China's rise named decade's most read news story

The rise of China as an economic superpower was the most read news story of the past decade, surpassing the Iraq War and the attacks of Sept. 11, according to an analysis by a US-based media tracking group. The Global Language Monitor, which uses an algorithm to search printed and electronic media and the Internet for trends in word usage, said there was strong interest in the Asian powerhouse, which is the world's third biggest economy.
Here is The Global Language Monitor's list of the top 15 stories of the decade:
1. Rise of China - The biggest story of the decade, outdistancing the No. 2 Internet story by 400 percent.
2. Iraq War - The buildup, invasion, hunt for weapons of mass destruction, and the increase of US troops in Iraq were top in print and electronic media outlets.
3. Sept. 11 attacks - The attacks on New York City and Washington DC seemed to set the tone for the new decade.
4. War on Terror - President George W. Bush's response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
5. Death of Michael Jackson - A remarkably high ranking considering his death occurred in the final year of the decade.
6. Election of Obama as president - The rallying cries of "hope" and "Yes, we can!" resulting in the historic election of an African-American to the US presidency.
7. Global Recession of 2008/09 - The on-going world economic restructuring as opposed to the initial "economic meltdown" or "financial tsunami".
8. Hurricane Katrina - New Orleans was devastated when the levies collapsed with scenes of death and destruction shocking millions the world over.
9. War in Afghanistan - Now in its eighth year.
10. Economic Meltdown/Financial Tsunami.
11. Beijing Olympics.
12. South Asian Tsunami which left 230,000 dead or missing.
13. War against the Taliban.
14. Death of Pope John Paul II attended by 2 million.
15. Osama bin Laden eludes capture.

10 Remarkable Animals Beginning with A -part 2

1)Archer Fish:
The archer fish is the only genus in the family Toxotidae. They are found in Western Pacific, Australia and in Southeast Asia inhabiting mangroves. They have flattened, knife shaped body with bold black-and-white markings that serves as camouflage in catching preys. Archerfish can grow up to 25 to 40cm in length and weigh up to 750g.They are famous for their ability to shoot down insects with water droplets from their specialized mouths. They are capable of spitting water at insects that are close to the water, making the prey fall into the water where it is eaten. It uses its tongue and a groove in the roof of its mouth to get a high-powered jet of water.

The antechinus is a marsupial mouse native to Australia. It is found in rain forests, eucalypt forests, and woodlands. Its diet include: spiders, beetles (including larva), and weevils feeding mainly on insects. They have pointed snout,, medium-long hairy tail. It has short feet of beige to yellow-brown color. Its back is covered with a reddish-brown fur. It can grow to about 4 to 5 in long and it weighs about 1 oz.

Anteaters are mammal species that falls under the suborder Vermilingua. They are found mostly in South America and Mexico. As their name suggests, they feed solely on insects such as ants and termites. They have long claws and sticky tongue that is helpful in scooping up its prey in and out of its mouth. Anteaters species include : The Giant Anteater that grows to about 1,8 meters long including tail, the Silky Anteater with an average length of 35 cm. including tail and Tamandua that can grow up to 90 cm long.

4)African Wolf Spider:
The African wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae, a group of ground-dwelling hunting spiders. There are about 2000 wolf spider species found abundantly in prairie areas. They have sturdy bodies and long, thick legs. They differ in sizes, ranging from 2 mm to nearly 40 mm in length. African wolf spiders bodies are slung low to the ground, that help them to run past in capturing their prey. They have diverse hunting strategies; some species hunt at day while others at night. Some dig tunnels and lie in wait for its prey. Others build a lookout point in higher ground while a few species build designed their tunnel with moveable trap door at the entrance.

