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Found 23 results

  1. The fossilised remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived millions of years ago have been found in New Zealand WELLINGTON: The fossilised remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived millions of years ago have been found in New Zealand, an international team of scientists announced Thursday. It belonged to "a bat super-family that once spanned the southern landmasses of Australia, New Zealand, South America and possibly Antarctica," according to study author Sue Hand from the University of New South Wales. The teeth and bones of the animal, which lived 16 to 19 million years ago, were discovered near St Bathans in Central Otago where the scientists have been working for the past 16 years. It is estimated to be three times the size of an average modern bat and weighed 40 grammes (1.4 ounces). In findings published in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists said the bat was peculiar because it not only flew but also scurried about on all fours over the forest floor, under leaf litter and along branches foraging for food. Its "specialised teeth and large size suggest it had a different diet, capable of eating even more plant food as well as small vertebrates -- a diet more like some of its South American cousins. We don´t see this in Australasian bats today," Hand said. The bat has been named Vulcanops jennyworthyae after team member Jenny Worthy, who found the fossils, and Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and volcanoes -- a reference to New Zealand´s tectonic nature and also to the historic Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans. "This weird bat is among the most bizarre of all the fossils that we´ve found," said Te Papa museum curator Alan Tennyson, a New Zealand member of the team which also included scientists from Australia, Britain and the United States. "This new bat was a relative of New Zealand´s peculiar short-tailed bats, extinct Australian species, and the Americas´ vampire bats, suggesting that ground-dwelling forms of bat were more common in the past." The St Bathans dig has found several other extinct animals over the past 16 years, including species of tuatara, moa, kiwi, frogs, parrots, pigeons as well as land turtles and crocodiles. Around 50 million years ago, the landmasses of Australia, New Zealand, South America and Antarctica were connected as the last vestiges of the southern supercontinent Gondwana. With subsequent fragmentation of Gondwana, cooling climates and the growth of ice-sheets in Antarctica, the report said Australasia´s burrowing bats became isolated from their South American relatives.
  2. I know you will be tired by now since I am going to say this for the nth time that superheroes, jedis, ghosts and deadly clowns owned Hollywood for most of 2017. However, I forgot to mention one show that has been ruling our hearts ever since its first season premiered in April, 2011. This show made us fall in love with gore and dragons, and actually deal with the concept of incest like no one else. Yes, we are talking about our beloved show 'Game of Thrones'. GOT's insane popularity is evident that people across the globe not only love it, but also eagerly wait for every teeny tiny update about the show, its release date and actors. © HBO However, not every revelation is as good as the rest of the information and you guys will know this by now, given that we braved all the spoilers, script leaks, hacks and are now all set to welcome the final season of the show. But, before we venture into the next season, we have come across this one particular piece of information that will give you sleepless nights, not because it's scary but because it's super creepy to imagine. © HBO We all loved Daenerys' dragon babies and watching them grow and turn into beasts was definitely a visual treat for all the GOT fans. Every time the dragons roared on screen, our hearts shuddered a little in fear. But, after the show's sound designer Paula Fairfield revealed how that noise was made, we don't know if we should fear them or laugh at this recent revelation. Fairfield, in an interview with WNYC radio show Radiolab, said that Drogon's purr or voice was actually the groan of a pair of giant tortoises mating. © HBO 'I have sounds I might choose simply by certain personality traits that I might want to push forward. She named that dragon after Khal Drogo, her hot late husband, so Drogon is like her lover. He's whistling at her all the time, he's whistling at her butt and saying, 'Ooh baby.'” In fact, Fairfield also feels that giving these mythical creatures some distinctive voices will make them empathic to the audience. Which is why, every dragon has different voices and personalities. Just in case you feel creeped out by this discovery and want to listen to the sound again, check this out. Source: Daily Mail
  3. Tug boats manoeuvre the 65,000-tonne British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth Harbour in Portsmouth. -AFP1 LONDON: Britain's future flagship vessel HMS Queen Elizabeth, its biggest-ever warship, has sprung a leak, defence officials admitted Tuesday, only two weeks after it was commissioned into the Royal Navy. Her Majesty's Ship Queen Elizabeth, which cost £3.1 billion to build, has been taking on water for some time due to a problem with a shaft seal. The 280-metre long aircraft carrier, the most powerful ship Britain has ever built, is undergoing sea trials and is due to enter service in 2020. "This is the reason why we have the sea trials - to make sure that everything is working absolutely perfectly," said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. "HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most magnificent aircraft carrier in the world." "She is going to make a significant difference as to what we can actually achieve and what we are able to do as a global power." The ship can operate with a crew of 1,000 and 40 aircraft on deck. It weighs 65,000 tonnes. The problem will be repaired when the warship is in dock at Portsmouth. Former senior naval officer Rear Admiral Chris Parry told Sky News television the leak was "no big deal". "Every ship, to tell you the truth, takes on water. That's why you have pumps," he said. In sea trials, "you stress it right to its extremes, and you're really looking for faults like this to see what happens". BAE Systems, which played a key role in the construction, said the ship could still sail and the problem would be rectified in the new year, a process expected to take a few days. Britain has been without any carrier strike capability since the government scrapped previous vessels in 2010 as part of austerity measures to curb a huge deficit. The project had been dogged by questions about the US-built F-35 jets, due to be deployed on the aircraft carrier, and about the need for mammoth aircraft carriers when Britain´s military role in the world has diminished. Queen Elizabeth II commissioned the ship into the Royal Navy earlier this month. The ship is named after both the current monarch and England's Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603. Its sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, is still under construction.
