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December 29, 2008

Hangover for the holidays

New Year's is around the corner, so get ready to start popping the bubbly, because it is going to be a whale of a new year! But wait! Don't drink to much because the inevitable hangover will be waiting for you the next morning. It is said that a hangover is mother nature's way of payback for a night of guzzling booze. Seventy-five percent of alcohol consumers have experienced a hangover at least once.

Here is a video that gives a glimpse of why you get a hangover after drinking too much:

Here is also a good article and video that shows a hangover remedy recipe.

Download this week's News Illustrated to read what causes a hangover and its symptoms. The page also gives you some remedies that might help you before, during and after you drink.

So if you drink this New Years' make sure you drink responsibly, and if you drink to much, be ready for a tough morning.


POSTED IN: Health (21), Kwency Norman (13), Science (44)

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December 18, 2008

Wind turbines blowing smoke?

Although gas prices may be down, our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil is not going away. Only seven percent of the U.S. energy consumption comes from renewable sources. Only five percent of the renewable resources come from windv. When I first read the numbers I was really surprised how little wind contributed to the overall picture.


Besides the cost to build the turbine and occasional maintenance, the wind is free. But there are a lot of variables that go into making a successful wind farm. You can’t just stick one anywhere. Check out this weeks News Illustrated page to see some of the considerations and how it affects Florida’s wind chances.

Along with the logistics, there are some environmental concerns One concern is birds flying into the blades. After doing a little research I found out two things. Yes, birds do get chopped up in the blades, but it is more likely for a bird to die from flying into a building than a turbine.


See my News Illustrated page in this Sunday's Sun-Sentinel.

POSTED IN:Alex Bordens (2), Environment (52)

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December 10, 2008

Recession proof? Plastic surgery still looking good

One business that may not be affected by recession could be plastic surgery. The chart below shows that the number of surgeries and procedures have doubled since 2000:


POSTED IN: Renee Kwok (24), Science (44)

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December 8, 2008

Trip for Governor Crist: Using simplicity to tell a complex story

My name is Alex Bordens and for the past five months or so I have had the pleasure of being the graphics intern. The position has allowed me to learn and try new things, including the interactive graphic below explaining Governor Crist’s trip to Europe (click the image to open the feature) The graphic on the governor’s spending shows how tons of information can be displayed at one time, yet in a simple manner.

A professor from college told me that design either needs to be blatantly complex or so simple someone would think, hey I can do that. In this case simplicity is king. There is so much information that it was important not to over emphasize the small things. Let the numbers be what the reader remembers not the design.
The project may have looked simple but it was very complex to develop­­ — at least for a beginner programmer. It was one of those projects that when it is over you feel like you accomplished something. Although there may have been an easier way to build some of the components, it was worth the struggle. Together they made the project seamless. They made the project simple.

POSTED IN: Alex Bordens (2), Government (48), Politics (29)

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December 3, 2008

Digital TV broadcasting: Will your set work?

WARNING, Testing begins Monday, Dec. 8 for Broward and Palm Beach counties.

At 6:20 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. broadcast companies will send digital-only signals. If you have a digital TV, or receive cable or satellite you should not have a break in transmission. If your screen looks like snow then you will need to purchase a converter box prior to the full-time switch to digital in February. Additional testing will be done on Mondays in December and January.

Apply for a coupon for a digital-to-analog converter box: The government is issuing $40 coupons toward specific converter boxes for analog television.

Download our News Illustrated page on The Digital Shift. Its full of information on what analog and digital broadcasting is, how converter boxes work and how to hook them up.


POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Technology (27)

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December 1, 2008

Express lanes open: Toll to vary, free for some

Express lanes will begin charging tolls Friday, Dec. 5 on Interstate 95.
For some people travel will be free: registered carpools with three or more occupants, registered hybrid vehicles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles and buses. Drivers will be able to use their SunPass for these lanes, although the amount will vary depending on road congestion. Costs will generally be 25 cents to $2.65 to travel from downtown Miami to the Golden Glades interchange.

Construction scheduled to begin in 2010.


See the Express Lanes site by the Florida Department of Transportation.

POSTED IN: Cindy Jones-Hulfachor (46), Government (48)

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Dubai bridge: The world's largest arch bridge

We can all appreciate good architecture when we see it, from the Great Pyramids in Egypt to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.


So, If you like beautiful structures, download this week's News Illustrated page on the Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing.

It's a huge arch bridge that will be built in Dubai, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. When the bridge is completed, the arch of the bridge will stand at a whopping 672 feet above sea level and will have a span 2,001 feet, making it the largest arch bridge on the planet.

The video below shows a cool 360 degree view of the bridge:

The bridge will cost around $816.9 million dollars and is projected to be completed by 2012.

POSTED IN:Kwency Norman (13), Technology (27)

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