Wednesday, June 27, 2012

China Opens World’s Longest Sea Bridge

By Everett RosenfeldGetty Images
Getty Images
Four of the world’s six longest bridges opened to the public in China today.
Three of the bridges – including the two longest ever built – are part of the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway which made its first commercial trip earlier today. The Jiaozhou Bay bridge, which is the world’s longest over-water bridge at 26.4 miles, also opened today. This bridge connects the port city of Qingdao to the suburban Huangdao on the other side of the bay. China, with the world’s largest population, deals with often-crippling transportation congestion issues, so the government has spent billions of dollars in recent years to alleviate these issues...Read here...

'Rain, Rain Go Away' - Breaking Benjamin

Saskatoon was hit by a brief but intense lightning storm at around midnight Tuesday.
  Saskatoon was hit by a brief but intense lightning storm at around midnight Tuesday. Photograph by: Andrew Spearin, The StarPhoenix.Photos here.
.Raining in Saskatoon, again. Storm knocks out power and causes damage. Photos

Russia set to conduct surveillance flyover to inspect Canada’s military, industrial infrastructure

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
The Russians use a Turpolev civilian aircraft for their flyovers of Canada. Canada uses a CC-130 Hercules equipped with a specialized SAMSON sensor “pod” — essentially a converted fuel tank modified to carry sensors.   By
The Russians are conducting what has quietly become their annual flyover of key Canadian sites this week, revealing the two countries’ regular surveillance of one another at a time when a spy scandal and Arctic sovereignty have markedly strained relations.
Russia has routinely exercised a 10-year-old treaty right to fly over Canada and inspect the country’s military infrastructure, industrial complexes, cities and transportation hubs, according to a National Defence spokesman. He said it is the only one out of 34 countries to fly over Canadian soil under the Open Skies treaty...Continue reading...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School [Updated] .

Google is so much more than a search engine. It’s a reference book, calculator, even a weather forecaster. Using these tricks, you can find helpful information quickly, plus get to the right links faster.


. Back in 2009, we published 100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School. But in nearly three years, Google has developed new products, discontinued a few, and offered new features, and more people have found great ways to save time with Google. So we’ve gone and found even more great tips for saving time with Google, and this time around, the list has made it all the way to 181 different tricks. Explore our collection of tricks to find new, faster ways to search, read email, manage your time, and more...181 Google Tricks

Mood Disorders

by :''Moods are sustained emotions, which color the way we view life; when someone has a mood disorder, the picture usually is not rosy. People with these disorders have moods that go beyond feeling "blue." Mood disorders can be found across all races and social classes, but are more common among single people without a "significant other."
Experts find that although mood disorders have varying degrees of severity -- which makes them difficult to diagnose -- at the same time, they are the most frequently diagnosed mental disorders. In addition to bipolar disorder, mood disorders include major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder.
Major depression, characterized by persistently sad, hopeless and worthless feelings, is a debilitating illness that usually reoccurs throughout a person's lifetime. The symptoms of fatigue, lack of focus, changes in appetite and thoughts of suicide interfere with everyday functioning. People with dysthymia have symptoms that are less severe but longer lasting -- for periods of at least two years. Other forms of depression include seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression.
Depression is a brain disorder most likely caused by a combination of genetics, environmental, biological and psychological factors. Fortunately, depression can be treated and the best results are achieved when treatment begins as soon as depression is diagnosed. Most people with mood disorders benefit from a regimen of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. The key to successful treatment of mood disorders and prevention of future episodes is to continue taking medications and seeking help [source: NIMH]."   There is volumes of material here., we could always go for the frontal lobotomy, might cure headache.
Drug-Induced Lobotomy Offers Hope for Stress-Plagued Societypic

The Reason of Existence

by .
The Reason of Existence from Annie on Vimeo.

Exotic Pets From 1891-1971-

Damn Cool Pics: Dogs and cats are one thing to have as pets, but when it comes to the wilder side of the animal kingdom, it’s a dangerous game. These days, we generally hear about these kinds of pets when something goes horribly wrong, but there was a time when the glamour was publicized more than the gore.

