Relativity for Dummies


Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity. This is an explanation of time dilation that anyone can understand.

Scientists Find Key For T Cells To Fight Cancer & Infections


Researchers at The Wistar Institute have found multiple receptors on the outside of the body's killer immune system cells which they believe can be selectively targeted to keep the cells in superb infection- and disease-fighting condition.

The researches said in a study published online November 30 in Nature Immunology that they've discovered seven different receptors on T cells that can tamp down immune responses during a prolonged battle with an infectious pathogen or against developing cancer.

 
"We are starting to see a picture emerging of a really tuneable array of inhibitory receptors expressed on T cells" study's lead author Wherry says. "That suggests it may be possible to not only dramatically enhance antiviral or antitumor T cell responses, but also to fine tune which response you want to enhance in order to reverse T cell exhaustion and continue fighting an infection or disease. "

Christmas Gadgets - Nikon D90 DX (with 18-105mm lens)


I love photography ever since I bought my first camera way back... The Nikon D90 is one of the best digital SLR cameras you can find on the market at a convenient price and exceptional image quality. It's a 12.3-megapixel snapper, DX-format CMOS sensor with a generous 3in LCD screen, complete with LiveView, that's perfect for framing shots. The D90 DX has all the slick features you'd expect of a high-end camera, such as face-detection, autofocus, anti-blur, illuminated focus points, and plenty of on-board editing options. D90 DX can capture video footage at 24 frames per second, and a continuous stills shooting speed of 4.5 frames per second, the D90 is a good all-rounder that will appeal to amateur and semi-professional photographers.

This is my number 10 in my Christmas Gadgets list.

You can also check Top Kids Gifts for Christmas 2010 and 5 Xmas Gifts for Christmas 2010

10 Gadgets for Christmas 2008


I love gadgets. This it the reason I can't think of any other present for Christmas. So I want to share with you my top 10 favorite for 2008. I will present every gadget every 2-3 days, so before Christmas you will know them all. I hope Santa is reading my blog :)


If you want to go for an organic gift, you can check Paint My Photo blog.

You can also check Top Kids Gifts for Christmas 2010 and 5 Xmas Gifts for Christmas 2010

Harvard Team Unlocks Clues to Genes that Control Longevity


Harvard Medical School Researchers have used a single compound to increase the lifespan of obese mice, and found that the drug reversed nearly all of the changes in gene expression patterns found in mice on high calorie diets--some of which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and other significant diseases related to obesity.

The research, led by investigators at Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Aging, is the first time that the small molecule resveratrol has been shown to offer survival benefits in a mammal.

"Mice are much closer evolutionarily to humans than any previous model organism treated by this molecule, which offers hope that similar impacts might be seen in humans without negative side-effects," says co-senior author David Sinclair, HMS associate professor of pathology, and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Labs for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging.

"After six months, resveratrol essentially prevented most of the negative effects of the high calorie diet in mice," said Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., the study's other co-senior investigator from the National Institute on Aging's Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, Aging, Metabolism, and Nutrition Unit. "There is a lot of work ahead that will help us better understand resveratrol's roles and the best applications for it."

Read more about this here

Amazing...



This is amazing! Scientists are taking a random group of individual rat neurons, hooking them up to a computer via electrodes, and then watching as the neurons eventually form into a thinking brain which is able to fly an airplane simulator.

Wall-E Learning Laptop



Wall-E's one of the cutest robots to appear in movies ever. That's why V-Tech has not missed out on this golden marketing opportunity by releasing the Wall-E Learning Laptop, retailing for $29.99. You can choose from five modes - letters, words, math, logic, and games, and each individual mode comes with a trio of activities. These five modes are meant to teach language and cognitive development skills, basic math skills, and independent play for children. Your kids can get familiar with keyboards using the flip-down QWERTY. Wall-E Robot comes with a simple LCD display and moving arm controllers. Wall-E's eyes are also animated, blinking each time a question is answered correctly.


