The old and the new

December 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

The roadside breath test for marijuana that will weed out stoned drivers: “Researchers at Washington State University in Seattle are working on a breath test to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana. The News Tribune reports that law enforcement officers have a test for alcohol, but they don’t have a tool to test for marijuana impairment. Right now, officers must use blood tests to determine if THC is present in a driver’s blood. But WSU chemistry professor Herbert Hill says existing technologies like those used by airport security agents to detect drugs and explosives can be altered to test breath for THC. Hill says his team hopes to start testing on humans early next year. The Washington State Patrol says it welcomes anything that gets impaired drivers off the road. The handheld device being developed is not likely to be able to determine how much THC is in a driver’s system. The current legal limit is five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. However the test will be able to determine whether there is THC present. That will be enough for officers to make an arrest”

Doggy makeover was a lifesaver: “A homeless dog received a makeover that saved his life after being taken to a kill shelter. Charlie the Shelter Dog was found earlier this year on the side of a Los Angeles road and taken to a high-kill shelter. The Inquisitr reports that most dogs who aren’t adopted don’t last more than a week in the shelters that euthanize more than half the dogs in their custody. Charlie’s story would have come to a sad end, but a groomer from Hollywood Grooming, a pet grooming shop in Los Angeles, came to the rescue and gave Charlie the makeover that landed him in a new home. The groomer shaved off Charlie’s matted, knotted fur that was riddled with painful burrs and gave the pup a much-needed bath. In the end, Charlie is completely unrecognizable. His dark brown eyes are visible and the groomer completes his look by tying a brown, paw-printed bandana around the pup’s neck.

Daredevil scales 920ft chimney WITHOUT safety equipment: “A fearless daredevil has risked his life by climbing an industrial chimney and balancing on a beam above a sheer drop – without safety equipment. Flaviu Cernescu scaled the abandoned structure in Pitesti, Romania, using a disconnected electrical cable to hoist himself for the first 70ft of the climb. The 32-year-old then walked across a rusted railing which runs across the summit of the hollow 920ft structure. Despite the long drop, Cernescu, who captured the footage using a GoPro camera, said he felt calm and confident for most of the stunt. But Mr Cernescu has a warning for anyone who may want to copy his stunt. ‘Please understand that by climbing this chimney you put yourself and others in danger,’ said the fearless Romanian. ‘Don’t try it unless you really know what you are doing. Take care and enjoy life.’

Old lady’s bling fetches $218MILLION at auction: “A wealth of artwork, furnishings and jewelry owned by the late Listerine heiress Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon netted a total of $218.1 million following a five-day auction in New York this week. All up there were 1,521 objects owned by Mellon – who died in March at the age of 103 – and 98 percent of the lots sold after going under the hammer at Sotheby’s. Some 43 post-war and contemporary paintings by artists including Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat and Edward Hopper were among the collection. However the highlight was a pear-shaped blue diamond weighing 9.75 carats that sold for $32.6 million, an auction record for a blue diamond, according to Bloomberg. The furnishings, including an 18th century porcelain dinner service that sold for $293,000, were from Mellon’s homes in the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean. The star art items proved to be two paintings by American abstract impressionist Mark Rothko, which made a combined $76.4 million.

Why sitting in an aisle seat makes you most likely to catch a virus on a plane: “As if window seats aren’t already popular enough with air passengers, scientists now say sitting by the aisle leaves you more exposed to germs. It puts you physically closer to passengers going to and from the toilets. Furthermore, people hold on to aisle seats when walking to keep their balance, increasing the risk of contamination. Researchers also suggested that passengers should steer clear of the toilets, although they admitted that could prove a problem on long-haul flights. Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, collected swabs from the most frequently-touched areas on more than 20 flights, including arm-rests, taps, sinks, trays, seat pockets, overhead lockers and toilet handles. He found that aisle seats tended to harbour more germs than those in the middle or by the window”

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


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