Were it so

August 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Historic tall ships converge on Amsterdam: “At first glance, it could be a scene from a bygone era – the sails of the tall ships fluttering against the sky. The 50 stunning tall ships had come from across the world to take part in SAIL Amsterdam, which takes place every five years and sees hundreds of boats accompanying these historic vessels on a trip from Ijmuiden, in the western Netherlands, to the capital. This year, the fleet included an 18th century frigate replica, a 19th century French merchant ship and a controversial Chilean vessel which, in the not so distant past, was used for torture. The ships set of on Wednesday morning, and the flotilla – which was more than 600 strong, thanks to the hundreds of smaller private boats taking part in the event – reached Amsterdam at about 2pm. Highlights include the Etoile du Roy, a reproduction of a 1745 frigate used in the British television series ‘Horatio Hornblower,’ and the Belem, a French 19th century steel-hulled three-master.”

Owners shocked to find their restaurant had been barricaded with a wall of fridges: “The owners of a fish and chip shop were left in shock after arrving at the takeaway to open up and finding it had been barricaded with a wall of fridges. Staff had to fight their way through the appliances in order to get to the door of Big Ben’s Fish and Grill in Maidstone, Kent yesterday. Almost 30 fridges made up the barricade and some were even stacked three-high around the building. The barricade was erected by the owners of second hand goods shop, the Clutter Box, which is across the road from the chip shop. Paul Stone and Keven Wilderman, owners of the Clutter Box have been involved in a ongoing feud with the landlord who owns the takeaway. Mr Stone said: ‘Rather than go through the violent and damaging route we wanted to do a peaceful protest.’ But Richard Philips, who works for the landlord, told KentOnline: ‘I’m disgusted at what they’ve done, this isn’t a prank.’ The barricade has since been taken down by the pranksters and the chip shop was able to open as normal

Orphaned baby orangutan found crying and alone in a rainforest in Borneo is rescued: “An orphaned baby orangutan found crying like a baby and alone in a rainforest in Borneo has been rescued. Little Asoka was discovered by a local man, who despite good intentions, fed the orangutan sickly-sweet condensed milk four times a day. The local man who found him felt so sorry for the baby that he took him home. Knowing that the orangutan is a protected species, he contacted the forestry department, asking them to collect the young orphan. Alan Knight, IAR’s chief executive, said: ‘Little Asoka is the latest orangutan to come in to our centre. ‘He is as cute and contented as can be but his story is typical of the tragic fate threatening the survival of orangutan populations in Borneo and Sumatra. ‘As the palm oil industry continues to devour the rainforest, more and more orangutans are left homeless, hungry and vulnerable to hunters. Asoka, who is four or five months old and weighs just 2kg, is on the road to recovery after being rescued”

Spider that can FLY despite having no wings discovered in South America: “An arachnophobe’s worst nightmare has been realised after a spider that can fly has been discovered in the jungles of South America. And this creepy crawly’s aerial acrobatics are more advanced than mere gliding – it can change direction in mid-air. In a video released buy the researchers, the spider, which is about two inches across, can be seen changing direction as it falls through the air, guiding its way with its extended legs. To conduct the study, the researchers had to climb trees searching for the notoriously well camouflaged spiders, known as ‘flatties’ due to their very flat body shape. The then dropped them from 65 to 80 feet (20 to 25 meters) from trees and filmed them maneuvering in the air. The researchers say the spiders are more agile in the air than a cat, turning themselves right-side-up in milliseconds and pointing their heads downward to glide. ‘If a predator comes along, it frees the animal to jump if it has a time-tested way of gliding to the nearest tree rather than landing in the understory or in a stream.'”

Fish that snoozes for YEARS without any food or water: “The African lungfish can sleep out of water for three to five years without any sustenance, only to wake up when freshwater surroundings become available. During suspended animation, the fish don’t eat or drink and produce no waste, sometimes for as long as five years. The researchers claim that in the process they slow down their biological clock, relinquishing the normal need for sustenance and surviving in a very low energy state. This kind of suspended animation has always fascinated scientists because if it could be replicated in some form in humans. The African lungfish is one of the closest relatives of tetrapods, the first group of four-limbed vertebrates to live outside of water. Their anatomy offers clues as to how animals first evolved to breathe air, as they have adapted a lung that can sustain them in periods when their environment dries up. They pass the long stretches of the dry season holed up in burrows in the mud, and they can use their long appendages to crawl and move outside of the water.

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

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