March 18, 2011

HOSPITAL USING VIDEO GAME TECHNOLOGY DURING SURGERY

A Toronto hospital is bringing video game technology into the operating room – and it might just improve a patient’s chances.

Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital is using the Microsoft Kinect 3D camera controller to help surgeons manipulate medical images during surgery.

To look at a patient’s scans, surgeons usually have to leave the sterile operating room to view a computer screen then spend another 20 minutes scrubbing in.

BUT the team has set up a Kinect sensor to allow surgeons to access, rotate and zoom in on images without leaving the operating room or touching a computer, significantly reducing a patient’s time in surgery.

MOST HILAR PERSONAL AD EVA!

March 17, 2011

THE SWEET, SWEET TASTE OF SUPERMAN'S DEMISE

Mmmmm, krytonite candy that's safe for us non-super powered mortals. The coolest part? IT GLOWS!
Chemical and Bio-engineering student Britt Michelsen used vitamin B2 to make this homemade confection glow. Super cool.

Pepsi Bottles Going Green?


Pepsi is making the switch from petroleum-based plastic bottles to more sustainable plant-based plastics. Plant bi-products to be used in the bottles include corn husks, pine bark, switch grass and others. Pepsi plans on rolling out the bottles next year.

St. Patrick's Day - Facts, Myths and Traditions

March 16, 2011

SHOCKING BEFORE AND AFTER SATELLITE IMAGES OF JAPAN

Go to the site, move the slider to compare satellite images from before and after the disaster.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html

NASA FLYING HIGH - INCREASING STREET CRED

It looks like somebody was getting high at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre - and we're not talking about the astronauts.

NASA officials found 4.2 grams of a white powdery substance on March 7, with on-site tests confirming it was cocaine.

Follow-up tests are being run.

Officials a releasing few details about where the substance was found, or how many employees and contractors are now being drug tested.

Oddly enough, this was not the first time drugs have been found at the prestigious centre.

A similar investigation was conducted early last year after a bag containing a small amount of powdery cocaine residue was discovered in the space shuttle Discovery's hangar.

HOPE FADES FOR SURVIVORS, BUT STILL INCREDIBLE TALES OF SURVIVAL IN THE DEVASTATION

It's hard not to follow the tragic events unfolding in Japan.

Thousands dead, millions without access to food, water, heat and power - yet still there are tales of survival against all odds.

Three elderly people are expected to make a full recovery after spending twenty hours trapped in a car buried under debris.

In another story a 60-year-old man was plucked from his roof set adrift 15 km from shore by the massive wall of water that hit the coast.

He’s recovering in hospital.

Elsewhere, 42 survivors were pulled from the rubble in the Miyagi prefecture, where as many as 10,000 people were missing, feared dead.

FOURTH EXPLOSION INCREASES FEAR OF NUCLEAR FALL-OUT BUT NOT FOR CANADA

A fourth explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has two workers missing and officials worried the crippled reactor will continue to overheat which would lead to nuclear meltdown.

The 50 courageous workers who remained at the dying plant, trying desperately to cool the over-heating reactors at the contaminated nuclear complex, had to abandon the facility Tuesday night when surging radiation levels made it too dangerous to stay.

The potential for nuclear fall-out in Japan is prompting iodine tablets to fly off the shelves across the Pacific in British Columbia.

Iodine protects the thyroid gland from the effects of radiation poisoning.

People are panicked, however B.C.'s Health Minister says there is no threat of radiation exposure and that people are severely over-reacting.

CITY ON THE HOOK FOR CONCERT FIASCO

A pair of poorly attended concerts last year will cost Halifax.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is on the hook for nearly 360-thousand dollars that was paid out to a now-defunct concert promoter.

The document shows that the acting chief administrative officer, authorized repayable grants to the promoter last July without council's knowledge or consent.

This was after Power Promotional Events threatened to cancel the Black Eyed Peas and the Country Rockfest concerts on the Commons.

The grants from the municipality-owned Metro Centre Limited were supposed to be repaid, but only a portion actually was.

