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Saturday, April 30, 2011

5:59 AM

Cool Facts you probably didn't know about Toy Story

Showcasing some very cool and interesting facts about the Pixar movies Toy Story 1, 2 and 3. 

Money Making Machine
Toy Story 3 is the first animated movie to make over $1 billion at the box office worldwide. It's the #5 highest grossing movie of all-time.

Review Success
Toy Story 2 is the best reviewed movie of all time on Rotten Tomatoes. Toy Story 1 is at number 4.

Makes Grown Men Cry
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen both confessed to crying at the part of Jessie's flashback sequence that shows her being rejected and abandoned by her owner. The video is set to the beautiful song “When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan.

A Technology First
The original Toy Story is the first ever fully computer-generated full-length feature film.

Pixar Team busy at work - in their most productive week during production, Pixar completed 3.5 minutes of animation.

Toy Story 1 was completed on a $30 million budget using a staff of 110. The movie to date had grossed $360 million. In comparison, The Lion King, released in 1994, required a budget of $45 million and a staff of 800.

To date (March 2011) the Toy Story money making machine has grossed the following worldwide:
Toy Story 1 = $361,958,736
Toy Story 2 = $485,015,179
Toy Story 3 = $1,056,431,733

Nearly had a different movie name! 
The movie was originally supposed to be called “You Are A Toy.”

Buzz Lightyear's voice could have been a lot different! 
Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined. After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career. 
Tom Hanks wasn't so stupid playing the voice of Woody! Here is Tom Hanks talking about Toy Story in a way only Tom Hanks can...

Tim Allen (Voice of Buzz Lightyear) recalls the unexpected success of 'Toy Story' and his friendly rivalry with Tom Hanks in this interview...

Buzz Lightyear could have had a different name entirely! 
Buzz Lightyear's original name was Lunar Larry and here is the original sketch....

 Original drawing of Lunar Larry

Voice of Woody
For the original Toy Story, Tom Hanks recorded his dialog during the breaks of Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and A League of Their Own (1992). He didn't want to record his dialog during the breaks of Philadelphia (1993) or Forrest Gump (1994) because he felt he shouldn't do comedic roles in between minutes of playing serious roles.

Pizza Plant Delivery Truck
The Pizza Planet delivery truck, which has appeared in every Pixar film except The Incredibles, also appeared in all three Toy Story films.

 Toy Story 1
Toy Story 2
 Toy Story3

On another note about Pizza Planet - Pizza Planet was originally supposed to be called Pizza Putt, a combination pizzeria/mini-golf course.

Character of Woody
Pixar presented an early draft of the film to Disney on November 19, 1993. The result was disastrous. The film was deemed unwatchable. It presented Woody as a “sarcastic jerk” who was constantly insulting the other toys.

Disney immediately shut down production pending a new script. The story team spent a week on a new script to make Woody a more likable character, instead of the “sarcastic jerk” he had been.

Andy's Bookcase
Many of the books on a shelf in Andy's room are the names of Pixar short films (Adventures of Andre and Wally B, Knick Knack, etc.) and some writers of this book was named by Pixar staff.

Woody's Girlfriend
Little Bo Peep was originally supposed to be a Barbie doll.

Andy originates from?
The character of Andy is named for Andries “Andy” Van Dam, a Brown University Professor and computer science and animation pioneer who taught many of makers of this film.

Toy Story Bloopers
and finally...we all love Toy Story Bloopers...so here goes, enjoy!

