0
   

Come back, Col Man! Who else gives us stuff like this?:

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 07:11 am
Laughing
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 07:02 pm
Quote:
(Sorry for the bold print, but the way that was written really cracked me up Laughing )

didn't realize the writers at reuters were so racy...
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 08:02 pm
Region Philbis wrote:
Quote:
(Sorry for the bold print, but the way that was written really cracked me up Laughing )

didn't realize the writers at reuters were so racy...


Neither did I! Now this is interesting:

Prairie Dogs Have Own Language
Fri Dec 3, 8:55 PM ET Science - AP

By TANIA SOUSSAN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Prairie dogs, those little pups popping in and out of holes on vacant lots and rural rangeland, are talking up a storm. They have different "words" for tall human in yellow shirt, short human in green shirt, coyote, deer, red-tailed hawk and many other creatures.

They can even coin new terms for things they've never seen before, independently coming up with the same calls or words, according to Con Slobodchikoff, a Northern Arizona University biology professor and prairie dog linguist.

Prairie dogs of the Gunnison's species, which Slobodchikoff has studied, speak different dialects in Grants and Taos, N.M.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Monarch Pass, Colo., but they would likely understand one another, the professor says.

"So far, I think we are showing the most sophisticated communication system that anyone has shown in animals," Slobodchikoff said.

Slobodchikoff has spent the last two decades studying prairie dogs and their calls, mostly in Arizona, but also in New Mexico and Colorado.

Prairie dog chatter is variously described by observers as a series of yips, high-pitched barks or eeks. And most scientists think prairie dogs simply make sounds that reflect their inner condition. That means all they're saying are things like "ouch" or "hungry" or "eek."

But Slobodchikoff believes prairie dogs are communicating detailed information to one another about what animals are showing up in their colonies, and maybe even gossiping.

Linguists have set five criteria that must be met for something to qualify as language: It must contain words with abstract meanings; possess syntax in which the order of words is part of their meaning; have the ability to coin new words; be composed of smaller elements; and use words separated in space and time from what they represent.

"I've been chipping away at all of these," Slobodchikoff said.

He and his students have done work in the field and in a laboratory. With digital recorders, they record the calls prairie dogs make as they see different people, dogs of different sizes and with different coat colors, hawks, elk. They analyze the sounds using a computer that dissects the underlying structure and creates a sonogram, or visual representation of the sound. Computer analysis later identifies the similarities and differences.

The prairie dogs have calls for various predators but also for elk, deer, antelope and cows.

"It's as if they're trying to inform one another what's out there," Slobodchikoff said.

So far, he has recorded at least 20 different "words."

Some of those words or calls were created by the prairie dogs when they saw something for the first time. Four prairie dogs in Slobodchikoff's lab were shown a great-horned owl and European ferret, two animals they had likely not seen before, if only because the owls are mostly nocturnal and this kind of ferret is foreign. The prairie dogs independently came up with the same new calls.

In the field, black plywood cutouts showing the silhouette of a coyote, a skunk and an oval shape were randomly run along a wire through the prairie dog colony.

"There are no black ovals running around out there and yet they all had the same word for black oval," Slobodchikoff said.

He guesses the prairie dogs are genetically programmed with some vocabulary and the ability to describe things.

Slobodchikoff has also played back a recorded prairie dog alarm call for coyote in a prairie dog colony when no coyote was around. The prairie dogs had the same escape response as they did when the predator was really there.

"There's no coyote present, but the prairie dogs hear this and they say, 'Oh, coyote. Better hide,'" Slobodchikoff said.

Computer analysis has been able to break down some prairie dog calls into different components, suggesting the critters have yet another element of a real language.

"We're chipping away with this at the idea that animals don't have language," Slobodchikoff said.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 08:15 pm
Man Wanted for Assault With Burger

ROCHESTER, N.H. - Tony Carr wanted to pay for his burger. Instead, police say, he ended up smooshing the microwaved patty in a store clerk's face. Police have issued an arrest warrant for Carr, 37, of Berwick, Maine. He's charged with simple assault and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.

Investigators say Carr got angry on Nov. 28 when the clerk at a Cumberland Farms would not allow him to pay for a hamburger while it was heating in the store microwave. Police said the clerk, Scott Litzenberger, told Carr he had to bring the burger to the counter 15 feet away to pay for it.

After a sharp exchange of words, the man walked back to the microwave, removed the steaming burger and walked back to Litzenberger.

The two apparently exchanged a few brief words again, when the customer, "just lost it," according to another clerk. Instead of paying for it, Carr shoved it into the clerk's face, burning his face and eye, police Sgt. Anthony Triano said.

