My blog, my thoughts and my musings!

Leave a comment

Is Extraterrestrial Life Living Underground?

The relatively recent discovery of life deep under the Earth’s surface has led some scientists to speculate that extraterrestrial life may also live below the surfaces of other planets.

Sean McMahon, a PHD student at the University of Aberdeen and leader of a team researching this theory, believes that the scientific community should be considering more planets with liquid water beneath the surface to be potentially habitable by alien organisms. To this end, McMahon and his team created a computer model that estimates the temperature below the surface of a planet, given the body’s size and relative distance from the sun. The results were surprising.

The model demonstrates that the habitable zone of an Earth-like planet is actually three times larger than previously considered, if potential underground habitats (specifically the top 5KM) are included as a possibility.

Scientifically, this theory is very valid. There are many organisms that live below the Earth’s surface, the deepest point that life has been found under our surface was 5.3KM, but scientists believe that life could exist as far below as 10KM.

In 2011, South African miners discovered 2.4 Metre long nematodes living at a depth of 1.3KM. The so-called ‘worms from hell’ are living proof that in the words of ‘Jurassic Park’s Ian Malcolm “life will find a way”. Extremeophiles, organisms that survive in incredibly hostile environments, have been discovered in places as disparate as active volcanoes, deep under ground and, amazingly, below the seafloor.

Is it too crazy to assume that similar creatures exist on other planets as well?

In fact, it seems even crazier to think that nobody ever considered it before.

Dr. Norman Sleep, a geophysicist with Stanford University in the US, thinks this idea is viable. He uses Mars as just one tantalizing example “A planet like Mars was clement at the start and could have evolved photosynthesis before freezing at the surface” he told science magazine ‘Science Uncovered’.

The most exceptional thing about this theory is that NASA’s Curiosity Rover, which is currently surveying the surface of the Red Planet, could be in a position to find evidence of this.

However, it is important for scientists (and journalists!) not to get carried away by this idea. “We have only recently started to discover this type of life on Earth,” he told Science Uncovered.

What (if any) evidence can be collected to validate this amazing new theory remains to be seen. 


Leave a comment

Former Wrestling Champion Ultimate Warrior Dies at 54

Former WWE star The Ultimate Warrior has died aged 54. His death came just one day after he gave an eerily prophetic speech on WWE’s April 7th RAW broadcast and just a few days after he had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

One of the biggest stars in wrestling during the late 80’s and early 90’s, The Ultimate Warrior was noted for his energetic ring entrance, during which he would run at full speed down the entrance ramp and vigorously shake the ring ropes.

He was also well liked for his muscular physique, unique interview style and colourful face paint.

Warrior is perhaps best remembered for his victory over Hulk Hogan for the WWE (then WWF) Championship at WrestleMania VI in 1990. He also feuded with other notable stars like Andre The Giant, ‘Mr Perfect’ Curt Hennig, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, amongst others. Warrior was also a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion.

The Ultimate Warrior had been at odds with the WWE management for a number of years. However, his appearance in the recent WWE 2K14 video game, followed by his induction into the Hall of Fame earlier in the month, seemed to announce that any/all burned bridges had been mended prior to his death.

WWE released a statement a short while after Warrior’s death, stating that, “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. (…) We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans.”

Tributes poured in from all corners of the wrestling business, including many who had been previously critical of Warrior’s actions or career. Wrestling stars Hulk Hogan, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, Mick Foley, Iron Shiek, Triple H and (current WWE Champion) Daniel Bryan are just some of the marquee names that offered their heartfelt messages to Warrior, his family and his fans.

Born Jim Hellwig in 1959, the man who would become known around the word as The Ultimate Warrior originally wanted to become a chiropractor. He took up bodybuilding as a hobby, entering several contests in the process and eventually transitioned from bodybuilding to professional wrestling in the mid 1980’s.

In various regional promotions Hellwig wrestled under the names Jim ‘Justice’ Hellwig, ‘Justice’ and ‘Blade Runner Rock’ – forming one half of the team The Blade Runners with ‘Blade Runner Flash’ (AKA Steve Borden, who would go onto greater fame as Sting in WCW and later TNA).

Hellwig also wrestled as ‘Dingo Warrior’ before joining the WWF and being re-packaged as The Ultimate Warrior in 1987.