Retronaut has a collection of photos of people and their wild pets from the years here.
Burlesque dancer Zorita walking her snake

How Obama lost Canada

Actress Daryl Hannah (C) sits in front of the White House in Washington, DC, August 30, during a protest against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Daryl Hannah (C) sits in front of the White House in Washington, DC, August 30, during a protest against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)photo
by and :
Permitting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline should have been an easy diplomatic and economic decision for U.S. President Barack Obama. The completed project would have shipped more than 700,000 barrels a day of Albertan oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast, generated tens of thousands of jobs for U.S. workers, and met the needs of refineries in Texas that are desperately seeking oil from Canada, a more reliable supplier than Venezuela or countries in the Middle East. The project posed little risk to the landscape it traversed. But instead of acting on economic logic, the Obama administration caved to environmental activists in November 2011, postponing until 2013 the decision on whether to allow the pipeline.
Obama’s choice marked a triumph of campaign posturing over pragmatism and diplomacy, and it brought U.S.-Canadian relations to their lowest point in decades. It was hardly the first time that the administration has fumbled issues with Ottawa. Although relations have been civil, they have rarely been productive. Whether on trade, the environment, or Canada’s shared contribution in places such as Afghanistan, time and again the United States has jilted its northern neighbor. If the pattern of neglect continues, Ottawa will get less interested in cooperating with Washington. Already, Canada has reacted by turning elsewhere — namely, toward Asia — for more reliable economic partners...Continue reading...

She shoots wildfire photos amid the flames

Flames turn night into day along a road this month during New Mexico's Little Bear Fire at Lincoln National Forest. Flames turn night into day along a road this month during New Mexico's Little Bear Fire at Lincoln National Forest.        By Jim Spellman, CNN
Ruidoso, New Mexico (CNN) -- For 15 years Kari Greer has been documenting wildland fires and the men and woman who battle them.
"I'm a trained firefighter; photography is my tool," she says. "It's my service on the line."
In college Greer studied photography but spent her summers fighting wildland fires as a seasonal firefighter. After graduation it was an easy fit to combine her two skill sets.
"The bug bit, and I developed a kind of passion for it." Wildfire photographer works amid chaos
She now photographs fires from the front lines under contract with the National Interagency Fire Center, the federal outfit that supports wildland firefighting efforts.
"My whole focus is to show the activity -- what's going on," says Greer. "I feel the heat, I feel the smoke."

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Only Remaining Online Copy of Vogue's Asma al-Assad Profile: "A Rose in the Desert"

Max Fisher
Max Fisher - Max Fisher is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the International channel.

assad 2 post.jpg
In February, Vogue magazine published, for the benefit of its 11.7 million readers, an article titled "A Rose in the Desert" about the first lady of Syria. Asma al-Assad has British roots, wears designer fashion, worked for years in banking, and is married to the dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has killed over 5,000 civilians and hundreds of children this year. The glowing article praised the Assads as a "wildly democratic" family-focused couple who vacation in Europe, foster Christianity, are at ease with American celebrities, made theirs the "safest country in the Middle East," and want to give Syria a "brand essence."

Vogue's editors defended the controversial article as "a way of opening a window into this world a little bit," conceding only that Assad's Syria is "not as secular as we might like." A senior editor responsible for the story told me the magazine stood by it. A few weeks later, the article and all references to it were removed from Vogue's website without explanation. In August, The Hill reported that U.S. lobbying firm Brown Lloyd James had been paid $5,000 per month by the Syrian government to arrange for and manage the Vogue article.

