A doggy viewpointOctober 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Odd news from around the world
Public encouraged to capture, not kill, Australia’s most deadly spiders: “The world’s deadliest spider, the Sydney funnel-web, is back on the prowl, looking for love as the weather warms up. But far from steering well clear of the killer, we’re being encouraged to get unsettlingly close to these eight-legged freaks. “It’s a bit frightening to, but we have less and less funnel-web venom and we don’t want to get a point where we have a shortage of antivenene [anti-venom],” Australian Reptile Park head keeper Julia Mendezona told news.com.au. The park, located on the NSW Central Coast, is the only place in Australia that milks the fearsome funnel-webs to create the lifesaving antivenene. But a downturn in people trapping rather than killing the spiders has led to stocks becoming low. Last year, there were 65 suspected funnel-web bites in Australia, Ms Mendezona said, including “a few near-death experiences”. But, due to the availability of antivenene, no one has died from a funnel-web bite in more than two decades.”
A collection of 172 tea-making machines: “Lots of the bedroom gadgets ended up on the tip or at car boots after they fell out of favour in the Eighties. Scores of others, however, found their way into the home of a trainee archivist from Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire – 172 to be exact. Sheridan Parsons’ collection includes a rare 1936 Goblin which was found under a house in Australia and another – branded ‘Teesmade’ – by George Absolom from 1932. Now, however, she has decided to sell up her hoard because she is moving into a smaller home and won’t have room for it. Mrs Parsons has spent the last 15 years building up an archive of Teasmades, made famous as prizes on TV game shows like the Generation Game. The gadget – which makes tea automatically at your bedside – fell out of favour after the 70s but is now enjoying an unlikely comeback as a retro novelty item.
Tonic water a new favorite: “Tonic water, always the underdog to gin, has been given a flavour make-over and now occupies a trendy niche of its own. Thanks to a surge in varieties, sales are booming — up 60 per cent in the past year — making it Britain’s fastest-growing soft drink. Interestingly, tonic is increasingly being drunk on its own. Teetotallers who find traditional soft fruit-based drinks too sweet are turning to the bitterness of tonic. The vogue for tinkering with a much-loved drink by introducing ‘artisan’ flavours began with beers before spreading to spirits. In the past decade, small distilleries have started to make new brands of gin, such as Sipsmith and Hendrick’s — challenging giants such as Gordon’s. The phenomenon is partly connected to a blossoming interest in so-called botanicals, the plant flavourings that give gin its character. The Fever-Tree brand is the market leader: its five types include one made with elderflower and another with Mediterranean herbs. It’s all a long way from the first carbonated tipple known as Indian tonic, first drunk as a medicine.”
Boeing shows off material that is 99.99% AIR: “Boeing has revealed the world’s lightest metal structure, which it claims is 99.99% hollow. The revolutionary breakthrough claims to be 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and could be the future for aeronautical design, and is so light that is can sit atop a dandelion. Called a microlattice, it is so strong the firm says an egg wrapped in the material would survive a 25 story drop. HRL, which worked with Boeing on the project, says it could find its way into planes firstly in flooring, seat frames and walls. The firm is also working with Nasa on future spacecraft designs, while DARPA hope to use it for energy damping. The material, called Microlattice, is a 3D open-cellular polymer structure made up of interconnected hollow tubes, each with a wall 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. In addition to its ultra-low density, the material’s cellular architecture gives rise to unprecedented mechanical behavior for a metal, including complete recovery from compression exceeding 50% strain and extraordinarily high energy absorption.”
Advanced Russian SU-34 strike fighter in action: “This is the moment a Russian warplane dropped the bomb which destroyed a Syrian rebel group’s headquarters in Syria. Its defence ministry said the strike – carried out on Friday – blew up a building belonging to Liwa al-Haqq insurgents who oppose the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The bombing took place in Raqqa, which has been adopted by ISIS as its de-facto capital, but Moscow did hit a single of the terror group’s positions in the city that day. Moscow claims to be targeting ISIS and other terror groups, but western governments have accused it of propping up Assad in his fight against moderate rebel groups – some of whom have received cash and training from the United States. [The “cigar” at the rear of the plane is a radar]
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