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Beethoven "Pastoral" Symphony - 5th Movement VIDEO HERE
Blue Tango VIDEO HERE
Lady of Spain VIDEO HERE
Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No.
2) --- the 1st Movement VIDEO HERE
Enrico Caruso - 'O SOLE MIO VIDEO HERE
Yundi Li plays Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 VIDEO HERE
Yundi Li - Chopin "Fantasie" Impromptu, Op. 66 VIDEO HERE
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary
Quincy Jones claimed to drink of it every morning - his 'orange juice' VIDEO
So What - John Coltrane and Miles Davis
Miles Davis --- jazz trumpeter, icon, the music revolutionary with with clean minimalist
lines. Perhaps the most significant jazz musician of the 20th century. 'Cool jazz'. And
John Coltrane another genius. VIDEO
J.du Pré - Granados Intermezzo VIDEO
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White VIDEO
Mambo No.5 --- Perez Prado VIDEO
Ashokan Farewell --- Jay Ungar (1982) --- in the style of a Scottish lament
And here's Jay Ungar himself with Molly Mason
Rose and Gould play Beethoven's Cello Sonata in A: 1st movement
J.du Pré - Beethoven Sonata No.3 in A - II.Scherzo
M.Rostropovich - Beethoven Sonata No.3 in A major, 3rd movement
Jacqueline du Pré Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 Adagio
Jacqueline du Pré - Forellenquintett
Jacqueline du Pré - Elgar Cello Concerto 1st movement
Mozart 'killed by strep throat' FULL STORY
Canadian Goes Airborne in Flying Lawn Chair
A Canadian strapped himself to a lawn chair, tied helium balloons to it and
let go the line tethering him. Away he went up in the air ...
July 24, 2015
Women with world's longest hair
Ethnic Yao minority in Huangluo village of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region, China are known for their long hair. The village
attracts about 80,000 tourists a year. More than 80 women in the village
have hair longer than 1.4 meters (55 inches), with the longest reaching 2.2
meters (86 inches)
July 6, 2015
In an article in Science Advances, a team headed by Professor Vasily M.
Studitsky have published a possible way to repair DNA that may cure
regenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
June 22, 2015
Earth facing mass extinction
Research (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253.full) led
by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates
were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.
The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.
"We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event." said one of
the study's authors.
Warns the lead author, Gerardo Ceballos. "If it is allowed to continue, life
would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would
likely disappear early on,"
The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped
Almost 152 years ago, British army officers returning from India introduced
the Indian game of 'poon' to guests at Badminton, the seat of the Dukes of
Beaufort. Thence it became known as badminton, the game which
developed into what is played today. Introducing a net between the
players was a British innovation into a peaceful cooperative game.
May 17, 2015
Frog "Shake" http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32718813
Making a "frog shake" takes a few minutes. First the stallholder grabs a
frog from the tank. She cuts its neck with a knife and skins it as easily as if
she is peeling a banana. Then she puts it into a pan on a small stove with
some liquid. Next the bubbling concoction is poured into a liquidiser with
the other ingredients - powdered maca, a medicinal Peruvian root,
vitamins, fruit and honey. The stallholder stops the blender and tastes the
thick green mixture, her face a picture of concentration. She spoons in
more honey, gives it a final whizz and pours it into a tin jug.
"It's very good for anaemia and for chest complaints," says a customer. It
is also known as a kind of Andean Viagra. "It's good for that too," he
agrees. "But for anyone who's ill, if you take it three or four times a week,
you will feel better very quickly."
May 15, 2015
Finland tops World Press Freedom List. US at #49
Ban on eating beef in India
The Hindoo centered BJP has passed laws making it illegal to slaughter,
sell or possess beef in Haryana adjoining Delhi and Maharashtra, the two
provinces where it is in control. Violators are subject to prison sentences
of up to 10 years in Haryana and 5 years in Maharashtra.
May 5, 2015
Man builds a home on wheels for a homeless woman
A California resident has come to the aid of a homeless woman in his
neighbourhood by building her a miniature home on wheels.
