Archive for July 28, 2008
The perfect dress a perfect wedding makes but an Australian photographer is advising brides to destroy their prized gowns for nuptial pictures to remember.
Seeking to stand out from the hundreds of studios vying for a slice of the lucrative wedding business, Sydney-based Adam Cavanagh snaps stylish, fashion-magazine-like shots of brides in dresses that have been soaked, splattered with paint or muddied.
While several studios in the United States and other parts of the world offer “trash-the-dress” photographs, Cavanagh says the popularity of the service is just gaining ground in Australia. “In the US, there’s a photo of a bride on fire, well not really on fire, but it looked a bit Joan of Arc, it was the shock value,” Cavanagh said.
Cavanagh said he wanted to give Australian brides an opportunity to be creative and daring in what many couples consider to be the most lasting, and often expensive, memento of their wedding.
Packages, ranging in price from $2,800 to $5,300, include pictures shot in scenic locations such as waterfalls, windswept beaches at sunset, building facades and wooden boardwalks.
But to ensure brides look beautiful on the big day, with their dress intact, the ‘trashing’ photographs are taken after the couple have returned from their honeymoon.
“The extreme trashers are very rare,” Cavanagh said. “Usually it’s just getting wet, where you can still recover the dress, or getting in the sand or mud, making it look more like a model shoot than a bridal photo.” reuters
An extraordinary fish that inhabits muddy pools in West Africa and whose lineage can be traced back 96 million years could be the model for light, bomb-proof body armour for the soldiers of the future.
So say Pentagon-backed scientists who have pored over the scales of Polypterus senegalus, also called the Senegal bichir or the dinosaur eel. Long and skinny and of ancient heritage, the 40-centimetre (16-inch) predator has multiple layers of scales that first dissipate the energy of a
strike, then protect against any penetration to the soft tissues below and finally limit any damage to the shield to the immediate area surrounding the assault.
Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used nano-scale measurements to look at several scales that were harmlessly removed from a living fish. They found the scales — about 500 millionths of a metre thick — have four layers. The tiny shield was then put to the test, in a simulation of a biting attack.
The team believe the scales’ protection is remarkably effective because of the different composite materials, the geometry and thickness of each of these layers. The overlapping junctions between the layers themselves also play an important role.
The design is “fascinating, complex and multiscale,” say the scientists. “Such fundamental knowledge holds great potential for the development of improved biologically-inspired structural materials,” said Christine Ortiz, an MIT associate professor in materials science and engineering.
“Many of the design principles we describe — durable interfaces and energy-dissipating mechanisms, for instance — may be translatable to human armour systems.” The study appears on Sunday in a specialist journal, Nature Materials. afp
A Judge in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated – Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.
Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing.
He attacked a trend of giving children bizarre names, citing several examples.
Officials had blocked Sex Fruit, Keenan Got Lucy and Yeah Detroit, he said, but Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and Midnight Chardonnay had been allowed.
One mother wanted to name her child O.crnia using text language, but was later persuaded to use Oceania, he said.
The ruling, in the city of New Plymouth on the North Island, was handed down in February but only made public now.
Allowed: Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges (twins)
Blocked: Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips (twins)
The name issue emerged during a custody hearing for the young girl – who had refused to tell her friends her name and went simply by “K”.
“The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name,” Judge Murfitt wrote.
“It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.”
Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’s name has now been changed and the custody case resolved, court officials said.
New Zealand does not allow names that would cause offence or that are longer than 100 characters, Registrar-General Brian Clarke said.
Officials often tried to talk parents out of particularly unusual choices that could embarrass their offspring, the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.