Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Useless Information! (Ears, Segues, Segways & Tequila)

1. You can make diamonds from tequila. And they're small and useless. Apparently even more useless than the ones used for jewellery - although, I'm thinking if you could rehydrate them somehow, they'd actually be far superior...

2. From Mexican scientists to sentimental scientists: The little Phoenix bot on Mars has gone nighty-night now due to the lack of solar power and the cold. Of course, brave little thing, it had actually soldiered on - sending info and pictures of snowfall (!) back to Earth - for much longer than expected.

Glen Nagle, a spokesman for the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex said "this little spacecraft" may still survive the cold however, and it has a wee program on board call 'Lazarus mode' which will allow it to call home if it gets enough power. He added:

"I actually find them quite amazing in terms of their resilience, their ability to actually last far longer than we ever expected. And for their human controllers here on Earth, [they are] quite attached to these spacecraft because it just shows sort of tenacity to keep on operating far beyond their lifetime."

Phoenix is already being missed by not just the scientists. The robot's personal Facebook page and blog has been inundated with farewell wishes.

The last message text message sent to 30,000 Phoenix fans via the robot's own Twitter mobile phone account was written in binary and translated to "triumph", with a heart shaped emoticon.

Cause robots have feelings too.

No they don't.


3. There's good news re the global financial crisis (yes, rly!). Well... for some locals of United Arab Emirates at least.

Emiratis have fretted for years over the loss of their culture, as social norms became more a product of the newcomers than of the nationals. Now, some are pinning their desires for a cultural salvation on the global economic downturn, which they hope will reduce the numbers of foreigners pouring into their country and give them a chance to reassert their customs and way of life.

“This is a blessing; we needed it,” Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, a political science professor at United Arab Emirates University, said of the fiscal crisis. “The city needs to slow down and relax. It’s good for the identity of our country.

A blessing indeed, as it may be the end of such images as this:

4. Obama's election victory, however, is not all good news. Quite depressing to some actually.

"Obama's election is great for our country but bad for comedy," said Michael Musto, a columnist for New York City's Village Voice. "He is an earnest, intelligent person trying to rescue a country in crisis and that's not all that hilarious."
Well, perhaps they could put Bush and Palin in charge of something like NASA or the FDA. Nothing like legally doped up astronauts hooning about the atmosphere to create comedic inspiration.

And hey, they could launch the first moose in space!

Of course, Sarah Palin would just go and shoot it down...

5. More presidential news: Peru has offered a hypo-allergenic dog to the Obamas (their daughter being allergic and all).

Claudia Galvez... director of the Friends of the Peruvian Hairless Dog Association.Galvez has a 4-month-old pedigree puppy to send to the Obama family. For now, she is calling it Ears because it has two large, perky ones.

"But if we send it to the United States, its official name will be Machu Picchu," she said, referring to the ancient Incan citadel, Peru's top tourist attraction.

Sticky-out ears eh?

This is sure to happen (you know the old chestnut, dogs look like owners and all that)!

Awww. They're both adorable if you ask me.