July 26, 2012

World's most powerful dam opens in China

The giant and controversial Three Gorges Dam in China has launched the last of its generators, just as it hits its annual flood peak.

The final 32 generators went into operation this week, making it the world's largest hydropower project, built on the Yangtze River in the Hubei Province.

It is designed to decrease the risk of flooding during the current peak rainfall season, as well as store and distribute water during the dry periods.

A series of incredible photos show the sheer force of the flood water released from seven spillways after heavy downpours in the upper reaches of the dam caused the highest flood peak of the year.

Water from the Yangtze River upper gushed at up 70,000 cubic metres per second into the dam's reservoir yesterday.

The dam is working to take the edge off the fierce flood and reduce its impact on the river's lower reaches by storing at least 26,000 cubic meters of flood water every second, the Yangtze River flood control and drought relief, according to the Global Times.

Water outflow from the dam currently measures 43,000 cubic meters per second.

So far the forces of flood has been been the highest in recent memory, worse that the devastating 1998 Yangtze flood which cause a large amount of damage with a flow rate of 50,000 cubic meters per second.

The ongoing flood is therefore the biggest challenge the dam has faced since it started storing water, the headquarters said.

Weekend floods in Beijing caused 'significant losses' and casualty numbers are still being tallied, the head of the worst-hit district has said.

The heavy rains have left nearly 100 people dead, state media has said, although those figures have been questioned by international observers, who believe the death toll could be higher.

'The full operation of the generators makes the Three Gorges Dam the world's largest hydropower project and largest base of clean energy,' said Zhang Cheng, general manager of China Yangtze Power, the operator of the generators.

The dam, which first went into operation in 2003 at a cost of $22.5 billion, has a combined generating capacity of 22.5 million kilowatts (22,500 megawatts), the equivalent of fifteen nuclear reactors.

The construction of the dam, which forced the relocation of 1.4 million people, has been heavily criticised by experts worldwide, and residents of nearby areas.

Beijing has long held up the dam as a symbol of its engineering prowess, a solution to the frequent floods of China's longest river and a source of badly-needed electricity.

But in May last year Beijing admitted the dam had spawned a range of problems.

The project began in 1993 despite warnings the weight of the reservoir would dangerously alter central China's geology, uproot millions of people, poison water supplies by trapping pollution and disrupt the Yangtze watershed.

The dam has created a reservoir stretching up to 600 kilometres (370 miles) through the scenic Three Gorges region, which is criss-crossed by geological faultlines.

Kristen Stewart's grovelling apology to Robert Pattinson ver married director affair

A tearful Kristen Stewart emerges for the first time since issuing grovelling apology to Robert Pattinson over married director affair
  • Twilight actress issued public apology to Robert Pattinson after her affair with Rupert Sanders emerged
  • Kristen is planning to write a private letter to his model wife Liberty Ross
  • Ross played Stewart's mother in film directed by her husband
  • Robert has failed to respond to Kristen's grovelling but he's said to be 'devastated'
  • R-Patz recently hinted he planned to marry Kristen... and has said he 'never understood' people who cheat
  • Stewart is said to be convinced she can win Pattinson back
She issued a grovelling apology to boyfriend Robert Pattinson last night after her affair with married director Rupert Sanders emerged.

And now Kristen Stewart has been spotted for the first time since the cheating claims came to light.

The Twilight star was seen walking around Los Angeles as the effects of her infidelity continue to spiral to the surface.

And the intense scrutiny she now faces seems to be taking its toll as she looked weary and miserable as she drew attention to herself.

Kristen even seemed to plead with photographers to leave her in peace as she tried to brush off the glares following her since the affair hit news stands at the start of the week.

She looked disturbed as she rubbed her head and her eye as she appeared to be crying.

Stewart issued a grovelling public apology to Robert Pattinson following revelations of her affair with married director Rupert Sanders last night.

Pictures have since emerged of the Twilight actress, 22, in the arms of the 41-year-old Snow White And The Huntsman filmmaker - who has two young children with model wife Liberty Ross.

According to People, Kristen said: 'I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected.

'This momentary indiscretion has jeopardised the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.'

There was no response, at least publicly, from Robert.

