Feb 11, 2009
That equates to 87 hours a year spent surfing for porn. A further hour and 35 minutes is spent looking at dieting and weight loss websites.
The study of 1,000 youngsters found the average teenager was online 31 hours each week looking at soft pornography, plastic surgery, dieting, family planning and emotional support.
Teenagers are spending more than eight hours a week browsing the internet for soft porn, plastic surgery and family planning websites
Another hour and eight minutes is dedicated to exploring cosmetic surgery websites, to learn about breast surgery, bum lifts and collagen implants.
The research was conducted by CyberSentinel.co.uk, a computer software that enables parents to block websites and monitor use of the internet. Ellie Puddle, Marketing Director of CyberSentinel, said: 'The alarming thing about this research is that it shows that teenagers are obviously exploring all sorts of topics as a result of modern-day pressures.
'For instance, pressure to emulate celebrity standards of beauty is resulting in teens spending a significant amount of time researching cosmetic surgery.
The research has also found that they're viewing information on contraceptives and pregnancy and sex as well as weight loss.
'And for some reason they find it easier to go online to conduct their research than asking mum and dad for advice.
'Using the internet to research topics which are difficult to talk about is fine, but parents should agree and set boundaries to protect their children from accessing inappropriate material.'
The poll revealed teenagers spend at least three hours and 10 minutes a week researching topics for their homework, and another one hour and 40 minutes downloading or listening to music.
A further two hours and two minutes is spent looking at clips on YouTube, whilst an hour and 22 minutes is spent scouring NHS direct or other health websites for information about illnesses, puberty and growing pains.
Chat rooms, forums, MSN, and social networking sites such as Facebook also play an important role in the average life of a teenager, who can spend up to nine hours a week chatting to friends and new acquaintances.
One in four teenagers admit they regularly talk to strangers online, and think it is completely harmless.
Ms Puddle added: 'Talking to friends on social networking websites can be completely risk-free good fun for teenagers.
'But there is also the danger of meeting strangers in these forums who aren't browsing the sites to "make friends".
'In many cases these "online predators" are scouring the web for impressionable friendly young people to talk to, and in time, meet face to face.
'Teenagers and parents need to realise the dangers of talking to strangers online but parents must not over-react by denying access to the internet. The internet is a fantastic resource for learning and development.'
The most common venue for teenagers to surf the web is the bedroom (33 per cent), followed by their parent's study or living room (27 per cent).
But 13 to 19 year-olds readily admit they are left alone with the computer for up to two hours a day, that's 14 hours a week.
An hour of this time is spent looking at emotional support sites such as The Samaritans; another hour and 15 minutes is spent on dating websites and a further hour and a half on auction websites.
And for an hour and 55 minutes teenagers are creating online personas on virtual world sites such as Second Life.
Two thirds of teenagers say their parents have spoken with them about what they should and shouldn't look at online.
And 45 per cent will talk to their parents if they are worried about anything they have accidentally accessed - such as self harming, drugs, knife crime or sex.
But a third have also admitted to hiding some of the websites they have been visiting from their parents.
Jan 31, 2009
50 Cent is adding film production to his existing business ventures, which already include a record label and a clothing line.
The rapper-turned-actor unveiled his plans for Cheetah Vision at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said his new company had already bought eight scripts.
He told Reuters the first to be produced would be The Dance, starring himself and Nicolas Cage.
Jackson said: "He (Cage) plays the founder of a boxing program, and I play a fighter who goes to state prison."
He added that he was unconcerned about starting a new business during the global financial crisis.
He said: "I don't think it will affect me as much as it will the other people that are out there because I'm not afraid to finance some of these things myself if I have to."
The rapper was ranked number 26 on Forbes magazine's 2008 list of top 100 richest celebrities with estimated earnings of about $150 million between June 2007 and June 2008.
He made most of the money by selling a drinks company he part-owned to Coca-Cola.
Jackson also makes his debut as a director this year and is giving away the film, Before I Self Destruct, free with his latest album.
The film mirrors his troubled early life, telling the tale of an inner city boy who takes up a life of crime in order to support his younger brother.
Later this year, he will star in Streets of Blood with Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone, as well as 13 with Mickey Rourke.
Jan 30, 2009
The 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 has been revealed ahead of the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. With a base price of $112,200, one would expect it to deliver some walloping technology. It doesn't appear to disappoint.
ATLANTA, Jan. 29 — Porsche will launch the fastest, most powerful 911 GT3 to-date at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3, 2009. The high performance GT3 is the latest in the new generation 911 series and carries over a wide range of expertise learned from motorsports — resulting is superb capabilities both on road and on track.