"That time of night, you tend to get people who are belligerent. They want things they can't have and we just try and do our job," said Bill Rollo, another clerk at the store.

Rollo said when he showed up to relieve Litzenberger, "he had a burned eye and eyeball. It was all red."

Rollo had gone on vacation later that week and was due back at the store Thursday.

"I'm sure he's fine now. I know he got it taken care of that night," Rollo said. (source)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 08:21 pm
Oooooooh, a greasy eyeball!
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 08:26 pm
The irony of this story is that they probably have that 15 foot rule in place so the burger can cool down enough to not burn a customer, so they won't get sued.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 08:33 pm
Man devours 19 lobsters in 35 minutes

The Associated Press
Posted November 9 2004

KITTERY, Maine -- A Vermont man took home the top prize in a lobster-eating contest by devouring 19 of the crustaceans in 35 minutes.

Barry "Tink" Giddings of Chester, Vt., won the Weathervane Seafood Restaurant's third annual lobster-eating competition.

As the newly crowned Lobster Maniac of the year, Giddings, 50, won a trip aboard a working lobster boat out of Kittery and up to 100 pounds of the day's catch.

He said the only previous speed-eating experience he had was when he won a watermelon-eating contest when he was 8.

"When it comes to eating lobsters, I knew I was a winner," Giddings said Saturday as he loosened his belt after the contest.

Thirteen contestants participated in this year's contest after qualifying at preliminary lobster-eating events. Giddings qualified at the Weathervane restaurant in Rutland, Vt.

The rules required that the tail, both claws and knuckle meat of every lobster be eaten to be included in the total count.

As the competition got under way, the participants shucked their shells, ate the meat and washed down the lobster with beer, soda and other beverages.

"That's my husband," Giddings' wife, Linda, cried out when the announcer proclaimed Giddings as the leader with only minutes to go.

Carolyn Cope, 22, of Westford, Mass., was the only woman in the event. A recent University of New Hampshire graduate, she ate 15 lobsters to come in third.

"I don't know what possessed me to do this," said Cope, who said that she had eaten lobster only once previously when she qualified for the finals.

Cope vowed to return next year.

"But I don't think I'll be eating much lobster before then," she said.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 09:22 pm
I can't keep up! So much excitement in the world! Laughing
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 11:51 pm
Stray Cat's Gravestone Sells for a Fortune
Dec 10, 9:32 AM (ET)

LONDON (Reuters) - A medieval limestone slab which for years was used as a gravestone for a dead cat called Winkle fetched more than 200,000 pounds ($383,200) at auction on Friday.

The stone has a carved image of St Peter on it and dates from the early 10th century.

It was found in a salvage yard by a British man who took it to his home in Somerset, southwest England, and put it at the bottom of his garden to mark the spot where Winkle was buried.

It was only when the stone was spotted by local potter and historian Chris Brewchorne that its value became apparent.

"I was walking past the house one day and saw it in the front garden and knew immediately I was looking at something special," Brewchorne told Reuters.

"I knocked on the front door, spoke to the owners and told them 'I think you've just won the lottery.'

"At first I thought it was Roman but I noticed the chap's head on the carving was tonsured, which suggested it was Saxon.

"I don't think it's an exaggeration to describe it as the finest mid-Saxon carving in the country."

The carving went under the hammer at auctioneers Sothebys on Friday. They had expected it to fetch between 40,000 and 60,000 pounds but a private collector bought it for 201,600 pounds ($386,300).

The man who found it died last year before it could be sold but the money will go to his widow, a former farmer, who has asked not to be named.

As for Winkle, an adopted stray who, according to Brewchorne "spent most of her life hanging around the local cider mills," she will be getting a new headstone.

"I'll be making one for her," he said.
0 Replies
 
J-B
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 02:10 am
BAD GUY ! betrays his pet!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 05:21 am
^JB^ wrote:
BAD GUY ! betrays his pet!


Laughing

Good story, cav! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 06:52 am
Underground hunts spares on eBay

09 December 2004
LONDON: In news that will surprise few of the travellers who cram onto its creaking rail network every day, London Underground has admitted some of its spare parts were sourced from online auction site eBay.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 07:01 am
Laughing At least they didn't try to buy a kidney. You really can get anything on eBay...

Hippo caught after 10 months on run
Fri Dec 10,10:26 AM ET

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Relieved conservationists have recaptured a young hippopotamus that spent almost 10 months on the run near Cape Town after fleeing a nature reserve where it was being bullied by an older dominant male.

