Sep 1, 2002

Scan Skin

Send in a sample of your skin.
We invite everybody to join this project: the purpose is to create a massive database including as many different skin characteristics as possible.

Send us a sample of your skin as an image JPEG file (please follow the instructions below): we're preparing "HumanTone", a complete reference book of human skin tones and hues as an ironic support to the ScanYourSkin website.

Please join this part of the project by adding your skin. (no deadline)
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Speediest feeding mammal revealed as a mole

This little critter,


The star-nosed mole, identifies and wolfs down its food in an average of just 227 milliseconds - less than quarter of a second.

Scientists have revealed the identity of the fastest eating mammal - the distinctly peculiar star-nosed mole.

This mole finds, identifies and wolfs down its food in an average of just 227 milliseconds - less than quarter of a second. By comparison, it takes people 650 milliseconds to brake after seeing a traffic light turn red.

"I don't know of any other mammal that comes close to this," says Kenneth Catania, a biologist at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, US, and lead author of the new study.

The key to the mole's speed feasting is its odd snout, which looks like an anemone with 22 pink tentacles. But the tentacles are not used for smell - instead the mole uses them to feel around in the darkness for potential prey.

Using a high-speed video camera, Catania and his colleague Fiona Remple found that when a tentacle touched something, the mole made very quick decisions about whether that object was food or not, usually in about 8 milliseconds.

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The Safest Bed In The World?

Safest Bed The Quantum Sleeper Unit is a high-level security system designed for maximum protection in various hostile environments

Quantum Sleepers can be fitted to provide protection from destructive forces of nature such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.

The Quantum Sleeper.

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What On Earth Is A Trebuchet?

It's a big catapult (well sling shot to be technically correct) and you can throw really heavy things a long way with it. All sorts of things. Built by Hew Kennedy, the swing arm has a counterbalance weight of three tons on one end and it takes three tractors to ready it for firing. All in all, its an impressive set of kit.

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Crushed Cans

They've sold 34.

It's not like this is rocket science or something. It's very simple. This site is all about CrushedCans. Cans are cool, they are readily available, they are easy to crush and they are part of our everyday lives. So here is a place you can purchase a blank, sealed aluminum can that has been artistically crushed. Obviously you've got many questions, so please see our FAQ.
With every purchase of a crushed can, you will receive the following:
(1) Crushed Can

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Swimming in syrup is as easy as water

Swimming in syrup is as easy as water
Michael Hopkin

You can swim just as fast in a pool of gloop.
It's a question that has taxed generations of the finest minds in physics: do humans swim slower in syrup than in water? And since you ask, the answer's no. Scientists have filled a swimming pool with a syrupy mixture and proved it."What appealed was the bizarreness of the idea," says Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, who led the experiment. It's a question that also fascinated his student Brian Gettelfinger, a competitive swimmer who narrowly missed out on a place at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens.Cussler and Gettelfinger took more than 300 kilograms of guar gum, an edible thickening agent found in salad dressings, ice cream and shampoo, and dumped it into a 25-metre swimming pool, creating a gloopy liquid twice as thick as water. "It looked like snot," says Cussler.

" The fluid looked like snot. I don't know how to describe it any more poetically."
Edward CusslerUniversity of Minnesota

The pair then asked 16 volunteers, a mix of both competitive and recreational swimmers, to swim in a regular pool and in the guar syrup. Whatever strokes they used, the swimmers' times differed by no more than 4%, with neither water nor syrup producing consistently faster times, the researchers report in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal1.

Planning permission
The most troublesome part of the experiment was getting permission to do it in the first place. Cussler and Gettelfinger had to obtain 22 separate kinds of approval, including persuading the local authorities that it was okay to put their syrup down the drain afterwards.But it was worth the hassle, Cussler says, not least because his quest for an answer made him something of a celebrity on campus. "The whole university was arguing about it," he recalls. "It was absolutely hilarious."But while it might sound like a trivial question, the principle is actually fundamental. Isaac Newton and his contemporary Christiaan Huygens argued the toss over it back in the 17th century while Newton was writing his Principia Mathematica, which sets out many of the laws of physics. Newton thought that an object's speed through a fluid would depend on its viscosity, whereas Huygens thought it would not. In the end, Newton included both versions in his text.Hamstrung by their lack of access to guar gum or competitive swimmers, Newton's and Huygens' work was mainly theoretical. Cussler's demonstration shows that Huygens was right, at least for human-sized projectiles.

