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A Norvegian in a Bar !

A Norwegian took a trip to Fargo, North Dakota.

While in a bar, an Indian on the next stool spoke to the Norwegian in a friendly manner.
"Look," he said, "let's have a little game. I'll ask you a riddle. If you can answer it, I'll buy you a drink. If you can't then you buy me one. OK?"
"Ja, dat sounds purty good," said the Norwegian.
The Indian said, "My father and mother had one child. It wasn't my brother. It wasn't my sister. Who was it?"
The Norwegian scratched his head and finally said, "I give up. Who vas it?"
"It was ME," chortled the Indian.
So the Norwegian paid for the drinks.
Back in Sioux Falls the Norwegian went into the bar and spotted one of his cronies.
"Sven," he said, "I got a game. If you can answer a question, I'll buy you a drink. If you can't, you have to buy me vun. Fair enough?"
"Fair enough," said Sven.
"Ok," the Norwegian said, "my father and mudder had vun child. It vasn't my brudder. It vasn't my sister. Who vas it?"
"Search me," said Sven. "I give up, who vas it?"
The Norwegian burst out, "It vas some Indian up in Fargo, North Dakota!"



U.S. Astronomers discover Inter-Planetery Collision

Two planets about 300 light years from Earth slammed into each other recently, US astronomers said Tuesday, the first time evidence of such a catastrophic collision has been seen by scientists.
Astronomers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) said the crash involved two planets orbiting a star in the Aries constellation.
The collision was uncovered while astronomers were attempting to measure the star's age, and found an unusually large amount of dust orbiting the star.
"It's as if Earth and Venus collided with each other," said Benjamin Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy.
"Astronomers have never seen anything like this before. Apparently, major catastrophic collisions can take place in a fully mature planetary system."
The astronomers' research will be published in the December issue of Astrophysical Journal. The collision was an "ultimate extinction event" that would have wiped out any life on either planet in minutes, the report said.
The prospect of Earth suffering an apocalyptic collision with another planet or asteroid has been fodder for science-fiction writers and film-makers ever since Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's 1933 novel "When Worlds Collide."
Astronomers said however the odds of such collisions occurring remained low.
Tennessee State University astronomer Gregory Henry said scientists in the United States and France have long studied the stability of planetary orbits.
"Their computer models predict planetary motions into the distant future and they find a small probability for collisions of Mercury with Earth or Venus sometime in the next billion years or more," Henry said.
Zuckerman noted, however, that collisions have occurred in our solar system's past. "Many astronomers believe our moon was formed from the grazing collision of two planetary embryos, the young Earth and a body about the size of Mars, a crash that created tremendous debris, some of which condensed to form the moon and some of which went into orbit around the young sun," he said.

India's first Mission to the Moon Unveiled !

According to the Indian space agency, India's first mission to the moon is to be launched sometime around October 22-26, 2008 from the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
It will be lofted up using the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) workhorse rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the mission is likely to cost Rupees 386 crores. Chandrayaan-I is an unmanned scientific mission designed to map the resources of the moon and would undertake the most intense search for water on the moon surface
Dr Alex said that the main objective of this mission was to understand the origin of the moon. Apart from conducting tests on the surface of the moon, the mission also intends to conduct tests on the poles of the moon. Scientists are planning to land a rover on the moon to carry out chemical analysis of the lunar surface.
Chandrayan, which is being launched at a total cost of Rs 386 crore, is also scheduled to carry 11 payloads, which would include those from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Sweden, Japan, Germany and Bulgaria. Dr Alex further pointed out that the technology used for the Chandrayan mission is ten times better than other countries. Moreover, ISRO excels in remote sensing and imaging and hence the moon can be photographed from a close range of five metres from the ground
The mission aims to cover the entire moon and gather as much information as possible. Currently, Chandrayan is going through crucial tests in Bengaluru. It still has to undergo the vibration and acoustic tests. The spacecraft will be subject to heavy vibration first and then the sound of four jet planes will be put together to check its endurance.
However, Chandrayan will not land on the moon due to technical difficulties. The spacecraft would hover around the moon, said the ISRO team working on the moon mission. Chandrayan could provide important leads on the possibility of human habitation on the moon, said Dr Anna Durai. ISRO recently established a 32-meter diameter antenna at Byalalu near Bengaluru to provide tracking and command support for Chandrayaan-I. The antenna and associated systems are the first steps in building the Indian Deep Space Network, which is vital for facilitating a two-way radio communication link between the spacecraft and the earth.
/Priya Malhotra


Most Secure U.S. places

Corvallis, Ore., Rated No. 1
Health, prosperity, safety and security are all desirable aspects when it comes to seeking a place to live, work or raise a family. According to our fourth annual Most Secure U.S. Places to Live rankings from Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, the city that best meets those qualifications is Corvallis, Ore.
The rankings took into consideration crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, environmental hazards, terrorism threats, air quality, life expectancy and job loss numbers in 379 U.S. municipalities. The study divided the communities into three groups: large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns.
Corvallis is the fourth different city in four years to earn top honors in the Farmers study. The leading communities in the three previous studies were: the Provo-Orem, Utah, area in 2004; the Richland-Kennewick-Pasco area of southeast Washington in 2005; and St. George, Utah, in 2006.
Top-ranked Corvallis, whose population of 81,105 places it among the small towns, is nestled in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley and is home to Oregon State University. In 2006, Corvallis was honored as only the third U.S. city at that time to meet the EPA's challenge to become a Green Power Community. Corvallis' low crime rate and negligible threats of extreme weather, environmental hazards and terrorist threats led to its No. 1 ranking in the 2007 Farmers study.
The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area in northern California's Silicon Valley tops all large metropolitan areas (population of 500,000 or greater), scoring particularly well in the extreme weather and terrorist threats categories. The area is considered one of the leading research and development centers of the world; in 2005, San Jose and Sunnyvale ranked first and second in the number of utility patents filed in the U.S.
Olympia, Wash., is the most secure mid-size city (population between 150,000 and 500,000). The state capital has become a hub for artists and musicians. The extremely clean air and the long life expectancy of Olympia's residents aided its lofty ranking.
Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
2. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
3. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Md.
4. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.
5. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-¬Ventura, Calif.
6. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
7. Nassau County-Suffolk County, N.Y.
8. New Haven-Milford, Conn.
9. Lake County, Ill./Kenosha County, Wis.
10. Honolulu, Hawaii
11. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine
12. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
13. Edison, N.J.
14. Portland-Beaverton, Ore./Vancouver, Wash.
15. Santa Ana-Anaheim, Calif.
16. Madison, Wis.
17. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
18. Rochester, N.Y.
19. Syracuse, N.Y.
20. Essex County, Mass.
Mid-Size Cities (150,000 - 500,000 residents)
1. Olympia, Wash.
2. Rockingham County-Strafford County, N.H.
3. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.
4. Sioux Falls, S.D.
5. Bellingham, Wash.
6. Fargo, N.D.
7. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.
8. Las Cruces, N.M.
9. Lancaster, Pa.
10. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.
11. Binghamton, N.Y.
12. Lynchburg, Va.
13. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
14. Rochester, Minn.
15. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, Calif.
16. Charlottesville, Va.
17. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.
18. Salinas, Calif.
19. St. Cloud, Minn.
20. Medford, Ore.
Small Towns (Fewer than 150,000 residents)
1. Corvallis, Ore.
2. Harrisonburg, Va.
3. Ithaca, N.Y.
4. State College, Pa.
5. Logan, Utah
6. Lewiston, Idaho
7. Bismarck, N.D.
8. St. George, Utah
9. Napa, Calif.
10. Bend, Ore.
11. Wenatchee, Wash.
12. Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Wash.
13. Ames, Iowa
14. Morgantown, W. Va.
15. Wausau, Wis.
16. Iowa City, Iowa
17. Winchester, Va.
18. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
19. Glens Falls, N.Y.
20. Grand Forks, N.D.
By Bert Sperling / Yahoo


Sun may be far from where it started in Milky Way


A long-standing scientific belief holds that stars tend to hang out in the same general part of a galaxy where they originally formed.
Some astrophysicists have recently questioned whether that is true, and now new simulations show that, at least in galaxies similar to our own Milky Way, stars such as the sun can migrate great distances.
What's more, if our sun has moved far from where it was formed more than 4 billion years ago, that could change the entire notion that there are parts of galaxies - so-called habitable zones - that are more conducive to supporting life than other areas are.
"Our view of the extent of the habitable zone is based in part on the idea that certain chemical elements necessary for life are available in some parts of a galaxy's disk but not others," said Rok Roskar, a doctoral student in astronomy at the University of Washington.
"If stars migrate, then that zone can't be a stationary place."
If the idea of habitable zone doesn't hold up, it would change scientists' understanding of just where, and how, life could evolve in a galaxy, he said.
Roskar is lead author of a paper describing the findings from the simulations, published in the Sept. 10 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Co-authors are Thomas R. Quinn of the UW, Victor Debattista at the University of Central Lancashire in England, and Gregory Stinson and James Wadsley of McMaster University in Canada. The work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Using more than 100,000 hours of computer time on a UW computer cluster and a supercomputer at the University of Texas, the scientists ran a simulation of the formation and evolution of a galaxy disk from material that had swirled together 4 billion years after the big bang.
The simulations begin with conditions about 9 billion years ago, after material for the disk of our galaxy had largely come together but the actual disk formation had not yet started. The scientists set basic parameters to mimic the development of the Milky Way to that point, but then let the simulated galaxy evolve on its own.
If a star, during its orbit around the center of the galaxy, is intercepted by a spiral arm of the galaxy, scientists previously assumed the star's orbit would become more erratic in the same way that a car's wheel might become wobbly after it hits a pothole.
However, in the new simulations the orbits of some stars might get larger or smaller but still remain very circular after hitting the massive spiral wave.
Our sun has a nearly circular orbit, so the findings mean that when it formed 4.59 billion years ago (about 50 million years before the Earth), it could have been either nearer to or farther from the center of the galaxy, rather than halfway toward the outer edge where it is now.
Migrating stars also help explain a long-standing problem in the chemical mix of stars in the neighborhood of our solar system, which has long been known to be more mixed and diluted than would be expected if stars spent their entire lives where they were born. By bringing in stars from very different starting locations, the sun's neighborhood has become a more diverse and interesting place, the researcher said.
Such stellar migration appears to depend on the galaxy having spiral arms that twist their way through the galaxy, as are present in the Milky Way, Roskar said.
"Our simulated galaxy is very idealized in the formation of the disk, but we believe it is indicative of the formation of a Milky Way-type of galaxy," he said. "In a way, studying the Milky Way is the hardest thing to do because we're inside it and we can't see it all. We can't say for sure that the sun had this type of migration."
However, there is recent observational evidence that such migration might be occurring in other galaxies as well, he said.
Roskar noted that the researchers are not the first to suggest that stars might be able to migrate great distances across galaxies, but they are the first to demonstrate the effects of such migrations in a simulation of a growing galactic disk.
The findings are based on a few runs of the simulations, but it is expected additional runs using the same parameters and physical properties would produce largely the same results.
"When you swirl cream into a cup of coffee, it will rarely look exactly the same twice, but the general process, and the resulting taste, is always the same," said Wadsley, the team member from McMaster University.
The scientists plan to run a range of simulations with varying physical properties to generate different kinds of galactic disks, and then determine whether stars show similar ability to migrate large distances within different types of disk galaxies





Diamond found in Lesotho among largest ever !

