May 16th, 2013 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• Insects already form part of the diet of an estimated two billion people but they may well be on even more menus in the future as experts look to alternative means of feeding people. The Food and Agriculture Organisation says that insects (and there are about a million known species) could provide a “readily available source of nutritious and protein-rich food”. To whet your appetite, the most consumed insects at present include beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants, and grasshoppers, locusts and crickets. But there are many issues that need to be dealt with first - including legal hurdles against eating insects in many countries. For more, see www.fao.org.
• A Canadian astronaut has created the first music video recorded in space, singing the David Bowie song, Space Oddity, while free floating inside the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield made the video, which has gone viral, a few days before he returned to earth after his six month stint in space. The astronaut did alter some of Bowie’s lyrics to better suit his circumstances.
• A Zimbabwean man surprised mourners when he reportedly came back to life. One of those at his funeral noticed one of the man’s legs twitching and called an ambulance. The man, who had suffered from long illness before his funeral, has no recollection of the event.
• A four-year-old boy has reportedly been elected mayor of a town in Minnesota in the US. Dorset’s mayor is apparently chosen through the process of drawing a name out of a hat and this year it was Mayor Robert ‘Bobbie’ Tufts turn. The good news is that Mayor Tufts apparently does like talking to the townspeople.
April 3rd, 2013 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
In case you didn’t know, Easter Monday this year co-incided with April Fool’s Day and it seemed everyone had a gag or two up their sleeve. Here is just a small sample of some of the pranks we came across:
• YouTube announced that its entire catalogue of films would be deleted - turns out the whole site was just a competition launched to find the best video clip and the search has come to an end;
• Google launched its new scent search app, Google Nose, which comes with the ability for you to search by smell, as well as its new extension of Google Maps - a feature to find treasure;
• In Australia, Google Streetview launched a new service - Schmick - which enables you to transform your home into the house you’d like it to be with a few simple clicks of the mouse;
• Sony launched Animalia Tech - technology aimed at your pets - think headphones for your cat, a laptop for your dog; and,
• Skype, meanwhile, launched a new service allowing you to speak to you loved ones in…space;
• Virgin boss Richard Branson announced his airline had plans to launch a glass-floored plane - the world’s first - a story which was apparently picked up and run on Chinese television.
Let us know of any you found particularly good!
March 9th, 2013 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• A German travel agency is reportedly selling tickets for an comet fly-past. Bonn-based Eclipse Travel has joined with charter agency Air Partner and airline Air Berlin to offer 88 people the chance to be among those on a two hour flight aimed at giving them a relatively close-up view of comet Pan-STARRS as it passes within 100 million miles of Earth on 16th March. The plane will zig-zag at a height of 11,000 metres where the atmosphere is clearer and cleaner (and hopefully above the clouds).
• Could your grass do with a coat of paint? Pictures have reportedly emerged from the town of Chengdu in China’s south-west showing local government workers spray-painting some grass green with a chemical solution called the ‘Top Green Turf Greening Agent’. The dye - which is apparently non-toxic - has also been used in a range of other localities including golf courses.
• If you see a Yeti while in the Himalayas, you may capture or film them but do not shoot them (unless you need to in self-defence). Such was the advice issued by the US Embassy in Nepal in 1959. A memo released by the National Archives in the US late last year detailed a series of three regulations for would-be Yeti hunters to abide by. They include the amount needed to be paid to the Government of Nepal for a permit to hunt the Yeti (5000 rupees); that the Yeti should not be shot at; and, that any news and reports which may “throw light” on the existence of the creature should be surrendered to the Nepalese Government.
January 30th, 2013 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• Ahhh, that satisfying feeling of popping bubble-wrap. Students at a US high school reportedly took it to the extreme recently when they broke the world record for the largest amount of bubble-wrap popped in two minutes. More than 350 students took part in the attempt (part of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, of course), popping as much as 8,000 square feet of bubble-wrap.
• A tortoise has survived for 30 years after it was accidentally locked in a storeroom. The tortoise, Manuela, reportedly went missing from her home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982, and search efforts proved fruitless. Until, that is, a clean-up of the house following the death of its owner, resulted in the storeroom being unlocked and Manuela being found still alive inside a box.
