Tuesday, December 29, 2009
In the months to come, expect music's renegade - a burlesque dancer turned music superstar - to score more award show trophies (she's nominated for five Grammys), sell out more concert dates (her 41-city "Monster Ball" tour kicked off in November) and release another chart-topping album (anticipated in late 2010). She may also do a rock opera produced as a feature-length movie.And lest it stop there, she's collaborating with branding guru Steve Stoute for a line of Gaga-branded electronic sunglasses, much like she dons in concert. It's enough to keep her fans salivating and secure Gaga a spot on our list of music's rising stars, a grouping of artists worth keeping an eye on in the year ahead.
Music's Rising Stars Like Gaga, country music darling Taylor Swift has had a year for the record books as well, selling more albums than anyone not named Michael Jackson. Add to that chart-topping songs, sold-out tour dates and a top-rated Saturday Night Live gig. Come 2010, Swift will spend much of the year on the road, where she'll continue her largely sold-out Fearless tour with performances around the world.The singer-songwriter turned teen sensation made history in November when she became the youngest artist ever to win the coveted entertainer of the year award at the Country Music Awards. She was showered with similar acclaim at the MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards, and recently snagged another eight Grammy nominations. She'll have another opportunity to clean up at 2010's Grammy Awards, where she has been nominated in eight categories.
Consider Susan Boyle of Britain's Got Talent. The dowdy Scot was unknown before appearing as a contestant in April, stunning viewers and judges alike with her rendition of the song "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Miserables. A clip of her performance ricocheted around the Web, where it was viewed more than 300 million times. Her hotly anticipated debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, rolled out in November, and shot to the top of charts around the globe. Up next, Talent judge Simon Cowell has expressed interest in making a documentary film out of Boyle's meteoric rise.
And then there's Adam Lambert, the openly gay runner-up of American Idol's eighth season who continues to court fans and controversy.After an onslaught of cover stories and other headlines, the man dubbed "the wild idol" struck big with For Your Entertainment. Released in November, Lambert's debut album opened at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with nearly 200,000 copies sold stateside. (It plummeted the following week.)More recently, Lambert put himself in the eye of a media storm when he thrust his crotch at and kissed fellow men onstage at the American Music Awards. But even after Good Morning America canceled a follow-up performance, he told Barbara Walters he had no regrets on her most fascinating people special (he was joined by Michelle Obama, Tyler Perry and Gaga, among others).
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Astronomers detected the alien world as it passed in front of its sun, a red dwarf star 40 light years away in a constellation called Ophiuchus, after the Greek for "snake holder".The discovery, made with a network of amateur telescopes, is being hailed as a major step forward in the search for planets beyond our solar system that are hospitable to life as we know it.
Measurements suggest the planet is shrouded in a thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium that blocks visible light from its sun, plunging the watery surface into permanent darkness. The weight of the atmosphere keeps the water liquid despite it being a searing 120C to 282C.
Writing in the journal Nature, David Charbonneau at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics describes how his team used a suite of eight amateur-sized telescopes to spot the planet as it moved across the face of its star, which is less than 0.5% as bright as our own sun.
The telescopes picked up a slight dimming in light from the star as the waterworld, named GJ1214b, passed in front of it every 1.6 days. The planet has a radius 2.7 times as large as the Earth's and orbits at a distance of only two million kilometres from its star. Our own planet circles the sun at an average distance of around 150 million kilometres.
"It would be very difficult to imagine life as we know it on the surface. It's hot and dark and there are probably no rocky surfaces like we have on Earth," said Charbonneau.
Charbonneau heads the MEarth project, which trains telescopes on a class of star called M-dwarfs or red dwarfs, which are much cooler and dimmer than our own sun. Planets orbiting close to these can lie in what astronomers call the "Goldilocks zone", where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for water to flow and life to flourish.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Murphy, who had been acting since age two, was apparently found unconscious at her home, in her shower, Sunday morning by her mother, the celebrity gossip website TMZ reported. The actress was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in
Actor Aston Kutcher, with whom she starred in the 2003 film "Just Married", sent condolences to her family via the internet social network site Twitter and said: "The world lost a little piece of sunshine." Murphy drew attention with her portrayal of the street-smart Tai in the teenage 1995 classic "Clueless". In 1999, she starred with Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder in "Girl Interrupted".
Murphy's husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, made news in November when he was rushed to hospital after a flight that landed in
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sculpting ice presents a number of difficulties due to the variability and volatility of the material. Ice must be carefully selected to be suitable for the sculptor's purposes and should be free of undesired impurities. Typically, ideal carving ice is made from pure, clean water. However, clear, transparent ice is a result of the freezing process and not necessarily related to the purity of the water. Clear ice is mostly the result of slow freezing that allows impurities to escape. The water molecules are allowed to line up into the typical crystal lattice while impurities remain in the unfrozen water. Certain machines and processes allow for slow freezing and the removal of impurities and therefore are able to produce the clear blocks of ice that are favored by ice carvers. However, not all blocks that are carved are clear ice. White ice blocks look like snow and are sometimes carved. Colored ice blocks are produced by adding dyes to the ice and can be carved as well. In some instances, clear ice and colored ice are combined to create a desired effect.
