Tiger minus Gatorade

Gatorade is the latest major company to cut ties with Tiger Woods.
This is the third company to end its relationship with Mr Woods.
Communications company AT&T and corporate services business Accenture previously cut their sponsorship deals.
Male grooming business Gillette and luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer have also distanced themselves from him.
General Motors (GM) said recently an arrangement that allowed Woods free access to its vehicles was over.
It is amazing how much damage a person can do to themselves...

Earthquake in Chile

A massive 8.8 magnitude quake hits central Chile, north-east of the city of Concepcion, killing at least 47 people.
The quake struck at 0634 GMT about 91km (56 miles) north-east of the city of Concepcion and 317km south-west of the capital, Santiago.
Buildings in Santiago were reported to have shaken for between 10 and 30 seconds, with the loss of electricity and communications.

Singing is good for you

Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.
By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech.
If a person's "speech centre" is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their "singing centre" instead.
The therapy is already established as a medical technique. Researchers first used it when it was discovered that stroke patients with brain damage that left them unable to speak were still able to sing.
Dr Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University in Chicago, discovered that musical training seems to enhance the ability to perform other tasks, such as reading.
She said that the insights into how the brain responds to music provided evidence that musical training was an important part of children's education.
The human brain is just amazing...

Amazing Ants

Ant lifting weight An amazing image of an ant lifting 100 times its body weight has won first prize in a science photography contest.
The image shows an Asian weaver ant hanging upside down on a glass-like surface and holding a 500mg (0.02oz) weight in its jaws.
It was taken by zoology specialist Dr Thomas Endlein of Cambridge University as he researched insects' sticky feet.

Roman Polanski - Best Director

Roman Polanski has won the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival for his new political thriller, The Ghost Writer. Can't wait to see it.

Oh, oh, I'm an Alien

Scientists say that a meteorite that crashed into Earth 40 years ago contains millions of different carbon-containing, or organic, molecules.
The Murchison meteorite landed in a town of that name in Australia in 1969. It has been examined before by scientists looking for specific compounds but this is the first non-targeted analysis and has confirmed a huge variety of carbon-based chemicals.
It is thought the Murchison meteorite could even be older than the Sun, originated more than 4.65 billion years ago. The researchers say it probably passed through primordial clouds in the early Solar System, picking up organic chemicals.

The chances of such a meteorite crashing into the Earth billions of years ago and thus creating life in all its diversity are pretty high. Well, doesn't this make us aliens... What do you think?


MeeGo. What?

The world's largest chip maker and the world's largest mobile phone maker have merged operating systems to create a single platform for mobiles.
The new MeeGo platform, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will be used to power phones, netbooks, TVs and in-car entertainment systems.
The new software will be given away for free but Nokia will make money by selling other products, such as applications. Some applications developed for Meego will also run on Symbian phones and other devices.
The first version of the software will ship in the second quarter of 2010.
I am superexcited. Can't wait to see what's next from Nokia.

Inuk - The Ancient Rock

Inuk - the ancient manThe Rock

DNA analysis of human hair preserved in Greenland's permafrost has given clues as to what the owner looked like. The researchers say the man, who lived 4,000 years ago, had brown eyes and thick dark hair, was prone to baldness, and his ancestors migrated from Siberia.
The man has been named Inuk, which means "human" in the Greenlandic language.

Let's play a game. Can you find the differences in the pictures above? :)

[source: bbc.co.uk]

Haiti Update

Haiti's government said about 230,000 people have died in the 12 January earthquake. The death toll is approaching that of the 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed 250,000 people. About 300,000 were injured. There is increasing concern that with the rainy season approaching, the lack of tents and temporary shelter could lead to the outbreak of disease. What a tragedy...

[source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8507531.stm]

Miss Me Yet?

A billboard featuring a picture of former President George W. Bush and the words "Miss Me Yet?" stands along I-35 near the town of Wyoming, in the state of Minnesota.
The billboard was rented out by a group of small business owners, who wish to remain anonymous, and individuals who just felt like Washington was against them.

Google's Buzzing

Google is going social as well. Google has just released Google Buzz - a gmail tab right under the inbox tab, labeled "Buzz". The tab provides links to website, content from around the web. Picasa, Twitter, Flickr, and other sites are aggregated.
It shows thumbnails when linked to photos from sites like Picasa and Flickr. Clicking on an image though will blow up the images to almost the entire browser, making them easier to browse.
It uses the same keyboard shortcuts as Gmail. This makes sense. Hitting "R" allows you to comment/reply to a buzz post, for example.
There are public and private settings for different posts. You can post updates to specific contact groups. This is a lot like Facebook friend lists.

I tried it and found some minor bugs so far, one of them - I am following myself and I am followed by myself. I am sure this will be quickly fixed.

