Beware the goat gangs of Ireland

Ireland has a goat problem.

A growing gang of wild goats is having its way with the towns of Ennis and Clare's gardens, parking lots and roads. Greenery is being devoured. Cars are being forced to slow or stop, with all too much frequency, for fear that drivers could end up having to pick goat meat out of their vehicle's grills with a pointy stick. According to Clare's Mayor, Tom McNamara, “the disturbance that these goats are causing in the locality is totally unacceptable." The Mayor continued by pleading that the goats “are getting up on top of cars and going around businesses at night time." The goats, which have been tagging local homes and historical landmarks as they expand their territory, have drawn the attention of the local law enforcement's gang task force.

OK, that last sentence was bullshit, but it'd be awesome if it were true.

In all seriousness, having a whack of uncontrollable wild animals traipsing around the town is a public safety concern. Sooner or later someone's going to get hurt in a goat attack (no seriously: goats can be ASSHOLES), or wind up hitting one – or five – with their car. Right now, there's talk of erecting signs warning motorists of goat hazards in town and on nearby highways (goats be roaming), and some pretty stern mumbling about what can be done to control the exploding goat population. According to RTĒ, no one's in favor of a cull, no matter how delicious goat might be. Read the rest

This fish sounds like a vibrating phone

Today I learned the Splendid Toadfish, a creature found only in the Caribbean Sea, produces a sound like a phone on vibrate.

National Geographic writes:

This grumpy-looking splendid toadfish has a special skill. That’s not the sound of a phone vibrating… the toadfish is “singing.” A similar species, the Bocon toadfish, produces its song with muscles surrounding its swim bladder. Researchers have discovered that the fish sing in unique patterns of ‘boops’ and grunts (Bocon toadfish sounds recorded separately from this video).

Videographer Bob Mazur thought he was hearing sounds coming from SCUBA gear, until he spotted this noisy fish hiding under the coral. Some toadfish sounds are used to attract females to nesting sites, and others are used as warning signals–probably the case in this instance. During this dive in Cozumel, several fish could be heard singing over each other. What a splendid toadfish surprise.

(Digg) Read the rest

Woman was unintentionally blowing her brains out, for years

Back in 2013, Kendra Jackson was in a pretty nasty car accident. The vehicle she was in was hit, hard, from behind. The force of the impact propelled Jackson's head into the dash in front of her. She recovered from her injuries and got on with her life. A few weeks after the crash, however, she came down with a serious case of the sniffles. She'd sneeze, cough and blow her nose throughout the day. In bed, the fluid running down the back of her nose from her sinuses would make her cough and keep her up at night. It had all the hallmarks of a bad cold. But bad colds don't typically last for years at a time. She saw doctors for the problem. They told her that all the stuff running out of her head was likely due to allergies.

Nope.

Seeking out a second opinion, Jackson discovered that what she thought to be snot was actually due to a cerebrospinal fluid leak (CSF): her head was leaking brain fluid.

From Newsweek:

“This fluid serves the function of providing mechanical protection of the brain through cushioning or buffering, as well as playing a role in its immunologic protection,” Dr. Brad Marple, chair of otolaryngology at the University of Texas Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, told Newsweek.

“Normally, it is contained within the water-tight confines of the skull, but occasionally an area of disruption can develop between the intracranial cavity and air-filled spaces within the skull. The sinuses are examples of air-filled spaces within the skull that share a thin common wall with the intracranial cavity and serve as a common route for a CSF leak.

Read the rest

Backhoe operator releases "pollen bomb" by tapping tree

Warning: Just watching this video could trigger an allergic reaction.

Eric Henderson of Millville, New Jersey wondered what would happen if he tapped a pollen-laden tree with his backhoe. He soon discovered it would unleash a Hell storm of pollen.

According to Pollen.com, the pollen count is high in that area (no kidding!):

Read the rest

Why tumbleweeds tumble

Recently, Carla posted about tumbleweeds invading Victorville, California leading to numerous 911 calls. Why do tumbleweeds tumble though? To make more tumbleweeds of course. From KQED's Deep Look:

Starting in late fall, (tumblweeds) dry out and die, their seeds nestled between prickly dried leaves. Gusts of wind easily break dead tumbleweeds from their roots. A microscopic layer of cells at the base of the plant — called the abscission layer — makes a clean break possible and the plants roll away, spreading their seeds. When the rains come, an embryo coiled up inside each seed sprouts.

