A controversial zoo in Argentina allows tourists to have extremely close encounters with some of the most dangerous predators in the world.

At the Lujan Zoo near Buenos Aires visitors can ride lions, cuddle bears, stroke tigers and feed cheetahs.

Visitors can even pick up the smaller animals and manhandle them at risk to themselves and the creatures. Shockingly there doesn't appear to be much in the way of safety regulations to protect either humans or animals.

Interaction between zookeepers and animals is also very intimate and it's not unusual to see keepers 'playing' in rough and tumble games with the predators.

(One alarming picture shows a keeper swinging a bear cub by its legs)

The Lujan Zoo, which is about 70km away from downtown Buenos Aires, has an entrance fee of $7 (£5) and allows its guests to 'interact' with all of its animals from rabbits to adult male lions.

It claims to be dedicated to the conservation of endangered species.

Animal protection charity, The Born Free Foundation, has condemned the zoo and issued a statement to urge tourists not to visit it

Will Travers, CEO of The Born Free Foundation said: "Based on what I have seen displayed on the Lujan Zoo website, I am fearful that a terrible accident is going to happen".

A blogger on www.travbuddy.com describes how she and her travel companion were supposedly allowed to play with the animals even more closely after the zoo had closed: "I love Argentina. People aren't hung up on safety. They don't have as many fears as the rest of the world. The zoo closed and we kept going to the cages because we had a little bravery in us. Since it was only us, the guys who worked at the zoo let us take goofy pictures with the animals. I sat on a lion's back, haha."

telegraph - UK
The new oceanarium, which will be named “Duman,” in Moscow will be a perfect center for learning about undersea life and entertainment.

The Duman Oceanarium will be part of a huge entertainment complex known as Poseidon Park, each of which will have its own particular theme. These different zones will include: the Oceanarium, 3D-Cinema, a network of cafes and trading halls. The central zone will be used for walks and rest, an Amusement “Jungle”, bowling, a multipurpose hall and a hotel complex. The mayor embraced the idea for the oceanarium when it was first presented to him some six years ago. Unequalled anywhere in Russia, both in terms of scale and concept, the Duman Oceanarium will be the only one in Russia and the largest ever seen in Eastern Europe.

Total floor space will spread over 44 acres of land, which will include some 58,000 square meters (14.33 acres) underground. The aquarium will hold around 11 million liters of water and will be 12.5 meters (almost 44 feet) deep. Ingress will be via a see-through acrylic tunnel that spans 800 meters (2,800 feet) as it meanders along a man-made seabed. An excursion through the tunnel where visitors can observe sea creatures and species of fish from northern and tropical seas, the remnant of vessels and sunken forests can take anywhere from one and one-half hour to two hours.

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting features of the new oceanarium will be the “touch pool” area where underwater species can not only be observed up front and personal, so to speak, they can even be touched by hand. Watching the feeding of the sharks is a thrilling spectacle to behold (especially when visitors are not the intended meal). The displays are also educational as they explain how seabed creatures lived a millennium ago and what their fate will be if environmental and ecological forces are not dealt with properly.

The expertise of more than 2,000 foreign specialists will be called upon to create and maintain this fantastic illusion; including divers, handlers, microbiologists and veterinarians from America, England and New Zealand, just to name a few countries. In addition, a code of laws must be established to maintain the oceanarium’s natural marine habitat. For example, the fish must always be fed on time and never be hungry or the food chain can be traumatized by fish hunting and seizing other smaller fish for food.

More than 6,000 fish and sea creatures will comprise Moscow’s oceanarium. The delivery of these sea creatures is very complicated and will not begin until the construction is almost over. Not only are special transport facilities with life support systems required, there are also quotas for catching certain types of fish and strict licensing procedures. No insurance is currently available for the long-haul transportation of fish, which is amazing considering that one tiger shark costs at a minimum $10,000 and up to 20 percent of the fish die in transit.

Poseidon Park will include walks along the ocean floor via underwater tunnels and visitors can enter underwater classrooms and listen to lectures. It is expected when completed to be a Disneyland sort of experience except on a smaller scale. Adults can bowl, play billiards or American pool, watch a movie or eat at a choice of restaurants. An underground parking facility for 2,000 cars will be built on the park’s territory.

Construction has begun and will be completed in 2011. It is estimated that 4 million people will visit the oceanarium during the first year of operation. The doors will be open to all and discounts on the 300 rubles ($12) adult tickets and 150 rubles ($6) for children will be available for certain categories of citizens and children from orphanages.

InventorSpot.com
This is supposed to be fun and funny to read to brighten up your Sunday :)

(Your new office due to financial crisis and budget cuts)

NEW OFFICE POLICY

Dress Code:

1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.

2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.

4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.


Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the ‘Chronic Offenders’ category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company’s mental health policy.

Lunch Break:
* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.

* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
fortunewatch.com

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THIS SATURDAY 28 MARCH AT 8.30PM YOU CAN VOTE EARTH BY SWITCHING OFF YOUR LIGHTS FOR ONE HOUR - EARTH HOUR.

World Wildlife Fund creates what is called Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28th 2009. It's unrelated to Earth Day (so, don't be mistaken), because Earth Day is April 22nd.

This year, one billion people from 2000 cities across the world will turn out the lights of their homes and offices to tell the world leaders that climate change is real. That it is happening in their cities and it is happening now. And they want something done!

Join Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March 2009, 8:30PM-9:30 local time, wherever you live on planet earth.

Be part of the Earth Hour - tell your friends. Make a difference!


Earth Hour-Turn off your lights for Earth Hour, record your vote and share it with the world! Here's how


In the most obese country in the world, this fat-packed burger should be the last thing on the menu.