" The best swimmer should have the body of a snake and the arms of a gorilla. "
Edward CusslerUniversity of Minnesota

The reason, explains Cussler, is that while you experience more "viscous drag" (basically friction from your movement through the fluid) as the water gets thicker, you generate more forwards force from every stroke. The two effects cancel each other out.That's not always the case. Below a certain threshold of speed and size, viscous drag becomes the dominant force, making gloopy fluids are more difficult to swim through. Had Cussler done his experiment on swimming bacteria instead of humans, he would have recorded much slower times in syrup than in water.But for humans, speed depends not on what you swim in, but on what shape you are. Once the effects on thrust and friction have been cancelled out, the predominant force that remains is 'form drag'. This is due to the frontal area presented by a body - try running with a large newspaper held in front of you and see how much more difficult it is.So the perfect swimmer, whether in water or syrup, has powerful muscles but a narrow frontal profile. "The best swimmer should have the body of a snake and the arms of a gorilla," recommends Cussler.The journal that published the study is the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, not the American Institute of Chemistry and Engineering Journal as initially reported.

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Racetrack Fish Bowl

Designed by Isabelle Leijn
Made in the NetherlandsRacetrack Fish BowlThe Racetrack Fish Bowl is the perfect solution if your fish suffers from claustrophobia, or if you're simply looking for a tabletop conversation piece for your home or office. The Racetrack Fish Bowl is designed to give small fish, which are said to have a memory of 7 seconds, the sensation of long distance swimming. Instead of swimming side to side in a regular bowl, small fish can crisscross for miles through this unusual infinity-shaped bowl. Except perhaps for an occasional lapse of deja vu, every lap will seem like a new experience for your finned-friends.

This unique fish bowl has two integrated vases, which can be used as planters or storage for miscellaneous items. If you are using your Racetrack Fish Bowl in your home, consider using the vases to grow wheat grass or filling them with fresh flowers. For an office setting, they would make an interesting place to store pens, pencils, paper clips, or maybe even candy. Or, if you are a pragmatist, the vases make a convenient place to store fish food and fish accessories.

Stop your goldfish getting bored.

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Banana Guard

Banana Guard
Are you fed up with bringing bananas to work or school only to find them bruised and squashed? Our unique, patented device allows for the safe transport and storage of individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere.

The Banana Guard was specially designed to fit the vast majority of bananas. Its other features include multiple small perforations to facilitate ventilation thereby preventing premature ripening and a sturdy locking mechanism to keep the Banana Guard closed. The Banana Guard is of course dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Banana Guard

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More "Special" Water For Pets

PetRefresh is the only water available today that is specifically designed for the daily hydration needs of pets. Not a treat, but a core nutrient for better health.
Using a special filtration process, PetRefresh retains necessary nutrients that pets need. These nutrients are removed from any water product designed for humans, including regular bottled water and tap water that's run through a purifier.

What Could Be In The Water:
All public water systems contain some level of one or more unhealthful chemicals. Regulations only require periodic testing of about 86 toxic chemicals. There are now more than 75,000 chemicals used in our society with more than 1,000 new ones being developed each year.
So far, more than 2,100 toxic chemicals have been detected in America's water systems. And there are more than 75,000 patented chemical compounds in use today.

Jul 1, 2002

Make your own tunes!

Make your own tunes

A party isn't complete without music and what better way to create music than with our own instruments! Then we can create our own down-home rhythm and harmony.

Here are four easy-to-create rhythm instruments:

1. Line up jars with a different amount of water in each. Strike the jars with a pen or pencil and you'll have your own musical tones.

2. Hold the handles of two spoons in one hand with the curved bowls together. Then slap the spoons together against your thighs.

3. Fill pop bottles with varying amounts of water. Blow across the tops of the bottles to make musical sounds.

4. Make a shaker by putting bottle caps or rice into a small can or plastic container.

Can you think of any other ways to make instruments of your own? Bring them to the party and we'll be well on our way to creating our own musical band.

