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30 May 2011

'mutant' orange with no seeds

Experts have developed a new variety which contains as little as two or three seeds in each fruit, compared to the usual 15 to 30.

The new variety is known as the KinnowLS - the LS stands for low seeded.

Seedless: The KinnowLS (left) developed by scientists appears to have no pips whereas the a normal Kinnow (right) could contain as many as 30.

It is the eighth citrus variety developed in the past ten years by scientists at the University of California at Riverside. They describe the fruit as slightly larger than a mandarin, with a thin, extremely smooth rind. They say that each fruit contain 10 to 11 segments, which are fleshy and a deep orange in colour.

The orange has been developed developed by mutation breeding of the mandarin variety Kinnow, a mid-to-late season maturing variety.

Professor Mikeal Roose, head of the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and part of the team which developed the new fruit, said: 'People who like very sweet fruit are going to find ‘KinnowLS’ to be very appealing.
The scientists say the fruit is slightly larger than a mandarin, contains 10 or 11 segments and has a thin, extremely smooth rind.

He said yet another attractive quality of ‘KinnowLS’ is that it can be grown in California’s desert regions because the fruit, which matures between February and April, does well in hot climates.  Its predecessor, Kinnow is the most important mandarin in the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan, where the fruit's trees constitute about 80 percent of all citrus trees.

Growers in India and Pakistan will have to wait a few years, however, before ‘KinnowLS’ trees develop roots there. Currently, there are plans to start distributing ‘KinnowLS’ in June to nurseries in California.

28 May 2011

Teen offenders given quilts instead of blankets in one of Britain's costiest jails... costing the taxpayer £7,000

Life in one of Britain's cosiest young offenders' prisons just became even nicer for inmates after they were all given duvets to sleep under - costing the taxpayer £7,000.
Teenagers held in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, already enjoy perks such as TVs, Playstations, sports and fishing. They can even have acupuncture sessions to relieve their stress. Inmates, who sleep in private cells, also have the opportunity to earn from £2.50 to £12.50 a week if they choose to work.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed that 408 new duvets had been ordered at a total cost of £7,115.52, adding: 'New bedding has been bought by HMYOI Wetherby to replace old bedding.'

26 May 2011

The millionaire's cheese sarnie

 A Michelin-starred chef has unveiled the world's most expensive cheese sandwich - which carries a whopping price tag of £110.
The delicacy was created by celebrity chef Martin Blunos, who hand-crafted the luxury snack using cheddar blended with expensive white truffles.
It is dressed with 100-year-old balsamic vinegar and the sourdough bread - which costs £5 alone - is sprinkled with powdered E175. That's gold dust to you and me. More banker's then ploughman's: The £110 cheese sandwich created by BBC TV chef Martin Blunos
The gourmet dish is the main attraction at the Frome Cheese Show in Somerset where the Food Poker star is judging a sandwich-making competition. Blunos worked with expert cheese-makers at local west country producer Pilgrim's Choice to create the special white truffle blend, which gives the sandwich its hefty price tag.
He said: "We Brits are known to love our cheese sandwiches, and here's one that not only comes with a royal price tag but is fit for the banqueting table. 'The white truffle fuses beautifully with the West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and the edible gold leaf gives it a really special look.'
'In fact, washed down with a bottle of Krug, what more could you want?'  
Blunos selected the highest quality ingredients to create the double-layered dish.
He worked with experienced cheddar producers at Pilgrim's Choice to create the bespoke white truffle cheese, which itself costs £92.

24 May 2011

Most Expensive: The Leopard Print Rolex

We here at the Weird Worm offices had to stop and marvel for a moment, looking at this. To admire this. Somebody actually paid for this leopard print, diamond-encrusted monstrosity. And now, they want someone else to pay $46,000 to own it.
Is it a Rolex? Of course it’s a Rolex. What else would it be, but a brand that everyone has heard of? Is that leopard print fake? Oh yes. Oh very much yes. This watch would not be the apotheosis of tacky, the grand achievement of bad taste that it is, if it were actual leopard. Are there diamonds and sapphires where diamonds and sapphires are pointless? Need you even ask?
All this for the cost of a pretty good luxury car.

