Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
If you use Google only to search for words and phrases, you're doing it wrong. The service is loaded with many advanced tricks that you can enable from that unassuming search box. Check Google's Search Features list and Advanced Operators List often to see what's new. Here are my favorites.
Find the current time elsewhere: Don't bother trying to convert the time from your local setting to a distant city. Just type time city , as in time Beijing, to see the current time in that location. Yeah, it's too late to call your buddy there.
Search within a domain: Google's great search engine might be better (or simply more convenient) than the search box on a particular site. To limit results to a single site, type search term site:domain name , as in netbook review site:pcworld.com. You can even search within site sections, as in netbook review site:pcworld.com/businesscenter.
Search for a file type: You can look up results that match a specific file type. This trick is great for special searches, such as tracking down a product manual or video file. Try search term filetype:three-letter type . For example, I entered Zoom H2 manual filetype:pdf to find the manual for that Zoom recording device.
Weather as reported by Google SearchGet the weather: Type weather city name or zip code (as in weather San Francisco or weather 11223) to get a quick report of the current conditions and forecast.
Calculate and convert: The search box doubles as a calculator. Try typing math problems, such as 89*22/(16), or conversions, like 100 yards = ? meters. Google will do the rest.
Track stocks: If you're still bold enough to be in the stock market, you can enter a stock's trading abbreviation, such as GOOG, and the first result will show the stock's latest price, a graph of the day, and other financial details.
Get movie times: On the Web you have a myriad of choices to look up show times, but Google's simplicity is tough to beat. Just type movies: city or zip code , as in movies 68501. Click the More movies link to get more-specific listings.
Track packages: Have a FedEx, UPS, or USPS tracking number? Just enter it in the Google search box for the latest package status.
4 Google Gmail Tricks
Gmail is loaded with tricks to help you read and compose mail. If you want to keep up-to-date, Google maintains a list of recent Gmail enhancements. Here are four of my favorites.
Move quickly with keyboard shortcuts: You can use keyboard commands to speed effortlessly through navigation like a monkey swinging between trees. First turn it on by clicking the Settings link at the top of your Gmail page. Click Keyboard shortcuts on and then Save Changes. Afterward, you can press C to compose mail, R to reply, O to open, and much more. For other keys, see the full list of Gmail shortcuts.
Sort out unread messages: You can show only your unread messages with the search string label:unread label:inbox. For a one-click reference, save the search as a bookmark with the following tip.
Save searches as bookmarks: You can save Gmail search queries as URLs, and therefore as bookmarks. The Gmail Search Bookmarks utility allows you to enter your search terms and the bookmark title. Click Generate, and then drag the resulting URL to the bookmark bar for easy access.
Bookmark e-mail: Gmail messages have unique URLs for navigation. That means you can create bookmarks for specific notes. For instance, you can bookmark a message containing an Outlook calendar appointment or to-do item unrelated to Gmail, or perhaps some other message containing the directions to a big party. Afterward, you can return to the source message with just one click.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Probable launch date is November 2009 with an estimated price of RM60-65k (USD17.1k-18.5k).
1500cc VVTI engine.
Will compete head on with the newly launched Protón Exóra!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In a laboratory, it's extremely difficult to study why some people are better at bouncing back than others because it's so hard to simulate the real stresses and strains of life. Scientists can show people scary pictures or movies to trigger their reactions and measure how they recover, but it's hardly the same as a mugger in an alley or a grizzly bear on a hiking trail. Dr. Andy Morgan of Yale Medical School set out to find a real-world laboratory where he could watch people under incredible stress in reasonably controlled conditions.
He ended up in southeastern North Carolina at Fort Bragg, home of the Army's elite Airborne and Special Forces. This is where the Army's renowned survival school is located. It's also where they believe in something called stress inoculation. Like vaccines, a small challenge or dose of a virus in your system prepares and defends you against a bigger challenge. In other words, they expose you to pressure and suffering in training so you'll build up your immunity. It's a kind of classic psychological conditioning: the more shocks to your system, the more you're able to withstand.
