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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, MARCH 17, 2012

Explore

Outlandish hotels

We’ve all seen, or stayed at, the typical “Holiday Inn” type of hotel. A vacation should be an experience that, from start to finish, is filled with fun, excitement and relaxation. But what about those who want their vacation to be more than “fun”. Here’s a look at some unique hotel destinations that can be an adventure in themselves. If you happen to be traveling to one of these countries this summer, consider these fascinating hotels as an option, to make your trip unforgettable.

Maze

Hotel de glace — ice hotel Open from January 7 to March 27 each year in Quebec, Canada, the ice hotel is truly unique in nature as it comprises entirely of both ice and snow, which includes the architecture all the way down to the furniture, be it ice chairs, an ice slide, entire ice bars, ice tables, ice columns, ice sculptures, and even the glasses you drink from. The hotel requires 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow, and is redesigned and rebuilt each year. They do offer plenty of options to help stay warm including outdoor hot tubs, saunas, and even a fireplace next to your bedside. The hotel also offers a wedding chapel, which is considered to be among the top 10 wedding locations.

Das park hotel — living in pipes We’ve all seen the big concrete sewer tubes waiting to be installed during construction work and might have even climbed into one when no one is looking. Well, Das Park Hotel in Osterreich, Austria now gives you the opportunity to stay in one. The rooms are about two meters and furnished with a double bed, storage, light, power outlet, and blankets. Guests staying at the hotel are given a code to unlock the door to their pipe. Austrian artist, Thomas Latzel Ochoa, lends his touch to the inside of the tubes to make them a bit friendlier. The concrete stays cool on the inside and makes for a nice summer retreat. Das Park is open from May to October, and the rates are on a “pay what you think the stay was worth” type of system. If your idea of a holiday is to live inside a sewage pipe, then make sure Das Park is on your bucket list!

V8 hotel — cars for rooms SOURCE: KIDSPOT.COM.AU

With rooms guaranteed to rev up the engine of any car lover, the luxurious 4-star hotel in Baden-Württemberg, Germany incorporates 34 rooms each of which is decorated with different themes related to cars and travel including a Mercedes Benz car wash, Morris Minor Garage and a Route 66 theme. Apart from the trendy details and high quality material used to decorate the rooms, some of them also feature original parts from the automotive world. This is certainly a place that will blow mind of any motorist. Which room would you prefer to stay in?

Capsule hotel — spaceship experience

ha ha ha

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a spaceship, the Capsule Hotel in the Netherlands may let you live out your fantasy. Not a spaceship, but rather bright orange oil rig survival pods offer a cosy and offbeat place to rest while in the Netherlands. While they aren’t very big, they do offer sleeping bags for 3 people (silk-lined ones for the more upscale package). Capsule Hotel offers a James Bond basic survival package, and an upgraded version that features a library of all the 007 movies, silk sheets, champagne and a disco ball. Bikes are included for sightseeing around the area. Those prone to seasickness should probably not stay here as the pods tend to sway constantly

Customer: Do you call this a full meal? You served me twice as much yesterday. Waitress: Where did you sit yesterday? Customer: By the window. Waitress: Oh, that’s why. We do that for advertising purposes — it gives people passing by the impression that this is a good restaurant!

Hang nga hotel — maze madness Why did the poor dog chase his own tail? He was trying to make both ends meet! What is the dogs favourite city? New Yorkie! Why do dogs wag their tails?

Hang Nga Hotel (or “crazy house,” as it has been dubbed by the locals) is hidden away in the mountain town of Da Lat, Vietnam. The house is considered to be one of the most unusual pieces of architecture in Vietnam, where they tend not to have too much unconventional architecture. A random assortment of cubbyholes and rooms that twist and turn are pieced together with bridges to form a maze-type place. The house also contains caged birds, spider web creations, enormous animals and other curiosities that create a fairytale like atmosphere.

“Because no one else will do it for them!” Why did the snowman call his dog Frost? Because frost bites!

Framed felt board craft Materials needed: • • • • •

Felt Large frame Cardboard to fit frame Duct tape Scissors

Instructions: Take the back off the frame and remove the glass. Save the back and any other cardboard that came with the frame. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit inside the frame. If your frame came with an extra piece of cardboard tucked between the grass and the back you can use it as long as it is the same size as the frame.

Cut a piece of felt that is about 2 inches bigger on all sides than the piece of cardboard. Lay the felt on your work surface and then lay your piece of cardboard centred on top of the felt. Start by taping one edge of the felt to the back of the cardboard, then tape the other edge pulling it tight to make sure there are no wrinkles on the front of the felt board. Tape the other two edges in the same manner. Place your felt covered cardboard in the frame so that the felt side faces out. Replace the back of the frame. Your board is now done and, depending on your frame back, you can stand the frame on a dresser or desktop or hang it on the wall. SOURCE: FAMILYCRAFTS.ABOUT.COM

How to make


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, MARCH 17, 2012

Teen spirit

health tips

Let’s be well red! Fighting iron deficiency anemia GOHAR WARRAICH

We all have days when there are so many things to do that we don’t get time to grab breakfast, let alone make sure we are eating right the rest of the day. Perhaps the staying up late to finish homework causes us to miss out on the sleep that we need. The fact is, lots of teens are tired. And with all the demands of school and other activities, it’s easy to understand why. For some people, though, there may be another explanation for feeling so exhausted: anemia. Anemia is when the blood is deficient in red blood cells and or its oxygen carrying pigment — hemoglobin. There can be a multitude of causes and classifications of anemia. In some cases the body does not produce enough red blood cells (RBCs) or they are being destroyed too quickly. While some causes are genetically determined, some types of anemia are preventable. Iron deficiency anemia is one such kind, and the most common. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in RBCs that carries oxygen. Your body normally gets iron through your diet and by re-using iron from old red blood cells. When iron stores are depleted, hemoglobin production is reduced. Iron can fall short in supply if it is not present in meals; if it is not absorbed from the gut; the body’s demand has increased or there has been significant amount of blood loss, for instance, from worms or ulcers. Anemic patients will list a string of indistinctive problems. They might run out of breath too fast, experience palpitations, irritable moods, dizziness and weakness. In addition, they can have trouble keeping their extremities warm. Anemic patients will appear pale skinned, which might not be as evident on a dark complexion or beneath a layer of rouge, but will be readily noticeable otherwise, especially in severe anemia. A curious symptom is something called pica, which is a craving for nonnutritive substances including paint, chalk, ice and so on. Anemia is especially common during puberty when teens go through rapid growth spurts. It is during this phase that the body needs increased nutrition. You can supplement iron by including beans, peas, leafy green vegetables including spinach and broccoli, dried fruits such as raisins and apricots in the daily meal. Animal sources include egg yolks, meat including beef, chicken and fish are also rich sources. Caution must be taken to avoid iron rich foods with dairy products as well as those high in caffeine content, like tea, as they hinder the body’s capacity to absorb iron. Vitamin C rich foods, on the other hand, increase absorption and may be paired up for more efficacious results. Examples of such sources will include grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, strawberries and so on. Other nutrients which can lead to anemia besides iron which should be accounted for in the diet include vitamin B12 and folic acid. While it is best to have an iron rich diet, if symptoms indicate towards an iron deficiency, it is recommended to see a doctor who will be able to give a diagnosis with a clinical interview and a few rudimentary blood tests. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe iron containing multivitamins or oral iron supplements. Iron supplements should not be started off on one’s own accord as taking iron unnecessarily for prolonged periods of time can have toxic effects. The good news is that for most people anemia is easily treated. Some basic dietary modifications can help you have your energy back in a matter of weeks!

An innie in an outie’s world Confessions of an introvert

PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMONS

A SABA KHALID

Growing up, I was such a quiet child, especially compared to my loud, older sisters that my parents would often forget me. They sometimes failed to remember they had a third child. Once, they lost me at a supermarket and realised it when the store manager called. Had it not been for him, I’d be a feral child living in aisle six gorging on cereal and candy bars for the rest of my life. No offense to my parents, they just didn’t know what to do with a little person like me.

day. While extroverts feel energised when they’re around people, introverts end up feeling tied down and tired after too much social interaction.

Parents of introverts The biggest fear of parents these days is that their kid may end up neglected in class and by peers. So they push and coerce the child into socialising more. This, for the hypersensitive, introverted child who already realises he or she is different, makes him feel even worse for his supposed shortcomings.

Conforming to extroversion An introvert at school

Innately introverted Had someone explained to them that I was innately different and that I had no control over this difference, it probably would’ve been easier on all of us. For one thing, I wasn’t shy, I just enjoyed my time alone. It was much later in life that I figured that I fell on the deep end of introverted spectrum. For us introverts, getting lost in our thoughts, daydreaming for hours and being intoxicated by a book is a much better option than yapping away all

menacing heads. Sitting alone during lunch hour, I would draw up elaborate plans of running away. I would pull my older sister from her classes and beg her to take me home. I’d even bribe the school chowkidaar to let me out. And when all else failed, I quietly observed kids my age from a far and imitated their behaviour at home in a desperate attempt to fit in, to be noticed and to somehow embrace this normalcy that came naturally to everyone.

If I wasn’t weirdly quiet enough, my fullblown weirdness kicked in when I started school. If it’s possible for a child to have a heart attack, I may have had four on my first day of school. From barely interacting with two adults, I was suddenly expected to interact with 30 kids. I felt betrayed by my parents, attacked by these alien creatures who looked like me but didn’t act the slightest bit like me, and most of all petrified of the authoritarian teacher who graded me on talking in front of these

The social pressure of being extroverted is so subtly aggressive that most introverted children have no choice but to conform. I must have done a pretty good job of childhood imitations because by the time I was a senior, I had successfully changed myself. I continued my extroverted streak for years. I was so good at putting on a pretentious front that I landed a job in external affairs. I went around every day from stressful presentations to business meetings, brainstorming sessions to group activities, and high-powered lunches to corporate dinners.

I’d come back drained from all positive energy, drenched in layers and layers of self-hate and depressed to surprisingly new lows. Life, itself, seemed taxing.

Hidden gifts of the introverted child One of the reasons why introverted kids turn extroverted is because of the lack of encouragement and career options available to them. When you turn on the TV, everyone successful is loud, social and opinionated. Take politics, marketing or even the entertainment industry for instance, it pays to be on the extroverted side of the spectrum. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Take Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein for instance. All introverted but still larger than life. Introverts are gifted listeners, very observant, and focussed. These qualities go hand in hand with creative forms.

Find your strength After years of being in the limelight, I finally went back to the skills I used as a coping mechanism for my social awkwardness — writing. And I haven’t looked back since.

Enterteenment!

Celebs and their over-thetop purchases From luxury cars to penthouse pads, no splurge is too excessive when you’re a teenage celeb with a weekly allowance larger than what most adults earn in a year.

Taylor Lautner

Another victory for Team Jacob. The 19-year-old Twilightstar recently splurged on a $200,000 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with gullwing doors. Lautner reportedly showed up at a Los Angeles dealership with his parents and drove off in the pricey car that same day.

Daniel Radcliffe

Unfortunately for the Harry Potter star, muggle beds aren’t nearly as comfortable as the ones at Hogwarts. We joke, but Daniel Radcliffe takes his sleep pretty seriously. In 2007, the then-17-year-old actor dropped $17,000 on a custom Savoir mattress. Three points for Gryffindor!


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, MARCH 17, 2012

Batmobile-like Nissan DeltaWing is the future of racing

Geek Guide

DESIGN: ALI DARAB

Mobile World Conference review 2012

NOMAN ANSARI

Taking place at the wonderfully picturesque Fira de Barcelona, Spain, the Mobile World Congress (MWC)’s 2012 edition recently concluded on the first of March, with over 65,000 attendants. All the major players, including Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Motorola, and HTC were part of the event in full force. The MWC is the biggest mobile industry exhibition in the world where mobile phone companies, in the presence of their bosses, flaunt their latest products. Here is our review of the showings from the big companies at the event:

household name from Redmond, USA was all about its new Windows 8 software this year, an operating system (OS) which is set to unify tablets, and personal computers. The software certainly created a lot of buzz, with critics claiming it to be very easy to use. Windows 8 has all the social networking features you need, is amazingly secure, runs image-editing softwares like Photoshop, and is beautifully seamless in its transition from traditional to touchscreen input. Not only that, but the OS is blazingly fast. But while signs look good, how the public takes to the software is only something time will tell.

Samsung

Nokia

It was disappointing to note that the technology powerhouse from South Korea didn’t unveil its hotly anticipated Galaxy S III at MWC 2012, which the company says it plans to showcase at a separate event later this year. On the other hand, Samsung finally did unveil its Samsung Galaxy Beam smart phone device, which in what is an interesting gimmick, carries a pico projector for those looking to conduct their presentations on the go. Samsung also released two new Galaxy Tab 2 tablets, in two separate sized flavors. But, the device which really took the limelight was the Galaxy Note 10.1, which critics termed as the best tablet at the event.

The former telecommunications giant, Nokia has been struggling of late. Things were really bad for the Finnish Company in 2011, after it posted a loss of 368 million Euros in quarter two, announced a closure of a factory in Romania, and fired thousands of workers. It was thus a pleasant surprise when Nokia gave a strong showing at the MWC. The most exciting new piece of the armory was the Nokia 808 PureView, which won the ‘Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet at the Mobile World Congress 2012” award. While the device does carry the unattractive Symbian OS, it sports a pulsating 41-megapixel camera, with high resolution sensors, and a top of the line lens from Carl Zeiss. The touch-free continue autofocus stands at 1080p, and the camera has a 4X digital zoom which is said to lose hardly any details. From the

Microsoft Still trying to plant a firmer foothold in the mobile world, the

Tech Society

samples critics examined at the conference, the results are reported to be amazing. Other devices presented by Nokia were two phones from its new Asha line of phones, and the Lumia 610 smartphone, which is shaping to be a solid entry level device.

ASUS When released, The ASUS PadFone might not set the sales figures on fire, but it will certainly win the coolness battle. The smartphone, which carries high end specs, can be attached to an accompanying 10 inch tablet, allowing it to go from being used as a smartphone, to a tablet! But the multiple functionality doesn’t end there: Add the ‘Asus Station Dock keyboard’ to the tablet, and the device becomes a notebook!

HTC One of the leading manufacturers of mobile phones and tablets, HTC had a bit of a lackluster year in 2011. Things changed in 2012 when they presented a line of phones that pleased the majority of their followers. At the top of the table was the HTC One X, with a 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a gorgeous 4.7 inch Gorilla Glass LCD, a strong 8 megapixel camera, and the enticing Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, overlaid by HTC’s proprietary Sense 4.0. The smartphone is very slim, has a beautiful design, and for most critics, was the best new smartphone at the MWC 2012.

Sci-fi technologies you’ll soon have on your cell phone

Universal translator

Holographic displays

A lot of science fiction movies feature different species from across the galaxy easily overcoming the language barrier (that is, they all speak perfectly understandable English). The shows that bother to plug this plot hole usually credit a universal translator device. A company from Massachusetts has developed software that will let your phone translate foreign text into audible speech. They have a prototype that can read text from seven different languages and translate it into English, and they estimate a commercial version will be available within the next few years. From there, speech to speech translation is the next logical step and numerous designs are already in the works. The last real hurdle in the way of them reaching the market is that cell phones just aren’t powerful enough to handle them yet. But they will be, and sooner rather than later. So be prepared to turn your Nokia into your own personal Babel Fish sometime in the near future, opening up a world of travel, multicultural togetherness and annoying tourists that you could once pretend to not understand!

Let’s be honest: Despite all the advances in phone technology and cool applications currently available, we’re all still waiting for the day when our Blackberry Storms can play holographic 3D messages for us. Well, cell phone manufactures apparently feel the same way and seem to be taking the idea seriously, because prototypes continue to be developed that emphasize the 3D display. The real problem is finding an application for it that would make money. Companies like Samsung and Infosys have already filed patents on the related technology, so they’re working on it. India-based Infosys says their device would display the images using “...a projector with a laser source and micro holographic optical elements lenses.” Though they also claimed its version would be available by 2010, so they better get busy. Meanwhile Samsung’s patent would work sort of like a tiny version of the rear-projection TV’s that were popular before plasma came along. In their words, “...source images emitted by the optical unit are three-dimensionally displayed on a plane spaced from the hologram screen by a predetermined distance.” SOURCE: CRACKED.COM

Medical scanner Imagine feeling your left arm go all tingly and your chest starts cramping up, but rather than having to drive all the way to the hospital, you can just whip out your cell phone and do a quick self diagnosis. There are already dozens of medical applications available that can help monitor your blood pressure, give basic eye exams and analyse symptoms to determine what you could be suffering from. And then there are applications that can turn your cell phone into a fairly sophisticated medical scanner. Just plug a portable unit into your phone and its data will be sent to a remote computer that will return images of whatever tumor you have on your screen. It’s designed for doctors in low income and rural areas, but as the technology becomes cheaper it may not be long before it becomes accessible publicly so you can give yourself an ultrasound!

Here’s a glimpse at the future of racing. It’s called the Nissan DeltaWing and it’s part road racer, part salt-flat runner, and looks like a modern interpretation of the Keaton-era Batmobile. Not only is it lighter and more aerodynamic than the rest of the endurance racing field, it uses half the fuel, which not only makes it more environmentally friendly, but more competitive. And against all odds, it’s coming to the only race that matters: the 24 Hours of LeMans. The DeltaWing is a joint project between former Lola design chief Ben Bowlby and Chip Ganassi Racing, and pitched as the future of IndyCar. IndyCar passed on the design, calling the DeltaWing too radical, and instead falling back on the latest interpretation of the Dallara chassis the series has been using for years. Bowlby and crew, along with American racing legend Dan Gurney and forward-thinker Don Panoz, shrugged off the rejection, scored a few important partnerships (namely Michelin) and set their sights even higher. Now Nissan has joined the team, appending its name to the project and — more importantly — supplying the engine. If you’ve ever seen Nissan’s funky Juke crossover, you’re already vaguely familiar with what’s powering the DeltaWing. The range-topping Juke “DIG-T” (Direct Injection Gasoline — Turbocharged) in Japan comes packing a turbo’d 1.6-liter fourcylinder engine putting out a little over 180 horsepower. But when modified for racing duty, output swells to some 300 hp. To reduce drag and optimize weight bias, the engine is mounted behind the driver and power is sent to the rear wheels. More intriguingly, with both the engine and driver mounted far back in the carbon fiber chassis, the ultra-thin front tires don’t have to move much to elicit a change in direction. If you’re thinking those miserly front meats can’t be stable at speed, check the video below of the DeltaWing testing at Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California. Compared to the LeMans leaders in the LMP1 class, including the recently revealed 510-hp Audi R18 Ultra, the DeltaWing is down on both power and traction, but that’s not the name of the game when it comes to endurance racing. The DeltaWing weighs in at a svelte 1,300 pounds with a full tank of fuel and driver on board — about half what a comparable LMP1 car weighs. Couple that low tonnage with its slippery shape, good for a claimed 50 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag, and suddenly the DeltaWing is competitive. Just as important as its aero advantage and reduced weight is the boost in fuel economy, which Nissan estimates will be about double that of an LMP1 car. Over the course of a 24-hour race, that means fewer pitstops to refuel and — with its lightened load — a reduced need for tire changes and brake swaps. That equates to more laps over less time, and that’s what wins LeMans. Except, it can’t win. SOURCE: WIRED.COM

Study says most IT guys are ignorant

Why can’t the IT guy fix your latest tech problem? Odds are, he’s ignorant. In a recent report of over 500 U.S. business and IT managers conducted by CompTIA — a non-profit IT trade association — 93 percent of respondents said there’s a gap between the skill level of their IT staff and where they want that skill level to be. Only 56 percent of respondents said the skills of their staff were “moderately close” to where they need to be. “There are so many new variables entered into the equation today — cloud computing, mobility, the trend towards bringing your own device, video conferencing,” Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA, tells Wired. “When you add those in, there is definitely concern that IT staff is still catching up.” In a sense, this is only what’d you expect. The report points out that it would be “challenging” and even “somewhat troublesome” to find an organization completely content with their IT staff. But the gap is large, and the business managers who responded to the survey put some of the blame on themselves. Rapidly changing technology led the list of factors that contribute the skill gap (46 percent), but a lack of resources for IT skill development (43 percent) and ineffective training for IT staff (39 percent) were not far behind. In addition, only 15 percent of respondents said they have a formal process in place to identify IT skill gaps. Fifty-six percent said they had no process at all. With more and more employees bringing their own devices to work, the task confronting an IT department is more complicated than it was just a few years ago. But Herbert says that IT staff should fight like with like. He sees companies using a “hybrid” approach to IT education: In some cases, the company or a partner such as Microsoft or Oracle will educate the staff, but in other cases, the staff will be encouraged to learn on their own. An IT staff can’t wait around for management to identify gaps in their skill sets, find funding, organize training, and so on, Herbert says. Instead, IT must identify the gaps on its own. Herbert cites Codecademy — a site that gives free coding lessons — as an example of how the employee, rather than his manager, can close the skills gap. With Codecademy, employees can teach themselves JavaScript, rather than waiting for a corporate course. “The challenge for organizations,” Herbert says, “is to make sure that type of initiative brushes off on others.” SOURCE: WIRED.COM


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THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, MARCH 17, 2012

offbeat

The Dark Knight rises in Slovakia! His utility belt might not be as well-equipped as the TV version and he hasn’t had to fight Penguin’s henchmen yet, but Zoltan Kohari has nailed the superhero look and grit needed to fight evil in the southern Slovaktown of Dunajska Streda. Dressed in his home-made, all-leather Batman costume with the bat symbol proudly displayed on his chest and pointy ears on his cowl, Kohari, 26, cleans the streets, helps old people out and instead of resorting to violence, calls the police when he sees something suspicious. There are some slight differences in the storylines of the real-life Kohari and fictional millionaire Bruce Wayne, the man behind the mask in Batman comic books, TV shows and films. For one, Kohari is a real-life person, whose path to the side of truth, justice and a tidy neighbourhood once strayed to the wrong side of the law. The trained house painter spent eight months in jail last year and attempted suicide after he was released, before realizing he had a mission to make life in his community better. Lacking a full-time job, he moved into a dilapidated concrete apartment block on the edge of town where he turned an empty apartment — with no electricity or running water — into his very own Batcave from where he launches his street patrols. So what’s next for the Slovak superhero? After tidying up and helping the elderly, Batman’s next mission will be making sure bouncers at the local disco do not rough up visitors.

Let’s break records to make records

A New York man who holds 137 Guinness World Records, including the one for the most world records, is aiming to add to his achievements. Ashrita Furman, 57, from Brooklyn, will this week try to beat his own underwater rope jumping record, reports the Daily Telegraph. He will try to complete more than 900 skips in an hour while wearing scuba gear in a tank filled with manatees at an aquarium in Brazil. Mr Furman was born the same year the Guinness Book of Records was conceived as well as the year Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. His record-breaking fascination began when he met Sri Chinmoy, a Bengali guru, in 1964, who challenged him to “break records”, according to his trusted collaborator Bippin Larkin. The pair holds records, for among other things, the quickest time for a mile-long piggy back (12 minutes, 47 seconds). The guru gave Mr Furman, originally called Keith, his new name, which means “protected by God”. “I’m trying to show others that our human capacity is unlimited if we can truly believe in ourselves,” he said on his website. Recent records he holds include juggling on a pogo stick the furthest distance (4 miles 30 feet), and the fastest mile while balancing a milk bottle on top of his head (7 mins 47 seconds). In all, he has set 384 official records since 1979, according to his website.