Council also discovered that the city had been advancing Power Promotional Events Inc. cash since 2008, when the large-scale concerts on the Commons began.

FIRE CLAIMS ONE LIFE IN ENFIELD

A 55-year-old man is dead after a fire early this morning at a mobile home in Enfield.

A neighbour says he tried to kick in the door while his wife dialed 911.

Firefighters say flames were shooting out of the trailer when they arrived.

The fire was out by 7 a.m. RCMP and firefighters remain at the scene.

March 15, 2011

JAPAN'S PM FURIOUS OVER BEING LEFT IN THE DARK ABOUT NUCLEAR PLANT SITUATION

It took an hour for officials at the critically damaged Fukushima nuclear plant to inform the government of the dangerous radiation leak, caused by a third explosion at the plant.

Japan's Prime Minister was furious with the power firm at the centre of the nuclear crisis for taking so long to inform his office about a blast at a stricken nuclear power plant, demanding, "What the hell is going on."

"The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the premier's office for about an hour," a Kyodo reporter quoted PM Kan telling power company executives.

BAND CAUGHT IN SECOND MAJOR DISASTER IN 16 DAYS

Talk about a case of bad timing.

California hard rock band High On Fire was on tour and set to perform in Tokyo, Japan on Friday when the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the island nation's shore, collapsing buildings, causing  widespread fires and unleashing walls of water up to 8 meters high.

The popular U.S. group was unharmed, but shaken after surviving its second natural disaster in sixteen days; the band was also abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand during the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the country February 22, the country's deadliest natural disaster in 80 years.

THIRD EXPLOSION INCREASES FEAR OF RADIATION LEAK AT JAPAN NUCLEAR PLANT

A third explosion and a fire at a nuclear power plant in Japan has caused radiation levels to sky-rocket.

Radiation at the plant has reportedly increased to potentially harmful levels, of 400 millisieverts per hour.

That’s 400 times the maximum amount viewed as acceptable in one year.

The country’s leader asked residents to stay calm even as he warned of considerable radiation leaks after the new blast damaged the core container of one reactor and a fire broke out in another unit.

Tuesday, Japan banned flights within a 30 km range of the Fukushima nuclear plant amid radiation fears due to a series of explosions at the facility.

The ban by the transport ministry excludes search and rescue aircraft and is not expected to have a major impact on commercial flights.

POLICE SAY HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING NOT RANDOM

Halifax police say they don't believe yesterday's shooting outside a high school was not random.

Multiple shots rang out just moments after Citadel High students began leaving classes for the day, but no one was hurt.

Police took two women into custody for questioning.

Constable Brian Palmeter says police are investigating whether the shooting is connected to an ongoing dispute between a number of people.

What are the odds of this...



You’re sitting on a boat down off Florida, relaxing, enjoying the sun when suddenly a 600 pound dolphin jumps into the air – and lands on you.
The woman got off lucky, only suffering a sprained ankle.
Officials from the local fire department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the sheriff's office used a back board and a rope to push the dolphin back into the water.


March 14, 2011

Tsunami devastates Minamisanriku and Kesennuma



Shocking video of Friday's tsunami sweeping away a village. Donation's to the Canadian Red Cross can be made through their website. 

The dreaded endoscopy could become more, er, comfortable



This could be the face of a new breed of endoscope with the patients' comfort in mind.

Today's national/international news

JAPAN EVACUATING PEOPLE OVER FEARS OF NUCLEAR MELTDOWN
Another explosion has rocked the Fukushima nuclear power plant north of Tokyo, and has injured six workers.

It was the second blast at the plant in three days and officials at the plant are scrambling to prevent the reactors from melting down.

Early today, the plant operator said a third reactor lost its cooling capacity, which could lead to another explosion similar to blasts at its other reactors.

200,000 people have been evacuated from a 20 km radius around the plant amid fears of a nuclear meltdown.


ECONOMICS IMPACTS OF JAPAN DISASTER FELT ACROSS GLOBAL MARKETS
The economic impacts of the Japan catastrophe are clearer today, the first business day after Friday's disaster in northeastern Japan.