Read the rest

World's biggest orgy to be attempted in Las Vegas

An organization for sexual enthusiasts called Menage Life is planning to break the record for the world's biggest orgy. The current record was established in 2006 in Tokyo when 500 people congregated to copulate. The Las Vegas orgy will take place at the Embassy Suites on June 2, and Menage Life is aiming for at least 1,000 participants.

From Las Vegas Weekly:

Players must purchase an appropriate Sin City 8 pass (for the orgy, couples are $200 and single women are $25) and arrive with a registered partner (no single men are allowed) and photo ID before getting down. And mutual consent will be strictly enforced by onlooking security officers “who are members of the lifestyle,” according to the website. Those making advances without permission or failing to heed the word “no” will be removed from the premises.

Participants will also receive free condoms, lubricants, towels, hand sanitizer and other sex complements, with event organizers promising a clean space with clearly marked and separate receptacles for waste and linen disposal. Menage Life will also distribute masquerade party-style masks for those requiring discretion, setting the stage for a giant, Eyes Wide Shut-like fantasia.

Read the rest

Voyager Golden Record featured in V&A Museum exhibition about the future

This weekend is the opening of "The Future Starts Here," a new exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum of art and design. Celebrating "100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow," the exhibit features several objects that began as Kickstarter projects, including the "Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition" the Grammy-winning 3xLP vinyl box set that I co-produced with my friends Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. Our project was the first vinyl release of the iconic phonograph record launched into space by NASA in 1977 as a message for extraterrestrials, perhaps billions of years from now.

The Voyager Golden Record is an artifact for the future. As Tim Ferris, who produced the original Voyager Record, wrote in our liner notes, the Voyagers are on a journey not just through space but also through time. The Voyager Record is a time capsule but it is also timeless. It sparks the imagination. It provokes us to think about the future and our civilization's place in it. It exudes a sense of hope for a better tomorrow. And it lies at the intersection of science, art, and design to spark the imagination.

When Lawrence first began designing our "Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition," he said: "The original Voyager Golden Record is the ultimate album package. I want to design the ultimate album package of the ultimate album package."

We're deeply honored to be included in the exhibit! I'm also thrilled that my Institute for the Future colleague Sam Woolley's provocative "Political Bots" exhibit is also part of The Future Starts Here, which runs at the V&A Museum until November 4. Read the rest

Can you spot the ticks in this poppy seed muffin?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention tweeted this image with the question: "Can you spot all 5 ticks in this photo?" Of course ticks generally don't hang out in pastries. The point was just to show how difficult it can be to spot ticks. But apparently the thought (and image) of a tick-infested muffin grossed out many Twitter users. The CDC apologized with, of course, a pun about ticking people off.

Anyway, here is the CDC's guide to "Avoiding Ticks."

Read the rest

Mouth sensor keeps tabs on your sodium intake

Approximately 36 million people in the United States have high blood pressure and many could do with reducing their sodium intake. But how do you even monitor your intake accurately? Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a flexible sensor that goes in your mouth for real-time sensing of how much salt is in those french fries you're munching. It then sends the data to your phone to alert you of your sodium intake. From IEEE Spectrum:

W. Hong Yeo, an assistant professor of micro and nano engineering who led the research team, says it would also be possible to stick the sensor directly to the tongue or the roof of the mouth, or to laminate it onto a tooth. The soft retainer they used in this experiment was just phase one. “For the first prototype device, we wanted to offer easy handling and cleaning capability via the integration with a soft retainer,” he said.

Yeo says the biggest challenge was making the entire electronic device soft, flexible, and comfortable enough to wear in the mouth. So the team designed a chip that uses stretchable circuits mounted on an ultrathin porous membrane.

Read the rest

Royal assassins, JFK assassins, and Ronan Farrow character assassination, in this week’s dubious tabloids

The tabloids can be rattlesnakes – provoke them at your peril.

Newly-minted Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow finds that out this week to his chagrin, as the National Enquirer exposes his alleged “Sex-and-Drugs Shocker!” As this column exclusively revealed two weeks ago, Farrow is secretly investigating America’s supermarket tabloids with a view to exposing “how the sausage is made,” according to a source. In April the Enquirer branded Farrow a “hypocrite” for purportedly “covering for his pervert uncle,” a story I described as “a warning shot across his bow.”

This week the Enquirer comes at Farrow with all cannons blazing. Only last month Farrow came out as gay – a public admission quite possibly driven by the knowledge that the Enquirer was about to out him – and now the magazine claims to have obtained “a chain of intimate text messages” which allegedly reveal that “Ronan got down and dirty with a Brazilian male model – admitting to using cocaine and describing his passion for having sex while high on pot and poppers!”

