Saturday, 21 April 2012

Earth Day 2012: Mobilize the Earth

PEOPLE all over the world celebrate Earth Day every April 22. But did you know how this global celebration started?
Forty-three years ago, US Sen. Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin had a light-bulb moment after witnessing how the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, ravaged the environment. He thought of holding a “national teach-in on the environment” for the national media.
According to Earth Day Network, Nelson “realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.”
Armed with his bright idea and wide network of friends, allies and like-minded individuals, he led over 20 million Americans marching to the streets to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment on April 22, 1970.
The massive protest, the Earth Day Network said, “achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water and Endangered SpeciesActs.
By 1990, the Earth Day movement became viral. More than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in the global campaign. Earth Day 1990 shored up recycling efforts, paving the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

World's 'Oldest Running Motor Car Sells for $4.62 Million

A vehicle purported to be the world’s oldest running motor car has sold for $4.62 million dollars.At the RM Auctions in Hershey, Pennsylvania this past Saturday, the steam-powered 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout attracted a winning bid of $4.2 million, more than twice what it was expected to fetch. A 10 percent fee was added to the price, adding $420,000 to the grand total.The four-seat car, known as “Le Marquise” after its creator’s mother, predates by two years the official birth of the automobile in 1886, when Karl Benz was granted the first patents for his purpose-built gasoline-powered car.Steam-powered automobiles date back to at least the mid-18th century, and several cars older than the De Dion still exist, but aren’t functional. However, one that was built in the U.K. in 1875 by Robert Neville Grenville and is currently housed at the National Motor Museum of Britain makes a rival claim to the title of “oldest running motor car.” The auction listing for “Le Marquise” mentions the Grenville, but describes it as “basically a powered gun carriage.” A representative of the National Motor Museum tells that is incorrect, and that the vehicle was intended for personal transportation and can carry four passengers. It was last seen up and running only a few weeks ago.However, unlike “La Marquise,” which runs on four spoked wheels with rubber tires and has a self-fired steam-engine, Grenville’s vehicle requires a ride-along fireman to tend to the boiler and has three solid wooden wheels with metal tires, so its looks less like a modern automobile.“Le Marquise” is said to have a top speed of 37 mph, more than triple what Benz’ car could achieve. Its new owner is just the fifth in its long history. It is not known yet if it will join a private collection or be put on public display.


World's oldest Indian motorcycle for sale

A 1903 Indian motorcycle claimed to be the oldest-known unrestored example in existence will be auctioned off on April 21st in Frederick, Maryland.Little more than a motorized bicycle, the 1.75-horsepower Indian was part of the estate of Charlie Alder, Jr., who passed away last year. His carpenter father obtained it through a $50 barter in 1950, when he discovered it hanging on the wall of a dentist's office, unused since 1920. Since then it has spent most of its life in storage, although it has been taken on a tour of motorcycle events over the past several months.The Indian brand was launched in 1901 and started selling motorcycles to the public the following year. A few nuts and bolts are all that have been changed on the Alder bike, which is not currently in running condition. Nevertheless, Mike Mederski of the National Motorcycle museum says it is a “wonderful find” and a great document of how motorcycles were built at the time.Many of the other "original" motorcycles from the period that are on display in museums are largely constructed from reproduced parts.Auctioneer Josh Ruby won’t take a guess at what the bike is worth, but a steam-powered Roper velocipede from 1894 attracted a high bid of $425,000 at an Auctions America event in Las Vegas in January. Experts spoke to estimate that the Alder Indian could fetch anywhere between $65,000 and $500,000.

World's Sexiest Beaches: 

Zuma Beach, Malibu, 
Calif.1 of 12The world’s sexiest beaches come in all shapes and sizes, colors and types, from remote palm-tree-fringed paradises, to white-sand surf meccas, trendy social scenes and hedonistic hot spots for partiers. We’ve scanned the globe, on the hunt for stretches of sand that inspire romance, passion and a playful seductive spirit. Here are our picks for the world's 12 sexiest beach escapes.Text by Julia Dimon; photo editing by Connie Ricca.If you’re looking for some California lovin', head to one of Tinseltown's sexiest beaches along the famous Pacific Coast Highway. This is where the voluptuous Santa Monica Mountains meet the ocean; where you can sip chilled chardonnay overlooking a vista of dolphins and migrating gray whales. One of the largest and most popular escapes near Los Angeles, Zuma Beach in Malibu boasts long, wide sand, great surf and a celebrity clientele. Adjacent to million-dollar mansions and over-the-top holiday homes, this stretch has been known to attract such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. So if you’d like a side of stargazing with your sand, Zuma is for you.

Immune retune: Recharging your body's natural defences

"ACHOO!" A sniffling friend is sneezing just inches away. You would love to cover your face or run away, but in the interests of politeness all you can do is try not to inhale in their direction and hope your immune system is on the case.Some people seem to catch everything that is doing the rounds, from coughs and colds to stomach bugs. Other people never seem to get ill. What's their secret?A lot is down to dumb luck. There are some things affecting the performance of your immune system that you cannot change: your age, your gender, your genes, and most importantly, whether or not you have had a previous brush with an invading bug.But there are plenty of factors you can control. I'm not talking about downing supplements sold as "immune boosters"; the claims for most such pills are not based on hard evidence. But there are plenty of other ways you can keep your immune system revved up and raring to go.It's not all about boosting activity, though. Many common conditions are caused by the immune system reacting to things it shouldn't. When it attacks parts of the body the result is autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. When it responds to molecules that are foreign but harmless, like those from pollen or peanuts, the result is asthma, eczema or allergies. Again, there are ways of encouraging your immune system to behave. So help it out by following these tips.

“We've really achieved the ideal of what I wanted Microsoft to become.”

William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He shares his thoughts about the foundation and other topics on Gates Notes, a Web site launched in January 2010. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft's chairman and as an advisor on key development projects. In June 2006, Craig Mundie assumed the new title of chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft and is responsible for the company's research and incubation efforts.