Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
నార్వే దేశంలో ఉన్న పెరికెస్టోలెన్ కొండ. ఈ కొండపై నుండి 600 మీటర్ల క్రింద ఉన్న నదిని మరియూ ఆచుట్టుపక్క ఉన్న ప్రక్రుతి అందాలను చూడటానిఉకి సంవత్సరం పొడగునా ప్రజలు వస్తూ ఉంటారట.
Polish Railroad Worker Wakes Up From 19-Year Coma
During the 1980’s, Poland was still run by a Communist regime. It was a terrible period of despair, great poverty and confusion.
Polish railway worker Jan Grzebski, suffered a severe head injury while attaching two train carriages. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors had even more devastating news for the family: besides the injuries caused by the work-related accident, Jan Grzebski was suffering from brain cancer. He fell into a deep coma of 19 years. Doctors didn’t expect him to live longer than three years. His family had faith that Jan would recover and his wife Gertruda provided the loving care Jan needed to survive. The amazing part of this story is that Mr. Grzebski awoke on April, 12, 2007 after 19 years of coma. He awoke to a world of democracy and capitalism. Mr. Grzebski was surprised to find out that 18 years had passed since the fall of Communism and that 11 grandchildren couldn’t wait to hug him. “What amazes me today is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and never stop moaning,” he said. “I’ve got nothing to complain about.” This memorable statement is the perfect reminder to all of us who sometimes are complaining too much. Sadly, we often don’t appreciate the simple things in life until they’re taken away from us.
Children with the Werewolf Syndrome
Indian boy Prithviraj Patil and Thai girl Supatra Sasuphan have dreams and behave just like other children around the world: they love to be included in activities and games; they enjoy swimming or painting, and most of all, eating ice-cream. What makes them different is the fact that both children were born with congenital hypertrichosis, known also as the Werewolf Syndrome.
This terrible disease is very rare and unusual. There have been fewer than 50 cases documented since 1638. The children are suffering from uncontrollable hair growth. Thick animal-like fur covers their head and parts of the body. Unfortunately, science and medicine haven’t found an answer for their disease.
It’s so sad to read headlines such as “Half human, half wolf” or “Real Wolf Kids”. The cruelty doesn’t come from the syndrome, but from society…
Miraculous Recovery After a 47-Story Fall
According to the NY Daily News, the Moreno brothers, Alcides and Edgar, were working on a window-washing platform attached to a skyscraper on E. 66th St., New York, when the platform collapsed on December 7, 2007. The 16-foot-long aluminum swing to the roof failed. Alcides Moreno cheated death after falling from the 47th story of the building, but Edgar didn’t survive.
The doctors performed at least 16 surgeries, because Moreno broke his ribs, both legs and right arm, badly injuring the spine. The medical staff described the victim’s recovery as “miraculous” and “unprecedented.” Doctors predicted that Moreno’s recovery would be complete in one, two years.
Teen Survives 118 Days Without A Heart
D’zhana Simmons of South Carolina is literally a walking, talking, medical miracle. The brave teenager lived for about four months without a heart, as she awaited a new, functional heart to replace the damaged one. Simmons suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), meaning her weak and enlarged heart wasn’t pumping blood efficiently. The surgeons from the Miami Holtz Children’s Hospital performed an initial transplant on July 2, 2008, but the heart malfunctioned and had to be quickly removed. Meanwhile, D’zhana was kept alive by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device. “She essentially lived for 118 days without a heart, with her circulation supported only by two blood pumps,” said Dr. Ricci, Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.
A Life Without Pain
Gabby Gingras is an energetic 9-year-old girl who is determined to be just like every other child around her. What makes her different from most of us, is a rare and extremely unusual disease known as CIPA – congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. There are only 100 documented cases of CIPA around the globe.
Gabby was born without the ability to feel pain, cold and heat. It might seem like an amazing gift, but actually it’s a devastating condition. Pain sensitivity is crucial, because pain works similar to a warning and defense mechanism. Gabby’s parents noticed something wasn’t right when their daughter was five months old. She was biting her fingers until they bled. Later on, the girl lost an eye and severely injured the other one due to excessive rubbing and scratching. Various measures have been taken to prevent these types of accidents. The desperate parents are doing their best under the difficult and challenging circumstances. Brave Gabby was the subject of a documentary. “A Life Without Pain” by Melody Gilbert. It tells the powerful story of Gabby Gingras.
