Tuesday, September 04, 2007

3,000-year-old beehives found in Israel - Yahoo! News

3,000-year-old beehives found in Israel - Yahoo! News
JERUSALEM - Archaeologists digging in northern Israel have discovered evidence of a 3,000-year-old beekeeping industry, including remnants of ancient honeycombs, beeswax and what they believe are the oldest intact beehives ever found.

The findings in the ruins of the city of Rehov this summer include 30 intact hives dating to around 900 B.C., archaeologist Amihai Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University told The Associated Press. He said it offers unique evidence that an advanced honey industry existed in the Holy Land at the time of the Bible.
Beekeeping was widely practiced in the ancient world, where honey used for medicinal and religious purposes as well as for food, and beeswax was used to make molds for metal and to create surfaces to write on. While bees and beekeeping are depicted in ancient artwork, nothing similar to the Rehov hives has ever been found before, Mazar said.
The beehives, made of straw and unbaked clay, have a hole at one end to allow the bees in and out and a lid on the other end to allow beekeepers access to the honeycombs inside. They were found in orderly rows, three high, in a room that could have accommodated around 100 hives, Mazar said.
The Bible repeatedly refers to Israel as a "land of milk and honey," but that's believed to refer to honey made from dates and figs — there is no mention of honeybee cultivation. But the new find shows that the Holy Land was home to a highly developed beekeeping industry nearly 3,000 years ago.
"You can tell that this was an organized industry, part of an organized economy, in an ultra-organized city," Mazar said.
At the time the beehives were in use, Mazar believes Rehov had around 2,000 residents, a mix of Israelites, Canaanites and others.
Ezra Marcus, an expert on the ancient Mediterranean world at Haifa University, said Tuesday the finding was a unique glimpse into ancient beekeeping. Marcus was not involved in the Rehov excavation.
"We have seen depictions of beekeeping in texts and ancient art from the Near East, but this is the first time we've been able to actually feel and see the industry," Marcus said.
The finding is especially unique, Marcus said, because of its location in the middle of a thriving city — a strange place for thousands of bees.
This might have been because the city's ruler wanted the industry under his control, Marcus said, or because the beekeeping industry was linked to residents' religious practices, as might be indicated by an altar decorated with fertility figurines that archaeologists found alongside the hives.

http://www.svdeals.com/ super value deals

Friday, August 24, 2007

'Big Bang' pioneer Ralph Alpher dies - Yahoo! News

'Big Bang' pioneer Ralph Alpher dies - Yahoo! News: "'Big Bang' pioneer Ralph Alpher dies "

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - Ralph Alpher, a physicist whose pioneering work on the underpinnings of the "Big Bang" theory went unheralded for years while others won a Nobel Prize, has died. He was 86.

Alpher died Aug. 12 in Austin, Texas. He had been honored by President Bush with a National Medal of Science in July, but was unable to attend the ceremony because of his failing health, Union College in Schenectady said in announcing his death. He had been on the Union faculty.
The "Big Bang" theory holds that the universe began billions of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that contained all matter.
As a doctoral candidate at George Washington University, Alpher and Johns Hopkins University physicist Robert Herman theorized in 1948 that the expansion of the universe leaves behind radiation and traces of the initial explosion that gave it birth could still be found.
That was confirmed in 1964 by the observations of Bell Laboratories astronomers. The Bell scientists had been trying to solve a problem of microwave "noise" at a radio antenna in New Jersey when they discovered the noise was the remnant of Big Bang radiation predicted by Alpher and Herman.
The Bell astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in physics, along with a Soviet scientist.
"Was I hurt? Yes! How the hell did they think I'd feel?," Alpher said in a 1999 Discover magazine article. "I was miffed at the time that they'd never even invited us down to see the damned radiotelescope. It was silly to be annoyed, but I was."
He and Herman did win the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. Herman died in 1997.
"Ralph really wanted the big prize and a lot of us think he deserved the Nobel, but it was one of those unfortunate situations," 1973 Nobel winner Ivar Giaever, a retired General Electric physicist, told the Times Union of Albany.
Alpher worked at the General Electric Research and Development Center in Schenectady starting in 1955. He became a professor of physics and astronomy at Union College in 1986 and retired in 2004.

www.svdeals.com super value deals

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Old age and sex make good bedfellows, study finds - Los Angeles Times

Old age and sex make good bedfellows, study finds - Los Angeles Times: "Old age and sex make good bedfellows, study finds"
Sex doesn't stop at age 60, 70, 80 or beyond, according to a report released today that found many Americans stayed surprisingly frisky well into old age.The study of 3,005 adults ages 57 to 85 found the majority had an active sex life with a partner or spouse. More than half of sexually active older adults had sex two to three times a month -- the same frequency reported among younger adults in a large 1992 national survey.The report, in the New England Journal of Medicine, found passions cooled as people aged, but said the declining interest in sex couldn't be attributed to age alone. An acute shortage of older men prevented many women in their 70s and 80s from hooking up, researchers said.In addition, older adults with health problems were far less sexually active.Participants in the study were considered sexually active if they had any sort of sexual contact with someone else in the preceding 12 months.The nationwide study provides the most comprehensive look yet at sexual activity among older Americans, an area that has received little scientific attention. Researchers said they hoped the findings would dispel commonly held notions that people lose all interest in sex as they age, and that sex is the province of the young."Older people are just younger people later in life," said lead author Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau, a gynecologist at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.Still, Lindau cautioned the study wasn't meant to set a standard for normal sexual behavior that older people should feel compelled to achieve despite their personal preferences or circumstances."Certainly many people make a choice not to be sexually active," she said.The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, examined the nature and frequency of sexual activity among older adults, including the prevalence of such performance problems as sexual dysfunction. Researchers also collected information on participants' overall health and intimate relationships.Subjects were divided into three age groups for the purpose of analysis.Nearly three-quarters of adults ages 57 to 64 were sexually active compared to about one-quarter of adults ages 75 to 85, the report found. About half of adults ages 65 to 74 were sexually active.A difference in life spans created a "lack of opportunity" for older women, Lindau said. At age 64, there were eight men for every 10 women in the U.S. By 85, there were four men for every 10 women.American women live five to seven years longer than men.Across all age groups, poor health substantially slowed people down. Those who rated their health as fair to poor were significantly less likely to be sexually active than those who reported their health as very good to excellent.Diabetes was associated with reduced sexual activity, particularly in women. Sexual behavior was unaffected by arthritis and high blood pressure, two other conditions of old age assessed in the study.Half of sexually active adults reported at least one problem that took the edge off sex. Among women, the most common problems were a lack of desire (43%) and vaginal dryness (39%). Thirty-seven percent of men reported erectile difficulties, and 14% used drugs or supplements to improve their performance.Men and women held sharply different opinions about the importance of sex; 35% of women rated sex as "not at all important," compared to 13% of men, the report said.Digging into subjects' sexual preferences, the study found vaginal intercourse was more common than oral sex, and men were much more likely to masturbate than women. Researchers said the information had implications for efforts to control sexually transmitted diseases.Participants in the study were tested for the human papillomavirus, researchers said, but the results were not yet available.Dr. Wayne W. Chen, a geriatrician at USC's Keck School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study, said the findings offered a starting point for physicians to discuss sexual activity with their older patients. The study found such conversations occurred infrequently, with 38% of men and 22% of women reporting they had discussed sex with their doctors at least once since turning 50."Many of my colleagues don't think seniors have sexual activity and don't consider it an important clinical issue to deal with compared to stroke and arthritis and all the other things that take precedence," Chen said, adding that some patients might stop taking certain heart medications because they affect sexual performance.Edward O. Laumann, a coauthor of the study and a sociologist at the University of Chicago, said a decline in sexual activity might be an early signal of deterioration in overall health.Researchers said the findings should help reassure older adults that whatever their sexual preferences and problems, they are not alone -- a message infrequently heard in a culture that worships youth."Sexuality does not disappear when you get Social Security," said Dr. Edward Schneider, a professor of gerontology at USC's Andrus Gerontology Center who was not connected with the study.

http://www.svdeals.com/ too hot deals ...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Scientists find ancient gum in Finland - Yahoo! News

Scientists find ancient gum in Finland - Yahoo! News: "Scientists find ancient gum in Finland "
Scientists find ancient gum in Finland
2 hours, 27 minutes ago
HELSINKI, Finland - Finns, who introduced a birch-tree sweetener for gum, have found that the habit of chewing sticky lumps dates back thousands of years. Last month, students in western Finland found a piece of Stone Age birch-bark tar, believed to have been used for chewing and to fix broken arrowheads or clay dishes, archaeologists said Monday.

"Most likely the lump was used as an antique kind of chewing gum," said Sami Viljamaa, an archaeologist who led the dig near Oulu, some 380 miles north of the capital, Helsinki. "But its main purpose was to fix things."
Viljamaa said the piece of Neolithic gum was found among artifacts, like dishes and jewelry, in a Stone Age village at the Kierikki Stone Age Center. "It's somewhere between 5,500 and 6,000 years old," he said.
The ancient Finnish habit of chewing gum surged in the 1980s when Finnish scientists discovered that gum containing xylitol, a natural sweetener found in plant tissue including birch trees, prevents tooth decay. Schools began to give xylitol gum free to children after meals, and sales of chewing gum almost doubled during five years as xylitol's popularity grew.
The ancient gum was found by British student Sarah Pickin, who was assisted by four other students at the site, Viljamaa said. "They also found an amber ring and a slate arrowhead, which were great finds," he added.

http://www.visli.com/ All about savings

Friday, August 03, 2007

AP Exclusive: Aztec leader's tomb found - Yahoo! News

AP Exclusive: Aztec leader's tomb found - Yahoo! News: "AP Exclusive: Aztec leader's tomb found "
MEXICO CITY - Mexican archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar have detected underground chambers they believe contain the remains of Emperor Ahuizotl, who ruled the Aztecs when Columbus landed in the New World. It would be the first tomb of an Aztec ruler ever found.
else if(navigator.userAgent && navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase().indexOf("msie")>=0 && (navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Windows 95")>=0 navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Windows 98")>=0 navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Windows NT")>=0))
{document.writeln('');document.writeln('on error resume next');document.writeln('prplgin=(IsObject(CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash.7")))');document.writeln('');}
var pr_redir='http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=12git8p67/M=569350.9807549.10816590.1442997/D=news/S=85074877:LREC/_ylt=Aq3sRJocrMknUVOhiZgZAp.9IxIF/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1186181273/A=4534689/R=0/id=CTURL/*$CTURL$';
var pr_redir_def='~';
var pr_bust=Math.random();
var pr_pos='';
var prs="ads.PointRoll.com/PRServe/?ad=g275S2007123195645"+pr_pos+"&pub=yhoonws&num="+this.prInst+"&size=300_250&code=no&targ=_new&hide=~&redir="+pr_redir+"&defredir="+pr_redir_def+"&bu="+pr_bust+"&r="+Math.random();
on error resume next
','300','250','1','1',351924,200580,'1','124',219,undefined,0,0);return false;" onmouseout="if(typeof(prRoll)=='function')prBExit(event);" shape=RECT coords=14,219,286,250 href="#">
if(window.yzq_d==null)window.yzq_d=new Object();
The find could provide an extraordinary window into Aztec civilization at its apogee. Ahuizotl (ah-WEE-zoh-tuhl), an empire-builder who extended the Aztecs' reach as far as Guatemala, was the last emperor to complete his rule before the Spanish Conquest.
Accounts written by Spanish priests suggest the area was used by the Aztecs to cremate and bury their rulers. But no tomb of an Aztec ruler has ever been found, in part because the Spanish conquerors built their own city atop the Aztec's ceremonial center, leaving behind colonial structures too historically valuable to remove for excavations.
One of those colonial buildings was so damaged in a 1985 earthquake that it had to be torn down, eventually giving experts their first chance to examine the site off Mexico City's Zocalo plaza, between the Metropolitan Cathedral and the ruins of the Templo Mayor pyramid.
Archaeologists told The Associated Press that they have located what appears to be a six-foot-by-six-foot entryway into the tomb about 15 feet below ground. The passage is filled with water, rocks and mud, forcing workers to dig delicately while suspended from slings. Pumps work to keep the water level down.
"We are doing it very, very slowly ... because the responsibility is very great and we want to register everything," said Leonardo Lopez Lujan, the lead government archaeologist on the project. "It's a totally new situation for us, and we don't know exactly what it will be like down there."
As early as this fall, they hope to enter the inner chambers — a damp, low-ceilinged space — and discover the ashes of Ahuizotl, who was likely cremated on a funeral pyre in 1502.
By that time, Columbus had already landed in the New World. But the Aztecs' first contact with Europeans came 17 years later, in 1519, when Hernan Cortes and his band of conquistadors marched into the Mexico Valley and took hostage Ahuizotl's successor, his nephew Montezuma.
Ahuizotl's son Cuauhtemoc (kwow-TAY-mock) took over from Montezuma and led the last resistance to the Spaniards in the battle for Mexico City in 1521. He was later taken prisoner and killed. Like Montezuma, his burial place is unknown.
Because no Aztec royal tomb has ever been found, the archaeologists are literally digging into the unknown. Radar indicates the tomb has up to four chambers, and scientists think they will find a constellation of elaborate offerings to the gods on the floor.
"He must have been buried with solemn ceremony and rich offerings, like vases, ornaments ... and certainly some objects he personally used," said Luis Alberto Martos, director of archaeological studies at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The tomb's curse — water — may also be its blessing. Lopez Lujan said the constant temperature of the pH-neutral water in the flooded chambers, together with the lack of oxygen, discourages decomposition of materials like wood and bone that have been found at other digs around the pyramid, which was all but destroyed in the Conquest.
"This would be quite an important find for Aztec archaeology," said Michael Smith, an archaeologist at Arizona State University who is not connected to the dig. "It would be tremendously important because it would be direct information about kingship, burial and the empire that is difficult to come by otherwise."
All signs found so far point to Ahuizotl. The site lies directly below a huge, recently discovered stone monolith carved with a representation of Tlaltecuhtli (tlahl-tay-KOO-tlee), the Aztec god of the earth.
Depicted as a woman with huge claws and a stream of blood flowing into her mouth as she squats to give birth, Tlaltecuhtli was believed to devour the dead and then give them new life. The god was so fearsome that Aztecs normally buried her depictions face down in the earth. However, this one is face-up.
In the claw of her right foot, the god holds a rabbit and 10 dots, indicating the date "10 Rabbit" — 1502, the year of Ahuizotl's death.
"Our hypothesis is precisely that this is probably the tomb of Ahuizotl," Lopez Lujan said.
Any artifacts linked to Ahuizotl would bring tremendous pride to Mexico. The country has sought unsuccessfully to recover Aztec artifacts like the feather-adorned "shield of Ahuizotl" and the "Montezuma headdress" from the Ethnology Museum in Vienna, Austria.
"Imagine it — this wasn't just any high-ranking man. The Aztecs were the most powerful society of their time before the arrival of the Spaniards," Martos said. "That's why Ahuizotl's tomb down there is so important."
(This version CORRECTS Corrects spelling of Tlaltecuhtli, ADDS photo links. )

www.svdeals.com super deals

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Study debunks full-moon injury beliefs - Yahoo! News

Study debunks full-moon injury beliefs - Yahoo! News: "Study debunks full-moon injury beliefs "
VIENNA, Austria - Ever whacked your thumb with a hammer, or wrenched your back after lifting a heavy box, and blamed the full moon? It's a popular notion, but there's no cosmic connection, Austrian government researchers said Tuesday.

Robert Seeberger, a physicist and astronomer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said a team of experts analyzed 500,000 industrial accidents in Austria between 2000 and 2004 and found no link to lunar activity.
"The full moon does not unfavorably affect the likelihood of an accident," Seeberger said.
The study, released Tuesday by the General Accident Insurance Office, said that on average there were 415 workplace accidents registered per day. Yet on days when the moon was full, the average actually dipped to 385, though the difference was not statistically significant.
The lunar influence theory dates at least to the first century A.D., when the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder wrote that his observations suggested "the moon produces drowsiness and stupor in those who sleep outside beneath her beams."
Seeberger, who advises the Austrian government on accident prevention, said he and fellow researcher Manfred Huber decided to take a closer look because the full moon theory kept surfacing "again and again."
They also checked for a possible interplay between the rate of accidents and the position of the moon relative to Earth, theorizing that gravity might have some effect in tripping people up at work.
But the moon orbits the planet in almost a perfect circle, and there was also no statistically significant relationship between the accident rate and the moon's closest proximity to Earth.
There were an average 400 accidents on days when the moon nudged closest, the study found, compared to an average 396 per day at other times.
Past studies have differed on whether the full moon affects humans by subtly influencing "biological tides."
A landmark study published in 1984 in the British Medical Journal examined the incidence of crimes reported to police from 1978-82 in three locations in India — one rural, one urban, one industrial — and found a spike in crime on full moon days compared to all other days.
But another study, done in Canada in 1998 by University of Saskatchewan researchers, looked at nearly 250,000 traffic accidents that caused property damage or nonfatal injuries over a nine-year period and found no relationship to the lunar phase.
Most scientists agree that at nearly 239,240 miles away, the moon is simply too distant — and human beings too small — for it to have any significant effect.
"There's no real reason why it should," said D. John Hillier, a professor of astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh who was not involved in the Austria study.
"It's often probably just cases of people remembering that there happened to be a full moon when something occurred," he said. "When nothing special happens, they tend not to notice what the moon is doing. So this selective memory just keeps the legend going."

http://www.svdeals.com/ suoer hot deals

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Too sexy for my bus," woman told - Yahoo! News

"Too sexy for my bus," woman told - Yahoo! News: "Too sexy for my bus,' woman told "
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German bus driver threatened to throw a 20-year-old sales clerk off his bus in the southern town of Lindau because he said she was too sexy, a newspaper reported Monday.
"Suddenly he stopped the bus," the woman named Debora C. told Bild newspaper. "He opened the door and shouted at me 'Your cleavage is distracting me every time I look into my mirror and I can't concentrate on the traffic. If you don't sit somewhere else, I'm going to have to throw you off the bus.'"
The woman, pictured in Bild wearing her snug-fitting summer clothes with the plunging neckline, said she moved to another seat but was humiliated by the bus driver.
A spokesman for the bus company defended the driver.
"The bus driver is allowed to do that and he did the right thing," the spokesman said. "A bus driver cannot be distracted because it's a danger to the safety of all the passengers."

www.visli.com deals deals deals...

2,400-year-old golden mask unearthed - Yahoo! News

2,400-year-old golden mask unearthed - Yahoo! News: " 2,400-year-old golden mask unearthed "
SOFIA, Bulgaria - A 2,400-year-old golden mask that once belonged to a Thracian king was unearthed in a timber-lined tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, archaeologists said Monday.

The mask, discovered over the weekend, was found in the tomb along with a solid gold ring engraved with a Greek inscription and the portrait of a bearded man.
"These finds confirm the assumption that they are part of the lavish burial of a Thracian king," said Margarita Tacheva, a professor who was on the dig near the village of Topolchane, 180 miles east of the capital, Sofia.
Georgi Kitov, the team leader, said that they also found a silver rhyton, silver and bronze vessels, pottery and funerary gifts.
"The artifacts belonged to a Thracian ruler from the end of the 4th century B.C. who was buried here," Kitov added.
According to Kitov, the Thracian civilization was at least equal in terms of development to the ancient Greek one.
The Thracians lived in what is now Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Romania, Macedonia, and Turkey between 4,000 B.C. and the 8th century A.D., when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs.
In 2004, another 2,400-year-old golden mask was unearthed from a Thracian tomb in the same area.
Dozens of Thracian mounds are spread throughout central Bulgaria, which archaeologists have dubbed "the Bulgarian valley of kings" in reference to the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt, home to the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.

www.svdeals.com hot deals

Sex education creates storm in AIDS-stricken India - Yahoo! News

Sex education creates storm in AIDS-stricken India - Yahoo! News: "Sex education creates storm in AIDS-stricken India "
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Moves to bring sex out of the closet in largely conservative India have kicked up a morality debate between educators who say sex education will reduce HIV rates, and critics who fear it will corrupt young minds.

It's an emotive issue pitting modernists against conservatives in a country with the world's highest number of HIV cases at about 5.7 million, a figure that experts say may balloon to over 20 million by 2010.
Biology teacher Thelma Seqeira infuriates conservatives in India every time she tells her students about masturbation, condoms and homosexuality.
Seqeira is doing exactly what India's federal government wants the country's 29 states and seven federally-administered regions to do -- fight the exponential spread of HIV/AIDS with information on safe sex.
"Sex education is the best way to prepare my students for adolescence and protect them from HIV/AIDS," said Seqeira, who teaches at a private school in Maharashtra state, western India.
But the governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh don't agree. They have banned sex education at public schools because they say the learning modules are too explicit, and some pictures are too graphic.
Private schools are able to continue the lessons, but many have watered them down to avoid controversy.
The southern states of Kerala and Karnataka -- considered among India's progressive states with high literacy rates -- are also considering bans.
The Indian government has been unable to stop these bans even as it seeks to curb the spread of HIV. In India, about 86 percent of HIV infections occur through sexual intercourse, one key reason being that migrant workers in cities visit prostitutes and infect their wives when they return home.
Ignorance about sex is widespread in the land of the Kama Sutra, where explicit sex acts are celebrated in ancient temple architecture.
But at home, mothers hesitate to talk to daughters about something as simple as menstruation, and even the basics of the human reproductive system are taught with much embarrassment in schools.
Experts are calling for a change in prudish attitudes to help counter the spread of HIV/AIDS. They say the winds of change must first blow through the country's schools.
"Sex education does not mean you are encouraging sex which is how it's interpreted," Renuka Chowdhury, India's minister for women and child development, told Reuters last month.
"Sex education is an insurance for your child. It will protect your child."
Among the course elements that have generated much heat are discussions on homosexuality and descriptions of sex acts, including masturbation.
Proponents of the ban say the sex education course -- modeled on those taught in many Western countries, will make students imbibe "decadent western morality."
They point to polls showing that an increasing number of young people -- mostly India's moneyed youngsters that live in cities -- have postponed marriage, but not sex.
An India Today poll revealed one in four Indian women between 18 and 30 in 11 cities had sex before marriage. One in three said she was open to having a sexual relationship even if she was not in love.
"AIDS is spreading because of cultural decadence and sexual anarchy," said Shajar Khan, a prominent student leader who opposes sex education at schools.
Analysts say conservative political parties, such as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition group, are panning sex education courses at least partly to make political capital out of opposing the West.
But for parents bringing up children in rapidly modernizing India, sex education may be a matter of life and death.
"The argument that if you teach about sex the children are going to run out and have sex is very unfounded," said Roshni Behuria, a mother of two girls.
"Killing the education bit won't reduce the propensity towards sex. But it just might end up killing safe-sex ignorant young people."