Toy Story 1 Bloopers

Toy Story 2 Bloopers

Toy Story 3 Bloopers

Thursday, April 28, 2011

8:10 AM

Dozens of tornadoes kill 209 in 6 Southern states

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. – Dozens of tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system wiped out neighborhoods across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 209 people in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years, and officials said Thursday they expected the death toll to rise.
Alabama's state emergency management agency said it had confirmed 131 deaths, while there were 32 in Mississippi, 24 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it received 137 tornado reports around the region into Wednesday night.
"We were in the bathroom holding on to each other and holding on to dear life," said Samantha Nail, who lives in a blue-collar subdivision in the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove where the storm slammed heavy pickup trucks into ditches and obliterated tidy brick houses, leaving behind a mess of mattresses, electronics and children's toys scattered across a grassy plain where dozens used to live. "If it wasn't for our concrete walls, our home would be gone like the rest of them."
Dave Imy, a meteorologist with the prediction center, said the deaths were the most in a tornado outbreak since 1974, when 315 people died.
In Alabama, where as many as a million people were without power, Gov. Robert Bentley said 2,000 national guard troops had been activated and were helping to search devastated areas for people still missing. He said that the National Weather Service and forecasters did a good job of alerting people, but that there is only so much that can be done to deal with powerful tornadoes a mile wide.
One of the hardest-hit areas was Tuscaloosa, a city of more than 83,000 and home to the University of Alabama. A massive tornado, caught on video by a news camera on a tower, barreled through late Wednesday afternoon, leveling the city.
"When I looked back, I just saw trees and stuff coming by," said Mike Whitt, a resident at DCH Regional Medical Center who ran from the hospital's parking deck when the wind started swirling and he heard a roar.
On Thursday morning, he walked through the neighborhood next to the hospital, home to a mix of students and townspeople, looking at dozens of homes without roofs. Household items were scattered all over the ground — a drum, running shoes, insulation, towels and a shampoo bottle. Streets were impassable, the pavement strewn with trees, pieces of houses and cars with their windows blown out.
Dr. David Hinson was working at the hospital when the tornado hit. He and his wife had to walk several blocks to get to their house, which was destroyed. Several houses down, he helped pull three students from the rubble. One was dead and two were badly injured. He and others used pieces of debris as makeshift stretchers to carry them to an ambulance.

AP/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.
"We just did the best we could to get them out and get them stabilized and get them to help," he said. "I don't know what happened to them."
The storm system spread destruction from Texas to New York, where dozens of roads were flooded or washed out.
The governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia each issued emergency declarations for parts of their states.
President Barack Obama said he had spoken with Bentley and approved his request for emergency federal assistance.
"Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this devastation, and we commend the heroic efforts of those who have been working tirelessly to respond to this disaster," Obama said in a statement.
Around Tuscaloosa, traffic was snarled by downed trees and power lines, and some drivers abandoned their cars in medians.
University officials said there didn't appear to be significant damage on campus, and dozens of students and locals were staying at a 125-bed shelter in the campus recreation center.
The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant about 30 miles west of Huntsville lost offsite power. The Tennessee Valley Authority-owned plant had to use seven diesel generators to power the plant's three units. The safety systems operated as needed, and the emergency event was classified as the lowest of four levels, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
In Huntsville, meteorologists found themselves in the path of severe storms and had to take shelter in a reinforced steel room, turning over monitoring duties to a sister office in Jackson, Miss. Meteorologists saw multiple wall clouds, which sometimes spawn tornadoes, and decided to take cover, but the building wasn't damaged.
"We have to take shelter just like the rest of the people," said meteorologist Chelly Amin, who wasn't at the office at the time but spoke with colleagues about the situation.
In Kemper County, Miss., in the east-central part of the state, sisters Florrie Green and Maxine McDonald, and their sister-in-law Johnnie Green, all died in a mobile home that was destroyed by a storm.
"They were thrown into those pines over there," Mary Green, Johnnie Green's daughter-in-law, said, pointing to a wooded area. "They had to go look for their bodies."
In Choctaw County, Miss., a Louisiana police officer was killed Wednesday morning when a towering sweetgum tree fell onto his tent as he shielded his young daughter with his body. The girl wasn't hurt.
The storms came on the heels of another system that killed 10 people in Arkansas and one in Mississippi earlier this week.
Reeves reported from Tuscaloosa. Associated Press Writers Holbrook Mohr in Choctaw County, Miss.; Anna McFall and John Zenor in Montgomery; Meg Kinnard in Colombia, S.C.; Bill Fuller and Alan Sayre in New Orleans; Dorie Turner in Atlanta; and Bill Poovey in Chattanooga, Tenn., contributed to this report.

