Monday, October 27, 2008

Will "Flying Squirrel" Suit Let Skydivers Jump Without Chutes?

It sounds crazy, and it probably is: Skydive from 15,000 feet (4,600 meters) and land safely—without a parachute—wearing a getup that resembles a flying squirrel costume (wallpaper: flying squirrel).
"It's pretty much considered impossible," said Maria von Egidy, a designer with Jii-Wings in Cape Town, South Africa.
Von Egidy isn't interested in trying the stunt herself. But she aims to design the first wingsuit that will help pull it off.
Wingsuits are jumpsuits with fabric panels between the arms and legs that enable skydivers to zoom around in freefall.
By angling the self-inflating, rigid "wings," pilots can turn, dive, or rocket forward.
What wearers can't do—at least not yet—is land safely without the aid of a parachute.
"In terms of downward speed, we're actually within the margin of safety there for landing," von Egidy said. "But of course the forward speeds are tremendous."
And therein lies the catch.

The Obamas' and the McCains' on Family Life

Found on MotherTalkers – “Rants and Raves on Modern Motherhood” was a piece on the family lives of the Obamas’ and the McCains’. Michelle and Barack Obama and Cindy McCain, spoke with Parents magazine about how they raise their children and the challenges they have faced. The Obama family sees conversation and talking to children as the most “effective discipline tool”. Michelle Obama, said :“I don’t think you can overestimate how important conversations are from the time kids are even 2 and 3. We made our expectations clear early on, so now we’re not talking about rules or arguing about what they have to do. They know what we expect from them, and they’re eager to please us. Barack Obama responded with “Now, granted, they are not teenagers, so we don’t want to sound like, “Well, aren’t we the clever parents?” and then you talk to us four years from now…”Cindy McCain discussed the adoption of her daughter Bridget and the medical issues they faced when they brought her home. The magazine asked “Did you have any other challenges helping her adjust? Did she ever wonder why she didn’t look like the rest of the family?
No, and I think that says a great deal about my children, if I can brag for a moment. When I first walked in the door with her—here I was coming home with a brand-new baby sister who no one knew was coming—my kids never missed a beat. She was absolutely part of the family immediately—including the pranks that kids play on each other.” And also “I remember that I used to take her to the market, and people would stop and stare at her. It was really my first encounter with—I don’t think prejudice is the right word, but certainly a misunderstanding of what she was all about and what was going on with her

Jay Tomas Reunites With Out of Wedlock Son

I guess nobody cares about Jay Thomas anymore, because if not for the fact that I heard about this on the Howard 100 News (The Howard Stern Show news outlet on Sirius XM Satellite Radio) I don't think I would have seen it. Yes, it was on the Today Show, but it was on the 27th hour that Kathie Lee hosts. Certainly SOME people care; he's gotten plenty of press attention for the story over the past few months.
I think it's a good story, although not exactly Lifetime TV material. Here's what happened: Jay Thomas, an actor and radio personality (he used to be on 'Cheers', and also had his own show called 'Love & War', plus he's done a ton of movies and TV guest spots), had a son with a girlfriend 28 years ago. The boy was adopted as an infant and his parents named him John Harding, although his nickname was JT, same as Jay's. JT moved to L.A. 11 years ago hoping to find his biological dad. He knew from his adoptive family that, " my biological dad was 'different' and not like the rest of us. Those remarks often caused me to fantasise [sic] and wonder about just me who my birth dad really was... A monster? A member of the traveling circus?"According to JT the younger, he eventually heard that his father was on 'Cheers', so of course he thought that meant Ted Danson. Not quite. Eventually he found out it was Jay, and they've been spending time together ever since.So why are we only hearing about this now? As the National Ledger puts it, "It's just that JT's star is rising now, with his JTX band and his hot Next Plateau Records song, 'I'm Gonna Party Like a Rockstar.'" In other words, they want publicity. In fact, Jay says in the Today show clip that he's selling t-shirts that say, "I Reunited With My Biological Son Because It Was Good For Both Our Careers" or something like that. Can't find the shirt, though.Thomas is so cynical and hilariously inappropriate, making this is a slightly different adoption-reuniting tale. Nothing wrong with that, right?

