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How bizarre
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-08-26 07:33:34
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Polar bears under stress

bizarre001Polar bears have shrunk over the last century, according to research. Scientists compared bear skulls from the early 20th Century with those from the latter half of the century.  Their study, in the Journal of Zoology, describes changes in size and shape that could be linked an increase in pollution and the reduction in sea ice.

Physical "stress" caused by pollutants in the bears' bodies, and the increased effort needed to find food, could limit the animals' growth, the team said. The researchers used the skulls as indicators of body size. The skulls from the later period were between two and 9% smaller. "Because the ice is melting, the bears have to use much more energy to hunt their prey," explained Cino Pertoldi, professor of biology from Aarhus University and the Polish Academy of Science, and lead scientist in this study.

"Imagine you have two twins - one is well fed during its growth and one is starving. (The starving) one will be much smaller, because it will not have enough energy to allocate to growth."  The team, which included colleagues from Aarhus University's Department of Arctic Environment, also found shape differences between the skulls from the different periods.


Above Marilyn Monroe’s vault!!!

bizarre002The burial vault above the remains of Hollywood film star Marilyn Monroe has been sold for more than $4.6m (£2.8m). More than 20 offers, starting at $500,000, were received for the space, located in the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

The vault had been advertised on the auction website eBay by the widow of the current occupier. The name of the buyer has not been revealed - except for the initials OS, used to take part in the auction.


Porn can be sold legally to kids?

bizarre003Retailers who sell children violent or pornographic videos will be immune from prosecution for the next three months after the discovery of a government blunder 25 years ago. Britain should have notified the European Commission of the existence of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA) -- which regulated the industry -- but failed to do so. "Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the VRA is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts," said Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture and Tourism.

Follett said people currently being prosecuted under the act would not be convicted until a new act can take legal effect in three months, the period required for consultation with other EU member states. In the interim, people will be able to sell pornographic and violent videos to children under the age of 18 without fear of prosecution. However anyone previously convicted for offences under the act will not be able to appeal their case.

The British Video Association said distributors would continue to submit their works to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and asked its members to comply with the provisions on a voluntary basis. Britain's Entertainment Retailers Association, which represents more than 90 percent of the UK video market, said "This is extraordinary. For 25 years retailers have been faithfully administering the system and now this happens."


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