Tuesday, December 7, 2010


 A new type of bacteria has been discovered that uses poisonous arsenic to build its DNA.

All life on Earth was thought to have been composed of six elements: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur…until now. This newly-discovered microorganism, called GFAJ-1, was found in Mono Lake, California. The building blocks used to create its genetic material contain arsenic, which is poisonous to all but a few organisms on Earth!
The Saudi Arabian weekend is on Thursday and Friday.
Friday is a special day dedicated to prayer for Muslims, so Friday has to be a day off. However, this is a contentious issue for Saudi businesses, because having both Thursday and Friday off, means that there are 4 days in a row where Saudi Arabian businesses can’t stay in touch with Western businesses.

Most Saudi companies do not have 2 day weekends, and the ones that do would prefer to change it to a Friday-Saturday weekend, so as to not lose more business. Many other Muslim countries do this.

Read the full story here.
The Nike clothing brand is named after the Greek goddess of victory.

The winged goddess Nike sat at the side of Zeus. Her presence symbolized victory, and she was said to have presided over some of history’s earliest battles. The company’s distinctive SWOOSH logo represents the goddess’s wing!

From Nike's website.
A two-year-old girl scored a 156 on the IQ test

At 2 years and 4 months old, British toddler Elise Tan-Roberts was been accepted as the youngest-ever member of the high IQ fraternity known as Mensa! The club can typically only test children who are older than 10, but an exception was made in Elise’s case because his IQ score was already proven to be in the top 2% of the country.

Tan-Roberts has an IQ of 156, which is just 4 points lower than Albert Einstein’s! She already knows 35 world capitals, including Paris, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. She can even count in Spanish!
Unlike most cats, tigers love water.

On a hot day, these big cats love taking a dip in a nearby lake or river to cool off! The only stipulation is that they do not like water in their eyes. They will go to any lengths to avoid this, even entering the water backwards! Because they have webbed feet, tigers are also quite the skilled swimmers. They have been known to travel for distances up to 20 miles in one session!
Many cats are lactose intolerant.

Despite the prevailing notion that cats love milk, most are not able to digest it well. Serving a cat milk can lead to an upset stomach, indigestion, cramps and kitty gas. If your cat insists on having milk, try giving it a small bowl of cream once in a while (a few times a week at most). Strangely enough, milk with less fat tends to have more lactose, so avoid giving your cat skim milk.

Cats also can’t eat onions, garlic, or related vegetables because it gives anemia. Green tomatoes also can give your kitty intestinal problems. And, like dogs, your cat shouldn’t eat chocolate either.

This article has more tips on what your cat can and can't eat.
Worker ants live for only 45-60 days, but queen ants have been known to live as long as 29 years!

If it wasn't obvious already, the worker ants do all the WORK in the ant colony. This means foraging for food, looking after the colony's young, and defending their home for unwanted intruders. One nest in South America has had up to 700,000 members, so as you can plainly see, worker ants are basically expendable.

The queen ant, on the other hand, has a unique job and therefore lives a significantly longer life than her workers. A queen of the species Lasius niger in Europe lived for 29 years in captivity! Queen ants lay all the eggs that grow into the colony's worker ants. A leafcutter ant queen in South America lived for 14 years and bred over 150 million worker ants in her lifetime!
(Sources: 1 2)

Friday, November 26, 2010

REVIEW: StarCraft II still the best RTS even without LAN

More than 10 years ago, StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood Wars were the all-time best real-time strategy (RTS) games for local area network (LAN) gaming, and are credited for having been among the video games that made Internet cafes “cool". Even as online games took away interest from StarCraft, a few loyal players still held “LAN parties" to play StarCraft.

Fast forward to 2010, Blizzard has launched StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. While it was among the most anticipated games for the year, many old players still wondered if the new game would hold up against other RTS titles that have dominated the market for the past several years. Few sequels actually give the same, if not a greater amount, of fun as the predecessor.

Terran-only campaign

StarCraft II is among these rare sequels that did a lot of justice to the original. However, it does have a few disappointments, including just a Terran-only campaign, but the setbacks could be said to be minor especially since new expansion packs will be released to feature the campaigns of the Protoss and the Zerg races.

First of all, the game has a greatly expanded Terran campaign mode, with long campaigns that really train the player to build an army. All of the campaigns are closely linked together and, just as Blizzard does it with its other games, there are stories to be followed within each campaign.

