50 Best Inventions of 2010

Time magazine has announced its list of Best Inventions of 2010.

Posted in General

How cats drink

New York Times has a nice article about how cats use the front tip of their tongues to drink.

Writing in the Thursday issue of Science, the four engineers report that the cat’s lapping method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the point at which gravitational force would overcome inertia and cause the water to fall.

What happens is that the cat darts its tongue, curving the upper side downward so that the tip lightly touches the surface of the water.

The tongue is then pulled upward at high speed, drawing a column of water behind it.

Just at the moment that gravity finally overcomes the rush of the water and starts to pull the column down — snap! The cat’s jaws have closed over the jet of water and swallowed it.

Here is a video of it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Swimming in filth

MSNBC has this photo which captures everything that is there to India today.

Posted in General, India | Tagged ,

Hari Prasad: E-voting machine whistle-blower

Hari Prasad, an Indian researcher from Hyderabad who, along with J. Alex Halderman and Rop Gonggrijp, demonstrated how the voting machines used in India can be tampered with, has been arrested.  He was taken to Mumbai for questioning after he refused to reveal the source who provided them with the voting machine.

Posted in General, India, Politics | Tagged ,

Saudi Hospitals Are Asked to Maim Man as Punishment

New York Times:

A Saudi Arabian judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man’s spinal cord as punishment for his attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.

The victim, Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed after a fight more than two years ago and subsequently lost a foot. Mr. Mutairi asked a judge in northwestern Tabuk Province to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under Islamic law, his brother Khaled al-Mutairi said by telephone from the province.

This story is at once bizarre and frightening.

Will any of the hospitals oblige under pressure from the authorities? What if the hospitals refuse? How will Saudi Arabia, which takes its religion seriously and practices Islamic Shariat Law, react?

If the hospitals refuse, what will the courts do? What happens to the Hippocratic Oath that the doctors take?

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Posted in Bizarre, World | Tagged , ,

Fights on flights

The JetBlue flight attendant got into a real fight on the flight.  On a Lufthansa flight, one of the flight attendants got into a friendly fight.

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God’s number is 20

Solving Rubik’s cube:

Every position of Rubik’s Cube™ can be solved in twenty moves or less.

With about 35 CPU-years of idle computer time donated by Google, a team of researchers has essentially solved every position of the Rubik’s Cube™, and shown that no position requires more than twenty moves.

Posted in Gadgets, World | Tagged , ,

Teacher wins burqa battle at university

The teacher at West Bengal’s first Muslim university who was being asked by the student union to wear a burqa to classes has won her case.

The university administration contacted Middya on Monday, asking her to resume duties without a burqa, assuring that she would face no problem. The student union too said that the teacher was free to decide what she wore, as long as it was “decent”.

Related post:Students want the teacher to wear burqa

Posted in General, India, WTF | Tagged ,

Cargo ship sinking off Mumbai coast

Here are some pictures of the badly listing ship that is sinking. The ship collided with another ship on Sunday.

Update: More photos here.

Posted in General, India | Tagged , ,

Efforts to bring Afghan woman featured on Time cover to U.S.

Women for Afghan Women, a non-governmental organization based in Fresh Meadows, NY, wants to bring Aisha, the 18-year old woman featured on the cover of Time magazine.

The report in Flushing Times, a local newspaper in Flushing, NY has more details about what happened to Aisha:

Aisha was sold at age 10 by her father to a married Taliban member, who kept her in an animal stable until she was 12, when she got her first menstrual period. At that point, they were officially married and she was beaten regularly by her husband and his family. WAW noted on its website that six months before arriving at the Kabul center, Bibi Aisha was beaten so badly by her husband that she thought she was going to die.

She then ran away to her neighbor’s house, who took her to the police. She spent four months in a women’s prison in Kandahar and then returned to her husband, who left her to die in the mountains after cutting off her nose and ears. Aisha was found by U.S. forces, who kept her in a military clinic for two months until her wounds healed.

Related post: Return of the Taliban

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