الجمعة، 25 سبتمبر 2015

Steve Wozniak: Shocked and amazed by Steve Jobs movie


Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak has given his first in-depth interview about the forthcoming Steve Jobs movie.
Woz - as he's commonly known - acted as a consultant to Danny Boyle's film after refusing to be involved in an earlier biopic.
The movie is already being tipped for awards glory after a rough cut was shown to the public last weekend, ahead of its official premiere in October.
The movie's scriptwriter is Aaron Sorkin. His previous account of Facebook's rise won three Oscars. But the social network's founder Mark Zuckerberg was not a fan.
Some wondered what Woz would make of the new film after he expressed mixed feelings about the way its trailer showed him angrily challenging Steve Jobs to his face in its trailer.
But, as he told the BBC, he is more than satisfied with the outcome.

You've now had a chance to watch the rough cut of the film. What were your impressions of it?

I've actually seen two rough cuts. My impression was I was shocked and amazed at how good it was in the sense of professional filmmaking.
I usually go to a movie not looking for "do I like the story" as much as: "What is the quality that came of the heads of the people that made it?"
In this case the filmmakers have done an award-winning job. The acting was just so realistic.
In some prior movies, I saw [the actors] simulating Steve Jobs, but they didn't really make me feel like they were in his head understanding what was going on inside of him - his personality.
This movie absolutely accomplishes that, and it's due to great acting, which obviously comes from great directing.
Some people had been critical that Michael Fassbender doesn't look like Steve Jobs. What did he manage to do, then, to capture him?
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الخميس، 24 سبتمبر 2015

First Sistine Chapel recording permitted by Pope Francis


The Pope has given special permission for a studio recording in the Sistine Chapel for the first time, capturing the singing of his own choir.
The album, Cantate Domino, includes music written for the Sistine Chapel Choir by Palestrina, Lassus and Victoria during the Renaissance.
It also features two Gregorian chants and a world-premiere recording of the original version of Allegri's Miserere.
The pieces are sung in Latin, as the composers intended.
The chapel is in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City, Rome. The recording took place using a specially-built studio constructed by Deutsche Grammophon, with the mixing desk in an ante-chamber.

'Intensive study'

Musical dignitaries including Italian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli and Italian choirmaster Roberto Gabbiani attended the recordings.
The chapel is also home to the Papal conclaves, the meetings of the College of Cardinals held when they elect a new Pope.
Grammy-nominated producer Anna Barry described it as an "overwhelming privilege" to record there, among the frescoes of Michelangelo.
The choir has 20 adult singers and 30 boy choristers.
One of the male singers, Mark Spyropoulos, is the first British full-time member of the choir, which is directed by Massimo Palombella.
Palombella said: "After an intensive period of study and scholarship of the sacred music in the Renaissance and its aesthetic pertinence, we have arrived at the point of making the first commercial recording, in this remarkable building.
The Pope will receive the very first copy of the album, which is released on 25 September.
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الأربعاء، 23 سبتمبر 2015

Judy Carne, star of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, dies aged 76


British television actress Judy Carne - best known as the 'Sock It To Me' girl on hit 1960s show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - has died aged 76.
She found overnight fame on the sketch comedy series, and spent two years being doused with water every time she said the phrase "Sock it to me!".
Carne was also known for her tumultuous relationship with actor Burt Reynolds, to whom she was married from 1963-65.
The Northampton-born actress died on 3 September, reported The Telegraph.
Carne's other TV credits included appearances in The Man from Uncle, Juke Box Jury, sitcoms The Rag Trade and Fair Exchange, and the 1962 comedy film A Pair of Briefs.
The actress detailed her relationship with Reynolds in her 1985 autobiography Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl.
In the book she confessed to several affairs and also described her long struggle with drug addiction.
When she and Reynolds met she said they "were immediately in love, so we immediately made love", but they divorced in 1966, with Carne claiming the actor had become abusive.
The actress - who was born Joyce Audrey Botterill on 27 April 1939 - was brought up in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire, where her parents ran a greengrocer's shop.
She was a popular figure during her time on Laugh-In, but quit the show in the middle of the third series - around the same time Goldie Hawn emerged as the show's female star - complaining that it had become "a bore".
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Sam Smith records Bond's Spectre theme tune