• A US brewer has come up with a new beverage for pooches - a non-alcoholic beer. Dawg Grog, as it’s named, is reportedly the work of Daniel Keeton who, as well as working as a taster in a brewery in Oregon, also makes his own home brew. The first batch of the beer - made from ‘wort’ left over in the process of brewing alcoholic beer - went on sale in the middle of last year.
November 24th, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• It takes the idea of life on the road to whole new level. When authorities announced plans to build a four lane highway running through where a five storey apartment building stands, the families - with the law on their side - refused to leave. So they simply built the freeway around it - leaving the multi-storey property on a small island in its midst. One of the residents at the property, located in eastern China, was reported as saying that the government didn’t offer enough compensation for them to move. To see the house, which is known as a Nail House (and for link to the full story), follow this link to our Pinterest page…
• Want a multi-tasking baby? Then the ‘Baby Mop’ might be just what you’ve been looking for. Essentially a romper suit (or ‘onesie’) with mop fringes attached, the baby mop enables your baby to clean the floor while crawling about it. The idea reportedly came from a Japanese spoof ad, according to the company that produces it - US website BetterThanPants - and since it’s release, sales have gone through the roof. They say not only will the baby mop teach your baby a strong work ethic and give them a good workout, it will also save you “lots of money on house cleaning costs”.
• It’s the low cost hotel that takes pride in a bad reputation. A low priced hostel in Amsterdam - the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel -says it has been “proudly disappointing travellers for forty years”. Its website boasts that levels of comfort in the hotel are “comparable to a minimum-security prison”, noting that the “Hans Brinker also offers some plumbing and an intermittently open canteen serving a wide range of dishes based on runny eggs”. Other features at the hotel include “a basement bar with limited light and no fresh air”, “an elevator that almost never breaks down between floors” and “the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam Luxury Ambassadorial Suite (featuring the Hans Brinker’s one and only bath-tub).” The self-critical marketing campaign has reportedly proved something of a hit with its rather brave clientele.
October 27th, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• Ride on mowers might seem to have an obvious purpose - mowing lawns. But to a growing group of ride-on mower enthusiasts, they represent an emerging motorsport. There’s associations in numerous countries - including Australia - which oversee competitions including the annual British Grand Prix for Lawnmower Racing held earlier this month. Competitors are split into a range of categories including those for large tractors, sit-on buggies and machines with a grass-cutter on the front. Racers gather points as they race around the course and mud is seen as a good thing. Organisations in Australia include The Queensland Ride-On Mower Racing Association Inc.
• And you reckoned your last phone bill was high. A French woman recently received a phone bill for €11,721,000,000,000,000 - reportedly the equivalent of almost $15 thousand trillion dollars and almost 6,000 times France’s entire annual economic output. Needless to say, the bill was eventually corrected - back to the €117.21.
• An America man has paid someone to slap him in the face everytime he went on Facebook in an attempt to increase his productivity. Maneesh Sethi, a San Franciscan blogger, reportedly felt he was spending too much time on social media so, turning to Craigslist, he hired a woman to slap him whenever his attention wandered. He has since repeated the experiment a couple of times and reports that it has apparently helped increase his productivity.
October 9th, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• Much as they were busy hosing down reports of UFOs in the mid-20th century, a recently declassified document shows the US Air Force drew up plans to build its own flying saucer in the 1950s. Called Project 1794, the plans (which can be seen here) show a disc-shaped craft designed for a vertical take-off and landing which could reach a top speed of Mach 4. A Canadian company was even apparently contracted to build the craft.
• Thousands of people from across the country converged on the small township of Millmerran in Queensland for the Australian Camp Oven Festival last weekend. The biennial event, which was first held in 1999, celebrates life in the bush and its feature events include a camp oven cook-off and damper throwing competition as well as workshops, billy boiling competitions and, of course, sheep shearing demonstrations. For more on the festival, see www.australiancampovenfestival.com.au.
• OK, we’re a little late with this one but we still thought it worth a mention. In celebration of its 50th anniversary in Australia, the Lego company has created a series of Lego constructions depicting 10 great moments in Australian history. The scenes, which were selected following a survey of Lego fans, include everything from Steve Irwin holding his son Bob in one hand while feeding a croc with the other, Cadel Evans winning last year’s Tour de France, the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 and the praise for the film, The Castle, following its release in 1997. You can see a full gallery of the winners here.