Elvis Summers, 38, said he was compelled to help Irene 'Smokie' McGee,
who had been living on the streets for over a decade, after discovering
she was literally sleeping on the pavement without so much as a
cardboard box underneath her.
The 60-year-old lost her husband in 2004 and was unable to afford the
house they shared together in Los Angeles
For photos and more ...
May 5, 2015
One Less Sugary Drink Daily Cuts Type 2 Diabetes Risk
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European
Association for the Study of Diabetes) indicates that for each 5% increase
of a person’s total energy intake provided by sweet drinks including soft
drinks, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may increase by 18%.
However, the study also estimates that replacing the daily consumption of
one serving of a sugary drink with either water or unsweetened tea or
coffee can lower the risk of developing diabetes by between 14% and 25%.
This research is based on the large EPIC-Norfolk study which included
more than 25,000 men and women aged 40-79 years living in Norfolk, UK.
Study participants recorded everything that they ate and drank for 7
consecutive days covering weekdays and weekend days, with particular
attention to type, amount and frequency of consumption, and whether
sugar was added by the participants. During approximately 11 years of
follow-up, 847 study participants were diagnosed with new-onset type 2
Lead scientist Dr Nita Forouhi, of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC)
Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, said: “By using this detailed
dietary assessment with a food diary, we were able to study several
different types of sugary beverages, including sugar-sweetened soft
drinks, sweetened tea or coffee and sweetened milk drinks as well as
artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) and fruit juice, and to examine what
would happen if water, unsweetened tea or coffee or ASB were
substituted for sugary drinks.”
April 25, 2015
Cow Starts Eating Sheep
Source: BBC News
Charles Mamboleo, who runs a farm in south-western Nakuru County,
discovered the cow feeding on a sheep one morning, having apparently
gored it to death, the Daily Nation website reports. Fresh food and water
couldn't tempt the cow, and another sheep met its end the following day,
the report says. "After the first incident, we thought the cow was starving,
so we increased the supply of fodder and water, but it still continued
chasing after sheep," says Mr Mamboleo.
While cows are herbivores, developing a taste for meat could be a sign of
a nutrient deficiency, according to a local agricultural officer. "The dry
season, which has just ended, has seen most animals lack minerals found
in green grass," Albert Kabugi tells the site. In 2007, a calf in India's West
Bengal region was filmed eating chickens. A local vet said he suspected a
lack of vital minerals was also to blame in that case, noting that it could
happen in "exceptional" circumstances.
April 10, 2015
Bikes made from wood
Russian man agrees to a whole body transplant, Suffering from a muscle
wasting disease the procedure would prolong his life
March 31, 2015
An Engineer's Magic Palace -- An Engineer's House from the 1860s with
Our Modern Conveniences
Lord Armstrong pioneered many of the domestic comforts that we now
take for granted when he built his home, Cragside
By Karyn French
The Northumberland home of Victorian innovator Lord William Armstrong –
a former president of the IMechE – was designed to be comfortable and
practical. Dubbed the ‘palace of the modern magician’, Cragside, near
Rothbury, was an engineering marvel and the catalyst for a domestic
Servants at the house, built from 1863 onwards, would be summoned not
by the traditional bell-pull but on an internal telephone system; they would
cook on a hydro-powered rotisserie; they would help guests with the
hydro-powered lift, based on technology used by Armstrong’s industrial
cranes; hydro-powered laundry machines made quicker work of such
tasks; and crockery was cleaned in a rudimentary dishwasher. In the
greenhouse, peaches were automatically turned for even ripening.
Armstrong’s immense wealth came from his Elswick Works in Newcastle,
where he had harnessed water to power cranes, lifts, gates and so on. He
would imitate this industrial technology in his home.
He constantly sought solutions to domestic problems. Oil lamps and
candles were costly and labour-intensive. He installed an electric arc lamp
in 1878, but the light was intense, unreliable, smoky and noisy.
