It’s hard to make close friends on Facebook, study says

June 1, 2008

From CBC News Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2007 | 1:36 PM ET>>read more.  read two related posts: post 1 and post 2.          Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace aren’t expanding people’s circles of close friends, but they are creating plenty of meaningless relationships, according to British researchers.           A study of the sites revealed that while many users have hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances on their accounts, their core group of close friends is still unchanged at around five people. However, weak ties among people around the globe are rising exponentially, said Will Reader, an evolutionary psychologist at Sheffield Hallam University, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.           The online study used a questionnaire and, based on the first 200 responses, found that close friendships were formed through in-person meetings in an overwhelming 90 per cent of cases.     “Face-to-face contact is a requirement for intimate friendships,” he told the conference. “There are many emotional cues that people give face to face, such as smiling and laughing, which are impossible to fake, whereas online it is easy to say, ‘You are wonderful, I love you.’ ”          A previous study done at the University of Liverpool found that most people have an average of 150 acquaintances in their social network yet also maintain a small core group of friends, which may indicate limitations on the human brain.          Reader said there are “good evolutionary reasons” why core friendship groups are so small. Making friendships means investing time and even money in another person, in which case face-to-face contact is invaluable so that people can see whether their investment is worthwhile. On the internet, it is “very easy to be deceptive” he said.          Social networking sites are, however, giving rise to a group of people known as friend collectors, who add little-known acquaintances just for the sake of having a large number of contacts on their profile. This allows people to “collect friends like boys collect Airfix models.”


Oprah’s falling ratings are news again

June 1, 2008

Oprah’s falling ratings are news again.  See related post.


C’mon Chuck Schumer, what are you doin for us anyway?

June 1, 2008

On CSPAN 5/21/2008: WASHINGTON, DC: 2 hr. 59 min.: CSPAN3 you will find Senate Judiciary Cmte. hearing on Rising Crude Oil Prices. The oil industry blames the rising price of consumer gasoline on increases in the cost of crude oil. Executives from BP America, Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp., ConocPhilips Co., and Exxon Mobil Corp. testify today at a Senate Judiciary Cmte. hearing on unrefined petroleum production.
NYS Senator Charles SchumerOK I get the Senate Committee are pointing their collective finger at the panel made up of oil executives, but aren’t the three remaining fingers on the Senate hand pointing back at them?  What is the Senate doing for us on this matter; and the House for the that matter?  Senator Schumer asked the oil compaines how much they are spending on alternative energy research, then said it was not enough.  Well Senator, I voted for you.  With regards to alternative energy research, what are you and your “buddies” in DC doing about alternative energy any way?

Prince has his Radiohead cake and eats too!

June 1, 2008

Radiohead was pleased Prince had covered From CNN updated 1:23 p.m. EDT, Fri May 30, 2008     Radiohead to Prince: Hey, that’s OUR song>>read more.          WASHINGTON (AP) — After word spread that Prince covered Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella, the tens of thousands who couldn’t be there ran to YouTube for a peek. Everyone was quickly denied — even Radiohead.     Radiohead was pleased Prince had covered “Creep.” But who has the right to put online?       All videos of Prince’s unique rendition of Radiohead’s early hit were quickly taken down, leaving only a message that his label, NPG Records, had removed the clips, claiming a copyright violation. But the posted videos were shot by fans and, obviously, the song isn’t Prince’s.     In a recent interview, Thom Yorke said he heard about Prince’s performance from a text message and thought it was “hilarious.” Yorke laughed when his bandmate, guitarist Ed O’Brien, said the blocking had prevented him from seeing Richard Drew / AP file photo Prince's frustration with his label led him to adopt an unpronounceable symbol as a name and write Prince’s version of their song.      “Really? He’s blocked it?” asked Yorke, who figured it was their song to block or not. “Surely we should block it. Hang on a moment.”     Yorke added: “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our … song.”
Prince>>read more.: As the result of a complicated dispute with Warner over a six-album deal signed in 1992, he announced that he was changing his name to a symbol and took to wearing a scarf over his face in public. When he ditched the scarf he started writing ‘slave’ on his right cheek, just in case anyone had failed to get the point.