Allergic to H20
Whether it’s taking a hot bath, brushing your teeth, cleaning the house, or simply quenching your thirst, water is an essential part of our daily routine. We just cannot live without water! That is why it is a wonder to us that people can be allergic to water. Believe it or not, some people suffer from extremely rare physical forms of urticaria known as Aquagenic Urticaria and Aquagenic Pruritus – both of which are ‘allergic’ reactions to water. They are so unusual, that only about 30 or 40 cases are documented worldwide.
Ashleigh Morris (21, Australia) and Michaela Dutton (23, England) developed a one in 230 million skin disorder – Aquagenic Urticaria. If their skin comes in to contact with water, itchy red welts, lumps and blisters appear all over the body. Showering is a really painful experience for both of them. Michaela cannot drink water, coffee or tea, she cannot even eat fruits because they trigger the burning rash on the skin and make her throat swell up, but her body seems to tolerate Diet Coke. Ashleigh tries to avoid water as much as possible – she stopped doing sports and any other physical effort that makes her sweat. Aquagenic Urticaria is so extremely rare, that even doctors don’t fully understand the complex mechanism behind the bizarre skin disorder.
The Family That Couldn’t Sleep
FFI is the acronym of a fatal genetic sleep disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia. Jay Schadler and Laura Viddy best describe the rare disease: “Those affected by FFI are forever trying and failing to fall asleep. The disease steals one’s sleep, mind and ultimately one’s life, and, before dying, one hovers for months in a twilight world.”
29-year-old Cheryl Dinges (left) is one of the members of a family that couldn’t sleep. Her family carries the gene for Fatal Familial Insomnia, such a rare condition that it is believed to affect only 40 families worldwide. Fatal Familial Insomnia killed their mother, grandfather and their uncle. Cheryl Dinges declined to be tested, even if her sister (right) didn’t inherit the mutation. FFI begins with mild twitching, panic attacks and insomnia. In time, patients start to hallucinate and insomnia becomes so severe that they totally lack the ability to sleep. Ultimately, patients develop dementia and, eventually, die. The mutated protein is called PrPSc. If only one of the parents has the mutated gene, there are 50% chances of inheriting and developing FFI.
Giving Birth to a Mummy
Zahra Aboutalib, from Morocco, delivered a child she’d been carrying for almost half a century. This shocking yet fascinating story began in 1955 when Zahra went into labor. She was rushed to a hospital, but after watching a woman dying on the operation table during a Caesarean section, Zahra fled back in her small village outside Casablanca. After the pains were gone and the baby stopped kicking, Zahra considered him a “sleeping baby”. “Sleeping babies” are, according to Moroccan folk belief, babies that can live inside a woman’s womb to protect her honor.
When Zahra was 75, the excruciating pains occurred again. Doctors performed an ultrasound test and discovered that her “sleeping child” was actually an ectopic pregnancy. What is even more amazing is how Zahra survived and how the dead fetus was accepted by the body just like another organ. Generally, this doesn’t happen. If not discovered in time, the growing fetus will eventually strain and burst the organ that contains it. Under these circumstances, the mother has few surviving chances. After nearly five hours, the surgeons successfully removed Zahra’s calcified fetus.
Stone babies, lithopedions, are an extremely rare medical phenomenon. According to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, only 290 cases of stone babies have been documented.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
World's Smallest Solar-Powered Movie Theater
Lights, camera … environmental action? You might say it's an inconvenient truth, but the movie industry is anything but green. With their super cold ACs and flashy marquees, movie theaters require a great deal of energy. Except for England's Sol Cinema. The tiny mobile movie theater — dubbed the world's smallest solar-powered cinema by its creators — runs only on energy it harnesses from the sun. “We say any cinema could and should be 100 percent powered by renewable energy,” said Paul O'Connor, co-founder of the arts group Undercurrents. “The U.K. isn't famous for sunny days, yet [we] still manage to run our entire cinema, including video projectors, sound systems, laptops, hard drives and lights from the energy of the sun via solar panels. This means we have no utility bill each year and can perform anywhere at any time”.