StarCraft II features a greatly expanded Terran campaign mode. 

Before, when players only had to build an army and destroy the enemy units and bases, there are a few new portions in the game that lets the player choose certain directions instead of just going straight for the enemy base. For instance, the first campaign lets players destroy holographic displays of Terran Dominion leader Arcturus Mengsk, while meeting up with citizens who have been freed from Mengsk's tyrrany. The player gets to feel the story build up while playing each campaign instead of just going through the motions of finishing the enemy base.

Jim Raynor's back

Of course, Jim Raynor, the Terran rebel leader and hero of the first StarCraft game, is the main story. His quest is to bring down Arcturus Mengsk, whom he blames for the apparent death and transformation of Kerrigan into the Zerg queen. Throughout the game, Raynor and his team will try and find ways to outmaneuver Mengsk's army and finally find an end to the Zerg infestation – and perhaps save Kerrigan in the process.

A major change in the game is its role-playing game approach; instead of just using the same units over and over again, Raynor can choose different campaigns that will earn him money, which he uses to buy new units and upgrade existing ones. Only a few old units are back, such as the Marine, Siege Tank and Battlecruiser, though there are numerous new units that have variable attributes. Of course, for the structures, there are still the Armory, Barracks, Bunker, Command Center, and Factory, all of which came from the original StarCraft.

Instead of just using the same units over and over again, you can choose different campaigns to help you buy new units and upgrade existing ones. 

Online multiplayer gaming

But the main aspect of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is its online multiplayer capabilities. As with other Blizzard titles, StarCraft 2: has been built for gaming. There are different regions where players can compete and these are the US, Europe, and Southeast Asia. This approach allows players to compete against others in the same region, and from an infrastructure perspective, reduce the Internet latency that would otherwise ruin the online multiplayer experience.

It is also here where players can finally choose to play the other two races, the Protoss and the Zergs. Each race has different attributes that could fit the varying gameplay style of different players. For instance, the Terran are still the all-around race with balanced defense and offense. The Protoss are still the most expensive to build but are extremely powerful even in small numbers. Zergs can overwhelm their enemies with superior numbers, though they are still week in smaller numbers.

No LAN, no problem

The absence of LAN gaming isn't exactly a problem. In fact, it's the element of playing against a wide community is what makes the game even better. The level of competition may seem higher, but it is this challenge that would surely make players try and improve their skills.

Online multiplayer capability makes up for StarCraft II's lack of LAN connectivity. 

With all the proper elements in place, as well as additions, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a sure hit among old players of StarCraft. Even when it's compared to other RTS games, StarCraft II can still hold up to the others. What's more, new updates will keep people's anticipation going. - by Benjamin Lhora / TJD, GMANews.TV

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Japanese Man Kills Himself Live Online

Reports from Japan last November 10, 2010 say that a 24 year old man took his life live on the Internet.

The suicide occurred after the man - who comes from the city of Sendai - had posted complaints about his job online after being placed on extended sick leave from August.

On Sunday night he broadcast his intentions to kill himself on live streaming service Ustream. He had been discussing his views on life with an audience on the site.

His broadcast received feedback from users with some encouraging him to end his life as he planned.

On Tuesday he resumed his broadcast and he hung himself at around 05h30 in the morning.

The Ustream service stopped the broadcast around half an hour later after receiving reports from viewers. The man's body was found by police later in the morning.

Japan has averaged over 30,000 suicides a year for the past 12 years which is one of the world's highest suicide rates.

Source: News Time

There was a bear enlisted in the Polish Army.

Wojtek or Voytek, was a European brown bear that was enlisted to fight for the Polish army in the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II. However, rather than making use of the bear's superior fighting abilities, Voytek's duties consisted of transporting ammunition. Thanks to his size, he could carry mortar rounds much more easily than a human soldier. A quarter of a million soldiers died in that battle, but Voytek survived to eventually die of old age in 1963.

According to Polish veteran Augustyn Karolewski, "he was like a big dog; no-one was scared of him. He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer – he drank a bottle of beer like any man." There are statues erected in his honor in London and in Ottowa, Canada, and there has been a book written about him as well. You can learn more about this remarkable story in this news article.

Aokigahara Forest in Japan is a popular place to commit suicide with up to 100 suicides per year.

