We round up this week’s most intriguing items from around the Web.
Three deceased gene-altered pigs were heisted from a University of Florida lab and sold to an unsuspecting butcher, who ground them into very, very unkosher sausages. But university officials assure Reuters this won’t happen again; from now on, all animals that could be mistaken for food will be spray painted once they shed their mortal coil.
Off the Cuff
Exhausted from constantly rolling up your own sleeves? Then this shirt is for you. An Italian fashion house wove in a shape memory alloy that automatically rolls up the shirt’s sleeves when it gets too warm and unrolls them when things cool off. Mercifully, no plans exist for matching trousers.
A Light in the Sky
Tired of just listening, the folks at SETI want to see some action. Using a new laser detection system, they are now scouring the galaxy for signs of intelligent light, reports BBC News. While light is less susceptible to intergalactic interference than radio waves, the only photon beams that will register are those aimed by aliens directly at Earth-after which we might all be too jellified to celebrate.
Eyes on the Road
The SETI folks aren’t the only ones going optical. By 2003, Las Vegas plans to introduce an optically guided bus. The bus, explains the New York Times, will steer itself along high-contrast lines in the road. Sound a bit risky, even by Vegas standards? It’s not, claim the builders: a driver will still keep his foot firmly on the gas (and, we hope, sometimes the brake).
If your parents won’t stop reminding you that you’re 35, single and have yet to provide them with grand-progeny, there’s a cockroach nearby who feels your pain, consoles Scientific American. A recent study demonstrates that female roaches who’ve passed prime mating age are quicker to forgive a suitor’s shortcomings. Suggestion for further research: what happens to roach standards as closing time approaches?
Last week: Jurassic Duck
Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.Subscribe today