Doofus Of The Day #448

Today’s award goes to Haringey council in England, who let their eco-friendliness go to their collective heads. Eco-campaigners who built a classroom powered by the sun believed they were paving the way for the future. Instead they have been taught a valuable lesson – there is not enough sun in North London to sufficiently heat their building. The much feted zero-carbon Living Ark classroom was opened three months ago to great fanfare. It boasts laudable green credentials and is made from sustainable wood, sheep’s wool and soil. The roof is made of mud and grass and it has its own

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The reality of drug abuse

‘Faces Of Meth‘ was a photographic exhibition arranged by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon, in 2004. It featured, among others, the images below. It showed pictures of methamphetamine users when they were first arrested, followed by a second picture of them during a subsequent arrest months or years later, showing how dramatically their appearance and physical condition had deteriorated. The Sheriff’s Office has just released a follow-up project called ‘From Drugs To Mugs‘. This time they’re focusing on users of all illegal drugs, not just methamphetamines. A news report about the program gives more details. Released in the hope

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I’ve just lost my appetite!

Would you eat ice cream made with mothers milk? If you go to London, you may get the opportunity to try it. A London ice cream parlour has plans to serve up ice cream made from breast milk as part of a homage to the “miracle of motherhood.” The unusual concoction, called Baby Gaga, is to sell for £14 [about US $22.60] per serv[ing] at Icecreamists in Convent Garden. Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor expected the new flavour to be popular for its “pure, organic, free-range” qualities, Reuters reported. The ice cream contains real breast milk from 15 London women who

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Miniature art

Via an article in the Daily Mail, I was led to the Web site of Russian artist Anatoly Konenko. He specializes in creating extremely small works of art – so small, some of them are microscopic in scale! Among them are a camel caravan built inside the eye of a needle: and this 34mm. (just over 1¼-inch) table, made out of pear wood: It’s top is made of rosewood, and the elephant is carved from fossilized mammoth bone. The fly is real! You can see many more of his microminiature creations at his Web site. Here’s a video clip about

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When bling beats bang!

I had to laugh at a report from New Orleans. Briefly, a man stole his brother’s marijuana and sat with his girlfriend in his car, smoking it. When his brother came home, he was upset at finding his marijuana stolen. After an argument, he shot his thieving brother – but the bullet bounced off his gold tooth, leaving only a minor cut on the victim’s lip! First time I’ve heard that bling ever did anyone some real good . . . Peter

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The Libya revolt and Islamic fundamentalism

I’ve written about the situation in Egypt, but recent events in Libya have eclipsed developments there for the time being. Stratfor have published a very interesting article titled ‘Jihadist Opportunities in Libya‘. Here’s an extract from it, republished with permission of Stratfor. As we watch the situation unfold in Libya, there are concerns that unlike Tunisia and Egypt, the uprising in Libya might result not only in a change of ruler but also in a change of regime and perhaps even a collapse of the state. In Egypt and Tunisia, strong military regimes were able to ensure stability after the

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The only airworthy B-29 Superfortress returns to flight

The Commemorative Air Force has been restoring its B-29 Superfortress – the only flying example of this iconic World War II bomber – over the past few years. It’s now back in the air, and will once again delight audiences at air shows around the USA. Here’s a video of its first test flight after restoration. I highly recommend watching it in full-screen mode. Fascinating – and very evocative! Peter

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Conspicuous consumption to the max!

Business Insider has published a list of “The 10 Most Expensive Watches You Can Buy Right Now“. The thought of spending six or seven figures on a mere wristwatch strikes me as obscene, quite frankly . . . but there must be a market for them, otherwise no-one would make them. Here’s the Hublot Tourbillon Solo Bang, a snip at $105,000: If that’s a bit too low-cost for you, here’s the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers. It’s on sale, reduced from $484,000 to a mere (!) $387,200: And if money is no object, there’s the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002

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A fascinating close-up look at the Moon

NASA has made available a composite image of the nearside of the Moon, compiled by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera. Its Web site says: For two weeks in mid-December 2010, the LRO spacecraft remained nadir looking (straight down) so that the LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) could acquire ~1300 images, allowing the LROC team to construct this spectacular mosaic. There’s more at the link. The image is shown below, but of course this is a scaled-down, non-zoomable version. Click it to go to the Web site with the zoomable image. We’ll refer below to the crater circled in yellow. To

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