Friday, August 31, 2007

What spider could construct such a massively creepy web?

There are times when you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in this eerie spider web.

Officials at Lake Tawakoni State Park say the sprawling spider web is a big attraction for some visitors, while others will not go anywhere near it.

Now entomologists are debating the origin and rarity of the web that blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard (182-metre) stretch of trail in a North Texas park.


The webs bring to mind the terrifyingly large spiders featured in the Harry Potter movies

"At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland," said Donna Garde, superintendent of the park about 45 miles (72 kilometres) east of Dallas. "Now it's filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs."

Spider experts say the web may have been constructed by social cobweb spiders, which work together, or could be the result of a mass dispersal in which the arachnids spin webs to spread out from one another.

"I've been hearing from entomologists from Ohio, Kansas, British Columbia - all over the place," said Mike Quinn, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department who first posted photos online.

Herbert A. "Joe" Pase, a Texas Forest Service entomologist, said the massive web is very unusual. "From what I'm hearing it could be a once-in-a-lifetime event," he said.

But John Jackman, a professor and extension entomologist for Texas A&M University, said he hears reports of similar webs every couple of years.

"There are a lot of folks that don't realise spiders do that," said Jackman, author of "A Field Guide to the Spiders and Scorpions of Texas."

"Until we get some samples sent to us, we really won't know what species of spider we're talking about," Jackman said.

Garde invited the entomologists out to the park to get a firsthand look at the giant web.

"Somebody needs to come out that's an expert. I would love to see some entomology intern come out and study this," she said.

Park rangers said they expect the web to last until fall, when the spiders will start dying off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Total Lunar Eclipse Visible in U.S.

The Earth's shadow will creep across the moon's surface early Tuesday, slowly eclipsing it and turning it to shades of orange and red.

Aug. 28: The moon glows red during a lunar eclipse seen in Sydney, Australia.
Aug. 28: The moon glows red during a lunar eclipse seen in Sydney, Australia.

The total lunar eclipse, the second this year, will be visible in North and South America, especially in the West. People in the Pacific islands, eastern Asia, Australia and New Zealand also will be able to view it if skies are clear.

People in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, who had the best view of the last total lunar eclipse in March, will not see this one because the moon will have set when the partial eclipse begins at 4:51 a.m. EDT. The full eclipse will begin an hour later at 5:52 a.m. EDT.

An eclipse occurs when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun's light. It is rare because the moon is usually either above or below the plane of Earth's orbit.

Since the Earth is bigger than the moon, the process of the Earth's shadow taking a bigger and bigger "bite" out of the moon, totally eclipsing it before the shadow recedes, lasts about 3 1/2 hours, said Doug Duncan, director of the University of Colorado's Fiske Planetarium. The total eclipse phase, in which the moon has an orange or reddish glow, lasts about 1 1/2 hours.

The full eclipse will be visible across the United States, but East Coast viewers will only have about a half-hour to see it before the sun begins to rise and the moon sets. Skywatchers in the West will get the full show.

In eastern Asia, the moon will rise in various stages of eclipse.

During the full eclipse, the moon will not be completely dark because some light still reaches it around the edges of the Earth. The light is refracted as it passes through our atmosphere, scattering blue light — which is why the sky is blue — but sending reddish light onto the moon.

"When someone asks why is it [the moon] red, you can say because the sky is blue," Duncan said.

The next total lunar eclipse occurs Feb. 21, 2008, and will be visible from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Weirdest Accidents of All Time










Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

World's tallest women

In 1976 Sandy Allen was declared the “world’s tallest woman - living” by Guinness Book of World Records. Allen is a towering lady at 7′ 7 1/4″. Amazingly this is not far beyond the recognized world’s tallest living man - Xi Shun (7′ 8.95″). Allen has since spent her life traveling around the world encouraging people that it is OK to be different. Allen was born in 1955, at age 22 she underwent surgery to stop her growth. Without this she would have continued to grow and suffer further medical problems associated with gigantism.


At age 11, she had already grown to 188 cm, and was 203 cm at age 15. Her parents, poor peasants from the Chinese province of Anhui, sold her to a circus, where she was enslaved as an attraction during her adolescence. Later, she returned to her mother (who, surprisingly enough, is only 4 ft 8 in tall), where she is still living now.

