Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pictures of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes

Skin painted bright red, heads partially shaved, arrows drawn back in the longbows and aimed square at the aircraft buzzing overhead. The gesture is unmistakable: Stay Away.

Behind the two men stands another figure, possibly a woman, her stance also seemingly defiant. Her skin painted dark, nearly black.

The apparent aggression shown by these people is quite understandable. For they are members of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes, who live in the Envira region in the thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian frontier.

Thought never to have had any contact with the outside world, everything about these people is, and hopefully will remain, a mystery.

'We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,' said Brazilian uncontacted tribes expert José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior. 'This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.'

Logging is driving uncontacted tribes over the border and could lead to conflict with the estimated five hundred uncontacted Indians already living on the Brazilian side.
Enlarge Uncontacted tribe

'What is happening in this region [of Peru] is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilised' ones, treat the world,' said Meirelles.

It is extraordinary to think that, in 2008, there remain about a hundred groups of people, scattered over the Earth, who know nothing of our world and we nothing of theirs, save a handful of brief encounters.

The uncontacted tribes, which are located in the jungles of South America, New Guinea and a remote and the beautiful and remote North Sentinel island in the Indian Ocean (the inhabitants of which have also responded to attempts at contact with extreme aggression) all have one thing in common - they want to be left alone.

Ms Ross added: 'These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist. The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct.'

For more information on Survival International, see


Women are From Venus, Men are From Mars (Joke)

A woman didn’t come home one night The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house. The man called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

A man didn’t come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house. The woman called her husband’s 10 best friends, eight of which confirmed that he had slept over, and two said that he was still there.

Click here, the comments are interesting as to how both sexes actually interpret the story and the humor differently! Amazing.

FULLSCREEN Android demo

Google’s latest Android prototype is miles improved over the versions we last saw. Back at CES the GUI was clunky and the whole thing looked relatively primative; Google themselves asked us to keep an open mind and instead concentrate on the OS’ potential. Now, they’ve brought out a device that you could, frankly, mistake for production hardware.


WTF? Rupert Murdoch Just Short of Endorses Obama

Rupert Murdoch -- Chairman of News Corp, new WSJ owner, and longtime torchbearer for conservative politics -- said this about Barack Obama: "He is a rock star. It's fantastic" "I love what he is saying about education." "I don't think he will win Florida.....but he will win in Ohio and the election". "I am anxious to meet him." "I want to see if he will walk the walk."

About the presumptive Republican nominee, Murdoch said, "McCain is a friend of mine. He's a patriot. But he's unpredicatble. Doesn't seem to know much about the economy. He has been in Congress a long time, and you have to make a lot of compromises. So what's he really stand for?... I think he has a lot of problems."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Puh-Lease: Terrorrist Scarves?

A seemingly innocuous Dunkin' Donuts commercial starring Rachael Ray has sent the conservative blogosphere aflutter because it appears that Ray is wearing a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh,* which to some is the equivalent of calling for jihad.

At least that's what conservative uber-blogger Michelle Malkin thinks. She refers to Ray's scarf as an example of "jihadi chic." (Looks like ordinary paisley to us, but we're not experts in "jihadi chic.")

She then writes, "I’m hoping her hate couture choice was spurred more by ignorance than ideology."

Clearly, Malkin has too much time on her hands. Keith Olbermann called her "paranoid." But Dunkin' Donuts immediately yanked the ad.

You've never seen Bostonist defend Rachael Ray or Dunkin' Donuts decision to use her as a spokesperson, especially since she is an avowed Starbucks drinker, but this Bostonist is on Ray's side, at least just this once.

*By the way, not everyone who wears a keffiyeh is a terrorist. The kaffiyeh-wearing Bedouin herders would be pissed to hear that they're now terrorists.

Can someone please slap these people or something? This is as idiotic, narrow-minded and ridiculous as radical religious zealots of any flavor anywhere.


Wolverine Frog breaks own bones to produce claws

"Amphibian horror" isn't a movie genre, but on this evidence perhaps it should be. Harvard biologists have described a bizarre, hairy frog with cat-like extendable claws.

Trichobatrachus robustus actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frog's toe pads, probably when it is threatened.

David Blackburn and colleagues at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, think the gruesome behaviour is a defence mechanism.

The researchers say there are salamanders that force their ribs through their skin to produce protective barbs on demand, but nothing quite like this mechanism has been seen before.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks out

George Bush Sr's corrupt idiot son is elevated to the White House where he has succeeded in doing more damage to America than any external enemy in its history.

Meanwhile, the deeply informed, insightful, patriotic son of Robert F. Kennedy is all but banned from the airwaves.