Best Places to Live

Best Places to Live
by Kate Ashford, Asa Fitch, Stephen Gandel, Josh Hyatt, Sarah Max, Jennifer MerrittMonday, July 16, 2007
Some towns have everything any family could want
When you're young, the big city is a great place to be. There comes a point, though, when you're ready to trade night life for shade trees, sushi for pizza and roommates for children.
It's time to find the place where you'll spend the better part of your adult life -- raising your kids, climbing the career ladder and building your family's future. For most folks who have the option, that means a place that's smaller, safer and greener.
Best Places to Live 2007• Most Affordable TownsWhere We'll Live in the FutureGreat Then, Great Now: 20 Years of Best Places
More Real Estate StoriesReal Estate How-to GuidesReal Estate Calculators
But there's a big difference between a gated McMansion subdivision and a town where you can put down roots and participate in a community that has a broader list of concerns than the height of the hedges. The latter are the kinds of places MONEY looks for in naming America's Best Places to Live.
This year we focused on smaller places, between 7,500 and 50,000 in population, that offered the best combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community.
We made a few tweaks to our methodology adding a ranking for ethnic and racial diversity and -- with the cost of housing an issue for so many families - paying extra attention to home prices and property taxes. That meant a few expensive locales that have been on past lists slid in the rankings, while some more affordable places moved up. And the winner is...
1. Middleton, Wis.
100 Best American Towns
Population: 17,400Typical single-family home: $325,000Estimated property taxes: $6,200Pros: Small-town charm; booming economy; extensive parks and bike trailsCons: Do you like winter?
Troy and Sally Mayne liked Madison just fine, but they were looking for something more -- a tight-knit community where their two children could play with friends, go to school and bike to their heart's content. They found what they wanted seven miles away, in Middleton, this year's No. 1 spot. The Maynes bought a home in Middleton Hills, a nationally recognized "new urban" development with large swaths of open space and close proximity to the 520-acre Pheasant Branch conservancy.
Five years on, they feel they have the best of both worlds. They benefit from the economic and cultural advantages that come with Madison's status as home to the University of Wisconsin and as state capital. But the pace of life in Middleton is a little slower, the people friendlier. "In Madison you weren't tied in with the fabric of your community," says Troy, 43, a real estate attorney. "It's just the opposite here."
Many Middletonians, like the Maynes, commute to Madison, where Sally is a government lawyer. But Middleton proper has a strong pool of jobs too, mainly in the pharmaceutical, tech and medical industries. Dollmaker American Girl is one of the town's largest employers, and more outsiders commute to Middleton than residents leave for Madison.
After business hours Middleton has more going on than you might expect for a town of 17,000. The beer garden at the Capital Brewery is host to corporate mixers, and there are good restaurants downtown. But make no mistake: family life is what Middleton is about. In the summer you'll see parents and kids plying the bike trails of the conservancy, splashing in the town's waterslide-equipped pool or sailing on Lake Mendota.
On the downside, winter is tough, and there's not great ethnic diversity. But for Bronx natives Mary and Carmelo Saez, who settled here in 2005 after a long search for a safer community with better schools than they could find close to home, the positives easily outweigh the negatives. First, there's bang for the buck. "There are houses here that you can afford comfortably," says Mary, 35, who works in the district office of the elementary school her girls attend.
Second, there's a sense of tranquility they've longed for. "Out here it's more relaxed," says Carmelo, 37, who teaches adult education in Madison. "People are really comfortable around one another."
2. Hanover, N.H.
Best of the EastPopulation: 8,500Typical single-family home: $385,000Estimated property taxes: $6,000Pros: Rich cultural and community opportunities; diversityCons: Winter isn't for wimps.
Don't be fooled by Hanover's mountain setting or its quiet charms. This isn't your typical New England college town: It's more an international city than a pastoral hideaway. About 20% of residents are nonwhite, and more than two dozen nationalities are represented.
That's partly what led Aharon Boghosian, 50, who left in 1981, to return with his wife and two kids to take over the family business. "We have friendships with people from all over the world and all different cultures," says Boghosian, who runs Gilberte Interiors, the company his Armenian mother started in 1967. Daughter Rachel's classmates hail from as far away as Ghana and Japan.
The world-class teaching hospital Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (just a stone's throw away in Lebanon), a smattering of environmental engineering and mid-size technology firms and, of course, Dartmouth itself all attract the cosmopolitan crowd. Add a downtown dotted with locally owned shops and restaurants and a fully stocked grocery cooperative, throw in a myriad of year-round activities sponsored by the college or the town, and it's easy to see why people love it here.
Being outdoors is simply a way of life in Hanover, says Jan Sayles, who arrived here two years ago with her husband Rick and their two kids, seeking refuge from the New Jersey suburbs. Jan, 42, now often walks a wooded and winding path along the Connecticut River near her home. Rick, an accountant and financial analyst, has joined a growing number of new arrivals who telecommute. "There's a real sense of community spirit and unbelievable cultural opportunities here," says Jan.
Hanover has drawbacks, certainly: It's out of the way -- two hours from Boston and 90 minutes from Manchester, N.H. -- and while you can get a four-bedroom house for less than $400,000, homes close to town can be pricey. The pressures of gentrification have reached the point that the town is developing moderate-income housing. And if you can't stand winter, you won't like Hanover. But if you're the adventurous sort, the skiing and skating are great.
Page 2 Page 3
More from Money on CNNMoney.com:• See snapshots of the 100 Best American Towns• See MONEY's Best Places to Live special


Nev. couple blame Internet for neglect - Yahoo! News

Nev. couple blame Internet for neglect - Yahoo! News: "Nev. couple blame Internet for neglect "
RENO, Nev. - A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.
Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons & Dragons" series, to give their children proper care.
"They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games," Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because her hair was matted with cat urine. The 10-pound girl also had a mouth infection, dry skin and severe dehydration.
Her brother had to be treated for starvation and a genital infection. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking, investigators said.
The Straws have been given public defenders. Jeremy Bosler, head of the county public defender's office, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Saturday.
Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.
While child abuse because of drug addiction is common, abuse rooted in video game addiction is rare, Viloria said.
Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it's a psychological disease.
Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction's correlation to child abuse is "a new spin on an old problem."
"As we become more technologically advanced, there's more distractions," Killen said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it's video games or meth, it's a serious issue, and (we) need to become more aware of it."


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die - CNN.com

Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die - CNN.com: "Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die"
VRINDAVAN, India (CNN) -- Ostracized by society, India's widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die. They are found on side streets, hunched over with walking canes, their heads shaved and their pain etched by hundreds of deep wrinkles in their faces.

A widow makes her way in Vrindavan, India, where an estimated 15,000 widows live on the streets.

Hindu widows are shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition -- and because they're seen as a financial drain on their families.
They cannot remarry. They must not wear jewelry. They are forced to shave their heads and typically wear white. Even their shadows are considered bad luck.
Hindus have long believed that death in Vrindavan will free them from the cycle of life and death. For widows, they hope death will save them from being condemned to such a life again. Watch how some widows are rebelling »
"Does it feel good?" says 70-year-old Rada Rani Biswas. "Now I have to loiter just for a bite to eat."
Biswas speaks with a strong voice, but her spirit is broken. When her husband of 50 years died, she was instantly ostracized by all those she thought loved her, including her son.
"My son tells me: 'You have grown old. Now who is going to feed you? Go away,' " she says, her eyes filling with tears. "What do I do? My pain had no limit."
As she speaks, she squats in front of one of Vrindavan's temples, her life reduced to begging for scraps of food.
There are an estimated 40 million widows in India, many of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married.
It's believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a city of about 55,000 in northern India.
"Widows don't have many social rights within the family," says Ranjana Kumari with the Center for Social Research, a group that works to empower women.
The situation is much more extreme within India's rural community. "There, it is much more tradition-bound; in urban areas, there are more chances and possibilities to live a normal life."
But the majority of India's 1.1 billion population is rural. "The government recognizes the problem," Kumari says. "It can do a lot, but it's not doing enough."
Don't miss
Guild of Service
Widows' Rights International
Impact your world
One woman, a widow herself, is working for change. Dr. Mohini Giri has formed an organization called the Guild of Service, which helps destitute women and children.
Giri's mother was widowed when Giri was 9 years old, and she saw what a struggle it was. Then, Giri lost her husband when she was 50, enduring the social humiliation that comes with being a widow. At times, she was asked not to attend weddings because her presence was considered bad luck.
"Generally all widows are ostracized," she says. "An educated woman may have money and independence, but even that is snatched away when she becomes a widow. We live in a patriarchal society. Men say that culturally as a widow you cannot do anything: You cannot grow your hair, you should not look beautiful."
She adds, "It's the mind-set of society we need to change -- not the women."
Seven years ago, Giri's organization set up a refuge called Amar Bari, or "My Home," in Vrindavan. It has become a refuge for about 120 of India's widows. Giri's organization is set to open a second home, one that will house another 500 widows.
But as she says, "Mine is but a drop in the bucket."
At Amar Bari, most widows reject traditional white outfits and grow out their hair. Along the open air corridors that link the house's courtyard are green wooden doors, leading to dark tiny rooms, home for each widow. See the widows of Vrindavan »
Bent over by osteoporosis, 85-year-old Promita Das meticulously and slowly sweeps the floor just outside her door and then carefully cleans her dishes.
"I came here when I couldn't work anymore. I used to clean houses," she says. "Nobody looked after me, nobody loved me. I survived on my own."
She married at 12 and was widowed at 15. Seventy years later, she finds herself at Amar Bari. "I used to live in front of a temple, but then I came here," she says.
She carries with her not only the pain of a life without love, but also the loss of her only child. She gave birth at 14; her baby lived a year.
Another widow, Ranu Mukherjee, wearing a bright red-patterned sari, shows off her room at the home and wants to sing for her guests. The lyrics of her song are about a lost traveler.
"When did you come here after losing your way?" she sings. "When I remember the days gone by I feel sad."


Monday, July 02, 2007

Mystery room discovered at China's terra cotta tomb - CNN.com

Mystery room discovered at China's terra cotta tomb - CNN.com

var clickExpire = "08/1/2007";

BEIJING, China (AP) -- Chinese researchers say they have found a strange pyramid-shaped chamber while surveying the massive underground tomb of China's first emperor and theorize it was built as a passageway for his soul.

Thousands of terra cotta warriors were discovered more than 20 years ago near the ancient capital of Xi'an.

Remote sensing equipment has revealed what appears to be a 100-foot-high room above Emperor Qin Shihuang's tomb near the ancient capital of Xi'an in Shaanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.
The room has not been excavated. Diagrams of the chamber are based on data gathered over five years, starting in 2002, using radar and other remote sensing technologies, the news agency said.
Archaeologist Liu Qingzhu of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was quoted as saying the room is unlike any ever found in a Chinese tomb.
"Qin himself was very unusual, so it's not unexpected that his tomb should also be unique," Liu told the news agency.
Archaeologists theorize that because the room was built on top of Qin's mausoleum and seems to have ladder-like steps leading up, it was intended as a passageway for his spirit, Xinhua said.
Qin, who ruled from 221-210 B.C., is credited with starting construction of the Great Wall and commissioning an army of terra cotta soldiers to guard his tomb.
Thousands of the terra cotta warriors were discovered more than 20 years ago by peasants from a local commune who were sinking wells

www.svdeals.com hot sexy deals

Friday, June 29, 2007

Scientists fly into raptures over flightless Fred - Yahoo! News

Scientists fly into raptures over flightless Fred - Yahoo! News: "Scientists fly into raptures over flightless Fred "
BOIS CHERI, Mauritius (Reuters) - The remains of a dodo found in a cave beneath bamboo and tea plantations in Mauritius offer the best chance yet to learn about the extinct flightless bird, a scientist said on Friday.

