Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ancient housing settlement discovered near Stonehenge

21:50 30 January 2007
NewScientist.com news service
New Scientist and Reuters

Evidence of a large settlement full of houses dating back to 2600 BC has been discovered near the ancient stone monument of Stonehenge in southwest England, scientists said on Tuesday.

They suspect inhabitants of the houses, forming the largest Neolithic village ever found in Britain, built the stone circle at Stonehenge – generally thought to have been a temple, burial ground or an astronomy site – between 3000 and 1600 BC.

"We found the remains of eight houses," Mike Parker Pearson, a professor of archaeology at Sheffield University, UK, said in a teleconference to announce the discovery.

"We think they are part of a much larger settlement. I suspect we can identify 25 likely house sites. My guess is that there are many more than that," he added.

Village of builders
During excavation at Durrington Walls, about 3 kilometres from Stonehenge, scientists working on the seven-year Stonehenge Riverside Project detected dozens of hearths.

They also uncovered the outlines of box beds and wooden dressers or cupboards and 4600 year-old debris, including burnt stones and animal bones strewn on the clay floors.

"We think we are looking at the village of the builders of Stonehenge," he added.

The houses measured about 5 metres (16 feet) square and were located in a small valley north of Stonehenge that leads down to the River Avon. They are on either side of an avenue that leads from the river to a wooden version of Stonehenge.

"We think our discovery is very significant for understanding the purpose of Stonehenge. What we have revealed is that Stonehenge is one half of a larger complex," said Parker Pearson, referring to the stone and wooden circles.

Feasts and parties
The scientists believe Stonehenge and Durrington Walls were complementary sites. Neolithic people gathered at Durrington Walls for massive feasts and parties while Stonehenge was a memorial or burial site for the dead.

"We are looking at least a century, probably several centuries of use, at both sites," said Parker Pearson. "Stonehenge is our biggest cemetery from that period. There is a very interesting contrast in terms of life and death."

Stonehenge's avenue is aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise, while the Durrington avenue corresponds with the midwinter solstice sunset, according to the researchers. Tourists are drawn to Stonehenge throughout the year but the most popular day at the site is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, gather at Stonehenge, about 160 km west of London, during the summer solstice because they believe it was a centre of spiritualism.

"This is a place of enormous importance that has been remembered over a long period of time," said Julian Thomas of Manchester University, who also worked on the project.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

New DVD Releases -- January 30, 2007

Flyboys (Widescreen Edition)
The Marine (Unrated Edition)
Unhitched
Death Row
Prey
Unidentified (Widescreen Edition)
Catch a Fire
Unknown

Sacred Cave of Rome's Founders Discovered


Maria Cristina Valsecchi in Rome for
National Geographic News
January 26, 2007
Archaeologists say they have unearthed Lupercale—the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed the twin founders of Rome and where the city itself was born.
The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) hill in the center of the city.

RELATED
Photos: Rome -- The Eternal City
Tomb of Prehistoric Leader Unearthed in Modern Rome (February 7, 2006)
St. Paul's Tomb Unearthed in Rome (December 11, 2006)
Archaeologists from the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Rome Municipality came across the 50-foot-deep (15-meter-deep) cavity while working to restore the decaying palace.
"We were drilling the ground near Augustus' residence to survey the foundations of the building when we discovered the cave," said Irene Iacopi, the archaeologist in charge of the area.
"We knew from ancient reports that the Lupercale shouldn't be far from the Emperor's palace, but we didn't expect to find it. It was a lucky surprise.
"We didn't enter the cave but took some photos with a probe," Iacopi added.
"They show a richly decorated vault encrusted with mosaics and seashells, too rich to be part of a home. That's why we think it could be the ancient sanctuary, but we can't be sure until we find the entrance to the chamber."

Ancient Legend
According to myth, Lupercale is where a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the war god Mars and mortal priestess Rhea Silvia, who had been abandoned in a cradle on the bank of the Tiber River. The cave's name, in fact, comes from the Latin word for wolf, lupus.
The brothers are said to have later founded Rome on April 21, 753 B.C., at the site. But they eventually fought for the leadership of the new city, and Romulus killed his brother.
That didn't stop the site from becoming a sacred place to ancient Romans.
Every year on February 15 ancient priests killed a dog and two goats and smeared the foreheads of two boys from noble families with the sacrificial blood as part of the Lupercalia celebration. (Related: "'Rome' TV Wardrobe Not Built in a Day [August 26, 2005].)
The ceremony survived until A.D. 494, when Pope Gelasius put an end to the tradition.
The Palatine Hill also became the residential area of the most affluent Roman citizens beginning in 500 B.C. When the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire in the first century B.C., Augustus even built himself and his wife Livia palaces on top of the hill.
Later emperors followed his example and built larger and larger homes on the same spot. Now the whole hill is a honeycomb of buildings and tunnels extending far underground.
The English word "palace" derives from "Palatium," the Latin name of the area.

