World's First Electric Car Grand Prix

The French Pyrenees town that staged the world's first Grand Prix nearly a century ago now hosts the world's first electric car Grand Prix. Pau in southern France has seen many a race since 1901 - but none as quiet as this one. For more news and videos visit ☛ Follow us on Twitter ☛ Add us on Facebook ☛ A century after Grand Prix racing started in Pau, the French town has staged the world's first Electric Grand Prix. All 12 entries used the same vehicle, the Exagon-built Andros racing car. Originally designed for racing on ice, the car can reach speeds of 112 miles per hour. Winding through the picturesque town of Pau, the 1.7 mile course hasn't changed much over the decades. Its winding route through the town has earned it comparisons with better-known Monaco. But it's Pau that has the honor of having hosted the very first Grand Prix in 1901. The resort in southwestern France, just 31 miles from the Spanish border, is a proven testing ground for future Formula 1 world champions on Formula 2, 3 or 3000 vehicles. For the die-hard motor sports fans raised on the roar of high-powered petrol engines on full throttle, electric car racing might seem a little tame. But others found the low-pitched whine -- a bit like a jet engine but much quieter -- a pleasant change from the ear-splitting roar of the traditional racing engine. Participants included Nicolas Prost, the son of France's Formula 1 World champion Alain Prost, as well as Fabien Barthez, the former goalkeeper who helped France win the World Cup in 1998. But neither could defeat the reigning champion of the Andros Trophy electric series on ice. Adrien Tambay won the race ahead of Mike Parisi and Soheil Ayari, who came in third.

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Scientists Revive Ancient Spider in 3D Detail
For more news and videos visit ☛ Follow us on Twitter ☛ Add us on Facebook ☛ Scientists have identified an ancient spider by using the latest CT scanning techniques. The spider was trapped in amber for 50 million years. The name might be misleading - the giant crab spider actually measures just a few millimeters across - but its presence in Berlin's Natural History Museum is causing a stir. The spider has been here unrecognized for 150 years. But now, thanks to the latest hi-tech scanning technique, scientists have been able to identify it. The amber specimen had darkened so much over the years that it was almost impossible to see the precious fossil inside even under the microscope, until paleontologist and spider expert Dr. Jason Dunlop and his international team revealed its identity. [Dr. Jason Dunlop, Paleontologist and Spider Expert]: "I talked to some colleagues of mine in Manchester in England and they have a machine, which do what's called a CT scan. This is very similar to the medical scans you can get in hospital today and it basically makes a series of x-rays going around the specimen and from that we can reconstruct a three-dimensional computer model." Dr. Dunlop is excited over the possibilities. [Dr. Jason Dunlop, Paleontologist and Spider Expert]: "The big news is that we can do this, that we can take very, very old pieces of amber even if it looks like a very bad specimen that you can hardly see anything, you can still get very, very detailed information from it. And because of that information we can say that this fossil spider belongs to the same genus as a spider you can find today living in East Asia or Africa." The giant crab spider is more commonly known as the huntsman spider. The example in the museum is an ancient relative of the species that today is found mainly in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The spider has eight eyes and a grey or brown coloring. It uses venom to demobilize its prey but its bite is not deadly to humans. The spider feeds mainly on insects using jaws that the scan reveals in minute detail. According to Dunlop the scanning method opens great possibilities in the field of paleontology. [Dr. Jason Dunlop, Paleontologist and Spider Expert]: "You can scan all sorts of things now from dinosaur brain cases through to little creepy crawlies in amber. And in all of these cases it gives you a three-dimensional view of what the animal was really like back then." In the case of the giant crab spider, the three-dimensional scan allowed the team to analyze the form, structure and living conditions of the animal even though it was almost impossible to see it with the usual microscopic methods. [Dr. Jason Dunlop, Paleontologist and Spider Expert]: "And that's a huge advance on what we used to able to do in the past when most fossils was simply squashed flat against the rock." More than a thousand spider fossils have been discovered with many of them preserved in amber.

