Friday, May 23, 2008

Quake in China Leaves Behind Thousands of Orphans

The earthquake in southwestern China displaced five million people, and many families were separated, leaving parents and children still looking for their loved ones. In the chaos, there has been a special outpouring of concern for the thousands of children who may have been orphaned.

Tens of thousands of refugees now live around this stadium - their homes were destroyed in the earthquake. Names ring out on the loudspeaker of people who are still missing.

Many of the homeless are children who have gotten separated from their parents. Their big concern is who will take care of them in the days to come, especially if it turns out that their parents are among the tens of thousands killed by the quake.

The Chinese government already is working to sign people who may want adopt some of those orphans.

For now, though, adoption officials are keeping unaccompanied children inside the gymnasium, to keep them safe while they search for their parents. After two months, any children who have not found their parents or other relatives will be registered as orphans.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Under $100 notebook

The revamped machine created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project looks like an e-book and has had its price slashed to $75 per device.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte gave a glimpse of the "book like" device at an unveiling event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The first XO2 machines should be ready to deliver to children in 2010.

At the MIT event, Prof Negroponte announced the resumption of the Get-One-Give-One programme to allow people in wealthy nations to buy two XO laptops and donate one to a child in a developing country.

The programme will be open to people in North America and Europe and start in August or September.

Want to see how this will help children in Africa click here...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Violence and video games

Thirteen-year-old Darren and a half dozen of his video game-playing friends are sitting around a table at the Boys and Girls Club in a working-class section of Boston. We're talking about the games, especially the violent ones. They've all played them.

Darren had a tough time in school earlier this week. On Monday, a teacher said something that embarrassed him in front of his classmates. When he went home that afternoon, he plugged in his video game console, loaded Grand Theft Auto III, blew up a few cars and shot a half-dozen people, including a young blond woman. When asked, Darren admits that the woman he killed in the game looked a lot like his teacher.

If you listen to the politicians and the pundits, the relationship is blindingly clear: playing violent video games leads children to engage in real-world violence or, at the very least, to become more aggressive.

Friday, May 9, 2008

New invented words

Found some interesting words that are not on modern dictionary.

v.: your reaction after looking in the mirror and seeing how much weight you've gained. (From Glenn Purchase, Cambridge)

n.: a person (usually a child) who innately can locate all the hidden cues within any video game and ultimately reach its highest level. (From Linda Cole, Cobourg)

n.: someone whose fame is confined to the Internet.

n.: someone who thinks the world is warmer due to human-made greenhouse gases but doubts the impact will be extreme.

n.: "an employee who maintains a position at a company even though all his duties have been reassigned to other employees."

n.: the litany of gruesome and painful injuries affecting long-distance runners. (From The Telegraph)

n.: the one kid in every school who can turn his eyelids inside out.

$500 Million Game

Grand Theft Auto IV was released on April 29 and was reported to have sold around 6 million units globally.

The game was already on a good start since day one of its release. According to reports, GTA IV sold approximately 3.6 million units on its debut, thus making an estimated $310 million.

As of now, Grand Theft Auto IV holds the records for both all-time entertainment for day one and week one sales by dollar value.

The game was developed by series creator Rockstar North and was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. And speaking of PlayStation 3, Rockstar announced the release of an updated version of Grand Theft Auto IV, available for download via the PlayStation Network.

The developer claims that the patch will prevent Gamespy's servers from being overloaded and that players will be prompted to install it when starting the game.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

13 genius gizmos that will keep your family happy, healthy and safe

There's nothing like a vacation to help everyone recharge — but there's nothing like a bout of traveler's diarrhea to put a crimp in your trip. Or a bad sunburn. Or wanting a doctor... but not being able to find one. To the rescue: the travel essentials worth toting to keep your trip easy — and fun.

Channel your inner fashionista with this Coolibar packable wide-brim hat। Unlike the average hat, which offers an SPF of 6 to 10, this version protects you with an SPF of 50 — and it springs back into shape after being stuffed in a suitcase or tote.

Forget grubby, hard-to-clean toothbrush cases। Just turn the dial on fresh&go's toothbrush to dispense the paste — the handle holds 2 weeks' worth — then snap the cap back on to keep contaminants at bay.

If someone in your family is packing meds, help her stay on schedule with E-pill 7-Day Organizer and Reminder, a case that sorts medicine by time and day. It includes an alarm that beeps when a dose is due or missed. Program up to 37 alerts; they'll reset automatically at midnight.