22 May 2011

Most Expensive: The World’s Most Disgusting SUV

Spending, as you are, a truly offensive amount of money on truly frivolous crap, it might be safe to assume that people might want to kill you just on general principle. Or possibly to make some political point. Needless to say, there’s lots of money in keeping the rich from hearing from the people who can’t eat via explosives. So make sure your gas guzzler has gold-plated bulletproof windows, gauges covered in diamonds and rubies, a sidebar of expensive vodka, and make sure it’s upholstered in whale penis leather.
Yes, we said “whale penis leather”. Those three words have been put together now, and they can never be separated.

20 May 2011

Facebook 'depriving sleep'

Facebook's grip on the nation appears limitless – and now it’s depriving people of their sleep. 

One in four users have been woken up by alerts from the social networking site, a survey suggests.
Britain’s 30million Facebook members apparently spend a full working week each year on the site while in bed, at an average of 21 minutes per person each day.  Logging on to Facebook is now the second most common bedtime habit behind watching TV or DVDs. Notifications from the site can be turned on through applications on mobile smartphones. 

One in five respondents to the survey said checking social media sites was the last thing they did before going to sleep – more than the proportion who kiss their partner good night last. Technology is affecting the sleeping patterns of almost two in five people, according to the poll for mattress firm Tempur

It is also a source of squabbles, with one in five saying their partner’s bedtime technology habits annoy them.

18 May 2011

Most Expensive: The Rose Gold Tourist Souvenir Lighter

You know, nothing really says “class” like owning some small object that’s in the shape of a building. Whether it’s an Eiffel Tower backscratcher, a Sears Tower wastebasket, or an Empire State Building coffee can, it just screams “I was here!” But those are far to cheap for your rich jerk. So what does he buy?
Why, the Vendome Column cigarette lighter, of course! And just to make it unique, it’s made out of rose gold, because yellow and white gold are just too, too common. But at least there’s no whale penis leather.

16 May 2011

Brazilian Police with Glasses to Find Criminals

In technology that is lifted straight from Robocop, Brazilian cops will be outfitted with glasses that can scan faces in a crowd and automatically pick out criminals. The glasses use advanced facial recognition technology that can scan 400 faces a second at 50 yards away.

Facial profiling! The glasses scans 46,000 biometric points on a person's face and compares it against a criminal database. When the glasses find a bad guy (it's actually a camera attached to the glasses), a red light pops up inside the glasses and alerts the officer on what to do.

The goal is to start using these Robocop glasses in test runs at crowded events (think soccer games and concerts) so police will be familiar with the technology come 2014 (when Rio de Janeiro hosts the World Cup). A big concern about the World Cup being in Brazil was the security, and if you saw Robocop, you'll know he handled his share of bad guys with ease. Hopefully, they can do the same!

14 May 2011

Most Expensive: House Ring

Hey, speaking of classy stuff in the shape of buildings, you know what’s even classier than a household item shaped like a building? A big honking chunk of jewelry shaped like a building! Especially when you’re four years old and big honking objects on your hand are incredibly cool, because you have no concept of taste.
The rich appear to be roughly four, because these house rings are made out of gold and platinum. To be fair, it’s pretty neat how accurate the jewelers got these buildings to look. Just imagine, that time and energy might have been frittered away doing something lesser, like building a homeless shelter or something.

10 May 2011

Most Expensive: A tissue holder

So it comes to this. We could take the coin-covered gowns, and the car that whales unwillingly gave their penises to upholster, and the ’80s wine rack, and the switchplate but this…this is too much.

You know why Communism happened? The Tissue Pochette. This is exactly what everybody who bashed the capitalist system was ever talking about. This is a tissue holder. A tissue holder. Something so disposable they come free in plastic with a pack of tissues from the store. And this store wants $45 for it. The cost of four movie tickets and a date with the disabled guy in the back row. The cost of a week’s worth of groceries for a single person. For a tissue holder.
Suddenly, we have an overwhelming urge to stick a bayonet in a Tsar.