Apple is going "Green" with MacBooks

I am glad they have released a mac commercial outside of their "mac vs pc" ads! I salute their effort to produce environmentally friendly products. Along with this, Apple has unveiled a new webpage dedicated to showing off their new notebook’s green innovation. Additionally, a new commercial showcasing the “Greenest family of notebooks” aired recently:


When we redesigned the new Macbook, our designers and engineers set a goal of making not only the greenest notebook Apple ever produced, but the greenest family of notebooks. So every new Macbook has been built using materials that are highly recyclable and free of many harmful substances present in other computers. Apple engineers also designed the software and hardware to work together, in order to maximize energy efficiency and minimize the carbon footprint of the MacBook. Even the packaging was reconsidered and reduced, so there would be smaller boxes to ship and less material to recycle. The result is exactly what we hoped for: the greenest family of notebooks ever made.

YouTube Player Goes Widescreen - Pages Expand to 960 pixels

Youtube has finally added along with High Quality, Annotations and CC (Closed Captioning if Available) Comes one of the best feature that users like me have been waiting in a long time. Widescreen!

You can read on YoutubeBlog:
We're expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience. And don't worry, your 4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine in this new player.

My Christmas Present


BlackBerry Bold 9000. I just love this super-gadget and I hope I will get it for Christmas this year. Why? First of all, BlackBerry Bold 9000 is very elegant. Its business oriented design will impress almost everyone. Somewhat bigger dimensions than Curve are consequence of bigger screen and frame made of metal alloy. The materials used for this phone are top-quality. You will not see gaps or hear squeaking sounds I hear on my old N95 8GB.

The screen on the Bold is twice the resolution (480x320 vs. 320x240) of Curve. This is absolutely amazing. Not only is it stunning for movies and photos, it makes browsing the web and simply reading emails so much easier. The same auto-backlighting feature found on the Curve is also on the Bold. It senses the lighting conditions of the room and adjusts backlighting. I love this feature.

The biggest improvements for the BlackBerry Bold 9000 were the much needed 3G, Wi-fi and Video recording capabilities. Now you can access external memory without removing the battery via a small opening on the side. It's like Bold 9000 was listening to my needs. Santa, please give me one of these :)

You can also check Top Kids Gifts for Christmas 2010 and 5 Xmas Gifts for Christmas 2010

The Quantum Apocalypse

The Quantum Apocalypse: lifting of the veil, to uncover the true nature of one's self, to penetrate the surface of reality, the disclosure of hidden information, the evolution of consciousness, awakening of perception to the mysteries which lie beyond the ordinary range of human knowledge.

Vaccine Against Cocaine Addiction


Cocaine addiction can be seen as a disease, because it Clinical trials for the development of a "vaccine" against cocaine addiction will begin in Spain in the first quarter of 2009, the Health Ministry said Thursday.

The tests  will be carried out in 10 hospitals that have not yet been selected.  170 volunteers will participate.

The first trials of the vaccine were conducted in 2007 in the Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona.

The vaccine will be used exclusively for therapeutic purposes and will be used "in people already addicted to the substance," said Dr. Carlos Alvarez Vara on Thursday at the presentation of a report from Spain's national drug plan.

The vaccine is designed to create antibodies that combat the effects of the drug.

10 Great Tech Books


From the July issue of IEEE Spectrum, below are 10 great general-interest books about technology.
  • The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance by Henry Petroski
  • Mirror Worlds; or, The Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox...How it Will Happen and What it Will Mean by David Gelernter
  • A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
  • The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder
  • The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
  • The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing by David Kahn
  • Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
The links to these books on Amazon are listed here

MacBook Air going even Lighter

AppleInsider discovered recently that Apple is going to release a new version of MacBook Air even lighter by replacing the bottom of the MacBook Air chassis with carbon fiber which is used in bike frames, high performance car bodies and aircraft parts. Sony and HP have already used this material to construct lighter and thinner laptops. Now the MacBook Air weights three pounds, but if Apple will replace the bottom part of the case then the MacBook Air would lose 100 grams making it only 2.78 pounds. But I am sure they will try to make it even lighter then 2.78 pounds.
“Although AppleInsider publishes the aforementioned information strictly as a rumor, it’s believed the shift to a carbon fiber bottom is far enough along in its development cycle that it could appear in a revision to the MacBook Air sometime next year.”

