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Archive for April, 2006


Beye folks. See you all within ten days. :wink_wp:

Big Dog

The Most Advanced Quadruped Robot on Earth

igDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog’s legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight. BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors. BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced, steer, navigate, and regulate energetics as conditions vary. Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system. Other sensors focus on the internal state of BigDog, monitoring the hydraulic pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature, rpm, battery charge and others. So far, BigDog has trotted at 3.3 mph, climbed a 35 degree slope and carried a 120 lb load. BigDog is being developed by Boston Dynamics with help from Foster Miller, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station.Development is funded by the DARPA Defense Sciences Office.

ET, Flash Home


massive new telescope will soon begin scanning the skies for laser flashes from extraterrestrials. Researchers are focusing on laser light because they think advanced intelligent beings would use it to communicate with us, rather than the far more primitive radio signal.”Pulse lasers allow the sending of very bright light very far, very quickly,” said Bruce Betts. Betts is a planetary scientist and director of programs at the Pasadena, California-based Planetary Society, which funded the new telescope. The telescope was custom-built for detecting extraterrestrials. It’s the biggest optical telescope east of the Mississippi and is the first optical telescope devoted exclusively to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The Optical SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) telescope sits in a farmhouse-like structure in rural Massachusetts, 40 miles (65 kilometers) away from the Harvard University campus in Cambridge.

hen the telescope is up and running, a Harvard team will operate it remotely from campus, said team leader Paul Horowitz, a physics professor at the university. In the past five years the team—using a much less powerful telescope, which scanned just a fraction of the sky—has noted more than a hundred “events,” Horowitz said. Because of the limitations of the equipment, the team was unable to determine if the events were actual communications. “We have no idea if there really are aliens. The next question would be, If there are aliens, can we detect it? The answer is yes. With this telescope we now have a much better chance,” Betts said.

Talk or Just Chatter?

Milky Way

he telescope will note any light signals that are 10,000 times brighter than a star and that pulse for at least a few billionths of a second. This measure was chosen because it reflects what we on Earth are capable of sending, Betts said. the telescope detects a flash, the apparatus will send information about the exact time and location of the light to its powerful computer. Horowitz’s team will review the data and decide if any flashes bear investigation. If so, the Harvard team will then ask another team to corroborate the sighting. The telescope sports a 6-foot (183-centimeter) reflecting mirror and is so powerful it will be able to scan the entire sky of the Milky Way (see photo) over 200 clear nights. This is roughly equivalent to scanning all the books in print, every second. What enables its powerful data processing capability are the 32 electronic chips that were “handmade” for the telescope by a graduate-student team member.

No Blinking Allowed

f the telescope detects a signal that the team believes comes from an alien population, scientists have no protocol for whether and how to respond. Horowitz’s team won’t respond themselves, he said. “We’re not sending anything and never have,” Horowitz said. As far as any aliens are concerned, there is probably a proper way to respond, and we do not know what that is, he adds. Any life-forms that would send signals would likely be very different from us, says Carol Cleland, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It all makes her slightly skeptical. “How do we search for life as we don’t know it?” she said. A few glitches need to be squared away before the telescope goes fully online. For example, if the observatory’s roof is left open during the day, the heat generated by sunlight on the telescope creates what Harvard’s Horowitz called “the world’s biggest oven. “We could burn the place down,” he said.

(from Nasa.)

Why ?

A tribute to Parvez, our friend at a distance but never far away….

Why are you so far away?

Why are “you” in Australia and “we” in Europe?

Why can’t wee meet, feel and touch people we like?

Why can’t we share moments of hapiness or sadness?


Annie Lennox – Why ?…..

How many times do I have to try to tell you
That I’m sorry for the things I’ve done
But when I start to try to tell you
That’s when you have to tell me
Hey…this kind of trouble’s only just begun
I tell myself too many times
Why don’t you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut
That’s why it hurts so bad to hear the words
That keep on falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Falling from your mouth
Tell me…

I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking
And I’ve heard it said too many times
That you’d be better off
Why can’t you see this boat is sinking
(This boat is sinking this boat is sinking)
Let’s go down to the water’s edge
And we can cast away those doubts
Some things are better left unsaid
But they still turn me inside out
Turning inside out turning inside out
Tell me…
Tell me…

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that’s seldom spread
These are the tears…
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?
‘Cause I don’t think you know how I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
I don’t think you know what I feel
You don’t know what I feel

Jules Sylvester


Jules Sylvester

n intelligent, articulate wildlife expert who is part adventurer, part animal trainer, part explorer and full time storyteller. Jules has traveled all over the world— he knows wildlife, cultures and people in the most exotic and remote places on earth. Jules is one of the most respected animal trainers in Hollywood-having handled everything from alligators to zebras for over 300 motion pictures, television shows and commercials.


ules is the host of Specials on The Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel. Jules is a wildly popular guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Somehow Jules talks Jay into unbelievable stunts. On one visit Jay laid on the floor while Jules coaxed a hairy, nine-inch tarantula to crawl all over him. Another time Jay laid down in a plexiglass case and then Jules poured 300 pounds of snakes on top of him.

Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester


ulian (Jules) Sylvester has caught and handled more than 10,000 snakes; but experience and skills learned in Kenya, where he was raised, help him to understand the ways of Africa’s big animals, such as lions and lightning-fast reptiles.As a boy in the bush country in East Africa, Jules was exposed to all manner of wild things. And, he loved it! His first paying job at age 16 was handling deadly poisonous snakes at the Nairobi National Museum in Kenya. Moving to Scotland for two years, he joined the Edinburgh Zoo as a lion keeper. In 1971, Jules returned to Africa, and after travelling throughout the African bush, joined the Rhodesian Army as a rifleman, fighting in the Rhodesian guerrilla war. Upon mustering out of the army, Jules became a herpetologist (snake expert), on the popular television show, “Born Free”, which was filmed on his father’s farm in Kenya. The show business bug had taken hold, so it was off to Hollywood for Jules. Although Jules has trained many warm-blooded and dangerous animals, such as rhino, wolves and lions, he has made his reputation training animals of the cold-blooded variety. Having caught and handled deadly snakes in such far-off places as Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, and Thailand to name a few, Jules has never been bitten. He’ll tell you it’s more than luck, it’s a combination of skill, caution and years of handling dangerous reptiles. His encyclopedic knowledge makes him an authority on how animals, amphibians, reptiles and insects inter-relate. With his British accent and fluent Swahili, Jules is an entertaining speaker and he regularly lectures to special audiences at universities and Colleges. Besides his Discovery Channel Specials, his voice talent is used in Animal Kingdom at Disney World in Florida

Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester
Jules Sylvester

Episode 1: Morocco -The Bizarre, The Bazaar and The Beautiful
Celebrity animal trainer and reptile expert Jules Sylvester introduces us to some of the world’s most amazing creatures. From the frantic markets of ancient Marrakech to the scenic seaport of Mogador and the breathtaking waterfalls of Ouzoud, Jules takes us on an exciting journey through Morocco, where we encounter snakes, scorpions, tailless monkeys, tree climbing goats, spitting camels and Arabian Horses.

Episode 2: South Africa – Africa’s Big Five and More
Jules and his ranger guide Tanya track a herd of wild African elephants through the dense South African bush, also coming across lions, tigers, rhinoceros, leopards, hippos, cheetahs, impalas and the deadliest snake in Africa, the Black Momba.

Episode 3: Kenya -The Crossing At the Masai Mara.
Jules journeys back to his homeland to experience the spectacle of the annual crossing of the Mara River by millions of zebra and wildebeest. Also featured are lions, gazelles, water buffalo, baboons, wild boars and an albino hippo.

Episode 4: Malindi – Beautiful Country, Terrible Past
Celebrity animal trainer and reptile expert Jules Sylvester introduces us to some of the world’s most amazing creatures. The horrible history of the infamous slave caves of Kenya stand in stark contrast to the beauty of this peaceful coastal area. Jules visits with the man who taught him everything he knows about handling snakes and encounters spitting cobras, deadly puff adders, sea eagles, owls, bush babies and giant tortoises.

Episode 5: Madagascar – A World Apart
Experience a land like no other place on earth in this remarkable trek across the island of Madagascar. Home to leaping Lemurs, Madagascar lays claim to more endemic plant and animal life than any other place on earth, including rare radiated tortoises, giant bats, camouflaged chameleons, snakes, leeches and crocodiles.

Episode 6:Mexico – Mexico’s Lost Mayan Mystery
Heading for Mexico, Jules leads an incredible expedition through a hostile battle zone into uncharted rain forests, crawling with monstrous spiders and the country’s deadliest snake, the fer de lance.

Episode 7: Florida – Ferocious Alligators Protecting The Exotic Everglades
Jules flies his airboat deep into the exotic Everglades in search of one of North America’s most ferocious predators: the American alligator. He also tracks down boa constrictors, iguanas, monitor lizards and wild monkeys, as well as rescuing a gigantic sea turtle.

Episode 8: Montana – Welcome To The Wild Wild West
Celebrity animal trainer and reptile expert Jules Sylvester introduces us to some of the world’s most amazing creatures. Jules rides the open range in Montana, home to rattle snakes, prairie dogs and spectacular ‘big sky’ scenery. His goal, to track the biggest mammal on the North American continent: the majestic American buffalo.

Episode 9: : Costa Rica – Tracking The Elusive South American Tapir
Jules travels deep into the beautiful and fragile Costa Rican rainforest to track one of the most elusive, unusual and rarely seen animals in the world: the South American Tapir. Deadly eyelash vipers, poisonous tree frogs, high-flying monkeys, spectacular scenery and more lie ahead.

Episode 10: Most Spectacular Moments
From Kenya to Mexico, Montana to Madagascar, along with side trips to Florida, Morocco and South Africa, Jules takes us on a one-hour, whirlwind tour of his favourite wildlife, wildest places and most spectacular moments.

Source : travel Channel.

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  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It's the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead."
    ~ Albert Einstein (1930)."
  • "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    ~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet."

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