Daily archives: February 14, 2006

Let loose the mosquitos of War

The Nazis in Italy released malaria carrying mosquitos in an attempt to halt the Allied advance, it is claimed. If true this would be the only known instance of biological warfare in Europe during WW2. Invading troops had been given anti malaria drugs and didn’t succumb, but cases of the disease soared amongst the civilian population.

Technorati tag: , ,


It gets cold in Minnesota at this time of year. Even the normally hardy mountain bikers want to come into the warmth. But it doesn’t have to stop them riding.

Fifty mountain bikers participated in the first Red Bull SkyRide, racing between office buildings on the “skyway” network that lets pedestrians get around downtown St Paul without venturing outside.

Even the mayor of St. Paul — accompanied by his 11-year-old son — took a spin through the course before the hard-core racers started pedaling.

Bikers snaked through about fifteen blocks of carpeted and tiled pathways that sported wickedly sharp turns in tight hallways padded with big blue bumpers. There were even a couple of stairwells for riders to negotiate — though organizers required racers to dismount on the stairs, in one of the less gnarly aspects of the competition.

But the race was by no means watered down. Riders sucking dry office air reached breakneck speeds heading into 90-degree turns on marble flooring. A few guys bit it only to hop right up and keep trucking. Some taller riders barely cleared under door frames as they zipped through automatic sliding doors held open by volunteers. One guy even took a wrong turn into the dining room of the ritzy University Club.

I want to do this in the Arndale, or even the Trafford Centre. Who do I ask?