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Posts Tagged ‘Weird News’

I was thinking what to blog about tonight, one of the Christmas Stories or perhaps some attempt at a witty comment or even about how the new book is “not” going, when I realized I had not done a “Weird News” spot for a while. So here’s a couple of items of interest… well perhaps to some of you.

This is an “Axolotl” (there’s a good score in Scrabble for you) sometimes called “The amphibian that never grew up“. The axolotl is a type of salamander that uniquely spends its whole life in its larval form. Its odd lifestyle, features and ability to regenerate body parts make it a popular animal kept in labs, schools and as pets.

But in the wild, the future is bleak for this “Peter Pan” of animals. Now a new survey work suggests that fewer than 1,200 Mexican axolotls remain in its last stronghold, the Xochimilco area of central Mexico.

Ex “Take That” and star performer Robbie Williams created quite a stir at the end of a recent appearance on an Australian radio show. The show host thought it was a joke when on the air Williams asked asked actress Ayda Field to be his “betrothed for the end of time”. However Robbie’s mother, Jan Williams told BBC Radio 5 live that her son had revealed his proposal plans to her “a week ago”.

She said she was “really pleased” for the couple, adding: “I’ve always wanted a daughter-in-law.

Finally something that could make a huge change in the way we live, work and even drive.

A team of researchers at Stanford University have come up with a Battery made from paper.
Made from plain copier paper could make for future energy storage that is truly paper thin.

The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to “paintable” energy storage.

Because of its structure of millions of tiny, interconnected fibers, paper is a good candidate to hold on to carbon nanotubes, providing a scaffold on which to build devices.

However, paper is also mechanically tough, and can be bent, curled or folded, more than the metal or plastic surfaces that are currently used or under development.

The paper acts to collect the electric charge from the reaction. Using paper in this way could reduce the weight of batteries, typically made with metal current collectors, by 20%.

The team’s batteries are also capable of releasing their stored energy quickly. That is a valuable characteristic for applications that need quick bursts of energy, such as electric vehicles – although the team has no immediate plans to develop vehicle batteries.

Barry



BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

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So what have I got to offer you in this weeks “Views, Reviews and Weird, well News?

Today it’s just a couple of pieces of slightly weird news.

In England, the death of a fish made major headlines…

DEATH OF ‘THE PEOPLE’S FISH’

Britain’s biggest and best-loved common carp (voted Britain’s Favorite Carp), Benson, has died. The 64lb fish was caught 63 times in her 13-year career.

AIRLINES OFFER MONEY BACK IF THE WEATHER IS BAD

Washed out on your summer break? There may be a silver lining in the grey clouds that darken your holiday pictures.

Lufthansa is offering passengers compensation for rainy days on holiday, the latest travel company to do so.

People who book flights with them from Germany can claim 20 euro for every rainy day, for up to ten days.

Last month, Pierre et Vacances and FranceLoc, two French holiday groups, offered customers a similar deal.

The Lufthansa ‘sunshine rate’ is available until 18 August and is valid on flights departing between 1 September to 31 October to 36 destinations.

Washed out travelers should send their travel vouchers, boarding passes and a list of rainy days to the insurer once they return.

If http://www.wetteronline.de, a German weather website, records rainfall of at least five millimeters at your destination on the specified days then you should be eligible for compensation.


Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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WEIRD NEWS:FROM THE BBC:

This interesting article about TWITTER was on the BBC today, which I thought I would share.

Twitter followers ‘can be bought’


Twitter users who lack an audience for their messages can now buy followers.

Australian social media marketing company uSocial is offering a paid service that finds followers for users of the micro-blogging service.

Followers are available in blocks starting at $87 (£53) for 1,000. The biggest block uSocial is selling is 100,000 people.

USocial said businesses and individuals were queuing up to use its follower finding service.

Find and follow

Leon Hill, chief executive of uSocial, said the company finds potential followers by searching Twitter and working out what individual users are interested in. It also profiles where people are so it can more closely match users with those they might want to follow.

