Chinese Teenager Sells Kidney For iPhone

12:35:00 PM, Saturday, June 04, 2011

"A Chinese teenager has sold his kidney to buy an iPad and iPhone.

Xiao Zheng, from the country's south-eastern Anhui province, is believed to have met a broker on the internet who said he could help him sell his kidney for £1,825 (Yuan 20,000).

He is said to have left a message for the middleman saying: "I want to buy an iPad 2."

Zheng then travelled to Chenzhou in central Hunan province, where he had his right kidney removed in a hospital.

His mother told reporters she was devastated by the news.

She said: "When my son came home he had a laptop computer and an Apple phone.

"Where did all that money come from? Only when he could bear it no longer did he tell us.

"He said, Mum, I sold my kidney.

"When I heard it I felt like the sky was crashing down on our family."

The boy's mother alerted police after she found out but they were unable to locate the broker as his phone was switched off.

The hospital was not authorised to perform organ transplants, and claimed they had no idea about the surgery because the department had been contracted to a businessman from a neighbouring province, reports said."

-- Who needs two kidneys!? That's just wasteful. [For video follow link]

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New Tata Magic Iris and Ace Zip

12:22:40 PM, Saturday, June 04, 2011

"Not sure if you remember that funny little penguin that was spotted back in 2009, but it has just been launched as the Tata Ace Zip in India. Together with covered sister Magic Iris, the duo look soft toy cute (to me at least) with their wide open eyes and odd proportions. Eyelashes will work well here, don’t you think?

Wait, it gets funnier. The one with the roof, Magic Iris, is described as a four-wheel, 3-4 seater small passenger carrier, a good alternative to those three-wheelers that are popular in India. The pick-up bodied Ace Zip on the other hand, is described by the press release as a 600-kg micro truck “for deep-penetration goods movement”. By the way, this is not Google Translate playing tricks, the release is in English. Deep penetration goods movement, I like!

Both are powered by a 611 cc, water cooled engine with 11 hp and 31 Nm of torque. Those wheels are 12-inch items. No performance figures are given, but the Ace Zip’s payload is 600 kg. Turning radius is a small 3.5 metres. The body is all steel, including the hard top and double steel sheet doors on the Magic Iris.

The Magic Iris is priced at Rs 1.95 lakh (about RM13,000) while the Ace Zip costs Rs 1.90 lakh, ex showroom Thane without octroi tax. They come with a warranty of 36,000 km or 12 months."

-- Who wants one?!

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Old Man Invades Interview With Animal Noises

2:56:06 PM, Friday, June 03, 2011
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Deepest-Living Land Animal Found

10:47:35 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011

"Worms have been found living at depths in the Earth where it was previously thought animals could not survive.

Discovered in South African mines, the roundworms can survive in the stifling 48C (118F) water that seeps between cracks 1.3km beneath the Earth's crust.

The find has surprised scientists who, until now, believed only single-celled bacteria thrived at these depths.

Writing in the journal Nature, the team says this is the deepest-living "multi-cellular" organism known to science.

The researchers found two species of worm. One is a new species to science, which the scientists have named Halicephalobus mephisto after Faust's Lord of the Underworld.

The other is a previously known roundworm known as Plectus aquatilis.

Until now, only single-celled organisms, like bacteria and fungi, have been recovered from kilometres beneath the Earth's crust. The lack of oxygen is thought to stymie attempts by anything larger to make its home there.

But this has not stopped scientists looking.

The Earth's subterranean world is only accessible to researchers in a handful of places worldwide where ore-mining requires drilling to reach depths of more than 3km.

Taking advantage of two such sites - the Beatrix and Driefontein gold mines in South Africa - the international team of researchers placed filters over the mines' bore-holes through which thousands of litres of groundwater pour..."

-- And there's definitely no life on other planets guys, none. Also think Dune... Maybe if we exposed them to some radioactive materials or something... Mhuahaha!

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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Hydrogen in the LMC

10:36:29 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011

-- "A satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an alluring sight in dark southern skies and the constellation Dorado. A mere 180,000 light-years distant, the LMC is seen in amazing detail in this very deep 4 frame mosaic of telescopic images, a view that reveals the Milky Way's satellite to have the appearance of a fledgling barred spiral galaxy. The mosaic includes image data taken through a narrow filter that transmits only the red light of hydrogen atoms. Ionized by energetic starlight, a hydrogen atom emits the characteristic red H-alpha light as its single electron is recaptured and transitions to lower energy states. As a result, this mosaic seems spattered with pinkish clouds of hydrogen gas surrounding massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing hydrogen clouds are known as H II (ionized hydrogen) regions. Composed of many overlapping clouds, the sprawling Tarantula Nebula left of center, is by far the LMC's largest star forming region. The Large Magellanic Cloud is about 15,000 light-years across. "

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Kid Gives Speech After Learning To Ride A Bike

10:18:17 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011
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Dog Jumps Off A Boat To Swim With Dolphins

10:04:25 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011
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- 10 - by Qin YongJun

12:40:04 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011
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Report: 'Global War On Drugs Has Failed'

12:20:50 PM, Thursday, June 02, 2011

"The global war on drugs has "failed" according to a new report by a group of politicians and former world leaders.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy report calls for the legalisation of some drugs and an end to the criminalisation of drug users.