12-Year-Old World Chess Champion Eyes New Challenges
For more news and videos visit ☛ Follow us on Twitter ☛ Add us on Facebook ☛ 12-year-old Yulia Osmak from Kyiv recently won the title of "Most Intelligent" in the annual all-Ukrainian "Miracle Child" Awards. Last year she won the title of World Chess Champion in her age category. Our correspondents from Kyiv met this unusual girl. There's just no stopping 12-year-old Ukrainian Yulia Osmak. Last year she clinched top spot in the World Chess Championship and she recently came in first at the Ukrainian Miracle Child Awards. [Yulia Osmak, World Chess Champion]: "At first I cried because it was hard to realize that I am a world champion, and I thought that if I became a champion, everybody would stop making friends and socializing with me - but they didn't, and interaction got even better. I am very happy because of that." Yulia says her greatest challenge is to beat the Indians and Russians in the game. Last year at the European Chess Championship she came in second after her rival from Russia. [Yulia Osmak, World Chess Champion]: "Russians play very quietly and never walk into a risky situation or "continuation" in chess terms. This could be considered a kind of weakness. They don't do well when in a dynamic position in which they can be beaten." Yulia's trainer says an active game is to his student's advantage. [Leonid Borodin, Chess Trainer]: "She has a very unique style, a dynamic style. Maybe she plays a little worse in a closed position. But if she arranges her pieces well and the battle begins, there is no need to worry." Support from her relatives and her desire to be first is Yulia's main incentive to win. [Yulia Osmak, World Chess Champion]: "I am very excited to win, if someone plays better than me, especially girls. Boys are ok. But the girls - this should not be allowed! I should be better than all the girls around." Yulia trains daily for about 2 hours, not only playing, but reading chess books. [Yulia Osmak, World Chess Champion]: "I read some interesting romance stories, and then I can read about chess." Yulia's plans to gain a grand chess master title, but that's not all. She has already written several books and dreams of becoming a writer. [Yulia Osmak, World Chess Champion]: "I have a very lively imagination. I like to write about love. I also like to write adventure stories." The International Chess Championship in Brazil is Yulia's next challenge. Some of her fellow competitors also know what it takes to become a champion. [Anton Voight, Chess Player]: "To play all the time, and train, wherever you are." [Andrey Meschanin, Chess Player]: "And do not ignore the lessons of chess." [Matthew Bratus, Chess Player]: "Read chess books, and if the player is weaker, you can recall a strategy from the book and win." But it all costs money and Yulia had to attend the last world championship at her own expense. NTD News, Kyiv, Ukraine

Asia Brief May 26, 2011
For more news visit ☛ Follow us on Twitter ☛ Add us on Facebook ☛ This is the 10 minute version of Asia Brief, Thursday May 26, 2011 Headlines: • Pakistan Reviews Security Situation Following Militant Attacks • Unrest in Inner Mongolia After Herder's Death • U.N. Criticizes Australia's Handling of Illegal Refugees

"Culinaria" Attracts the Best European Chefs
For more news and videos visit ☛ Follow us on Twitter ☛ Add us on Facebook ☛ Belgium's most renowned chefs showed us the best of their cooking talents at the culinary event Culinaria in the heart of Europe. Our correspondents in Brussels went there to bring us the details. Gourmets from all over Europe were taken on a gastronomic adventure at the Culinaria event which laid the table for a third annual edition in the heart of Brussels from 5 till 8 May. Culinaria brings the culinary arts to the general public in Europe. The event has 3 main ingredients that make it a success: a restaurant with the most stars in the world, a gourmet market, and about ten themed workshops for everyone. Presented on the menu are 16 top notch recipes, prepared by 16 of the most famous Belgian chefs of the moment. [Julien Burlat, Chef, DOME Restaurant, Antwerp]: "It's a big event. It's the biggest event for gastronomy in Belgium and it's an honor to join all the chefs. Because Belgium is small but you have a lot of good restaurants. And we are only 16 here and it's really an honor to be there." One of the renowned chefs at the event was Lionel Rigolet. He is the head chef at Comme Chez Soi, the iconic restaurant in Brussels with a history dating back to 1926. [Lionel Rigolet, Chef of Restaurant "Comme Chez Soi"]: "I represent the fourth generation of the restaurant that exists since 1926. My father-in-law kept during 26 years 3 stars in the Michelin guide. Since 2007, we have 2 stars, because when you take over a restaurant, they take on one star off, which is normal. And Gault Millau gave us a 19/20 rate. Gault Millau also elected me chef of the year." This year, Lionel decided to prepare a dessert, served with a coffee Nespresso. He called his masterpiece "Croquant of Sao Thomé, Arriba in Spicy Cappuccino, Yoghurt with Candied Ginger." [Lionel Rigolet, Chef of Restaurant "Comme Chez Soi"]: "In the dessert, we worked with Belgian chocolate, since Callebaut was a world-known chocolate. Here we prepared a ganache and we mixed Callebaut Cocoa in the meringue." Visitors could discover the chefs' talents at several wrokshops such as the Cooking Workshop by Aeg, the Champagne Workshop by Pommery "Millésimes Contemporains," the Chocolate Workshop by Callebaut, the Wine Workshop by Eric Boschman and the Campari Aperitivo Workshop by Campari. NTD News, Brussels, Belgium.