Archive for June, 2013

6 Images That Ruined the Lives of People They Made Famous

A rather interesting list, published by Cracked, that recounts how several historically important photos (and 1 video) caused major problems to those involved. Images on the list include the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the firefighter at the Oklahoma City bombing and the Rodney King video.

Read the entire article HERE

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XnSketch – FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logoxnsketch-logoXnSketch is a program that turns any photo into a drawing; producing a work of art that requires no talent – just a click or two. Previously, I reviewed a similar program, FotoSketcher, and will use it as a benchmark for XnSketch. Both programs offer about 20 presets that work very well without additional tweaks. XnSketch’s adjustments are basic photo-type adjustments (brightness, contrast, saturation), but FotoSketcher has adjustments for the way that the preset effects are applied. That makes  FotoSketcher more versatile and more complicated to use. Both programs have attractive, fairly simple interfaces, but most will find XnSketch easier to navigate.

What’s good – XnSketch is dead simple – just select the style of drawing and save. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Presets such as halftone and “Obama Hope poster” are not available in FotoSketcher.

What’s bad – XnSketch lacks any adjutments to the drawing parameters. It feels poorly written or unfinished (labels on halftone presets are misspelled “Haltfone”). Finally, the ‘Save’ function is a bit wonky – it defaults to a 512 pixel size and will not automatically append the correct file extension onto the saved file. The saved dimension can be changed by clicking the down arrow next to the ‘Save’ icon and choosing ‘Original’ before saving.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

Despite its problems, XnSketch is an excellent solution for someone wanting to create a drawing as easily as is possible. It produces quality drawings quickly, simply. Those wanting more control over their drawings will prefer FotoSketcher.

Download XnSketch HERE

Download FotoSketcher HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at Dan Kostecki.com

How To Run Your Own NSA Spy Program

In a clever ComputerWorld column, Mike Elgan, proposes that everyone can become a big league data collector,  just like your government. Using free Google services, anyone can amass more data than a reasonable person would want or ever use. It’s an interesting concept – just remember to use it for good, not evil.

Read the article HERE

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Steam Powered Box Factory [video]

This video is rather long (nearly 15 minutes), but if you are a fan of old industrial equipment, you must see it. It covers the Phillips Brothers Mill and Box Factory.

Dogs Have Been Banned From Antarctica For 20 Years

sleddogThe British Antarctic Survey reported that by April 1994, the last dogs were removed

…because of concern that dogs might introduce diseases such as canine distemper that might be transferred to seals, and that they could break free and disturb or attack the wildlife.  It was also thought to be inconsistent for the Protocol to have strict controls on the introduction of non-native species, but at the same time allow huskies to be bred and used in Antarctica. Dogs were taken to the Antarctic on the early ‘heroic age’ expeditions at the turn of the 20th Century. They were instrumental in helping the Norwegian explorer Amundsen and his team to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1911. The fact that the Norwegians were good and experienced dog handlers was thought by many experts to be one of the main reasons that they were able to reach the pole before Scott and his team. Since those days, dogs have been used extensively for polar travel and for the support of scientific work. Although dogs were slower than vehicles, they were considered to be safer as they were not so heavy and it was thought that huskies also had an awareness of crevasses.

continue reading HERE or HERE

 

To Be Average [infographic]

ZenPencils.com posted this excellent infographic about how being average is a bad thing.

Supersize it HERE

original at ZenPencils.com

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Space Food Hall of Fame

Yes, NASA has a Space Food Hall of Fame. It’s actually a webpage with a little trivia about astronauts’ meals and a few videos about early space foods that got marketed to the general public (Tang and Space Food Sticks). Another page from BuzzFeed has a few pics of the latest in orbital dining.

visit The Space Food Hall of Fame HERE

pics of the latest in space food HERE

Feeling brave? Order Space Food Sticks HERE

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This is Shanghai [video]

Guppies – Zombie Studs Of Nature

guppy-sAccording to Science Daily –

June 12, 2013 — Performing experiments in a river in Trinidad, a team of evolutionary biologists has found that male guppies continue to reproduce for at least ten months after they die, living on as stored sperm in females, who have much longer lifespans (two years) than males (three-four months). Reznick explained that male guppies are brightly colored and very variable in coloration. Females prefer males with rare color patterns. A dead male with a long-lost color pattern can later give birth to a son who can now be preferred by females because he is different from all other males in the population. Because some females live so long, those sons can appear more than two generations after the father’s death.

Read more HERE

 

Apple’s New Big Mac [video]

India’s Poorest Attend School Under Bridge

According to The Sacramento Bee –

Underprivileged children attend a free school run under a mass transit bridge in New Delhi, India. The students, ages 4 to 14, study everything from basic reading and writing to the Pythagorean Theorem.

See more photos and continue reading HERE

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One Man’s Blood Has Saved 2 Million People

Harrison_James-sAccording to Wikipedia –

James Harrison was born in 1936. At the age of 13, he underwent major chest surgery, requiring 12 litres of blood. After surgery, he was in the hospital for three months. Realising the blood had saved his life, he made a pledge to start donating blood as soon as he turned eighteen, the then required age.

 

Mr. Harrison started donating in 1954 and after the first few donations it was discovered that his blood contained an unusually strong and persistent antibody called Rho(D) Immune Globulin. Rho(D) IG is given to Rh(D) negative mothers of unknown or Rh(D) positive babies during and after pregnancy to prevent the creation of antibodies to the blood of a Rh(D) positive child. This antigen sensitization and subsequent incompatibility phenomenon causes Rhesus disease, the commonest form of hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN).

Through the donations of his plasma, Mr. Harrison helped prevent thousands of born and unborn children from dying of HDN. This uniqueness was considered so important, that his life was insured for one million dollars after this discovery and the following research based on his donations created the commercial Anti-D immune globulin commonly known as RhoGAM. His blood plasma derivatives have since been given as treatment to one in ten pregnant women whose blood could potentially become incompatible with that of their children.

James Harrison’s wikipedia page HERE

 


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