Using used bottles

Spout for recycled bottles
I thought this was innovative.

As I thought about it though, I realized that I admired the invention because it was not only ingenious but frugal. Then it struck me that if being frugal, it wasn’t necessary.

But it is innovative.

A young Swiss designer had won a special Merit Award for its unique design and utility. About $6 at Perpetual Kid

How to be a great audience

Seth Godin posits,

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that information is just delivered to you. That rock stars and violinists and speakers and preachers and teachers and tour guides get paid to perform and the product is the product. But it’s not true. Great audiences get more.

Great audiences not only get more energy and more insight and more focused answers to their questions, they also get better jobs and find better relationships. Because the skills and the attitude are exactly the same.

Frank ZappaI remember my first rock concert.
Frank Zappa stared at me from the stage.
Singled out and embarassed, I
instantly froze my dancing and hooting. But he said loudly into his mike,


There’s different ways of showing your appreciation than just sitting there clapping.

I get so damn sick of clapping.

Use your imagination.

Can’t you guys think of something better than clapping; Like this guy?”

Link to Zappa Family Trust

New method for watering lawns & gardens

Accurain irrigation animation
AccuRain is a new and economical water-efficient garden irrigation solution.

Less cost than traditional automatic lawn sprinklers or drip irrigation systems.

Does the the work of many sprinklers or emitters.

One head can water 15 different zones of almost any size or shape, each with their own unique watering requirements.

Just point the stream of water where you want it; tell AccuRain how much and how often, and it does the rest.

Water anywhere in a 60-foot (18 m) diameter circle.

(posted on Goodwood blog too)

Inactivate E.coli bacteria?

Medicinal Peas

German Biotech company Novoplant plans to carry out field trials with newly developed medicinal peas, that can be used as raw material in animal feed.

The peas are modified with a gene to produce proteins that can inactivate E. coli bacteria. This feature will be an addition to the animals own immunity and help animals to better withstand diseases, according to Novoplant. The first crops are expected to be available in 2010.

Because we cannot [in Europe] use antibiotics in feed anymore, such modified crops may be an alternative.

News from new hearings

A man held in US custody for five years – in secret CIA prisons but now in Guantanamo Bay – has told a military hearing he was tortured into confessing a role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.

“I just said those things to make the people happy,” the transcript read.

“They were very happy when I told them those things.”

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 41, said he had faced years of torture after his arrest in 2002, a Pentagon transcript from the closed-door hearing reveals.

“It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way.”

at the BBC

Background Update:
:: Out2Lunch :: Into the Lake of Fire ::: “Atlantic City by the cold grey sea | I hear a voice crying, ‘Daddy,’ I always think it’s for me, | But it’s only the silence in the buttermilk hills that call. | Every new messenger brings evil report | ‘Bout armies on the march and time that is short | And famines and earthquakes and hatred written upon walls.

“The first thing that strikes the lay student of military commissions is the enormous power vested in the US deputy secretary of defence, Paul Wolfowitz, who is the commissions’ ‘appointing authority’. The judges – seven in a capital case – are appointed by Wolfowitz.

“Any judge can be substituted up to the moment of verdict, by Wolfowitz, US Deputy Secretary of Defence.”

Nikon Universcale

Nikon’s Universcale puts the entire universe into proportion, from the smallest particle to the largest measurements of space. From the femtometer to the light year, Universcale spans 40 magnitudes of measurement into a single cosmic web app. says

Every few months, I come across something on the web that completely blows my mind.

It’s really amazing when you zoom all the way out into stars and galaxies and realize that every time you go a magnitude higher, everything you saw before, from the flea to Mount Everest, is contained in this tiny little grid in the lower-left side of the screen. Of course, the Carl Sagan-should-be-narrating-this planetarium music helps.

If you have a few minutes and want to feel really, really small (or really, really large, or really, really disoriented), check out Universcale. It will eat up your afternoon and enlighten you as to the true size and scope of the cosmos.

Scout Report began to follow this physics instructional applet site in 1997.