The toughest part of the 19-day training takes place in a secret location at Camp Mackall called the Resistance Training Laboratory. Translation: a mock prisoner-of-war camp where students have the chance to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom phases of survival school. Everything is modeled on real enemy encampments, including guard towers, razor-wire fences, concrete cells and metal cages. It's even got fake graves marked with crosses to scare you. The goal is to simulate hell on earth like the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam or Al Qaeda's torture chambers. If they allow you to use the latrine, they make you relieve yourself in a hole in the ground like some do in the Third World. The camp itself is off-limits to outsiders, and what really goes on behind the concertina wire is strictly classified. I'm told by several people who have gone through this program that highly trained professionals serve as jailers and interrogators who put the prisoners through a kind of carefully choreographed chaos designed to disorient them and break them down.
While they're frightening you and wearing you down with sleep deprivation, blaring music and semistarvation, they're also interrogating you using enemy techniques copied from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. They claim that they don't use torture, but the sessions are known to be very rough.
For Morgan, POW school was the perfect place to study who survives the best under acute stress. If you think it's just training and the soldiers know they're not really in serious danger, consider what Morgan discovered. During mock interrogations, the prisoners' heart rates skyrocket to more than 170 beats per minute for more than half an hour, even though they aren't engaging in any physical activity. Meanwhile, their bodies pump more stress hormones than the amounts actually measured in aviators landing on aircraft carriers, troops awaiting ambushes in Vietnam, skydivers taking the plunge or patients awaiting major surgery. The levels of stress hormones are sufficient to turn off the immune system and to produce a catabolic state, in which the body begins to break down and feed on itself. The average weight loss in three days is 22 pounds.
Morgan's research—the first of its kind—produced some fascinating findings about who does the best job resisting the interrogators and who stays focused and clearheaded despite the uncontrollable fear. Morgan looked at two different groups going through this training: regular Army troops like infantrymen, and elite Special Forces soldiers, who are known to be especially "stress hardy" or cool under pressure. At the start or base line, the two groups were essentially the same, but once the stress began, and afterward, there were significant differences. Specifically, the two groups released very different amounts of a chemical in the brain called neuropeptide Y. NPY is an abundant amino acid in our bodies that helps regulate our blood pressure, appetite, learning and memory. It also works as a natural tranquilizer, controlling anxiety and buffering the effects of stress hormones like norepenephrine, one of the chemicals that most of us simply call adrenaline. In essence, NPY is one of the fire hoses that your brain uses to extinguish your alarm and fear responses by keeping the frontal-lobe parts of your brain working longer under stress.
Morgan found one very specific reason that Special Forces are superior survivors: they produce significantly greater levels of NPY compared with regular troops. In addition, 24 hours after completing survival training, Special Forces soldiers returned to their original levels of NPY while regular soldiers were significantly below normal.
With so much more NPY in their systems, the Special Forces soldiers were much more clearheaded under interrogation stress and performed better according to the trainers. Special Forces soldiers really are special and different from the rest of the Army. They stay more focused and engaged in a crisis and bounce back faster afterward because their bodies produce massive amounts of natural anti-anxiety chemicals. In the fog of war—and everyday life for that matter—that's a major advantage.
At the elite Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla., they know how to figure out quickly who will be capable of accomplishing extremely dangerous underwater missions. They take young sailors and tie their hands behind their backs and bind their feet. They put the strap of a dive mask between the sailors' teeth and then throw them in the Olympic-size pool. The challenge is to stay afloat and live. "The more someone struggles," Morgan tells me, "the harder it is to get air and the more tired they get. You just have to inhibit the powerful, incredible instinct to breathe and your anxiety and alarm." Morgan knows how scary it is because they also tied him up and threw him in so he could understand what the sailors were going through. Most trainees quickly realize that the only way to avoid drowning is to relax and sink to the bottom of the pool, kick off powerfully toward the surface, gasp for a little bit of air through clenched teeth and then fall back into the water and drop down to the bottom again.