The rag again brands Farrow “a huge hypocrite,” this time for allegedly “using his position of power and influence to promise a second Brazilian hunk professional favors . . . an echo of the charges he made against slimeball [Harvey] Weinstein in his groundbreaking reporting!”

Setting aside the fact that Farrow’s sexuality is his own business, that he is entitled to hook up with whomsoever he pleases, and that his cocaine confession (if true) is that he tried it only twice “and hated it both times,” the allegation that he offered to help further a potential lover’s writing career by making introductions is far from the same as Weinstein raping and assaulting women and threatening to end their career if they refused to acquiesce. Read the rest

Dr Dre loses trademark legal fight with Dr Drai, gynecologist

Dr Dre, seller of weighted headphones, has fought a three-year court battle to stop Pennsylvania gynecologist Draion Burch from using the moniker Dr Drai. This week, the US trademark office dismissed Dr Dre's case.

Via BBC:

Mr Burch had also argued that consumers would be unlikely to confuse the two names "because Dr Dre is not a medical doctor nor is he qualified to provide any type of medical services or sell products specifically in the medical or healthcare industry".

He further testified that he did not seek to trade on Dr Dre's reputation because the association would be "a bad reflection on me as a doctor" - citing lyrics he characterised as misogynistic and homophobic.

The gynaecologist is the author of books such as 20 Things You May Not Know About the Vagina and describes himself as one of America's top health experts.

Dr Dre can currently be seen in the Netflix documentary The Defiant Ones, which charts his rise from the streets of Compton to the multi-millionaire executive in charge of Beats 1.

Read the rest

Kentucky cop drove rape victim to hotel and raped her again, says prosecutor

In 2017 Hillview Police Department detective John W. Nissen was assigned to drive a rape victim to her home. But prosecutors say he drove her to a hotel instead, and raped her. Read the rest

EPA head Scott Pruitt flies first class because he thinks people who fly coach want to kill him

On May 1, 2017 Nino Perrotta, "Acting" Special Agent in Charge of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s personal security detail, wrote a memo to justify his boss's flagrantly wasteful travel habits. Perrotta wrote, “We have observed and increased awareness and at times lashing out from passengers which occurs while the Administrator is seated in coach with PSD [his personal security detail] not easily accessible to him due to uncontrolled full flights."

Does the above sentence even make sense? I guess it's the best we can expect from a gentleman whose describes himself as "Acting" Special Agent in Charge. An Acting Special Agent in Charge might held to a higher standard than an "Acting" Special Agent in Charge, but who knows -- anything is possible in the Trump "administration."

"Therefore," the "Acting" Special Agent in Charge continues, "we believe that the continued use of coach seats for the Administrator would endanger his life and therefore respectfully ask that he be placed in either business or first class accommodations.”

You'd think Perrotta's request would include specific examples of "lashing out," but there is nothing of the kind in the 87-word memo. Apparently, "Acting" Special Agents in Charge don't need to provide examples. They simply "act" and things get approved.

Eventually, examples of "threats" against Pruitt were released to the public.

From The Washington Post:

Documents released Monday to the Post, the New York Times and BuzzFeed in response to public records requests show that the EPA was working on 33 threat investigations as of mid-March.

Read the rest

How to Win Friends and Convince People to Watch Eurovision

If you don't know what I mean when I say the word Eurovision -- Greetings, fellow American! Much like the World Cup and universal health care, it is hard for many of our countrymen to grasp just how big a deal this thing few here have heard of or care about has become outside our borders, and how popular it really is.

A new strain of IoT malware can survive a reboot

As scary as the epidemics of malware for Internet of Things devices have been, they had one saving grace: because they only lived in RAM (where they were hard to detect!), they could be flushed just by rebooting the infected gadget. Read the rest

Equifax lets identity thieves raid "frozen" credit reports through its shady, obscure secondary credit bureau

If you've had your identity stolen or if you're worried about having been doxxed by Equifax, you can freeze your credit record, and then Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and Innovis will block any requests to access your credit report. Read the rest

Ticketmaster finds a new way to be terrible: facial recognition!

Comcast may be the most hated company in America, but Ticketmaster has sure given it a run for its money, through a combination of monopolism, rent-seeking, shady dealing with scalpers and total indifference to its customers and the entertainers it nominally serves, but as bad as it is, there's still plenty of innovative ways for it to get worse. Read the rest

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