Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Earth is in for a close call - 1st spotted on 2/28 - Asteroid 2014 DX110 Will Pass Between Earth & Moon On March 5 -

Earth is in for a close call - 1st spotted on 2/28 - Asteroid 2014 DX110 Will Pass Between Earth & Moon On March 5 -  

Earth is in for a close call.

Asteroid 2014 DX110 is set to fly between the Earth and the moon Wednesday. Slooh Space Camera will broadcast the flyby live starting at 4 p.m. EST on March 5.

Paul Cox, Slooh's technical and research director, is set to narrate the live stream as the asteroid makes an extremely close pass by Earth. Researchers estimate that DX110 will follow a path that puts it within one lunar distance from the planet. But, there's no need to worry: As Universe Today reported, the asteroid will be about 216,000 miles away from our planet and is not expected to come in contact with either the Earth or the moon.

The asteroid was first spotted on Feb. 28 and measures about 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. After passing between the Earth and moon Wednesday, the space rock is expected to return and make another flyby in March 2046. NASA predicts the object will have a 1 in 10,000,000 chance of impacting the planet then.

DX110 is one of the closest asteroids to approach Earth in recent months. Though asteroids pass by Earth regularly, most do not come within one lunar distance of the planet.

Watch Slooh's live broadcast of asteroid 2014 DX110's close shave in the video above, and see the path the asteroid is expected to take in the animation below.


1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD -

1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD - 


If you're talking tech with Americans, you may want to avoid using any jargon.
A recent study found that many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11% saying that they thought HTML — a language that is used to create websites — was a sexually transmitted disease.
The study was conducted by Vouchercloud.net, a coupons website, as a way to determine how knowledgeable users are when it comes to tech terms.
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"Technology is a huge interest for our user base, and month after month we see thousands of people visiting our site to look for coupons and deals to use when purchasing their favorite tech products," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "It seems that quite a few of us need to brush up on our tech definitions."
Besides HTML, there were some other amusing findings:
77% of respondents could not identify what SEO means. SEO stands for "Search-Engine Optimization"
27% identified "gigabyte" as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
42% said they believed a "motherboard" was "the deck of a cruise ship." A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.
23% thought an "MP3" was a "Star Wars" robot. It is actually an audio file.
18% identified "Blu-ray" as a marine animal. It is a disc format typically used to store high-definition videos.
15% said they believed "software" is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.
12% said "USB" is the acronym for a European country. In fact, USB is a type of connector.
Despite the incorrect answers, 61% of the respondents said it is important to have a good knowledge of technology in this day and age.
The study involved 2,392 men and women 18 years of age or older. The participants were not told that the study was specifically looking into their knowledge of tech terms. They were presented with both tech and non-tech terms and were asked to choose from three possible definitions.
"Hence why a mix of both normal and technology-related words were used," the company said in a statement.


Niagara Falls comes to a halt AGAIN: Millions of gallons of cascading water is frozen in bitter temperatures -

Niagara Falls comes to a halt AGAIN: Millions of gallons of cascading water is frozen in bitter temperatures - 

Frozen: Lights that usually reflect the water of Niagara Falls illuminate the ice after it froze over on Monday

For the second time in what has been a frigid winter in the Northeastern United States, Niagara falls has come to an icy halt as the six million cubic feet of water that typically flow over the falls every minute has frozen over.
The flow of water over the falls typically can withstand icy temperatures like those that have frozen much of the country this winter, but Monday's high of 9 degrees Fahrenheit brought Niagara Falls to a standstill - and photographers were there to snap some stunning images of the frozen waterfall. 
In January, another record-breaking cold front managed to freeze the mighty falls in a 'polar vortex' that turned the cascading water to ice - and affected about 240 million people in the U.S. and southern Canada.
No thaw is expected anytime soon, as temperatures at the western New York tourist attraction will dip below 0 degrees Fahrenheit Monday night through Tuesday morning.

Icy: A man is pictured walking in front of the partially frozen American side of the Falls as subfreezing temperatures freeze the Northeast


Eating large amounts of meat, cheese may be as deadly as smoking, study shows -

Eating large amounts of meat, cheese may be as deadly as smoking, study shows - 

Could a diet rich in meat and cheese be just as deadly as smoking cigarettes? New research from the University of Southern California indicates that consuming high levels of animal proteins could be detrimental to a person’s health, according to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Eating a hamburger, or other forms of animal protein, elevates levels of the growth hormone IGF-1 in the human body. In children, IGF-1 helps promote growth and development – but in adulthood, high levels of the hormone have been linked to an increased risk for cancer and other age-related disease, according to study author Vance Longo, director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute.

