Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blood Falls

This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. When geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, they thought the red color came from algae, but its true nature turned out to be much more spectacular.
Roughly two thousand years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist in a world with no light or free oxygen and little heat, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
The existence of the Blood Falls ecosystem shows that life is indeed possible in the most extreme of conditions. It does not at all show, however, if Life could perhaps exist on other planets with similar environments and similar bodies of frozen water - notably Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. But regardless of extraterrestrial life, the earth's Blood Falls are a wonder to behold both visually, and scientifically.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Casinos exempted from smoking ban in public spaces

SINGAPORE: Smoking is banned in most enclosed places in Singapore, but it is a different story for the two casinos at Resorts World Singapore (RWS) and the soon to be opened Marina Bay Sands.

A casino patron recently wrote to MediaCorp's English daily TODAY, saying she was surprised to see a designated smoking area at the RWS casino.

She asked if there are any "double standards".

The decision to exclude casinos from the smoking ban came in 2008 after a year-long discussion between the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the two Integrated Resorts (IRs).

NEA said "it is a common practice for casinos in many countries to put in place house rules to designate smoking and non-smoking areas".

However, NEA also added that smoking is allowed within casino premises only if smokers "comply with the house rules set out by premise owners".

Following feedback from patrons, RWS said it is looking at better ways to keep out the smoke drift.

In the United States, imposing a non-smoking ban in casinos has generated public debate due to the high spending of patrons, many of whom are smokers.

When Alantic City imposed a ban on smoking in all its 11 casinos, several gaming halls reportedly saw a fall in their revenues.

Singapore, Hong Kong jump to top 5 on luxury home price-rise list

SINGAPORE: Hong Kong and Singapore jumped from the bottom five to the top five of an annual list measuring the rise in luxury home prices.

This was according to the latest figures from property consultants Knight Frank International for 2009.

The firm said that this reflects the attraction of prime residential property, where demand tends to improve as prices dip.

Overall, luxury home prices in the Asia Pacific region rose about 17 per cent on average last year.

In contrast, luxury home prices globally fell 5.5 per cent.

For 2009, the global list was led by Shanghai, where luxury home prices rose 52 per cent.

This was followed by Beijing at 47 per cent and Hong Kong at 40.5 per cent.

Singapore was tied for fourth place with Johannesburg, where luxury prices increased 17 per cent.

Non-Asian cities that made it to the top ten were Rio De Janerio (10 per cent), London (6.1 per cent) and Washington (5.7 per cent).

At the bottom of the global list - at number 56 - was Dubai, which saw luxury home prices plummet by 45 per cent.

- CNA/yb

Changi is World's best again

CHANGI Airport has bounced back from the third spot to become the World's Best Airport in an annual survey of travellers worldwide.
In the last Skytrax World Airport survey, Changi came in third. The last time it took top spot was in 2006.
Apart from being named Airport of the Year 2010, Changi Airport also picked up the titles for Best Leisure Amenities and Best Airport in Asia, said a statement from the Changi Airport Group on Wednesday.
The group's chief executive Lee Seow Hiang attributed Changi's success to 'the affirmation, encouragement and feedback' received from its stakeholders, 'including the millions of passengers and visitors' it serves every year. 'This has motivated us to continue to improve and innovate,' he added.
Changi Airport also picked up two other awards in the last three months, including its eighth Top Airport Worldwide by Wanderlust and its fifth Best Airport in Asia Pacific by DestinAsian.
Since its opening in 1981, Changi Airport has won more than 340 airport awards.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Worst Drive-Thru Foods in America

The Worst Drive-Thru Meal in America
Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger
with Medium Natural cut Fries and 32 oz Coke
2618 Calories
144 g at (51.5 g saturated fat)
2892 mg sodium

Of all the gut-growing, heart-stopping, life-threatening burgers in the fast food world, there is none whose damage to your general well-being is as catastrophic as this. The complete meal delivers as much saturated fat as 63 strips of bacon!

Eat This Instead!
Famous Star
with Side Salad with Low Fat Balsamic Dressing and 32 oz Iced Tea
685 calories
38 g fat (10.5 g saturated fat)
1520 mg sodium

More info here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Singaporeans search on Google

From Mr Brown (but maybe he doesnt know that this search results can be altered quite easily by SEO/SERP-savvy guys)

My reader Ashley sent me an email regarding this little Google Singapore thing. Go to and type "Why" and then a space, and see what Singaporeans search for the most.
Quite eye-opening, yes?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Evil Devil Fish Bad for Japan

Japan is bracing itself for bad times after scores of the usually rare, giant Oarfish have washed ashore and been caught in coastal fisherman’s nets.
The sightings started after the ‘quake in Chile and the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. The rash of tectonic shifting around the Pacific “Ring of Fire” is causing concern that Japan is next, and these gigantor fish aren’t helping.
The Oarfish is traditionally known as a messenger fish from the sea gods, and it’s tidings are usually grim. The fish can grow up to five metres in length and usually found at depths of 1, 000 ft. Long and slender with a dorsal fin that runs the length of it’s body, the fish resembles a kind of steam-rolled snake.
According to folklore, the fish will come ashore and beach itself to warn of an impending earthquake and there are scientific theories that bottom-dwelling fish may very well be susceptible to movements in seismic fault lines and act in uncharacteristic ways in advance of an earthquake – but experts here are placing more faith in their constant high-tech monitoring of the tectonic plates beneath the surface

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nat Geo Music To Stream Exclusive David Bowie Video!

Never Before Seen Footage From 2003 Concert To Premeire On March 12th

To celebrate the release of the 2-cd set of David Bowie's historic 2003-2004 A Reality Tour, Nat Geo Music is offering an exclusive video of Bowie's entire live set at his Hammerstein Riverdale Theater, London show from September 9th, 2003.

The now-legendary show includes some of his most famous songs, such as "All The Young Dudes" and "The Man Who Sold The World". The Reality tour remains Bowie's longest, and most successful tour to date, serving as definitive career retrospective that drew on all the facets and phases of Bowie's storied catalog.

Watch the exclusive live stream here at Nat Geo Music on March 12th, 2010.

The Automatic - "End of Tour Party" Cardiff Barfly 31st March

We were going to just end the tour in London but its ages since we got wrecked and had a party at Barfly (where it all started many years back) so thought ah, why the hell not eh?

Pass on the message to anyone else you think might be up for it.

See ya there
Location:Cardiff Barfly, Kingsway, Cardiff
Time:7:30PM Wednesday, March 31st