Showing posts with label maggots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maggots. Show all posts

Friday, 10 July 2009

The French, Monkeys, Maggots and Chicken Dung

At last, something we are not the worst at:

Penny-pinching, rude and terrible at foreign languages: French people are the world's worst tourists according to a study of the global hotel industry released on Thursday

Carried out last month by TNS Infratest, the study asked 40,000 hotels worldwide to rank tourists from 27 countries based on nine criteria, from their politeness to their willingness to tip.
Clean and tidy, polite, quiet and uncomplaining, Japanese tourists came top of the crop for the third year running.

At the other end of the spectrum, French holidaymakers and business travellers were the least generous or ready to tip, and ranked next-to-last for their overall behaviour and politeness.
Pushy French travellers made amends on elegance -- classed third -- as well as for their discretion and cleanliness.

But the French were the least ready to try a new language, unlike US tourists who were most likely to swallow their pride and order a pizza, baguette or paella in the local lingo.
US tourists also got top marks for generosity -- as the biggest spenders and tippers -- but fell short on other counts as the least tidy, the loudest, the worst complainers, and the most badly dressed.

Despite clich├ęs about beer-guzzling hordes descending on Mediterranean resorts each summer, Britons came a surprise second for their overall behaviour, politeness, quietness and even elegance -- second for dress sense only to the Italians.
But the model Japanese were followed by Canadians as the least likely to whinge when a trip goes wrong.

France's rivals for the "worst tourist" tag, Spaniards and Greeks came near the bottom of the pack in almost every category.

Cest la vie.

Monkey see, monkey correct prefixes.

It seems that researchers have “discovered” that cotton-top tamarins are able to spot if the order of syllables in a word is "wrong".

They familiarised the monkeys with two-syllable terms, and recorded their reaction to words that were not consistent with that syllable pattern.

The team says the work illustrates how many animals use patterns that have become intrinsic to human language.

And this provides evidence of the "non-lingual" origin of certain aspects of language, the group told BBC News.

In the experiment, the monkeys were played a series of different words that all shared either the same first syllable or second syllable.

The idea was to investigate the origins of the prefixes and affixes used in many languages to indicate tense.

In English, for example, the past tense of a verb can be composed using the suffix "-ed" - "walk" becomes "walked".

Professor Hauser described how evident this innate ability is when a child learns language.
"As a child learns to use the past tense," he said, "they may generalise and use a suffix wrongly, but they will never generalise in the wrong direction.

"You never hear them say ed-walk instead of walked."

Of course you don’t because they are Human, not monkeys.

Fancy applying for a clinical trial?

Two hundred patients are being sought for a trial looking at how efficient maggots are at wound cleaning.

Cardiff University is teaming up with Bridgend-based ZooBiotic, the UK's only commercial producer of medicinal-quality larvae for the 12-month trial.

Eight hospitals across England and Wales will collaborate on the project.

Researchers will gather evidence over 12 months how effective maggots can be in speeding up healing and cutting the length of hospital stays.

Prof Keith Harding, head of Cardiff University's department of wound healing, said Wales was leading the way in this area of research.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that maggots are extremely successful in the speedy and effective cleaning of wounds and the year-long trial aims to translate that into hard evidence.

ZooBiotic spokeswoman Gill Davies said: "There is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence indicating that maggots are extremely effective in wound cleaning.

"The time has come for this to be backed by further clinical evidence, which is why, we, as a small business, are prepared to invest significantly in conducting this important UK-wide clinical trial.

"It has taken us more than a year to set the wheels in motion, clearing the protocol with regulatory bodies and ethics committees.

Nice, but hasn’t this been known about since Waterloo?

And finally:

What’s in a name?

A Chinese girl who was named Chicken Dung has had it legally changed now that she is an adult.

Zhu Xiansheng, the father of the girl, gave her the name on the advice of a doctor after she was ill as a baby and chicken manure was used to treat her.

She was named Ji Shi, which means Chicken Dung, but always hated the name, reports the Southwest Morning Post.

However, she was stuck with it until she was 18, the legal age for name changing in China, when she changed it to Yingzi.

"At last, she is no longer afraid to show anybody her ID card," said her father, of Lindong village, Fujian province.

Other “wonderful” children’s ‘names are:

Aanisah: Macy Gray (also mother to Tahmel)

Audio Science: Shannyn Sossamon

Diezel Ky: Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis (also parents to Denim Cole)

Fifi Trixibell: Bob Geldof and Paula Yates (also parents to Peaches and Pixie)

Moon Unit: Frank Zappa, also father to Dweezil and Diva Muffin

Moxie CrimeFighter: Penn Jillette (also father to Zolten)

And my favourite: Sage Moonblood: Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack (also parents to Seargeoh)


Angus Dei politico


Friday, 29 May 2009


Fancy a snack?

