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Friday, January 25, 2008


I discovered yesterday this fantastic internet phenomenon of taking pictures of animals and adding funny caption to them, most often in a degenerate, gangster-rapper-like form of English language.

Here's one example: funny pictures

It has been hard to get back to work after seeing the first few, yesterday.
In between the piccies I also found a funny movie posted on youtube:

So go here for moar funny pictures.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How much the (OECD) world invests in R&D

It's in this nice graph, from the latest edition of Nature. Sad to see Italy lagging behind, I did not expect the 4% that Sweden pulls but at least 2%, come on!!!

The latest analysis from the US National Science Board confirms that Israel leads the world in its economic devotion to research and development (R&D).
Its civilian R&D spending in 2005 accounted for 4.71% of gross domestic product (GDP), more than twice the average among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Although US R&D investment was the world’s largest ( $340 billion ) and in 2004, it was more than that of the rest of the G7 nations combined, the report offers some evidence of a slight decline in its standing.
Its 2.57% share of GDP is comfortably above the OECD average of 2.25%, but both South Korea and Switzerland have leapfrogged ahead of the United States by this measure since the board’s previous report in 2006.
Germany could now be poised to do the same.
Most countries are investing more in R&D than they were, says Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation, which published the report.
For example, although China ranks 23rd in GDP share ( just 1.34% ) it has pulled ahead to third in total R&D investment with an estimated $115 billion in 2005.

I am most surprised at the incredible figure for Israel expenditure: almost 5% of the GDP in R&D. and I thought they had to spend all of their GDP in weapons to keep their many enemies at bay...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Octopus loves Mr Potato

Here's a new one. I have always been trying to convince people that octopuses are very advanced creatures in terms of 'braininess'. That it really isn't a good thing to fish them out of the water and kill them bashing them on a rock, or even worse biting their heads while still alive, as my gilrfriend saw with horror in a beach in Sardinia (no picture of the event, unfortunately).

And now, I discover they can get emotionally attached to puppets, just like a six-year old boy. In the picture, an octopus who was given a Mr Potato toy some months ago, and has been defending it since then. Differently from me, the octopus must have liked the new Transformers movie, since the puppet is in fact OptiMash Prime, Mr Potato version of the Autobot's chief in command. Who would have thought that an 18-wheeler would need protection from a Kraken?

A New Digital Camera?

After only a few months with the DMC TZ-3? Yes.

It's not that I don't like it, it's a great camera, its seamless 28-280mm zoom is fantastic, but... there is always a but with me... the noise introduced by the chip messes up everything, I feel like my old nikopn gets better pictures after all, plus in darkness without a viewfinder the large LCD screen is a pain to use. I am pondering now on a big step, that is, to get a real SLR body with a good lens to start with.

Nikon, since I still love the little coolpix, plus the fact that my father has one so we could share lenses and stuff.

Probably the d40, or the d40x if I can cough up the cash.

The only thing I don't understand is whether the lenses works as in 35mm film cameras, or the 18-55mm is really more of a 24-70mm. Anyone who can tell me more?