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1   Two-millenia-old Chinese guard gets unwanted new recruit

September 22, 2006

xian_museum.jpg, 22 kB

Legendary Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China had one more terracotta warrior guarding his tomb, recently. Pablo Wendel, an art student from Germany, disguised himself as one of the clay sculptures surrounding Qinshihuang in his final resting place, now a museum.

Police protecting the northern China museum searched for an extended period of time, as Wendel stood silently, among several thousand sculptures. When police found the 26-year-old performance artist, who later told them he was fascinated by the monumental display, they carried him away "as if he were a log."

China was united by Emperor Qin Shi Huang over 2,200 years ago. The tomb in Xian, once the capital of China, is open to the public as a museum.

Chinese guard    -     hledat v googlu: Chinese guard, obrázky v googlu: Chinese guard

2   Creative archive by the BBC

April 16, 2005

With little ceremony, one of the most innovative and radical new media projects in decades, the Creative Archive was officially launched today by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

In partnership with the Open University, Channel 4, British Film Institute and Creative Commons, the Creative Archive will allow UK residents access to selected items from the archives of British public service radio and television broadcasting.

The Archive has been in pre-development stages for several years, and today's official launch saw the creation of the Creative Archive website and the Creative Archive License, a special copyright license developed with Oxford University and the Creative Commons project. Under the license British citizens will be able to download and modify clips from the archive without having to pay royalties.

Over the summer, the BBC will be releasing archives of documentaries, particularly from its acclaimed Natural History collection, under the Creative Archive License, while Channel 4 has commissioned a special selection of programmes which will not be broadcast, but will be available on the internet. The BFI will be releasing silent movies from the early 20th century on the Creative Archive.

Other organisations expressing an interest in the Creative Archive include Teachers' TV, the Natural History Museum and Independent Television News.

BBC    -     hledat v googlu: BBC, obrázky v googlu: BBC

3   UK population exceeds 60 million for the first time

August 24, 2006

The Office of National Statistics have this morning revealed figures which show the United Kingdom’s population has exceeded sixty million for the first time.

In June 2005, the number of people living in the country was 60.2 million, an increase of 0.6% since June 2004. The figures also show that there were 50.4 million people residing in England last year.

International migration played a large part in the increase, which was the largest yearly growth in population since 1962.

National Statistics    -     hledat v googlu: National Statistics, obrázky v googlu: National Statistics

4   Bubbles in champagne glasses

September 18, 2005

champagne.jpg, 9 kB

Scientists have now explained why carbon dioxide forms particular patterns in the strings of bubbles that rise in champagne glasses.

A team of scientists from universities in France and Brazil have developed a theory that explains the patterns of fine bubbles that arise in a freshly poured glass of champagne.

The bubble patterns evolve as the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide changes in the glass. They start out as strings of bubbles that rise in pairs, then gradually transition to bubbles in groups of threes, and finally settle down in a clockwork pattern of regularly spaced individual bubbles.

The researchers observed the carbon dioxide bubbles in a champagne glass as they rise from nucleation points on the glass wall. The nucleation points are small defects in the glass that trap tiny vibrating pockets of carbon dioxide. Dissolved gas in the champagne gradually collects in a vibrating bubble inside the defect, causing it to grow and soon expel gas from the defect, forming another bubble that sticks to the outside of the defect. That bubble, in turn, grows as more dissolved carbon dioxide collects inside it and it eventually breaks free of the defect to rise through the champagne. Then the process begins again with a new bubble expelled from the defect, forming rising strings of tiny bubbles.

The patterns are determined by the vibration rate of the gas trapped in the defect and the growth rate of the bubbles outside the defect, which are in turn determined by such things as the pressure of the atmosphere on the surface of the champagne, the champagne temperature, and the size of the nucleation defect in the glass, among other factors.

The work could be important in understanding bubbles formed of dissolved gasses in other situations, such as nitrogen bubbles that grow in the blood vessels of surfacing divers and can cause the bends, and the explosive release of carbon dioxide gas from Cameroon's Lake Nyos that killed over 1800 people in 1986.