Brain Reorganizes To Adjust For Loss Of Vision

A new study from Georgia Tech shows that when patients with macular degeneration focus on using another part of their retina to compensate for their loss of central vision, their brain seems to compensate by reorganizing its neural connections. Age–related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The study appears in the December edition of the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

read the rest on ScienceDaily

Prototype Generator Harnesses Vibration Power



This is a small prototype generator recently debuted from Omron Corp. It harnesses power from vibrations to create electricity. The model will cost 10.36$ because of its simple structure and packaging.


Omron’s generator works with an “electret power generation system” that changes capacitance depending on the relative position of opposing electrodes. A change in capacitance generates electric current.

The prototype you see in picture above produces only 10μW of power with vibrational inputs at 20Hz frequency and 1G acceleration. This is not enough to fully operate a cell phone.

But despite its minimal generated power there are important uses for this prototype. The generator will be placed in devices installed on highways to detect road problems. The generator could also be installed inside car tires for tire pressure monitoring since tires vibrate strongly during movement.

Roomba Vacuum Robot

What is Roomba Vacuum Robot?

From the Manufacturer

Life happens in busy homes, and keeping up with accumulating dirt, dust, pet hair, crumbs, and debris can be a daily challenge. Introducing the iRobot Roomba 530--a member of iRobot’s newest generation of Roomba vacuuming robots.

Now there’s a better way to maintain cleaner floors every day. With dramatically improved navigation, cleaning coverage, vacuum pickup, and particle filtration, the Roomba 530 removes amazing amounts of dirt and debris from your floors with the touch of a button--so you don’t have to.




If you are new to Roomba Vacuum Robot, you will wonder if it is worth the money. The answer is clearly YES! Anything this vacuum robot cleans is that much less for you to clean. If you are asking yourself which is better, the old (and cheaper) Roomba vacuum robot, or the new models like the 530? I decided to buy this 530 model vacuum robot. 

The 530 Roomba Vacuum Robot comes with a useful charging/base station. I have placed this in the entranceway which leads into the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom. Now I block off rooms so that it can only do the entranceway + 1 other room using the virtual walls (included). I simply press the "Clean" button, and the vacuum robot backs itself off the charging stand and then spends the next 2 hours cleaning. When it's all done, the vacuum robot returns to the charging stand.  It's that easy for me! If you want to buy one of this vacuum robots, you can buy it cheap from Amazon:


New Cost-Effective Battery Tested to Store Wind-Power



For the first time in US, a company has developed an efficient battery solution to storing wind power. This is a clear answer to critics that claimed turbines are unreliable.


Xcel Energy’s “Wind-to-Battery” project is currently being tested on a Minnesota wind farm. The company believes that the 80-ton battery will power 500 homes for 7 hours when fully charged. The battery’s 20 50-kilowatt modules together are roughly the size of two semi- trailers and can store 7.2 megawatt-hours of electricity.



“Energy storage is key to expanding the use of renewable energy,” said Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “This technology has the potential to reduce the impact caused by the variability and limited predictability of wind energy generation. As the nation’s leader in distributing wind energy, this will be very important to both us and our customers.”

Photo Credit: Ryan McD on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Mini digital projectors


Mini digital projectors (also called "pico" projectors) the size of an iPhone are sprouting up to provide "big-screen" viewing of movies, videos and other visuals stored on iPods, PCs, gaming systems and other devices. Here are some examples.

Microvision SHOW--Microvision expects its mini projector will be available for iPods and PCs by mid-2009. The company plans to deliver a version of SHOW that can also project content from mobile phones. The company estimates the device will cost at least $300 on the low end.