Crumbling Ruins
"The tale of the birth of Rome is part myth and part historical truth," said Andrea Carandini, historian and archaeologist at the University of Rome, La Sapienza.
"The story of the twins reflects the previous tradition of the Lares, the twin deities protecting the area, but there was indeed a historical founder who constituted the Palatine Hill as the sacred heart of the city around 775 B.C.," he added. "The archaeological findings are providing more and more evidence that the tale of Rome's foundation isn't a later legend but originates from historical facts," he said. Time may been running out for additional discoveries, however.
"The remains are now crumbling due to atmospheric agents and lack of funds for maintenance," head archaeologist Iacopi said. "Most of the buildings are closed to the public for safety reasons. It's a real pity. "Archaeologists are doing what they can to restore and stabilize the ruins," she added. "Now we have to find the entrance and study the chamber," Iacopi said.
"In the meantime we are going to finish the restorations in Augustus' palace. We hope to open part of the emperor's residence to the public in a few months."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Check This Chick Freaking Out!!


Check out this "bride to be" having a bad hair day. She goes crazy and decides to cut off all of her hair. The funny part is her friends that just keep offering her champagne and laughing at her. I would love to see the reaction of the groom when he sees her hair.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Rocket Scooter


And that's the reason that people get engineering degrees and become rocket scientists. It would have been much cooler if he would have been strapped on to the thing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

EPOS Ultrasonic Pen

The EPOS company develops mice and pen products for computers. There new product is a pen that can be used to draw or write on any sheet of paper. The sensor goes at the top of the paper and uses ultrasonic sensors to calculate to position of the pen to 40 microns (Thats really small). The USB enabled sensor then saves the information in a downloadable file in the jump drive. This will allow you to record your notes on your computer. It looks pretty cool.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Brethren


Brethren: An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar by Robyn Young, is the latest novel that I just finished. If you are into historical books, you will love this one. It is centered around the lives of the Knights Templar, in the 13th century. Many of the major events in the book are centered around true historical events. The fictional story line keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. The characters are developed in detail. This book is the first part of a Trilogy that is currently being finished. Try it, you will like it.

American Idol Tryouts

This guy is really weird. My message to Rosie is this. This guy had to stand in a line of 20000 or more people for days to get on this show, along with all the others. These people know what they are doing by going on this show. One other thing, just because someone is weird or different doesn't mean they are mentally handicapped. And shame on the caretakers of a mentally handicap person if they let the person go on the show.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dog's Got A Pepperball Gun

I was watching one of my favorite reality TV shows the other night, Dog The Bounty Hunter. During past seasons the only weapon Dog or his family would carry was a bottle of pepper spray, specifically a Devastator. To my surprise I noticed Leland, Dog's Son, carrying what looked to be a paint ball gun. I had to investigate. What I found was that this was indeed a modified paint ball gun which fires modified paint balls. The balls do not have paint in them though, they have pepper. This is a new invention from a company called pepperball. You go Dog.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

AT&T

This is a funny video about all the different buying and selling that goes on in the phone industry. Th funny part is that it is 100% true.

Driving on Ice

Check out these people trying to drive on this icy road. This video is a great lesson in physics.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Real Peter Pan


Enough said! Check out his web site Click Here.

Old School Academy


After you are tired of spending all day doing some ninja training, it's time to do some Old School Dance and Life training. Napoleon would be proud.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

CCleaner

CCleaner is another great free utility for your computer. It allows you to clean history, temp Internet files, registry junk, and much more. This is a freeware program, and entirely free of spy ware. I would only run the simple searches and stay away from the custom stuff, unless you know what you are doing. It is a very easy program to use and helps your computer run faster.

Is Paula Abdul High?


Check out this clip of an interview with Paula Abdul last week. Is she drunk or high or both? Who knows, it may just be something in the water. But I did watch American Idol tonight, and would have to say she looks sort of medicated. Of course this could all just be a media stunt to get guyes like me to watch. OH NO! it worked.

Object Dock

This is a cool program that puts a icon type toolbar on your desktop that allows you to quickly browse all of your favorite programs. This is similar to a widget that is found on MAC machines. Check out this free download on FileHippo.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Test Drive Microsoft Vista


Click Here to check it out. This is a site that Microsoft has set up to allow people to go and log into a working copy of Vista to demo. The cool thing about it is that you don't have to install anything on your computer. You are just logging into a remote desktop on a Microsoft Server. It has a cool step by step guide on how to do certain tasks within Vista. I would recommend this site if you are planning to upgrade or have just purchased a computer with an upgrade coupon.