LONDON (AFP) - Gem Diamonds, a London-listed mining firm, said on Sunday it had recovered a 478 carat diamond from its mine in Lesotho: the 20th-largest rough diamond ever found.
The discovery of the gem, which the company said had the potential to become one of the largest round-cut diamonds in the world, was made on September 8 at the Letseng mine in Lesotho.
"Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates that it will yield a record-breaking polished stone of the very best colour and clarity," the company's Chief Executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement.
The diamond, which has not yet been named, has the potential to yield a 150 carat polished stone, a company spokesman said.
That would be far bigger than the 105 carat round-cut Koh-i-Noor diamond seized by Britain from India in the 19th century and now part of the Crown Jewels.
It would still only be a fraction of the size, however, of the Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905, which was 3,106 carats when recovered and yielded a teardrop shaped diamond of 530 carats: the Great Star of Africa.
The Letseng mine is owned by a mining company that is 70 percent owned by Gem Diamonds, with the remaining 30 percent held by the Lesotho government.
Gem Diamonds's share price on the London Stock Exchange was 741.50 pence at the close of trading on Friday


The Correct way to Weigh Yourself !


I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years !


Will Electric Vehicles Be the Next 'It' Cars ?

Nissan is banking on electric vehicles as the next big thing in alternative fuels
By Hannah Elliott

Although the Japanese automaker does plan to embrace hybrid technology, it's banking on plug-in electric vehicles as the next big thing.
Nissan recently announced it will introduce an affordable, all-electric vehicle by 2010 that will roll out globally by 2012. Its success depends largely on battery technology still under development, as well as convincing consumers that most of their daily driving needs can be met by small electric vehicles that can't drive as far or as fast as gas-powered cars.
"It is a risky move for them. On a scale of one to 10, I'd say it's an eight," says Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore.
Nissan's current lack of hybrid models — it has but one, the Altima Hybrid, sold in only eight states — has put the company behind other automakers in the race to develop alternative-fuel technology. But if its gamble pays off, the company could leapfrog its competitors.
"It really is a good time to do it," Spinella says. "It's high on consumer interest lists. Now how long it lasts, I don't know."
Beating its Own Drum, Electrically
Nissan will make hybrid versions of existing cars rather than design a model specifically as a hybrid only, as Toyota has done with its Prius and as Honda will do with its recently announced Insight. That decision allows Nissan to put more effort into developing electric vehicles. "The goal of the electric vehicle is to allow people who drive to work, the vast majority of people who drive to work, to get there and back on one charge," says Darryll Harrison, a Nissan spokesperson. "We're definitely confident that the EV you'll see in 2010 will be an EV that will allow you to do that."
Nissan did not disclose how far it expects the new electric vehicle will go on a single charge. Chevrolet is aiming for a 40-mile electric-only range for its Volt plug-in hybrid. But the Volt will have a small combustion engine on board that will act as a generator to replenish the batteries and extend the driving range.
Other major carmakers are rushing to get alternative-fuel vehicles on the road as well. Ford, Fuji (which owns Subaru), Mitsubishi and Toyota have all begun work on battery-powered and next-generation hybrid vehicles.
"The holy grail continues to be the battery technology," said John Viera, Ford's sustainable business strategies director at a recent sustainability forum in New York. "That's the thing that is making electric vehicles cost-prohibitive."
Even so, Ford sees battery technology as taking precedence over hydrogen for mass-produced alternative-fuel vehicles, Viera said.
Electric Wheels in Motion

