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Spectacular Snow Patterns

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather! Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art. Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields! The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.

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JK Rowling’s internet version of the Harry Potter universe – Launches April

Pottermore, an interactive version of the Harry Potter universe where users can duel their fellow wizards, cast spells and progress through the storyline of the Potter books, opened to one million beta users last July. Full launch was initially scheduled for October, but the immense popularity of the website among users – 550m page views were made in just two months – meant it was delayed until 2012.

Officials have now announced that pottermore.com will open to everyone in early April. A spokesperson for Rowling confirmed to the Guardian that the long-awaited Harry Potter ebooks, which will be sold from the site, would launch “at around the same time”, but provided no more details. The Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks will be distributed to more than 18,000 school and public libraries worldwide by Overdrive, it was announced last month.

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Japan Will Have a Space Elevator by 2050

It might the stuff of science fiction dreams, but a Japanese construction company has announced that it will have built a working space elevator by 2050. Where can I join the queue?

According to the The Daily Yomiuri, construction company Obayashi Corp has announced it will have built a space elevator capable of shuttling passengers 36,000 kilometers above the Earth by 2050.

The company plans to use carbon nanontubes, which are 20 times stronger than steel, to produce the cables required for the elevator. Those cables will be stretched to a counterweight 96,000 kilometers above our planet, about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon.


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Chicken Soup Scientifically Proven to Help Cure Colds

Even putting the study results aside, when breaking down chicken soup into its various ingredients, it’s easy to see why it may be a potent weapon against a runny nose:

•Heat: The steam from a bowl of soup (or a cup of hot tea for that matter) can assist in opening up clogged nostrils.

•Protein: Chicken is a great source of protein which we especially need as appetites naturally wane when ill. Low protein intake can decrease immune system function, and a soup is an easy way to get some calories and protein. If you don’t like the actual meat, some of the protein is extracted into the broth during the cooking process too, so just sipping the liquid is still helpful.

•Vegetables: Most chicken soup recipes include carrots, celery and onions at the very least. If you’re making your own chicken soup, throw in any hearty vegetables that you’ve got in your kitchen or freezer. Broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, beans and peas are all healthy soup additions. Also, the heartier greens, like Swiss chard, kale or collards work well in soups as well. The more vegetables in any soup, the better. Vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals that mean more antioxidants to fight off that cold. Frozen varieties are just fine, too. They are frozen at their peak freshness, meaning nutrient content is preserved.

•Water: Maintaining adequate hydration is also important when you’re not feeling well. Fluids also help to thin out mucus and decrease congestion so drinking your usual 2 liters/day is essential.


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Man Charged With Chopping Off Friend’s Hand For Insurance Money

I have to hand it to CBS and the people who cracked this case. Handing over such a group of criminals who so handily defrauded these insurance companies deserves a round of applause. I wonder if any lawyer will give this man a hand in defending himself. Because if this guy were to win this case, he would probably be getting hand outs from the government. A public defender will really come in handy now that he can’t work at that manual labor hands on job he had.

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