Apple iPhone, iPad Batteries to Last 'Days or Even Weeks'

iPad BatteriesSometime in the future, Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and MacBook might work longer than ever on a smaller and lighter battery pack. How is this possible? By using hydrogen fuel cells, which convert oxygen and hydrogen into water, heat and electricity. The US Patent & Trademark Office has recently published two Apple patent applications, detailing how fuel cells might power smartphones, laptops and tablets of the future.

Hydrogen fuel cells aren't exactly a new technology; they've been used to power Honda cars, for example, and they bring their own set of problems, especially in the context of smartphones or laptops.

But Apple might have a solution. One of the patent applications describes a "fuel cell system which is capable of both providing power to and receiving power from a rechargeable battery in a portable computing device. This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel cell system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the fuel cell system."


China's Coolest Town

China Coolest TownIf Santa fancies taking a breather after his gift-giving jaunt around the world tonight, there's one spot on the planet where he'll feel right at home. For the town of Harbin in northeast China has created an entire city carved out of ice and snow. The 28th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which opens on January 5, features work by some of the best ice sculptors and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

Spread out across three zones, the theme park features a range of snow-based rides, ice mountains and reproductions of some of the most iconic buildings in the world - all carved from giant blocks of ice and snow.

The town, located near the border with Russia, experiences dry but freezing winters and has an abundance of ice on tap from the nearby Songhau River. Winter activities at the festival include Yabuli Alpine Skiing, winter-swimming and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.


A Christmas Decoration 1,000 Light Years Away

Christmas Decoration 1,000 Light Years AwayEven a far-far universe celebrates Christmas. Yes, Nasa scientists were in a very festive mood in last week, releasing an amazing image of a nebula they nicknamed the 'wreath nebula.' The scene looks like a ring of evergreens decorated with a red Christmasy bow with silver bells throughout.It was captured by Nasa's WISE space telescope. The star-forming nebula is actually named Barnard 3, or IRAS Ring G159.6-18.5, discovery.com reports.

But this picture of serenity is deceiving. From 1,000 light years away, this nebula looks peaceful but it is actually a mass of savage winds blasting from the central bright star. in the middle of the red area.

The blizzard winds have turned the warm dust into a wreath shape.The central red glow is thought to be metal-rich gases being heated up by the central bright star.Factor in the many shining stars, lovingly dubbed 'silver bells' by Nasa scientists, and you have a truly cosy Christmas scene.


Doubled Earth-size planets spotted!!!!

Doubled Earth-size planetsLast week, scientists have found doubled Earth-sized planets orbiting a star outside the solar system, an encouraging sign for prospects of finding life elsewhere. The discovery shows that such planets exist and that they can be detected by the Kepler spacecraft, said Francois Fressin of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. They're the smallest planets found so far that orbit a star resembling our sun.

Scientists are seeking Earth-sized planets as potential homes for extraterrestrial life, said Fressin, who reports the new findings in a paper published online Tuesday by the journal Nature. One planet's diameter is only 3 percent larger than Earth's, while the other's diameter is about nine-tenths that of Earth. They appear to be rocky, like our planet.

But they are too hot to contain life as we know it, with calculated temperatures of about 1,400 degrees and 800 degrees Fahrenheit, he said.


Keep a Flexible to-do List

to-do ListMaking a daily list of to-dos is a great way to stay on top of your work. However, there is one pitfall-it can make you inflexible. "A lot of people feel their day's been wrecked if they have to change their plan, but the most effective people understand that's part of the job," says Vicki Milazzo, author of Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman.

"I always start my day with a plan, but by 9 a.m. I've busted that plan." However, according to Paula Rizzo, a master list-maker and founder of ListProducer.com, it's important to keep some form of a to-do list, no matter how much your day changes. For example, Rizzo begins her days with a master list, which she continually updates throughout the course of the day to note the items that haven't been done or to add tasks as they crop up.

Before leaving work, Rizzo will make a fresh list for the next day. The key, she says, is referencing the changing list throughout the day to keep herself on course. "Just putting a little extra work into it will keep you on track."


“Super memory” pill: possibly an Alzheimer’s cure–could be around the corner

memorySomething big in healthcare industry is coming. Scientists have isolated a gene in mice that works to give them "super memories" and reverses the course of several degenerative mental illnesses like Alzheimer's. And because of the similarity of mice and human brains, a powerful brain pill for humans may now not be far off.

The brains of both mice and humans release a gene known as PKR, which is triggered by the onset of Alzheimer's. But the newly discovered gene can apparently block PKR's release--a development that not only can reverse the course of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, but induces a state of "super memory" in the mice it has been tested on.

