Odd news of the day

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RickAgresta, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    I agree. I was being very tongue in cheek. :vbwink:
     
  2. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Popeyes is jumping on emotional support bandwagon with its new 'Emotional Support Chicken'
    [​IMG]
    Popeyes is selling an "Emotional Support Chicken" carrier with a fried chicken meal at the Philadelphia International Airport.Photo by: Photo: Popeyes
    Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is offering flyers its own brand of comfort and reassurance in the air with the launch of its "Emotional Support Chicken."

    Starting Tuesday and for a limited time, travelers passing through Terminal C of Philadelphia International Airport can purchase the high-flying fowl — a fried chicken meal in a specially designed, chicken-themed carrier box, perfect for taking onto the next flight.

    “We know holiday travel can be frustrating, and there’s no better way to ease stress than with a box of delicious Popeyes fried chicken and a good laugh,” said Hope Diaz, the company’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.

    At $8.49, the Emotional Support Chicken tenders meal is the same price as its earth-bound kin.

    Delta bans emotional support kittens and puppies under four months, and all emotional support animals on long haul flights after multiple incidents. Elizabeth Keatinge has more. Buzz60

    Emotional support animals have been in the news in recent months as travelers have been pushing the envelope on the types of animals they try to bring on flights and classify as "emotional support animals." There have been reports of peacocks, squirrels and pigs.

    Airlines began to draw a line in the barnyard this year, cracking down on abusers and tightening up the rules on what is, and isn’t, an emotional support animal.

    Now, in most cases, travelers who need that extra support must apply in advance before toting their beloved pets on board.

    Delta Air Lines tightened the leash in January, followed by United Airlines in February and American Airlines in May.

    Additional rules went into effect for Delta on Tuesday, restricting animals on flights longer than eight hours and animals under 4 months old. Exceptions will be made until Feb. 1 for customers who already bought a ticket and asked to bring a support animal.

    Alas, chickens fail to make the airlines’ cut for final boarding. Unless, apparently, they come with fries and a biscuit.

    "We appreciate how comforting emotional support animals are and wanted to create our own version," Diaz said in the statement. "The good news is that our emotional support chicken is permitted to fly without any restrictions — one less worry for busy travelers!”

    Popeyes' special carrier will be available while supplies last and when requested at the Philly airport.

    Contributing: Associated Press

    Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at kelly.tyko@tcpalm.com.
     
  3. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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  4. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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  5. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    There aren't many things that would make me click through an engadget link, but that's one of them. I didn't completely realize that the kittens wouldn't be more directly related to the doom before I clicked, but still, no regrets.
     
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  6. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    BBC is at it again...

    the whole newsletter:

    http://view.emails.bbc.com/?qs=dbb1...8e56cdaacdbd1b325ac80080e0c92a3610ee38acaed02

    specifics that caught my attention:

    How you can spot a tiger before it finds you
    [​IMG]
    According to a wildlife documentary maker, listen out for alarm calls from other animals. Sambar deer make a guttural squeak when a tiger is in the area, while langur monkeys use a different alarm call for tigers than for leopards.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180126-the-100-most-nutritious-foods
    kale loses out to pork fat
    http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170623-chinas-pearl-bro-making-millions-from-live-streaming

    BBC Reel: A hairdresser created a substance that could withstand 75 nuclear blasts -- video

    BBC Reel: A man in Kathmandu is saving homeless cows on his motorbike
    [​IMG]
    RB Neupane has created a makeshift sanctuary for cows abandoned when they are of no more use to their owners, but he can't afford a transport truck. <haven't watched yet, but imagine that getting a cow on a motorbike will be interesting to see...>
     
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  7. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    I'm already as old as dirt, so why not?


    Washington could become the first state to legalize human composting
    by Tafline Laylin, nbcnews.com
    December 29, 2018
    Washington residents "are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative,” state Sen. Jamie Pedersen said.


    A process known as "recomposition" reduces human remains to compost.
    Photo by: CAHNRS Communications / Washington State University
    When Americans die, most are buried or cremated. Washington could soon become the first state to allow another option: human composting.

    The novel approach, known as “recomposition,” involves placing bodies in a vessel and hastening their decomposition into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families. The aim is a less expensive way of dealing with human remains that is better for the environment than burial, which can leach chemicals into the ground, or cremation, which releases earth-warming carbon dioxide.

    “People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat, who is sponsoring a bill in Washington’s Legislature to expand the options for disposing of human remains. The recomposition bill would also make Washington the 17th state to allow alkaline hydrolysis, the dissolving of bodies in a pressurized vessel with water and lye until just liquid and bone remains. Pedersen plans to introduce the bill when the new legislative session begins next month.