  4. CME Group Inc, the world?s largest derivatives exchange operator, began trading bitcoin futures on Sunday, with the contract opening at what is currently its session high and dropping over 6 percent within the first half hour. The CME bitcoin front-month futures opened at $20,650 and have so far traded as low as $19,290 and as high as $20,650 in a session that extends into Monday. The new contract was recently at $19,290 on CME, below the $19,500 reference price set by the exchange for the January contract. The reference price, from which price limits are set, is $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March and $19,900 for June, according to CME. The week-old bitcoin futures contract at the Cboe was last trading at $19,280, up 6.5 percent on the day. Bitcoin recently traded down 1.7 percent on the Bitstamp exchange at $18,640. The launch of bitcoin futures is viewed as a major step in the digital currency?s path toward legitimacy that should ease the entry of big institutional investors. ?We saw a nice open on light volume, but pretty uneventful so far. I do think we could certainly pick up in volume as Asia begins to open. This is a brand-new asset class and I think perhaps a lot of investors want to sit back and see how this plays out before dipping their toes in this market,? Spencer Bogart, partner at Blockchain Capital LLC, said shortly after trading began on Sunday. Volume on CME was recently at 287 contracts. On its debut last Sunday, the Cboe traded nearly 4,000 contracts during the full session. Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by an individual or group calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible. Last week, Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched bitcoin futures, which saw the price surge nearly 20 percent in its debut. Some investors believe the CME bitcoin futures could attract more institutional demand because the final settlement price is culled from multiple exchanges. The Cboe futures contract is based on a closing auction price of bitcoin from the Gemini exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The general sentiment in the market remains one of caution and that has been reflected in margin requirements for the contracts. In the futures market, margin refers to the initial deposit made into an account in order to enter into a contract. The margin requirement at CME is 35 percent, while at Cboe, it is 40 percent, reflecting bitcoin?s volatility. The margin for an S&P 500 futures contract, by contrast, is just 5 percent, analysts said. One futures trader said the average margin for brokers or intermediaries on bitcoin contracts was roughly twice the exchange margins.
  5. French-Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaia will be honoured by London's Design Museum with a major exhibition next year following his death on November 18 at the age of 77. "Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier" will run from May 10 to October 7, showcasing more than 60 pieces personally selected by the iconic designer. "Azzedine Alaia was recognised throughout his life as a master couturier who expressed the timeless beauty of the female form in the most refined degree of haute couture," the museum said. "The Design Museum will now present this unique exhibition planned by Alaia himself, exploring his passion and energy for fashion as he himself intended it to be seen." Alaia was born to a farming family in Tunisia in 1940 and studied sculpture at the fine arts school in Tunis before working at a modest neighbourhood dressmaker's shop. He rose to fame in the 1980s, refusing to march to the beat of international fashion weeks and instead releasing his collections in his own time, with scant concern for publicity. He became known as the King of Cling for his form-fitting gowns. "I like women," he told AFP in a 2013 interview. "I never think about doing new things, about being creative, but about making clothing that will make women beautiful."
  6. BEIJING: One of China´s largest state-owned automakers has said it will phase out sales of all petrol vehicles by 2025, as Beijing considers taking all fuel-burning cars off the country´s roads. Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC) chairman Xu Heyi said over the weekend the company will phase out sales of conventional cars in Beijing by 2020 and nationwide by 2025, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The decision only applies to cars the company makes itself and will not affect vehicles it makes in partnership with South Korea´s Hyundai and Germany´s Daimler. The news comes as Beijing debates a nationwide ban, though a date for entirely eliminating petrol vehicles has yet to be announced. For now China has put in place a series of carrots and sticks to compel carmakers to produce more fuel-efficient and eventually petrol-free cars as it looks to clean up its smog-choked cities. Authorities will implement a complex quota system in 2019 requiring makers to produce a minimum number of electric cars. Beijing originally wanted to start enforcing the rule in 2018, but delayed its implementation by a year after Germany and some foreign firms raised concerns. But as the new direction has been made clear, foreign automakers have ramped up plans to make electric vehicles in China. Volkswagen is establishing a joint venture with state-owned JAC Motors to make electric vehicles, aiming to get the first electric car to market by next year. US car giant Ford envisages that 70 percent of all its cars available in China will have electric options by 2025. Last week it announced a $756 million investment with its Chinese joint venture to produce electric cars. Volvo plans to introduce its first 100 percent electric car in China in 2019.
  7. One would envy Tim Cook for a lot of reasons. He is the key man for Apple, a powerhouse of knowledge, extremely powerful and influential and the list goes on. So it won't surprise you that given the amount of work that he puts in, the bonus that he is getting for Christmas is humungous. © Facebook Around 560,000 shares have come his way in time for Christmas and if you had to calculate the net value, it is somewhere around a whopping 89.2 million dollars! His bonus is based on the company's exceptional performance. However, going by Tim's public announcements, somewhere back in 2015, he mentioned how he plans to share a majority of his wealth for charity, so the bonuses are a good thing I guess? He also announced how this year Apple planned on investing over a billion dollars in creating jobs in the US.
