Posted on 14 May 2010.
Automobiles have been in existence for about 100 years which would make one feel that the manufacturers would have been able to get rid of the kinks by now. However, this is not the case always and it is quite difficult to iron out the wrinkles sometimes. The following are the 10 largest automobile recalls in recent times.
1. Toyota/Unintended Accelaration
The first recall, on November 2, 2009, was to correct a possible incursion of an incorrect or out-of-place front driver’s side floor mat into the foot pedal well. The second recall, on January 21, 2010, was because of a possible mechanical sticking of the accelerator pedal causing unintended acceleration. As of January 28, 2010, Toyota had announced recalls of approximately 5.2 million vehicles for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, and an additional 2.3 million vehicles for the accelerator pedal problem. Approximately 1.7 million vehicles are subject to both.
2. General Motors/Broken Motor Mount
In 1971, General Motors recalled 15 models that were built during the 1960s and continued production till 1970. They also recalled a few Chevrolet Bel Airs. These models were problematic because the motor mount had separated which could make the engine move upwards. This would have a negative impact on the throttle linkage which could case the vehicle to accelerate suddenly. About 6.7 million vehicles were recalled.
3. General Motors/Rear Control Arm
During the first half 1981, General Motors recalled a few sedans and a number of other models that were launched in 70s till the better half of the 80s. The problem was that the control arm and rear axle could lose control causing the vehicle swerve out of control. 5.8 million vehicles were singled out.
4. Ford Motors
In 2005, Ford recalled those Ford Expeditions that were released from 1997 till 2002. In addition to that, they also felt the need to recall certain models of pickup trucks. They did so because the cruise control overheated and had to be deactivated immediately. This was the largest recall made by Ford and a similar one was made in 2009. About 4.5 million vehicles were affected.
5. Ford Motor/Cruise Control Switch
As has already been mentioned, Ford had to recall more vehicles in 2009. This included Explorers that were first launched in 1995 and were popular till 2002. They also recalled 14 trucks- pickups and otherwise. The problem was the same as mentioned above and minivans and SUVs were affected as well. Ford had to recall about 4.5 million vehicles this time too because the switch could burst into flames even when the car was not being used.
Posted in Auto, Featured, Technology
Posted on 12 May 2010.
Marine predators have long been one of the most feared forms of life in the seas. A majority of these marine predators are apex predators, that is, they feature on top of the food chain.
1. Alligator Snapping Turtle
The Alligator Snapping Turtle belongs to the class Reptilia and are carnivores and scavengers. These predators are known to consume anything they come into contact with. These include fish as well as their carcasses. The Alligator Snapping Turtle will also eat snakes, other turtles and small alligators.
2. Saltwater Crocodiles
Saltwater Crocodiles can weigh up to 450 kilograms and are extremely territorial. That being said, they will attack any animal that makes the mistake of entering its territory. Not only that, they will also attack humans who do the same. While younger saltwater crocodiles feast on fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects, the largest ones are capable of consuming birds, water buffaloes, sharks, monkeys, kangaroos, etc. They spend their days under the sun and their nights hunting.
3. Electric Rays
These cartilaginous fish are flattened and have large fins. They can produce extremely strong electric currents which can range between 8 to 220 volts. They can change this power according to the nature of their prey as well as for defense purposes. If a human is to step on this marine predator, he will get paralyzed instantly.
4. Giant Otter
The Giant Otter belongs to the Weasel family and is the largest among the members. These marine predators tend to feed on whatever is available in abundance including fish like cichlids, catfish and characins. The Giant Otter is extremely sharp and usually hunts in pairs. They are known to consume their pairs almost instantly and eat their heads first.
5. Electric Eel
An Electric Eel is actually a knifefish and preys with the help of the electric currents it discharges. It does so for both hunting as well as self defense. Adult eels eat both fish and mammals while the younger ones feed on crabs and shrimps.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 11 May 2010.
These plants live get their nutrients from tiny animals (insects) that they prey on. These carnivorous plants are both slow and fast- depending on the family they belong to.
Sundews are extremely wide-spread and can be found in almost every part of the world. They grow mostly in peat bogs and swamps and are similar to Rainbow plants. Sticky and sugary liquid is present on the tips of their leaves which attract insects. The plant will trap the insect in its tentacles and kill it within 15 minutes.
Butterworts grow in moist environments and are usually found in Europe and America. Their leaves have several glands and are sticky which helps the plant to lure and digest the prey. When the insect gets caught and starts to struggle, the leave secrete extra juices because of which the insect is unable to free itself.
Bladderworts belong to the same family as butterworts and are as common as sundews. Their traps are bladder-like and have the capability of consuming water fleas, new tadpoles and fish fry. The trapdoor opens up when an insect brushes against it and extracts the tiny animal, making it impossible for it to leave. The entire process is over in less than 1 second.
4. Waterweel Plant
Waterweel plants belong to the same family as sundews as well. It lives in water and its trap resembles an open book. When the trigger hairs which are found on the inside of this trap come in contact with an insect, the trap snaps shut and locks the animal in. This insect eating plant is extremely fast and takes about 0.01 seconds to catch its prey.