    Pedersen sees recomposition as an environmental and a social justice issue. He said allowing it would particularly benefit people who can’t afford a funeral or aren’t comfortable with cremation. Recompose aims to charge $5,500 for its services, while a traditional burial generally cost more than $7,000 in 2017, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. (Cremation can cost less than $1,000, though that doesn’t include a service or an urn.)

    The push to allow composting of human remains originates with Katrina Spade, 41, a Seattle-based designer who started focusing on the idea in 2013 while working on her master’s in architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    “We really only have two easily accessible options in the U.S. — cremation and burial,” she said. “And the question is: Why do we only have two options, and what would it look like if we had a dozen?”

    Spade’s initial goal was to design a system that would restore people’s connection to death and its aftermath, which she said had been severed in part by the funeral industry. A friend introduced her to the farming practice of composting livestock after they die. Called mortality composting, the practice has been shown to safely keep pathogens from contaminating the land, while creating a richer soil.

    “It was like a lightbulb went off and I started to envision a system that uses the same principles as mortality composting … that would be meaningful and appropriate for human beings,” she said.

    She worked with researchers at Western Carolina University and the University of Washington to turn her vision, which she dubbed “recomposition,” into reality. The process involves placing unembalmed human remains wrapped in a shroud in a 5-foot-by-10-foot cylindrical vessel with a bed of organic material such as wood chips, alfalfa and straw. Air is then periodically pulled into the vessel, providing oxygen to accelerate microbial activity. Within approximately one month, the remains are reduced to a cubic yard of compost that can be used to grow new plants.

    The safety of the process depends on maintaining a temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit for 72 consecutive hours to destroy pathogens, according to Spade. This heat is generated by the naturally occurring microbes.

    Recompose, a public-benefit corporation Spade founded in 2017 to expand research and development of her concept, recently co-sponsored a $75,000 pilot program through Washington State University.

    Led by researcher Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, associate professor of sustainable and organic agriculture at Washington State, the five-month program recomposed six donor bodies in a carefully controlled environment, aiming to allay concerns about spreading pathogens.

    The research concluded in August, and the recomposition of human remains was found to be safe, according to Carpenter-Boggs, who plans to submit her results for publication in 2019. (Recomposition isn’t for everyone — some pathogens, like the bacteria that causes anthrax, are known to survive composting in animals, so recomposition’s safety will depend on excluding people with certain illnesses.)

    Recompose founder Katrina Spade, left, with researcher Lynne Carpenter-Boggs.CAHNRS Communications / Washington State Univ.
    “The advantage that I see as a soil scientist and an environmental scientist is that it is relatively low in resource use and it also creates this soil-like or compost-like product that helps to store carbon,” Carpenter-Boggs said. Human compost adds nutrients to soil, potentially improving its ability to absorb water and reduce erosion, she added.

    An earlier version of Pedersen’s bill, which included alkaline hydrolysis but not recomposition, failed in Washington in 2017, which Pedersen attributed to opposition from the Roman Catholic Church.

    Thomas Parker, a former lobbyist for the Washington State Catholic Conference, said the church was concerned about dissolved human remains draining into sewers.

    But State Sen. Michael Baumgartner, a Republican who chaired the Senate’s Labor and Commerce Committee in 2017, when the bill was introduced, said the church’s opposition did not play a significant role in the legislation’s failure. “We prioritized other issues that year,” Baumgartner said.

    Alkaline hydrolysis may go against Catholic doctrine that requires the human body to be respected, said James LeGrys, theological adviser to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. LeGrys was unfamiliar with recomposition, but noted that it could be problematic if body parts are separated in any way.

    There is little risk of this happening through recomposition unless families request it, according to Spade, who said she has not received opposition from any groups, religious or otherwise. She anticipates that some families may choose to take their loved one’s remains home to plant, while others may donate remains to nourish conservation lands.

    Pedersen has signed up several co-sponsors of the bill in the state Senate, which is now under Democratic control, and he’s optimistic about its chances. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has not taken a public position on the bill and did not respond to a request for comment. If the bill passes, it would take effect May 1, 2020.

    This would allow Recompose to officially launch operations in Seattle. Spade hopes to partner with funeral homes and cemeteries to bring recomposition to other parts of the state and country. In the meantime, her company is developing a modular vessel design and refining its business model.

    For Spade, the pilot program at Washington State University affirmed the inherent beauty of naturally returning humans to the soil.

