Archive for the ‘News’ Category

United States of Obesity Map (2008)

Woot! Congratulations to Colorado (my State) for having the lowest percentage of obesity in all of the States in America, and thus becoming the leanest State comparing to the others. I can substantiate with the provided map and with CalorieLabs findings that a huge percentage of people in Colorado are health freaks, especially in Boulder and Colorado Springs. The students in my university are certainly in top shape, and attending the gym is almost a required schedule in their academic life. I won’t deny the fact that witnessing those athletic youths (whether they were men or women) had certainly motivated me to get into shape and I’m glad to confess that I actually lost tons of weight comparing to the late years of high school in Kuwait. The determination is certainly awe-inspiring.

Good job Coloradoans! Keep up the good work-out!

Mechanical Spiders Are The Signs Of The Future

It seems that the future is, indeed, now and that the inevitable War of the Machines has come to pass. Sometime in June of this year, sixty foot arachnid appeared on a derelict building near Liverpool’s Lime Street station. The mechanical spider is the work of art collaborative La Machine, who’s previous work includes the Sultan’s Elephant, which captivated London in 2006. The £1.8 million robot was commissioned for the 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations, and is being billed as the highlights of the event.

Expected to “wake up” some day, the eight-legged monstrosity will descend on your House on Thursday night and begin exploring your neighborhood the day after, ending with a “spectacular finish”. I encouraged you to arm yourselves accordingly. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going down into my concrete bunker.

  • Click HERE to check out the Flickr set
  • Click HERE for the BBC News script

Which Woman Has The Perfect Body?

Women favored the slim body of Tillie, while men lusted over Anna's size 12 figure.

This post might be a little NSFW due to the images attached, so be cautious.

The British website Fabulous Mag has conducted a survey asking the visitors of their website (men and women) about their most ideal body type for a woman, and the results came quite shocking. It seems men and women have very different ideas about the perfect female figure. According to the results, it has been found that:

  • Women yearn for the waspish waist of a size 8 model; men hanker after a curvy size 12 with hips.
  • When men were asked what they would alter about their partner’s appearance, the majority said they were perfectly happy. In fact, the only thing they’d wish for that their women would love their bodies as much as they do.
  • When asked about which female celebrity has the best body, men chose the English model/actress Kelly Brook as their ideal prototype, while women favored the English actress/model/singer/TV presenter Myleene Klass.

So girls, don’t blame us men for the long hours you stay in the gym or for the extensive months of deprivation you have to put up through to gain the perfect body. It’s your own delusions that have been keeping you away from that Haagen-Dazs pint in your fridge. Us men are reasonable creatures (well, sort of), we ain’t demanding much.

  • For a much detailed report, click HERE and HERE

Kelly Brook - Men's favorite body for women

Myleene Klass - Women's ideal body for women

Walmart New Logo Losses The Hyphen

I’m probably late to the party with this piece of news but it seems Walmart is reinventing their logo once again. For those folks who haven’t been to the US, Walmart is basically one of the best and worst supermarkets in America, and it’s not a place where you can buy some walls (Thanks Paris Hilton). The new design losses the start hyphen in the middle but it gains a burst of sunlight at the end. Personally, I love the new design but the old one kinda has the “American feel” that we are all comfortable with. For those who are thirsty for a history lesson regarding Walmart logos, check the image below:

A Dreadful E3 2008

How to sum up the most awaited gaming convention that almost every gamer in the world was waiting for since July of last year?

It. Sucked. Major. Ass

  • Microsoft’s conference was flashy and hip just like last year, but it didn’t have as many surprises and announced titles as initially anticipated. The new Avatar system was a nice addition even though it was a clear rip-off from Wii’s Mii functionality. Gears of Wars 2 and Fallout 3 weren’t big surprised since it was announced weeks before E3. But, I guess the confirmation of Final Fantasy XIII coming to Xbox360 was definitely an unexpected turn of event. I always thought Metal Gear Solid 4 would squeeze its way to Microsoft’s cherished home console, but Final Fantasy XIII, not in a million years. I think I’m more surprised how Sony let this game slipped from their hands than anything else. And finally, Banjo-Kazooie remake announcement has definitely made my day and made me more eager to snag an Xbox360.

  • Sony’s conference was a snooze fest as always. The video renting service didn’t do a thing for me at all, and the announcement of God of World III was expected, unfortunately, the trailer that was shown wasn’t direct gameplay footage, but I don’t think the game would change significantly from its predecessors. The price cut however was nice; despite the fact it served the same function as the 40GB model (i.e. no backward compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games).

And that’s all she wrote folks. Click HERE to sink your teeth for more E3 news as it comes. Who knows, we might get a surprised announcement from some publisher since E3 still hasn’t closed its doors for its attendants.

P.S. Please, take off your fanboysim shoes at the discussion door before you chip in your 2 cents. It won’t be tolerated here.

Do A Little Dance, Chrono Trigger Is Coming

Chrono Trigger, originally released for the Super Nintendo in 1995, is undeniably one of the greatest and most influential RPGs of the 16-bit era. Created by a “dream team” of producers (including Dragon Quest’s Yuji Horii and Final Fantasy’s Hironobu Sakaguchi), the innovative, engaging epic wound up selling millions worldwide — and also making a name out of a young Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer who wrote the great majority of the game’s memorable soundtrack.