5. The Venus Flytrap
The Venus Flytrap grows mostly in California in bogs. It preys on most insects with the help of its trap which operates with the help of a complex mechanism. The plant will digest its prey within 10 days and is also capable of preying on froglets.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 10 May 2010.
Just like you should make a Bucket List before you die, you should go out and eat these dishes before you die as well.
1. Spotted Dick
This desert is also known as Plum Duff and is made of rum, dried currants and custard. If you know which restaurant to go to, you will also find some rum on top. Even though the name is not that appealing, this sweet dish is delicious and you will find yourself craving for more with every bite you take.
Churrasco is native to Brazil and Argentina and is basically a new and unique way of serving meat. Both these countries are known for their amazing steaks made of mutton, lamp, pork and chicken. The steak is served fresh off the grill and comes with rice, fruits and corn. Since Brazil in known for its mangoes, they will add a generous helping of this fruit- which makes it all the more delicious and mouth watering.
Who doesn’t like a good pizza? It’s cheesy, warm and thick- the crust can be filled with cheese if you want and the oregano will only make it better! The best pizza is found in Napoli and once you step into any pizzeria there, you will come out with lighter pockets and heavy stomachs!
4. Fire-Roasted Lamb
Even though lamb is available almost everywhere in the world, the fire-roasted lamb that is cooked in Greece is something you must eat before you die. This dish is cooked best by the grandmothers of Stavros who rub the meat with several apples as it is cooking. The lamb is then served with stuffed grape leaves, baklava and red wine.
This desert is native to Vienna which is world renowned for its sweet dishes and you will find it on the menu of the Sacher Hotel. It is basically a slice of chocolate cake which is meant to be dry, filled with apricot jam and topped with dark chocolate icing. You will also find heavy cream on its side and the entire combination is sure to transport you to another world.
Posted in Featured, Mis
Posted on 09 May 2010.
These celebrities managed to make it big single-handedly but ruined it almost as easily. While some are trying to bounce back, others have faded away.
1. David Hasselhoff
This Baywatch star had been suffering with alcoholism for a few years and about 3 years back a video was released which marred his career forever. It was sent to the media by his daughter and it showed a drunken Hasslehoff arguing with the girl while trying to stuff a burger in his mouth.
2. Kathleen Battle
This singer was said to be difficult and known to throw tantrums during recordings and performances. She was asked to leave the New York Metropolitan Opera after which she took part in small-scale recitals and concerts.
3. Boy George
Boy George was a part of Culture Club and was doing quite well till he broke up with Jon Moss- his lover and fellow band member. Soon after, he got addicted to heroin and his reputation was tarnished for good.
4. Pee-wee Herman
Pee-wee Herman was born Paul Reubens and was an extremely popular television presenter for a number of years. In 1991, he was seen masturbating in a theater after which he was arrested. The media had a field day and destroyed whatever was left of this man. He was arrested a second time because he was allegedly involved with child pornography.
5. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise was heartthrob only a few years back but his reputation began to dwindle when he started a campaign in favor of the Church of Scientology. He also made a fool of himself on Oprah and embarrassed the host as well as himself. While he is still as good looking and as charming, nobody is going to forget these incidents in a hurry.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 08 May 2010.
These books were created with certain motives in mind and have influenced people in the past and continue to do so.
1. The Bible
The Bible has undoubtedly changed the world and deserves the first spot in this list. It allowed Christianity to become the largest in terms of religious followers. The Bible has been divided into two volumes- The New Testament and the Old Testament. It has been written by a number of authors and was the first book that was published with the help of the printing press.
2. The Qur’an
This holy book is followed by those who a part of the Islamic religion. Muslims follow each verse and text in the book religiously and live their lives according to the teachings of the founder of Islam.
3. The Summa Theologica
The content of this book is divided into a number of volumes and the text speaks about the Christian beliefs. It is a part of the curriculum in Roman Catholic seminaries and has influenced the Christian world greatly.
4. The Rights of Man
This book has been written by Thomas Paine who managed to influence the idea of Democracy with his writing. He talks about how it is the job of the Government to protect human being which is only possible if their fundamental rights are protected as well. Those nations that do not follow this philosophy are illegitimate and their practices are unlawful.
Either/Or has been written by Søren Kierkegaard who talks about two ways of living- one can either be hedonistic or ethical and responsible. Each view point is supported with the help of fictional characters and topics like seduction, drama and music also find mention in the text.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 07 May 2010.
People today are stressed almost all the time- if it is not work stress, it is home stress and if not that, it’s school stress. The following ways will help these people de-stress and live happier lives.
1. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can help get rid of stress almost instantly. The extra breathing will benefit the body in several ways but adding more oxygen to the blood and therefore, keeping the brain alert. This in turn will relax stiff muscles and keep the mind quiet. The best part is that these exercises can be done anywhere, anytime!
If the breathing exercises will benefit you, mediation will take you a level higher. It has been said the meditation will allow your brain to enter a certain zone which the body enters when it is asleep. Add benefits include the release of such hormones which help to get rid of health problems. When you are meditating, your mind focuses on nothing at all, making it easier for you to de-stress.
