July 23, 2010

They’ve Gone Squirrely

It's not enough for BrewDog to make the world's strongest beer (55% APV), but to serve it up in Squirrels is a novel idea. (PETA will hate it, of course.)

The End of History from BrewDog on Vimeo

Posted By: Nethie - Fri Jul 23, 2010 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Food, World Records, Alcohol

Weird Science – Yet More Robots

In a strange case of the left manipulator not knowing what the right manipulator is doing, here are two more robots that I somehow managed to miss off yesterday’s post.

First up is the obvious and long overdue companion to yesterday’s beer fetching robots; a robot that can flip pancakes. Obviously there have been automated pancake makers around for a while now, but this robot from the Italian Institute of technology has learnt how to flip a good pancake by seeing how humans do it. Please, Dr. Kormushev, teach it to fry bacon next (Vimeo).



But if some groups are concentrating on robots that ply you with beer and pancakes, Autom’s mission in life is to help you lose weight and live healthily. The brainchild of Cory Kidd, who had the idea while at MIT, Autom first asks you for details of your diet, fitness and exercise regime, then it has daily 'conversations' with you during which it will dispense diet and exercise advice. Apparently a major insurance company intends to trial Autom in the US sometime next year, so we can all look forward to having one of these nag us each morning as a mandatory requirement of our health plan (Engadget).



Hmm, perhaps I could teach the pancake robot to flatten the annoying little thingamajig with its frying pan before making my breakfast stack?

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jul 23, 2010 - Comments (5)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Futurism, Health, Inventions, Robots, Technology

Daredevils

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If you downloaded a clip of yourself and five friends skateboarding on a highway south of Auckland the NZ police would like a word with you. Apparently passing a truck while doing 60 mph on a skateboard is frowned upon there.

Posted By: patty - Fri Jul 23, 2010 - Comments (6)
Category:

Chatanooga Hookers Meet Rival Team!

image
Longtime WU-vies will certainly recall the legendary ugliness of the Chatanooga Hookers. Well, Chuck Shepherd's home state of Florida now puts in a rival bid.

See article and larger photos here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 23, 2010 - Comments (25)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Regionalism

July 22, 2010

Vermontasaurus


Vermontasaurus, that is what people are calling the huge scrap wood sculpture Brian Boland built on a whim. At least those who like it anyway. Others want it torn down and state and local government entities want him to pay for a bunch of permits. Don't know how long it'll be there so enjoy this glimpse of the oddity brought to us by danny53. Thanks Dan.

Posted By: patty - Thu Jul 22, 2010 - Comments (8)
Category:

Weird Science – Invention Is The Mother Of Necessity

Build a better mousetrap, it is said, and the world will beat a path to your door. The implication being that there are some problems which are just crying out for a solution. And then there are the solutions crying out for a problem - those inventions that, while inspired, are just a tad “out there”. It is this later category I shall be celebrating today.

First up, how clean is your cow? This age old problem has nagged at the minds of farmers down the ages, are their cows clean enough? And why isn’t there an easier way to clean cows? Well these merchants of the soil need worry no more thanks to a Swedish company that has developed the fully automated “cow wash”. Supposedly improving the health and yield of cows that use it, the cow wash uses a free swinging revolving brush to groom the cows while simultaneously stimulating their circulation. Apparently the cows enjoy using it and the makers DeLaval have sold over 30,000 in Sweden alone (Daily Mail).

Bigwigs in the US military will also soon be able to sleep sounder in the knowledge that the men under their command are safely in their underpants. We’re not just talking about any undies though, these have been specially designed by University of California professor Joseph Wang. Not only will his techno-trunks monitor the vitals of the personnel wearing them, they can even administer painkillers or antibiotics as the situation demands (Post Chronicle).

And if your pants don’t save you, at least your modesty will be preserved when you are taken to hospital, all thanks to the University of Montreal. For it is from that fine establishment’s School of Industrial Design that our next invention hails, a hospital gown that isn’t quite so revealing. The DUO gown is the brainchild of Noemie Marquis and Denyse Roy and consists of two overlapping panels, front and back, that is easy to put on and requires no fasteners making life simpler for both patients and staff (Medical News Today).

Meanwhile British scientists have been working on an altogether sterner cover. Nicknamed “bullet-proof custard” by its inventors, Bristol based BAE systems have developed a liquid armour consisting of layers of Kevlar combined with a secret “shear-thickening” liquid that hardens as force is applied. The company’s eventual aim is to produce lighter, more-flexible body armour for the military (BBC News).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Thu Jul 22, 2010 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Farming, Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Futurism, Hospitals, Inventions, Robots, Science, Technology, Underwear

Bunny Crossing

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Greyhound are taught to chase a mechanical rabbit to get them to race. So what happens if a real bunny crosses the track? All bettors get their money back, that's what.

Posted By: patty - Thu Jul 22, 2010 - Comments (6)
Category:

The Fang

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 22, 2010 - Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Music, 1950's

July 21, 2010

Whale Of A Tale


A boat sailing off the coast of South Africa was all but destroyed when a 30ft long whale jumped on the deck. Read the story and see some amazing pictures at the link.

Update: Many thanks to Nethie for the smaller version of the whale picture she made for me to post. Thanks also to Dumbfounded for the one he posted in comments.

Posted By: patty - Wed Jul 21, 2010 - Comments (6)
Category:

Mind Your Manners

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 21, 2010 - Comments (4)
Category: Customs, Teenagers, 1950's

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Alex Boese
Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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