It’s known as “suicide forest” or the “Sea of Trees”. It’s a popular place for Japanese people to commit suicide. Each year there are 50 to 100 suicides that occur in this forest. The problem has gotten so bad that the government has resorted to installing security cameras at its entrances and people have started posting signs with information for suicide counseling (CNN)

Japan actually has one of the highest suicide rates in the world and from 2008 to 2009 the suicides increased by 15%.

Japan has holographic concerts that feature a computerized singer.

Hatsune Miku
The hologram’s name is Hatsune Miku, and she is a product of Yamaha’s “Vocaloid Synthesizing Technology.” Somewhere, deep down, there is a real human vocal recording…but Miku herself is not real and her “concerts” are composed of pre-programmed light and sound. Naturally, she has blue hair. You gotta have blue hair!

Her computerized voice is actually based on a cartoon voice actor’s voice. Real singers weren’t interested in having their voices being used for this. We haven’t the slightest idea how this sort of show ever became popular, and we fear for the future of the music industry. 

Nearly half a billion people in China never brush their teeth.

It is estimated that less than half of the rural population and only TEN PERCENT of Chinese city dwellers have proper dental hygiene! It’s so bad that many people resort to using twigs or green tea to clean their teeth, either out of tradition or out of necessity due to poverty. Even former chairman Mao Zedong is said to have had teeth that were stained green!

Now the Chinese national committee for oral health has been encouraging people to brush and go to the dentist. Currently, for every 60,000 people in China, there is only one dentist.

The whole story from CNN.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear E-Mail: Die Already. Love, Facebook

The social network is trying to change the messaging game with its new service

 The annals of obsolete communication technologies are growing all the time. There's the telegraph, the answering machine, the fax, and the paper-based letter, all artifacts from an analog era where messages had resonance hours, even days, after getting them. 

Now Mark Zuckerberg wants to add e-mail to that list. In a rollout on Nov. 15 of its revamped messaging system, Facebook's 26-year-old founder declared the age of e-mail over, dragged down by what he called the "weight and friction" of having to remember people's addresses and sort through unwanted messages from strangers. In its place, the social network introduced an inbox that stresses instant communication, mashing together e-mail with instant messages and cell phone texts into a single stream of chatter, customized for the Age of Urgency. "This is a modern messaging system," Zuckerberg declared. 

The new service, which will be introduced slowly over the next few months to Facebook's 550 million members, treats every message like a five-alarm fire, popping up on the Facebook screen to be read and answered immediately. Members will get a address and the ability to send and receive e-mail, texts, and IMs from the social network to people who do not use it. And Facebook will record all of it, preserving every missive (even the trivial "hang on, BRB") for posterity. "Five years from now, you are going to have the full rich history of all the communication you have with each of your friends and the people around you," Zuckerberg said. 

In the runup to the announcement, industry blogs such as TechCrunch called the impending service a "Gmail killer"—another salvo in Facebook's battle against Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), and Yahoo! (YHOO) for the hearts, minds, and attention spans of Internet users. While Facebook messaging will no doubt change people's communication habits, it's premature to say the service means instant death for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or any other e-mail as we know it. If anything, Facebook hopes it'll be more of a long, slow asphyxiation. Facebook will probably have trouble getting an older generation of e-mail addicts to give up their accounts. Messages from the site are sent out with a member's profile picture, which could look silly if the subject is business related. The service also uses its members' lists of contacts to organize their communications. Messages from friends, and friends of friends, appear in a user's primary inbox. That sounds sensible, though it can be inconvenient. If Uncle Sherman isn't on Facebook—or your boss, or the bank trying to flag you about a suspicious ATM withdrawal—too bad; their messages get tossed in with those from various nonfriends in a folder labeled "other." 

Zuckerberg and his colleagues concede that it's unlikely people will abandon their other e-mail accounts. They're betting on the next generation—young people already addicted to real-time texts and IMs, who have already largely written off e-mail. "Facebook is making communication between close friends the priority," says Charlene Li, an analyst at the Altimiter Group, a tech consulting firm.
Facebook's rivals are also racing to build simpler, real-time communication systems. Google has long allowed users to see instant messages and texts alongside Gmail, and recently added a feature called Priority Inbox, which tries to gauge a user's most important conversations and bring them to the top of the pile. Former market-share leader AOL (AOL), now the fifth-largest e-mail provider on the Web, according to ComScore, previewed changes earlier this month that also will integrate texts and IMs, and lets users see images, maps, and other attachments contained in a message in a panel on the side of the screen. Those services are more open than Facebook; for example, their users can link them to corporate mail services like Microsoft Exchange. Facebook isn't there yet. 