"If we were to find an inhibitor, a molecule, a drug that will specifically block PKR, we should be able to do the same [in humans]," Maura Costa-Mattioli, who led the research study at Baylor University, told the Vancouver Sun. "And we did."

"We recognize that PKR plays a dual role, one in regulating simple everyday processes like the way neurons talk to each other [for] memory, but also has a stress response," added John Bell, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute who also contributed to the study.


Clean Your Coffee Machines Regularly

drink coffeeWhen you think of the germiest places in your house, you probably picture the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. But your coffee machine's reservoir also tops the list. A study performed by NSF International, a not-for-profit health and safety organization, found that the coffee reservoirs they studied were "loaded with yeast and mold organisms," says Robert Donofrio, PhD, director of NSF International's microbiology labs.

"Hardly any of the volunteers we spoke to cleaned or disinfected their reservoirs. The residual water in that area, plus the fact that it's a humid part of the machine, contributed to bacterial growth." To properly clean your coffee machine, follow the manufacturer's cleaning protocol. If nothing is specified, clean it once a month by adding three or four cups of undiluted vinegar to the reservoir, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes and then running the vinegar through the unit.

Finish by adding fresh water to the reservoir and running the machine through two or three cycles to wash away vinegar residue.


Google's Hit: Most popular queries of 2011 revealed

internet searchIt's the all-encompassing litmus test that determines what's top and what's a flop in our digital-age society. Today, Google reveals its annual zeitgeist - the people, places and things that are clicking the most with UK internet users in 2011.

Top of the most-searched celebrities is US reality star Kim Kardashian, whose profile was boosted further this year after marrying and then divorcing basketball player Kris Humphries in just three months.

Next behind her was Victoria Beckham, who gave birth to her and husband David's first daughter, Harper Seven, in July, followed by Harry Potter actress Emma Watson in third.

Amy Winehouse, who died earlier this year in tragic circumstances, comes in fifth. Ricky Gervais, undoubtedly buoyed by his notorious appearance as MC for the Golden Globes, was the only male to make into the top ten.

The search giant also revealed the year's fastest-rising searches which was topped by a country mile by the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who also featured in the top ten fasting-rising people section.

Another American reality TV star, the late Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame, was the fastest-rising person ahead of singer Adele, while Breaking Dawn leads the fastest-rising movies list.


Named after voice of Starship Enterprise Google to Create Rival to Apple's Siri

speakApple's Siri voice control system is as a 'digital personal assistant' designed to allow you to talk to your phone like you talk to other people. Many Google Android functions already have similar apps built in - although not quite to the specifications of Apple's much-hyped control systems.

Now it seems Google may be about to unveil an official Android rival to Siri - called Majel after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the actor who played the voice of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. The name was reported by sources speaking to the Android and Me blog this week. The name tallies with earlier comments from Google staffers about a 'Star Trek'-like approach.

Google is definitely working on such a system - and this week announced that it had acquired the company Clever Sense, which offers a voice control app.


Coffee: It's not truly addictive

coffeeWhile many people claim that they can't make it through the day without a few cups of java, Liz Applegate, PhD, faculty member and director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis, explains that caffeine is not addictive.

"Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and the World Health Organization states that it is wrong to compare caffeine intake to drug addiction, since people can reduce or eliminate caffeine from their diet without the serious psychological or physical problems that result from a true addiction."

However, serious coffee drinkers may experience symptoms such as fatigue and irritability if they reduce their intake. According to Dr. Applegate, people who consume 600 milligrams of caffeine (about six small cups of coffee) daily are most likely to experience these symptoms, but they will usually resolve themselves after a few days.


American Woman Helping Poor Women Named Hero of The Year

Robin LimAn American woman, Robin Lim, who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was named the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year on Sunday night.

Through her Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics, "Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin" as she is called by the locals, offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care.

"Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet," Lim said during "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and recognized Lim and the other top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.

Many women in the developing world do not have access to contraception or maternal care. According to the United Nations Population Fund, three out of five women giving birth in South Asia do so without a skilled birth attendant on hand.


You are what you eat

stay productiveAnd eating a heavy mid-day meal will often make you feel lethargic for the rest of the afternoon. "Consider what you're eating at lunch. If you're having that post-pasta slump at 2 p.m., and need java or cookies to pep back up, maybe you should try a salad or something a bit lighter so you won't lag," suggests Hohlbaum.

The key is keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day, according to Kari Kooi, RD, corporate wellness dietician at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, who recommends three light meals and two snacks at regular intervals. "Heavy meals can make you feel sluggish because they require more energy to digest," Kooi says. "[A quality lunch] will consist of a fiber-rich carbohydrate, like water-rich veggies, and a lean protein, like chicken or fish," she says.