At the time, researchers were attempting to create thin carbon filaments
that glowed when electricity passed through them. Thomas Edison tried
carbonising more than 2,000 materials before he succeeded. In the UK,
Joseph Swan successfully carbonised a cotton filament; it worked but the
mechanism was fragile and sensitive to oxygen. He then encased the
filament in glass, used gas to prevent oxidisation, and got light that was
lasting and comfortable to the eye.
Swan’s incandescent light bulbs were installed at Cragside in 1880, and
there were soon more than 100 in the house. Cragside proved for the first
time that safe, indoor electric lighting was feasible and beneficial to our at-
Another domestic solution at the house, now taken for granted, was
heating. A warm air ventilation system heated parts of the house via ducts
that were part of the building’s structure. The rooms had gratings or
grilles. Two large basement rooms contained 4-inch (10.2cm) cast-iron
heating pipes in multiple rows which acted as plenum heating chambers,
warming air drawn from the outside before it entered the ventilation
system. Newer parts of the house used a low-pressure wet heating
system, with box-ended pipe coil heaters and radiators installed in the
The electricity used to light the lamps was powered from the estate. Mains
electricity did not yet exist. Power for Armstrong’s hydraulic pump came
from damming the Debdon Burn. This power drove a pair of plunger
pumps, which pushed water from a header tank on the pumphouse roof to
a reservoir 150ft (46m) above. Artificial lakes provided a 340ft head of
water which drove a turbine that supplied power to the house. Running
water also came from here, and was used in a Turkish bath and shower.
The whole estate was therefore used to power the house. He developed
his systems to generate more power, and the house joined the mains in
Armstrong didn’t invent electricity or hydro-power, but he was probably
the first person to merge the two, and the builder of the first hydro-
electric power station. He believed hydro-electricity had a great future,
and he also predicted solar power. He said the solar energy received by
one acre in tropical areas would “exert the amazing power of 4,000 horses
acting for nearly nine hours every day”. He also said that coal was used
“wastefully and extravagantly in all its applications,” and in 1863 he
predicted that England would cease to produce it.
All the technology that Armstrong had installed meant that Cragside was
effectively a laboratory, a mechanics workshop and a comfortable country
Nowadays, the use of electricity in our homes, alongside other ‘everyday’
inventions, has revolutionised the way we live. Our evenings are no
longer dark; our lives can be lived over 24 hours. Our homes are safe,
comfortable places – we all live in a luxury that used to be the preserve of
the few. Cragside, then, was a bridge between the old and the modern
Water brings new energy to Cragside
By Matt Ridley
An exhibition exploring ‘The World of the Water Wizard’ was put on at
Cragside as part of the celebrations to mark the bicentenary in 2010 of the
birth of William Armstrong.
Cragside is the house of wonders that Armstrong carved out of
Northumberland moorland in the late 19th century with the help of the
leading architect Richard Norman Shaw. In its grounds he dammed rivers
and streams to make five artificial lakes – with the aim of harnessing water
power to drive machinery. The Cragside estate was the birthplace of
The exhibition focused on Armstrong’s love affair with water, as a source
of both pleasure and energy – with the potential to change the way we live
our lives. ‘Whenever the time arrives for utilizing the power of great
waterfalls,’ he wrote in 1881, ‘the transmission of power by electricity will
become a system of vast importance.’ He put his ideas into practice at
Cragside, constructing in the grounds the world’s first hydroelectric
power station and using an array of hydraulic mechanisms to operate
labour-saving devices in the house.
Water Wizard included a timeline of Armstrong’s life and achievements,
and used film and moving exhibits to explain how he made water ‘work’ for
him. There was also information about the gadgets he installed there and
what made the house so far in advance of its time.
For information about current exhibitions at Cragside, visit the National
March 11, 2015
Hidden Cosmos Space Odyssey
Fly through a supercomputer-animated version of our local universe.
February 20, 2015
Canadian MP blames tight underwear in explaining reason for leaving
Parliament during a one by one vote.
