Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bat Stows Away On Discovery

The Space Shuttle Discovery had an unexpected passenger on the 15 March when a free tail bat was seen clinging to the outside of the external fuel tank. According to the report from CNN the little creature had broken wing and probably didn´t survive the launch :(

When Health Targets Go Too Far

Stafford General Hospital was the scene of a Legionaires disease outbreak in 1985 and just down the road from my old University campus. Now they´re in trouble again, apparently as a result of focusing so much on meeting deadlines and targets that patient health is being compromised. The BBC reports that up to 400 people may have died as a result. An investigation was started in April 2008 after it was found that the death rate at the hospital was higher than the statistical average. The resulting report showed that amongst others the lack of facilities, lack of leadership and insufficient nursing staff were to blame.

Female Stormtroopers a Reality?

The Japanese seem to have an obsession with robots. Having demonstrated walking robots like Sony´s Asimo and robots taking part in theatre, they have now come with with a potential replacement for the overpaid supermodels. As can be seen here, the robots do provide lifelike movement, though the hands are rather large and the face is deliberately anime like to avoid the Uncanny Valley, our natural aversion to something that looks almost human. The stormtrooper outfit is a little worrying though.

Dead Online Comrades

Following hot on the heels of MMORPGs like World Of Warcraft, services are now being provided to let your online buddies know when the physical you has passed on. According to Ars Technica, demand for such services, which are often subscription based are increasing now that more and more gamers have an online profile, which also require closing down just as much as closing personal affairs do when one is deceased, as well as providing a method of notifying your online buddies that you have gone to great quest in the sky.

Blow-up Doll

Football Violence Iraqi Style

The BBC reports how a football fan (if you can call him that) shot a footballer in the head as he was about to score an equaliser. And you thought the Brits were bad.

Spud Gun Tech