The End of the Spacesuit

Researchers reveal nano coating that could revolutionize space travel

Scientists have created a ‘nano-suit’ for  fruit fly larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human  spacesuit.

Researchers in Japan discovered that they can  protect larvae from the effects of exposure to a space-like vacuum by bombarding  them with electrons.

Without the treatment, the larvae shrivel and  die within a few minutes.

Without the electron coating the larva shriveled and died
The larva did not dehydrate when subjected to electron bombardment
 Normally a larva exposed to a vacuum will shrivel and  die (above), but when protected by a ‘nano-suit’ a larva can survive  (below)

HOW DOES THE ‘NANO-SUIT’  WORK?

When animals are exposed to a space-like  vacuum they are in danger of dehydrating because the water is sucked from their  bodies.

Japanese researchers found a way of  preventing this happening which avoids the need for a traditional  spacesuit.

They bombarded a larva with electrons which  caused the molecules in the film covering its skin to stick together.

This created a protective layer flexible  enough to allow it to move, but solid enough to stop dehydration.

Most insects do not have the natural layer  that can be transformed into a ‘nano-suit’ so the researchers also made an  artificial alternative.

They submerged mosquito larvae in a bath of  water and Tween 20 – a non-toxic chemical – before covering them in  plasma.

This caused the Tween 20 to create a  nano-suit similar to that created naturally by the fruit fly larvae.

However, the researchers at Hamamatsu  University School of Medicine discovered that when they are protected by a ‘nano-suit’ created by electron bombardment, they can survive the space-like  conditions.

Science has  reported that the ‘nano-suit’ works like a miniature space suit meaning that it  could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron shower.

To conduct the study, Japanese scientists  placed a tiny larva in a scanning electron microscope and bombarded it with  electrons. It survived the experience and went on to develop into a healthy  fly.

By contrast, they also placed another larva  in the same scanning electron microscope without the electron bombardment and  this one quickly died of dehydration because, as predicted, the vacuum sucked  the water out of its body.

When the researchers studied the skin of the  insects they found that the electron treatment had changed the thin film  covering the surviving larva’s skin – it had caused its molecules to stick  together creating a layer flexible enough to allow it to move, but strong enough  to protect it from dehydration.

However, most insects do not have natural  layers than can be transformed into ‘nano-suits’ so the scientists decided to  create an artificial alternative.

Scientists have created a 'nano-suit' for fruit fly larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human spacesuit
Scientists have created a ‘nano-suit’ for fruit fly  larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human spacesuit
The 'nano-suit' works like a miniature space suit meaning that it could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron shower. Picture shows Nasa's latest spacesuit design
The ‘nano-suit’ works like a miniature space suit  meaning that it could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron  shower. Picture shows Nasa’s latest spacesuit design

They submerged mosquito larvae in a bath of  water and Tween 20 – a non-toxic chemical – before covering them in  plasma.

This caused the Tween 20 to create a  nano-suit similar to that created naturally by the fruit fly larvae.

Astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild of Nasa’s Ames  Research Center in Moffett Field, California, told Science that the nano-suits  could allow creatures, or even people, to survive the extreme environments of  space.

The researchers believe that this technique  could eventually be used to allow astronauts to do away with their traditional  spacesuits.

These protect them from the harsh environment  of outer space – the vacuum and the extreme temperatures – by featuring a  self-contained oxygen supply and environmental control system.

Attribution: Emma Innes, Daily Mail

Hubble reveals Horsehead Nebula

It is an astonishing new view of a unique  nebula.

Researchers have used NASA’s Hubble Space  Telescope to photograph the iconic Horsehead Nebula in a new, infrared light to  mark the 23rd anniversary of the famous observatory.

Looking like an apparition rising from whitecaps of interstellar foam, the iconic Horsehead Nebula has graced astronomy books ever since its discovery more than a century ago.

Scroll down  for video

The Horsehead Nebula as viewed at near-infrared wavelengthswith the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The Horsehead Nebula as viewed at near-infrared  wavelengthswith the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This thick pillar of gas  and dust is sculpted by powerful stellar winds blowing from clusters of massive  stars located beyond the field of this image. The bright source at the top left  edge of the nebula is a young star whose radiation is already eroding the  surrounding interstellar material.