  8. SABETTA: President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched a $27 billion liquefied natural gas plant in the snow-covered plains of the Arctic as Russia hopes to surpass Qatar to become the world's biggest exporter of the chilled fuel. The Russian president congratulated workers as he oversaw the first gas shipment being loaded onto an icebreaking tanker from an LNG plant amid minus 28 degrees Celsius (minus 18 degrees Fahrenheit) weather in the port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula above the Arctic Circle. "This is a large-scale project for Russia," Putin said. "At the start of the project, people told me not to pursue this. Those who started this project took a risk but achieved a result." Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and other top officials were present for the occasion. For the project, Russia's privately owned gas producer Novatek partnered with France´s Total and China´s CNPC. Qatar is currently the world's biggest LNG exporter. Russia, the world's biggest gas exporter, derives a huge share of income from pipeline deliveries to Europe. With Yamal LNG, Russia intends to strengthen its market presence in Asia and demonstrate its capacity to exploit huge Arctic reserves despite major technological challenges. 'On time and on budget' Dmitry Monakov, the project's first deputy director, said that producing LNG in permafrost was easier than in warmer climes, an apparent dig at countries like Qatar. "Nature itself helps us to more effectively liquify gas with the help of such low temperatures," he told AFP, adding that the plant effectively sat on a gas field so transportation costs were low. Patrick Pouyanne, Total chairman and CEO, praised the project´s "remarkably low upstream costs". "Together we managed to build from scratch a world-class LNG project in extreme conditions to exploit the vast gas resources of the Yamal peninsula," he was quoted as saying in a company statement. The tanker carrying the first LNG cargo is named after Christophe de Margerie, a former Total CEO who died in an accident on a runway of a Moscow airport in 2014. White whiskers have been painted on it in honour of the late CEO, who was known for his white bushy moustache. The site is operated by Yamal LNG company, owned by Novatek (50.1 percent), Total (20 percent), CNPC (20 percent) and Silk Road Fund (9.9 percent). The $27 billion (23 billion euro) project is set to start with a production capacity of 5.5 million tonnes per year and increase it to 16.5 million tonnes by the start of 2019. "Despite challenging operating conditions, Yamal LNG was delivered on time and on budget," said Samuel Lussac, an oil and gas specialist at Wood Mackenzie consultancy. "That is unusual in the LNG industry." "Novatek, once a domestic gas supplier, becomes a global LNG player" with the project, he added. Risks remain The project has had its share of financial and technical hurdles over the years. While the Yamal peninsula has huge hydrocarbon reserves, it is an isolated region above the Arctic Circle, about 2,500 kilometres from Moscow and covered by ice for most of the year, with temperatures dipping as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius. Since its inception in late 2013, an airport and a port have had to be constructed, as well as gas reservoirs and the LNG plant itself. Securing financing for the project was tricky. US sanctions against Novatek made it virtually impossible to borrow from Western banks, and Chinese partners eventually stepped in to resolve the issue. Despite the project's completion, Yamal LNG still faces risks, analysts said. Lussac of Wood Mackenzie said that the coming months will show "whether the plant can operate smoothly in the harsh Arctic environment". Transportation through the Northern Sea Route also remains undeveloped, and "its feasibility as a major LNG delivery route is unclear", he added. Russia hopes the route will become an easier path to coveted Asian markets. The route along the northern coast of Siberia allows ships to cut the journey to Asian ports by 15 days compared with the conventional route through the Suez Canal, according to Total.
  9. PARIS: French-Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaia, whose timeless gowns won an army of devotees around the world, has died at the age of 77, France´s fashion federation said Saturday. Alaia, who rose to fame in the 1980s, refused to march to the beat of international fashion weeks, releasing his collections in his own time with scant concern for publicity. "We have lost a designer of great talent. It is very sad news," fellow creator Pierre Cardin told AFP. Alaia was born to a farming family in Tunisia in 1940 and studied sculpture at the capital´s fine arts school before working at a modest neighbourhood dressmaker´s shop. He moved to Paris in the late 1950s, working briefly for Dior and Guy Laroche before eventually going solo, winning a reputation for sexy designs celebrating the female form. Alaia himself was discreet and invariably clad in a black high-necked Chinese suit. His catwalk shows were low-key as well, earning a loyal clientele of fashionistas who wanted luxury without showing off. Former US first lady Michelle Obama was among his haute couture fans but Alaia also produced ready-to-wear collections, while ignoring pressure to systematically refresh his ideas every season. He signed a development deal with Prada in 2000, but quit seven years later to work with Swiss luxury group Richemont. Global success did not change Alaia´s working habits and he continued throughout his career to work deep into the night, often to the soundtrack of old movies.
  10. It's a bird, it's a plane, oh no, wait, it's a giant *****. Pulling the most overdone, yet hilarious prank, a US Navy pilot decided to put his artistic skill to good use by painting the sky with an enormous outline of a ***** using the condensation trails from his multi-million-dollar warplane. Residents of Omak in Okanogan County, Washington, were in for quite a shock when they looked up to see a F-18 jet drawing a giant ***** in the sky on Thursday. Obviously, pictures started circulating online immediately. The most monumental thing to happen in omak. A ***** in the sky pic.twitter.com/SM8k1tNYaj — Anahi Torres (@anahi_torres_) November 16, 2017 Even the Navy officials acknowledged one of their crews was behind the stunt, saying the aircraft “left a condensed air trail resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground.” Obviously, the US Navy was left red-faced because of the whole incident. In a statement, Lieutenant Commander Leslie Hubbell, a spokeswoman for the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island said, “The actions of this aircrew were wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values.” “We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation -- and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions. “The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act,” she added. Some pilots at NAS Whidbey did some sky writing today. ð¤¦ð»‍âï¸https://t.co/9IsYvkX1za pic.twitter.com/Lm7kpMhKpY — Adam Gessaman (@adamrg) November 17, 2017 A lot of people posted pictures of the massive ***** on their social media accounts, because let's be honest, ethical or not, the whole thing is hilarious. this is ART. So much beauty, and elegance — Vero :) (@verooncia_) November 17, 2017 Such an immature and proud moment for everyone. I'm so proud to be a Navy Vet right now!! ðð — TexasStrongYank ð¹ð¸ð·ðº (@RiderBabe52) November 18, 2017 Me too pic.twitter.com/Ee9mWYkpuh — â BannerKingz â FAME (@BannerKingz) November 18, 2017 Art is art. Why are Americans so bothered by Cocks? Half the population have one!! Picture is art. — Richard V B (@southcoastbloke) November 18, 2017 Disturbing photoshop. pic.twitter.com/Ni7duxLT9U — McMike (@_McMike_) November 17, 2017 Ramon Duran told The Spokesman-Review that he was just out and about, running errands when he noticed what was happening up in the sky. “After it made the circles at the bottom, I knew what it was and started laughing,” Duran said. “It was pretty funny to see that. You don´t expect to see something like that.” Totally. If a navy pilot drawing a ***** in the sky doesn't describe military shenanigans I don't know what will. — Shaffer (@AlexanderShaffr) November 17, 2017 Using an expensive machine built for war to draw a giant ***** in the sky is a little too on the nose for This Year In Symbolism. — erin mccann (@mccanner) November 17, 2017 Watch it in its full glory.