If the above dosent work try this, it's funny

Dub City Rockers.

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World’s Most Expensive Cars

1. Bugatti Veyron - $1,192,057
Most Expensive Car
2. Pagani Zonda Roadster F C12S 7.3, Clubsport - $667,321
Most Expensive Car3. SSC Ultimate Aero - $654,500

Most Expensive Car4. Leblanc Mirabeau - $645,084

Most Expensive Car5. Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo - $555,000

Most Expensive Car6. Koenigsegg CCR - $545,568

Most Expensive Car7. McLaren SLR - $452,750

Most Expensive Car8. Porsche Carrera GT - $440,000

Most Expensive Car9. Maybach 62 - $385,250

Most Expensive Car10. Maybach 57S - $367,000

Most Expensive CarForbes Runs Down the World’s Most Expensive Cars.
The Forbeses rock out with an overview of the most expensive cars in the world. Interestingly enough less than half of the list is taken up by major manufacturers, and Lambo, Ferrari, Rolls and Bentley are conspicuously absent. Also, two American cars made the list: the SSC Ultimate Aero and the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo.

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Last night at the White House...

Happy Scrappy provides a little humor in the face of the latest Bushshit, using a cool South Park character generator...


AGB provides some additional relief with a blow by blow translation of the speech

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All Day Breakfast

 All Day BreakfastThe tastiest internet cafe around, all day brekkie lets you choose the ingedients of your nutritious breakfast and then you can download it on to your desktop to enjoy all day.

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Healthy Smoking - Improve Your Health While You Smoke

Healthy Smoking Book Physicians and scientists around the world even go as far as to state that smoking leads to premature death. But does it really? Don’t we all know someone who smokes constantly, even heavily, yet is still living — or has lived — to the mature age of eighty, ninety, and older?

If you know of a smoker who is now deceased, isn’t it possible that they passed-on from basic old age and not from the act of smoking cigarettes?

Furthermore, the MDs and PhDs state that smoking causes cancer and emphysema. If this diagnosis were definitive, wouldn’t these afflictions affect all smokers equally, rather than the small percentage that it actually does affect?

Consider, alternately, that these physicians and scientists are correct to any degree. Wouldn’t it make sense to take precautionary measures to decrease your risks of diminished health? Certainly.Improve Your Health While You Smoke

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Which book should every adult read before they die?

Which book should every adult read before they die?In a poll conducted by the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), librarians around the country were asked the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die"?

The list in full.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

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The Top 18 Skylines in the World

1. Hong Kong, China
Kong is number one on my list for many reasons: Hong Kong has a
whopping 43 buildings over 200 metres tall, 30 of which were built in
the year 2000 or later!!! It also boasts four of the 15 tallest
buildings in the world… that's all in one city! Hong Kong’s skyline
shows a large selection of distinct sky-reaching towers, with beautiful
night lighting and reflection. This city exemplifies the post-modern
skyscraper and skyline. Finally, the mountain backdrop makes this
skyline (as you can clearly see) the greatest on the planet!

Metro/Urban Population: 6.9 million
 Skylines in the World

2. Chicago, USA
is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper. When Chicago built its
first steel high-rise in 1885, it was not the tallest structure in the
world but the first example of a new form of engineering that would
change nearly every city on earth. Chicago has 19 buildings over 200
metres tall (three of which are among the top 20 tallest buildings in
the world, including the tallest in North America). Chicago has some of
the finest mid-century architecture and examples of modern skyscrapers.

Metro/Urban Population: 9.5 million
 Skylines in the World

3. Shanghai, China
to be mistaken for a space station, Shanghai is a real city! China's
biggest and most advanced city, Shanghai was said to be the most
cosmopolitan city in the beginning of the 20th century, but lost its
glory during the “Mao era”. It is now quickly regaining its position as
one of the biggest economic powerhouses in the world as well as a
showcase of modern architecture. In Shanghai you’ll find 25 structures
that are over 200 metres tall, one of which is the insanely tall, the
468m downtown Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

Metro/Urban Population: 13.1 million
 Skylines in the World

4. New York City, USANew
York City has one of the densest and most diverse skylines, with a huge
collection of buildings and building styles. Thanks to Hollywood’s
obsession with the city, it is also the most easily recognizable
skyline in the world. New York City has an amazing 47 buildings over
200 metres - the most in the world! The four tallest buildings in NYC
were all built in the early 1930s! Home of the famous, now destroyed
World Trade Center Towers, the Empire State building, the Statue of
Liberty and the United Nations, New York City is the financial capital
of the western world. Upon the completion of the new "Freedom Tower"
(built on the old site of the World Trade Centers), it may rank higher
in this list (depending on how good it looks of course).

