A deadly predator

May 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A tawny owl swoops above a carpet of bluebells in Surrey

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Sex with camels unwise: “Camels are being blamed as the source of the deadly MERS virus, a SARS-like condition which is spreading through the Middle East. Researchers have warned it is not advisable to come into close contact with the animals, especially sick camels, as most are infected with the same strain of the virus as humans. MERS, which stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has already infected 345 people in Saudi Arabia since it was identified two years ago. There has been further concern over the spread of the virus as Saudi Arabia has reported more cases over the weekend, taking the reported number of deaths to 100. Symptoms include fever, pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure, with a third of all sufferers eventually being killed by the virus.

British homes located in crescents, squares and mews fetch higher prices than those in streets, courts and roads: “Homes bearing the tag of Crescent in their address have topped a list of the most expensive addresses in the capital, new research revealed today. The historically grand postcodes, home to the likes of Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, cost on average £2,103 per sq/ft in London. It means a typical Crescent home in London, spread across 2,000sq/ft will cost £4.2million – 25 times the average price of a home sold in England and Wales. And it is 40 per cent higher than the prime London average, which currently stands at £1,503sq/ft. Squares, like Grosvenor Square secured second spot costing on average £1,807 per sq/ft. In third place addresses bearing the name Mews – which were originally stables or coach houses for servants – claimed third place, costing around £1,705sq/ft. Of the capital’s Crescents, the most expensive are Wilton in Belgravia, Hans in Knightsbridge and Pelham in South Kensington – with one home recently selling in Wilton Crescent for a staggering £32million.”

Cheetah beaten to title of fastest animal in the world by tiny Californian mite: “You may think a cheetah would be hard to beat, but researchers have found that, for its size, a tiny California beetle is actually the fastest animal ever found. Paratarsotomus macropalpis is no bigger than a sesame seed – however, it was recently recorded running at up to 322 body lengths per second. The previous record-holder, the Australian tiger beetle, only reached 171 body lengths per second, while a cheetah running at 60 miles per hour attains only reaches 16 body lengths per second. The mite is local to Southern California and is often found running along rocks or sidewalks. The mites also are adept at stopping and changing directions extremely quickly. Extrapolated to the size of a human, the mite’s speed is equivalent to a person running roughly 1300 miles per hour.”

The sports car that runs on recovered cooking oil: Convertible roadster reaches 200mph and lasts 2,000 miles on one tank of fuel: “As petrol becomes ever more expensive, car manufacturers are racing to develop vehicles that are fast, fuel-efficient and can run on biofuels. Now a British manufacturer has launched a sports model that not only exceeds speeds of 190mph – it is said to be capable of driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back on a single tank of cooking oil. Makers Trident claims its Iceni model is the world’s fastest and most fuel efficient sports car – and it’s pretty good looking too. Engine: 6.6 litre Turbo Diesel V8; Gearbox: 6 speed fully automatic; Power/Performance: 395brake horsepower with 700lbs ft of Torque; Acceleration: 0-60mph in 3.7seconds; Top speed: Over 190mph. Prices start at £96,000 ($161,578) for the most basic version.

Subway in Britain removes ham and bacon from nearly 200 stores and offers halal meat only: “Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers. It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules. The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with ‘the views of religious communities’. Traditional halal slaughter sees animals have their throats slit before bleeding to death. But Subway stressed that the meat served in its sandwiches would come from animals that have been stunned first, a practice that aims to reduce any suffering. In Arabic the word halal means ‘permitted’ or ‘lawful’ and defines anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Qur’an.”

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

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