For all the controversy, the article's author, former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck, did manage to spend some one-on-one time with both Asma and Bashar al-Assad, an exclusive many journalists might have killed for. Today, as the world watches for cracks in the Assad regime and in the Assad family, Buck's interviews are an increasingly important tool for understanding the man at the top of Syria and the woman next to him......If you're a researcher focused on Syria or simply a reader curious about how this family presents itself to the Western media as of early 2011, you'll want to bookmark Ibrahim's website, which holds what appears to be the only complete copy of this article remaining online... Continue reading ...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Animal of the day-Christian Science Monitor (51 photos)

An albino baby Bennett's wallaby is carried by his mother in their enclosure at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany, June 22.
Ina Fassbender/Reuters  Animal of the day, 51photos

Johnny Cash & Kristoffersen -- Sunday Morning Coming Down

"Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down"

Kris Kristofferson
"Perhaps, in a sense, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” is not a politically correct song, or at least it’s not a philosophically innocuous one, if I may say so about a country music song, because much more than many other country hits, it (intrinsically) celebrates traditional values—though in its own way and despite its author being a liberal!—as the lyrics show..."Continue reading... photo

Feel-good story of the day from Jeff Francoeur

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Baseball Blogger
Jeff Francoeur
Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur rules at life, basically.

We've written about the fun he's had with fans in Oakland and Kansas City, but this is an even more personal and touching story.

Houston's Tammy Blanchard Robertson posted this note (along with the photo above) on the Royals' Facebook page on Wednesday, and, well, I'll let her tell the story.
Dear Jeff Francoeur,
Just last night my husband, daughter and 7 year old son attended the Royals vs Astros game here in Houston. My husband was born and raised in KC and our family lived there for 5 years before we were transferred to Houston.
Last year my son was diagnosed with Autism. Going to large stadiums that are really loud are out of my sons comfort zone, we told him we were going to see the KC Royals and he was instantly excited.
We made sure to get to the game early so that we could find our seats before the stadium filled up. We were lucky enough to get to the stadium while the Royals were having their batting practice.
My husband told our son that he should call you over and that you may autograph his cap for him. As my son yelled with hope in his voice, you came jogging over to us. My son was so excited when he saw you coming over that he fell while trying to climb over the seats to the front row. It is rare that we see our son get excited over anything to do with sports as Autistic children tend to be more interested in books, and computers rather than sports.
Our son stared up at you with tears in his eyes, you took the time to coddle him, ask his name and make him feel special.
We just wanted to say thank you for not only taking the time to come over to see our son, but for signing his hat, and posing for a picture with him. It is truly a day that our son will never forget. You are a true role model, this was a day our family will always remember.
Bravo Frenchy, bravo.Read here.

Lyme disease experts fear disease explosion

A warming climate has health officials worried that tick populations are already spreading, bringing with them the germs that can lead to Lyme disease.
Dr. Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada who specializes in zoonotic diseases, says the populations of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease (sometimes called the deer tick) are growing... Continue reading, video. Read comments...

.A disease we all must learn about..The ticks that carry Lyme disease live in grass, weeds, forest floors, leaf litter, and bushes. They are seldom found higher than 18 inches above the ground. They become active when temperatures are -2C (30F) and above. They can come into your home on your pets. Most disease transmitting bites occur from a tick in the nymph stage, when they are only the size of a poppy seed. Many victims do not recall a tick bite. Only a minority of people will get or recall a here..

U.S. concerned Israel may launch attacks on Syrian WMD sites

U.S. intelligence agencies are closely watching Israel’s military for signs it will conduct strikes on Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, amid concerns the deadly nerve agents could fall under the control of Hezbollah or al Qaeda terrorists, U.S. officials said.
Syria’s arsenal remains vulnerable as the result of the internal conflict currently underway in Syria between government forces and opposition rebels, one official said.
“Everyone suspects Syria maintains an active chemical weapons program; and it would be dangerous not to plan accordingly,” the official said.
As for concerns the weapons will be captured or transferred, the official said: “Most countries that have CW stocks view it as a strategic, not tactical, tool—and strategic tools are usually pretty well protected and aren’t given away lightly.”
However, other U.S. officials said special operations forces are prepared to take action inside Syria in the event the regime falls and the country spirals further into chaos. The teams would seek to secure or destroy stockpiles of chemical arms to keep them from being taken over by terrorists. Hezbollah has been very active in Syria, and there are reports that al Qaeda terrorists have moved into Syria during the current crisis...Continue reading...

Harper tells European leaders to find their own money

G20 leaders gather for a group shot at a summit in
Prime Minister Stephen Harper did every taxpayer of Canada a great favour this week when he told European leaders to go find their own money.Harper was under tremendous pressure while attending a G20 summit in Mexico to fork over Canadian cash for a European bailout.
Calls came from the head of the International Monetary Fund and several of Europe's top politicians - still Harper said no.
The PM told reporters that European countries, which are some of the richest in the world, have the capacity to deal with their own problems.
That sent European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso off the deep end.
"Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy and in terms of how to run an economy because the European Union has a model that we may be very proud of," Barroso said.
Actually, Barroso might want to take lessons.
For all of Canada's faults, our economy is outperforming Europe's and we aren't in a constant state of negotiation over the next bailout...Continue reading...

Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra

Julius CaesarVatican bust of Caesar

Mark Anthony: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest -
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men -
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.Read here.
coin of Antony and Octavia coin of Antony and his wife Octavia

National Aboriginal Day celebrated in Edmonton - Photos

  • RCMP Constabel Heather Noon-Roy prepares for the Grand Entry at Canada Place during National Aboriginal Day activities in Edmonton, Alberta on June, 21 2012. PERRY MAH/EDMONTON QMI AGENCY Photos here.

Native American ceremony greets the first summer sunrise in Lower Windsor Township

Daily Record/Sunday News

Ken "Ironfist" Hayden of York Township performs the pipe ceremony to honor the presence of the creator during the Summer solstice celebration at Highpoint Scenic Vista at sunrise on Thursday, June 21, 2012. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN)  Before dawn Thursday, 50 people climbed a hill in Highpoint Scenic Vista in Lower Windsor Township. They wore jeans and polos or T-shirts and shorts. Atop the hill, they surrounded a paved circle with a compass at its center.
They watched as Evelyn Hayden of York Township and her husband crouched on the compass and lit sage fronds ablaze with kitchen matches.
It was the annual ceremony to mark the first day of summer, said Francis Velazquez, manager of education for the York County Department of Parks and Recreation. Local Native Americans, like the Haydens, and curious onlookers come to Highpoint in the wee hours every June 21 to watch the first sun of the season climb out of the Susquehanna Valley.
There is singing, drum playing and traditional Native American fare. Or the 21st-century version, anyway. On Thursday, it was corn bread muffins and juice boxes full of Boppin' Strawberry Hi-C...Continue reading...

Photos: Wanuskewin Powwow - The StarPhoenix

Shelley Roberts
  Shelley Roberts Photograph by: Andrew Spearin, The StarPhoenix Photos here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pet piranha bites off toddler’s fingertip

piranhaPictures of PiranhaBy JENNIFER JOHNSON: When a north suburban mother discovered her 18-month-old daughter’s finger had been bitten, she assumed the family pit bull was responsible.
But Cook County sheriff’s police said the culprit was actually another household pet: a piranha.
Police said one of the child’s fingertips was bitten off on the night of June 19 inside the family’s Bay Colony residence in unincorporated Maine Township.
Police said the child’s mother reported she heard her daughter crying and noticed that the toddler’s finger was bleeding, the fingertip missing.
The mother believed the family’s pit bull had bitten the child, but further investigation by police determined that piranhas, swimming in a fish tank near where the child had been playing, may have been responsible.
Police said the child’s father cut open one of the piranhas, and the piece of his daughter’s finger was recovered from the fish.
The child and the severed part of her finger were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said she could not disclose information about the child’s treatment, including whether doctors were able to reattach her fingertip.Read here.

Watch 5,000 ducks go for a walk. Duck soup. Giddy-up!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hank Williams: Lovesick Blues

deviant art

U.N. puts Canada on human rights watchlist over Quebec demo law

Sassy Wire:Canada will be put in the company of some of the world’s worst abusers of human rights tomorrow when the UN’s highest human rights official expresses “alarm” over Quebec’s new law on demonstrations during her opening address to a meeting of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, revealed the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, which obtained an advance copy of her speech. Other states on the UN watchlist include Syria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
“Moves to restrict freedom of assembly continue to alarm me, as is the case in the province of Quebec in Canada in the context of students’ protests,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will say tomorrow, according to her draft speech.
The rights czar reserves her sharpest language for Canada. While Pillay cites only two other countries in the world for restrictions on freedom of assembly—expressing “concern” about Russia, and “deep concern” for Eritrea—only Canada provokes her far stronger “alarm.”
 Read here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

.Member States of the United Nations:

Swarms of cyborg insect drones are the future of military surveillance

An image from
An image from
By Daily Mail Reporter.
The kinds of drones making the headlines daily are the heavily armed CIA and U.S. Army vehicles which routinely strike targets in Pakistan - killing terrorists and innocents alike.
But the real high-tech story of surveillance drones is going on at a much smaller level, as tiny remote controlled vehicles based on insects are already likely being deployed.
Over recent years a range of miniature drones, or micro air vehicles (MAVs), based on the same physics used by flying insects, have been presented to the public.
The fear kicked off in 2007 when reports of bizarre flying objects hovering above anti-war protests sparked accusations that the U.S. government was accused of secretly developing robotic insect spies...Continue reading...

Since Sunday, 48 rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel.


Since Sunday, 48 rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel, threatening the lives of more than one million Israeli civilians who live within range.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces targeted terrorist squads in Gaza. The terrorist organization Hamas is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas rockets
Gazan terrorists prepare to launch rockets toward Israel  Read here....
:Over one million people have 60 seconds to run, to hide, to pray that this rocket won't hit near their home. Last night, a man left his house to go somewhere - he was 100 meters away when the rocket hit. People have been injured - one seriously. 
And so I will leave you with the thought - look quickly around you - you've just heard a siren...where will you hide? Do you have a safe room...and can you get there fast enough? Do you have your son or daughter with you? Do you have to grab more than one child? Do you have an elderly parent that walks slowly?
Where will you hide - if you've read to here - the rocket has already exploded...
And my last question - how many rockets hit YOUR country today? More than fifty rockets...15 seconds if you live in Shderot...45 if you live in Ashkelon....60 if you live in Beersheva...A Soldier's Mother

Mallard ducks and 'duck run' video

Photo: A mallard duck
Male mallards, or drakes, are more distinctively colored than females, who are mottled brown with a flourish of iridescent purple on their wing feathers.
Photograph by Bates Littlehales Mallard Duck

WORTH – ‘Caught Up’

Animal Love

Miss Moss
i’m going to revive the photo bomb series because my flickr favourites are so vast, but i’ve decided to share new, old and favourite photographers theme by theme because otherwise all you get is a disconnected bunch of photos and this isn’t tumblr, folks. if you want to explore past flickr favourites in the archives, you can check out the photo bombflickr tags… or just browse the photography category.
so for this week’s photo bomb the theme is animals & pets. i’m pretty starved for animal love right now, since moving earlier this year i don’t get to see my family’s pooches all too often, and i live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. at the moment it’s fine because i’m not home all too often anyway and that is super unfair on a cat or a dog (especially if you don’t have a garden), but it also means that i fawn over basically every single animal i get to see in real life. if you’re walking down the street with your dog (or cat? maybe you’re into that) then i WILL stop and say hi. to your animal, i will probably ignore you completely. photos here.
by lupe bracaccini

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jewel - 'Who Will Save Your Soul'

Hungry frog bites finger

This video made me laugh, Sally and Sam have been listening to "Call Me Maybe" too many times.  Karma can bite. Time for bed. Good nite Kermit!
The Muppet Show: Kermit - "Bein' Green"