But caterers at an American sports ground have created the world's largest and most calorie-laden burger for hungry baseball fans.

Loaded with around 4,800 calories, twice the daily recommended limit for men, the Fifth Third Burger has five beef patties, five slices of cheese, sour cream, a cup of chilli salsa and corn chips.

The burger, named after the West Michigan Whitecaps's ball park and the meal's five beef patties, which each weigh one third of a pound (136 grams), also contains a whopping 300 grams of fat, 744 milligrams of cholesterol and more than 10,000 milligrams of salt.

The West Michigan Whitecaps are offering fans the eight-inch gut-busting meal for $20 (£10) - and a free t-shirt for anyone who can finish it in one sitting.

World's biggest burger: The artery-busting 'snack' that packs a whopping 4,800 calories


The glasses utilize infrared viewing technology. This allows them to penetrate certain materials (i.e. swimwear and various synthetic materials) much better than ultra-violet based optics. They function indoors and in the wild-low light doesn't appear to be a problem with these glasses.

They also come with a palm sized portable digital video recorder (imagine that...) so you can have a memoir of your peeping at 470 lines of resolution-in color. This device hooks up to the glasses through a thin cable. A wireless version is available as well.And with a battery time of about 5 hours, you'll be able to get plenty of video to incriminate yourself.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And if those pictures are accurate, these glasses do what they're supposed to do.

Not every country allows optics of this type. So if you buy these whoppers, make sure that you won't be spending the rest of your life in a "Midnight Express" kind of setting. Personally, I find no appeal in a Turkish-prison lifestyle.

These suckers run $2400.00. The wireless version runs $400.00 more. If a kid could afford that... well that kid would either be the best entrepreneur on the planet or the demon spawn of a very well off family that simply doesn't monitor what their child is doing.

You can grab these glasses on Advance-intelligence.

inventorspot.com
Let’s get right to the point. Misusing words makes you look less intelligent than you really are. If you misuse words in your writing, it can damage your credibility and diminish the point you’re trying to make. Even worse, it could completely change the meaning of the sentence.

What follows is a list of the 32 most frequently misused words and phrases.

1. Accept/Except- Although these two words sounds alike (they’re homophones), they have two completely different meanings. “Accept” means to willingly receive something (accept a present.) “Except” means to exlude something (I’ll take all of the books except the one with the red cover.)

2. Affect/Effect- The way you “affect” someone can have an “effect” on them. “Affect” is usually a verb and “Effect” is a noun.

3. Alright- If you use “alright,” go to the chalkboard and write “Alright is not a word” 100 times.

4. Capital/Capitol- “Capitol” generally refers to an official building. “Capital” can mean the city which serves as a seat of government or money or property owned by a company. “Capital” can also mean “punishable by death.”

5. Complement/Compliment- I often must compliment my wife on how her love for cooking perfectly complements my love for grocery shopping.

6. Comprise/Compose- 32 parts comprise the article I am composing.

7. Could Of- Of the 32 mistakes on this list, this is the one that bothers me most. It’s “could have” not “could of.” When you hear people talking, they’re saying “could’ve.” Got it?

8. Desert/Dessert- A desert is a hot, dry patch of sand. Dessert, on the other hand, is the sweet, fatty substance you eat at the end of your meal.

9. Discreet/Discrete- We can break people into two discrete (separate) groups, the discreet (secretive) and indiscreet.

10. Emigrate/Immigrate- If I leave this country to move to Europe, the leaving is emigrating and the arriving is immigrating.

11. Elicit/Illicit- Some people post illicit things on message boards to elicit outrageous reactions from others.

12. Farther/Further- Farther is used for physical distance, where as further means to a greater degree.

13. Fewer/Less- Use fewer when referring to something that can be counted one-by-one. Use less when it’s something that doesn’t lend itself to a simple numeric amount.

14. Flair/Flare- A flair is a talent, while a flare is a burst (of anger, fire, etc.)

15. i.e/e.g- I.e. is used to say “in other words.” E.g. is used in place of “for example.”

16. Inflammable- Don’t let the prefix confuse you, if something is inflammable it can catch on fire.

17. It’s/Its- It’s= it is. Its=a possessive pronoun meaning of it or belonging to. Whatever you do, please don’t use its’.

18. Imply/Infer- A reader infers what an author implies. In other words, when you imply something, you hint at it. When you infer something, you draw a conclusion based on clues.

19. Literally- If you say “His head literally exploded because he was so mad!” then we should see brains splattered on the ceiling.

20. Lose/Loose- If your pants are too loose you may lose them. That would be almost as embarrassing as misusing these two words.

21. Moral/Morale- Morals are something you want to teach your kids. If your team’s morale is low, you need to do something to boost their confidence.

22. Percent/Percentage- The word “percent” should only be used when a specific number is given. “Percentage” is more of a general term.

23. Stationary/Stationery- You are stationary when you aren’t moving. Stationery is something you write on.

24. Then/Than- “Then” is another word for “after.” Incidentally, the word “then” makes for boring writing. “Than” is a comparative word (e.g. I am smarter than you).

25. There/Their/They’re- There are few things as frustrating as when I look at my students’ writing and they’re misusing these words in their writing.

26. Unique- Something can’t be “kind of unique” or even “very unique.” It’s either one-of-a-kind or it isn’t. There is no in between when it comes to unique.

27. Your/You’re- If I had a nickel for every time I saw this one… yeah, you know the rest. “Your” shows ownership and you’re is a contraction meaning “you are.” Get it right.

