Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 28 February 2014

Unveiled: World's largest aircraft flies for 3 weeks straight... -

Unveiled: World's largest aircraft flies for 3 weeks straight... - 

The HAV Hybrid Aircraft

The world's longest aircraft, consisting of part airship, part helicopter and part plane, has been unveiled and could be the key to greener more efficient planes in future as developers predict one day there could be as many of the hybrids as there are helicopters today.

The world’s largest aircraft which can stay airborne for up to three weeks and will be vital in delivering several tonnes of humanitarian aid as well as transporting heavy freight across the world, has been unveiled.
The 300ft (91m) ship is part plane, airship and helicopter, and there are plans to eventually use it to transport hundreds of tonnes of freight across difficult terrain throughout the world as well as deliver aid to risky areas.
It is environmentally friendly, being part airship filled with inert helium, and will also be used for surveillance and communications. Developers hope to make more of the 'green vehicles' which they hope to make capable of taking off from land, water, desert, ice and fields.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd (HAV), which created the hybrid craft, said they expect there to be as many airships as helicopters in the sky in years to come as they provide an environmentally friendly and efficient solution to transporting dozens of tonnes of freight and reaching hard to access areas.
The company also expects to create 'luxury' hybrids, with infinity pools stretching across hundreds of feet, and planes being used for things like safaris and whale watching because they run on often just one engine so are quieter than traditional vehicles and can access hard to reach areas.


Coal Fire Turns Australian Mine Into Mordor's Mount Doom -

Coal Fire Turns Australian Mine Into Mordor's Mount Doom - 

australia coal mine fire 1

A fire at the the Hazelwood open-cut coal mine has turned a large swathe of Morwell, Australia into something out of J.R.R. Tolkien's Mordor.

The fire at the mine has been blazing for three weeks and is believed to be the result of a bushfire started by an arsonist. The town of Morwell and its 14,000 inhabitants has been blanketed in smoke and authorities fear it could take months to completely extinguish the blaze. The town is about 150 km east of Melbourne.

There is speculation that the government of the province of Victoria may soon order a total evacuation. Tens of thousands of gas masks have been distributed, according to Vice.

The blaze poses a difficult challenge for firefighters because even when flames are extinguished the coal continues to smoulder. The fire can reignite at any moment and rages underground. Firefighters are concerned about the danger posed by landslides caused by the huge quantity of water being used on the flames.


'Dead' elderly man wakes up in body bag at funeral home... -

'Dead' elderly man wakes up in body bag at funeral home... -

Workers at a Mississippi funeral home say they found a man alive and kicking when they opened a body bag.

Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard calls it a miracle that 78-year-old Walter Williams is alive.

The coroner was called to Williams' home in Lexington, a community north of Jackson, where family members believed he had died.

Howard says Williams had no pulse and was pronounced dead Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Early Thursday, workers at Porter and Sons Funeral Home were preparing to embalm Williams when he started to kick in the body bag.

Family members were called and Williams was taken to a hospital. Howard says he believes Williams' pacemaker stopped working, then started again.


STUDY: Stethoscopes Dirtier Than Physician's Hand... -

STUDY: Stethoscopes Dirtier Than Physician's Hand... - 

According to a new study, stethoscopes carry more bacteria, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), than a physician’s hand.
After a physician’s exam, a stethoscope was found to be more contaminated with MRSA than all areas of the hand except the fingerprints, according to Dr. Didier Pittet, of the University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland, and colleagues. The fingerprints were the dirtiest.
The stethoscope averaged 89 colony forming units compared to 37 on the base of thumb, 34 on the base of the pinkie finger, and 8 on the back of the hand.
The researchers noted that most stethoscopes rarely get cleaned once a month.
“If we pay attention to hand hygiene, using an alcohol swab to disinfect the stethoscope between patients should have an impact on reducing a percentage of transmission from patient to patient,” Dr. Edward Septimus, of Texas A&M University in College Station and a member of the on antimicrobial resistance committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told MedPage Today. “However, most hospitals have a policy of leaving a dedicated stethoscope in the room of each patient with MRSA.”
Dr. Dennis G. Maki of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison noted in an accompanying editorial that “there are many more patients on that same patient care unit with undetected colonization – patients who pose a greater risk of spreading these microorganisms that patients known to be colonized or infected and in isolation.”


CLAIM: Low-carb diets can lead to heart disease, cancer... -

CLAIM: Low-carb diets can lead to heart disease, cancer... - 

Low-carbohydrate diets are all the rage, but one nutrition expert has claimed that they may not be as healthy as we think.
According to Dr T Colin Campbell's new book The Low-Carb Fraud, giving up grains can mean putting yourself at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer and other regenerative diseases.
He says that not only are low-carb diets lacking in nutritional value, but they're actually even worse than the standard American diet.

The problem, says Dr Campbell, who has 40 years' experience in nutrition science, is that people who cut out carbs tend to load up on animal protein and fat, which heightens cholesterol levels, sometimes leading to disease.
Even the standard American diet is too high in protein and fat, an imbalance that is merely worsened with a low-carb diet.
Consuming more meat also leads to smaller consequences like headaches, rash, cramps and bad breath, also known as halitosis.

Many low-carb diets require that you only consume 15 to 20per cent of your total calories from carbs, which often eliminates nutritionally rich plant-based and complex carbohydrate foods that prevent diseases and promote health.
While the author admits that following a low-carb diet can lead to quick weight loss - which is likely the reason it is so trendy - he adds that in the long run, it can lead to dire consequences.
'Low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diets cause high cholesterol - a major indicator of heart disease and cancer risks,' he told Elle.com.
Bad balance: The problem, says Dr Campbell, is that people who cut out carbs tend to load up on animal protein and fat, which heightens cholesterol levels, sometimes leading to disease +2
Bad balance: The problem, says Dr Campbell, is that people who cut out carbs tend to load up on animal protein and fat, which heightens cholesterol levels, sometimes leading to disease
The latest trend in this category is the Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet - which, as Dr Campbell points out, is merely a 'slightly tweaked' version of other previous fads including South Beach, the Zone and Atkins.
Not only does the Paleo diet cut out complex carbs that are good for you, but it also promotes the consumption of meat, something cavemen didn't even have easy access to, he explains.
Instead of following a fad diet with no scientifically proven health benefits, Dr Campbell recommends the Whole Food, Plant-Based diet, or WFPB, which involves eating mostly intact vegetables, fruits and grains and limiting refined carbs and salt.
He also suggest restricting your intake of added oils and fats, claiming that following these guidelines can rid you of autoimmune diseases and type 2 diabetes and even slow down the effects of cancer.
'The only redeeming factor of low-carb diets could be their removal of high-carbohydrate products like cookies, cakes, and soft drinks,' he conceded.
'But that's only true if it's emphasized that refined carbs, not all carbs, are the problem.'