Thursday, March 26, 2009

Asteroid hits Earth, scientists collect samples | World |


STUNNED astronomers watched as an asteroid hit the Earth's atmosphere and fell to ground, before they collected samples in an historic first.

Star-gazers watched a car-sized asteroid explode into a brilliant meteor shower as it crashed into Earth's atmosphere, then wandered into a Sudanese desert to pick up the pieces, a study reports.

It was the first time ever that scientists recovered fragments from an asteroid detected in space, according to the study, published in the British journal Nature this week.

"Any number of meteorites have been observed as fireballs and smoking meteor trails as they come through the atmosphere," said co-author Douglas Rumble, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution.

"But to actually see this object before it gets to the Earth's atmosphere and then follow it in -- that's the unique thing."

The drama unfolded like an overheated Hollywood script, according to a reconstruction of the event by Nature.

Asteroid hits Earth, scientists collect samples | World |

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2 Komodo dragons kill man in Indonesia


A Komodo dragon at Safari Park in Cisarua, West Java, Indonesia, in 2006. Two of the giant reptiles mauled and killed a fruit picker in eastern Indonesia, police and witnesses said on TuesdayTwo Komodo dragons mauled a fruit-picker to death in eastern Indonesia, police and witnesses said Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks on humans by the world's largest lizard species.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The dark side of Pink Floyd - Times Online


The dark side of Pink Floyd

It’s rock music’s most complicated saga, involving ego wars, madness and death. Robert Sandall explains why nothing — not even $250m — can put the pieces of Pink Floyd together again

Pink Floyd

The dark side of Pink Floyd - Times Online

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Find the Big Dipper in the Big Bear -


Find the Big Dipper in the Big Bear

Big Dipper will be nearly overhead around 11:30 p.m. local daylight time

Image: Big Dipper

Look high in the sky toward the northeast this time of year and you can't miss the Big Dipper. Making out the Big Bear (Ursa Major) could prove a little more challenging. This map shows them at around 8 p.m. from mid-northern latitudes this weekend.

By Joe Rao

updated 3:35 p.m. CT, Fri., March. 20, 2009

Scholars are fairly sure that the oldest of our star groups trace back to the Mesopotamian peoples of five or more millennia ago. In fact, the creatures that were made into the ancient Western constellations are similar to those in the Bible. And there are hints that some are far older.

The fact that the Big Dipper, now nearly overhead for most northern observers at around 11:30 p.m. local daylight time, formed a bear to American Indians and to cultures of the Old World and Siberia suggests that our Ursa Major is a very ancient star pattern.

In Angola, pope condemns sorcery - Africa -


Papal visit
Pope Benedict XVI makes his first visit to Africa since becoming pontiff to make an appeal for “international solidarity” in the face of the economic crisis.

updated 7:40 a.m. CT, Sat., March. 21, 2009

LUANDA, Angola - Pope Benedict XVI appealed to the Catholics of Angola on Saturday to reach out to and convert believers in witchcraft who feel threatened by "spirits" and "evil powers" of sorcery.

On his first pilgrimage to Africa, the pope drew on the more than 500 years of Roman Catholicism in Angola, saying that Christianity was a bridge between the local peoples and the Portuguese settlers.

"In today's Angola, Catholics should offer the message of Christ to the many who live in the fear of spirits, of evil powers by whom they feel threatened, disoriented, even reaching the point of condemning street children and even the most elderly because — they say — they are sorcerers."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BestInClass Tells You Which Camera the Experts Would Buy [Buying Guide]

You're a fan of photographing food in restaurants and your kids outdoors, and you've got about $300 to spend on a new digital camera. BestInClass can tell you what experienced shooters would recommend buying.

The site, which compiles and sorts the reviews and blog posts of more than 750 professional shooters, hobbyists, and photography web sites, doesn't make you do any sorting, sifting, or weighing of whose opinions matter more. You check off boxes to indicate what you like to photograph, choose a size (fits in jacket, pants, or doesn't matter), and then slide to a price limit.

The results are a nicely streamlined selection of reviews and buyer information, topped off with a specific camera BestInClass sees as your best bet. The sites uses a "fancy algorithm developed over two years" to pick out which make and model fits what you picked as your typical uses, then ranks the rest on the same criteria. You get review outtakes, average customer reviews, technical specs on each model, and not too many ads to interrupt your dig.

BestInClass expects to expand into different consumer purchase arenas, but is focused on digital cameras at launch. We can't say yet whether its algorithms do a better job than an afternoon spent price-matching and feature-comparing, but it's at least a great starting point for narrowing the field. Free to use, no sign-up required.

John Lennon in the Movies

I will listen to, read, or watch basically anything that has to do with The Beatles, and I recommend that you do the same. This film right here, which deals with John Lennon's unhappy teenage years—including his difficult relationship with auntie Julia, and his friendship/rivalry with young Paul McCartney, was written by the guy who wrote the brilliant Control, which dealt with Ian Curtis of Joy Division's unhappy teenage years. It might just finally do what almost no one has managed to do since 1963: make a Beatles movie right.


Nowhere Boy, a biopic about John Lennon’s childhood, has been picked up by the Weinstein Company, Variety reports. The project is two weeks into filming with Aaron Johnson, who played the young Ed Norton in The Illusionist, in the role of Lennon and English Patient star Kristin Scott Thomas portraying the Beatle’s aunt, who battled Lennon’s mother Julia for custody. The film will examine the effects each woman and their custody fight had on the young musician. Variety says the movie will also laser in on Lennon’s bond with Paul McCartney, and concludes when the Beatles leave Liverpool and head off to Germany.

Taking its title from Rubber Soul’s “Nowhere Man,” Nowhere Boy will be directed by Sam Taylor Wood, who helmed the Buzzcocks-inspired Love You More, with a screenplay penned by Joy Division biopic Control writer Matt Greenhalgh. The screenplay was based on the memoir written by Julia Baird, Lennon’s mother. “The story of John Lennon’s childhood has never been told, and now Beatles fans will be able to gain insight into his fascinating life,” Weinstein Company president of theatrical films Tom Ortenberg said in a press release. The company plans to release the movie in time for consideration for awards season, with a wider release to follow in January 2010.

According to a press release issued by the Weinstein Company that appears in full at Variety, the film’s full synopsis is:

“John Lennon is an ordinary fifteen year old boy on the streets of Liverpool. Funny, smart, naughty, a real edge to him. But life is not simple for John — he grew up in a family of secrets and was raised by his Aunt Mimi from the age of five. When he is suddenly reacquainted with his mother, Julia, they form an unbreakable bond. A bitter war rages between the two sisters for John’s love. Faced with bringing it to an end, he learns the secret heartbreak of his past. But his mother gives him one great gift — music. A wayward boy finds his voice, and walks into the Beatles.”

Police seize more than $1 million from Phish fans



Police seize more than $1 million from Phish fans

March 9, 2009, 4:19 PM EST

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- Some Phish fans are leaving Hampton a little lighter than when they arrived for the band's weekend reunion.

Police said Monday they confiscated about $1.2 million in illegal drugs and more than $68,000 in cash from concertgoers. Authorities also arrested 194 Phish fans during the three-night celebration of the band's return to the stage after a nearly five-year absence.

Most of the arrests were for drug possession, use and distribution, police said.

Tourism officials had estimated 75,000 fans would be coming to the coastal Virginia city. Nearly 200 law enforcement officers worked the weekend event, with the Vermont-based band picking up the tab.

Geddy Lee Blender magazine interview


The April 2009 issue of Blender magazine features Geddy Lee in their Dear Superstar column where readers submit questions for their favorite rockers. The 4-page spread includes 17 bizarre questions from fans along with Geddy's witty responses. No great insights in this article, but it's definitely a fun read. You can check out a scan of the article by clicking on the thumbnails above. Thanks to RicBass4003 for the scans....

Rush's Geddy Lee talks about 'I Love You, Man,' 'Colbert,' and their new compilation

Mar 17, 2009, 05:27 PM | by Rob Brunner

Categories: Rush

Geddyleerush_l Rush may be on a "deep holiday" these days, but the legendary rock trio sure seems busy. Their third Retrospective set -- a CD and DVD covering the last 19 years -– recently hit stores, and they show up to perform "Limelight" in the highly anticipated upcoming Paul Rudd/Jason Segel comedy I Love You, Man. Frontman Geddy Lee fills us in on what the band has been up to. (Click through the jump for the full Q&A.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Windows 7 build 7048 vs. Windows 7 beta 1 vs. Vista vs. XP performance shootout - which is best? | Hardware 2.0 |

It’s clear that some of the results here are all over the place, and I’m putting this down this the fact that Windows 7 is still a work in progress (and realistically, probably will be for a good 9 - 12 months after launch) and drivers are still pretty new. However, four patterns do emerge:

  • Windows 7 is, overall, better than both Vista and XP.
  • As Windows 7 progresses, it’s getting better (or at least the 64-bit editions are).
  • On a higher-spec system, 64-bit is best.
  • On a lower-spec system, 32-bit is best.

I’m looking forward to the RC release so we can really see how the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 editions compares to previous incarnations of Windows!



I got it. This is how we shared files before the internet, back in the BBS days. Check this out. Picture your hard drive on the left and mine on the right. The server and client are both free. Actually I think Windows includes a FTP client, if so you will be able to do everything in Windows Explorer but using the client you download here will have more features I am betting, like resume and batch downloading. It does, here's a feature list, I'll underline the useful ones.


FileZilla Features


FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.


Among others, the features of FileZilla include the following:

  • Easy to use
  • Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Cross-platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X and more
  • IPv6 support
  • Available in many languages
  • Supports resume and transfer of large files >4GB
  • Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue
  • Bookmarks
  • Drag & drop support
  • Configurable transfer speed limits
  • Filename filters
  • Network configuration wizard
  • Remote file editing
  • Keep-alive
  • HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support
  • Logging to file


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rush Retrospective 3 Y106 radio special now online

In my Friday updates post I mentioned that Y106 in Columbus, IN would be airing a 1-hour long special on Saturday in celebration of the release of Retrospective 3. The special has now been posted on the station's website at this link in 3 segments. They play several songs from the compilation interspersed with interview segments with all three band members taken from various interviews over the past 20 years. Songs included are The Seeker, The Pass, Dreamline, Nobody's Hero, Half the World, One Little Victory, Far Cry and the Colbert Report performance of Tom Sawyer. You can listen to it at the provided link or by using the player below. Thanks to pariah dog for the heads up....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kepler sets sights on Earth-like planets


On Launch Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, workers watch closely as the second half of the fairing is moved into the mobile service tower for placement around NASA's Kepler spacecraft (left) to complete encapsulation on Feb. 26, 2009. If Friday's launch goes according to plan and successfully lobs NASA's new Kepler space telescope into orbit, the mission stands to potentially change the way we look at the universe.

Kindle 2

Gizmodo's Amazon Kindle 2 Review Matrix

You don't wanna wear out your eyes reading superlong Kindle 2 reviews before you get one, right? Well here's our review matrix for quick, easy-on-the-eyes digestion of reviews from tech's biggest names. More »

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Old Rush magazine article scans galore

In the past few days a few users over at the Counterparts
messageboard have been uploading and sharing some old Rush article scans from
various fan magazines. So I thought I'd share them all here as well.

First up we have several Rush album magazine ads from Counterparts user


Monday, March 2, 2009

Doodling Increases Focus and Recall [Mind Hacks]

It turns out that your daydreaming doodles of infinite awesomeness not only help with long meetings, but can also help you remember what goes on during the meeting.

Photo by Bigbadvoo.

In a study, scientists asked subjects to recall what they'd just heard in recordings—with some having doodled throughout, others not. The doodlers demonstrated significantly higher recall than the non-doodlers.

"People may doodle as a strategy to help themselves concentrate," said study co-author Jackie Andrade, a University of Plymouth psychologist. "We might not be aware that we're doing it, but it could be a trick that people develop because it helps them from wandering off into a daydream."

How does it work? The scientists hypothesize the mental load it takes to absentmindedly draw is significantly smaller than the demands of a full-on fantasy, which leads your mind entirely away from the event you're supposed to be engaged in. That trickle of attention devoted to doodling appears to keep you focused in the present time, while giving you a release valve from a frustratingly over-long group session.

It should be noted that the doodling test subjects were doing some light doodling, like shading in boxes. So while abstract or simple shapes might be okay for your focus, try to scale it back if you find yourself crafting elaborate panoramas of medieval battle fields and epic space operas. Then again, your inspired re-imagining of the Sistine Chapel during the report on last quarter's profits per share might suggest a larger career assessment is in order.

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