Metro/Urban Population: 21.0 million
 Skylines in the World

5. Tokyo, Japan
is the world's most populated city. Its skyline has a number of unique
characteristics that set it apart from other big city skylines, among
them 15 structures at over 200 metres tall (including the Tokyo Tower
which changes colors every night). But because of the density and vast
size of the city, every corner appears to have its own skyline. With
the height restrictions and the required red lights that flash atop all
mid to tall-sized buildings make the city look spectacular at night.
Tokyo is filled with neon lighting and unique, contemporary
architecture, and like New York City is also often portrayed in movies
for its aesthetic and eye-catching cityscapes. Interesting fact: Tokyo
houses the world's largest fleet of helicopters to get around town if
traffic gets too crazy.

Metro/Urban Population: 32.0 million
 Skylines in the World

6. Singapore
of the best (urban) planned and cleanliest metropolitan cities in the
world, Singapore looks like an architectural model city come to life.
The buildings cannot be higher than 280 metres due to air traffic
control restrictions, but that has added a tall (but not too tall) and
consistent building height and space pattern that makes this skyline
unique: Three buildings are exactly 280 metres tall and 5 others (8
total) stand at just over 200 metres. The buildings are mostly
light-coloured and there is a large expanse of greenery dotted around
the city core. This South-Eastern city is definitely in a league of its

Metro/Urban Population: 3.8 million
 Skylines in the World

7. Toronto, Canada
is a meeting place, a crossroads of many cultures and ethnicities.
Toronto is downtown Canada, the biggest city in the country with a
skyline to match. Toronto has 7 structures in its skyline that stand at
over 200 metres, including the astonishingly tall 553 metre, CN Tower,
which is often referred to as the tallest free-standing structure in
the world. While mostly untrue (because there are taller TV masts in
the world), the CN Tower possess the world's highest observation deck,
making this city's skyline one of the most immediately identifiable.

Metro/Urban Population: 5.1 million
 Skylines in the World

8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
is probably the most impressive city worldwide that has less than 2
million residents. Marvelous modern buildings reach the sky here, and
while the skyline is not too dense, it does allow buildings to soar and
stand out. Kuala Lumpar has three of the 25 tallest buildings
worldwide, including the tallest twin buildings, the Pretonos Towers
(which are arguably the second and third tallest overall in the world)
as well as the 420 metre Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower.

Metro/Urban Population: 1.5 million
 Skylines in the World

9. Shenzhen, China
was a tiny fishing village on the border of Hong Kong in 1970 is now a
buzzing metropolis of over four million people. With 13 buildings at
over 200 meters tall, including the Shun Hing Square (the 8th tallest
building in the world), Shenzen is a marvel of lights after sunset. You
can’t help but ask yourself if you are in a video game or in a real

Metro/Urban Population: 4.2 million
 Skylines in the World

10. Seoul, South Korea
city's skyscrapers are divided into many clusters, spread amongst the
main businesses and residential districts. Most of the recent growth in
Seoul's skyline, however, has been of residential towers over 60
storeys high that are shooting up like blades of grass! There are 10
buildings in Seoul over 200 meters tall and much of the mid-rise to
high-rise structures are lined up in a linear fashion, creating a
"wall" of buildings like no other. Seoul is where the ancient Eastern
world meets the modern West.

Metro/Urban Population: 20.8 million
 Skylines in the World

11. Sao Paolo, Brazil
building did you say they lived in?” Finding it in the largest mass of
condensed apartment buildings anywhere would be like finding a needle
in a haystack. Sao Paolo has a population of over 18 million people!
While the buildings are not super tall (with only a single structure at
over 200 meters tall) this skyline is nevertheless stacked. Sao Paolo
has a fleet of over 500 helicopters, the second largest helicopter
fleet in the world.

