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Hello everyone. How are you on this Thursday?

I found a few photos of Spain that I thought you might enjoy.

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(All of the photos are from the photo sharing site Pixdaus.)

Science News

   
GoQBot
Flexible, rolling robot copies caterpillar's escape mechanism

Robots inspired by nature are nothing new—in addition to all the humanoid bots out there, roboticists have mimicked numerous other animal species, for instance with the uncannily canine BigDog robot.
So why not take inspiration from the humble caterpillar? After all, not only can lepidopteran larvae pass through narrow spaces, but some species also have a rapid escape mechanism known as ballistic rolling. The larva of the mother-of-pearl moth (Pleurotya ruralis), for instance, can anchor its rear end, curl up into a wheel, and spring backward like a gymnast to roll away from danger. Such caterpillars can go from flat and stationary to rolling in about 60 milliseconds, reaching speeds about 40 times their ordinary speed of locomotion. But the ballistic roll is a bit uncontrolled, so it is not useful for everyday locomotion.

A group of researchers have now built a robot that does the same thing. In a report published online April 26 in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Huai-Ti Lin, Gary Leisk and Barry Trimmer of Tufts University report that their GoQBot mimics two caterpillar modes of locomotion: inching along like a worm or ballistically rolling at comparatively high speeds. (Unlike a caterpillar, the GoQBot rolls forward, not backward.) The group was funded by the DARPA ChemBots program, a military effort to design flexible robots that can gain access to tight spaces.

   
mouse-study on addiction

Mouse Study Suggests Why Addictions Are Hard to Forget

A new study finds that alcoholic mice more readily form Pavlovian associations with addictive substances. Similar subconscious memories may haunt recovering addicts.

Health News


   
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Catherine Zeta-Jones Opens Up About Bipolar II Disorder

Just a week after the shocking news that Catherine Zeta-Jones had treatment for bipolar II disorder, the 41-year-old actress is speaking out.  

"This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them," Zeta-Jones, who married Michael Douglas in 2000, tells People in an exclusive statement.  

The actress and mother of two checked into Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., in early April for five days. "After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her bipolar II disorder," her rep said in last week's statement. Bipolar II disorder is best characterized by long bouts of depression alternated with shorter hypomanic episodes.

A common trigger of the disorder is stress, which Zeta-Jones has been dealing with since Douglas' announcement that he had stage IV throat cancer. "The hardest part is seeing his fatigue, because Michael is never  tired," Zeta-Jones said in September.

Kudos to her!

   
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Armadillo leprosy found in US patients: Study

WASHINGTON - A STRAIN of leprosy found in armadillos has been identified in dozens of people in the southern United States, indicating the skin disease can be transmitted directly from animals to humans.

The findings are the first to confirm a long-suspected link between the disease in armadillos and humans, but are not a sign that a new epidemic is underway, researchers said.

Rather, the report published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the disease, most often found in India, can originate in the United States and infect humans who hunt armadillo and butcher the meat.

'I am sure it has been there for really quite some period of time. It does not change the risk,' lead study author Richard Truman of Louisiana State University told AFP.

Artist of the Day

by Lady Kestrel

   
In memory of {Phoebe Ann Laub}, Phoebe Snow July 12,1950 - April 26,2011.

Phoebe was born in New York City,New York but grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. She graduated from Teaneck High School. She then attended Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois, but did not graduate. Even as a student, Snow had carried her prized Martin 00018 acoustic guitar from club to club in Greenwich Village, playing and singing on amateur nights. Her stage name was that of a fictional advertising character created in the early 1900s for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. This was Phoebe Snow, a young woman who appeared on boxcars traveling near her hometown.

Phoebe was briefly married to Phil Kearns, and, in December 1975, gave birth to a severely brain-injured daughter, Valerie. Snow resolved not to institutionalize her but instead care for her at home, which she did until Valerie died on March 18, 2007 at the age of 31.

It was at the Bitter End club in 1972 that Denny Cordell, a promotions executive for Shelter Records, was so taken by Snow that he signed her to the label and produced her first recording. Phoebe released an eponymous album, "Phoebe Snow, in 1974". This album featured guest performances by The Persuasions, Zoot Sims, Teddy Wilson, David Bromberg and Dave Mason.

In May 1998, Snow received the Cultural Achievement Award by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. She was also the recipient of a Don Kirschner Rock Award, several Playboy Music Poll Awards, New York Music Awards and the Clio Award.