Knowing that IGF-1 was linked to increased mortality, Longo and his fellow researchers began to look for ways to naturally reduce levels of the hormone in the human body.

“We asked, ‘Would it be enough to reduce the proteins [consumed]?’” Longo told FoxNews.com.

In order to analyze the effects of animal-based protein consumption on mortality, researchers utilized data gathered from 6,381 adults over age 50 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  They split the population into three groups: those who consumed 20 percent of their daily calories from protein, those who consumed 10 to 19 percent of their daily calories from protein, and those who consumed a diet comprised of less than 10 percent protein.

“The effects we saw were about as good as we imagined,” Longo said. “We saw a big difference with low protein intake and reduction in overall mortality, cancer and diabetes.”

Overall, people who consumed high-protein diets were four times more likely to die from cancer and 74 percent more likely to die of any cause during the study period compared to people who ate a low-protein diet.

Researchers also studied the effects of a low-protein diet in a group of mice, analyzing how well high- or low-protein diets protected against both melanoma and breast cancer progression in the animals.

“We started with an established cancer and yet the low-protein [diet] was able to prevent the cancer from progressing in 10 to 30 percent of animals, something we really didn’t even expect,” Longo said. “We expected reduced progression but not necessarily the ability—even having 20,000 cancer cells injected— to make sure that in 30 percent of these mice the cancer never really appeared but went away.”

They also noted that a low-protein diet resulted in reduced levels of IGF-1 among the mice, which the researchers believe may be responsible for explaining the diet’s protective effects.

“If you have low IGF-1… then the cell is protected against DNA damage,” Longo said.

But while a diet high in animal-based proteins seems to have detrimental effects on health, plant-based proteins, like legumes, don’t seem to carry as much of a risk. While people who ate diets high in plant-based proteins still had a three-fold increase in mortality from cancer, an increase in overall mortality was not evident.

“The plant proteins have a different profile of amino acids, and not all are the same, but each plant has a different [profile],” Longo said. “We know that for some of them, that profile reduces IGF-1…and other genes that promote aging or age-related diseases.”

However, Longo noted that as people progress past middle-age, some may see a protective effect from consuming diets rich in animal proteins. Starting at age 64, a person’s IGF-1 levels begin to decrease naturally, which can result in decreases in weight and increases in frailty – something that could be dangerous for someone already consuming a low-protein diet.

“We think that after age 65, particularly for individuals starting to lose weight, who had low levels of IGF-1 to begin with, increasing protein intake for those that have low protein may be a good idea,” Longo said, noting that as people age the body may not process protein as efficiently. “But people [who already had] a moderate to high intake, they are fine.”

Generally, Longo recommends people should consume nine to 10 percent of their daily calories from protein – or .36 grams for every pound they weigh. For example, a 100-pound person can safely consume 36 grams of protein per day, while a 200-pound person could consume 72 grams of protein per day without elevating their risk for cancer or general mortality. According to the USDA, one cup of chicken contains about 43 grams of protein. 

And for those who continue to consume excessive amounts of animal protein, Longo warned that they could be putting themselves at as much risk as if they were smoking cigarettes.

“Cancer mortality was higher for high-protein [eaters] compared to current smokers,” Longo said.  


CDC 'sounds the alarm' on improper antibiotic use -

CDC 'sounds the alarm' on improper antibiotic use - 

Doctors and hospitals are putting patients at risk of deadly "superbug" infections because of frequent and sometimes careless use of antibiotics, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotics are a staple of hospital care, and more than half of patients receive one before being discharged, the report found.

Yet doctors and others in some hospitals prescribe three times as many antibiotics as in other hospitals, even for patients with similar conditions, according to an analysis of more than 11,000 hospitalized patients.

Researchers found potential errors in one-third of cases involving urinary tract infections, as well as in the use of a powerful antibiotic called vancomycin. In some cases, doctors prescribed antibiotics without running a urine test or when patients didn't have symptoms. In other cases, doctors gave antibiotics for too long a period.

Previous studies have found the problem of improper prescribing to be even worse, with mistakes made in up to half of cases in which patients got antibiotics.

Although antibiotics can be life saving, using them too frequently promotes the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are immune to the strongest medications. Patients are already suffering and dying from infections that are untreatable with any medication, said CDC director Thomas Frieden. The new report is an effort to "sound the alarm" about the problem.