During this testing, a lot of sailors black out. They simply don't get enough oxygen and lose consciousness. Morgan has watched many of them sink to the bottom of the pool before divers pull them to the surface. On the deck, the unconscious sailors are rolled on their sides, and as soon as they revive, an instructor shouts again and again: "Are you gonna quit? Are you gonna quit?" Sailors are given 30 seconds to answer or they're kicked out of the program. If they say they want to keep going, they're given another 30 seconds to recover and then they're thrown back into the pool. It may sound sadistic, but the Navy is simply trying to identify who will survive the most dangerous missions and who won't. Through this grueling test, it finds soldiers and sailors who refuse to give up, who can suppress the need to breathe, who trust that they'll be rescued if something goes wrong and who are prepared to lose consciousness—or even die—following orders.
In another arduous test, sailors are taken three miles off the Gulf Coast at night and are given a target destination on the beach. Dumped in the water, the students submerge and are not allowed to surface until they reach their objective. To make the challenge even more stressful, a clock is running and the divers aren't allowed to go deeper than 25 feet. Despite the tides and currents, they're also forbidden to swim parallel to the beach looking for their target. The penalty for breaking any of the rules is immediate expulsion from the course. Speed, efficiency and accuracy are a critical part of their grade.
In this underwater navigation test as well as the exercise in the pool, Morgan found again that brain chemistry makes a big difference. The amount of NPY you pump is closely connected to your success—the more, the better. Morgan also found that the best underwater navigators release a lot of a natural steroid called DHEA, which buffers the effects of the stress hormone cortisol and helps the brain's hippocampus with spatial relationships and memory. Divers with the most NPY and DHEA graduated at the top of the class. Those with the lowest amounts did poorly.
At POW camp and dive school, Morgan has discovered a simple and accurate way of predicting who will survive and perform the best under extreme stress. You might call it the telltale heart. It starts with something called heart-rate variability, or HRV, the variations between beats. Healthy people have a lot of variability in the intervals between their beats, with their tickers speeding up and slowing down all the time.
It turns out that the best survivors don't have a lot of heart-rate variability. Instead, they've got "metronomic heartbeats"—their hearts thump steadily like metronomes—with almost no variability between beats. That is, the intervals between the beats are evenly spaced. Morgan believes that a metronomic heartbeat is an easy way to detect good survivors and high neuropeptide Y releasers. It makes sense biologically because your brainstem, which controls your heartbeat, has a high density of neuropeptide Y.
Morgan analyzed the heartbeats of soldiers and sailors before they experienced major stress. Sure enough, the ones with metronomic heartbeats performed the best in survival school and underwater navigation testing. They also did the best in what's called close-quarters combat training. Morgan analyzed their heart rates right before they went into mock battle. They were all suited up in combat gear, waiting for a buzzer to ring that would send them running into a building to "kill" the enemy and rescue hostages. (They use "simunitions," simulated ammunition that hurts but doesn't cause real harm.) The ones with metronomic heartbeats, Morgan says, shoot more bad guys and kill fewer hostages. Unfortunately, this metronomic effect is usually associated with early heart disease and even sudden death. Morgan wonders whether the same thing that makes you really good at surviving under high stress may not translate into excellent heart health when you're 50. Without it, though, these elite forces might never even make it that far.
Sherwood is a journalist and executive director of TheSurvivorsClub.org . His new book is "The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life."
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
2. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors."
3. Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."
4. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
5. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.
6. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
7. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."
8. Practice making fax and modem noises.
9. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.
10. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.
11. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
12. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and grimacing.
13. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.
14. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.
15. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
16. Staple pages in the middle of the page.
17. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a croaking noise.
18. Honk and wave to strangers.
19. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints at the cash register.
20. TYPE IN UPPERCASE.
21. type only in lowercase.
22. dont use any punctuation either
23. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
24. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times.
"DO YOU HEAR THAT?"
