Scottish travails

May 24, 2013 at 10:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Cockroaches quickly lose sweet tooth to survive: “FOR decades, people have been getting rid of cockroaches by setting out bait mixed with poison. But in the late 1980s, in an apartment test kitchen in Florida, something went very wrong. A killer product stopped working. Cockroach populations there kept rising. Mystified researchers tested and discarded theory after theory until they finally hit on the explanation: In a remarkably rapid display of evolution at work, many of the cockroaches had lost their sweet tooth, rejecting the corn syrup meant to attract them. In as little as five years, the sugar-rejecting trait had become so widespread that the bait had been rendered useless. “Cockroaches are highly adaptive, and they’re doing pretty well in the arms race with us,” said North Carolina State University entomologist Jules Silverman, discoverer of the glucose aversion in that Florida kitchen during a bait test.”

Fisherman catches 2m freshwater croc – and gives it the bottom bunk bed: “HE was hoping to catch a birthday barra [barramundi] but instead it turned into crocodile capers for an Innisfail fisherman who spent the night bunked down at home with a 2m reptile. Ashley Sala was fishing in Ninds Creek, a tributary of the Johnstone River, on Tuesday night when a snarly swamp dog latched on to his live bait. Mr Sala pondered what to do next, realising the croc, which he was “starting to feel sorry for”, would almost certainly drown if the line wasn’t untangled. Cr Nolan advised him to keep the croc in a safe place for the night and that he would call the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in the morning to come and collect the animal. The fisherman did just that, giving his girlfriend a birthday brush-off as he opted to share a bunk bed in a donga at his family’s River Drive Van Park with his prized catch. From his comfy perch on the top bunk, Mr Sala kept the croc secure until rangers arrived yesterday morning to take the croc away for assessment.”

More bureaucratic British bungledom: “A couple have spoken of their disbelief after just one of their disabled identical twin sons, who both have Downs Syndrome, was granted vital disability benefits while the other was refused. Little Arthur and Alfie, both 10 months old, share the exact same medical conditions and need the same round-the-clock care. But a government ruling has found that only Arthur was entitled to Disability Living Allowance of £76 per month. Mum Emma Banks-Lowe, 33, said the decision had left her ‘gobsmacked’ because the boys, born just one minute apart, share exactly the same medical issues and require round-the-clock care. Emma and her mechanic husband David, 45, of Kirkham, Lancs, said the benefits are vital for both of the boys who need daily physiotherapy, and require frequent hospital visits. They have identical heart, lung and eye complications and they are expected to have problems walking as they grow older.”

World’s most expensive coffee pot: “The world’s most expensive coffee set to fetch up to £4.5million when it goes under the hammer. The small jug, which stands little over 10ins tall, will be the most important coffee-pot ever to come to the market when it is auctioned at Christie’s in London next month. Collectors from around the world are expected to spark a bidding frenzy for the Rococo masterpiece by Paul de Lamerie (1688–1751) – the greatest silversmith working in Britain in the 18th century. The George II silver coffee-pot, which weighs 34oz, was created in 1738, for a successful merchant. This coffee-pot is the masterpiece of de Lamerie’s highly developed Rococo period and is a tour-de-force of design and execution. The coffee pot was commissioned by London based trader and fellow Huguenot Sir John Lequesne and tells the story of his flight from France to London”

American tourists having picnic on Iceland glacier rescued after it becomes iceberg and floats away – with them on it: “It was anything but a quiet meal for a group of tourists who stopped to have a picnic on a glacier in Iceland, only to have their vantage point break off and float away. The four Americans had stopped for a Sunday dinner at the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon in East Iceland over the weekend, setting up a table and chairs for their feast. But suddenly, a gust of wind caused the ice floe they were sitting on to break off and drift out into the water. One of the tourists was able to scramble off the massive piece of ice and call for help. When they were found by first responders, they were about 32 feet off the shore, according to Iceland Review. ‘When we arrived it was quite comical to see them sitting on chairs and with a table on an iceberg,’ Páll Sigurður Vignisson of the Hornafjörður rescue team, told Iceland Review.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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