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Panacea? Stem Cell Therapy in 2013

Posted on Sep 10, 2013 in Biology, Medicine, Science

There is a trickle of medical reports: recovering lost eyesight, getting back on a bicycle after a paralyzing spinal cord injury, reversing muscle degeneration, healing brain injuries, curing epilepsy

Those reports are stem cell treatmentsnot a general cure for all, but individual successes. They come with a promise of treating strokes to diabetes, Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, and baldness to fallen teeth, during this decade.

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Tai Chi Zero: Asterix Meets Steampunk in China

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 in International Films, Movies

Recipe for Taichi Zero from the makers of Detective Dee and Ip Man:

Large enough budget. Charismatic stars and champion martial artists. Action must be fresh and innovative and boosted by breathtaking visual effects.

Throw in a dash of steampunk to the mix, and an Asterix-like setting. The filmmakers laugh along with the audience at the whole gorgeous absurdity.

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Galaxy Gear: So Wrong, Yet a Step Needed

Posted on Sep 5, 2013 in Gadgets, Technology

So expensive. Samsung Galaxy Gear will set you back $300.

So little functionality. It only works if you carry around a Galaxy Note 3.

It needs to be charged every day— a technological limitation.

Yet, Gear is a necessary experiment. Also, it is a useful accessory for Note 3 owners.

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“In the Best Interests of the Company,” Ballmer to Quit

Posted on Aug 23, 2013 in Technology

Legend goes: In the early days at Microsoft, Bill Gates was getting ready for a meeting with IBM. Neither he, nor his fellow geeks, could knot a tie. So they hired someone who could— Steve Ballmer.

33 years later, Ballmer, Chairman & CEO of Microsoft, who grew the company from $25 billion to $80 billion when he was at the helm, will leave within a year. A decision taken, he says, In the best interests of the company.

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Area 51: Aliens, No; Amazing Techs, Yes

Posted on Aug 23, 2013 in finChin!

U2 was built 57 years ago— Air Force prefers U2 over a state-of-the art drone, Global Hawk for many of its missions.

In 2013, there is no aircraft faster than the Oxcart and the Blackbird, both commissioned in the 1960′s. They were faster than a speeding bullet.

All of that came from Area 51, CIA’s clandestine site: No aliens, but plenty of black projects and dark secrets.

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Belgian Maneuver and Parking Mrs. Park (Videos)

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 in finChin!, Humor

When your car and the garage wall have only an inch of clearance, how do you get out? Here’s the Belgian Maneuver. Age has not dimmed his vision or dulled his reflexes.

Mrs. Park may not know how to park, but she surely makes her neighborhood in Seuol an exciting place to live— or die.

Who can top Mrs. Park? Welcome to Italy. Here’s what one man can do with a tiny car.

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Grow Up, Google!

Posted on Aug 18, 2013 in Technology

Google is 18 years old, but sometimes shows the disregard of an 8-year old for others— customers, competitors and regulators.

Gmail users have no right to expect privacy, Google says. This week, Google shut down YouTube access to a Microsoft app. In another case, it withheld industry-standard patents until it was ordered to stop.

Google plays by its own rules. That may not be the best long term strategy. Will Google grow up?

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Fukushima: A Never-ending Disaster

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 in Environment, Science

300 tons of radioactive water everyday— that’s what Fukushima nuclear plant is discharging into the Pacific Ocean, two years after the second worst nuclear disaster in history.

There is no alternative: the fuel rods inside the reactor complex must be cooled. If not there may be a meltdown.

Fukushima is not a closed chapter. Even as it devastates Japan with numerous problems, it continues to spread radiation into the air and the sea. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it will take 40 years to fully decommission the plant.

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