Monday, October 30, 2006

Some misconception for orkut and forwarding emails...


* Orkut is NOT deleting profiles!
* Orkut is run by google which is having a 300% growth in terms of revenue for this fiscal year!
* They can handle any abysmal requirement of processing power or space!
* They are NOT experiencing any information processing or storage problems as yet!
* Orkut or google is not bankrup yet to send a single stupid mail to a person and ask him to forward it...They still hav technology to inform all the users at a single time..
* If any such thing was there orkut would surely have removed the invite friends option in its recent makeover.


* Until Today, there is no way to keep track of where a mail gets forwarded!
* Microsoft will not know if I send a mail from google server to my friend (EVEN IF IT IS A FORWARDED MAIL) unless you explicitly execute some code or click some link!
* However may I wish, I have no means to know whether my friend is forwarding the mail I sent to him or not. Nor does Microsoft, Google or any other corp. or inc.

Misconception #3: No comments about emotional messages appealing a person to forward a mail because it will either...

* suddenly make his love of life realize that she should call him/she should meet him/She should fall in love with him!
* or increase life expectancy of himself or his father/mother/ brother/sister /any other relatives!
* or make something "GOOD"(?) happen in his life!
* or earn him an unexpected fortune!
* or because some poor/crippled/ terminally infected/just infected/dying person will get money for every mail you forward!(I do not mean to disrespect the intentions but it is pointless as your forwards cannot be tracked)
* or just because it is part of a world record attempt!
* or because this e-mail is part of "chain" that many people have kept or going for no particular reason so you should also do the same!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Love is an Addiction

Reportedly Men's Health, blood samples have revealed biochemical evidence that intense romantic love fades after a year in a new relationship, according to a recent study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Researchers tested the blood of 58 men and women who reported being newly and madly in love, and compared the blood with samples from people in long-lasting relationships. They looked at levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), believed to be a mediator of anxiety, emotions, and behaviors. Higher NGF levels corresponded to reportedly intense feelings of passionate love. And levels were nearly double in the new lovers, compared with those in long-term partnerships. "Love is not only poetry; it also has a strong biological basis," says Enzo Emanuele, M.D., of the University of Pavia, in Italy. "An adage says that 'love is an addiction.' Perhaps we may become tolerant of our partner, though nevertheless remaining 'addicted.'"

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Q What happens when we hallucinate?

A Although most of us immediately think of a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas experience, or perhaps that weird guy muttering to himself on the street corner, recreational drugs and psychiatric disorders are not the only causes of hallucination. Stress, fever, illness or sleep deprivation can also trigger an episode.

Hallucination, also called sensory deception, happens when a person sees, hears, feels, smells, or tastes something that is not there. The general cause is abnormal chemical reactions, triggered by a drug or by misfiring neurons, that activate certain parts of the brain and disrupt their usual functions.

The exact nature of hallucinations is poorly understood, but here's what we know: With visual hallucinations, foreign chemicals (drugs or stray neurotransmitters) enter the synapses between the optic nerve and the occipital lobe, the part of the brain that processes visual information, triggering a signal on that neural pathway. Once the false signal reaches the brain, the occipital lobe is activated, and visual hallucination occurs. The same process occurs with hallucinations related to hearing, smell, taste (in the temporal lobes) and touch (in the parietal lobe).

If you wish to experiment (legally, mind you) with some hallucination of your own, try sleep deprivation. According to Michael Golder, a professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, "a person who has been sleep-deprived for 72 hours is as susceptible to hallucinations as someone taking LSD."

--Rachel Horn

Q Does a bland diet really help alleviate heartburn?

A Anecdotally, yes. Scientifically, no. Lauren Gerson, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center, says that none of the common dietary restrictions recommended to lessen heartburn-including limiting coffee, chocolate, caffeinated beverages, wine and citrus fruits-have stood up to scientific scrutiny.

Heartburn occurs when the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach that regulates food traffic fails to close properly. This can allow stomach contents, including stomach acid, to leak back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. Before the 1980s, when prescription "proton-pump inhibitors" such as Prilosec and, later, Nexium were introduced, patients had to rely on feeble antacids or even surgery. Diet restriction seemed to be the best noninvasive alternative to lessen the symptoms.

When Gerson's patients complained to her about their bland diets, she decided to go straight to the source-the original studies that implicated diet in the first place-to see if there was any support for the strict limitations imposed on heartburn sufferers. After slogging through more than 2,000 peer-reviewed journal articles, she concluded that there was not. Although some foods (like carbonated beverages) were shown to cause the muscle between the esophagus and stomach to relax-a potential cause of heartburn-Gerson says, researchers never demonstrated whether consuming them would create the symptoms or if eliminating them from one's diet would lessen discomfort.