 

HUBBLE’S HISTORY

Hubble has been producing ground-breaking  science for two decades since its launch  aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

During that time, it has benefited from a  slew of upgrades from space shuttle  missions, including the 2009 addition of a  new imaging workhorse, the  high-resolution Wide Field Camera 3 that took the  new portrait of the  Horsehead.

 

The nebula is a favorite target for amateur  and professional astronomers.

It is shadowy in optical light, and appears  transparent and ethereal when seen at infrared wavelengths.

‘The rich tapestry of the Horsehead Nebula  pops out against the backdrop of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies that  easily are visible in infrared light,’ said Nasa.

The nebula is part of the Orion Molecular  Cloud, located about 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Orion.

The cloud also contains other well-known  objects such as the Great Orion Nebula (M42), the Flame Nebula, and Barnard’s  Loop.

It is one of the nearest and most easily  photographed regions in which massive stars are being formed.

Spot the horsehead:

A new view from ESA’s Herschel space  observatory of the iconic Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings.  The Horsehead Nebula resides in the constellation Orion, about 1300 light-years  away, and is part of the vast Orion Molecular Cloud complex. To the left, the  panoramic view also covers two other prominent sites where massive stars are  forming, NGC 2068 and NGC 2071.

In the Hubble image, the backlit  wisps  along the Horsehead’s upper ridge are being illuminated by Sigma  Orionis, a  young five-star system just out of view.

Along the nebula’s top ridge, two fledgling  stars peek out from their now-exposed nurseries.

Scientists know a harsh ultraviolet glare  from one of these bright stars is slowly evaporating the nebula.

Gas clouds surrounding the Horsehead already  have dissipated, but the tip  of the jutting pillar contains a slightly higher  density of hydrogen and helium, laced with dust.

This casts a shadow that protects material  behind it from being stripped  away by intense stellar radiation evaporating the  hydrogen cloud, and a  pillar structure forms.

Hubble has been producing ground-breaking  science for two decades since its launch  aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

During that time, it has benefited from a  slew of upgrades from space shuttle missions, including the 2009 addition of a  new imaging workhorse, the high-resolution Wide Field Camera 3 that took the new  portrait of the Horsehead.

This three-panel image shows the latest near-infrared Hubble image of the Horsehead Nebula
This three-panel image shows the latest near-infrared  Hubble image of the Horsehead Nebula in context with the new wide-field Herschel  view of the surrounding

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Mail Online

Metal Eating Monster

Amazing video of the magnetic putty that eats anything in its path

They could be stills from the set of a sci-fi  B-movie.

A dark mass moves to quickly devour its  victim, greedily gobbling it inside until nothing remains.

This video shows magnetic putty quickly  ‘eating’ everything in its path,  seemingly swallowing it whole.

This video shows magnetic putty quickly 'eating' a magnet, seemingly swallowing it whole
This video shows magnetic putty quickly ‘eating’ a  magnet, seemingly swallowing it whole
In reality however, the video was shot over several hours and time lapsed to give the eerie effect of 'killer putty'
In reality however, the video was shot over several  hours and time lapsed to give the eerie effect of ‘killer putty’

 

But the putty's seemingly magical properties can be explained by science, as the material is infused with millions of micron-sized ferromagnetic particles
But the putty’s seemingly magical properties can be  explained by science, as the material is infused with millions of micron-sized  ferromagnetic particles

 

The dark mass gobbles up its 'victim' until it is completely lost inside
The dark mass gobbles up its ‘victim’ until it is  completely lost inside

In reality however, the video was shot over  several hours and time lapsed to give the eerie effect of ‘killer putty’.

The  hypnotic video was produced in association with PBS Digital Studios and posted  by Vimeo user Joe Schenkenberg (aka Joey Shanks).

The special effects director has been working  with Movie Magic Now, to demonstrate on film some very unusual properties that  magnetic putty has.

But the putty’s seemingly magical properties can be explained by science, as the material is infused with millions of micron-sized ferromagnetic particles.