Yao Defen of China, (born 15 July 1972), claims to be the tallest female in the world. She states that her height is 2.36 meters (7 ft 8 in) tall and that she weighs 200 kg, though this has yet to be confirmed by Guinness World Records. Her gigantism is the result of a tumor that is located within her pituitary gland. She is currently under observation in Shanghai and is expected to undergo surgery to remove the tumor in 2007.

Friday, August 24, 2007

‘World's fattest mouse’ appears immune to diabetes

The “world’s fattest mice”, genetically engineered to overproduce a key hormone, weigh five times as much as normal mice do – but bizarrely do not develop diabetes, reveals a new study. The findings shed light on how current diabetes medications work and point to new drug targets to treat the disease, say the study's researchers.

A mouse (pictured on the left) engineered to overproduce the hormone adiponectin weighs 100 grammes – five times as much as a normal mouse (pictured on the right)

Philipp Scherer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, US, and his colleagues studied mice that had been genetically engineered to overeat. The mice gorged on food because they lacked the ability to produce an important appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin.

The researchers then bred a subgroup of these leptin-deficient mice to overproduce another key hormone that gets released by fat cells, called adiponectin, by about threefold. Under normal circumstances, an increase in adiponectin levels signals that an animal has entered "starvation mode" because it has not eaten for some time.

All of the leptin-deficient mice ate non-stop, but those bred to overproduce adiponectin packed on almost twice as much weight by the end of the 20-week experiment.

Location, location, location

Whereas a normal, healthy mouse weighs about 20 grammes, the mice lacking leptin weighed roughly 60 grammes. The adiponectin over-producers weighed about 100 grammes.

"It's probably the most obese mouse that's ever been reported," Scherer says of their particular mouse strain.

Interestingly, none of the rodents that made extra adiponectin developed symptoms of diabetes, such as high blood sugar. By comparison, all of the other leptin-deficient mice developed this disease during the course of the experiment.

When Scherer and his team examined the distribution of body fat within the mice, they found that the obese rodents with an abundance of adiponectin had a great deal of fat stored under the skin, but very little fat within organs such as the liver.

This unusual allocation of fat might explain why the animals remained in good health – extra fat in the liver can make the organ less sensitive to insulin, thereby leading to diabetes.

Scherer firmly believes that the distribution of fat can make all the difference in terms of whether obesity will lead to diabetes. "It's a little bit like real estate; it's location, location, location."

Sudden death

Adiponectin appears to help the body store fat under the skin by increasing the number of fat cells there.

Notably, in the weeks following the formal end of the experiment, about 10% of the mice that overproduced adiponectin experienced sudden death. But this was due to the fact that their vital organs stopped functioning under the crushing weight of their fat, not because of a particular disease.

Some of the 100-gramme mice also developed enlarged hearts, which in humans can predispose people to heart failure.

The new findings might lead to new ways of treating diabetes in the future, says Scherer. He notes that many drugs currently used to treat diabetes lead to an increase in adiponectin levels in patients.

Scherer says that giving adiponectin itself would not work well since the protein gets broken down very quickly in the body. But he adds that scientists might want to look for compounds that can act directly on the adiponectin signalling pathway to migrate fat out of the liver of obese patients.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First Olympic bullet trains arrive in Britain

The first of the 140mph Japanese bullet trains that will go into service on the UK rail network in 2009 arrived in Britain.

The six-car Hitachi Class 395 train reached Southampton on board a roll-on, roll-off ferry.

The bullet trains will be used by the Southeastern train company for domestic services on the soon-to-be-completed final section of the Channel Tunnel Rail link from Kent into central London.

The trains will also play a key role in 2012 London Olympics transport provision by taking spectators from St Pancras station in London to the Olympics site at Stratford, east London, in just seven minutes in a service to be known as the Olympic Javelin.


All aboard: The first of four bullet trains is unloaded at Southampton

St Pancras International station is due to open in November 2007.

Manufactured in Kasado, Japan by Hitachi, the train which arrived today is the first of four which will be delivered over the coming months.

The remaining 25 trains will arrive in 2009 in time for the start of the new services in December of that year.

Alistair Dormer, general manager at Hitachi Rail Systems London, said: "Hitachi is delighted to deliver the first Class 395 train to the UK, on time and on budget.

"Today is a major milestone for Hitachi and for everyone involved in the Class 395 project. We now look forward to working with our partners to complete testing and delivering the trains ready for service in 2009."

The new-look St Pancras station opens in November 2007

Southeastern managing director Charles Horton said: "The arrival of the first high-speed train into the UK is great news. When these trains enter service, they will slash journey times across the region, encourage more people to travel by train and bring new standards of comfort and reliability.

