A man lays in a puddle of squashed tomatoes, during the annual “tomatina” tomato fight fiesta in the village of Bunol, 50 kilometers outside Valencia, Spain…
The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual “Tomatina” battle that has become a major tourist attraction. At the annual fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants, many from abroad to throw during the hour-long morning festivities.
Phew! First look seemed like an outtake from the evening war news.
The master of a Cambridge University college that banned dogs from accommodation has been allowed to keep his canine companion after persuading officials it was “a very large cat”.
YoYo the bassett hound lives at Selwyn College with Roger Mosey…Mr Mosey said cats were allowed but dogs were “technically” banned.
However, after a past master set a “dog-owning precedent” decades ago, the college “tongue-in-cheek agreed YoYo could stay as a large cat”, he said…
“Many former masters have kept cats but the greatest master, Professor Owen Chadwick, did keep dogs during the 1950s, 60s and 70s,” he said.
Permission was granted by the council, and duly noted in the minutes: “i. College Animal – Noting precedent under the mastership of Professor Chadwick, Council approved the Master’s request to adopt a Very Large Cat in the Master’s Lodge.”
YoYo, a rescue dog, has now featured in publicity material for a veterinary course and other college material…”Students call her ‘the college dog’ and I very much want her to become part of life at Selwyn,” Mr Mosey said.
A particularly collegiate and British solution to a conflict between reality and the rules.
Snow shoes should work well on Mississippi mud flats
The disturbing events in Ferguson have focused attention on the militarization of America’s police forces. God knows, it’s worrying enough that the police begin to seem more like an army of occupation than agents of law enforcement.
New Orleans and Gulf Coast news site The Lens decided to have a look at just what kind of military kit Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish aquired.
Each county has received from the Defense Department’s 1033 Program since 2007:
Orleans Parish received:
Eight night-vision sniper scopes
20 snow camouflage parkas
A “rough terrain” forklift
40 “laser modules”
14 thermal sights
21 7.62 mm rifles and two 5.56 mm rifles
30 survival axes
Some of the equipment is more mundane, such as:
360 men’s scarves
Four data-entry computer mice
Nine folding chairs
One garbage can
A pair of pliers
Law enforcement in Jefferson Parish received:
Two 5.56 mm rifles and seven 7.62 mm rifles
A utility helicopter
A mine-resistant vehicle
Three bridge erection boats
A utility truck
A personnel carrier
Setting aside the questionable utility of a ‘mine-resistant vehicle’ in police work (how many mines and IEDs does a patrol officer encounter?), and the flat-out weirdness of ‘four data-entry computer mice’, ‘a pair of pliers’ and ‘one garbage can’, what really provokes that ‘what the fuck?’ moment is the ’20 snow camouflage parkas’.
Unless the police are planning to hide in the middle of a crowd of blindingly white people, these parkas aren’t going to be of much use in New Orleans. Between 1853 and 2008 it snowed in New Orleans on 55 days.
I can tell you from personal experience, most of those so-called snow days ended up melting on contact with funky pavement.
So, if you’re in New Orleans and are approached by a group of men dressed in snow camouflage parkas and carrying data-entry computer mice, folding chairs, a garbage can and a pair of pliers: get on your knees and put your hands behind your head, because they’re cops and cops are dangerous.
Mike also suggested you can see the military weapons, vehicles, and other equipment police in your area have acquired from the military. Searchable by state and county.
Stylin’ ride for young crooks
An Albuquerque, New Mexico, man is facing charges after police say he drove a stolen electric shopping cart to meet with his probation officer.
KOAT-TV reports that court papers say 18-year-old Michael Johnson rode the electric shopping cart this week to make his scheduled visit. When the probation officer asked Johnson where he got the cart, court documents say Johnson admitted taking it from an Albuquerque Wal-Mart.
Johnson was arrested and charged with larceny and receiving stolen property. He also violated his probation when he was arrested and was ordered held on a $500 bond.
Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier says the cart is worth more than $1,800.
It was not known if Johnson had an attorney…
…or a brain!
A pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, an accident report has said.
The Flybe flight from Birmingham, with 47 passengers on board, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions on 12 February…It landed heavily but no-one was hurt and the plane was not damaged.
The pilot said he would be more cautious in future about checking his attachment, according to the report.
In a statement, Flybe said the senior captain was one of its “most experienced and trusted pilots”, and the safety of passengers and crew had not been compromised in any way…
While he had thought about getting his co-pilot to take control, the time available and the challenging conditions meant his best course of action was to move his right hand from the power levers on to the yoke to regain control.