Storm Damage
An semi-truck lies on its side on 15th Street after a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuscaloosa Tornado

Tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Ala

A tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wednesday, April 27, 2011. A wave of severe storms laced with tornadoes strafed the South on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people around the region and splintering buildings across swaths of an Alabama university town

Map locates severe storms in Alabama

Map locates severe storms in Alabama

Tuscaloosa Tornado

Homes and businesses are completely destroyed

Homes and businesses are completely destroyed along 15th St. in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wednesday, April 27, 2011. A wave of severe storms laced with tornadoes strafed the South on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people around the region and splintering buildings across swaths of an Alabama university town.
5:16 AM

The deep sea angler fish and its bizarre reproduction

In the darkest depths of the ocean where the water is freezingly cold, the pressure is enormous and food is scarce lives the angry-looking deep sea angler fish. It is an incredible example of how living organisms manage to survive in even the most inhospitable environment. Even more incredible is their way of reproducing, which is one of the most bizarre in the animal kingdom.
weird angler fish The deep sea angler fish and its bizarre reproduction
The ferocious looking deep sea angler fish has one of the most extreme methods of reproduction
The deep-sea anglerfish is one of the deep ocean’s most fascinating residents. Living at the extreme depths between 1.5 and 2.5 km, their most peculiar appearance is a modified fin that acts as a lure, hanging above their huge mouths with needle-like teeth. The tip of this “fishing rod” on top of its head is bioluminescent (glowing in the dark) because of bacteria living inside it and attracts prey as moths to a lightbulb. By wiggling the glowing outgrowth, it lures prey close enough to devour them whole! Because of thin, soft bones and jelly-like skin, these scary looking fish can expand their jaws and stomach to such an extend that they are even able to actually swallow prey up to twice their own size. In the deep sea where food is very scarce, being able to eat large quantities at once is a great adapation.
Angler Fish The deep sea angler fish and its bizarre reproduction
The scary looking deep sea angler fish has long needle-like teeth
Despite its ferocious appearance, the deep sea angler fish is actually pretty small. Females will only reach a length of about 10 centimeters, while male are only a fraction of this can can be more than 10 times smaller. Males of one specific species of are even the world smallest fish, measuring only some 6.2 mm. However, because of the much larger size of females, it is not the smallest species of fish in the world.
male deep sea angler fish The deep sea angler fish and its bizarre reproduction
Males of the deep sea angler fish are very very tiny and may only measure some 6mm!
Because individuals are so sparesly populated, finding a mate in the depths of the deep sea is problematic. To still be able to reproduce, the deep-sea anglerfish have one of the most bizarre methods of reproduction.
When scientists first discovered these fish, they kept wondering why all the fish they captures where females. However, after some time they noticed that small “growths” on the females skin, which upon closer inspection turned out to be males (see image below). The tiny males live solely to find a female. Upon encounter, a male bites into her skin after which the tissues of the male and female become completely fused together so that their blood vessels join as one. The male now assured of a life without the need to hunt for food, degenerates his eyes and all internal organs exept for the testes!
World smallest fish the male angler fish The deep sea angler fish and its bizarre reproduction
This 46 mm female Photocorynus spiniceps has what looks like a small nub in the middle of her back. Actually, that's a 6.2 mm long male, the world's smallest known, sexually mature vertebrate
A female can carry up to six males on her body at a time and is therefore assured of a fresh supply of sperms. She can reproduce any time or place, without worrying about meeting a male in the darkness of the ocean.
I am astonished species can evolve to such extremes that the male is becomes nothing more than a small lump on the females skin to assure her of her own lifetime supply of fresh sperm.
5:15 AM

Weird New Animals From Antarctica's Deep Seas

Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species
May 16, 2007—Hundreds of new species of deep-sea animals, such as the baby isopodCeratoserolis above, have been discovered during expeditions in the waters off Antarctica.

Ceratoserolis is just one of 585 new species of isopod—a type of marine crustacean related to wood lice—found during the Antarctic Benthic Deep-Sea Biodiversity Project, or ANDEEP, trips between 2002 and 2005.

Researchers aboard the German research vessel Polarstern in the Weddell Sea also brought up heart-shaped sea urchins, carnivorous sponges, and giant sea spiders the size of dinner plates.

We were astonished by the enormous biodiversity we found in many groups of species, said Angelika Brandt, a marine biologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany.

The project has made a major contribution to the Census of Marine Life (CoML) programme, a global collaboration among thousands of researchers who aim to make a detailed record of all ocean life by 2010. 

Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species

This shrimplike creature, calledCylindrarcturus, was caught floating through the deep waters near Antarctica.

Most of the more-than-700 species snapped up by scientists were very small—less than 0.2 inches (about 5 millimeters)—and nearly all, like Cylindrarcturus are ghostly white.

It's so deep and dark down there, you don't need any color, said Katrin Linse, a marine biologist at the British Antarctic S
Photograph by Wiebke Brökeland/German Centre for Marine Biodiversity (DZMB)
Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species
This glass sponge was one of 76 sponge species found during expeditions in the seas off Antarctica between 2002 and 2005. Seventeen species of sponges had never been found before and 37 were not known to live in those waters. 

The richness of the deep-sea fauna found during the trips challenged a belief that the ocean depths do not nurture a diversity of animals. 

In other oceans the number of species drops the deeper you go, said study co-author Katrin Linse, a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey. 

But in the Southern Ocean we found the opposite trend.  

The Southern Ocean includes the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans surrounding Antarctica.
Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species
This unusually shaped organism, a maleMunna, was snagged during a deep-sea expedition in the waters around Antarctica between 2002 and 2005.

Munna and more than 700 new species discovered during the research efforts provide some of the first insights into the biodiversity of the oceans around Antarctica, long an enigma to scientists.
Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species
An international team of scientists traveled on the German research vessel Polarsternbetween 2002 and 2005 to catalog life in the deep sea.

They explored the deep Weddell Sea and nearby seas, going to depths of about 2,300 to 19,700 feet (700 to 6,000 meters).

The deepest parts of the seas around Antarctica show unique environmental features, such as a deep continental shelf, and they are the source of much of the deep water in the world's oceans.
Pictures of New Antarctic Deep-Sea Species
This vibrant animal, called Ctenocidaris, was captured by biologists during explorations of the deep seas around Antarctica.

The Antarctic Benthic Deep-Sea Biodiversity Project, or ANDEEP, catalogued more than 700 new species during expeditions between 2002 and 2005.

The ANDEEP cruises were also the first to study the DNA of deep-sea species in the oceans off Antarctica.

The great advantage in the Antarctic is that the water column is cold all the way up, said Angelika Brandt, a marine biologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany, so we can bring material up on deck and extract DNA before it becomes damaged by heat.  
4:56 AM

Grab the Ipad Edition of The Royal Wedding

THE Sun is to publish a special iPad edition to celebrate the Royal Wedding on Friday afternoon.

Our historic ePaper will be packed with must-see photos and up-to-date news from Kate & Wills' big day.
It will be available via the The Sun's chart-topping iPad app from around 4pm onwards on Friday afternoon.
Users can download the paper in the normal way but you MUST delete Friday morning's edition first in order to make room for the wedding edition in your app's library.
How to do it ... follow our simple steps
How to do it ... follow our simple steps
STEP 1 - If you have already downloaded Friday morning's paper go into library section and touch and hold on that day's edition in order to bring up X button.
STEP 2 - Touch x button to bring up delete prompt and confirm you wish to delete.
STEP 3 - Close app and reopen in order to reactivate the normal download process. Our Royal edition should be available from 4pm onwards.

