Big News of the Day

Discussion about anything! Films, music, sport etc...

We've been linked!

Postby Nefer » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:11 pm

Had to post this up, as it certainly is the big news of the day!!

Wilbur Smith, the Bwana Himself, has linked us (ie this website) to his site!

http://www.wilbursmithbooks.com/links/index.html

Reply to this message to show your elation!

Go Matt!!! :D:D
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Postby John R » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:31 pm

:shock: :eek:

:D :razz:

Fantastic news
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Postby Bee » Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:07 pm

Neferk told me about this (because I haven't been around in a while). This is awesome news it's almost as if we could literally meet WS in person... I'm totally excited about it!
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Postby Yakumo » Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:49 pm

\:D/
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Seriously Gross

Postby Nefer » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:30 am

Airlines ban 'foul' Swedish fish
By Lars Bevanger
BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4867024.stm
Sweden's national dish is an acquired taste, to say the least.

Some say surstromming, a fermented herring, smells like garbage left out in the sun for days.

But now the fish has been banned from several major airlines, classified along with dangerous weapons like shoe bombs and firearms.

The Baltic herring is fermented in barrels for months before being put in tin cans, where the fermentation process continues.

The decision has made many Swedes very angry indeed.

Surstromming is as Swedish as Volvo and Ikea.

Some say it is simply rotten fish, which smells like rotten fish. Others argue it is the finest of delicacies.

National symbol


But now major airlines like British Airways and Air France argue the cans are pressurised goods, and must be classified as potentially explosive.

The dish is no longer allowed on their flights, and the sale of the delicacy from Stockholm's international airport has been stopped.

That has made producers of the surstromming choke on their fermented fish, calling the airlines' decision "culturally illiterate".

It is a myth, they say, that the tinned fish can explode.

They admit, however, that a punctured tin would emit a foul smell, and that the content might spill quite forcefully, like a punctured can of beer.

But that is not enough to stop the export of a potent national symbol, the herring supporters argue.

The leader of the Swedish Surstromming Academy, an organisation promoting the dish nationally and internationally, said any airline worried about explosives and foul smells should first ban bottles of champagne and French cheese before attacking the pride of the Swedish cuisine.
"If I ever ask anything of you it would be to please consider life with an open mind and respect the opinions and wishes of others as long as they bring no harm to you and as long as you bring no harm or corruption to others."
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Fat brains make you smart!?

Postby Nefer » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:44 pm

Smart brains 'grow differently'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4856642.stm
Clever people outsmart their peers not because they have more grey matter but because part of their brain develops differently, a Nature study suggests.

The US National Institute of Mental Health used scans to study development of the cortex, which is responsible for thinking, in 307 children.

They found smarter youngsters tended to have a thin cortex aged seven, but this thickened rapidly by the age of 12.

Average children had an initially thick cortex which peaked in size aged eight.

In both cases, the cortex thinned after reaching this peak but this was more gradual in children of average IQ as their cortex had reached peak thickness at an earlier age.

The researchers believe the extended period of thickening during the early years of the brighter children may give the brain more time to develop high-level thinking circuitry.

Then, the rapid thinning out of the cortex later on may be due to withering of unused neural connections as the brain streamlines its operations.

Researcher Dr Elias Zerhouni said: "Studies of brains have taught us that people with higher IQs do not have larger brains.

"Thanks to brain imaging technology, we can now see that the difference may be in the way the brain develops."

Long-term study

Dr Judith Rapoport, who also worked on the study, said: "Brainy children are not cleverer solely by virtue of having more or less grey matter at any one age.

"Rather, IQ is related to the dynamics of cortex maturation."

The researchers are now searching for genetic variations which might be linked to differential brain maturation rates.

In a commentary piece on the study, Professor Richard Passingham, of the University of Oxford, said variations in general intelligence were thought to depend to a great extent on genetic differences.

"It is tempting to assume that this developmental change in brain structure is determined by a person's genes," he said.

"But one should be very wary of such a conclusion. The body's development is intimately linked to interactions with its environment.

"It could be that people with superior intelligence also live in a richer social and linguistic environment, and that it is this that accounts for the sharp increase in the thickness of their prefrontal cortex in late childhood."
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Postby Nefer » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:46 pm

Just another reminder that this thread is open to ALL big news of the day from around the world, so please feel free to post whatever tickles your fancy here!
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Urgh...

Postby Nefer » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:31 pm

I'm not posting the pictures that go with the story as they are really grossing me out & I haven't had my breakfast yet... But read this for a clue to our fav. philosopher/mathematician slave...

