Archive | June, 2011

Woman Dies Of Heart Attack After Awakening At Own Funeral

JoniskisFuneralWhen someone miraculously returns to life at their own funeral, but then dies of shock at what’s taking place, is it perhaps best to continue on with the service as if nothing happened? The Daily Mail reports:

A woman died from a heart attack caused by shock after waking up to discover she had been declared dead – and was being prepared for burial. As mourning relatives filed past her open coffin she suddenly woke up and started screaming as she realized where she was.

Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, 49, of Kazan, Russia, had been wrongly declared deceased [the first time] by doctors. Her eyes fluttered and [she was] immediately rushed back to the hospital but she only lived for another 12 minutes in intensive care before she died again, this time for good.

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Google Launches Latest Social Network: Google+

google-plus-360It seems when you get tired of one social networking site another appears. Google+ is the new answer for those of you who are tired of Facebook, or just enjoy creating new online profiles of yourself. Via Mashable:

Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s top secret social layer that turns all of the search engine into one giant social network.

Google+, which begins rolling out a very limited field test on Tuesday, is the culmination of a year-long project led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social. The project, which has been delayed several times, constitutes Google’s answer to Facebook.

The search giant’s new social project will be omnipresent on its products, thanks to a complete redesign of the navigation bar. The familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page will turn black, and come with several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content.

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Timothy Leary: Back In The Mainstream

Leary at peace rally with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

Leary recording 'Give Peace a Chance' with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

He may have turned on, tuned in and dropped out, losing his post as a Harvard professor and instead becoming an icon of ’60s counterculture, but Timothy Leary has finally (and posthumously) made it back into the mainstream. The New Yorker details the acquisition of his archives by the New York Public Library:

Sitting in a storage complex in Long Island City, waiting to be sorted and processed, are several hundred boxes that make up the complete archive of Dr. Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist turned fugitive drug propagandist. The material was recently acquired from Leary’s estate by the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library, whose collection includes Mesopotamian clay tablets from the third millennium B.C.; documents from America’s founding, including a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson; letters and manuscripts by Hawthorne, Melville, Mencken; the papers of Fiorello LaGuardia and Robert Moses; and the archives of this magazine.

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Women Are Better At Everything

First group of Women Marine Officer Candidates 1943Really?!? Meredith Melnick explains for TIME:

Recently in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch columnist David Weidner noted that women “do almost everything better” than men — from politics to corporate management to investing.

Weidner cites a new study by Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research, which found that women were more likely than men to make money in the market, mostly because they didn’t take as many risks. And why are they risk-averse? Because they’re not as overconfident as men, the study found.

The study’s findings backed up those of previous research on the topic: in a 2001 study [PDF] of 35,000 American households with an account at a discount brokerage, financial scholars Brad Barber and Terrance Odean found that women’s risk-adjusted returns beat men’s by 1% annually. A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. More recently, in 2009, a study by the mutual fund company Vanguard involving 2.7 million personal investors concluded that during the recent financial crisis, men were more likely than women to sell shares of stocks at all-time lows, leading to bigger losses among male traders.

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First Advertising Campaign Targeted At Monkeys

800px-Cebus_olivaceus_gros_planThe advertising belief that sex sells may not just work on humans, but on monkeys too. That is what the first non-human aimed advertising campaign is basing its marketing strategy on. Via Wired:

A primatologist has created the first advertising campaign aimed at non-human primates and believes that it will be sex that sells.

Laurie Santos from Yale University’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory has teamed up with advertising agency Proton Studio to “determine where advertising has innate primate responses”.

Santos and team will create two foods specifically aimed at Capuchin monkeys — possibly two different colours of jelly. One will be featured on a billboard outside of the monkeys’ enclosure and the other will not. After a set period, the monkeys will be offered both foods. “If they tend toward one and not the other we’ll be witnessing preference shifting due to our advertising,” Keith Olwell of Proton told New Scientist.

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The First Science Fiction Film

Le_Voyage_dans_la_luneDreamy and surreal, it lives up to its name:

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

It is the first science fiction film and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the moon’s eye.

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Glow-In-The-Dark Pork And More: China’s Nauseating Food Woes

china-beef-extract-04-300x200Fake soy sauce flavored with hair salon clippings? Fake eggs implanted in fake eggshells? Amazingly, it gets worse in this Los Angeles Times piece on China’s fast-ballooning food safety issues. Never have I been so thankful for the FDA:

If anything, China’s food scandals are becoming increasingly frequent and bizarre.

In May, a Shanghai woman who had left uncooked pork on her kitchen table woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that the meat was emitting a blue light, like something out of a science fiction movie. Experts pointed to phosphorescent bacteria, blamed for another case of glow-in-the-dark pork last year.

Farmers in eastern Jiangsu province complained to state media last month that their watermelons had exploded “like landmines” after they mistakenly applied too much growth hormone in hopes of increasing their size.

“The profit margin is bigger than drug trafficking if you add the lean pork powder to the pig food,” said Zhou Qing, an author and dissident, who has styled himself as China’s equivalent of Upton Sinclair.

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Japanese Pop Star Outed As Computer-Generated Creation

20110619_eguchi2-600x449Has CGI technology become super realistic? Or is it more that actual famous people now resemble virtual creations to the extent that the difference is hardly noticeable? Kotaku reveals:

AKB48 is Japan’s most popular female pop group. With give-or-take 48 members, its latest member is Aimi Eguchi, who has rocketed from obscurity to become the poster girl for a Japanese ice candy, Ice no Mi. Now revealed as a computer composite of other girls in the group, she appears 4 seconds in below.

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