Infiniti G35 hybrid
To give the press and the public a preview at its plans, Nissan unveiled two concept cars last month in Tokyo: one powered only by electricity, another powered with hybrid technology. Both use advanced lithium-ion batteries produced by Nissan and NEC Corp. under their joint venture, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation.
The batteries are more reliable, safer and less expensive than conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries, Nissan says. They also provide twice the power and take up less space than conventional batteries.
"With the change in fuel prices, my thought is that there is a paradigm shift going on," he says. "Americans are certainly opening up to alternatives if it means a cleaner environment and ultimately saving some money on gas."
Concern About Costs
As with any new technology, the initial cost and complexity of electric vehicles remain a concern for many in the industry.
While consumers definitely show interest in electric vehicles, the cost and maintenance of electric vehicles could put off potential buyers, CNW's Spinella says.
The batteries alone in some alternative-fuel vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, a next-generation plug-in hybrid, are reportedly estimated to cost upwards of $10,000. Leasing the batteries, as Norway-based Think Global does with its electric vehicles, is one way electric-car makers try to keep costs down.
"That's going to be the issue," Spinella says. "Do you want to add another $100 or $200 a month to rent these batteries?" If automakers like Nissan decide not to lease the batteries, Spinella says the price of electric cars could be much higher than the $20,000 to $30,000 he currently projects.
Nissan's Harrison says it's too early to talk about price ranges for the EV and hybrid vehicles the company is working on. "We're definitely looking to keep the costs down," he says.
One thing working in Nissan’s favor is that electric vehicles can make use of existing infrastructure for recharging, as opposed to other alternative fuels, like hydrogen, which require massive investments to get refueling stations up and running, says Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis at R.L. Polk & Co.
A Cloudy Crystal Ball
Neither of the vehicles Nissan recently unveiled in Tokyo are representative of the final products, but they hint at what's to come.
"This news about our development of EV and hybrid was really more about the technology than the vehicles that held them," Harrison says. "Both cars were just mules for the technology."
Nissan showcased its electric-only technology in a boxy small car called the Cube. It uses a battery-powered 80-kilowatt motor and inverter to drive the front wheels. The system's compact lithium-ion batteries sit under the floor to preserve cabin space.
Harrison declined to specify what the new EV will look like or be called, but a statement from Nissan says it will have a unique style not based on any existing model.
The prototype hybrid in Tokyo was an Infiniti G35. It uses a proprietary twin-clutch hybrid powertrain and is Nissan's first rear-wheel-drive hybrid system. Nissan sourced the front-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain used in the current Altima Hybrid from Toyota. It gets 35 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
Hybrids use a battery-powered electric motor paired with a conventional gasoline engine to save fuel. Some are capable of running in electric-only mode at low speeds. All use special features that store or conserve energy, like regenerative braking and temporarily shutting down the engine at idle.

Which affordable Hybrids save you the most Money ?

By Consumer Reports

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles present a conundrum for many car shoppers. They typically deliver the best fuel economy in their class, but they're also priced higher than similar conventional cars. So it has been difficult to know whether a hybrid will save money overall.
Not anymore. With gas prices soaring, our latest analysis of owner costs shows that you can save more than $4,000 over five years by choosing a hybrid over a similar conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.
Six of the 12 affordable hybrids we looked at can save you from about $500 to $4,250, even without tax credits, and pay back their price premium after only one year. They are the Toyota Prius and hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Malibu and Tahoe, Ford Escape, Saturn Vue, and Toyota Camry. For several, you can save even more by taking advantage of federal tax credits.
The Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, and Saturn Aura hybrids will cost you a little more than their conventional counterparts—from $250 to $750 over five years—but some consumers might find it worthwhile to drive a more environmentally friendly car. With federal tax incentives, all three come out ahead after just one year.
Three hybrids—the Lexus GS 450h and RX 400h and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid—cost significantly more than their counterparts in the first five years.
Hybrid payback
Interest in hybrids has been on a parallel trajectory with gas prices. Hybrid sales jumped almost 40 percent last year. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 32 percent of active car shoppers are considering a hybrid for their next vehicle. And this past summer automakers had a difficult time keeping up with demand for the most popular models.
It would take many years for most hybrids to pay back their premium price just on fuel savings. But fuel costs are only a relatively small part—25 percent—of the overall owner costs in the first five years. Other factors include depreciation, insurance, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax.
In this affordable hybrid analysis, we compared the five-year owner costs of 12 hybrids with those of similar conventional vehicles, using Consumer Reports' new-car owner-cost estimates.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid, which got 34 mpg overall in our tests, saves the most money, about $4,250 over five years, compared with a similarly equipped four—cylinder which gets 24 mpg.
The Saturn Vue Greenline Hybrid can save about $3,000; the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Tahoe save $2,000 and $1,500, respectively. With tax credits, the Vue and Tahoe come out ahead by about $4,500 and $3,700. Federal tax incentives are no longer available for Toyota and Lexus hybrids.
The Lexus models and Toyota Highlander Hybrid show five-year losses ranging from about $1,250 for the Highlander to $5,500 for the GS. All three are positioned as the flagship models within their model lines and offer extra features and/or performance at a significantly higher price. The Lexus GS 450h, which emphasizes performance over fuel economy, is priced more than $8,000 higher than its all-gas sibling, a hefty premium despite saving about $1,500 in gas over five years. The Highlander Hybrid and RX 400h are priced about $6,000 and $4,000 higher, respectively, than their all-gas siblings.

