Saturday, March 28, 2009

Amazing levitation performance by Claudia Pacheco 27.03.2009

Wow, a really cool levitation state performed by Claudia Pacheco a.k.a "Princesa Inca" at Lima Main Square". The people gathered in Plaza de Armas witnessed the first levitation illusion made by a woman in Latin America. Watch Video Claudia Pacheco levitation at Lima Main Square Peru (just broadcast on news channels at "no comment" category):


Friday, March 27, 2009

Dracula and Transylvania, Myth Vs Legend

Recently I was just wasting my time (like I was not busy enough) and I got in contact with some topics related to Dracula. There is a lot of literature on the internet about this subject but I decided to write a…let’s say “short” overview. The first thing to start with is that the character Dracula came up from the novel Dracula written in 1897 by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary personage the vampire Count Dracula.
Stoker novel is actually based on the real life historical figure, Vlad III Dracula also known as Vlad The Impaler (in Romanian referred as to Vlad Tepes)
Who was Dracula??? History notes.
Vlad was a fifteenth century voivode or prince of Wallachia - a province of Romania bordered to the north by Transylvania and Moldavia -the other two Romanian provinces – and at that time, Walachia was a main trading route, and a strategic point in the battle between the Ottoman empire from the South-East and the Hungarian throne located in Budapest. This caused a very turbulent situation, as the fight of religions with these powerful neighbors was often held on these lands.
The life of Dracula.
Vlad III Dracula was born in December 1431 in the Transylvanian town of Sighisoara. His father, Vlad Dracul appointed as a military governor of Transylvania by the emperor Sigismung was awarded the same year with The Order of Dragon – a religious and semimilitary society founded in 1387 by the holy roman emperor. “The Order” explains the name “Dracula”. Dracul, in Romanian language means “dragon” or “devil” and the nobles (boyars) who knew the Impaler’s father induction in “The Order of Dragon”, decided to call him “Dracul”. “Dracula”, a diminutive which means “the son of Dracul” was used subsequently by Vlad the Impaler.
Dracula ruled as Prince of Wallachia on three separate occasions totaling about seven years. He first claimed the throne with Turkish support in 1448. On this occasion he ruled for only two months (November-October) before being driven out by a Danesti claimant supported by Hungary. Dracula spent the next eight years in exile before returning to Wallachia to kill the Danesti prince, Vladislav II, and reclaiming the Walachia throne but this time with Hungarian support.
Dracula's second ruling period stretched from 1456 to 1462. It was during this time that Dracula carried out his most famous military exploits against the Turks and also committed his most gruesome atrocities. Vlad was known for many things, most of which being his cruel and ruthless torture methods. Impalement was Vlad's favorite form of punishment, and he held no favorites, whether it be local thieves, foreign nobleman, or the sick and poor. The Turks called him Kaziglu Bey, or "the Impaler Prince. After major battles against the Turks in 1462, he escaped across the mountains into Transylvania and was held as a prisoner by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus until the mid-1470s. He recovered the throne for a third time in 1476 but not for long, being killed in battle against the Turkish during the subsequent winter. Despite all his atrocities, in romanian history Vlad Dracula is considered to have been one of the greatest leaders who fought for the freedom of his land.
Now going back to the novel just know that Stoker did not make up the name "Dracula". Stoker didn't probably know much about him but he came across his name in a book entitled “An account of the principalities of Walachia and Moldavia (1820). What attracted Stoker to the name "Dracula" was a footnote by Wilkinson who stated that "Dracula in the Wallachian language means devil" and that is what Stoker copied into his notes. He was originally going to call his vampire "Count Wampyr" but changed it to "Count Dracula."
Here at the end just a few things to highlight: Transylvania and Vlad III Dracula are real; Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, never visited Transylvania and the Romanian province was not Stoker’s initial choice for Dracula’s homeland.
See the best detailed information on Dracula's Homepage.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

24 season 7 free online episodes

For the fans of the TV serie 24 S7 watch online on internet the latest episodes for free. Here you can acces a direct link to all episodes updated by FoxTV. The only requirement is to have installed Firefox browser.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Montana crash - Second plane disaster on 23 March 2009

