Thursday, December 10, 2009
There is just something about chairs. Just look around the office—they are not just places to sit anymore. Chairs have become super-engineered status symbols. Now audiophiles can have their own high-tech throne.
The Ballerina Sweetspot is designed to be the ultimate music lover's chair. It features a thin headrest to accommodate headphones and prevent the reflection of sound, memory foam to cushion the body, hollow armrests to neatly hold controls and an aluminum frame that supposedly reduces sonic vibration.
"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world.
I hope you'll join with me, as we try to change it." -- Barack Obama
''Life's tough.......it's even tougher if you're stupid.'' -- John Wayne
PS: New favorite John Wayne Movie: McLintock
He does even shoot a gun.
GW: It is about the money. If it was so obvious, if the science wasn’t “cooked” why would they suggest spending this much?
EXCLUSIVE: U.N. bodies calling for massive project to uncover new climate information, underlining incompleteness and uncertainty about existing data
How dogs are man's better friend: Canines outclass cats by a whisker in the best pet test
A study into character, intelligence and usefulness shows dogs are better pets than cats - but only by a whisker.
In the 'great pet showdown' experts compared 11 traits from brain size to environmental impact by looking at research published in scientific journals. Dogs came out on top in six categories to cats' five.
Paw to paw: 11 traits of cats and dogs were compared for the study
Staff at New Scientist magazine first listed the areas where cats fared best. These included having bigger brains in proportion to their body size.
Cats' brains also contain more cells, with about 1.4million more devoted to complex functions such as memory and attention than dogs' brains.
The cats' second point was awarded for being more popular, with 204million living in the top ten cat-owning nations compared to 173million dogs in the ten countries where canines are most in vogue.
But in the other six categories examined - many of which related to how the animals interact with humans - dogs had the edge.
Dogs have a longer shared history with humans, and may have been domesticated as long as 135,000 years ago. Cats are relative newcomers to our homes. Similarly, dogs have a greater ability to bond with their masters. Even four-month-old puppies choose a human companion over another dog, research has shown.
Dogs scored a third point for their superior powers of understanding.
Hops Compound May Prevent Prostate Cancer
ScienceDaily (Dec. 10, 2009) — The natural compound xanthohumol blocks the effects of the male hormone testosterone, therefore aiding in the prevention of prostate cancer.
Xanthohumol is derived from hops and belongs to the group of flavonoids that are found in many plants, fruit, vegetables and spices. Studies to date have shown that xanthohumol blocks the action of estrogen by binding to its receptor, which may lead to prevention of breast cancer.
Treating Cluster Headaches With High-Flow Oxygen Appears Effective
ScienceDaily (Dec. 10, 2009) — Patients with a cluster headache, which is characterized by bouts of excruciating pain usually near the eye or temple, were more likely to report being pain-free within 15 minutes of treatment with high-flow oxygen than patients who received a placebo treatment, according to a study in the December 9 issue of JAMA.
The study included 109 adults (ages 18-70 years). Patients treated four cluster headache episodes alternately with high-flow oxygen (inhaled oxygen at 100 percent, 12 L/min, delivered by face mask, for 15 minutes at the start of an attack) or placebo (high-flow air).
The researchers found that 78 percent of the patients who received oxygen reported being pain-free or to have adequate relief within 15 minutes of treatment, compared to 20 percent of patients who received air.
Sun Oddly Quiet -- Hints at Next "Little Ice Age"?
for National Geographic News
A prolonged lull in solar activity has astrophysicists glued to their telescopes waiting to see what the sun will do next—and how Earth's climate might respond.
The sun is the least active it's been in decades and the dimmest in a hundred years. The lull is causing some scientists to recall the Little Ice Age, an unusual cold spell in Europe and North America, which lasted from about 1300 to 1850.
- "The Sun—Living With a Stormy Star" in National Geographic Magazine
- Did "Little Ice Age" Create Stradivarius Violins' Famous Tone?
The coldest period of the Little Ice Age, between 1645 and 1715, has been linked to a deep dip in solar storms known as the Maunder Minimum.
Obama Proposes $12,000 "Cash for Caulkers" Program
President Obama has proposed a $12,000 "Cash for Caulkers" program, modeled after the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Although the details are sketchy, the outline calls for a 50% rebate on up to $24,000 of purchases by homeowners of energy-efficient appliances and insulation. It is expected to cost $23 billion over two years.
In a gesture of good will to "militant extremists" all over the world, the Transportation Security Administration has posted online its airport screening procedures manual. According to ABC News, the 93-page standard operating procedures manual "includ[es] some of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers." At Pajamas Media, Annie Jacobsen conducts her own after-action review.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano commented brilliantly that although the document posted was out of date
Obama in Norway or as they see it “An elephant in a porcelain shop”. UPDATE: O's Speech was very good. Gracious and well done.
Obama snubs King.
A day before President Obama receives his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the president’s treatment of his Norwegian hosts has become hot news across Scandinavia.To be fair, though, Obama’s just in town to pick up his prize, and the King probably doesn’t have enough accomplishments on his record yet to merit lunch with Obama. But here’s the best point:
News outlets across the region are calling Obama arrogant for slashing some of the prize winners’ traditional duties from his schedule. “Everybody wants to visit the Peace Center except Obama,” sniped the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, amid reports the president would snub his own exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center. “A bit arrogant—a bit bad,” proclaimed another Aftenposten headline.
“It’s very sad,” said Nobel Peace Center Director Bente Erichsen of the news that Obama would skip the peace center exhibit. Prize winners traditionally open the exhibitions about their work that accompany the Nobel festivities. “I totally understand why the Norwegian public is upset. If I could get a few minutes with the president, I’d say, ‘To walk through the exhibition wouldn’t take long, and I’m sure you would love the show. You have no idea what you are missing.’”
Meanwhile, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet is reporting that the president has declined an invitation to lunch with King Harald V, an event every prize winner from the Dalai Lama to Al Gore has attended. (The newspaper’s headline: “Obama disses lunch with King Harald.”)
The American president is acting like an elephant in a porcelain shop,” said Norwegian public-relations expert Rune Morck-Wergeland. “In Norwegian culture, it’s very important to keep an agreement. We’re religious about that, and Obama’s actions have been clumsy. You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king. Maybe Obama’s advisers are not very educated about European culture, but he is coming off as rude, even if he doesn’t mean to.”
COAL COMPANY LETS 500 WORKERS GO: “Which category does this job loss fall under: created or saved?”
Proposed Amendment # 28 to the US Constitution
Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .