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Showing posts with label WORLD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WORLD. Show all posts

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

150 Street Artists Covered an Old Tunisian Village in Beautiful Murals


For the past two months, 150 artists from 30 nations have been busy in the village of Erriadh, one of the oldest in Tunisia. They have been covering its buildings, gates, windows — almost any flat surface — in murals, in hopes of enticing tourists and infusing the area with new life.
Their graffiti is part of a street art project called Djerbahood, an open-air museum curated by the artist Mehdi Ben Cheikh and Galerie Itinerrance.
  • H_51531146

    A Tunisian woman walks past a mural by Spanish artist Btoy as part of the street art project 'Djerbahood' in the village of Erriadh on the island of Djerba.
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    A mural by German artist Dome.
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    Tunisian women sit next to a mural by Portuguese artist Pantonio as part of 'Djerbahood.'
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    A mural by Belgian artist ROA.
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    A mural by British artist Phlegm peeks in a window in the village of Erriadh.
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    A mural by Polish artist M-city.
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    A mural by US artist Swoon is part of 'Djerbahood.' Swoon studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and started doing street art in 1999 and large-scale installations in 2005.
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    Saudi Arabian artist Deyaa One (C) sit in front of the wall he is decorating as part of the street art project 'Djerbahood.'
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    Murals by Brazilian artist Tinho (L) and Portuguese artist Pantonio (C) are part ofDjerbahood' in the village of Erriadh.
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    Murals by US artist Know Hope (L) and Italian artist Orticanoodles (R) decorate a gate as part of the project 'Djerbahood.'
  • Tunisia-graff-edit-1-6

    A mechanic stands next to a mural by Spanish artist Malakkai as part of the street art project 'Djerbahood'. The project was initiated by Tunisian-French artist Mehdi Ben Cheikh and aims at enlivening the village and attracting tourists.
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    A mural by Mexican artist Saner is part of the exhibit in the village of Erriadh.
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    A Tunisian woman and her daughter walk past a mural by Spanish artist Btoy.
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    A Tunisian man walks with his children past a mural by Mexican artist Saner as part of the street art project.
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    A mural by Japanese artist Twoone basks in afternoon sunlight in 'Djerbahood.'
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    Tunisian women enter a door near a mural by French artist Dan23 as part of the street art project 'Djerbahood.'

Posted By: Pawan Lubana on Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Belgian City to Build Underground Pipeline for Beer


In an effort to eliminate disruptive delivery trucks driving through its picturesque streets, the Belgian city of Bruges approved plans Tuesday to create an underground pipeline for transporting beer.
Agence France-Presse reported the pipeline is set to connect the historic De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling factory two miles away, eliminating the 500 trucks that drive down the city's small streets each year.
De Halve Maan, a major fixture in Bruges, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that hosts 100,000 tourists each year. However, residents of the city in northwest Belgium became concerned about the loud trucks traveling through the cobblestone streets, and the brewery offered to fund the pipeline.
"The idea is born of environmental and quality of life concerns, and not economic ones," the company's director Xavier Vanneste said, according to AFP.
The pipeline is designed to carry more than 1,500 gallons of beer each hour, according to Belgian publication It is also expected to reduce transportation time to the factory.
"The beer will take 10 to 15 minutes to reach the bottling plant. By using the pipeline we will keep hundreds of lorries out of the city center," Vanneste said.
The project is one of the first of its kind, with only one other similar structure in existence in Germany. Construction is set to begin next year, according to AFP.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Posted By: Pawan Lubana on

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The 10 Types of World Cup Fans Everyone Knows

World Cup fever is sweeping the globe, which of course means that otherwise sane people are now raging lunatics.
Whether you're a soccer fan or not, there's no way you could miss the crazed fans taking over your local bars, restaurants and living rooms.
Because we here at Mashable understand the human condition on such a deep level, we've been able to condense the millions of World Cup fans into their ten most common forms.
Check out our findings below.