It seems that the plane crashes became something on a regular basis. Besides FedEx crash of today at Tokyo's airpot, another airplane - this time a single-engine Pilatus PC-12, - fell off the sky in Butte, Montana (USA), killing all 14 people on board. 7 passengers out of 14 were children.The late event, as the case of TK 1951 flight (Amsterdam), happened almost at the same distance away from airport, 500 meter. It looks like in the last months it is pretty hard to reach the runway.
CNN video report


FedEx tragedy: Cargo plane crashes at Tokyo's Narita Airport - live video camera footage 23.03.09

VIDEO1-live report from CNN
VIDEO2-Narita airport camera
According to the number of plane accidents that took place from the beggining of the year 2009, it seems that flying is not the safest mean of transportation . Here another crash dated today 23-03-2009.
A FedEx cargo airplane crashed this morning (Monday) at Tokyo Narita Airport. The crash occured at about 6:50 am (2150 GMT Sunday) and closed one of the two runways of the airport. The primary factor that caused the plane to bounce on the runway before exploding into flames is considered to be the wind shear, but the investigators do not exclude other possible factors like human error or a mechanical problem. The japanese officials reported the death of both pilots. The type of the plane was McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and it was coming on the route from Guangzhou located in south China. After a close look at the video footage of the Narita airport camera it can be seen that the plane tilts to the left after touch down due to the strong wind and as the left wing clipped the ground, explodes in huge flames.
Both pilots killed in the accident were reported to be US citizens.


Friday, March 20, 2009

10 tips about website / blog optimisation for increasing the loading speed

I’ve tried partially most of these tips on my blog and increased the loading speed from 16 seconds to 7 seconds (according to my network connection speed).
TOTAL WEB PAGE SIZE- Optimal total size of the web page should be less than 100K to achieve sub 20 second response times on 56K connections. Pages over 100K exceed most attention thresholds at 56Kbps, even with feedback.
TOTAL_HTML - The total number of HTML files on the page (including the main HTML file) must be as low as possible. Minimizing HTTP requests is key for web site optimization.
TOTAL HTTP (objects) requests – A higher total number of objects on the page will dominate web page delay by their number. Consider reducing this to a more reasonable number. Above 20 objects per page the overhead from dealing with the actual objects (description time and wait time) accounts for more than 80% of whole page latency. Combine, refine, and optimize your external objects. Replace graphic rollovers with CSS rollovers to speed display and minimize HTTP requests. Consider using CSS sprites to help consolidate decorative images. Using CSS techniques such as colored backgrounds, borders, or spacing instead of graphic techniques can reduce HTTP requests. Replace graphic text headers with CSS text headers to further reduce HTTP requests. Finally, consider optimizing parallel downloads by using different hostnames or a CDN to reduce object overhead.
TOTAL_IMAGES - Consider using fewer images on the site or try reusing the same image in multiple pages to take advantage of caching. Using CSS techniques such as colored backgrounds, borders, or spacing instead of graphic techniques can help reduce HTTP requests.
TOTAL_CSS - consider reducing this to a more reasonable number. Because external CSS files must be in the HEAD of your HTML document, they must load first before any BODY content displays. Although they are cached upon subsequent requests, CSS files slow down the initial display of your page. Ideally you should be one (or even embed CSS for high-traffic pages) on the page. You can optimize CSS files using shorthand properties, grouping, and then minify and GZIP compress them to reduce their footprint. Remember to place CSS files in the HEAD and JavaScript files at the end of the BODY to enable progressive display.
HTML SIZE - the total size of the HTML file is recommended less than 50K. Assuming that you specify the HEIGHT and WIDTH of your images, this size allows your HTML to display content in under 10 seconds, the average time users are willing to wait for a page to display without feedback.
IMAGES_SIZE - the total size of all your images recommended less than 50K. Even with a 50K HTML page the page should load in less than 20 seconds on a 56Kbps connection. Ideally each image should be less than 1160 bytes, to easily fit into one TCP-IP packet.
CSS_SIZE - The total size of the external CSS recommended less than 20K (ideally below 8K). For external files, ideally keep them less than 1160 bytes to fit within one higher-speed TCP-IP packet (or an approximate multiple thereof).
SCRIPT_SIZE - The total size of external scripts must be ideally less than 20K, otherwise keep them as low as possible. Consider optimizing your JavaScript for size, combining them, and using HTTP compression where appropriate for any scripts placed in the HEAD of your documents. You can substitute CSS menus for JavaScript-based menus to minimize or even eliminate the use of JavaScript.
MULTIM_SIZE - Keep the total size of all the external multimedia files to less than 10K.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remains Of Vampire Woman Found In Grave

I was just watching Euronews Channel and found out about the discovery of the remains of a vampire woman somewhere in Venice (Italy). I've seen the skull on tv but it did not look like originating from a vampire:). Indeed, a brick was found stuck in the "mouth" and experts say this is evidence that she was believed to be a vampire, but the "jaws" seemed to be normal to me, actually the looked very nice like that person was never in contact with a dentist. Of course, there is no strong evidence proving the existence of the vampires, still it was a funny news.
Below a short overview and a few ideas of the archaeologists:
— An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws — evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire. The unusual burial is thought to be the result of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual. It suggests the legend of the mythical bloodsucking creatures was tied to medieval ignorance of how diseases spread and what happens to bodies after death, experts said. The well-preserved skeleton was found in 2006 on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of the lagoon city, amid other corpses buried in a mass grave during an epidemic of plague that hit Venice in 1576.
"Vampires don't exist, but studies show people at the time believed they did," said Matteo Borrini, a forensic archaeologist at Florence University
"For the first time we have found evidence of an exorcism against a vampire."

"To kill the undead creatures, the stake-in-the-heart method popularized by later literature was not enough: A stone or brick had to be forced into the vampire's mouth so that it would starve to death", Borrini said.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

KLM Boeing 747 take-off Hong Kong, filmed from cockpit.

KLM Boeing 747 jet take-off in Hong Kong, cockpit view.
Nice video with KLM Boeing 747 cockpit view during take off from Hong Kong International Airport (2006). The flight check standard procedures taken shortly before take-off can be followed in the video recording. Pilot cabin view of KLM B747 on flight from Hong Kong to Amsterdam.


Reconstruction Crash TK 1951 Amsterdam

Watch the animated reconstruction of the TK 1951 flight crash occured at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on 25.Feb.2009.
Here also the real filming recorded inside airplane quickly after crash.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Crazy guy between Belgium-Nederland

Probably this is the new trend in truck driving. Hard to imagine how the driver got the licence but certainly he must consult a psychiatrist!!!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Amazing story about Turkish Airlines crash, Flight TK 1951 - the effects of a twitter message

An impressive story about how fast the news on Turkish Airlines crash spread over the Internet. Jonathan Nip lives probably around Schiphol Airport and witnessed the tragedy. He was the closest person to the crash site having access to the Internet. Initially I blamed him on Twitter for caring more about fame than the accident itself and was backed up by some other media articles. Later on, Nip tried to justify himself and it seems that a simple act leads to various effects. Just read and figure out how fast anyone of us can be intercepted by media, authorities. All the situation he experienced looks like a movie related story.
On February 25 a Turkish airlines Boeing 737 crashed just after a landing attempt at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. 9 people died and there are over 80 wounded passengers. A big tragedy has unfolded. I could hear and feel the impact of the Boeing 737 at Schiphol Airport. I went outside and I could see the wreckage. Quickly after that passengers got out of the airplane. No smoke or fire could be seen. The plane was badly damaged and clearly a lot of people where at risk. What I was seeing was surreal and extremely disturbing. I could not get to the airplane. Not knowing exactly how to act I went online put the news of the crash on the internet a website called Twitter. I was the only one near the crash site who had access to the internet. I kept updating on the situation through Twitter not knowing what else to do. Within minutes my messages where picked up by the worlds media. I got phone calls from CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and more major network stations asking to describe what I was seeing. Though I could not get to the plane to help people, I could see the wreckage and saw emergency services quickly arriving at the scene. I have a lot of respect for the people that went to and into the plane and started helping people. It must be horrifying and traumatizing to witness such a disaster. Because of recent media reports about my reporting of the crash, I started to write down my experiences. Above all, I am amazed by the power of internet reporting, and the speed by which is was picked up by the (old) but very powerful medium that television still is – how various stations got my mobile number within minutes remains a mystery to me. People died and got badly injured, and I can only imagine the traumas the survivors must have. I could never have foreseen that in the middle of this tragedy, for a short moment, I was informing my parts of the world on what was unfolding – all of which started by a simple message on Twitter. Jonathan Nip.

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