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Archive for October, 2009

Happy Glasses: another solution for the Canadian “winter depression”

The weather in Canada is starting to get cold, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - also known as “winter depression” or “winter blues” - is at the doorsteps. As I have brought to you last Winter a simple solution to combat SAD, I now introduce a new solution: the happy glasses.

Developed in 2006 at the Liege University physics department in Belgium, the glasses are designed to stop the production of sleep hormone melatonin by shining light rays into the retina.

Check them out in the video below:

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Lumus: the see-through eyeglasses with projector

In December 2006, an Israeli company Lumus Ltd. developed a miniature projector that turns regular glasses into a personal video screen. Although the video image is clear to the wearer, the glasses appear normal to anyone else. Imagine the applications you can have with such glasses.

Check it out in the video below:

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Hand From Above by Chris O’Shea

I strongly believe that every now and then we should interact with the public in some way or another because it relieves us from the life of robot that most of us live. A very good illustration of my point would be in the interactive big screen stuck out in the middle of a heavy pedestrian traffic area in Liverpool in September 2009.

Check out this idea made by Chris O’Shea below:

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Sand painting to celebrate China’s 60 years of communism

Even though Ferenc Cakó is an avant-garde in sand animation, this is quite different. To celebrate 60 years of communism in China in the beginning of this month, two artists have created a picturesque sand painting. Yang Qi and Li Yin have spent two weeks grinding and dying the sand red to recreate key moments from the past 60 years.

Check it out in the video below:

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Scientists develop first artifical hand that has feeling

A team of scientists from Italy and Sweden has developed what is believed to be the first artificial hand that has feeling. It has been attached to the arm of a 22-year-old man who lost his own hand through cancer.

Researchers say it works by connecting human nerve endings with tiny electronic sensors. Even though it took them 10 years to get to this stage, this is a major advancement in simulating a human arm since the brain controls it without any muscular contraction.

Check it out below in the video from BBC News:

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Hong Kong apartment sold for a record 57 million dollars

A Hong Kong property developer claims to have set a world record last week for the sale of a five bedroom luxury apartment, at $57m. The five-bedroom home is believed to be Asia’s most expensive property - with each sq foot costing $9,200.

The unidentified new owner from mainland China bought the property in 39 Conduit Road, one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive addresses. The apartment, about 6,000 sq feet (557 sq metres), is on the 68th floor of the building and has views over the harbour. The owner has access to facilities including an aroma spa centre, a fitness room and an outdoor yoga gym.

Property prices in Hong Kong have benefited from mainland China’s booming market, however it has one of the world’s most expensive property markets - with many locals finding it difficult to buy.

Watch the video below by BBC News:

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Rami Eid: the man in the cube

Rami, hats off to you.

‘The man in the Cube’ is a project organized by The League of Independent Activists – IndyACT aiming to raise global urgency on the critical dangers of global warming and to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action against climate change in Copenhagen this year.

‘The man in the cube’ (Rami Eid) represents “the last man on earth” enduring a fierce struggle for survival against climate change effects. He will be living in a transparent 4 meter square cube on Ein El-Mreyseh in Beirut, Lebanon, for 3 days starting October 16th, 2009.

The ‘last man’ simulates the possibility of a dim future for mankind where we failed to act against climate change when we had the chance.

Follow the man in the cube on twitter and his personal blog.

Rami Eid, the man in the cube - themaninthecube.wordpress.com

Rami Eid, the man in the cube - themaninthecube.wordpress.com

via IndyACT blog

Research shows fast cars boost men’s testosterone levels

Testosterone is what drives men’s desire to own fast cars, according to a study published in the journal Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes.

Researchers at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business in Montreal took 39 willing young men and let them take a cruise in a $150,000 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. The men were then asked to drive a 16-year-old Toyota Camry. They drove each vehicle once on a busy street where they would be seen by women, and then again on a quiet road. After one hour, the men’s saliva was tested for testosterone. The researchers found that in the sedan, the men’s hormone levels remained low, but in the sports car, testosterone levels stayed high — with or without an audience.

Gad Saad, the study’s lead researcher, said the study is evidence of “sexual signaling,” similar to animals in the wild, where males try to prove to females they’re the best breeding stock.

Fore more information, watch the video below by CBC:

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Blog Action Day 2009 is today on Climate Change

Save yourself by saving the earth. After all, it’s about YOU, and it starts by YOU!

Blog Action Day 2009 - Climate Change logo

Blog Action Day 2009 - Climate Change logo

New X-ray reveals naked pictures at Manchester Airport

A human X-ray machine that produces “naked” images of passengers has just started a trial at Manchester Airport. The authorities say it will speed up security checks by quickly revealing any concealed weapons or explosives. But the scanner also picks out the contours of every part of the body, not leaving much to the imagination.

Check it out in the video below by BBC News:

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NASA captures rare footage of the Sun erupting

NASA’s twin Stereo spacecrafts “Behind” and “Ahead” captured rare footage of the Sun erupting over about a 30-hour period between 26 and 27 September 2009. The eruption was so large that the spacecrafts were able to observe it for hours on end, one of the few times this has occurred.