The discovery was made earlier this month in the Mauritian highlands but the location was kept secret until the recovery of the skeleton, nicknamed "Fred," was completed on Friday. Four men guarded the site overnight.
Julian Hume, a paleontologist at Britain's Natural History Museum, told Reuters the remains were likely to yield excellent DNA and other vital clues, because they were found intact, in isolation, and in a cave.
"The geneticists who want to get their hands on this will be skipping down the street," he said, after bringing the last of the remains to the surface.
Given the nickname "Fred" after the 65-year-old who found them, the remains should provide the first decent specimens of dodo DNA, he said.
"Then you can work out how it actually got to Mauritius, because it must have originally flown here before evolving into flightlessness and the big, fat bird that we know," he said.
"We know it's a giant pigeon," he added.
It the first discovery of dodo remains away from the coastal regions, suggesting that the bird, extinct since the 17th century, lived all over the Indian Ocean island, he said.
Hume said the dodo was almost certainly finished off by animals introduced by Europeans about 400 years ago. Theories that it was hunted to extinction by the Dutch were "total nonsense," he said, adding that the remains were highly fragile.
"If you try and pick it up, it just falls apart," he said. "You won't see a mounted, beautiful thing from this."

www.svdeals.com Bad for seller deals

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Egypt outlaws all female circumcision - Yahoo! News

Egypt outlaws all female circumcision - Yahoo! News: "Egypt outlaws all female circumcision"
CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt on Thursday finally banned all female circumcision, the widely-practised removal of the clitoris which just days ago cost the life of a 12-year-old girl.

Officially the practice, which affects both Muslim and Christian women in Egypt and goes back to the time of the pharoahs, was banned in 1997 but doctors were allowed to operate "in exceptional cases".
On Thursday, Health Minister Hatem al-Gabali decided to ban every doctor and member of the medical profession, in public or private establishments, from carrying out a clitoridectomy, a ministry press official told AFP.
Any circumcision "will be viewed as a violation of the law and all contraventions will be punished," said the official, adding that it was a "permanent ban".
A survey in 2000 said the practice was carried out on 97 percent of the country's women.
In the latest fatality, 12-year-old Bedur Ahmed Shaker was taken by her mother to a private clinic in Minya, a town on the Nile south of Cairo, for the operation. She died before she could be transferred to hospital.
Her mother accused the woman doctor of negligence, charging that her daughter's death was linked to the anaesthetic and not the removal of the clitoris, for which she had paid 50 pounds (nearly nine dollars). Police have arrested both women.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Yao Ming to wed sweetheart in August - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

Yao Ming to wed sweetheart in August - NBA - Yahoo! Sports: "Yao Ming to wed sweetheart in August"

SHANGHAI (AFP) - China's All Star NBA centre Yao Ming will wed his teenage sweetheart from Shanghai in August, after an eight-year courtship, state press reported Monday.
Yao, who has kept his love life closely guarded from the media, will marry Ye Li in a private family ceremony possibly in Shanghai, the eastern metropolis where they were born, met and began dating, the Titan Sports Weekly said.
"This is a match based on pure love," the paper said.

The 2.26 metre (seven-foot-six-inch) centre first met Ye in 1999 when he was playing for the Shanghai Sharks men's team and the 1.9 metre Ye was with the club's women's team.
Ye has since gone on to play for the national side, but has been plagued with injuries in recent years.
The two were seen walking hand-in-hand at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympics, when their courtship first became public.
According to Titan Sports, Ye, 25, has been a regular at Yao's home in Texas where he stars for the Houston Rockets. She has also studied English at the University of Houston.
Yao, 27, is expected to return to China in July to train and will play matches with the national team in September.
The paper played down widespread rumors on the Internet and in the Chinese media that Yao's wedding would be broadcast live on television, with China's Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler Liu Xiang acting as the master-of-ceremonies.
"On that day there will be no media, basically it will only be relatives from both sides attending," the paper said.
"Yao Ming and Ye Li are doing what they can to protect themselves. They do not want to see any outside factors interfering."

http://www.svdeals.com/ super value deals

Eat potatoes for strong immunity-Health/Science-The Times of India

Eat potatoes for strong immunity-Health/Science-The Times of India: "Eat potatoes for strong immunity"

LONDON: Eating potatoes could have a beneficial effect on the immune system, says a study conducted by Spanish researchers. The vegetable is considered to be rich in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins and has good doses of minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. It has long been known that potatoes are good for bowel health. It is believed to be good for the immune system, particularly if eaten cold or in a salad, the researchers write in Chemistry & Industry, a magazine of the Society of Chemical Industry. The scientists carried out a study where they fed growing pigs large quantities of raw potato starch (RPS) for over 14 weeks and found that they had healthier bowels. They also found that these pigs had decreased levels of white blood cells - such as leucocytes and lymphocytes in their blood. White blood cells are produced due to inflammation or when a person is ill to fight the disease, reports the science portal EurekAlert. The general decrease in leucocytes observed by the researchers suggests an overall beneficial effect, according to immunology expert Lena Ohman at the Department of Internal Medicine, Göteborg University, Sweden. Said José Francisco Pérez, the lead researcher from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: "The use of raw potato starch in this experiment is designed to simulate the effects of a diet high in resistant starch." Humans do not eat raw potatoes, but they do eat a lot of foods that contain resistant starch, such as cold boiled potatoes, legumes, grains, green bananas, pasta and cereals. About 10 per cent of the starch eaten by humans is resistant starch - starch that is not digested in the small intestine and so is shunted into the large intestine where it ferments. Starch consumption is thought to reduce the risk of large bowel cancer and may also have an effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The decrease in white blood cells observed is therefore interesting, and a diet of resistant starch may be worth trying in IBS patients, an expert said.

http://www.svdeals.com/ super hot deals....

Dry cleaner wins missing pants case - Yahoo! News

Dry cleaner wins missing pants case - Yahoo! News: "Dry cleaner wins missing pants case "
WASHINGTON - A judge ruled Monday in favor of a dry cleaner that was sued for $54 million over a missing pair of pants.
The owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's consumer protection law by failing to live up to Roy L. Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store window, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled.
"A reasonable consumer would not interpret 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands" or to agree to demands that the merchant would have reasonable grounds for disputing, the judge wrote.
Bartnoff ordered Pearson to pay the court costs of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung.
Pearson, an administrative law judge, originally sought $67 million from the Chungs, claiming they lost a pair of trousers from a blue and maroon suit, then tried to give him a pair a pair of charcoal gray pants that he said were not his. He arrived at the amount by adding up years of alleged law violations and almost $2 million in common law fraud claims.
Bartnoff wrote, however, that Pearson failed to prove that the pants the dry cleaner tried to return were not the pants he taken in for alterations.
Pearson later dropped demands for damages related to the pants and focused his claims on signs in the shop, which have since been removed.
The court costs amount to just over $1,000 for photocopying, filing and similar expenses, according to the Chungs' attorney. A motion to recover the Chungs' tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees will be considered later.
Chris Manning, the Chungs' attorney, praised the ruling, which followed a two-day trial earlier this month.
"Judge Bartnoff has spoken loudly in suggesting that, while consumers should be protected, abusive lawsuits like this will not be tolerated," Manning said in a statement. "Judge Bartnoff has chosen common sense and reasonableness over irrationality and unbridled venom."
Pearson did not immediately respond to a call and an e-mail seeking comment.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Three thousand year-old mummy discovered in Egypt - Yahoo! News

Three thousand year-old mummy discovered in Egypt - Yahoo! News: "Three thousand year-old mummy discovered in Egypt "
CAIRO (AFP) - Archaeologists have discovered the 3,000-year-old mummy of a high priest to the god Amun in the southern city of Luxor, antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass told the official MENA news agency on Saturday.
The 18th Dynasty mummy of Sennefer was unearthed in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings -- one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world -- by a team from Britain's Cambridge University.
"The mummy was found in tomb 99 in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of Luxor," Hawass said.
A high priest was considered to be the most important man after the king, performing duties, religious rituals and offerings on his behalf.
Other mummies were found during the excavation, including one with a brain tumour, a foetus, a female mummy wrapped in plaster and others which appeared to have suffered from arthritis, Hawass said.
The Valley of the Kings was used as a burial site for royalty and nobles to the west of present day Luxor, some 700 kilometres (450 miles) south of Cairo.
Millions of foreign tourists come to see Egypt's pharaonic treasures each year, including hundreds of thousands making the long journey south from the capital to the Valley of the Kings.
Hawass said a report on the findings would be presented to Culture Minister Faruq Hosni, in order to allocate resources for continued excavations in the area.

