It could the premise of a good movie…

5 07 2010
…or even a good book.

Bringing back into existence extinct animals through the use of genetic and reproductive technologies. I wonder where that idea came from, researchers at Scripps & San Diego Zoo?

Well, okay, it’s not quite extinct, but the Drill Monkey from equatorial Africa is pretty darn endangered, which might be a redeeming factor for this story. Instead of creating a whole range of new endangered species, we should be working on protecting the ones we already have. And we definitely should be trying to avoid resurrecting giant reptilian predators that will eat all our goats.





Suspected zombie outbreak in Melbourne

1 05 2010

Warning: We have a possible patient zero

(Image: xkcd)

I hope this new-fangled national health reform has some sort of measures that prevent the dead just up and walking out into the streets and cause the zombie apocalypse.

To be fair, Mr. Thornton is still speaking, however may be deluded as he still professes disbelief in his death despite documents clearly stating otherwise. He may not be a zombie, perhaps a vampire or post-mortem deity?





Kate’s Having a Party

28 04 2010

Not quite a hump-day happy, but close enough.

I don’t know if it is the original event, but Kate’s party appears to be still on – are you going?





HDH: Quolls pass training test

15 04 2010

This weeks Hump Day Happy via DaveTheHappySinger

Cane toads were a bad idea. A very bad idea. An insanely bad idea. But anyway, Australia is now stuck with rampaging toxic amphibians threatening almost all our native wildlife. Amongst those threatened are native carnivores. Aside from birds and snakes, there is a whole range of little superficially rodent-looking marsupials, and quolls.

Quolls are awesome. Just from having an awesome name like “Quoll” (and providing more ‘q’ words in scrabble). They aren’t wimpy like “possums” and “sugar gliders”, these critters eat MEAT. Sadly, toads are made from meat, so quolls will naturally try to to eat toads. And then they die. Which is sad.

So the happy news at ABC is that scientists at University of Sydney have been successfully training small groups of quolls to resist the urge to eat cane toads using aversion therapy. The quolls were exposed to small toads sprayed with a nauseating compound which made trying to eat the delicious grenouilles quite unappealing.

“The toad was hopping around. It looked like something good to eat, but once they sniffed it they got that signal saying, ‘Hey, we’re not good to eat’ and they ignored it.” – Dr. Jonathan Webb

A video of the training process is also up on the ABC.

When released into the wild and monitored, trained quolls had higher survival rates than untrained quolls.

The scientists hope that toad training can be initiated ahead of the toad invasion front, so that by the time the toads reach that area the quolls (and other animals) no better than to try and eat one.

The actual scientific article can be found at the Journal of Applied Ecology (you’ll need a Wiley InterScience subscription) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01802.x





Hump day happy: Head splitting success

18 11 2009

Surgery to separate the conjoined heads of Bangladeshi twins Krishna and Trishna at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital has been announced as initially successful.

Video, galleries and news at Fairfax or News.com.au





Should that be “Xenu-phon”

18 11 2009

Scientology Australia have probably just added a new SP to their dossiers after Nick Xenophon’s scathing attack on the organisation early this morning (or late last night) – check out a video report over here.

Senator Xenophon said their correspondence [fro former church memebers] implicated the organisation in a range of crimes, including forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, embezzlement of church funds, physical violence, intimidation and blackmail.

In an effort to charm every divorcee in the country, Scientology released a statement that comments from ex-members are as reliable as that of an ex-spouse about a former partner. You see they mean all the emotional abuse and denial of care with love obviously.

Another charming response on this effort was on Ten’s 7pm Project which brought in theologian Rev Dr David Milligan who was supposed to illuminate the issue, but basically said Scientology can’t be that bad because Christianity (his religion) believes in some crazy stuff you find in a book too.

So close, yet so far… video embedded below, but you’ll have to skip to about 8:35 to get to the Scientology segment (the first story about a guy who goes 600km off course after a wrong turn is a bit amusing though).

Read the rest of this entry »





What, there’s a reputation to uphold?

5 11 2009

This week’s storm in teacup is brought to you by comedy-news-quiz show (we can’t afford individual shows in Australia) Good News Week and Akmal Saleh.

Akmal took the opportunity of national television to go on an expletive filled rant about the people of Rockhampton. This has upset Rockhampton, and the little git has apologised. Too be fair apparently he was punched in the by some woman in an alley who accused him of being a paedophile wog, but hey, who hasn’t?

The ever reliable Morning Bulletin reports Akmal’s version of events at the Rocky Show earlier this year:

The funny man had three days off in Rockhampton and decided to take a camera to the show with his two mates.

The friends dressed in traditional Arabian outfits and did a Borat-esque skit.

The trio was lining up for a ride in sideshow alley when an angry mum confronted them.

“Listen here mate, you’ve got to have permission before you video people’s children,” the woman said.

Akmal said he tried to tell the woman she had it wrong and offered to show her the tape.

“Bulls—, you’re f—ing taping people’s children and you’re a pedophile, you dirty wog (expletive),” she said.

“Go away you idiot,” Akmal said before she punched him in the nose.

She whacked him again, “full-on punches” to his face.

“We just bolted,” Akmal said.

“I thought if we stayed we’d be lynched.”