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*The Daily News Thread* - a place to post compelling daily news stories
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Windswept
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2006-07-26, 19:20

Okay, I thought it might be nice to have a place to discuss those news stories that don't deserve a whole thread all to themselves, but that are certainly worthy of a mention and maybe a word or two of conversation.

(Yes, I know that some of you hate it when a member is so bold as to designate an *official* thread for just about 'anything'; but I thought this 'minor news story' idea seemed worthwhile, and thought I'd give it a try.)

What inspired me were these two science stories from the BBC. I just thought the discoveries sounded kind of interesting and wanted to share them with anyone else who might think so too. So anyway, here goes:

First Story -

Quote:
Geckos inspire 'super-adhesive'

Just one metre square of a new super-sticky material inspired by gecko feet could suspend the weight of an average family car, say its inventors.

The plastic, known as Synthetic Gecko, has been developed by researchers at aerospace and defence firm BAE Systems.

Like the reptile's foot, the polymer is covered in millions of tiny mushroom-like hairs that provide grip.

Future applications could include an adhesive to repair aircraft, skin grafts or even a Spiderman-style suit.

"It would mean that your local window cleaner could dispense with his ladders and climb up the side of your house," says Dr Sajad Haq a principle research scientist at the company's Advanced Technology Centre in Filton, Bristol.

"There's a whole host of applications. It's just a question of your imagination."

Tiny forces

Synthetic Gecko is not the first material to draw inspiration from the cold-blooded creatures.

In 2003, a team from the University of Manchester created a sticky tape based on a Gecko's foot.

The invention followed the discovery by US scientists of how geckos perform their extraordinary climbing feats.

The University of California team showed that the adhesion was due to very weak intermolecular forces produced by the billions of hair-like structures, known as setae, on each gecko foot.

The so-called van der Waals forces occur between molecules with different electrical charge and cause them to be attracted to one another.

The cumulative attractive force of billions of setae allows geckos to scurry up walls and even hang upside down on polished glass.

The grip is only released when the animal peels its foot off the surface.

The material we have made so far will hold a family car to a roof, or an elephant if you wish
Dr Sajad Haq

The BAE team have created a material that mimics the gecko's setae. The adhesive is made of a polyamide, like Nylon, and is covered with millions of mushroom-shaped stalks.

Although the material has fantastic adhesive properties it does not feel "sticky".

"It's only when you press the material to the substrate that it actually sticks," says Dr Haq. "It's the molecular interaction that causes it to stick."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5217240.stm

There must be so many applications in which this technology would be beneficial. I'd love to be able to walk up the side of my house to check out the roof tiles, for example. And cliff climbing might be something I'd be willing to give another try.

************************************************** ************

Second story -

About frogs that died 10 million years ago!

Fossil Frogs Yield Soft Tissues

Quote:
The frogs and salamanders were found in a fossil-rich deposit dating back to the Miocene Epoch, the period of time that extends from about 5.3 to 23 million years ago.

Ms McNamara, and colleagues in the UK, Spain and US, say the bone marrow was preserved because the bones acted as a protective shell, preventing microbes from invading and breaking the soft tissue down.


T. rex fossil has 'soft tissues'

They believe many other examples of preserved bone marrow will be found, raising the possibility of investigating the proteins and DNA of prehistoric animals.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5214798.stm


Just thought this was an interesting story. Maybe some of you will too.
  quote
billybobsky
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2006-07-26, 19:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept
Quote:
Originally Posted by first Bbc story
The so-called van der Waals forces occur between molecules with different electrical charge and cause them to be attracted to one another.
Bwah! I hate it when technical writers get the technical details wrong... I mean, wtf are they paid for if they can't get the only specialized aspect of their career right???

FWIW, van der waals interactions are interactions that exist REGARDLESS of charge, they are due to spontaneous dipole moments that occur when molecules are near by...
  quote
Windswept
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-07-26, 20:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky
Bwah! I hate it when technical writers get the technical details wrong... I mean, wtf are they paid for if they can't get the only specialized aspect of their career right???

FWIW, van der waals interactions are interactions that exist REGARDLESS of charge, they are due to spontaneous dipole moments that occur when molecules are near by...
Okay, cool. Thanks for making that correction, billybobsky.

I'd really appreciate a superior adhesive though.

In the hot dry climate where I live, you can't even put self-sticking labels on file folders and expect them to adhere for very long.

The adhesive just completely dries out and disintegrates, and all the file labels fall off the moment they receive the least bit of jostling.

So yeah, sign me up for some of that gecko adhesive.
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-26, 20:25

Oh, and members, if you aren't all that interested in these *particular* stories, please post a story of your own.

That's the whole point of this thread.