www.visli.com deals of the day

Eldest boy in family does best-Health/Science-The Times of India

Eldest boy in family does best-Health/Science-The Times of India

WASHINGTON: Boys at the top of the pecking order — either by birth or because their older siblings died — score higher on IQ tests than their younger brothers. The question of whether firstborn and only children are really smarter than those who come along later has been hotly debated for more than a century. Norwegian researchers now report that it isn’t a matter of being born first, but growing up the senior child, that seems to result in the higher IQ scores. Petter Kristensen and Tor Bjerkedal report their findings in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. It’s a matter of what they call social rank in the family — the highest scores were racked up by the senior boy — the first born or, if the firstborn had died in infancy, the next oldest. Kristensen, of Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health, and Bjerkedal, of the Norwegian Armed Forces Medical Services, studied the IQ test results of 241,310 Norwegian men drafted into the armed forces between 1967 and 1976. All were aged 18 or 19 at the time. The average IQ of first-born men was 103.2, they found. Second-born men averaged 101.2, but second-born men whose older sibling died in infancy scored 102.9. And for third-borns, the average was 100.0. But if both older siblings died young, the third-born score rose to 102.6. The findings provide "evidence that the relation between birth order and IQ score is dependent on the social rank in the family and not birth order as such," they concluded. It’s an issue that has perplexed people since at least 1874, when Sir Francis Galton reported that men in prominent positions tend to be firstborns more often than would have been statistically expected. Since then, several studies have reported higher intelligence scores for firstborns, while other analyses have questioned those findings and the methodology of the reports. While the Norwegian analysis focused on men, other studies have included women, some indicating a birth-order effect and some not. Frank J Sulloway of the Institute for Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, welcomed what he called the Norwegians’ "elegantly designed" analysis. "These two researchers demonstrate that how study participants were raised, not how they were born, is what actually influences their IQs," said Sulloway, who was not part of the research team. The elder child pulls ahead, he said, perhaps as a result of learning gained through the process of tutoring younger brothers and sisters. The older child benefits by having to organise and express its thoughts to tutor youngsters, he said, while the later children may have no one to tutor.

http://www.svdeals.com/ hot electronics deals...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blind People Have Superior Memory Skills - Yahoo! News

Blind People Have Superior Memory Skills - Yahoo! News: "Blind People Have Superior Memory Skills "

Blind people are whizzes at remembering things in the right order, scientists now find.
In the absence of vision, the world is experienced as sequences, explained neurobiologist Ehud Zohary of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For instance, to identify otherwise indistinguishable objects, such as different brands of yogurt that vary only in their labeling, the blind typically place objects in arrangements of their own making and give mental tags for each of them, such as “the second item on the left.”
Zohary and his colleagues reasoned that since the blind constantly use memory strategies to remember things are, that “practice makes perfect,” giving the blind superior memory skills for other tasks.
The scientists tested 19 congenitally blind and 19 sighted people in two memory tasks. In the first, the volunteers heard a list of 20 words and had to recall them. In the second, they had to remember not just the words, but their order in the list as well.
Blind volunteers recalled 20 to 35 percent more words than sighted ones did, indicating a better memory overall. Their greatest advantage, however, was the ability to remember roughly twice as many more words in sequences according to the right order, findings detailed online June 21 in the journal Current Biology.
“Normally 20 to 30 percent of the brain is basically devoted to vision. With the congenitally blind, you have this brain area, the visual cortex, not getting its natural input,” Zohary told LiveScience. “We had shown that congenitally blind people appeared to be using the visual cortex for other needs, and now we may be seeing part of how this area is getting used for other functions, to maybe be more involved in memory and language processes.”

http://www.svdeals.com/ deals of the day

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rare giant manta born at Japan aquarium - Yahoo! News

Rare giant manta born at Japan aquarium - Yahoo! News: "Rare giant manta born at Japan aquarium "

Rare giant manta born at Japan aquarium
By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer Sun Jun 17, 7:35 AM ET
TOKYO - What is believed to be the first giant manta ray born in captivity has arrived at a southern Japanese aquarium, the facility said Sunday.

The baby manta, a female, was born late Saturday in a huge fish tank at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, more than a year after its parents mated, the aquarium said in a statement posted Sunday on its Web site.
In a video capturing the birth, the baby manta, rolled up like a tube, came sliding out of the mother manta, then quickly spread its fins and began swimming around.
The scene, recorded by the aquarium, was broadcast by national broadcaster NHK on Sunday.
The event marks the first birth of a manta in captivity, according to the aquarium, which started raising manta rays in 1988.
Noriyasu Suzuki, an official at the Izu-Mito Sea Paradise commercial aqua zoo in western Japan, said he thought the birth in captivity could be a world first.
"I've never heard of any other case before," he said. "Aquariums that raise manta rays are rare to begin with ... because they get so big."
According to the aquarium, the newborn manta was more than six feet wide.
The mother manta, which was brought to the aquarium in 1998 after hitting a fishnet off the southern island of Okinawa, about 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo, mated with its partner on June 8, 2006, and was pregnant with the baby for 374 days, according to the statement.
Aquarium official Minoru Toda said little has been known about the life of manta rays, and the record of pregnancy and the birth would provide valuable scientific data to the studies of the species.
"We unfolded some of the mysteries about the life of manta rays, including the length of their pregnancy," Toda said. "Now we have to make sure the baby grows in good health."

http://www.svdeals.com/ super value deals

Monday, June 18, 2007

Yahoo's Terry Semel Steps Down As CEO: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo's Terry Semel Steps Down As CEO: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "Yahoo's Terry Semel Steps Down As CEO"
Yahoo Chairman Terry Semel Steps Down As Chief Executive; Co-Founder Jerry Yang to Take Over
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel stepped down as chief executive in a surprise move Monday, ending his increasingly ineffectual pursuit of online search leader Google Inc. -- a losing battle that had demoralized Yahoo's shareholders and employees.

The Sunnyvale-based company appointed co-founder Jerry Yang as its new CEO and named Susan Decker as its president. Decker, who had been touted as Semel's heir apparent, was recently promoted from Yahoo's chief financial officer to oversee the company's advertising operations.
Semel, 64, will remain chairman in a non-executive role after spending the past six years running the company.
"I saw myself as more of a coach than a player going forward," Semel told analysts and media during a Monday conference call.
Signaling Semel's decision was voluntary, Yahoo said he will not receive a severance package. The former movie studio executive already has made a fortune since joining Yahoo in May 2001, having realized nearly $450 million in gains by exercising some of the stock options that he received during his tenure.
Despite Yahoo's recent struggles, Semel received another big bundle of stock options last year that boosted the value of his 2006 compensation package to $71.7 million. That was more than any other CEO among 386 publicly held companies covered in an Associated Press analysis of executive compensation using new rules dictated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In Monday's conference call, an emotional Yang hailed Semel as "a role model and mentor" and then sought to defuse recent speculation that Yahoo might be sold to Microsoft Corp. or another suitor hoping to exploit the recent turmoil at the company.
"I am totally excited and energized about assuming the leadership of this great company," Yang said. "We have a long and prosperous future if we execute correctly."
Yang, 38, still owns a 4 percent stake in the company. Fellow co-founder David Filo, who is helping to run Yahoo's technology group after the sudden retirement of the department's leader earlier this month, owns a 6 percent stake.
Monday's shake-up unfolded less than a week after Semel faced off with shareholders disillusioned with a nearly 30 percent drop in Yahoo's stock price during the past 18 months as its financial growth fell further behind Google's torrid pace.
Mountain View-based Google now makes more money in a single quarter than Yahoo does in an entire year. The contrast represents a startling comedown for Yahoo, which was the larger of the two companies when Google went public in August 2004.
Since then, Google has steadily expanded upon the Internet's largest advertising network to create nearly $140 billion in shareholder wealth as its stock price increased by more than six-fold. Yahoo's stock, meanwhile, is worth a little bit less than when Google went public.
Google's meteoric rise also has decimated the employee morale at Yahoo, leading to a recent wave of executive departures that raised concerns about whether the company would be able to retain the talent it needs to regain its stride.
Just last week, Semel assured shareholders attending Yahoo's annual meeting that he had the fortitude to lead a comeback. He has been counting on recent improvements to Yahoo's online advertising system and a series of key partnerships to boost profits after the company suffered an 11 percent drop in its first-quarter earnings.
In Monday's conference call, Decker said the advertising upgrade, known as Panama, is delivering results that so far have exceeded management's expectations.
Yahoo shares gained 81 cents finish at $28.12 Monday, then surged $1.14, or 4.1 percent, in the extended session.

