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      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
     (4794.1)
    As per Warren's instructions: We're getting a little scattershot with the "news story" kind of postings. Some, of course, should live in the other sections, but London Zoo's getting peppered pretty good.

    So what we're going to do is this. Post the day's good (important, interesting, weird, funny) news stories in a single thread. Obviously, if something makes a good topic for Mad Science or Printheads or whatever, launch a thread there as normal. But if it's general news, or you like the story but you don't think it really warrants a thread... post it here. Big old river of news.

    Go now.
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
     (4794.2)
    It's hardly news and yet it's the big story. Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America.

    So please don't mind us Americans as we give in to a great big hopegasm. The idea that we might be excited about something without it being suffused with irony is new and confusing to us.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
     (4794.3)
    ok.. I just turned on the local news and they're showing Obama getting into The Beast (seriously? the car is called The Beast?)... and the co-anchors started joking about how they'll follow the motorcade all morning long and the male anchorman actually made the joke "we'll follow him like OJ in the Bronco"....

    ....

    ....

    which i know is just meant to be funny, but um... maybe just a little inappropriate?
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      CommentAuthorLBA
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
     (4794.4)
    At least the car isn't called "The Smiler"
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      CommentAuthorSlick
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009 edited
     (4794.6)
    We who are about to get drunk salute you

    Kebab creator dies
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    DIY DNA: One Father's Attempt to Hack His Daughter's Genetic Code
    Nobody can say for sure what lies ahead for Beatrice, because no one really knows what's wrong with her. Hugh has taken her to see some of the nation's finest medical experts in hopes of finding a diagnosis, but the doctors have all been baffled by the girl's strange array of symptoms. This has left her in a sort of diagnostic purgatory, making her illness all the more fearsome and traumatic.

    Families facing this kind of medical uncertainty are often paralyzed by their distress. But rather than give in to his anguish, Hugh Rienhoff made an extraordinary decision: He would dig into Beatrice's genetic code and find the answer himself. A biotechnology consultant by day, Rienhoff has been an avid student of clinical genetics since he earned his medical degree nearly 30 years ago. Now he has used this expertise to transform his Bay Area home into a makeshift genetics lab. Surrounded by his children's artwork and bookshelves loaded with his wife's political literature, Rienhoff set about sequencing a number of Beatrice's genes, preparing samples using secondhand equipment and turning to public databases to interpret the results.
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    Girls Have The Edge In New Technologies, New Report Reveals
    The survey found that 94 per cent of the girls said that they used a computer or laptop compared with only 88 per cent of the boys. It also found that 50 per cent of children chose their mothers to help them to use new technologies, versus 22 per cent, which chose their fathers.

    “What is clear from these results is that mothers are taking the lead,” said Professor Pine. “Overall, mothers are more likely to engage with their children using new technologies especially when it comes to formal learning or research. The mothers were also the most experienced and capable computer and Internet users.”
  4.  (4794.9)
    Web grief: Funeral webcasts gain in popularity
    Schoedinger in central Ohio is offering live Web streaming and archived online video for use by military personnel overseas and others who can't be present for a loved one's funeral.

    It's a way for mourners to take part in the experience without the time and expense of a long-distance trip, especially one arranged on short notice.

    "This just allows people to share in the grief and share in the grief experience with everyone," said company President Michael Schoedinger.

    The family organizing the funeral controls who has access to the private Web site used for broadcasting. The company offers the service for free but eventually may charge a fee to cover its costs, Schoedinger said.

    Funeral directors say better technology and cheaper equipment have prompted more funeral homes to offer webcasting and videotaping services nationwide.
  5.  (4794.10)
    Microbot Motors Fit To Swim Human Arteries
    A research paper, published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, details how researchers are harnessing piezoelectricity, the energy force most commonly used to trigger-start a gas stove, to produce microbot motors just 250 micrometres, a quarter of a millimetre, wide.
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    Give your brain an electric shock, learn stuff faster
    The new paper targets an area of the brain known as the primary motor cortex, which helps control muscle movements. The authors focused on a learning task, one they describe as similar in principle to the process we go through when we learn a new sport. Subjects were given a device that measured the pressure applied between the thumb and forefinger, and asked to use it to maneuver a cursor through an on-screen obstacle course. One group of subjects received a current; the controls had electrodes attached, but received no current. The subjects were asked to come in for five consecutive days to repeat the process so that researchers could track how their skill improved.
  8.  (4794.13)
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
     (4794.14)
    The Pundits Who Had Not A Clue Two Years Ago
    On this historic day, I thought it would be instructive to look back on just how wrong some of the pundits were when Barack Obama (D) launched his bid for the presidency two years ago, including the embarrassing remark by an esteemed member of the self-described "Best Political Team on Television" (CNN):


    Fujitsu offers world’s first waterproof cell phone with intergrated fingerprint security system At last...

    Ugly-ass baby rhino is so ugly-ass that it's abandoned by its own mother
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    Mexico police chief's head found in ice box
    The incident came as 16 other people were also killed in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua in attacks the authorities believe are linked to the country's drug wars.

    "Hitmen cut off commander Martin Castro's head and left it in an ice cooler in front of the local police station," said a statement issued by the state justice authorities.

    His head was left in the town Praxedis with a message from the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

    The police commander was abducted on Saturday, along with five other police officers and a civilian, only five days after starting his job.

    Six bodies in police uniforms bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds were found on Monday in a street in the state capital, Chihuahua, officials said.
  11.  (4794.17)
    Origins of British Black squirrel discovered
    It was thought that British black squirrels, that appear to be more aggressive than the greys, were a mutant produced by two grey squirrels mating.

    However scientists looking at the growing population in the eastern counties have found that the black squirrels are in fact an introduced subgroup that escaped from a menagerie of exotic animals in the east of England more than 100 years ago.

    The first wild black squirrel was spotted in 1912 outside Letchworth in Hertfordshire and has been spreading throughout the area since.

    Dr Alison Thomas, a professor of life sciences of Anglia Ruskin University, conducted a number of genetic tests to work out the background of the new squirrel.

    She found that the DNA was exactly the same as black squirrels found in the US.
  12.  (4794.18)
    China hit by fourth bird flu case
    A 16-year-old man, named only as Wu, became the fourth reported victim in two weeks. The Health ministry said he had fallen ill in Guizhou on January 8 and was then transferred to a hospital in the neighbouring province of Hunan. He has since died.

    Two of the other victims, a 27-year-old woman in Shandong province and a 19-year-old woman in Beijing, also died. The third, a two-year-old girl in Shanxi province, is critically ill. Her mother, meanwhile, has died from kidney failure but has not been confirmed with the H5N1 virus.

    There is a growing sense of panic ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays, which begin this weekend, as hundreds of millions of people migrate home to visit their families. Duck and chicken are both traditional dishes to celebrate the holiday.
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      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009 edited
     (4794.19)
    Black Death outbreak kills 40+ in Algerian al-Qaeda training camp
    Keep your mind in the Middle Ages and your body will follow.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009 edited
     (4794.20)

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