Yummy mummy feeds young its skin
By Rebecca Morelle
BBC News science reporter

An international group of scientists has described an animal that provides nutrition for its young by letting them peel off and eat its skin.

The worm-like amphibian develops a nutritious outer layer of skin, and looks "relaxed" while its young rips it off with their teeth.

The researchers say this kind of parenting has never been seen before in land-living animals.

The discovery is reported in a paper in the journal Nature.

Tasty skin


The Boulengerula taitanus (bold my own) is found in the Taita Hills of south-eastern Kenya. It lives underground and can grow up to 30cm (12in) in length. Adults have two rows of pointed teeth and feed on termites and insects.

The species was first identified in 1935, but its remarkable parenting methods have up until now remained undescribed.

An international scientific team carried out an expedition to Kenya to study the creature. The group collected some of the amphibians and set up videos to record their behaviour.

"The young are hatching out of eggs but they are not very well developed," explained Dr Alexander Kupfer, an author on the paper and a zoologist from the Natural History Museum, UK.

"They have very milky teeth and with these they rip off the mother's skin; but the mother seems very relaxed - not moving at all."

The skin of female B. taitanus becomes thicker and more nutrient-rich when she bears offspring and the young have specialised teeth for tearing and removing it.

A precursor

The B. taitanus belongs to the group of amphibians called caecilians.

While the B. taitanus young hatch out of eggs, a high percentage of species give birth to live young.

In live-bearing caecilians, the foetuses feed on the womb-like oviduct of their mothers.

Because they do this using similarly shaped teeth to the B. taitanus, the scientists believe that B. taitanus may be an evolutionary precursor to live-bearing caecilians.

Dr Mark Wilkinson, who participated in the research and is also a scientist at the Natural history Museum, commented that B. taitanus might shed light on other feeding relationships between mother and child.

"You can draw parallels between skin feeding in these creatures and lactation in mammals, so studying how this form of parenting evolved might shed light on how parenting developed in mammals."
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Postby Rivaan » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:10 am

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Postby Kate4Tanus » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:48 am

Oh My God! How freakily interesting!! That is so gross, though!
'You were ever more than a tutor to me,' Memnon answered softly. 'You where the father I never knew.'
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Postby i_heart_nefie » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:38 am

eww.........pretty cool though
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I love surveys!

Postby Nefer » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:56 pm

All I ask is why Canada was left out of this all important survey?


'US 'biggest global peace threat'
l
The Iraq war continues to damage the US image, the survey says
People in European and Muslim countries see US policy in Iraq as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran's nuclear programme, a survey has shown.

The survey by the Pew Research Group also found support for US President George W Bush and his "war on terror" had dropped dramatically worldwide.

Goodwill created by US aid for nations hit by the 2004 tsunami had also faded since last year, the survey found.

The survey questioned 17,000 people in 15 countries, including the US.

The latest in a series of annual polls by the Pew Global Attitudes Project interviewed respondents between 31 March and 14 May 2006.

Its release coincides with a surprise visit by President George W Bush to Baghdad in an effort to shore up support for US policy in the region.

'Fading goodwill'

The latest survey shows the worldwide reputation of the US continues to suffer over its prosecution of the "war on terror".

Sharp declines in the public perception of the US were particularly apparent in India, Spain and Turkey.

Goodwill towards the US had fallen from 71% to 56% in India, from 41% to 23% in Spain and from 23% to 12% in Turkey.

A majority of people in 10 of the 14 countries outside the US surveyed said the war in Iraq had made the world a more dangerous place.

Some 60% of people in the UK, which is the US biggest ally, felt the Iraq war had made the world less secure, while some 30% said it had made the world safer.

According to the survey:

* Worldwide support for the "war on terror" has remained the same or declined
* European confidence in Mr Bush has sunk even lower than it was last year
* A majority of people in most countries feel the US will not achieve its goals in the "war on terror"

The survey also found little remaining evidence of the goodwill the US had earned over its aid for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In Indonesia, a major recipient of US tsunami aid, favourable opinions of the US had fallen from 38% in 2005 to 30% this year.

"Last year we saw some good news in countries like Russia and India," Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Centre, told the Associated Press news agency.

"That good news being wiped away is a measure of how difficult a problem this is for the United States."

Muslim differences

According to the survey, people in the US and Europe have grown increasingly concerned in the last year over Iran's nuclear programme.

