Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

FACEBOOK & SKYPE causing more plastic surgery... -

FACEBOOK & SKYPE causing more plastic surgery... - 

One day in 2008, while using the popular videochat service Skype, Tina Consorti had an uncomfortable realization. She didn’t like how she looked on the little web screen. Her chin was sagging a bit, and shadowy wrinkles were forming like rings on a tree stump around her neck. It actually wasn’t so bad in the mirror—she checked—but on Skype and other social media services, the flaws seemed amplified.

“I felt like I had a double chin,” Ms. Consorti told Betabeat. “Going on Skype or FaceTime you definitely see it—it looks twice as big as it normally is. I just wanted a nice clean look when I’m conversing with someone on Skype.”

Three years ago, when she began getting into online services (Tango is another favorite), Ms. Consorti had a “Lifestyle Lift,” a minimally invasive facelift that is performed using local anesthesia. The procedure was carried out by Dr. Adam Schaffner, a renowned New York plastic surgeon with a burst of curls atop his head, who injects lips, neatens noses and chisels chins for a living. Over the last year, he told Betabeat, his practice has seen a big uptick in facial surgeries, due in large part to the ubiquitous nature of digital photos posted to Facebook and similar sites.

Social media has made self-presentation a blood sport. Facebook photos are proliferating, along with Twitter avatars, YouTube videos and LinkedIn pics (and let’s not even get into amateur porn). We’re showing more of ourselves to more of everyone else than ever before—with the accompanying increase in mortifying self-consciousness one might expect.

“With a good degree of frequency, people will come in and say, ‘I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook or on my iPhone or iPad,” Dr. Schaffner told us from his spa-like Midtown East office. “When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.”

Dr. Schaffner is not alone in his observations. “I would say maybe 80 percent of the time patients whip out a photo of themselves on an iPhone and say, ‘See this? This is what I’m talking about—you can see it at this angle, when I turn my face like this,” said Dr. Yael Halaas, another New York plastic surgeon. And back in February, a Virginia-based doctor named Dr. Robert K. Sigal instigated a brief Internet fracas by publishing a press release about a new surgery he had developed called the “FaceTime Facelift” in response to the popularity of the iPhone video-chatting app FaceTime. In the release, Dr. Sigal claimed that the procedure addresses issues of “heaviness, fullness and sagging of the face and neck” emphasized by “the angle at which the phone is held, with the caller looking downward into the camera.”


New 'Homeland Security' Laser Can Detect Adrenaline Levels, What People Ate For Breakfast From 160 Feet Away... -

New 'Homeland Security' Laser Can Detect Adrenaline Levels, What People Ate For Breakfast From 160 Feet Away... - 

The Department of Homeland Security will soon be using a laser at airports that can detect everything about you from over 160-feet away.

Gizmodo reports a scanner that could read people at the molecular level has been invented. This laser-based scanner – which can be used 164-feet away — could read everything from a person’s adrenaline levels, to traces of gun powder on a person’s clothes, to illegal substances — and it can all be done without a physical search. It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports.

The laser-based scanner is expected to be used in airports as soon as 2013, Gizmodo reports.

The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning.

The inventor of this invasive technology is Genia Photonics. Active since 2009, they hold 30 patents on laser technology designed for scanning. In 2011, they formed a partnership with In-Q-Tel, a company chartered by the CIA and Congress to build “a bridge between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.”

Genia Photonics wouldn’t be the only ones with similar technology as George Washington University developed something similar in 2008, according to Gizmodo. The Russians also developed something akin to the Picosecond Programmable laser. The creators of that scanner claim that “it is even able to detect traces of explosives left by fingerprints.”

But what makes Genia Photonics’ version so special is that the machine is more compact compared to the other devices and can still maintain its incredible range.

Although the technology could be used by “Big Brother,” Genia Photonics states that the device could be far more beneficial being used for medical purposes to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.


