Friday, February 27, 2009

Topless Coffee Shop?!

At a time when the economy isnt doing so well, at least one thing appears to be recession proof - and that's a topless coffee shop in Vassalboro, Maine. The name of the place is the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop. Although the coffee shop has only opened for less than a week, business is already booming, and there are already regulars at the place. Most of these regulars are couples and females (surprisingly). Not only are there loads of customers, but there are lots of resume's coming in as well, so far there has been over 150 job applications, most of which belong to people who have just been laid off within the last couple months. In total, there are ten women, and five men working at the shop, and topless, of course. Donald Crabtree, the owner and the man who came up with this quite profitable idea, says that he did not hire only "10's" referring to the beauty scale, but hired "skinny to big-boned women," treating everyone equally. Despite not being "10's" the tips are coming along nicely too. Tips at the shop are averaging $30 a table, and one waitress even got a hefty $100 tip, just for one cup of coffee. The cafe has a really simple look to it from the outside. Just outside the door it says "over 18 only, Coffee shop, no cameras, cash only, and thank you". The place certainly does seem to be quite the success for quite a limited budget to start the business.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Girl Does Almost Anything for $3

Chen Xiao, a girl in China - aged 26, decided to let internet surfers, otherwise known as netizens, control her life for $3 an hour. After a bad 2008 when her clothing shop went bankrupt, harsh blizzards, a devastating earthquake, and even friends divorcing, she decided that no matter what she did, bad things were bound to happen. So, that is why she is letting citizens of the internet decide things for her. Of course, not EVERYTHING. She says that she will not undertake a request that is illegal, immoral or violent (of course there will always be people there to do just that). So far she has taken care of some of these netizen's sick relatives, delivering pet food, taking care of stray cats, and even providing some of the homeless with a hot meal. So far the oddest assignment was attending the birth of a child. The father was a stranger who just wanted to someone to take some photos and since he heard about Chen Xiao, he decided, why not? Doing things for others, she says has made her her happier. She says that she does not know when she'll go back to her own life, except it is only when others stop needing her.

To the right is a picture of Chen Xiao in front of Tiananmen Square

free iPhones in Japan

iPhones are now free in Japan. Starting this friday, the only seller of Apple's iPhone in Japan, SoftBank Mobile, is having a special deal. With the purchase of a two year contract, a free 8GB iPhone 3G. Even with this awesome sale, marketing consultants predicted that the iPhone would not do so well in Japan. It is because the phones in Japan are too different from the iPhone which have a more "American" feel to it, being from Apple and all. Text messaging in Japan usually only consists of using just one thumb and not with qwerty keys. The iPhone's camera falls below standard compare to the average camera phone over there, the iPhone's display of emoji, or cute emoticons, is much harder to use, mostly everyone already has an iPod touch, and finally, Japan being one of the toughest cell phone markets in the world, doesn't help much neither. If this free iPhone deal was here in North America, there would no doubt be so much more sales in one of the most technology innovated countries, it might be a little bit harder to pull off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Too Much Playstation Causes Skin Condition

Recently an unnamed girl in Geneva, Switzerland had developed what her doctors called "PlayStation palmar hidradentitis." These are lumps, which are a variation of "idiopathic eccrine hidradenitis," which causes red and sore lumps usually on the palms or soles of the feet, appeared on her palms from a combination of sweaty hands, tight grip and physical movement when playing on the playstation. After being prescribed "no playstation" for ten days, the lumps disappeared.

This is not the first report of a game related injury. In the past, adults have been reported of suffering from "Wii knees," which is from over-enthusiastic playing of the Wii. Several first player shooter games have been known to cause dizziness and even make people nauseous as well.

Below are pictures of an angry gamer, playstation 3, and a peculiar Wii console.