  11. An Australia and France-led push this year to create a second protected area in East Antarctica spanning another one million square kilometre zone failed. Photo: AFP SYDNEY: Hopes for a vast new marine sanctuary in pristine East Antarctica were dashed Saturday after a key conservation summit failed to reach an agreement, with advocates urging "greater vision and ambition". Expectations were high ahead of the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) ? a treaty tasked with overseeing the protection and sustainable exploitation of the Southern Ocean. Last year's summit in Hobart saw the establishment of a massive US and New Zealand-backed marine protected area (MPA) around the Ross Sea covering an area roughly the size of Britain, Germany and France combined. But an Australia and France-led push this year to create a second protected area in East Antarctica spanning another one million square kilometre zone failed. Officials told AFP that Russia and China were key stumbling blocks, worried about compliance issues and fishing rights. A consensus is needed from all 24 CCAMLR member countries and the European Union. Greenpeace called for "greater vision and ambition" in the coming year while WWF's Antarctic program chief Chris Johnson said it was another missed opportunity. "We let differences get in the way of responding to the needs of fragile wildlife," he said. Australia's chief delegate Gillian Slocum described the failure as "sad". She also bemoaned little progress on addressing the impacts of climate change which was having a "tangible effect" on the frozen continent. "While CCAMLR was not able to adopt a Climate Change Response Work Program this year, members will continue to work together ahead of the next meeting to better incorporate climate change impacts into the commission?s decision-making process," she said. Vital to move forward Plans were set out in 2009 to establish a series of MPAs in the Southern Ocean allowing marine life to migrate between areas for breeding and foraging, but it has been slow going. Antarctica is home to penguins, seals, toothfish, whales and huge numbers of krill, a staple food for many species. They are considered critical for scientists to study how marine ecosystems function and to understand the impacts of climate change on the ocean. Andrea Kavanagh, head of The Pew Charitable Trusts' Antarctic and Southern Ocean work, said after last year?s historic Ross Sea designation it was "disappointing that CCAMLR could not agree to protect more of the vast and biologically diverse the Southern Ocean". She said it was vital to "continue moving forward in the coming years by agreeing to further protections ... or risk jeopardizing the health of the region?s intact ecosystems". A third German-backed plan is in the works to protect the Weddell Sea, which extends from the southeast of South America over some 2.8 million square kilometres. But it has been sent back for amendments. A proposal for a fourth zone of 94,000 square kilometres around the Western Antarctic Peninsula was presented by Argentina and Chile, conservationists told AFP. The East Antarctica plan originally comprised seven large marine areas but was reduced to three as a compromise ? MacRobertson, Drygalski, and the D'Urville Sea-Mertz region. The plan was for D'Urville to be a no-catch zone, which WWF said would aid a stricken Adelie penguin colony near the French Antarctic research station there. Mass starvation wiped out thousands of chicks in the colony this year, with unusually thick sea ice linked to the break up of the Mertz glacier forcing their parents to forage further for food. Only two survived. While the East Antarctica proposal failed to get over the line, a research and monitoring plan to oversee the implementation of the Ross Sea MPA so scientists can better understand how it affects the ecosystem's health was endorsed. Protection of the Ross Sea takes effect from December 1.
  12. Satya Nadella was appointed as the CEO of Microsoft at a time when the tech giant was failing miserably. The company, once considered to be the pinnacle of tech innovation was no longer competitive enough; losing ground by the minute to Google and Apple. In the rapidly changing tech space, Microsoft was trying to catch up with Google's hot property - Android and Apple's money making machine – the iPhone, rather than finding its own comfortable space to grow. But Nadella quickly recognized that he was in the innovation business and no longer in the tech business. Moreover, he kept his ears to the ground and applied his lessons the right way. Lessons, that he learnt while growing up in Hyderabad and playing the game of cricket! An Off-Spinner Before A CEO Satya Nadella is a self-professed cricket fanatic and it goes without saying that for a teenager growing up in Southern India, it was more than just a game. © Twitter “As a kid, I couldn't have cared less about pretty much anything, except for the sport of cricket. One time, my father hung a poster of Karl Marx in my bedroom; in response, my mother hung one of Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of plentitude and contentment. Their contrasting messages were clear: My father wanted intellectual ambition for me, while my mother wanted me to be happy versus being captive to any dogma. My reaction? The only poster I really wanted was one of my cricketing hero, the Hyderabadi great, ML Jaisimha, famous for his boyish good looks and graceful style, on and off the field,” Nadella wrote in his recently released book Hit Refresh. Nadella grew up in Andhra Pradesh and went to the University of Wisconsin in U.S. for graduation at the same time when Sachin Tendulkar was making his debut. He was an off-spinner and a regular in his school team before moving on for his graduation to America. The kind of impact the game had on him was so organic that it eventually defined his leadership style later on. Nadella was recently at the Lords cricket stadium to talk about all things cricket and computers. In an interaction with Espncricinfo, Satya Nadella opened up about rediscovering his joy for cricket and the important life lessons he learnt from the game. "I grew up with it, I played under some amazing captains, and ever since, I think, even in my day job, I reflect back on the lessons learned on the dusty fields of the Deccan Plateau," Nadella reminisced. “I went to the United States right when Sachin Tendulkar started to play for India so I look at it and say, wow, I missed the entire Sachin era of Indian cricket. But luckily enough, thanks to streaming, and video on demand, and sites like Cricinfo, I was able to follow his career. It was as if I was in India all through. I guess that's the power of modern technology," the Microsoft CEO said. Learning And Re-Inventing © Reuters It's apparent that cricket has not just been a sport that Nadella indulged in; it's been an incredible tool for imbibing some important life lessons. Once, when he and his team-mates were being plundered by an Australian visiting batsman, their PE teacher reminded them of what the game was all about. "You play to compete!" he says. "You must always have respect for your competitor, but don't be in awe." The same phrase, in retrospect, cannot be truer for Nadella's journey to the top post at Microsoft. Nadella, who says that the company was 'sick' when he took over, rebooted the culture at Microsoft by drawing from his experience in sports. "Sport is one place where I've realised you are, in fact, much more hardcore, and willing to drop anyone who's not in form," he said during the interaction. "But also, you've got to know when to persist in that very crucial time, when it could make all the difference. It's fascinating to watch that. It's like trying to find a new No. 4 batsman - if you don't give someone a long enough run, they'll never make it. Or a spinner, who I have a lot of sympathy with - just because one batsman hits you for a couple of sixes, that means nothing. You've got to get them back." While it took some time for Microsoft to deliver results, Nadella never lost track of the important things that needed to be done right. He dedicatedly focused on running the company without diluting its core philosophy and innovating in the areas of cloud, AI and quantum computing. Overall, Microsoft's revival was made possible by the open culture foreseen by Nadella, thus enabling true innovation. © Twitter “Looking back, I have been influenced by both my father's enthusiasm for intellectual engagement and my mother's dream of a balanced life for me. And even today, cricket remains my passion. Nowhere is the intensity for cricket greater than in India, even if the game was invented in England. I was good enough to play for my school in Hyderabad, a place that had a lot of cricket tradition and zeal. I was an off- spin bowler, which in baseball would be the equivalent to a pitcher with a sharp breaking curveball. Cricket attracts an estimated 2.5 billion fans globally, compared with just half a billion baseball fans. Both are beautiful sports with passionate fans and a body of literature brimming with the grace, excitement, and complexities of competition. In his novel, Netherland, Joseph O'Neill describes the beauty of the game, its eleven players converging in unison toward the batsman and then returning again and again to their starting point, “a repetition or pulmonary rhythm, as if the field breathed through its luminous visitors.” I think of that metaphor of the cricket team now as a CEO when reflecting on the culture we need in order to be successful.” Nadella has successfully reinvented Microsoft through lessons learnt on the cricket field and struck a fine balance between innovating and delivering multi-billion dollar profits. Now, only if we could also implement quantum computing in umpiring decisions, we would have a fair game too, all thanks to a cricket fan in the Silicon Valley.
