Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014: Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

This year is the Year of the Horse, which is said to bring prosperity and wealth. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar, and this year it will fall on 31 January.
The doodle features an image of a girl on a rocking horse and a boy holding fire crackers and Chinese lanterns.
Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year's Eve, signalling the end of the Year of the Snake. The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals, one to represent each year of the lunisolar cycle.
At Chinese New Year people traditionally wear red clothes and give children "lucky money" contained in red envelopes. The colour red symbolises fire to drive away bad luck.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Surgeon general’s report was milestone

This weekend marks a momentous anniversary in the war on tobacco. Fifty years ago the U.S. Surgeon General released the first report on tobacco. Dr. Steven Brown is a pulmonologist and volunteer with the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.
“I was the first formal recognition by a governmental agency that cigarettes are harmful,” he said. “This was a report that was not to the tobacco companies, and it wasn’t a report to the doctors. This was a report to the masses.
The report was released to a public in which nearly half of adults smoked. “In the 1960s, would wold walk into a bank, and the bank tellers would be smoking cigarettes while dispensing money. Teachers would be smoking in classrooms. People were smoking on airplanes. People would hand out cigarettes as party favors,” Brown recalled.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chinese film mogul Run Run Shaw dies at 106

Hong Kong film magnate Run Run Shaw, who built the Shaw Bros. studio into the largest in Asia in the 1960s and ’70s, popularized the kung fu genre around the world and later became a major philanthropist, died Tuesday at 106.

Shaw’s studio – which he ran with his brother, Runme – churned out more than 1,000 films over more than five decades, from romances and musicals to action pictures. He even co-produced American films, including Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner.” The legacy of Shaw Bros. films can be seen in the works of contemporary filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino to John Woo and Ang Lee.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Other leakers: What happened to them?

(CNN) -- Two prominent newspapers this week used their editorial pages to call for mercy for intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, with one arguing "he deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight."
The New York Times and The Guardian make the case for some sort of plea deal or clemency that would allow Snowden to return to the United States from Russia, where he was granted asylum.
Mercy or dropped charges have occurred in past cases of other high-profile whistle-blowers, such as Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst behind the leak of the Pentagon Papers. But in recent years, the United States has aggressively pursued those who leak government secrets.
Here's a look at how the cases of five prominent leakers -- including Snowden -- have played out:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lakers' world begins, ends with Kobe

To this day, Jordan Farmar is not entirely sure the call really happened. It was early, and he was still emotionally spent from the excitement of the day before. The Los Angeles Lakers, the team he'd grown up rooting for as a boy in the San Fernando Valley, had made him the 26th pick of the 2006 NBA draft, and now, first thing the next morning, his phone was ringing and Kobe Bryant was on the other line?
"I thought I was dreaming still, to be honest with you," Farmar said. "I woke up early in the morning, the phone rang and he's like, 'What's up man? It's Kobe. Welcome to the Lakers. Are you ready to get to work?'"
As introductions go, it was about as straightforward as they come. Had he been fully awake and alert, everything Farmar needed to know about playing with Bryant and the Lakers was embedded within that early-morning phone call.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Youth-drug can 'reverse' ageing in animal studies

US scientists have performed a dramatic reversal of the ageing process in animal studies.
They used a chemical to rejuvenate muscle in mice and said it was the equivalent of transforming a 60-year-old's muscle to that of a 20-year-old - but muscle strength did not improve.
Their study, in the journal Cell, identified an entirely new mechanism of ageing and then reversed it.
Other researchers said it was an "exciting finding".

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Facebook, Zuckerberg Plan to Sell Shares Worth $3.9 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook Inc. (FB), is selling shares to help pay taxes, joining the company and some other shareholders in an offering worth about $3.9 billion.
About 27 million shares will be offered by Facebook, and almost 43 million shares are being sold by certain stockholders, including 41,350,000 shares by Zuckerberg, the company said in a statement today. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook fell as much as 5.3 percent in pre-market trading.