Ride This Robot

Four years into development, Micromagic Systems is officially unveiling the Mantis — a giant all-terrain “hexapod” robot.

It’s powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine, it can be piloted remotely, even via wi-fi. It’s over nine feet tall and can traverse any type of ground, including rocks, mud, and babies.

For more about this robot and our future overlords, head over to the Mantis website. For everything else, check out the About section of this Vsauce2 video.

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Seven-metre wasp nest found in abandoned house

7 meter wasp nest Seven metre wasp nest found in abandoned house

tl;dr FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST THERE IS NOT ENOUGH FIRE IN THE NUCLEAR CENTER OF THE SUN TO DESTROY THIS ABOMINATION

@Think Spain:

Police in San Sebastián de la Gomera have cordoned off an abandoned house after finding a seven-metre-long wasp nest.

Officers were called out by worried neighbours of the empty home in the island’s capital and say the nest was in an indoor hallway and contained literally millions of wasps.

Experts have examined the nest, which is said to be 21’9” in length, and say the common type of wasp found in gardens would never normally build a nest of this size.

They believe it must be an invasive species of wasp which had migrated from Africa.

The Canary Islands are less than 100 kilometres from Morocco by water.

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The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics

tl;dr and we worry about using them on people

abx sales infographic 2 The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four Fifths of All Antibiotics

The Sky is falling!

@MoJo:

Last year, the Food and Drug Administrationproposed a set of voluntary “guidelines”designed to nudge the meat industry to curb its antibiotics habit. Ever since, the agency has been mulling whether and how to implement the new program. Meanwhile, the meat industry has been merrily gorging away on antibiotics—and churning out meat rife with antibiotic-resistant pathogens—if the latest data from the FDA itself is any indication.

The Pew Charitable Trusts crunched the agency’s numbers on antibiotic use on livestock farms and compared them to data on human use of antibiotics to treat illness, and mashed it all into an infographic, which I’ve excerpted below. Note that that while human antibiotic use has leveled off at below 8 billion pounds annually, livestock farms have been sucking in more and more of the drugs each year—and consumption reached a record nearly 29.9 billion pounds in 2011. To put it another way, the livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics used in the US, and its appetite for them is growing.

• Of the Salmonella on ground turkey, about 78% were resistant to at least one antibiotic and half of the bacteria were resistant to three or more. These figures are up compared to 2010.

• Nearly three-quarters of the Salmonella found on retail chicken breast were resistant to at least one antibiotic. About 12% of retail chicken breast and ground turkey samples were contaminated with Salmonella.

• Resistance to tetracycline [an antibiotic] is up among Campylobacter on retail chicken. About 95% of chicken products were contaminated with Campylobacter, and nearly half of those bacteria were resistant to tetracyclines. This reflects an increase over last year and 2002.

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Tactical white rhino!

Tactical White Rhino 450x299 Tactical white rhino!

A four man anti-poaching team permanently guards a Northern White Rhino on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, 13 July 2011. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is an important “not-for-profit” wildlife conservancy in the Laikipia District of Kenya and the largest sanctuary for black rhinos in East Africa. It is also the home of 4 of the world’s remaining 8 Northern White Rhino, the worlds most endangered animal. (img Brent Stirton/Getty)

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Mysterious New ‘Heartland Virus’ Discovered In Missouri

Two men from northwestern Missouri became ill after tick bites infected them with a previously unknown virus. 450x253 Mysterious New Heartland Virus Discovered In Missouri

Two men from northwestern Missouri became ill after tick bites infected them with a previously unknown virus.

tl;dr It’s new! Ticks are cocks. @NPR.org:

Two Missouri farmers have been infected with a brand-new tick-borne virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Heartland virus.

The men recovered but suffered serious illness that required hospital care and weeks of convalescence. Symptoms included fever, severe fatigue, headache and nausea. Their platelet counts plummeted, but even though platelets are necessary for blood clotting, the men didn’t suffer abnormal bleeding.

A report on the new virus is in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

So far, the Missouri men are the only known cases of Heartland virus in the world. But experts are sure they’ll find more. (more…)

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On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another

Cambridge students party hard Passed out drunk girls dont 450x293 On Vacation and Sick? A Court Says Take Another

This type of vacation sickness prolly doesn’t count. (img by Redrif)

tl;dr in Europe you can’t use vacation days for sick days, that’s illegal.

@NYT:

For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.

“The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure,” the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled in a case involving department store workers in Spain. “The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work.”

With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies. (more…)

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