19 Warnings About A Coming Global Financial Catastrophe -

19 Warnings About A Coming Global Financial Catastrophe - 

Global leaders have tried just about everything that they can think of, but the coming global financial catastrophe continues to march steadily toward us.  We have seen “stimulus packages”, quantitative easing, bond buying, interest rate cuts, emergency economic summits, bailout packages for banks, bailout packages for entire nations, “Operation Twist”, unprecedented government intervention in business and massive amounts of new government debt and yet nothing seems to revive the global economy.  In fact, it looks like we are rapidly heading into the second dip of a “double dip recession”.  Unfortunately, many believe that this next dip will be more like a full-blown depression.  All over the world, top economic experts are warning that we are facing an unprecedented crisis of debt and insolvency that will result in a global financial catastrophe.  The eurozone is drowning in debt, the U.S. government is drowning in debt and major banks all over the globe are drowning in debt.  Global authorities have been trying to patch the system together and keep it going, but the incredible damage that all of this debt has done is now becoming apparent to everyone.  The global debt bubble that has fueled prosperity in the western world for the last several decades is getting ready to burst, and when that happens the chaos that will result will be absolutely horrifying.
The following are 19 warnings about a coming global financial catastrophe….
1. “Dr. Doom” Nouriel Roubini says that the rapidly approaching financial crisis will be even worse than 2008….
“Worse because like 2008 you will have an economic and financial crisis but unlike 2008, you are running out of policy bullets. In 2008, you could cut rates; do QE1, QE2; you could do fiscal stimulus; you could backstop/ringfence/guarantee banks and everybody else. Today, more QEs are becoming less and less effective because the problems are of solvency not liquidity. Fiscal deficits are already so large and you cannot bail out the banks because 1) there is a political opposition to it; and 2) governments are near-insolvent – they cannot bailout themselves let alone their banks.The problem is that we are running out of policy rabbits to pull out of the hat!”
2. John Embry….
“This situation is unprecedented. The world has never, ever been in a condition like this. As a result, anyone that is complacent here and says, ‘This is just business as usual,’ they are dead wrong and will be shocked at the chaos that is heading our way.”
3. Jim Rogers….
“Just because now you have a way to get them (the banks) to borrow even more money, this is not solving the problem, this is making the problem worse”
4. Prominent Spanish politician Felipe Gonzalez….
“We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through”
5. Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage….
You know, this deal makes things worse not better. A hundred billion [euro] is put up for the Spanish banking system, and 20 per cent of that money has to come from Italy. And under the deal the Italians have to lend to the Spanish banks at 3 per cent but to get that money they have to borrow on the markets at 7 per cent. It‘s genius isn’t it. It really is brilliant.
So what we are doing with this package is we are actually driving countries like Italy towards needing to be bailed out themselves.
In addition to that, we put a further 10 per cent on Spanish national debt and I tell you, any banking analyst will tell you, 100 billion does not solve the Spanish banking problem, it would need to be more like 400 billion.
And with Greece teetering on the edge of Euro withdrawal, the real elephant in the room is that once Greece leaves, the ECB, the European Central Bank is bust. It’s gone.
It has 444 billion euros worth of exposure to the bailed-out countries and to rectify that you’ll need to have a cash call from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. You couldn’t make it up could you!
6. Peter Praet, chief economist at the European Central Bank….
“The eurozone crisis is now much more profound and fundamental than at the time of Lehman”
Angela Merkel is up for re-election next year. There is no way on earth she’ll opt to let Germany get dragged down by the EU. She’s even said she will not allow Eurobonds for “as long as [she] lives.”
This is not empty rhetoric. This is fact. Germany has expressed its intentions dozens of times in the last month: NO Eurobonds and NO guarantee of EU banking deposits.
The reasons for this are simple: EITHER option renders Germany insolvent. It’s already teetering on insolvency to begin with. But to allow Eurobonds or some kind of guarantee of the EU banking system to occur on top of the money Germany has already spent propping up the EU will take Germany down.
The German economy is already slowing. Most Germans are fed up with the Euro. Merkel would rather die than let her country become like Greece (which the creation of Eurobonds or EU deposit guarantees would most assuredly result in).
So Germany is tapped out as well. This leaves… NOBODY.
Again, Europe is out of money. End of story. This is the truth and investing based on the idea of some magical bailout occurring is like investing on Hank Paulson’s Bazooka policy for Fannie and Freddie (three months later the markets imploded).
8. Peter Schiff….
