Week commencing 06.12.04

Sperm count
Men who use laptop computers could be unwittingly damaging their fertility, experts believe. Balancing it on the lap increases the temperature of the scrotum which is known to have a negative effect on sperm production, researchers found.

Coupled with the rising popularity of these computers – about 150m people use them worldwide – much more research is needed say the US authors. The State University of New York findings appear in Human Reproduction.

If that is not a good reason not to work on the train, I don’t know what is

Coffee beer
A London brewery has started producing beer brewed from Rwandan coffee beans. The beer, which has a 4% alcohol content, is targeted at adult drinkers as a cappucino drink or as a digestif.

Meantime Brewery uses Fairtrade Arabica coffee beans, grown by the Maraba Co-operative in Butare Province. Coffee is one of Rwanda’s major exports. The Rwandan coffee had the right mix of flavours for the beer, Meantime owner Alastair Hook told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

Beer in the morning? That is a bit strong. “I will have cereal, some toast and a beer please”

No nighties, we’re British
Britons are throwing off dowdy nighties and dusty pyjamas in search of some serious style in the bedroom, a study has suggested. Just a third value good-old comfort over style, and most are willing to pay for that – with just 7% going for price over looking good.

A huge chunk of the population are still wedded to pyjamas – the survey for Mintel suggested. But the trend is towards glamour, with rampant growth in the negligee market. Although it makes up just 4% of nightwear sold, the negligee sector has seen the fastest increase during the past five years.

It is good to see that negligees are ‘on the rise’ across Britain

Computer force
A team of US researchers has shown that controlling devices with the brain is a step closer. Four people, two of them partly paralysed wheelchair users, successfully moved a computer cursor while wearing a cap with 64 electrodes.

Previous research has shown that monkeys can control a computer with electrodes implanted into their brain. The New York team reported their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Why is it that anytime they want to prove how simple something is, or show simple actions, they always use monkeys and computers.

Do they not call these Jedi powers.

Kung Fu basketball
China has banned a “blasphemous” Nike advert in which a US basketball star defeats a cartoon kung-fu master, saying it offends national dignity. The ad shows LeBron James battling the martial arts expert and a pair of dragons, in a video game-style setting.

The media regulator said it breached rules on upholding “national dignity” and failed to respect China’s culture. The Communist government has been sensitive about the use of Chinese cultural symbols by the West. The ad, called Chamber of Fear starring the NBA’s James, was broadcast on Chinese television before being pulled last month, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A little sensitive maybe, but if they are offended, then they had rights to pull it. I wonder whether  their human rights, and civil liberties record also offends them.

Mr President
Hamid Karzai has been sworn in as Afghanistan’s first directly elected president amid tight security at the former royal palace in Kabul. Mr Karzai, who has led the country since the overthrow of the Taleban in 2001, was elected in October.

Among the 150 guests at the ceremony were US Vice-President Dick Cheney and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

When they say elected, some might  consider it a little too coincidental that Mr Karzai studied in the united states, was harboured by the united states and is a strong advocate for the united state. It is not so much an election, as it is a coo.

Devil Clause
Church leaders in York say the Christmas display at one of the city’s tourist attractions could expose children to “evil forces”.

Instead of the usual Father Christmas, visitors to Satan’s Grotto at York Dungeon are greeted by a man dressed as the Devil with a red face and horns. As well as meeting the alternative Santa, visitors to the grotto are handed “gifts” such as severed fingers, and can write on a scroll to sign their souls away.

I have no problem with them having the Devil as Santa, but I have to say that even I would be a little unsure about signing my soul away, even in jest.

Action man saved
An Action Man sparked a major rescue operation after it was mistaken for a parachutist landing in the sea. Coastguards were called after 999 calls reported seeing a sky diver fall into the sea a quarter of a mile out to sea off Hastings, East Sussex, on Sunday.

Lifeboat crews found the “parachutist” floating in the water and discovered it was a toy tied to some helium balloons. A coastguard spokesman said a child must have tied the figure to the balloons and it had drifted off.

How could they not see that it was a toy? Did they think that it was just a very very small man.

A material made from the vegetarian food tofu could help repair broken bones and teeth, UK scientists believe. The de-fatted soybean curd would act like polyfiller to fill in defects.

It has the added advantage of encouraging new bone to grow as it biodegrades and releases natural anti-inflammatory agents. Inventor Dr Matteo Santin of Brighton University has teamed up with experts from the University of Naples and WessexBio to develop the material.

Well I guess it has to be good for something, because eating it sure is not its primary function

The sting
A group of gamblers who won more than £1m at the Ritz Casino by using laser technology have been told by police they can keep their winnings. The trio – a Hungarian woman and two Serbian men – were arrested in March but police have apparently decided that they did not break the law.

A laser scanner linked to a computer was allegedly used to gauge numbers likely to come up on the roulette wheel. But police said the case had now been closed, with no charges brought.

The gamblers managed to earn £1.3m in winnings thanks to the alleged “sting”. On the first night they won £100,000 and on the second took home another £1.2 m, the Sunday Times reported.

Everyone should do this, I wish that I had thought about if first. It is the modern day Sting, Ocean’s three. It is always good when the little fellow wins once in a while

~ by jeditopcat on 8 November, 2008.

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