‘Frog-amander’ Fossil Fills Evolutionary Gap

May 21, 2008

Michael Skrepnick.From LiveScience By Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer posted: 21 May 2008 01:00 pm ET>>read more.     In its Early Permian habitat in Texas, Gerobatrachus hottoni would have lived on land and water where it could lunge after insects like this mayfly Protoreisma. Credit: Michael Skrepnick.     A frog-like creature with a stubby tail once paddled through a quiet pond in what is now Texas, snapping up mayflies while keeping an ear out for bellowing mates, new fossil evidence suggests.     That was about 290 million years ago.     In 1995, the amphibian specimen was discovered in fish quarry sediments in Baylor County, Texas, though it wasn’t until recently that paleontologists inspected and described the new species. Called Gerobatrachus hottoni after its discoverer Nicholas Hotton, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution, the creature represents a transitional amphibian, sporting features of both frogs and salamanders.      “This amphibian is from near to the point where frogs and salamanders first split,” said lead researcher Jason Anderson, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Calgary in Canada. “This is kind of an early frog-amander.”      The finding, detailed in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, supports the idea that frogs and salamanders evolved from one ancient amphibian group called temnospondyls.       Like modern salamanders, the fossil of Gerobatrachus has two fused bones in its ankle. And like modern frogs, the frog-amander sports a large ear drum, or tympanic ear, which Anderson said the ancient amphibian likely used for hearing calls from mates.     “I suspect that many of the temnospondyls have a similar sort of [tympanic ear] system,” Anderson told LiveScience. “But of course unless we were able to build a time machine and go back and listen to these guys call, we won’t know for sure.”      Rather than hopping, this amphibian likely walked on land and swam in water, with the ability to lunge after prey, Anderson said. In fact, along the evolutionary history of amphibians, frogs didn’t begin hopping until the Jurassic or Triassic period. (The most definitive hopping frog fossil is dated to the Triassic, which spans from 248 million to 206 million years ago.)      “It was found in sediments from a quiet pond with a lot of fish fossils, but I suspect it was equally comfortable on land or in water,” Anderson said.


May 21, 2008

Cloned female wolfs, named Snuwolf (from the Seoul National University) and Snuwolffy, are... (KIM MI-OK/AFP/Getty Images)New Company Gives Bidders Opportunity to Have Their Dogs Replicated      From ABC News By MIGUEL MARQUEZ, ARIANE NALTY and IMAEYEN IBANGA May 21, 2008>>read more.     When Mira, husky and border collie mix, was born six months ago, she didn’t just look like her biological mother. She was an exact copy — even down to her personality, according to owner Lou Hawthorne.     A California company has successfully cloned puppies.     That’s because Mira was cloned from her mother, Missy.     “This is just an alternative way of initiating life. And after that, it’s life as we have known it and do know it,” said Hawthorne, CEO of BioArts International, the company that cloned the dog, on “Good Morning America” in a broadcast exclusive.     It is only the second time a dog has been cloned and the first time a U.S. company has done it. BioArts International, which plans to publish its research in scientific journals, sits on the cutting edge of science, in part because it’s opening the door to commercial cloning.     The feat represents a chance for dog owners to keep their best friends around indefinitely in an unconventional way — an interesting proposition for those who view their pets as an integral family member and never want to part with them.     ‘Cloning Firm’ Will Copy Fido for $150KSafe to Eat That Cloned CowReport: China Clones First RabbitHawthorne has spent more than $20 million and 10 years in pursuit of dog cloning. Missy, Hawthorne’s family dog who died in 2002 at age 15, has been the subject of extensive cloning research since the Missyplicity Project began in 1997.     Now Hawthorne’s startup, BioArts International, is offering pet owners the opportunity to replicate their prized dogs. The company is taking bids for five cloned dogs. The auction, part of a program Hawthorne calls Best Friends Again, will end June 18. The top five bidders will win the chance to clone the dog of their choice.     The idea is pleasing to people like Cindy Blom, who said she would consider cloning her dog, Perry Como.     “He’s the right size. He’s very handsome and he has a great personality. It’s hard to get all that in one package,” she said of her beloved pet.     Those types of sentiments are part of what BioArts International seized upon when it considered the idea of entering the dog cloning business. Though the company still isn’t committed totally to cloning dogs as a full-time service, the auction will serve as an indicator of how much people are interested in the idea and the price people are willing to pay for a cloned pet.

If you and your ole’ lady can’t take it,—get out!

May 20, 2008

Obama tells Tenn.’s GOP: ‘Lay off my wife’     What the fuck man, If you and your ole’ lady can’t take a poke at this point in the game—get out.  Remember all the crap Hillary had to deal with?

WiFi on the Highway

May 19, 2008

Dash ExpressFrom LiveScience>>read more.   The information superhighway hits the real road, giving drivers interactive directions, real time traffic, entertainment, e-mail in the car, shopping and dining choices and emergency services.     Autonet Mobile an Internet service provider,Autonet in-car Internet router makes on-road surfing a reality via an in-car subscription based wireless router.     Dash Express, the first two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system. Dash delivers traffic and destination information in exciting new ways, and offers a wide range of new capabilities available from the car that makes a typical GPS practically obsolete. Dash is the smartest way to get from A to B, and find everything in between.

Not enough money to catch burglars

May 18, 2008

Simon PitherFrom the Daily Mail By MILES GOSLETT Last updated at 23:45pm on 17th May 2008 >>read more.      Police didn’t have the money to catch burglars who beat me with a crowbar     A businessman who was almost beaten to death by three crowbar-wielding burglars claims police haven’t carried out DNA tests to identify his attackers – because they can’t afford to pay for them. IT consultant Simon Pither, 36, was savagely beaten over the head when he interrupted the gang at his £300,000 home. The married father of two sustained such serious skull injuries during the assault that doctors told him he was lucky to be alive…

Freshens Dallas-Fort Worth Sucks

May 18, 2008

I Asked the young lady at the Freshens counter for change yesterday while waiting for my flight at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, and she said no.