This console, showing Darth Vader on one side with red LED lights, appeared on eBay just a little over a year ago. Also included in the set are a pair of black Wii-mote and Nunchuk controllers and a black sensor bar. The seller claims that only four of these were created, specially made for the promotion of the Star Wars game "The Force Unleashed." The asking price for this set was $15,000. No further information whether the image of Darth Vader is paint or vinyl or even just a skin was given.

Xbox 360 Elite: Limited-edition Resident Evil 5

Microsoft is releasing a limited edition red Xbox 360. It will be packaged just like the Xbox 360 Elite and will also include Resident Evil 5, which is coming out on Friday the 13th of March. A free voucher Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will also be included as a bonus. The pricing for this limited edition is the same as the regular Xbox 360 Elite which comes to $400. Below are some pictures of the limited edtion Xbox set.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Green Comet to Pass Earth

Starting today, a green comet, called Lulin, will be visible to the naked eye after 10pm tonight. It should be located to the right of saturn in the southern skies, below the constellation of Leo. It will be seen by places of mid-northern latitudes, such as North America and Europe. The reason for its green coloring is due to ionized cyanogen and carbon gases emitting radiation in green wavelengths. The special thing about this comet is that for the first time ever, it entered our solar system and also for the first time it will be seen by human eyes. It was discovered in Nantou, Taiwan on July 11, 2007 through a collaboration between Taiwanese and Chinese astronomers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LG: Transparent Keypad

Just announced by LG, a slide-phone with a transparent keypad will be launched in either May, and if not, then sometime in the second half of the year. This phone is called the LG GD900. The keypad is almost entirely transparent with a slight glow around the edges to illuminate the numbers and keys. Other than this bit of information, LG has released no other details on the phone so far. Below are some pictures of the phone.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Google Latitude

Last day, we started taking a look at the new Google Latitude web application. It is kind of like gps, allowing friends or other users to know where you are, or where you want them to think you are. Currently the program is not yet very good since Google only has a couple satellites here and there, so that would mean a user could be misplaced a couple blocks away. Its still a good way to see how far your friends are when a meeting point is arranged, where your lost cellphone might be, etc.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Microsoft's $250,000 Reward

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for the capture of a group of hackers behind a recent worm called Conficker and Downadup. And just like any other worm or virus, this one can cause some serious damage in mainly corporate networks, although it has only infected the computers and has yet to do any damage. Microsoft has released a patch, but while it fixes the computer, it can easily be infected again. So far two million Internet protocol addresses have been detected to have already been infected with the Conficker virus. And one IP address means at least one computer. So because of this, Microsoft will award anyone who gives information leading to an arrest. This is not the first time Microsoft has had to do something like this. 5 years ago, there was a worm called Sasser which caused much trouble throughout the world and when Microsoft put up the award, the person responsible was eventually tracked down in Germany and sentenced one year later.

New Liquid Cooled, Gaming PC

The new PC from Shuttle, maker of small, custom built PCs, has come out with a new computer made for gamers. This PC called, Shuttle SDXi Carbon comes with the elite quad-core Intel Core2 Extreme QX9770 processor, dual-slot NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 graphics card, and the optional 16GB of high-speed DDR2 memory. It is equipped with the world’s first Liquid I.C.E. technology, which is a new kind of liquid cooling solution, specially designed to allow the processor to be pushed to its limits while keeping the system cool and quiet. With all this packaged in a small little bundle, this set is surely not going to come cheap, starting at $2,599. Below are some pictures of this cream of the crop PC for those seriously into heavy gaming as well as other demanding applications.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heath Ledger's Joker Retiring???