August 27th, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• A prized 19th century fresco depicting Jesus Christ at a church in Spain has reportedly been all but destroyed after a grandmother, apparently with the very best of intentions, decided to carry out her own restoration project. The 120-year-old fresco - Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) by Elijah Garcia Martinez, is located at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza. It had been damaged by water but was still relatively intact before the woman, aged in her 80s, decided to fix it by carrying out her own touch-up job, since labelled by some as the worst art restoration of all time.
• Dog-shaming has become the latest internet craze thanks to a Tumblr site in which users submit pictures of their dogs looking appropriately guilty as they stand or sit next to a sign stating their crimes. The Dog Shaming site has garnered attention from media around the world and gained a strong following on Facebook as owners apparently eagerly dob in their pooches. Among the more palatable entries we’ve seen: “I ate the remote control”, “Soccerballs terrify me!”, and the rather painful “Porcupines are NOT chew toys”.
• It’s not a swimming pool for the faint-hearted. A hotel in Shanghai has opened which comes complete with a swimming pool which partly projects out of the building 24 stories above the ground and comes complete with a glass bottom so you can watch those so, so far below while you have a swim. The glass-bottomed pool, at the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao, is apparently not the only pool of its kind. Take a look here to see some further examples.
August 1st, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• We start this week with a quick look at 10 of the weirdest Olympic sports:
1. Club swinging: An artistic gymnastics event, it was only ever held at the 1904 Olympics in St Louis.
2. Tug-of-War: This was contested at all five Games between 1900 and 1920 and was contested as part of the athletics.
3. Jeu de paume: Included in the 1908 Games in London, jeu de paume is said to be a precursor of modern tennis.
4. Solo synchronised swimming: Introduced in 1984, it was cast out in 1992 and the mystery of how a single swimmer can “synchronise” remains.
5. Live pigeon shooting: Only held at the 1900 Olympics in Paris. As many as 300 birds were involved.
6. Long jump for horses: Another event only held in the 1900 Olympics.
7. Rope climbing: Held in several Olympics from 1896 to 1932, this involved pulling yourself to the top of the rope.
8. Swimming obstacle course: Another held at the 1900 Olympics, the event saw competitors climb over a pole and a row of boats before swimming under another row of boats.
9. Power boating: Only ever held at the 1908 Olympics in London, it included three separate events.
10. Tandem bicycle sprint: Introduced at the Intercalcated Games of 1906, it survived until 1972 in Munich.
And a couple of unofficial events worth mentioning - fire-fighting and cannon shooting, both demonstration sports at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, roller hockey, a demonstration sport at Barcelona in 1992, and pistol duelling, only ever held at the Intercalcated Games of 1906.
• Fancy a new tent? What about sleeping in a London Underground train? Online shop Firebox has released a tent shaped like a Tube train which can, it says, sleep up to 72 people (although it says the tent - priced at £1999.99 - can “comfortably sleep” 16 over five separate compartments). Just make sure you mind the gap when you step inside and whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with anyone.
• A New York supermarket has reportedly introduced a men’s aisle which features items, like Doritos and steak sauce, which are apparently particularly attractive to men. The store introduced the new aisle after a study showed the number of men shopping had risen significantly over the past 30 years.
July 14th, 2012 by www.sightmagazine.com.au
• It’s official - mermaids don’t exist. That’s according to the US Government’s National Ocean Service who issued a statement earlier this month saying exactly that: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.” Noting that belief in mermaids may have arisen at the “very dawn of our species” the statement adds: “Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That’s a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists.” The statement follows one from the US Government last year saying there was no evidence any life exists outside our planet. But that debate will continue following recent revelations by an ex-CIA agent that the famous Roswell incident really did involve “a craft that did not come from this planet”. A recent poll showed more than a third of Americans believe UFOs exist.
• Batman could fly using his specially-designed bat wing-like cape but the landing would probably kill him. That’s reportedly the conclusion of four students at the University of Leicester in the UK who, taking Christian Bale’s rigid wings in the film Batman Begins as a starting point, have worked out that the landing impact would likely be around 80 kph, similar to being hit by a car. Best stick to the Batmobile, Batman!
• They make regular appearances on Funniest Home Videos and have had more than one viral hit on the internet. Now comes the film festival dedicated to funny videos of…cats. The Internet Cat Video Film Festival will take place in the US city of Minneapolis on 30th August. Nominations for what you think are the funniest videos are now open.