5)African Tree Pangolin:
The tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis) is endemic to Africa and one of eight existing species of pangolin ("scaly anteater"). This nocturnal animal has overlapping brown scales on its back and average 35–45 cm head and body, tail length of about 49–60 cm and weighs between 1.8–2.4 kg. African tree pangolin has white skin and hair, lacking external ear and scaly tail. When threatened, it will roll into a tight ball, exposing only a shield of scales. They are toothless bit have strong and long claws that it uses to climb trees in search of insects such as ants and termites.

10 Remarkable Animals Beginning with A -part 1

1) Anaconda:
An anaconda also known as Water Boa is found in Northern Africa and in South America. It lives in shallow waters and swampy waters. They are nocturnal animal hinting its prey at night such as deer, pigs, caiman, fish, and larger prey. They often simply wait near the water on a tree limb and come raining down to catch animals as they come for necessary water. Anacondas kill by constricting the prey until it can no longer breathe and swallow the prey whole, head first.

2) Armadillo:
This small placental mammals with leathery armor shell are prolific diggers; dogging through the interior of savannahs and forests of Central and South America. There are about 20 existing species of armadillo, which are identified by the number of bands on their armor. Armadillo can grow up to 75 cm. including tail; however the Giant Armadillo grows up to 1.5 m while the small species Pinky Fairy armadillo can reach 12-15 cm in length. Its diet include: ants, termites, worms and insects. Armadillos have poor vision and can’t withstand prolonged frosts and must nestle into the ground to avoid the cold. Armadillos can move quickly even though it has short legs and are good swimmer; able to last 6 minutes underwater.

3) Ant:
Around 12,000 species of ants are currently classified under the family Formicidae. Ants are social insects that can be easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like structure that forms a slender waist. Ants are found on all continents except Antarctica. These insects build colonies that differ in sizes from over a dozen individuals to a more complex colonies that house over millions occupants. Most species are omnivorous, and are able to locate food resources that include both plant and animal matter. Ants are intelligent insects and has the ability to find their way through fairly complex mazes. Ants defend themselves by biting or by stinging.

An Alligator is a species of crocodilian that falls under the family Alligatoridae. Alligators are found only in two countries: the United States and China. There are more than a million alligators that inhibit two U.S. states; Florida and Louisiana. The Chinese alligator is extremely threatened with only a few dozen inhibiting the Yangtze River valley. Alligators and crocodiles differ in some features like: Alligators have wide, flat and rounded snouts, while crocodiles own longer, sharper snouts; and unlike crocodiles, alligators lower teeth are hidden when their mouths are closed. They grow to about 10 to 15 ft. in length and can weigh up to 450 kg. The average life span of alligators in the wild is about 35 to 50 years. Alligators' main prey are smaller animals that they can kill and eat with a single bite and if they are hungry they’ll eat anything including humans.

5) Agama:
5) Agama: An agama is a long-tailed lizard inhabiting forests and bushes across Africa. Some agamas can be 5 inches long while others can be a foot long in length and can come in different colors. These lizards are active during the day looking for prey and at times eating seeds, berries, grass and even snatching eggs of other small lizards. Adult dominant males have a red face with shiny orange and blue coloring. Males are known to have five or more females on their territory for breeding. During courtship, male agamas wear stunning breeding colors. The male bobs his head which can turn bright blue, orange or yellow to impress the female. March to May is the usual breeding season.

