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This Multifunctional Sofa Is Truly the Furniture of the Future

Forget never leaving the apartment; how about never leaving the couch? This concept sofa by Milan-based Burak Kocak has features enough to mean that you could sit at it for days on end.

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As previously rumored, Spotify has today officially launched a new, free mobile listening option for its subscribers, as well as confirming an earlier report that rock legends Led Zepplin would be joining its library. At a press event in New York, Spotify has detailed the new mobile service that comes with a couple of conditions; namely ads and shuffling.

Naturally a free music streaming offering like this will offer in-stream advertisements, not unlike the free desktop offering or iTunes Radio’s free tier. Also, free subscribers will be able to listen to whichever artists they desire so long as they’re happy that they’re shuffling through the artists catalog. Thankfully you’ll be able to skip tracks you don’t like, and add things you’re more fond of to playlists.

The other big news is of course the arrival of Led Zeppelin. Famously missing from online music streaming services, Zeppelin only entered the iTunes Store back in 2007, and so todays news is massive for fans, and for Spotify customers. 2 albums from the catalog will be launched per day this week, starting today with Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II.

Things don’t end there though, as Spotify has also announced 20 new markets for its services launching today across Europe, South and Central America.

Things continue to heat up in the streaming music space, and Spotify has once again shown its hand as being one of the biggest dogs in the yard. How does any of this fit for you? Will it convince you to sign up, or switch from your current service of choice?

Source: Spotify (Twitter)


    







Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheIphoneBlog/~3/-eV_nXh0pas/story01.htm
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Her new album Britney Jean is climbing up the charts and now Britney Spears soaks up the spotlight on the cover of InStyle magazine’s January 2014 issue.

While donning designer duds from Helmut Lang and Jason Wu for the Michelangelo Di Battista-shot spread, the 32-year-old singer opens up about her body image and reveals details about her Las Vegas residency.

Check out a few highlights from Miss Spears’ Q&A session below. For more, be sure to visit InStyle!

On her body:
“I think it’s important to look good and feel good about yourself, but I go both ways on it. I think it’s cruel how the world puts so much emphasis on our looks. I was just watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,’ and I see Kim and what she went through when she was pregnant – the tabloids were so mean to her because she was big. At one point in the show she was upset and said something like, ‘I would be lying if I said that the criticism from the paparazzi while I’ve been pregnant hasn’t taken a toll on me,’ And I was like, ‘Bless her heart,’ Because I remember that time. First of all you are already emotional, and then the paparazzi are taking pictures of you pregnant. That should be the time [in your life] when your body is the most treasured, I love being pregnant for so many reasons, not to mention the sex is awesome then. But in this business you make a deal with the devil. I’ve learned you kind of have to go with it. What I do calls for me to look good. People expect that.I kind of take it as my job.”

On her life as a mom:
“As a mom, you have all these situations you go through and you’re like, ‘What is going on? Is this normal? Is this a phase? Or what is this?’ and then you feel silly for asking questions because you know, I’m a mom. I’m supposed to know these things, but you don’t. You’re human. To be honest, I wish I had more mom friends.”

On her Las Vegas rehearsals:
“The physical demands are tremendous, I’m rehearsing at least three or fours a day, sometimes even five. My body yesterday- I just felt so bad, I had to get two massages in one day! When I was younger, I wasn’t as likely to rehearse as hard as I do now. I’m harder on myself these days. Before, I would practice two times, and I’m done. Nowadays I’m very critical of myself.”

On her Hollywood tip:
“My advice for the next generation of stars? Don’t care too much about what other people think. What matters is your own point of view.”

Source: http://celebrity-gossip.net/britney-spears/britney-spears-instyle-january-2014-sex-awesome-during-pregnancy-1136562
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Ever wondered what Christmas looks like at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s house? Happy, expensive chaos, we’d wager. We’d also imagine that Brad and Angie themselves are impossible to shop for. Maybe that’s why so many people believed the report that Jolie bought Pitt a heart-shaped island.
Source: http://www.ivillage.com/did-angelina-jolie-buy-brad-pitt-heart-shaped-island-50th-birthday/1-a-554295?dst=iv%3AiVillage%3Adid-angelina-jolie-buy-brad-pitt-heart-shaped-island-50th-birthday-554295
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ZTE Nubia 5 and Grand S to be sold unlocked in US beginning October 16th

