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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why Kids Need A Pet

Why Kids Need a Pet


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Rid Your HDTV of Reflections

How to Rid Your HDTV of Reflections

Geoffrey Morrison
by Geoffrey Morrison

Most people don't like watching TV in the dark. The problem is, flat-panel TVs tend to reflect light in the room. Even if you have a matte-screen LCD, light bouncing off the screen is going to diminish picture quality in one way or another.
This how-to guide has some obvious and some not-so-obvious tricks and tips to help you make sure that no matter what lighting you have in your room, you're still getting the best picture quality.

The problem
Most flat-panel TVs these days have glossy screens, which act like a mirror for any light source in a room (from windows to lamps). If you have a glossy screen TV, and you're reading this guide, chances are you know exactly what I'm talking about.

What's interesting is that even though matte-screen LCDs don't have the mirrorlike reflections, ambient light in a room still adversely affects them. This is because instead of bouncing the light right back at you, a matte-screen LCD spreads that light energy across the whole screen. Reflections are lessened, but black level goes up (lightens).

The easiest fix
Turn off the lights, right? Well, sort of. There's a reason people like to leave the lights on when they're watching TV: eye fatigue. Many people feel soreness in their eyes when watching TV in the dark. Whether you're conscious of this or not, leaving the lights on can create a more relaxing viewing environment. Unless, of course, that light reflects off the TV.

It may seem like a roundabout way of solving anything, but you can change the TV to minimize eye fatigue. If this works, you won't need to leave the lights on. No lights, no reflections. Problem solved.

If you have an LCD TV, this is easy. Most LCDs have a backlight control. Check your user menus: this control is likely set near or at maximum. This is really bright. Turn this down at night for a more relaxing image and better black levels. Your contrast ratio won't change.

In theory you could turn down the contrast control on a plasma to reduce its brightness, but that's not advisable. With plasmas, reducing the light output does reduce the contrast ratio.
Another option is to get a larger television, or sit closer. The reason why people get eye fatigue is that their irises are wide open because of the dark room. A small area of light (the TV) is way brighter than the surrounding environment, exactly like someone shining a flashlight in your eyes. With a larger TV, there's more light and your iris will close down. That's the theory, anyway. It's not like I'm advising you to get a massive TV to solve a reflection problem. Well, not entirely. It would be a pretty awesome TV, though, right? And what an excuse for the spouse!
Watching TV during the day is an entirely different problem. You can't turn off the sun (though if you can, I, for one, look forward to your rule of darkness, future overlord), so we'll get to ways to solve that problem in a moment.

Moving stuff
If you can't or don't want to adjust the TV, or buy a 100-inch plasma screen, there are plenty of other options. Moving a lamp behind the TV will raise the ambient light in the room (meaning less eye fatigue) without causing any reflections.

The techie name for this is a bias light. You want this light to be as color-neutral as possible, as any color in the lamp is going to subtract that color from the TV. A red light will make the TV look less red, for example.

You can make your own, or you can buy one from a company like CinemaQuest. For what it's worth, bias lights are used in most professional environments where people sit in dark rooms and look at screens all day. Movie and TV editors, for example, or joke about bloggers here.
Another option is to mount the screen on a wall mount that pivots, so when you're getting the reflection, you can move the TV slight so the reflection is reflected elsewhere (and you can't see it). Several companies make wall mounts that do this. A few things to keep in mind. Most LCDs look significantly worse off-axis (viewed off center). If you pivot these, you'll be viewing them off axis, and picture quality will suffer. Check out my article on Why LED does not mean a better picture for more info. Also, make sure you mount the TV low enough that it doesn't cause neck strain. For that, check out How high should I put my TV?
The other option is just moving the lamp so it doesn't reflect off the screen. I'm gonna guess you've already tried that, so we'll keep going.

Remote controls
A more elaborate step is to make the lighting in your room more controllable. Companies like Lutron have a variety of lighting control systems that let you have different "zones" and "scenes." So the light at the back of the room that reflects off the TV can be a specific zone that's off when you're in the "TV watching" scene. Then it's on when you're in the "party" scene, or the "where's the remote" scene. You can also tie in remote-controlled sun shades. Speaking of that...

Sun shades
If you have a lot of windows, you're fighting the sun, and your TV isn't going to win. Sure, today's brightest LCDs are plenty watchable in many bright environments, but you aren't getting the best picture quality with that much light in the room.

I have a different issue. I use a projector for my sole "TV," and any amount of light washes out the screen. I picked up some blackout curtains from Lowe's for about $70 for a pair of big windows. They even look nice. Though as you can guess, I probably have a different idea of what's "nice" than most people.

