Doofus Of The Day #172

With rescuers like this, who wants to be rescued anyway? A mountain rescuer from western Sweden has been relieved of his duties after attempting a rescue while under the influence. The call for help came last Thursday from two women suffering from exhaustion in the peaks of Härjedalen. Several hours later a mountain rescuer arrived on snowmobile. But the man’s odd behaviour made the women wonder whether or not he was sober enough to carry out the rescue, the Länstidning newspaper reported. Their suspicions were confirmed moments later when the drunken would-be rescuer slammed his snow scooter into a tree

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Feeling hungry? You’d better be to tackle this!

I’m amazed to read a news report about the Nascar Café‘s latest offering. A Las Vegas casino cafe is rewarding patrons who can put away a 2-foot, 6-pound burrito with a most logical prize – free unlimited rides on a roller coaster that runs in both forward and reverse. The offer comes with a caveat, though: Those who accept the challenge but can’t finish “The Bomb” burrito have to take a picture with an extra small, pink T-shirt that says “Weenie.” Six pounds of burrito??? Ye Gods and little fishes! It may cost ‘only’ $19.95, but that amount of food

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I wish I’d had this during my service!

I’m intrigued to see that load-bearing exoskeletal ‘suits’ for soldiers are now becoming a real and practical possibility. The latest development is from Lockheed Martin, who partnered with Berkeley Bionics to produce something they’ve called HULC – for Human Universal Load Carrier. Lockheed Martin’s press release announced: Dismounted Soldiers often carry heavy combat loads that increase the stress on the body leading to potential injuries. With a HULC exoskeleton, these loads are transferred to the ground through powered titanium legs without loss of mobility. The HULC is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to

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One that didn’t get away!

Gizmodo tells us of a lost cellular phone that was found in a rather unusual way. Andrew Cheatle was hanging out on a boat when he dropped his phone in the water. He thought it was gone for good, but a week later, his old phone called his girlfriend. It turns out, a 25-pound cod ate his phone and was then caught by fishermen. They found the phone, pulled out the SIM card and put it in another phone and called his girlfriend. More info and a photograph are at the link. Oh, well. At least he won’t be carping

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From ‘Lord Of The Rings’ to ‘Lady Of The Fishes’!

I’m amused and impressed by this report. Nadya Vessey, from Auckland, New Zealand, suffered a medical condition as a child that forced doctors to amputate both her legs. When a little boy asked her what happened to her legs, she told him she was a mermaid. The idea stuck – and, two years ago, she wrote to Oscar-winning special effects company Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, to ask them to make her a tail. She never believed they actually would. But for the people behind the special effects in blockbuster hits like ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Chronicles of

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The conflict of moral principle versus hard reality

As a retired pastor, and one who takes moral and ethical issues seriously, I’ve been reminded again of the conflict between principles and the reality of everyday life. My train of thought was sparked by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. A new UN declaration of intent [on illicit-drug-use policy] is due to be signed in Vienna on March 11. However, there are serious disagreements between member countries over whether a commitment to “harm reduction” should be included in the document, which is published every 10 years. Now the Vatican has issued a statement that claims that using drugs

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Doofus Of The Day #171

Today’s Doofus is again from Australia. A tip o’ the hat to Julie for e-mailing the link to me. A THIEF has bungled an attempt to break in to a car in Adelaide, locking himself inside the vehicle as police arrived. Police said the man was one of two caught early this morning breaking into cars at Port Noarlunga, in the city’s southern suburbs. A 28-year-old was found hiding in some bushes while a 53-year-old was found hiding in one of the cars. “The man, while breaking in to the car, had locked himself inside and couldn’t get out,” a

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Shear-thickening fluid armor goes mainstream

I’ve been watching the development of shear-thickening fluids (also called ‘dilatants’ or ‘non-Newtonian fluids’) with great interest. They promise to revolutionize things like body armor and vehicle traction control. Now, an article in the Daily Mail suggests that the British Army is about to deploy the first application of this technology on active service. On the face of it a layer of orange jelly may not sound the best way to protect a soldier’s head from high velocity bullets and shrapnel. But the British Army’s standard-issue combat helmet is set to be upgraded with a liner made from gooey miracle

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“Trust Your Heart” may be the right thing

I’m intrigued by new research to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research later this year. In a pre-publication press release (PDF file), the Journal states: Trust Your Heart: Emotions May Be More Reliable When Making Choices When choosing a flavor of ice cream, an item of clothing, or even a home, you might be better off letting your emotions guide you, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. “Our current research supports theories in evolutionary psychology that propose that our emotions can be conceived as a set of ‘programs’ that have evolved over time

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A Doofus Defeated

Back in January, Dr. Richard Batista won our 140th Doofus Of The Day award. He sued his estranged wife for the return of the kidney he’d donated to her some years before, or alternatively $1.5 million in damages. Unfortunately for the good doctor, his claim has just been shot down in court. A surgeon who once donated a kidney to his wife won’t get the kidney back – or money for it – as part of the couple’s divorce settlement, a court decision said. Dr. Richard Batista, 49, of Ronkonkoma, made headlines last month when he demanded that his estranged

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