Recent Posts

Feb 27, 2011

World's biggest family

He is head of the world's biggest family and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives. Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren. They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.

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Jan 19, 2011

Why don't polar bears eat penguins?

Despite the fact that the polar bear does eat a lot, there is no possibility that the polar bear could have a penguin as a tasty treat. Although both the polar bear and the penguin are polar mammals, the polar bear inhabits the Arctic and the penguin inhabits the Antarctic living nearly 12,000 kilometres apart! The only place they could meet is at the zoo.


Jan 10, 2011

Why we are not allowed to eat before surgery?

The drugs used for anesthesia are so powerful that they slow or stop your respiratory drive. When you are under general anesthesia a breathing tube is inserted through your mouth and into your airway, (trachea), to help you breathe. The trachea and the esophagus open at nearly the same place in the back of the throat. Under normal conditions a small flap of tissue covers the trachea when we swallow preventing the inhalation of food into the lungs. When you are under general anesthesia this defense mechanism is compromised and contents from the stomach can come up through the esophagus and be inhaled into the lungs. You're also at increased risk of vomiting. These two things can lead to a very dangerous condition called aspiration pneumonia.

The best way to prevent this is to make certain that there is nothing in your stomach that could be inhaled into the lungs. Even small amounts of liquids are dangerous. Smoking, chewing gum, sucking on a mint, or brushing your teeth can cause your stomach to create digestion fluids which can also be inhaled into the lungs. Therefore, it is very important that you follow your doctor or nurses instructions about not eating prior to surgery.


Jan 9, 2011

Is coffee creamer bad for you?

The nutrition label on the powdered coffee creamer in your office or kitchen might list ten calories and just a half a gram of saturated fat. Those sound like healthy low levels. But use a more realistic tablespoon-size serving instead of the miserly teaspoon listed on the nutrition facts label, and you’re looking at 45 calories and three grams of heart-harmful saturated fat. Have three or four servings per day and you’ve unknowingly consumed half a day’s saturated fat.

But the liquid version of these coffee creamers is worse. Instead of using coconut and palm kernel oils, used in the powdered version, the liquid versions use partially hydrogenated soybean or cottonseed oil. Three cups of coffee with that, delivers 1.86 grams of saturated fat, not to mention the 2.76 grams of trans fat, which is more than an entire day’s worth of the kind of fat that raises your bad cholesterol and lowers your good cholesterol.

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Oct 11, 2010

The origin of PlayStation controller's button

If you’ve owned any of the PlayStation consoles (the original PlayStation or PSX, the PS2, the PS3 and the PSP) then you’ve seen the button scheme that they’ve been using on their controllers. Instead of having A-B-C X-Y-Z like what Nintendo did with their controllers, Sony stuck with a colorful and much more recognizable scheme.

PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto explains why. Just who is Teiyu Goto? Well he’s none other than the father of the PlayStation, the man behind the designs for the original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3!

So why shapes and colors? In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, it’s all about keeping things simple.

“That was…pretty tough,” he says. “Other game companies at the time assigned alphabet letters or colors to the buttons. We wanted something simple to remember, which is why we went with icons or symbols, and I came up with the triangle-circle-X-square combination immediately afterward. I gave each symbol a meaning and a color.”

“The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one’s head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink. The circle and X represent ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision-making and I made them red and blue respectively. People thought those colors were mixed up, and I had to reinforce to management that that’s what I wanted.”


Sep 22, 2010

Can lightning strike the same place twice?

"Lightning never strikes twice." This often quoted phrase has been around for hundreds of years, although it has been proven false on several occasions.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lightning does just the opposite of the myth and often strikes the same place repeatedly. This is because certain structures attract lightning better than others. On their page devoted to lightning myths, they point out that the Empire State Building is hit about 25 times per year.

Several people have also been struck multiple times by lightning. The Guinness Book of World Records lists a Virginia Park Ranger named Roy Sullivan as the man who has received the most lightning strikes, having survived 7 strikes over the course of 35 years.

According to National Geographic, the odds of being struck by lightning in an average person's lifetime is about 1 in 3,000.


Sep 10, 2010

Whose voice is that behind every movie trailers?

You may not know his name, and you probably don’t recognize his face, but you’ve undoubtedly heard the voice of Don LaFontaine. Borned in August 26, 1940, LaFontaine was an American voiceover artist famous for recording more than 5,000 film trailers and hundreds of thousands of television advertisements, network promotions, and video game trailers.

LaFontaine started his showbiz career as a recording engineer. He became a trailer narrator when, in 1964, he filled in for a voice actor who was unavailable to finish the trailer for a Western called Gunfighters of Casa Grande. The filmmakers loved his melodramatic approach, and by 1970 LaFontaine was the most imitated trailer narrator in Hollywood. Because voice actors are largely behind the scenes of a movie or other production we don't often think of them, but Don was one of the most famous voice actors to have ever lived, and during his career he earned the nicknames “The Voice of God,” and “Thunder Throat.” That’s why LaFontaine is the highest paid trailer narrator in Hollywood.

Sadly LaFontaine died on September 1, 2008 following complications from a blood clot in his lungs. Don's final voice over was for the trailer of the movie Call + Response, a documentary for which Don donated his talent about the global slave trade. Don will likely always be remembered for his work in thousands of movie trailers and other voice over work.