Ferromagnetic particles in the putty are strongly attracted to the series of objects which contain the powerful neodymium iron boron magnet
Ferromagnetic particles in the putty are strongly  attracted to the series of objects which contain the powerful neodymium iron  boron magnet

 

The hypnotic video was produced in association with PBS Digital Studios and posted by Vimeo user Joe Schenkenberg (aka Joey Shanks)
The hypnotic video was produced in association with PBS  Digital Studios and posted by Vimeo user Joe Schenkenberg (aka Joey Shanks)

 

The particles slowly engulf the surface of the magnet with the putty- which looks and feels like regular silly putty - closing in around it
The particles slowly engulf the surface of the magnet  with the putty- which looks and feels like regular silly putty – closing in  around it

Ferromagnetic particles in the putty are strongly attracted to the series of objects which contain the powerful neodymium iron boron magnet.

The particles slowly engulf the surface of the magnet with the putty- which looks and feels like regular silly putty closing in around it.

The powerful neodymium iron boron magnet is the type that can destroy a TV screen or disable the magnetic strip on a credit card.

Eventually, the putty would arrange itself around the magnet so it’s as evenly distributed as possible.

Attribution: Amanda Williams, Mail Online

Ants Sense Earthquakes

Ants are able to sense earthquakes before  they strike, new research has suggested.

Researchers have discovered red wood ants  prefer to build their colonies along active faults, fractures where the Earth  ruptures, in Germany.

Gabriele Berberich, of the University of  Duisburg-Essen, in Germany, said the behavior of the ants significantly changed  before an earthquake above magnitude 2.0 hit the area. Their behavior did not  return to normal until a day after the earthquake.

Sense: Red wood ants (pictured) significantly change their behaviour before an earthquake, researchers have discovered
 Red wood ants (pictured) significantly change  their behavior before an earthquake, researchers have discovered

 

Colony: The researchers tracked the ants round the clock for three years between 2009 and 2012
The researchers tracked the ants round the clock  for three years between 2009 and 2012

Berberich presented her research at the  European Geosciences Union annual meeting, in Vienna, LiveScience  has reported.

Her team, who counted 15,000 ant mounds  lining the active faults, tracked the ants round the clock for three years  between 2009 and 2012.

The team discovered the ants would undergo  their usual activities during the day before retreating into their mound at  night.

But before an earthquake, the ants would stay  awake and remained outside the mound during the night, leaving them vulnerable  to predators.

The research suggested the ants only changed  their behaviour when the earthquake was over magnitude 2, which is the smallest  earthquakes humans can feel.

Berberich has suggested the insects are able  to predict the earthquakes by picking up changing gas emissions or shifts in the  Earth’s magnetic field.

Communication: Red wood ants, pictured here communicating by touching antennae, prefer to build their colonies along active faults, the team found
 Red wood ants, pictured here  communicating by touching antennae, prefer to build their colonies along active  faults, the team found

 

Damage: Buildings damaged by an earthquake in Mirandola, near Modena, in May last year
 Buildings damaged by an earthquake in Mirandola,  near Modena, in May last year

Berberich said: ‘Red wood ants have chemo  receptors for carbon dioxide gradients and magneto receptors for electromagnetic  fields.

‘We’re not sure why or how they react to the  possible stimuli, but we’re planning on going to a more tectonically active  region and see if ants react to larger earthquakes.’

The Times of  India has  reported Berberich and her colleagues are hoping to continue their research in  areas where larger earthquakes are more common.

Attribution: James Rush, Mail Online

Mystery of ‘Fairy Circles’

The answer lies hidden underground

 

For decades it is a phenomenon which has left  scientists stumped.

Thousands of barren patches of land several  meters wide, known as ‘fairy circles’, which are found across the Namib desert  in southern Africa for no apparent reason.

Theories have included radioactive soil,  meteorites or even UFOs while local myth holds that a dragon lives beneath the  Earth and his fiery breath burns the vegetation.

Thousands of the mysterious fairy circles are found throughout the Namib desert in Namibia and Angola
Thousands of the mysterious fairy circles are found  throughout the Namib desert in Namibia and Angola

 

A number of theories have been suggested to explain the fairy circles including meteorites and radioactive soil
A number of theories have been suggested to explain the  fairy circles including meteorites and radioactive soil

But finally, a German professor believes he  has solved the mystery for good.

After a six-year study, and more than 40  trips to the Namib desert, Norbert Jürgens from the University of Hamburg says a  species of sand termite is responsible.