The temperature of the environment affects how quickly the piece must be completed to avoid the effects of melting; if the sculpting does not take place in a cold environment, then the sculptor must work quickly to finish his piece. Some sculptures can be completed in as little as ten minutes if the carver is using power tools such as chainsaws and specialty bits fitted to a die grinder.Ice sculptors also use razor-sharp chisels that are specifically designed for cutting ice.
As various technologies are adapted for use with ice carving, many sculptures are now created largely by machine. CNC machines and molding systems are now commonly used to create ice sculptures and complicated logos from ice. Color effects are also possible by a number of techniques, including the addition of colored gels or sand to the ice.The temperature of the environment affects how quickly the piece must be completed to avoid the effects of melting; if the sculpting does not take place in a cold environment, then the sculptor must work quickly to finish his piece. Some sculptures can be completed in as little as ten minutes if the carver is using power tools such as chainsaws and specialty bits fitted to a die grinder.Ice sculptors also use razor-sharp chisels that are specifically designed for cutting ice.
As various technologies are adapted for use with ice carving, many sculptures are now created largely by machine. CNC machines and molding systems are now commonly used to create ice sculptures and complicated logos from ice. Color effects are also possible by a number of techniques, including the addition of colored gels or sand to the ice.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It can lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Cologne, Germany, gave 44 people with borderline or mild hypertension 30 calories a day of dark or white chocolate. After about 4 months, the number of dark chocolate eaters diagnosed with hypertension dropped from 86% to 68%. Most likely the results were thanks to the antioxidant effect of dark chocolate, the researchers say.
It can help you burn fat. Chocolate loving men who eat the sweet treat are in better health than those who don't like it, say docs at Imperial College London and Nestle. Over five days, a group of 22 healty young men ate the same food, plus either chocolate or bread. Blood and urine tests showed the chocolate lovers processed fatty foods better & had lower LDL(bad) cholesterol.
YES, indulging every once in a while way have long-term heart benefits - but only when paired with a healthy diet. "You can't eat just chocolate while you sit on the coach and watch TV", says researcher Sunil Kochhar, PhD.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Crocodiles are among the more biologically complex reptiles despite their prehistoric look. Unlike other reptiles, they have a cerebral cortex; a four-chambered heart; and the functional equivalent of a diaphragm, by incorporating muscles used for aquatic locomotion into respirationCrocodiles have a palatal flap, a rigid tissue at the back of the mouth that blocks the entry of water. The palate has a special path from the nostril to the glottis that bypasses the mouth. The nostrils are closed during submergence.Their tongues are not free but held in place by a membrane which limits movement; as a result, crocodiles are unable to stick out their tongues.Crocodilian scales have pores that are believed to be sensory, analogous to the lateral line in fishes. They are particularly seen on their upper and lower jaws. Another possibility is that they are secretory, as they produce an oily substance that appears to flush mud off.Crocodiles are very fast over short distances, even out of water. Since crocodiles feed by grabbing and holding onto their prey, they have evolved sharp teeth for tearing and holding onto flesh, and powerful muscles that close the jaws and hold them shut. These jaws can bite down with immense force, by far the strongest bite of any animal. The crocodile's bite force is more than 5,000 pounds per square inchcompared to just 335 pounds per square inch (22.8 atm) for a rottweiler, 400 pounds per square inch (27 atm) for a large great white shark, or 800 pounds per square inch (54 atm) to 1,000 pounds per square inch (68 atm) for a hyena.
Biology and behavior :
Crocodiles are ambush hunters, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to attack. As cold-blooded predators, they have a very slow metabolism, and thus can survive long periods without food. Despite their appearance of being slow, crocodiles are top predators in their environment, and various species have been observed attacking and killing sharks.
A famous exception is the Egyptian Plover which is said to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the crocodile. According to unauthenticated reports, the plover feeds on parasites that infest the crocodile's mouth and the reptile will open its jaws and allow the bird to enter to clean out the mouth.Crocodiles do not have sweat glands and release heat through their mouths. They often sleep with their mouths open and may even pant like a dog.
There is no reliable way of measuring crocodile age, although several techniques are used to derive a reasonable guess. The most common method is to measure lamellar growth rings in bones and teeth—each ring corresponds to a change in growth rate which typically occurs once a year between dry and wet seasons.
Bearing these inaccuracies in mind, the oldest crocodilians appear to be the largest species. C. porosus is estimated to live around 70 years on average, and there is limited evidence that some individuals may exceed 100 years. One of the oldest crocodiles recorded died in a zoo in Russia. A male freshwater crocodile at the Australia Zoo is estimated to be 130 years old. He was rescued from the wild by Bob Irwin and Steve Irwin after being shot twice by hunters. As a result of the shootings, this crocodile has lost his right eye.