Multimedia instructional tools for the physical sciences are rather in vogue these days, and a number of universities and colleges have developed creative resources in this area. One such set of resources happens to be the Physics Applets collection, created by staff members at the University of Oregon’s physics department. The interactive applets are divided into four sections, including mechanics, thermodynamics, astrophysics, and energy & environment. In total, there are over thirty different applets, and they include those that illustrate the concepts of potential energy, Kepler’s Third Law, and atomic emission.

Who first coined, “rather in vogue”?

Consider the entire Universe at the University of Tennessee

Recycling update

Each individual generates about 4.5 pounds of solid waste per day of which 1.5 pounds is recycled.

The U.S. recycled 32 percent of its waste in 2005. Including composting, Americans recycled 79 million tons – a huge jump from 16 percent in 1990.

Paper is 40 percent of the waste stream though 50 percent of paper waste is recycled (34% in US mills).

# Newspapers: 82 percent
# Corrugated Boxes: 71 percent
# Office Paper: 56 percent
# Magazines: 33 percent

But e-waste — pollution from the disposal of unwanted electronic and electrical equipment — is fast becoming a problem. [story]

75 to 80 percent of older machines from the United States wind up in Asian countries such as India and China.

Most e-waste in India is dumped in landfills or incinerated, releasing toxins into the air and soil that can cause cancer, birth deformities and arrested brain development. Indian hospitals are treating patients who have 10 times the normal level of lead in their blood.

The number of electronic products discarded globally has skyrocketed in recent years — 50 million tons annually.

“High-tech companies do more than just sweep e-waste under the rug. They are sending it across the world in violation of international laws enacted to protect poor nations from the excesses of the world’s wealthiest,” said Ted Smith, founder of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. “Every new generation of technology … sends zillions more of our computers and TVs to global trash heaps.”

A growing number of prison inmates and guards are expressing fears for their health and safety in electronics recycling factories run by UNICOR, or the “Federal Prison Industries.” UNICOR is a controversial business venture: a government corporation operated under the Department of Justice that uses captive prison labor in a range of industries, including the manufacturing of furniture, textiles and dismantling e-waste.

Top nations searching for sex

Who’s using Google to search for sex?
Who’s using Google to search for sex and God?

1. Pakistan
2. Egypt
3. India
4. Viet Nam
5. Morocco
6. Turkey
7. Iran
8. Saudi Arabia
9. Indonesia
10. Croatia

Check it out at Google Trends

tipped from denisdekat

Largest astrology study completed

The largest test of astrology ever carried out proves it’s a waste of time.

“If there is even the smallest tendency for Virgos to fancy Capricorns, or for Libras to like Leos, then we should see it in marriage statistics.

The Senior Research Fellow at the University’s Centre for Census and Survey Research analysed the birthdays of all 20 million husbands and wives in England and Wales.

The investigation failed to reveal any evidence of attraction between star signs.

“When you have a population of ten million couples, then even if only one pair in a thousand is influenced by the stars, you’d have ten thousand more couples than expected with certain combinations of signs.

“The public appetite for horoscopes makes media astrologers wealthy. These results won’t put them out of business.

“When it comes to love, people will try anything.” [story]

Hype can harm

Too much marketing hype can harm sales.

In a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, a team led by UGA Terry College of Business assistant professor Vanessa Patrick finds that people take notice when they feel worse than they thought they would, but—oddly—not when they feel better than expected. The message for marketers, Patrick said, is that too much hype can hurt a company when people realize that their expectations haven’t been met.

The story shows that “affective misforecasting” really has to do with emotions and not with product performance. Misforecasting can be minimized simply by creating a more realistic expectation of the future.

USA slippin' away

The US has lost its position as the world’s primary engine of technology innovation, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

The US is now ranked seventh in the body’s league table measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations.

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall, the report said.

The top spot went for the first time to Denmark, followed by Sweden. [story at BBC]

Nature's poise

OSPCA photo of lab and bird
Photo from the Ontario SPCA

Found at How to Save the World

A similarly wonderful photo here
of a yellow lab nurturing a very young fawn.