Leave bulky bottles at home: Travelon toiletry sheets won't weigh down your bags. Simply add water to a paper-thin sheet, which dissolves into hand soap, shampoo — even laundry detergent! The cases are smaller than a deck of cards.

This password-protected "thumb drive" holds electronic versions of medical histories, prescriptions, emergency contact info, and more. Use the Portable Travel Profile to print out copies — or have a doctor plug it into any computer if you're hospitalized.

The High UV Protection Buff headpiece is a seamless, moisture-wicking tube of fabric that can be worn at least 12 different ways and offers 95% UV protection. Dip it into cold water and loop it around your neck to keep from overheating on a hike, or fold it into a sweatband for yoga — the CoolMax fabric dries in less than an hour.

Everything from harried airport eating to changes in altitude can make you bloated while flying. For insurance against painful gas, take two Charco-Caps before takeoff. Unlike other products that break down gas bubbles, studies show that the charcoal in these pills attracts and traps gas, which makes the remedy an even better way to head off an embarrassing problem.

Flying is painful if you're congested or have sensitive ears, so pop in a pair of EarPlanes before your plane leaves the runway. Filters inside the silicon plugs regulate air pressure to keep you comfy during ascent and descent. A pair of the disposable plugs is good for a round-trip flight.

If your legs swell during long flights, these circulation-enhancing socks can help. They're tight in the right places to increase blood flow, reducing your risk of deep-vein thrombosis, a dangerous blood clot more likely to occur during periods of immobility. Your odds of DVT go up if you recently had surgery, have a family history of the condition or a genetic predisposition to clots — or, simply, if you've had your 60th birthday.

Before you go hiking or lounge on the beach, apply a SunSignal sticker. The bandagelike patch turns from yellow to dark orange when you've hit your limit on UVB, so you won't get a dose that raises the risk of skin cancer.

The geraniol in BugBand bracelets, towelettes, and sprays is the strongest plant-based bug repellent out there. Independent studies show that the spray is as effective as DEET against mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and gnats. Use the bracelet when the bugs aren't as thick; it provides less coverage.

It's hard to enjoy the wonders of a new place if you're worried about drinking the water. The lightweight Steripen Traveler water purifier kills more than 99% of illness-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites with no chemical aftertaste: Just swish the ultraviolet wand in your glass.

Save precious minutes in case of emergency: A few taps on the TomTom One 3rd Edition Global Positioning System is all it takes to get directions to the nearest hospital or police station. (With other GPS devices, you have to manually search for nearby hospitals and such.) Lost? Press "Where Am I?" and your coordinates appear.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Believe it or not…

Cris Angel walks on water...How does he do this?

This guy is very freaky, he did lots of strange illusions that quite different. Even though it is not real but still look amazing. I saw another Japanese guy whom is doing something similar, may be one day they should compete on the same show that will be nice to watch.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Harry not on the list anymore...

This Sunday's New York Times will be Potter-less for the first time since Dec. 27, 1998, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (as series opener Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was titled in the U.S.) made its debut on the paper's bestseller list. The streak has ended with the dropping of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, published last July.

Over the years, the Potter books became such prominent mainstays on the New York Times bestseller lists that the paper kept creating new categories to accommodate the phenomenon, first introducing a children's list in 2000 and then, four years later, breaking the children's list into sub-categories, including a separate ranking of series books.

Also, a U.S. study based on the reading habits of three million children reported yesterday that established favourites by Dr. Seuss, E.B. White and Judy Blume ranked higher with surveyed readers than the Potter books, although several Potter titles made it into the top 20 preferred books. About 375 million Potter books have been sold.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Third World Farmer Online Simulation


The objective of the game is to make enough money to sustain your characters’ family, by buying all the communication items. As the years pass, you try to give your characters an education, a spouse, children, and enough money to sustain their family.

Connection to the Real World:

Like the real world, there are many obstacles that the characters face that will most probably put them all in danger. Your financial stability might decrease and eventually kill everyone. Some obstacles in the game were; civil war, dry season, angry mob, theft, crash of the national bank, and sickness.


The first few times someone would play the game, the developers of third world farmer have succeeded in meeting their goal. However, as the play the game more, the objective has shifted to getting a lot of money, or getting more points. So, we as a class, would all get hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then just make our characters do the most unrealistic things for the sake of getting points. I saw the hardships more as something to expect, and not exactly injustices. Rather than playing to “stimulate a deeper and more personal reflection of the topics” we played for different reasons.