Interesting and Random Facts About Animals

1. Flamingoes are born grey, after a year or two, they turn pinkish-red. They are also born with a straight bill that curves with age.
2. Cockroaches are one of the fastest insects on land. They can travel 4 miles per hour.
3. The first-ever photos of a live Giant Squid was taken in 2004. A Giant Squid was filmed for the first time in December 2006.
4. Giant Squids live 650 to 3,000 ft below the surface of the world's oceans. They range in size from 20 to 60 ft long and weigh up to half a ton or more.
5. Moth taste with their feet. Atlas moth is the largest Lepidoptera in the world with 65 sq in wingspan.
6. Dogs can see blues but not greens.
7. Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the US followed by Yorkshire terrier, Golden retriever and German shepherd.
8. Stick insect can grow up to 15 in long but the African Goliath beetle weigh nearly a quarter of a pound.
9. Penguins in the wild are found only in the Southern Hemisphere. The smallest is the fairy penguin which stands only about 1 foot and weighs about 2 pounds. The largest is the Emperor penguin with a height of about 4 ft and weighs up to 90 pounds.
10. Emperor penguins can dive as deep as 1,500 ft and stay underwater for 18 minutes.
11. Spiders, which have 8 legs, are arachnids, not insect. There are 750,000 species of insects while there are only 35,000 species of spiders.
12. Insects have 3 pairs of walking legs and they lack lungs. They breathe through tubes that open directly onto surface of their bodies.
13. All ants in a colony are female. Male ants survive only long enough to mate. Garbage and dead ants are kept in a separate chamber.
14. Homing pigeons are pigeons that have been bred for speed and the ability to fly long distance. They are trained to fly back to their home, sometimes over hundred of miles, after being released from another location.
15. There are 1.1 million species of arthropods, 24,500 species of fish, 9,000 species of mammals and birds, 8,000 species of reptiles, 5,000 species of amphibians and 260,000 species of plants.
16. 95% of all known living species are invertebrates.
17. Snakes are not found naturally in the wild in Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica.
18. Macaw can live up to 50 years, periodical cicada for 17 years, tarantula and lobster for 15 years.
19. The most popular pets in the US are the ff; freshwater fish with about 139 million, cats - 90 million, and dogs - 73 million.
20. Box Jellyfish also known as Sea wasp and scientifically called Chironex fleckeri lives in the waters of northern Australia. Its box-shape bodies can grow 15 in across but its stinging tentacles can measure 10 to 15 ft long. Its venom can kill a human in minutes.

1474 megapixel inauguration photo

Here is a photo taken using a panorama image capturing device called gigapan created by the Carnegie Mellon University and a Canon G10 camera.

The photographer had to click 220 snaps from that camera to get this complete view of the Obama’s inaugural address. It took a MacBook Pro around 7hrs to process the complete image. The final size of the image is over 2GB.

Click Here to view this Picture

Body Facts

What causes goose bumps?

Goose bumps (scientific name: piloerection) pop up when you're cold or afraid. A tiny muscle at the base of each body hair contracts; together, they appear as naked bumps on the flesh. They made sense eons ago, when humans still had a natural "fur coat." Back then, fluffing your ruff would warm the body by trapping an insulating layer of air between the hairs. And standing your hair on end was intimidating to predators or enemies (picture a cat facing off with a dog).

Why does chopping onions make you tear up?

When you cut into an onion, you rupture its cells, releasing enzymes that produce a gas called propanethial sulfoxide. Once that gas reaches your eyes, it reacts with tears to produce a mild sulfuric acid. And that hurts. The brain then signals the eyes' tear glands to produce more liquid to flush the stuff out.

Is it true that your ears grow throughout life?

Yes, the outer ears do. Starting at birth, the ears are, proportionally, the body's largest feature, with a Spock-like prominence. They grow rapidly until about age 10, then slow to the languid pace of about 0.22 millimeter per year, according to a study by Britain's Royal College of General Practitioners.

You have 2 million tiny hairs in your inner ear.

Unlike hair growing on the surface of your ears, the presence of hairs, or "stereocilia," deep inside your head aren't considered a hygiene lapse. Instead, they're a vitally important part of your ability to hear, responsible for changing physical sound waves into electrical signals that can be understood by your brain, according to the British Hearing Research Trust.

I’m not a look-a-like 2

Interesting project by photographer Francois Brunelle. A collection of photographic portraits of North American and European look-alikes. Each photo features two look-alikes, who are not related, side by side.

I’m not a look-a-like 1

Interesting project by photographer Francois Brunelle. A collection of photographic portraits of North American and European look-alikes. Each photo features two look-alikes, who are not related, side by side.

How It's Made: Marbles