Stories tagged MAGIC


Punxsutawney Phil: Surrounded by his attendant wizards.
Punxsutawney Phil: Surrounded by his attendant wizards.Courtesy Aaron Silvers
This afternoon, in an announcement that surprised all, a rural Pennsylvanian groundhog emerged from a tree stump cage, and used magic to tell the world that it would be under the icy yolk of winter for at least six more weeks. Residents of the planet’s southern hemisphere were particularly disturbed.

Wisely deviating from the over relied upon scientific discipline of meteorology, experts have turned to the prognostications of the groundhog Phil, who uses centuries old magical techniques to reveal the secrets of immensely complex future weather patterns.

The determination was not without controversy, however. While the groundhog weather diviner West Indies Wilbur agreed with Phil – the most senior and important of extra-sensory rodents – several noted groundhogs took issue with the announcement. Wiarton Willy, Staten Island Chuck, Sir Walter Wally, Shubenacadie Sam, Malverne Mel, General Beauregard Lee, and Balzac Billy all argued the proclamation. However, as the National Climactic Data Center has stated groundhog accuracy to be around 39%, it makes sense that so many weather rodents would disagree with shrewd Phil.


Have fun!: I hope they at least got bigger life vests for us. (image courtesy of macroninja on
Obesity has invaded the Magic Kingdom.

Disneyland is having to revamp some of its boat rides, like the Small World, on account of people being too heavy for the little vessels. Designed and built in 1963, the boats were intended to handle men and women of the average weight at the time (175 and 135 pounds, respectively), but the heavier passengers of today are causing the boats to bottom out and get stuck in the flume.

Oh ho. Ho ho ho.

Disneyland has denied that the rides' refurbishments have any connection to obesity, saying that repairs over the years have caused the channels to become shallower at certain points. That could be true.


Youth Potion: anti-aging potion    photo from wikimedia
Youth Potion: anti-aging potion photo from wikimedia

Want to live 200 years?

Scientists have found a small molecule that can be used to extend the lifespan of mammalian cells. The research reported in the July issue of Nature Chemical Biology showed that the synthetic organic molecule CGK733 blocks the machinery that senses DNA damage. They found that CGK733 could extend the lifetime of cultured cells by about 20 doublings and could actually rescue cells that were already senescent. Senescent cells are cells that can stay alive but have stopped dividing.

Magnetic nano probe used to see drug interactions inside living cells

Prof. Kim Tae-kook at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and his associates developed a technology dubbed MAGIC, short for magnetism-based interactive capture. This state-of-the-art magnetic nano-probe technology uses fluorescent materials to check whether any drug can mix with targeted proteins inside the cell.
Read more in The Korea Times or in Nature Chemical Biology press release and abstract.