“I think we’re still in a depression. I think it’s going to be with us for years and years. It could be five or ten years; it could be longer, depending on how long it takes us to recognize our mistakes so that we can begin to reverse them”
9. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman….
“There are a lot of ugly forces being unleashed in our societies on both sides of the Atlantic because our economic policy has been such a dismal failure, because we are refusing to listen to the lessons of history. We may look back at this thirty years from now and say, ‘That is when it all fell apart.’ And by all, I don’t just mean the economy.”
10. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde….
“In the last few months, the global outlook has been more worrying for Europe, the United States and large emerging markets”
11. Andrew Kenningham, senior global economist at Capital Economics….
“With euro break-up risk likely to rise in the second half of the year and monetary policy looking increasingly impotent, things could get much worse before they get better.”
12. Zero Hedge….
We now have 80% of the world posting a contraction in industrial activity.
13. Lakshman Achuthan, the co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute….
“What we said back in December was that we thought the most likely start date for the recession would be in Q1, and if not then, by the middle of 2012. I’m here to reaffirm that.
In other words, I think we’re in recession already. As I said back there, it’s very rare that you know you’re going into recession when you’re going into recession. It often takes some big hit on the top of the head. In the last recession it took Lehman to wake people up. In the recession before it took 9/11.
When you look at the data today, you see industrial production is off of its April high. Manufacturing and trade sales – much broader than retail sales – is off of its December high.
Real personal income growth, which doesn’t always go negative during a recession, has been negative for several months.”
14. Priya Misra, head of U.S. rates strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch….
“The global economy is in the midst of a synchronized slowdown, as reinforced by the recent spate of weak economic data”
15. Chris Williamson, the chief economist at Markit….
“Companies are clearly preparing for worse to come, cutting back on both staff numbers and stocks of raw materials at the fastest rates for two-and-a-half years”
16. Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight….
“With the eurozone likely having suffered appreciable GDP contraction in the second quarter and in grave danger of contracting again in the third, and with eurozone business confidence generally low and fragile, the likelihood is that the eurozone unemployment rate will move significantly higher over the coming months”
17. Karl Denninger….
If we keep deficit spending we are simply debasing the purchasing power of the common man in a puerile attempt to pacify the people and avoid holding the financiers who were responsible for this debacle, including Bernanke, Greenspan, Paulson and Geithner along with both Obama and George W Bush to account.  This attempt is mathematically doomed to fail as median family income has not moved which means that we’re shifting an ever-greater part of the population to social programs like food stamps and other handouts while the taxpaying productive population continues to shrink.
This is exactly how Greece and Spain went down the bowl and we’re right behind them unless we stop this crap right now.
We cannot “bend the curve” or look toward the “intermediate term”; that was exactly the siren song in Europe and it has led to catastrophe as “tomorrow” never comes!  The “intermediate term” is usually defined as three to five years out — we heard of the “intermediate term” in 2008 but now it’s 2012 and none of the retractions in that spending have occurred — the claim that they would be undertaken was a lie.
We must stop the stupid right now!
Arithmetic is a bitch.  It’s politically agnostic and cold-hearted.  Exponential growth, as I have repeatedly pointed out, is utterly unsustainable over the long term.  It doesn’t matter if you want these sorts of schemes to work or not; the longer you continue to pretend that there is some path forward that achieves these goals the worse the outcome is when you discover that you’re wrong.
18. LEAP/E2020….
“LEAP/E2020 has never seen the chronological convergence of such a series of explosive and so fundamental factors (economy, finances, geopolitical…) since 2006, the start of its work on the global systemic crisis. Logically, in our modest attempt to regularly publish a “crisis weather forecast”, we must therefore give our readers a “Red Alert” because the upcoming events which are readying themselves to shake the world system next September/ October belong to this category.”
“The Bond market is finished, We all knew that there is a bubble in the bond market, This is the coup de grace that will not pop the bubble, but make it explode with the force of a thousand suns. America will be broke and barren in a blink of an eye! These are two events that I have been warning about are ones that will end your life on this planet as you know it. Your cash will be worthless, your country at a standstill, No money, No food, no essential services, AND WHEN IT ALL STOPS….. YOU STOP.”
So what do you think about these warnings?
Are you concerned that a global financial catastrophe is coming?
Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

