Saturday, February 7, 2009

Michelle Obama makes Vogue cover (US, President, Barrack, event)

President Barack Obama's wife Michelle is the cover girl for the March edition of fashion magazine Vogue. It is only the second time an American First Lady has taken the place of a model on a Vogue cover - the other was Hillary Clinton in 1998.

Mrs Obama, who was photographed wearing outfits she chose herself, says she is aware her wardrobe is under scrutiny. "I'm not going to pretend that I don't care about it. But I also have to be practical," she told Vogue magazine. Annie Leibovitz photographed Mrs Obama wearing a magenta silk dress designed by Jason Wu for the cover portrait. It is the second time she has chosen to wear one of his creations for a high-profile public appearance.

She wore a long white gown by Wu for the inauguration balls on 20 January.
Mrs Obama's sense of style has proved influential. On the day she dressed her family in clothes from J Crew for her husband's inauguration, the company's shares leapt 10%. In the accompanying interview for Vogue, Mrs Obama also talks about her role as a social hostess.

"We want entertaining in the White House to feel like America, that we are reminded of all the many facets of our culture. The Latino community, the Asian-American community, the African-American community... hip-hop, spoken word - we want to bring the youth in, for them to hear their voices in this," she said.

On her self-declared role as "mom-in-chief" she will try to take her daughters Malia and Sasha to school every morning, though she acknowledges this may not always be possible. "I like to be a presence in my kids' school. I want to know the teachers; I want to know the parents."

Apart from Bess Truman, Vogue has photographed the wife of every American president since 1929 when President Herbert Hoover's wife, Lou Henry Hoover, was featured

Friday, February 6, 2009

Waitangi Day - Auckland, New Zealand, David Lim, GDI, Daily Pic

Today is a public holiday and have the chance to get a few done. The kids went to the Lantern Festival at Mt Albert Park, Auckland. Since there were limited parking space near the city, I opted to drop them off and pick them up again after they spend the evening there to enjoy the food fair, exhibition and celebration. Click here for the map of Waitangi, Northland, New Zealand.

Many are not aware that Waitangi Day is also the birthday of Bob Marley the raggae legend! I am one of there rare student back in mid 1980's who listens and appreciate the raggae music at the Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO. 63701, USA.

Liberation, equal rights and justice and resistance to oppression were dominant themes in Bob Marley's lyrics; his uncompromising messages rooted in the many struggles he endured in his rural Jamaican birthplace and later in Kingston's gritty Trenchtown ghetto resonated with maligned and marginalized people everywhere. From Hopi Indians in the American Southwest to African freedom fighters, Bob was celebrated as a motivating and empowering force by a diverse range of ethnic groups. Among the clans that continue to commemorate his life and music 26 years after his death are the indigenous Maori of New Zealand.

Marley's profound importance among the Maori community is also reflected in their observance of Waitangi Day, a national holiday which celebrates the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi by representatives of the British Crown and Maori chiefs, on February 6, 1840. The Treaty, as it is called, established New Zealand as a British colony and gave the Maori the rights accorded all British citizens as well as the opportunity to own their land and other properties throughout the island.

Waitangi Day, February 6, is also Bob Marley's birthday and many Maoris refer to Waitangi Day as "One Love Day" according to Nandor Tanczos, a Rastafarian and member of New Zealand's Parliament since 1999. "It is a day of unity; in Auckland we hold a celebration called "One Love" and we commemorate Waitangi Day and Bob Marley's birthday. 15,000 people come to that celebration in Auckland and it is not only a day of togetherness but a day of respect, unity and also justice."

Glyceridae - The Smallest Sea Monster! (Aukckland, New Zealand, David Lim, GDI)

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, about 17 miles off Sapelo Island, Georgia, is home to a variety of strange creatures. The Glyceridae, or bloodworms, are ferocious epi- and infaunal polychaetes that prey upon small invertebrates. They are errant burrowers that build galleries of interconnected tubes to aid in catching their prey.


Do you know President Barrack Obama's Secret Email Address? David Lim, Auckland, New Zealand

Obama won the fight to keep email and his BlackBerry. Now, knowing the president's email address is a privilege reserved for the truly elite. The NYT explains this, and other juicy details about Obama's email.

We've all seen this picture below of him using a BlackBerry since becoming president, though what he's holding is "actually a more sophisticated, encrypted variation." Biden has one just like it.

The people who know Obama's top secret email address are exceedingly few: Biden, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, senior adviser David Axelroad, press secretary Robert Gibbs, a few other top advisers and a select group of friends from Chicago. Even some cabinet members, like Defense Secretary Robert Gates don't have his email address. And, it's likely that his top secret email address will be changed on a regular basis.
If you are lucky enough to get an email from him, it's encrypted in such a way that it can't be forwarded to your parents, or anyone. No attachments will get through, either.
Left sadly unanswered, however, is the greatest question of all: Does Oprah, formerly the most important person in America whose name starts with O, have his email address?

Top Ten Unexplained Phenomena (Auckland, New Zealand, NZ, David, Lim)

The Body/Mind Connection

Medical science is only beginning to understand the ways in which the mind influences the body. The placebo effect, for example, demonstrates that people can at times cause a relief in medical symptoms or suffering by believing the cures to be effective - whether they actually are or not. Using processes only poorly understood, the body's ability to heal itself is far more amazing than anything modern medicine could create.

Psychic powers and ESP

Psychic powers and extra-sensory perception (ESP) rank among the top ten unexplained phenomena if for no other reason than that belief in them is so widespread. Many people believe that intuition (see #3) is a form of psychic power, a way of accessing arcane or special knowledge about the world or the future. Researchers have tested people who claim to have psychic powers, though the results under controlled scientific conditions have so far been negative or ambiguous. Some have argued that psychic powers cannot be tested, or for some reason diminish in the presence of skeptics or scientists. If this is true, science will never be able to prove or disprove the existence of psychic powers.

Near-Death Experiences and Life After Death

People who were once near death have sometimes reported various mystical experiences (such as going into a tunnel and emerging in a light, being reunited with loved ones, a sense of peace, etc.) that may suggest an existence beyond the grave. While such experiences are profound, no one has returned with proof or verifiable information from "beyond the grave." Skeptics suggest that the experiences are explainable as natural and predictable hallucinations of a traumatized brain, yet there is no way to know with certainty what causes near-death experiences, or if they truly are visions of "the other side."


There is no doubt that UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) exist - many people see things in the skies that they cannot identify, ranging from aircraft to meteors. Whether or not any of those objects and lights are alien spacecraft is another matter entirely; given the fantastic distances and effort involved in just getting to Earth from across the universe, such a scenario seems unlikely. Still, while careful investigation has revealed known causes for most sighting reports, some UFO [video] incidents will always remain unexplained.

Deja vu

Deja vu is a French phrase meaning 'already seen,' referring to the distinct, puzzling, and mysterious feeling of having experienced a specific set of circumstances before. A woman might walk into a building, for example, in a foreign country she'd never visited, and sense that the setting is eerily and intimately familiar. Some attribute deja vu to psychic experiences or unbidden glimpses of previous lives. As with intuition (see #3), research into ,human psychology can offer more naturalistic explanations, but ultimately the cause and nature of the phenomenon itself remains a mystery.


From the Shakespeare play "MacBeth" to the NBC show "Medium," spirits of the dead have long made an appearance in our culture and folklore. Many people have reported seeing apparitions of both shadowy strangers and departed loved ones. Though definitive proof for the existence of ghosts remains elusive, sincere eyewitnesses continue to report seeing, photographing, and even communicating with ghosts. Ghost investigators hope to one day prove that the dead can contact the living, providing a final answer to the mystery.

Mysterious Disappearances

People disappear for various reasons. Most are runaways, some succumb to accident, a few are abducted or killed, but most are eventually found. Not so with the truly mysterious disappearances. From the crew of the Marie Celeste to Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, and Natalee Holloway, some people seem to have vanished without a trace. When missing persons are found, it is always through police work, confession, or accident never by 'psychic detectives'). But when the evidence is lacking and leads are lost, even police and forensic science can't always solve the crime.


Whether we call it gut feelings, a 'sixth sense,' or something else, we have all experienced intuition at one time or another. Of course, gut feelings are often wrong (how many times during aircraft turbulence have you been sure your plane was going down?), but they do seem to be right much of the time. Psychologists note that people subconsciously pick up information about the world around us, leading us to seemingly sense or know information without knowing exactly how or why we know it. But cases of intuition are difficult to prove or study, and psychology may only be part of the answer.


For decades, large, hairy, manlike beasts called Bigfoot [video] have occasionally been reported by eyewitnesses across America. Despite the thousands of Bigfoot that must exist for a breeding population, not a single body has been found. Not one has been killed by a hunter, struck dead by a speeding car, or even died of natural causes. In the absence of hard evidence like teeth or bones, support comes down to eyewitness sightings and ambiguous photos and films. Since it is logically impossible to prove a universal negative, science will never be able to prove that creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster [video]do not exist, and it is possible that these mysterious beasts lurk far from prying eyes.

The Taos Hum

Some residents and visitors in the small city of Taos, New Mexico [video]. have for years been annoyed and puzzled by a mysterious and faint low-frequency hum in the desert air. Oddly, only about 2 percent of Taos residents report hearing the sound. Some believe it is caused by unusual acoustics; others suspect mass hysteria or some secret, sinister purpose. Whether described as a whir, hum, or buzz and whether psychological, natural, or supernatural no one has yet been able to locate the sound's origin.

Monday, February 2, 2009 Micro Blogging on the Fly! David Lim, Auckland, New Zealand

I went to work early today and was having a breakfast at Burger King. When having coffee, I flicked out my Nokia E71 phone and started to browse the web. I searched for information on "Blogging with your Nokia E71" and found the cool website called offer normal people like you and me to blog on the fly. It is very simple to do. You need to be able to send email and attach the photo you take to blog! I managed to registered for two blog sites, one of them is It cannot be easy enough to use this free service to blog. It could be a good tool for you to leave your digital trial on a day out or even record "one day in your life" event on the internet. You can go online and edit your log postings, add tag, organise and customise your blog

Top Ten Fastest Car n the world! David Lim, Auckland, New Zealand

Bugatti Veyron
Top Speed: 252.2 mph
1001 Horsepower
No surprises here, the fastest and most powerful production car ever makes the top of the list. I wonder when Koenigsegg will decide to take the #1 position and beef up the CCX.

Koenigsegg CCX
Top Speed: 250 mph
900 Horsepower As said above, we expect Koenigsegg to take the number one spot eventually; those crazy Swedes aren’t fooling around.

Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
Top Speed: 248 mph
750 Horsepower
VCars didn’t specify that it’s an S7 Twin-Turbo, but that’s what they’re talking about. This is one bad-ass car.

McLaren F1
Top Speed: 240.14
620 Horsepower
Can you believe this? The McLaren F1 was made in 1994, 13 years ago, and it’s still one of the fastest cars in the world. This happens to be the first car on this list I would purchase if I had the cash. Then I’d buy the Koenigsegg.

Ferrari Enzo
Top Speed: 217 mph
657 Horsepower
Ferrari’s newest Mega-Car seems to have people crashing it left and right, but the drivers always walk away fine (physically.) With only 399 of these ever made, the value of the car goes up with each crash.

Jaguar XJ220
Top Speed: 217 mph
549 Horsepower
Even older than the McLaren F1, the Jaguar XJ220 has been on this list since 1992. Be sure to check out the Pininfarina version as well.

Pagani Zonda Roadster
Top Speed: 215 mph
602 Horsepower Yes, we know this is a picture of the Roadster, not the Zonda F. With Pagani’s new Zonda R on the way, the Zonda might be creeping up on this list faster than Bugatti can say “We need bigger turbos.”

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
Top Speed: 213 mph
633 Horsepower VCars got a little bit confused here. The title suggests they mean the standard Murcielago, but the top speed and pictures tell us they’re talking about the LP640. Let’s clear this up a bit…the horsepower on the LP640 is 640 (hence the name,) and the hp rating on the standard Murcielago is 580.

Porsche Carerra GT
Top Speed: 209 mph
605 Horsepower
Porsche’s fastest, most attractive (and most expensive) car to date comes in at #9.

Mercedes McLaren SLR

Top Speed: 207 mph
626 Horsepower

This page is brought to you by