The hippo, known affectionately as Hugo or Houdini, escaped from the Rondevlei Nature Reserve through a broken fence in February, and was caught on Thursday after a dramatic 3-1/2 hour chase through waterways and reeds during which six tranquilliser darts were fired into his hide.

"At one stage there were two of us on the animal's back but it just kept on going," the greatly relieved Rondevlei manager, Dalton Gibbs, told Reuters on Friday. Conservationists might have had to shoot Hugo if he had not been caught, he said.

The young hippo will now be moved to an Eastern Cape private reserve, about 1,000 km (620 miles) east of Cape Town, where he will form the nucleus of a new herd.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 07:09 am
Aw, poor Hugo, being picked on by the local bully! Sad Sounds like he gave those rangers a helluva run for their money, though. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 08:18 am
Monday December 13, 2004
A Christmas turkey cheated death after it was won in a raffle by a couple of British vegetarians. Bert was reprieved when he was won in a church raffle by a Somerset couple who have returned him to a home on the free range.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 05:02 pm
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041210/od_nm/odd_britain_parties_dc_1&cid=573

LONDON (Reuters) - Don't dance on tables at the office Christmas party and resist the temptation to photocopy body parts in a drunken attempt to amuse colleagues. ...

Emphasis mine.

Party on, dudes!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Dec, 2004 06:49 am
Wednesday December 15, 2004:

British websites are selling instant nobility. Deeds to one square foot of Glencairn Estate in Scotland includes access to the invented title of Lord or Laird for $A76.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 07:50 am
(Oz)Ads we hate the most
By Daniel Dasey
December 19, 2004/the AGE

Violence against animals, insensitive parents and overt sexuality were the themes most likely to upset Australians in 2004, says a study of the commercials most people hate.

The search for the advertisement that drew the most flak also reveals we have little tolerance for domestic violence, speeding and vulgar images.

But the commercials most complained about were not necessarily those withdrawn. The Advertising Standards Bureau agreed to a request to analyse the complaints it received in the year up to December 17.

The bureau conducts hearings into commercials that members of the public find offensive, and the advertising industry and advertisers were asked to abide by its rulings under a self-regulatory system.

The bureau's statistician, Neale Apps, said sexual themes had dominated the complaints. "It's quite obvious that the main issue that concerns the public is the portrayal of sexuality and/or nudity," he said. "The second major issue is discriminatory portrayal of people on the basis of gender, religion or race." Cruelty to animals and irresponsible driving also figured highly. The top 10 ads for complaints were all television commercials.

An ad screened at the time of the State of Origin rugby league games and depicting cane toads being struck with golf clubs was the most criticised commercial, with nearly 200 complaints.

Viewers objected to the apparent cruelty to animals, and the advertisement was withdrawn voluntarily. The second one shows a father and son grinning broadly as the engine revved on their Holden Commodore Alloytec V6.

Some commercials attracted complaints for a second year running. The infamous Tooheys Extra Dry commercial showing a disembodied tongue attracted more than 30 complaints, despite being dealt with by the board last year.

A Lever Rexona commercial from 2003 showing a man falling through his shower floor into a dance studio filled with women attracted more than 15 complaints.

The board upheld complaints against other commercials, including those for Holden, BMW, Toyota, Fuji film and Mitsubishi.

`
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 07:57 am
msolga, I hear that Aussie ads are WAY more racy and/or provacative than anything we see here. That was very interesting. On a lighter note, in food news:

Record-Beating Truffle Goes Home for Burial
Dec 18, 1:31 PM (ET)

ROME (Reuters) - The world's most expensive truffle returned to Italy to be buried on Saturday.

The warty white fungus, once an aphrodisiac for the ancient Romans and now one of the most costly foods in the world, was bought by a London restaurant at auction last month.

Despite having paid a $52,000 for the precious tuber, the restaurant left the fungus in a safe for too long and it rotted.

When experts in Florence heard, they asked to have the 852 gram (1.9 lb) truffle returned for burial in the hope that it would sprout a even bigger one next year, local agency ANSA reported.

And the fungus fanciers had found a suitably historic resting place.

After a requiem poem and solemn ceremony, the truffle was due to be buried under a tree believed to have been planted by Italy's famous 15th century explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

In exchange for its loss, the swanky London restaurant Zafferano would receive a selection of smaller white truffles of the equivalent weight, ANSA said.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 08:02 am
Oh, what a shame, cav! All that expense & it went off! Shocked Laughing
Being a poor person, I've never even come close to sniffing a truffle. Have you indulged?
0 Replies
 
 

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