Blanket recommendations to cut out large classes of food may not be the answer to curing heartburn, but old ideas about diet are not completely obsolete, says Kenneth R. DeVault, chair of the gastroenterology division at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. "If something gives you symptoms," he says, "then you should probably avoid it." Chalk one up for anecdotal evidence.

Q Why do I get a headache when I eat ice cream too quickly?

A "Brain freeze" or an "ice cream headache" hits when a cold substance makes contact with nerve endings in the roof of your mouth. A particular nerve in the back of your throat (impress your friends by calling it the sphenopalatine ganglion) stimulates the trigeminal nerve, the largest of the sensory nerves that lead from your face to your brain. The result is that characteristic stabbing pain, centered in the midfrontal part of the brain. Migraine sufferers are typically susceptible to cold-induced head-aches, and a 10- or 20-second brain freeze can often be a trigger for a longer, more severe migraine attack. There's really no way to avoid such headaches if you insist on wolfing down your icy dessert, says Seymour Diamond, founder and director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. Next time you sip a Slurpee, just remember to take it slow.

--Rachel Horn

Q Can someone use my GPS receiver to track me?

A Conspiracy theorists can rest easy. Handheld global positioning system (GPS) receivers are just that-receivers. They are passive devices that intercept radio signals sent out by a network of 24 primary satellites in medium-Earth orbit. By timing how long a signal takes to reach the device from each of four satellites, a GPS device can pinpoint the user's position. For someone to be able to stalk you, your GPS device would have to have some way of transmitting that position data, whether by a GPS-enabled cellphone, a radio transmitter, emergency 911 services or wireless internet. Most simple handheld GPS devices are merely passive receivers and have nothing of the kind.

If a GPS device were to be used to track a person without his or her knowledge, it could cross into uncharted legal territory. "The idea that someone is able to gather a really nicely aggregated picture of your daily routine is something most people would see as an invasion of privacy," says Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital-rights group. "It's not much different from having someone following you around and keeping track of where you are at all times." If you're concerned, there's an easy solution: Just disable the GPS features on your cellphone when you're not using them.

--Nicole Price Fasig

Q Can I make snow with just my garden hose?

A Sorry, Jack Frost, but setting your puny garden hose to "mist" when it's cold outside isn't going to turn your frozen lawn into a sledding hill. Why not? The problem, in a word, is dirt. Natural snow forms in the upper atmosphere when tiny water droplets adhere to ice crystals or a small speck of dust and then change from super-cooled liquid water to solid ice. These crucial dust and ice "nucleation" points are missing from your DIY snow venture, says Matthew Pittman, co-founder of snow-machine manufacturer SnowatHome in Connecticut. "Just spraying water in a freezing environment won't make snow," he explains. "The water will not freeze until it makes contact with the ground."

Professional snow-making machines, which use a proprietary blend of nucleation particles, suck up 150 gallons of water a minute to keep the slopes of your favorite ski resort covered with the white stuff. A typical garden hose spews out a paltry six gallons a minute. So even if you did manage to get your water droplets to form snowflakes before they hit the ground, all you could hope for is a very slow accumulation, and the smallest snowman ever.

--Carla Thomas

An asteroid the size of the Rose Bowl is on a collision course with Earth, and scientists are racing to prevent an impact. (The rock, Apophis, has a 1-in-40,000 chance of striking Earth in 2036.) On this season's first episode of Nova: ScienceNow, researchers consider crashing a satellite into the asteroid to nudge it off its course or flying a gravitational tugboat in front of it to influence its path. Also covered in this hour-long episode: the struggle to create the 114th element, and a look at a genetic defect that may contribute to some forms of obesity. Airs October 3.


Sometimes it takes a kid to ask the important questions. Like, "Can we drink beer in space?" (Answer: Yes, although booze is strictly verboten to today's astronauts while they're in orbit.) Kids to Space: A Space Traveler's Guide is a gigantic Q&A on space exploration between North American schoolchildren and 80 experts in such fields as astrophysics, dentistry, and survival in extreme environments. The questions and answers are surprising and gratifying: Nationality of kids born in orbit? (Same as the parents'.) Will my cat survive liftoff? (Yes.)

By: Horn, Rachel, Fasig, Nicole Price, Popular Science, Oct2006

Chasing Down a Killer’s Story

A venerable cold-case squad probes a convicted murderer’s claim to 48 victims.

