Nobel or IgNobel?

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Well, the winners of the Nobel Prize in Phisiology and Medicine has just been announced, but if the genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death doesn't float your boat, how about a mathematical formula for measuring the surface of an elephant, bellybutton lint and its study, or "The Effects Of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting On Reading Comprehension"? All of these were awarded IgNobels, a spoof prize honoring people whose achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced."

Funday Pawpet Show meets CARP

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We knew it was coming, but it's still a shock when it actually happens.

The CARP legislation hits the Funday Pawpet Show, extort... erm... requiring payment retroactively from their first broadcast -- 29 January 2001 through 31 August 2002.

In my opinion, CARP stinks to high heaven.

Using your Palm can help great apes

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Many regular computer users are aware of Careware, the less whiney, more charitable cousin of shareware, where a programer decides that they want you to donate money to their favorite charity in leu of profit.
Well, there's careware, and then there's careware. DateBk is a popular shareware Palm program, and when the programmer retired and sold out the company, he decided, hey, I don't need these hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit and royalties.Why not give it to various great ape preserves in Africa and and start my own foundation to help them here!

Dog decoder hit in Japan

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Technology helps up communicate, and now it's helping people understand their dogs better. Bowlingual uses a tiny microphone, attached to a dog collar, which transmits the sounds of the animal to a palm-sized console.

The sounds are sorted into six emotional categories: frustration, menace, joy, sorrow, demand and self-expression, and the console shows a phrase to fit the emotional state, such as "I am sad. I want to play" and "I am super angry. I am going to explode!". It's selling like hotcakes, but it's only avaiable in Japan. And don't worry about 'accents', Bowlingual is compatible with more than 50 dog breeds, from Chihuahuas to German Shepherds.

"Miracle mule" has baby foal

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Everyone knows the conventional wisdom. With 63 chromosomes from their horse and donkey parents, mules shouldn't be able to breed.
In fact, the owner of the Moroccian mule was so oblivious to the pregnancy, she rode her to market the day before the birth. The adorable tyke is one of only 3 confirmed mule births in the last quarter century.
Sure, it's no virgin shark, but it's still pretty neat.

And a glider shall lead them

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While this may sound like a sequel to the movie Fly Away Home, a hang-glider by the name of Angelo d'Arrigo is attempting to establish migratory routines for a population of captivity bred Siberian Cranes. These young birds have never been exposed to adult cranes and as such have no knowledge of the appropriate migration patterns. As part of a coordinated effort, this year Angelo is going to lead the birds over a 3,400 mile long migratory route that is hoped will imprint the appropriate information on the young cranes. As unusual as the project might seem, a Canadian-American team, working under the title of Operation Migration, has been carrying out similar projects involving Whooping Cranes since 1994.

Little Red Riding Hood - The Cannibalistic Stripper!!!

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Interesting how simple tales evolve over time - turning more innocent and G rated. Who would ever think that such a tale actually started as horrific as this:

"In the 16th century, French peasants told a tale that went something like this: Girl meets werewolf on her way to granny's house. Wolf beats her there and kills granny, shelving her flesh in the pantry and her blood in a bottle. Upon arrival, girl snacks on granny, then strips naked and slides into bed with wolf. As wolf's about to eat her, girl says she has to go to the bathroom. Wolf lets her outside. He asks, "Are you merding a load?" but girl's already gotten away." (Meadows, Susannah. Whos Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, Newsweek, 8/26/2002)

The book titled as "Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale" written by Catherine Orenstein takes you over the decades and shows you how we ended up with such an 'innocent' fairy tale. Frankly, this isn't the only story that started in such a way - allot of them did. If you're interested you can purchase it at amazon - I personally think its a great book!

Yet another negative publicity hit for the fandom.

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And no, I'm not talking about this comic. It's today's news. PVP (also known as Player vs Player) is a gaming oriented web comic strip, one that generally receives quite a bit of hits on a daily basis. Yesturday, Scott Kurtz had a negative strip for the fandom, from the character in his strip that is most known for being a close minded idiot. It was a very simple gag strip, that likely would have been shrugged off (see the fact that Dutch supported it) if it hadn't been for the reaction from fans. Judge for yourself and follow to see if the storyline continues at PVP Online.

Swansea Animation Days 2000

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CG animation conference, UK, 19-20th November

Swansea, UK is hosting an international animated computer graphics conference in November. Registration for the two day (19th and 20th November 2002) Swansea ANimation Days 2000 is free, hosted at the Taliesn Arts Centre on the Swanea Uni campus.

Talks cover both games and film, with speakers from academia and industry, including FrameStore, Dreamworks, Soho601, Codemasters.

Virgin Shark Gives Birth

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A female shark has been without male shark lovin' for some time, but can still lay viable eggs, which hatch 15 days later.

Escaped tiger killed by authorities

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mwalimu's hometown makes furry news headlines. Unfortunately the news is not good.

A tiger being transported escaped early this morning on the east side of Bloomington, Illinois, when its owners stopped at a local truck stop and tried to give it some exercise. Area residents were ordered to stay indoors while authorities tried to capture the animal. After four unsuccessful attempts to trank the animal, it was finally shot dead when it made aggressive moves toward conservation police officers in a pickup truck.

See story on Yahoo or in Bloomington's local newspaper, The Pantagraph

The Holy Cow Health Plan

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In Cambodia, folks are flocking to visit a brown cow thought to have miraculous healing powers. Flowers, incense and water are given to her as offerings and she then obliges by licking those who want her help. Her slobbery treatment is claimed to have restored mobility and cured a variety of sicknesses. Yahoo News have a few more details.

Giant Otter Mascot for SW England?

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A site reporting for the county of Devon (not far from where I live) in the SW of England report that plans are underway to erect a giant otter statue alongside one of the main highways into the region. The backers of the project are even taking design submissions for the figure. Read the whole article here.

That isn't a house cat scratching at the door.

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While the folks in Quitman, Arkansas may be somewhat accustomed to dogs and cats wandering around their property, stray lions are something else. Over the past week, residents there have found themselves in the position of having to shoot and kill four lions that have been roaming the neighboring woods. Steve Henning, the proprietor of a nearby exotic animal farm, has stated that the lions don't belong to him, and has declared that they may have been dumped by an owner who had tried to give them to him previously. As he cannot provide the local law enforcement officals with a name or address for this person, his neighbors aren't inclined to take him at his word.

Two ways to handle strays

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Stray dogs are a real problem on Koh Samet, an island off of Thailand, roaming the beaches and attacking tourists. Dog owners, whether visitors or residents, are being ordered to come in and get their canines photographed for a special 'dog passport' with the dog's date of birth, age, sex, species, ID number and the owner's name and address. A tag will be given out to be worn by the canine to inform any dog catcher of thier doggy passport. Any canine without one will be vacinated and deported onto the mainland.
On the other paw, shop owners in Penza, a city in Russia, are making the dogs work for them by luring them into their shops and painting them up as billboards. Logos of the shop and its goods are sprayed onto the sides of the dogs, who are then released as living adverts. Shops even capture 'rival' shop dogs and repaint them into their colours. Unfortunatly, spray painting dogs isn't illegal, and local vets can do nothing but decry the ethics.

From the Yerf Archive