Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar the Cat Predicts Patients' Deaths

Oscar, a hospice cat at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I., walks past an activity room at the facility Monday, July 23, 2007. Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. (AP Photo/Stew Milne). Full story

Saturday, July 21, 2007

10.000 years old baby mammoth

10000 year-old siberia baby mammoth The perfectly mummified woolly mammoth, a female who died at the age of six months, was named "Lyuba" after the wife of reindeer breeder and hunter Yuri Khudi who found her in Russia's Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region.

Weighing 50 kg (110 lb), and measuring 85 centimeters high and 130 centimeters from trunk to tail, Lyuba who died at least 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, is roughly the same size as a large dog.

Lyuba will be shipped to School of Medicine, Jikei University in Japan to undergo three-dimensional computer mapping of her body. The mammoth will then return to St Petersburg for an autopsy before being put on display in Salekhard.

The discovery of the baby mammoth preserved in the Russian permafrost gives researchers their best chance yet to build a genetic map of a species extinct since the Ice Age.

10000 year-old siberia baby mammoth Sources: Dailymail & Reuters

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Crazy Overloads Crazy Overloads Crazy Overloads Crazy OverloadsCrazy Overloads

Sunday, July 15, 2007

1500$ Re Vive Peau Magnifique (Magnificent Skin)

Renew and restore your skin with this amazing new formula.

Immediate results
• Increased glow with a more robust appearance.
• Smooth and even skin tone.
• Reduced redness and inflammation.

Long-Term Results
• Stimulated generation of new skin cells.
• Firmer skin with a 45% reduction in wrinkles.
• Increased long-term skin clarity.

Important Ingredients
• Telomerase: Activates and differentiates dormant adult stem cells; the only product that recruits adult stem cells into brand new stem cells without surgical intervention; repairs DNA fragmentation.
• EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor): Stimulates cell turnover.
• FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factor): Stimulates collagen synthesis.
• Hyaluronic Acid: Natural moisture binder, retains 93% of your own facial moisture.

How to Use
• Suitable for all skin types.
• One vial a week for four weeks.
• Cleanse and tone before application.
• Use one pre-measured pump every evening.
• Apply to entire face except the upper eyelid.
• Use no other products in the evening, as the Telomerase Molecule is susceptible to damage.
• Follow the RéVive regimen in the morning.
• To maintain results after four weeks, use the Inténsite Volumizing Serum.

Peau Magnifique
price: 1500$

Neiman Marcus Re Vive skin products

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The most expensive coffee (Kopi Luwak)

Indonesia kopi luwak is a rare kind of coffee that apparently goes for $30/cup in some fancy Hong Kong hotels. The secret to its reportedly fine flavor is that the beans are collected, swallowed, and crapped back out by wild civets, small, arboreal mammals that are currently endangered.

“Kopi” the Indonesian word for coffee along with “luwak” is local name of this animal which eats the raw red coffee beans. The civet digests the soft outer part of the coffee cherry, but does not digest the inner beans and excretes them.

Apparently the internal digestion ends up adds a unique flavor to the beans, removing the bitter flavor, and then beans are then picked up by locals and sold. The most expensive coffee beans can cost up to $600 a pound, and up to $50 per cup, if you can get over the fact that you are drinking such a strange brew.

Los Angeles Times tells the story of the $600/pound coffee. The article quotes Canadian food scientist Massimo Marcone, author of a new book that sounds fascinating: In Bad Taste?: The Science and Adventures Behind Food Delicacies. From the Los Angeles Times:
In the animals' stomachs, enzymes in the gastric juices massage the beans, smoothing off the harsh edges that make coffee bitter and produce caffeine jitters. Humans then separate the greenish-brown beans from the rest of the dung, and once a thin outer layer is removed, they are ready for roasting....

Days before the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami struck, Marcone was in Indonesia's Sumatran rain forest, where he collected about 10 pounds of civet droppings laced with coffee beans. He now uses it as "the gold standard" to rate other kopi luwaks in his lab at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Like a forensic scientist reading a bullet's markings, Marcone stares at kopi luwak under an electron microscope, searching for striations that tell him that a civet excreted it. His studies found that kopi luwak drinkers need to be careful to avoid being duped.

"About 42% of all the kopi luwaks that are presently on sale are either adulterated or complete fakes, unfortunately," he said.

Real kopi luwak has a top note of rich, dark chocolate, with secondary notes that are musty and earthy, the scientist said. An Indonesian coffee lover described the scent as the smell of moist earth after a rainfall, with hints of vanilla, that teases the palate for hours after the cup is empty.

Giant Squid Washed Up in Australian Beach

Rare giant squid washed up in Australia A giant two-meter squid recently washed up on the shores of Tasmania's Ocean Beach. The picture shows the curator from Tasmanian Museum was then holding the squid carcass. Link

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In college at 11, Mikaela Irene Fudolig is UP summa cum laude at 16

Mikaela Irene D. Fudolig, BS Physics with a GWA of 1.099, led the top honors. She also delivered the valedictory address on behalf of the graduating class.

Only 16 years old, Fudolig is the youngest student to be graduated by the University in the recent years and one of only two admitted to UPD without a high school diploma and without taking the UP College Admission Test.

