Dogs used to predict quakes
A city is using dogs to predict earthquakes, an official said on Tuesday, after media reported that neighbors were complaining of nightly false alarms — in the form of barking. The earthquake authority of Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province, keeps dogs since they will “act abnormally when an earthquake is coming,” an official surnamed Song said. The bureau used the dogs at the request of the provincial government, he added, saying that chickens and ducks could be effective as well. However, neighbors are complaining on social media about the animals’ nightly howling, according to the official provincial news Web site Dajiang. “The compound of the Nanchang earthquake authority has I don’t know how many dogs, every night at 11pm they start barking over and over,” it quoted one as saying. Song said the dogs had now been sent to a lower-level earthquake bureau in the city, but denied they had been barking.
‘Abenomics’ bra unveiled
The Japanese division of lingerie maker Triumph International unveiled an “Abenomics” bra yesterday, which it says offers a “growth strategy” and a potential lift toward Japan’s elusive inflation target. Launches of Triumph’s concept bras in Tokyo have become a regular event and are an important publicity tool for the company. The “Branomics Bra” follows earlier solar-powered, recycled and “husband-hunting” models but, like its predecessors, will not go on sale. The “Branomics Bra” is a take on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “three-arrow” economic revival plan that combines monetary strategy aiming to reach 2 percent inflation in two years and pro-growth reforms. It features a rising trendline and arrows as motifs and promises a 2 percent increase in volume with extra padding.
Hawking to boycott event
British physicist Stephen Hawking has decided to pull out of a conference next month hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, event organizers said yesterday. “Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel and pulled out of the Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013, under the auspices of President Peres,” they said in a statement. The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, which supports the academic boycott of Israel and opposes its occupation of Palestinian territories, said Hawking had “declined his invitation.” Conference chairman Israel Maimon slammed the decision. “The academic boycott against Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission,” he said.
Tourists escape axe attack
Tourists visiting a castle in Krakow yesterday narrowly escaped an attack by an axe-wielding local dubbed as “a madman.” The 48-year-old identified by local media only as Grzegorz S. reportedly drove his car into the courtyard of the historic Wawel royal castle, then jumped out and began wildly swinging an axe at a group of young Polish students. “The Wawel is my home, I don’t want any strangers here,” he screamed, commercial radio RMF FM reported. He lunged toward the visitors, but when guards tried to tackle him he jumped back into his car and attempted to run them over, the report said. Guards were able to bring him under control after shooting one of the vehicle’s tires. “It all looked like an attack by a madman, without any kind of logical motive,” Krakow regional police spokesman Dariusz Nowak told local media.