The 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 raises the performance bar thanks to an increase in engine size to 3.8 liters and VarioCam technology now on both the intake and exhaust. The naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine develops 435 bhp, 20 bhp more than its predecessor.
The new, larger engine offers a significant increase in torque at medium engine speeds, which is particularly important for everyday driving. Track performance is also improved; the new GT3 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and reaches a top track speed of 194 mph.
Driving dynamics have also been enhanced, and the new GT3 offers even better grip and stability. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) has enabled Porsche's engineers to make the springs and anti-roll bars stiffer, thus ensuring even more precise handling in sport mode, while retaining a level of comfort suitable for everyday use in normal mode. For the first time, the 911 GT3 comes standard with Porsche Stability Management (PSM), with suspension mapping mirroring that of the GT2. The driver can disengage both stability control and traction control in separate steps.
At high speeds, aerodynamic improvements have increased downforce at both the front and rear, more than doubling the effect of the previous GT3. At the same time, the new aerodynamics package, with larger vents in the front and rear bumpers gives the GT3 a brand-new look, accentuated by standard bi-xenon headlights, LED rear light clusters and modified air intakes and outlets.
Innovative Engine Mounts
The new GT3 will be available with new and highly innovative dynamic engine mounts. Utilizing magnetic fluid, these inventive mounts automatically stiffen to create a more solid coupling between the engine and chassis when the car is driven energetically. This provides a sporting, rigid assembly on fast bends and winding racetracks yet allows for engine isolation and increased comfort while driving in everyday traffic. Traction is also improved when accelerating from a standstill.
With driving dynamics and performance at an even higher level, the brake system, following a long Porsche tradition, has also been enhanced accordingly. Brake discs are larger and feature an aluminum hub to reduce weight. Increased brake ventilation ensures a high level of brake power over long periods, and the GT3 can also be equipped with PCCB ceramic brakes, developed specifically for this model.
Creative Front End Lift
A new lift system for the front axle is also available. By utilizing an on-board air compressor, the front of the car can be raised for steep driveways or inclines. A the touch of a button raises the front ride height by 30 mm, or 1.18 inches and at speeds up to approximately 30 mph. New, lighter GT3 specific center lock wheels and ultra-high performance tires round out the functional and visual enhancement of the GT3.
The 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 will be available in the fall of 2009, MSRP $112,200 US.
About Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche sports cars and sport utility vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 201 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 60-year history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful marque in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the Boxster and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles for the U.S., strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.
conflict's bloodiest battle, the school said on Thursday.
The two 12-year-old boys said they found the bomb last week in a yard near the school in Okinawa, where residents still unearth hundreds of dud explosives six decades after the war.
"We immediately realised the blasting fuse had come off the bombshell," said Yoshiyasu Henzan, vice principal of Shonan elementary school. "We reported it to police through the local education board."
"The children apparently thought the bomb would be good study material at school," he said, adding that the school has given a special class in peace studies for students.
The US-made bombshell of about 30 cm in length was swiftly taken away by the Japanese bomb-disposal squad, the teacher said.
Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific war, with US forces unleashing an 83-day air and amphibious assault dubbed the "Typhoon of Steel" by locals. Some 190,000 Japanese died, half of them Okinawan civilians.
Earlier this month, an Okinawan resident working on an underground water pipe was severely injured in the face when another World War II bomb went off.
The bomb-disposal squad of the Japanese military unearthed 445 bombs in Okinawa in just two weeks after the explosion, the local Ryukyu Shimpo daily reported.
Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi is set to enter the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘world’s most inclined tower.’ It will lean 4 times as far as Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Capital Gate will accommodate the 5-star Hyatt at Capital Centre hotel and will provide the most exclusive office space in Abu Dhabi. The tower forms a major part of the Capital Centre development, a $2.2 billion business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The new 200 room, 5-star hotel to be operated by Hyatt International will open in late 2009 and will be the first Hyatt operated hotel in the UAE capital. In recognition of its significance and its stature, Hyatt International has named the hotel ‘Hyatt at Capital Centre’. It will be one of the most exclusive business hotels in the world. Hyatt International already operates 3 luxury hotels in Dubai, UAE under the brands Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency.
Capital Gate leans westward an astonishing 18 degrees; by comparison the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans less than 4 degrees. Because of its unique posture, the tower is being constructed on top of an incredibly dense mesh of reinforced steel. The dense mesh sits above an intensive distribution of 490 piles which have been drilled 30 meters underground to accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.
Its graceful, asymmetric diagonal structure, known as a ‘diagrid’, supports the tilting external load of the building and we believe that this is the first building in the world to use a pre-cambered core. Other diagrid buildings include the Hearst Tower in NYC and the “Gherkin” in London.
