Friday, November 28, 2008

Girl has 2 heads, Or these two girls have one body

girl has 2 heads
Abigail Loraine Hensel and Brittany Lee Hensel were born on 7 March 1990, Carver County, Minnesota, United States and they are dicephalic conjoined twins. Brittany is the left twin, and Abigail is the right twin. They have two spines which join at the pelvis. They have two stomachs, three lungs, and two arms. (A third, underdeveloped and useless arm between their heads was removed in infancy.)

Most of Abigail and Brittany's shared organs lie below the waist line. The deatil is presented below:

2 heads
2 arms -- originally 3, but the short malformed central arm was removed
2 spinal cords and backbones which merge at the pelvis - surgery corrected scoliosis
3½ lungs -- surgery expanded their chest cavity
2 breasts
2 hearts in a shared circulatory system -- medicine taken by either affects both
1 liver
2 stomachs
3 kidneys
2 gallbladders
1 bladder
1 ribcage
1 large intestine
1 female reproductive system

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

girl has 2 heads

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Surprising origins with A-to-Z of English words

In pictures: A-Z of word surprises

When I set out to write a study of the history of words, I thought I had a decent grasp of where even the most curious English ones originate. Those with the prefix al- - as in alchemy and alcohol - often have Arabic roots, and many seafaring terms - skipper, schooner, land-lubber - are Dutch.

A-to-ZBut there were plenty of surprises. Who knew that marmalade, for instance, while eternally associated in my mind with Paddington Bear, is in fact Portuguese? So here is an A-to-Z of some of my favourite English words that have been absorbed from and inspired by other languages.

A is for…

Avocado, which comes from Nahuatl, a language spoken by the Aztecs. Their name for it, ahuacatl, also meant ''testicle".

B is for…

Bonsai. Although we think the tree-cultivating art is Japanese, it originated in China.

C is for…

Coleslaw. Supposedly eaten in ancient Rome, it comes from the Dutch kool-salade (''cabbage salad").

D is for…

Dachshund, a compound of the German Dachs (''badger") and Hund (''dog"). Originally the breed was known in Germany as Dachs Krieger, or ''badger warrior".

E is for…

Enthusiasm. From the Greek entheos, which means ''to be within energy", suggesting being spiritually ''possessed".

F is for…

Flamenco, from the Spanish name for a Fleming (i.e. someone from Flanders).

G is for…

Goulash, an invention by Hungarian herdsmen whose name derives from gulyas.

H is for…

Hotchpotch, used in Norman legal jargon to denote property collected and then divided.

I is for…

Intelligentsia, a collective term for the intellectual class which derives from Latin but came to us from Russian.

J is for…

Juggernaut, Sanskrit for a giant carriage used to transport an image of the god Krishna.

K is for…

Kangaroo, from gangurru, the large black male roo in the Guugu Yimidhirr language.

L is for…

Lilac, which comes from the Persian nilak, meaning ''of a bluish shade".

M is for…

Mandarin. The name of the fruit feels as though it ought to be Chinese, but may well have come from Swedish.

N is for…

Namby-pamby. Nickname of the 18th-century poet Ambrose Phillips, coined by the satirist Henry Careybecause of his sentimental verses

O is for…

Onslaught, from the Dutch aanslag - related to a word in Old High German for a shower.

P is for…

Penguin, a compound of two Welsh words, pen and gwyn, which mean ''head" and ''white" - even though penguins have black heads. It is likely that 'penguin' was at one time the name of similar, now extinct bird which had a white patch near its bill.

Q is for…

Quack can be traced to the Dutch kwaksalver, literally someone who hawked ointments.

R is for…

Regatta, from Venetian dialect, it originally signified any kind of contest.

S is for…

Sabotage. Supposed to derive from the tendency of striking workers to damage machinery by throwing shoes into it - sabot being an old French word for a wooden shoe.

T is for…

Tattoo, Captain Cook saw Polynesian islanders marking their skin with dark pigment. Long before that the word signified a signal or drumbeat, a Dutch expression for 'Close off the tap', used to recall tippling soldiers.

U is for…

Umbrella, appeared in English as early as 1609 (in a letter by John Donne). In the middle of the 18th century the device was adopted by the philanthropist Jonas Hanway as a protection against the London rain.

V is for…

Vanilla, ''little sheath" in Spanish.

W is for…

Walnut, a modern rendering of the Old English walhnutu ('foreign nut'), so known because it grew mainly in Italy.

X is for…

Xebec, a little vessel with three masts, from the Arabic shabbak, a small warship.

Y is for…

Yogurt, a mispronunciation of a Turkish word.

Z is for…

Zero, whose immediate source is French or Italian, but its origins are in Arabic - and before that in the Sanskrit word sunya, which meant both ''nothing" and ''desert".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HSBC is building pool designed to look like a flooded city

Swimmers appear to stroke above submerged houses and skyscrapers in a pool designed to look like a flooded city.

swimming poolThe eye-catching swimming pool in Mumbai, India, has been built to raise awareness about the threat of sea level rises as a result of global warming.

It was constructed by attaching a giant aerial photograph of the New York City skyline to the floor of the pool.

The idea was conceived by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, who were commissioned by banking giant HSBC to promote its £50million project tackling climate change.

Ogilvy spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharyya said: "The challenge was to reach out to people who are otherwise indifferent to the cause in a non-theoretical manner.

"HSBC wanted to convey the message in a unique visual way that would grab people's attention and couldn't be ignored."

"The Ogilvy team came up with an innovative way to show the adverse impact of global climate change.

"They glued an aerial view of a city to the base of a swimming pool.

"When the pool was filled with water, it gave a shocking effect akin to a city submerged in water.

"The visual of a sunken city shocked swimmers and onlookers, driving home the impact of global warming, and how it could destroy our world someday."

The pool, completed at sports centre in Bhaktipark, Wadala, Mumbai, this year, has been so successful that HSBC is considering building more of them in cities worldwide.

HSBC was the world's first bank to turn carbon neutral.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bald eagle who likes to swim

Swimming eagle (Pic:Barcroft)
Conservationist Patty Perry's Bald Eagle Olivia loves to go swimming with her at her pool in California

Swimming eagle (Pic:Barcroft)

swimming eagle

swimming eagle

swimming eagle

swimming eagle

swimming eagle
All pictures by Barry Bland/Barcroft Media

Olivia the eagle has developed into a swimmer with real talon.

Carer Patty Perry found teaching the sick bird to flap about in her pool was a good way to get back her strength.

Olivia was discovered starving, half blind and unable to hunt last year. But she has made a dramatic recovery thanks to Patty.

The 55-year-old has helped dozens of birds with aqua training at her Californian centre and is specially proud of the eagle.

She said: "Olivia loves to swim. We spend 20 minutes in the water three days a week."

Olivia, four, will never be freed into the wild as her sight is too damaged, but at least she's found a human who will go to any lengths to help...

Michael Jackson has become a Muslim and changed his name to Mikaeel.

Michael JacksonThe singer, who was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, converted to Islam in a ceremony at a friend's house in Los Angeles.

He is said to have sat on the floor and worn a small hat while an imam officiated.

According to The Sun, the ceremony took place while Jackson, 50, was recording an album at the home of Steve Porcaro, a keyboard player who composed music on his Thriller album.

The former Jackson 5 star was counselled by David Wharnsby, a Canadian songwriter, and Phillip Bubal, a producer, who have both converted.

A source said Jackson had appeared a "bit down" and added: "They began talking to him about their beliefs, and how they thought they had become better people after they converted. Michael soon began warming to the idea.

"An imam was summoned from the mosque and Michael went through the shahada, which is the Muslim declaration of belief."

Last year his brother, Jermaine Friday, suggested Jackson would convert having taken an interest in Islam since Friday's conversion in 1989.

"When I came back from Mecca I got him a lot of books and he asked me lots of things about my religion and I told him that it's peaceful and beautiful," said Friday.

"He read everything and he was proud of me that I found something that would give me inner strength and peace.

"I think it is most probable that Michael will convert to Islam.

"He could do so much, just like I am trying to do. Michael and I and the word of God, we could do so much."

7 Dangerous Acts After Meal

The 7 Dangerous Act after meal


ActsDon't eat fruits immediately

Immediately eating fruits after meals will cause stomach to be bloated with air. Therefore take fruit 1-2 hr after meal or 1hr before meal.

ActsDon't drink tea

Because tea leaves contain a high content of acid. This substance will cause the Protein content in the food we consume to be hardened thus difficult to digest.

ActsDon't smoke

Experiment from experts proves that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes (chances of cancer is higher).

ActsDon't loosen your belt

Loosening the belt after a meal will easily cause the intestine to be twisted & blocked.

ActsDon't bathe

Bathing after meal will cause the increase of blood flow to the hands, legs & body thus the amount of blood around the stomach will therefore decrease. This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach.

ActsDon't walk about

People always say that after a meal walk a hundred steps and you will live till 99. In actual fact this is not true. Walking will cause the digestive system to be unable to absorb the nutrition from the food we intake.

ActsDon't sleep immediately

The food we intake will not be able to digest properly. Thus will lead to gastric & infection in our intestine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

North Sea Big cat fossil found

Science Reporter, BBC News
Sabre tooth Big cat
Sabre-tooths roamed an ancient landscape now subsumed by the North Sea

The partial leg bone of a sabre-toothed cat has been dredged from the seabed by a trawler in the North Sea.

The fossil, which is between one and two million years old and was found near the UK coast, is from a type of sabre-tooth called a scimitar cat.

According to palaeontologist Dick Mol, it belonged to an animal that was as heavy as a small horse.

It is the furthest north this species has ever been found, and the first time remains have come from the North Sea.

The dry steppe landscape, criss-crossed by rivers, where animals such as the scimitar cat once roamed was flooded at the end of the last Ice Age.

Big cat
It was like the Serengeti, but in our back garden Big cat
Dick Mol, Natural History Museum in Rotterdam
The fossil remains of more common extinct beasts such as the mammoth are routinely recovered from the sea by trawlers.

Beam trawlers use special gear to touch the sea bed, capturing flatfish lying in the sand. But this also stirs up shallow, buried fossil remains which can end up in the nets.

