Sunday, September 12, 2004
- What happens to bad monkeys in Punjab, India? They go to monkey jail. Seriously. [Chicago Tribune, via CrimLaw]
He was one bad monkey. And last week he was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes, inmate No. 13 at the country's only known monkey jail, where very bad monkeys are sent to live out their remaining years. "He used to eat our guavas," said Bhagwanti Devi, a neighbor who was harassed by the monkey. "He would throw stones and try to hit us. Until we gave him flat bread, he wouldn't leave."
This jail is Punjab state's answer to the monkey menace in India, where killing monkeys is forbidden. Hindus consider monkeys sacred, living representatives of the monkey god Hanuman. Thousands of temples are dedicated to Hanuman, and many people feed monkeys in the hopes of divine rewards.
Monkeys have invaded government ministries in New Delhi, ridden elevators and climbed along windowsills. Monkeys slapped students inside a girls school in a south Bengal suburb. A gang of monkeys in the city of Chandigarh ripped up lawns, broke flowerpots and yanked sheets off beds. Some monkeys, mostly loners, have bitten people, injuring and even killing small children. "Monkeys are very furious," said Ujagar Singh, the Patiala district spokesman. "They are dangerous animals."
- U.K. theater producer threatened with racial hate speech accusations after satirical performances of "Snow White and the Seven Asylum Seekers" is now putting together a more PC version, "Snow Person and the Seven Completely Ordinary People" [Overlawyered]
- Beware this unusual new computer virus that "sniffs" out secure passwords:
The SDBot.UJ scans passing traffic on a network-linked machine for passwords and financial data. The worm tries to exploit one of a number of bugs in the Windows operating system to wriggle on to computers. It then attempts to infect other computers on the same local network by using a dictionary of obvious passwords, for example, “administrator” or “1234”.
Once installed, the worm also activates a customised network "sniffer" program – which allows it to steal vital data. It then connects to an internet relay chat (IRC) network, enabling an outsider to take control of the infected system or collect information harvested from it. [New Scientist]
- Hey, batter batter: Recreate the culinary delights of the Toad [in the Hole] and the Clafoutis, with the help of Waddling Thunder at Crescat Sententia
- How to stop a hurricane in the Gulf? Hint: don't blow it up with a nuke [CNN]
- Especially not this one: Lost nuclear bomb from 1958 possibly found off the coast of Savannah, Georgia; but it's not the only nuke lost during the Cold War. From CNN:
The United States lost 11 nuclear bombs in accidents during the Cold War that were never recovered, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. An estimated 50 nuclear warheads, most of them from the former Soviet Union, still lie on the bottom of the world's oceans, according to the environmental group Greenpeace.
One of the most celebrated accidents took place over Palomares, Spain [the Palomares "Broken Arrow"], in January 1966 when a U.S. B-52 collided with a KC-135 tanker during midair refueling and released all four of its hydrogen bombs in the ensuing explosion. Seven of the 11 crewmen aboard both planes were killed. The high explosive igniters on two bombs detonated on impact, spreading radioactive material, including plutonium, over a wide area of the Spanish countryside. A third bomb landed relatively intact and was recovered.
The fourth bomb landed in the Mediterranean Sea, and U.S. military searchers took nearly three months to find and recover the device intact. According to the Brookings Institution, the United States spent $182 million on the recovery effort, nuclear waste disposal and settlement claims.
- The bio-cleanup tool of the future may be giant mats of mushrooms, which can selectively absorb toxins, chemical spills and radioactive isotopes. The magic mushrooms can also "clean up polluted mines, restore forest roads and perhaps even aid in managing beetle outbreaks." [Vail Daily Online]