Pluto's Changing Color

Images taken by the Hubble space telescope show the dwarf planet Pluto, on the edge of our solar system, is redder than it used to be.
From 1954 to 2000, Pluto didn't change in color when it was photographed from Earth. But after that, it did. The red levels increased by 20 percent, maybe up to 30 percent, and stabilized from about 2000 to 2002.
Nasa's scientists believe these are seasonal changes - as the planet heads into a new phase of its 248-year-long seasonal cycle.
The new images are said to show frozen nitrogen brightening in the north and becoming darker in the south.

Who's Actually Making Money?

Have you ever wondered how much money celebrities make?
According to Vanity Fair magazine, Michael Bay topped the survey, with an income of more than $125m (£78m), followed by director Steven Spielberg - $85m (£54m). Third is Roland Emmerich $70m (£44m). James Cameron is at #4 with $50m (£31m).
Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione in Harry Potter, has made more than $30m (£19m) last year. She came 14th in the overall list, beating actress Cameron Diaz (does anyone know why?), the only other woman in the top 20.
And it's tax time...

How Sperm Works

Sperm do not start swimming from the moment of ejaculation - they have only limited resources, and to stand much chance of reaching the egg, they need to delay their frantic dash until they are closer to the egg.
Scientists discovered that tiny pores on the sperm's surface allow it to change its internal pH, which in turn starts its tail movements. These pores, or Hv1 proton channels, as they have been termed, seem to be primed to open at precisely the right moment. They respond to a substance called anandamide, which is present in the female reproductive tract, and in particularly high levels near the egg.
The human body doesn't stop to amaze me.

It's Raining Planes

A piece of a cargo plane broke off as the plane started its descent into Miami International Airport Friday, falling to a Doral mall parking lot without hurting anyone or hitting anything, authorities said.
The piece, about 18-feet long, fell of an Atlas Air Cargo 747, a plane going from Santiago, Chile to Miami.
Scary, isn't it? Luckily, no one was hurt.

A 9-year-old boy - Microsoft Certificated Professional

Marko Calasan, a 9 year-old boy from Skopje, Macedonia holds four Microsoft IT certifications (MCP, MCDST, MCSA and MCSE) and has already decided the next certification he will add to his ever-growing resume. He wants to become a "Microsoft Certified Trainer" to share my knowledge with others. Calasan will celebrate his 10th birthday this July.
Isn't that impressive? What do you think?

Microsoft - 17 Years Later

A 17-year-old bug in Windows will be patched by Microsoft in its latest security update.
First appearing in Windows NT 3.1, the vulnerability has been carried over into almost every version of Windows that has appeared since.
The ancient bug was discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy in January 2010 and involves a utility that allows newer versions of Windows to run very old programs.
The patch for this vulnerability will appear in the February security update. Five of the vulnerabilities being patched at the same time allow attackers to effectively hijack a Windows PC and run their own programs on it.
There are days like this, when I wonder I am still using Windows...


Ovi Maps - 1M User and Counting

Ovi Maps have been downloaded 1.4m times overall since the application became available on January 21 2010.
It has been most popular in China, Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain. The service provides different direction information for drivers and pedestrians in 74 countries and 46 different languages.
I use the application and I am very happy with it. The 3D landmarks are very accurate and entrtaining.
Ovi Maps is free and can be downloaded from maps.ovi.com. Go, Nokia!

The Internet Depresses Us

Are you depressed? Maybe you are browsing too much.
There is a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, UK psychologists have said. The study, reported in the journal Psychopathology, found 1.2% of people surveyed were "internet addicts", and many of these were depressed.

Oscar Awards

And the nominees are:

Not Going to the Moon

US President Barack Obama has cancelled the American project designed to take humans back to the Moon - a $18 billion project over five years. With the economy at its low, I support his decision of turning the project to the private sector. What do you think?

Avatar - The First $2 Billion Dollar Movie

Avatar has passed the $2 billion box office mark worldwide and became the first motion picture in history to do so. Its worldwide gross is at $2,039,222,000 and counting. An incredible movie. If you haven't seen it yet, do so. And go to the movies, this film has to be seen on the big screen.

He's Back - Going Under Water

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson surprised us with an underwater plane. He expects the sub to be delivered on February 20.
The £415,000 prototype submersible is called the Necker Nymph and can dive to depths of up to 130ft. Sir Richard hopes to one day explore depths of 35,000ft - which is far more than the height of Mount Everest.
It was designed and built by Graham Hawkes, chief of Hawkes Ocean Technologies and is the first of its kind. The luxury sub has fighter jet technology and is piloted with a joystick. While most subs use ballast to propel subs under the water, the Nymph uses downward "lift" on the wings to fly down.
The Nymph is available to hire for $25,000 a week (£15,000), but only after you have forked out a minimum of $88,000 (£55,000) for seven nights on the luxury catamaran, the Necker Belle.