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Strange news archive: March-April 2006

Transporter room of Alleyne's home
Living in the 'Star Trek' universe – for real
(Apr 27, 2006)

Tony Alleyne loved the Star Trek universe so much, he wanted to live in it. So after a bitter breakup, he remodeled his condominium to look like the inside of the Starship Enterprise. Since then he's started a science fiction interior design business to recoup the cost, and now he's an Internet hero.

Read more. Source: NPR

David Blaine
Blaine plans underwater challenge
(Apr 25, 2006)

Magician David Blaine has announced plans to spend seven days submerged in a water-filled container in New York. The illusionist, who spent 44 days in a glass box for a starvation stunt in London in 2003, will use lines giving nutrition and air to stay alive. After one week, he will remove his air supply and attempt to break the world record for holding breath.

Read more. Source: BBC

747 wing house
Woman to build house out of 747
(Apr 20, 2006)

A California woman is going ahead with the construction of a house made of elements from a 747 Jumbo jet. Francie Rehwald wanted her house to look "feminine", have curves and be eco-friendly. Her architect's answer was: "Let's use a 747!" The wing of the Boeing jet will be used for the roof, its nose as a meditation temple while its trademark "bulge" will serve as a loft.

Read more. Source: BBC

crucian carp
Fish holds breath for months
(Apr 12, 2006)

If you thought you were the champion of holding your breath under water as a kid, think again. Crucian carp, a fish closely related to the goldfish, can live months without oxygen, scientists have discovered. These freshwater fish, generally inhabitants of the lakes and rivers of Europe and Asia, are able to change the structure of their gills to boost oxygen uptake, allowing them to survive when they are for all practical purposes starved of oxygen.

Read more. Source:

a very large rabbit
Armed guards hunt Were-rabbit of Mouldshaugh Lane
(Apr 7, 2006)

Martial law has been declared on a Northumberland allotment after a series of devastating nocturnal raids by a freakishly large and hungry rabbit. The residents of the village of Felton believe the creature – which has feet as big as a dog's – bides its time in its burrow before emerging at night to plunder parsnips, spring carrots, leeks and onions at the allotments on Mouldshaugh Lane. The proud vegetable-growers have become so angry at the animal's depredations that they have appointed two armed watchmen to guard the allotments at night.

Read more. Source: Guardian

Bacteria use slime jets to get around
(Apr 3, 2006)

The propulsion system used by slime-squirting bacteria could teach rocket scientists and nano-engineers some new tricks. Myxobacteria are micrometre-scale filament-shaped organisms that glide along surfaces, leaving a trail of slime in their wake. Biologists were convinced the bugs produced the slime as lubricant, but couldn't explain how they generated the force to move. Now it turns out that the bacteria push themselves along by ejecting the slime from nozzles on their bodies.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Chips are down for sleepwalk chef
(Mar 30, 2006)

A former chef who cooks chips and omelettes in his sleep has spoken of his desperation to find a cure before he sets his house on fire. Rab Wood, from Glenrothes in Fife, is worried that he could burn his house down during his sleepwalking sessions. The 55-year-old, who has been sleepwalking since he was 14 years old, said it is making his life a misery. His wife Eleanor said she is constantly alert at night with worry about what her husband is going to do next.

Read more. Source: BBC

Addwaitya the giant tortoise
'Clive of India's tortoise' dies aged 250
(Mar 24, 2006)

A giant aldabra tortoise thought to be around 250 years old has died in the Kolkata zoo of liver failure, Indian authorities said on Thursday. The tortoise had been the pet of Robert Clive, the famous British military officer in colonial India around the middle of the 18th century, a local minister in West Bengal state said.

Source: Reuters

Merlin the parrot
Parrot alarm saves man from fire
(Mar 24, 2006)

A deaf man was saved from a fire at his home when his parrot ran up and down his legs to wake him after he failed to hear a smoke alarm in West Yorkshire. Peter Taylor, of Mirfield, had taken his hearing aids out and was asleep when the fire broke out, so Merlin, his African Grey parrot, raised the alarm.

