets or even walking right up to naturalists in the rain-forest and sniffing their shoes. therefore, it is no wonder that displaced animals often raid coconut plantations or steal food in villages. it is not unlike the american raccoon in this regard.

adult aye aye animalan adult aye-aye in captivity (click to enlarge)

however, beyond this, the aye-aye is often viewed as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight. others believe that should one point its long middle finger at you, you were condemned to death. some say the appearance of an aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill the animal. the sakalava people go so far as to claim aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta!

aye-aye killings increase every year as its forest habitats are destroyed and it is forced to raid plantations and villages. because of the superstition surrounding it, this often ends in death. even if the same superstition can prevent people from hunting the aye-aye for food.

below is a video of little kitana shortly after its birth, looks cute I have to admit in spite of its strangeness.

October 03, 2007

little indian super usher star - history

below are two videos of a little movie & dance star, an awesome indian "kid" dancing like usher or mickael jackson (probably better if you consider the age he seems to have).

the first video especially is a real must see, the second is a short scene in which the "kid" doing some funny acrobatics.

beneath the two videos is some information I gathered about the little dancer & the clips, then anoher video lol! enjoy! :)

I made some searches, & it seems the two videos with the kid are taken from a southern indian movie called "apoorva sahodarargal" ("strange brothers" in english).

the little kid dancing is not a kid actually but a midget, a 20 years old adult the time the film was shot. the role was played by kamal hassan, who played a double role: the midget appu, a sircus clown, & his twin raja, a mechanic.

in the first video, there are two midgets in fact, appu but also the second person sat on the bed from right hand side.

hmm .. as a bonus, here's an american parody of the first video:

September 30, 2007

some of most strange heary creatures - part 2 & winner!

we saw in the first part, 6 to 4 places of the top six "weird hairy animals", let's continue with places 3 to 1 & see the winner!!

kiwa hirsuta or the yeti crab & its silky blond setae

kiwa hirsuta or (as its discoverers dubbed) the "yeti lobster" or "yeti crab", is a crustacean & decapod discovered only two years ago in the south pacific ocean. it's approximately six inches (15 cm) long, & is distinguished for the quantity of silky blond setae resembling to fur covering its thoracic legs & claws.

k. hirsuta was discovered in march 2005 in monterey, california, by a monterey bay aquarium research institute group organised by robert vrijenhoek, using a submarine. the discovery was announced on the 7th of march, 2006.

it was found 900 miles (1,500 km) south of easter island in the south pacific, at a depth of 7,200 feet (2,200 m), living on hydrothermal vents along the pacific-antarctic ridge.

based on both morphology and molecular data, the species was deemed to form a new genus and family (kiwaidae). the animal has strongly reduced eyes that lack pigment, & is thought to be blind. the 'hairy' pincers of the yeti crab contain filamentous bacteria, which the animal probably uses to detoxify poisonous minerals from the water emitted by the hydrothermal vents where it lives. or alternatively, it may feed on the bacteria, although it is thought to be a general carnivore. its diet also consists of green algae and small shrimp.

outside the scientific literature, the kiwa hirsuta is often called "furry lobster", in fact it's not a true lobster but is more closely related to squat lobsters & hermit crabs. the term "furry lobster" is more commonly used for the genus palinurellus.

more details on wikipedia - k. hirsuta

sloth & the legend of ultimate laziness

sloth is a mammal belonging to the folivora (called also phyllophaga) suborder under the order pilosa. it lives in central and south america, mainly in cecropia trees.

sloths are omnivores. they may eat insects, small lizards and carrion, but their diet consists mostly of buds, tender shoots, and leaves.

sloths have made extraordinary adaptations to an arboreal browsing lifestyle. Leaves, their main food source, provide very little energy or nutrition and do not digest easily: sloths have very large, specialized, slow-acting stomachs with multiple compartments in which symbiotic bacteria break down the tough leaves.

a well-fed sloth's body-weight in its two-thirds consists of the contents of its stomach, and the digestive process can take over a month to complete. even so, leaves provide little energy, and sloths deal with this by a range of economy measures: they have very low metabolic rates (less than half of that expected for a creature of their size), and maintain low body temperatures when active (86 to 93 degrees fahrenheit or 30 to 34 celsius), and lower temperatures when resting.

more details on wikipedia - sloth

& the winner is ... angora rabbit ... ohh myyy god!!!!

click to enlarge even more ;)

the angora rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit, one of the oldest. its origin is in ankara, turkey, along with the angora cat and angora goat. the rabbits were popular pets with french royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of europe by the end of the century. they first appeared in the united states in the early 1900s.

angora rabbits are mostly calm and docile but should be handled carefully. they are largely bred for their silky and soft long wool, which may be removed by shearing or plucking (gently pulling loose wool). because they are prone to hairballs, they should be groomed everyday or every other day to prevent the fiber from matting and felting on the rabbit.

there are many individual breeds of angora rabbits, including, french, german, giant, english, satin, chinese, swiss, finnish, etc.