Posted By: Pawan Lubana on Thursday, 26 June 2014

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Oh, Never Mind: Top 5 Retracted Science Studies of 2013

In the publish-or-perish world of academia, the pressure can be intense for scientists to get their work out in front of peers and to secure more funding for further research — so much so that, well, let's just say mistakes can happen.
Some mistakes are innocent, such as an accidental mislabeling of data or images that leads the researchers to an erroneous conclusion. Other mistakes reflect a serious lapse in ethics or common sense.
Mistakes often result in a scientific retraction, a public removal of the flawed paper from publication. A private, U.S.-based blog called Retraction Watch keeps track of such retractions, which seem to be on the rise these days. Below are five of the more curious retractions from 2013, culled from more than 100 listed on the Retraction Watch blog.

5. Anesthesiologists forget paper was already published

General anesthesia pertains to a temporary, total loss of sensation and consciousness. Perhaps a group of Chinese scientists inhaled a little too much anesthetic when they published "Different anesthesia methods for laparoscopic cholecystectomy." [No Duh! The 10 Most Obvious Science Findings]
Their paper, published in 2011 in the German journal Der Anaesthesist, looked quite similar to an earlier paper, "General anesthesia versus spinal anesthesia for laparoscopic cholecystectomy," published by Brazilian scientists in the Brazilian journal Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia.
How similar? Well, looking at the text of the papers, the Brazilians had "68 patients with symptoms of cholelithiasis," and the Chinese had "68 patients with symptoms of cholelithiasis." The Brazilians split this group to be "under general anesthesia (n = 33) or spinal anesthesia (n = 35)," and the Chinese split this group to be "under general anesthesia (n = 33) or spinal anesthesia (n = 35)." The Brazilians found that "pain was significantly lower at 2, 4, and 6 hours after the procedure under spinal anesthesia," and the Chinese found that "pain at 2, 4, and 6 h after the procedure under spinal anesthesia was significantly lower."
Yes, they get a B for effort for at least trying to shift the verb position on that last one.
As you might imagine, the Chinese reached the same conclusion as the Brazilians, having obtained the same result from the same procedure with the same numbers. Der Anaesthesist retracted the paper in November 2013 "because it is identical with the publication" by the aforementioned Brazilian team, according to the retraction notice.
And to think, scientists usually enjoy having their results replicated.

4. Are we not our own peers?

Bahram Mokhtari is highly fond of the work of Kobra Pourabdollah. And Kobra Pourabdollah is highly fond of the work of Bahram Mokhtari. Their mutual admiration is so great the two Iranian chemists decided to peer review the very same papers they co-authored. [Mad Genius: 10 Odd Tales About Famous Scientists]
As you might have guessed, they were quite supportive of their own work and wholeheartedly recommended their own work for publication with no changes. But now they've been caught … at least four times. Retraction notices from journal editors note a "lack of reviewer objectivity." That's scientific-journal-speak for "We was fooled."
To date, the duo has had 11 papers retracted. The other retracted papers can boast only of run-of-the-mill scientific naughtiness, such as publishing the same work in different journals, a form of self-plagiarism. But hey, when you do your own peer review, reusing your own work over and over again only seems natural.
As crazy as their scheme might sound, they are mere amateurs compared with Hyung-In Moon, a Korean scientist who holds the record at 28 papers retracted for self-peer-review, a story which came to light in 2012.

