15 April 2014

The International Space Station Has A 24/7 Live Stream


The International Space Station (ISS) is a habitable satellite launched on October 31 2000. It’s the longest on record for having continued human occupation. It’s an observatory and research laboratory situated in low earth orbit. The crew on board conducts experiments in Physics, Astronomy, biology among other things. The ISS orbits the earth after every 90 minutes and by 2010, it had orbited almost 60,000 times, which accrues to 1.5 billion miles. It’s about the size of a U.S. football field with a weight of over 400,000 kilograms. The ISS can be seen without a telescope some few hours before sunrise or after sunset.
Image Source: www.iflscience.com
Astronauts live on the ISS in a shift system and conduct various valuable experiments that can’t be performed on earth. The space station offers them an opportunity to conduct research in zero gravity and out of the atmosphere. It also offers a long term environment for decades of studies to be performed. Experiments carried out cover wide areas of scientific research, including life sciences, space medicine, material sciences, physical sciences, meteorology and space weather.
Live streaming video by Ustream The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer mounted on the ISS, for example, is used to search for dark matter evidence and measure the antimatter in cosmic rays. This information helps in the understanding of the universe formation. The scientists at NASA have compared it to the Hubble Telescope.
Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org
Life is inhospitable in space due to factors like absolute zero temperatures, microgravity, intense radiation fields and high vacuum. Some simple life forms, however can survive this environment. They are referred to as extremophiles (‘extreme lovers’ in Greek) and they survive in desiccation- an extremely dry state.

The scientists have also conducted research on the long term effects of space exposure on the human body. They discovered that they vary greatly and have major effects on the body. Data collected as of 2006, on muscular atrophy and bone loss, suggests that astronauts would experience movement problems and a significant risk of fractures, if they landed on a planet after being on a lengthy interplanetary cruise (even if this was a short six months Mars journey).

That is just some of the research being carried out on the ISS. Take a look at the live stream and check out the crew while on duty. In case the stream displays a black/blue screen, then a temporary loss of signal has been experienced and you can always check back later.
[source: www.ustream.tv]

14 April 2014

Known As The Most Connected Man In The World Chris Dancy Connects To More Than 300 Devices Daily


Chris Dancy is the most connected man in the world. He has over 700 sensors that record every detail of his existence. The American Software developer’s life is only complete when hundreds of data is fed to him at all times simultaneously.
Image source: rack.3.mshcdn.com
He is named the most connected man on earth after spending four years connecting all the devices he adorns to every smart technology in his home. He then went ahead and piped all that data through to a single online platform. He can now search his entire life that he calls 'my inner-net'.

"I started five years ago when I noticed my doctor was having a hard time keeping up with my health records," he told Mashable. "Around the same time, I worried that the work I did on the Internet could be lost if [there's] a service shutdown. In an effort to collect this information, I started looking for ways I could gather data when I didn't have time to write things down."
Image source: www.kelownanow.com
Dancy, now travels light with only seven devices on him. He has the unmistakable Google glass headset that records everything he sees. A Memoto narrative camera hangs around his neck and takes a picture after every 30 seconds. A Pebble watch on his wrist sends him alerts from his two smart phones. Around the other wrist is a Fitbit Flex that tracks his sleep patterns and movements 24 hours a day. Then there's a Blue HR heart rate monitor that is strapped to his chest, a BodyMedia fitness tracker that is around his upper arm and a Lumoback posture sensor beneath his waistband that vibrates when he slouches.

He weighs himself using the Aria Wi-Fi scale, uses a Beddit mattress cover to keep track of his sleep and has his dogs tracked through Tagg (it logs in their daily activities).

At his house in Denver, all the data collected from these devices is fed directly into his ambient environment. This then adjusts automatically depending on his needs and moods.

'This data assisted living' according to Dancy has revolutionalised his life. He was able to lose 100 pounds in 18 months. He also lives in a calm and safe state since he knows that every moment of his Iife is being archived.
Image source: rack.1.mshcdn.com
"I am most passionate about feedback that is haptic — vibration or subtle environmental changes — such as lighting that changes to suggest the weather is changing," he said. "I do take days off with little to no tracking from wearable’s, but because I have so many systems that automatically track what I'm doing, it's impossible to truly disconnect."

Dancy believes that in a world where most companies are integrating smart technology into products, it will only be a matter of time before people adopt his kind of lifestyle. He, however cautions that in a smart world, people should learn when to share information.

"There are mountains of data in everything we use at home, even when it's not 'smart,'" Dancy said. "By the end of the decade, there will not be a job on earth that hasn't been changed by smart objects, wearable computing or personal information."

12 April 2014

Shocking Before And After Photos Of A Man Who Walked For Nearly 3000 Miles Through China


Christopher Rehage decided to take a photo of himself each day when he started his walk in the fall of 2007. His plan was to walk from Beijing, China to his home in Germany- a distance of five thousand miles. He didn’t make it to go that far, but managed to walk for nearly 3000 miles and grow an impressive beard.

It was not his first long walk. In 2003, Rehage walked from Paris to Germany, his home. This 500-mile walk took him less than a month and inspired him to attempt the five thousand mile walk.

He started his journey on his 26th birthday, November 9, 2007, with a freshly shaved chin and head. By November 13, 2008, his hair and beard had grown to scraggly lengths before he cut it again.

Image source: i.imgur.com
His photos have him solemn faced and happy at times. He either has a straight face, or is pulling a silly funny face. He is pictured in the snow, in the sun, on the street, on a plane, in a black waterproof coat and all the while, his beard and hair keep growing longer. When he decided to stop his journey, he shaved off his beard and hair.

Rehage says that walking connects him to all the places he visits and that’s why he loves it.

“It makes you own your way. Whenever I walk somewhere, not only do I remember the way, but I also feel like I have a legitimate reason to be there,” he says. “I visit a place by train, and I’m a tourist. I walk to the same place by foot, and the place is suddenly mine. We belong together, and I don’t feel like an alien anymore.
In the end, he walked a total of 2,796 miles -which amounts to 7.5 miles a day. From Beijing, he stopped at ürümqi and after an year of blazing hot deserts, Rehage realized he had grown a very long beard. He claimed that during the walk, his state of mind was like that of any other day.

Sometimes you think. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you worry about passports, dangers, pains, relatives and loved ones, and at other times your steps are light and you sing songs in the desert. Sometimes it is boring. And sometimes you feel at peace.”

Rehage didn’t make it to his home in Bad Nenndorf, an issue that poses a lot of questions on his website. People want to know why he stopped short of his plan.
Image source: cdn.trendhunterstatic.com
I wanted to gain back my life. I had to regain control over myself and eliminate the inner boss that was telling me what to do. A lot of people look at the video thinking, ‘I want to be free like that guy!’ But they don’t realize that I was driven by something, and maybe I was losing control over it.”

Maybe he just got worn out after walking 3000 miles and his feet hurt. Who wouldn't?

11 April 2014

Some Of The Most Unique Airports In The World.


1. Princess Juliana International Airport
It’s also known as the Saint Maarten International Airport. Very low-altitude flyover landing approaches are one of its characteristics. This is because one end of its runway is extremely close to the shore and Maho Beach. In fact the planes go right above the people on the beach before they land, it’s scary!
Image courtesy: Lawrence Lansing(original image)
Image source: www.weirdworldwonders.com

7 April 2014

Can Anyone Ever Imagine The Movement Of A Vehicle Up A Steep Mountain, With Its Ignition Off? Welcome To Magnetic Hill Leh-Ladakh


Ladakh has two districts, Leh and Kargil. It’s a part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. A Magnetic Hill can be found about 30 km away from Leh town. While at the magnetic hill, you see motor vehicles, moving upwards at a 20 km/ hour speed while the engines are off.
Image source: www.gconnect.com
image source: quora.com
A billboard has been put up by the local administration to help tourists’ identify the Magnetic Hill. It describes the phenomenon clearly so that you get to enjoy the experience first hand when you reach the hill. It advises you to place your vehicle at a certain spot on the road while the engines are off. You can then notice as the vehicle moves up the hill at a speed of about 20 km/ hour.
Image source: www.gconnect.com
image source: quora.com
The magnetic powers of the hill do not only affect vehicles, they also affect aircrafts and helicopters. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel and locals claim that aircrafts and helicopters passing through this area, have to increase flying speed to avoid the hill’s magnetic impact. When the aircraft tries to fly within the magnetic hill radius, it starts to jerk. Due to this, the Indian Force Pilots try to steer as far way from the magnetic hill as possible.
Image source: www.gconnect.com
Explanation of the mystery
The layout of the land surrounding the magnetic hill produces an optical illusion that makes a very slight downhill slope appear to be an uphill slope. This is why, when a car is left with the gears switched off, it appears to be rolling uphill. A variety of such type of hills can be found in different locations around the world.