to see the first part & other three hairy animals go here: some of most strange heary creatures - part 1

September 28, 2007

applications conflicts: girlfriend 6.0 - 7.0, wife 1.0 - 2.0, mistress 1.x, etc

hmm .. it seems people didn't finish complaining about different versions of girlfriend, wife 1.0 & even the newest wife 2.0.

to get what I mean, few time ago I posted a mail from a troubled user who upgraded from girlfriend 7.0 to wife 1.0 & was surprised with the radical differences between the two systems. the mail was sent to technical support which replied explaining those difficulties were common to the majority of the men who went through the same process.

if you don't get what I mean, it's about my entry titled: for fun review: girlfriend 7.0 v.s. wife 1.0

a hilarious review for me and many men I guess, but for women, I'm not sure ...

anyways, today I came across new complaints & queries from girlfriend or wife users. the one below is from a girlfriend 7.0 user this time, he saw the consequences of his friend's change to wife 1.0 & learned his lesson, however, we'll see that to stick with less resources consuming systems like girlfriend, has also its disadvantages.

dear tech support,

I have a friend who upgraded last year upgraded from girlfriend 6.0 to wife 1.0 and found that it's insatiable of memory leaving very little system resources available for other applications. worse, he is now noticing that wife 1.0 is also generating child processes which are further consuming valuable resources. this particular phenomena wasn't mentioned at all in the brochure or documentation of the product, though other users have informed him that due to the nature of the application, this is to be expected.

not only that, wife 1.0 installs itself so that it is always launched at system initialization, where it can monitor all other system activity. my friend's finding that he's no longer able to run some applications in the system at all, reputable applications such as pokernight 10.3, beerbash 2.5, and publate 7.0, drive the system to crash the system when selected, even though they always worked fine before.

during installation, wife 1.0 provides no option as to the installation of undesired plug-ins such asmotherinlaw 55.8 and brotherinlaw beta release. Also, system performance seems to diminish with each passing day.

some features he'd like to see in the upcoming wife 2.0.
  • a "don't remind me again" button
  • a minimize button
  • an install shield feature that allows wife 2.0 be installed with the option to uninstall at any time without the loss of cache and other system resources
  • an option to run the network driver in promiscuous mode which would allow the system's hardware probe feature to be much more useful.

I myself decided to avoid the headaches associated with wife 1.0 by sticking with girlfriend 7.0. even here, however, I found many problems. apparently you cannot install girlfriend 7.0 on top of girlfriend 6.0. you must first uninstall girlfriend 6.0. other users say this is a long standing bug that I should have known about. apparently the different versions of girlfriend have conflicts over shared use of the i/o port. I hope they've fixed such a stupid bug by now.

to make matters worse, The uninstall program for girlfriend 6.0 doesn't work very well as it leaves undesirable traces of the application in the system. another thing, all versions of girlfriend especially the latest, continually popup little annoying messages about the advantages of upgrading to wife 1.0.

troubled user

technical support suggestions

dear user,

these are very common problems men complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. many people upgrade from girlfriend 6.0 to wife 1.0 with the idea that wife 1.0 is merely a utilities & entertainment program. wife 1.0 is indeed an operating system and designed by its creator to run everything.

it is unlikely you would be able to purge wife 1.0 and still convert back to girlfriend 6.0. hidden operating files within your system would cause girlfriend 6.0 to emulate wife 1.0 so nothing is gained. it is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system once installed. wife 1.0 is not designed to not allow you go back to girlfriend 6.0.

some have tried to install girlfriend 7.0 or wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "warnings - alimony / child support". I recommend you keep wife 1.0 and deal with the situation.

I suggest installing background application program c:\yes dear to alleviate software augmentation. having installed wife 1.0 myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding general partnership faults (gpf's). you must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur, regardless of their cause. the best course of action will be to enter the command c:\apologize. in any case avoid excessive use of c:\yes dear because ultimately you may have to give the apologize command before the operating system will return to normal. the system will run smoothly as long as you take the blame for all the gpf's.

wife 1.0 stays however a great program, but it's very high-maintenance. I usually advise users to buy additional software to improve its performance & especially recommend flowers 3.1 and diamonds 2k. do not, under any circumstances, install secretary 3.3 with shortskirt 2.5. this is not a supported application for wife 1.0 and is likely to cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

bug warning:

wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. if you try to install mistress 1.1 before uninstalling wife 1.0, wife 1.0 will delete msmoney files before doing the uninstall itself. what will have as a result, mistress 1.1 refuses to install, claiming insufficient resources.

bug work-around:

to avoid this bug, try installing mistress 1.1 on a different system and never run any file transfer applications such as laplink 6.0. also, beware of similar shareware applications that have been known to carry viruses that may affect wife 1.0. another solution would be to run mistress 1.1 via a usenet provider under an anonymous name. here again, beware of the viruses which can accidentally be downloaded from the usenet.

Best of Luck,
Tech Support