08 May 2011

Energy-Harvesting Rocking Chair

Rochus Jacob designed and built the Murakami Chair. As the user rocks back and forth during the day, the chair charges a battery that powers the lamp. Jacob writes:

I was looking for opportunities to generate energy through activities we naturally do. The final result is a rocking chair that enables the user to experience production and consumption of electricity in a gentle and rewarding way. An abstract process becomes tangible and eventually cultivates natural awareness. Complexity is covered by simplicity. Advanced nano-dynamo technology which is built in to the skids of the chair and more efficient light sources such as the newly developed OLED generation makes it possible to build a rocking chair with a reading lamp running on electricity generated from the rocking motion. 

During daylight the energy gets stored in a battery pack. The construction of the flat and bendable organic light emitting diodes allows new form factors such as using the traditional shape of a lamp but instead of having a light bulb the lampshade himself turns out to be the light source. To have a drastic reduction of consumption the big challenge will be to make consuming less feel like getting more.

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07 May 2011

Most Expensive: The Gold iPod

Apple’s design is famous around the world for its sleek, careful design. It’s clever, well-considered, and appealing to the eye. So, of course, for the superrich, what it’s lacking is the fact that it’s not encrusted in as much fancy crap as humanly possible. So, layer over those sleek, stainless steel lines with gold leaf! Encrust whatever you are able with diamonds! Turn a monument to simple, elegant, accessible style into something so tacky Elvis would look away in pain.

04 May 2011

Bypass surgery might be a history soon!

Simplified diagram of the human Circulatory sy...In a groundbreaking discovery that may eventually render bypass surgery history, researchers at Tel Aviv University have shown that an injected protein can regrow blood vessels in the human heart.

In heart disease, blood vessels are either clogged or die off, starving the heart of oxygen and leaving it highly susceptible to a cardiac attack.

Dr. Britta Hardy of TAU's Sackler School of Medicine and her team of researchers have developed a protein-based injection that when delivered straight to muscles in the body, sparks the regrowth of tiny blood vessels.

The new vessels in the heart could give millions of people around the world a new lease on life.

"The biotechnology behind our human-based protein therapy is very complicated, but the goal is simple and the solution is straightforward. We intend to inject our drug locally to heal any oxygen-starved tissue. So far in animal models, we''ve seen no side effects and no inflammation following our injection of the drug into the legs. The growth of new blood vessels happens within a few weeks, showing improved blood circulation," said Hardy. The protein solution can also be added as a coating to a stent. Usually, the implantation of a stent is accompanied by a high risk for blood clots, which necessitates the use of blood thinners.

"We could coat a stent with our peptide, attracting endothelial stem cells to form a film on the surface of the stent. These endothelial cells on the stent would eliminate the need for taking the blood thinners that prevent blood clots from forming," said Hardy.

If investment goals are met, the researchers are hoping that toxicity studies and Phase I trials could be complete within two years.

The researchers began the study for preventing leg amputations, positing that proteins from the human body could be used to trigger the growth of new blood vessels.Hardy started by studying a library of peptides and testing them in the laboratory and later confirmed initial results.

She then took some of the isolated and synthesized peptides and tested them in diabetic mice whose legs were in the process of dying.Although diabetes is known to decrease blood circulation, Hardy found that her therapy reversed the decrease.

"Within a short time we saw the formation of capillaries and tiny blood vessels. After three weeks, they had grown and merged together with the rest of the circulatory system," she said.

In mice with limited blood circulation, she was able to completely restore blood vessels and save their legs. It was then a short step to studying the applicability of the research to cardiac patients.

"It''s pretty obvious if there is regrowth or not. Our technology promises to regrow blood vessels like a net, and a heart that grows more blood vessels becomes stronger. It's now imaginable that, in the distant future, peptide injections may be able to replace bypass surgeries," concluded Hardy.

The study has been published in Biochemical Pharmacology