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CHRISTMAS: HOW TO CHEAT AT PULLING CRACKERS

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

Ever wanted to make the perfect snowball, win the Christmas cracker novelty every time, and impress your festive guests by creating snowflakes indoors? Science correspondent Richard Gray asks the experts who can show you how…

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HOW TO WIN WHEN PULLING A CRACKER – WITHOUT FAIL
As demonstrated by the weapons experts at QinetiQ, the defence agency which, when they’re not developing technology for the MoD, like to experiment with Christmas table decorations.
* Hold your end lower than the other person’s, so the cracker tilts downwards towards you.
* To prevent the cracker tearing, use a firm, two-handed grip.
* Apply a slow, steady pull, rather than a swift tug, which will only compromise the integrity of your section of the cracker.
* Avoid twisting, as this will add stress to the cracker wrapping. For the same reason, avoid laughing too hard at Uncle Bob’s annual ‘joke’ about ‘pulling a cracker’.

Read more at The Telegraph (Thanks @ferkle)

MEET THE BRIT MAN WHO IS SET TO MARRY HIS CHRISTMAS TREE!

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 25, 2010 at 7:47 am

“A Brit man is set to fulfill his desire of marrying his Christmas tree.

Andy, also known as Mr Christmas, has admitted many will think he’s had too much sherry but that hasn’t stopped him drawing up plans for the ceremony.

“I love my Christmas tree more than anything else, so that’s why I want to marry it,” the Sun quoted the 47-year-old divorcee from Melksham, Wilts, as saying.

“I’ve already got a ring, although I’m not sure yet which branch I’ll want to hang it on. The only problem seems to be finding a vicar who is willing to do the ceremony,” he said.

He said that although he’d only had the plastic tree for two years, he felt it was like “his best friend” and he never tired of seeing it sitting in his living room.

“I can’t see why we can’t be joined in matrimony. I’ve heard of other people marrying their pets and so on, so why can’t I get hitched to my tree?” he added.”

Read more at Sify News

TRY THE MCGURK EFFECT!

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

“The McGurk effect is a compelling demonstration of how we all use visual speech information. The effect shows that we can’t help but integrate visual speech into what we ‘hear’.”

(Thanks Luke)

PERIODIC TABLE PRINTED ON HUMAN HAIR

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

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“The table is so small that a million of them could be replicated on a typical post-it note.
Experts from the University’s Nottingham used a sophisticated combination of ion beam writer and electron microscope to carve the symbol of all 118 elements into the strand of hair. The team also used the same nano-writing technique to engrave the words “Merry Christmas” on a snowflake.

“Although writing on a snowflake is on one hand a bit of seasonal fun, it’s also a neat demonstration of the powerful capabilities of the tools that scientists use in the lab on a day-to-day basis,” says physics professor Philip Moriarty. The strand of hair used to create the periodic table was taken from the head of professor Martyn Poliakoff, an expert in green chemistry. His colleagues gave him the printed strand as a birthday present.”

WORLD’S FIRST ANIMAL-TO-HUMAN TRANSPLANT APPROVED

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

“THE world’s first xenotransplantation treatment – where animal cells are transplanted into humans – has been approved for sale in Russia.

The treatment, developed by Living Cell Technologies in New Zealand, is for type 1 diabetes. It consists of insulin-producing pig cells coated in seaweed, says Bob Elliott of LCT.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. Insulin is vital in controlling blood glucose levels, so people who lack the cells need daily insulin injections.

However, injecting the wrong amount of insulin can cause blood glucose levels to swing dangerously, causing fainting, and cardiovascular and nervous effects. These can reduce a person’s life span, Elliott says.

LCT’s treatment involves surgically implanting the replacement cells into the pancreas. The “seaweed” coating is alginate, which prevents the immune system from attacking the foreign cells.

In Russian trials, eight people with type 1 diabetes received the treatment in June 2007, while continuing to have daily injections of insulin. After a year, six showed improved blood glucose control and were able to lower their daily dose of insulin. Two of them stopped injections entirely for eight months. One person left the trial and another showed no improvement, which LCT believes was due to problems inserting the cells into the pancreas.”

Read more at New Scientist (Thanks Shaun H)

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Grace
I came to see the Infamous tour in Southampton (April 11). Derren is my biggest hero, and I found myself incredibly lucky enough to be up on stage with him. Derren was as genuine and charming as I'd always hoped (which proved a contrast to my nervous and shaky demeanour). He is a brilliant showman and an all-round pleasure to watch. The show was sensationally mind-blowing - I'll be sure that I never miss another. Thank you Derren, for everything that you do. Sorry I was so shaky! Grace
Kay le poidevin
Really looking forward to tonight in Southaampton, bought tickets for husband, Terry's birthday. It's not today, it was in February.)
Sandra B. Myers
Derren Brown, For my daughter's birthday gift in November of 2013, I gave her a ticket to your show. For Christmas, I gave her a round trip ticket to London from Pensacola, Florida, our home. On my birthday, I flew from the Middle East, where I'm teaching English, to join her. On the 25th of March, you gave us your best. It was the highlight of our First English Spring Tour. No matter how far apart we are in the world or mindset, we both agree...we have no idea how you do it! And we like it that way.
Hannah A
I saw Derren at Leeds on 25th and I am still - 4 days on - utterly blown away by his incredible talent and incredible show! I have never ever had the pleasure of seeing him live before, but I will never miss an opportunity again. Someone as talented as Derren Brown is a MUST SEE. He's mesmerising, spellbinding, inspiring, jaw droppingly amazing. This experience is something I will take away with me forever and a day! Thank you SO much for bringing this show to Leeds! But goin forward, if travel roun te country to see you - you are THAT good :)