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CELEBRITIES & MODELS

Emma Watson Is Taking A Break From University

Harry Potter star Emma Watson, 20, has announced on her website that she’s putting her studies at Brown University on hold temporarily as she promotes the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which is out this summer, and works on some addition projects. According to IMDB, she stars in My Week With Marilyn, featuring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, which is out sometime this year and is in post-production. She is currently filming Perks of Being a Wallflower, based on a novel by Stephen Chbosky and co-starring Oprah, Logan Lerman and Larry David. Here’s Emma’s statement on taking a break from college.

Heidi Montag's Breasts Can Multitask

While defying the very laws of reason by acting in a legitimate film yesterday, Heidi Montag somehow find time to squeeze in a photoshoot for her line of hair care products. So not only is Heidi an actress, she's a working model with all the beauty and grace of Barbie having a stroke. We're in a parallel dimension, aren't we? Goddammit.

Aubrey O'Day Makes It So Easy

If you've ever wanted to taste Aubrey O'Day's creampie, you're disgusting! But in addition to being gross, you're also in luck because she now has her own milkshake over at Millions of Milkshakes in Los Angeles. Aubrey O'Day lives to pose with whipped cream like it's a dollop of man milk, so thankfully for her a place like Millions of Milkshakes exists! Aubrey followed up her computer-generated bukkake ad for Millions of Famewhores by creating a milkshake named after her. Aubrey's delicious cup of wart puss contains milky sweat from Diddy's over-moisturized nutsack, coagulated silicone from a leaky implant, two drops of red dog dye and one bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. One sip of it will send you into ecstasy. One sip will also send you to quarantine by order of the Department of Health, but at least you'll have one second of pleasure before that happens.

Brandy Is Looking Very Nice

Here is Brandy leaving rehearsals for ‘Dancing With The Stars, wearing an awesome tight little t-shirt and bouncing around like any woman with breasts like that should be doing constantly. Tell you the truth she should just wear a bikini on the show and do the Bunny Hop for every dance. I’m very disappointed in the lack of ass shots though? She’s wearing tights for God’s sake… could we not have managed to get at least one ass shot? Typical fotog amateurs.

PHOTOGRAPHY & EYE CANDY

WWII Navy Mines Furniture

Remember those old World War II mines? Mati Karmin has turned them into beautiful steam-punk like furniture. What about a fireplace, a desk, a chair, bathtub, chandelier or a simple baby carriage? Amazing work!

25 Haunting Shipwrecks Around the World

Fellow blogger Tom Moran from Urban Ghosts inspired this post. His excellent article on ‘Ship Graveyards: Abandoned Ships, Boats and Shipyards‘ sent me on a quest to find some incredible photographs of shipwrecks around the world. The United Nations estimates that there are more than 3 million shipwrecks on the ocean floor. These once mighty vessels, both sunken and beached, are a haunting reminder that nothing lasts forever. These beautiful ships used to rule the seas they traveled. Now they serve as a window into our past.

Yarn Bombing The Blue Line

Earlier today I got a message from a certain Ishknits yarn bombing artist telling me that she was heading out this afternoon to bomb SEPTA’s Blue Line and invited me to tag along to photograph it all for this blog. Needless to say I hopped right on the El, and from 15th street to 69th street and then back to the Dolphin street stop, she installed 3 pieces on 3 different trains. And even while we started on a near empty train by the end it was the beginning of rush hour and the train was packed, all the people on each train we very excited about the work. Moving out of our way when we needed them too, taking photos, and chatting with both of us. One older woman even asked us excitedly, “is this for the internet?” “Yup, it is, ma’am.”

Water Towers of Ireland

An exhibition up—possibly for just one more day—over at University College, Dublin, features photos by James Young. For the last 10 months, Young has been assembling a typological study of water towers in Ireland. Young describes it as "part inventory, part photographic essay and part history." Of course, Young's work has presumably been greeted with very many comparisons to the work of Bernd & Hilla Becher.

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

Tech-Aided Parking Lowers Your Heart Rate

Drivers are less stressed about parallel parking when they get a little help from an automatic parking-assist system, and they aren’t so worried about avoiding obstacles when they’ve got blind-spot-detection technology, according to a new study. Ford, which uses the technology in many models, was curious to see how it helps drivers. It embarked on a nine-month research project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology New England University Transportation Center to find out. Together the brainiacs tested 42 Boston-area drivers equally distributed by age and sex. They got behind the wheel of a tricked out Lincoln MKS straight out of Knight Rider with a research assistant riding shotgun to record the data.