This tells you everything you need to know about why America is where is is today and what track it's on.

"we know more about kate and tom than global warming"
"that has profound implications for our democracy... a democracy cannot function for long without an informed public"
"80% of Republicans are Democracts who don't know what's going on"
"there's not a values deficit, but an information deficit"

More here.

Teens Steal From Girl Scouts

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baby Costumes


5 dangerous things you should let your kids do

TED has some amazing lectures, this one is very interesting.

Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, spells out 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do. From TED University 2007:

  • play with fire
  • own a pocket knife
  • throw a spear
  • deconstruct appliances
  • (break the DMCA)
  • drive a car

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who's the Expert Now?

Sociologist Harry Collins is interviewed in American Scientist on his fascinating mission to find out what we need to do to be considered an expert and what different types of expertise exist.

Collins has spent many years studying how science works. Not how it is supposed to work, through experiments and falsification and gradual knowledge building, but how it actually works, through social networks, economics and traditions.

Collins and his colleagues wanted to test the difference between tacit knowledge, what we can do without being able to explain, and explicit knowledge, so they devised some fascinating experiments to see if people could tell the difference.

One ingenious experiment involved testing whether people could tell the difference between a colour blind person and normally sighted version from just talking to them about colour. It turns out, they can't.

Technical decision-making is often a matter of debating in committees and the like, so the way expertise works itself out in conversation was always going to be a central concern. We decided to use the forerunner of the "Turing test"—the "imitation game"—to see whether one kind of expert could be distinguished from another in conversational tests. In the imitation game, a judge asks open-ended questions of, say, a full-blown expert and someone with interactional expertise only, without knowing who is who. The judge tries to tell the difference. In the best-known of the experiments we did in Cardiff, color-blind people were found to be indistinguishable from color perceivers, and we argued this was because the former had been immersed in the language of the latter all their lives.

As a result of this project, the research team have created a 'periodic table' of different types of expertise and how they manifest themselves.

More, with other links, via mind hacks.

The Ultimate Internet Meme Video - Pork and Beans

Sign Language Song - Beautiful

This is the D-PAN interpretation of Christina Aguilera's song, "Beautiful".

Thanks to LRM.
Click here for a larger version from D-Pan.

Self-Riding Motorcycle - Watch more free videos

Slo-Mo Sucker Punching

Alien Dancing

Thanks to JB

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Masters of the Wedgie

Online Videos by
Includes back flipping into pants...

Estimate: 362,000 Votes for Clinton Come from McCain Supporters

(...)and over the past month, one out of every ten votes for Hillary Clinton has come from a John McCain supporter.

These McCainiacs for Clinton vote for Clinton in the Democratic primary, but in the general election they say they will choose John McCain -- even if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination.

I don't know whether these voters are part of Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos or if they are acting on their own initiative, but it doesn't matter. They will not support Clinton in the fall, a fact that must be taken into account by undeclared superdelegates as they assess Clinton's flimsy popular vote argument.

My numbers come from a question in the exit poll survey which asks all voters to say who they would vote for in both a McCain-Clinton contest and in a McCain-Obama contests. Based on the answers to those questions, the exit poll data shows Clinton received the following votes in each state (rounded to the nearest 500):

* Pennsylvania: 71,500 (6% of her total)
* Indiana: 83,500 (13% of her total)
* North Carolina: 106,000 (16% of her total)
* West Virginia: 24,500 (10% of her total)
* Kentucky: 61,500 (13% of her total)
* Oregon: 14,500 (4% of her total)

In all, Clinton's total of 362,000 votes from McCain supporters easily dwarfed the 120,000 votes Barack Obama received.

What this means is that over the past month alone, John McCain's supporters have helped Hillary Clinton narrow Barack Obama's overall "popular vote" lead by nearly a quarter-million voters.

Read details here.

The "Trust Me" Drug

What if you could convince people to trust you and take risks for you with just a few drops of liquid surreptitiously placed in their water? There would be no drunkenness, no rufie-esque glazed eyes: just pure, human trust created via chemicals. The person wouldn't even know they'd been dosed. A study coming out tomorrow in the journal Neuron explains how this scenario is possible today, with just a small dose of the brain chemical oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a chemical associated with many of the "pleasurable" feelings you have, from basic trust, to love and orgasm. Researchers in Switzerland theorized that people playing social trust games might change their behaviors if given doses of oxytocin, since the chemical might artificially enhance their willingness to trust someone. Indeed, they were right: subjects dosed with Oxytocin were willing to trust people even after they'd been explicitly told that those people had behaved in untrustworthy ways in the past. People who had not been dosed did not trust the "untrustworthy" people.

