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     Volume 5 Issue 101 | June 30, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Book Launch
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Human Rights
   View from the Bottom
   Common Cold
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks
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Scientists want polar bear protection
A U.S. climate researcher is leading a team of 30 North American and European scientists in urging the polar bear be listed as a threatened species. The researchers want U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the polar bear as a threatened species because global warming is melting its sea-ice habitat. As scientists engaged in research on climate change, we are deeply concerned about the effect of Arctic warming on the polar bear habitat, University of Chicago climate stated scientist Pamela Martin in a letter. Biologists have determined that sea-ice is critical in the life cycle of the polar bear and the survival of the polar bear as a species. The scientists say the ongoing and projected increased loss of sea-ice in the warming Arctic poses a significant threat to the polar bear. The letter observes the Earth's global surface temperature is unstable and will remain so for years. Therefore, the scientists warned, the planet is committed to a trend in global warming for centuries.

How Vampire bats ID prey
German scientists say they've discovered vampire bats -- the only mammals to feed exclusively on blood -- recognise prey by the sound of its breathing. In a study conducted by Udo Groeger and Lutz Wiegrebe at Ludwig Maximilians-University in Munich, two vampire bats were taught to associate recordings of different humans breathing with different cattle blood dispensers, providing food rewards. They were then played short clips of people breathing and had to associate them with the correct individual by going to the correct dispenser. The vampire bats were able to spontaneously associate the clips with the particular individuals, regardless of whether the individual was recorded breathing at rest or breathing while under physical strain. Human participants were also able to recognise some clips, but they were unable to recognise the sounds of breathing recorded under physical strain.

Say no to Funky Footwear
At one time or another, we all suffer from the dreaded "stinkfoot." Yes, there are topical applications that mask the odor emanating from your kicks. But the real culprit is moisture, specifically that produced by the more than 250,000 sweat glands in the foot, which creates a fertile environment for odor-causing bacteria. Designer Michael Kritzer's Shumidor strikes at the heart of the problem. The Shumidor allows air to flow in creating "mini vortexes" that circulate air around all the surfaces of your shoes, removing any traces of moisture and preventing bacteria build up. Biodegradable "airisoles," shaped like the inner shoe's sole, can be placed in the Shumidor to neutralise any existing funk on your footwear. Eco-friendly and, perhaps, ingenious.

Portable Pharmacist
The Rx Master doesn't actually prescribe drugs but it manages your medication in just about every other way. The Excalibur Electronics device explains the uses of the most commonly prescribed drugs, has info on possible side effects and interactions with other drugs, tells you what to do if you miss a dose and gives pricing for generic brands. It can also store your doctor's contact info, maintain your drug schedule and tell you when to take your medication. And did I mention it has a built-in pill drawer?

World Cup Fever

Chill Factor
Need to keep your beverages cool while watching the game? The Husky Soccerkule plugs in and can either stay cold or heat up at the flick of a switch, depending on your drinking and snacking needs.

Pass The Remote
This finely crafted soccer ball is made of stitched paneling and is ready to be tossed around in the living room. It is also a remote that can control every device in an entertainment system. The product is officially licensed through the English Football Association.

Paean Potpourri
Are you curious about the national anthem of your favourite team's opponent? Puzzle no longer. The Anthem Ball features the flags of 25 of the world's top soccer teams. Simply press a flag and the ball plays a rousing version of that country's theme song.


Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: Wired and Webindia123


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