February 19, 2015
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO CHINESE READERS
Year of the Goat
Art of Chinese Kite-making
A DACHSHUND'S HOLIDAY MESSAGE -- December 2014
About five and a half years ago our daughter went to the library in search
of a book; she returned home with a dachshund puppy from the pet shop
round the corner.
Everyone was shocked; everyone was angry. Who was going to look after
it? What about the carpets? What about travel? But a week into the
ordeal something changed ... he had won us over. And now, in his doggy
prime, guess who is master of the house?
He knows when it's breakfast, when it's lunch, or when it's dinner; when
it's his walk time, or playtime, or lap time during TV watching in the
evening. He has his beds located around our little house to keep a
strategic watch - one eye open as people walk past, strangers not
Ever the vigilant defender, he is ready to stand down a local doberman in
his efforts to guard us. Fortunately, the doberman's owner has a stout
chain for that critter is beginning to lose his patience..
Our little fellow has the gamut of human emotions: envy, jealousy, an
acute sense of fairness, guilt - he knows fully well when he has done
something he shouldn't have and it shows! - and above all, love. The last
in abundance, unwavering, unconditional, consuming his whole being. If
anyone is away beyond the regular routine, he cannot eat, he looks
distressed, he mopes. This was a big problem until we discovered that if
the person talked to him on the cell phone his anxiety was relieved.
Why this long story? Not because I am dotty in my dotage, but because, as
I sat down to write Christmas cards, the news flashed across of the terrible
killing of 140 children in a Peshawar school, and I stopped. I had to.
So I write to you about J L and his boundless love, for that indeed is the
Christmas message we need desperately in our fraught world.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and safe new year.
WINTER OLYMPICS CEREMONIES -- Perhaps the best
WORLD'S OLDEST KNOWN EEL -- August 10, 2014
In 1859 a Swedish boy dropped a young eel into the family water well in
Brantevik -- eels were used this way to keep the well water free of insects
and vermin. The other day when the owners of the well lifted the lid to
show off the by now famous eel to visitors, it had died. It was at least 155
EXPLOSION ART -- CAI GUO-QIANG
Chinese artist uses twenty or more types of gunpowder plus sulfur,
magnesium, etc. as his palette
April 2, 2014
How To Help Monarch Butterflies in Your Area
TRANSLUCENCY IN ARCHITECTURE -- THE SANAA FIRM
January 31, 2014
COW FLATULENCE BLOWS OUT BARN ROOF
The nursery rhyme where the 'cow jumped over the moon' might have a
basis in scientific fact after all: In Rasdorf, Germany, the belches and
flatulence of 90 cows built up enough methane to cause an explosion
blowing off the roof. It was reportedly triggered by static electricity.
Scientists claim a single cow can produce up to 500 liters of methane per
day. Methane is also a potent greenhouse gas.
January 20, 2014
A home-made heater when electricity is expensive or when blackouts are
frequent -- uses candles and two earthen flower-pots
January 17, 2014
WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS 2013-2014
Sochi Explained -- Like having the Winter Olympics in Florida
December 16, 2013
Chinese scientists make cat disappear using invisibility cloak
Low cost 3D printer moves closer to reality
November 28, 2013
Pope Francis understands the modern economy and inequality better than
November 1, 2013
The finer points of a dog's tail wag ... STORY
Oklahoma State University takes crown as having the best and largest
Student Union in the world -- Best College Reviews STORY
Guess where one in ten publish a book -- long nights and cold winters
plus limited TV STORY
Numbers and Ramanujan's genius ... references in Futurama and Simpsons
Napoleon's Semaphore Telegraph STORY
September 19, 2013
Health Kick Reverses Aging STORY HERE
September 15, 2013
New York art dealer admits 15-year fraud -- sold paintings of Rothko,
Pollock ... for $80+ million. STORY HERE
Myatt painted more than 200 works in the style of Matisse and others
American Photographer at MOMA -- Walker Evans iconic photographs
We are 20% rice, 66% chicken, 88% mouse ...