Scary. More.

Seeing Sound Waves

Simple yet elegant experiment.

Awesome 3D Photos

Just cross your eyes.

More here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amazing Technology for Image Viewing & More

This Technology Will Blow Your Mind.. - Technology
I think this should be *the* desktop paradigm. Infinite-size desktop. Better video here.

Cool Business Cards

More here.

Disco for Babies

As a hip, urban twenty-five year old young woman, my Saturday afternoons always include dance parties. This past weekend was a bit different. I went to a dance party but, this Saturday I danced with babies—no, not hot male babes, babies, as in diaper-clad, bottle-gripping, pacifier-sucking infants. I admit, it was weird to switch up my vodka-tonics for cranapple boxed juice, but this dance party was one of the hippest and liveliest ones I have ever attended.

Baby Loves Disco is a craze started in Philadelphia by professional dancer and professional mama, Heather Murphy. Her brainwave was to make a unique space for parents to boogie with their babies. She was sick of the mass-produced, commercialized places that encompassed the world of children’s entertainment. At Baby Loves Disco, Barney, Mickey mouse-ears, and junk food are banned. Baby Loves Disco happens in every major city in the United States and numerous big cities abroad. It employs local parents and lets them keep the hallucination alive that it is possible to work from home and avoid getting a real job.


Fake Ingredients for Marketing

Marketers often have to come up with creative ways to gain a competitive advantage and sell T.S.O.C.—the same old crap. This requires repackaging common ingredients and giving them new (and newly trademarked) names and identities. Are they insulting our intelligence with their duplicity or does this type of marketing really work? If you’ve purchased the following products, you may have to side with the latter.

Bifidus Regularis and Bifidus Immunis = Yogurt

Certs—with Retsyn® = copper gluconate (the green specks), hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and flavoring. There is no such chemical as Retsyn.

Scope—with T25® = blend of breath fresheners

Quadratein™=Snickers Marathon Bar blend of non-proprietary ingredients


Jack Sparrow Talks About Disney

An ex-Jack Sparrow spills on life at the Magic Kingdom
Photograph by Mark Hanauer

Like everyone, I grew up going to Disneyland. Even as an adult I loved it there and went at least once a month. I was an annual pass holder, though not like the freaky ones you may have heard of. I’d see the park’s characters and think, “It’d be so cool to work here.” But there was never a character I really wanted to play. I had a role on the television show Veronica Mars and was working at Coco’s when a friend told me Disneyland was casting a Jack Sparrow character. I had already played Jack as a hobby at San Diego’s Comic-Con and the Renaissance Faire.
Thirty-seven actors showed up that day, four of us in costume. Only eight were chosen for the next round. We were told we would be auditioning the next day at Disneyland. When I showed up, there were now 23 guys—15 that had been pulled from in-house auditions. There was this assistant who would come in and pull people one by one—“Steve, can you come with me?” Then you’d never see Steve again. Finally I was sitting all alone in the room. After 15 minutes they pulled me into another room where two other guys were sitting. They told us we were going to be Disneyland’s first Jack Sparrows.

Disney warned us we were going to have a lot of horny women coming on to us. They were also worried about girls. I heard Disneyland had an Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She was very flirtatious, and they finally pulled her because men found her too sexually arousing and were acting out.

Read on here. Very interesting.

Parrot Tells Police Its Address

When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.

He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.

"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs.

"We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we've found Yosuke," Uemura said.

The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Whales Inspire Blade Technology

He discovered that these bumps, called tubercles, are this creature's secret weapon, allowing a whale the size of a school bus to make tight turns and capture prey with astonishing agility.

To understand this phenomenon, imagine airplane wings. Pilots increase the angle of the airfoil to provide more lift. But when the angle gets too steep, the air current drags on the wing, suddenly reducing the lift and causing the aircraft to stall.

Fish found that humpback fins act a little differently. He and his colleagues tested a scale model of the whale flipper in a wind tunnel. To their surprise, the experiments revealed that significant drag occurs at a much steeper angle on the humpback fin than it does on a sleek flipper. Each tubercle redirects and channels air over the flipper, creating a sort of whirling vortex that actually improves lift, Fish says.

"These bumps were thought of as anatomical anomalies, but they do modify the flow and they do it in ways that are beneficial to the whale," says Fish.

The technology can be used in a huge range of machines such as turbines, compressors, pumps, and fans that use blades or rotors – most anything that cuts through air, water, steam or oil, says Fish.

"There was a 20 percent drop in energy use, a significant drop in noise decibels, and overall distribution of air was more even," says Envira-North CEO Monica Bowden. The increased efficiency also means the new fans will have five blades instead of 10, making them cheaper to manufacture.


