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Strange news archive: July-August 2006

Cows also 'have regional accents'
(Aug 27, 2006)

Cows have regional accents like humans, language specialists have suggested. They decided to examine the issue after dairy farmers noticed their cows had slightly different moos, depending on which herd they came from. John Wells, Professor of Phonetics at the University of London, said regional twangs had been seen before in birds.

Read more. Source: BBC

Fireball sparks alert
(Aug 21, 2006)

A meteor shower sparked fears a large aircraft was coming down into the sea off the Hebrides. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Stornoway received dozens of calls on Friday night about a fireball falling from the sky. Lifeboat crews in the Western Isles were alerted as emergency services prepared for a large scale disaster.

Read more. Source: BBC

The alchemist who thought he could fly
(Aug 12, 2006)

Imagine a mysterious forbidden door inside Stirling Castle at the beginning of the 16th century. Only a privileged few are allowed entry. One of them is James IV, the other is the shadowy figure of John Damian – alchemist to the Scottish king.

Read more. Source: New Scotsman

Ministry to investigate UFO light sightings
(Aug 5, 2006)

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to probe UFO sightings over Sunderland and Seaham after mysterious lights appeared in the night sky. Since the Echo reported the mysterious activity earlier this week we have been contacted by more than 20 readers who witnessed the lights. They all reported seeing bright, orange-coloured orbs floating over East Durham residents and parts of Sunderland.

Read more. Source: Sunderland Today

Greenland beer
Greenland ice cap beer launched
(Aug 4, 2006)

A brewery in Greenland is producing beer using water melted from the ice cap of the vast Arctic island. The brewers claim that the water is at least 2,000 years old and free of minerals and pollutants. The first 66,000 litres of the new dark and pale ales are on their way to the Danish market.

Read more. Source: BBC

virtual world
Virtual worlds to test telepathy
(Jul 21, 2006)

A virtual world designed to test human telepathy has been demonstrated at the University of Manchester, UK. Pairs of participants enter separate virtual rooms in the game and try to select which virtual object they think the other is interacting with. The designers of the system say it overcomes some of the problems associated with real world studies.

Read more. Source: BBC

X-ray of python
Surgery for blanket-eating python
(Jul 20, 2006)

Houdini the Burmese python gave his owner a shock after swallowing a queen-size electric blanket, including the electrical cord and control box. Emergency surgery was required to remove the blanket and tangle of wires that x-rays showed was running through 8ft of the python's 12ft (3.6m) body.

Read more. Source: BBC

Einstein in no-sock shock
(Jul 16, 2006)

"Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots." So wrote Albert Einstein to his cousin and second wife Elsa, during a visit to the University of Oxford.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

mystery scale
Hunt for Gambia's mythical dragon
(Jul 14, 2006)

A team of UK dragon-hunters are on an expedition in The Gambia to track down a mysterious creature known locally as the "Ninki-nanka". Believed to live in swamps, the ninki-nanka appears in the folklore of many parts of West Africa. It is described as having a horse-like face, a long body with mirror-like scales and a crest of skin on its head.

Read more. Source: BBC

Jack the Ripper crime scene
New clue in Jack The Ripper case
(Jul 13, 2006)

New documents about the identity of 1880s serial killer Jack The Ripper are to be revealed at the re-launch of Scotland Yard's Crime Museum. The paperwork has been donated by relatives of an officer involved in the original investigation. The museum, which has been re-vamped and modernised, features exhibits from famous cases dating back to 1875.

Read more. Source: BBC

Indian man apparently holding his own skull
India skull man pulls huge crowds
(Jul 6, 2006)

Hundreds of people have flocked to a hospital in the Indian city of Calcutta to see a man holding a sizeable chunk of his head in his hands. Doctors say a section of electrician Sambhu Roy's skull fell off on Sunday, months after he suffered severe burns. He has now become the centre of public attention as the man who literally "holds his head in his hands".

Read more. Source: BBC

woman with foreign accent syndrome
Stroke gives woman foreign accent
(Jul 4, 2006)

A Geordie woman has apparently developed foreign accents after waking up following a stroke. Linda Walker awoke in hospital to find her distinctive Newcastle accent had been transformed into a mixture of Jamaican, Canadian and Slovakian. The 60-year-old may have Foreign Accent Syndrome, where patients speak differently after a brain injury.

Read more. Source: BBC

brain scan
'Rewired brain' revives patient after 19 years
(Jul 4, 2006)

A study of the "miraculous" recovery of a man who spent 19 years in a minimally conscious state has revealed the likely cause of his regained consciousness. The findings suggest the human brain shows far greater potential for recovery and regeneration then ever suspected. It may also help doctors predict their patientsí chances of improvement. But the studies also highlight gross inadequacies in the system for diagnosing and caring for patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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