“He did this, but with power still applied and possibly a gust affecting the aircraft, a normal touchdown was followed by a bounce, from which the aircraft landed heavily,” the report found.
The AAIB reported that the captain had said that in future he would be more cautious about checking the attachment on his prosthesis as he may have dislodged the latching mechanism.
He also said he would brief his co-pilots about the possibility of a similar event and that they should be ready to take control at any time.
Could’ve been worse. Might have been a lumberjack operating a chainsaw.
“So, how do you feel about tendril sex?”
Whether or not plants hear and talk to us, they sure talk among themselves – some of them, at least. This has been established by scientific research in the past: plants communicate to each other via signals in the form of chemicals. Some species of plants, in fact, have sophisticated means of interacting with others of their kinds: while some can share genetic information, others send warning messages of possible insect attacks. The former form of communication entails parasitic plants attaching onto their hosts.
Dodder, which is a parasite, attaches onto the other plant known as Arabidopsis, stealing some of its nutrients in the process via an appendage. However, to have their meal of nutrients, Dodder has to first identify its host. It was previously thought that it uses chemicals to do so. Now, a new study has demonstrated that dodder uses a genetic method: it exchanges RNA with the plant. These two plants thereby ‘talk’ to each other as they exchange pieces of mRNA.
What do they say to each other then? Mystery, mystery. Perhaps, Dodder signals its host to ‘allow’ it to drain its nutrients by tricking it to lower its defenses?
The picture says it all.
How a council might protect a town from a dragon attack is among the most unusual requests for information received by England and Wales councils.
One council was asked how many children were micro-chipped, while another was quizzed on whether it had paid for exorcisms on possessed pets.
They are among the Local Government Association’s top 10 most unusual Freedom of Information requests…
The top 10 include:
What plans are in place to protect the town from a dragon attack? (Wigan Council)…
How many times has the council paid for the services of an exorcist, psychic or religious healer? Were the services performed on an adult, child, pet or building? (Rossendale Council)…
What precautions, preparations, planning and costings have been undertaken in the case an asteroid crashes into Worthing, a meteorite landing in Worthing or solar activity disrupting electromagnetic fields? (Worthing Borough Council)…
How many requests were made to council-run historic public-access buildings (e.g. museums) requesting to bring a team of “ghost investigators” into the building? (Birmingham Council)
How many children in the care of the council have been micro-chipped? (Southend Council)
No doubt the majority of requests are more mainstream than defending against dragons. At least I hope so.
There is a longstanding tradition in the UK investing casual time in tongue-in-cheek inquiries…and answers. I recall a leading census answer from some first responders one year being that their church membership was Jedi.
It’s a well-known fact: bacon makes everything better. From martinis and ice cream to filet mignon and asparagus, there’s pretty much nothing you can include this gift of the swine to that it doesn’t improve. Being that this is an automotive enthusiast site, you may be wondering: How does bacon improve transportation? Clearly it must, if the axiom quoted at the beginning is correct (and we’ve established that it is), but how?
For the answer, we turn to the crew from Hormel, which is a name you might recognize from the chilled meats section of your favorite grocery store. The Austin-based food empire has assembled a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease that would otherwise have been discarded, with the goal in mind of traveling from Austin, MN, to San Diego, CA, in time for the International Bacon Film Festival, which we didn’t know existed, but in retrospect, of course exists.
The machine started life as an EVA Track T800CDI diesel-powered motorcycle, hailing from The Netherlands, and a bacon-grease conversion was performed by the crew from CSE Engineering, who are accompanying the procession as it crosses the western half of the United States as part of a 12-person team that is filming and documenting the adventure…And rest easy this evening with the knowledge that bacon does indeed make the world of transportation a better place to be.
The best thing about diesel engines is that you can run them on just about anything greasy enough.
He will be missed.
A North Carolina man who beat police officers in a doughnut-eating contest got his just desserts the next day after they realized that he was a wanted man.
Bradley Herbert entered the cuisine-eating competition at the Elizabeth City Police Department’s National Night Out Against Crime and won it by polishing off eight doughnuts in two minutes.
The field that the 24-year-old defeated included local police officers and firefighters…
The day after the contest, officials realized that Herbert was wanted in connection with two break-ins that happened at local grocery stores thanks to story about the suspect’s eating prowess.
“When I came in that morning and read that article I was pissed because it’s like throwing it in our face,” Lt. Max Robeson said. “We’ve been looking for you for months. I didn’t ask him if he won a trophy — he probably did.”
Herbert was charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering and misdemeanor injury to real property.
More balls than brains!