3. May I help you verify my falsified data?

The journal Nature retracted a paper in July 2013, because the results presented couldn't be reproduced. That wouldn't have made a blip on the retraction radar if it weren't for two unusual elements: The paper dates way back to 1994; and the lead author, Karel Bezouška, went as far as breaking into another lab to, uh, help that group reproduce his data. [Beauty and Brains: Award-Winning Medical Images]
The paper in question was titled "Oligosaccharide ligands for NKR-P1 protein activate NK cells and cytotoxicity." Although the title might sound esoteric, the paper was cited more than 250 times. Several authors on the report, including the senior author, had wanted to retract the paper for years after they couldn't reproduce the results. But Nature's policy at the time required that all the authors agree to a formal retraction. Bezouška wouldn't sign.
The journal Nature changed its stance, though, after a negative ruling earlier this year from the Institute of Microbiology and from Charles University, both in Prague, where Bezouška was employed. It seems that Bezouška was caught on camera at night breaking into a lab where scientists were trying to reproduce his results. He proceeded to manipulate samples in the refrigerator with the likelihood of making sure the lab finally got the "right" results.
An English translation of a press release written in Czech concerning the investigation states that Bezouška "most likely repeatedly committed scientific misconduct." He has since been dismissed from both institutions.

2. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in the journals

The Journal of Patient Safety retracted a paper this year even though, upon careful review, the work seemed correct, if not stellar. The paper was titled "Understanding Interdisciplinary Healthcare Teams: Using Simulation Design Processes From the Air Carrier Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) to Identify and Train Critical Teamwork Skills," with lead author William Hamman, M.D., Ph.D.
The only problem was that Hamman doesn't have an M.D. or Ph.D. An expert in "using simulation" indeed, Hamman dropped out of medical school years ago and had been faking his degrees for at least 15 years.
Until his ruse was uncovered, Hamman had shared millions of dollars of grants and had appointments at hospitals and universities. He very well may be brilliant. But rules are rules, and misrepresentation can be dangerous.
Expect many more retractions to come in 2014.

1. Didn't make sense the first, second, third or fourth time it was published, either

One has to wonder how this one slipped past the goalie, at least four times. The journal DNA and Cell Biology retracted a paper titled "DNA and Cell Resonance: Magnetic Waves Enable Cell Communication" by independent German scientist Konstantin Meyl.
Why? Apparently it didn't make any sense. The gist is that cells talk to each other through some rather strange telepathic physics known only to Meyl. Here's a sampling, from the now-retracted abstract:
"DNA generates a longitudinal wave that propagates in the direction of the magnetic field vector. Computed frequencies from the structure of DNA agree with those of the predicted biophoton radiation. …The vortex model of the magnetic scalar wave not only covers many observed structures within the nucleus perfectly, but also explains the hyperboloid channels in the matrix when two cells communicate with each other."
Still with me? According to an expert critical of the work, quoted on Retraction Watch, the same physics applies to telepathy, telekinesis and the human aura.
Meyl reportedly has published nearly identical work in three other journals, a clear violation of publication rules. Retraction Watch stated that yet another paper by Meyl, in the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling, would be retracted soon, primarily for duplication.
Sadly, the publication of such work under the auspices of peer review only provides ammunition to charlatans who evoke words such as "vibrational energy" and "quantum healing," and who claim to heal through touch, thought, or other methods of fringe physics.

Posted By: Pawan Lubana on Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

12 Things You Forgot Happened in 2013

  • Paula-deen

    1. Paula Deen's Career Melts After Deposition

    Paula Deen, the celebrity cook known best for her affinity for adding extra butter, faced career chaos this summer over details of a leaked deposition. The paperwork included Deen's admissions to using the N-word and plans for a Southern plantation-style wedding, among others.
    In the wake of the deposition, Deen was booted from pork-producing company Smithfield Foods and her television home, the Food Network. Both noted an intolerance to racial slurs as the cause.
    Deen later appeared on the Today show to address her side of the story. Watch it in full here.
  • Rodman

