The Karaoke Cab! Wanna Ride?

Karaoke Cab
Imagine about a taxi cab packed with flat screen displays, karaoke and disco lights! I'm sure that music lovers and singers would love to get a ride on such a cab. That's why a Chinese taxi driver installed a karaoke machine in his cab. Take a look at the picture.

Fan Xiaoming, the cab driver, spent £600 on three flat screens, 16 speakers, amplifiers and disco lights, that he installed in his "Changchun's only karaoke cab" last month. Eversince his takings have shot up.

"Many people ask for my number for their next trip," he said. "And sometimes they even ask me to take a longer route so they can spend more time singing."

A cool and entertaining idea to attract customers. What you think?

Reconstruction of Mammoth's Genome

Reconstruction of Mammoth's Genome
A US-Russian team of scientists claims that they have reconstructed about two-thirds of the genome of the woolly mammoth using DNA extracted from balls of hair. Now, they hopes that it could provide better insights into the extinction of the mammoth and could also lead to resurrection of long-dead species.

"One can imagine a new field of ‘museomics’ using the collected samples that are now stored in natural-history museums," said Stephan Schuster, a biologist at Pennsylvania State University who led the 21-person research team with a colleague, Webb Miller.

The researchers, used two samples of woolly mammoth hair. One sample was collected from a 20,000-year-old mammoth from Siberia, while the other was from a specimen from an animal that died 65,000 years ago. Then they sequenced 4.17 billion bases and determined that 3.3 billion belonged to the mammoths. The rest were from viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microbes. The researchers identified the mammoth DNA by comparing the sequences with the genome of the modern African elephant. The results of the study was published in the latest edition of journal Nature.

Mammoths disappeared about 10,000 years ago when they were hunted to extinction by prehistoric humans. Well, it is too early to say whether the study will help scientist to resurrect mammoth or not. But it is true that for the first time scientists have reconstructed the genome of an extinct species and it could open many doors for researchers. The study also helped scientists in understanding the evolution pattern of elephants.

Shop returns $7,500 left in Donated Shoes


A charity shop in US has returned $7,500 to a man who mistakenly donated the money with a pair of old shoes. According to Sky News, the cash was discovered by a Bulgarian immigrant on her first day at the Goodwill store in Glen Carbon, Illinois. This proves that there is no scarcity of honest people in this world.

Teodora Petrova, the woman, found the cash in a shoebox and returned it to the management. The cash was bundled in large denominations. The store then started tracking down the shoes' donor. Scraps of paper left in the shoebox help Goodwill to locate the family.

The donor apparently also called the donation store's office, guessing he was the source of the cash. The shoes belonged to the man's recently deceased parents. The Goodwill store said he didn't want to be identified. Petrova got a gift from the family for her honesty in turning over the money.

Eco-friendly Billboard in Times Square

Eco-friendly Billboard in Times Square

New York's Times Square will get for the first time an eco-friendly electronic billboard, which will be powered by wind and sun. The 126 feet wide and 47 feet high billboard, owned by Ricoh Americas Corporation, will be 55 feet off the ground at 3 Times Square, wrapping around the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. It weighs 35,000-pound and construction will begin this month.

Powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, the sign can generate enough electricity to light six homes for a year. It is expected to save as much as $12,000 to $15,000 per month in the form of electricity costs. Ricoh, an office equipment and document storage supplier, estimates the sign will also keep 18 tons of carbon out of the environment.

The billboard will be lit by floodlights rather than light-emitting diodes. It won't have a backup generator, so it could go dark during a long period with little wind or sun. But, the sign's turbines are expected to be able to keep the billboard lit even after four days without breezes or bright sun.

The lighting ceremony of the eco-friendly billboard is scheduled for December 4, 2008.

Image: Ricoh