"They will also play a key role in providing fast and easy access to the London Olympic Games at Stratford in 2012, with a journey time to and from London St Pancras of just seven minutes. Our ambition to create a growing railway for a growing region has taken an important step forward."

Artist's impression of the new train in action

Recently, the Government announced that Hitachi UK was one of three organisations shortlisted to compete to build a new generation of express trains for the UK's rail network in a contract expected to be worth around £4 billion.

Hitachi Europe is up against Alstom-Barclays Rail Group and the Express Rail Alliance - a consortium involving four companies, including Bombardier and Angel Trains.

Fact box
1. Using both high-speed and existing lines, journeys to St Pancras will be slashed after two years of trials from 83 to 37 minutes from Ashford, 102 to 61 minutes from Canterbury, and 98 to 63 minutes from Dover.

2. In the mid-Seventies, British Rail's Intercity 125 was outpaced only by the Japanese, but since then Britain has stayed at 125mph and been overtaken by 186mph railways around the world.

3. The new trains will be quicker than any service except Eurostar.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The world’s fastest, smallest mobile chip


Seoul: South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor announced it has developed the world’s fastest and smallest one-gigabyte chip for mobile phones.

The new chip is capable of processing 1.6 GB of data per second, the company said.

The company added that the chip – which can be applied to “ultra-small electronic devices and memory products” – would start production on a large scale in early 2008.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The cycling jacket with built-in brake lights and indicators

It's every cyclist's nightmare - it's dark or getting that way, you have just given a hand signal, but will other road users have seen it?

Well, they will now, thanks to an innovative jacket with flashing indicators on the sleeves and brake lights in the back.

Its inventor Michael Chen has landed a design award for the high-tech coat and hopes to find a manufacturer to produce it on a mass scale.

Amber indicators are triggered to flash by a "tilt-switch" when the wearer raises their arm to give a hand signal.

And a device called an "accelerometer" is used to turn an LED, woven into the jacket's back, green when the rider is moving forward or red when they apply the brakes.

London-based Mr Chen, 28, got the idea watching cyclists in the capital. He said: "There is a lot of hostility from bus and cab drivers towards cyclists.

"Cyclists are brave. It is so dangerous without bike lanes. When I visited Korea last year, I noticed their cities had better bike lanes than London."

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the jacket being road tested...

The right signals: Inventor Michael Chen with a cyclist modelling his high-tech coat

According to the latest official statistics, 148 cyclists were killed on roads in the UK in 2005 - up ten per cent on the previous year - and thousands more were injured.

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety blamed the increase on more inexperienced cyclists taking to the roads.

Now Mr Chen, who studied design engineering at Middlesex University, hopes his jacket will make cycling safer.

He said: "My prototype had lights taped to it that everyone thought was pretty ugly. But when I put the wiring inside, it looked more normal.

"Riding around London, people wave and chase me down the street, asking, 'Where did you buy that jacket?'"

The invention has already impressed British judges of the prestigious James Dyson design awards, who chose Mr Chen for a first prize of £2,000. His jacket will now go through to the global stage of the competition.

Mr Chen hopes the jacket be on sale by Christmas, for about £100.

Beans illusion

Can you find the human face which is hidden in these coffee beans?

Doctors have concluded that if you can find the face in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, the right half of your brain is better developed than most people.

If you find the face between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right half of the brain is developed normally.

If you find the face between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein.

If you have not found the face after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Google AdSense to distribute videos

Short Internet videos from the creator of the animated TV show "Family Guy" and Raven-Symone, star of the Disney Channel show "That's So Raven," will be distributed over Google Inc's AdSense network.

Media Rights Capital, the financing company that backed last year's film "Babel," is supporting the two projects. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The programmes will appear in a video box that a user would click on to start. The box will be packaged with banner advertising and video ads that will appear either before or after the programming.

The videos will be distributed to numerous Web sites served by AdSense, which places targeted advertising across the Internet. AdSense signed a similar distribution deal last year with Viacom Inc's MTV Networks.

Media Rights Capital will work with Google to target Web sites most appropriate for its content, the company said.

"We feel this partnership answers the question of how best to reach viewers online, because the Web is fragmented into millions and millions of viewing destinations," said Asif Satchu, co-chief executive of Media Rights Capital.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy," will produce short videos featuring new characters, while Raven-Symone will be in a "how-to" show, the company said.