One looming challenge for the social network is spam. Those hundreds of millions of new e-mail addresses, which are based on people's public Facebook IDs, could be easily harvested by spammers. Facebook's system is designed to handle this, since only messages from friends go into the main inbox, and the company has signed a multiyear contract with anti-spam specialist Cloudmark, say two people familiar with the arrangement. Still, users can expect plenty of junk in those "other" folders. It would be ironic, of course, if e-mail's oldest scourge ended up adding Facebook's newest feature to the list of endangered communications. 

The bottom line: Facebook's hybrid of e-mail, texting, and instant messages is a bet on younger users addicted to real-time communication.
Stone is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek.

A 13-year-old has a condition that makes her look elderly.

Zara Hartshorn
British teenager Zara Hartshorn suffers from a rare genetic disorder called lipodystrophy. This disease removes the body’s natural ability to grow fat cells beneath the skin. This is especially noticeable in a patient’s face, where the skin is wrinkly and causes them appears much older than they actually are. Unfortunately, there is still no known cure - Zara also received a sort of “facelift” surgery which did not produce dramatically different results.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Electric eels are not actually eels.

They actually are much more closely related to carp and catfish! These fascinating creatures can generate an electrical charge of over 600 volts – five times that of a wall socket! Their bodies contain electric organs with about 6,000 electrocytes. These are cells that store power like tiny batteries.

Some electric eels can get up to 8 feet long and weigh as much as 44 pounds! Despite their size and high voltage shocks, electric eels rarely kill people. The most dangerous thing to worry about is drowning after being stunned by one.

You can learn more about electric eels on the National Geographic website.

British pigeons can receive a medal for their military service!

Yes, pigeons have been used to deliver messages during modern warfare. During World War II, 32 homing pigeons received what is known as the Dickin Medal - the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an animal in the service. Recipients included an American pigeon named GI Joe and an Irish pigeon by the name of Paddy.

The Dickin Medal was instituted in the UK in 1943 by Maria Dickin. The award is still presented by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals to this day. This year, a black labrador named Treo received the award for his service as a bomb-sniffer in Afghanistan.

Here's a list of award-winning pigeons.

President James Madison was only 5 feet, 4 inches tall.

Naturally, Madison is the shortest president in American history. We would say that television cameras could make him look a lot taller, but unfortunately the TV had not been invented yet. (More presidential trivia).

This makes Madison an entire foot shorter than the tallest president, Abraham Lincoln. Still, Madison was in good company, since his presidency coincided with the reign of Napoleon, another famous leader of short stature. More on Madison's Presidency. Still, Iran has both the U.S. and France beat on shortest presidents.

Although a typical neutron star is only 20 km in diameter, its mass is 1.4 times greater than that of the Sun.

These bodies are so dense that on Earth a teaspoonful of neutron star would weigh a billion tons! As you would expect, this also comes with a gravitational field far stronger than that of our home planet. A neutron star’s surface gravity is about 200,000,000,000 stronger than that of Earth!

A neutron star is what happens when a star that is 4 to 8 times the size of the sun runs out of nuclear fuel and undergoes a supernova explosion. The central region of the star collapses in on its own gravity so and the protons and electrons are forced to turn into neutrons.

More about Neutron Stars can be found on the NASA website.

Friday, November 5, 2010

President William Taft once got stuck in the White House bathtub.

Weighing in at over 330 pounds, Taft was by far the heaviest president in our country’s history. This embarrassing story claims that six aides were needed to dislodge his massive frame from the tub. They pulled out all the stops when installing a new tub - the replacement was large enough for four men!

He was also the first president to have a car, and was the first and only former president to serve as the Chief Justice on the Supreme Court!

Here's a list of the top ten President Taft facts.

Sharks cannot swim backwards.

In fact, most sharks can't even stay still. They need to be moving forward in order to force water through their mouths and over their gills. Otherwise they'll suffocate!

Some sharks can reach speeds of 20 mph, and can leap 20 feet above the water! While they can move really fast, they can't stop very quickly, or go in reverse.

There's more shark facts in this article from

Black holes are theoretically formed every second.

There are so many black holes in the universe that counting them would be comparable to attempting to count grains of sand on a beach! One out of every thousand stars is large enough to potentially become a black hole, but humans have identified only about a dozen. The nearest of these is a full 1,600 light-years away from Earth!