Phoebe performed for President Clinton, the First Lady, and his cabinet at Camp David in 1999.

In 2003, Phoebe released her album Natural Wonder on Eagle Records, containing ten original tracks, her first original material in fourteen years.

Snow performed at Howard Stern's wedding in 2008, and made a special appearance in the film Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom as herself. Some of her music was also featured on the soundtrack of the film. Her Live album (2008) featured many of her hits as well as a cover of "Piece of My Heart."

Prior to her stroke, Phoebe planned to release a new album in 2010, and had been scheduled to begin touring with her band in March.

Phoebe suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on January 19, 2010 and slipped into a coma,enduring bouts of blood clots, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure. Phoebe Snow passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at age 60 in Edison, New Jersey.

Rest in peace~

Pop Culture


   
julianne moore
First Photo: Julianne Moore As Sarah Palin

Donning the trademark eyeglasses and up 'do, Julianne Moore is proving she’s more than all right as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

The The Kids Are All Right actress, 50, has transformed herself into the politician, 47, for the new HBO film, Game Change, which begins production Wednesday.

Costarring Ed Harris as John McCain, the film follows the Arizona U.S. Senator's 2008 presidential campaign from his selection of Palin as a running mate to their defeat in the general election. Woody Harrelson portrays Steve Schmidt, McCain's senior advisor. Lost's Melissa Farman has also been cast as Bristol Palin.

The film, directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, is based on the bestselling book of the same name. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are executive producers.  

   
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Arnold Schwarzenegger To Return To Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger is reportedly returning to the 'Terminator' franchise.

Agency CAA are said to be shopping a package around studios including Universal, CBS Films, and Sony and Lionsgate Pictures for a new film, which would include the former Governor of California reprising his role as the T-800 Terminator and would have Fast Five's Justin Lin directing.

snip

Sony and Lionsgate are tipped to acquire the project as they made a combined bid for the rights in February 2010, but were beaten in a bankruptcy auction by hedge fund company Pacificor, who bought the package for $29.5 million.

Arnold has appeared in three movies in the franchise, the original 'Terminator' in 1984, 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991 and finally, 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines' in 2003.  

Happy Birthday



   
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Jessica Alba
Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981)[1] is an American television and film actress. She began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994). Alba rose to prominence as the lead actress in the television series Dark Angel (2000–2002).[2][3] Alba later appeared in various films including Honey (2003), Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Into the Blue (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Good Luck Chuck both in 2007.

Penelope Cruz
Penélope Cruz Sánchez (born April 28, 1974) is a Spanish actress. Signed by an agent at age 15, she made her acting debut at 16 on television and her feature film debut the following year in Jamón, jamón (1992), to critical acclaim. Her subsequent roles in the 1990s and 2000s included Open Your Eyes (1997), The Hi-Lo Country (1999), The Girl of Your Dreams (2000) and Woman on Top (2000). Cruz achieved recognition for her lead roles in Vanilla Sky and Blow. Both films were released in 2001 and were commercially successful worldwide.

Jay leno
James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno (pronounced ʤeɪ ˈlenoʊ; born April 28, 1950)[1] is an American stand-up comedian and television host.

From 1992 to 2009, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time, UTC-5), also on NBC. After The Jay Leno Show was canceled in January 2010 amid a host controversy, Leno returned to host The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 1, 2010.

Ann Margeret
Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941) is a Swedish-American actress, singer and dancer whose professional name is Ann-Margret. She became famous for her starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, The Cincinnati Kid, Carnal Knowledge, and Tommy. Her later career includes character roles in Grumpy Old Men, Any Given Sunday, The Santa Clause 3, and The Break-Up. She has won five Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards. On August 21, 2010, she won her first Emmy Award for her guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU.

Harper Lee
Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American author best known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that were observed by the author as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Despite being Lee's only published book, it led to Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom of the United States for her contribution to literature in 2007.[1] Lee has also been the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, but has always declined to make a speech.

Other significant contributions of Lee include assisting her close friend, Truman Capote, in his research for the book In Cold Blood.

Oskar Schindler
Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was an ethnic German industrialist born in Moravia. He is credited with saving almost 1,200[1][2] Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic respectively.[3] He is the subject of the novel Schindler's Ark, and the film based on it, Schindler's List.

(Famousbirthdays.com & Wikipedia.)

Quote of the day


   
Bo Derek
I love Spain. I go back two or three times a year usually to visit friends and ride horses.
                                ~Bo Derek  
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Originally posted to BlueJessamine on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 05:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse.

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