Now Chrono Trigger is getting a port to the Nintendo DS, and it is set to be released in Japan this winter, and the US version shall release shortly after that. Square-Enix stated that the game is not a remake but an enhanced port with new features, including the utilization of the Touch Screen.

  • Click HERE for the official US website
  • Click HERE for the debut trailer.

Wimbledon 2008

While everyone I know are tuning to Euro 2008, I on the other hand will be watching Wimbledon. I’ll be rooting for my favorites as always, although, I’m replacing Nadal with Novak Djokovic this year. I was so impressed by his performance at the Australian Open.

A big thanks goes to Dubai Sport for televising the event.

Death & Beauty In The Eyes Of The Photographer

The following paragraph and photo was submitted by a photographer named Enrique Metinides from Viceland.com. I should warn you that the picture is a little bit explicit, so read and gawk at your own risk:

This picture was taken on Avenida Chapultepec and Calle de Monterrey in Colonia Roma. She was a very famous journalist who wrote some really good books. That day she had a book-release party and was on her way there. She was all made up, going to pick up her sister to go to the event. Crossing the street, two cars crashed and then ran her over. This picture is great because she has all her makeup on and she just doesn’t look dead even though she is.

It is a beautiful and moving photograph, but I’m not sure about that last point: isn’t that a severed lump of mangled, bloody flesh in the right hand corner? Oh wait! It is indeed a freaking human being. You might want to know that the author removed the comment later on upon receiving complaints from the readers.

[Link]

The 5 Annoying People You Meet In Starbucks

We all love Starbucks, and that’s a fact. However, once in every damn second there, you always have to encounter an annoying person that set you ballistic, even though they might not interact with you directly. They are the people they make you cringe with detest, commit suicide in the spot, or simply, give you the urge to beat the crap out of them. I summarize my ranting as follow:

  • The Writer Who Wants You to Know He’s a Writer

Yes, we all know that writing is a fascinating occupation, but unfortunately, unlike hookers and crack dealers, you cannot simply point them out by looking at them. However, when a person has to tell you that he’s a writer (intentionally), then writing suddenly becomes less impressive. Those kind of people usually go to the busiest Starbucks in town and pop open their Macs, making sure that the shining Apple logo is on display for everyone to see. Then they pretend to write, sigh, and brainstorm their thoughts. However, the most annoying behavior they exhibit that makes you want to go GTA on their asses is when they sit in a table that is usually reserved for four people.

  • The Guy Who Hates Starbucks But Goes There Anyway

The world is packed with shitheads and nobody can deny that, but there are those who realize they are complete shitheads, and yet, brag about it. I’m taking about that certain someone who won’t shut up about how crappy Starbucks is, and forget the fact he is ranting while waiting in line inside Starbucks. Then, they become more annoying when they super customized their coffee and inquire combination that doesn’t even exist at the menu, and then ask for Splenda instead of regular sugar. Those people deserve to be vanished from the face of the Earth, clear and simple.

  • Study Groups

Why go to a proper school library that is filled with textbooks, resources, and free computers when you have the most crowded Starbucks in the area. It definitely makes more sense to go to a place where noise is a popular demanding song, has tables that barely support an encyclopedia, and a crowd that’s yelling for a proper frappuccino. It’s like Turkish prison, except less gay sex and slightly better coffee.

  • Manager Who Refuses to Recognize the Words Small, Medium, and Large

Dear Starbucks Manager,

I understand, you’re a corporate guy and thus must abide by company policies by calling the different sizes by their Starbucks Christian names of Venti, Grande, et. But if I ask you for a small, don’t act like I’m speaking to you in that Native American language as if we were in war where coded messages were delivered. You’re familiar with the sizes small, medium and large, and if you’re not, then you might want to change underwear because there’s a good chance that you are wearing a Venti size boxer that isn’t big enough for your shit that you failed to wipe/wash from defecating at your customers.

Sincerely,

A bitter consumer

  • The Person Who Peruses the DVD/Music Section As If He Might Purchase Something

It’s really great when you’re waiting in line behind somebody only to realize that they’re not in line, but instead deciding whether or not they want to purchase “Akeelah and the Bee” DVD, which I am positively sure that no one ever bought. Yes, we know that you want to shed the stereotypes that white people don’t watch Black movies, but if that particular Black movie sucks, then we understand the reason that you didn’t see it in theaters. Now, would you please stop reading the back cover of the DVD case and order freaking coffee before I kick the crap out of you? Thanks.

The Secret Of Mona Lisa’s Smile

For hundreds of years, art critics have mused over why the Mona Lisa‘s smile seems so mysterious. Now the Harvard neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone has a fascinating answer: It’s because Da Vinci painted her face in colors that play tricks on the eye.

Livingstone’s work has long examined the way that different cells in the visual system process different types of information, such as form, color, depth and movement. When she analyzed the Mona Lisa, she found that Da Vinci painted her smile almost completely in low spatial frequencies, and these are best picked up in your peripheral vision. The result, as she notes on her web site, is a nifty illusion:

These three images — [pictured above!] — show her face filtered to show selectively lowest (left) low (middle) and high (right) spatial frequencies.

So when you look at her eyes or the background, you see a smile like the one on the left, or in the middle, and you think she is smiling. But when you look directly at her mouth, it looks more like the panel on the right, and her smile seems to vanish. The fact that the degree of her smile varies so much with gaze angle makes her expression dynamic, and the fact that her smile vanishes when you look directly at it, makes it seem elusive.

Interesting, yes?