Bubbles in champagne    -     hledat v googlu: Bubbles in champagne, obrázky v googlu: Bubbles in champagne

5   New look for The Times of London

November 20, 2006

The Times newspaper announced today the sixth change in [[w:Typeface|fount in the paper’s 221 years history, and the introduction of a new coat of arms in the masthead.

The need for the latest change in fount was prompted by the adoption of a "compact" paper size in 2004. The new fount, Times Modern, replaces Times Classic and, with more letters per line, the paper's head of design, David Driver, writes that it "...allows for more articulation in the process of writing". Readers are assured that the change is "not a reckless impulse but reading conditions for many people have become less leisurely".

The masthead and insignia have also been redesigned. The historic problem of depicting the lion in the masthead as fierce is addressed by engraver Ewina Ellis. She told Driver, "It is very difficult to make a facing lion fierce — or even faintly cross. They can weep, grin and hold door-knocker rings quite easily, but in comparison to the unicorn with its horn, goat-beard, spiky ears and flowing mane, their silhouette is lumpen. I pitied the poor engravers who had no more seen a lion than a unicorn."

The Times    -     hledat v googlu: The Times, obrázky v googlu: The Times

6   Pluto loses planet status

August 24, 2006

pluto_earth_size_comparison.jpg, 11 kB

Pluto's diameter is about 18% that of Earth.

Today, astronomers have endorsed a proposal about the definition of the word "planet". As a consequence, our solar system now counts only 8 planets. They are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto no longer meets the criteria and loses its planet status, but becomes the prototype of a distinct class of dwarf planets.

Ceres and 2003 UB313 also have been recognised as dwarf planets. Charon, which was previously in the run for promotion, did not meet the final criteria for a dwarf planet.

Some 2500 astronomers from over 75 countries gathered this week in Prague at the Congress of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to decide on several issues like a formal definition of a planet. Previously, there was no definition and with the discovery of new objects beyond Pluto there was much need for a clear criterion. The scientists also discussed new research findings in their field.

Louis Friedman, the executive director of the Planetary Society in California said: "The classification doesn't matter. Pluto — and all Solar System objects — are mysterious and exciting new worlds that need to be explored and better understood."

The final draft states: "A planet is a celestial body that in orbit around the Sun
2.has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,
3.has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

A dwarf planet is a celestial body that in orbit around the Sun,
2.has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,
3.has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, not a satellite.

All other objects except satellites orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as Small Solar-System Bodies."

Pluto did not meet one of the criteria for planet: its orbit is higly eccentric, causing it to overlap with Neptune's. The IAU has a dozen other objects similar to Pluto on its "watchlist" and is expected to announce new dwarf planets in the coming months and years.

Ever since its discovery by American Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Pluto has been considered a planet, though its status has been questioned many times after it was discovered to be far less massive than earlier calculations suggested, and because of its many other eccentricities. As a consequence of the vote, many textbooks, encyclopedias and other sources will need rewriting.

Pluto    -     hledat v googlu: Pluto, obrázky v googlu: Pluto

7   Tomb discovered in Valley of the Kings

February 10, 2006

valley_of_the_kings-luxor-egypt.jpg, 6 kB

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb, referred to as KV63, in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. It is the first such discovery since Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. The discovery was made by a team from the University of Memphis. Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement that five intact sarcophagi that all contained mummies and 20 large storage jars that were sealed with pharaonic seals had been recovered.

American archaeologist Kent Weeks, who was not part of the team but had seen photographs of the site, told the Associated Press that "It could be the tomb of a king's wife or son, or of a priest or court official". The find refutes the long held belief that the Valley of the Kings has little left to discover. According to Weeks: "It's ironic. A century ago, people said the Valley of the Kings is exhausted, there's nothing left," he said. "Suddenly Carter found Tutankhamun. So then they said, 'Now there's nothing to find.' Then we found KV5. Now we have KV63."

KV63 is located in the area between KV10 (Amenmesse) and KV62 (Tutankhamun), in the very centre of the Valley's eastern branch and near the main crossroads of the network of paths traversed by thousands of tourists every day. The tomb was found at a depth of some three metres beneath the ground. The burial site is believed to date from the latter portion of the 18th dynasty (ca. 14th century BC), but the occupants have not yet been identified.

Valley of the Kings    -     hledat v googlu: Valley of the Kings, obrázky v googlu: Valley of the Kings

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