Tiny animal kingdom: the elephant foetus at 12 months, when it is 18 inches long and weighs approximately 26 lbs. It can use its trunk, and can curl it right up into its mouth and over its head.
An unborn elephant, tiny but perfect in every way. A dolphin swimming in the womb, just as it will have to swim in the ocean the moment it is born. An unborn dog panting.
Using an array of technology, the images reveal what until now has been a secret – exactly how animals develop in the womb. They were created by the same team who in 2004 showed how human embryos "walk in the womb".
Using a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, computer graphics and tiny cameras, the team were able to show the entire process from conception to birth.
"These kind of images from inside animals have never been seen before," said Jeremy Dear of Pioneer Productions, who made the film.
Archive for November, 2006
The number of new foreign students coming to the United States grew this school year, after several years of weakness that followed the terrorist attacks of 2001, according to a survey to be released today by the Institute of International Education.
The institute, in a separate report, also found that the number of American students studying abroad hit a record 205,983 in 2004-5, an 8 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the number in the 1994-95 school year.
from the New York Times
Good news, that, for the Dowbrigade, who makes his living off of said foreign students. Regular readers, if there are any of you left out there, will be pleased to know that the recent paucity of postings on the Dowbrigade News is not due to illness, disillusionment, incarceration or mental incapacity. Rather, for a change, we have more opportunities to make actual money than we have time to take advantage of them. In an intensive program in which 15 teaching hours is considered full-time, we are teaching 37. Since two of the courses are writing classes, we nightly face a bottomless stack of essays, reports, press releases and rewrites to correct. Quite simply, we haven’t had time to blog.
Not that we are complaining. 2006 was pretty much a washout for the old Dowbrigade. After our wandering stomach medical crisis in South America in January we were out of commission for almost 6 months, and are just now getting our strength back and digging out of the resulting financial hole.
Rest assured, we are as irascible and bemused as ever, and have several notebooks full of observations, notes and half-written screeds from the outer limits of academia.
One reason we remain deeply satisfied with our chosen profession and current position is their flexibility. We are capable of intense periods of maximum professional production, as long as we know where the finishing line lies, and that relief beckons thereafter. During stretches like this, when we are pushing the envelope of available energy utilization, it helps us to count down the days until deliverance. As of today, there are 16 days of classes left.
Meanwhile, we have renovated our outlook and our tools (another benefit of abundant work). Expect the Dowbrigade News back in force in the near future.
To the true fan of American Democracy, that bastard mix of egalitarian fundamentalism and high-tech sleazy showmanship, Election Day is the Ultimate Holiday, combining the best elements of Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, the 4th of July, Eid, the Jewish High Holy Days, the Easter of the Resurrection and the Mexican Day of the Dead.
So it was with a celebratory air that we bounded from the house this morning, across the street to the Hellenic Cultural Center where to do our democratic duty – double-duty in fact. For not only were we exercising our democratic franchise, but also dusting off our Citizen’s Journalist Union Card to act as a sort of Cyber-Sentinal on patrol against subterfuge, chicanery or other electoral improprieties. Eternal vigilance, after all, is the ultimate price of liberty.
A few days earlier we came across the web page for Video the Vote. What a great idea! It said, "Stopping voter suppression, by observing the vote. And sharing the results—on Election Day." Wow – so simple, so effective. A hundred thousand citizen journalists video-recording at every precinct in America! Catching the bastards red-handed as they try to steal the election. Whoever the bastards turn out to be. So simple, so perfect an idea that we didn’t think we had to read the fine print. We didn’t think we had to officially register as a Video the Vote Videographer. Mostly, we didn’t think at all.
Instead, we stumbled into our precinct with our eye behind a lens and the bytes rolling, narrating as we walked – right into a gigantic cop.
"Where do you think you’re going?" he asked.
"To vote, officer," we replied respectfully.
"Not with that camera," he opined.
