Friday, February 26, 2010

Want a coconut?

Ever wondered how coconuts are picked off those high trees? Here is an interesting video on how they pick coconuts in India. A report by the times says the country grows 16 billion of them a year, according to the country’s Coconut Development Board. However, a falling birthrate and rising school attendance in Kerala, the most prodigious of the coconut-producing states, has led to a lack of small boys willing to shimmy up the towering palm trees on which the crop grows. Young men, meanwhile, are opting for safer, less arduous and more prestigious professions.

So pressing is the problem that the ministry of industry in Kerala is offering a cash prize of one million rupees (£12,500) — more than a professional coconut harvester can earn in a decade — to whoever invents the first machine capable of doing the job.

Such is the scarcity of skilled harvesters that those left in the trade are enjoying a boom in business. Pay rates have tripled, according to T. Balakrishnan, the principal secretary for industries in Kerala. That means a harvester can earn about 300 rupees (£3.75) a day.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Regenerating the body

There have been amazing developments with the growing of human tissue and organs which are will surely help people with severe injuries. It should help prolong life, as well as create better quality of life for many people. At this time the technology is being used on a person to person basis i.e. the organs are grown for a specific patient with their own tissue. In time it will become mass produced and tailored with the genetic signature being added to the grown tissue just before transplantation. This as opposed to having to use the tissue from the patient to actually grow the tissue and organs. The doctors are already able  for example, to take a hand harvested from a cadaver and thereafter transplant it onto someone who has lost their hand. This is achieved by injecting genetic material from the patient into the cadaver's hand to prevent rejection.

A good friend of mine has a company in Israel which gets blood sent from people with genetic illnesses. In Israel, they change the DNA or genetic makeup of the blood sample, by inserting new genetic code in the laboratory. It is then sent back to the doctors who then re-inject the blood and the patients body accepts the new genetic signature, thereby curing the patient. The blood is not rejected because its the patients own blood. This type of procedure is being done for US patients in the Dominique Republic because it is not currently certified by the FDA. This hold up great hope for Diabetics and other chronic illnesses that are genetically based.

Here is a video, not for the faint hearted, documenting some of the most amazing new work and discoveries taking place today

Monday, February 22, 2010

Follow that GPS at your own risk....

One of my first posts was how a friend of mine found himself in a sticky situation when following the directions from his GPS. It doesn't always pay to follow your satellite navigation of mobile phone GPS as the following video clip proves.

Reminds me of the following clip from the James Bond Movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" about using devices to aid driving. As far as I remember the last line of the video which is missing from this clip (but I may be mistaken) is "Thank you for using AVIS"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

North Korea - what a weird country

When you watch this video you will be struck with sadness for the poor people of this country, but will be unable to stop laughing at the absurdity of the situation. North Korea is a country built on idol-worship of the country's late Eternal President Kim Il-sung. Although he died in 1994 he is still considered the supreme leader with his son Kim Jong-il son of Kim Il-sung, the current secretary of the KWP Central Committee Secretariat and leader of the armed forces. The county is officially named the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), but is anything but democratic. I think it's worthwhile to watch this video which will keep you enthralled, just to see that such places do actually exist in the world. The only reason that I can see that G-d allows this country to exist is so that we can realize that we should be thankful for the society we live in today. Another reason is to show what it must have been like in ancient Egypt where no slave ever escaped, and yet G-d took the Jewish nation out of that hell-hole. It was a miracle that has never been repeated. Anyhow - here are the videos:-

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 (You may have to scroll it forward to get it to work)

Part 5

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