Major discovery from MIT primed to unleash Solar Revolution

Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system
Anne Trafton,

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.
Daniel Nocera describes new process for storing solar energyView video post on MIT TechTV
Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With today's announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy.
Requiring nothing but abundant, non-toxic natural materials, this discovery could unlock the most potent, carbon-free energy source of all: the sun. "This is the nirvana of what we've been talking about for years," said MIT's Daniel Nocera, the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy at MIT and senior author of a paper describing the work in the July 31 issue of Science. "Solar power has always been a limited, far-off solution. Now we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon."
Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab, have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun's energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.
The key component in Nocera and Kanan's new process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water; another catalyst produces valuable hydrogen gas. The new catalyst consists of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode, placed in water. When electricity -- whether from a photovoltaic cell, a wind turbine or any other source -- runs through the electrode, the cobalt and phosphate form a thin film on the electrode, and oxygen gas is produced.
Combined with another catalyst, such as platinum, that can produce hydrogen gas from water, the system can duplicate the water splitting reaction that occurs during photosynthesis.
The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and it's easy to set up, Nocera said. "That's why I know this is going to work. It's so easy to implement," he said.
'Giant leap' for clean energy
Sunlight has the greatest potential of any power source to solve the world's energy problems, said Nocera. In one hour, enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet's energy needs for one year.
James Barber, a leader in the study of photosynthesis who was not involved in this research, called the discovery by Nocera and Kanan a "giant leap" toward generating clean, carbon-free energy on a massive scale.
"This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind," said Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London. "The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem."
'Just the beginning'
Currently available electrolyzers, which split water with electricity and are often used industrially, are not suited for artificial photosynthesis because they are very expensive and require a highly basic (non-benign) environment that has little to do with the conditions under which photosynthesis operates. More engineering work needs to be done to integrate the new scientific discovery into existing photovoltaic systems, but Nocera said he is confident that such systems will become a reality. "This is just the beginning," said Nocera, principal investigator for the Solar Revolution Project funded by the Chesonis Family Foundation and co-Director of the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Center. "The scientific community is really going to run with this."
Nocera hopes that within 10 years, homeowners will be able to power their homes in daylight through photovoltaic cells, while using excess solar energy to produce hydrogen and oxygen to power their own household fuel cell. Electricity-by-wire from a central source could be a thing of the past.
The project is part of the MIT Energy Initiative, a program designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and to help build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems. MITEI Director Ernest Moniz, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, noted that "this discovery in the Nocera lab demonstrates that moving up the transformation of our energy supply system to one based on renewables will depend heavily on frontier basic science." The success of the Nocera lab shows the impact of a mixture of funding sources - governments, philanthropy, and industry. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the Chesonis Family Foundation, which gave MIT $10 million this spring to launch the Solar Revolution Project, with a goal to make the large scale deployment of solar energy within 10 years.


Paper Roller inside the Pen !

Sometimes we need to write some Phone numbers or names, and may be a Supermarket list.
And don't find any paper closer.
This Pen has a little Paper Roller inside, to resolve this problem.