Heath Ledger is the man who outstandingly played the Joker in the movie "the Dark Knight." When he died from an overdose afterwards, there was much speculation whether playing the part of Joker too good affected his mind or not. Then there was a lot of people who thought that Heath Ledger should recieve a posthumous oscar nomination and then rightfully win it. Now, the next big news about Heath Ledger and his Joker, is that diehard fans want the Joker to be retired from any future Batman movies. Why? The leader of the group that wants petitions signed for the Joker to be retired, Fer Barbella says that he was "the ultimate Joker," just like when a great sports athlete retires, the team retires the number. Well, it is true that Heath Ledger's Joker seems to have been done much better than any of the previous ones, but retiring a character that defines an essential part of the entire story? That seems to be a little difficult to do, without ruining the story, and a bit farfetched as well. Currently, the petition has 2533 supporters and the group wants at least 50,000 before going to the studios for the request. If you like to join the group as well, you can click here or go to Below is a clip from the Dark Knight movie of the famous "Why so serious" scene

Valentine's Day Illusions

Here are a few illusions related to Valentine's Day and love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Must See Movies of 2009

This summer is going to be a great summer for watching movies. A lot of long-awaited sequels are going to be released this year including the high speed Fast and Furious, robot madness of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the super-powered X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fast shooting Crank 2, the prequel of the original series Star Trek, the mysterious Angels and Demons, action heavy Terminator: Salvation, funny family movie Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, children's dream movie GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the successor of controversial Borat - Bruno, bestseller book of the same name Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, supernatural thriller Final Destination: Death Trip 3D and many more. Below are the trailers for these movies, except for the last three since it couldnt not be found at this time, in no particular order.

Fast and Furious

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Crank 2: High Voltage

Star Trek

Angels and Demons

Terminator: Salvation

Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs

G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra

Monday, February 9, 2009

China's Mandarin Oriental Hotel Goes Up in Flames

Last night, just as the Chinese Lunar New Year comes to a close, a small fire, within 13 minutes turned into an inferno and engulfed the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Luckily it wasn't opened yet and there were no people inside the building. Some people had thought that it was just a show since fireworks were still going on for the last day of the celebration. But it soon became apparent that it was not a show. As the new building of the hotel giant went up in flames, thousands of onlookers took out their cameras and cellphones to take pictures. Fred Rice, who is a British iReporter says about the fire, "We weren't sure if it was gas canisters or what. It was a spectacular sight for sure." Although seeing a huge building engulfed in flames really is an interesting scene, spectacular might not be the correct word to describe it. All jokes aside, there were no injuries reported even though there were people within 60 yards of the building before the firefighters arrived to block off the perimeter. The new CCTV building, a broadcasting station, as well as other buildings near the fire was untouched by the flames.

The picture to the right shows the burning tower, the CCTV tower, and some spectators.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fairy Tale (Tong Hua) Sheet Music

sheet music for fairy tail (tong hua) can be found here

Microsoft's C++

Last week, the ICT 12 class just started work on Microsoft's C++ program. We were to make a simple program and when we ran it, it shows "Hello World" and who made the program.

For all those interested, the C++ program can be downloaded here, along with Visual Basic 2008, Visual Web Developer, and C#, which are all in express editions. SQL Server 2008 and The Microsoft MSDN Express Library can also be downloaded as well.

Remains of a Monster Snake Discovered

Just recently, scientists dug up the remains of a snake called Titanoboa cerrejonensis in Columbia. This clearly was not a normal snake. From the size of the bones found, the scientists were able to conclude that the snake would have been 13 meters long, weighed 2500 pounds, and at the thickest part of its body, it would have come up to about the average man's waist. It is believed that the snake lived about 58-60 million years ago when the earth was much warmer, roughly 33 degrees celsius on average.

To the right is an artist's impression of what the snake would've looked like.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cloning an Extinct Species

Pyrenean ibex, a kind of Spanish wild goat, has been extinct for 9 years. The last one to live died from a falling tree. That is, until just recently when the species became 'un-extinct' for a brief seven minutes before dying of a severe lung defect. Scientists from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon were the ones responsible for the achievement. At that time, they implanted embryos into fifty-seven surrogate goats. The result of this was seven pregnancies and one live birth. Exactly why the species have gone extinct in the first place is unknown. Now there are other scientists who are trying to clone other extinct species such as mammoths, and the Tasmanian