The company said the distribution deal was preferable to aggregating content on one site. Distributing content through AdSense means the videos reach a broader audience, which would include new sites as they pop up.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Scientists unlock the secrets of the Rubik's cube

Remember the Rubik's Cube? That little box of multi-coloured squares that you could only complete by carefully steaming off all of the stickers and then re-sticking them in the right positions?

A team of US scientists has used a powerful number-crunching supercomputer to work out that the minimum moves needed to complete a Rubik's Cube from any starting position, is 26, one less than the previous record.

In reaching this figure Daniel Kunkle and Gene Cooperman from Northeastern University in Boston developed algorithms that can be useful for all kinds of different applications from scheduling air flights to determining how proteins will fold.

Scroll down for more...


The Rubik's cube was a huge success in the 1980s - despite the frustration it caused

As a Rubik's Cube has approximately 43 billion billion (43,000,000,000,000,000,000) possible positions it would have taken too long for even the most powerful supercomputer to work through all of the different configurations.

So Kunkle and his advisor Gene Cooperman developed some clever mathematical and computational strategies to make the puzzle more manageable.

They programmed the supercomputer to arrive at one of 15,000 half-solved solutions. They knew they could fully solve any of these 15,000 cubes with a few extra moves.

The final results showed that any disordered cube could be fully solved in a maximum of 29 moves, but that most cubes could be completed in 26 moves.

Many mathematicians still believe that it should take only 20 moves to solve any Rubik's cube, but no one has been able to prove this theory yet.

Failing that, a steaming kettle and some deft fingerwork should do the trick.

At this year's Caltech 2007 competition American Rubik's Cube expert Dan Dzoan broke the world record for one-handed cube-solving by completing one in an incredible 17.9 seconds.

The world's strangest laws

Did you know it's illegal in France to name a pig Napoleon? Or that in Ohio you're not allowed to get a fish drunk? Alex Wade celebrates the spirit of the silly season with a list of the world's most ridiculous laws

Did you know that in France it is forbidden to call your pig Napoleon?

25- It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

24- It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

23- It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

22- In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.

21- Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.

20- In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

19- In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk.

18- Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

17- In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

16- In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

15- In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.

14- In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

13- In the UK, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

12- In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.

11- In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.

10. In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

9- In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

8- In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

7- In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

6- In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

5- In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

4- In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

3- In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

2- In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination; he may only see their reflection in a mirror.

1- The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen - in case she needs the bones for her corset.

World’s tiniest art

This image from IBM shows an atomic-sized image resulting from scientific work at IBM’s labs. Made of 48 iron atoms using IBM’s low temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscope, this tiny work of art will be featured in an exhibition in the US titled ‘The Art of Invention’.

While experimenting with materials that might make up future computer chips and storage components, IBM scientists built images with individual atoms such as this stadium-shaped ‘Quantum Corral’

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Top 10 Weirdest Keyboards ever

Keyboards come in many shapes - from the simplest computer grey $9.99 standard 102-key keyboard to variants that seem to come straight out of a Star Trek episode. Here's our Top 10 list of the weirdest keyboards ever.

10. Roll-up keyboard

This keyboard has the same measurements as a standard 102-key keyboard, but there's a big difference. You can roll this one up and put it in your pocket. Nice.

9. The wrist keyboard


This one might be useful if you're in the need to type stuff while doing practical work in tough climates - but if you would wear this keyboard at the office, you might be considered a bit geeky.

8. Maltron 3D Ergonomic Keyboard


Things are starting to get a bit more weird, ey? Getting used to this keyboard isn't something you'll do in 10 minutes or so - it will take a while for sure. But if you have medical problems with your hands, this might be a good choice since it's a very ergonomic keyboard. It looks very weird though!


7. The SafeType keyboard


Just take a look at this one. Do you understand how to use it? The idea is that your hands and arms shall be in a more relaxed position while working with the SafeType compared to a traditional keyboard.


6. Virtual Laser Keyboard


Wow, it's heating up, don't you agree? This is more cool than weird though. This laser gadget projects a virtual keyboard on a table or other suitable material, and then interpret your finger movement and pass them on to your PDA or whatever you have it connected to. Cool.

5. The frogpad


The frogpad is a tiny, tiny keyboard - or it would be more suitable to call it a keypad actually. The manufacturer say that you can get up to 40 words per minute if you practice between 6 to 10 hours with it. Any idea why they are calling it a frogpad?

