December 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment




Odd news from around the world

Australian babies understand Canadian accent better than an Australian one: “Australian babies struggle with their native lingo and find it easier to understand Canadians, a new university study shows. Boffins from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) conducted research on 48 Australian babies of 15-months-old and were astonished to discover they can’t distinguish certain vowels. Yet when they heard the same words in a Canadian accent they found them easier to understand. Australian English is easily recognised by its distinctive vowel sounds and rising inflection. Researcher Dr Karen Mulak from the UWS MARCS Institute says that by the age of 15 months babies’ brains understand sounds, are picking up new words and the new vowels can be confusing. ‘Some Australian English vowels, such as the ones in “sheep,” “ship” and “shoot” are very close to one another,’ adds Professor Escudero. ‘As opposed to the same Canadian English vowels which are more distinct. We now know these Australian English vowel differences are not easy to learn.'” ‘The Australian accent may make it a little harder for Australian infants to master some vowels,’ she says, ‘but it doesn’t make a difference in the long run.”

Strange chair: “Sitting for longer than four hours a day increases a person’s chance of suffering chronic disease. Now, inspired to address the lack of physical activity in modern work life, one French designer believes he might have created the answer. With just two legs, the ‘Inactivite’ chair relies on the user engaging the muscles in their core to keep it upright. Benoit Malta, the man behind the creation, said he wanted to encourage movement for those office workers who spent around 70 per cent of the day sitting down. The chair creates a slight discomfort, as the user has to keep shifting position to keep it stable. It passively stimulates other parts of the body, in a similar way to an exercise ball, forcing the user to have better posture. The chair is not meant to be sat in for long periods, just a couple of hours at a time.

New Russian battlewagon has an American engine: “Russian truck maker ZiL has released images of its new prototype military vehicle that could be the former superpower’s modern-day interpretation of the Humvee – or Australia’s own Hawkei. Styled in a way that not only looks futuristic but is designed to have a psychological effect on the battlefield, the prototype version of the new vehicle boasts aggressive lines, a maw-like grille and a faceted insectoid-style body. In its current form the 6330mm long vehicle can carry up to 10 troops including the driver, and is powered by a Cummins four-cylinder diesel engine producing 136kW, driving through a five-speed ZF manual gearbox. It also gets a dual range transfer case, rides on leaf springs and features heavy duty underpinnings. It weighs almost five tonnes and has a payload of up to 2500kg.”

Airport staff seize Nutella jars because chocolate sandwich spread posed ‘terror risk’: “A pregnant mother says she was ordered to surrender two jars of Nutella at London City Airport because staff claimed the chocolate spread posed a terror risk. Kara Harrison became upset when staff at a security checkpoint ordered her to hand over the jars which she was carrying in her hand luggage at the airport in east London. The 35-year-old says a worker told her the chocolate spread breached liquid restrictions and could not be carried onto the plane. Kara, a home economics teacher, said: ‘They told me the chocolate was dangerous and had to be confiscated. I was distraught.’ She and her husband, Iain, were flying home to Scotland after a short break in London, where they spent the weekend sightseeing, shopping and attending a concert. Among the highlights was a visit to Selfridges department store in Oxford Street, where shoppers can buy special jars of Nutella with their names on the label. They’re so popular queues often bring the shop to a standstill.”

Everybody loves @Australia! Amazing images of sunny Australia make it the most popular country on Instagram: “Australia has a new claim to fame: being the most popular country in the world on Instagram. The official tourism Australia page @Australia has just amassed over one million followers, making it easily the most followed national destination page in the world. The page, which is run by a small team of social media experts, has blown the completion out of the water, with it’s British counterpart carrying only 131,000 followers, and the New Zealand account having only 30,000. It features stunning images of quintessentially Australian icons like Kangaroos, Koalas and distinctly rugged landscapes, with many of the images garnering over 50,000 likes. The small team runs through thousands of images posted on the account every day, with users posting the hashtag #seeAustralia to have the shot viewed by the team. The top images are then selected daily, with some of them receiving in excess of 50,000 likes”.

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


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  1. That chair would have to be French!!!!

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