28. To/Too/Two- Two is a number. “To” is used in instances such as, “I am going to the store.” If you are supposed to use the word “too,” try inserting the word “extra” or “also.” If one of those fits, you need to also add the extra “o” to make “too.”

29. Lie/Lay- After you lay the books on the table, go lie down on the couch.

30. Sit/Set- Set your drink on the table and sit in your chair. Got it?

31. Whose/Who’s- Whose is the possesive form of who. Who’s is a contraction meaning “who is.”

32. Allude/Elude- When someone alludes to something in conversation (indirectly references), if you aren’t paying attention the meaning may elude you (escape you).

Which misused words drive you crazy? Share them in the comments.

helptutorservices.com/blog/

Aokigahara Forest is known for two things in Japan: breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and suicides. Also called the Sea of Trees, this destination for the desperate is a place where the suicidal disappear, often never to be found in the dense forest.

The area is home to the highest number of suicides in the entire country.

Japan's suicide rate, already one of the world's highest, has increased with the recent economic downturn.

There were 2,645 suicides recorded in January 2009, a 15 percent increase from the 2,305 for January 2008, according to the Japanese government.

The Japanese government plans to improve suicide awareness in schools and workplaces.

Yoshida and his fellow volunteer, Norio Sawaguchi, posted signs in Aokigahara Forest urging suicidal visitors to call their organization, a credit counseling service. Both men say Japanese society too often turns a cold shoulder to the unemployed and bankrupt, and breeds a culture where suicide is still seen as an honorable option.

Local authorities, saying they are the last resort to stop people from killing themselves in the forest, have posted security cameras at the entrances of the forest.

The goal, said Imasa Watanabe of the Yamanashi Prefectural Government is to track the people who walk into the forest.

"Especially in March, the end of the fiscal year, more suicidal people will come here because of the bad economy," he said. "It's my dream to stop suicides in this forest, but to be honest, it would be difficult to prevent all the cases here."

Suicide forest - Japan


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Roll out of bed and up to your computer. There, that’s your commute. Sound good to you?

Now that so many jobs only require an Internet connection and maybe a phone line, earning a real salary while working in your fuzzy slippers is not only possible, it’s common. Here are ten well-paying work-at-home jobs you might want to check out.

1. Web Software Engineer
Designing and building computer applications can be done entirely from home with web access and a fast workstation. Many software companies operate entirely through telecommuting, which saves on office overhead and expands their employee pool globally.

2. Public Relations Specialist
Most public relations duties are handled primarily over the phone and through email. Writing press releases and managing media contacts can easily be done from home. Some PR firms allow associates to telecommute, or you can open your own freelance PR business in your home.

3. Sales Executive
Companies are always looking for sales people to make cold calls and generate new sales leads. Some training is usually provided.

4. Computer Systems Analyst
Designing and maintaining office computer systems can be done remotely using virtual private network (VPN) and virtual desktops. Outsourcing IT to home-based specialists is gaining popularity.

5. Database Manager
All you need to maintain a database is a computer and an Internet connection. Database managers can be salaried employees or work as freelancers.

6. Web Design Pro
Designing and building web sites from home has been done since the advent of the Internet. A web designer with a solid portfolio can work as a freelancer or contract with a web design firm.

7. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers use a combination of visual creativity and computer publishing tools to provide both print and online communication solutions. These can be staff or freelance positions.

8. Paralegal (Legal Assistant)
Paralegals assist law firms by researching cases and delivering other legal services. Telecommuting paralegals are becoming more popular as they provide cost savings for firms. Demand for paralegals is expected to grow faster than average over the next five years.

9. Medical Transcriptionist and Medical Claims Processor
Two very different jobs, both transcriptionists and claims processors require specialized training. Transcriptionists convert dictated material into text form. Claims processors encode and coordinate patient health care information to get claims paid by insurance carriers.

10. Travel Agent
Making travel arrangements for customers can easily be done from home. Home-based travel agents can freelance or sign up with an agency.

mainstreet.com
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Discover some of the strangest ways on the planet for people to declare their affections.

1. Bathing with crocodiles
Where: The Gambia, West Africa

Folklore has it that the waters of a small, luminous green pool in the Gambia called Kachikally aid fertility. Bathing in them reputedly boosts the chances of conception, and if the number of local children called Kachikally is anything to go by, conventional medicine may have something to learn.

The only snag is that the pool is full of hundreds of enormous Nile crocodiles. Astonishingly, though, none of those crocs has ever been reported to have attacked a human – something again attributed to magical qualities of the water. One of the monsters, Charley, even allows people to go up and stroke him.

2. The padlocked bridges
Where: Keila Joa, Estonia

In a charming little spot by a waterfall in Estonia, separated by a forest from the sea, lie a couple of rather unusual bridges.

Traversing a river, they are absolutely covered in padlocks of every shape and size. Close inspection of the locks, moreover, reveals that they all have two names written on them – and a date.

The custom belongs to the area’s Russian community. Newly-wed couples engrave their names on a padlock and then throw the key into the river. The tradition is supposed to symbolise that the pair’s bond will never be broken, and it’s rather touching to see how many people have come to the bridges to seal their union over the years.

3. Giant penises on parade
Where: the city of Komaki

Forget Valentine’s Day, on February 14, if flowers and chocolates leave you romantically cold. Try March 15, instead, if you think carrying a four-metre phallus through the streets is a more meaningful way to celebrate passion. Hounen Matsuri is an ancient Japanese fertility rite involving a group of 42-year-old men (42 is thought to be an unlucky age in Japan, one needing this kind of ceremonial reinforcement) carrying a comically oversized penis towards a shrine.

Backing up the chaps is a group of ladies carrying smaller versions of the big bruiser. It is considered lucky for members of the crowd to touch the traditional todgers as they progress through the streets.

