May. 9th, 2009

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Quebec rejects 'Avalanche' as name for baby - Weird News -

[personal profile] ms_danson reminded me that I had intended to post this article. In short, a couple was informed by the Quebec Registrar of Civil Status that they could not give their child the middle name Avalanche unless they can explain why that should be permitted to do so. The couple had run into the same problem with a previous child whom they had attempted to give the middle name Glacier. Quebec law states that the Registrar can reject a name if they feel that the name is not in the child's best interest.
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Jetpacks Go Mainstream

The Martin Jetpack is capable of 30 minutes of sustained flight at up to 60 miles per hours with a ceiling of 8,000 feet. Comes with built-in parachute.

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Bioelectricity better than biofuels for transport : Nature News

A recent study comparing the efficiency of crop-based ethanol versus electricity generated from burning biomass determined that biomass-fired electricity is more efficient when then entire supply chain is taken into account. The study specifically looked at the efficiency of powering automobiles using two metrics: kilometres vehicular travel per hectare and emissions per hectare. They determined that a vehicle powered by biomass-fired electricity would travel 81% farther with half the greenhouse-gas emissions compared to an ethanol-based vehicle.
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The danger of drugs … and data | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free | The Guardian

It was recently revealed that Elsevier has published six "journals" that are, in fact, reprints of articles that paint particular companies in a positive light. When asked about it, Elsevier replied that it did not consider these publications to be true "journals", but with titles like the Merck-sponsored publication "The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine", it would be understandable if readers might have been unaware of the distinction. This is why we, as researchers, need to take particular care in ascertaining the pedigree of any article we cite.

January 2010

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