Metro/Urban Population: 18.3 million
 Skylines in the World

12. Sydney, Australia
showcase city, Sydney has one of the most recognizable skylines due to
its world-famous harbour, often referred to as the most beautiful
natural harbour in the world. The Sydney Harbour has many bays, inlets
and secondary harbours. It is spanned by the monumental Harbour Bridge,
and the Opera House decorates the shoreline like a white flower. The
Sydney skyline is world-class with hundreds of skyscrapers in the
central business district and many more high-rise buildings in the
outlying neighbourhoods. Sydney has 8 buildings over 200 metres tall.

Metro/Urban Population: 4.2 million
 Skylines in the World

13. Frankfurt, Germany
one of Europe's most interesting cities in terms of skylines, Frankfurt
is home to five structures that are over 200 metres tall. These modern
skyscrapers are marvels compared to those other, mostly non-existent
ones scattered across European cities. The contrast here is
interesting: The city combines low-rise, high-density traditional
European architecture (some of which is over 1,000 years old), with
modern towers that stick out like sore thumbs, but are impressive

Metro/Urban Population: 4.1 million
 Skylines in the World

14. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
this a mirage in the Middle East? Seemingly out of nowhere emerges a
city in the middle of a desert. This is Dubai, a city that produces
only the best modern architecture in the world. Already home of the
world's tallest all-hotel building and the tallest all-residential
building in the world, AND currently proposed to build the world's
tallest building, this skyline might just leap to the number 1 spot in
the near future. While the skyline is not so dense, each building is a
marvel all on its own. As a skyline it probably can't compete with the
larger cities, however the individual buildings in this city are by far
the greatest examples of modern architectural accomplishments. All
seven structures in this city at over 200 metres tall were built in
1999 or later - that's how new this city is.

Metro/Urban Population: 1.6 million
 Skylines in the World

15. Seattle, USA
is the commercial, cultural and advanced technology hub of the
Northwest USA and a major port city for Pacific and European trade.
Home 4 buildings over 200m and the famous 184m Space Needle observation
tower, Seattle is surrounded by mountains and water and offers some
picture-perfect views. Seattle is commonly referred to as the Emerald
City and renowned as a great social and corporate city with great
planning and planning.

Metro/Urban Population: 3.6 million
 Skylines in the World

16. Pittsburgh, USA
Pittsburgh only has two buildings over 200m tall, its skyline is very
impressive nonetheless. Pittsburgh has nicknames like the "city of
bridges", "the Burgh" or the "golden triangle" which outlines its true
characteristics. It is surround by three rivers and the CBD is shaped
in a triangle and surrounded by golden color bridges. The city is also
surrounded by hills and valley's giving access to great views of the
city. The city has not had a major skyscraper raised since 1988, but
good planning and a scenic surrounding region still makes it a great

Metro/Urban Population: 2.4 million
 Skylines in the World

17. Guangzhou, China
is a very modern city, yet it is called "the City of Flowers,” as each
of its spectacular skyscrapers is surrounded by grand green spaces and
flower beds. Although it only has six structures at over 200 metres
tall, there are plenty of other high-rises, each displaying a design
that stands out in its own respect. This includes the 391 metre,
80-floor, CITIC Plaza which appears transparent against the (usually)
clear blue sky!

Metro/Urban Population: 4.1 million
 Skylines in the World

18. Dallas, USA
"Big D", is a major inland American city. The city and metropolitan
area lies amidst vast, high, and varying rolling prairies - with
hundreds of large small lakes, rivers, creeks, waterways and
meanders. But Dallas; downtown is the center of the Forth-Worth-Dallas
Metro Region which is home to 5.9 million people. Dallas' skyline is
home to 7 buildings over 200 meters and the 187m Reunion Tower which
looks like huge sphere of light! The skyline is very distinctive at
night as it building lighting is very colorful, particularly with lots
of green.

Metro/Urban Population: 5.2 million
 Skylines in the World

I want to thank for this article to Luigi Di Serio.

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Nipple Fruit

Nipple Fruit
Usually grown as an ornamental for its unique fruits. The plant also has a few medicinal properties. The juice of the fruit shows some detergent activity and can be used for washing clothing. Poisonous if ingested.

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High Roller?

High Roller?

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