He examined hundreds of fairy circles in more  than 1,200 miles of the desert and found that the Psammotermes allocerus, or  sand termite, was the only species consistently present.

Mr Jürgens theory is that they eat plant roots before  they can sprout through the desert soil creating a water trap – in a similar way  that beavers create dams.

Because of the lack of foliage, rainwater is  not lost through transpiration (the evaporation of water from plants) and  instead stays below the surface.

This allows the sand termites to survive and  stay active during the dry season and also helps grasses at the edge of the  circle to thrive attracting other life forms.

Norbert Jurgens believes sand termites are responsible for the extraordinary phenomenon
Norbert Jurgens believes sand termites are responsible  for the extraordinary phenomenon

The termites feed on those grasses, thereby  gradually extending the circle.

Mr Jürgens concludes that the fairy circles are actually  an astounding example of ecological engineering by the sand termite, designed to  retain precious water in an otherwise arid landscape.

‘Fairy circles can be regarded as an  outstanding example of of allogenic ecosystem engineering resulting in unique  landscapes with increased biodiversity, driven by key resources such as  permanently available water, perennial plant biomass, and perennial termite  biomass,’ he told South Africa’s newspaper the Weekend Argus.

‘The termites match the beaver with regard to  intensity of environmental change, but they surpass it with regard to the  spatial dimension of their impact.

‘The sand termite turns wide desert regions  of predominantly ephemeral life into landscapes dominated by species-rich  perennial grassland, supporting uninterrupted perennial life even during dry  seasons and drought years.’

Attribution: Steve Robson, Daily Mail

Creating Synthetic Tissue

Synthetic material capable of performing some of the functions of living cells have been built using a specially modified 3D prototype printer.

Developed by researchers at Oxford University, the new materials, called ‘droplet networks’ could eventually be used to replace damaged human tissue or deliver drugs to specific locations.

“We aren’t trying to make materials that faithfully resemble tissues, but rather structures that can carry out the functions of tissues,” says Professor Hagan Bayley, who led the research reported in the journal Science.

The printed structures consist of networks of tens of thousands of connected water droplets, encapsulated in aqueous compartments about 50 microns in diameter and printed out of a lipid film which remains stable for weeks.

The film uses protein pores to form pathways which can mimic nerves, allowing them to transmit electrical signals from one side of the material to the other.

The droplet networks can be designed to fold themselves into different shapes after printing (see video), mimicking muscle movement by transferring water from one cell to another through osmosis.

“At the moment we’ve created networks of up to 35,000 droplets but the size of network we can make is really only limited by time and money,”  says Bayley.

The researchers used two different types of droplet, but say there’s no reason why you couldn’t use 50 or more different kinds.

Synthetic vs living tissue

3D printing lets you build an object as complex as an organ, layer by layer or droplet by droplet, explains Cameron Ferris a research associate from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong.

Ferris says there are advantages and disadvantages of creating synthetic cells.

“Because droplet networks are entirely synthetic, you don’t have to harvest living tissue and the ethical issues associated with stem cells.

“It’s cheaper and easier to access, store and transport [than living tissue] but it’s far more complex to design and produce.”

Ferris is part of a team at Wollongong, developing 3D printers to eventually create replacement organs using living cells.

“We’re developing both materials and machinery using bio-inks to print muscle and nerve cells into living tissue.

“We use the same technology as ink jet printers however instead of inks we are using cell types.

Printing living tissue would allow the use of a patient’s own cells to reproduce the tissue rather than a donor organ, which comes with rejection issues and the need for lifelong drugs, says Ferris.

But it too has disadvantages.

“It’s incredibly expensive to harvest stem cells [for 3D printing], and the food you have to feed them, to grow and expand them so that you have enough stem cells to print takes some time.

“The end goal is to print a replacement tissue or organ in situ, but that’s still a long way off.”

