Say it ain’t so…

18 09 2009

It looks as if the lastest victim of climate change isn’t an endangered species of aquatic tree frog living in the Amazonian rainforest, but something very near and dear to my heart (no offense to the endangered species of aquatic tree frog living in the Amazonian rainforest).

IF THE sinking Maldives aren’t enough to galvanise action on climate change, could losing a classic beer do it? Climatologist Martin Mozny of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute and colleagues say that the quality of Saaz hops – the delicate variety used to make pilsner lager – has been decreasing in recent years. They say the culprit is climate change in the form of increased air temperature.

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The World’s Biggest Diamond Heist

12 06 2009

This is the untold story of the the biggest diamond heist in history

The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can’t explain exactly how it was done.

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Notarbartolo reflected on his interactions with the diamond dealer, and a thought flashed through his mind: Maybe the dealer wasn’t operating alone. If he tipped off a group of his fellow merchants, they could have pulled their inventory out of the vault before the heist. Each could then claim that their gems were stolen and collect the insurance while secretly keeping their stones. Most had safes in their offices—they could have simply kept the stock there. Notarbartolo realized that the heist he had spent so much time planning might have actually been part of an elaborate insurance scam.





2 12 2008

Since when did Russian mail-order brides start advertising on The New York Times website??

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2 11 2008

Really cool interactive computer simulation of the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel, Austria. Former World Cup and Olympic downhiller, Doug Lewis, gives a turn-by-turn tour of what many call the most treacherous course in the world.





21 09 2008




6 08 2008

I don’t even know how to respond to this.

The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally.

“If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children,” the judge ruled.

Since Soviet times, sexual harassment in Russia has become an accepted part of life in the office, work place and university lecture room.

[via: The Lumsden]





10 07 2008

In Albania, the Kanun, a set of laws developed in the 15th century and still used today, promotes the practice of eye for an eye through a provision that deals with blood fueds. Thousands of Albanian men are forced to remain indoors out of fear of having revenge enacted upon them for a crime a relative has committed.

By tradition, any man old enough to wield a hunting rifle is considered a fair target for vengeance, making 17 male members of Christian’s family vulnerable. They, too, are stuck in their homes. The sole restriction is that the boundaries of the family home must not be breached. Women and children also have immunity, though some, like Christian, who physically matured at an early age, begin their confinement as boys. Family members of the victim are usually the avengers, though some families outsource the killing to professional contract killers.

[NYTimes]