Snappy crackers guaranteed
Researchers have devised what they say is a guaranteed method of pulling crackers to avoid disappointment, reports said yesterday. The experts say the method for always winning the long end of the cracker, and therefore the prize inside, is in the angle that you grip it — and they have released a mathematical formula to follow. You are guaranteed success if you follow the formula O=11xC/L+5xQ, which is based on the angle, grip and quality of the cracker. You must first multiply the circumference of the cracker in inches (C) by 11 before dividing that number by the length (L) of the barrel. Take that total and add it to the figure you get when you multiply the quality (Q) — either 1, 2 or 3 depending on whether the cracker is cheap, standard or premium — by five, the Daily Mail said. The formula ought to produce a figure between 20 and 55 degrees, which is the optimum pulling angle (O). The cracker should also be pulled 2.54cm from the end of the tail. A quality control team at Debenhams department store pulled hundreds of crackers in the run-up to Christmas before discovering the winning formula.
Helpful boy pulled over
A seven-year-old boy was stopped by police in the northern town of Reinfeld while trying to plow snow with a front loader he borrowed from his parents’ business. Officers found the boy atop the 3.5m-tall excavator after he had cleared a street and was driving back to the parking lot. “He opened the door, got out and admitted immediately that he did not have a driving license,” the police report said. When asked why he had begun plowing, he said his father had complained about the state of the roads. He saw the key in the ignition of the vehicle and took off.
New roach discovered
A Rockefeller University study appears to have uncovered a new species of cockroach in New York City. “The cockroach is genetically modified. Species don’t differ more than 1 percent, this cockroach is 4 percent different, which suggests it is a new species of cockroach,” said Mark Stoeckle, an expert on genomics and DNA barcoding at the university. The previously unidentified creepy-crawly was uncovered as part of a project undertaken by two high-school students, Brenda Tan, 17, and Matt Cost, 18, under Stoeckle’s supervision. The pair trawled New York apartments, stores and street, collecting 217 specimens between November last year and March. They took samples from supermarket food, the remains of an insect found in a box of fruit, a feather from a duster, dried dung and a cockroach and matched DNA sequences using the Barcode of Life Database and GenBank. The American Museum of Natural History laboratory identified 170 genetic codes, leading the researchers to identify 95 different animal species, including some that were unexpected. “A feather from a duster yielded ostrich DNA. A delicacy labeled ‘sturgeon caviar’ instead turned out to be from the paddlefish. A popular Asian snack was revealed as giant flying squid. Bison DNA was found in a dog biscuit,” the pair wrote on the university Web site.
Hallyday home for Xmas
French rocker and entertainment icon Johnny Hallyday has left Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after about two weeks of hospitalization for back surgery. Hallyday’s press agency says the 66-year-old star joined his wife and two daughters at their Los Angeles home.
The Polish Supreme Court on Friday quashed a lower court’s green light for the extradition of a businessman to China for alleged fraud, a charge he has denied, saying that he is being targeted for supporting Falun Gong. Polish authorities took Chinese-born Swedish citizen Li Zhihui, now 53, into custody in 2019 on an international warrant issued by China for alleged non-payment in a business deal, Krzysztof Kitajgrodzki, his Polish lawyer, told reporters. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the case would return to a lower appellate court for review. Kitajgrodzki told reporters that it was still not a given that his client
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
DELIVERING HOPE: The Japanese PM pledged to push ahead with plans to stage the Games, despite polls showing about 80% think they will not or should not happen Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday vowed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympic Games this summer with ample protection. In a speech opening a new session of parliament, Suga said that his government would revise laws to make disease prevention measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its caseload manageable with nonbinding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing, and for people to stay at home, but recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes
On Sunday last week, in a nondescript building in the Indian city of Gwalior, 322km south of Delhi, a large crowd of men gathered. Most wore bright saffron hats and scarves, a color evoking Hindu nationalism, and many held strands of flowers as devotional offerings. They were there to attend the inauguration of the Godse Gyan Shala, a memorial library and “knowledge center” dedicated to Nathuram Godse, the man who shot Mahatma Gandhi. The devotional yellow and pink flowers were laid around a black and white photograph of Godse, the centerpiece of the room. On Jan. 30, 1948, Godse stepped out in