Surely in your meanderings through various news sites, you see articles everyday that would be perfect for posting here... minor but interesting stories that you might as well share with the rest of us.

For example, I thought the report about the bear cub sitting in a convertible and enjoying some beer and pizza would be ideal for this thread.
  quote
Foj
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2006-07-26, 20:46

How about a story of a girl in Ukraine who was raised by dogs.

Quote:
23-year-old Oxana Malaya from a village in Ukraine is a feral child, one of only about 100 known in the world. When she was three, her alcoholic parents left her outside one night and she crawled into a hovel where they kept dogs. No one came to look for her or even seemed to notice she was gone, so she stayed where there was warmth and food.
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-26, 21:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foj
Yeah, that 'is' interesting.

Later in the story it says she had a boyfriend for a while, but she freaked him out when she showed him how she could run on all fours.

Frankly, I'm amazed she could have managed to have a boyfriend in the first place.

I mean, if you're raised by dogs, seems like more than a few social skills would go missing. But apparently she learned enough to get by.

I also found this whale story interesting, but it doesn't sound too promising wrt their survival. Poor things.

http://mosnews.com/news/2005/03/02/whales.shtml
  quote
murbot
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2006-07-26, 21:33

At least she'd have no hangups about doing it doggy style.

Or licking your ass. You know, if you're into that.
  quote
scratt
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2006-07-26, 22:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot
Or licking your ass. You know, if you're into that.
*spits coffee all over Mac*

Thanks murbot.



EDIT (Much Later) - Done right, it is not unpleasant at all!

Last edited by scratt : 2006-07-27 at 03:32.
  quote
mattf
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2006-07-27, 02:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
Thanks murbot.
Yeah, thanks for the pointer murbot


Erm, what I mean is...

*Ahem* moving on...

Diminutive man headbutts horse

Most people seem to be concentrating on the animal cruelty aspect of this story, but I'm more concerned about the fact that somebody was stupid enough to think that he could Glasgow kiss a horse and win. Kudos to the brave and extremely dense midget.
  quote
AWR
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2006-07-27, 02:26

Nice one Mattf.

It seems like he was just trying to center the horses attention, rather than really get the HEED in. (You know like when a dog is just fucking around too much for too long.... Not that I've ever headed butted a dog (of mine).)

Unfortunate behavior on the midget's part, but I don't think they should hang him. It would have been funny had the horse stuck him back with a nice kick to the groin.
  quote
murbot
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2006-07-27, 14:59

This is the best news story I've read in ages. This is one amazing kid.

Sister saves toddler in car accident: 'I'd rather lose my arm than have my brother dead'

(Jesus, my fucking allergies flared up while reading it. Damn allergies that give you a frog in your throat, I hate those.)
  quote
macleod
Now in lower-caseā„¢!
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
 
2006-07-27, 15:21

Murbot, that was a *great* link. I cannot believe that the little girl from that story lost her arm to save her brother. From the quote in the link I assumed she was injured but was just making a statement to show how much she cared for her brother (kind of like a I would give anything for such and such). That little boy and his family were lucky to have such a good sister and daughter to protect him. Thanks again for that link!
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-27, 18:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot

(Jesus, my fucking allergies flared up while reading it. Damn allergies that give you a frog in your throat, I hate those.)
You're such a sweetie, murbeau.
  quote
hiltond
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2006-07-27, 20:45

This story is just weird. Creepy. I am never going to that strip club again, I don't care who is getting married the next day. Not gonna do it, not gonna do it.

Medical student who moved to California? It is like the search for the one armed man all over again. Harrison Ford is a little too old to star this time I think.

Oh BTW, you don't have to register, but if i remember correctly the first time you visit they will ask for a zip code and year of birth. If you are not comfortable with this don't visit this site or remember that you were born in 1978 and are from 07067.
  quote
colivigan
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2006-07-27, 20:50

Here is my current favorite.

Man saves dog thrown from window

You have to know it's just going to be one of those days when you're walking down the street and a St. Bernard falls on your head.
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-27, 21:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJohn
Here is my current favorite.

Man saves dog thrown from window

You have to know it's just going to be one of those days when you're walking down the street and a St. Bernard falls on your head.
  quote
Sauvblanc
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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2006-07-28, 18:05

Letter to Lindsay Lohan

Wow. Someone actually had the balls to call it like he sees it and not put up with this diva shit. Cool! I love it.

Now if someone could do the same to Madonna with her demand to have a new loo installed prior to and destroyed after each concert...

Reminds me, Chateau Marmont is just down the street from where I live and Sunset Gower Studios (where the film's being shot) is on the way home. I ought to keep an eye out. Not that I'd actually recognize her if I saw her, but anyway...
  quote
Banana
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2006-07-28, 18:08

Yeah, stick it to the bitch!