4. The Twiddler 2


What do you say about the Twiddler 2? It looks to be quite painful to use, or what do you think? According to the testimonials at their site, it will take you 'a weekend' to learn typing 30 words per minute, so the frogpad wins that round.

3. The Orbitouch

This one could be a leftover from Area 51, or a prop from the set of any science fiction movie. Wonder how it works? Here's what the manufacturer say: "The orbiTouch creates a keystroke when you slide the two domes into one of their eight respective positions. You type the different characters by sliding the domes to create letters and numbers. The orbiTouch also has an integrated mouse, so moving the domes gives you full mouse and keyboard capability!" The target group for this keyboard is of course people who have limited or no motion in their fingers or hands, and that's a very good thing - but anyway, it's a weird keyboard.

2. The Datahand


This product is aimed for people who get pain in their hands from typing with a traditional keyboard - and that's a good thing. It's still looks like a very strange keyboard. Everytime I see this one I think of the movie Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger, don't know why. I love this one - the keyboard, not the movie.

1. The Tidy Tippist

Isn't this one lovely? The keyboard is hidden inside a decorative, washable tablecloth. The electronic is woven into a fabric, which finds itself between layers of water resistant felt as sandwich material. The soft felt surface makes it a pleasure for fingers to tip - a cosy keyboard. Awesome, hehe.

Nail biters to be treated in a special treatment centre in the Netherlands

The world's first treatment centre for nail biters is to open in the Netherlands next month.

Director of the new centre in Venlo, Alain-Raymond van Abbe of the Institute for Pathological Onychophagy (IPO) says he and his team have invented an aid to make nail-biting impossible.

"This is the first place ever to tackle this very serious problem," he explained. "We are expecting clients from all over the world."

He said initial trials had been almost 100 per cent successful and that people attending the centre could expect to be completely cured within four weeks.

"The treatment has been successful for 98 per cent of the first trial patients. Very few fall back into the habit," he said.

There are about 2 million people who bite their nails in the Netherlands, according to officials at the centre.

Studies have shown that as many as 15 per cent of adults, 33 per cent of young children and 45 per cent of adolescents bite their nails.

The centre fits a special device to the hands that allow normal activities but prevent nail biting, and at the same time gives patients extensive therapy and counselling to get them to stop.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nokia Recalls 46 Million Phone Batteries

Nokia warned Tuesday that up to 46 million batteries used in some of its cell phones could be faulty and pose a risk of overheating.

The advisory applies to batteries manufactured by Matsushita from December 2005 to November 2006, the world's largest mobile phone maker said. Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan is one of several suppliers that have together made some 300 million BL-5C batteries.

The lithium-ion battery is one of 14 different types of battery used in Nokia phones.

Nokia said 100 incidents of overheating of the Matsushita-made BL-5C batteries have been reported worldwide, but added that "no serious injuries or property damage have been reported."

"Consumers with a BL-5C battery subject to this advisory should note that all of the approximately 100 incidents have occurred while charging the battery," the Finnish company said. "According to Nokia's knowledge this issue does not affect any other use of the mobile device."

Nokia said it will swap out all affected batteries.

Last year, Sony Corp. recalled more than 10 million laptops after it discovered that lithium-ion batteries used in them could overheat and catch fire. The recalls included notebooks made by other major computer makers, including Dell Inc., Lenovo Inc., Apple Inc. and Acer Inc.

Nokia sells products in 130 countries and employs 110,000 people worldwide. In the second quarter, it sold 100 million mobile devices, claiming a 38 percent share of the global market.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Major World Markets Rebound

Major world markets rebounded Monday, regaining some territory lost in a global plunge last week, as central banks continued a steady supply of liquidity to soothe rattled investors.

Minutes after Wall Street opened in the United States, the Fed said that it would add at least $2 billion in liquidity in a one-day repurchase.

The European Central Bank, which injected another 47.67 billion euros ($65.3 billion) into the banking system to ease fear in the credit markets, said conditions were "normalizing" _ but some analysts said the bounce could be a short one with continuing worries about a credit crunch.

The Bank of Japan also acted again, injecting 600 billion yen ($5 billion) into money markets to try to bring more stability to the markets.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose 2.6 percent to 6,194.70 points, France's CAC-40 gained 1.8 percent to 5,546.11, while Germany's DAX Index advanced 1.5 percent to 7,452.73.

Still, some analysts were cautious. The FTSE-100 lost 3.7 percent on Friday _ its biggest percentage drop in four years.