Crocodiles have and armoured skin on top and more smooth skin on the bottom. The smooth skin at the bottom is used to slide on the muddy surfaces of the river banks. The armoured part of the skin is used for protection. They are still able to get heat through this thick rugged armour. They have a network of small capillaries that flow through these scales to get heat to these places.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharata Natyam dance postures karanas. In fact, it is the celestial dancers, apsara's, who are depicted in many scriptures dancing the heavenly version of what is known on earth as Bharatanatyam. In the most essential sense, a Hindu deity is a revered royal guest in his temple/abode, to be offered the "sixteen hospitalities" - among which are music and dance, pleasing to the senses. Thus, many Hindu temples traditionally maintained complements of trained musicians and dancers, as did Indian rulers.
* Jewelry - Bharatanatyam dancers wear a unique set of jewelry known as "Temple Jewelry" during the performance.
* Costume - From the ancient texts and sculptures, one can see that the original costume did not cover most of the dancers' bodies. The medieval times, with the puritanistic drive, caused the devadasis to wear a special, heavy saree that severely restricted the dance movements. There are several varieties of Bharatanatyam costumes, some of which do not restrict the dancer's movements, while the others do. The modern costumes are deeply symbolic, as their purpose is to project the dancer's sukshma sharira (cf.aura), in the material world.
* Music - The accompanying music is in the Carnatic style of South India.
* Ensemble - Mostly, South Indian instruments are used in the ensemble. These include, the mridangam (drum), nagaswaram (long pipe horn made from a black wood), the flute, violin and veena (stringed instrument traditionally associated with Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of the arts and learning).
* Languages - Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are traditionally used in Bharatanatyam.
Ideal qualities of dancers:
A professional Bharatanatyam dancer must demonstrate a number of qualities. As Sangitaratnakara puts it, the true dance is connected to the beauty of the body, therefore any other dance is simply a parody.
The AbhinayaDarpana has a sloka that describes Patra Prana Dasha Smrutaha - the ten essentials of the dancer: Javaha (Agility), Sthirathvam (Steadiness), Rekha (graceful lines), Bhramari(balance in pirouettes), Drishti (glance), Shramaha (hard work), Medha (intelligence), Shraddha(devotion), Vacho (good speech), and Geetam (singing ability).
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The company plans to sell suborbital space rides for $200,000 a ticket, offering passengers 2-hours flights that include about five minutes of weightlessness.
"Isn't this sexist spaceship ever?" said Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Galactic founder who partnered with aviation designer Burt Rutan on the venture, as SpaceShipTwo glided down a runaway mated to its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo. SpaceShipTwo will be carried aloft by White Knight Two & released at 50,000 feet. The craft that uses Rocket ingine that climb more than 65 killometers above the Earth's surface. After reaching the top of its trajectory, the craft will fall back to the atmosphere & glide to a landing like a aeroplane.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
“ Any adverse effect of artificial light including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste. ”
It obscures the stars in the night sky for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical observatories, and, like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Light pollution can be divided into two main types: 1) annoying light that intrudes on an otherwise natural or low-light setting and 2) excessive light (generally indoors) that leads to discomfort and adverse health effects. Since the early 1980s, a global dark-sky movement has emerged, with concerned people campaigning to reduce the amount of light pollution
Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in highly industrialized, densely populated areas of North America, Europe, and Japan and in major cities in the Middle East and North Africa like Cairo, but even relatively small amounts of light can be noticed and create problems. Like other forms of pollution (such as air, water, and noise pollution) light pollution causes damage to the environment.See the change here..
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Symptoms and Indicators :
- Constant back pain and, less commonly, pain in the chest, hip, wrist and pelvic area.
- Developing a hunched back, or loss of height (due to compression of the spinal column).
- Tendency to suffer fractures after relatively minor falls.
- Amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual periods) is associated with reduced oestrogen levels and, possibly, osteoporosis.
- If your doctor can help you find out if you have high-risk genes for osteoporosis, you may be able to take preventive measures early.
For osteopenia and osteoporosis, doctors focus on medication to slow bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. They also suggest lifestyle changes. For severe cases and for fractures, surgery could be an option. Being diagnosed with osteopenia left me shaken, yet I was relieved to have identified the cause of my pain and also to know that I could, with a few dietary changes, reverse my condition.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Greek legend says that early one morning as Flora, goddess of all flowers, was walking through the woods, she came upon the dead body of a beautiful young girl. Flora was saddened to see such a lovely creature dead, and she decided to give her new life by transforming her into the most beautiful of all flowers.
To accomplish this, she called on all the gods of Olympia to aid her in the task. She asked her husband, Zephyrus, the west wind, to blow away all the clouds so that Apollo, the sun, could send warm rays of blessings over the dead form.Flora then called Aphrodite to give beauty and the three graces (brilliance, joy and charm) to this new flower. Next, Dionysus, the god of wine, was to add the final touch by giving fragrance and nectar.Aphrodite was asked to provide the name for this loveliest of all flowers. She gave the name of rose in honor of her son Eros, the Greek god of Love. (If we rearrange one letter of the word rose, we have Eros. Eros = Rose = Love.) Flora then presented the rose to Eros in hopes that it would always be the choice of lovers and the flower of romance.