    2. Dennis Rodman Kicked It With Kim Jong Un – Twice

    Former NBA star and self-titled "bad boy" Dennis Rodman visited North Korea in early 2013 with a film crew from media company Vice -- a "basketball diplomacy" trip, the company claimed, that they would turn into an HBO series.
    Rodman and his film crew were reportedly the first Americans to have met Kim since he took over North Korean rule from his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.
    The communist dictatorship has been at odds with the United States for decades. The country made direct nuclear threats to the Obama administration just months before Rodman's visit. But the basketball star insists Kim is a big-time basketball fan, particularly of the late-90s Chicago Bulls squad Rodman was a part of.
    Rodman returned for a second visit in early September. He'll reportedly return in late December 2013 for a third time, despite political tension following Kim's ordered assassination of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, last week.
  • Selfie

    3. 'Selfie,' 'FOMO' and 'Twerk' Added to Dictionary

    Srsly: A selfie's worth a thousand Bitcoins.
    In late August 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries Online added a handful of web- and viral content-related words to its archives: selfie, digital detox, Bitcoin, BYOD, emoji, FOMO, geek chic, hackerspace, phablet, srsly, TL;DR and -- most notably -- twerk.
    Twerk, sensationalized in 2013 by Miley Cyrus, is defined as a verb: "[A] dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance."
    The dictionary included the following sentences as examples: "Just wait till they catch their daughters twerking to this song," and, "Twerk it girl, work it girl."
    TL;DR: This.
  • Manti

    4. The Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax

    American linebacker Manti Te'o, who was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2013 NFL draft, was subject to a bizarre romantic hoax.
    In October 2012, Te'o, then a linebacker for the University of Notre Dame, appeared in a YouTube video to speak about the recent losses of his grandmother and his girlfriend -- both of whom had passed away from illnesses, only six hours apart, on Sept. 12, 2012.
    In mid-January 2013, two reporters from Deadspin published an investigation into Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, claiming there was no evidence of her existence all along. The relationship was, after all, online -- the two had never met in person.
    The sports world was stunned. Kekua, it turns out, was a hoax. The photos associated with her social media activity had been stolen from the account of a young California woman who was unaware of the hijacking.
    Notre Dame and Te'o released statements admitting that Kekua had never existed, but added that Te'o was actually among the hoax's victims, not its perpetrators. They had both become aware of the truth in late December 2012.
    Later, it was revealed that 22-year-old Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was behind the hoax: He admitted responsibility to Kekua's tweets, speaking in a falsetto voice on the phone with Te'o -- everything.
    He claims he was in love with Te'o, and assured the football player knew nothing of the hoax.
  • House-cards

    5. House of Cards Becomes First Web Series to Win Emmy

    In September, Netflix's political thriller House of Cards became the first web series to win an Emmy award.
    David Fincher, the show's director, won the award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, beating out showrunners for Breaking BadBoardwalk EmpireDownton Abbey and Homeland.
    House of Cards was nominated for a total of nine Emmys. It won two additional Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series and Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series.
  • 6. New 'Harlem Shake' Goes Viral -- and Real Harlem Reacts

    Contrary to popular belief, the Harlem Shake -- the real one -- didn't originate from a 2012 synth song; it actually started in Harlem, New York City, nearly three decades ago.
    DJ artist Baauer released an unrelated electronic song, which happened to be called "Harlem Shake," in late 2012. In February 2013, Australian-based comedy group The Sunny Coast Skate uploaded a video of its members dancing to the song. Soon, their dance spread everywhere. It begins with a lone person jiving in a room full of bored on-lookers, then cuts into a group craze-off once the beat drops. Like, everywhere.
    The real Harlem wasn't impressed. Shortly after the craze began, YouTubers SchleppFilms filmed a series of street interviews on Harlem's 125th Street, outside the famed Apollo Theater, asking residents what they really thought of the new dance that stole their neighborhood's name. The answers -- "It looks like they're dry-humping air;" "They're making an absolute mockery out of [Harlem]" -- are less than flattering.
    Some residents later responded with a video showing what the dance should really look like.
  • 7. Veronica Mars Movie Raises Funds Through Kickstarter

