The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Video: Anti-farting law in Malawi creates a stink

It's true. Lawmakers in Malawi's financial capital Blantyre are proposing a controversial bill banning passing wind in public. Watch the reaction.

Video: Chipmunk in slow motion – must watch!

Is the Hipstamatic photojournalism's breaking point?

Kodak Instamatic CameraImage by Marco Gomes via Flickr
First let me get this out of the way: I think New York Times photographer Damon Winter is one of the best photojournalists out there. I speak with a bit of knowledge; I am the photo editor of a national newspaper. The iPhone Histamatic app lets you shoot photos with the phone and after which the app processes them in a customized manner, that gives you an end product that mimics various old films and cameras. So far,so good. It's fun and interesting. But is it photojournalism?

The short answer is no. Damon won third place in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition, which is one of the premier competitions for photojournalists. I have a problem with this. Big problem. In an era where photos are easily manipulated, it's important to provide a reasonably consistent representation of the truth in news photographs. Photographers at newspapers that have manipulated images in Photoshop have been fired for the offence. Histamatic basically does automatically what you could do in Photoshop: It manipulates images beyond acceptable standards for photojournalism.

Sound like a rant? You bet.

You can see Damon's  Histamatic work here.

So cool: Video – St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church

Coltrane Church from Turnstyle Video on Vimeo.

New app shows immigrants trying to sneak into U.S.

NOGALES, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  U.S. Border Patrol...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A new app available for the iPod and iPad makes a game out of sneaking across the U.S. border. The game, "Smuggle Truck" shows a truck bouncing along a desert highway shedding men, women and children along the way. Developers say the game, which will be available next month, is a satirical swipe at the country's broken immigration system. Activists failed to the humour.

New iPhone app tells friends what you are watching on TV

Attention couch potatoes: This new iPhone app analyzes the sound in the room, figures out what TV show you are watching and automatically shares the info on Facebook and Twitter. The app, IntoNow,  recognizes TV shows by analyzing just a few seconds of audio. The app uses a technology called SoundPrinting.

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Nurse steals patients pain meds – tells him to "man-up"

A Minnesota nurse, Sarah May Casareto, shot herself up with the dose of fentanyl meant for a patient who was undergoing surgery for kidney stones. According to the police report obtained by the Star Tribune, Casareto said to the patient just before the surgery, "You're gonna have to man up here and take some of the pain because we can't give you a lot of medication."

After the procedure started, the patient felt "very long needles going through my skin and down into my kidneys." When he started screaming Casareto told him to "go to your beach ... go to your happy place." Soon Casareto started slurring her words then fell asleep. She resigned to avoid taking a drug test and was charged with theft of a controlled substance.

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Researchers hack iPhone passwords in 6 minutes

iPhone 4 showing the home screen.Image via Wikipedia
German researchers say they have been able to reveal the passwords stored in a locked iPhone in six minutes. They did this without cracking the phone's passcode. The attack requires possession of the phone and targets keychain – Apple's password management system. Passwords for networks and corporate information systems are at risk said the researchers at the state-sponsored Fraunhofer Institute Secure Information Technology (Fraunhofer SIT).

Children swim with Polar Bears

Well, not quite.This is a neat trick at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Canada. A pane of glass separates the predator from the kids. Must be like looking at fresh meat in a butcher shop for the poor bear.

Video: Watching pain reduces it

The instinctive impulse for most people is to look away when something painful is being done to them, such as an injection. But a scientific study has found that looking at your body, where the injection is taking place, actually reduces the level of pain. When scientists magnified the injection site, making it appear larger, the pain was reduced further. So much for "what you can't see can't hurt you."

Deaf dog taught sign language in prison

Category:DachshundImage via Wikipedia
A deaf dog has learned sign language from the inmates at a U.S. prison. The deaf dachshund named Sparky was taught sign language by the inmates at the South Central Correctional Center in Licking, Missouri. Then, the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton took Sparky  in, where the school's children continued to teach him more signs. What is the sign for "shiv"?