Sam Smith has recorded the theme song for upcoming James Bond movie Spectre.
The track is called Writing's on the Wall and will be released on 25 September. Smith said: "This is one of the highlights of my career."
"I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations."
Just last week, Smith told BBC Radio 2's Jo Whiley he was "definitely not" working on the project.
But, revealing his involvement on Tuesday, he told Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw: "I'm so relieved to actually talk about this, this has been a top secret mission of my own."
He said he recorded the track in January.
"I got called into the office with Barbara Broccoli and Sam Mendes and they gave me the script, I read the script... they said 'have a go at the song'.
"It's the quickest I've ever written a song - it took 20 minutes... and they loved it!"
"I love the song so much," he added.
Smith has co-written the title song with fellow Grammy award winner Jimmy Napes, who worked with him on the number one hits Stay With Me and La La La.
Dance act Disclosure - who gave Smith his big break on the single Latch - tweeted that they had "added some additional production" to the song.
It is the first James Bond theme song recorded by a British male solo artist since 1965.
The film, starring Daniel Craig, is released on 26 October.
It also features Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, David Bautista and Sherlock star Andrew Scott.
Adele's Bond song, Skyfall, won her an Oscar in 2013.
Ellie Goulding, Radiohead and Lana Del Ray had also been rumoured to record the Spectre theme song.
Goulding had heavily hinted her involvement in the production with a picture posted on Instagram in July. The picture showed the singer leaving the world famous Abbey Road Studios with the caption: "It's a wrap".
She also tweeted the title of the 1973 Bond film Live and Let Die.
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الثلاثاء، 22 سبتمبر 2015

Football players cash in on global transfer market


Player wages have eaten up most of the money involved in international transfer deals during the past two years, according to Fifa TMS figures.
Its Transfer Matching System (TMS) estimates that since 2013 some 57% of funds have gone into stars' pockets.
Actual transfer fees have accounted for just 41% of the cash, and agent commissions the remaining 2%.
Football clubs in Europe account for four-fifths of the total money spent on wages in those global deals.
The new figures refer to international transfers from one country to another, and do not cover "domestic" transfers between two clubs in the same nation.
In cash terms it means that over the past two years, from international deals, $16.5bn (£10.8bn) has gone on player salaries, $12bn in transfer fees, and $700m to player agents.
"Most of the transfers discussed in the media involve large transfer fees, but in reality, only 13% of all worldwide transfers involve the payment of a fee," said Fifa TMS General Manager Mark Goddard.
"Salaries, though, are part of every single contract."

English spending doubled

Increasingly lucrative TV deals have given top-flight English clubs the financial muscle to bring in a plethora of global stars from overseas.
Big signings this summer have included Manchester City's purchase of Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg for £52m and Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia for £32m, while rivals Manchester United bought Anthony Martial from Monaco for £36m and Memphis Depay from PSV for £25m.
And Fifa's analysis of the spending on international transfers during the recently ended summer transfer window shows that English clubs spent a total of $996m (£653m) - more than double any other country.
Meanwhile French clubs spent $270m - a 65% increase on summer 2014, but Spanish clubs, another traditional home for glamour players, particularly from South America, saw summer spending decrease by 23% on 2014, to $495m.
Those three nations, plus Germany and Italy, make up what are known as the "Big Five" European leagues.

