Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crash of '29

Friday, February 27, 2009

Porsche Panamera

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The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 hp from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses. The Panamera S will start at $89,000, while the all-wheel-drive 4S will cost $93,800. The Turbo will ring in at $132,600, which is slightly more than a Cayenne Turbo. U.S. sales are to begin in October.
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Nissan has  announced plans to cut its Sunderland  workforce by 1,200. Thousands of unsold cars are stored around the factory's  test track 





Honda is  halting production at its Swindon plant in  April and May, extending the two-month closure announced before Christmas to  four months. Honda and Japanese rival Toyota are  both cutting production in Japan  and elsewhere. Pictured, Hondas await export at a pier in Tokyo 





Earlier  this week Jaguar Land Rover said 450 British jobs would go 





The open  car storage areas in Corby , Northamptonshire,  are reaching full capacity 





Imported  cars stored at Sheerness open storage area awaiting delivery to dealers 





Newly  imported cars fill the 150-acre site at the Toyota  distribution centre in Long Beach  , California 





The  build-up of imported cars at the port of Newark  , New Jersey 





Stocks of  Ford trucks in Detroit , Michigan 





New cars  jam the dockside in the port of Valencia in Spain 





Peugeot  cars await shipment to Italian dealers at the port of Civitavecchia 





Unsold cars  at Avonmouth Docks near Bristol 





With many  manufacturers on extended Christmas shutdown, the number of cars rolling off  production lines in December fell 47.5% to just 53,823 





Thousands  of new cars are stored on the runway at the disused Upper  Heyford airbase near Bicester, Oxfordshire, on December 18, 2008. 





Sales of  new cars in the UK have  slumped to a 12-year-low and production of cars at Honda in Swindon has been  halted for a unprecedented four-month period because of the collapse in global  sales and represents the longest continuous halt in production at any UK car plant.  The announcement comes on a day when the EU's Industry Commissioner Guenter  Verheugen warned the outlook for the European car industry was 'brutal' and  predicted not all European manufacturers would survive the crisis. 






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Orbiting Space Junk a Growing Danger

Space flight is a risky business, but the chance of a deadly collision is increasing due to a spreading canopy of junk that's orbiting our planet. And the wreckage from a recent satellite collision is adding to the trash, making more collisions among spacecraft all but inevitable. WSJ's Robert Lee Hotz reports.

Harmless Debris on Earth Is Devastating in Orbit
WSJ, FEBRUARY 26, 2009, 10:04 P.M. ET

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best Guinness Commercial EVER!





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I survived the bush administration

Giant optical illusions conceived by German artist Edgar Muelle

Mind the crevasse: The amazing 3D pavement art that has pedestrians on edge

Tom Kelly
Last updated at 5:13 PM on 24th February 2009



Giant optical illusions conceived by German artist Edgar Muelle














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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Macropinna microstoma

23 February 2009
MBARI News Release

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Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head

The barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) has extremely light-sensitive eyes that can rotate within a transparent, fluid-filled shield on its head. The fish's tubular eyes are capped by bright green lenses. The eyes point upward (as shown here) when the fish is looking for food overhead. They point forward when the fish is feeding. The two spots above the fish's mouth are olfactory organs called nares, which are analogous to human nostrils. Image: © 2004 MBARI

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently solved the half-century-old mystery of a fish with tubular eyes and a transparent head. Ever since the "barreleye" fish Macropinna microstoma was first described in 1939, marine biologists have known that its tubular eyes are very good at collecting light. However, the eyes were believed to be fixed in place and seemed to provide only a "tunnel-vision" view of whatever was directly above the fish's head. A new paper by Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler shows that these unusual eyes can rotate within a transparent shield that covers the fish's head. This allows the barreleye to peer up at potential prey or focus forward to see what it is eating.

Deep-sea fish have adapted to their pitch-black environment in a variety of amazing ways. Several species of deep-water fishes in the family Opisthoproctidae are called "barreleyes" because their eyes are tubular in shape. Barreleyes typically live near the depth where sunlight from the surface fades to complete blackness. They use their ultra-sensitive tubular eyes to search for the faint silhouettes of prey overhead.

Although such tubular eyes are very good at collecting light, they have a very narrow field of view. Furthermore, until now, most marine biologists believed that barreleye's eyes were fixed in their heads, which would allow them to only look upward. This would make it impossible for the fishes to see what was directly in front of them, and very difficult for them to capture prey with their small, pointed mouths.

In this image, you can see that, although the barreleye is facing downward, its eyes are still looking straight up. This close-up "frame grab" from video shows a barreleye that is about 140 mm (six inches) long.
Image: © 2004 MBARI

Robison and Reisenbichler used video from MBARI's remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study barreleyes in the deep waters just offshore of Central California. At depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface, the ROV cameras typically showed these fish hanging motionless in the water, their eyes glowing a vivid green in the ROV's bright lights. The ROV video also revealed a previously undescribed feature of these fish--its eyes are surrounded by a transparent, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish's head.

Most existing descriptions and illustrations of this fish do not show its fluid-filled shield, probably because this fragile structure was destroyed when the fish were brought up from the deep in nets. However, Robison and Reisenbichler were extremely fortunate--they were able to bring a net-caught barreleye to the surface alive, where it survived for several hours in a ship-board aquarium. Within this controlled environment, the researchers were able to confirm what they had seen in the ROV video--the fish rotated its tubular eyes as it turned its body from a horizontal to a vertical position.

This face-on view of a barreleye shows its transparent shield lit up by the lights of MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Tiburon. As in the other photos, the two spots above the fish's mouth are are olfactory organs called nares, which are analogous to human nostrils.
Image: © 2006 MBARI

In addition to their amazing "headgear," barreleyes have a variety of other interesting adaptations to deep-sea life. Their large, flat fins allow them to remain nearly motionless in the water, and to maneuver very precisely (much like MBARI's ROVs). Their small mouths suggest that they can be very precise and selective in capturing small prey. On the other hand, their digestive systems are very large, which suggests that they can eat a variety of small drifting animals as well as jellies. In fact, the stomachs of the two net-caught fish contained fragments of jellies.

After documenting and studying the barreleye's unique adaptations, Robison and Reisenbichler developed a working hypothesis about how this animal makes a living. Most of the time, the fish hangs motionless in the water, with its body in a horizontal position and its eyes looking upward. The green pigments in its eyes may filter out sunlight coming directly from the sea surface, helping the barreleye spot the bioluminescent glow of jellies or other animals directly overhead. When it spots prey (such as a drifting jelly), the fish rotates its eyes forward and swims upward, in feeding mode.

Barreleyes share their deep-sea environment with many different types of jellies. Some of the most common are siphonophores (colonial jellies) in the genus Apolemia. These siphonophores grow to over 10 meters (33 feet) long. Like living drift nets, they trail thousands of stinging tentacles, which capture copepods and other small animals. The researchers speculate that barreleyes may maneuver carefully among the siphonophore's tentacles, picking off the captured organisms. The fish's eyes would rotate to help the fish keep its "eyes on the prize," while its transparent shield would protect the fish's eyes from the siphonophore's stinging cells.

MBARI researchers speculate that Macropinna microstoma may eat animals that have been captured in the tentacles of jellies, such as this siphonophore in the genus Apolemia. The "head" of the siphonophore (at right) pulls the animal through the water, its stinging tentacles streaming out like a living drift net.
Image: © 2001 MBARI

Robison and Reisenbichler hope to do further research to find out if their discoveries about Macropinna microstoma also apply to other deep-sea fish with tubular eyes. The bizarre physiological adaptations of the barreleyes have puzzled oceanographers for generations. It is only with the advent of modern underwater robots that scientists have been able to observe such animals in their native environment, and thus to fully understand how these physical adaptations help them survive.


For more information or images relating to this news release, please contact Kim Fulton-Bennett : (831) 775-1835, [email protected]

See below for video of Macropinna microstoma narrated by Bruce Robison:
(If video doesn't show up, try downloading Macromedia Flash Version 10)






Research paper:

B. H. Robison and K. R. Reisenbichler. Macropinna microstoma and the paradox of its tubular eyes. Copeia. 2008, No. 4, December 18, 2008

Related links:

*                               Video of Macropinna micrstoma on YouTube

*                               Frame grabs from video of Macropinna microstoma

*                               Web pages for the MBARI midwater research group

*                               Bruce Robison's web page

*                               Other MBARI articles on midwater animals


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Which one do you think is the blonde? it is. A test to see if your brain is still working.

Which one do you think is the blonde?







Scroll down

Amazing I did not

See it before..

The Blonde is the one

With the wrong leg up.

That is OK I did not

Pass the test EITHER!!!!!