Attribution: Stuart Gary, ABC

A Sinking Feeling

Rescuers work at the site of a road cave-in in the Fengtai district of Beijing Rescuers work at the site of a road cave-in in the Fengtai district of Beijing

, four firefighters escaped injury when their fire engine sunk into a large hole caused by a burst water main in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Four firefighters escaped injury when their fire engine sunk into a large hole caused by a burst water main in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles

almost perfectly circular, sinkhole measuring 66 feet (20 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep suddenly opened up, swallowing a three-storey building and a house in Guatemala City.Almost perfectly circular, sinkhole measuring 66 feet (20 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep suddenly opened up, swallowing a three-storey building and a house in Guatemala City

An aerial photo shows a massive crater that appeared in a residential street in Schmalkalden, GermanyAn aerial photo shows a massive crater that appeared in a residential street in Schmalkalden, Germany

Rescuers look for survivors after a building collapsed into a large hole in Guangzhou, ChinaRescuers look for survivors after a building collapsed into a large hole in Guangzhou, China

huge crater opened at the construction site of the Pinheiros subway station in Sao Paulo, Brazil.Huge crater opened at the construction site of the Pinheiros subway station in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Attribution: Uk Telegraph

The Treasure That Sank the Spanish Empire

 

The stunning treasures from a sunken Spanish  galleon have been revealed for the first time after the ship was rediscovered  nearly 400 years on from its wreck in the Gulf of Mexico.

The loss of the Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora  del Rosario along with seven other ships destroyed the Bank of Madrid – and even  contributed to the collapse of the Spanish Empire.

Now deep-sea divers believe they have found  its wreck 400m deep, with 17,000 objects on board revealing that it was carrying  gold, pearls – and even parrots.

Treasure: Some of the 27 gold bars recovered from the wreck of Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario
 Some of the 27 gold bars recovered from the  wreck of Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario

 

Unique: These pearls are from a rare species of oyster found in seabeds off the coast of Venezuela
 These pearls are from a rare species of oyster  found in seabeds off the coast of Venezuela

 

Precious: The loss of the treasure, such as this chain weighing half a kilogram, devastated Spain's economy
The loss of the treasure, such as this chain weighing half a kilogram, devastated Spain’s economy

Galleon: This image of 16th-century Seville shows a ship similar to that lost in the Gulf of Mexico
This image of 16th-century Seville shows a ship  similar to that lost in the Gulf of Mexico

The discovery unveiled today gives a  fascinating glimpse into the sometimes unexpected treasures which made the  colonial economy run.

The wreck site, around 400 miles from the  Florida Keys, contains 39 gold bars, and nearly 1,200 silver pieces of  eight.

More unusually, the site features more than  6,600 pearls being exported to Europe from the coast of  Venezuela.

The gems came from a type of oyster which was  unique to South America but which was nearly extinct by the early 17th century  thanks to over-exploitation by colonial traders.

Bullion: A gold bar stamps with official marks certifying its purity and taxation status
 A gold bar stamps with official marks  certifying its purity and taxation status

 

Vessels: These ceramic jars and tableware were used to furnish the doomed ship on its voyage
 These ceramic jars and tableware were used to  furnish the doomed ship on its voyage

 

Precious: A selection of the jewels and precious stones being transported from the New World to the Old
A selection of the jewels and precious stones  being transported from the New World to the Old

Certificate: A stamp reading 'en rada' operating as a sort of guarantee of the gold's origin
 A stamp reading ‘en rada’ operating as a  sort of guarantee of the gold’s origin

And it was not only wildlife to suffer from  the oyster trade – 60,000 Caribbean natives are believed to have died while  diving for pearls on behalf of the Spanish.

In addition to the precious metals and  jewels, two bird’s bones were found at the site, thought to have come from a  blue-headed parrot.

The parrots made popular pets because of  their bright plumage and ability to mimic human speech, but this is the first  time the remains of one have been found in a shipwreck.

Another glimpse of everyday life in the early  modern world comes from a tortoiseshell comb for lice apparently made by a  member of the ship’s crew.

Jar: The artefacts found by the Odyssey expedition have not been seen for nearly 400 years
The artefacts found by the Odyssey expedition have not been seen for nearly 400 years

 

Astrolabe: This was used to navigate by the stars but did not help the ship avoid a devastating hurricane
 This was used to navigate by the stars but  did not help the ship avoid a devastating hurricane

 

Riches: But the empire was deep in debt and the wreck of its ships contributed to its downfall
 But the empire was deep in debt and the wreck of  its ships contributed to its downfall

 

Examination: An archaeologist holding silver retrieved from the wreck 400m deep in the Gulf of Mexico
An archaeologist holding silver retrieved  from the wreck 400m deep in the Gulf of Mexico

The Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario  was one of a fleet of 28 Spanish merchants hit by a hurricane on September 5,  1622.