  13. ‘Pacific Rim', a movie about giant robots fighting giant multi-dimensional aliens, is back with a sequel, and it promises even bigger robots and even more action. The first look of ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising' is here and there are quite a few changes but one familiar threat - the Kaiju are back to wage war with humanity once again. © Legendary Pictures The trailer introduces us to Jake Pentecost, played by John Boyega, the son of fallen Jaeger pilot Stacker Pentecost, who was played by Idris Elba is the first movie. Boyega's character has a big legacy to live up to, considering Stacker Pentecost literally sacrificed himself to save humanity. © Legendary Pictures When the monstrous Kaiju begin re-emerging, Jake finds himself at the centre of all the chaos, so obviously it's time to bring out the giant robots once again, and they are truly incredible. Along with fighting against the kaiju, Jake is also seen making a lot of inspirational speeches in the trailer about preventing the apocalypse. “We were born into a world at war,” Boyega's rebellious Jake Pentecost bellows. © Legendary Pictures Even though the trailer doesn't really address how and why the Jaeger tech has evolved so quickly in the last decade, a shot of two Jaegers in battle might be an indication. Since the Kaiju threat was apparently over, maybe humans used Jaegers to fight each other in the future. But, maybe the re-emergence of the Kaiju was just the thing that people needed to unite against a common enemy. © Legendary Pictures With new pilots and their new, crazier weapons – everything from electro-whips to shoulder rockets to so many wrist-mounted chainswords – this movie is already extremely exciting. Since ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising' is set to hit theatres March of next year, we'll have to wait a few months, but by the looks of it, it'll be worth it. Here's the full trailer :
  14. Villagers stand with the python which attacked an Indonesia man nearly severing his arm. Photo: AFP PEKANBARU: A giant python attacked an Indonesian man, nearly severing his arm, before hungry villagers chopped up the reptile and ate it, a police chief said Wednesday. Security guard Robert Nababan crossed paths with the giant creature while patrolling an oil palm plantation in the remote Batang Gansal subdistrict of Sumatra island on Saturday. "The python was 7.8 metres long (25.6 feet), it was unbelievably huge," local police chief Sutarja, who like many Indonesians only has one name, told AFP. Sutarja said the 37-year-old Nababan, who sometimes liked to eat snake, tried to catch the giant python and stuff it in a gunny sack. But the huge serpent fought back and bit him on his left arm, nearly severing it from his body. Nababan was then rushed to a hospital in a neighbouring town for treatment. The police chief said the intervention of another security guard and several local residents, one of whom hit the snake with a log, helped to save the man´s life. Hungry locals later killed the snake and displayed its body in the village before dicing it up, frying it and feasting on it. Giant python, which regularly top 20 feet in length, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. In March, a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer has been discovered inside the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was caught near where the man vanished while harvesting his crops on the eastern island of Sulawesi.
  15. People in Xilinshui village, in the northern Hebei province of China, have created a giant QR code from trees to raise its profile, South China Morning Post reported. The code, which has been created using 130,000 Chinese junipers, can also be scanned from above on a phone or tablet. The visitors who capture the code will be connected to village's tourism account on WeChat. The vast design measures 227m (744ft) along each side, and the trees are between 80cm and 2.5m in height. Photo: Xinhua In 2015, the village was named the most beautiful village of the province and received a grant 1.1 million yuan ($168,000; £124,00) for development purposes. QR codes are becoming an increasingly popular way to make cashless payments in China. The little codes, made from a pattern of black-and-white squares, can store information - for example, the cost of an item, or cooking instructions for a food. Sometimes the codes are found on waiters? shirts so happy customers can tip them.
