Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures


  • October 2005
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Archive for October 7th, 2005

Pesky Wabbit Banned in Britian

Posted by glasscastle on 7th October 2005

LONDON – Poster ads promoting the soon-to-be launched
animated film ‘Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit’ have
been banned on the Dorset island of Portland because they feature the
word ‘rabbit’.

In a story that sounds suspiciously like a plotline from Wallace & Gromit
creator Nick Park, Portland locals are insisting that the posters must
go. Apparently the word "rabbit" is considered taboo on the island
and local people instead refer to the creatures as "underground mutton",
or simply "furry things".

The ban on the poster campaign came into effect when officials were approached
by publicists wanting to put posters up to promote the film, which is released
in a week’s time. The officials claimed that the ads would offend local

The only poster for the film on Portland is one which uses the line "Something
bunny is going on", without mentioning the word rabbit.

In Portland the R-word is bad luck because rabbits risked the lives of
stonemasons quarrying for the world famous Portland stone. The furry critters’
burrowing undermined quarries and caused landslides.

from Brand

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Robot Fish Convert Aquarium into Screen Saver

Posted by glasscastle on 7th October 2005

The world’s first autonomously-controlled robotic
fish have been unveiled at London Aquarium. The robotic fish are said
to swim as fast as tuna, with the acceleration of a pike and the navigation
skills of an eel.

The fish, designed by Professor Huosheng Hu, of Essex University, navigate
by sensor based controls, and mimic the motion of fish. Prof Hu’s team
worked with the London Aquarium for three years to develop a biologically-inspired
robot that mimics the undulating movement of
real fish.

Prof Hu said the project aimed to bring the public into direct contact
with robots, increasing their understanding of science and technology.
He said: "This work has many real-world applications including detecting
leaks in oil pipelines, mine counter-measures and improving the performance
of underwater vehicles."

from Ananova

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Paranoia Strikes Deep: Missing Wiki

Posted by glasscastle on 7th October 2005

we are so stupid it hurts. Today,
we have been kicking ourself all day for missing the big planning meeting
for the Boston bid to host next
summer’s Wikimania
. It’s our own fault
for not finding the time to keep up with the blogs of our friends and
collaborators. The worst part of missing this meeting,
despite wanting very much to be there, is that we were there.

The meeting, we found out today, was held at the
Berkman Center immediately after the weekly Blogger’s
, which
we attended.  As that meeting was breaking up, we though we heard
that people were going to a nearby bar for a bite or a beer. This
sounded like a good idea, Norma Yvonne was teaching until 9:15, so
we drifted outside, taking advantage of the misty Indian summer night,
and waited for the rest of the gang to exit.

And waited. We said leisurely goodbyes to several
attendees who had to hurry off to homes and loved ones. We leaned against
the stone balustrade and thought over some of the arcane search-engine
secrets divulged by the amazing
Amanda Watlington
minutes earlier.

Our thoughts came back to earth through our nose.
A rusty red Mazda had pulled up, with a removable lit sign on the roof
identifying it as from a local pizza parlor. The driver got out,
with a stack of assorted Italian goodies, and we started thinking about
what we would order at the bar.

It seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time
for the other to come out.  We finally ventured around the corner to peer
through the window. Indeed! The Italian food was out on the table
of the meeting room at Berkman, and
our "friends" were all there, with a bunch of others. A SECRET MEETING
to which we had not been invited!

In fact, it dawned on us that we had been intentionally misled into thinking
they were going to the bar, probably to get us out of the way so the
secret meeting could proceed. Paranoia strikes deep, and we felt its
cold clammy fingers climbing our spine. We abandoned all hope of rejoining
the group, and slunk off into the

Of course, today, belatedly reading SJ’s
excellent blog
, we realized what was going on. It was the very
meeting we didn’t want to miss. And we were there, and we fled
like a frightened felon at a cop convention. Today, we are embarrassed,
ashamed and repentant.

But who knows, there may still be time to contribute
our two-bits to this very important initiative. Rock on, Samuel, and
please put us on the mailing list.

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Nobel Rewards Nuke Hunters

Posted by glasscastle on 7th October 2005

Oct. 7 – The International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief Mohamed
ElBaradei today won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005
for their work in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. Holger Keifel/Polaris,
for NYT

Mohamed ElBaradei, 63, has practiced quiet diplomacy to dissuade nations
from using nuclear technology for arms.

"The prize recognizes the role of multilateralism in resolving all
of the challenges we are facing today," Mr. ElBaradei told a televised
press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna. "The prize
will strengthen my resolve and that of my colleagues to continue to speak
to power."

We were talking about the Nobel Prizes yesterday with
the students in our Media News course. One of our students, who has
worked for many years for a major Tokyo newspaper, expressed surprise
that the initial rounds of Nobel Prizes, announced last week, were not
front page news in the Boston

In Japan, apparently, the newspapers go to work
on the Nobels even before the nominations are announced, speculating
the chances of likely candidates for nomination! When the nominations
are officially announced, they prepare in-depth profiles and background
pieces on each of the nominees, whom they invariably interview. The life
of a Nobel nominee must be a non-stop whirlwind of interviews with foreign
journalists from the announcement of the nominations to the announcement
of the actual prizes.

When that happens, the Japanese papers really go
to town, with front page, over the fold splash headlines, and detailed
of the accomplishments, history, and personality of the winners. If
a favored son of the Rising Sun wins, as happens with increasing frequency
these days, they merit a separate section.

Unfortunately, we related, in the United States
the only selections that get that kind of scrutiny are Major League
Most Valuable Player, and Supreme Court Justices. In this country,
the Nobel Prizes are placed on the
same level of importance and newsworthiness as the Pulitzers, Oscars and Miss
– annual events of intense interest to a small clique of
specialists and fanatics, and only passing interest to the general public.
Page three material, at best, unless a local figure is involved.

When asked why that is, we were nonplussed. We had
been aware for a while that the Nobel’s are a much bigger deal around
world than they are in the US. All we could come up with is that there
have been so many American winners that people are jaded, that isolationist
Americans aren’t all that interested in what people in foreign countries
are up to in general, and that the Nobels, Alfred Nobel, Stockholm, Sweden
and even the word "Peace" are vaguely tinted with a creepy veneer of
socialism and Old World weirdness.

However, we concluded, you can bet your bippy that
when the Grand Champion Nobel Peace Laureate is announced, it will
be front
page news in the US. We were right.

By awarding the Peace Prize to the International
Atomic Energy Commission, the Nobel Committee are sending a message.
The message
is that they are scared shitless that the nuclear cat is out of the bag,
or about to be, and that dozens of independent but interconnected projects
around the globe represent a bunch of belligerent and bedraggled bums
banging on the door of the heretofore ultra-exclusive nuclear club.

As the visible manifestation of the international
arms industry, giving out a prize named after the inventor of dynamite,
is easy to see why the Nobel Committee is against nuclear proliferation. It’s
hard to sell tanks and machine guns when every Tom, Dick and Hassan has
a pocket nuke.

Only our firm belief in the inevitability
of Nuclear War
and the hope that it A) transpires as far away from
where we are as possible, and B) inspires a spontaneous worldwide
popular uprising forcing power-mad psychotic politicians to get rid
of the damn things once and for all keeps us from losing all hope.

from the
New York Times

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