May 6

Last weekend, powerful thunderstorms drenched Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, dumping over 13 inches of rain on the region in two days. Creeks, lakes and rivers swelled with the rainwater, overflowing their banks, washing away roads, and causing the deaths of at least 24 people so far.

The Cumberland River, which winds through downtown Nashville, Tennessee, crested Monday at 51.9 feet, 12 feet above flood stage, spilling into the city and surrounding neighborhoods. As the waters are now receding, cleanup and recovery begins, as municipal workers begin to repair power supplies and water treatment plants, and residents return to their homes to recover what they can.

Ira Godsy, who lives in the Knights Motel in East Nashville, wades out to his car.

A car is pinned up against a tree by floodwater flowing under a bridge.

Jackson Police and Madison County Sheriff’s Department close Airport Road near McKenzie Store to rescue a woman washed off the road by high flood waters during heavy storms in Jackson.

Airplanes sit partially submerged in floodwater at the Cornelia Fort Airpark.

Donald Sweat and Sarah Tippett take photos of a railroad bridge that was washed off its foundations when floodwaters swelled the creek that leads to the Lebanon square.

The General Jackson Showboat floats in the Cumberland River as the Opry Mills shopping complex stands in floodwaters from the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee.

The loading docks at the Opryland Hotel are flooded and damaged from heavy rains on Monday, May 3, 2010. All of the estimated 1,500 guests were evacuated overnight.

Michael Bunch wades on a flooded downtown sidewalk in Nashville.

State vehicles sit stranded in a parking lot.

Floodwater from the Cumberland River creeps into downtown Nashville.

Gabe Gardiner, left, sits with a neighbor on his living room sofa outside his flood damaged home in the River Walk subdivision of in Nashville.

People paddle canoes down a street in Nashville.

Lighthouse Christian School teacher Heather Harrell reacts after finding her grandmother’s Bible in her classroom that was destroyed by the flood in Antioch.

An American flag hangs on a fence to dry as Lighthouse Christian School student Noah Jackson,12, cleans debris from his school athletic fields in Antioch.

Kim Shaw and wife Jennie watch floodwaters from the swollen Loosahatchie River encroach on their front lawn in the Waverfly Farms area south of Millington.

Messages are written on cabinets outside a home that was flooded.

Metro Fire Department Special Operation rescues a Belle Meade police officer off Harding Road in Belle Meade. Police officer Norm Shelton was clinging to a tree for an hour before being rescued. The location of his patrol car is unknown.

A sign in River Front Park becomes visible once again as the waters of the Cumberland River slowly started to ebb across from LP Field.

A vehicle rests upside down in a sink hole which opened on West Forest Avenue during heavy storms just west of Madison County General Hospital in Jackson. The vehicle’s driver was rescued and taken to the hospital.

Kristi Hellerman walks her daughter Kallie Cox, 3, through their flooded neighborhood near Pleasant Planes.

A flooded neighborhood in Nashville.

Jennifer Coleman walks down a ditch where a car identified by family members as belonging to Bill and Frankie Rutledge, Coleman’s aunt and uncle, was found.

Robert Turner describes the rapid rise of water in his home.

A woman wades through floodwaters on a downtown sidewalk.

Dover Anthony sings on as he overlooks the parking lot of submerged cars at the Knights Motel in East Nashville.

Apr 20

A Chinese college girl left a message on the university’s “wish wall”, saying she wants to find a boyfriend, attracting thousands of boys to cluster under her building.

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province, named each year the March 7th and 8th, as the girl’s day for the university female students.

The university, which has ratio of male and female students as 25:1, gave each female student a blank card, asking them to write their wish and post onto a “wish wall” the university cleared for them.

A freshman student left her message saying “My name is Zhang Mengqian, a grade one student, and I think I am attractive, but strangely I can’t find a boyfriend. However I believe in destiny. If you have the same wish, please come under my dormitory building and shout for my name in between 12:30 to 12:50 on March 11th, and I will observe you secretly up on the building. If you’re my type, I’ll come down to meet you.”

The wish card soon became a popular message within the university, and at noon of March 11th, thousands of students clustered under the female student’s dormitory building.

Boys from neighboring universities even grouped together to come to the university to wait for the “wish girl”.

However, only a few dared to shout out for the “wish girl” although thousands of boys were clustered.

A man in a red coat shouted for “Zhang Menqian”, but no one came down.

The thread of “wish girl” and “red sweater boy” has received millions of hits after the exposure of the pictures and the “wish girl” event.

Mar 16

The tiny island nation of the Maldives is under serious threat from rising sea levels caused by climate change. No part of the 1200 islands which make up the Maldives is more than six feet above sea level, so as sea-levels rise (as they will if rampant climate change is not stopped), the entire nation will be under water. Because of this, the Maldives government is pulling out all the stops in the fight against climate change. Not only has the entire country gone carbon neutral, educated all of their children in environmental science and furiously built retaining walls around every island, but the government is buying up land in nearby nations as a place to retreat to when the Maldives disappears. Now it appears that the intrepid Maldivians have come up with a new strategy to fight the rising tide: creating mini floating islands!

The Maldives government and Dutch Docklands/Dutch Watervalley just signed an agreement today to develop several floating facilities for the islands, including a convention center and golf courses. Designed by architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.NL, the people who brought you the Citadel floating apartment complex and these amazing floating homes, the renderings for the amphibious mini-cities appear depict star-shaped, tiered islands with indoor spaces hidden under lush green-roof terraces, complete with interior pools and beaches.

While exact design details of these new floating islands are still unavailable, we do know that Dutch Docklands knows a thing or two about creating water developments using methods and procedures that reduce impact on underwater life and minimize changes to coastal morphology. We also know that architect Koen Olthuis is a force to be reckoned with, so we can’t wait to see these creative designs come to fruition.

At the signing ceremony, Mahmood Razi, Chairman of the Privatisation Committee said the Maldives plans to seek the assistance of Dutch Docklands to develop floating housing units in the Maldives in the future.

Mar 1

Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope. Well, not boring for me.

From what I read, it’s not just a simple matter of sticking a record under a fancy microscope, as there is a lot of preparation (such as gold-sputtering the surface) and post-processing to be done. Having said that, the results are very cool:

Here is a shot of a number of record grooves (the dark bits are the top of the grooves, i.e. the uncut vinyl):

Here’s the grooves closer up – the little bumps are dust on the record:

And here’s a single groove even closer still, magnified 1000 times:

Chris also did the pits in a CD – here’s what they look like, just for contrast:

Chris decided to take the whole electron microscope image one step further, and created a blue/red 3-dimensional image of the record groove! So, if you have a pair of 3D glasses (sorry, the ones you got from watching Avatar won’t work – you need red on the left, blue on the right), throw them on and take a look at this amazing picture:

Maybe these vinyl grooves are only beautiful to an audio geek like me, but I think that these images are truly spectacular. I wonder what we’d see if it was magnified further still? Thanks to noiseforairports for the tip.

Dec 22

This horrible accident took place in Athens, Greece. According to police report, the Audi R8’s driver fell asleep at the wheel and the car drove off the road hitting the guardrail. This guardrail passed through the Audi – it entered in the left wheel and came out on the right side through the rear window. The driver was seriously injured at both legs and was rushed to the hospital. His girlfriend was lucky, she only had a couple of scratches.

P.S. Below you’ll see two similar cases with Ladas.

Here’s the similar accident with a Lada. The driver didn’t survive.

This one is with another Lada model. The driver didn’t notice a big piece of log on the forest road which was under the dust and that’s what happened.

Page 1 of 712345»...Last »