People who are out of reach – or just a little shy – may have to settle for all manner of genitalia regalia sold in shops and souvenir stalls on the day.

4. Love spoons
Where: Llangollen, Wales

It is, of course, vital for a father to know that any prospective son-in-law is able to sustain himself and his family. And what better way to prove it than getting him to carve a spoon?

So, supposedly, did the Welsh tradition of love spoons come about. The premise was that an amorous young buck would give the spoon to the apple of his eye, the delicacy of the carving being an indication both of his craftsmanship and the degree of his devotion. If she accepted the spoon, they were officially courting. Well, it’s better than, “Get your coat, darl, you’ve pulled,” isn’t it?

Nowadays, young Welshmen generally prefer flowers, chocolates or alcohol for the same purpose, but a small cottage industry has built up selling kitsch love spoon souvenirs to tourists. Picturesque Llangollen is the capital of the trade – you can hardly move for supposedly romantic cutlery.

5. The Trevi fountain
Where: Rome, Italy

A giant piece of baroque ostentation, the Trevi fountain is one of the many highlights of Rome (if you can fight past all the men trying to sell you handbags and toy commandos to reach it, that is). But for all the architecture, leaping water and mood lighting, the main attraction for many people is a silly superstition.

It has long been held that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you are bound to return to Rome. It is what happens afterwards, however, that is of main interest to lovers.

Some versions of the legend insist that throwing two coins into the fountain will lead to marriage, but that three coins promise divorce. Others say that the marriage part comes from throwing three coins in with the right hand, over the left shoulder. Hmm, try your luck ...

6. Four-leaf clovers
Where: Ireland

The four-leaf clover is a well-known lucky charm, but many people fail to realise that it also forms part of a love ritual. In some parts of Ireland, it is still believed that if a woman consumes a four-leaf clover while thinking about a particular gentleman, he will eventually be hers.

And if that doesn’t work, why not soak him in Guinness and then pounce on him, anyway?

msn, UK
In a country where a street address is key to getting a job, an Internet cafe near Tokyo is offering the unemployed and homeless more than just a virtual, email address.

In addition to the usual Internet services, comic books and unlimited beverages offered by most Japanese Internet cafes, Cyber @ Cafe offers its residents long-term lodging and an official registered address.

This simple service is vital for the 50 semi-permanent residents of the cafe, many of whom have taken refuge here after being laid off abruptly during the current recession.

Takemitsu Karitachi, a contract worker at a nearby factory, is one of the many people who have been sleeping at the cafe every night for the past two months since he lost his office job and his apartment.

Karitachi, who used to roam the streets and hopped between various Internet cafes for months, says he is now relieved to have found a more permanent home -- even if it’s a cubicle just slightly bigger than the back seat of a car.

“Before I came here, I would sit around on chairs in front of places like supermarkets and eat rice balls during the day. But when I really didn’t have any money or work, I had to sleep on park benches at night,” Karitachi said.

Like Karitachi, many of people who frequent cyber cafes are unemployed and homeless who are looking for shelter, but unlike the residents of Cyber @ Cafe, they can’t call these places home. “Human resources agencies used to hire contract workers like me without an official address, but that has changed,” Karitachi said. “Now you need an official address and a guarantor.”

Paying 1,400 to 2,400 yen ($12-$20/£6-10/EU8.8-14.7)) for a night in a central Internet cafe, each cubicle provides a reclining seat or sofa, a blanket, computer and clothes hanger. Free soft drinks, TV, comics and Internet access are included -- and prices are cheaper than those of Japan's famous "capsule hotels," where guests sleep in plastic cells.

Younger lodgers in their mid-to-late-twenties tend to stay for a couple of months before finding a home and a job, but older and poorer residents, with little chance of finding work, are almost permanent fixtures.

Precarious workers and the cyber-homeless - Mayday march in Japan

Japan cyber cafe offers residential address to unemployed, homeless


(Blue lagoon - Iceland)

Life is short. Paid leave is in pitifully short supply. The funds are never forthcoming. And yet there are so many jaw-dropping locations in the world just waiting for you to discover them.

So how can you possibly choose where to spend your limited time and resources? Where can you find the very best that the world has to offer you the traveller, in your short time on this earth?

It is no mean task to whittle the list of world's wonders down to a mere 50. MSN travel & BBC humbly present list of the world's most majestic monuments, the lost cities most likely to send shivers down your spine, the waterfalls to make you weak at the knees, and reefs, beaches and mountains that will be forever etched into your memory.

MSN's 50 Must-see Places Before You Die
BBC's 50 Must-see Places Before You Die

(Shepard Fairey's campaign poster for Obama)

President Barack Obama has been elected to lead the free world and has the opportunity to make great changes in the country and throughout the entire world. It's never easy to be president, but here are less-obvious reasons it's good to be Barack Obama right now.

1. His kids had dolls made in their likeness as part of the TyGirlz collection.
The company denied that they were modeled after the Obama girls -- despite the names, Malia and Sasha, and the incredible similarities. The names were later changed.

2. The whole country is helping him pick a dog.
When the Obamas announced they were in the market for a new dog, the public went crazy with suggestions. The media could not get enough coverage of their choice. The Portuguese Water Dog grew in popularity after Michelle Obama mentioned this might be the breed the family chooses, but the first family is still in the hunt for a first dog.

3. He has an entourage that would give their lives for him.
Being president means you have Secret Service around you at all times, and they would give up their lives to save his. That should make him feel pretty secure.