Read more. Source: BBC

Brooklyn Bridge
Cold War cache found in New York
(Mar 22, 2006)

Survival blankets and crackers dating back five decades to the Cold War have been found in a long-forgotten storage room under New York's Brooklyn Bridge. Officials believe the stash, discovered during a structural inspection, may be one of many created in the US in the 1950s amid fears of a nuclear war. The provisions include 350,000 "Civil Defense All Purpose Survival Crackers", medical kits and now-empty water drums.

Read more. Source: BBC

human brain
Woman with perfect memory baffles scientists
(Mar 22, 2006)

James McGaugh is one of the world's leading experts on how the human memory system works. But these days, he admits he's stumped. McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago.

Read more. Source: ABC News

giant wave
Ship endures record-breaking waves
(Mar 19, 2006)

On the dark and stormy night of 8 February 2000, you wouldn't want to have been on board the Discovery, a British oceanographic research ship. Out in the North Atlantic, 250 km west of Scotland and close to the tiny island of Rockall, the ship was forced to sit through what researchers think are the biggest waves ever directly recorded in the open ocean. The two largest measured just over 29 metres from peak to trough – about the height of a ten-storey building.

Read more. Source: Nature

Briitsh Rail flying saucer
British Rail flying saucer plan
(Mar 13, 2006)

A Channel Tunnel or tilting train may once have seemed far fetched, but these plans were grounded compared to British Rail proposals to use flying saucers. Recently uncovered plans show bosses filed for a patent in 1970 for a space craft powered by "controlled thermonuclear fusion reaction". With a passenger compartment upstairs, it would have been cheap to run and super-fast, according to its inventor. The proposals were recently found on the European Patent Office website.

Read more. Source: BBC

Laonastes aenigmamus
The Lazarus Effect: rodent 'missing' for 11 million years is discovered in Laos
(Mar 10, 2006)

A bizarre rodent that was discovered last year in a remote region of south-east Asia has turned out to belong to a family of mammals that was thought to have gone extinct more than 11 million years ago, a study has found. A new analysis of the rodent's remains indicates that it is a striking example of the "Lazarus effect", when members of a species thought to be extinct are found living in an isolated part of the world.

Read more. Source: Independent

swimming plesiosaur
North America's 'Loch Ness Monster' spotted again
(Mar 9, 2006)

Dubbed “North America’s Loch Ness Monster,” the purported leviathan of Lake Champlain, “Champ,” has just resurfaced. On Feb. 22, 2006, Good Morning America aired exclusive video footage of “something” just below the surface of the water, possibly the lake’s fabled creature. A pair of Vermont men, Dick Affolter and his 34-year-old stepson, Pete Bodette, had made the digital recordings the previous summer while salmon fishing. ABC consulted two retired FBI forensic image analysts, who concluded that the video appeared authentic, although they could not say what it depicted.

Read more. Source: LiveScience

Was Nessie an elephant?
Elephant theory in Nessie search
(Mar 6, 2006)

Unexplained sightings of the Loch Ness monster could have been elephants enjoying a swim, a scientist has said. Neil Clark, curator of palaeontology at Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum, spent two years researching Nessie. He said they could have been circus elephants, as fairs visiting Inverness would often stop on the banks of Loch Ness to give the animals a rest. The trunk and humps in the water would bear similarities to some of the most famous Nessie photographs.

Read more. Source: BBC

footptints said to be those of Mawas
Hunting for Malaysia's 'Bigfoot'
(Mar 1, 2006)

The village of Mawai Lama in the Malaysian state of Johor is a sleepy row of wooden fronted shop-houses set back from the Sedili River. Yet Mawai is one of the most intriguing places in Malaysia. According to local historians, Mawai's original name was Mawas, and Mawas is the name locals give to a legendary creature known the world over as Bigfoot. The people of Mawas certainly seem to believe in the creature from which their village takes its name.

Read more. Source: BBC


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