  16. Members of the World Brotherhood of the Huge Omelet create a 6500 egg omelette within a 4-metre diameter frying pan on August 15, 2015, in Malmedy. AFP/John Thys MALMEDY: About a thousand people flocked to the small Belgian town of Malmedy on Tuesday to eat a giant omelette made of 6,500 eggs, despite the country being at the centre of a scandal involving tainted eggs. Belgium became the first country last month to officially notify the EU's food safety alert system of the presence of eggs contaminated by the insecticide fipronil, followed by the Netherlands and Germany. The insecticide, which can harm human health, has since been discovered in eggs in 14 other European countries since the scandal came to light on August 1 and has even been found as far afield as Hong Kong. It has forced millions of eggs to be removed from supermarket shelves and the closure of more than 150 farms in the Netherlands. "We were hit full-on by the tainted eggs scare," Rene Bourguignon said as he waited to prepare the omelette. While at least 1,000 people braved rainy skies to get a bite, the turnout was far below last year's record 7,000. The local branch of the World Giant Omelette Brotherhood has been organising the festival in Malmedy for more than 20 years. It spent a week preparing for this year's culinary opus, collecting 6,500 eggs from carefully selected places instead of the usual 10,000. "We have total confidence in our local products, our suppliers are local and they fulfilled every health guarantee we asked of them since the beginning," Bourguignon said. The number of attendees was a good sign, the Brotherhood's "grand master," Jean-Pierre Gilles said. "Of course, the public may have had its doubts and we did fear that a little, but seeing the numbers of people we saw today, I think it all went very well," Gilles said. "Any doubts were swept away by friendship and warmth." Made simply with eggs, bacon, oil, and chives, and cooked over a wood fire, the omelette has been a fixture of the annual festival since the 1990s when Belgium was hit with a similar scandal ? over chicken and eggs contaminated with dioxin, a known carcinogen. Traces of fipronil found in the contaminated eggs are at very low levels. "The media said you needed to eat eight eggs a day" for the insecticide to affect your health, local volunteer Gabiche Chleck said. "Personally, there's no way I could eat all that."
  17. Uh-oh, angry Twitter rant is coming. Looks like someone played an extremely perfect prank on US President Donald Trump. A giant inflatable chicken with a little too familiar features on the Ellipse between the White House and Washington Monument in DC yesterday. Trump may be out of town, but no worries, someone is keeping a beady eye on his home while he's away. © Twitter There was also a live stream of the 30-foot-tall chicken right outside the President's residence, and apparently, it looked like it was staging a ‘coop'. It turns out that the balloon was set up by documentary filmmaker Taran Singh Brar as a way to protest the president “being a weak and ineffective leader.” Taran Singh Brar says he bought it for $1300. It's a visual protest. "Trump is too chicken to release his tax returns, to stand up to Putin" pic.twitter.com/JLohv0yl82 — Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 9, 2017 While talking to Huffington Post about Trump, he said, “He's too afraid to release his tax returns, too afraid to stand up to Vladimir Putin.” He also added that Trump is “playing chicken with North Korea”. Obviously, anything related to Trump always catches Twitter's eyes, here are some of the best reactions. Trump will never be a part of Mount Rushmore but he'll always have #trumpchicken — S.O.S. USA (@DeliaMacD1) August 10, 2017 Approval rating: trump: 33% COVFEFE, the #trumpChicken: 95% â¤ï¸ pic.twitter.com/Hr3HDLJvyW — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 10, 2017 Republicans - Haha these libtards cry over everything! Also the republicans - *rages on Twitter over a deflatable chicken* #TrumpChicken — Sierra Dearns (@SierraRambles) August 10, 2017 The cost of #TrumpChicken: $1,300. The cost of seeing it outside the White House: priceless. pic.twitter.com/SyARthjiCY — AJ+ (@ajplus) August 9, 2017 Betcha anything Melania would rather be with #TrumpChicken — Deep State Todd (@OrangeWindSock) August 10, 2017 The #TrumpChicken has better hair than @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/5kvBNGvc9H — Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 10, 2017 Quite the metaphor for this presidency. @realDonaldTrump #TrumpChicken pic.twitter.com/TqnkuoaSW5 — Julie Sledjeski (@julie_dots) August 10, 2017 Now we have a real President. #TrumpChicken pic.twitter.com/9ZOveqPmfV — Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 9, 2017 "Trump Chicken" stood tall, had a crowd in Washington that loved him, and didn't say a word. He already had a better 2017 than Real Trump. — Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 9, 2017 #TrumpChicken deserves some type of award pic.twitter.com/p3RcNgpPWf — â»ï¸ Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) August 9, 2017 Trump was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't stop ‘Chicken Trump' from its organic, free range protest.
  18. A veterinarian holds the second of twin cubs born to panda Huan Huan in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, France, August 4, 2017. AFP/Guillaume Souvant1 PARIS: A giant panda in Beauval zoo gave birth to twin cubs on Friday, the first ever to be born in France, but one died shortly afterwards, the zoo said. Huan Huan ? a female on loan to the zoo from China ? had been under close surveillance for several days and a crack team of veterinary staff including two Chinese birthing specialists assembled for the birth. "Huan Huan remained very calm throughout. The first baby came quickly and Huan Huan held it against her and licked it clean," the zoo said in a statement. "The second followed 14 minutes later. Huan Huan abandoned the first and looked after the second." While an adult female panda can weigh up to 125 kilograms, a baby panda weighs barely 120 grams at birth. In the wild, pandas typically give birth to a single infant, born tiny, blind, and pink with hardly any hairs. While the second baby was strong and healthy, the zoo said, the firstborn was much weaker and died after barely two hours. Huan Huan and her partner Yuan Zi, whose names translate as "Joy" and "Podgy" respectively, came to France in 2012 ? their arrival was hailed as a sign of warming diplomatic ties between Paris and Beijing. They are due to stay until 2022 before being returned to China. Their offspring will stay in France until the age of two or three before being returned to China.