3. Guided Imagery
While perfecting this de-stressing technique may take a while, fact is that it will help you leave all your troubles behind in no time. All you have to do is think of an image that soothes you and focus on that for a few minutes.
Another great way to de-stress is imagine yourself doing such tasks that you have been trying to perfect for a long time. When you see yourself doing them well, your mind will immediately relax itself and you will feel so much better!
This de-stressing technique includes some of the features of visualization and guided imagery. It will allow your body to communicate with your mind when it is subconscious. Studies have shown that you will be able to then give up all your bad habits, find it easer to live a healthy life and feel less pain. Even though it may take some time to perfect this method, it is definitely worth it.
Posted in Featured, Health
Posted on 06 May 2010.
In the past when people died, their corpses were wrapped up for the purpose of preserving their bodies forever. Let us look at some of the most famous mummies of all time.
1. Elmer McCurdy
This man died in 1911 after a gunfight in Oklahoma. Because his body was not claimed, the undertaker decided to mummify him. However, a few years later, his brother came back and claimed it. Despite this fact, Elmer’s mummy was sold to a number of museums, haunted houses and carnivals.
2. Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin was born in 1870 and died in 1924. He was a significant political figure during the 20th century and was an architect as well. He was shot at but managed to survive in 1918 but over time, his health was hampered and he had a stroke in 1922. His body was mummified after his third stroke killed him. It can be viewed at the Lenin Mausoleum.
3. Saint Bernadette
Maria Bernadette was born in 1844 in France. Even though she was not officially mummified, she definitely deserves a mention. Her body is said to be incorrupt and can be viewed in Nevers at the Chapel of Saint Bernadette.
Juanita is often referred to as The Ice Maiden and was discovered in 1995. She died 500 years ago after being frozen to death. However, her hair, her organs, blood as well as skin were perfectly preserved which helped scientists look into her life and those who lived around her. The mummy is beautiful and can be viewed at a museum in Peru.
5. Otzi the Iceman
This is a well preserved mummy of a many who lived over 53 centuries into the past during 3300 BC. The preserved body was found about 19 years ago within the Otztal Alps. He died due to severe internal bleeding and the mummy can be viewed at a museum in Italy.
Posted in Featured, People
Posted on 05 May 2010.
These Island countries have some of the richest biodiversities and five are among the 17 UN declared Mega-diverse countries.
1. Republic of Indonesia
The country consists of 17,508 of which about 6,000 are inhabited. It covers an area of 1,919,440 km sq. (735,355 sq miles) and is the 16th largest country in the world. It is also the 4th most populous nation with around 230 million people. It has more than 150 active volcanoes, including the infamous Krakatoa and Tambora.
2. Republic of Madagascar
Situated in the Indian Ocean near Southeast Africa, the country covers a region of 587,041 km sq (226,597 sq miles). It has very rich bio-diversity with more than 5% of the world’s plant and animal species which includes the famous lemur.
3. Independent State of Papua New Guinea
The country has a total area of 462,840 km sq (178,703 sq miles). It has over 850 indigenous languages and is one of the most rural nations in the world. It is a realm of the royal family of England and the Queen Elizabeth II is also the Queen of Papua New Guinea.
The ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ is made up of four large islands accounting for 97% of its land area and 6,848 other smaller islands. It covers an area of 377,944 km sq (145,925 sq miles). It is a major economic power and home to the beautiful dormant volcano, Mount Fuji. It is the 10th most populous country with more than 127 million people.
The country has a total landmass of 329,845 km sq (127,354 sq miles). After gaining independence in 1957, the country has seen a tumultuous history. The country is a famous tourist destination and very rich in natural resources. It is one of the top producers of natural rubber and oil.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 04 May 2010.
These legends will go down in history as some of the best and will continue to inspire and set standards for new comedians.
1. Woody Allen
It has been said that Woody Allen had the best material till date and even though his career as a stand-up comedian was short-lived, it goes without saying that he added panache to the profession and sent out the message that even those comedians that were not too polished could face the audience without getting nervous. He will be remembered for The Tale of The Moose.
2. Shelley Berman
Shelley Berman acted out phone call scenes which made him unique and different from the rest. He always had a great rapport with the audience and brought up such issues that would irritate them but make them laugh at the same time. Morning After The Night is one act which will always be associated with Berman.
3. Lenny Bruce
Even though his acts were considered to be quite explicit, they were quite clean in actuality. Lenny Bruce was creative and courageous and was unafraid to target such issues that were untouched at the time. Even though Bruce has passed away, he will be remembered by those who laughed during his acts.
4. George Carlin
Because Lenny Bruce was not as appreciated as one would think; George Carlin was described to be like him, but funny. The way Carlin went through his act made the entire process seem easy. Even though he said he was going through a mid-life crisis at one point, he was still hilarious.
5. Bill Cosby
If George Carlin made the profession seem easy; Bill Cosby made it look like cake walk. What he did was chat with the audience in the beginning and then start on the material he had prepared. The transition was so swift and quick that the audience never picked up on it. Needless to say, they never will.
Posted in Featured, People