4. He gets his own airplane, helicopter and fleet of vehicles.
The presidential transportation isn't too shabby. Catching a cab, waiting in traffic and cleaning your own car is a thing of the past if you are the president. Who waits in traffic when you can have your own helicopter drop you off wherever you need to be?

5. Ben & Jerry's Ice cream named after him.
Stephen Colbert and President Obama both have their own Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors -- Americone Dream and Yes, Pecan (hint for Southerners: It rhymes with "Yes, We Can!" So they don't pronounce "pecan" correctly in Vermont). Being immortalized in ice cream is pretty cool.

6. Grammy award winner
Obama won for the audio version of his book "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream." He won another spoken word Grammy in 2005 for his book "Dreams from My Father."

7. His address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
How cool is it to live in such a famous house? Every President since John Adams has gotten to live there. The White House is an iconic landmark that many great people have had the opportunity to call "home."

8. Obamiconme.com
Obamiconme.com allows people to create their own images and posters inspired by Shepard Fairey's campaign poster for Obama. You can upload your own picture and have it changed into the red, white and blue theme like the picture or use a picture of somebody else.

9. Beyonce herself sings for just for you and your wife.
For the first dance after his inauguration, the Obamas danced to Etta James' classic tune "At Last," performed by Beyonce. Beyonce sang a soulful rendition of the song while the Obamas danced and smiled.

10. Loved by Oprah.
It is good to be on Oprah's list of favorites. She is one of the most powerful women in media and has people tuning into her show just about every day to hear what she has to say. Having the divine Miss "O" on your side is a huge boost.

dailypress.com
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W. Neil Berret presented his boss a resignation letter in a form of a cake. The letter was written in frosting on a full sheet size cake. The cake was delicious and it was well received.

"Dear Mr. Bowers,

During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim.


However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organization only the finest in future endeavors.


Please accept this cake as notification that I am leaving my position with NWT on March 27.


Sincerely,
W. Neil berrett"


This photo made available by forensic archaeologist and anthropologist Matteo Borrini of Florence University, Italy, shows the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws, as depicted in the computer generated image at left.

The skeleton was unearthed in 2006 in an archaeological dig near Venice. Experts say the brick between her jaws is evidence that she was believed to be a vampire. The unusual burial is thought to be the result of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual and links the legend of these mythical bloodsucking creatures to medieval ignorance of how diseases spread and what happens to bodies after death, experts said.

The well-preserved skeleton was found in 2006 on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of the lagoon city, amid other corpses buried in a mass grave during a plague epidemic that hit Venice in 1576.

Female 'Vampire' Unearthed in Venice

Cell phones harbor thriving colonies of bacteria and viruses. Researchers say, for example, that cell phones are major carriers of superbugs in hospitals. Now, a new gadget helps you sterilize your phone!

It's no wonder cell phones are so disgusting. Our hands are dirty -- we shake hands with people who are sick, touch bathroom door knobs and pet the dog -- and our mouths spew whatever disease-causing viruses and bacteria are infecting our bodies. Cell phones are constantly coming into contact with both hands and mouth. When they're not, they tend to be tucked a way in pockets, a nice, warm environment that promotes the growth of microorganisms.

Researchers at Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkey tested the cell phones of 200 doctors and nurses and found that nearly all -- 95 percent -- were tainted with bacteria , with some carrying the MRSA superbug that can sicken and even kill patients and that cannot be defeated with any antibiotic. They concluded that doctors and nurses were infecting patients with their cell phones. In the US, MRSA is the cause of most hospital infections.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself and others from your own cell phone. The easiest is to frequently clean your phone with rubbing alcohol.

You can also use a new product from PureLight, a company that makes UV wants for sterilizing large surfaces. Their new portable wand is designed for cell phones.

For the best protection, you can also use one of the methods above, plus use a Bluetooth headset most of the time, to minimize the mouth and hand contact with the phone.


Cell phone bacteria on YouTube

blogs.computerworld.com
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Georgia Max Coffee chose to redesign the toilets of a number of key ski resorts in Japan. The cubicles were fully wrapped on all sides, so that the person caught short would have a ski jumper’s view when they were sitting on the loo. The person could look down at their skis (simply printed on the floor of the cubicle) and see the steep ski jump slope ahead of them.

The toilet paper holder carried the only brand messaging in the cubicle, reading: Seriously kick-ass intensely sweet for the real coffee super zinging unstoppable Max! Taste-explosion!” The message also featured the URL www.maxcoffee.jp, where visitors could view videos of extreme sports as well as sign up to the MAX community.


Plunging a knife in again and again, diver Craig Clasen grapples with a 12ft tiger shark to protect a friend. (click to enlarge the pics)

For two hours he wrestled with the giant, spearing it seven times, even drowning the beast before eventually finishing it off with a knife.

Mr Clasen was hunting yellow fin tuna with fellow fisherman Cameron Kirkconnell, photographer D.J Struntz and film maker Ryan McInnis in the Gulf of Mexico when the encounter took place.

The group were about to leave the deep waters south of the Mississippi River's mouth, when Mr McInnis found himself alone in the company of a tiger shark.

With no time to lose, Mr Clasen grabbed his speargun and swam to his stranded friend, who was being circled by the giant predator.

Read more on Dailymail
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Workers have a slew of crazy excuses for being late to work, and “I got locked in my car trunk by my son” tops CareerBuilder most recent survey of over 8,000 workers.

According to the survey, 20 percent of workers arrive late to work at least once a week, up from 15 percent in last year’s survey. One in ten (12 percent) said they are late at least twice a week.

The most popular “standard” reasons for running late are due to traffic (33 percent); lack of sleep (24 percent); and getting the kids ready for school or day care (10 percent). Public transportation woes, wardrobe issues (not of the Janet Jackson-malfunction kind), and dealing with pets are also common reasons.