Russia sending navy ships to Syria amid uprising

Russian sailors do their morning exercises near a Navy vessel in the bay of the Ukrainian city Sevastopol, the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Sept. 6, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images)
(CBS/AP) MOSCOW - Three Russian navy ships are completing preparations to sail to Syria with a unit of marines on a mission to protect Russian citizens and the nation's base there, CBS News has confirmed. The deployment appears to reflect Moscow's growing concern about Syrian President Bashar Assad's future.
CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin reports that two of the vessels are small, slow Russian amphibious ships which have been loading "material" believed to be small arms and ammunition at ports in the Black Sea. They have not yet left port and it is unclear whether troops will be on them.
The Russians say the shipments are intended to beef up security at their base at Tartus and there is no reason to doubt that, Martin reports. There have been protests at Tartus and Russian citizens have been threatened.The third ship is a Dutch freighter called the MV Alead, which is carrying MI-25 attack helicopters, Martin reports. It will eventually add to Syrian firepower, but there is no evidence that these helicopters are being rushed to Syria to shore upAssad...Continue reading.... .    

Syria crisis: US and Russia divided on Assad's future - live updates

• Obama and Putin call for peace but split over Assad
• Robert Mood to brief UNSC on suspended observer mission
• Muslim Brotherhood calls for protest against generals

• Read the latest summary

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote

     Coyotes have high behavioural plasticity: A coyote hitches a ride on Portland transit (Feb 2002, Portland News)

  1. The Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going “meep, meep.”
  2. No outside force can harm the Coyote — only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
  3. The Coyote could stop anytime — if he were not a fanatic.
  4. No dialogue ever, except “meep, meep” and yowling in pain.
  5. The Road Runner must stay on the road — for no other reason than that he’s a roadrunner.
  6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters — the southwest American desert.
  7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
  8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote’s greatest enemy.
  9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
  10. The audience’s sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
  11. The Coyote is not allowed to catch or eat the Road Runner.Rules

Pretty Things

Chewing a gum could lead to short-term memory loss?

AFP: Need to keep mentally alert for the next few minutes? Spit out that piece of chewing gum. That's the conclusion of a British study which found that chewing gum can impair short-term memory, reported trade publication The latest study, published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, challenges previous studies which found that chewing gum can actually boost short-term memory...Continue reading...

Syrian Islamist opposition casts out Christians - Arab Spring...

Syrian Christians light candles during a service at the al-Zaytoun Church in Bab Touma Square in Damascus, on December 13 , 2011 in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and in memory of those killed in the ongoing unrest in the country (AFP Photo/Louai Beshara)
Syrian Christians light candles during a service at the al-Zaytoun Church in Bab Touma Square in Damascus, on December 13 , 2011 in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and in memory of those killed in the ongoing unrest in the country (AFP Photo/Louai Beshara) The Christian minority in Syria is facing a growing threat and thousands are being forced to flee their homes as they face harassment and discrimination from radial Islamist factions of the opposition.
At least 9,000 Christians from the western Syrian city of Qusayr were forced to seek refuge after an ultimatum from a local military chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba, Fides news agency reports.
In the latest outburst of violence a Christian man was shot dead by a sniper in Qusayr, which neighbors the restive city of Homs.
There have been reports last week that some mosques in the city have announced from the minarets: "Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, which expires this Friday."...Continue reading...

First Female Astronaut From China Blasts Into Space

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images- Liu Yang, China’s first woman in space, boarded a spacecraft in western China on Saturday.By and :  SHANGHAI — China sent a crew of three, including the country’s first female astronaut, into space on Saturday to carry out its first manned docking mission, an important step in an ambitious plan to build a Chinese space station by 2020.
The successful launching of the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, powered by a Long March 2F rocket, was shown live on state television from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert in western China.
The crew is expected to spend up to 20 days in space and dock with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space lab module, a kind of miniature space station, which China launched in September 2011. The crew will conduct experiments and live for a time in the space module. China has spent billions in the past decade to build a space program to compete with the United States and Russia, and it plans to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon, perhaps by 2016... Continue reading...