Former FBI and CIA agent Charlie Hess hadn’t expected to spend his golden years chasing killers. He was happily retired from crime fighting, living his dream of “a Robinson Crusoe existence” with his wife in a thatch-roof home in Baja, Mexico. But that was before Christmas Eve, 1990, when their son-in-law was fatally shot by burglars in Colorado Springs and Hess and his wife decided to move to Colorado to be with their widowed daughter. The killers were eventually caught, and through the whole ordeal Hess formed close ties with members of El Paso County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office. So when the sheriff asked Hess in 2001 if he would start a cold-case unit for the overburdened agency, Hess readily agreed. “I felt it was a way to do something productive, rather than grow old sitting on the couch watching TV,” says Hess, now 79.

Four years ago Hess began nursing a relationship with convicted murderer Robert Charles Browne, whom law-enforcement officers suspected might be a serial killer. Hess started sending letters to Browne, and the two eventually held face-to-face meetings. “He was lonely, and I showed interest,” says Hess. In the course of their meetings, Browne, who claims to have killed 48 people during a three-decade rampage, has provided Hess with details of 19 killings. Officials have already verified details Browne gave them in seven of those cases. If Browne’s claim holds true, that would rank the 53-year-old with the Green River Killer as the nation’s most prolific serial murderer. But that’s a big “if,” given that killers behind bars often lie about their “successes.”

So far, authorities have been able only to tie Browne definitively to the murders of two teenage girls: 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church in 1991 and 15-year-old Rocio Sperry in 1987. Browne was convicted in 1995 of the Church murder and given a life sentence; a second life sentence was added after he pleaded guilty on July 27 to Sperry’s murder. The task of evaluating Browne’s other supposed victims–by the FBI and law-enforcement officials around the country–is daunting, given that many of the cases are so old. “It’s too early to determine whether there’s any validity to his claims,” says Lt. Col. David Shaw, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is looking into Browne’s allegation that he killed two men near the Alabama border, dismembered their bodies and dropped them into a swamp some 25 years ago.

Meanwhile, Hess and his fellow cold-case workers have stayed on Browne’s trail. The volunteer group has come to be known as the Apple Dumpling Gang, both for a 1975 Disney comedy featuring a couple of hapless outlaws and because the group likes to gather for pastry at a German bakery in Colorado Springs. In addition to Hess, it includes a former investigator on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case, 71-year-old Lou Smit, and a former newspaper publisher and crime reporter, Scott Fischer, 60. Smit is the de facto leader, but Hess was tapped to approach Browne because the inmate holds Smit responsible for putting him behind bars in the Church case (Browne now claims he didn’t kill the girl).

Hess wrote his first letter to Browne in May 2002; he would send about 20 in all, and Browne responded to most. Hess kept him up on New Orleans Saints football scores, and Browne carped about the discomforts of prison. On Browne’s birthday, which is Halloween, Hess sent the prisoner a birthday card with a picture of a snowy owl: Browne wrote back that it was his favorite bird of prey. Hess eventually started giving Browne details about his family life, even telling him about his son-in-law’s murder. “I’m sorry for your loss,” Browne wrote. “I felt that if he was going to share with me, he needed to know that I would share deep personal feelings with him,” Hess says. Browne agreed to a meeting in September 2004, the first of several sit-downs between Hess and the 6-foot-2, 200-plus-pound prisoner. Browne controlled these interviews, deciding what information about the alleged killings to give Hess. Since pleading guilty last month to Sperry’s murder, Browne has stopped talking, on the advice of his state-appointed attorney. (The attorney did not respond to a call seeking comment.)

Browne never provided a motive, but he did speak of the peacefulness of going “rambling,” his term for his hunts. He also mentioned negative feelings toward women–who “try to present themselves to be one thing, and then always prove to be something else,” he wrote to Hess. He described one of his alleged victims as a “slutty, low-life woman.” Browne’s motivation is also a big question mark: Does he relish the idea of going down in infamy as one of America’s top-two serial killers? Or is it something else? Detective Ed Majors of the Tulsa Police Department has been working on tips Browne gave about two murders in Oklahoma, and he has met with the prisoner. “He didn’t seem like someone who’s in prison. Not hard at all,” Majors says. “He just wants to resolve this and give closure to the families.” It will take a lot more work by Majors and the Apple Dumpling Gang before those families find out whether closure will ever come.

By: Tolme, Paul, Atkins, Ace, Ordoñez, Jennifer, Newsweek

Joke of the Day

English, Irish, Scottish scientist

After having dug to a depth of 1000 meters last year, Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 1000 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English scientist dug to a depth of 2000 meters and shortly after headlines in the UK newspapers read; English archaeologists have found traces of 2000 year old fibre-optic cable and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech digital communications network a thousand years earlier than the Scots.

One week later, Irish newspapers reported the following: After digging as deep as 5000 meters in a County Mayo bog, Irish scientists have found absolutely nothing. They, therefore, have concluded that 5000 years ago, Ireland's inhabitants were already using wireless technology.