Society & Culture

  • The Night Before Christmas in 2021

    ‘Twas the time before Christmas, having quarantined thro’ much of 2021 Not a question of shaken or stirred, had World Wa...

  • The Night Before Christmas in 2020

    ‘Twas the time before Christmas, yet nearly all thro’ 2020 Not only stirring creatures, but viruses, problems a-plenty; ...

  • The Night Before Christmas in 2019

    ‘Twas the time before Christmas, and hence almost thro’ 2019 Not only a year-end occurring, now even a decade has been; ...

  • The Night Before Christmas in 2018

    ‘Twas the time before Christmas, near the end of 2018 Not surprisingly these lines stir, repeat what has been; Though Kh...

  • The Night Before Christmas in 2017

    ‘Twas the time before Christmas, reflecting back on 2017 Not much had worked, from what has been seen; Politicians fired...

  • LEGO-Compatible Adhesive Tape

    LEGO and tape goes together like crowd and funding. Such is the idea behind Nimuno Loops – The Toy Block Tape. Bumps on ...

  • Deadpooling

    Coining a phrase isn’t quite the same as phrasing a coin, but Deadpooling looks to be a thing now. The character’s self-...

Killer Seagulls Really Aren’t That Killer

Seagulls can be annoying. Rats can be annoying. Both may even be considered pests. But what happens when a seagull is photographed swallowing a rat whole? A pest war with each side doing their best to exterminate one another could be the answer. “Freddie Seagull ate my baby” pic.twitter.com/QEbMho7a1P — Martin Abrams (@Martin_Abrams) July 26, 2015 However, if it’s reported in the tabloids, like the Daily Star, then it’s humans and especially babies that need to be concerned about these all-devouring seagulls. Especially if the apparent expert cited is Simon Prentis of the Gull Awareness Group. As Prentis states: “If somebody were to leave a baby sleeping in a pram or push chair and it was unattended, the worst could happen. “I would not wish it on anybody but we’re headed in that direction.” The anti-seagull campaigner has put up an online petition to reinstate the £250,000 budget for research ...

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Japan Accepts Challenge to Fight Giant Robots: Kuratas and MegaBot Mark II to Duel

Following the USA challenging Japan to duel of giant fighting robots, the good news is: Challenge accepted, from the Japanese Suidobashi Heavy Industry. It looks like MegaBots Mark II versus Kuratas is actually going to happen. Talk about a prompt reply. Dozo. Much respect. Science fiction is fast becoming science faction. With the two robots set to duel, the Japanese have their own, cooler, twist on the upcoming robot battle though, and rightly so. Kogoro Kurata, the creator of Kuratas, notes that “building something huge and sticking guns on it” is all rather “Super American”. Further saying: “But you know, we really need… MELEE COMBAT. “If we’re gonna win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it.” Which as anyone versed in giant robot battles knows, guns and projectile weapons are all well and good from a distance, but the battle doesn’t truly ...

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Robot Wars: USA Challenges Japan to a Duel of Giant Fighting Robots

Separating technology and pop culture is often no mean feat these days, especially when it involves robots. Times that by two if it involves giant robots fighting to the death. Or the dysfunction, more correctly. In this particular case, the American MegaBots has challenged the Japanese Suidobashi Heavy Industry, to a robotic duel of epic proportions. This is not some backyard or hobbyist robot war with tiny machines, maybe packing a circular saw. Instead, this is potentially a battle of giant, humanoid mechs fighting it out. Science fiction, the future is here-style. If the challenge is accepted, which surely it will be, because it would be dishonourable for the Japanese to do otherwise, then two robots each standing around 5 metres (15 foot) tall are set to duke it out in June 2016. Again, that’s provided Suidobashi Heavy Industries accepts the thrown down gauntlet. Taunt. As MegaBots’ challenge video states: ...

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French Baccalaureat Students Not Coping with the Word “Coping” in Exam

Students sitting the French Baccalauréat (Bac), which marks the end of high school, were left more than a bit perturbed by the word “coping” in the English exam. Apparently that one word made the exam impossible. In le Bac, in Question M, French pupils were presented with a passage from Atonement (2001) by Ian McEwan. They were then asked two questions about one of the book’s characters, Robbie Turner: What are three of his concerns about the situation? How is Turner coping with the situation? It turns out the word “coping” was the veritable Waterloo for many French students. With many pupils subsequently taking to social media with #BacAnglais with claims of sacrebleu, but in words the French actually use. One student even went so far as to create an online petition to cancel the Question M. So far, it’s still short of its 15,000 signatures goal. Which may be ...

