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Science

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
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Aquarium Uses Eel Powered Christmas Lights 96 96

A Japanese aquarium is using the greenest energy possible to power the lights on its Christmas tree, an electric eel. From the article: "Each time the eel moves, two aluminum panels gather enough electricity to light up the 2-meter (6 ft 6 in) tall tree, decked out in white, in glowing intermittent flashes."
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Students Banned From Bringing Pencils To School 426 426

mernilio writes "According to UPI: 'A Massachusetts school district superintendent said a memo banning sixth graders from carrying pencils was written without district approval. North Brookfield School District interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy said Wendy Scott, one of two sixth-grade teachers at North Brookfield Elementary School, did not get approval from administrators before sending the memo to all sixth-grade parents, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Thursday. The memo said students would no longer be allowed to bring writing implements to school. It said pencils would be provided for students in class and any students caught with pencils or pens after Nov. 15 would face disciplinary action for having materials 'to build weapons.'"
NASA

NASA Parodies Reach New Level of Awkwardness 28 28

MMBK writes "NASA TV recently produced six movie-trailer parodies about current projects for a 'themed exhibit at an international conference.' But for the most part, the attempt remains pretty corny, far, far away from the imaginative, inspiring work of space artists like Bruce McCall."
Transportation

Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits 278 278

It turns out the soy-based wire covering on cars built after 2002 is irresistible to rodents. Nobody knows this better than those unlucky enough to park at DIA's Pikes Peak lot. The rabbits surrounding the area have been using the lot as an all-you-can-eat wiring buffet. Looks like it's time to break out The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
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The Real 'Stuff White People Like' 286 286

Here's an interesting and funny look at 526,000 OkCupid users, divided into groups by race and gender and all the the things each groups says it likes or is interested in. While it is far from being definitive, the groupings give a glimpse of what makes each culture unique. According to the results, white men like nothing better than Tom Clancy, Van Halen, and golfing.
Idle

Want a Body Piercing With That Server? 19 19

1sockchuck writes "The web hosting business is known for promotional gimmicks. But here's an unusual one: ServerBeach UK is offering a free body piercing with every new server ordered on April 1st. 'We were tired of the typical boring giveaways that have been done to death' said ServerBeach's Dominic Monkhouse. The stunt revives memories of earlier guerrilla marketing efforts by web hosts, like the 'human billboard' who was paid $7,000 to tattoo a hosting company's logo on the back of his head."
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Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

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