Tallest, deepest, hottest, weirdest: Our solar system is a place of extremes. In a new book, The 50 Most Extreme Places in Our Solar System, authors David Baker and Todd Ratcliff take readers on a sightseeing tour of gas giants, icy moons, and the heat-blasted inner planets. Here we present a sampling of our favorite extraordinary locales.
THE Iraqi defector code-named ''Curveball'' whose claims that Iraq had biological weapons were used to justify the 2003 US invasion has admitted he lied to help get rid of Saddam Hussein.Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi told Germany's secret service, the BND, that Iraq had mobile bioweapons trucks and had built clandestine factories.Even after he went back on his story after being confronted with denials from another source, his former boss, the BND continued to take him seriously, he told The Guardian.Advertisement: Story continues belowThe false information was the cornerstone of former US secretary of state Colin Powell's key address to the United Nations on February 5, 2003.During the speech, Mr Powell described Mr Janabi as ''an Iraqi chemical engineer'' who ''supervised one of these facilities''.
For NASA fans, the images captured by the agency's missions -- Hubble, Chandra, STEREO, SOHO, and so many more -- are mind-boggling. But in some respects, those photographs, X-ray pictures and the rest can hardly hold a proverbial candle to the evocative, trippy, black light poster-esque artist renderings NASA employs to illustrate its current and future projects.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has used parliamentary question time to express her disapproval of two men who grew beards over the long summer break.The jest was delivered after independent MP Rob Oakeshott rose to ask Ms Gillard a question about health and hospital reform.Rather than answer his inquiry directly, the Prime Minister made fun of the member for Lyne's new look.Advertisement: Story continues below"I do think I should take this opportunity to record my objection to the beard too, something I said to him face to face," she said today.Ms Gillard also had something to say about The Australian newspaper's political editor Dennis Shanahan, who also recently grew some whiskers."I don't know what's happened over the summer season, we've got Rob Oakeshott here and Dennis Shanahan there, and they're both very poor judgment calls," she said.
The HP Veer is an interesting device. It's most notable for its small size, which comes in at 3.13 inches tall by 2.15 inches wide by 0.59 inch thick. It's similar in height and width to a credit card, or as CNET's Donald Bell calls it, "a choking hazard.
It works quite well with regular photographs, so we decided to try it using paintings to see what would happen..." Serena Malyon, a 3rd-year student at art school, took some of van Gogh's most beautiful paintings and altered them in Photoshop to achieved this amazing tilt-shift effect. "Nothing in any of these paintings been added or removed or had its proportions changed. The effect is achieved simply by manipulating the light in the scene and adjusting the areas of the image that are more and less in focus, as you will see. This is all being done in fun, so don't take it too seriously." says the artist.
In the company of Rob Booth as we travel through electronic music's hottest property, a deviously crafted patchwork of carefully sewn rhythms, sonic contortions and delicate melodies. Dubstep, minimal, juke/808, techno and advanced soundscapes. Producers who rarely see the light of day, too busy in their own homes, making some of the most arresting, forward thinking and intelligent music.If you like your music experimental, uncompromising, hand crafted and eerie, mathematical and heavy on the bass then look no further than Electronic Explorations
Nothing on here is hot glued or slapped together. The screen is vaccu-formed to give it that old-timey bulbous look. The outer wood frame is custom built, painted, and wet-sanded to give it that gloss. The inner brass frame was laser cut. All the bits and pieces come from old machines and fittings. Nothing came from Home Depot. Some of the hoses and valves came from a 1902 boiler we just removed from our basement. Everything is made to fit and screwed or bolted in place. We were going for a grown up version of those old activity centers for toddlers- lots of levers and knobs and toggles to mess around with. Also, it still fully functions as an Etch-A-Sketch. Circles, however, are still a pain in the ass.
Big Picture: Cyclone Yasi strikes Fairfax photographic special of the impact of Tropical Cyclone Yasi on north Queensland. When you see the force of what it's done ... it's staggering
Google has taken its 360-degree Street View cameras into some of the most famous and acclaimed galleries, to open the world's art collection to the internet. From the Tate Britain in London to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Google Art Project lets you browse 385 rooms in 17 galleries, and see more than 1,000 works by 486 artists. Each of the galleries has selected one piece of artwork to be photographed in staggeringly high resolution, with each of the 17 images containing around 7 billion pixels. Zoom in close enough, and you can see individual brushstrokes, hairline cracks in the canvas and microscopic details that are almost invisible to the naked eye