Besides being believed to be the ‘world’s most inclined’ building, Capital Gate also features 728 unique custom-made diamond-shaped glazing panels. Due to the structure’s curving shape, each pane of glass is different and each will be fitted at a slightly different angle.
Jan 28, 2009
An 'immortal' jellyfish is swarming through the world's oceans, according to scientists.
The Turritopsis Nutricula is able to revert back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.
Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die.
Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion."
The jellyfish are originally from the Caribbean but have spready all over the world.
Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self.
It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation.
Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.
While most members of the jellyfish family usually die after propagating, the Turritopsis nutricula has developed the unique ability to return to a polyp state.
Having stumbled upon the font of eternal youth, this tiny creature which is just 5mm long is the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists to see exactly how it manages to literally reverse its aging process.
Bill Gates retiring from Microsoft was one of the big news items last year. Back then, we knew Gates would not be able to leave Microsoft entirely and given the economic times and the challenges that Microsoft is facing, it is probably a good idea that he will drop by occasionally. However, Gates also mentioned that he would like to focus more and more on his charity in the future. And for those who thought this work might just be a hobby and less intensive than leading Microsoft, they have been proven wrong today.
Gates released what he describes as the first of an annually published letter detailing some of the focus areas of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates spends some time in the letter addressing doubts (download the 20-page PDF) that his charity may not be as fulfilling as Microsoft was and claims that his tasks are actually quite similar.
"Many of my friends were concerned that I wouldn't find the foundation work as engaging or rewarding as my work at Microsoft. I loved my work at Microsoft and it had been my primary focus for over 30 years. I too would have worried if I had paused and thought about it enough." He mentions that his job at Microsoft had "three magical things" - an "opportunity for big breakthroughs", he felt he has "skills would let [him] help create a special company that would be part of a whole new industry" and the work would "let [him] engage with people who were smart and knew things [he] didn't."
Gates says his Foundation also has "three magical elements" – "opportunities for big breakthroughs", he believes that his "experience in building teams of smart people with different skill sets focused on tough long-term problems can be a real contribution" and he noted that "the intelligence and dedication of the people involved in these issues [are] just as impressive as what [he has] seen before."
Within his letter, which you can read in its entirety online here, Gates outlines the efforts in Global Health, Global Development, and a dedicated U.S. education Program. In health, he provides insight in a program that accounts for 50% of the spending of the Foundation and concentrates on 20 diseases, such as "diarrheal diseases (including rotavirus), pneumonia, and malaria—which mostly kill kids—and AIDS and TB, which mostly kill adults."
"With a handful of new vaccines, we should be able to save a year of a person's life for well under $100. If we waste $500,000, we are wasting 5,000 years of life. This is the kind of trade-off I ask our employees to consider when they are deciding which areas to get involved in and which grants to make," Gates writes.
There is also the Global Development program, trying to address rural development and starvation. "About 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. More than 900 million suffer from chronic hunger, and most of them live in rural areas of developing countries," according to Gates. "This is why the foundation added our Global Development Program to complement the Global Health group two years ago. We are working in areas like financial services, including savings and insurance. Our biggest investment is in improving agricultural output, another area where innovations have made a huge difference for millions of people but have not reached the poorest, especially in Africa and South Asia."
He hopes that "new seeds and other inputs like fertilizer allow a farmer to increase a farm's output significantly, instead of just growing enough food to subsist. This innovation is just as important as developing and delivering vaccinations."
The U.S. Program is aimed at improving education to "help reduce inequity". Gates not only shares what is being done now, what is being funded, but also what has been achieved already, such as this: "Lee High School, Houston, Texas. But a few of the schools that we funded achieved something amazing. They replaced schools with low expectations and low results with ones that have high expectations and high results. These schools are not selective in whom they admit, and they are overwhelmingly serving kids in poor areas, most of whose parents did not go to college. Almost all of these schools are charter schools that have significantly longer school days than other schools."
Reading through the activities of the world's best-financed charity is an amazing eye-opener of what can be done with enough resources and dedication. One can only hope that the effort pays off and the results of Gates' new journey will be as significant as the ones he achieved with Microsoft. Even if it is Gates' choice to spend his time with his charity and many would be willing to change roles with him, his work should not be taken for granted. There is no better way that Gates could allocate his time or spend his wealth. It makes me think about other sparkling executives and company founders in the IT industry. Especially those who continue mentioning how they will save the planet by driving a hybrid/electric car, but then spend their fortune on yachts and jets.
So with that thought in mind: Thank you, Bill Gates.
