Who needs an official postal address?

From the Guardian: Postman turns detective to deliver letter with cryptic address in Ireland.

A sharp-eyed Irish postman demonstrated his detective skills after tracking down a Co Donegal house with only the vaguest of instructions on a letter to go by.

The letter was sent from Belfast across the border into the Irish Republic to the home of a PHD student.

In full, the envelope contained the message on the front: “Your man Henderson, that boy with the glasses who is doing a PhD up here at Queen’s in Belfast. Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland.”

A friend sent the letter to Barry Henderson who is studying for a PhD in history at Queen’s University Belfast with the potentially confusing address at his home in Buncranca, which has a population of 7,000. [continue]

Would an address like that get the post to you? Let’s see. Your last name, one fact about your appearance, one fact about your occupation. Would that do it? It would certainly work in my community!

For more fun, proceed to the BBC for Mind blowing mail: the Irishman who took on the postal service. And then: he has a blog!

German cops seek speeding muppet car

Oh, delightful. From BoingBoing: German traffic cops angered by British driver who mocks traffic cams with a Muppet.

Someone in Germany is driving an automobile built for UK roads and has installed a Muppet in the passenger seat. The speed cameras in Germany are made to take photos of drivers who sit in the left side of the vehicle, so drivers of UK-style cars driver can’t be easily identified. [continue, see police photo of car with muppet]

Cardboard kayak race

This looks like fun! From CanoeKayak.com: Cardboard Kayak Race.

The contest is simple. Teams of designers are given an unlimited amount of tape and a pile of cardboard to build a kayak of any shape. No knives, scissors, or sharp objects are allowed. (…)

This year four teams of designers came up with a flotilla of boats that look like rejects from a Dali museum, and the team names were as intriguing as their creations. [continue, see photos]

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Smile to QuickBird

From EnglishRussia.com: Smile to QuickBird.

The production of Google Earth "artefacts" — the bright spots on the dull satellite landscapes seems to be a popular task nowadays in Russia. We’ve had already a story about guys from Moscow who have written a curse word on the roof of one of the buildings which can be nicely seen now at Google Earth.

This time a whole crown of people in participated has been aware [sic] of the exact timetable of the "QuickBird" satellite passing over the Chelyabinsk city and planned to make a big yellow smiley face of their bodies on one of the city squares in order to commemorate their city in Google Earth.[continue, see photos]

Chocolate teapot experiment

Now this is the kind of science I really like: How useless is a Chocolate Teapot? From The Naked Scientists:

You have heard the saying, but it is meaningless unless you know exactly how useful a chocolate teapot actually is. We try to find out how thick the walls of a chocolate teapot would have to be to let you brew tea… [continue]

The site includes photos, a video, and look, there’s a chocolate teapot!

(Link found here at Scribal Terror.)

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The Nemean Games

Ah, now this sounds refreshing. The Nemean Games are held at an ancient athletic stadium in Greece; anybody can compete. And where else can you sprint on a fourth-century clay track?

Here’s some background from The Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games:

It was at Nemea that the ancient Greeks celebrated athletic and religious festivals that were part of the cycle of games at Delphi, Isthmia, and (best known today) Olympia. It was at one of these four sites that, for a brief period each year, wars and hostilities were suspended by a sacred truce, and all Greeks gathered in recognition of their common humanity. This impulse toward peace – albeit limited to a few days each year — was the first in the history of mankind on an organized, regular, and international scale. Thus, the festivals at Nemea, Olympia, Delphi, and Isthmia are the direct ancestors of today’s United Nations and Olympic movement. The ancient stadium discovered at Nemea is, therefore, an important monument in the history of such institutions.

And you’ve gotta like the attitude of the whole thing, too:

The Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games believes that there is scope for the average person to participate in such an international athletic festival where no records will be kept and no medals awarded. Races will be organized by gender and age, and all participants will be rewarded only by feet sore from contact with the same stones and the same soil where ancient feet ran more than 2,000 years ago. [continue]

This article on the University of Berkeley website has a great photo of the judges.

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The telectroscope

Oh, what fun! From csmonitor.com: Londoners and New Yorkers gawk at each other through a transatlantic lens.

From a distance, it looks as if one of Jules Verne’s imagined flying contraptions has crashed in to the South Bank of the Thames. Next to Tower Bridge, the massive brown-and-gold item pokes up from the walkway, like the front end of a B-movie UFO — or perhaps some part of a ship’s hull from 200 years ago — winning weird looks from passers-by. Is it a plane? Is it a time machine?

No, it’s the Telectroscope, the wacky, wonderful invention of British artist Paul St. George. The story: Mr. St. George happened upon a stack of dusty papers in his grandmother’s attic, which revealed that his great-grandfather — an eccentric Victorian engineer — had planned to bore a 3,471-mile tunnel from London to New York, allowing us Brits to gawk at you Yanks through the world’s longest telescope. Now, St. George has made his great-gramp’s dream a reality.

The truth is … Oh, who cares about the truth? The point about the Telectroscope – a Victorian-style freakish fairground attraction – is that you believe, or you don’t. And as soon as I look through it, I believe. There, on the other side of the “tunnel,” as clear as day and as large as life, I see real-life, real-time New Yorkers. [continue, see photo]


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