Motorized sun screens, either inside or out, are a huge help in more ways than one. I live in Southern California, and the west side of my house bakes all afternoon long. I put in some exterior sun shades and, not to sound like a testimonial, my house is now way cooler (temperature-wise, I mean, though come to think of it...) It's also darker inside with far less direct light (and thus, fewer reflections).
Many companies make sun shades, so a trip to your local Lowe's or Home Depot will surely be of more use than what I can add.
I will say this, though: if you get the motorized variety, check whether they can be tied into a home automation system. Just in case you want to add one of those down the road (or tie it in with a lighting system now).

You can hire a ninja to stand between your TV and the offending light. Just kidding. That's ridiculous. You wouldn't be able to see him.

Editors' Note December 12, 2011: This article was originally published on 8/29/2011 and since updated to include more on wall mounting and off-axis viewing.

Geoffrey Morrison was editor in chief of Home Entertainment magazine and before that, technical editor of Home Theater magazine. He currently contributes to Sound+Vision magazine,, and several other Web and print publications. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in audio production from Ithaca College. His debut novel, Undersea is available in paperback and on the Kindle, Nook, iTunes and elsewhere. Geoff is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.

Related links
" Why LED does not mean a better picture
" Is LCD and LED LCD HDTV uniformity a problem?
" How to set up an HDTV
" Geoff's HDTV and Home Theater Resource Center and Infotacular

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dog Feet Have Special Blood Vessels That Protect Them From Cold

Dog Feet Have Special Blood Vessels

That Protect Them From Cold

Woof, it's cold out there! So how come dogs' paws don't freeze up when they pad around on snow and ice - and what keeps dogs from minding the cold?
Japanese scientists say they've discovered why. First of all, they say in a new study published in the journal Veterinary Dermatology, dogs' pads contain lots of fatty tissue - which doesn't freeze as easily as other tissues. And the blood vessels in dogs' feet are arranged in a way that lets them act like living heat exchangers: arteries in the paws are very close to networks of tiny veins (venules), facilitating the transfer of heat from venous to arterial blood.

When a paw is cooled by contact with frozen ground, warmth from the arteries in the paw is transferred to the venules. This helps keep the paw at a tolerable temperature. In addition, it warms the blood before it flows back to the body - thus helping keep the dog's body temperature from falling uncomfortably low.

The so-called "counter-current" heat exchange mechanism sounds like a good one, and it's not unique to canines. Similar systems are seen in other animals, including penguins and foxes, reported. The finding suggests that dogs may have evolved in cold environments.
Research has shown that dogs' feet are protected from freezing even in temperatures as low as -35 Celsuis, according to the BBC.

The research, carried out by Dr. Hiroysho Ninomiya and colleagues at Tokyo's Yamazaki Gakuen University, was conducted with the help of an electron microscope and four willing dogs.


Dogs are well adapted to cold climates and they can stand, walk and run on snow and ice for long periods of time. In contrast to the body trunk, which has, dense fur, the paws are more exposed to the cold due to the lack of fur insulation. The extremities have a high surface area-to-volume ratio, so they lose heat very easily. We offer anatomical evidence for a heat-conserving structure associated with dog footpad vasculature. Methylmethacrylate vascular corrosion casts for scanning electron microscopy, Indian ink-injected whole-mount and histological specimens were each prepared, in a series of 16 limbs from four adult dogs. Vascular casts and Indian ink studies showed that abundant venules were arranged around the arteries supplying the pad surface and formed a vein–artery–vein triad, with the peri-arterial venous network intimately related to the arteries. In addition, numerous arteriovenous anastomoses and well-developed venous plexuses were found throughout the dermal vasculature. The triad forms a counter-current heat exchanger. When the footpad is exposed to a cold environment, the counter-current heat exchanger serves to prevent heat loss by recirculating heat back to the body core. Furthermore, the arteriovenous anastomoses shift blood flow, draining blood to the skin surface, and the venous plexuses retain warm blood in the pad surface. Hence, the appropriate temperature for the footpad can be maintained in cold environments.