The Tokyo stock market suffered a major plunge with the Nikkei Index falling 6.2 per cent.

All sectors were hit as investors worried about the disaster's impact on the Japanese economy -- the third largest in the world.

The disaster in Japan is credited with pushing the price of oil under $100,  bringing it down to 99.85 per barrel.

Traders say the catastrophe will trim Japan's demand for oil, thus increasing the supply on the global market.


JAPAN FACING WORST HUMANITARIAN DISASTER SINCE WWII
It’s a monumental task that faces aid workers in what is being called Japan’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Millions of people have no food, water, housing, or power as a result of the massive quake and subsequent tsunami.

At least 1.4 million houses have gone without water since the quake struck.

Although the official death toll is approaching 4,000, some estimates say it will eventually surpass 10,000.

The Red Cross is accepting donations on their website or over the phone at 1-800-418-1111.


CANADIAN AMONG VICTIMS OF JAPANESE DISASTER
The name has been released of the only Canadian known to have died in the Japanese disaster.

He's Andre Lachapelle, a 76-year-old Quebec missionary who worked in Japan for more than 40 years.

The medical examiner says Lachapelle died of a heart attack while driving to his home in Shiogama as the seven-metre tsunami approached.


TARANTINO SUES BALL
Quentin Tarantino is looking for some peace and quiet and is willing to go to court for it.

The Pulp Fiction director is suing his neighbour, Alan Ball, creator of such popular series’ True Blood and Six Feet Under because Ball’s giant macaws won’t shut up.

Tarantino alleges the large birds screech for hours on end and it’s affecting his ability to complete his latest film project, a western.


SEX SELLS, QUITE LITERALLY
A condom maker is taking the saying "sex sells" very literally.

A new line of contraceptives puts advertising not just on the wrapper, but on the latex itself.

Graphic Armor's new Picture Condoms meet all FDA requirements, and claims they're the first to feature full-color images on the latex. The first branded condom will feature the rock band Kiss and shows Gene Simmons' legendary tongue unfurled.

The retailer is also in talks with entertainment companies, energy drinks and designers to put logos and messages on the condoms.

They come in a 3-pack for $7.99.

Today's local news

ATLANTIC CANADIANS DIGGING DEEP FOR JAPAN
Atlantic Canadians are pitching in to help those affected by the 9.0 magnitude quake earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan.

Dan Bedell, spokesman for the Canadian Red Cross in Atlantic Canada, says they've already got about three-thousand online donations from the region.

Bedell says that as with last year's quake in Haiti and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, it can take days for the magnitude of the disaster to fully sink in.

The official death toll is approaching 4000 but may climb to over 10,000.


LOCAL TEACHER FACING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
A Halifax elementary school teacher is facing child pornography charges.

A police news release says Adriano Gerald Benigno, 40, will appear in Halifax provincial court on April 26 on charges of accessing, possessing and making available child pornography.

Police seized computer equipment from a Halifax residence and arrested Benigno without incident.

Benigno is a special education teacher at St. Stephen's elementary school in Halifax.



TEEN SHOT, NOT COOPERATING WITH POLICE
A Halifax teen who was shot in the shoulder is not co-operating with police.

The 16-year-old's injuries are not considered life threatening.

Police say he was hit while walking with a friend in the city's west end, near Romans and Bayers Rd., early Saturday.

Neither the victim nor his companion could describe the shooter.


DON'T PET THE SEALS, SAYS DFO
They may look cute and cuddly but it’s a bad idea to approach seal pups along the shoreline.

Pregnant harp seals normally give birth on ice floes, then abandon their pups after three weeks.

Since ice conditions are poor this year, DFO says juvenile harp seals are expected to be found along the Gulf shore of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as on P-E-I.

D-F-O says that although the young seals look cute, they're not tame and may respond by biting if they feel threatened.

Looking for the latest Japan crisis updates?



http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

The latest news, info, live updates and links to help find loved ones.