If you live in the Japanese city of Isesaki, you must shave your beard in order to get a public service job.

This applies to stubble, full beards, goatees, or any other kind of facial hair. Apparently , some citizens find beards unpleasant, so the authorities decided to ban beards for public servants. The ban came along with new rules that lets male employees work without having to wear jackets and ties, so I guess it was kind of a mixed bag.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A dish in South Korea is made of LIVE baby octopuses that are still moving.

This bizarre meal, called sannakji, consists of raw pieces of young octopus that are served immediately after chopping it up! This means that the tentacles must be chewed VERY thoroughly, in order to prevent the suction cups from sticking to the diner’s esophagus, or better keep the still-living octopus from crawling back up!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have you ever wondered where "breakfast" got its name?

Because breakfast is typically the first meal we eat each day, by doing so we are "breaking" our nightly "fast." And you thought this was going to be complicated...


Wearing sunglasses increases the risk of getting sunburned.

The reason for this is that your pituitary gland only knows how much melanin (pigment that protects your skin from ultraviolet light) to produce from the signals that it receives from the eyes.

If your eyes indicate that it is sunny outside, the gland produces a lot of pigment. However, sunglasses trick the gland into thinking its less sunny, meaning less melanin and a higher risk of burning!


Despite lacking a brain, a jellyfish can detect light.

This is due to sets of specialized sense cells that can be found along the outside ridge of a jellyfish’s bell. The kind that are able to sense light act as a primitive set of eyes that help determine which way is up.

Other versions of these cells include a “nose” that senses chemicals in the water and a kind that helps the jellyfish maintain its orientation in the water.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


  • Chocolate can help you live longer. 
  • Teddy bears and other toys kill more people than REAL bears.
  • If you watch early Fresh Prince of Bel-Air you can see Will Smith’s lips moving to other characters lines.
  • Ants stretch and yawn when they wake up.
  • The original pack of Skittles doesn’t contain the color blue. Therefore, you CAN’T actually taste the rainbow.
  • It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.
  • Q is the only letter that never appears in the name of a US State.
  • The world doesn’t take 24 hours to turn on its axis, it really takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.
  • The song “3” by Britney Spears is 3 minutes 33 seconds long.
  • A 12-year-old’s science project showed that Fast food ice was dirtier than toilet water .
  • The USA bought Alaska from Russia for 2 cents an acre , adding up to $7.2 million .
  • “Eleven plus Two” and “Twelve plus One” both equal 13 and both have 13 letters. In fact they both have THE SAME 13 letters.
  • When a puppy is born, it is blind and toothless.
  • “Silent” and “listen” are spelled with the same letters.
  • “W” is the only letter in the English alphabet that is more than one syllable.
  • Cursing when you’re hurt actually helps reduce pain.
  • A way you can tell if you’re whispering or not is to put your hand at your throat. If you feel vibrations, you’re talking. If you don’t, you’re whispering.
  • The voice of Mickey Mouse for 32 years, and the current voice of Minnie Mouse were actually married in real life.
  • In 1898, 14 years before the Titanic sank, Morgan Robertson wrote a book about a ship called the “Titan” that crashed into an iceberg and sank.
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits, not vegetables.
  • The Olsen twins wore FAKE TEETH on Full House episodes because their teeth began to look different.
  • There’s roughly 380 sesame seeds on an average McDonald’s Big Mac bun.
  • A penny is worth 1 cent but it costs 1.7 cents to make it.
  • Lightning is 5 times hotter than the sun.
  • At exactly 06 minutes and 07 seconds after 5 o’clock on August 9th of this year it will be 05:06:07 08/09/10. This will not happen again until the year 3010 .
  • LOL isn’t just laugh out loud. LOL is also “fun” in Dutch.
  • No matter how hard you squeeze the two ends of an egg, it will NEVER break.
  • Huge, several hundred pound rocks in Death Valley mysteriously move really far, all on their own. No one knows how, because no one’s ever seen it happen.
  • If you put two straws in your mouth: one inside a drink and one outside it, you won’t be able to drink through either straw.
  • Newborn babies cry but they have no tears. Their tear ducts aren’t formed until they are a month old.
  • A piece of paper can’t be folded in half more than 7 times .
  • No word in the English language rhymes with purple, orange, month or silver.
  • Chewing gum can keep you from crying when cutting onions.
  • Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th”.
  • A mosquito is more likely to bite a blonde than a brunette.
  • Odds are, any memory you believe you have before the age of 4 isn’t real. They are false memories and have usually either been told to you by someone else, or you made them up without knowing it.
  • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
  • In New York, the penalty for jumping off a building more than 50 ft without a permit is death.
  • Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump.
  • If you look at the sun RIGHT NOW, you are technically looking back in time. It takes eight minutes for light from the sun to reach Earth.
  • A strawberry is not an actual berry, but a banana is.
  • You can’t hum while holding your nose closed.
  • The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.
  • The lion costume in the film Wizard of Oz was made from real lions.
  • Eating celery is technically exercise. When you eat celery, you burn more calories than you consume.
  • A toothpick is the object most-often choked on by Americans.
  •  Men have nipples because, as an embryo, everyone is a female until the Y chromosome kicks in.
  • A female platypus sweats milk.
  • The powerful 8.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled Chile likely shifted the Earth’s axis an estimated three inches and shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds.
  • ‘racecar’ is spelled the same forwards and backwards.
  • ‘Uncopyrightable’ is the longest word in the English language that doesn’t repeat a letter once.
  • Penguins cannot walk backwards.
  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, ‘They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run.’ On July 20, 1969, just minutes after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first home run.
  • Vending machines kill four times more people each year than sharks do.
  • Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.
  • When you put a seashell next to your ear, it’s the sound of your blood surging in your veins, not the ocean.

