Daily archives: January 23, 2014

The Ghost Ship

This sounds like the pitch for a horror movie. A crewless ship, adrift with only rats which will have started each other on board. It needs a stash of gold bars and maybe a few ghosts, just to take it to the next level.

Mystery of the Lyubov Orlova: Ghost ship full of cannibal rats ‘could be heading for Britain’ – Home News – UK – The Independent.

Live by bullshit, die by bullshit

UKIP is, and always has been, built upon an empty foundation of fluff and fact free rhetoric. Nigel Farage has gained himself a high media profile by saying stupid things that he knows will get him attention. Never mind the facts, lets have some mild racism, Little England short-sightedness and a pint.

So, now that he’s got where he is through talking crap (and not being called on it by most of the media), he doesn’t have any right to bleat about being hard done by when one of his councillors gives the world the comedy gold of gay weather. Even less so when his defence includes the claim that said councillor had form for stupid and bigoted remarks before his defection to UKIP from the Tories. Obviously the Cream Tea Party were too desperate to score points poaching Mr Silvester to see if he was liable to say the sort of thing that would embarrass them.

BBC News – UKIP leader Nigel Farage attacks 'gay floods' coverage.

Does Evolution Evolve Under Pressure? – Wired Science

Rather than targeting specific traits, as Lamarck’s theory would have predicted, the mutations struck random genes, with some good outcomes and some bad. However, the process wasn’t completely random. Rosenberg’s findings suggested that bacteria were capable of increasing their mutation rates, which might in turn produce strains capable of surviving new conditions.

“Cells are able to adapt to stress not by knowing exactly what they need to do, but by throwing the dice as a population and making random changes to the genome,” said James Broach, a biologist at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine in Hershey who studies a similar phenomenon in yeast. “That will allow stressed progeny to find an escape route.”

Does Evolution Evolve Under Pressure? – Wired Science.

Vertical farms sprouting all over the world – tech – 16 January 2014 – New Scientist

URBAN warehouses, derelict buildings and high-rises are the last places you’d expect to find the seeds of a green revolution. But from Singapore to Scranton, Pennsylvania, “vertical farms” are promising a new, environmentally friendly way to feed the rapidly swelling populations of cities worldwide.

In March, the world’s largest vertical farm is set to open up shop in Scranton. Built by Green Spirit Farms (GSF) of New Buffalo, Michigan, it will only be a single storey covering 3.25 hectares, but with racks stacked six high it will house 17 million plants. And it is just one of a growing number.

The Biospheric project is Salford’s very own vertical farm and the talks there were a fascinating part of last year’s Manchester International Festival.

Vertical farms sprouting all over the world – tech – 16 January 2014 – New Scientist.

Devastating El Niño events to double this century – New Scientist

Extreme El Niño events, that can kill tens of thousands of people, will be twice as common this century because of climate change. The finding adds to the evidence that global warming will cause ever more extreme weather.

via Devastating El Niño events to double this century – environment – 19 January 2014 – New Scientist.

Support the Coffee Cranks Coop’s trading licence application

The Coffee Cranks built their own cargo bike, from which they serve ethically sourced coffee and tea. I’ve met them a couple of times and they’re lovely chaps, the sort of slightly off-kilter, resourceful types Manchester creates and is supposed to celebrate. The University of Manchester and Corridor Manchester have objected to the Cranks’ application for a trading licence for an area off Oxford Road. This petition supports the Cranks and asks the two organisations to reconsider. Please sign it to support a cool local business.

Petition | University of Manchester (@SocialResponUoM) and Corridor Manchester (@corridormcr): withdraw objections to Coffee Cranks Coop's trading licence application. | Change.org.