Saturday, December 30, 2006

face transplant

The first partial face transplant was performed in 2005. The patient was severely disfigured in a dog attack. The surgery allowed this woman to eat and speak again. Scientists are now planning for the world's first full face transplant.

While many people have expressed interest in the transplant, doctors must carefully select their patients. The patients must have damage that is untreatable with current techniques. Patients must also be willing to take immunosuppressants (to stop their immune system from attacking the donor face) in order to prevent rejection. And, in the case that the face is rejected, donors must have enough of their own (undamaged) skin that doctors could replace the donor face with the person's own skin, if necessary. Choosing an appropriate candidate for the operation is almost as difficult as the procedure itself.

Many people ask if the person receiving the transplant will look like the person who donated the face. The answer is no. They will look like a combination of the two faces. It is not only the skin itself, but the bone structure of the skull underneath that determines what your face will look like.

Any comments?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

banana bunker

There is a market for everything. Including a protective case for your banana.

Uh oh. Competition. Check out the Banana Guard. It's good to have choices.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

cricket under parasitic mind control

Thanks to Adam A. for showing me this crazy video of a "cricket's mind taken over by a parasite." Of course, being a responsible scientist, I had to check the source of the information. This parasite really does exist and does cause these behaviors!

komodo dragon virgin birth

Imagine how surprised zookeepers were to find out this Komodo Dragon was pregnant - without having any contact with male dragons!
Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.

those crazy llamas

Enjoy the llama song, while you learn about how llama antibodies might prevent dandruff AND fight bioterrorism ...... (also featured in HowStuffWorks)

observation skills

Try this. Then try it on your friends. Load the video and count the number of times the team members wearing white shirts pass the basketball. Then click here to check your answer. (It's harder than it looks.)

snakes swallowing things they shouldn't

WARNING: Gross pictures. Viewer discretion is advised.

Check out the python that swallowed a pregnant sheep. Sometimes prey is too much for a snake to handle, as is the case with this alligator.

Although, even watching a snake swallow a regular egg is pretty cool.

all about pi

Learn the pi song. If singing it is not enough, watch the video.

Currently, pi has been memorized by people and calculated using a computer. Some guy even wrote a web site entitled "How to Memorize Pi." And another site has a great selection of pi merchandise. Whoa.

duct tape adventures

If you find yourself with some free time and a few rolls of duct tape, you may want to look into some things to do with duct tape

If you need an additional challenge, perhaps you will be inspired by these prom couples.

odds & ends

Well, change is good. And I am changing my "random page" into a blog format. While I will be writing entries for a few of my favorites, theses are the "odds & ends" from the cutting room floor.

* See what these kids are up to in the Ultimate Dorm Prank

* read how a fart caused a plane to make emergency landing.

* hear music "composed" on an old IBM printer from 1964

* learn 30 different ways to lace your shoes

* check out this corny on-line karaoke