“2012 US Olympic team is wearing berets. Really? America?” - “What the France?” -

“2012 US Olympic team is wearing berets. Really? America?” - “What the France?”  -

Our Olympic heroes will be headed off to London this month — looking as if they’re decked out for a Hamptons lawn party.
Ralph Lauren yesterday unveiled the preppy parade uniforms that Team USA members will wear at the July 27 opening ceremony, stirring an uproar over pricey duds fit for a regatta.
The outfits include blue blazers, cream-colored trousers, white skirts — and berets.
“2012 US Olympic team is wearing berets. Really? America?” tweeted John Lee Rudnicki, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer. “How many people in the US have you ever seen wear a beret? Five?”

“What the France?” tweeted Greg “Hollea” Rachal, a political activist and former Jacksonville, Fla., City Council candidate.
The company said the outfits embody “the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship.”
They’re free for the athletes, but won’t be cheap for us everyday couch potatoes.
A men’s shirt goes for $89.50 and flat-front trousers cost $295.
A women’s blazer sells for $598.
Women can also spend $29 for flip-flops, $50 for a vintage jersey tank top and $55 for a newsboy cap. A $10 polo-pony pin is a bargain.
For men, the team’s red-and-navy tie goes for $125, a belt is $85 and the obligatory white shoes — it is before Labor Day, after all — run $165 a pair.
More casual menswear includes $40 sports caps, $29 sandals and $145 polo shirts.
There’s also other Team USA gear, including a $225 backpack, a $225 duffle, $60 beach towels and a $164 twill tote bag.
The double-breasted men’s blazers and the women’s blazers feature both the official Olympic and Paralympic Team patches as well as an embroidered Big Pony, the Lauren logo, on the chest.
Despite the critics, the outfits won the gold with some fans.
US soccer cutie Heather Mitts, who modeled the caps on the “Today” show yesterday, thought her beret partner, medal-hopeful fencer Tim Morehouse, looked really sharp.
“Great to meet you today,” Mitts, a two-time gold-medalist, tweeted to Morehouse. “You rocked the beret. Good luck in London. Will be cheering you on!”
On “Today,” Morehouse, a two-time Olympian who grew up in The Bronx, declared his outfit “really cool.”
Ryan Lochte, the 27-year-old upstate New Yorker who is looking to add to his six Olympic swimming medals, told USA Today he liked the “very clean-cut” look.
“The Olympic wear makes me feel so patriotic, and RL even provided clothing for my family, and they love it,” he said.
Paula Scott, from Scottsdale, Ariz., said outside the Upper East Side Ralph Lauren store that the designs were “classic and not tacky at all.”
“Ralph Lauren is always very classic. It’s so all American,” Scott, 47, said.
US Olympic berets aren’t new. Powder-blue versions were such a hit when the Americans wore them at the Winter Olympics in 2002 that they quickly sold out at stores around the Salt Lake City host site.
David Lauren, the company’s executive vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications, said the retro look of the uniforms was inspired by photos from the US Olympic Committee’s archives.
These included photographs from the 1948 London Summer Games.
“Knowing that we were going back to England, there was a feeling of ‘Chariots of Fire,’ ” Lauren said of the design team.
He said the outfits represented “an updated take on Old World elegance.” And the berets? He called them “really fun.”
The outfits, as well as the more casual garb for wear in the Olympic Village — all provided by Lauren — were under wraps until they went on sale yesterday.
A portion of the proceeds from are earmarked for Team USA.
This is the third time Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter for the US Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/land_of_free_home_of_beret_cPfVDF4cUhqqEcuSVnrAlK?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=National