Eight were sunk, killing 500 people on board  and hiding their treasure for nearly four centuries.

The Spanish economy had been relying on the  boost it would have received from the ships’ arrival, and the disaster  contributed to the eventual downfall of the formerly all-powerful colonial  empire.

To the rescue: The Seahawk Retriever moored over the site of the shipwreck
 The Seahawk Retriever moored over the  site of the shipwreck

 

Delicate: Cutting-edge technology was used to retrieve the valuable treasures from the seabed
Cutting-edge technology was used to retrieve  the valuable treasures from the seabed

 

Handle with care: Team members examine containers full of ceramic jars from the Buen Jesus
Team members examine containers full  of ceramic jars from the Buen Jesus

 

Machinery: This filtration system designed to sift small finds was specially designed for the expedition
This filtration system designed to sift small  finds was specially designed for the expedition

Excavations at the site of the wreck have  been going on for more than 20 years, using deep-sea technology developed by  British engineers to drill for oil in the North Sea.

They were carried out by Odyssey Marine  Exploration, whose president Greg Stemm told The Times: ‘This is the major find  of our time.’

The objects excavated from the Rosario are  going on display at the company’s headquarters in Florida.

Oceans Odyssey 3, a book on the shipwreck and  its contents, is published today by Oxbow Books.

Find: The site of the shipwreck is around 400 miles away from the Florida Keys
 The site of the shipwreck is around 400 miles away  from the Florida Keys

 

Attribution: Hugo Gye, Mail Online

Is This the World’s First Cell Phone?

Film from 1938 shows a woman talking on a wireless device… but it is not ‘time  travel’ family say to the disappointment of conspiracy theorists

 

The mystery of how a woman could have been  filmed while using a modern looking cell phone back in 1938 seems to have finally been solved.

Black and white footage of a young female  chatting into a wireless handset – said to have been filmed at a factory in the 30s – has attracted over 300,000 plays on YouTube.

Conspiracy theorists hailed the clip as proof  of time travel, citing it alongside other instances of old films that appear to  show imagery of modern technology existing years before it was  invented.

Back to the future? The woman is seen leaving Dupont with a mobile phone next to her ear. The technology wasn't demonstrated until 1973 and the first mobile wasn't commercially available until the 80s
 The woman is seen leaving Dupont  with a cell phone next to her ear. The technology wasn’t demonstrated until 1973  and the first cell wasn’t commercially available until the 80s

 

Ahead of her time: The woman is captured talking on the small modern looking device as she walks
The woman is captured talking on the small modern looking device as she walks

 

Explained? A YouTube commenter now claims they can explain the bizarre footage commenting the woman is their great-grandmother Gertrude Jones
A YouTube commenter now claims they can explain the bizarre  footage commenting the woman is their great-grandmother Gertrude Jones and they were testing wireless communication devices

But now a YouTube user has come forward to claim that the woman in the clip is their great grandmother.

The user says that the woman really is using  a cell – but it’s a prewar prototype developed by a communications factory in  Leominster, Massachusetts.

The brief clip of the woman, captioned ‘Time  traveler in 1938 film’ shows a young woman dressed in a stylish 30s dress  walking alongside a crowd of people who are also dressed in outfits from the  same period.

She seems to be chatting animatedly into a  device held to her ear, which she then lowers. As she brings her arm down it can  be seen as being the same size and shape as a modern cell phone.

The footage is claimed to have been shot at a  factory owned by US industrial giant Dupont.

Technologically advanced: The footage was shot more than 40 years before the first mobile phone - a DynaTAC 8000x, pictured, was commercially available
 The footage was shot more than  40 years before the first cell phone – a DynaTAC 8000x, pictured, was  commercially available
Mystery: The center of the mystery is Leominster, Massachusetts, were the woman was filmed leaving the Dupont building
 The center of the mystery is Leominster, Massachusetts, were the woman was filmed leaving the Dupont building

It was first posted online a year ago and was  widely reported on by various blogs around the web.

But in recent days a user called  ‘planetcheck’ has come forward, claiming to have solved the mystery.

