February 9, 2010

Top News Stories –

Chubby hedgehogs sent to ‘fat club’ to diet –
A group of overweight hedgehogs are to be given a helping hand in losing their winter weight thanks to a special ‘fat club’. The hedgehogs started piling on the pounds because they spent longer than usual in the care of the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife. They were kept in their warm enclosures during the severe weather conditions which hit the country in December and January, because the cold could have killed them. (See List of the Day) [Daily Telegraph]
European-Hedgehog A European Hedgehog

Chinese police admit enormous number of spies –
A Chinese police chief has said he uses more than 12,000 spies to inform on a remote county of just 400,000 people, an admission that lays bare the enormous scale of China’s surveillance network. Liu Xingchen, the 56-year-old assistant to the head of Kailu County, a farming region in Inner Mongolia, said his vast network of informants meant he could be “very sensitive” to any signs of dissent and protest. In an interview with Xinhua, the government-run news agency, Mr Liu described how he was able to “quickly and accurately discover all sorts of information that might destabilise society”. “Every policeman and auxiliary policeman, no matter their division or particular police station, has to establish at least 20 informants in their community, village, work unit and so on. Altogether, these add up to 10,000 spies. “Then the actual criminal units, the economic crimes unit, the Domestic Security Department, the Public Information Security Supervision and so on will establish a further five ‘eyes and ears’.
“At the latest count, our bureau has established 12,093 informants,” he said. [Daily Telegraph]

Google Buzz takes on Facebook and Twitter –
Google has launched a new tool that will allow users of its email service to share their feelings with other users, in an effort to take on social networking giants Facebook and Twitter head-on. Google Buzz, as the new application is called, essentially allows Gmail users to write status updates which other users can see, but goes further by allowing them to aggregate other services in an attempt to make it easier to operate in the increasingly frustrating information-heavy online environment. Buzz goes a number of steps further, however, by allowing users to create a Google profile page, which can be seen not just by friends but by the entire web if so desired, and will guide users to follow the people they email and chat with the most. It will also allows posts to include links, YouTube videos, pictures from Google’s Picasa hosting service. (See Video of the Day) [Daily Telegraph]

Video of the Day –

Google Buzz for mobile


February 4, 2016

Top News Stories –

Earth, Wind & Fire soul band founder Maurice White dies –
The founder of soul group Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White, has died in the US, his brother has said. White, 74, died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Thursday morning. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. His band had a series of hits including September, Boogie Wonderland, Shining Star and After the Love has Gone. The singer-songwriter was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992 but his condition was reported to have got worse in recent months. [BBC]
Maruice_White_1982Maruice White 1982

Black tarantula named after Johnny Cash –
A new species of black tarantula that lives near Folsom Prison, California, has been named after Johnny Cash. The famously black-clad country singer wrote a song about the prison, and also played a historic series of concerts for inmates there in the 1960s. Aphonopelma johnnycashi is among 14 new tarantula species from the southern US which have been described by biologists in the journal ZooKeys. As part of his PhD research at Auburn University in Alabama, Chris Hamilton carefully whittled that down to 29. He eliminated a lot of double-counting, but also defined 14 species that were entirely new to science. “It’s a perfect name. It fits the spider – it’s found around Folsom and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image. “I have a Johnny Cash tattoo so I was very happy that it worked out that way.” [BBC]
Johnny_Cash_At_Folsom_PrisonThe cover art for the album At Folsom Prison by the artist Johnny Cash. Copyright Columbia Pictures

Video of the Day –

Our Changing Climate from Jack Harries on Vimeo.

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