Ike helps uncover mystery vessel on Alabama coast

FORT MORGAN, Ala. - When the waves from Hurricane Ike receded, they left behind a mystery — a ragged shipwreck that archeologists say could be a two-masted Civil War schooner that ran aground in 1862 or another ship from some 70 years later.
The wreck, about six miles from Fort Morgan, had already been partially uncovered when Hurricane Camille cleared away sand in 1969.
Researchers at the time identified it as the Monticello, a battleship that partially burned when it crashed trying to get past the U.S. Navy and into Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
After examining photos of the wreck post-Ike, Museum of Mobile marine archaeologist Shea McLean agreed it is likely the Monticello, which ran aground in 1862 after sailing from Havana, according to Navy records.
"Based on what we know of ships lost in that area and what I've seen, the Monticello is by far the most likely candidate," McLean said. "You can never be 100 percent certain unless you find the bell with 'Monticello' on it, but this definitely fits."
Other clues indicate it could be an early 20th century schooner that ran aground on the Alabama coast in 1933.
The wrecked ship is 136.9 feet long and 25 feet wide, according to Mike Bailey, site curator at Fort Morgan, who examined it this week.
The Monticello was listed in shipping records as 136 feet long, McLean told the Press-Register of Mobile.
But Bailey said a 2000 report by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the remains were the schooner Rachel, built at Moss Point, Miss., in 1919 and wrecked near Fort Morgan in 1933.
He said the wreckage appears to have components, such as steel cables, that would point to the Rachel rather than an 1860s schooner.
Glenn Forest, another archaeologist who examined the wreck, said a full identification would require an excavation.
"It's a valuable artifact," he said. "They need to get this thing inside before it falls apart or another storm comes along and sends it through those houses there like a bowling ball."
Meanwhile, curious beach-goers have been drawn to the remains of the wooden hull filled with rusted iron fittings.
Fort Morgan was used as Union forces attacked in 1864 during the Battle of Mobile Bay.
"It's interesting, I can tell you that," said Terri Williams. "I've lived down here most of my life and I've never seen anything like this, and it's been right here."
/Yahoo News



Little RALPHY was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another.
After the 6th one a man on the bench across from him said, 'Son, you know eating all that candy isn't good for you. It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat.'
Little RALPHY replied, 'My grandfather lived to be 107 years old.'
The man asked, 'Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?'
Little RALPHY answered, 'No, he minded his own f....... business.

How do Dogs Perceive Time ?

Most dogs are never late for a meal -- they know exactly where to be at the same time every day. They also know when to expect their owner home and, like clockwork, place themselves patiently at the door for that arrival.
When you witness this behavior, you assume dogs have a sophisticated understanding of time. But what is time really like for a dog? Does a dog understand the passing of time in the same way a human does?
They say a human year is equivalent to about seven dog years. But what does this common theory tell us about a dog's perception of time?
Actually, very little. The idea of "dog years" comes from the life expectancy of dogs compared to humans. So it wouldn't be correct to apply this idea to the concept of time perception.
To understand how dogs perceive time, we first need to understand how humans perceive time. Arguably, each person experiences the passing of time in different ways at different times. Albert Einstein once explained the principle of relativity by saying, "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute -- and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity" [source: Shapiro].
Even though the experience of time is relative for every individual, all humans think about time in similar ways.
For instance, our memories are inextricably tied to how we understand the passing of time. Our ability to remember events in a particular order plays a large part in our perception of time. We're also able to predict things. Though we don't all claim to be psychic, each of us counts on certain events in the future -- even as simple as assuming that the sun will come up tomorrow. These abilities have important implications -- for instance, memory and prediction allow us to have a sense of continuity, personal history and self-awareness.
from : HSW