For the first time ever - Women outnumber men on US Olympic team -

For the first time ever - Women outnumber men on US Olympic team - 

During this, the summer of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, American women have reached another milestone in sports: For the first time, they outnumber men on the U.S. Olympic team.

The U.S. Olympic Committee released its roster for the London Olympics on Tuesday. There were 269 women and 261 men.

CEO Scott Blackmun called it a "true testament to the impact of Title IX," the 1972 law that increased opportunities for women in sports across America.

The women's names ranged from `A' - high jumper Amy Acuff, making her fifth Olympic appearance - to `Z' - Kate Ziegler, a world-champion swimmer who will be at the Olympics for the first time this year.

Michael Phelps, who already has 14 Olympic medals, is one of 228 athletes making return trips to the games. Among those, there are 124 who already have medals; 76 of those were Olympic champions.

Acuff is one of seven Americans making their fifth trip to the Olympics. Before this year, only 16 had been to five games.

This year's oldest American athlete is 54-year-old equestrian rider Karen O'Connor, while the youngest is 15-year-old swimmer Katie Ledecky.

Basketball player Tyson Chandler is the tallest American at 7-foot-1, while gymnast Gabby Douglas is one of the three shortest Americans, at 4-11.

There are 53 dads and 11 moms on the team, two sets of twins (Bob and Mike Bryan in tennis and Grant and Ross James in rowing) and seven who come out of the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program.


New chemical makes teeth 'cavity proof' - and could do away with dentist visits forever -

New chemical makes teeth 'cavity proof' - and could do away with dentist visits forever - 

A new chemical could make human teeth 'cavity proof' - and do away with the need for visits to the dentists forever.
The molecule has been called 'Keep 32' - after the 32 teeth in a human mouth.
The chemical was designed by dentists in Chile, and wipes out all the bacteria that cause cavities in just 60 seconds in tests.
The chemical could be added to any current dental care product, turning toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum into 'super cleansers' that could get rid of the underlying cause of tooth decay.
The chemical targets 'streptococcus mutans', the bacteria that turns the sugar in your mouth into lactic acid which erodes tooth enamel.
By exterminating the bacteria, 'Keep 32' prevents the damage to teeth before it happens.
Using a product containing the chemical keeps your teeth 'cavity proof' for several hours.
The product has been under test for seven years, and is now going into human trials.
It could be on the market in 14 to 18 months, say researchers José Córdoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile.

The chemical could even be added to foods to stop bacteria damaging teeth as you eat.
The researchers hope to licence the patent to chemical giants such as Procter and Gamble.
'We are currently in talks with five interested in investing in our project or buy our patent,' say the researchers.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2171585/Keep-32-New-chemical-makes-teeth-cavity-proof--kills-mouth-bacteria-just-60-seconds.html

Strange Vortex Discovered on Saturn Moon Titan -

Strange Vortex Discovered on Saturn Moon Titan - 

A NASA spacecraft has spied a vortex swirling in the atmosphere high above the south pole of the Saturn moon Titan, hinting that winter may be coming to the huge body's southern reaches.

NASA's Cassini probe photographed the polar vortex — or mass of swirling gas — during a flyby of Titan on June 27. The vortex appears to complete one full rotation in nine hours, while it takes Titan about 16 days to spin once around its axis.

"The structure inside the vortex is reminiscent of the open cellular convection that is often seen over Earth's oceans," Tony Del Genio, a Cassini team member at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said in a statement.

Read more -