But mixed in with those “common” reasons are those that are, well, a bit more odd.

The most outrageous reasons for being late to work:

- “My husband thinks it’s funny to hide my car keys before he goes to work.”
- “I was attacked by a raccoon and had to stop by the hospital to make sure it wasn’t rabid.” Lefty
- “My left turn signal was out so I had to make all right turns to get to work.”
- “A gurney fell out of an ambulance and delayed traffic.”
- “I feel like I’m in everyone’s way if I show up on time.”
- “My heat was shut off so I had to stay home to keep my snake warm.”
- “My father didn’t wake me up.”
- “A groundhog bit my bike tire and made it flat.”
- “I walked into a spider web on the way out the door and couldn’t find the spider, so I had to go inside and shower again.”
- “I got locked in my trunk by my son.”
- “My driveway washed away in the rain last night.”
- “I had to go to bingo.”

Read more on careerbuilder.com
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Beer Ice Cream - PHILIPPINES. At 3% alcohol, the P60.00 per scoop ice cream is the only one of its kind that comes with a warning label: 18 years and above only.

Elfav is short for El Favorito, that brand of ice cream that Filipinos may be familiar with - especially to suppliers.

It does taste good. Imagine a bottle of beer chilled with the Beer Below Zero technology - and freeze that moment (pun intended!). That’s exactly what the ice cream tastes like.

UPDATE:
Elfav also serves Yakult Ice Cream. Apart from Yakult, they also have Wasabi, Turrones, Fruit Cake (!!!) flavored ice cream. Elfav makes their own iced cream, so although they have traditional and eccentric flavors (Coffee, Cheese, Ube, Bailey’s), you’ve never tasted their concoctions before in any other ice cream parlor.

Nitrogen Ice Cream. Another story comes from Zenses, an ice cream parlor in Manila.

Zenses is promoting itself as the first and only Molecular Gastronomy experience in Manila. Aside from the Nitro-Ice Cream, Zenses offers a wide assortment of weird food pairings like their allegedly famous Strawberry Ribs, where coriander and strawberry are mixed in with the ribs.

abuggedlife.com
The '101 greatest questions of all time' have been answered in a BBC magazine. Here we present the final twenty-one questions.

Why are some people ‘doublejointed’?
-> The actual number of joints in your limbs doesn’t vary except in cases of very severe developmental abnormality. But the ligaments that hold together the bones on either side of a joint do vary in elasticity from one person to another. The young, and those that regularly stretch these joints through gymnastics or yoga, can achieve a range of movement that appears unnatural to the rest of us.Truly freakish joint positioning, known as hypermobility is either due to misaligned or malformed bones at the joints or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is an inherited condition that affects the structure of the collagen protein in the skin, ligaments and bones. There are also some people that have reduced joint proprioception, so the brain misjudges how stretched a joint is and does not signal the muscles appropriately.

Why does cake and bread go hard, but biscuits go soft when stale?
-> Whole books have been written on this. The basic answer for bread concerns the crystals of starch in the flour, which are gelatinised during baking (they take up water and become soft). This starch gradually recrystallises over a few days in a process called retrogradation, so that the bread becomes harder. The starch in biscuits also undergoes this process, but it can be overwhelmed by the effect of the sugar that is present in many biscuit recipes. Sugar takes up water from the atmosphere, and this is what causes biscuits that are left out to go soft. Cake can go either way, depending on the recipe, and both processes can be hugely affected by other ingredients in the recipe.

Can power be harvested from lightning?
-> Yes, although it’s probably impractical because of such problems as designing a capacitor to store energy from a fleeting burst of power.

Would helium balloons float upwards on a spaceship?
-> No, there is no ‘up’ on a spaceship, because there is no external gravitational field to tell us which way is ‘down’. In the absence of gravity there is no force to push or pull the balloon.

Would a metal plate in my head make it stick to magnets?
-> No, because metals used for prosthetic purposes such as titanium are nonferromagnetic alloys. So you can relax, and feel free to have a metal plate fitted to your head with no fear of being stuck to a magnet.

Is there mathematics in music?
-> Yes, there’s a host of connections between maths and music – from the relationship between the lengths of plucked strings and the notes they produce to the symmetry of Bach’s cantatas.

Can computers generate truly random numbers?
-> Yes, and it’s because heat in electrical components causes electrons inside to move around unpredictably. This behaviour can be captured electronically and digitised as a sequence of truly random numbers.

Why can’t chickens fly?
-> Wild chickens certainly can fly – and do. However, they have been selectively bredfor size for thousands of years and are now too heavy for more than a short flap to the top of a tree. Free-range chickens also often have the flight feathers on one wing clipped. This makes them fly in a short circle, which discourages them from flying away.

Why do pigeons bob their heads?
-> The most likely theory is for the same reason that we move our eyes around – to stabilise the image of their surroundings while in motion. When a pigeon is walking on a treadmill, so that its environment remains relatively the same, its head does not bob. Not all birds bob their heads, though, so the issue is not yet fully resolved.

What exactly is an itch?
-> Itching, or pruritis, is caused by any light skin stimulation that is just a few microns in size. It probably evolved as a warning mechanism to prevent insect bites. An itch provokes immediate scratching because it’s the quickest way to kill a mosquito trying to give you malaria.

Can déjà vu be explained?
-> Haven’t we answered this question before? German workers in the 19th century suggested that déjà vu is a sort of cognitive burp. This occurs when the processes of sensation and perception, that normally occur simultaneously, somehow get out of sync. The modern take on this is that the ‘retrieval’ and ‘familiarity’ processes in the brain are not synchronised. But there are many othertheories, and no-one really knows, so at the moment the answer is no, it cannot.