"Never mind, it's gone now."
25. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
26. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "No, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
27. Ask people what gender they are.
28. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
29. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
30. Sing along at the opera.
31. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.
32. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days.
The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the
passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,"Case dismissed!"
The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah; yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."
The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."
The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Baby's First Doctor Visit.
A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room,
Waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam.
The doctor arrived, and examined the baby,
Checked his weight, and being a little concerned,
Asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed.
'Breast-fed,' she replied.
'Well, strip down to your waist,' the doctor ordered.
She did. He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination.
Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said,
'No wonder this baby is underweight.
You don't have any milk.'
I know, she said ,
I'm his Grandma,
But I'm glad I came.'
Monday, April 06, 2009
Story # 1
It's a fine sunny day in the forest and a lion is sitting outside his cave, lying lazily in the sun. Along comes a fox, out on a walk.
Fox: "Do you know the time, because my watch is broken"
Lion: "Oh, I can easily fix the watch for you"
Fox: "Hmm... But it's a very complicated mechanism, and your big claws will only destroy it even more"
Lion: "Oh no, give it to me, and it will be fixed"
Fox: "That's ridiculous! Any fool knows that lazy lions with great claws cannot fix complicated watches"
Lion: "Sure they do, give it to me and it will be fixed"
The lion disappears into his cave, and after a while he comes back with the watch which is running perfectly. The fox is impressed, and the lion continues to lie lazily in the sun, looking very pleased with himself.
Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the lazy lion in the sun.
Wolf: "Can I come and watch TV tonight with you, because mine is broken"
Lion: "Oh, I can easily fix your TV for you"
Wolf: "You don't expect me to believe such rubbish, do you? There is no way that a lazy lion with big claws can fix a complicated TV"
Lion: "No problem. Do you want to try it?"
The lion goes into his cave, and after a while comes back with a perfectly fixed TV. The wolf goes away happily and amazed.
Inside the lion's cave. In one corner are half a dozen small and intelligent looking rabbits who are busily doing very complicated work with very detailed instruments. In the other corner lies a huge lion looking very pleased with himself.
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY A MANAGER IS FAMOUS; LOOK AT THE WORK OF HIS SUBORDINATES.
Management Lesson in the context of the working world :
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY SOMEONE UNDESERVED IS PROMOTED; LOOK AT THE WORK OF HIS SUBORDINATES.
Story # 2
It's a fine sunny day in the forest and a rabbit is sitting outside his burrow, tippy-tapping on his typewriter. Along comes a fox, out for a walk.
Fox: "What are you working on?"
Rabbit: "My thesis."
Fox: "Hmm... What is it about?"
Rabbit: "Oh, I'm writing about how rabbits eat foxes."
Fox: "That's ridiculous ! Any fool knows that rabbits don't eat foxes!"
Rabbit: "Come with me and I'll show you!"
They both disappear into the rabbit's burrow. After few minutes, gnawing on a fox bone, the rabbit returns to his typewriter and resumes typing.
Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the hardworking rabbit.
Wolf: "What's that you are writing?"
Rabbit: "I'm doing a thesis on how rabbits eat wolves."
Wolf: "you don't expect to get such rubbish published, do you?"
Rabbit: "No problem. Do you want to see why?"
The rabbit and the wolf go into the burrow and again the rabbit returns by himself, after a few minutes, and goes back to typing.
Finally a bear comes along and asks, "What are you doing?
Rabbit: "I'm doing a thesis on how rabbits eat bears."
Bear: "Well that's absurd ! "
Rabbit: "Come into my home and I'll show you"
As they enter the burrow, the rabbit introduces the bear to the lion.
IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW SILLY YOUR THESIS TOPIC IS; WHAT MATTERS IS WHOM YOU HAVE AS A SUPERVISOR.
Management Lesson in the context of the working world:
IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW BAD YOUR PERFORMANCE IS; WHAT MATTERS IS WHETHER YOUR BOSS LIKES YOU OR NOT.