The US has accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb - but Iran says its nuclear programme has a purely civilian objective.

Almost half of the Americans surveyed, 46%, viewed the current government in Iran as a "great danger" to stability in the Middle East and to world peace - a figure that has risen from 26% in 2003.

In Germany, Spain, France and the UK, the percentage of people who regard Iran as a great danger is roughly three times greater than it was three years ago.

However, the poll showed public opinion in predominantly Muslim countries was far less troubled by Tehran's nuclear programme.

Muslim people also appeared less concerned than Europeans and Americans by the victory of the Hamas militant group in Palestinian elections earlier this year.

The survey found concern over bird flu was largely confined to Asia, while two-thirds of people surveyed in each country said they were worried by global warming.

Concern over the greenhouse effect was highest in India and Japan and lowest in the US and China.

The survey interviewed people in China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the US.

Its margin of error was two to six percentage points.
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This looks expensive?

Postby Yakumo » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:10 pm

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Racism

Postby Nefer » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:48 pm

I read this a few days ago, thought it would be of interest here.

See gora, will salaam

Samrat

August 30, 2006

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1781240,00120003.htm
It's hardly news that a lot of White people look on other ethnic groups with suspicion and derision. Those prejudices, nurtured over hundreds of years, can't disappear in 60 years. If it were so easy to get rid of ingrained prejudices, today's India wouldn't have caste.

Racism, like casteism, continues to exist. It's perhaps less blatant than it used to be. No one throws Black and Brown people out of train compartments any more. But it's still there. To understand how true this is, look at the only honest means of communication in these politically correct times: jokes.

The only 'terrorist' jokes on the web are about Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and George W Bush. If you're Dean Jones, you might find all of them hilarious. If you're Hashim Amla, you might not laugh as much. Amla, after all, has just been called a terrorist by Jones, because he is a Muslim and sports a beard. The average firang seems to associate Brown skin, beards and turbans with Osama, which is why Sikhs were also attacked in the US in the aftermath of 9/11.

Of course, Sikhs have been attacked here in Delhi as well. And Muslims were targets in Gujarat. After the rise of global terrorism, suspicion towards Muslims is on the rise in India as well. Since there is no clear difference in skin colour between a Hindu Indian and a Muslim Indian, the issue here is 'communalism' rather than 'racism'.

This is not to say we do not practise racism as well. Discrimination on the basis of appearance and skin colour in India perhaps exceeds that in Western Europe. Black and Mongoloid populations, including those from India - like the Siddhis of Gujarat and the peoples of the North-east - have to deal with discrimination everywhere in 'mainland' India. They are called 'kalu' and 'chinky' by millions of clods in this country. The same clods are immediately respectful if they see a White man or woman. Everyone speaks in a different tone to the White person - not the brusque, suspicious one they use for all but the rich among their countrymen. The rich inhabit a protected world of their own where geography hardly matters. The Raj may have ended, but then, it may not have either.

The generation before us was truly bilingual, but increasingly, we are becoming monolingual. If you live in a posh colony in India, just walk up to children in the park and listen to the language of their play. It's probably English. Their cultural references come from the West. They are more confident of being Indian than the previous generation - the country is doing better - but their touch with the realities of this country is tenuous at best.

These 'coconuts' (brown outside and white inside) are most amazed when they are subjected to racism in the West. After all, they are quite Western themselves. But the fact of the matter is that they are nowhere people.

One bomb plot involving people with skin like theirs is all it takes to prove this to them.
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Croc Hunter

Postby i_heart_nefie » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:48 am

guys I'm really sad, has anyone heard about Steve Irwin yet?
He died today and it's sad because he was an Aussie icon, and I'm sure he'll be greatly missed

Check this out:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/ ... 7222051494
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Postby Nefer » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:09 pm

My sister mentioned it but I thought she was joking!

I really admired him - he did so much for animal conservation. :(
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Postby Casedata » Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:22 pm

I just watched a news piece from a zoo in the south US. They said most of their young workers had come from college and had been inspired by Steve's charisma and passion. He will be greatly missed in the world.
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Postby John R » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:23 am

Yeah i used to love watching him in action! The news is quite big here in Wales.
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Postby Casedata » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:50 pm

I just hope the film footage never makes it to the internet. I hate that when pictures and clips get posted just for the thrill of it. I read he will get a state funeral. Anyone else heard that?
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Postby Phils_jd » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:57 pm

I must adnit Im a bit surprised about how well known he is around the World
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