As The Ultimate Warrior, Jim Hellwig was an instant success, being promoted to the top of the card and becoming the WWF Intercontinental Champion in 1988. In 1990, he became WWF Champion for the first and only time in his career.

He departed WWF in 1991 after losing the championship to Sgt. Slaughter and following a series of contractual disputes. Warrior briefly returned to the WWF in 1992 and 1996, although neither stint matched the success of his first run with the company. Although The Ultimate Warrior surfaced in rival promotion WCW in 1998, his run only lasted for four matches.

His final match was in 2008, where he wrestled former WWE and TNA wrestler Orlando Jordan in Spain, winning the Nu-Wrestling Evolution (NWE) Championship from him. 

In his final televised speech, Warrior addressed the WWE fans in the voice of his wrestling persona.

“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own”. He began, “Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat; his lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory. You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. I am Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. And the spirit of The Ultimate Warrior will run forever!”

‘Wrestling Observer’ founder and world-renowned wrestling expert Dave Meltzer said of Warrior that “Warrior and Hogan represented that period, the era of the big bodybuilders and he was a huge, muscular guy (…) He connected well with kids and was a massive superstar at the time” 

Meltzer continued, making reference to Warrior’s daughters, aged 11 and 13, who joined their Dad onstage for the Hall of Fame ceremony. “I didn’t know him personally, but you could tell he lived for those kids (…) After the [induction ceremony], everybody got together and whatnot, but he disappeared to be with his kids.”

The Ultimate warrior left a unique imprint in the annals of professional wrestling and he will never be forgotten.

Leave a comment


The list of the best 50 restaurants in the world has been released this month, here, unsurprising is noma 1st and El Celler de Can Roca 2nd. the fat duck, 1st for many years, has dropped to 47th.


1) Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark: This two Michelin star restaurant is run by chef René Redzepi. The restaurant has aimed to reinvent Nordic cuisine and serves dishes such as sea urchin toast and beef tartar with live ants.

2) El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain: The family-run, three Michelin star restaurant is managed by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca and serves traditional Catalan dishes with ‘creative’ twists. It is known for its unusual presentation of dishes, such as caramelised olives served on a bonsai tree.

3) Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy: Massimo Bottura runs this three Michelin star restaurant in Modena. The restaurant’s menu has a lyrical twist, advertising dishes like An Eel Swimming Up The Po River, Snails Under The Earth, All The Tongues Of The World, and A Potato Waiting To Become A Truffle.

4) Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA: This restaurant is run by co-owners Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, and offers a tasting menu. The maitre d’ of the famous restaurant, Justin Roller, revealed to New York magazine earlier this month that he spends hours looking up the restaurant’s patrons on the Internet before they arrive so he can tailor their experience to their needs.

5) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK: Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal opened this restaurant in 2011 and it received its first Michelin star within a year. It features traditional British dishes dating back to the 1300’s, including Meat Fruit and Rice & Flesh.

6) Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain: This two-Michelin star restaurant was established in 1998 and is under the management of chef Andoni Luis Aduriz.

7) D.O.M, Sao Paulo, Brazil: D.O.M. won the award for best restaurant in South America. The Brazilian restaurant is run by chef Alex Atala and incorporates native ingredients such as Tucupi juice, the jambu herb and pirarucu into its four or eight dish degustation menu.

8) Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain: The three Michelin star restaurant is run by Juan Mari Arzak. The restaurant is family-run, with kitchen duties shared between Juan and his daughter Elena and serves Basque cuisine .

9) Alinea, Chicago, USA: Alinea opened in 2005 and has three Michelin stars. It serves patrons a 25-course degustation, including dishes such as sweet potato bourbon with brown sugar and smouldering cinnamon, and its signature dish, the black-truffle explosion.

The Ledbury in Notting Hill was ranked the tenth best restaurant in the world

The Ledbury in Notting Hill was ranked the tenth best restaurant in the world


10) The Ledbury, London, UK: Australian Brett Graham is the head chef of this two Michelin starred restaurant, which opened in 2005. It features dishes such as buffalo milk curd with truffle toast and a broth of grilled onions.

11) Mirazur, Menton, France: This two Michelin star restaurant operates under head chef Mauro Colagreco, from Argentina. Colagreco took over as head chef in 2006.

12) Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Vendôme, Germany: Run by head chef Joachim Wissler. The restaurant features ‘New German Cuisine’, and is known for its exquisite presentation of dishes. 

13) Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand: Nahm was voted best restaurant in Asia and is run by Australian chef David Thompson. Opened four years ago, the restaurant serves dishes that draw on ancient Thai cookbooks for inspiration.

14) Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan: Narisawa opened in 2003 under head chef Yoshihiro Narisawa. The restaurant serves a 10-course tasting dish ‘designed to express the flow of the changing seasons’, which it encourages patrons to enjoy ‘with an open mind’.

15) Central, Lima, Peru: Central Restaurante is run by Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz and is known for providing a contemporary twist on traditional Peruvian cuisine and for using relatively unknown Peruvian ingredients, such as arracacha, a root vegetable, and arapaima, a freshwater fish from the Amazon River.

16) Steirereck, Vienna, Austria: Steirereck is located in Stadtpark, a park in the middle of Vienna. Featuring traditional Viennese and international cuisine, the restaurant is housed in a revitalised dairy farmhouse and features a terrace and river-side garden.

17) Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand: Chef Gaggan Anand brings Indian cuisine to downtown Bangkok  at Gaggan. The restaurant serves a surprise 10-course tasting menu to patrons, with dishes including Norwegian  diver scallops baked with Malabar curry.

18) Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru: Chef Gastón Acurio serves a tasting menu based on the five different landscapes of Peru: The Pacific Ocean, The Desert, The Andes, The High Plain and The Amazon. The restaurant, which is named for the chef and his wife, moved to a new location earlier this year, to a centre which has an event space, botanic garden and research facility, as well as a restaurant.

19) Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden: Fäviken is one of the world’s most isolated restaurants and serves rustic Scandinavian cuisine. Head chef Magnus Nilsson often hunts and forages for ingredients from the 20,000-acred hunting estate on which the restaurant sits.

Amber in Hong Kong features a striking chandelier made of more than 400 bronze rods

Amber in Hong Kong features a striking chandelier made of more than 400 bronze rods

20) Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico: Pujol is run by Mexico’s most famous chef, Enrique Olvera, and serves modern Mexican cuisine.  Ingredients include frogs’ legs, 20-day-old banana, and dried insects, such as those used in the grasshopper salsa that accompanies the hidden egg in inflated tortilla.

21) Le Bernardin, New York, USA: Le Bernardin is a three Michelin star French seafood restaurant. It was started in Paris in 1972 and moved to New York in 1986, the current head chef is Eric Ripert, who took over in 1994. Signature dishes include sustainably-raised Bluefin tuna and Kobe beef.

22) Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal: Vila Joya is a two Michelin star restaurant, which is part of a luxury spa and beach resort in Portugal. The head chef Dieter Koschina is originally from Austria and worked there before settling in Portugal more than twenty years ago. The fusion of Portuguese and northern European cooking techniques create innovative dishes.

23) Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm, Sweden: Frantzén dropped from 12th position on last year’s list to 23rd this year. The restaurant strives to provide modern Scandinavian cuisine, often belding Swedish ingredients with Asian flavours. The restaurant serves small ‘prologue’ bites, such as confit of pig’s head on pork skin, and blood and liver pancake with cherries and violet.

24) Amber, Hong Kong, China: This two Michelin star restaurant opened in 2005 and is headed up by Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus. Amber serves French cuisine with Hong Kong influences. The striking dining room was designed by Adam Tihany, and features a chandelier made up of more than 4,000 bronze rods.

25) L’Arpège, Paris, France: A large amount of food served at Alain Passard’s landmark restaurant is grown in a 2.5 hectare garden outside the city. Passard is so committed to fresh local produce that a decade ago he removed red meat from the menu, though it has since been reinstated in small amounts.

26) Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain: Azurmendi is remarkable for its eco-friendly design, with solar capture, geothermal heating, an internal greenhouse and rainwater harvesting. Chef Eneko Atxa has worked with the local university to develop new cooking methods, such as using ultrasound to alter the texture of ingredients. These methods create some remarkable dishes such as truffled egg ‘cooked inside out’, which involves placing a hot truffle stock into the yolk so that the remaining egg cooks from the inside.

27) Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France: Le Chateaubriand is headed up by self-trained chef Inaki Aizpitarte. The décor and menu are unpretentious and the dishes change each day depending on ingredients available at the market.

28) Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany: Aqua is headed up by former pastry chef Sven Elverfeld, who plates up modern takes on traditional German peasant food.  Dishes include jellied veal tail with sour cream and caviar, and the restaurant is famous for its exquisite desserts.