    Rob Thomas, creator of the TV mystery show Veronica Mars, raised money through Kickstarter to take the series to the big screen.
    The campaign's goal was initially $2 million, but at time of writing, it's racked up more than $5 million from nearly 100,000 donors across the world.
    In the movie, Veronica (played by Kristen Bell) returns to her hometown of Neptune, Calif., after being gone for 10 years, to aid former love interest Logan (played by Jason Dohring), who's been accused of killing his pop star girlfriend.
    The film's release date is March 14, 2014 -- exactly one year and one day after Thomas launched the crowdfunding campaign.
  • 8. Lance Armstrong Admits to Doping on 'Oprah' Special

    For most of cyclist Lance Armstrong's life, he'd faced consistent allegations from the media and his competitors that he'd relied on PEDs to win his record seven Tour de France titles, from 1999 to 2005. Armstrong, however, denied everything.
    In June 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) officially accused him of doping and trafficking drugs. After more pressure, predominately through social media, Armstrong finally admitted to using PEDs during an interview with Oprah in early 2013 (above).
    Following the investigation and interview, all of Armstrong's sponsors -- including Nike, which had previously supported the Livestrong campaign -- dropped him.
  • Lego-7

    9. Lego Builds a Life-Sized X-Wing Fighter

    In April, Lego built its largest structure to date: a life-sized X-Wing fighter from the Star Wars franchise.
    The structure was built in the Czech Republic over the course of four months, then shipped in pieces via freight ship to Long Island, N.Y. It was officially unveiled in New York City's Times Square for a weekend in May, then shipped off -- again, in pieces -- to Legoland in California.
    The huge structure is comprised of 5,335,200 individual Lego bricks. At 11 feet tall, 43 feet long and 44 feet wide, it weighs almost 46,000 pounds. Lego designed the ship in celebration of Cartoon Network's The Yoda Chronicles, which premiered in May.
    Mashable was lucky enough to get a first-hand glance. Flip through the full gallery of pics here.
  • 10. Videos of Russian Asteroid Strike Go Viral

    On Feb. 15, 2013, a small asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded about 76,000 feet above Chelyabinsk, Russia.
    The explosion created a shockwave that damaged nearby homes and injured more than 1,000 people. Most injuries resulted from shattered glass and debris; some even reported sunburn and temporary blindness from the flash.
    Within hours of the boom, several videos had already been uploaded to YouTube, most of which were taken from dashboard cameras. (A reported one million Russians have cameras installed in their cars as a way to monitor potential police corruption.)
    In November, Science magazine published an in-depth study about the impact.
    Take a look at a compilation of the day's videos above.
  • 11. Andy Murray Becomes First British Man to Win Wimbledon in 77 Years

    In June, Scottish tennis player Andy Murray defeated number one-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. In doing so, Murray became the first British man to win the yearly London tournament in 77 years. The last British winner was Virginia Wade in 1977, and the last British man to win was Fred Perry, who claimed the title in 1936.
    The grueling match lasted more than three hours, ending with a score of 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
    Murray, 26, gave an emotional and earnest speech upon receiving the trophy. Watch it above.
    On Dec. 15, 2013, Murray was awarded the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
  • 12. People 3D Print Guns

    2013 was informally the year of the 3D printer. Along with groundbreaking innovations in the fields of healthcarearchitecture and artificial intelligence, another area of focus hit it big: firearms.
    In early May, a man named Cody Wilson fired the world's first entirely 3D-printed handgun, then filmed it and posted its blueprints online.
    Soon, gun enthusiasts and just-plain-curious 3D printer owners across the world followed suit. Some guns fired; some didn't.
    Mashable landed an exclusive interview with 30-year-old software engineer Travis Lerol from Baltimore, Md., who printed and tested his own version of Wilson's "Liberator" model. The total cost to print it? $30.
    Watch the results in the mini-documentary above.

Posted By: Pawan Lubana on Wednesday, 25 December 2013

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