Italian boost

These big five countries recorded a total of 1,340 incoming international transfers during this summer's transfer window, an increase of 4% when compared with the same period in 2014.
And the total international transfer spending across these nations reached $2,396m, an increase of 2% on last year's summer window, driven by increased spending in Italy as well as France.
Former Italian football club legend Gianluca Vialli, who starred for Sampdoria, Juventus, and Chelsea, said there were a number of reasons for the increased spending on transfers in Italy, a country where the football economy has been seen as stagnant compared with England or Germany.
"The Italian league has got better TV deals than it previously had, so there is more money available," Mr Vialli told the BBC website at the Soccerex football conference in Manchester.
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الاثنين، 21 سبتمبر 2015

Eurozone growth revised upwards


Economic growth in the 19 countries that make up the eurozone has been revised upwards.
The second estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for April to June put growth at 0.4%, up from the first estimate of 0.3%.
The European statistics agency Eurostat also revised growth in the first quarter, from 0.4% to 0.5%.
Also on Tuesday it was announced that German imports and exports had both reached record levels.
Boosted by the continuing weakness of the euro, exports rose 2.4% to €103.4bn ($115.5bn; £75.1bn) in July, the federal statistics office Destatisestimated, after adjusting for seasonal and calendar effects.
Imports also rose, but not by as much, meaning the trade surplus grew to a record €25.0bn.
The upward revision to GDP for the first quarter is a result of the inclusion of Ireland, which had not been counted in earlier estimates.
The Irish economy grew 1.4% in the first three months of 2015, compared with the previous quarter, making it the fastest-growing eurozone country.
With the Irish figures not yet included, the fastest-growing eurozone member in the second quarter was Latvia at 1.2%.
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الأحد، 20 سبتمبر 2015

Uber to move into 100 more Chinese cities


Controversial app-based taxi service Uber plans to expand into 100 Chinese cities over the next 12 months.
Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick announced the move at an event in Beijing held by one of Uber's Chinese investors, Baidu.
The service is already available in around 20 cities in the country.
The expansion puts it head-to-head with local rival Didi Kuadi which recently raised $3bn in funding.
China's internet-linked transport market is rapidly becoming the world's biggest and is proving lucrative for Uber.
Mr Kalanick said the firm had gone from a tiny 1% share of the lift-hailing market in China nine months ago to its current 30%-35% market share.
He did not specify what percentage of this was for private cars and what for taxis, where it faces tough competition from dominant player Didi Kuadi.
New regulations governing lift-hailing services in China are expected later this year.
Mr Kalanick said he welcomed the new rules but in other parts of the world, regulation is proving a thorn in its side.
Last week, a judge in California paved the way for Uber drivers to sue the company over their status. Some drivers claim they are employees rather than contractors and, as such, should be allowed to claim expenses and receive tips.
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الجمعة، 18 سبتمبر 2015

Rolls-Royce sees sales hit by Chinese slowdown


Rolls-Royce has seen sales of its luxury cars hit by a fall in demand in China.
The chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said the turnaround in the market had been unexpectedly fast.
"We have been surprised by the speed of development in the Chinese market in a completely different direction," he said.
Chinese buyers have been affected by the slump in the stock market, slower growth and a corruption clamp-down.
He was speaking on the day of the launch of the Dawn, Rolls-Royce's new £250,000, 155 mph convertible, which the company described as "the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built".
Mr Mueller-Oetvoes, talking to the BBC World Service's World Business Report, said: "The whole anti-corruption campaign... is very much around investigating where your money is from, to whom you are related and so on and so forth.
"That of course scares people who are quite affluent, and no one wants to be visible currently in that kind of environment and people are shying away from... obvious luxury goods, and that is not only true of cars but for jewellery and for precious watches and so on," he added.
But he added: "I am not in any way scared about that. We may see a dent in our volume line due to China, but that is a partial dent. And in particular with the new car that we will launch next year, the Rolls Royce Dawn, I am very optimistic."
Professor David Bailey from Aston Business School in Birmingham said: "I do think that China is going to affect the premium end of the market. The stock market crash will have some effect.