And while she mentioned Robert in her public apology, it was noted she missed Liberty out of her statement, despite affecting her marriage as a result of her actions.

But according to RadarOnline, the actress is intending to write a private letter to the British catwalk star to attempt to make amends, as she didn't feel it was right to speak in public to her.

A source told the website: 'Kristen didn’t feel it was appropriate to issue a public apology to Liberty once the story of her affair with Rupert broke.

'Instead, she’s going to do the decent thing and write Liberty a private letter expressing her deepest regret for her actions.

'She was thinking of including Liberty, Rupert and the kids in her public apology – but Kristen was so desperate to save her relationship with Rob she decided to concentrate on that first.'

Kristen is said to be taking action as it has now 'dawned on he' the director has two children whose lives are also at stake due to their tryst.

Rupert too has reportedly followed suit with an apology, telling People: 'I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family.

'My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying that we can get through this together.'

And reports are also suggesting that Kristen is 'confident' she can win back Robert because she knows how much he loves her.

A source told RadarOnline: 'Kristen is pulling out all the stops with Rob, completely apologizing and trying to make things right with him, but she is very confident that she is going to win his trust back.

'Kristen is doing everything in her power to keep Rob from breaking up with her. She knows how much he loves her and she really believes that she is going to keep him from dumping her.'

As Kristen prepared to spread her wings from the vampire franchise, she joined forces with the father-of-two to work on his $170m feature debut - which was released just last month.

Wife Liberty, 33, played Queen Eleanor - Stewart's mother in the box office hit.

Yesterday it was reported that last Tuesday, Kristen was caught in the arms of Rupert - with celebrity magazine Us Weekly claiming to have photographic evidence.

Kristen can be seen wrapped in the arms of a man alleged to be Sanders on the cover of this week's issue of the American magazine.

In another snap, Rupert appears to nestle into Kristen's shoulder, even nibbling or offering a kiss as they were captured at Pacific View Trail - a lookout point with a view of the Hollywood sign.

A series of shots sees the pair caught in an embrace as the smiling actress leans against a ledge, while clutching her baseball cap, with Rupert gravitating towards her with open arms.

But perhaps the most unsettling pictures are those taken from inside a parked car, where Stewart and Sanders seem to be kissing.

While the brunette's face is turned from the camera, her hairstyle and profile resemble the real K-Stew, with her white tank top and neon yellow bra strap showing, as in the other pictures.

Kristen's head is tilted as Rupert's eyes are closed and their heads come together.

As they drive away, Kristen puts her baseball cap back on and both cover their faces in shades.

A photographer told Us Weekly: 'He was all over her. (They) would only take a break when they thought someone was walking by. It seemed like they couldn't get enough.'

It is believed Kristen may have avoided being photographed if not for the timing of a phone call.

July 19, 2012

How to beat prostate cancer: Eat fish

A fish on table is better than one in water! Eating oily fish regularly can significantly increase your chance of surviving prostate cancer, a new Harvard study has found.

The findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found patients who regularly ate the highest amounts of omega-3 fish oil were between 34 to 40 per cent less likely to die from the disease.

A 20-year-long study at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston also found that patients who consumed very high amounts of saturated fats were twice as likely to die from their tumour compared to those who ate less, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

According to the study, the risks of prostate cancer increase with age and men over 50 are more likely to develop a tumour, which has a strong genetic element to it.

Scientists tracked 525 men with an average age of 70 who had signed up to a long-term study back in 1989 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Patients were quizzed on their dietary habits, including consumption of different types of fats.

For the next 20 years, all the men were followed up to monitor survival rates.

The results showed that, by March 2011, 222 of the men had died from prostate cancer and 268 from other causes.

When researchers compared the causes of death with dietary habits they found men who regularly ate fish with high oil content were between 34 and 40 per cent less likely to have died from their prostate cancer.

The researchers said diet appears to have a powerful effect on tumours that are in the early stages of development.

"Fish consumption may have a modest protective effect on prostate cancer risk and progression, as well as disease specific mortality. These results suggest early stage tumours may be more responsive to dietary factors and that diet may influence prognosis following a diagnosis of early stage prostate cancer," the researchers were quoted by the paper as saying.