Though smartwatches may or may not be selling well, such market conditions aren’t stopping newcomers like Qualcomm and others from entering the game. Now, China’s ZTE has told the WSJ that it’ll launch its own model in the second quarter of 2014 with features similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, but at a lower price. Before you get too excited, the yet-unnamed device will just launch in China at first, and it’ll only be compatible with the company’s own smartphones — like the Nubia Z5 shown above. However, ZTE said it may roll out in Europe and the US later and might also launch future smartwatches that work with any Android device. Though the market for wrist-borne wearables in China is tiny compared to the smartphone segment, ZTE’s mobile marketing chief Lu Qianhao said that launching such a product may give his company’s smartphones a competitive advantage. That may be an unusual marketing ploy, but it could get stranger — the company’s also considering smart glasses and yes, smart shoes.

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Source: WSJ

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/UMZuZaCr2Ro/
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16-Nov-2013

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American Academy of Ophthalmology


Study suggests that environmental manipulation should be considered as part of overall management of dry eye syndrome

NEW ORLEANS Nov. 16, 2013 Residents of major cities with high levels of air pollution have an increased risk of dry eye syndrome, according to a study presented at the world’s largest ophthalmic conference, the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans. Study subjects in and around Chicago and New York City were found to be three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared to less urban areas with relatively little air pollution. As a result of this study, researchers suggest that environmental manipulations should be considered as part of the overall control and management of patients with dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome, a deficiency in tear production, is a prevalent condition that effects up to four million people age 50 and older in the United States and whose manifestations negatively affect physical and mental functioning. The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can be very detrimental to patients and severely affect the quality of one’s life, as well as result in loss of productivity due to interruption of daily activities like reading and using computer screens. While it has been suggested that environmental factors impact dry eye syndrome, this is the first study of a large patient population covering the entire continental United States which linked dry eye syndrome treatment location to atmospheric conditions in particular, air pollution coupled with weather conditions.

Using data from the National Veterans Administrative (VA) database, the National Climatic Data Center and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the researchers examined the health records of 606,708 U.S. veterans who received dry eye syndrome treatment in one of 394 VA eye clinics within the continental U.S. from July 2006 through July 2011. Those living in areas with high levels of air pollution had the highest magnitude of increased risk for dry eye syndrome, at an incidence rate ratio of 1.4. Most metropolitan areas, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami showed relatively high prevalence of dry eye syndrome (17-21%) and high levels of air pollution.

Additionally, the risk of dry eye syndrome was 13 percent higher in zip codes in high altitude areas. Higher humidity and wind speed were inversely associated with the risk of dry eye syndrome when controlled for air pollution and other weather conditions. The research findings suggest that primary care physicians and eye care professionals should be aware of the association between environmental conditions and dry eye, and elicit an environmental history when assessing patients with dry eye syndrome.

“Undoubtedly, many people living in arid and polluted cities would readily attest to the irritating effect air pollution has on dry eye,” said Anat Galor, M.D., MPSH, of Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and lead researcher. “Our research suggests that simple actions, such as maintaining the appropriate humidity indoors and using a high-quality air filter, should be considered as part of the overall management of patients suffering from dry eye syndrome.”

Dry eye symptoms can range from stinging or burning to excessive tearing and discomfort wearing contact lenses. As the eye responds to the irritation of this condition, the eye will often tear excessively to try to combat the loss of moisture. Many people with dry eye syndrome may find watching television, reading and working for extended periods on a computer to be very uncomfortable. For relief from dry eye syndrome, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises people to visit an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment.

###

Environmental Factors and Dry Eye Syndrome: A Study Utilizing the National U.S. Veterans Affairs Administrative Database (PO052) was presented at the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies from over 120 countries gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit http://www.aao.org/2013.

Note to media: Contact Media Relations to request full text of the study and arrange interviews with experts

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons Eye M.D.s with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit http://www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit http://www.geteyesmart.org or http://www.ojossanos.org to learn more.


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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

16-Nov-2013

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Contact: Media Relations
media@aao.org
American Academy of Ophthalmology


Study suggests that environmental manipulation should be considered as part of overall management of dry eye syndrome

NEW ORLEANS Nov. 16, 2013 Residents of major cities with high levels of air pollution have an increased risk of dry eye syndrome, according to a study presented at the world’s largest ophthalmic conference, the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans. Study subjects in and around Chicago and New York City were found to be three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared to less urban areas with relatively little air pollution. As a result of this study, researchers suggest that environmental manipulations should be considered as part of the overall control and management of patients with dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome, a deficiency in tear production, is a prevalent condition that effects up to four million people age 50 and older in the United States and whose manifestations negatively affect physical and mental functioning. The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can be very detrimental to patients and severely affect the quality of one’s life, as well as result in loss of productivity due to interruption of daily activities like reading and using computer screens. While it has been suggested that environmental factors impact dry eye syndrome, this is the first study of a large patient population covering the entire continental United States which linked dry eye syndrome treatment location to atmospheric conditions in particular, air pollution coupled with weather conditions.

Using data from the National Veterans Administrative (VA) database, the National Climatic Data Center and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the researchers examined the health records of 606,708 U.S. veterans who received dry eye syndrome treatment in one of 394 VA eye clinics within the continental U.S. from July 2006 through July 2011. Those living in areas with high levels of air pollution had the highest magnitude of increased risk for dry eye syndrome, at an incidence rate ratio of 1.4. Most metropolitan areas, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami showed relatively high prevalence of dry eye syndrome (17-21%) and high levels of air pollution.

Additionally, the risk of dry eye syndrome was 13 percent higher in zip codes in high altitude areas. Higher humidity and wind speed were inversely associated with the risk of dry eye syndrome when controlled for air pollution and other weather conditions. The research findings suggest that primary care physicians and eye care professionals should be aware of the association between environmental conditions and dry eye, and elicit an environmental history when assessing patients with dry eye syndrome.

“Undoubtedly, many people living in arid and polluted cities would readily attest to the irritating effect air pollution has on dry eye,” said Anat Galor, M.D., MPSH, of Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and lead researcher. “Our research suggests that simple actions, such as maintaining the appropriate humidity indoors and using a high-quality air filter, should be considered as part of the overall management of patients suffering from dry eye syndrome.”

Dry eye symptoms can range from stinging or burning to excessive tearing and discomfort wearing contact lenses. As the eye responds to the irritation of this condition, the eye will often tear excessively to try to combat the loss of moisture. Many people with dry eye syndrome may find watching television, reading and working for extended periods on a computer to be very uncomfortable. For relief from dry eye syndrome, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises people to visit an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment.

###

Environmental Factors and Dry Eye Syndrome: A Study Utilizing the National U.S. Veterans Affairs Administrative Database (PO052) was presented at the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies from over 120 countries gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit http://www.aao.org/2013.

Note to media: Contact Media Relations to request full text of the study and arrange interviews with experts

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons Eye M.D.s with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit http://www.aao.org. The Academy’s EyeSmart program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit http://www.geteyesmart.org or http://www.ojossanos.org to learn more.


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Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/aaoo-rom111213.php
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14-Nov-2013

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Contact: Jill Reuter
jreuter@lifespan.org
401-444-6863
Lifespan


Study also finds consistent sleep pattern can reduce risk of illness

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of Sleep Research have found that acute illnesses, such as colds, flu, and gastroenteritis were more common among healthy adolescents who got less sleep at night. Additionally, the regularity of teens’ sleep schedules was found to impact their health. The study, titled “Sleep patterns are associated with common illness in adolescents,” was led by Kathryn Orzech, Ph.D. of the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory.

Orzech and her team compared three outcomes between longer and shorter sleepers: number of illness bouts, illness duration, and school absences related to illness. The team found that bouts of illness declined with longer sleep for both male and female high school students. Longer sleep was also generally protective against school absences that students attributed to illness. There were gender differences as well, with males reporting fewer illness bouts than females, even with similar sleep durations.

Orzech’s team analyzed total sleep time in teens for six-day windows both before and after a reported illness and found a trend in the data toward shorter sleep before illness vs. wellness. Due to the difficulty of finding teens whose illnesses were spaced in such a way to be statistically analyzed, Orzech also conducted qualitative analysis, examining individual interview data for two short-sleeping males who reported very different illness profiles. This analysis suggested that more irregular sleep timing across weeknights and weekends (very little sleep during the week and “catching up” on sleep during the weekend), and a preference for scheduling work and social time later in the evening hours can both contribute to differences in illness outcomes, conclusions that are also supported in the broader adolescent sleep literature.

“Some news reaches the general public about the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation, such as the links between less sleep and weight gain,” said Orzech. “However, most of the studies of sleep and health have been done under laboratory conditions that cannot replicate the complexities of life in the real world. Our study looked at rigorously collected sleep and illness data among adolescents who were living their normal lives and going to school across a school term.”

“We showed that there are short-term outcomes, like more acute illness among shorter-sleeping adolescents, that don’t require waiting months, years or decades to show up,” Orzech continued. “Yes, poor sleep is linked to increased cardiovascular disease, to high cholesterol, to obesity, to depression, etc., but for a teenager, staying healthy for the dance next week, or the game on Thursday, may be more important. This message from this study is clear: Sleep more, and more regularly, get sick less.”

Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., director of the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory, commented on Orzech’s study, “We have long been examining the sleep cycles of teenagers and how we might be able to help adolescents – especially high school students – be better rested and more functional in a period of their lives where sleep seems to be a luxury.” Carskadon continued, “In the future, these findings identifying specific issues in individual sleep patterns may be a useful way to help adolescents begin to prioritize sleep.”

###

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers MH45945 and MH79179, and T32 training grant MH19927. Direct financial and infrastructure support for this project was received through the Lifespan Office of Research Administration.

The principal affiliation of Carskadon is Bradley Hospital (a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island). She is also a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Orzech was a postdoctoral fellow in the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory at the time of the research, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Charting the Digital Lifespan project based at the University of Dundee in Scotland, UK.

About Bradley Hospital

Founded in 1931, Bradley Hospital, located in East Providence, R.I., was the nation’s first psychiatric hospital devoted exclusively for children and adolescents. It remains a nationally recognized center for children’s mental health care, training and research. Bradley Hospital was awarded the distinction of ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ for both 2011 and 2012 by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health organizations in the U.S. Bradley Hospital is the only hospital in Rhode Island and the only psychiatric hospital in New England to receive this designation. Bradley Hospital is a member of the Lifespan health system and is a teaching hospital for The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter (@BradleyHospital).


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AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.


[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

14-Nov-2013

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Contact: Jill Reuter
jreuter@lifespan.org
401-444-6863
Lifespan


Study also finds consistent sleep pattern can reduce risk of illness

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of Sleep Research have found that acute illnesses, such as colds, flu, and gastroenteritis were more common among healthy adolescents who got less sleep at night. Additionally, the regularity of teens’ sleep schedules was found to impact their health. The study, titled “Sleep patterns are associated with common illness in adolescents,” was led by Kathryn Orzech, Ph.D. of the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory.

Orzech and her team compared three outcomes between longer and shorter sleepers: number of illness bouts, illness duration, and school absences related to illness. The team found that bouts of illness declined with longer sleep for both male and female high school students. Longer sleep was also generally protective against school absences that students attributed to illness. There were gender differences as well, with males reporting fewer illness bouts than females, even with similar sleep durations.

Orzech’s team analyzed total sleep time in teens for six-day windows both before and after a reported illness and found a trend in the data toward shorter sleep before illness vs. wellness. Due to the difficulty of finding teens whose illnesses were spaced in such a way to be statistically analyzed, Orzech also conducted qualitative analysis, examining individual interview data for two short-sleeping males who reported very different illness profiles. This analysis suggested that more irregular sleep timing across weeknights and weekends (very little sleep during the week and “catching up” on sleep during the weekend), and a preference for scheduling work and social time later in the evening hours can both contribute to differences in illness outcomes, conclusions that are also supported in the broader adolescent sleep literature.

“Some news reaches the general public about the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation, such as the links between less sleep and weight gain,” said Orzech. “However, most of the studies of sleep and health have been done under laboratory conditions that cannot replicate the complexities of life in the real world. Our study looked at rigorously collected sleep and illness data among adolescents who were living their normal lives and going to school across a school term.”

“We showed that there are short-term outcomes, like more acute illness among shorter-sleeping adolescents, that don’t require waiting months, years or decades to show up,” Orzech continued. “Yes, poor sleep is linked to increased cardiovascular disease, to high cholesterol, to obesity, to depression, etc., but for a teenager, staying healthy for the dance next week, or the game on Thursday, may be more important. This message from this study is clear: Sleep more, and more regularly, get sick less.”

Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., director of the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory, commented on Orzech’s study, “We have long been examining the sleep cycles of teenagers and how we might be able to help adolescents – especially high school students – be better rested and more functional in a period of their lives where sleep seems to be a luxury.” Carskadon continued, “In the future, these findings identifying specific issues in individual sleep patterns may be a useful way to help adolescents begin to prioritize sleep.”

###

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers MH45945 and MH79179, and T32 training grant MH19927. Direct financial and infrastructure support for this project was received through the Lifespan Office of Research Administration.

The principal affiliation of Carskadon is Bradley Hospital (a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island). She is also a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Orzech was a postdoctoral fellow in the Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Laboratory at the time of the research, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Charting the Digital Lifespan project based at the University of Dundee in Scotland, UK.

About Bradley Hospital

Founded in 1931, Bradley Hospital, located in East Providence, R.I., was the nation’s first psychiatric hospital devoted exclusively for children and adolescents. It remains a nationally recognized center for children’s mental health care, training and research. Bradley Hospital was awarded the distinction of ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ for both 2011 and 2012 by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health organizations in the U.S. Bradley Hospital is the only hospital in Rhode Island and the only psychiatric hospital in New England to receive this designation. Bradley Hospital is a member of the Lifespan health system and is a teaching hospital for The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter (@BradleyHospital).


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Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/l-bhr111413.php
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FILE – This combination made from file photos shows Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, in Chicago on March 12, 2008, left, and 1 World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 5, 2013. The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. (AP Photos/File)

FILE – This combination made from file photos shows Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, in Chicago on March 12, 2008, left, and 1 World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 5, 2013. The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. (AP Photos/File)

Graphic shows the height of the One World Trade Center compared against the tallest buildings in the world; 4c x 3 3/4 inches; 195.7 mm x 95 mm;

FILE – In this Nov. 8, 2013 file photo, the beacon and spire of 1 World Trade Center are lit up, as seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J. The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

FILE – In this May 10, 2013 file photo, the silver spire topping 1 World Trade Center is fully installed on the building’s roof, bringing the structure to its full, symbolic height of 1,776 feet in New York. The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

FILE – In this May 10, 2013 file photo, the final piece of spire is hoisted in place on top of 1 World Trade Center in New York. The new World Trade Center tower in New York knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower off its pedestal as the nation’s tallest building when an international panel of architects announced Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 that the needle atop the skyscraper can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. (AP photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — They set out to build the tallest skyscraper in the world — a giant that would rise a symbolic 1,776 feet from the ashes of ground zero.

Those aspirations of global supremacy fell by the wayside long ago, but New York won a consolation prize Tuesday when an international architectural panel said it would recognize One World Trade Center as the tallest skyscraper in the United States.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, considered a world authority on supersized skyscrapers, announced its decision at simultaneous news conferences in New York and Chicago, home to the 1,451-foot Willis Tower, which is being dethroned as the nation’s tallest building.

Measuring the height of a building would seem to be a simple thing, but in the case of the new World Trade Center tower it is complicated by the 408-foot-tall needle atop the skyscraper’s roof.

The council’s verdict rested on a conclusion that the needle should be counted as part of the building’s total height. Without it, the tower would be just 1,368 feet tall, the same height as the original World Trade Center. That would make it smaller than not only the Willis, but also a 1,397-foot apartment building being built a short subway ride away near Central Park.

Speaking at his office in New York, council chairman Timothy Johnson, an architect at the global design firm NBBJ, said the decision by the 25-member height committee had more “tense moments” than usual, given the skyscraper’s importance as a patriotic symbol.

“I was here on 9/11. I saw the buildings come down,” he said.

Over the past few months, the council had hinted that it might be open to changing its standards for measuring ultra-tall buildings, given a trend toward developers adding “vanity height” to towers with huge, decorative spires.

But the council also has a history of disallowing antennas in height calculations. The Empire State Building’s landmark 204-foot needle isn’t counted in its height measurement. Neither are the two TV antennas atop the Willis Tower, which had been the country’s tallest building since it was completed — and named the Sears Tower — in 1974.

But in the end, there was unanimity on the committee that One World Trade Center’s reach for 1,776 feet — a number that echoes the founding year of the United States — was an artistic architectural expression.