First Dinosaur Feathers for Show, Not Flight?

One of the oldest known dinosaur relatives of birds had "bizarre" anatomy, including long, ribbon-like tail feathers that suggest plumage may have first evolved for show rather than for flight, scientists say.

Farmers unearthed a fossil of the new dino species, dubbed Epidexipteryx hui, from the hills of Inner Mongolia in late 2007.

The remains date back to 152 million to 168 million years ago, making the newfound creature slightly older than Archaeopteryx, the most primitive known bird.
(Related: "Earliest Bird Had Feet Like Dinosaur, Fossil Shows" [December 1, 2005].)
Like other avialans—birds and their closest dinosaur relatives—Epidexipteryx is a theropod, a group of two-legged animals that includes Tyrannosaurus rex.
Researchers think the pigeon-size Epidexipteryx might have used its plumes as flashy ornaments, since it was mostly covered in short feathers that lack the structure necessary for flight.
"For example, [the feathers] could potentially have played a role in displays intended to attract a mate, scare off a rival, or send a warning signal to other individuals of the same species," said study co-author Fucheng Zhang, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
"This is very exciting indeed, since it gives us a window into a stage of avialan history just preceding the appearance of the classic 'first bird,'" Zhang said.
"It shows that the use of feathers for visual communication—as opposed to other functions such as insulation and flight—was a very early development."

How Snails Walk on Water Is a Small Miracle

Walking on water may seem miraculous, but for tiny aquatic snails, it's an everyday activity. Now, scientists have puzzled out the snails' baffling method of propulsion.

method of propulsion.
"How the snails were dragging themselves across a surface that they could not even grip was absolutely perplexing to us," said lead author Eric Lauga, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego.
Hanging on to the water's surface is not the issue for the snails. They are naturally buoyant, because they are so small," Lauga said.
Even so, the snails need traction to move across the slippery surface. Think of humans trying to walk on ice—they don't break through, but their feet can't get a grip.
By making small rippling motions with its foot, the snail creates traction for itself, Lauga and his colleagues found after studying videos of the snails. The researchers' observations are detailed this month in the journal Physics of Fluids.
The snails' ability to move depends on water's tendency for its surface to resist disturbance. Water "wants" to stay flat, Lauga said.
When the snail ripples its foot, similar ripples are created on the water's surface. The ripples generate a downward force as the water flattens itself.
These ripples are just the right size for the snail to use to push itself along. "If the ripples were too small, the snail would slip, as on ice," Lauga said.
"If the ripples [were] too big, the snail could not 'grab' them."

In a new experiment, people who held steaming cups of coffee for a few seconds judged another person as more generous, caring, and happy than people who held a cup of iced coffee did.
In a second experiment, people who briefly handled a therapeutic hot pad instead of an ice pack were more likely to later select a gift for a friend rather than themselves.
The findings indicate that physical warmth unconsciously stimulates friendly behavior toward other people, according to marketing professor Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
"There's a meaningful interface between the physical world and our bodies and the psychological world and what's going on in our heads," said Williams, who led the study, to appear in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science.


well it is time for me to fill up these blanks.blanks where it's never been spill with tears and tears that can never make a person weeker but stronger. This how I'm gonna start my blog for today. I'm sorry to all readers who loves reading my blog that i haven't been spending my time on typing things that had been sitting in my mind and i have like a week more to spend my precious tyme of stying at home. im gladly to say that for the 1st tyme in my life my room is clean. ahakz!actually not too clean but the definition of clean that i mean was hygienecaly clean. Now, i have to go through final exam n this time around i would try my best to get even better grades than the last time. At certain times people have to fall in order to achieve the best. falling is not a bad thing and falling is the thing which makes people stronger in so many ways.