Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thinking of the Past or Future Causes Us to Sway Backward or Forward

Although we can't technically travel through time (yet), when we think of the past or the future we engage in a sort of mental time travel. This uniquely human ability to psychologically travel through time arguably sets us apart from other species.

Researchers have recently looked at how mental time travel is represented in the sensorimotor systems that regulate human movement. It turns out our perceptions of space and time are tightly coupled.

University of Aberdeen psychological scientists Lynden Miles, Louise Nind and Neil Macrae conducted a study to measure this in the lab. They fitted participants with a motion sensor while they imagined either future or past events. The researchers found that thinking about past or future events can literally move us: Engaging in mental time travel (a.k.a. chronesthesia) resulted in physical movements corresponding to the metaphorical direction of time. Those who thought of the past swayed backward while those who thought of the future moved forward.

via

What sort of time travel is related to moving left and right?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Puffin

Forget the Segway. Leave that jet pack behind. NASA is working on a personal flying suit.

Conceptual designs for the experimental vehicle, called Puffin, were introduced by Mark D. Moore, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, at a meeting of the American Helicopter Society on Jan. 20 in San Francisco. The Puffin is designed to be 12 feet in length, with a total wingspan of 14 and a half feet; it would weigh in at 300 pounds (without a pilot).

Two major elements distinguish the Puffin suit from the jet packs of ’50s-era sci-fi flicks. First, it is completely self-contained: the pilot would actually step into the suit, which has a cockpit-like area and helicopter-style blades, allowing for high-altitude flying (unlike those sci-fi jet packs).

Second, it is designed to be powered by electric motors, making it relatively quiet, lightweight and more reliable (electric motors have fewer moving parts than conventional ones), and with a low environmental impact.

Of course, the Puffin is just a theory at the moment. It might be best used for covert military missions or rescue operations. But if it does emerge as an option for conventional flight, traffic jams might take on a whole new meaning.

via NYT

What does this remind me of?

Bravo Jeff Bridges



And not so long ago:


Jeff Wins Golden Globe woooohoooo
Upload by HelensPage.

All we need is one more, just one more!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Casper, the commuting cat

The tale of Casper the commuting cat, who would politely queue with bus passengers before contentedly riding around Plymouth, made headlines and raised smiles around the world.

Sadly the cat's love affair with the open road has proved his downfall after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver, it emerged today.

A notice appeared at the cat's usual bus stop saying: "Many local people knew Casper, who loved everyone. He also enjoyed the bus journeys. Sadly a motorist hit him … and did not stop.

"Casper died from his injuries. He will be greatly missed … he was a much-loved pet who had so much character. Thank you to all those who befriended him."

Casper's life on the buses came to international attention last year. It turned out that for four years he had been riding the no 3 bus, passing the Devon city's historic dockyard and naval base, en route.

He tended to curl up on a seat or sometimes purr around fellow passengers' legs, all the way to the final stop, stay on and make the return journey. Drivers got used to letting him off at the correct stop.

His owner, Sue Finden, said she had never understood what he was doing until a bus driver let her into the secret of Casper's travelling.

"I couldn't believe it at first, but it explains a lot. He loves people and we have a bus stop right outside our house so that must be how he got started – just following everyone on," she said at the time.

Postings on the website of Casper's local newspaper, the Herald, proved just what a popular character he was.

"Hail to Casper the cat, I'll miss ya m8 ride in heaven," wrote Chris the bus driver. "RIP Casper, you will be missed," said another reader.

There were, inevitably, a few sick jokes, while Mick from Plymouth said he would not have let any cat of his run across roads and jump on buses.

And Eternal Optimist questioned whether the paper should be troubling itself with Casper's story: "I am so glad that I live in such a peaceful and crime-free city as Plymouth where so little happens that a dead cat is considered newsworthy."

However, Mel of Plymouth summed up the feeling of most: "RIP Casper, you were one cool cat! Reading about your travels put a smile on my face."

via

Congratulations, Jeff

Jeff has got his Best Actor Golden Globe for Crazy Heart. The only thing left to do now for him is walk home with Oscar. I hope he will win that one too!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Street Art: famous musicians on the walls of Berlin


To see more click here

Dog rescued from duck pond by 17 firemen

A dog who slipped into an frozen duck pond escaped death after a team of 17 firefighters came to his rescue.

Matt - an eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel - ran across ice and tumbled into freezing waters in Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock.

As the dog struggled to escape, fire crews from Kilmarnock and a water rescue unit from Ayr raced to the scene after the alarm was raised.

Using ladders and specialist equipment, they managed to reach Matt and fish the shivering Spaniel out of the pond.

Matt had been taken for a walk by his owner's neighbours when the drama unfolded.

The firefighters were hailed as heroes by grateful owner Shelia Johnston

"I still can't believe one little dog caused so much fuss and had 17 firemen looking after him. I'm so grateful to all of them," she said.

"Matt came from the SSPCA's rescue centre at Cardonald so it's actually not the first time he's been rescued - but hopefully it will be the last.

"The vets have told me he's going to be fine. They put him under the heat lamp and hair dryer as soon as he arrived at the surgery.

"He had been out for a walk with my neighbours when he ran on to the pond and fell in.

"They were as delighted as me that everything turned out all right in the end."

Stevie Logan, Kilmarnock Fire Brigade's station commander, said: "The dog was in clear distress and had been in the water for some time when we arrived.

"He was trapped in a circle of water with ice surrounding it and couldn't get out.

"The people in this case did exactly the right thing by phoning us, and not attempting to rescue it themselves.

"Too many people have drowned trying to rescue their dogs, and although it is a hard thing to do to stand by and watch the dog struggling, we do have the specialist knowledge and equipment to carry out a rescue."

via

Nigeria doctor 'impregnated girls and sold the babies'

Police in Nigeria have arrested a doctor suspected of impregnating girls and selling their babies.

The police said they found five pregnant girls aged between 12 and 17 at the doctor's clinic in the south-eastern town of Enugu.

The police said the man had confessed to getting the girls pregnant and selling their children. He is to face charges in court.

Trafficking is common in Nigeria, with children sold for labour and sex work.

In 2008, police raided a private hospital in Enugu which they said was a "baby farm".

Seven pregnant young women were found.

via

Go buy some fruit