Jan 21, 2009
THE SILENCED REVOLVER If you're dumb enough to put a silencer on a revolver then you'll discover that all the noise you hoped to suppress will escape from around the cylinder. See, an automatic is a sealed system allowing gas to vent only from the end of the barrel. So all your sound is coming from the barrel as well. A revolver is not sealed. There's a gap twixt the cylinder and the barrel where they meet. This gap allows the cylinder to turn. It also allows gas and noise to escape.
THE "EMPTY" AUTOMATIC We've all seen the scene where on adversary has the drop on another at the end of a gunfight. One guy holds out an automatic to the other guy's head, says a take away line ("This is where the rubber meets the road, scumbag.) and then…click. The gun's empty! Well, when an automatic has fired its last cartridge the slide atop the action locks back. They would both know the gun was empty. At the same time the firing mechanism locks back as well so no "click". If you need to have a scene like this make sure your character's armed with a revolver.
THE SUPER ACCURATE SNIPER SCOPE This one's common. I do it myself but only because most audiences don't understand how bullets track. It's the scene where we're looking through the sniper's scope and the crosshairs land on the intended quarry square on his or her head. There it is the president, the Queen mum, the guy who made it off of Survivor island and the posts are placed right on their kissers. This might work if the sniper was standing thirty yards away. But the problem is that bullets don't fire in a flat, straight line. The longer a bullet is in flight the slower it begins to travel and the more it loses altitude. This is called "the drop". A sniper must take into account the drop, the temperature, barometric pressure and wind direction and velocity when lining up a money shot. So, over a long distance you want to have your crosshairs above the target. If all is right under God's heavens then the bullet will then "drop" where you want it. I cover this one by having my shooters mention this aspect of long range sniping. And never aim for the head. You want a "center shot" or chest shot.
"THE CORDITE THICK AS FOG." Man, did I feel dumb about five years ago when Larry Hama went on a rant about this common gaffe. Everyone at one time or another mentions the "cordite stink" of gunsmoke in their stories. But it turns out that cordite was a chemical ingredient in gunpowder for only a very short time in the late 19th Century. So, unless you're writing about Highlanders fighting their way down the Khyber this one is a major boo-boo. I don't know who immortalized this error. Probaly a yellow journalist back then. It entered the lexicon of cliches next to "grieving loved ones" and "armed conflict" that are in every reporters bag o' cliches. I cringe now when I see even writers I admire refer to cordite.
KER-CHAK! We've all seen this one. The good or bad guy had been holding a shotgun on his opposite number for a while and, just for dramatic emphasis, racks back the pump to chamber a shell. Loud Ker-Chak! Then a take-away line. "Be sure to say 'hi' to your mama when you get to Hell!" This is very cool and dramatic and I do love that sound effect. But what this actually means is that the character has been threatening everyone with a gun that has no chambered round. If he pulled the trigger nothing would happen.
SHOOTING SIDEWAYS Your gangstas just have to be different. So they aim their handguns sideways and hunch over and kind of glare along their arm in lieu of actually aiming. In fact, when they do this their eyes aren't even looking at the site but at their victim. Intimidating your intended victims is all well and good. But it comes to naught if, when you finally start busting caps, you miss the other guy by six city blocks. There's a reason we hold guns vertically. It's a more natural pose considering that the barrel of a gun is going to leap up and back when each round goes off. It's a lot easier to lower that site back to it's original position than it is to go searching for them over a 180 degree radius. Ever see Davey Crockett hold his flintlock sideways? This way is just plain dumb.
THE STARSKY AND HUTCH WALL SLIDE This one's common. The cops are in a bunch with handguns held in both hands, barrels pointed skyward and arms tight to their chests as they sideways-slide along a wall down a hallway toward the lair of some badguys. The problem with this is, that when the shooting starts, plater walls do not a bunker make. Also, in a real life gunbattle, bullets bounce, tumble and tend to track along flat surfaces like walls and floors. In real life, cops blast off a few shots and hunt for substantial cover. From this cover they shout out dire threats of retribution until the bad guys give up, run away or are determined to have died in the first hail of gunfire. If you read enough police reports about firefights those hoods pumped to the double and triple digits with lead begin to make sense. The only way to even the odds in a gunfight is to take the other guy down in a hurry in the first few seconds of the fight.
"LOOKS LIKE A NINE OR A THIRTY EIGHT" The detective shows up at the homicide scene. Takes one glance at the bulletholes in the victim and pronounces the exact caliber of the murder weapon. Maybe, I say maybe, if the victim was a piece of plywood you could do this. But a bullethole in a person quickly fills with fluid and the area around it swells. All of this masks the true size of the bullethole. Even if you were good enough to tell the diameter of the various calibers of bullets at a glance (which would be difficult if you were looking at their exact diameters drawn on a piece of paper.) that talent would be useless on a fresh corpse.