NASA Team Pinpoints Human Causes of Global Warming

Human-caused climate change has impacted a wide range of Earth's natural systems, from permafrost thawing to plants blooming earlier across Europe to lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period, including changes to physical systems, such as glaciers shrinking, permafrost melting, and lakes and rivers warming. Impacts also included changes to biological systems, such as leaves unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in the spring, birds arriving earlier during migration periods, and ranges of plant and animal species moving toward the poles and higher in elevation. In aquatic environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, plankton and fish are shifting from cold-adapted to warm-adapted communities.

"This is the first study to link global temperature data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and impacts," said Rosenzweig, lead author of the study.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Bionic Dolphin

Two years ago Winter was the dolphin that could not swim.

Instead of powering through the water with a flick of her tail, the bottlenose could barely waggle from side to side.

She had lost her tail in a crab trap at just two months old and was found floating in distress off the coast of Florida.

She may never be the most elegant dolphin who ever swam but, as she splashes about in the aquarium, it is safe to say that she probably doesn't care.

People want to do nation-building... in America

People want to do nation-building. They really do. But they want to do nation-building in America.

Our president’s latest energy initiative was to go to Saudi Arabia and beg King Abdullah to give us a little relief on gasoline prices. I guess there was some justice in that. When you, the president, after 9/11, tell the country to go shopping instead of buckling down to break our addiction to oil, it ends with you, the president, shopping the world for discount gasoline.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.

How could this be? We are a great power. How could we be borrowing money from Singapore? Maybe it’s because Singapore is investing billions of dollars, from its own savings, into infrastructure and scientific research to attract the world’s best talent — including Americans.

And us? Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, just told a Senate hearing that cutbacks in government research funds were resulting in “downsized labs, layoffs of post docs, slipping morale and more conservative science that shies away from the big research questions.” Today, she added, “China, India, Singapore ... have adopted biomedical research and the building of biotechnology clusters as national goals. Suddenly, those who train in America have significant options elsewhere.”

Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.


Profiteering from the 'War on Terror'

Editor’s Note: One of George W. Bush’s long-lasting legacies may be what President Dwight Eisenhower might have called the “terror-industrial complex,” a vast web of interlocking corporations, government agencies and consultancies that have turned the shock of 9/11 into a blank check against the U.S. Treasury.

In this guest essay, the Independent Institute’s Ian S. Lustick looks at the ever-expanding size of this leviathan that is devouring tax dollars and American liberties.

In 2004, I attended a lecture given by the official in charge of encouraging scientists to shift their research activities in this direction. We were told that no matter what topics we worked on, and whether we were natural scientists or behavioral scientists, our work likely could help in the fight against terrorism.

The official strongly encouraged us to submit grant proposals for projects based on “outside the box” thinking because, he said, there was plenty of money available.

Officially, the terrorist threat level is always and everywhere no less than elevated. The threat is constantly dangled before us: ports, border crossings, the milk supply, cattle herds, liquid natural gas tankers, nuclear power plants, drinking water, tunnels, bridges, subways.

The result: continued support for ever-increasing funding.

Within little more than half a decade America adjusted psychologically, politically and militarily to the Soviet enemy and its capacity to incinerate our cities on a moment’s notice.

We came to know the Soviet enemy very well and were able to adopt prudent, realistic and successful policies in the face of genuine threats of national destruction posed by Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.

Rather than let our fears and anxieties of Muslim fanatics drive policy, we need the same sober approach to the real but lesser threat posed by terrorists.

Very interesting article, worth the read. Click Here.

Meanwhile, in Amsertdam's Toilets...

"Reducing Spillage by 80%". Brilliant!
From here.

Ray Gun Not So Harmless After All...

The following is from the CBS report. I have taken of their first set of paragraphs and put the factual information under each of their statements. The readers will begin to see from my responses that the Ray Gun is exactly opposite from what 60 Minutes reported. Meaning- -The Ray Gun is a very lethal weapon and was designed to kill, not as a non-lethal weapon as described by 60 Minutes. The Ray Gun was designed at Kirtland AFB, NM, and had been tested there for many years prior to 2003. The weapon was operational in 2003 and should have been deployed to Iraq during the first month of the war. American lives could have been saved then. Now five years later the Pentagon is clearly attempting to cover up another error by using 60 Minutes as their voice piece to say the weapon is non-lethal and this is why it was not deployed. This major lapse in miscalculation is not a Republican nor Democratic problem, but a combination of both parties making mistakes. Below begins the CBS Report and my response:


Bicycle Lift in Norway!

More Pics.

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