Why do planes dim their cabin lights when they take off?
-> The reason is to acclimatise passengers’ eyes to the dark. This isn’t just for comfort, but is a valuable safety procedure. If the plane had to be evacuated in an emergency, passengers’ eyes would be better suited to the darkness outside.

Why do we have five fingers and five toes?
-> It’s probably nothing more than an accident. All tetrapods (the group of vertebrates that includes the mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) are descended from a pentadactyl ancestor. Pentadactyl means ‘five-fingered’ and this basic pattern has been preserved in all descendant animal groups. The common ancestor of the tetrapods was a lobe-finned fish living in the Devonian period, around 365 million years ago. The fossil record also shows fish with six and seven ‘fingers’ in their fins at around the same time, but there is no clear reason why the five-fingered form survived to become the template for land life. Possibly having fewer finger bones allowed each to become stronger and this helped when crawling out of the water. However, there is nothing magic about the number five and subsequent evolutionary pressures have driven many species to fuse fingers and toes together to form thicker, stronger hooves and claws that are better suited to their particular environment.

Why is my beer brown, but the head white?
-> The brown colour comes from malt, which is produced by allowing barley grains to germinate and then roasting them. A low roasting temperature makes a light beer. A higher temperature makes a darker beer. Just be thankful that you aren’t living in the 19th century, when some publicans tried to shortcut the process by adding concentrated sulfuric acid to their light-coloured beers, carbonising the sugars to produce an instant dark brown colour, and instant stomach problems in those who drank it. The bubbles in the head are surrounded by a film of liquid beer, but the film is so thin that it can’t absorb enough light to affect the colour of white light as it passes through. White light reflected from the surface of the bubbles also stays white, giving it its overall white effect.

Does cheese give you nightmares?
-> Any heavy meal before bed can make you spend more time in REM sleep and therefore dream more. But there is no evidence to suggest that cheese is particularly effective at causing dreams, good or bad. LV

What is the coldest place in the Universe?
-> The coldest place in the Universe is in the Boomerang Nebula, a cloud of dust and gases 5000 lightyears from Earth. It has a temperature of -272°C (-457.6°F) and is formed by the rapid expansion of gas and dust flowing away from its central ageing star.

Is talking to yourself really a sign of madness?
-> No, the phenomenon known as ‘private speech’, in which people talk aloud to themselves, particularly when stressed or alone, is perfectly normal.

Can dock leaves really sooth nettle stings?
-> No, the myth of dock leaves soothing nettle stings arose because of parents’ desires to find something close by with which to placate their stung child.

Why does clingfilm cling?
-> Clingfilm is either made from PVC or low density polyethylene that’s treated to make it stretch. When you unroll the clingfilm, some of the electrons on the surface of one layer get pulled away onto the adjacent layer. This creates patches of positive and negative electrostatic charge. Because clingfilm is a good insulator, this charge persists for quite a while. When you wrap the clingfilm around itself or another insulator (like glass) the electrostatic charge induces an opposite charge in the other surface and the two stick together. If you try this on a conductor, like metal, it won’t stick because the charge is dispersed.

Did the Big Bang make a bang?
-> As sound is made up of wave-like changes in density, it’s impossible to hear anything in a true vacuum. Even so, the early Universe wasn’t a vacuum, being filled instead with hydrogen and ionised gas. The resulting sound of the Big Bang would be far too low-frequency to hear directly, but using real cosmic data and boosting the frequency, cosmologist Professor John Cramer of the University of Washington has simulated the sound, which can be heard at http://bit.ly/im0N.

How do you create artificial gravity in spacecraft?
-> Studies of astronauts on long missions have shown that prolonged exposure to weightlessness weakens muscles and bones, prompting scientists to seek ways of generating artificial gravity aboard spacecraft. Even before the first space flights, visionaries such as Werner Von Braun suggested making spacecraft spin to create a centrifugal effect that feels like gravity. But experiments in the 1960s and 1970s revealed that rotation rates greater than around 2rpm tended to make people feel nauseous. This was bad news; such a slow spin rate meant that to generate an effect that could mimic Earth-like gravity, a spacecraft would need a diameter of around 450m. Engineers are still trying to solve the problem, but have had limited success. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has experimented with a ‘gravity gym’ – essentially a man-sized spin-dryer that astronauts can climb into to experience a short period of artificial gravity. The rotation rate must- be higher than the spaceship – 23rpm – so nausea is still a problem. There are other ways, such as making the spacecraft permanently accelerate at 1G or building a vehicle so large that it naturally generates its own gravity. But as yet both methods are far beyond our technical abilities.

Read the full 101 Greatest Questions of All Time in the March issue of BBC Focus. Find out more at www.bbcfocusmagazine.com

101 greatest questions of all time: 1-20
101 greatest questions of all time: 21-40
101 greatest questions of all time: 41-60
101 greatest questions of all time: 61-80


This is the way an army of migrant workers from some of Africa's poorest states get home from oil-rich Libya.

Shoehorned onto the back of a lorry, they are crossing the Sahara Desert in temperatures of up to 35c in the shade. The hellish trip can last two to three weeks.

The lorries follow ancient spice caravan routes over hundreds of miles to Niger and Mali, braving dust storms and giant potholes.

The workers, who do menial jobs shunned by Libyans, have some time with their families - then their desert commute starts all over again.


Have you ever wanted a more visual approach when you're looking for the meaning of a word? Well, here it is! Visuwords is an online visual, graphic dictionary that lets you look up words and find how they are associated with other words.