We went into our best authority-bluffing bullshit mode. We claimed to be an "official registered observer" for a national poll watching organization. We claimed to be a citizen journalist covering the voting for an independent publication. We argued that this was the quintessential public event, and so of course it was eligible for press coverage. We noted that every election day we see footage of the President, Governor and other candidates casting their ballots, so if its OK to film George Bush voting, then why not the Dowbrigade. We even insinuated that not allowing the camera into the voting hall would be taken as evidence that there was something there to hide. "What is it you don’t want the public to see?" we wondered aloud.
We are extremely fortunate we weren’t arrested. Instead, we were politely asked to take a seat while the poll manager called the City Director of Electors. After about 15 minutes, the local manager, accompanied by the cop, came back to deliver the verdict.
"You can vote, but the camera stays here."
We politely declined, either to vote or to leave our camera there, and beat a hasty retreat. We were late for work. As soon as we got to the office, we checked the Video the Vote web site, looking for the Hot Line number to call for legal assistance. And finally read the instructions.
Of course, we had gotten it completely wrong. We were not supposed to take our cameras into the polling places. We were supposed to interview voters OUTSIDE the polling place, after they had voted, and ask them if they had had any problems or noticed anything strange. Cameras are allowed in polling places only when accompanied by official press passes and previous written permission from the local Election Board. Neither of which we had.
After work we returned to the polls and apologized to the manager. And voted. Anyone interested in seeing the embarrassing video of the Dowbrigade making an ass of himself by trying to film the vote, can CLICK HERE. For some reason, we are unable to embed the video tag in our posts in this Manila-based blog, although it takes most other html tags.
Bottom line – we didn’t notice anything weird or irregular – except when we looked in the mirror.
The L.A. Auto Show competition asked designers to dream up the ultimate environmentally friendly car. This the the entry dreamed up by the Bug Boys. Witness the Volkswagen Nanospyder – Designers: Patrick Faulwetter, Daniel Simon, Ian Hilton
Using nanotechnology, the Nanospyder could be assembled, disassembled and reassembled on a microscopic level. To create the car, billions of tiny nano-machines, each no more than a half-millimeter in diameter, would attach themselves to one another in a large tank.
With this technique, engineers could vary the density of the vehicle’s frame to create impact-absorbing crumple zones as needed. Sensors would forewarn of an impending collision, enabling the nano-machines to strengthen or weaken their bonds in different areas, creating soft spots in the frame that would bend to absorb the impact.
from CNN Money
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Rev. Ted Haggard admitted yesterday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a male prostitute. But the influential Christian evangelist insisted he threw the drugs away and never had sex with the man.
Yesterday, Haggard said that he received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel and that he bought meth for himself from Jones.
But Haggard said he never had sex with Jones. And as for the drugs, "I was tempted, but I never used it," the 50-year-old Haggard told reporters from his vehicle while leaving his home with his wife and three of his five children.
from the Boston Globe
The entries in the "Waddeva you say" World’s Weakest Excuse contest are literally pouring in. It’s been a bad year for sanctimonious psuedo-religious hipocrites. This particular entry falls into the "Didn’t Inhale" Finger-Crossed category. The eponymously named Haggard is the favorite to take home the Jim Baker trophy this year….
NEW YORK — A detective suspended after testing positive for drugs says his wife served him meatballs spiked with marijuana because she wanted to keep him out of harm’s way by forcing him to retire.
An administrative judge believed him, and recommended earlier this week that Nicholas Chiofalo be reinstated. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has yet to decide what to do.
Chiofalo, a 22-year-veteran assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, was suspended without pay last year after a random drug test found marijuana in his system. The officer denied using drugs.
In a probe, his wife said she had substituted marijuana for oregano in her meatball recipe. The detective’s lawyers presented evidence that she had passed a lie-detector test, and offered testimony from a toxicologist that the excuse was valid.
Chiofalo, a 22-year-veteran assigned to the
A late finalist in the "Waddevayuh say" World’s Weakest Excuse contest. As one of this year’s judges, the Dowbrigade will have to think long and hard before awarding the coveted Golden Boner. We were leaning toward the airport security line "It must be my cousin’s backpack". As far as the meatballs go, could we get Norma Yvonne a peek at the recipe….