"But then again the ultra-high end of the car market works in a way of its own, so who knows exactly how sales will be hit," he added.
Mr Mueller-Oetvoes played down fears that recent events in Chine would last long, forecasting that sales there would recover in the next two years.
"China has never been our number one market. Our number one market is the United States and due to the fact we are properly balanced we can cope with some of the downturn in China," he explained.
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Japan's shares surge more than 3% in early trade


Japan's Nikkei surged by more than 3% on opening on Wednesday after the index saw all the gains made this year wiped out on Tuesday.
The benchmark was up 4.56% at 18,221.28 points in mid morning trade after finishing the day down 2.43%.
Investor sentiment was up across Asia after markets in China and the US finished in positive territory.
Tuesday's weak economic data from China has also raised hopes of more stimulus for that economy and its markets.
On mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.56% at 3,190.35 points - after finishing the day up up 2.9% - while Hong Kong's Hang Seng benchmark was up 2.05% at 21,696.51.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.09% at 5,170.90 points, taking its lead from US markets.
Analysts said resource and commodity stocks would also likely continue to buoy the Australian index on Wednesday.
South Korea's Kospi benchmark index was also in positive territory in early trade, up 1.78% at 1,912.14 points. Official data released on Tuesday showed the country's latest unemployment figures for August sitting at their lowest since January this year.

'Sea of green'

Chris Weston from IG Markets said it would be a good news day for markets and that there was a "sea of green on screen in risk associated assets".
"This pick-up in sentiment once again started from a nice move higher in S&P futures during Asia, helped on by some really bullish flow in the Chinese markets," he said in a note.
"Specifically, the H-shares (Chinese dual-listed companies trading in Hong Kong) had its best day [on Tuesday] in months," he added.
"In the Chinese mainland, there has been some focus on headlines on a 50% reduction in personal income tax dividends for larger shareholders, with the idea being to move the market away from short-term and focus on the longer-term."
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الخميس، 17 سبتمبر 2015

United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek quits amid corruption probe


The chief executive and chairman of the board of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, has quit amid a corruption investigation.
Two other executives of the US's third largest airline also resigned.
According to US media reports, federal authorities are investigating whether Mr Smisek sanctioned a money-losing flight to benefit the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
United said that it was cooperating with investigators.
At the time the route operated from Newark, New Jersey, to Columbia, South Carolina, United Airlines was lobbying for improvements at Newark Liberty International Airport, which the Port Authority owns.
Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson owned a vacation home in Columbia at the time.
United launched the twice weekly, direct flight route shortly after Mr Samson was appointed and cancelled it after Mr Samson left the Port Authority.
Oscar Munoz, the chief operating officer CSX Corp, was named Mr Smisek's replacement as CEO.
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الأربعاء، 16 سبتمبر 2015

Is This The Best Beach City or Expact


So, in 2011, Belfer took the plunge and moved there on a student visa for a master’s degree program at Tel Aviv University. Now, after founding his own creative agency in 2014, he spends his days promoting Israeli companies internationally.
The Mediterranean coastal city is hot right now, and not just for its nearly year-round summer temperatures, which can reach 40 degrees Celsius. In the last few years, Tel Aviv has been ranked the best smart city by the Smart City Expo World Congress, one of the best beach cities in the world by National Geographic, the best gay travel destination by gaycities.com and an outstanding culinary destination by Saveur Magazine.
You're talking about people that aren't afraid to take risks.
While Jerusalem is Israel’s holiest city and capital, Tel Aviv is its defacto economic capital. Easily reached via the Ben Gurion international airport, Tel Aviv is also home to Tel Aviv University — one of Israel's largest — the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, foreign embassies and one of the highest start-up densities in the world, according to Compass’s 2015 Startup Ecosystem Ranking.
But it's not all business.
With miles of white sand beach; acres of green park surrounding the Yarkon River; one cafe, restaurant or club for every 221 residents; the adjacent ancient port city of Jaffa, which was established as a seaport in the Middle Bronze Age, and events ranging from political protests to annual public water gun fights, it is also considered by many to be Israel’s cultural heart.
On the radar
Elianna Bar-El, editor of Time Out Israelattributed Tel Aviv's growing popularity to word of mouth. “People come during the summer, for holidays or for pride,” she said. “They go back to their countries and talk about it. It is especially intriguing since Israel is always in the news because of the Conflict.”
The “city that never stops” is now the 6th fastest-growing destination city in the Middle East and Africa, with visitors estimated to spend $1.5bn in 2015 according to the 2015MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
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الاثنين، 14 سبتمبر 2015