Stem cells restore hearing and vision in animals


Researchers said Tuesday they believe this is a first step toward helping people using stem cells. Stem cells collected from tiny embryos were used to restore lost hearing and vision in animals.

One team repaired hearing in guinea pigs using human bone marrow stem cells, and second team recovered eyes functions in tadpoles using frog cells.

The researchers said their findings help describe some of the most basic biological processes underlying the development of hearing and sight. This may help in the development of the new field of regenerative medicine. While there are no immediate uses for humans, the research continues.

Webcam to replace eye, so she can record her life


Tanya Vlach, 35,  lost her eye in a car accident in 1996.

Now she challenged engineers on her blog site to come up with a "sci-fi" substitute for the lost eye, so she can record her life:

"I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic / artificial eye. The intraocular installation of an eye-cam will substitute for the field of vision of my left eye that I lost in 2005 from a car accident. While my prosthetic is an excellent aesthetic replacement, I am interested in capitalizing on the current advancement of technology to enhance the abilities of my prosthesis for an augmented reality."

Let's take a look on specifications: 

- the "eye cam" must be able to adapt to changes in light, blink to turn on or off and have easy control over zoom and focus.

- bluetooth compatible, with a 3X optical zoom and have room enough to fit a memory card.

"There have been all sorts of cyborgs in science fiction for a long time, and I'm sort of a sci-fi geek," Ms Vlach was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News.



Scleral Shell, Prosthesis designed by Dr. Danz. Photo by Jonathan James

2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible




Ford unveiled the new 2010 Mustang GT convertible at L. A. Auto Show these days. Customers can choose between V-6 and V-8 Models. Both Models have been made with unitized welded steel body with aluminum hoods for reducing body weight. These cars looks great, and have been assembled at Flat Rock Plant in Mich.

I must admit I like more the mustang with V8 model - 4.6 liter engine. It can produce 320 Horsepower at 6250 rpm. The Torque is rated at 325 lb.-ft @ approx 4250 rpm. 

Both cars use 87 octane fuel and are fitted with 16 gallon tanks. Fuel economy figures were not release yet. I know oil prices are dropping, but by 2010 this can be a problem. Do you like the new Mustang?

Verdiem Launch Free Software to Slash PC Power Use Up to 80 Percent


PC energy saving specialists Verdiem have today released free software designed to help users reduce their energy use up to 80%.

Allison Cornia, is the vice president of product management at Verdiem: 

“If we could get just 10% of the world’s one billion PCs using [the product] properly we could save 32 billion kilograms of CO2 a year. That’s equivalent to taking half a million cars off the road.”

This new software from Edison employs a desktop user-interface enable userse to set times at which the machine will automatically transfer to sleep mode. It will allow users to reduce the amount of time a computer lies idle before it switches monitor, PC and hard drive power off.

Australia issues first license to clone human embryos


This one is a month or so old, but it is very important!

The Australian government has issued its first license allowing scientists to create cloned human embryos to try and obtain embryonic stem cells. I think this is a very thin line we are walking on. 

The in vitro-fertilization firm Sydney IVF was granted the license. It is said that they have access to 7,200 human eggs for research.

If the project is a success it would be a world first, the Australian government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which granted the license, said on Wednesday.

Scientists in other countries have made stem cells they believe are similar to embryonic cells using a variety of techniques, but none have been able to extract embryonic stem cells from cloned human embryos.

An Australian ban on the research, known as therapeutic cloning or somatic cell nuclear transfer, was lifted in December 2006 after a rare conscience vote in the national parliament.

But the use of excess IVF embryos and the creation and use of other embryos in research is restricted by law through national legislation. 

Dr John Findlay is the Chair of the NHMRC's licensing committee. He said Sydney IVF's research would be closely monitored. Like this would be enough! Human cloning for reproductive purposes is banned, but it can never be controlled. The scientists will always want to know that truth! Can we do it? What will happen if.... And that is the beginning....

Findlay told Reuters "They have been given a license to do therapeutic cloning" , adding the scientists are not licensed to reach the fetal stage. But when the temptation is huge, they will cross it! I don't want to panic anyone, but we have seen this in other areas.

He also said "They can go to the stage called blastocyst. They must stop at that point". The blastocyst is a very early-stage embryo not yet implanted into the womb.

You can read more here, but I do think this is a very-very thin line we are walking on.  

A Potential Cure For AIDS

I think this can be called breaking news!

This is an amazing case of an AIDS patient who underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia is stirring new hope that gene-therapy strategies on the far edges of AIDS research might someday cure the disease.

The patient is a 42-year-old American living in Berlin. Right now he is still recovering from his leukemia therapy, but he appears to have won his battle with AIDS. 

Doctors have not detected the AIDS virus in his blood for more than 600 days, despite his having ceased all conventional AIDS medication. Normally when a patient stops taking AIDS drugs, the virus stampedes through the body within weeks, or days. And we all know where this takes him...


Dr. Gero Hütter is not an AIDS specialist, but he 'functionally cured' a patient, who shows no sign of the AIDS disease.

Doctors can't yet genetically modify all target cells. In theory, HIV would kill off the susceptible ones and, a victim of its own grim success, be left only with the genetically engineered cells that it can't infect. But so far that's just theory. All the patients remain on standard AIDS drugs, so it isn't yet known what would happen if they stopped taking them.

Hawaii Bans Biotech Coffee


Hawaiian Gold Kona Coffee has just received protection against genetic engineering.

The Hawaii County Council has banned growing biotech coffee as well as taro. I agree with this decision. They need to draw some lines about this, because it can get out of control very easy.

According to a recent press release:

The new ordinance, which makes it unlawful to grow genetically engineered (GE) coffee or taro anywhere on the Island of Hawaii, was strongly supported by coffee and taro farmers.

Coffee growers testified that the planting of genetically engineered coffee would contaminate and damage markets for their premium Kona coffee, costing them their livelihoods.

Farmers of Hawaiian Gold Kona coffee and other coffee argued that they would lose their “specialty coffee” status and/or organic certification if biotech coffee were ever planted on Hawaii Island. The Kona coffee industry brings more than $25 million into the state each year.” Beside fears of “contamination,” some residents apparently brought up possible health concerns: “There were compelling testimonies from mothers of children who have complex allergies.

Allergic reactions are one potential health threat of biotech crops, and taro is known world-wide as one the most hypo-allergenic foods on earth.


More information on the ban is available at checkbiotech.org.

Iran invests $2.5b in stem cell research

Iran's Cord Blood Bank says 2.5 billion dollars will be invested in the next 5 years in stem cell research.

Iranian scientists test treatments on mice for everything from heart disease to multiple sclerosis in state-run laboratories and private hospitals in Tehran. The fund will be used for the development of such facilities in other Iranian cities.

"Stem cell research centers will soon be opened in all major cities," said managing Director of Iran's Cord Blood bank, Mortezah Zarabi.



Iranian scientists developed human embryonic stem cell lines in 2003, with the approval of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the leader of Iran's Islamic revolution.

Despite many western countries which impose restrictions on stem cell research, Iran, a premier in the realm of stem cell research, has some of the most liberal laws providing grounds for such studies.

Muslim clerics acknowledge that life begins three months after conception, granting scientists access to human embryonic stem cells left over from fertilization trials.

According to Mohammad Reza Mohammad Hassani, the general secretary of the 10th National Congress on Cardiovascular Updates, Iran's achievements in this field have led to a successful stem cell heart transplant of an 11-year-old boy in 2003.

US President George W. Bush, over his two terms in office, has repeatedly stressed his opposition to research on the human embryonic cell lines and has vetoed funding for such studies several times.

US president-elect Barak Obama, on the other hand, has his pledged full support of stem cell research.

"I strongly support expanding research on stem cells. I believe the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations."