"Poor prescribing practices put patients at risk," Thomas Frieden said. "The bottom line is that we have to protect patients by protecting antibiotics."

Misusing antibiotics also puts patients at serious risk of developing an antibiotic-resistant infection, Frieden said. In the study, hospitalized patients who received broad-acting antibiotics — those that kill a wide variety of bugs — were three times more likely to develop dangerous infections with bacteria called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, which can cause severe diarrhea, blood infections and death.

About 250,000 hospitalized Americans a year develop C. diff infections, according to the CDC.

Dangerous C. diff bacteria can be picked up in hospitals. Although the bugs can often be kept in check by friendly gut bacteria, C. diff can multiply if beneficial gut bacteria are killed by antibiotics, which often wipe out the body's so-called "good bugs" along with the bad. The antibiotics that most often lead to C. diff infections include fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, clindamycin and penicillins, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Oscars 2014: Pizza guy gets a hefty $1,000 tip on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' -

Oscars 2014: Pizza guy gets a hefty $1,000 tip on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' - 


Pizza delivery guy Edgar had a good Sunday night. He got to deliver pizza to the Oscars and received a $1,000 tip. Sorry, Lupita, but it looks like Edgar was the real winner last night.

Edgar, co-owner of pizzeria Big Mama’s & Papa’s, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday to talk about his surprise visit to the Oscars. Apparently, he was told he was going to deliver pizza to some writers and was shocked when DeGeneres led him to the stage, where he looked out at the huge audience and offered an adorable “hello!”
As if going on an unexpected trip to the Oscars and getting a huge tip wasn’t enough, Edgar also got to meet his dream lady: Julia Roberts, who he served a slice of pizza to. See, kids, dreams do come true!
DeGeneres ended the interview by pulling out Pharrell’s hat filled with money and telling Edgar she ended up collecting around $600 from the audience for his tip. Then she pulled out $400 from her pocket and handed the wad of cash to a laughing Edgar. So, how do we break into the pizza delivery business?

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Behind the Preplanned Oscar Selfie: Samsung Spent Nearly $20 Million on Ad Time for the Oscars -

Behind the Preplanned Oscar Selfie: Samsung Spent Nearly $20 Million on Ad Time for the Oscars - 

Samsung Electronics Co. spent an estimated $20 million on ads to run during breaks in the Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday night. But Samsung may have got more promotional mileage from Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres during the show itself.

Ms. DeGeneres toyed with a white Samsung phone during the broadcast, including when she handed a Galaxy Note 3 to actor Bradley Cooper so he could take a "selfie" photo of himself and other stars including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Lawrence surrounding the host.

While the stunt felt spontaneous, it wasn't entirely unplanned. As part of its sponsorship and ad pact for the Oscars with ABC, the TV network airing the show, Samsung and its media buying firm Starcom MediaVest negotiated to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show, according to two people familiar with the matter. ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co. DIS +2.98%

Samsung gave ABC smartphones to use during the broadcast and was promised its devices would get airtime, these people said. At least one of the product plugs was planned: during the "red carpet" preshow, ABC ran a clip of six aspiring young filmmakers touring Disney Studios. The group were seen in the video using Samsung devices.

The origin of the "selfie" shot was a little different. Ms. DeGeneres, in the days leading up to the broadcast, decided she wanted to take "selfies" during the show and ABC suggested she use a Samsung since it was a sponsor, another person familiar with the matter said.

During rehearsals Samsung executives trained Ms. DeGeneres on how to use the Samsung Galaxy, two people familiar with the matter said.

"It was a great plug for the Samsung brand," said Allen Adamson, managing director at Landor Associates, a branding firm owned by WPP PLC. "Ellen's selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can't buy that magic of going viral," he added.

Having products appear in a program—product placement—has been a part of the TV business since the early days of the medium.

But it has become a more popular marketing technique in recent years as ad-skipping via digital video recorders has prompted marketers to look for ways to break free of the confines of the commercial break.

Oscars host Ellen Degeneres set a record for most retweets during the Oscars telecast. Who else were the social-media winners and losers at the Oscars? David Neuman, social-media manager at Prime Visibility, joins digits. Photo: Twitter.com/TheEllenShow.

Ad-skipping is far less common during an event like the Academy Awards, which most viewers are watching live. Even so, advertisers say, product placement combined with ad buys help viewers better remember the products being promoted.

At the same time, TV networks typically reserve such product placement for big spending advertisers, media buyers say. Samsung was one of the biggest sponsors of this year's Oscars broadcast, buying five minutes of commercial time.

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