Coca-Cola's recipe revealed?

Coca-Cola recipeEver since the creation of Coca-Cola in 1886, the precise recipe has been a closely guarded secret. The only official written copy is supposedly held in a U.S. bank vault and only two company employees at any one time are said to know the whole formula that gives the fizzy drink its distinctive flavour.

But now, 125 years of near-total secrecy look to be over, as a website claims to have uncovered a list showing the ingredients and quantities used to make the drink.

The list, it claims, was actually published without fanfare in a 1979 local newspaper article in Coca-Cola’s U.S. home town of Atlanta, Georgia – but no one appeared to realise its significance.

The website, Thisamericanlife.org, said the 32-year-old article – buried on Page 28 of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – shows a photograph of a recipe purported to be an exact replica of Coca-Cola creator John Pemberton’s.

The recipe had apparently been written by a friend of pharmacist Mr Pemberton’s then passed down through the generations. A can of Coca-Cola currently simply refers to its specialist ingredients as ‘Natural flavourings including caffeine’ alongside carbonated water, sugar, phosphoric acid and colour (Caramel E150d).

The closest the company itself has come to divulging its recipe was the admission that it originally included cocaine, although the narcotic was removed in the early 1900s.


‘Loch Ness Monster’ England’s version pictures taken by Kayakers

British version of the Loch NessTom Pickles and Sarah Harrington have never expected anything like what they had just experienced. Their afternoon's kayaking have turned out quite shocking after the sighting of a primeval sea monster. These kayakers have taken their watercraft out on the foggy waters of Lake Windermere, only to encounter what appeared to be "an enormous snake" swimming by.

But what did Pickles and Harrington expect? Didn't they know that Lake Windermere is reputedly the home of the British version of the Loch Ness monster? In the past five years, sojourners on the lake have reported eight sightings of a Nessie-like serpent.

But the kayaking couple rallied from their shock and snapped the clearest photo of the Windermere "monster" since the sightings began. A journalism professor and his wife inaugurated the recent spate of Nessie-esque encounters on the lake back in 2006 reporting they had seen a "giant eel" somewhere between 15-20 feet long.

Ever since then, researchers have set out upon the lake with sonar equipment, in pursuit of "Bow-Nessie," as the creature's British compatriots like to call it. But so far, their efforts haven't borne fruit.


The world's first anti-laser

anti laserPhysicists have built the world's first device that can cancel out a laser beam - a so-called anti-laser. The device, created by a team from Yale University, is capable of absorbing an incoming laser beam entirely.

But this is not intended as a defence against high-power laser weapons, the researchers said. Instead they think it could be used in next-generation supercomputers which will be built with components that use light rather than electrons.

Professor Douglas Stone and colleagues at Yale University had initially been developing a theory to explain which materials could be used as the basis of lasers.
Strange lasers. Recent advances in laser design have resulted in a number of unusual devices that do not fit the traditional concept of a laser, Professor Stone explained.

"So we were working on a theory that could predict what could be used to form a laser," he said.

That theory also predicted that instead of amplifying light into coherent pulses, as a laser does, it should be possible to create a device that absorbs laser light hitting it, said Professor Stone - an anti-laser. They have now succeeded in building one.


IBM supercomputer TV quiz with $1 million prize

IBM supercomputer WatsonIBM has designed a supercomputer named as Watson to face two human contestants on the US quiz show Jeopardy. Watson will pit its wits against two of the game's most successful players.

At stake is a $1 million prize (£620,000) and the reputation of the field of artificial intelligence.

The company said Watson signals a new era in computing where machines will increasingly be able to learn and understand what humans are really asking them for.

Jeopardy is seen as the greatest challenge for Watson because of the show's rapid fire format and clues that rely on subtle meanings, puns, and riddles; something humans excel at and computers do not.


Walking 'boosts memory power'

walking boost memoryWalking about 40 minutes a few times a week is enough to preserve memory and keep ageing brains on top form, research shows. Moderate exercise increased the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that makes memories, in 120 volunteers.

The year-long trial, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed performance on memory tests also improved.

Exercise may buffer against dementia as well as age-related memory loss. The latest work looked at healthy people in their 60s rather than people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

But the findings have important implications for ageing societies faced with a dementia time bomb. In the UK, 820,000 people have dementia, and this figure is set to double by 2030.


Six Little Things That Can Cost You a Lot

money savingMost of us do it. We spend little amounts regularly on things like lunch, Starbucks lattes, manicures, golf maybe even for having a pizza delivered while we watch a weekly game on TV.

These seem like reasonable decisions about relatively small expenses. It's hard to imagine how much they add up.

The harsh reality is that each dollar that's spent today isn't available for something else tomorrow. And these little purchases have a way of robbing us of the things we really want.

Why? Most of us haven't stopped to consider whether that daily latte is truly precious to our well-being, or if it's just a habit. If it's precious, it's worth doing at least part of the time. But is it worth giving up the convertible Mustang that all those cups of coffee could otherwise have purchased?

These are actually the trade-offs we make when we don't look at the long-term costs of niggling day-to-day expenses. The chart below makes the trade-offs clearer by providing a 10-year and 30-year cost.


NASA finds a new whole worlds outside solar system

worlds outside solar systemNASA's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life. An early report from a cosmic census indicates that relatively small planets and stable multi-planet systems are far more plentiful than previous searches showed.

NASA released new data Wednesday from its Kepler telescope on more than 1,000 possible new planets outside our solar system — more than doubling the count of what astronomers call exoplanets. They haven't been confirmed as planets yet, but some astronomers estimate that 90 percent of what Kepler has found will eventually be verified.

Kepler, launched in 2009, has been orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars, conducting a planet census and searching for Earth-like planets since last year. It has found there are more planets that are much smaller than Jupiter — the biggest planet in our solar system — than there are giant planets.