A former steel worker from East London has secured his place in the record books by moving 17kg of live maggots from one container to another - in his mouth.

Charlie Bell smashed the one-hour record for transporting maggots, but admitted afterwards that "It was disgusting".

The record-breaker told The Sun: "I've been practicing at home with rice for months, but until that day I'd never had a mouth full of maggots.

"I didn't realise that they would smell so revolting", he added. "It was like putting my head down a filthy public toilet. I was gagging and heaving violently but I was determined to do it."

Can you find Wally?

Friendly Aliens Ananova - UFO 'saved Earth' A Russian scientist has claimed that an alien spaceship sacrificed itself to prevent a gigantic meteor from destroying earth a century ago.
According to the Sun, Dr Yuri Labvin, head of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomenon Foundation, has found quartz slabs with strange markings that he thinks were part of a UFO control panel.

He made the discovery near the site of the so-called "Tunguska event" - a massive and so-far unexplained explosion that devastated more than 100 square miles of Siberian forest in June 1908.

Dr Labvin claims the slabs provide evidence that a spacecraft deliberately crashed into the meteor to prevent it slamming into Earth and wiping out life on the planet.

"We don't have any technologies that can print such kind of drawings on crystals," he explains. "We also found ferrum silicate that can not be produced anywhere, except in space."

However, Nick Pope, a British UFOlogist who has investigated sightings on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, remains unconvinced.

While previous explanations for the explosion include a comet strike or a piece of anti-matter, he told the paper, "This new theory is the strangest yet.

"We need an analysis of the quartz slabs to be able to prove this one way or another."

Shame they didn’t stick around.
Ananova - Books of few words Tim Collins, author of The Little Book Of Twitter, has transformed them into 140 characters, reports The Sun.

They include Shakespeare's Hamlet which becomes: 'Danish guy's mum marries his murdered father's brother. He sees his dad's ghost. Everyone dies. Fail.'

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, is rewritten as: 'Orphan given £££ by secret follower. He thinks it's @misshavisham but it turns out to be @magwitch.'

Wuthering Heights by Jane Austin becomes the pithy: 'Catherine Earnshaw marries Edgar Linton but really loves Heathcliff *sigh*.'

James Joyce's Ulysses is reduced to: 'Man walks around Dublin. We follow every minute detail of his day. He's probably overtweeting.'

Collins has also had a go at some modern best-sellers like Dan Brown's The Da Vince Code: 'Professor of symbology tries to solve a murder by following clues around touristy locations in Europe. Very few paragraphs are longer than tweets.'

And he cleverly manages to transform both Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice and Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary into the same 18 words.

They are: 'Woman meets man called Darcy who seems horrible. He turns out to be nice really. They get together.'

Here’s a book on politics:

Greedy bastards taking our money, no conscience, sack the lot.

More money than sense

A London couple travelled nearly 4,000 miles to the US state of Michigan adopt a cat.
Rose and Chris Rasmussen flew to Harrison to adopt Sparky the cat from the Clare County animal shelter, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The Rasmussens discovered Sparky on, a pet adoption website.
They could have had him shipped to the London suburb where they live, but instead decided to make the journey to adopt their new pet.

"He took me here on the other side of the Atlantic," Rose Rasmussen said. "I thought they would say, 'You guys are completely mad'."

Paperwork, a rabies vaccination, a six-month quarantine and other formalities followed before Sparky was cleared to depart for Britain.

Dave Gendregske, the animal control director for the county, said: "A lot of people would ask, 'Why come from England?' When people meet Sparky, find he has a dynamic personality, they fall in love with him."

I didn’t know there was a shortage of cats in the UK.
And finally:

Blooming marvellous

A stunning 100-year-old wisteria on a house in Dorset is attracting visitors from all over Britain.
Alison Halliday is celebrating a bumper crop of the flower covering her home in the village of Uploders, near Bridport.

With blossoms measuring four foot long, experts think they might be the biggest in the country.
The climbing plant is of such importance to the village as a whole that locals often gather when Alison prunes it - to ensure the job is done correctly.

Alison and her husband John run their four bedroom cottage, which they have owned for 10 years, as a bed and breakfast.
They have people come from all over the country to admire their wisteria.

The couple are signed up to the National Garden Scheme, and will open their land for the public to visit on May 23.

Don’t tell the local MP.

"People who think by the inch and talk by the yard deserve to be kicked by the foot."-Anon


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico