Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yosemite Park

In 1851, a battalion of Indian fighters wandered into Yosemite Valley and were stopped in their tracks, dumbstruck, by the view. They were the first nonnatives to see this landscape, but their descriptions of it ensured they would not be the last. One man later wrote, "None but those who have visited this most wonderful valley can even imagine . . . the awe with which I beheld it. . . . As I looked, a peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being, and I found my eyes in tears with emotion."

Yosemite Valley is today the centerpiece of California's Yosemite National Park. Sprayed by thousand-foot waterfalls and framed by monumental granite spires — including Half Dome, which is to the High Sierra what the swoosh is to Nike — it is the most famous glacially carved landscape in the world. And perhaps the most famously overrun as well; stories are legion of peak-season traffic jams bad enough to provoke road rage and campgrounds so rife with noise, litter, and teeming masses of humans as to seem more like Times Square than the Great Outdoors.(...)

Source: gorp.away.com
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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Do black holes really exist?

Black holes might not exist – or at least not as scientists have imagined, cloaked by an impenetrable "event horizon". A controversial new calculation could abolish the horizon, and so solve a troubling paradox in physics.

The event horizon is supposed to mark a boundary beyond which nothing can escape a black hole's gravity. According to the general theory of relativity, even light is trapped inside the horizon, and no information about what fell into the hole can ever escape. Information seems to have fallen out of the universe.

That contradicts the equations of quantum mechanics, which always preserve information. How to resolve this conflict? One possibility researchers have proposed in the past is that the information does leak back out again slowly. It may be encoded in a hypothetical flow of particles called Hawking radiation, which is thought to result from the black holes' event horizons messing with the quantum froth that is ever-present in space.(...)

Source: NewScientist.com news service, 22:16 18 June 2007, Stephen Battersby

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alexander Alekhine

Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine (sometimes spelled "Aljechin or Alechin") (IPA: [alʲɛk'sandr̠ alʲɛk'sandr̠ovʲiʨ a'lʲɛxin]; other members of his family pronounce it [a'lʲɔxin]; Russian: Александр Александрович Алéхин; French: Alexandre Alekhine) (October 31 or November 1, 1892 – March 24, 1946) was a Russian-born naturalized French chess grandmaster (officially naturalized in 1927 only three days before the World Champion title), and the fourth World Chess Champion. He was known for his fierce and imaginative attacking style.

Early life
Alekhine was born into a wealthy family in Moscow, Russia. His father Alexander Ivanovich Alekhine was a landowner, and Privy Councillor to the conservative legislative Fourth Duma, according to Denker and Parr (The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories).[citation needed] His mother, Anisya Ivanovna Alekhina (née Prokhorova), was the daughter of a rich industrialist. Alekhine was first introduced to chess by his mother, an older brother Alexei, and an older sister Varvara.

Early chess career (1902-1914)
Alekhine's first known game was from a correspondence tournament that began on December 3, 1902. He participated in several correspondence chess tournaments, sponsored by Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie chess magazine, in 1902-1911. In Autumn 1907, Alexander, at the age of 14, tied for 11th-13th at Moscow.(...)

Source: en.wikipedia.org

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Contribution of genetic studies in rodent models of autoimmune arthritis to understanding and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and potentially debilitating autoimmune disease. While novel therapies have emerged in recent years, disease remission is rarely achieved. RA is a complex trait, and the identifying of its susceptibility and severity genes has been anticipated to generate new targets for therapeutic intervention. However, finding those genes and understanding their function has been a challenging task. Studies in rodent intercrosses and congenics generated from inbred strains have been an important complementary strategy to identify arthritis genes, and understand how they operate to regulate disease. Furthermore, these new rodent arthritis genes will be new targets for therapeutic interventions, and will identify new candidate genes or candidate pathways for association studies in RA. In this review-opinion article I discuss RA genetics, difficulties involved in gene identification, and how rodent models can facilitate (1) the discovery of both arthritis susceptibility and severity genes, (2) studies of gene–environment interactions, (3) studies of gene–gender interactions, (4) epistasis, (5) functional characterization of the specific genes, (6) development of novel therapies and (7) how the information generated from rodent studies will be useful to understanding and potentially treating RA.
Source: Nature.com
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I don't think sex or violence is harmful in movies

Nothing in the world has changed my portrayal of violence," says Quentin Tarantino. His familiar rapid-fire delivery becomes ever faster as the director of some of the most violent films ever made responds to the challenge that he might want to tone it down for a post 9/11 world.

"My art, my voice, my imagination, my storytelling, my characters - wherever they go is where they go regardless of the planet earth. That doesn't mean my movies aren't connected to life." (...)
Source: www.thisislondon.co.uk

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