Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Brits find “Revolution in Transport” to be revolting

It was supposed to launch a revolution in personal transport but has been stopped in its tracks by a strict interpretation of a 170-year-old law. The British government has declared that the Segway Human Transporter — a $5,000 self-balancing scooter — cannot be used in any public place.

The scooter, which has been described unkindly as a pogo stick on wheels, arrived with great fanfare in 2001. Dean Kamen, its American inventor, suggested that it would be the solution to all transport woes. Queues of exhaust-belching cars would soon be replaced by squadrons of Segway riders gliding silently along at 12 mph.

Kamen said then that it “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.”


August 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Brits find “Revolution in Transport” to be revolting

Don’t I know you?

Reuters via Yahoo! News
A German woman who was held up and robbed in her Berlin apartment earlier this month was astonished to see the thief waiting to board her flight from Antalya in Turkey to the German capital, police said Tuesday. The 37-year-old woman telephoned her husband who alerted the authorities, police spokesman Joerg Kunzendorf said.

When the flight arrived at Berlin’s Schoenefeld airport late Sunday, police arrested the 25-year-old man, who was wanted in connection with several other robberies.

August 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t I know you?

Some days nothing goes right.

Reuters via Yahoo! News

A would-be robber was arrested after he tried to hold up his local town hall, mistaking it for a bank, Austrian police said Wednesday. Wearing a mask and waving a toy pistol, the unemployed man burst into the town hall in the village of Poggersdorf, southern Austria, and shouted: “Hold-up, hold-up!”…

He realized his mistake when an employee explained to him where he was, police said in a statement, adding he fled to a nearby wood.

The 34-year-old man was arrested when he came back later to pick up his motorbike which he had parked outside the town hall.

August 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Some days nothing goes right.

Well, he had this new camera, see, and….


…Chris Gillett took a digital photo of every breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack he consumed in 2005. In total he had 2,550 images and put them in a 16ft collage, titled 2005, at his local gallery in Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts. Chris developed the idea after sending his wife a snap of a burger he ate in LA.

According to The Sun he said: “I thought it would be fun to do a whole year and capture all the memories associated with food.”

August 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Well, he had this new camera, see, and….

Moo y’all

Phonetics experts have backed up dairy farmers’ claims that cows moo with regional accents. Dairy farmers in Somerset noticed a local twang to the sounds made by their animals, reports the Guardian.

John Wells, Professor of Phonetics at the University of London, said: “This phenomena is well attested in birds. You find distinct chirping accents in the same species around the country. This could also be true of cows. In small populations such as herds you would encounter identifiable dialectical variations which are most affected by the immediate peer group.”

The phenomenon was noticed by members of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group, who put it down to the close bond between farmer and cow. The group has also noted similar accent shifts in Midlands, Essex, Norfolk and Lancashire moos.

Farmer Lloyd Green of Glastonbury said: “I spend a lot of time with my ones and they definitely moo with a Somerset drawl.”

August 23, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Buddied up spiders—now there’s a thought.

spiders.jpgNew Scientist
Spiders are not famous for their caring, sharing nature. Unlike insects such as ants, it is virtually unheard of for arachnids to live in societies that employ tactics and team work. So the discovery in Ecuador of spiders nesting in family-based communities and hunting in packs was a surprise find for Leticia Avilés, an arachnid expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

According to Avilés, there are over 39,000 identified spider species. While she has seen just over 20 species cooperate, she has never encountered any species quite like Theridion nigroannulatum. The spiders live in nests that house up to several thousand individuals which hunt by hanging threads from low lying leaves. They then hide upside down, beneath the leaves waiting for prey.

When an insect flies into the strands a group of spiders drop down and throw sticky webbing over it. To finish off the ambush they inject venom with their tiny jaws.

The spiders carry their kill back to the nest and share it with all of the others in the community. “It’s truly remarkable,” says Avilés. “Not only do the spiders cooperate during the kill, but if the prey is large they take turns carrying it back.”


August 23, 2006 Posted by | Odd signs, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buddied up spiders—now there’s a thought.