Winckler's Wacky World:The Big Flush

The future of drink-driving, robot fish save the world, inappropriate smiling, sheep thrills, son of a gun, boys' toys and funky funghi.

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The Independent Online

The Big Flush

Zimbabwe: In Bulawayo city on Monday officials urged all residents to join the "big flush" and help Zimbabwe's second city clear toilet waste that accumulated in sewers during days of water outages.

The future of drink-driving

In what's claimed as a world first, the Tullibardine distillery in Perthshire has linked up with a spin-off company from Napier University in Edinburgh to turn whisky "leftovers" into fuel for vehicles.

Robot fish save the world

Would-be terrorists hoping to sneak weapons and other contraband through U.S. ports on and in the hulls of ships may be thwarted by a robotic tuna fish under development for the government.

The BIOSwimmer robofish is able to overcome so-called position-keeping problems experienced by traditional underwater robots that are powered by vertical and horizontal thrusters, according to the David Taylor, program manager for the robot at the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate.

Smile of the viper

The terrifying-sounding 'Shaanxi Discipline Inspection Committee' has conducted an investigation into Yang Dacai, Secretary of Party General Branch and Chief of Shaanxi Administration of Work Safety, who reportedly 'smiled inappropriately on the spot of the “8.26” serious traffic accident and wore many luxury watches'

It's a ram-raid!

A flock of sheep cause havoc as they barged their way into Alpine ski shop, presumably just after a sheep-thrill. The owners of a shop were left gobsmacked when the eighty animals flocked to their store in an Austrian ski resort.

Son of a gun

A flight attendant with a permit to carry a handgun forgot to leave her weapon at home Sunday morning, leading to the accidental discharge of the gun by a police officer at Philadelphia International Airport.

Boys' toys

Bob the Builder. Jimmy Neutron. Lego Man. Sid the Science Kid. Handy Manny. The science-loving, tower-building cartoon heroes popular among kids today are all boys, or -- I suppose, in the case of Lego Man -- men. So are about 90 per cent of America's engineers. San Francisco-based entrepreneur Debbie Sterling wants to change that statistic.

Magic Mushrooms

The acoustic properties of wood infected by a certain funghi seem to be just what violin-makers desire. Dr Schwarze had some violins made from the infected wood and discovered that they sounded like a Stradivarius.