Though tour guides may try to convince you that the phenomenon is due to supernatural or natural forces, the slope of gravity is an optical illusion. An important factor that contributes to the illusion is a horizon that is mostly or completely obstructed. It’s difficult to judge the slope of a surface if no horizon is available since there will be no reliable reference. This illusion can be compared to the AMES room that makes balls appear to be rolling against gravity.
Image source: www.gconnect.com
This illusion mostly occurs on stretches of road on hilly areas that have the horizon level obscured. Objects that provide visual clues like walls and trees on the true vertical usually appear to lean slightly. As a result, an optical illusion is created that makes objects appear to be rolling uphill, rivers to seem like they are flowing against gravity and a slight downhill look like an uphill slope.
Our inner ears' balance mechanism can also be used to sense which way is up. A horizon that is not level or that can’t be seen can however cause one to be fooled by objects we expect to be vertical but are in reality not. Another reason may be false perspective where objects that are far away appear to be larger or smaller than they really are.
[source:www.gconnect.com ]

6 April 2014

Meet The Two-Legged Dog, Faith, Who Is An Honorary Sergeant In The U.S Army


Faith, is an eleven year old Labrador-chow cross who is a favorite at hospitals and army bases. She is a sight to watch as she ‘marches’ around using her hind legs while clothed in a military jacket.
Faith, Two-Legged Dog
Image Source: www.universalfreepress.com
Jude Stringfellow her owner, says that Faith is an inspiration to the young men. It’s always emotional for her as she watches them respond to Faith. Faith shows that a lot can be achieved even against the odds and she loves when Faith makes the soldiers smile.
Faith, Two-Legged Dog
Image Source: www.datehookup.com
Faith was born with one of her front legs missing while the other had to be amputated because it was severely deformed. She got rejected by the mother but Ms. Stringfellow’s son, Reuben, adopted the tiny animal and took great care of it.

Faith, Two-Legged Dog
Image Source: www.faiththedog.info
They carried the puppy for the first few months but eventually coached her and she learned how to walk. They used peanut butter on a spoon as lure. Faith learned how to balance using her hind legs and to jump so as to move forward. The puppy now walks on its own and moves quickly with confidence. He has become quite a sensation appearing regularly on most U.S talk shows and various newspapers. A book is being published about her entitled ‘With a Little Faith’.
Faith, Two-Legged Dog
Image source: www.datehookup.com
Ms Stringfellow runs a website that is devoted to her dog. She receives hundreds of letters and emails from fans each day. Her son’s service in Iraq inspired her decision to take Faith to hospitals with veterans. She gave up her teaching post so as to take Faith around the world. Her aim is to let people realize that one can possess a perfect soul even with out a perfect body.
Faith, Two-Legged Dog
Image source: www.faiththedog.info
During these visits, Faith walks around laughing and barking. She is excited to see the veterans.
'There is a lot of crying, pointing and surprise. From those who have lost friends or limbs, there can be silence. Some will shake my hand and thank me; some will pat her on the head. There is a lot of quiet, heartfelt, really deep emotion.’ Ms Stringfellow said.

28 March 2014

Kleine-Levin Syndrome Sufferers Can Sleep Up To 64 Days In A Row Only Wake Up In Sleep Walking State To Eat And Drink.


Klein-Levine Syndrome is also known as the ‘sleeping beauty’ syndrome. It’s a rare disorder that causes episodes of excessive sleep in its victims (hypersomnolence). Those affected by the disease can sleep for a period of 20 hours per day, with visits to the bathroom and to eat in between. The episodes start with drowsiness and can last for days, weeks or months. It affects mostly young males aged between 15 and 25.
Image source: www.globalgenes.org
During the episodes, victims are difficult to awaken and when they do, they are in a dream-like state. They experience hallucinations, irritability, disorientation, apathy, confusion, lethargy, childishness, excessive food intake and an uninhibited sex drive. Taking care of themselves, going to school or work becomes difficult for them during the episodes.

Klein-Levine syndrome usually starts when most of its victims are adolescents and can occur twice or twelve times in a year. Symptoms appear without warning and when the victims finally wake up, they have no recollection of their experiences during the episodes.

Patients are usually in perfect health in between episodes and have no behavioral or physical dysfunction. They lead normal lives just like everyone else with sleep patterns that are regular. The episodes become infrequent as one ages and eventually disappear. In some cases, however, patients have the episodes even in their 40’s and 50’s.

