McCain apologises for choosing the wrong Palin

Just a day after announcing his running mate in the forthcoming presidential election, Senator John McCain (72) has admitted that in a fit of absent-mindedness he flew in the wrong Palin. This would explain his muppet-like demeanour during yesterday’s press conference. McCain informed the world’s press today that he doesn’t really mean to have a […]

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Bovine japes

A group of German and Czech zoologists claims that cows and wild deer tend to graze pointing in the same north-south direction. But this is news to herdsman and hunters, who despite their close proximity to the animals have failed to notice this curious phenomenon. Cows are social animals, says Scottish cattle farmer Willy Miller… […]

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Silicon Fen goes plastic

This is a revised version of an article published earlier this year in +Plastic Electronics. Cambridge is a strong force in high-tech R&D, so what new opportunities for printed electronics lie ahead? Silicon Fen, otherwise known as the Cambridge Cluster, is home to many high-technology companies and research initiatives in electronics, software engineering and biotechnology. […]

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Hobbits? What hobbits?

My attention was drawn yesterday to a press release issued by North Carolina State University announcing the publication of a study that we are told “debunks” claims of “hobbits” once existent in the Micronesian archipelago of Palau. The paper was published today in an open-access journal, and a gripping read it is too. In recent […]

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European human spaceflight is 30 today

I have never been one for remembering anniversaries, and had quite forgotten that today marks the 30th birthday of European human spaceflight. As Ario of the Labyrinth reminds us, it was on this very day in 1978 that GDR military pilot Sigmund Jähn was sent aloft on the Soyuz 31 rocket. He then spent a week […]

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Greece – a tale of Brits abroad

Britons on their summer holidays are the subject of an entertainingly voyeuristic article in the New York Times by London-based hack Sarah Lyall. Given that Lyall is renowned for being boozing Brit-obsessed, there are no prizes for guessing that the theme of her latest piece is the antics of Essex Girl and Leeds Boy, and […]

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Paxo says the media is now a woman’s world

Jeremy Paxman – that scourge of bullshitting British politicians and proud possessor of a gob the size of a minor planet – has been stirring it up yet again. At the Edinburgh TV Festival (where else?) Paxo declared that middle class white men such as himself are now an endangered sub-species in medialand: “Do I […]

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UK admonished by US scientists over new coal plans

British government plans to build new coal-fired power stations have been roundly damned by domestic environmentalists, most recently at the climate camp near Kingsnorth in Kent. They have also been subject to stinging criticism from voices across the developing world who berate the UK for calling on poor nations to cut atmospheric carbon emissions while […]

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A new plastic membrane for methanol fuel cells

How alternative plastic electrolytic membranes can help bring down the cost of fuel cells Fuel cells may be an environmentally-friendly means of generating electrical energy, but they are also very expensive. Much of the cost of fuel cells is in the electrolytic membrane that separates the anode and cathode sites. To lower the cost, engineers […]

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Doping in sport – just say neigh!

A few words are in order concerning the story reported today that Brazilian, German, Irish and Norwegian horses competing in Olympics show-jumping trials have been found with performance-enhancing drugs in their systems. The offending substance – capsaicin – is not derived from chillies, as is claimed in many news reports. Capsaicin is chilli. Or rather […]

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