It produces diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. The different colours represents verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. and you only have to add a word to get started. Give it a try - you might find this a useful tool.

Why we love Visuwords even more:
- It's not only a dictionary, it's also a thesaurus!
- Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
- The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
- No membership required.


Using Visuwords in the classroom

High school sweethearts: First Lady Michelle Obama with David Upchurch before the 1984 Whitney M Young High School prom in Chicago, Illinois

In a shimmering low-cut silk dress slashed to the thigh, the then 18-year-old Michelle Robinson posed with her first boyfriend at the High School Prom.

They had both attended the Whitney M Young High School in Chicago, Illinois, and had been going out for almost a year and a half when the time came to escort her to the prom.

The romance ended when Michelle went off to Princeton to study sociology.

Michelle would later meet Barack at the Chicago law firm of Sidney and Austin when she assigned to mentor him while he was a summer associate.

After a two-year romance they were married in 1992. David, a divorced father-of-three from Colorado Springs, Colorado, says he finds it hard to believe his prom date ended up in the White House.

Read more on Dailymail


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An 11-year-old boy was more than £8,000 richer today after his collection of memorabilia from fast food chain McDonald's went under the hammer.

Luke Underwood's massive collection of 7,000 promotional items is believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK and attracted bidders from all over the world.

The rare Mcmemorabilia featured the only known complete set of the 101 Dalmations in their original bags, as well as hundreds of Happy Meal boxes, toys and posters.

Last night bidders from across the world battled for parts of the 5,000-piece coveted collection - believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK - in a sale at Unique Auctions in Lincoln.

It was sold off in around 300 lots for a grand total of £8,130, with parts going to buyers from the UK, Germany, America and Japan.

Entrepreneurial 11-year-old £8,000 richer after selling McDonald's Happy Meal toy collection


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Want to perform easy magic tricks with playing cards to your buddies this weekend? With just a deck of cards, you have lots of magic options. Here are the favorites from about.com.

The Magnetic Hand
Rising Card
The Rising Card (method 2)
Find the spectator's card
Do As I Do
Aces From Your Pocket
Cutting to the Aces
The Royal Flush
The Nice or 21-Card Trick
The Reversed Card
Incredible Spelling
Mind Reader
Fast Find
The Clipped Card
The Killer Prediction
The Simple Monte
Finder Keeper
Ten Card Poker
The Circus/Sucker Trick

Ok then, learn all the tricks carefully and amaze your buddies this weekend! ;)

about.com
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You know Twitter has made it into the mainstream when celebrities rush to join the micro-blogging service. But who is the most popular Twitterer of them all?

TIMES Online presents the list of 50 Twittering celebrities (from Britney Spears to Jamie Oliver, you name it), ranked in order of who has the most “followers”, or people signed up to read their messages.

The complete list of celebs on Twitter.



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There are a lot of "dos" and "don'ts" during sexual encounters that most people have little trouble following. But some types of people, on the other hand, always do something that screws up the whole thing. Here are nine of them.

9. The Over-Attentive Waiter
“How’s everthing? Good? Am I putting too much weight on you? Is this position okay?"

It’s fantastic that you care so much about your partner's enjoyment, but when you feel the need to check in every time you move your genitals, it starts to feel like you’re a waiter trying to butter them up for a 20% tip because rent's due tomorrow. Just check in at necessary times and if they want dessert, they’ll order it.

8. She Who Keeps Cats in the Room
Cats want you to pay attention to them, so they start meowing or positioning themselves so that you’re the only thing they can see. The guy on top of you might be a little creeped out that the cat has decided to engage him in a staring contest, first one to lose an erection wins.

7. The Guy that Answers Rhetorical Dirty Talk Questions with Serious Responses
Dirty talk is a fun activity, but if you take it too seriously, you look like an asshole. Therefore when a woman asks you five times in a row, “How do you make me so wet?” and you give a real answer like, “I don’t know, maybe the angle.” And even though you whispered it in your sexy voice, it kills the mood.

6. The Person Who Doesn’t Turn Off Their Cell Phone
Cell phone rings are intended to get your attention, so leaving one on while you have sex is basically the same as bringing your mother into the room and asking her to scream.

5. The Screamer
On the surface, a woman who's so totally into and is screaming sounds like a great sexual experience. But in actuality, it's terrifying. The only thing going through your mind is, "Are the neighbors going to call the cops? Do they think I'm killing her? Is she faking this?"

4. The Guy Who Learned All His Bedroom Moves From Early ‘90s Slow Jams
If you were a boy born in the 70s, then you probably went through a phase of listening to “slow jams” by guys like Al B. Sure and Keith Sweat who said exactly what they were doing to a woman as they were doing it to her. But in real life, no woman wants to have some dude try to be really deep and stare at her straight in the eyes. Ladies like a little romance, they don’t want a Joe Buck-style play-by-play before, during and after intercourse.

3. The Cryer
If you’re a man and you start crying during sex, the first thing your lady is going to think is “a priest and/or uncle has been here before me.” Pedophilia kills the mood for everyone but pedophiles.

2. Mr. Hold On Let Me Put On This Dave Matthews Album
It’s great to create an atmosphere that’s conducive to love making, but running over to your computer and tossing on your “Pussy Rock Jams 2007” immediately makes your special lady feel like she’s at her junior prom and you’ve been waiting since first grade to touch her breasts.

1. Mr. I Go Straight for the Vagina
Women want you to put your penis inside them, that’s why they’ve gotten naked with you. But jamming your hand down there says to them “It is not a matter of consequence to me whether or not you enjoy the sexual intercourse we’re about to have. Surprisingly, when you only care about ejaculating on or in them, it’s a pretty large turn-off.


Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day