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IF you want to encounter smaller spiders in your bed then move to the country; and if you love the big ones, it’s the city for you. Wired reports:
Something about city life appears to be causing spiders to grow larger than their rural counterparts. And if that’s not enough to give you nightmares, these bigger urban spiders are also multiplying faster.
The study’s authors collected 222 of the creatures from parks and bushland throughout Sydney, and correlated their sizes to features of the built and natural landscape.
They dissected each specimen back at the lab, and determined its size, health, and fecundity by measuring four attributes: the length of the spider’s longest leg segment, the ratio of that leg segment to overall body weight, the amount of fat on the spider, and its ovary size.
To measure urbanization, the authors looked primarily at ground cover throughout the city, at several scales, where they collected each spider: Are surfaces mostly paved? Is there a lack of natural vegetation? Lawns as opposed to leaf litter?
“The landscape characteristics most associated with larger size of spiders were hard surfaces (concrete, roads etc) and lack of vegetation,” said Elizabeth Lowe, a Ph.D student studying arachnids at the University of Sydney.
A Cambodian girl offers deep-fried spiders to travelers at the town of Skun, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, July 25, 2006. The town is the most well-known place for selling deep-fried spiders to travelers, who stop by on their way to and from the country’s northern and northeastern provinces. ( AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
THE ice bucket challenge works if you have ice. The rubble challenge is catching on in Gaza, where local polemicists are using it to illustrate their condition:
An appeal to garner support for Gaza which imitates the wildly popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but uses rubble and dirt instead of cold water is picking up steam on social media. “I have to do something and to send a message all over the world about Gaza,” said Ayman al Aloul, a journalist who started the so-called Rubble Bucket Challenge on Saturday. When the 42-year-old discussed the idea with friends, some suggested that he use either a bucket of blood or shrapnel. “It came to my mind that it’s good idea to show the whole picture – how Gaza looks now, rubble, destruction, cement with sand, small rocks,” Aloul said.
A bucket of blood? Hamas could help with that. They smashed up the water park.
The text from the video tells viewers:
Hello. I liked the idea of the ice bucket challenge so I decided to invent the Palestinian version. We looked for a bucket of water; however, the use of water is more important than to empty over our heads. And even if the water is available, it is difficult to freeze it. And when we tried to make the Palestinian version, we looked around us [and] we find the place as you see. [Destroyed buildings and piles of rubble.] Therefore, I decided to use it, instead of iced water. This challenge is not for specific people, but for all people who sympathize with the Palestinian people. We do not ask for material aid. Anybody [who] wants to help should invent his own idea. We ask for solidarity positions, especially from those who have followers and [an] audience. We need these positions. [Gets rubble dumped on head.] We do not have water, but this is what we have. Perhaps I will not find water to wash up when I return home. So if you saw me dusty in [my] next reports, try to forgive me, and try to sympathize with us.
Us? Isn’t a journalist supposed to show and not tell?
Palestinian boys play on a water slide as others have a sunbath at a swimming pool in Asdaa city, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, April 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Does that work? Do we really think there is no water in Gaza? Water is a hot topic in the region.
WILL you vote for an independent Scotland? Are you a Scots Braveheart rejecting Britain and all the fusty Middle Englanders? Are you just bored with the UK and think separation is something to do, a move that will enliven the moribund political debate?
Do you just want to declare your Scottishness?
Do you see the vote as chance for the Left to reject Tories?
And what is Scottish? The Scottish National Party keeps producing images of the past. But why would anyone vote for a retuen to a monoculture? The BBC talks about the “formula for Scottishness“. It’s not about blood and lineage, says the BBC; being Scottish is about “my accent, vocabulary and appetite for cholesterol-rich foodstuffs still mark me out as a Scot”.
Is that it? If you like deep-fired Mars bars, can understand Rab C Nesbitt without subtitles and can do an impression of Mike Myers’ Fat Bastard (the same voice he did for proud Scot Shrek), you are Scottish. Tick those boxes and you can get our own country and be ruled exclusively by others just like you. Unless the leaders do as promised an swiftly join the EU.
So. It’s not really an indepedent Scotland the YES campaigners want. It’s a bigger recognition of what Scots are.
But what is that? Or is it best defined by what it isn;’?
WORLDbytes hosted a debate about the referndum. Watch it below.
THE Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman Jimmy Tayoun Sr., regrets the error. A recent report on current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla at an event in Chinatown wrongly identified his hosts as “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo”.“
It was a proofreading error,” says Mr Tayoun. He says the editor used those names because he didn’t have the actual names. Althought, oddly, there were more names than people.
“That editor is a Britisher,” Tayoun added. “He didn’t mean anything by it. The Public Record is the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia.”
TO Vermont, where the Sneakers Bistro in Winooski, Vt. has been forced to remove the sign ordering ‘YIELD FOR BACON’ from a herbaceous border on Main Street. The NY Daily News says a Muslim woman complained that it was an affront to non-pork eaters.
SO. Mario Balotelli is on his way to Liverpool from AC Milan.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta says Chelsea and Arsenal both wanted the former Manchester City player, but Liverpool offered the most money.
But it was the lack of interest from other clubs, few viable alternatives and a reduced fee that turned Liverpool to the forward. After all, it was Brendan Rodgers who opined:
“I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool. In my last press conference I was asked a question about Mario Balotelli and I talked about what a talent he was and what an excellent player he was. And the next day it was wrote as if we were signing him. I just gave my perception of him as a player. It shouldn’t be transmitted in to us signing the player.”
LIVERPOOL Balls: In the Daily Mail, Graeme Souness features beneath the headline:
The thing I miss about being a player is the competition, standing in the tunnel eyeing each other up and down
“I can see where I went wrong. I was too hard on people. ‘‘Man-up and deal with it, look in the mirror’’ — that was the way I’d been brought up. At Liverpool, we were treated like men and expected to act like men. There was no mollycoddling.”
HAVE you noticed the rise and rise of anti-Semitism? It has become acceptable to be anti-Semitic in public. That nod and the wink around the dinner party table has now gone mainstream. The kind of anti-Semitic stuff that you can read throughout the Middle East has awakened Jew hating and Jew baiting in the UK. Sainsbury’s, The Tricycle Theatre and The Edinburgh Fringe have all censored Jews.
THIS isn’t quite the conclustion that this research comes to but it is true all the same: half of British teenagers agree that it’s entirely normal to send child porn around over mobile telephones. So, that’s half the age group that needs to be on the sex offenders’ register then, eh?
More than seven out of ten teenagers say they have watched X-rated images on line, with many saying it became common when they were 13-15 years old, while almost half (46 per cent) say “ sending sexual or naked photos or videos is part of everyday life for teenagers nowadays.”
THE man who murdered James Foley on video is British. Well, say says all the papers. How do they know this? Well, he spoke with a British accent. Don’t bother checking for yourslf, the police says anyone even looking at the Islamic State’s snuff movie “may” be arrested on a terrorism charge.
THE “Ali G” accent of the jihad Brit who cut off a US captive’s head was being studied today — as sources identified him as a Londoner called John. The hooded monster — who wields a knife in grisly internet footage — is said to be one of three UK citizens dubbed “The Beatles” by fellow fanatics in Syria and Iraq.
THERE is a reason why the police are warned about posting on social media in the UK. It’s to prevent them from looking biased and commenting on cases. But people will be people. As the BBC reports:
Hundreds of police officers have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines, research has revealed.Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association found officers made racist comments online and asked crime victims to become Facebook friends.
Of 828 cases in England and Wales from 2009 to February this year, 9% ended in resignation, dismissal or retirement.
SOLAR power can cook a bird in seconds. The vast Ivanpah plant in California’s Mojave desert uses 300,000 large mirrors to bounce sun rays to three 40-storey water towers. The resulting steam turns the turbines which create energy for 140,000 homes.