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Sunday, February 22, 2009

50 foot Spider in Liverpool

On Wednesday 3rd September 2008 Liverpool awoke to find a giant spider hanging from the side of a building. A team of scientists planned to move the spider to their research post setup by Albert Docks in the morning. Here, days later, the 50-foot tall "La Princesse" climbs back onto Concourse House and is dusted by magic snow sending her to sleep for the night. (© Peter Carr)

Thursday and La Princesse is transported across the city to Albert Dock. Everyone is looking out their office windows and taking to the streets to see the spider. (© Peter Carr#

Minutes before a thunderstorm arrives in the city La Princesse arrives at Albert Dock. It took close to an hour to travel less than 10 minutes down the road. Traffic was redirected so the truck would be uniterrupted as it travelled across the city. (© Peter Carr#

Night time falls on day 2 and people get a close up view of La Princesse. She's so close you can almost touch her. Music is played to sooth the giant spider and hundreds of people gather to simply sit and see the awe inspiring spider. For the first time you get an idea of how she'll move and just how far out her legs will reach. (© Peter Carr#

La Princesse is heading towards the Birkenhead tunnel in the hope of making a break for it. Her feet almost crush me and my gear here. The spider weighs over 37 tonnes. (© Peter Carr#

La Princesse heads out onto the main road and is greeted by thousands of people. Its an incredible event and despite the weather, which soon turns to torrential rain, everyone is just stunned by the giant spider. Its like nothing the city has ever seen. (© Peter Carr#

By this point La Princesse is right behind me and the crowd is stunned by being this close to the spider. They don't move and the magic snow starts falling and the spider keeps coming. They're so wowed by it all. (© Peter Carr#

Later that day La Princesse wakes up again and she spots another way out. Nothing stops her and she heads out into the city. For the first time people really see the insanity behind La Machine. Its huge! (© Peter Carr#

La Princesse wakes up one morning, and isn't happy. She heads up the steps by the Echo Arena and is forced back by firecrackers. They scare her back down the steps where she is played soothing music and magical snow falls to send her back to sleep. (© Peter Carr#

Day turns to night and La Princesse is looking like something from a science fiction movie, complete with special effects. She is heading down this street back to the building where she was first found, to sleep. (© Peter Carr#

Day 4 and La Princesse heads off into the main city center. This is the view from Liverpool's Town Hall. Thousands of people gather, and La Princesse decides to squirt them all with jets of water. She is followed by musicians on cherry pickers. (© Peter Carr#

A close up of the operators of La Princesse. There are 13 in total riding on the spider, controlling her. Its an incredibly complex operation, with 50 hydraulic axes of movement, but looks so natural and easy to the outside observer. (© Peter Carr#

Over 50,000 people came to see La Machine on Saturday. More people lined Castle Street for this event than when the Beatles returned to Liverpool. (© Peter Carr#

Not everyone enjoyed the show. A 50 ft spider walking around town is bound to make some people feel scared. I'm not a fan of spiders myself but seeing this was something else. (© Peter Carr#

A close up view of La Princesse reveals the operators and the mechanics involved with the spider. (© Peter Carr#

*FOOM* Jets of water blasting from all over the place. It was at this point that I dived under my coat to protect my gear. There's rain and then there's this, which is sheer insanity. Loved it! A completely incredible few days and something I'll probably never ever see happen around Liverpool again. Street theatre on a city scale with a 50ft spider. Amazing. (© Peter Carr#

The end struggle. Scientists vs. La Princesse. Huge special effects are used like something from a film but its right there in front of you. (© Peter Carr#

La Princesse is lifted into Salthouse Dock for a bath. Huge jets of water are fired into the air to clean her off before she heads off to sleep outside Liverpool's iconic 3 Graces. (© Peter Carr#

The final day and La Princesse is lifted off Concourse House. It's a complicated operatation to remove the spider, involving a couple of cranes and the time to reconnect the spider to the engine driving it around town. (© Peter Carr#

On day one, for 5 minutes the clouds part and the spider named La Princesse is fully revealed in stunning detail. Passers by are a little surprised at how small it looks but the next few days show that La Princesse was mearly sleeping. (© Peter Carr#

The Concourse House building is situated next to the main train station in Liverpool so everyone coming into work that day certainly got a surprise. (© Peter Carr#

Night falls on the city and La Princesse is lit up by a search light. The road has a constant stream of traffic passing by as everyone wants a look. (© Peter Carr)#

Liverpool city center. La Princesse picks a fight with a digger and then starts to fight with some of the scientists who have been following her around. One is nearly crushed. (© Peter Carr#

Peter Carr - photographer
La Machine - official site

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