McDonald’s fries are made with beef extract

This isn't even something they're trying to hide. The nutrition facts for the fries mention that they have a "natural beef flavor". Strangely enough, the fries also contain wheat and milk.

This was actually the subject of some controversy in 2001. A class action suit was filed against McDonald's for causing emotional distress to vegetarians who mistakenly ate the fries without knowing that they contain beef.

Discovery of Phosphorus

German alchemist Hennig Brand discovered phosphorus while trying to make gold from pee.

In 1669, in attempt to create the Philosopher's Stone, Brand boiled down a vat of urine until the leftover substance was red-hot. The refuse then liquefied and burst into flames! Once this residue cooled and hardened, it continued to give off a pale greenish glow. He named his new substance “phosphorus,” from the Greek for “light bearer. ”In the end, Brand boiled nearly 5,500 liters of urine in order to produce only 120 grams of phosphorus!

(Sources: 1, 2)

Friday, October 15, 2010

The novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written in 3 to 6 days

The novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written in 3 to 6 days, allegedly on a cocaine binge.

The whole process is quite convoluted, but the author of the novel, Robert Louis Stevenson, allegedly wrote his first draft in about 3 days. Soon after finishing, Stevenson became bedridden with a hemorrhage, but was assisted by his wife’s critiques of the draft.

His wife noted that he had been writing somewhat of an allegory. Since Stevenson had not intended for this, he supposedly burned the first draft and started over from scratch! This second draft was rewritten in three to six days, allegedly with the help of cocaine!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

‘Mega Man Legend 3′ is in need of new heroine

Capcom has posted on their website that they will be having a ‘project‘ related to the ‘Mega Man Legend 3‘ game. This ‘project’ turns out to be “participation of players in deciding which female heroine will join Roll and Tron Bonne in the game“.

The heroine will be named ‘Lily‘. She appears to be smaller than Roll and Tron Bonne and doesn’t have any specific skill. She’s not very street smart either. However, she’s described as lively, cheerful and positive.

For this project, fans/players all over the world can vote for the heroine’s design. Simply go to their official website, either the one in Japanese or in English, and vote for the design you like best. The Japanese site is more detailed, though if you can’t understand it, stick to the English one. Voting will end on October 25th and the results will be posted on the official site.

Source+ Photo: Gantayat@Andriasang

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Moonbows are rainbows produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon.

As you would expect, true moonbows only occur at night because that is the only time no sunlight is present. Because the light is first reflected off the moon, moonbows are typically much fainter than your average rainbow. Many times they are too faint to excite the cones in your retina (optical cells that detect color), so moonbows frequently appear to be white!


The Philippines has the answer: Why P. Sherman? (Finding Nemo)

The name ‘P. Sherman’ in Finding Nemo was chosen because it sounds like the word ‘fisherman.’

A good portion of the production crew on the movie were from the Philippines, and apparently ‘P. Sherman’ sounds like the word ‘fisherman’ spoken with a Filipino accent.