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Man Crochets Super Mario Bros. 3 World Map

Spending over six years to crochet the World 1 map of Super Mario Bros. 3, was a labour love and no speed run for Kjetil Nordon. The Nintendo fan and crocheting master, not to mention computer programmer, spent over 800 hours crocheting the 2.2m by 1.8m blanket. Image Source: NRK As reported by NRK, it wasn’t without a few hammers thrown in works, as Kjetil Nordon said: “When the water was half way finished I saw that I had chosen the wrong shade of blue. It was almost purple, and very ugly, so I had to undo all of it. That took an extra week.” Perhaps the wrong shade of blue wasn’t quite as bad as being told: THANK YOU MARIO! BUT OUR PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE! Nordon is currently looking for a way to display his work on his wall, safe from harm. Because those Koopalings can be ...

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US Prisoners Punished for Using Facebook

Until recently there was an easy way to suspend a Facebook account. The catch was, to do so required being in a US prison. Even that has now changed, the ease of suspending a Facebook account for incarcerated Americans that is. Going to prison is still basically the same, and perhaps easier to get into than it is to get out of Facebook. Official members of law enforcement agencies may submit a direct request to Facebook via the Report An Inmate’s Account form submission webpage to restrict or control access. This has reportedly been in place since 2011. Although, as Dave Maass reported in Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), suspensions and deletion of content from prison inmates’ Facebook accounts could occur via prison officials emailing Facebook, with little-to-no questions asked. Until now that is. Facebook has revised its policy. Believing it is not Facebook’s role to censor content; and that suspension ...

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Should Realistic Toy Guns Be Banned?

Sydney, Australia, a child seen carrying a realistic looking toy gun in Martin Place has renewed debate about toy guns in general. Plus raised questions of how safe, or unsafe, it is to make toy guns look realistic; and to what degree realism should be pursued – if at all. It follows in the unease of recent siege of the Lindt Café in Martin Place in December last year. That people would be on edge, with a heightened sensitivity to anything resembling a gun, especially within Martin Place, is understandable. It tends to be a combination of several things. One of which is known as the recency effect, where recent events are remembered easily and feature more prominently within the memory (likely related to the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve). This is also often related to various acts of committing base rate fallacies, and where people overweight the recent evidence as representing ...

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Stormtrooper Arrested for Disturbance in the School

A man in Lynn, Massachusetts, has learnt about the Dark Side of cosplaying. George Cross, 40, was walking around near Brickett Elementary School on Lewis Street (Route 1A), dressed in costume as a stormtrooper from Star Wars. The school’s principal noticed the cosplaying stormtrooper was carrying what appeared to be a gun. Although suspecting the gun was a plastic toy, fearing for the younglings, the principal extended the school day by placing it into lockdown around 1:30pm. No word on whether the principal first tried to Force push the cosplayer away. After placing a call to 911, police arrived and arrested the cosplayer. George Cross was charged with disturbing a school and loitering within 1,000 feet of it. Lieutenant Rick Donnelly, of the Lynn Police said: “Our feelings are that he was not there to cause harm to the kids, but he used bad judgement.” Adding that: “He did cause ...

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Alcohol, Pizza and Pie – No Change but Rye

Islington, London, a man was almost charged ₤223,000 for a six-pack of craft beer. What exactly was this beer crafted from, may be a reasonable question. Rumours swell that it was brewed in the fires of Mount Doom itself. Using yeast secretly collected from the very baguette which stopped the Large Hadron Collider. With malts and hops of such pedigree that saffron is thrown on the ground before them as they are loaded on an unsinkable Bismarck guarded by tactical and nuclear penguins. All to form the ultimate craft beer. Or, the man was simply overcharged by accident. The decimal point had been moved a few places. Possibly because the period was being taxed. Fortunately or otherwise, he didn’t actually have the ₤223,000 in his bank account to fund the declined purchase. “I wasn’t really paying attention but I glanced down and saw the first two numbers. “They looked fine ...

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Ireland Referendum Votes Yes for Gay Marriage

It didn’t even come done to the wire. The turnout of voters was large in number, and before long those campaigning against it had conceded defeat. Irish voters were asked whether they agreed to the following statement: Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex. “Yes” was the resounding answer. All of which is moving the Republic of Ireland to legalise same-sex marriage. Making it the first country to do so by popular vote. The country’s constitution will be amended to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Ireland first introduced same-sex partnerships in 2010. The referendum will now allow for same-sex civil marriages. Voter turnout was near 60 percent, with more than 3.2 million Irish people asked to vote. Announced at Dublin Castle, the official results were: 1,201,607 voted in favour of same-sex marriage. 734,300 voted against same-sex marriage. It’s a landmark ...

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