Erm, not the best choice of words...
  quote
scrouds
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2006-07-28, 23:58

This thread is a FRAUD... I actually thought that these were news articles from a new york newspaper (The Daily News).
;-)

I want some gecko plaster, I would love to climb up buildings.
  quote
hiltond
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2006-07-29, 03:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrouds
This thread is a FRAUD... I actually thought that these were news articles from a new york newspaper (The Daily News).
;-)

I want some gecko plaster, I would love to climb up buildings.

There's a paper that belongs to you...

This story is pretty good, but I think the link will expire after a while. Oh well, maybe it'll make you happy.

Man shoots bottle rocket at man in chicken suit
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-29, 11:02

Quote:
Turnage said that in the first two weeks he wore the chicken suit, people threw smokeless tobacco cans at him and tossed frozen drinks. After the bottle rocket attack, he called police.
Throwing stuff at some poor guy standing out in the heat in a chicken suit? Wow. That is just SO mean.

The casual, brutish ignorance of some of those on the lowest rung of humanity never ceases to amaze me.

I wonder if this mouth-breathing churlishness is an Arkansas phenomenon, or whether it's scattered liberally throughout the rest of the states?

But if you think wearing a chicken suit sucks as a form of employment, just think about the lady whose job for Dial Corp. was to smell sweaty armpits all day for their deodorant/deodorant soap testing division.

For proper testing procedure, I imagine she had to smell the pits 'before' they received any kind of deodorant modification - i.e. just natural sweaty armpits - as well as 'after'. Ick.
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-29, 11:26

Oh, and for another *fowl* story, how about this guy who bites the head off his pet rooster?

He must be just 'magic' to live with.

  quote
murbot
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2006-07-29, 11:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiltond
I always stick my arm way out and give people like that the finger.

I don't hate them, I just get such a laugh seeing some dude in a chicken, monkey, clown, etc, suit yelling and giving me a retaliation middle finger salute.

  quote
colivigan
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2006-07-30, 09:19

This is disappointing. I'm sure ESPN2 would have covered it.

Giant dead eel tossing contest canceled

What are those poor guys going to do now with all the frozen dead eels they've been saving?
  quote
Bryson
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2006-07-30, 09:24

Seti be damned!

Artist "discovers" Alien Art in previously disregarded signal from Arecibo dish.

Yep. He really thinks it's true.
  quote
Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2006-07-30, 09:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJohn
This is disappointing. I'm sure ESPN2 would have covered it.

Giant dead eel tossing contest canceled

What are those poor guys going to do now with all the frozen dead eels they've been saving?
Hang on. They cancelled it on the basis of a single, anonymous e-mail? Holy shit. They should have just replied with "Get a hobby, shiny-dick!"*



*=See what I did there? That's called being topical.
  quote
murbot
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2006-07-30, 09:46

Wow, I thought fisherman had bigger balls than that. Pussies!

BTW, what the hell is with the ad I got on that page? Do women actually get their hair done like this on purpose?

She looks like she just finished going down on her boyfriend in a sleeping bag.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hair.jpg (29.6 KB, 805 views)
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-30, 10:11

Wrt eels in general:

My question is, is there any restaurant in the entire US where eels are served?

Are eels actually available for purchase at any US market?

Do we even 'have' eels swimming around in waters accessible to US fisherman?

How is it that *eating eels* never made it to our shores from England?

I simply can't imagine how such a state of affairs could possibly have occurred.

(Sorry guys [my British friends]. I just think *eels* are funny, and they are to me a subject of humor - so slimy and unattractive [especially "jellied" eels...urk!! ]. I can't imagine looking at an eel and thinking "Oh yum! Quick, slap that puppy on the grill!" )

Wrt the actual news story, it is truly amazing that ONE person, and an anonymous one at that, could change the history of an entire town with one stroke of a computer key. If *that* isn't power, I don't know what is.

I love animals, and never want to see them abused. I 'was' going to say that using a dead eel in such a way isn't really abusive; but after thinking about it for a while, I guess the Lyme Regis contest does show a certain disregard for the dignity of one of our fellow creatures on this planet. It would imply to impressionable children that animals are ours to do with what we will, no matter 'what' that is.


PS - Okay, what's the French word for 'eels'? Maybe if they didn't have such a silly name they would get a bit more respect.
  quote
murbot
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2006-07-30, 11:16

Anguilles
  quote
Windswept
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2006-07-30, 11:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by murbot
Anguilles
Cool!

Much more impressive than... ick... "eels".

Did you look that up, murbeau, or did you already know the word?
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