Les chiens sont bien adaptés aux climats froids et ils peuvent rester, marcher et courir sur la glace pendant de longues périodes. Contrairement au tronc, muni d’une fourrure dense et épaisse, les pieds sont plus exposés au froid à cause de l’absence de fourrure isolante. Les extrémités ont un rapport surface/volume élevé et perdent ainsi de la chaleur très facilement. Nous offrons une preuve anatomique des structures de conservation de la chaleur liée à la vascularisation des coussinets plantaires. Des préparations vasculaires au méthylméthacrylate pour microscopie électronique, des injections à l’encre Indian et des préparations histologiques ont été réalisées sur une série de 16 membres de 4 chiens adultes. Les moulages vasculaires et les colorations à l’encre Indian, ont montré que de nombreuses veinules étaient organisées autour des artères irrigant la surface du coussinet et formaient une triade veine-artère-veine, le réseau veineux peri-artériel étant intimement relié aux artères. En outre, de nombreuses anastomoses artério-veineuses (AVAs) et des plexus veineux bien développés ont été trouvés tout au long de la vascularisation dermique. La triade forme un échangeur de chaleur à contre-courant. Lorsque le coussinet plantaire est exposéà un environnement froid, l’échangeur à contre-courant permet de prévenir la perte de chaleur par un retour du courant circulatoire chaud vers le centre du corps. De plus, les AVAs réorientent le flux sanguin, drainent le sang à la surface cutanée et les plexus veineux retiennent le sang tiède à la surface du coussinet. Ainsi, une température appropriée pour le coussinet plantaire peut être maintenue dans les environnements froids.

Functional anatomy of the footpad vasculature of dogs: scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts

  1. Hiroyoshi Ninomiya,
  2. Emi Akiyama,
  3. Kanae Simazaki,
  4. Atsuko Oguri,
  5. Momoko Jitsumoto,
  6. Takaaki Fukuyama
Article first published online: 28 MAR 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why God Sends Rain To Mexico

Why God Sends Rain To Mexico 
But Not The Mideast


Any Questions?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Decision... Decision

A man wakes up in the hospital bandaged from head to foot.
The doctor comes in and says, "Ah, I see you've regained consciousness. Now you probably won't remember, but you were in a huge pile-up on the freeway.

You're going to be OK, you'll walk again and everything, but your penis was severed in the accident and we couldn't find it."
The man groans, but the doctor goes on, "You have $9000.00 in insurance compensation coming and we now have the technology to build a new penis.

They work great but they don't come cheap. It's roughly $1000.00 an inch." 

The man perks up.
"So," the doctor says, "You must decide how many inches you want. But I understand that you have been married for over thirty years and this is something you should discuss with your wife.
If you had a five incher before and get a nine incher now she might be a bit put out. If you had a nine incher before and you decide to only invest in a five incher now, she might be disappointed.
It's important that she plays a role in helping you make a decision."
The man agrees to talk it over with his wife.

The doctor comes back the next day, "So, have you spoken with your wife?"  

"Yes I have," says the man.

 "And has she helped you make a decision?"
"Yes she has." says the man.
 "What is your decision?" asks the doctor.

"We're getting granite countertops."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learn French with Music

Learn French

Charles Aznavour   -  Hier encore.
Charles Aznavour  -   Mourir D'aimer
Christophe  -   Aline

Dalida  -   Bambino

Dalida   -  Bonsoir Mon Amour
Dalida  -   Come prima
Dalida   -  Garde-moi La Darnière Danse
Dalida   -  Histoire D'un Amour
Dalida   -  La Danse de Zorba
Dalida  -   La Mer
Dalida  -  La vie en rose
Dalida   -  Les Enfants du Piree
Dalida  -   Les Nuits d'Espagne
Dalida  -   Mourir sur Scène
Dalida   -  Paroles Paroles
Gilbert Becaud   -  Et Maintenant
Marie Laforêt  -   Les Vendanges de L'amour
Marie Laforet  -   Mon amour mon ami
Nana Mouskouri   -  Je chante avec toi Liberté
Celine Dion   -  Mon cœur survivra pour toi

Learn French with - Alain Barrière  
Learn French with - Charles Aznavour 
Learn French with - Christophe 
Learn French with - Claude François 
Learn French with - Dalida 
Learn French with - Gilbert Becaud 
Learn French with - Hervé Vilard 
Learn French with - Joe Dassin 
Learn French with - Marie Laforêt  
Learn French with - Mireille Mathieu 
Learn French with - Nana Mouskouri  
Learn French with - Patricia Carli 
Learn French with - Petula Clark  
Learn French with - Richard Anthony 
Learn French with - Salvatore Adamo 
Learn French with - Sheila 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs - Cartoons

Steve Jobs 

THANK YOU for your great work...
and hooking us all on to

Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs
was an American entrepreneur. He is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Wikipedia
Born: February 24, 1955, San Francisco
Died: October 5, 2011, Palo Alto
Movies: The Pixar Story
Children: Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Reed Jobs, Eve Jobs, Erin Siena Jobs
Education: Homestead High School (1972), Reed College, Cupertino Junior High School, Monta Loma Elementary School