And what does Kooi suggest you avoid? "A highly processed meal, like some of the frozen meals in the grocery store, will not give you the sustainable energy you need. The less processed the better when it comes to keeping your energy levels up." When you hit that midday slump, Kooi suggests going for proteins like mixed nuts and fruit instead of the usual energy-zapping pretzels, cookies or candy, which cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then drop and may even make you hungrier, according to Kooi.


Stop killing trees with e-book

Stop killing treesTablet computers and electronic readers promise to eventually close the book on the ink-and-paper era as they transform the way people browse magazines, check news or lose themselves in novels. “It is only a matter of time before we stop killing trees and all publications become digital,” Creative Strategies president and principal analyst Tim Bajarin told AFP.

Online retail giant Amazon made electronic readers mainstream with Kindle devices and Apple ignited insatiable demand for tablets ideal for devouring online content ranging from films to magazines and books. The combined momentum of e-readers and tablets will push annual revenue from digital books to $9.7 billion by the year 2016, more than tripling the $3.2 billion tally expected this year, according to a Juniper Research report.

Readers are showing increased loyalty to digital books, according to the US Book Industry Study Group (BISG). Nearly half of print book buyers who also got digital works said they would skip getting an ink-and-paper release by a favorite author if an electronic version could be had within three months, a BISG survey showed.


Things your pet shouldn't eat

Pet cat and dogListed under, from most (1) to least (4) dangerous, are common foods and drinks that make pets sick.

1. Chocolate
Why: Stimulates the nervous system and the heart. Poisonous to: All species, but dogs are most likely to eat dangerous quantities. Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness, agitation, increased or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures.

2. Grapes, Raisins
Why: Damage the kidneys. Poisonous to: Dogs, cats. Possible effects of poisoning: Increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting.

3. Garlic, Onions
Why: Damage red blood cells, causing anemia. Poisonous to: Cats, dogs. Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, red-colored urine, weakness, anemia.

4. Xylitol (Found in sugarless gum.)
Why: Causes increased insulin secretion, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. Poisonous to: Dogs. Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination, seizures, jaundice, diarrhea.


Norman Kamaru: Lip-synching Indonesia cop fired amid YouTube fame

Norman KamaruFirst, Indonesian police were angry about a young cop's YouTube lip-synching antics. Then, they championed him for softening the image of an unloved force. Now, after he put stardom over police duty, Norman Kamaru has been fired. "Who does he think he is?" a clearly frustrated police spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Lisma Dunggio, said Wednesday from his hometown. "What made him famous was his uniform."

But the 26-year-old Kamaru told reporters he wanted to give singing a real shot. And he wasn't afraid of failure. The video of Kamaru trying to lift the spirits of a heartbroken colleague by shimmying and lip-synching to the Bollywood hit "Chaiyya Chaiyya" went viral in April. Initially, the top brass was furious. But that changed when the public rallied to support the charismatic young officer. Suddenly, Kamaru was being flown from his dusty police outpost of Gorontalo to the capital, flanked by high-ranking officers who smiled broadly as squealing girls begged for his autograph.

As a new, unexpected asset to the force — widely considered one of the country's most corrupt institutions — Kamaru started appearing regularly on TV talk shows in full uniform. As it turned out, he had a voice. With a $100,000 record deal in his pocket, Kamaru told his bosses he wanted out. They said no. And he stopped coming to work. Saud Usman Nasution, spokesman for the national police, said Kamaru was dishonorably discharged on last Tuesday.


NASA Astronomers Discover Habitable Blue Planet

Blue PlanetAstronomers have discovered the first habitable blue planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a star similar to the Sun. NASA’s Kepler Mission has been finding new worlds at an incredible rate over the past year but this is the first discovery of what could be a habitable super-earth as it appears to be large, rocky planet with a surface temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to spring day on Earth.

A team of researchers, including Carnegie Institute's Alan Boss, made the discovery which will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. The discovery team, led by William Borucki of the NASA Ames Research Center, used photometric data from the NASA Kepler space telescope, which monitors the brightness of 155,000 stars.

This discovery is the first detection of a possibly habitable world in orbit around a Sun-like star.
The host star lies about 600 light-years away from us toward the constellations of Lyra and Cygnus. The star, a G5 star, has a mass and a radius only slightly smaller than that of our Sun. As a result, the host star is about 25 per cent less luminous than the Sun.


Monster Black Holes Found, Biggest Yet!