“This was a quest to put something meaningful and symbolic on that site because of the horrible history of what happened on that site,” said Antony Wood, the council’s executive director.

Tourists photographing the skyscraper Tuesday mostly agreed that when it comes to height measurements, this spire should count.

“For any other building, no. But for this one, yes,” said Cary Bass, of Lake Mary, Fla., as he waited to enter the National Sept. 11 Memorial at the new skyscraper’s feet. “Those people deserve it,” he said, referring to the attack victims.

“It’s a special building,” said Paul Schlagel, visiting from Longmont, Colo.

When architect Daniel Libeskind won a public design competition for the World Trade Center master plan in 2003, his original vision was for a twisting, angular spire filled with hanging gardens.

Height was part of the appeal. At the time, his design of 1,776 feet would have made the so-called “Freedom Tower” the tallest skyscraper in the world.

Libeskind’s drawings were always meant to be conceptual, though, and the real-world designs produced by architect David Childs and the tower’s owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, reduced that glass spire to a more conventional cable-stayed mast, which would support broadcast equipment and a rotating beacon, visible for 50 miles.

That change, along with another that removed a layer of decorative cladding, had created some doubt about how the council might rule.

If they were to stand side by side, the Willis Tower would probably appear to be the larger building to most bystanders. In fact, someone standing in the Willis Tower’s observation deck would have to look down to see One World Trade Center’s roof.

This marks the second time that the Willis Tower has lost a “tallest” title in a disputed decision.

Back in 1996, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat sparked controversy when it declared the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia taller than the Willis. That decision, like the one involving One World Trade Center, also rested on whether to count slender, decorative spires in the total height measurement.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel seemed nonplussed with Tuesday’s decision.

“I would just say to all the experts gathered in one room: If it looks like an antenna, acts like an antenna, then guess what? It is an antenna,” he told reporters.

Bella Engstrom, a tourist from Sweden visiting the World Trade Center site, said she thought any measurement of the building should stop at the highest point a person can stand in the tower.

“I think it’s as high as you can go. You stop there,” she said.

Kevin Corrigan, a union carpenter working at the Trade Center site Tuesday dismissed the height debate as an issue for academics, not workers on the job.

“Getting it built. That’s what we care about,” he said.

In a joint statement, the Port Authority, its marketing partner, the Durst Organization, and Childs’ architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said the building’s creators had “long celebrated the height of 1,776 feet as an unwavering principal” of its design.

“This iconic building represents the resilience of America and today’s decision recognizes One World Trade Center’s rightful place in history,” they said.

The new World Trade Center tower remains under construction and is expected to open next year.

When it does, it will be the world’s third-largest skyscraper, behind the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 1,972-foot Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Even that distinction may not last: Six even taller towers are under construction in Asia.

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2013-11-12-Tallest%20Skyscraper-Dilemma/id-151536b43e7f41fc81743d2fd4faeb43
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AAA  Nov. 9, 2013 10:21 PM ET
AP PHOTOS: High death toll feared in typhoon
By The Associated PressBy The Associated Press, Associated Press THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES 

A resident walks by toppled trees and electric posts after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

A resident walks by toppled trees and electric posts after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Bodies wrapped in blankets are placed inside a damaged chapel Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, a day after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The airport devastated by powerful Typhoon Haiyan that slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, Philippines is seen on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Residents walk by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Workers assess the damage of Tacloban Airport following a powerful typhoon that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. The central Philippine city of Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A day after one of the strongest typhoons on record slammed into the Philippines, horrified residents say storm surges were as high as trees and the central city of Tacloban is in ruins. Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone “could go up to 10,000.” Tacloban is the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island. About 300-400 bodies have already been recovered, Lim said. A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban.

Here’s a gallery of images from the Philippines.

___

AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Associated Press



Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2013-11-09-Philippines-Typhoon-Photo%20Gallery/id-b86969b7b5864d7986cbf58ed6cbd1e0
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Biohazard Lab Makes Real-Life Star Trek Communicator

It’s hard to imagine an environment where instant and clear communication is more critical than in biodefense labs dealing with the most lethal pathogens on Earth. And yet, these facilities, which are few in number and rich in potential nightmares, often require researchers to tap on each other’s shoulders and shout in order to be heard.

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