Cheetahs outpower Bolt
Cheetahs can generate four times the maximum power output of Usain Bolt when they sprint and have a maneuverability unmatched by any other animal when hunting, according to scientists who tracked the big cats. “[Cheetahs] are getting lateral accelerations bigger than a motorbike can achieve,” the Royal Veterinary College’s Alan Wilson said. “They’re operating at the extreme of athletic performance.” His team attached collars, enabled with GPS and accelerometers, to five wild cheetahs in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and tracked the animals for a year. The study found that, though the cheetahs can run at great speeds, they mostly choose not to when hunting. “What they can do is accelerate and maneuver really rather well, better than anything else that’s been measured in a large animal and that’s probably much more critical in terms of capturing a large animal,” Wilson said. The cheetahs were able to accelerate by up to 3m/s and slow down by 4m/s in a single stride. At their greatest acceleration, the animals’ muscles produced a power output of 100 watts per kilogram — four times greater than the power produced by Usain Bolt when he ran the 100m in the world record time of 9.58 seconds.
Police look into death movie
Police said on Wednesday they are investigating the recording and sale in local markets of a grisly video that shows a mob beating and burning to death three men suspected of raping and killing an Indian woman in southern Mexico. A voice on the video says: “Gasoline on everything!” as the beaten suspects lie on the ground. Then the tape shows a man in flames, tied to a tree, writhing as he apparently burns. One suspect is heard crying and pleading for mercy while voices in the background speak the Indian language of Tzotzil. Tzotzil is spoken in the highlands of the southern state of Chiapas, where tapes of the attack were being sold in street markets for 15 to 20 pesos (US$1.15 to US$1.50) apiece. The Chiapas State Attorney General’s office said all three men died. It is investigating both the mob attack and the sale of the video.
Police pull over child driver
Police in Louisiana said they pulled over a 10-year-old boy who was driving an SUV on a major highway. A Kenner Police news release says the boy’s grandmother and another woman in the vehicle were arrested early on Wednesday when the car was pulled over. Police say they told officers they had the boy drive because they were drunk. The child’s grandmother, 54-year-old Brenda Byrd, and 48-year-old Sheila Joiner were booked with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle. The young driver and a 15-year-old passenger were later released to family members. Police had responded to a call about an SUV being driven recklessly.
‘1984’ surges in popularity
The nation’s book-buyers are reading up on being watched. Sales for dystopian classics such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World have been strong since news broke last week that the US government had vast surveillance programs targeting telephones and Internet records. Several editions of Orwell’s 1984, about an all-seeing government, were among top Amazon.com’s top 200 sellers as of Wednesday morning. Huxley’s story of a mindless future ranked No. 210 and was out of stock. A perennial favorite of futuristic horror, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, was ranked No. 75.