Saturday, July 30, 2005

From Thursday's News

From the Evening Standard:
Drew Barrymore was in London last night for the preview of her new film, The Perfect Catch. The film is based on the book Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby. In 1997, the book was turned into a film but this time, despite being based on the novel, the producer’s changed the plot, setting, and title. So, let me get this straight? It’s based on a book but nearly everything is changed? Basically, it’s a bunch of people with the same names running about in a different place doing different things?

Amidst all of the frenzied international search for the London bombers, it’s reassuring to know that Scotland Yard has found time to move from Paris back to England the crumpled Mercedes that Princess Diana was in when she was killed. The investigators ‘will focus on the steering gear, accelerator mechanism, brakes and wheels.’ They will be using new 3D technology to create a digital reconstruction of the accident. Ah yes, the car’s been sitting in Paris for eight years…now’s a perfect time to bring it back and devote time and resources to investigate.

From the Guardian:
Scientists at University College London have found out that most people blink about 15 times a minute, with each blink lasting an average of 100-150 milliseconds. This all adds up to a whopping nine days a year we spend blinking. So, the next time you find yourself with not enough time to accomplish tasks, just stop all that pesky blinking!

And, lest you think THAT finding is interesting, consider that scientists at the University of Arizona, Tucson, have studied caterpillars of two tiger moth species. They (the scientists, not the caterpillars) found that the tastebuds of caterpillars that are infected with certain parasites are more responsive to certain medicinal agents in certain plants. And if you think that’s something, just imagine how tough it was to teach those caterpillars to stick out their tongues and say, ‘Ahhhhh…….’

A certain Judith Chegwidden wrote to the ‘Ask Jack’ column in the insideIT column asking the following:
‘Can you suggest a way of minimising the number of chargers required on a business trip to China? One each for the laptop, phone, camera, PDA, and toothbrush? We used to pack clothes and shoes to travel. Now there is a tangled nest of wires, transformers and adapters.’

Jack’s answer:
‘I have survived so far by buying products that take standard AA cells or, if not, can be charged via a laptop’s USB port. Even then you still need a different cable for each device, so there’s not much saving.’

My answer:
‘Back in the olden days, we had toothbrushes that…and I’ll slow down here…did not require and cords or wires or transformers or adapters. That right there would reduce your packing by 20%.’


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