"As president, I will lift the current administration's ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines."

Stem cell research is one of the most promising fields in modern biomedicine. However, due to moral and ethical debates it remains a controversial issue in many regions of the world.

Interactive Mirror



This is Conceptualized by Alpay Kasal of Lit Studios and Sam Ewen of Interference Inc. This is a patent pending touch capable mirror.

I want one of this in my home! This looks totally awesome, and interesting. Who knew that one day you'd actually be able to play with your mirror?

www.interferenceinc.com
www.blog.litstudios.com

Obama is President!

...but you already know that! :)

This is a wonderful picture of president elect Obama


Here is Obama's Victory Speech:


10 Tips for Going Green with Your Computer


The information revolution helped spark the green revolution. But sometimes computers themselves can be a bit of a problem. Many of their components are manufactured using a lot of noxious chemicals. The power efficiency is a problem too. The components present other safe disposal problems.

Here are a few ways you can do your computing in a more planet-positive way.

1) The good news on cost: on the whole, greener computers don’t cost much more than their non-green siblings. And you’ll save money every minute they’re running, not to mention the peace of mind you’ll get.

2) Before you buy, do the research, using sites like Metaefficent.com. They’ll tell you which companies are doing the most, and which models are the greenest (and which are the worst)

3) Energy costs have gone up so much that businesses that use large numbers of PCs are finally starting to take the power consumption of their computers seriously, pushing manufacturers to get serious about efficiency.

4) The European Union has implemented a Restriction of Hazardous Substances ban that cuts allowable levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, and flame retardants.

5) Go with a laptop rather than a desktop. Laptops have energy-efficiency built right in, to optimize battery life.

6) For peak efficiency, go for a peak monitor. Look for monitors with reduced energy consumption, often made from recycled materials.

7) Recycle your old computers and components responsibly!

9) When your computer is running, you want to optimize your power usage. Verdiem has a free software application, Edison, that allows quick, easy, one-step setup to optimize your computer’s power usage.

10) Do you know about vampire power? Even when off, many computers and monitors can draw a watt of power or more. When you shut down, turn off the power switch on the strip.

BONUS: Finally - really, turn it off! Many people leave their systems running 24/7, burning enough energy to light a small city. Give it a rest!

CNN Hologram TV First



During the American election Jessica Yellin was recorded as a hologram and beamed into the studio.
LohPhat commented on youtube that "this is not a hologram. This is a multi-sampled 2d image rendered in 2d and mixed in the control room. Wolf can't see her where she's projected, he can only see her on a monitor after she's mixed in."
Anyway, this still looks great on TV.

Digital Photo Keychain


How many pictures of your loved ones can you carry in your wallet? Now you can hold up to 60 (digital) pictures on your keychain, in bright, brilliant color! Carry your favorite pictures in the palm of your hand, to show family and friends wherever you go, fits in your pocket, briefcase or purse. The Coby 1.5 inch Digital Photo Frame Keychain has CSTN LCD Color display. This portable lightweight digital photo keychain can remarkably store up to 60 of your favorite photos! The DP151 allows you to browse your photos for up to 4 hours per charge of its built-in rechargeable battery. Exchange and add new photos using the built-in USB port to communicate with your PC for rapid image file transfer. Displays JPG/BMP, GIF. Image files. Windows compatible. Uses integrated rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery. High-resolution 1.5" screen provides bright images and an excellent viewing angle. So why load up your wallet with pictures when the Coby DP151 Digital Picture Frame Keychain can hold more - with no added bulk? It's the practical way of keeping your dear ones near. Built-in rechargeable Battery Display requires images taken with a digital camera or downloaded from computer image photo files or e-mails.

As far as picture quality goes for the tiny LCD screen, I have to say that I am fairly impressed. It was relatively bright and colors were vibrant! The 128x128 pixel resolution was sufficient for viewing and it didn't seem that grainy as compared to other LCD keychains. The best comparison of the picture quality would be to a cell phone screen with 1 megapixel images.