29) De Libreije, Zwolle, Netherlands: Chef Jonnie Boer serves up French cuisine with Dutch influences at De Librije, which is housed in a 15th century Dominican abbey. The dishes are bold and unusual, as is the dining experience. For instance, diners can be served a dish of basil mayonnaise, tartare of beef and cream of oyster, directly onto their hands. 

30) Per Se, New York, USA : American-French restaurant Per Se, opened in 2004. It offers a nine-course tasting menu for $US310 and has been awarded three Michelin stars.

31) L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon, Paris, France: L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon is the Parisian installation of the French chef’s restaurant empire, with versions in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. The restaurant features sushi bar-type seating and patrons are served small dishes, such as foie gras burger and gyoza chicken dumplings with aromatic her and flower-scented broth.


Attica in Melbourne was the only Australian restaurant to make the top 50

Attica in Melbourne was the only Australian restaurant to make the top 50


32) Attica, Melbourne, Australia: Attica, which is run by New Zealand chef Ben Shewry, is the top-ranked restaurant in Australia and slipped to 32nd place, after receiving the highest-ever debut ranking last year, coming 21st. Attica serves an eight-course tasting menu with creatively-titled dishes such as: Snow Crab And Sour Leaves, Ten Flavours Of St Joseph’s Wort, and Red Kangaroo With Herbs Tended By The Hands Of Our Cooks.

33) Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan: Chef Seiji Yamamoto is passionate about traditional Japanese cooking techniques and the restaurant features a daily-updated menu of small Japanese dishes, including a candied fruit dessert, which is frozen to minus 380 degrees Fahrenheit using liquid nitrogen and then filled with a hot liquid version of the same fruit. The restaurant also asks guests not to wear strong perfumes or to use their mobile phones at the table, so as not to compromise the dining experience.

34) Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain: Asador Etxebarri is tucked into the foothills of Mt. Anboto and serves rustic, wood-fired Spanish cuisine. The restaurant, under chef Victor Arguinzoniz, uses specially-designed grill-cookers, which are only fed with certain types of firewood to enhance flavour. The menu is dependent on seasonal produce, but a meal generally consists of a series of tiny dishes, followed by a large slab of steak on the bone, before a succession of light desserts are served.

35) Martin Beragategui, San Sebastian, Spain: Martín Berasategui in San Sebastian, is the eponymously titled restaurant for the Basque-born French-trained chef. The tasting menu plated up by the team includes modern Spanish dishes such as a mille-feuille of smoked eel, foie gras, spring onions and green apple.

36) Mani, Sao Paolo, Brazil: Husband and wife team Helena Rizzo and Daniel Redondo opened Mani in 2006 after meeting while working at second-place-holder El Celler de Can Roca. The couple use local ingredients using modern techniques, with reference to Brazilian flavour combinations. Rizzo was also named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef.

37) Restaurant Andre, Singapore: Chef André Chiang is guided by ‘Octaphilosophy’, a term he has trademarked, which describes the eight guiding characteristics of his cooking – Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan, and Terroir. Each dish uses only a handful of ingredients, and Chiang champions the use of food from local producers, served in unfamiliar textures and flavour combinations.

38) L’Astrance, Paris, France: Pascal Barbot’s three Michelin star restaurant, has no menu. Upon arrival guests simply declare dietary requirements as well as how many courses they would like and the chefs do the rest. The menu is influenced by Barbot’s time cooking in the South Pacific, and so employs flavours such as lemongrass, coriander, jasmine, soy sauce, and ginger, and uses minimal cream and butter.

39) Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy: The three Michelin star restaurant from Enrico Cippa started in 2005. The restaurant features simple seasonal dishes and is located in the heart of truffle country with an entire menu devoted to truffles.

40) Daniel, New York, USA: Daniel Boulud has cafes and restaurants around the world, but his eponymous New York restaurant is an institution. It was opened in 1993 and features French cuisine with an American flavour. It is now managed by executive3 chef Jean Francois Bruel.

41) Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain: Quique Dacosta’s restaurant serves up modern Spanish cuisine served in elaborate and intricate ways. One dish consists of a single rose, with a painstakingly-constructed pickled apple centre, or a black truffle mocha cake, stuffed with a creamy cheese filling and dusted with black truffles.

42) Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark: The Geranium is located on the eighth floor of Denmark’s soccer stadium and features light dishes that incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone. Its head chef in Rasmus Koefed and it has two Michelin stars.