Paul, director of conservation at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said: ‘Loom bands, like any plastic item, are capable of persisting in the environment for many, many years and there is abundant evidence of small plastic items making their way into the diets of marine animals and seabirds with tragic consequences. ‘I’d be particularly worried about loom bands being taken to the beach as, due to the likelihood of them getting into the sea.’
SO. How do you repsond to the news that Islamists have murderd US journalist James Foley? Bombs would be one idea. Arming their more local intended victims would be another. But the Telegraph reports on what Twitter can do:
Thousands of ordinary users from around the world have also backed the plan to deny IS publicity in horror at what they have done, using the hashtag #ISISmediablackout.
American journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., poses for a photo in Boston
JAMES Foley was kidnapped in Syria on November 22. The Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, have released a YouTube video called “A Message to #America (from the #IslamicState)”. It features a hooded man with British accent beheading James Wright Foley.
The killer speaks in what the Times calls a “strong London accent”:
“This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country. As a government you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State. You have plotted against us and gone far out of your way to find reasons to interfere in our affairs. Today, your military airforce is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic Army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.”
Foley’s mother Diane wrote on the ‘Free James Foley’ Facebook page:
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world. We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.”
In 2012, James Foley spoke to the BBC:
“I’m drawn to the drama of the conflict and trying to expose untold stories. There’s extreme violence, but there’s a will to find who these people really are. And I think that’s what’s really inspiring about it.”
Those were his own words.
Diane and John Foley speak about their son
The IS nutters placed these in James Foley’s mouth before they murered him:
“I call on my friends family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the US government. For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality. My message to my beloved parents: save me some dignity and don’t accept any (unclear, possibly says media) compensation for my death, from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with a recent aerial campaign in Iraq. I call on my brother John, who is/was …. member of the US Air Force, think about what you are doing, think about lives you destroy including those of your own family. I call on you John, think about who made the decision to bomb Iraq recently and kill those people, whoever they may have been. Think John, who did they really kill? Did they think about me, you our family when they made that decision? I died that day John, when your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people – they signed my death certificate. I wish I had more time, I wish I could have the hope of freedom and see my family once again, but that ship has sailed. I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.”
The Committee To Protect Journalists says James Foley is the 70th journalist killed since the Syrian civil war broke out.
A ribbon is tied to a tree outside the home of American freelance journalist James Foley, on Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014, in Rochester, N.H
The video of the beheading was quickly removed by YouTube, but its horrific contents nevertheless spread widely around the Internet.
The jihadi then pardes another kidnapped journalist, Steven Sotloff.
Kurdish ground forces in Iraq, backed by Iraqi troops and US airstrikes, recaptured the vital Mosul dam from ISIS. May it be the first of many defeats for the Islamic State barbarians until they are wiped out.
Marchers cheer as they pass along a barricade separating them from anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement protestors during the Celebrate Israel Parade, Sunday, June 1, 2014, in New York. Among the 35,000 marchers were New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Israeli diplomats and members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
IS the aim to ban Jews from the UK. George Galloway wants an Isreal-free Bradford. Sainsbury’s removed Jewish food from its shelves lest it offend anti-Israel protestors and, presumably, anti-Semites. Also in London, the Tricycle cinema would only allow Israeli Film Festival to go ahead if the organisors denounced Israel and refused to accept money from the Israeli embassy.
The Tricycle’s sister theatre accepts £720,000 from the UK Arts Council, operated by the British Government, which has launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
ARSENAL Balls: how does the Daily Mail see Calum Chambers, the 19-year-old who has now played two competitive matches for Arsenal?
England beckons for cool Chambers after Arsenal new boy plays like a true great
Neil Ashton is building up the lad:
At the heart of Arsenal’s defence, Calum Chambers played as if he owned the place. This was a performance of breathtaking maturity. To watch an Englishman as composed as Chambers on the ball, dropping off those extra 10 yards to be in possession or striding forward through midfield is something special… Even with Fraizer Campbell breathing down his neck, he was always a step ahead of the game.
He then adds:
Think of the great ball-playing English centre backs, from Bobby Moore to Rio Ferdinand. This 19-year-old has similar traits.