Get those hats!

May 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Voters in Hornberg-Reichenbach, Germany wore traditional dress to take part in the elections to the European Parliament

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Could pill wipe out our bad memories? Drug found to help us forget experiences that caused pain: “It sounds like the stuff of Hollywood fiction. But a pill that wipes out bad memories could eventually become reality, scientists believe. Experiments on mice found those given fingolimod, a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis, completely forgot about previous experiences that had brought them physical pain. The US study, at Virginia Commonwealth University, offers hope of a drug that could eradicate memories of traumatic events from years ago and help patients overcome phobias, eating disorders and even sexual hang-ups. When fed to mice, fingolimod crossed the blood brain barrier and helped them quickly forget recent unpleasant episodes. They were put in a chamber where their feet were exposed to a mild electric shock, and when returned to the cage their ‘freezing’ behaviour was recorded as a measure of anxiety. This complete lack of movement, a characteristic fear response in rodents providing a good readout of memory, subsided rapidly after receiving the drug.”

Finger wrestling: “It may seem like a deeply unusual fringe sport, probably arising from a few too may steins of ale, but competitors in the Alps Finger Wrestling championships take it sport incredibly seriously. Taking place in Reichertshofen, southern Germany, earlier today the athletes battled for the title in this traditional rural sport where the the participants put their finger – most choose the middle – through a leather band and try to pull their opponent over a marked line on the table. The origins of the sport, ‘fingerhakeln’ in German, are shrouded in mystery. It has been said it was once used to settle disputes in the Alpine region of southern Germany and neighboring Austria. The wrestlers undertake a gruelling training regimen. Many crush tennis balls with their hands, others do one-fingered pull-ups and it has been reported that some hardcore competitors can lift 50 kilogrammes with a single digit. Injuries are not uncommon”

Brand new £430million British hospital can’t get its air-conditioning to work: “Nearly 200 patients due to undergo surgery at a brand-new flagship PFI hospital have had their operations cancelled before it even opens its doors. Problems with the air conditioning at the new Southmead Hospital in Bristol mean it will be a month until regular operations can take place there. North Bristol NHS said adjustments needed to be made to a ‘high-tech air flow system’ which helps to eliminate infection risks. But despite the claims that everything was proceeding more or less according to plan, there have been anecdotal reports that the surgical schedule at Southmead is in fact in disarray. One patient told the Bristol Post that she had arrived for a spinal operation appointment at 7am earlier this week and was left to wait on a bed in a corridor until 11am. Only then was she told that the operating theatres were not ready and she finally was sent home at 1.30pm. North Bristol NHS admitted it had put back 180 operations.”

Mud race: “Hundreds of people gathered for the annual Maldon mud race in Essex – dashing across 400 metres of sludge in the Blackwater estuary at low tide. The event started out in 1975 among regulars of The Queen’s Head, Hythe Quay, who were were challenged to run across the estuary, down a pint from a barrel of ale served by a man dressed in a tuxedo, and then dash back. The tuxedo and ale are long gone but the dash raises thousands of pounds for a host of charities and attracted about 300 runners, plus 15,000 supporters. Competitors sported an array of colourful outfits and wigs as they set off – but soon became a mass of grey-brown figures struggling across the mud.”

Members of the public intervene when they see man attacking his girlfriend… but stand by and LAUGH when the roles are reversed: “A hard-hitting experiment has revealed how strangers react differently when seeing domestic abuse depending on the gender of the aggressor. A video filmed with hidden cameras at a London park shows a male actor attacking his ‘girlfriend’ in front of onlookers who immediately rush to help, with one shouting: ‘Oi mate, what’s wrong with you?’ The man is told ‘someone will call the police if you carry on doing that to someone’, before a passer-by says to the woman: ‘You don’t have to put up with that honey, he’s not worth it’. The experiment is then conducted with the same actors – but this time, the woman is the aggressor, attacking him and saying: ‘Don’t try to walk away – listen to me when I’m talking to you.’ However, instead of reacting with shock, nobody watching even attempts to help the man. They actually seem rather entertained by the incident, stopping to stare and laughing about it.”

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

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