43) Schloss Schauenstein, Furstenau, Switzerland: Schloss Schauenstein is located in an 18thh century castle in the Swiss Alps where chef Andreas Caminada plates up creative modern French cuisine. It has been awarded three Michelin stars.

44) The French Laundry, Yountville, USA: The French Laundry is the second Thomas Keller restaurant to make the Top 50 list this year, following the success of Per Se. It features high-quality local ingredients, as well as produce from its own garden, with classics such as salmon cornets, sweet butter-poached Maine lobster, and coffee and doughnuts.

45) Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium: Chef Peter Goossens is a champion of Belgian cuisine and is housed in a farmhouse on the fields of Flanders. The menu features Belgian beer, smoked eel and witlof (chicory), wile still incorporating international flavours and ingredients.

46) Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy: Le Calandre, run by Massimiliano Alajmo, is a family business with Massimiliano’s brother Raffaele overseeing the dining room. The restaurant features modern Italian cooking, with suckling pig and saffron risotto, the restaurant’s signature dishes.

47) The Fat Duck, Bray, UK: The Fat Duck is one of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants, which features a tasting menu made of dishes including snail porridge, jelly of quail with crayfish cream, oak moss and truffle toast, and a dish called Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, which includes mock turtle soup.

48) The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa: The Test Kitchen opened in 2010 and is directed by British chef Luke Dale-Roberts, who was trained in Europe and Asia. The meals are presented in theatrical ways, for instance the TK Concrete Ball, sees Mozambican langoustine cooked inside a concrete ball at the table over burning star anise before being served up to the diner.

49) Coi, San Francisco, USA: Chef Daniel Patterson brings together contemporary cooking methods with local produce, such as Dungeness crab and beef tendon soup, with finger lime, Asian pear and cilantro.

50) Waku Ghin, Singapore: Waku Ghin is the new venture from Tetsuya Wakuda, whose Sydney restaurant Tetsuya’s was an institution in the country, and made regular appearances on this list, before he moved to Singapore to create a restaurant with a more intimate dining experience.

Read more: 


Leave a comment

What does jailbreak an ipad mean

Introduced in 2010, Apple’s iPad has been met with generally favourable reviews and sales, becoming far and away the most popular tablet computer on the world market. Sort of a ‘halfway house’ between and iPhone and Macbook, the iPad is an impressive gadget indeed. It runs a great many programs, and comes with up to 64GB of memory, not bad for a thing not much fatter than a short novel (and not much bigger, either). In fact, it has a great many appealing features. 

But that’s not what bothers me about the iPad. Apple has been a real breakout force in recent years. The combination of space-age design, virus resistance, superior operating systems and an increasing emphasis on user-friendly, trendy peripherals aimed squarely at the consumer market (iPhone, iPod etc), have seen the one time nerd-only machines evolve into the last word in consumer gadgetry. Apple finally rose up and challenged Microsoft’s much-vaunted industry dominance. This can only be a good thing for a marketplace mainly presided upon by one company; because where there is competition, there are fairer prices and a good deal more innovation. 

So what’s my problem? When I said the iPad ran a great many programs, did I mention that they were all exclusively Apple programs? Yes, you heard right, Apple only allow Apple programs on their newest computer. OK, the iPad is not an iMac or whatever, but it does set a worrying precedent. Here is a company, an industry leader no less, selling a machine so inflexible that it is no longer up to you what programs you run? Doesn’t that sound a little less 2011 and a little more 1984?   

Now, inasmuch as there are relatively few industry giants in the field of computers and etc, there are literally hundreds of thousands of software developers out there, many are working on innovative and intriguing ideas. Often, in business, mastery of specialist software can be the make-or-break between getting a client and merely getting in line. So if everybody is using the same products, we end up with a rather dreary and uncompetitive market, as well as a veritable ton of job loss. 

The act of ‘jailbreaking’ an iPad (so that it will use outside software) is becoming widespread, this ought to be a clear sign to Steve and the gang that people want the freedom to run whatever the hell they like on the products they paid their hard-earned money for. It suggests, in bold primary colours, that they like the product, but not the lack of choice. Jobs has announced that, as a result of this stipulation, the iPad is “porn free” which is all very well and good, but supposing iPad users like porn? Isn’t it their right to do what they please within the limits of the law? Opinion time, people.