Props to whoever noticed bird poop on a smuggler's socks. The smuggler passing through LAX turned out to have 14 birds in his pants when he was busted. Of course the inspectors were onto him already because he'd previously left behind a suitcase full of contraband birds.
Also in today's links: signs of an enhanced MacBook, plus multiple medical miracles.
Willy Wonka would have liked this, but I can't imagine a whole lot of human cooks worth their -- ahem -- salt, will have much interest: a company is selling a book of spices made from edible paper. Want some chili flavoring in a dish? Just rip out the perforated page and put in the pan.
In today's links: forcing people to smoke fails, why it's sometimes better to eat bland food, and more.
This story of a man and his best friend, an 800-pound grizzly bear, is sweet and all. And it's pretty cute that the bear served as best man in his wedding. But doesn't this kind of thing always come back around to literally bite you in the butt? Incidentally, one of the google ads running along the bottom of the video was, "Bear Butchered Man in Ukrainian Zoo."
Also in today's links: controlling toxins from forest fires, an island secret uncovered, and more.
Scientists decoding dinosaur flesh? Problems with nuclear reactors? We got something for everyone in today's news roundup. All of a sudden, I'm a lot less scared of the flu...
First, though, on the swine flu front, Slate explains how Asian countries use heat sensors to help screen for flu victims. NEC, the electronics manufacturer that makes the cameras, told PopSci.com that there are 108 of them deployed at airports in Japan, but they couldn't say how many were in use at other Asian airports. Also, like the Slate piece, they couldn't say if the technology actually helped prevent the spread of the flu.
New York City was full of mysteries this week: Who was the idiot that approved the low-flying plane? Does being near the swine flu outbreak in Queens outweigh the benefits of all the delicious ethnic food in that borough? Who misplaced their 60-pound tortoise?
Also in today's links: sadistic spider sex, questionable professional practice and more.
Getting his computer stolen was the most fun thing ever to happen to this guy, who sounds like a bit of a tech geek. Thanks to a remote-access program he'd installed, he was able to screw with the thief's head, while gathering info to help the police track the guy down.
Also in today's links: hungry badgers feed on a lawn, malnourished plants feed on human hair, and more.
If you're tired of fretting about swine flu, here's something else to think about: dislodged "ear rocks" -- loose crystals made of calcium carbonate that can cause dizziness. These little guys are usually valuable, helping us stay balanced, until an injury or virus triggers a "rock slide."
Also in today's links: a levitating air conditioner, horse surgery, and more.
When I was little, I loved ice cream more than just about anything. But, as my mom tells it, I would sometimes get to Baskin-Robbins and be so overwhelmed by the many delicious options that I would be overwhelmed with indecision and take the easy way out: forgoing a cone.*
It turns out there's scientific evidence that my mind actually was paralyzed by too much information. The bonus in listening to this exploration of choice is worthwhile if only to hear Oliver Sacks describe forcing himself to eat 22 pounds of liver.
Also in today's links: what not to do while home sick, unanswered questions about "the hobbit," and more.
Two "bananeros" -- people claiming to be banana farm workers -- who filed suit against Dole Food Co. claiming pesticides had made them sterile, had their case thrown out of court after a judge cited a "pervasive conspiracy" by the bananeros' attorneys and Nicaraguan judges. (Note: You will have "bananero!" -- sung to the tune of the Canyonero ad on the Simpsons -- stuck in your head all day.)
Also in today's links: how robots see, a look back at the 1976 swine flu outbreak and more.
A strange new study found that people who rated high in self-control made good choices among an array of relatively healthy foods -- until a much healthier option was thrown into the mix, at which point self-control seemed to go out the window.
Also in today's links: the most delightful creature in the world, the worldwide spread of technology, and more.