Rasmus powers Blue Jays to sweep of Phils

gif gif
By Gregor Chisholm / TORONTO -- It might have taken a little while, but Colby Rasmus has all of a sudden become one of the Blue Jays' most reliable hitters.
After a disappointing 2011 season and a somewhat slow start to the year, Rasmus has found another gear in Toronto. His spot near the top of the lineup is secure and there are plenty of positives to be found in his overall production.
Rasmus came through again on Sunday afternoon with a three-hit game -- including a two-run homer -- while Brett Cecil tossed five strong innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-2 victory over the Phillies at Rogers Centre.
"Good offensive approach at the plate, particularly with Rasmus," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Just an outstanding day. There were a number of balls he ran down in the center field. He's swinging the bat with a lot of confidence." here...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father and Son

Father and Son from William J. Meyer on Vimeo.
I was ambivalent about sharing this video publicly, but my Mother asked me to do it, so I will follow her judgment.
I made this video with and for my father, Larry Zander, who died a few weeks ago, on May 27, 2011.
He was 78.
For those of you who knew my Dad, you will instantly recognize him in his natural habitat.
To those of you who never met him, just know the river was his Church.
He taught me everything of value, including how to respect others, and how to love and engage the Lord with my mind as well as my spirit.
He also taught me something that I only came to realize as an adult, and that is the immense capacity of the human heart.
You see, I didn't meet Larry until I was eight years old.
He was not my biological father.
When my Mother first brought Larry into my young life, quite naturally my first instinct was to resist.
Yes, resist this stranger who was not only showing my Mother a great deal of attention, but was also replacing me as the man of the house!
Resist both him and his attempts to love me.
I can't tell you when it happened, there was no definitive moment, but somehow I learned to trust not only Larry, but God, too, for I truly believe He introduced Larry to my Mother.
Both of them knew what they were doing, though I was too young to know it.
When I stopped resisting, only then did I find love.
Last summer I asked Dad if we could shoot this video with my new camera, and so we awoke before dawn - uncomfortable for me, but old-hat to my Dad, a lifelong fisherman!
We spent the day together up on Crystal River in Waupaca, Wisconsin.
During Christmas 2010 I showed him this video, not without trepidation. After all, I had selected Cat Steven's "Father and Son" to underscore the piece, and I was initially concerned that Dad wouldn't like the theme of the song.
When the video ended, I looked over at him sitting on the other end of the couch.
He was doubled-over, crying. He looked up at my Mom and simply said, "Play this at my funeral."
Which we did, on Memorial Day, in our backyard beside his trout pond.
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I will always love you.
And thank you for everything.
-your son, William

Fine Art Photography by Nicolai Perjesi

Fine Art Photography by Nicolai PerjesiNicolai Perjesi is a Copenhagen based photographer. Born in Elsinore, famous for its castle Kronborg - the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet - he was raised by artistic parents, his Danish mother a classically trained pianist and violinist and his Hungarian father a sculptor and lecturer, and soon found the arts an inescapable part of life. He started taking photos at the age of 11 - some of his first motifs being his skateboarding friends - and he won his first photo contest in the local newspaper at the age of 13.

He continued to develop his photography skills and in 1984 he started a three year apprenticeship at a commercial photographers studio in Copenhagen. 1987 saw him graduate from The Copenhagen Graphic Design School and his first professional jobs was as an assistant at Station 1 Photography and staff photographer at The Danish Design Center.

In 1989 he set up his own studio and with 20 years of professional experience Nicolai has travelled the world and photographed architecture, nature, people and objects for some of the leading advertising agencies, graphic designers and corporate and private organizations, both in Denmark and abroad. Nicolai has a flair for creating atmospheric photos and he catches - with great insight - the unique. There's a presence in his work and through this he tells us a story which is always distinctive for that particular place and situation. Creative Photography 2012. By Best Photography Inspirations Blog. photos here.
Fine Art Photography by Nicolai Perjesi