  19. A view of icebergs remaining after a break-up of Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula - Reuters OSLO: One of the biggest icebergs on record is like a "niggling tooth" about to snap off Antarctica and will be an extra hazard for ships around the frozen continent as it breaks up, scientists said on Wednesday. An area of the Larsen C ice shelf, about as big as the US state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, is connected by just 13 km (8 miles) of ice after a crack has crept about 175 kms along the sheet, with a new jump last month. "It's keeping us all on tenterhooks," Andrew Fleming, of the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of the lengthening and widening rift, adding "it feels like a niggling tooth" of a child as it comes loose. Ice shelves are flat-topped areas of ice floating on the sea at the end of glaciers. The Larsen C ice is about 200 meters (656 ft) thick with about 20 meters jutting above the water. Big icebergs break off Antarctica naturally, meaning scientists are not linking the rift to man-made climate change. The ice, however, is a part of the Antarctic peninsula that has warmed fast in recent decades. "There is no other evidence of change on the ice shelf. This could simply be a single calving event which will then be followed by re-growth," Adrian Luckman, a professor at the University of Swansea in Wales, told Reuters. His team reckons the ice will break off within months, perhaps in days or years. A view of icebergs remaining after a break-up of Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula - Reuters Risks for shipping The ice, about 5,000 square kilometres (1,930 square miles), will add to existing risks for ships as it breaks apart and melts. The peninsula is outside major trade routes but the main destination for cruise ships visiting from South America. In 2009, more than 150 passengers and crew were evacuated after the MTV Explorer sank after striking an iceberg off the Antarctic peninsula. Fleming said the Larsen C iceberg would add an extra pulse of ice and would be hazardous especially if smaller chunks reached usually ice-free areas in the South Atlantic, rather than staying close to Antarctica's coast. The Larsen B ice shelf nearby broke up in 2002 and some of the ice drifted into the South Atlantic toward the island of South Georgia, east of Argentina. In 2000, the biggest iceberg recorded broke off the Ross ice shelf and was about the size of Jamaica at 11,000 square kms. Bits have lingered for years. The loss of ice shelves does not in itself affect sea levels because the ice is already floating. But their disappearance lets glaciers on land slip faster toward the ocean, thereby raising sea levels. NASA estimates that the Larsen C ice shelf pins back ice on land that would add a centimeter (0.4 inch) to world sea levels, which have gained about 20 centimeters in the past century.
  20. After giving us some of the most remarkable movies like ‘The Host’, ‘Snowpiercer’, and ‘Memories of A Murder’; South Korea’s kickass director, Bong Joon Ho is back in action with yet another brilliant movie and a stellar star cast, ‘Okja’. A Netflix original movie, ‘Okja’ revolves around the life of a giant pig that goes by the same name and a girl named Mija who raised her. The beginning might dupe you into thinking that this film is similar to one of those Disney movies where the protagonists are happy and joyful, but when Director Bong Joon Ho is helming the plot, one can be assured that connecting the dots won’t be enough to figure out the plot. © Netflix Honestly, we aren’t surprised why ‘Okja’ turned several heads at the Cannes Film Festival. An amazing star cast and a super trippy and weird story plot seems to the success mantra for Bong Joon Ho and we aren’t complaining because he does complete justice with his movies. ‘The Host’ was reason enough for us to watch the Okja trailer and we are glad we watched it. Had we not seen the trailer, we wouldn’t have got to know about the amazing surprise that Netflix has planned for us this summer. In fact, many people are calling ‘Okja’ this summer’s ‘Stranger Things’ or E.T but that’s something for us to figure out once the movie is released. © Netflix Mija, played by newcomer Ahn Seo Hyun, is a young mountain girl who loves her best friend Okja, a humungous and giant pig (don’t confuse it with a hippo) whom she has been raising. As the story unfolds, we see the pig and Mija get entangled in the vicious web of crossfire between corporate greed, scientific ethics and animal activism; and the lengths Mija is willing to go in order to protect Okja. Their fight, their struggle, pain, agony and society’s greed to turn anything into food and exhaust whatever else we can take out from the insides of the animal, is what weaves the rest of the plot. From jumping through the glass windows to hanging off the side of a semi in downtown Seoul, Mija turns out to be unexpected hero who won’t stop until she ensures the safety of Okja and redefines badass-ery on her own terms. Here’s the trailer of this killer movie. We also get to see Tilda Swinton in a whole new avatar who shook us all when she said “It needs to taste f**king good”. That one dialogue was more than enough for us to analyze how things will unfold in the near future. Apart from Swinton, we have Jake Gyllenhaal who looks unrecognizable in the movie. We won’t blame you, if you couldn’t figure out from the trailer that Jake too is a part of this movie. It also stars Lily Collins and Paul Dano and let’s just say summer is going to be best season of this year. Check out what the stars have to say about Ahn Seo Hyun and her character Mija, in this behind the scenes featurette clip. Finally, all we have to say is when you have such an excellent cast in one frame and Bong Joon Ho behind the cameras; you don’t need to look anywhere else. Netflix, which is known for its series like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and ‘House of Cards’ to name a few, is rolling out ‘Okja’ on June 28th.