"It would be naive to think the worst is behind us," said David Jones, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Charles Stanley analyst Jeremy Batstone agreed, saying Monday's rebound was unlikely to mark the end of the volatility.

"This entire period of economic expansion has been built on a vast amount of debt," he said. "Increase the cost of that debt, tighten loan conditions and one might be in for a bit more than just risk aversion."

The Nikkei 225, benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, edged up 0.2 percent to 16,800.05, recouping some of Friday's drop as investors bought back into stocks with strong earnings. Hong Kong's blue chip Hang Seng Index rose 0.45 percent to 21,891.10. South Korea's benchmark stock index rose 1.1 percent to close at 1,849.26.

But there was no firm conviction the volatility of the last few weeks has ended.

"The Hong Kong market is in directionless trade. Aftershocks of U.S. subprime mortgage woes are likely to continue rippling through markets in the Asia-Pacific region," said Peter Lai, director of DBS Vickers Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong.

Yutaka Miura, manager at Shinko Securities in Tokyo, said gains Monday weren't expected to be very big, and most investors kept one eye on the U.S. markets.
"This was mainly a technical rebound from Friday," he said.


The Dow Jones industrials closed out a volatile week Friday, ending with just a 31-point loss for the day and managing to post a gain for the week. On Thursday the Dow had fallen 387 points and extended a series of triple-digit moves that began in late July.

Wall Street opened higher Monday after the Federal Reserve and other central banks added more cash to their banking systems, helping investors set aside some concerns about credit tightness.

Just before the market opened, Goldman Sachs Group announced it had lined up $3 billion in additional funding for one of its biggest hedge funds that has seen its value plunge amid market volatility. The investment bank said its Global Equity Opportunities fund "suffered significantly" as global markets sold off on worries about debt and credit.

Last week, the U.S., European, Australian and Japanese central banks poured funds into money markets as stocks dropped on concerns over U.S. mortgages.

The ECB had provided 95 billion euros ($130 billion) in funds to banks on Thursday and injected a further 61 billion euros ($83.6 billion) on Friday. On Friday, the Bank of Japan injected 1 trillion yen ($8.39 billion; 6.15 billion euros) into money markets to curb rises in a key overnight interest rate.

The chief economist of Germany's DekaBank, Ulrich Kater, said on N24 television that central banks "have the liquidity bottleneck under control."

"It is they who can supply the markets with liquidity ... and they did so to the degree that was necessary last week, and continue to do so," he added. "That of course helps to calm the markets. The markets will continue to function."

The World Trade Center site in New York, in September of 2001.

These photos were taken at Ground Zero, the World Trade Center site in New York, in September of 2001.

They were taken by someone named "Ed" who was allowed into the area by a member of the emergency response crew, at a time when all civilians -- including most journalists -- were forbidden to enter the area. As a result, these photos are among the few close-ups ever taken of the World Trade Center site so soon after the 9/11 attacks.

The person who submitted these pictures had originally been under the impression that they were taken on September 13, 2001, but recent examination of other Ground Zero photos suggest that in fact the photos on this page were taken later in September, perhaps ten days after 9/11.

This satellite photo, for example, was taken on September 15, 2001 and shows that the West Side Highway, which runs alongside the west edge of Ground Zero, had still not been fully cleared of debris at the time the photo was taken. Yet the photos on this page show the same street substantially cleared of debris, which means they must have been taken several days afterward.

This image of Ground Zero taken by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and published in his book Aftermath was taken on September 23 and shows the debris cleared away to a somewhat greater degree than in the photos here, meaning that the Meyerowitz photo was taken perhaps a couple of days later. Other rare Ground Zero images from the time also suggest that these "Ed" pictures -- while still unique -- were most likely taken nearer to September 21, 2001, and not on September 13 as was originally reported.

We apologize for the confusion. In any event, here are the photos, which remain a powerful testimony to the destruction of 9/11:


Overview of the wreckage looking west.

Overview of the wreckage looking east.

Overview of the wreckage looking northwest.

Overview of the wreckage looking north.

A scene from inside the Bankers' Trust lobby.

The wreckage of the North Tower.

Overview of the site.

Overview of the site looking west.

View of the Bankers' Trust building.

View of the punctured Financial Center.

Another view of the punctured Financial Center.

The center of the site.

More smoke drifting over the wreckage.

A surviving footbridge.

A view from street level.

Police and troops guarding the site.

Wreckage seen through plate glass.

Cranes beginning to work on the cleanup.

Another street-level scene.

Workers at Ground Zero.


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