    “This is something that is really good for humanity,” she said.
     
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  8. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world's first memes

    What started 20 years ago in Nanaimo, B.C. spawned hit songs, worldwide LOLs and a giant hairball of drama

    Leah Collins · CBC Arts · December 27

    the-oral-history-of-the-hampsterdance (1).gif
    What, exactly, is the Hampsterdance? If you were online around the turn of the millennium, you probably think you know the answer to this question. I did, anyway. And the first, seemingly obvious definition is that it's a website. It's the kind of website you probably haven't seen in a decade, at least — lost to the pixels of time along with stuff like Zombo.com and the emo rants you used to publish on LiveJournal. But it's a website, just the same. One page with one purpose: deliver 392 animated GIFs of dancing rodents and the most infuriating .wav file ever uploaded — a sound that, way back when, threatened to blast out of your speakers every time you checked your email.

    It's weird to think about now — weirder than a website devoted to hundreds of cartoon rodents. But 20 years ago, the Hampsterdance was revolutionary, an example of "going viral" before anyone was even using the phrase. Want to make someone LOL? Send them the Hampsterdance. Want to prank your boss? Teacher? Roommate? Get everyone to load the page at the same time. It infiltrated the culture, both online and off, even popping up in a TV ad for Earthlink. And it made its conquest before iPhones, before social media — spreading through email and old-timey word of mouth.


    [​IMG]The original Hamsterdance site. (YouTube)
    When you consider all that, it's fair to call it the world's first online meme — or one of the first, depending on your source. And that's the beginning of where things get tricky, because getting a handle on what a meme actually means can be strange business. It's a thing — an image, a video, a concept, a website, some cultural object — that spreads wildly, mutating and evolving as it's passed along. So when it comes to memes, we're all authors, and we're all the audience. Keep that in mind. It's what makes this whole "Hampsterdance" question difficult. What is it — who made it — if we've all had a paw in there somewhere?

    What you're about to read is an oral history of the Hampsterdance, as told by some of the people whose lives were tangled up in its tale.

    Yes, the Hampsterdance was a website — one built by Deidre LaCarte, a then 37-year-old martial arts instructor and art student from Nanaimo, B.C.

    The Hampsterdance is a song. (Or songs, really.) And that "dedodedo" tune you used to hear on the old website wasn't original. It first appeared in Disney's Robin Hood.

    The Hampsterdance is a paycheque — or at least it is to a few characters in this story. And for those who've earned a cut of "Hampster" cash, some are convinced it's nowhere near enough.

    And it's also a trademark, one that could've been slapped on a hit TV show and a line of toys, before Angry Birds or Grumpy Cat or even emojis were making box-office bank. (Don't mistake it for Hamtaro or Zhu Zhu Pets, please and thanks.)

    What is the Hampsterdance — who made it — if we've all had a paw in there somewhere?
    Sure as there are more oral histories online than you could ever read or retweet, people love nostalgia, and just like the Hampsterdance, this story started as a laugh. It was just supposed to be a quick assignment — a hit of kitschy Y2K memories for anyone who remembered a weird website or a goofy novelty song or even just some gag from Are We There Yet?

    But with every person who agreed to be interviewed, the Hampsterdance turned into one more thing: a hairy beast of a saga.

    It's the centre of so many schemes and unresolved disputes that its history is more complicated than a super-sized Habitrail. For a website that more or less started as an inside joke, the Hampsterdance became some kind of digital Zelig.

    It was there for the dot-com boom. It was a major player in the primordial muck of personal websites that wound up pre-dating social media. It was in the middle of copyright squabbles when the internet was even more of a free-for-all than it is today. It even do-si-do'd with Disney and Hallmark Cards and — if you believe the rumours — Britney Spears and a Gallagher brother. And for the people who had any stake in it at the time, arguments over who was responsible for any of that have festered so long that 10 generations of real-life Hamptons could have come and gone by now.

    It's a chapter of pop culture history that could only have started in 1998, a time when more people than ever before were making sense of the internet for the first time. And that includes the folks you're about to hear from.
    Smaller-the-oral-history-of-the-hampsterdance.gif

    link:
    https://www.cbc.ca/arts/the-oral-hi...y-of-one-of-the-world-s-first-memes-1.4958325
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  9. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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  10. Hook

    Hook Professional Daydreamer

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    Since this raises a question of "What is a Meme," I was thinking it was Richard Dawkins that coined the term. Here is some nice background.

    https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/the-origin-of-the-word-meme/

    :vbwink:
     
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