There is another fun Filipino easter egg in the movie, though! Apparently, Nemo’s temporary home in the dentist’s fish tank is a nipa hut, or bahay kubo – a type of house indigenous to the Philippines!

(Sources: 1, 2)

Longest Full Name Ever

The longest full name ever is Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Jack Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft, Sr.

Adolph Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft, Sr. was born in 1904 near Hamburg, Germany.

(Sources: 1, 2)

Why Facebook is blue -- six facts about Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are the subject of an upcoming film, "The Social Network."
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are the subject of an upcoming film, "The Social Network."

(CNN) -- The relatively private life of Facebook's founder -- or at least a fictionalized version of it -- is about to get much more public.

A movie called "The Social Network," based on the life of Facebook's sweatshirt-wearing co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, hits theaters on October 1. 

Truly biographical or not, the film is sure to thrust the 26-year-old Zuckerberg further into the spotlight, making him a household name if he's not already. His site, after all, is used by a half-billion people around the world.

We searched the Internet for info about Zuckerberg and created this list of six fun and little-known facts about the man behind Facebook. Much of it is pulled from a notable profile of Zuckerberg in The New Yorker, which has had the Internet buzzing since it published online earlier this month.

Take a look and let us know what you think. What choice details did we miss? You can leave us a note in the comments section, or send a reply to the @cnntech account on Twitter.

The king of public is private in real life

Zuckerberg is a fan of saying that, with Facebook, he wants to make the world a more open and honest place -- where people share details about themselves with the world. So it could be perceived as ironic -- if not hypocritical -- that Zuckerberg keeps some details private on his own Facebook page.

In a recent profile of Zuckerberg, Jose Antonio Vargas of The New Yorker writes that the CEO of the world's largest online social network is rather shy and private.

"He doesn't like to speak to the press, and he does so rarely," Vargas writes. "He also doesn't seem to enjoy the public appearances that are increasingly requested of him."

The interests he lists on Facebook are bizarre

From Shakira to "ending desire," the interests Zuckerberg lists on his private Facebook page are certainly unexpected if not plain bizarre.

Under interests, he lists the following: "Eliminating Desire, Minimalism, Making Things, Breaking Things, Information flow, Revolutions, Openness."

His favorite musicians include Daft Punk and Lady Gaga.

Among his favorite TV shows, he lists "The West Wing," which, as The New Yorker's profile of Zuckerberg points out, was written by Aaron Sorkin, the man who wrote the screenplay for the upcoming movie about Facebook.

He's a classics buff with an "imperial tendency"

Zuckerberg grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and graduated from high school at Phillips Exeter Academy. There, he studied Latin and became a fan of the classics. At Harvard University, which he attended for two years before dropping out to pursue Facebook, Zuckerberg "was known for reciting lines from epic poems such as "The Iliad,'" writes Jessica Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal.

Zuckerberg also built games with classical themes.

"The first significant program Zuckerberg ever designed was a game based on the living room classic Risk," Michael Grynbaum, then of the Harvard Crimson, wrote in 2004.

"It was centered around the ancient Roman Empire," Zuckerberg told the college paper at the time. "You played against Julius Caesar. He was good, and I was never able to win."
A friend told The New Yorker that Zuckerberg has an "imperial tendency."

'Zuck' has at least a few nicknames

Friends and co-workers call him "Zuck." For proof, check out this memo on Facebook's blog, called "Working with Zuck," in which Facebook software engineer Andrew Bosworth (or "Boz") rattles off a bunch of notes about what it's like to work with Zuckerberg. "Zuck expects debate ... Zuck isn't sentimental ... Zuck pushes people," and so-on, the blog post says. 

But Zuckerberg has earned other nicknames, too. The Wall Street Journal says his mom used to call him "Princely" when he was young. When he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Harvard, his friends took to calling him "Slayer," writes Rebecca Davis O'Brien, who attended Harvard with Zuckerberg and wrote a piece about him in The Daily Beast.

The reason Facebook is blue: Zuckerberg is colorblind

According to The New Yorker, Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind, which means the color he can see best is blue. That also happens to be the color that dominates the Facebook website and mobile app.
"Blue is the richest color for me," he told the magazine. "I can see all of blue."

Money doesn't matter much to Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg doesn't seem to care that much about money. One big piece of evidence to support this idea: Zuckerberg hasn't sold Facebook despite the fact that he's reportedly been offered at least $1 billion for it.

