A marvel of nature

December 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

BBC fires 700 “redundant” staff in economy drive — then hires most of them back again: “The BBC has come under fire for re-hiring 700 people who it had previously spent £10.3million on making redundant. It has emerged that of the 700 staff members who took redundancy packages, more than 400 are now back at the broadcaster working as freelancers. Last night the Taxpayers’ Alliance criticised what it described as the BBC’s ‘lucrative revolving door’. John O’Connell, the director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Licence-fee payers will be furious that their cash is being wasted on generous golden goodbyes, only for those made “redundant” to walk back in on a new salary,’ the Sun on Sunday reported. A BBC spokesperson told the paper it was common to have seasonal freelancers in the journalism industry as it helped keep costs down.

Driver wins speeding ticket battle after proving that the road markings used by camera to indicate speed were the wrong distance apart: “A driver sent a ticket for speeding past a primary school has successfully had his case dismissed after arguing the white lines marked either side were too short. David Erasmus, 55, opted to have his day in court after being snapped allegedly doing 36mph in a 30mph zone. After receiving the ticket, the former engineer had revisited the spot where he was caught and noticed that the white road markings, used to measure the speed that a vehicle is travelling between them, seemed short. Adamant he had not been speeding, he measured the markings and found they were three inches shorter than at other speed camera locations. During his trial, Mr Erasmus, of Hendy, near Llanelli, west Wales, was able to convice Llanelli Magistrates Court that the shorter lines made it appear he was going faster than he actually was. His case has now been formally dismissed”

America’s fashion queen looks a bit rough: “She is rarely seen without her trademark Chanel sunglasses, by day or by night. So when Anna Wintour stepped out minus her shades on Friday afternoon, all eyes were on her. The powerful Vogue editor-in-chief gave a steely glare as she left the magazine’s new headquarters at One World Trade Center, which has reportedly been overrun with an infestation of rats. Chic as ever in a three quarter length fur and knee high black boots, the 65-year-old media powerhouse wrapped up from the New York cold. The formidable magazine supremo looked in no mood to mess with as she left Conde Nast’s offices on the 25th and 26th floor of the skyscraper. According to the New York Daily News, the swish new office building is infested with vermin and staff are understandably horrified.”

US Navy reveals ‘Silent Nemo’ robofish can swim into enemy territory undetected: “The US Navy has revealed its latest recruit – a giant robotic spy disguised as a tuna. The robo-fish is designed to swim into enemy territory, and to guard the hulls of US boats. It uses a robo-fin to move silently through the water – and had been dubbed ‘Silent Nemo’ by Navy bosses. At a length of approximately 5 feet and a weight of nearly 100 pounds, the GhostSwimmer vehicle can operate in water depths ranging from 10 inches to 300 feet. The 5-foot, 100-pound armature was modeled after a bluefin tuna and uses a rear caudle fin to move through the water just like the fish. The robot is capable of operating autonomously for extended periods of time due to its long-lasting battery, but it can also be controlled via laptop with a 500-foot tether. The unmanned underwater vehicle is able to make tight turns and move through the water quietly, making it ideal for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.”

Want to give your son a decent education? Get him locked up: Teenagers behind bars are getting a better education than thousands of pupils in ordinary schools, according to official watchdogs. Inmates at a Young Offenders’ Institution in the North-West received ‘outstanding’ teaching and English and maths scores were ‘above the national average’, inspectors found. Behaviour was also described as ‘very good’. It is the first time a YOI has had such a glowing assessment. Ofsted and HM Inspector of Prisons said the standard of education in YOI Hindley near Wigan was ‘as good, if not better’ than many children receive in schools and colleges. Critics said it showed how pupils in state schools were being let down by a lack of discipline in the classroom. Chris McGovern, a former Ofsted inspector who chairs the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Well done to the Young Offender Institution but what an indictment of the education system in England if it can produce better teaching than schools.’

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


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