Bachelors are versatile

February 3, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Fuel from bacteria? “In the near future our cars, trains and planes could be powered by hydrogen produced by bacteria that survives in the most extreme conditions on Earth. Scientists ‘accidentally’ discovered a bacterium under conditions of extremely high saline and alkaline levels. These conditions, in theory, could be replicated in an industrial setting to produce the biofuel on a large scale. Dr Melanie Mormile, professor of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology discovered the bacterium Halanaerobium hydrogeninformans in Soap Lake, Washington. It is termed as extreme bacterium, or an ‘extremophile’ – a microorganism that lives in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity or chemical concentration. During tests, the researchers found that the bacterium produces hydrogen under saline and alkaline conditions in amounts that rival genetically modified organisms. Hydrogen produced by living organisms is called biohydrogen and is a type of fuel, similar to bio-diesel or bio-gas.”

British Marine the world’s deadliest sniper: “A Royal Marine has been revealed as the world’s deadliest sniper after 173 confirmed kills on Taliban targets. Most of the hits took place during one six-month tour in Afghanistan – with 90 militants taken out in just one day. At his most deadly, the sniper, who cannot be named for security reasons, was said to have killed a Taliban gunman every ten minutes. It is believed he was using a British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle, the Army’s most powerful sniper weapon. For some of his kills the Marine corporal will have been about half a mile away from the target. His confirmed enemy kills exceed the 160 of Chris Kyle, the deadliest marksman in US military history. A source close to the British marksman, a married father from the south of England, described him as ‘deadlier than the plague’. Most of the Briton’s kills occurred during Operation Herrick V over the winter of 2006-7 when the Afghan war was at its height. He was serving with the elite Bridge Reconnaissance Force across Helmand.”

Mystery mother-of-two is leaving envelopes stuffed with lottery scratchcards and cash: “A mother-of-two has made it her mission to brighten up other people’s lives – by anonymously leaving gifts for strangers to find. The generous woman has taken to carrying out good deeds around her hometown – which include leaving unused scratchcards on supermarket shelves and paying for other people’s orders in cafes. The mother, from Leyland, Lancashire, has even set up a Facebook and Twitter account to further her cause – but prefers to keep her identity a secret, even from her own husband. She said: ‘I’ve only told one friend, and that was to see what she thought and to help me come up with ideas. ‘I want to remain anonymous – I’m not interested in any glory, I just hope people enjoy it and it inspires others. ‘I read about other people doing it elsewhere in the country and I thought why not do it in my local town? ‘I don’t have lots of money, I’m keeping it to simple things, but it’s a nice thing that people aren’t expecting.”

Schools are ditching the teaching of handwriting: “From next year, children in Finland will not be compulsorily taught cursive handwriting. Instead of learning this skill, schools will be given the choice to teach keyboard typing in its place. The country’s education board said the change reflects how typing skills are now more relevant than handwriting, but experts claim the move could damage a child’s brain development. It follows changes made to the Common Core Standards Initiative in the US, in September 2013, in which the US similarly removed cursive handwriting as a compulsory skill. A predominant criticism is that, while handwriting is important, cursive handwriting is no longer deemed necessary. In a recent study from Indiana University, researchers conducted brain scans on five-year-olds before and after receiving different letter-learning tasks. In children who practiced writing letters by hand, the neural activity was more enhanced and ‘adult-like’ than in those who had simply looked at letters. ‘Research indicates that learning to write in cursive further improves students’ motor and visual skills, eye-to-hand co-ordination, spatial awareness, hand and finger dexterity, cognitive function and brain development.”

Yummy sandwich: “Last year it was all about the ramen burger. But one month into 2015 and New York already has a new It sandwich. M. Wells Dinette, the French-Canadian restaurant at MoMA’s PS1 outpost in Long Island City, has been selling up to 100 of its $13 spaghetti sandwiches per day since it was listed on the menu a week ago. The dish sees spaghetti in a tomato-garlic sauce take the place of a patty. The noodles are mixed with pecorino cheese then coated in egg and baked in a blini pan to hold them together. ‘The result is crispy on the outside, and very juicy on the inside,’ chef Aidan O’Neal told the New York Post. ‘We serve it on a toasted onion roll with extremely delicious garlic butter and a layer of chopped Caesar salad with red pepper flakes.’We cooks all scoffed at the idea. But it’s very, very good. Of course, this is no diet food. Carb-loading aside, the spaghetti sandwich packs a punch in terms of calories too. The concept of the spaghetti sandwich is not actually a new one. The brainchild of restaurant owner Hugue Dufour, it was originally listed on the menu four years ago – much to the chefs’ disdain.”

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

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