The Mysterius Origin of Punctuation


As readers and writers, we’re intimately familiar with the dots, strokes and dashes that punctuate the written word. The comma, colon, semicolon and their siblings are integral parts of writing, pointing out grammatical structures and helping us transform letters into spoken words or mental images. We would be lost without them (or, at the very least, extremely confused), and yet the earliest readers and writers managed without it for thousands of years. What changed their minds?
In the 3rd Century BCE, in the Hellenic Egyptian city of Alexandria, a librarian named Aristophanes had had enough. He was chief of staff at the city’s famous library, home to hundreds of thousands of scrolls, which were all frustratingly time-consuming to read. For as long as anyone could remember, the Greeks had written their texts so that their letters ran together withnospacesorpunctuation and without any distinction between lowercase and capitals. It was up to the reader to pick their way through this unforgiving mass of letters to discover where each word or sentence ended and the next began.
In early Greece and Rome, persuasive speech was more important than written language
Yet the lack of punctuation and word spaces was not seen as a problem. In early democracies such as Greece and Rome, where elected officials debated to promote their points of view, eloquent and persuasive speech was considered more important than written language and readers fully expected that they would have to pore over a scroll before reciting it in public. To be able to understand a text on a first reading was unheard of: when asked to read aloud from an unfamiliar document, a 2nd Century writer named Aulus Gellius protested that he would mangle its meaning and emphasise its words incorrectly. (When a bystander stepped in to read the document instead, he did just that.)
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Is Alcohol Actually Bad for You

Those of us who enjoy the occasional glass of beer or wine would dearly love to believe that we’re doing our bodies a service.
Any study suggesting a glass or two a day can keep the doctor away is greeted with disproportionate enthusiasm by the media and general public. But it is a complex task to determine whether or not alcohol in moderation has health benefits.
It is a complex task to determine whether or not alcohol in moderation has health benefits
One of the earlier studies drawing a link between alcohol consumption and health was performed by the late, great Archie Cochrane; the godfather of evidence-based medicine. In 1979, Cochrane and two colleagues tried to work out what exactly was responsible for the differing rates of death from heart disease across 18 developed countries, including the US, UK and Australia.
Their analysis came up with a clear and significant linkbetween increasing alcohol consumption – specifically of wine – and decreasing rates of ischaemic heart disease (heart disease caused by the build-up of fatty deposits inside the blood vessels supplying the heart).
Citing earlier studies that had found an association between alcohol consumption and lower rates of deaths from heart attack, Cochrane and colleagues suggested that the aromatic and other compounds in alcohol – recently hypothesised to be antioxidants such as plant-based polyphenols – were likely responsible for the benefits, rather than the alcohol itself. In the spirit of evidence-based medicine, they called for an experimental approach to the question.
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The Lost Tunnels buried deep beneath the UK


The air is still. It’s quiet. Occasionally, the sound of a water droplet bursting feebly onto stone echoes through the chamber. Somewhere, somehow, moisture is getting in. But for the most part, it’s dry. And were it not for the smattering of electric lights, this 200-year-old tunnel beneath the streets of Liverpool would be very dark – and very lonely.
Of all of Liverpool’s engineering projects over the last 200 years, the building of the Williamson Tunnels must be the most mysterious
“I still can’t get over the ferns and the moss,” says Dave Bridson, a local historian and manager at the Williamson Tunnels heritage centre in Liverpool, England. He points out where the water seeps through the porous stone, nurturing the light green moss that has formed spontaneously next to lightbulbs. Ever since light was brought into the long-lost tunnels, little pockets of vegetation like this have taken hold.
It took years, however, for that light to arrive.
The tunnel system must be one of the most mysterious engineering projects in Liverpool’s history (Credit: Chris Iles/Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels/www.williamsontunnels.com)
Of all the engineering projects that ever took place in the industrial centre of Liverpool – like the world’s first exclusively steam-powered passenger railway – the building of the Williamson Tunnels in the early 19th Century must be the most mysterious. The patron of the tunnels, tobacco merchant Joseph Williamson, was extraordinarily secretive about their purpose. Even today, no one is sure exactly what they were used for. Nor does anyone know for sure even how many of the tunnels there are, scattered underfoot beneath the Edge Hill district of Liverpool in northwest England.
Meanwhile, for centuries, the tunnels had been buried. They were filled in after locals complained of the smell – apparently the caverns were long used as underground landfills and stuffed with everything from household junk to human waste.
For centuries, the tunnels had been buried. They passed from knowledge to myth
As time went by, the tunnels passed from knowledge to myth.
“A lot of people knew about the tunnels, but that was as far as it went – they just knew about them or heard about them,” explains Les Coe, an early member of the Friends of Williamson Tunnels (FoWT). “It was just left at that. But we decided to look for them.”
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الأحد، 13 سبتمبر 2015