NinjaLessons.Com


Ok, so this is pretty funny. The real funny part about it is that these guyes are serious. They are charging people to come to their website and pay for lessons to become a ninja. I remember when I was 12 years old and wanted to be a ninja. I had all the ninja stuff, even the cool shoes with the split big toe (Tabi Boots). I never could figure out how to disappear like the movies though. Maybe for $6.95 a month these guyes could teach me how to do that. That clip above is actually a advertisment clip put out by www.ninjalessons.com. Below I put a video clip that seems very similar.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Switchback UMPC

The SwitchBack-PC brings the power of the desktop to a portable, rugged, handheld solution that weighs just three pounds. The first rugged UMPC to have a built-in thumb keyboard, the SwitchBack utilizes never before seen "Parallel Processing Capabilities" to power multiple Operating Systems including Windows XP in combination with Windows Mobile, Windows CE or Linux. Because of its unique parallel processing technology the SwitchBack is energy efficient and has an extended battery life multiple times that of other portable computers its size in low power mode. This thing is really cool!!

Nuclear Test Videos - What Have We Done?

This Is A Tiny Bomb

Poor Guyes!!

Largest US Underground test

Bikini Island Test

This is a five minute compilation video showing the type of distruction these bombs can do. The scary thing is to think most of these devices were made 50 years ago. So what have we come up with in the last 50 years that can end the human race?

DVD New Releases - January 16, 2007

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Beginning (Unrated Edition)
Employee of the Month (Widescreen Edition)
Gridiron Gang (Widescreen Edition)

Allofmp3.com -- Cheap Music

Allofmp3.com -- If you want to get your music for about .20 cents per song, then this is the site for you. Unlike illegal file sharing p2p sites, this is an actual online store that offers music at a dramatically reduced price. This site is hosted in Russia, which allows it to use international trade laws to charge whatever they want for their music. While there is a fight from within the US music industry to get this site shutdown, to this day it is still legal. You can pick music to be downloaded at any bit rate or format you want. There is no pesky user right management system. The best part is that you don't have to sit there and test wether you music is good or not,like with p2p sites.

I do not recommend using a normal credit card to pay for the music since you are doing business with Russia. The first way I recommend is to buy a prepaid mastercard and use it to pay. The other way, is to use a virtual card from companies like citibank. These programs generate a different card number for each transaction.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Population 436


Population 436 was a really cool movie that I saw last week. I had not heard anything about the movie before my partner at work had told me about it. It had a different type of plot for a horror movie, which makes it unique. It is definitely worth checking it out.

Make Magazine

If you are into DIY (do it yourself) projects then this site and magazine are for you. Make gives complete details on different projects you can try at home every month. The different projects range from building a kite the takes digital picture, to instruction on how to podcast. I subscribed to this magazine and was very surprised about all the information in each issue.

Killing Cancer Cells

Nanowerk Article
This is a great article on the advances in Nano Technology in the area of using gold particles and lasers to destroy cancer cells. Scientists have made great strides in this field and it is all explained in the article. Basically, they inject the gold into your body and it attaches to the cancer cells. Then they fire a speicial laser through your body, and the gold particles explode, killing the cancer.

Friday, January 12, 2007

NewScientist.Com

This is the web site of a great magazine called New Scientist. This site and magazine is dedicated to articles about emerging technologies and new discoveries in science. It covers every facet of the science world, from tech news to health issues. The site is full of complete articles that you can browse through, unlike many science journals and websites which force you to get a subscription if you what all the information.

PIXresizer Image Shrink Utility

This site has great little programs that do really cool things. PIXresizer allows you to quickly and easily convert the size of a large image or group of images. This program is very useful when trying to resize images for myspace and other sites that have size limitations. The program is very easy to use and saves your image under a different filename so you don't have to worry about copying over your original. This program is great for Myspace!!