How to Start a Conversation with New People

Whether you are a host or a guest, there are many social situations that will call for interaction, even when you are stumped for some way to get it going.
For example, you might want to help a friend’s new “significant other” feel comfortable. Or, you might see a stranger across a crowded room, and realize that this is your only chance to impress Mr. or Ms. Wonderful. Then, you realize that you’re not sure what to say.
Start with a “hello,” and simply tell the new person your name then ask them theirs. Offer your hand to shake, upon his/her responding to you. (If you go to other countries, greet the person in tune with the particular culture). If you already know the person, skip this step and proceed to step.
Look around. See if there is anything worth pointing out. Sure, talking about the weather is a cliche, but if there’s something unusual about it–bam!–you’ve got a great topic of conversation.
Offer a compliment.
Don’t lie and say you love someone’s hair when you think it’s revolting, but if you like his or her shoes, or a handbag, say so. A sincere compliment is a wonderful way to get someone to warm up to you. But be careful not to say something so personal that you scare the person off or make him or her feel uncomfortable. It is best not to compliment a person’s looks or body.
Ask questions! Most people love to talk about themselves — get them going. “What classes are you taking this year?” “Have you seen (Insert-Something-Here)? What did you think of it?” Again, keep the questions light and not invasive. Do not ask too many questions if he or she is not responsive to them.
Jump on any conversation-starters he or she might offer; take something he or she has said and run with it. Agree, disagree, ask a question about it, or offer an opinion, just don’t let it go by without notice.
Look your newfound friend in the eye, it engenders trust (but don’t stare). Also, use the person’s name a time or two during the conversation; it will help you remember the name, and will draw the person’s attention to what you are talking about.
Don’t forget to smile and have fun with your conversation!
Tips :
Just relax. Chances are that whatever small-talk you’re making isn’t going to stick out in anyone’s mind a few months from now. Just say whatever comes into your head, so long as it’s not offensive or really weird. (Unless, of course, the person you’re attempting to converse with is into weird stuff.)
Remember, if you think of something in your head while you’re talking, it’s probably related.
It will help if you watch some TV, listen to radio shows, and/or read a lot — newspapers, magazines, and/or books. You need to have some idea of what is going on in the world. Also remember and plan to share anything you like, think is funny, or find intriguing. This is building up your own library of things that might be helpful to another person during a conversation someday. It will be amazing how you thread these interesting things when you least expect it, and make conversation an adventure instead of a dreadful task. If you take it to the next step and say things that you want the person to think of as adding value, and keep to yourself things that the person might not, you are actually honing your own personality to be appealing to the other person, and what is a greater act of kindness than that.
If you are shy, it will be helpful to have thought about a topic or two that you could talk about.
Follow the lead that your listener is expressing. If he or she appears interested, then continue. If he or she is looking at a clock or watch, or worse, looking for an escape strategy, then you have been going on for too long.
Interesting and funny quotes or facts can lighten things up, and make way for things to talk about. You could also use a set of conversation starter question cards for inspiration.
If talking over the phone, keep the person involved in the conversation at all costs. If you can’t come up with a good topic, try the “questions” game. Just keep asking them questions; random questions work just fine as long as they are appropriate.
This technique can save a phone conversation. The questions should be open ended questions that do not require a yes or no answer. For example “How do you know the hosts?” This way you can ask questions about what they just said or follow up with how you know the hosts (for example) instead of acting as if the conversation is an interrogation.
Half of an effective conversation is the way you non-verbally communicate, and not necessarily what you say. Practice better non-verbal skills that are friendly and confident.
Read newspapers and magazines to increase your knowledge so you can have more interesting things to talk about
from : Priya Malhotra


Smooth Sophisticated Smoking

When you think of pipe smoking, you imagine an older generation of men sitting around reading newspapers or conversing about times gone by.
Yet with this new and sleek pipe design by Hakan Bogazpinar, you can see a much more hip, younger crowd partaking in its’ pleasures.
Eolos is a modern day pipe. With a smooth, almost aerodynamic design, it looks the Ferrari for pipe smokers.
With a built in filter replication indicator, the user can see that the nicotine level is too high and would need to change the filter. So if you like sleek and modern in your pipe, then you just might fancy an Eolos.
Designer: Hakan Bogazpinar