Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Birds set migration record: 40,000 miles – Science – MSNBC.com

Sooty shearwaters may not look like much, but when it comes to travel they put marathoners, cyclistssootyshearwater.jpg and pretty much everyone else to shame…

These gray, 16-inch birds cover 40,000 miles annually in search of food, the longest migration ever recorded electronically, according to a report in this week’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The birds, which can have a wingspan of 43 inches (1.1 meters), followed a figure-eight circuit over the Pacific Ocean. They ranged north to the Bering Sea, south to Antarctica, east to Chile, and west to Japan and New Zealand, covering more than 40,000 miles in 200 days…

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Hospitals With Room Service?

Feel like watching a movie? Need an extra blanket or some food? For years, guests at hotels have gotten these amenities with a phone call or a few clicks of the TV remote.

Now this instant gratification is available to patients in hospitals across the nation through interactive television, high-speed Internet and other comfort-oriented perks designed to make them feel like hotel guests.

LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. has installed interactive TV systems in 10 hospitals in New Jersey, Missouri, Alabama, Washington state, Texas and South Dakota, and has contracts with twice that many,

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Thomas The Train Fan Takes A Ride


A five-year-old boy took a 60-mile train ride because he wanted a real-life Thomas the Tank adventure.

Ben Ford was walking down the road ahead of his mum and dad when he disappeared. He walked alone for half a mile and jumped on a train. He got off at Taunton in Somerset – 60 miles from his home in Teignmouth, Devon. Two girls spotted him in a car park and alerted police.

According to the Mirror Dad David said: “Ben is [nuts] about trains and Thomas the Tank Engine so he probably thought he was in the middle of some kind of Thomas adventure. It is still quite a long way to the station for a lad of his age and he had to cross major roads and go all the way to the bottom of town. Ben clearly wanted an adventure but he gave us all a huge fright.”

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Crook Lesson: Don’t Broadcast Your Holdup


A Brazilian DJ was robbed while broadcasting his daily radio show. Tiago Amorin da Silva, from Alto Paraná, was talking live on Verde e Rosa radio station at 2 am, when two men broke into the studio and demanded money. The thieves failed to realise that the robbery was being broadcast live and over 100 listeners called the police.

Police spokesperson said: “It was really fantastic that the DJs fans called us. The robbers didnt realise what was going on and we were able to surprise them and control the situation.”

The robbers were arrested by police.

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Museum Waalsdorp: Air Acoustics

sounddetectionparabol.gifIn the 1930’s, before the development of radar, early warning detection of the approach of enemy aircraft was haphazard at best and propposals were made for setting up listening locations distributed over a wide area. The unaided ear proved inadequate to the task and so some sort passive listening devices with better capabilities than the ear were needed to trace the sound of incoming airplanes. The general idea was “the bigger the ear, the better” and some strange looking devices were developed. Here’s one example.

Starting about 1930 different versions were tested and it appeared that a miniature version of  parabolic reflectors (left) produced the best results, among other things because these preserved the “sound image” best. According to a report from 1935 a number of these devices were produced.

More at Museum Waalsdorp: Air Acoustics

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