  21. Talk about New York city and the first thing we reminisce is the rich display of skyscrapers, the iconic skyline that only adds to the beauty of the city, Statue Of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to name a few. Some of you Hollywood lovers might also remember New York for giving us celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Alexandra Daddario, Robert Downey Jr., Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone. Well, hold on to your seats as another marvel is soon going to grace the city’s fanciful canvas. Honestly, this architectural masterpiece looks like it’s ripped straight off from one of those fancy time travel comic books. © Oiio Studio A New York based architecture firm, Oiio Studio, has given the proposal to construct a curved inverted U-shaped skyscraper. Called the ‘Big Bend’, this project is said to become the world’s longest building with an overall length of 4000 feet – nearly twice the height of the world’s tallest buildings. The concept is one of its kinds and not designed or even planned by anyone as of now. There has always been an undisputable obsession over Manhattan and New York and once this building gets constructed, the latter will surely become a matter of envy for every city and country in the world. © Oiio Studio Apart from delivering an uber cool design, the company also assures of proving an elevator system that can move in curves, horizontally and in continuous loops. Woah! The firm came up with this great design to work around the city’s stern zoning laws. “If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. The longest building in the world,” the company’s website read. It was further added that, “We can now provide our structures with the measurements that will make them stand out without worrying about the limits of the sky.” © Oiio Studio We wonder how it will be like living on the curved floor of this building. So all you wanderlust travellers, start making your friends’ groups already and just make sure that they aren’t similar to your Goa plans, which never see the light of the day. Source: NDTV
  22. Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being. But, in the field of sports, it is one of the most pivotal ingredients to success. Not only does it enables a sportsperson to perform better, it further enables them to elevate their game to another level. Amongst multiple sports, cricket is probably the one that is marred with lack of adequate fitness (a rare exception being Virat Kohli). While the level of fitness has surely increased over the years, the game wasn't really with shredded bodies back in the day. On the cricket field, there have been several individuals who we have looked at and wondered - how are they competing with some of the best athletes in the world? Just like in Kung Fu Panda, when Grand Master Oogway pointed his finger at Po and said he would be the Dragon Warrior? No one, not even Po, believed that he could ignore his giant frame and use kung fu to save the Valley of Peace in times of distress. Similarly, with a few hits and misses, there are cricketers who didn't just surprise us but also won our hearts as they carved out a niche of their own. And, with the proud tradition of fat cricketers facing extinction because of modern sports science and professionalism, we bring back days of the old when the exploits of some of the 'biggest' stars forced us to look beyond their weight problems. Dwayne Leverock © Reuters If your mum's a chef, your family has every chance of being on the larger side, and if you end up living above an Indian takeaway, chances are you will look a lot like Obelix. Leverock's was a similar case. The Bermuda cricketer was chucked out of the national side because he was just too big and too much of a liability. But, he knuckled down and scrapped nearly 23 kilos off his original 136 kgs. Leaner, only relatively, Leverock set the 2007 World Cup on fire with one of the greatest catches ever. He leapt a full length to his right and latched onto an edge from India's Robin Uthappa. Now, that's what you call winning the haters over like a pro. Arjuna Ranatunga © Reuters When a conversation veers in the direction of 'big' men who succeeded in cricket, Arjuna Ranatunga's name is the one that's hard to miss. Despite being a little chubby around the waist, he was adept at handling pace and spin. If that wasn't enough, Ranatunga was fairly decent with the ball too. The only riddle he couldn't solve was the running between wickets. He couldn't, or didn't, run between the wickets or on the field, even if his life depended on it. He would call for runners and substitutes pretty regularly and irk opposing captains. But, despite his weight issues, the left-hander silenced his critics after leading Sri Lanka to their greatest cricketing triumph - the 1996 World Cup. Inzamam-ul-Haq © Reuters Pakistani legend Izamam-ul-Haq's waist line seemed to grow at the same speed as his flowing hipster beard. He is probably the first name that comes to mind when someone talks about top overweight cricketers in history. The former Pakistan skipper was more unfit than fat, big and burly; his brain just couldn't get his feet to move when running between wickets. It was just a series of hilarious incidents. A big guy calling for a run, calling it off and then calling again only to get stranded midway with a bewildered look on his face. While he continues to be the butt of jokes, Inzy bhai was arguably a symbiosis of strength and subtlety. Power was no surprise, but sublime touch was remarkable for a man of his bulk. He loathed exercise and often looked a passenger in the field, but with a willow between his palms he was suddenly galvanised. Shane Warne © Twitter Fat and Australian cricketer don't really go hand-in-hand, especially in this day and age. But, not too long ago, Australia had a plenty of them on the field. While Mark Cosgrove is clearly flying that flag, the Oz spin legend Shane Warne wasn't far behind either. One of the greatest leg-spinners of all time was not particularly slim at any point during his playing days. In fact, it won't be wrong to say that Warne has probably looked his fittest since leaving the game. When he arrived on the international circuit, he was a little more than chubby. When he was being touted as one of the best spinners in the world, he was still on the heavier side. When he grabbed his monumental 700th Test wicket, he had a beer gut. Rahkeem Cornwall © Twitter The West Indies' latest revelation, Rahkeem Cornwall, is the reason we decided to write this article. The 24-year-old all-rounder made headlines for his standout performance during England's tour match win over the West Indies XI in Saint Kitts. The 2m giant hit 59 runs off 61 balls, including three sixes and three fours. But, all of that was put in the shade by his impressively jolly frame. At 6'5, Rahkeem might not be the tallest cricketer in the circuit, but add to it a body weight of 140 kgs and he definitely is 'big'. And it turns out cricket fans still love a plump athlete with skills for days. Well, clearly, he is the man to carry cricket's greatest tradition into the next age of overweight athletes.
  23. Thanks to the internet, people are putting out their hard work for the world to see. The biggest one of these social media showcases is that of physical transformations. It feels good to see people adopt a healthy lifestyle and change their bodies for good. While there are a million transformations on social media every day, some are simply ground breaking. The latest one is that of the legendary wrestler, the Big Show. If you grew up in the early 90s and 2000s, you would know how massive the Big Show was. This is how we remember him, till date. At the height of his tremendous career inside the ring, Show stood 7 feet tall, weighed a car crushing 450 pounds and his body fat hover well above 25%. That was the audiences’ demand back in the day. They wanted him big and he did serve them up like dominos. Well, it’s 2017 and a HELL LOT OF THINGS have changed and so has the Big Show. You wouldn’t believe what you are about to see. Here’s the shredded version of The Big Show! ‪With my trainer Dodd. We're training for 'Mania -- hope you are too, @Shaq. #CountingTheWeeks A post shared by The Big Show (@wwethebigshow) on Feb 15, 2017 at 9:38am PST Don't believe it? Here, take another closer look at the man. ‪Holiday rest? Ha! It's almost #WrestleMania season. You ready @Shaq? #GiantInTheGym A post shared by The Big Show (@wwethebigshow) on Dec 26, 2016 at 2:31pm PST Up for some bicep curls with the monster? @Shaq! Karaoke? Doughnuts? You better get serious. All roads lead to #WrestleMania. The only giant! A post shared by The Big Show (@wwethebigshow) on Feb 9, 2017 at 10:08am PST Show is presently training for Wrestlemania where he’ll go head to head with NBA legend Shaquille O’ Neal. O’Neal stands 6 feet 11 inches tall and weighs almost as much as Show. To get the momentum of the fight going, Show’s been posting updates about his training on IG. Hey @Shaq...glad your training!! Because so am I! #GiantAbs #WrestleMania A post shared by The Big Show (@wwethebigshow) on Jan 14, 2017 at 4:35pm PST More than the fight, it seems the crowds will definitely love the Big Show’s new physique.