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July 8, 2010

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Never again leave something behind in a hotel safe

Safe

"To avoid leaving behind valuables in a room safe, put one of the shoes you're planning to wear on departure inside or on top of the safe."

Genius.

I recommend inside rather than on top.

[Courtesy of Ellen Schollenberger of Redlands, California, from "The Smart Family's Passport" — a new book which contains 350 tips from Budget Travel magazine readers — and Kitty Bean Yancey writing in USA Today]

July 8, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sputnik Watch

Sputnik-watch

Designed by Vadim Kibardin.

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Plastic.

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Apply within.

July 8, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

London Gridded

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Map by Matthew Lancashire.

Back story here.

[via flickr and Strange Maps]

July 8, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Denim Tabasco® Holster

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Perfect between your iPhone and Swiss Army knife.

From the website:

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Take Tabasco camping, hiking or to lunch.

The holster attaches comfortably to your belt.

Comes with 2-oz. bottle of Tabasco Sauce.

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$7.20.

July 8, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sign of the times

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[via Dahlia Rideout and divine caroline]

July 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Digital Enigma

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"Enables you to build your very own battery powered electronic Enigma machine, based on those used by Bletchley Park codebreakers during WWII. Does NOT include wooden case."

£119.99.

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"This applet simulates the operation of an Enigma machine [above]."

July 8, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scientists peer inside a live Burmese python to watch a swallowed rat

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Long story short: "It took 132 hours for the snake to fully digest the rat."

Victoria Gill's BBC News story — with a spectacular embedded video from which the screen grabs above and below derive — follows.

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Scientists have used the latest imaging techniques to look inside a python that had just swallowed a rat whole.

The resulting footage is part of a project using hi-tech scanning methods to explore animals' anatomy.

It took 132 hours for the snake to fully digest the rat, the scientists said. Their work has revealed other strange insights into python digestion.

They presented the study at the Society for Experimental Biology's annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic.

The researchers carried out a computer tomography or CT scan of an anaesthetised 5kg Burmese python one hour after it had devoured the rat whole.

The MRI study revealed how the python's organs altered as it digested its meal.

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They also used a technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the creature's internal organs.

By using contrast agents, the scientists were able to highlight specific organs and make them appear in different colours.

A series of MRI images revealed the gradual disappearance of the rat's body. At the same time, the snake's intestine expanded, its gall bladder shrank and its heart increased in volume by 25%.

The researchers, Henrik Lauridsen and Kasper Hansen, both from Aarhus University in Denmark, explained that the increase in the size of the snake's heart was probably associated with the energy it needed to digest its meal.

"It's a sit and wait predator," explained Mr Lauridsen. "It fasts for months and then eats a really large meal.

"It can eat the equivalent of up to 50% of its own bodyweight, and in order to get the energy out of the meal, it has to restart the intestinal system very fast."

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Contrast agents allow the researchers to highlight specific internal organs

The researchers, who are both based at the university's Department of Zoophysiology and the MR Research Centre at Aarhus, say that their approach has several advantages over the "subjective and sometimes misleading" interpretations of dissections.

Dissection induces changes, explained Dr Hansen. "For example, after opening the dense bone of a turtle shell, the lungs will collapse due to the change in pressure.

"And to use these techniques you don't have to kill the animal," he added. "We can do this using live animals and revisit the results over and over again."

The images, they say, will be valuable tools in future studies of animal anatomy for both research and education.

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As part of the project, they have produced similarly spectacular images of several other species, including frogs, alligators, turtles, swamp eels and bearded dragons.

July 8, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Top Hat Trash Can

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By Rafael Morgan.

[via bennybb]

July 8, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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