Earth Most Poisonous Plants


In 2014, a gardener on a country estate in the UK mysteriously died of multiple organ failure.
The cause of his death remains unclear, but an inquest heard evidence suggesting he had been killed by a popular flowering plant, a member of the buttercup family.
The plant in question, called Aconitum, has blooms said to resemble monk’s hoods. But the plant is also known by other more sinister names; wolf’s bane, Devil’s helmet and the Queen of Poisons.
These do more than hint at its villainous reputation. For Aconitumis among the most deadly plants in the world.
The most poisonous part is the roots, though the leaves can pack a punch too. Both contain a neurotoxin that can be absorbed through the skin. Early symptoms of poisoning are tingling and numbness at the point of contact or severe vomiting and diarrhoea if it has been eaten.
In 2010, Lakhvir Singh was convicted of the murder of her lover after dosing his curry with Indian aconite. Apart from causing severe gastrointestinal upset, the poison slows the heart rate which can result in death.
But not every case is so unfortunate. According to former poison garden warden and expert John Robertson, our excellent vomiting mechanism means people can live to tell their tales.
“I’ve spoken to people that have eaten it and survived,” says Mr Robertson. “It was a couple that planted it to make their herb garden look prettier and when the wife was picking leaves for a salad she picked a few leaves of monk’s hood. They both had a pretty bad time of it for 24 hours but survived.”
The popular theory is that toxins have evolved in plants as a defence. In certain species, chemical compounds that are produced to fight off insect pests and other micro-organisms can do damage to big animals too.
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السبت، 12 سبتمبر 2015

See the world's biggest heart


As the largest animal to have ever lived, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) can also be expected to have some record-breaking internal organs. 
Tales of its heart being as big as a car, with the aorta (its main artery) large enough for a human to swim through abound, but as finding intact specimens to research is rare, the truth has been difficult to find out.
So when a dead blue whale washed ashore in Newfoundland, Canada, experts saw a valuable opportunity. 
"We had to get the chest cavity opened to expose the heart and then get in there and free the heart up from all of the surrounding tissues, getting in with what was left of the lungs and blood, pretty much up to my waist," explains Jacqueline Miller, a mammalogy technician from the ROM.
"It took four of us to push the heart out through a window we'd made between the ribs and the side of the chest cavity."
The organ that they retrieved can be seen in the video clip above, taken from Big Blue Live, a new series coming soon to BBC One in the UK and PBS in the US.
"I was expecting something the size of a car, but found a heart more like the size of maybe a small golf cart or circus bumper car for two," Ms Miller says.
The aorta was also discovered to be slightly smaller than it is reputed to be, probably capable of fitting a human head inside.
But at 28st 4lb (180kg) it was still hefty and the ROM team used about 1,000 gallons of formaldehyde, which stops tissue from decomposing any further, to begin the preservation process.
"To our knowledge this is the first blue whale heart to be anatomically preserved for exhibit and study. People are always curious how big it is, and if it is the same as our heart, structurally," Ms Miller says.
The blue whale heart, along with the skeleton of the animal it came from, will eventually be put on display at the museum.
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