SOURCE: COMICSALLIANCE.COM

SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

Wanna clean your room? Let’s call Mr Fungi Just when you thought that plastic waste was never going to break down in the environment, along comes Mother Nature to solve the problem. A group of Yale scientists recently stumbled upon a fungus in the Amazonian rainforest that appears to be happy eating the otherwise un-killable plastics. The fungi, Pestalotiopsis microspora, has a voracious appetite for polyurethane, which is a common plastic used for many modern purposes, including shoes, garden hoses and other non-degenerating items. Not only is the fungus able to survive on a steady diet of polyurethane alone, what is even more surprising is it can do this in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. Perfect for conditions at the bottom of a landfill! Plastic garbage could last indefinitely, meaning that landfills of garbage will continue on possibly for centuries. But now there may just be the perfect solution — future trash compactors may simply be giant fields of fungi. SOURCE: DIGITALJOURNAL.COM

These hooves are made for walking

A yarn of olympic proportions

Who knew that horses, cows and camels had feet that could be so trendy? German designer, Iris Schieferstein, 45 sure seems to agree as she as created a bizarre new range of shoes — from parts of animals long gone. Ms Schieferstein, who designed a pair of horse hooves for Lady Gaga, sells the shoes for up to £3,900 (Rs556,192). She collects animals from her local butcher in Berlin, and after taking requisite precautions, sets the skin around a shoe model. “Once the shoes are made I wear them to make sure they work, although they would not be suitable to wear around the house.” She said when enquired about the practicality of her creations.

Tall guy is finally done growing The world’s tallest man has finally stopped growing at 8 feet 3 inches thanks to a pioneering treatment at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Sultan Kosen, a 29-year-old Turkish man who is recognized by Guinness World Records as the tallest man in the world has been suffering from acromegaly, a condition caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, which leads to excessive growth hormone production. Special equipment had to be flown in from Sweden to fit Mr Kosen’s larger skull, according to doctors. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mr Kosen was placed on a new medication that could help control the production of growth hormone and stop his continued growth. University officials now claim that Mr Kosen has stopped growing. The treatment will be noted in Guinness World Records. “He’s done very, very well, fortunately,” said Dr Jason Sheehan, a University of Virginia Brain surgeon. SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

A truly “mammoth” task

After dinosaurs, woolly mammoths are probably the best known extinct animals. We’re familiar with these huge, hairy curved-tusk beasts because our cave-dwelling ancestors liked drawing them on their walls. 10,000 years after the species went extinct, a group of South Korean and Russian scientists are planning to bring them back to life by using tissue samples from specimens recovered in Siberia after global warming thawed the region’s permafrost. Finding well-preserved tissues with undamaged genes, such as bone marrow will be a “mammoth” task in itself. If found, scientists will replace the nucleus of an Indian elephant egg cell with the DNA. Sooam researcher Hwang In-Sung said: “This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals.” The lab has successfully cloned living animals including a cow, a cat, dogs, a pig and a wolf, but using ancient DNA from a longextinct species has never been done. Sooam said it hoped to complete the restoration of these mammoth cells by the end of the year. SOURCE: THESUN.CO.UK

That must have been eggstremely painful

Residents of North Yorkshire have been left bemused after a mysterious ‘yarnbomber’ wrapped the town’s pier with a 50yard scarf stretching out along the railings. The impressive garment features woolen athletes competing in various Olympic events, from synchronized swimmers to rowers and cyclists, and has delighted young and old alike as the town discusses the yarn. The scarf incorporates a number of Olympic disciplines. Carefully rendered knitted figures, taking in everything from cycling to synchronized swimming to gymnastics, can be found every couple of feet along the eye-catching display. But the mysterious creator — who has struck before — remains anonymous, leaving everyone speculating on their identity and motives. Previously the knitter had decorated lamp-posts, railings and buildings throughout the town with a number of knitted figures.

At first glance it must have looked more like a rugby ball than an egg. Imagine the surprise on 8-year-old Harriet Whitaker’s face when she walked into her barn and saw her hen Popples had laid an egg four times larger than normal! A hen’s egg is typically 2.3 inches long compared to the 5 inch high supersized egg that Popples had laid. Harriett said: “I’ve never seen an egg that size before. I thought an ostrich had been into the run overnight.” Mum Teresa, said: “I fed the chickens some scraps from our roast dinner the day before, so perhaps the cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts gave her a boost. “It’s the biggest chicken egg I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what we will do with it yet but it will make a very large and tasty omelette.”

SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

The Express Tribune T2 - March 17  

The Express Tribune T2 for March 17th 2012

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