"They are monstrous," Berkeley astrophysicist Chung-Pei Ma told reporters. "We did not expect to find such massive black holes because they are more massive than indicated by their galaxy properties. They're kind of extraordinary." The previous black hole record-holder is as large as 6 billion suns.

In research released by the journal Nature, the scientists suggest these black holes may be the leftovers of quasars that crammed the early universe. They are similar in mass to young quasars, they said, and have been well hidden until now. The scientists used ground-based telescopes as well as the Hubble Space Telescope and Texas supercomputers, observing stars near the black holes and measuring the stellar velocities to uncover these vast, invisible regions.

Black holes are objects so dense that nothing, not even light, can escape. Some are formed by the collapse of a super-size star. It's uncertain how these two newly discovered whoppers originated, said Nicholas McConnell, a Berkeley graduate student who is the study's lead author. To be so massive now means they must have grown considerably since their formation, he said.


The world's Most Spectacular Sea-caves

fingal's caveMany 'sea caves' are famous among the watersports community - largely because you have to strap on a pair of flippers and an air tank to explore sights such as Belize's Great Blue Hole.

But the relentless action of the waves over millennia has carved out some spectacular caves that you don't even need a snorkel to explore such as Fingal's Cave in Scotland - just a sturdy pair of boots.

Fingal's Cave, on the uninhabited island of Staffa in Scotland, showcases unique, unspoiled geography - and was reputed to be home to a giant who built a causeway between Scotland and Ireland.


Cyclops Shark is Real

Cyclops SharkThe fisherman who discovered the Cyclops shark is reportedly hanging on to the preserved remains, news outlets reported. But scientists have recently examined and X-rayed the fish, authenticating the catch. According to Seth Romans, a spokesman for Pisces Fleet, Galvan Magana and his colleagues will publish a scientific paper about the find within the next several weeks.

The Cyclops shark is an exception. While rare, "cyclopia" is a real developmental anomaly in which only one eye develops. Human fetuses are sometimes affected, as in a 1982 case in Israel reported in 1985 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. In that case, a baby girl was born seven weeks early with no nose and only one eye in the center of her face. The infant, who lived only 30 minutes after birth, also had severe brain abnormalities.

In 2006, a kitten born with one eye and no nose (a rare condition called holoprosencephaly), created a stir online as news organizations and bloggers tried to determine if the bizarre photos of the animal were real. A veterinarian confirmed the kitten's condition; "Cy," as the cat was known, lived only a day. The remains were sold to the creationist Lost World Museum.


How to get your cat sleep at night in the house

cat sleepingHere are some tips to get your cat sleeps at the same time you sleep. Change meal time. "Feed the cat before you go to bed vs. before you leave in the morning," Dr. Buffington suggests. Because we are all more likely to sleep after a meal (think about the postprandial pause after we push back from the Thanksgiving table!) feeding just before your bedtime will make your cat more likely to snooze, too.

Make time for playtime. "Providing play opportunities will help 'wear the cat out' before bed," Dr. Buffington says. If a long day at work leaves you too exhausted to play with Kitty, get a toy that your pet can play with on his own, like the Fling-ama-String, one of my Dr. Becker's Best from the Global Pet Expo. Set it up at the other end of the house and hit the sack!

Widen your cat's world. "I'd suggest they enrich the environment so they're not the only source of the cat's stimulation and activity," Dr. Buffington says. "Add feeding puzzles, window perches with bird feeders outside, cat videos, etc." This keeps your cat busy all day and makes him more likely to sleep all night.


World's First Sex School Opens in Austria

love lifeDo you want to have a better life with your loved one? Ylva-Maria Thompson has opened the world's first international sex school to teach its students how to be better lovers. The Austrian International Sex School in Vienna offers 'hands on' lessons in seduction for £1,400 a term.

The 'headmistress' says anyone over the age of 16 can enrol at 'the world's first college of applied sexuality'. Students live in a mixed sex dormitory block where they're expected to practise their homework.

And at the end of the course, they are awarded a qualification. The new school head said: 'Our core education is not theoretical, but very practical. The emphasis is on how to be a better lover.


Train Better Tips: Train Faster

Train BetterEveryone can start tapping into their genetic potential for muscle and strength with one simple change to your weightlifting routine:

Start working out faster.

That's right: All those times you skipped the gym because you only had 20 or 30 minutes, turns out you could have gotten an ideal workout if you were dedicated to using every single second.

"Lifting or moving quicker will, in general, fire more fast-twitch muscle fibers," says Portland-based trainer Christopher Bathke, "Lifting more explosively is a crucial method if you want to improve in power and or strength."