The panel includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the former leaders of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, and the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

The US and Mexican governments have rejected the findings as misguided.

The Global Commission's 24-page report argues that anti-drug policy has failed by fuelling organised crime, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and causing thousands of deaths.

It cites UN estimates that opiate use increased 35% worldwide from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27%, and cannabis by 8.5%.

Cesar Gaviria said the US came in for criticism.

The 19-member commission includes Mexico's former President Ernesto Zedillo, Brazil's ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, as well as the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker and the current Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou.

The panel also features prominent Latin American writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, the EU's former foreign policy chief Javier Solana, and George Schultz, a former US secretary of state..."

-- Oh really? No way! Who knew? ...

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Russian News Anchor Can’t Keep Straight Face For BC Pot Story

10:24:14 PM, Wednesday, June 01, 2011

-- Old, but hilarious.

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Fur - Lackadaisical

10:06:21 PM, Wednesday, June 01, 2011
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North Korean 'Global Happiness Index' Ranks China No. 1, USA Dead Last

10:16:06 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"China is the happiest place on earth(!!) according to a new global happiness index released by North Korea's Chosun Central Television. China earned 100 out of 100 points, followed closely by North Korea (98 points), then Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela. Coming in at 203rd place is America (or rather "the American Empire", 美帝国), with only 3 happiness points. South Korea got a measly 18 points for 152nd place.

While their representative representatives might not show the vivacity on their faces (and a few slip ups might have been caught on video) I guess China's been right to gush about Pyongyang's future. Nothing says happy like government-issued proclamations of happiness."

-- GOVERNMENT SAY EVERYBODY HAPPY IN NORTH KOREA

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Miracle Blue Goo Used To Decontaminate Japan’s Nuclear Disaster

9:53:01 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"It looks like Smurf blood and it may keep Japan safe from nuclear waste. DeconGel is a liquid polymer that can spread easily on almost any surface. As it hardens it traps hazardous materials, including radioactive particles, and then easily peels away for disposal. CBI Polymers, the creators of DeconGel, recently donated ten pallets of the polymer to aid in Japan’s decontamination of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site – a $250,000 gift when you include the labor of the experts and support staff that will be tagging along. DeconGel’s lightweight and easy to use approach to cleaning up radioactive waste could go a long way to restoring the Fukushima prefecture. Watch CNN’s coverage of the DeconGel donation in the video below, followed by a quick demonstration of the gel being used in more mundane situations. Discovered by accident, DeconGel is another great example of the plethora of advanced materials waiting for humanity to find and use in the future.

It’s hard to imagine a better list of properties you’d want in a decontaminate than you find in DeconGel. It adheres to almost any surface, including porous ones, and bonds tightly around particles and oils. This effectively traps any waste (hazardous or otherwise) within the substrate. While it doesn’t actually chemically or radioactively neutralize the materials it contains, it does make them exponentially easier to remove, and without the use of water or soaps. While multiple layers are recommended for heavy clean up operations, like those at Fukushima, the resulting coating is still very lightweight, with an eight pound gallon of the gel being able to cover up to 100 square feet of surface..."

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Disguised As A School

12:14:07 PM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

-- A pedophile disguised as a school is gettin kids everywhere!

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Cosmic Explosion Is New Candidate for Most Distant Object in the Universe

1:28:56 AM, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — A gamma-ray burst detected by NASA's Swift satellite in April 2009 has been newly unveiled as a candidate for the most distant object in the universe. At an estimated distance of 13.14 billion light years, the burst lies far beyond any known quasar and could be more distant than any previously known galaxy or gamma-ray burst. Multiple lines of evidence in favor of a record-breaking distance for this burst, known as GRB 090429B for the 29 April 2009 date when it was discovered, are presented in a paper by an international team of astronomers led by former Penn State University graduate student Antonino Cucchiara, now at the University of California, Berkeley.

The paper has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

The gigantic burst of gamma rays erupted from an exploding star when the universe was less than 4% of its present age, just 520 million years old, and less than 10% of its present size. "The galaxy hosting the progenitor star of GRB 090429B was truly one of the first galaxies in the universe," said Derek Fox, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a co-author of the paper. "Beyond the possible cosmic distance record, GRB 090429B illustrates how gamma-ray bursts can be used to reveal the locations of massive stars in the early universe and to track the processes of early galaxy and star formation that eventually led to the galaxy-rich cosmos we see around us today."

Gamma-ray bursts, the brightest explosions known, occur somewhere within the observable universe at a rate of about two per day. Thanks to their extreme brightness, gamma-ray bursts can be detected by Swift and other satellite observatories even when they occur at distances of billions of light years. While the bursts themselves last for minutes at most, their fading "afterglow" light remains observable from premier astronomical facilities for days to weeks. Detailed studies of the afterglow during this time, when feasible, allow astronomers to measure the distance to the burst..."

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