Archive for category funda

The Secret Powers of Time

Really interesting talk and a wonderful illustratiion by cognitivemedia.

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Mobile Phone Number Suspended After 3 Users Die In 10 Years

A mobile phone company has suspended the number 0888 888 888 – after every single person assigned to it died in the last 10 years. [via telegraph]

The first owner Vladimir Grashnov – the former CEO of Bulgarian mobile phone company Mobitel which issued the number – died of cancer in 2001 aged just 48.

Despite a spotless business record there were persistent rumors that his cancer had been caused by a business rival using radioactive poisoning.

The number then passed to Bulgarian mafia boss, Konstantin Dimitrov, who was gunned down in 2003 by a lone assassin in the Netherlands during a trip to inspect his £500 million drug smuggling empire.

Dimitrov, who died aged 31, had the mobile with him when he was shot while eating out with a model.

Russian mafia bosses – jealous of his drug smuggling operation – were said to have been behind the killing.

The phone number then passed to Konstantin Dishliev, a crooked businessman, who was gunned down outside an Indian restaurant in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia after taking over the jinxed line.

Dishliev, an estate agent, had secretly been running a massive cocaine trafficking operation before his assassination in 2005.

He died after £130 million of the drug was intercepted by police on its way into the country from Colombia.

Since then, the number is understood to have been dormant while police maintained an open file on Dishliev’s killing and his smuggling ring.

Now phone bosses are said to have suspended the number for good. Callers now get a recorded message saying the phone is “outside network coverage.”

A Mobitel spokesman would only say: “We have no comment to make. We won’t discuss individual numbers.”

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VS Ramachandran: On your mind

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VS Ramachandran: How Neurons Shaped Civilizations

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Precisely what I feel

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What is a browser?

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iPods and Walkmen don’t cause Hearing Loss

Good news for all of you who can’t focus on work without the headphones on the ears! 😉

*Note to my wife: Ahaaaaa!!!!! What do you say now???? So, headphones and loud music doesn’t necessarily damage hearing!! 😉

Despite all the Walkmen, boomboxes, 8-tracks, iPods and Bluetooth headsets that have delivered raucous noise to the ears of Baby Boomers, hearing loss appears to be declining among adults.

This counterintuitive finding from the first study of long-term changes in hearing loss is that for every five years a man or woman was born later in the 20th century, their chance of having hearing impairment dropped 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

A key suggestion of the report is that other, positive changes in the last 50 years — reduced noise levels at work and better overall health — are more important than the rise of headphones and other entertainingly noisy new products.

“Because many people think that the world is getting noisier and noisier, they think that the prevalence of hearing impairment might increase,” said Weihai Zhan, a population health scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “But the prevalence of hearing impairment is decreasing across the generation.”

The new work draws on a long-term study of health outcomes for the people of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, a small town in between Milwaukee and Madison. More than 2,000 people underwent three health screenings at five-year intervals.

The study also underscores that hearing loss clearly is not wholly determined by genetic factors or simple aging, but rather stems from
several “environmental, lifestyle or other modifiable factors,” the authors wrote in their new paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology January issue.

Read More @ Wired.

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