http://www.svdeals.com/ super value deals

80,000-year-old Beads Shed Light on Early Culture - Yahoo! News

80,000-year-old Beads Shed Light on Early Culture - Yahoo! News: "80,000-year-old Beads Shed Light on Early Culture "
80,000-year-old Beads Shed Light on Early Culture
Heather WhippsSpecial to LiveScienceLiveScience.com 2 hours, 43 minutes ago
Even the very first modern humans may have spruced themselves up with beaded bling.Twelve shell beads discovered in a cave in eastern Morocco have been dated at more than 80,000 years old, making them one of the earliest examples of human culture. The beads are colored with red ochre and show signs of being strung together.Similar beads have been found in other parts of Africa and the Middle East, suggesting the first Homo sapiens literally carried their penchant for baubles with them as they populated the world. "If you draw a triangle covering the three furthest known locations of Homo sapiens between 75,000–120,000 years ago, that triangle stretches from South Africa to Morocco to
Israel' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> Israel," said study co-author Chris Stringer of London's Natural History Museum."Shell beads are now known at all three points of that triangle," Stringer added. "So such behavior had probably spread right across the early human range by this time, and would have been carried by modern humans as they dispersed from Africa in the last 100,000 years."The findings are detailed in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> National Academy of Sciences. Oxford University's Institute of Archaeology and Morocco's National Institute for Archaeological Sciences led the project. The beads found in Morocco aren't the oldest in existence. That title belongs to two tiny shells discovered in Israel in the 1930s and dated at 100,000 years old. The shells are pierced with holes and were probably also hung as pendants or necklaces, archaeologists say. Combined, the finds hint at the extent of the culture and symbolism being practiced by the earliest modern humans. Art and decoration like the beads are considered good indicators of how human behavior evolved from Africa to other parts of the globe. "A major question in evolutionary studies today is 'how early did humans begin to think and behave in ways we would see as fundamentally modern?'," said co-author Nick Barton of Oxford University. "The appearance of ornaments such as these may be linked to a growing sense of self-awareness and identity among humans."Some researchers have suggested that humans didn't become culturally modern until they reached Europe about 35,000 years ago. But Europe, which doesn't show evidence of similar jewelry or customs until much later, actually lagged behind in cultural development, Stringer said. "This research shows that a long lasting and widespread bead-working tradition associated with early modern humans extended through Africa to the Middle East well before comparable evidence appears in Europe," Stringer said in a 2006 prepared statement, commenting on the just-released, very ancient dates for the Israeli beads."Modern human anatomy and behavior have deep roots in Africa and were widespread by 75,000 years ago, even though they may not have appeared in Europe for another 35,000 years," he said.
Tattooed Mummy With Jewelry Found in Peru
Chimps Spotted Using Caves, Like Early Humans
First Humans: Time of Origin Pinned Down
Original Story: 80,000-year-old Beads Shed Light on Early Culture

http://www.svdeals.com/ super valu deals

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ancient Rome comes back to life in virtual model - Yahoo! News

Ancient Rome comes back to life in virtual model - Yahoo! News: "Ancient Rome comes back to life in virtual model "
ROME (Reuters) - Tourists puzzled by the jumble of buildings in classical and modern Rome can now find their bearings by visiting a virtual model of the imperial capital in what is being billed as the world's biggest computer simulation of an ancient city.
"Rome Reborn" was unveiled on Monday in a first release showing the city at its peak in 320 AD, under the Emperor Constantine when it had grown to a million inhabitants.
Brainchild of the University of Virginia's Bernard Frischer, Rome Reborn (www.romereborn.virginia.edu) will eventually show its evolution from Bronze Age hut settlements to the Sack of Rome in the 5th century AD and the devastating Gothic Wars.
Reproduced for tourists on satellite-guided handsets and 3-D orientation movies in a theatre to be opened near the Colosseum, Frischer says his model "will prepare them for their visit to the Colosseum, the Forum, the imperial palaces on the Palatine, so that they can understand the ruins a lot better."
"We can take people under the Colosseum and show them how the elevators worked to bring the animals up from underground chambers for the animal hunts they held," he said, referring to the great Roman amphitheatre inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD.
Frischer's model is sourced from ancient maps and building catalogues detailing "apartment buildings, private houses, inns, storage facilities, bakeries and even brothels," plus digital images of the vast "Plastico di Roma Antica" model built from plaster of Paris in 1936-74, which measures 16 by 17 meters.
The "reverse modeling" by Frischer and the Politecnico di Milano and University of Florence enables scholars to populate ancient monuments with virtual reality figures for experiments on practical details like ventilation, capacity or acoustics.
"For example, in scholarly literature the Colosseum has a great reputation for being a great people mover where people could find their seats very quickly. But estimates of the carrying capacity vary wildly from 35,000 to 78,000," he said.
Engineers have populated his model with virtual spectators to narrow down that estimate to 48,000-50,000 people.
The model can also show how the Romans, who worshipped the sun and moon, aligned their buildings with the summer solstice.

www.svdeals.com super value deals

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Johnson beats horse in run for charity - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

Johnson beats horse in run for charity - NFL - Yahoo! Sports: "Johnson beats horse in run for charity"
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Chad Johnson got a head start without having to jump offside, and beat his coverage to the goal line again.
The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was waiting at the finish line when Restore the Roar arrived at the end of his one-eighth-mile gallop. That's right: Johnson raced a horse Saturday and easily won.
Johnson was spotted a 100-meter lead -- roughly about half the distance the horse had to cover in the race for charity. And when it was over, Johnson, as usual, was anything but humble. He sounded ready to take on boxing, basketball and NASCAR.
"Floyd Mayweather, you're next," Johnson said. "I want to fight you. I'd like to take Kobe and LeBron one-on-one. Jeff Gordon, we can take a couple laps. ... Now it's my time to take over the race world."
The 4-year-old colt's jockey, P.J. Cooksey, rode a horse that beat former Bengals receiver Cris Collinsworth in 1993. She sounded more impressed with Johnson's speed.
"He's quick," Cooksey said. "He's a fast man. That was phenomenal. When I looked over at him, all I could see were his legs; they looked like a windmill. He was a blur. I was beat bad."

www.visli.com super value deals

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Over 600 million worldwide work excessive hours: ILO - Yahoo! News

Over 600 million worldwide work excessive hours: ILO - Yahoo! News: "Over 600 million worldwide work excessive hours: ILO "
GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 600 million people worldwide work excessively long hours, with Peruvians topping the list and Britons the worst offenders amongst rich nations, the International Labour Organisation reported on Thursday.
In a report on working trends in 50 countries, the
United Nations' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> United Nations agency said progress towards a maximum 48-hour week was still uneven nearly 100 years after the standard was agreed by ILO members.
More than half (50.9 percent) of Peruvians work more than 48 hours a week followed by South Koreans (49.5), Thais (46.7) and Pakistanis (44.4).
In developed countries, where working hours are generally shorter, 25.7 percent of British workers put in more than 48 hours a week followed by Israelis (25.5), Australians (20.4), Swiss (19.2) and U.S. workers (18.1).
"The good news is that progress has been made in regulating normal working hours in developing and transition countries, but overall the findings of this study are definitely worrying," said Jon C. Messenger, co-author of the ILO study.
The ILO says shorter working hours benefit workers' health and family lives, reduce accidents at the workplace and generally make workers more productive.
The growth of service industries, such as tourism and transport, and the expanding informal economy, where workers are not under contract, contributed to longer working hours, the ILO said.
Both elements are signs of increasing globalization, it said.

www.svdeals.com super value deals

Most Distant Black Hole Discovered - Yahoo! News

Most Distant Black Hole Discovered - Yahoo! News: "Most Distant Black Hole Discovered"

