Articles by SpaceNeedle



Spent Cooking Oil BinNatt Garun writes in Gizmodo:

People resort to the black market for all sorts of stolen goods: cellphones, watches, cars, babies. But used cooking oil? According to the Washington Post, that’s a thing too.

Thieves are now moving into the green market by stealing used cooking oil from the back of restaurants. They sell the sludge to recyclers, who then process it into biodiesel. The oil can go for as much as $4 per gallon on the down low.

Since this is a pretty new criminal enterprise, police aren’t entirely sure what to do with the perps — or how to stop the theft from happening. In some states it’s a misdemeanor. Meanwhile in Virginia, two men caught greaselifting were charged with grand larceny. Serves you right for those sticky, err, slippery fingers.



Jack's KnifeVia the Telegraph:

It was found among possessions belonging to Welsh surgeon Sir John Williams, a chief suspect in the Victorian murders. Sir John, known to his family at the time of the killings as “Uncle Jack” was the surgeon to Queen Victoria who lived in London at the time of the slayings.

He fled the capital after the murders and later founded the National Library for Wales in Aberystwyth. One of his distant relatives has now unearthed the old black-handled surgeon’s knife, which he used for operations, and believes it could be the murder weapon.

Tony Williams, 49, Sir John’s great-great-great-great nephew, has now published a book, which features the startling image of the knife, to expose his relative’s guilt.



Chicken Pox PartyRight, because you’re “afraid” of vaccines, let’s deliberately put pathogens in the mail. Reports KPHO CBS 5 News:

PHOENIX — Doctors and medical experts are concerned about a new trend taking place on Facebook.

Parents are trading live viruses through the mail in order to infect their children. The Facebook group is called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area.” According to the group’s page, it is geared toward “parents who want their children to obtain natural immunity for the chicken pox.”

On the page, parents post where they live and ask if anyone with a child who has the chicken pox would be willing to send saliva, infected lollipops or clothing through the mail. Parents also use the page to set up play dates with children who currently have chicken pox. Medical experts say the most troubling part of this is parents are taking pathogens from complete strangers and deliberately infecting their children.


Via NPR:

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West. U.N. forecasts suggest the world population could hit a peak of 10.1 billion by 2100 before beginning to decline. But exact numbers are hard to come by — just small variations in fertility rates could mean a population of 15 billion by the end of the century.



BatVia New Times:

The abandoned iron mine at Mine Hill in Roxbury used to provide a winter home for 3,000 bats — the largest bat hibernaculum in the state. The last time Jennie Dickson, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, counted, there were about 100 bats there.

“That’s not good,” she said. For the past five years, the bats of the eastern United States have been dying in like numbers — one of the worst environmental catastrophes in recent years.

What biologists like Dickson knew was that the dying bats could be found with an off-white fungus on their nose and wings. What was causing the die-off was uncertain …


Via TED Talks:

We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.



WikiLeaks DonateChristopher Hope reports in the Telegraph:

The whistleblowing website set up by Julian Assange said that it is temporarily suspending publication of leaks to fight a “blockade” by credit card companies.

The refusal to accept donations has cost the website “tens of millions of dollars” in lost funding, the website said.

Mr Assange was due to make the announcement at a press conference in London, and appeal for donations to help flight the blockade.

WikiLeaks said “in order to fight for its survival” it has decided temporarily to stop publishing secret state documents, while it battles the financial blockade through the courts.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said: “In order to ensure our future survival, WikiLeaks is now forced to temporarily suspend its publishing operations and aggressively fundraise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents.”


WaterfowlVia CTV:

Thousands of dead birds will be collected from an Ontario shoreline on Monday as the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources tries to determine what killed the waterfowl. Officials estimate as many as 6,000 dead birds have washed up on the Georgian Bay’s shoreline.

The carcasses are scattered along a nearly three-kilometre stretch near Wasaga Beach. “You just want to cry,” resident Faye Ego told CTV Toronto on Saturday.

Authorities speculate that the birds may have been killed by a form of botulism after eating dead fish. Locals said they noticed some dead fish on the beach a few weeks ago and a few dead birds earlier in September. During Monday’s cleanup, crews will be trying to tally up the total number of dead birds on the shoreline …




Graeme McMillan, io9.com: The book in question is called Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster, and it’s part of ComicArts, the new graphic novel imprint from publisher Harry…


Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and…