Terry Semel, the former CEO of Yahoo! who reportedly offered Zuckerberg that sum, told the New Yorker that he'd never met a person who would turn down a $1 billion offer. "He [Zuckerberg] said, 'It's not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it,'" Semel said, recalling his conversation with Zuckerberg in 2006. "I couldn't believe it." 

The Harvard newspaper picked up on the same sentiment.

"That's just like not something we're really interested in," he told the paper in 2004, referring to offers from companies wanting to buy Facebook. "I mean, yeah, we can make a bunch of money -- that's not the goal."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

First illumination of the Tokyo Sky Tree

Although it’s not supposed to be in operation until 2012, it was announced that on October 13th, the Tokyo Sky Tree will be illuminated for 3 hours. This will be the first and last light up activity of the tower before its grand opening on 2012.

 The light up will start at 6:30 pm, however, if in case the weather is bad, the illumination will take place another day. The said illumination is not really intended for the public to view, but as many people are really excited to see it, the builders of the tower made sure that everything will be under control on that day.

The tower will be lit in two colors – light blue for the ‘Edo’ sprit and white, which depicts the Japanese aesthetic ideal ‘miyabi’.

Source: breitbart
Photo: glasssteelandstone

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thai government blames K-pop girl groups for rise in Dengue fever cases

On October 5th, MBC’s “News Today” reported that Thailand has been enjoying the popularity of Korean girl groups immensely, particularly by copying their fashion styles. Nicknamed the “Korean Style,” hot pants have become a staple item among Thailand’s youth.

However, with the increasing cases of Dengue fever in Thailand, the government has specifically targeted Korea’s hot pants as the reason behind the rise.

The deputy director of the Ministry of Health and Welfare stated in an interview with MBC, “The youth have been copying Korean styles and wearing shorter clothing, making them more susceptible to mosquito bites. We are suggesting that they wear longer clothing in place of shorts.”
The dengue fever has already claimed the lives of 100 in Thailand and is spread by mosquitoes.
Source + Photo: MyDaily

Saturday, October 2, 2010

~~~This is my classmate's entry for the Poetry Writing Contest in our school. He actually won! Kudos to Ivan Jed Rosal.~~~
~~~I actually got his draft so I was able to post this.~~~

***I don't own this. PLEASE DON'T COPY!!!***

Upon a loving student's heart
Lies great dedication in its part

A legion of sickness spreads throughout the world
A great plague that we all must have heard

Even though it's immensely hard for sure
We must push through and seize the cure.

Two of these plagues are sloth and greed
The cure is around us, we must take heed.

It's an easy goal, we can succeed!
The steps are simple, this poem will lead

First step is BE THOUGHTFUL, dedication is of need
This step is simple, a CURE to greed.

People should always speak with poise
When speaking a language that differs from noise

Everything is now set
The motivation of one's self is nothing to regret

Well done my good reader, you have succeeded!
The things you have read, you must always take heed.

PLAGUES OF OLD that corrupts the pure
Never fear just seize the CURE.

Poem: Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Though his mind is not for rent,
Don’t put him down for he’s not conceited
He’s Tom Sawyer all the while
Riding out the day’s river of mile

Helplessly in love was this young lad
With Becky Thatcher of splendor and fad
Yet sick at the heart she grows
Upon learning of Tom’s past vow as it goes

Tom still grief-stricken, accompanied Huck
The son of the town drunk
Before their eyes was murder of the young Dr. Robinson
What a scare when they knew Injun Joe was the con

Tom, Huck, and Joe Harper ran away to an island
Wanting to become noble young brigand
Homesickness devastated their deed
Upon coming back, they were envied

Upon poor Potter’s trial
Tom spoke nothing but truth
Yet wasted as it was
Injun Joe escaped through the glass

Later on as time passed
Their destinies crossed
As their hiding place was the same as Joe
Who disguised as a deaf and mute foe

Huck sneaks to observe Joe
And heard his plan so low
Of murdering poor old Widow Douglas
Huck became a hero, once and again as a lass

Meanwhile Tom and Becky set for yet another adventure
And in the cave they got stuck, found out in the cave was Injun Joe with bad luck
As they went out they told what they saw
And locked Injun under the law

Huck was adopted by Widow Douglas
But civilized life wasn’t meant for him
He attempted to go away
But Tom persuaded him to stay

~~~This was my synopsis for the home reading report. ~~~
~~~Please ask permission if you want to copy.~~~