Last year's study, carried out at the University of California found fish oil reduced the number of rapidly dividing cells in the prostate cancer tissue, potentially reducing the chances of the disease spreading to other parts of the body.

July 18, 2012

Dictionary that allows users to contribute their own words

Want to whet your wordy appetite? A popular publishing house is allowing users to coin new words and submit them on-line.

If the word is accepted, the submitter will be offered the chance to be permanently credited in the Collins' English dictionary website, www.Collinsdictionary.Com, below their word's definition.

Collins said opening the normally closed process would make the way the English language is recorded more democratic.

The site was launched last year and is based in Glasgow, where Collins English dictionary print editions and other best-selling reference titles are produced.

Collins editors have already submitted a selection of words, including 'omnishambles', originally from The Thick Of It and more recently used by Ed Miliband, 'superphone', tash-on', a word for kissing, popularised by reality TV show Geordie Shore, and 'twitlit'.

"We know people are passionate about the preservation and evolution of the English language, and we want to tap into that as new words continue to capture the public imagination," Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins, was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.

"For Collins on-line dictionary, it was essential that we keep our ear close to the ground listening out for new words emerging from pop culture, science and technology 'Most dictionaries are static. By allowing the public to truly participate, we're ensuring that we stay on top of the evolving English language," Brown said.

All words submitted will go through the same review process by the Collins dictionary editors.

According to publishers, the criteria for inclusion of words ranges from frequency of use, number of sources and staying power.

Evidence will be based on the publisher's 4.5 billion-word database of language called the Collins Corpus, which takes words from a wide range of spoken and written English sources, including newspapers, radio and social media.

Editors will provide the feed back on a submitted word within two or three weeks, and words that are not initially accepted will continue to be monitored and reviewed over the following year.

Man holds waitress hostage to draw her 'Titanic' style nude

A wannabe British artist allegedly held a waitress prisoner in his flat, trying to "recreate" the famous Titanic scene in which Kate Winslet allows Leonardo Di Caprio to sketch her in nude.

Edflar Mendes, 26, is said to have told her co-worker, Beata Lipska that she was his 'muse' and threatened to keep her "so he could draw her for ever," the Inner London Crown Court was told.

The bizarre incident took place after Mendes and Beata Lipska, who worked together at a nightclub in south London, had completed their shift, the Daily Mail reported.

Lipska, 29, claimed that Mendes offered to sketch her, telling her it would be just like the scene in the 1997 film in which Winslet allows Leonardo, who plays an impoverished artist, to draw her in nude.

However, after Mendes completed his sketch, he first refused to show it to Lipska and then pinned her to the bed, the jury was told.

Lipska explained in the court that she agreed to go to Mendes' flat after work in the early hours of August last year.

"He convinced me to come upstairs. He said he really wanted my opinion on his work and he really wanted me to see his art. There was no pressure, he was very friendly, he just invited me to see his work," she told the jury.

"When we were up there he started talking about trying to draw me. I meant he could make a picture of me from a photo, and sometime in the future. I started showing him photos and he offered to do a preliminary sketch. Eddy asked me to move on to the bed because it was easier for him to use his pallet and brushes. I wasn't posing though," she said.

Defending barrister Derek Barry, however, denied that there was a mention about doing it like Titanic.

Unsatisfied with his sketch, Mendes refused to show it to the waitress, the court heard.

"He was on the bed, sitting on top of me, holding my arms," Lipska said, adding, "he was saying no one would see me again, I was fighting for my life."

Lipska said she managed to push Mendes away before he blocked her at the door. Lipska was able to escape and call police, the court heard.

Mendes denies common assault and false imprisonment.

Mona Lisa's skeleton found?

Archaeologists have inched closer to unravelling the secret behind Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile, as they believe to have discovered the skeleton of the model who posed for Da Vinci's masterpiece.

Archaeologists in Italy have found a skeleton buried beneath the floor of a convent in Florence, which they believe belonged to Lisa Gherardini, the model who posed for Leonardo's da Vinci's painting, 'The Mona Lisa', the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Lisa Gherardini, was the wife of a rich silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo.