Check it out in the video below by BBC:

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Fuamen: the new Japanese restaurant with Robot chefs

Fuamen, which is located in Nagoya, Japan, is the newest addition to the list of funky Japanese restaurants. Standing for ‘Fully Automated Ramen’, this restaurant prepares Ramen - which is a Japanese noodle dish - using robots!

Launched by the robot manufacturer Aisei, the restaurant’s robot chefs even put the food into bowls and serve it. The entire process of making the noodles takes a minute and 40 seconds. In their downtime, the robots also spin plates and fight each other with kitchen implements.

Check them out in the video below:

via OnlyInJapan.org

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Lebanese to break the Guinness Record for largest plate of Hummus and Tabbouleh on October 24-25, 2009

Update (October 25th, 2009): Congratulations to the Lebanese again! We broke the third record for the largest tabbouleh ever made weighing 3557 kilograms!

Update (October 24th, 2009): Congratulations to the Lebanese people! We broke the two records for the largest plate to hold food and the largest hummus plate weighing 2056 kilograms! One more to go!




After having in hand the Largest Dabke and the Biggest Kebbe Guinness Records, Lebanese are heading towards breaking two more records: Largest plates of Hummus and Tabbouleh.

As part of a campaign to claim the ownership of the traditional dishes from Israel that currently holds those two records, the Lebanese Industrialists Association (LIA) is arranging a special public ceremony to break Israeli records in downtown Beirut on October 24 and 25. The hummus plate will be prepared on the first day, and the tabbouleh the following day. In addition to that, they are trying to break a third record, which is the largest plate itself.

Renowned Lebanese chef Ramzi Choueiri, manager of Al Kafaàt catering school, will be supervising the work of his 250 students at the cooking school in setting the new record of a 5-metre diameter bowl of hummus. The targeted bowl of tabbouleh should exceed 2 tonnes.

Stay tuned for the results!

2009 Largest Hummus Guinnes Record in Lebanon - twitpic.com/photos/arzleb

2009 Largest Hummus Guinnes Record in Lebanon - twitpic.com/photos/arzleb

tipped via Jad Aoun’s Blog

Jyotiraju the Monkey King: It’s Parkour, Indian style

Aged 23, Jyotiraju from Karnataka, India, has a special skill: scaling walls with no rope. He got the nickname ‘Monkey King’ when he started imitating manoeuvres of monkeys while jumping and climbing up trees and walls.

Climbing walls and buildings is not something new, and people already do that such as the famous French spiderman Alain Robert, who scaled more than 85 skyscrapers around the world, most of them using his bare hands. But Jyotiraju adds an artistic touch to it, especially with his his signature move, the Backflip.

I recommend you watching him and his signature move in the video below:

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Beirut featured in Snoop Dogg’s “Thats Tha Homie” Official Music Video

“This is the party capital of the world”. That’s how Snoop Dogg described Beirut when he performed in the capital last August. He meant it when he said that, and the proof is that Beirut is featured in the official video clip of his new song That’s Tha Homie, which is from his new album Malice N Wonderland that is set to be released on December 8th, 2009.

Beirut and SkyBar got quite a bite of that video. Watch it below:

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“Beirut, I love you (I love you not)” movie by Orange Dog Productions

Beirut, I Love You (I Love You Not) is a short film by “An Orange Dog Productions” about (fleeting) love & the little pleasures in life, all set and in relation with the very inspiring city of Beirut. It is a Beirut-ish tribute to Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amelie Poulain.

The movie was written, directed, and cast by Mounia Akl & Cyril Aris, both from Lebanese origin. In addition to Naim Jeanbart, from Syrian/Canadian origin, they formed the amateur film crew Orange Dog Productions. In addition to this one, their list of movies consists of Wife For Sale, I’ll Be Stalkin’ You, and Seducing Lola.

Check it out in the video below:

“Medical Myths That Can Kill You” by Nancy Snyderman

We sometimes throw advices here and there without really knowing if they are true or not. The reason for that is that those advices were fed to us by our parents or friends without us questioning their legitimacy. But now NBC News chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman wrote a book called “Medical Myths That Can Kill You” that busts a lot of those medical myths through medical proof and explanation.

After ruling out some myths, here are examples of correct statements:

  • you cannot get the H1N1 virus from the water in the water fountain,
  • the HPV vaccine is not only for girls,
  • reading in dim light does not ruin your eyesight,
  • energy drinks do not give you energy,
  • university grads live longer than those who stick only to high school.

An explanation is found in the video below by NBC Today Show:

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Children who are spanked have lower IQs

Spanking can get kids to behave in a hurry, but new research suggests it can do more harm than good to their brains. The study, involving hundreds of U.S. children, showed the more a child was spanked, the lower his or her IQ compared with others.

The research was conducted by Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire and his colleague Mallie Paschall of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland, and was presented last Friday at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, in San Diego, Calif.

They studied nationally representative samples of two age groups: 806 children ages 2 to 4, and 704 ages 5 to 9. The researchers tested the kids’ IQs initially and then four years later. Both groups of kids got smarter after four years. But the 2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts

More on this in the video below by NBC Today:

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