Posts Tagged: ‘London’

On April 1, 2012, artists gathered in Tottori, Japan, to construct sand castles that look an awful lot like the city of London.

The sculptures are meant to honor the 2012 Summer Olympic Games; therefore they represent Great Britain’s greatest icons — from William Shakespeare and the Tower of London to the London taxi and the imperial guards. The sand art exhibit will be open to the public at the Tottori Sand Dunes on April 14, 2012 and will remain through January 2013.

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If you grew up in a tough neighborhood, chances are you’ve gone to see a scary movie and came out talking all kinds of trash. You probably went home yelling, “I wish those so-and-sos would try something like that around here!” at anyone within earshot, right? Well, what if an alien invasion popped off in the middle of your ‘hood? Think very carefully before you answer, because that’s the basic plot of the movie “Attack the Block.”

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The media have been talking about how some rioters in London have been using smartphones and social media sites to coordinate their movements to avoid being caught by the authorities. Zack Whittaker at ZDNet wrote that while some people are using Facebook and Twitter, one of the tools of choice is the BlackBerry Messenger, which encrypts messages so they can’t be read by third parties.

For its part, Research in Motion (RIM), BlackBerry’s parent company, said it would cooperate with the authorities to identify people alleged to have participated in the riots, though according to the BBC the police have to prove they know the identities of the phones’ owners under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act before they can acquire the records, rather than searching messages for people using riot-related keywords in text messages, e-mail and social media posts.

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I have just figured out what the lump on the inside of my right forearm is. It’s my oversized CYP1A2 gene, the one responsible for caffeine metabolism cravings. WebMD recently ran an article (thanks for the link, LOML) on how researchers are finding that genes likely play a role in a desire for more caffeine in some people than in others. Really, the concept could change our understanding of addiction, or cravings at least.

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In this Halloween episode, Josh and Chuck go way back to late 19th century London to examine the grisly details of the Jack the Ripper murders. They also discuss Ripperology, Jack the Ripper suspects and theories, and the legacy of the murders.

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After 95 years of ferrying ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Panama Canal still plays an important role in international trade. Learn more about this cool canal’s past, present and future in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

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Built around 2,000 years ago in the Nazca desert of Peru, the mysterious Nazca lines form thousands of drawings across the desert floor. Learn more about the Nazca lines — and what makes them so cool — in this video podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

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Nelson’s Column, the famous center point of London’s Trafalgar Square, is usually surrounded by museums, crowds and, until recently, hoards of pigeons. But for one week in mid-November, it will be ringed by the stumps of enormous African trees in a shocking display of environmental art.

While artist Angela Palmer compares the stark exhibit to images of a post-World War I landscape, the installation highlights the present, not the past. According to BBC News, the gnarled roots and abbreviated stumps are meant to call attention to tropical deforestation, one of the biggest causes of man-made greenhouse gases. If that’s not enough to drive the point home, green laser beams will shine into the night sky, marking the trees’ phantom canopies.

Although the trees in the exhibit are not actually victims of deforestation (Palmer sourced all of the stumps from naturally fallen trees), they hail from Ghana, a country that’s suffered heavily from illegal logging.

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For a chocoholic, the simple task of filling this race car’s fuel tank may seem a bit like a fantasy: a little chocolate for the fuel tank … a little chocolate for me … a little chocolate for the fuel tank … a little MORE chocolate for me. Sadly, that’s not quite how it works.

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This news story from the BBC last week tells us about a new anti-terror ad campaign being waged in England. Posters in Manchester and London urge citizens to be suspicious and report anything they think might be untoward. One such poster has a photo of some chemicals containers in a trash bin, with these words across the bottom – “These chemicals won’t be used in a bomb because a neighbour (sic) reported the dumped containers to the Anti-Terrorism Hotline.” Another shows a street scene and reads “A bomb won’t go off because weeks before, a shopper reported someone for studying the CCTV cameras. Don’t rely on others: if you suspect it, report it.” You get the idea.

This is a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s necessary for citizens to be vigilant, this seems slightly skewed toward fear-based tactics and could lead to a certain level of paranoia and hysteria…

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