Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FOOLED AGAIN



PEOPLE BEING PEOPLE

33-year old British adventurer Felicity Aston is preparing to set out on an epic journey that is guaranteed to push her to both her physical and mental limits. In just a few days, she'll set out to do what no other woman has ever done – complete a solo and unsupported crossing of Antarctica on foot. Felicity's adventure will begin on the Ross Ice Shelf, where she'll start a 248 mile trek on skis to the South Pole. For most Antarctic explorers, that would be the stopping point of their expedition, but for Felicity, it won't even be the halfway mark. Once she reaches 90Âș South, she'll start the second phase of her journey – a 683 mile trudge back to the coast, ending at Hercules Inlet. The entire expedition is expected to take roughly 70 days to complete, covering more than 930 miles in the process. During that time, Aston will be completely alone, with little contact from the outside world.
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ROTARACT TWITTER CHAT ON DECEMBER 1st

Rotary International
Image via Wikipedia
Connect with Rotaractors from around the world by joining the first Rotaract Twitter chat on Thursday, 1 December, 9:30 - 10:30. Times are Central Time; please check for your local time. The following questions about how to motivate and engage volunteers will be discussed:
  • What can you learn from your volunteer experiences?
  • How can your club avoid common mistakes that can cause volunteers to lose interest in Rotaract?
  • Which issues in your community could benefit from volunteer action?
  • Why do volunteers burn out?
  • How can you re-energize, recognize, and reward your volunteers?
If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat, just sign on to Twitter on 1 December at the appropriate time and start using the tag #RACtalk. Follow that tag using a program like TweetChat to make sure you don’t miss any of the conversation. RI staff will moderate the discussion. Learn more about how to participate in a Twitter chat. Follow @Rotaract on Twitter for reminders, and mark your calendars for this interactive event. You can also participate in future #RACtalk Twitter chats on 8 December and 15 December.
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IT MUST BE 2011


  • You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
  • You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
  • You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
  • You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
  •  Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses / facebook / Myspace / twitter.
  • You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.  Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
  • Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
  • You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.


DO YOU REMEMBER?

If there’s one thing the 70s taught us about toys, it’s that anything with an “ick” factor is likely to sell very well. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a viscous green matter packaged into plastic garbage cans called Slime. Introduced by Mattel Toys in 1976, Slime proved immediately popular, a must-have on many a kid’s Christmas list that year. Let’s take a look back. (click below to read more)



IQ AND DRUG USE

A new study identifies a link between high IQ in childhood and illegal drug use at ages 16 and 30.
Researchers used data from a study that tracked 8,000 Britons born in 1970 over 30 years. They were tested for IQ at ages 5 and 10 and asked about drug use and psychological well-being at age 16, and about drug use at 30. Higher IQs were tied to higher rates of marijuana use at 16 and, at 30, higher use of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy. The link was stronger in women and was unchanged after accounting for class, income, teen psychological distress and education.
People with high IQs get high marks on "stimulation seeking" and openness to experience and are more prone to boredom—qualities that might pique interest in drugs, the authors said.
"Intelligence Across Childhood in Relation to Illegal Drug Use in Adulthood: 1970 British Cohort Study," James White, G. David Batty, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (forthcoming)
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TODAY IN HISTORY

Cover of "Brian's Song"
Cover of Brian's Song
NOVEMBER 30
1971:James Caan and Billy Dee Williams star in the ABC made-for-TV movie Brian's Song, a moving story of Chicago Bears teammates Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers.

1940:
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, best known as the stars of the classic sitcom I Love Lucy, are married in Greenwich, Conn. The successful show-biz couple will divorce in 1960.

1977:
In a rather surreal musical moment, David Bowie joins Bing Crosby to sing the medley "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" during Crosby's last Christmas special. The iconic crooner Crosby had hosted the holiday program on radio and television annually since 1936, but died at age 74 a month before Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas airs this day on CBS.
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SPACE

Explanation: Asteroid Vesta is home to some of the most impressive cliffs in the Solar System. Pictured above near the image center is a very deep cliff running about 20 kilometers from top to bottom. The image was taken by the robotic Dawn spacecraft that began orbiting the 500-kilometer space rock earlier this year. The topography of the scarp and its surroundings indicates that huge landslides may have occurred down this slope. The scarp's origin remains unknown, but parts of the cliff face itself must be quite old as several craters have appeared in it since it was created. Dawn has now finished up its high altitude mapping survey and will spiral down to a lower altitude orbit to better explore the asteroid's gravitational field. During 2012, Dawn is scheduled to blast away from Vesta and begin a long journey to the only asteroid belt object known to be larger: Ceres.
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"CHECK OUT" THIS VIDEO

AND I QUOTE

"Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening."
Barbara Tober

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE SIGN DIDN'T LIE


Wondering if That's a Genuine Bison? Try Pulling Its Tail

Bison bison. Original caption: "scientist...
Image via Wikipedia
Annual DNA Harvest to Ensure Species Purity Kicks Up Controversy
PAWHUSKA, Okla.—Squeezed into a metal chute, the young bison thrashes wildly.
The cowboys rush up. They snap a microchip into his ear, burn a brand into his shaggy rump, vaccinate him with a swift shot to his well-muscled shoulder. Then veteran ranch hand Steve Forsyth approaches. He grabs the bison's tail with flat-head pliers and yanks, hard, again and again—until he snares a bristly bouquet of black hairs, which he holds aloft in triumph.
One down, 749 to go. (click below to read more)

PEOPLE BEING PEOPLE

An Illinois appeals court finally threw out a lawsuit in August, but not before the two-year-long battle had created a foot-high pile of legal filings on whether two "children" (now ages 23 and 20) could sue their mother for bad parenting while they were growing up. Among the claims were mom's failure to send birthday cards or "care" packages during the kids' college years and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from a party (and once failing to take the girl to a car show). [Chicago Tribune, 8-28-2011]

ROTARY PARTNERS WITH UNESCO TO HELP SOLVE WATER PROBLEMS

Rotary clubs will be helping train engineers and scientists to solve problems in water and sanitation, particularly in developing countries, through a new strategic partnership between The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.  (click below to read more)

MENSA Q & A

Give the current name for the country previously known as Magyar.
(click below for the answer)

WASH UP, DOC!

Health-care workers don't wash their hands as often as they should, but a one-word change on posters improved behavior. Researchers monitored the contents of 66 sanitary-gel dispensers, before and after putting signs near them. The signs were "Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases," the same sentence substituting "patients" for "you" and a control slogan.
The first sign had no effect, but the sentence about patients' health sparked a rise in gel use from 37% to 54% of the dispensers' contents.
The authors note the need to appreciate (and combat) doctors' and nurses' inflated sense of their own immunity to infection.
"It's Not All About Me: Motivating Hand Hygiene Among Health Care Professionals by Focusing on Patients," Adam Grant and David A. Hofmann, Psychological Science (forthcoming)
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TODAY IN HISTORY

English: Enos the space chimp is wearing a spa...
Image via Wikipedia
NOVEMBER 29
1961:In preparation for NASA astronaut John Glenn's first orbital space flight, Enos the chimpanzee is launched into space from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The 5-year-old chimp orbits the Earth twice aboard the Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft before making a successful return voyage.

1890: The Navy Midshipmen beat the Army Black Knights, 24-0, at West Point, N.Y. The annual Army-Navy game remains one of the biggest rivalries in college football.

2001: Former Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison dies at age 58 after battling lung cancer.
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Monday, November 28, 2011


ARE YOU CURIOUS HOW THE CURIOSITY ROVER WILL OPERATE?

AND I QUOTE

"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."-Elbert Hubbard

SNAPSHOT



TODAY IN HISTORY

NOVEMBER 28
1963:President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that Cape Canaveral, site of NASA's space center and launchpad, will be renamed Cape Kennedy in honor of slain President John F. Kennedy, who had been a strong advocate of space exploration.

1895: Averaging 7.3 mph, J. Frank Duryea beats five other drivers to win the first official automobile race in America, a 54-mile journey through the snow from Chicago to Evanston, Ill., and back. Duryea completes the race, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald, in just over 10 hours, including stops.

1922: As an advertising stunt for the Vanderbilt Hotel, Capt. Cyril Turner of the British Royal Air Force demonstrates skywriting for the first time in the United States, scrawling "Hello, U.S.A. Call Vanderbilt 7200" while flying 10,000 feet above Times Square in New York.
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THE NEXT BIG THING

Sunday, November 27, 2011

WELL, MAYBE IT'S NOT TOTALLY FLAT



TODAY IN HISTORY

NOVEMBER 27
1978:City Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician to hold prominent elected office, and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone are murdered at City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former member of the board of supervisors.

1924: Macy's department store stages its first Christmas parade (later known as the Thanksgiving Day parade) in New York City, featuring hundreds of employees, floats, live animals, bands, balloons and Christmas-themed window displays. The Macy's parade tradition is still going strong nearly 90 years later.

1942: French Adm. Jean de Laborde orders the scuttling of a fleet of French ships and submarines at the southern port of Toulon, in order to avoid the fleet's capture by the German navy in World War II.
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DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME


Saturday, November 26, 2011

TULIP FARM IN TASMANIA


WHO INVENTS HIGH TECH BABY GEAR?

In the late 1990s,Henry Thorne invented a charming flop—the $695 Cye robot, designed for such tasks as hauling dishes and delivering mail. People found it "really cool," he said, but few bought it.
Since then, the Pittsburgh engineer and entrepreneur has created a self-navigating delivery cart that carries supplies along hospital hallways, an electronically controlled baby bath and a portable crib that opens and shuts in a single step.
The latter two inventions are part of Mr. Thorne's latest niche—pricey, next-generation versions of classic baby-care products, aimed at affluent, design-conscious parents. (click below to read more)

TODAY IN HISTORY

NOVEMBER 26
1973:Rose Mary Woods, personal secretary to President Richard Nixon, tells a federal court that she accidentally erased more than 18 minutes of taped Oval Office conversations about the Watergate scandal.

1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill to officially establish the fourth Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving Day holiday.

2000: Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announces that Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush has come out 537 votes ahead of Democrat Al Gore in the state's latest recount.
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Friday, November 25, 2011


PERHAPS IT'S TIME FOR A SONG





MENSA Q & A

 The Crimea is a peninsula in which body(ies) of water?
(click below for the answer)


TODAY IN HISTORY

NOVEMBER 25
1963:On a national day of mourning, the body of slain President John F. Kennedy is laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. With leaders from more than 90 nations in attendance at the state funeral, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy lights an eternal flame above her husband's grave.

1867: Alfred Nobel receives a patent for dynamite, a stable combination of nitroglycerin mixed with kieselguhr, a soft sedimentary rock. Dynamite is one of 355 patents that the Swedish chemist and future Nobel Prize creator will hold during his lifetime.

1999: Five-year-old Elian Gonzalez is rescued by two fishermen off the coast of Florida. He will soon become the center of a legal and media uproar as Elian's father in Cuba and his Cuban American relatives in Miami vie for custody of the boy.
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