PIXresizer Software Download

Worlds Highest Parachute Jump

102.800 Feet Freefall at 614 mph

Captain Kittinger was then assigned to the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. For Project Excelsior (meaning "ever upward", a name given to the project by Colonel Stapp), as part of research into high altitude bailout, he made a series of three parachute jumps wearing a pressurized suit, from a helium balloon with an open gondola.
The first, from 76,400 feet (23,287 m) in November, 1959 was a near tragedy when an equipment malfunction caused him to lose consciousness, but the automatic parachute saved him (he went into a flat spin at a rotational velocity of 120 rpm, the G factor calculated at his extremities was over 22 times that of gravity, setting another record). Three weeks later he jumped again from 74,700 feet (22,769 m). For that return jump Kittinger was awarded the Leo Stevens parachute medal.
On August 16, 1960 he made the final jump from the Excelsior III at 102,800 feet (31,300 m). He was in freefall for 4½ minutes and reached a maximum speed of 614 mph (988 km/h) before opening his parachute at 18,000 feet (5,500 m). Pressurization for his right glove malfunctioned during the ascent, causing his hand to swell. He set records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest freefall and fastest speed by a man through the atmosphere. [1]
According to Kittinger, he broke the speed of sound during that famous highest jump. This may be debatable, as other references give his peak speed at 614 (988 km/h)[citation needed] or 618 (994 km/h)[citation needed] miles per hour, or mach 0.9. Nevertheless, he occasionally ribs Chuck Yeager about being the first man to break the speed of sound.[citation needed]
The jumps were made in a "rocking-chair" position, descending on his back, rather than the usual delta familiar to skydivers, because he was wearing a 60-lb "kit" on his behind and his pressure suit naturally formed that shape when inflated, a shape appropriate for sitting in an airplane cockpit.
For the series of jumps, Kittinger was decorated with an oak leaf cluster to his D.F.C. and awarded the Harmon Trophy by President Dwight Eisenhower.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Thursday, January 11, 2007

ZipGenius


This program is another free peice of software that is safe to put on your computer too make your life easy. This is a free compression utility like winzip. The advantage to this piece of software besides the fact that it is free, is that it compresses in not only ZIP but also all of the other popular compression standards

AVG Free Anti-Virus Software



AVG offers a great free anti-virus software program that is top ranked by many computer reviews. This software, like that from Computer Associates, does not take up large amounts of system resources. The advantage to this piece of software is that unlike the Computer Associates product, it does not expire after 1 year. Both products are great so I thought I would give everyone a choice and post this program which is favored by many computer experts.

Stickis.com



This is a great web site to share your thoughts about other web sites with friends, or simply keep notes for yourselves. This site allows you to post virtual stickies on any website that you visit. It's a fun site to try out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Backing Up DVD's

What's the best way to backup your DVDs, just in case your three year old decides to use her Barney Disk as a Frisbee? My recommendation is a program called DVD Fab. The program comes in two versions, Gold and Platinum. Depending on your level of expertise, the Gold version should be fine for most normal users. This is the easiest program out there for a one stop DVD Movie Backup Utility.

Basically all you have to do is put in your original disk and a blank disk, and then hit enter. It will decrypt the DVD, Shrink it to fit on a DVD-R, and then burn it to the disk. All while you go chase around your three year old.

This program has some other cool features. It will copy the whole disk, just the main movie, or allow you to create a custom disk. The newest version will also allow you to burn the movie to ISO for any of you that archive onto hard drives for media streaming or backing up.

One other cool thing. The company does constant upgrades when movies come out that have new types of protection. Upgrades are free forever when you buy the software. There is a demo available also to try it out. This program really works great!!!!!!!

SalesCircular.Com


If you are looking for the best deals in town, this site is for you. Basically, all you have to do is put in your state and city, and then tell the site what type of electronic product you are looking for. The site will give you all of the current weeks sales from stores such as Circuit City, Best Buy, and Sears, just to name a few. It makes it much easier then having to go through all the sales articles trying to find the best deals. I have used this site many times and highly recommend it.

Upcoming.org

This is a great site that offers event calenders for all area's around the entire world. You can use it to find out what's going on in your city. Or, even better, if you are going out of town on a vacation or business trip you can check what is going on at the place that you are going to. When I go on business trips I like to enjoy the cities that I go to since I may never know when I will be going back.

Protecting Your Computer

I have recently had many people ask me the best way to protect their computers from viruses and spyware. Here is what I recommend and use myself to protect all of my computers. The first thing to know is that there are three important software programs that are critical to protecting your computer. Anti-Virus Software, Anti-Spyware software, and a firewall.

Make sure to uninstall all of your current protection software before putting these programs on your computer!

Anti-Virus: CA Associates Anti-virus 2007, This link will get you a free full version 1 year trial to this great piece of software. The nice thing about this software is that is takes very little system resources to run.

Spyware: I use the Yahoo Toolbar, it's free and works great.

Firewall: Use the Windows built in firewall, agian its free and works great for the typical home user.

While there is software out there that have features well beyond the above programs, it is usually difficult for the average user to use these features or know what they do. If you are reading this you should be fine with the above suggestions. They are full featured for the average home user.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007