It's very common to see or hear things about solar-powered cars. However, have you heard about solar-powered aircrafts? At the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif., imagination has become reality, and that reality is the Pathfinder solar-powered, remotely piloted aircraft.The Pathfinder is a lightweight, solar-powered, remotely piloted flying wing aircraft that is demonstrating the technology of applying solar power for long-duration, high-altitude flight. It is literally the pathfinder for a future fleet of solar-powered aircraft that could stay airborne for weeks or months on scientific sampling and imaging missions.
Pathfinder flies at an air speed of only 15 to 25 mph. Although pitch control is maintained by the use of tiny elevons on the trailing edge of the wing, turns and yaw control are accomplished by slowing down or speeding up the motors on the outboard sections of the wing.
Terry Hope was presented with a challenge. He was working aboard an 88-foot sailboat and the captain would not let him bring a standard electric scooter on board. The only way he could have one is if it were to fit into a suitcase, and it had to be rechargeable off the grid. So he developed the Hybrid Electric Kinetic Photovoltaic Vehicle you see here! The battery is recharged with both solar and kinetic power -and it folds up.
World's Largest Solar-Powered Boat
Created at the Knierim Yacht Club in northern Germany, PlanetSolar is the world's largest solar-powered boat, measuring 31 meters x 15 meters x 7.5 meters. The yacht is covered with up to 500 sqm of solar panels, which are expected to capture 103.4 kW of solar energy to power the engine that merely needs 20KW. Designed with an average speed of about 9mph, the boat could reach a top speed of 17 miles per hour. About 18 million euros have been invested into the project. According to Knierim Yacht Club, the yacht has been ready for testing later this month and the sea trials (due between June and September).
Solar Light Up Skull
Instead of getting a skull that lights up and requires you to plug it in or toss in batteries, go for this slightly more convenient design. It features a built-in solar panel to make it so that you can sit this out during the Halloween season and not need to worry about it till Halloween has passed. When someone happens to pass by this solar-powered skull, those bright yellow lights will glare at them as they go about their business. It has a natural bone-like finish and is made out of a resin that makes it durable in all different types of weather. That makes it even better to just sit it out and not have to worry about it for a while. It comes with a Ni-Cad battery that the solar panel will charge. You can purchase the Solar Light Up Skull for $20.69 from UXSight.
In Namibia, Miss Emily Cummins is known as “The Fridge Lady”. This is because she invented a solar-powered refrigerator that can help many poverty-stricken Africans. The solar-powered refrigerator works with two cylinders, one inside the other. The inner cylinder is metal while the outer one is wood or plastic. In between these two cylinders is either sand or soil, which can be soaked with water. The sun's rays heat the wet material, and as the water evaporates, the heat is removed from the inner cylinder. This keeps the fridge at a cool six degrees Celsius.
This solar-powered fridge could easily change the world as we know it. Now perishable goods such as meat and milk can be stored for days in areas where there is no grid electricity. Miss Cummings spent a lot of time in Africa showing the people her invention.
This is pretty cool (excuse the obvious refrigerator pun) considering that Emily Cummins is still in her early twenties. She has won awards for some of her other inventions including a toothpaste squeezer for arthritis sufferers and a water carrying device, also for use in the Third World. She is a graduate of Leeds University, and was once refused a place on an engineering course because “she didn't have the correct qualifications”. Does she qualify now?
This LED-backlit 52-incher you see above comes attached to a not-at-all convenient solar floor panel which presumably provides at least some of the energy required to power this thing. We've no clue how close the design is to being viable for the commercial realm, but we'd say Sharp's definitely headed in the right direction here.
Solar-Powered Holiday Lights
The holiday season often comes with the customary race to decorate your home in order to stay in line with the festive season's mood, but do you know just how much juice all those lights take up? Why not take a more eco-friendly route with the Solar Powered Holiday Lights instead? At least you can lead your kids by example on how to keep the earth green by doing your part. Unlike standard outdoor holiday lights that must be tethered to an electric source, these solar powered lights can be strung anywhere in your yard. A small solar panel stakes into the ground up to 7′ away from the light strand and powers 102 bright LEDs for up to nine hours after an eight-hour charge.