The most distant black hole ever found is nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth, astronomers announced today.
if(window.yzq_d==null)window.yzq_d=new Object();
The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope spotted the bright burst of light the black hole created as it sucked up nearby gas, heating it and causing it to glow very brightly in what's known as a quasar.
The distance to the quasar, which sits in the constellation Pisces, was determined by measuring the amount of redshift in the lines of the quasar's spectrum, or prism of light. Because light is "redshifted" to longer wavelengths as an object moves away from an observer, the higher the redshift, the further away the object is-and this quasar had quite a large redshift.
"As soon as I saw the spectrum with its booming emission line, I knew this one was a long way away," said team member Chris Willott of the University of Ottawa.
Because the Big Bang is believed to have occurred around 13.7 billion years ago, astronomers are seeing the quasar as it appeared a mere 1 billion years after the Big Bang, which gives them a unique view into universe's past.
Sometime around the universe's one billionth birthday, the first stars and galaxies began to shine and ionized all of the hydrogen atoms in the universe (or removed an electron from each atom). The quasar's bright light illuminates the hydrogen gas in front of it, which lets astronomers see whether the atoms still have their electrons attached or not, which could help pin down the date of this momentous event.
The quasar might also be able to help astronomers learn about the growth of the first black holes; the black hole powering this quasar is estimated to be about 500 million times the mass of the sun, which is thought to be unusual for an early black hole.
"It is puzzling how such enormous black holes are found so early on in the universe ... because we believe that black holes take a long time to grow," said team member John Hutchings of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.
The finding was announced at the annual conference of the Canadian Astronomical Society.
Video: All About Black Holes
Sky Search Yields Most Distant Object Ever Found
Vote: The Strangest Things in Space

www.svdeals.com super value deals

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Deep Hole Found on Mars - Yahoo! News

Deep Hole Found on Mars - Yahoo! News: "Deep Hole Found on Mars "
very dark spot on Mars could be an entrance to a deep hole or cavern, according to scientists studying imagery taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
var lrec_target="_top";var lrec_URL=new Array();
var lrec_fv="clickTAG="+encodeURIComponent(lrec_URL[1]);
var lrec_swf="http://ads.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/so/southern_california_gas/20th_300x250.swf";
var lrec_altURL="http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=12h64klbc/M=589381.10536993.11321302.1442997/D=news/S=28762107:LREC/_ylt=AiA5tFVHj4S2n.lRgb5YvET737YB/Y=YAHOO/EXP=1181164663/A=4588554/R=1/id=altimg/SIG=11s5arih7/*http://www.socalgas.com/residential/myaccount/index3.shtml";
var lrec_altimg="http://ads.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/so/southern_california_gas/300x250.gif";
var lrec_w=300;var lrec_h=250;
on error resume next
if(window.yzq_d==null)window.yzq_d=new Object();
The geological oddity measures some 330 feet (100 meters) across and is located on an otherwise bright dusty lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons, one of the four giant Tharsis volcanoes on the red planet.
The hole might be the sort of place that could support life or serve as a habitat for future astronauts, researchers speculated.
Must be deep
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) used its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument to draw a bead on the apparent deep hole - a feature that may cause more scientists to ponder about potential subsurface biology on Mars.
Because the spot lacks a raised rim or tossed out material called ejecta, researchers have ruled out the pit being an impact crater. No walls or other details can be seen inside the hole, and so any possible walls might be perfectly vertical and extremely dark or - more likely - overhanging.
HiRISE image specialists said the pit must be very deep to prevent detection of the floor from natural daylight, which is quite bright on Mars.
In April, it was announced that the
NASA' name=c1> SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web' name=c3> NASA Mars Odyssey and its Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) found near the equator seven dark spots that scientists think could be entrances to underground caves.
Meanwhile, MRO is ready to target the dark spots on Mars over the coming months as opportunities arise, explained HiRISE principal investigator, Alfred McEwen, of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
"We especially want oblique images from the west, to see illuminated walls. These are deep holes with overhanging walls, but perhaps not long caves," McEwen told SPACE.com.
Cave dwellers
Caves on Mars gives rise to thinking about subsurface life on the planet, notes Peter Smith, principal investigator for NASA's next outbound mission to that distant and dusty world, the Phoenix lander. The deeper and deeper you go down on Mars, the warmer and warmer it gets, Smith said, and at some point the conditions are just right where liquid water is stable.
Moreover, could caves be linked to underground fractures allowing water vapor to be trapped inside, Smith speculates, perhaps the sort of comfy environment ideal for biology.
Smith said caves on Mars are an exciting find. "We can't say what's in the caves. It's just that they exist. It is hard to tell from orbit. Landers can follow up on these discoveries."
Penny Boston, director of cave and karst studies at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico, has been working on a Caves of Mars Project, funded by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts.
Not only are natural caves of biological interest, Boston says, they could also serve as habitats for future human explorers - nifty underground housing to protect against the high-radiation environment of Mars. Additionally, caves offer easier subsurface access for direct exploration and drilling, she suggests, and may provide extractable minerals, gases, and ices.
The 10 Best Mars Images Ever
Top 10 Strangest Things in Space
Image Gallery: A Tour of Mars
Original Story: Deep Hole Found on Mars

www.svdeals.com deals of the day

Prehistoric iceman "Otzi" died from arrow wound - Yahoo! News

Prehistoric iceman "Otzi" died from arrow wound - Yahoo! News: "Prehistoric iceman 'Otzi' died from arrow wound "
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's prehistoric iceman "Otzi" died from a shoulder wound inflicted by an arrow, according to research into his perfectly preserved 5,000-year old body.
Otzi, the oldest mummy unearthed, was found in the Italian Alps in 1991 wearing clothing made from leather and grasses and carrying a copper axe, a bow and arrows.
Though Otzi's body underwent several scientific tests to study life in the prehistoric age, it had so far been unclear whether he died from an arrow wound, a bad fall or severe freezing while climbing the high mountains.
Using modern X-ray technology, however, an Italian-Swiss research team said on Wednesday it had proved the cause of death as a lesion on an artery close to the shoulder, caused by an arrowhead that remains in the iceman's back.
A large haematoma -- or a collection of blood due to internal bleeding -- could also be seen in the surrounding tissue, and the iceman probably died shortly after the lesion was caused, researchers concluded.
Researchers had previously suggested he was killed by a rival hunter after putting up a fight, and concluded that his final meals consisted of venison and ibex meat.
The latest results on the research appeared online in the Journal of Archaeological Science and will be published in the

www.svdeals.com deals of the day

Scare as man tries to board popemobile - CNN.com

Scare as man tries to board popemobile - CNN.com: "Scare as man tries to board popemobile"
ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Vatican police have detained a man who tried to jump into the back of the open-air vehicle carrying Pope Benedict XVI to his weekly address in St. Peter's Square.
The man, aged between 20 and 30, was not armed and the pope's life was never in danger, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN. It is not clear if he will be charged.
Video showed the man, wearing a red t-shirt, dark shorts, a baseball cap and sunglasses, launch himself over a crowd of people waving flags and holding banners on the side of the street as the popemobile passed by.
The man then jumped over the barricade and seemed to touch the back of the vehicle before at least six men in dark suits wrestled him to the ground. (Watch the pope's security guards wrestle the man to the ground )
The pontiff continued waving and did not look behind him where the incident took place.
After being questioned by Vatican police, the man will be handed over to Italian police for further questioning.
Every Wednesday, the pope gives an address, or general audience, to crowds who gather in St. Peter's Square.
Although it was quickly over, the incident recalled the attempt on the life of Benedict's predecessor John Paul II on May 13, 1981, also in St. Peter's Square.
Turkish assailant Ali Agca shot and seriously wounded the Polish pope as he was leaving the square following a general audience.
CNN's Alessio Vinci says people entering the square are screened with metal detectors. "There are thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people in the square, so security screening can be difficult."

www.svdeals.com super hot deals

World's oldest adornments found, Morocco says - Yahoo! News

World's oldest adornments found, Morocco says - Yahoo! News: "World's oldest adornments found, Morocco says "

RABAT (Reuters) - Perforated shells discovered in a limestone cave in eastern Morocco are the oldest adornments ever found and show humans used symbols in Africa 40,000 years before Europe, the kingdom's government said.
The small oval Nassarius mollusc shells, some dyed with red ochre, were probably pierced to be strung into necklaces or bracelets 82,000 years ago.
"This classes the adornments in Pigeon's Cave at Taforalt as older than those discovered previously in Algeria, South Africa and Palestine," the Culture Ministry said in a statement.
The find represents "a big step in the understanding of cultural innovations and the role they played in human history."
Morocco has yielded important prehistoric finds including one of the oldest known dinosaur skeletons but little is known of the humans that inhabited the region before Berber farmers settled over 2,000 years ago.
The shells were found and dated by a team of scientists from Morocco, Britain, France and Germany trying to find out how climate and landscape change affected human behavior between 130,000 and 13,000 years ago.
The work is part of a broader study into whether the Strait of Gibraltar dividing Morocco from Spain acted as a corridor or a barrier for early humans trying to move between Africa and Europe.

www.svdeals.com super hot deals