Author Archive | Sonny Liston

Stephen Hawking Unveils World’s ‘Strangest Clock’ — The Million Pound ‘Time Eater’

BBC News: A £1m clock called the “time eater” has been unveiled at Cambridge University by Professor Stephen Hawking. The author of A Brief History of Time was guest of honour when the unique clock, which has no hands or numbers, was revealed at Corpus Christi College. Dubbed the strangest clock in the world, it features a giant grasshopper and has 60 slits cut into its face which light up to show the time.

Its creator John Taylor said he “wanted to make timekeeping interesting”. The Corpus Clock will stand outside the college’s library and will be on view to the public.

Dr Taylor is an inventor and horologist — one who studies the measurement of time — and was a student at Corpus Christi in the 1950s. He has given the clock as a gift to his former college. The grasshopper or “chronophage”, meaning “time eater”, advances around the 4ft-wide face, each step marking a second.… Read the rest

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One Step Closer To Spiderman-Like Substance

John Boitnott, NBC11 San Francisco: In the video for the 1986 Lionel Ritchie hit “Dancing on the Ceiling,” the singer and his friends perform on the walls and ceiling of a large room in their colorful ’80s outfits. According to UC Berkeley researchers, that day may come for the rest of us. The scientists announced Wednesday they have made progress in creating a synthetic, gecko-like adhesive that shakes off dirt.

“It brings us closer to being able to build truly all-terrain robots, which will in the future be able to scamper up walls and across ceilings in everyday environments rather than only on clean glass,” said Ron Fearing, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Their latest milestone is the first adhesive that cleans itself after each use without the need for water or chemicals, much like the hairs found on the gecko lizard’s toes.

“We can envision robots being able to go anywhere they are needed, perhaps in the search for survivors after a disaster,” said Fearing, who is the head of the research team developing the new material.… Read the rest

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Do You Have An FBI File?

You might! Many people do. So let’s talk about your past. Did you … ever participate in a civil rights march? … How about a Vietnam war protest? … ever sign an edgy political petition? … ever know a guy named “Joey the Horse?” (Ever help him take out any heavy garbage bags?) … ever hang out with a third-world dictator, retired or present?

This web site helps you generate the letters you need to send to the FBI to get a copy of your own FBI file. We can help you get your files from other “three-letter agencies” (CIA, NSA, DIA, …) too.

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Warner Brothers Takes The Time To Make A ‘Superman’ That Won’t Suck

Meredith Woerner | i09.com

Now that Batman has taught Warner Brothers how to make a modern superhero movie, it’s time for the the man of steel to step up and deliver the goods. Warners announced that it’s pooling all its Bat-money into one big Superman tent-pole production. And yes, the movie will be a reboot, not a continuation of Bryan Singer’s Super-meh film.

Passing on the idea of a multiple hero storyline like Superman/Batman or Justice League for now, the WB is focusing its efforts on just making a successful Superman movie. Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov told the Wall Street Journal that the Superman movie the WB is envisioning will be cut from the same dark and gritty cape as Dark Knight. He wants to explore the darker recesses of Superman’s soul explaining that “We’re going to try to go dark to the extent that the characters allow it.”

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Face Transplant ‘Double Success’

BBC News: The Lancet journal reported operations involving a bear attack victim in China, and a French patient with a massive facial tumour had taken place. The Chinese patient was given not just the lip, nose, skin and muscle from a donor, but even some facial bone.

Frenchwoman Isabel Dinoire became the world’s first face transplant patient in 2005 after being savaged by a pet dog. She described the results of the operation as a “miracle”. The latest operations were just as complex, but involved different challenges for French and Chinese surgeons.

The first operation took place in April 2006. The patient was a farmer from a remote village in Yunnan province in China, who had been attacked by a bear 18 months earlier, leaving a huge section of tissue missing from the right side of his face. The operation, at Xijing Hospital in Xi’an City, used the face of a 25-year-old man who had died in a traffic accident.… Read the rest

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Michael Phelps Returns To His Tank At Sea World

The Onion (ORLANDO) — Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist and SeaWorld main attraction Michael Phelps returned to his seven-million-gallon water tank Wednesday to resume his normal schedule of performing in six shows a day for marine park crowds every day of the week.

Phelps, the 6’4″, 200-pound aquatic mammal, and the first ever SeaWorld swimmer to be raised in captivity by foster swimmers (Mark Spitz and Dara Torres), was recaptured by trainer Bob Bowman in a hoop net baited with an entire Dutch apple pie following Phelps’ final Olympic event last Sunday. Phelps was then tethered to the rudder of a container ship bound for St. Petersburg, guided down local waterways, and introduced back into his home habitat, the tank in SeaWorld’s 5,500 seat stadium, known to park officials and visitors alike as “Phelps’ Happy Harbor.”

“Michael seemed really excited to be back,” said Bowman, adding that the male swimmer became playful upon entering his tank, breaching the water and sounding repeatedly.… Read the rest

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Dogs ‘May Be Able To Read Their Owner’s Minds’

Evidence that dogs may be able to read the mind of their owners comes today with a study that shows that dogs can “catch” human yawns. Scientists have known for decades that yawns are infectious among people, so much so that simply reading or thinking about them can trigger a chain reaction of gaping mouths in what they call “contagious yawning”.

Now the first ever study to report that human yawns induce yawning in dogs is published today in the journal Biology Letters by a team led by Dr Atsushi Senju of Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Australian Teen Arrested for ‘Blasphemous T-shirt’

Ben Dillaway writes:

A teenager who wore a T-shirt by English extreme metal band Cradle of Filth that reads ‘Jesus is a c**t’ has been charged with offensive behaviour. A 16-year-old was arrested for wearing the shirt and was charged with offensive behaviour under the Summary Offences Act 2005 for public nuisance. Police conducted inquiries at Australia Fair, where the teen said he bought the shirt, to find any shops selling it.

Reverend Matt Hunt said it was sad people spoke about the Lord in such a way. “It’s fairly common language these days to express sadness, anger or hurt,” he said. “It’s a degrading word to use and Jesus is anything but that. It’s like calling white black.”

Hunt said using the Lord’s name in vain was a serious sin. “When someone comes to the point of saying Jesus is the devil or Jesus is ‘expletive’, the Bible does say be very careful because you’re on thin ice.”

Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts said the arrest highlighted Australia’s need for a Bill of Rights.… Read the rest

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