Causes of the syndrome are not yet known, although the disease pathology suggests a malfunction of the hypothalamus and thalamus. These parts of the brain govern sleep, sex drive and appetite. Others suggest hereditary factors. No definitive treatment has been found for the syndrome and victims must be watched with care during episodes. Doctors prescribe medications that counter the effects and help spread the episodes further apart.
Nicole Delien, 17, is afflicted with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes her to sleep 18 to 19 hours a day
Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Nicole Delien is one such victim who sleeps for 18 to 19 hours during episodes. She once slept for 64 days that she missed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her sleeping spells began when she was six and a half. 'I don't remember what happens (during that time),' she told the Today show. 'It's hard for me to talk about it, because I've missed so many days of my life. I just don't like when people call it a fairy tale, because it's really not.'
Nicole with her parents on the Jeff Probst Show
Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk
It was difficult for her parents to get a correct diagnosis for her and they had to see different doctors to figure out what was really affecting their daughter. A psychiatrist at the Allegheny General Hospital of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Dr. Michael Rancurello was able to identify the disorder. He advised them on how to manage the disease, including its medication. He referred to Nicole’s unconscious state as a “delirium” on the Today Show.
Video footage of Nicole before she fell asleep for 64 days
Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk
'It's really not sleeping, I think it's a manifestation of some brain malfunction,' he said.
Nicole with her parents on the Jeff Probst Show
Image source: www.dailymail.co.uk
Nicole is sad for missing out on most family celebrations due to the spells. She would have missed out too on an opportunity to meet Katy Perry, the pop singer. When Katy learned about Nicole’s disorder, however, she made sure Nicole visited her backstage during a performance in Connecticut. Nicole hopes that as she grows older, she will have “more good memories like that one.” The Delien family also appeared on the Jeff probst syndicated talk show to create awareness on the disorder.
[source:www.dailymail.co.uk ]

23 March 2014

Here Are Some Fascinating Facts On Friendship


As someone one’s said, ‘friendship is the cement that holds the world together. ‘It’s a great responsibility and not an opportunity but here are some strange facts you didn’t know about friendship.

1. Friendship is good for one’s heart and soul

According to studies, friendship helps foster good health, longevity and alleviates stress. When faced with major illnesses like cancer or heart attacks, people with a great social network are in a better position to survive. The loving support of friends helps them through the healing process.
Image source: www.quora.com
Companionship also helps reduce stress effects on the body; it protects one from illnesses and hastens the healing process when sick. It makes people less susceptible to chronic diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and heart disease
Image source: www.rolereboot.org
 According to The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy by Dean Ornish, no other aspect in medicine, ''not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery - has a greater effect on how often we get sick than the healing power of love and intimacy.'' He says that personal intimacy directly affects our bodies, leading to a stronger immune system, better functioning of the cardiovascular and longer life expectancies. 

 2. Lack of close friends is as detrimental to your health as carrying extra weight or smoking.
Image source: www.royalfarris.wordpress.com

 Friendship not only makes us happier but contributes to our health. The renowned Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study found out that, a woman with more friends was less likely to develop physical impairments as she grew old and was more likely to live a joyful life. The results by the researchers were very significant that their conclusion was that, not having close confidants or friends was as detrimental to your health as being overweight or smoking.

 3. In a lifetime, you go through 396 friends but only 36 last.
Image source:www.fastcompany.com
 According to researchers,

  • In a lifetime, one makes 396 friendships but only one in 12, (33) stands the test of time. 
  • Out of the 33, only 6 are considered to be close friends while the 27 are social friends i.e. workmates or drinking buddies. 
  • Best friends are not those one sees most often but those one thinks of most. Men see friends every five days while women see them every 3.5 days. Both sexes however see their best friend only once in eight weeks. (this study was done by MSN messenger) 
 4. Marriages last due to friendship
 John Gottman, a psychology professor at University of Washington believes that “happy marriages are based on deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for each other's company." They are also based on partner’s knowledge of the other’s likes, dislikes and quirks.
Image source: www.bp.blogspot.com
 Spouses who are friends make “repair attempts” during quarrels. They try to keep anger from escalating beyond control. Gottman reports that partners who are friends and know each other well, know how to quell tensions during sticky situations. They stop the fighting and continue with their marriage.

 Bill Hanawalt, a pastor at the Vineyard Christian Church of Evaston says that, "Marriage without friendship cannot work in our culture. …Couples that don't give attention to developing their friendship often come apart.
Image source: www.stylecaster.com
 An article ‘Keys to a Happy Marriage (From Real Experts’) on the Huffington Post states that ‘Friendship is as important as love for a happy married life.’ Most people in happy successful marriages claim they were friends before they got married. Some of those, whose marriages failed, claimed they had love but didn't learn how to be friends.