Most modern historians agree that the lady depicted in the Mona Lisa was Lisa del Giocondo, who became a nun after her husband's death. She died at the age of 63 at the Convent of Saint Ursula on July 15, 1542.

An archaeological team began digging at the abandoned convent last year. They had found a crypt believed to have been Lisa's final resting place and soon after they unearthed a female-sized human skull.

The skull was unearthed five feet under the convent's original floor along with other fragments of human ribs and vertebrae.

The dig which resumed last month, found a human skeleton this week.

The bones will undergo tests to establish if they match the skull found last year. The DNA in the bones will be compared with the remains of the model's two children.

Once the scientists have verified that the skeleton and skull belong to the model, forensic artists will attempt to reconstruct her face and see how it compares to the 500-year-old version painted by da Vinci - and perhaps solve the riddle of the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile in the process, the report said.

"We don't know yet if the bones belong to one single skeleton or more than one. But this confirms our hypothesis that in St. Ursula convent there are still human bones and we cannot exclude that among them there are bones belonging to Lisa Gherardini," archaeologist Silvano Vinceti, who is in charge of the dig was quoted as saying by the paper.

The painting is in oil on panel, started by Da Vinci in 1503 or 1504 and finished in 1519, shortly before his death, and after he had moved to France.

Known in Italy as La Gioconda, it is considered the most famous painting in the world. The Mona Lisa is owned by the French government.

Did Sage Stallone overdose on painkillers?

Sylvester Stallone's son Sage, who was found dead on Friday in his LA apartment, had undergone extensive dental surgery and may have overdosed on painkillers, according to his mother.

Sasha Czak, in her first public comment since Sage's death, said her son had five teeth extracted two weeks before he was found dead.

Czak, Stallone's first wife, also said that she had begged him not to have so much dental work carried out in one day, the New York Post reported.

The Los Angeles coroner has confirmed pill bottles were recovered from the 36-year-old filmmakers's Hollywood home and it is widely believed that he died of an overdose.

Toxicology results are expected within four to six weeks.

"I told him not to do that. I've heard about people dying having multiple procedures done to you mouth. Do not have more than one tooth (pulled)," she said.

When asked if her son would be taking pain medication, she added, "Wouldn't you be."

Los Angeles coroner Ed Winter has denied reports that Sage was living in squalor when his body was found as per some reports.

"Sage Stallone wasn't living in squalor. His home wasn't inordinately messy. It seemed to be a typical male messiness. Stallone did have a housekeeper," Winter said.

Rajesh Khanna, the man who brought superstardom to Hindi films

Rajesh Khanna, whose romantic persona in songs like 'Mere sapno ki raani', 'O mere dil ke chain' and 'Roop tera mastana' made many a young woman's heart skip a beat, was Hindi film world's first actor to attain superstar status.

His mannerism, his unique style of dancing, dialogue delivery and gestures added to his onscreen persona and have been imitated countless number of times.

The 69-year-old actor breathed his last at his Mumbai residence today.

At the peak of his career, Khanna, popularly called Kaka, would be mobbed during public appearances as fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks. They lined the road, cheering and chanting his name. Female fans sent him letters written in blood.

His predecessors Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar broke hearts in their time no doubt, but the hysteria connected with Khanna was unprecedented.

Born as Jatin Khanna on December 29, 1942, he was adopted and raised by foster parents. He began taking interest in acting while in school and performed in a number of plays. It was his uncle who changed Khanna's first name to Rajesh when he decided to join films.

In 1965, he won an all India talent contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare and as a result made his debut the next year in "Aakhri Khat", directed by Chetan Anand. His second film "Raaz" was also a part of his predetermined prize for winning the competition.

He found success with films like "Baharon Ke Sapne", "Aurat", "Doli" and "Ittefaq", but it was the 1969 film "Aradhana" opposite Sharmila Tagore that catapulted Khanna to superstardom.

The film also saw the resurgence of Kishore Kumar, who eventually became the official playback voice of Khanna and the actor-singer duo delivered a number of hit songs subsequently, memorable among them being 'Mere sapno ki raani', 'Roop tera mastana', 'Kuch to log kahenge' and 'Jai jai shiv shankar'.