In the Netherlands, trawlermen are paid up to 100 euros for such discoveries.

Mr Mol, who is based at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, said the partial humerus belonged to a "huge" (probably male) cat that weighed about 400kg (881lbs).

Homotherium fossil
Two views of the fossil, netted by a trawler in the North Sea

The fossil, which was encrusted with tiny, coral-like sea creatures called bryozoans, was brought ashore by the owner of the Dutch trawler TX 1.

He then handed it to a collector, who passed it on to Mr Mol for identification.

It had been netted in the southern bend of the North Sea, an area known to yield fossils from every period of the Pleistocene. This epoch lasted either from 2.6 or 1.8 million years ago (depending on which expert you ask) until 10,000 years ago.

Warm spell

Dick Mol said the weight of the bone was an immediate indication that much of its organic matter had been converted to minerals.

Mammoth bone
The remains of Ice Age animals are routinely netted by Dutch trawlers
The heavy mineralisation suggested it dated to the early part of the Pleistocene.

Other Early Pleistocene animals recovered from this part of the North Sea include elephant-like mastodon, southern mammoth, hippopotamus, horses, bears and giant deer.

Mr Mol and his colleague Wilrie van Logchem compared the big cat with specimens from the site of Untermassfeld in Germany, where a very similar complement of Early Pleistocene animals has been found.

They identified the find as a fragment of front leg from the scimitar cat Homotherium crenatidens.

The Rotterdam-based researcher said the sabre-tooth could have inhabited this part of North-West Europe during a warm spell between glaciations.

Top predator

"The fauna we are dealing with - the southern mammoth, the hippo, the giant deer and this sabre-toothed cat - were adapted to a savannah-like environment," Mr Mol told BBC News.

"[The cat] was probably living in the forest that bordered on the river banks."

He added: "It was like the Serengeti, but in our back garden."

Homotherium fossil
The researchers compared the fossil with others from the Early Pleistocene
Analysis of the North Sea fossil suggested it was probably bigger than other H. crenatidens specimens known from Untermassfeld and from the Massif Central in southern France.

Mr Mol explained: "If we look at the bone, we can see that it was a huge animal - probably a male individual."

"We have to understand that sabre-toothed cats are specialised hunters at the top of the food chain. So they are already very rare."

The remains of only one other sabre-toothed cat - a much younger species called Homotherium latidens - have previously been recovered from the North Sea.

Scientists think the huge canines that characterise these cats were remarkably fragile. So the animals probably sank their "sabre-teeth" into the fleshy necks of their prey, avoiding bones that might crack these delicate mouth ornaments.

The big cats would then wait for the unlucky animal to die from blood loss.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alien-like Insects on Earth

A common mistake when searching for alien life forms is to look up into the sky for something big. But alien life is right here, at our feet, in our backyards. Millions of tiny but frightening aliens, many just a few millimetres long. We've convinced the most cheerful of the lot to give us a tour…

Alien1. "Hi, I'm Danny and I'll be your host. Buzz along…"
This alien poses as a damselfly of the Zygoptera suborder. People often fail to notice that they hold their wings differently when at rest and are also smaller than dragonflies. Oh, and did you notice, their eyes are separated. Though running might be better than waiting to see the blue in their eyes…

2. "Give me… FOOD!" This fuzzy yellow alien with black spots is called Dasychira Pudibunda and is the larval form, or caterpillar, of the red-tailed moth.

Alien3. This species of aliens has fooled humans for many years. Popularly known as a bumblebee of the Apidae family, they have donned a fuzzy yellow-and-black fur and spread rumours that some of them are stingless. Right, whatever, just careful with that … thingy, dude!

Alien4. "Listen to me, Earthling, feel the mighty wrath of Gandalf the Green!" This green bush cricket of the TettigoniidaeLord of the Rings.

5. "Hullo there, did I startle you? If I did pretty please, will you be my… ahem… buy my dinner?" This praying mantis is one of 2,000 species in the mantis order of insects. As predatory aliens, er, insects, they might better be called preying mantis.

Alien6. "I might look cute but I can sap you out!" Treehoppers have long fascinated biologists because of their unusual appearance. They belong to the Membracidae family and are closely related to cicadas and leafhoppers. They feed upon the sap found in plant stems, which they prick with their beaks.

Alien7. This praying mantis male would certainly score a role in any alien movie. His acting talent is undisputed as he's part of the flower mantis species - they pretend to be flowers and then attack their prey. How very cunning, indeed.

Alien8. "Who you're calling an alien? Our ancestors have been around since 350 million BC!" Wasps are said to be terrestrial but some of them look positively extra-terrestrial. Though often called pests, they are in fact very important for ecosystems: as food for other insects and birds or as predators limiting the populations of many other species.

Alien9. "Call me a cricket one more time!" Grasshoppers have horns or antennas that are shorter than their body, unlike their relatives', the bush crickets. They may look well shielded but lose many a battle when they end up as a protein-rich delicacy on someone's plate in many parts of the world.

Alien10. This praying mantis looks straight out of Alien or Men in Black… No prizes for guessing who inspired whom.

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