Ferrari Takes Wraps Off New 599 GTO, Quicker Than An Enzo

We've seen the spy shots. We've even seen the options list. Now Ferrari has officially taken the wraps off its new performance benchmark, the 599 GTO, ahead of the car's official debut later this month at the Beijing Motor Show. Sort of a street-legal stepping point between the production 599 GTB Fiorano and the track-only 599XX, the 599 GTO evokes the famous Gran Turismo Omologato designation made famous by the legendary 250 GTO of the 1960s and the muscle-bound 288 GTO of the 1980s. That's quite a legacy to follow, so it's a good thing the 599 GTO brings the goods. Output from the 6.0-liter V12 – itself derived from the Enzo's engine – is up from 612 horsepower to 661, with torque up a modest 9 lb-ft to 457. Coupled with a 195 kilogram (430 lb) weight reduction program – now tipping the scales at 1495 kg (3295 lbs), the leaner and meaner 599 can sprint to 62 miles per hour from a standstill in a scant (and very specific) 3.35 seconds, with a top speed in excess of 208 mph, while lapping the Fiorano test track from which its donor's name is derived in a blitzing 1 minute, 24 seconds. That's faster than the Enzo, people.

Ducati 916: The Superbike, Evolved

Ducati's legendary 916 all but set the blueprint for the modern superbike, changing the way the motorcycle industry approached both styling and technical sophistication. Kilometer Magazine assembled this history of one of Italy's most fascinating machines. If you asked anyone in 1994 - motorcyclist or otherwise - if the number 916 held any significance, they'd have probably shrugged. At the time, it didn't mean anything to anyone outside of the Sacramento area code. But later that year, Ducati announced its new superbike. Since that point, the number 916 has been synonymous with two-wheeled Italian perfection. Following its first six seasons of World Superbike competition, the tiny Bolognese manufacturer needed a new track machine that could fully realize the company's potential. The 851 and 888 were successful in the series, but each bike's shape — though decidedly Italian — was hard to distinguish from that of its Japanese contemporaries.

Road Test Review: Mopar Ram Runner by KORE

At 50 mph and with all four tires about 18 inches above the floor of the Mojave Desert, the Mopar Ram Runner we’re piloting instantly etches smiles on our faces. But what was more impressive is the smooth and controlled jumps and landings that follow (repeatedly) that confirm Chrysler’s high-performance off-road kit is the real deal in providing a credible, albeit expensive, alternative to the turn-key Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. We recently spent a week with a Ram Runner, assembled by veteran Baja racer and suspension development guru Kent Kroeker. Kroeker diligently engineered and developed the kit for more than three years with his staff at KORE, outside San Diego, before turning it over to Mopar to sell to the general public.

TECHNOLOGY & OTHER NEAT STUFF

A Look at Jim Henson’s Muppet Geeks

Twenty years ago this past weekend, a shining figure from many of our childhoods passed away. Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets and countless films and television shows, died at the age of 53 after suffering organ failure due to a severe infection of Streptococcus pyrogenes. I remember finding out the news at school and being devastated—so much of Henson’s work had defined my early childhood, and he was gone. But, through the years I’ve realized while Henson may no longer be with us, his legacy lives on, both in the work he did and the work he inspired. Still, have you ever stopped to notice just how geeky the whole Muppet crew was? Just looking around at the work Henson did it’s hard to think that he could have been anything other than a geek. Only a geek would have the kind of drive to create such whimsical, offbeat, hilarious, and often touching characters (not to mention with such an eye for pop culture and bizarre humor). But I think his understanding of the many kinds of geeks goes far beyond the surface. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I see that Henson and his team portrayed a wide variety of geeks within the Muppet spectrum.

DARPA’s New Multi-Million Dollar “Terminator” Program

DARPA just put out a call for a robotics software/hardware research and development program called ARM, which seeks to build a robot that can autonomously and skillfully grasp a number of objects using two arms and hands – including objects like knives and pistols. Disturbingly, the brief states that the new robot hand and control software should be able to (and I quote), “Hold an inert grenade with one hand, and pull the pin with the other hand” without the need for human control. And they plan to spend tens of millions of dollars on it over the course of 4 years.

Atari 2600 Stella Portable Is The Nicest Atari 2600 Portable Mod Yet

I’ve certainly seen my share of Atari 2600 mods over the years, but I’ve still always longed for a really nice portable version that actually plays the original cartridges. So when I stumbled onto this handheld, made from a highly modified Atari Flashback 2, I was tickled. Created by a modder going by the moniker “Mario” (why isn’t this a portable NES, again?), this lovely looking orange handheld Atari 2600 games on its built-in 3.5-inch LCD screen. He named the handheld “Stella”, as that’s the original codename the 2600 had before it was released – it also happens to be the name of the best 2600 emulator out there. It has both a built-in joypad and a paddle controller, and can play either the built-in Flashback 2 games or original carts. It’s also got a built-in speaker, and can play for about 2 hours on its rechargeable battery pack. There’s even a 9-pin joystick port for connecting an external joystick for a second player.

Adoptive Parents Save Endangered Penguin Chick

Quick thinking and action by staff at Denver Zoo and Pueblo Zoo probably saved the life of an African penguin chick. On March 20, four days past its due date, the chick was assisted with emerging from its shell by Pueblo Zoo Animal Care Coordinator Melanie Pococke. Pococke then sought help from Denver Zoo staff in caring for the tiny bird, when the hatchling’s biological parents at Pueblo Zoo were unable to care for it. Zookeepers from each zoo met halfway to bring the chick to Denver Zoo where it was placed under the care of experienced parents. The chick’s surrogate father, Durban, and mother, Spencer, are now taking excellent care of their adopted youngster.

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