Genes Are Us. And Them.
A Human and a grain of rice may not, at first glance, look like cousins. And
yet we share a quarter of our genes with that fine plant. The genes we
share with rice—or rhinos or reef coral—are among the most striking signs
of our common heritage. All animals, plants, and fungi share an ancestor
that lived about 1.6 billion years ago. Every lineage that descended from
that progenitor retains parts of its original genome, embodying one of
evolution’s key principles: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Since evolution has
conserved so many genes, exploring the genomes of other species can
shed light on genes involved in human biology and disease. Even yeast
has something to tell us about ourselves.
Of course, we aren’t really much like yeast at all. The genes we still share
we use differently, in the same way you can use a clarinet to play the music
of Mozart or Benny Goodman. And our catalogs of genes themselves have
changed. Genes can disappear, and new ones can arise from mutations in
DNA that previously served some other function or no function at all.
Other novel genes have been delivered into our genomes by invading
viruses. It’s hardly surprising that we share many more genes with
chimpanzees than with yeast, because we’ve shared most of our
evolutionary journey with those apes. And in the small portion of our
genes with no counterpart in chimpanzees, we may be able to find
additional clues to what makes us uniquely human.
Eriko Horiki's beautiful Washi Paper Interiors STORY
European Map according to various nationalities
Grow your own: Buildings made from living trees STORY and PHOTOS
One Remarkable Bartender VIDEO
The Doormen Who Police Egypt's Morals STORY
P G Wodehouse and France STORY
Beta-Blockers Reduce Blood Pressure and Dementia STORY
VOLKSWAGEN held a competition for people's input into auto design.
What you will see is the winning design from a girl in CHINA.
What this shows is her amazing creativity.
But, it is also a strong indication of the competition the Western World can
expect from CHINA and other developing countries in the decades ahead:
Click here to view.
October 1, 2012
Ralph Nader's Tribute to Barry Commoner
Given the pioneering range and depth of his activities, Dr. Barry
Commoner should be considered the greatest environmentalist of the
20th century. Scientist, networker, community and international organizer,
best-selling author, operational advocate, and presidential candidate,
Commoner lived by what he called the law of ecology – that “everything is
connected to everything else.” To him, nuclear bomb testing, poverty, the
choice of production technologies, corporate power, money in politics,
worker health and safety, and scientific irresponsibility were all part of the
connected pattern of events that threaten the Earth and its people. His
great work is reflected in his many campaigns that succeeded and in
raising public consciousness to the silent violence of toxic pollution. His
beautifully written books – The Closing Circle, The Poverty of Power, and
Making Peace with the Planet – will extend his legacy to future
generations. He was our generation’s renaissance man.
- Ralph Nader
World Happiness Report -- The happiest countries are ... STORY
Remarkable German Miniature World in Hamburg STORY
Diesel Fumes Do Cause Cancer by James Gallaher STORY
The Worst Smelling Things and Places on Earth -- STORY HERE
Rubber Boy -- STORY HERE
India's obsession with Guinness World Records and how to register for
one -- STORY HERE
Using bicycle power for common chores -- energy efficient and healthy
It's time for the Lyrids again:
A strong meteor shower, lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year and
peaking on April 22, the Lyrids are located in the constellation Lyra. The
source of the meteor shower is the periodic Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher.
The Lyrids have been observed for the past 2600 years. Counts typically
range from 5 to 20 meteors per hour, averaging around ten.
Red Meat Escalates Cancer Risk STORY
Portugal Chocolate Festival 2012 STORY
Spaceflight Could Damage Eyesight STORY
Tokyo's Oldest Man? STORY
Metal-on-metal hip replacements 'high failure rate' STORY
Counterclockwise Italian Clock
A 15th century Italian Clock that rotates anti-clockwise and keeps Italian
time where midnight is sunset STORY HERE
The incredible bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica), a wading bird
weighing only about a half kilo travels 30,000 km on its annual migration.