Planetcheck said: ‘The lady you see is my  great grandmother Gertrude Jones.’

‘She was 17 years old. I asked her about this  video and she remembers it quite clearly. She says Dupont had a telephone  communications section in the factory.’

‘They were experimenting with wireless telephones. Gertrude and five other women were given these wireless phones to  test out for a week.’

‘Gertrude is talking to one of the scientists  holding another wireless phone who is off to her right as she walks  by.’

So far there has been no independent verification of planetcheck’s post, but another YouTube user who says he knows  someone else who worked at the factory has vowed to make further  inquiries.

The 1938 clip is the second piece of footage  said to show a mobile phone seeming to exist before the devices were  invented.

In 2010, a clip from a 1928 Charlie Chaplin  movie surfaced, which also appears to show a woman using a mobile phone –  causing speculation that she was a time traveler.

Other examples said to prove time travel  include claims that archaeologists in China unearthed a small piece of metal  from an ancient tomb in Shangsi County – which was shaped like an exact replica  of modern Swiss watch, with the time frozen at 10:06.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Winner Take All

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

By now we’ve all seen it. “Winning takes care of everything”. So claims Nike in its new ad campaign to promote the resurrection of Tiger Woods. Tiger was a bag of dirt, he still may be, but now he is winning again so everything is okay. I mean let’s face it. Tiger Woods didn’t just have an affair or cheat on his wife once. He didn’t just go out and get wasted and make the mistake of a one-night stand. He dogged around with many different women for years. He doesn’t appear to like his fellow golfers, doesn’t appear to enjoy or appreciate the crowds that come out to fawn over him. Yet he wins, so people love him, cheer for him and kids, I hate to say, want to be him. It’s like an abused woman who still loves her man, after the beatings stop.

What the heck was Nike thinking? Who that developed this ad campaign thought this was a good idea? I do give them kudos if they believe that any press is good press. Nike may have gotten it right, at least as far as understanding the public and their overall gnat-like attention span.

Remember Rick Pitino. He cheated on his wife, was blackmailed by his mistress and had the audacity to call a press conference just to yell at the press. But now he’s back to his winning ways as a college basketball coach, so evidently all is forgiven. Just win baby and they’ll love ya no matter what. What a cretin.

How about Kobe Bryant, alledgedly raped a girl in a hotel room in 2003. He ultimately settled the case out of court, bought his wife a huge diamond ring and regained most of his endorsement contracts as well as resigning with the Lakers for $135 million. But he’s a winner, so everything is cool.

And there’s the sainted Baltimore Ravens linebacker, “Sugar” Ray Lewis who was linked to a murder and only avoided jail time by rolling over and testifying against his two companions. But Ray Ray is a 2 time Superbowl Champ and future Hall of Famer, so all is well. He’s now going on to work at the ESPN. (A little Waterboy humor there)

Frankly the only exception that comes to mind is Michael Vick. He was a winner; had fame and fortune and went to prison for running a dog fighting ring as well as the horrific abuse of the animals. There in lies the difference between Vick and these others dirt balls. He went to prison, did his time and paid his debt to society. He at least followed the law instead of using his money, fame and influence to escape retribution.

That brings us to the recent report of a baby born with AIDS that has been cured. That is great. Winning takes care of everything. The baby has been cured and yet we haven’t heard a peep of how the poor infant got the disease in the first place. No one seems to care. The New York Times editorial, “The Intriguing Case of a Baby Cured of H.I.V.” is a fascinating read. Fascinating, in that there is mere passing mention of Mom and none of Dad.

Was the dear Mommy a terminal crack-head? How about dear old Dad? Has anyone asked why the sainted mother or father of the cured baby would do such a thing? Did one or the other, or both know of the disease before conception? What if the cure didn’t work? What if it doesn’t last and the baby relapses? They cursed this baby with a deadly disease. But all is evidently well. The doctors, the baby and even Mom are all winners. Why taint this historic moment with such uncomfortable questions. The great thing about the cure is now Mom or Dad AIDS carrier can have more offspring and not have to worry about damning the children with a life of misery. Hooray! Maybe Nike can sponsor the next birth? Free baby shoes!

I guess this is what it is all about in todays America. Do whatever you wish, as long as you’re a winner in the end. Great lesson.