If you've not already tried The Sun for iPad app, then there's never been a better time to give it a whirl.
The app is free for the first 30 days - after which you can choose to renew your access at £4.99 for another 30 days. For that all-in-one price you get the full 'printed' edition of the paper Monday to Saturday, downloaded straight to your iPad (includes Buzz magazine on Saturdays with full TV listings)
You can swipe through pages in the normal way and pinch and zoom articles of interest. There's also a Text-only button for easier reading of longer articles, plus a special Sun View feature that enables you to swipe through mini-pages to the section you want.
The app also features a News Ticker to keep you up-to-date with main headlines throughout the day - simply touch on a headline to activate a breaking story. Plus every Monday we publish our famous Page360 graphics - a fully interactive version of Page 3 which you can use to make our models pirouette through 360-degrees.
It's great value - and means you can enjoy the paper that you love anytime, any place - as each issue is stored on your pad. You can download via WiFi or 3G, although we recommend using WiFi wherever possible.
To sample the app simply go to the App Store and search for 'The Sun'. You'll join thousands of iPad owners who choose to read The Sun every day on Apple's great tablet device.
4:43 AM

3million Brits urged to cancel their credit cards

THREE million British gamers caught up in the PlayStation online hacking scandal were yesterday urged to cancel their credit cards.

And Sony faced a furious backlash from 77 million customers globally now at risk from fraudsters who got at names, addresses, bank details and passwords.
Computer security expert Graham Cluley said: "It's one of the biggest hacks on record. If I lost my credit card in the back of a taxi, I'd cancel my card. If Sony loses your credit card details, then it's worse.
"=This security breach is not just a public relations disaster, it's a very real danger for its many users."

Gamers are furious that Sony only revealed the scale of the disaster on Tuesday - almost a week after access to the online PlayStation Network was suspended. One wrote on a Sony website: "You waited a week to tell us our personal information was compromised?"
Another user added: "No regard for customers here."
Many gamers urged a boycott of Sony products.
Sony claims it did not initially realise how serious the problem was. Legal experts say the Japanese electronics giant may end up paying £150million in compensation in the UK alone.

Sony has warned that the names, addresses and other personal data of about 77 million people with accounts on its PlayStation Network (PSN) have been stolen.

Gamers have been locked out of the network for a week, but the company has revealed that the system has been suspended since it was hacked last Wednesday.

Sony said it discovered that between 17 and 19 April an "illegal and unauthorised person" got access to people's names, addresses, email address, birthdates, usernames, passwords, logins, security questions and more.

Children with accounts established by their parents also may have had their data exposed, according to Sony, which put the warning on its US PlayStation blog -- although the warning about the compromise might not be immediately visible to passing readers. The company is also emailing people who might be affected.
The intrusion is potentially one of the biggest ever into a store of credit cards. Sony's PSN is one of the world's biggest holders of credit cards, though not as large as Amazon, eBay, PayPal or Apple's iTunes, which each hold more than 100m accounts.
The previous largest hacking attacks were on Heartland Payment Systems in January 2009, when up to 100m US credit and debit card details were stolen, and TK Maxx in March 2007, when up to 46m credit card details were stolen.

The company said that it saw no evidence that credit card numbers were stolen, but it added: "Out of an abundance of caution, we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained,"
The online marketplace launched in autumn 2006 and allows users to purchase and play video games, music and films on their PlayStation consoles.
The hack attack has put it out of action and it says that it may be up to a week before it is operational again.

Sony said it had hired an outside security firm to investigate what happened and has taken steps to rebuild its system to provide greater protection for personal information.
PlayStation members are required to submit credit card and personal details to play online games and download software, films and music.
Warning users of the network to be on the look out for telephone and email scams, Sony said: "To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit or similar types of reports."
PlayStation Network posted an apology to users through the Sony website saying it would email those who are suspected to be victims of the hacking.
It said: "We don't have an exact date to share at this moment as to when we will have the services turned on, but are working day and night to ensure it is as quickly as possible.

"Please note that we are as upset as you are regarding this attack and are going to proceed aggressively to track down those that are responsible."

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos, told the BBC that the theft of so much detailed customer information would be seen as a "public relations disaster".

"This is a big one," he said.

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