She was only 11 years old and a sophomore at the Quezon City Science High School when she was granted permission to enroll at UPD as a non-degree student, having volunteered for a prototype Early College Placement Program the UPD College of Education was spearheading. After earning remarkable grades for an academic year, the Department of Education (DepEd) endorsed her admission to UPD, which was approved by the UP Board of Regents on May 30, 2003.

More about Mikaela on

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Berry benefits ( Goji Berry)

goji berry

Naturally sweet and intoxicatingly delicious, berries also pack a punch with a myriad of health benefits. The enticing red, purple, and blue skins of berries contain bioflavonoids such as anthocyanins.

These compounds are beneficial because they are antioxidants, which reduce free radical damage. The antioxidant content of berries is more potent than vitamins C and E. The anthocyanin in berries also helps to reduce inflammation - more effectively even than aspirin!

The blueberry wins extra points for being the berry with one of the highest level of antioxidants. Blueberries have neuroprotective properties that shield brain cells from damage caused by trauma, chemicals, and plaque; in other words, blueberries help slow down the age-related onset of memory loss, Alzheimer's, and senility.

In fact, research has found that rats bred to develop Alzheimer's do not develop the symptoms of the disease if blueberries are incorporated into their diet.

Cherries also contain these beneficial anthocyanin compounds, which stimulate your pancreas to produce insulin; for hundreds of years Chinese researchers have observed that cherries help keep diabetics healthy.

These compounds also protect you against cancer, arthritis, and heart disease because they lower cholesterol. So I recommend that you eat lots of cherries and other dark-colored fruits to maintain balanced blood sugar and enjoy a healthy long life!

Go for Goji Berries, "the Superfruit"
While we are on the subject of berries, let's talk about a well-known member of the traditional Chinese herbalist's arsenal of herbs for thousands of years: goji berries. Also known as lycium berry and wolfberry, this fruit native to China has long been known for its tonic effects, especially on vision, hormonal system and the brain.

Goji berry contains polysaccharides, which stimulate the immune system and signal the pituitary to secrete human growth hormone. Goji also has the highest concentration of carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, of any plant in the world, making it a powerful antioxidant.

The berry is traditionally used together with other Chinese tonic herbs to increase sexual potency and fertility. Rich in linoleic acid (precursor to GLA), riboflavin, selenium, calcium, vitamins B and C, zinc, and other trace minerals, these berries are safe to use and have been used for thousands of years in Asia.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ape altruism

A new study supports the theory that chipms can be altruistic just like people. Children as young as 18 months-old also seem to help adults, even strangers, without any immediate benefit to themselves. According to psychologist Felix Warneken of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, altruism goes back as far as 6 million years ago when to the common ancestor we share with chimps. IN a paper published in the journal Public Library of Science Biology, the Warneken and his colleagues posit that humans and chimps are predisposed to be Good Samaritans. From Science News:

His team conducted three experiments with adult chimps living on an island sanctuary in Uganda and two experiments with 18-month-old German children. In the chimp version of the first experiment, 36 animals watched one at a time from a barred enclosure as an experimenter in an adjacent room—who had had virtually no prior contacts with the animals—reached through the bars for a stick on the other side. The stick was within reach of only the observing chimp.

Most chimps snatched the stick and gave it to the experimenter, whether or not the experimenter offered a piece of banana as a reward. No assistance came if the experimenter didn't first reach in vain for the stick.

A similar trial with 36 youngsters yielded comparable altruistic behavior, regardless of whether the experimenter offered toys as a reward.

Link to Science News, Link to PLoS Biology

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Almas Caviar

Caviars are no doubt costly, but ALMAS, the Russian for diamond, costs $23,308.

This caviar is extracted from the Beluga fish. The reason for the caviar being costly is the rarity of Beluga. This fish, which is also the largest sturgeon and the only predator in the family, is highly prized because granules or coarse texture and its tender skin. The beluga caviars are costly because of large, compact grains, fine color, and flavor.

It takes many efforts to make the ALMAS caviar. The caviar is extracted from a manual processing. The fish is placed on a coarse mesh place across wooden tub. The roe bags or sacs containing beluga’s eggs are removed. The roes are passed thought the mesh, to grade the eggs and to separate the eggs from the binding tissue. Care is taken while rubbing the roes across the mesh as there are chances of the fish to die during the process leading to a bitter and low-grade caviar.he there are chances of the fish to die hand for optimum control. The process also separates the eggs from binding tissue

If you believe on the saying “old is gold”, then this 100 years old fish is going to fetch 24k gold tin, in which it is packed. Hey, you can get back half the price you paid for the caviar by selling the gold tin. Anyways, this white caviar with an exotic flavor and a buttery texture is captured from Caspian Sea.

The language of caviar

Japanese Square shaped watermelon

japanese square-shaped watermelon

An employee of an agricultural cooperative prepares square-shaped watermelons for shipment in Zentsuji, western Japan June 25, 2007. The cooperative will ship about 800 of the watermelons through mid-July with each priced from 17,000 yen ($137) to 25,000 yen ($202), local media reported.

In contrast, the square-shaped watermelons from Brazil sold in UK, is quite cheap with a price tag of only £5.