Daily archives: March 16, 2006

Three no longer blind hamsters

Nanotechnology has restored the sight of hamsters after their optical nerve tracts were severed to mimic brain trauma.

The researchers injected the blind hamsters at the site of their injury with a solution containing synthetically made peptides – miniscule molecules measuring just five nanometres long.

Once inside the hamster’s brain, the peptides spontaneously arranged into a scaffold-like criss-cross of nanofibres, which bridged the gap between the severed nerves.

The scientists discovered that brain tissue in the hamsters knitted together across the molecular scaffold, while also preventing scar tissue from forming.

Importantly, the newly formed brain tissue enabled the brain nerves to re-grow, restoring vision in the injured hamsters.

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There's a killer on the road

And he’s talking on his phone.

The comment I left on the MEN’s news item about the crackdown on drivers using phones in their cars

A couple of weeks ago I was nearly flattened by a driver who sailed through a red traffic light whilst talking on his phone. He stopped at the next set of traffic lights, so I cycled after him, bashed on his window and uttered a few choice words about his idiocy.

He ignored me, of course. As the phone call was so important he’d risk killing people for it, he wasn’t going to let an irate cyclist put an end to it.

I should have used my phone to photograph his car and post the picture to my website to shame him.

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About time the bank suffered

Brian Mullen, from Reddish, is sending bailiffs into his bank after they failed to defend his County Court claim that charges levied on his account were unfair. As they have failed to settle the bill, Mr Mullen was granted a warrant of execution giving bailiffs the power to seize the bank’s assets.

It’s a lot easier to file a Small Claims case than you’d think, though it’s best if you can find your debtor to get the money out of them. (Which reminds me, I must email my primary debtor and tell him to get his arse in gear with the repayments.)

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Child porn hacker threat

This was one of last week’s front page stories in the South Manchester Reporter, a free paper that lands on our doorstep every Friday. The gist of it is- a house full of students discovered a squatter in their basement. He did a runner, but left his laptop which, it turned out, held kiddie porn possibly downloaded when he tapped into their wireless network. Not so much wardriving as warsquatting.

The article is some sort of “WiFi enables child porn” piece. Whilst that stuff is vile, and its fans scum, I can’t help thinking there are other things the students involved should be worrying about. The squatter broke into their basement easily and was there for a while, and they were too stupid to notice. It’s also amusing that the residents weren’t the ones to go down the stairs to investigate the strange noises. They sent a convenient friend. (“Hey, dude, why don’t you come around some time. We can have a few beers, watch a video and then you can go and try to evict the kiddie-fiddler in the basement.”)

Casa Spinneyhead hasn’t gone wireless yet, can someone tell me whether it’s possible to tell who’s using it at any moment?

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The Nazi Church

The Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin is a wood and stone celebration of Hitler and his Reich. Still standing 61 years after trhe end of the war, the protestant parish responsible for the building wants it renovated and turned into a museum.

It is the country’s last surviving Nazi era church with an interior still dominated by fascist symbols. Consecrated in 1935 two years after Hitler seized power, its exterior was designed in the Bauhaus style in 1929, before the reign of the Nazis began. Brown-tiled and cavernous, it is foreboding and devoid of grace, yet religious services took place here regularly until just a year ago when the church was deemed unsafe because tiles started falling off the facade.

via Noolahbeulah

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Turn out the lights

(If they’re incandescent bulbs, take them out and throw them away.)

The proliferation of artificial light, via the humble light bulb, could be seriously harming us all by messing with our circadian rhythms.

Once humans began to use artificial light to vary the length of the day, the average night’s sleep decreased from about nine hours to about seven, and the amount of sleep began to vary considerably from one night to the next. This irregularity prevents one’s circadian rhythm from settling into a pattern, and creates a state of perpetual semi-jet-lag. Our bodies’ rhythms attempt to appropriately adjust our alertness, blood pressure, and such for particular times of day; but we often do things contrary to this cycle, and therein lies the problem.

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xfm Manchester

XFM Manchester started broadcasting in anger yesterday, but I completely forgot about it until this morning. I have now been listening for precisely 16 minutes, which isn’t long enough to form an opinion, but the first song they played for me was my BeerFest request, so they’re off to a good start.

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