Category Archives: News

If You Slow Down The Sound Of Crickets, It Sounds Like A Chorus Of The Damned

Field Cricket.
Field Cricket.

There’s nothing quite like the sound of crickets on a summer night, right? It’s the kind of sound that just sort of lulls you to sleep and whisks you away to dreamland. But when you slow down that sound, something chilling happens.

Thanks to composer Jim Wilson, we can now experience this horrific creepiness for ourselves. The track below is actually two pieces of audio fused together. One is a regular recording of chirping crickets, and the other is that same chirping slowed down. The result will take all of those nice dreams and turn them into nightmares.

(via Enpundit)

Well, I only peed my pants a little bit, so that’s a victory in my book. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to listen to crickets the same way again.

Cyclists In New South Wales Will Risk Huge Fines & Must Carry ID Under New Laws

The government of New South Wales is currently attempting to tread that thin white line between liberality and totalitarianism. On the one hand, cycling initiatives help cyclists make more of the roads and are generally designed to make the roads safer for those who choose to travel under their own steam.
On the other hand, paying a 106 AUD fine for forgetting to cycle with ID certainly doesn’t sound fun. But this is one of a number of fines which the state’s roads minister, Duncan Gay, has introduced. Gay describes himself as “the biggest bike-lane sceptic in the government” and has earned a powerful disdain from cyclists in Sydney, especially after he pulled out of the city’s 5 million AUD College Street cycleway.
All cycling fines are currently standardised at 71 AUD but the new fines will include 319 AUD for not wearing a helmet or for holding onto a moving vehicle and 425 AUD for running a red light or not stopping at a children’s or pedestrian crossing. Cycling advocate Sue Abbott has claimed that Gay wants to “destroy cycling in Sydney.” She continues: “We are completely backwards. Not just a couple of years – we’re a couple of decades backwards.”
Gay has hit back at these claims, stating: “If you’re involved in a crash, you are 60% more likely to suffer a severe brain injury if you’re not wearing a helmet.” He continues: “All road users need to exercise respect when using the road.” Furthermore, the new fines do also cover motorists as vehicles travelling less than 60 kph will need to give cyclists one metres’ room (on danger of a 319 AUD fine and the loss of two demerit points) while those passing at more than 60 KPH will need to give cyclists a berth of one and a half metres.
Gay has stated that around 11 cyclists are killed every year on New South Wales roads with around 1,500 hospitalised due to cycling incidents. Last year he attempted to introduce a cycling license but it was deemed by the road department: “not [to] be a cost-effective way of improving NSW cyclists’ behaviour or safety”.
On Monday, Gay stated that the changes were in line with recommendations from roundtables held with cycling advocacy groups the Pedestrian Council of Australia, the NRMA and the Motor Accident Authority. He stated that they are centred on; “striking a balance for everyone on the roads and footpaths.”

Spain’s Christmas Lottery : A Refugee Won €400,000 Days After Losing His Job

Carlos Barba : Epa
Carlos Barba / EPA
The man – only identified by his first name, Ngame – told local media he was recently laid off from his job. He lives with his wife in Roquetas de Mar, a southern city in Spain, where they have been trying to survive by doing temporary farm work.
The couple were rescued by the Spanish coastguard eight years ago after the packed wooden boat they were travelling on from Morocco to Spain became unsafe.
“There were 65 people on that boat,” Ngame told local newspaper La Voz de Almeria. “I want to give thanks to Spaniards and the Spanish government for rescuing me when I was in the sea.”
Ngame bought a ticket for “El Gordo”, Spain’s Christmas lottery, which awarded more than €2 billion this year.
The lottery says it is different to most big lotteries as it aims to share the wealth among many, not just a few big winners.
“I just can’t believe this,” Ngame said. “I can tell you that on some days we do not have five euros between the two of us.” /rossalyn.warren/

Saudi Arabia prince invests in US ridesharing service Lyft

Dec 24 19-51-42
Saudi Arabia prince invests in US ridesharing service Lyft

Riyadh (AFP) – A firm owned by a Saudi prince said Thursday it had led a group that invested around $248 million (226 million euros) in US ridesharing service company Lyft.

Kingdom Holding Co, which is 95 percent-owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, invested $104.9 million in the San Francisco-based startup, it said in a statement.

The investment is equivalent to a 2.3 percent stake.

Kingdom Holding invested $31 million in a capital increase and spent $73.9 million to acquire preferred shares from other investors, it said.

The statement did not identify the co-investors.

Lyft announced an expansion of its alliances with Asian partners earlier this month, increasing its challenge to rival Uber.

Lyft is valued at $2.5 billion, while Uber has become one of the world’s most valuable startups, worth an estimated $50 billion.

Kingdom Holding’s diversified interests range from the Euro Disney theme park and Four Seasons hotels to News Corporation and Citigroup.

The Saudi tycoon and his firm also became Twitter’s second-largest shareholders in October.

Mercedes Unveils New Models Just In Time For Christmas

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, Mercedes-Benz may be able to help. The automaker has unveiled three new cars, each of which would make a welcome addition in any home.

They’re part of the new Santa Class range, and there’s a bodystyle to suit most. For performance fans there’s the Silver Arrow, for tech buffs there’s the F 01S and for those that like to go off-road there’s the classic G-Class.












All three are fully capable vehicles. Inspired by Santa’s sleigh, they are propelled by reindeer and designed to cover the entire globe in a single night. If you’re lucky, you may even see one tonight in the skies above your home.

For more on the Santa Class, Mercedes has a configurator on its website.

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