Starting in New Zealand in March it flies 10,300 km northwest to China
taking seven days. It rests six weeks, then takes off east to Alaska flying
6500 km in six days and arriving in May. After a summer there, it leaves at
the end of August on an epic nine-day 11,680 km return journey, traveling
first southeast to Hawaii, then south-southwest to New Zealand arriving
early September. On the last leg it establishes a record for the longest
nonstop flight of any bird, and the longest flight without pausing to feed.
Queen Elizabeth celebrates Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years since her
accession to the throne on Feb 6, 1952.
The Coronation held the following year on June 2, 1953 ... VIDEO
Charles Dickens (b. Feb 7, 1812) bicentenary celebrations VIDEO
Harvard Law School names restrooms for donors in its new building.
Winner by a mile -- and no, I am not making this up -- the Falik Men's Room
Kung Hei Fat Choy
Chinese New Year Jan 23rd ushered in the Year of the Dragon. STORY
World's Oddest Hotel Jobs STORY
Global Military Reach STORY
Privileges of the Rich
Because a valet parking attendant would not leave his counter job to help
change a flat tire on the Porsche of Miguel Sacal Smeke, owner of the Nino
Sacalli textile group -- The Gentleman of Las Lomas, Mexico
Girl with remarkable talent -- what eyebrows? VIDEO
Spoof on the original Cadbury's eyebrow dance ad VIDEO
The $25 Computer Becomes Reality STORY
Elephant's Sixth Toe Discovered STORY
Norwegians Celebrate Hundredth Anniversary of Roald Amundsen's South
Pole Feat STORY
Hairy Limbs Keep Bed Bugs at Bay -- The hairier the person the better the
barrier, plus the fine hairs serve as an early warning system alerting the
victim before the bug bites STORY
Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Auction Fetches Record $116 Million STORY
Stilted Combat -- The Stilt Walkers of Namur, Belgium STORY
Submarine escape thought to be a tall story turns out true STORY
The founders Andreas Haug and Tom Schonherr of Phoenix Design, the
Stuttgart firm that designed those giant shower heads that make you feel
you are in a downpour, have won a German Lifetime Design Achievement
award. The firm itself has dozens of awards to its credit and is often
ranked among the top industrial designers.
Harald Wohlfahrt retains three Michelin stars. He has had them for a
couple of decades and is rated the best chef in Germany. His restaurant
Der Schwarzwaldstube in the Black Forest region continues to
accommodate only 35 diners. He says he cannot give his personal
attention to each plate if there were more. Table reservations have a
month and more wait. Highly recommended!
Caltech Researchers Help Develop World’s Lightest Solid Material
When you pick up the newest material, it takes a second for your mind to
adjust. Despite its looks, the little brick of metal weighs next to nothing.
Britain's Youngest Father -- Aged 11 STORY
WW II Spitfire guns fired after having lain buried for 70 years STORY
Single Molecule Electric 'Car' STORY
Find your number on earth ...
Where do you fit into 7 billion? Enter your date of birth to find out at
A 64-year old whisky in a Lalique decanter sells for $460,000. STORY
A 21-year Old Pulteney named whisky of the year for 2011 STORY
Floods Strike India and Pakistan
Pakistan has been hit by devastating floods again in 2011 following the
disaster in 2010. There is also flooding in Uttar Pradesh, India. Here are
some ways to help.
Shear Luck -- US gardener survives being impaled in eye with shears
An x-ray of pruning shears lodged in Leroy Luetscher's right eye socket
This X-ray image was released of the shears stuck in Mr Luetscher's head
An 86-year-old US man impaled through the eye socket with pruning
shears in a freak gardening accident is expected to make a full recovery,
Leroy Luetscher stands outside his home in Green Valley, Arizona, on 30
August 2011 Leroy Luetscher has only some swelling under the right eye
remaining from his injury
He said he is lucky to be alive. FULL STORY
Hints of Higgs Boson (the God Particle) Observed STORY
Scientist Bitten by Bizarre Beast STORY