USocial then sends messages to potential followers telling them about the new Twitter user they might want to follow.

“It’s up to the user to follow them or not,” said Mr Hill. He added that uSocial continues to look for followers until the specified number had signed up.

USocial has about 150 customers that had bought followers and had another 80-90 campaigns about to roll out.

A broad range of clients had signed up to buy followers, said Mr Hill including educational organisations, companies and marketing firms.

“A woman who runs yoga classes is one of our clients,” he said. “So are some religious organisations including one man that just wants to get the word out about God.”

“Twitter started as a way for just friends to keep in touch,” said Mr Hill. “As with any social media site once they get big, every business or marketer jumps on the bandwagon.

“It’s an excellent marketing medium,” he said.

USocial estimated that each follower on Twitter was worth about 10 cents a month to a company that got them to sign up. The money would be made from adverts and sales on websites that followers click through to.

Robin Goad, a research director at Hitwise who has analysed Twitter growth, said businesses were definitely starting to sign up to the micro-blogging service.

“At the moment, it’s mainly media and internet content businesses,” he said. “Transactional companies are struggling to find a way to drive real pounds and dollars from it.

“Companies are building up as many followers as they can and trying to monetise them in the future,” he added.

The growing commercial use of Twitter was presenting the network with a few problems, said Mr Goad.

In particular, he said, Hitwise was starting to see the hijacking of hashtags – labels that bring all the messages about a subject together.

In late June, furnishings firm Habitat used tags associated with protests in Iran to attempt to drive people to its site. The firm has since apologised for its actions.

Some Twitter users were also starting to send out messages that are only about a product or service – effectively spam, said Mr Goad.

“Twitter is becoming one of the key viral channels,” he said.

Twitter might cope better with the creeping commercialisation than other social media sites, he said.

“It’s interesting in the way it has developed,” said Mr Goad. “Hashtags and re-tweets have developed organically rather than been designed from the top down.

“One advantage it has over other services is that it can change quickly if hashtags become a polluted medium and it might keep one step ahead of the spammers,” he said.

“We’ve yet to see people defecting to the next big thing.”


Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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VIEWS:

“Across the Pond” my YA book had a fresh Press Release today as it moved from POD to being printed and available in Ingrams and thus book stores.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rekindle Bittersweet Teenage Memories with
Across the Pond
A story for the young and young at heart

CT – June 17th, 2009 – Since the book came out in September 2008 “Across the Pond” has become a huge hit. Storyheart has been compared by some as “a modern day Judy Blume,” and “Across the Pond” has been placed in the same category along side books like “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.” Enjoyed by people all over the world, with over a hundred interviews and reviews already received, the book, while intended for the Teen/Young Adult market, has become popular with people of all ages.

Until very recently “Across the Pond” was only available for purchase online, it will now available at a book store near you.

With romance, adventure, humor, first love and even a little sport thrown in for good measure Storyheart takes the readers on magical trip that all will enjoy, “Across the Pond.”

Protagonist, Fred Squire, leaves England for a vacation in the USA and he’s definitely not happy about it. Everything changes when he meets Brit, the attractive American girl who helps him adapt to the US way of life and awakens his pangs of affection. Struggling with his feelings for Brit and the language, Fred’s world is turned upside down when, after a confrontation with the neighborhood bully, Steve Harris, Brit tells Fred her dark secret.

Life continues to throw Fred a curveball when he catches a baseball worth a small fortune. Further run-ins with Harris, a crazy family BBQ, and a chase through a mall all add to Fred’s American adventure.

Will Fred and Brit’s budding romance stand through the test of time? What happens when Fred goes back to England? Witness the unexpected yet thrilling twists and turns as their story unfolds. For more information on Across the Pond, log on to http://www.Xlibris.com

About the Author
The author, Barry Eva, also known as “Storyheart”, was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. In 2000, he left his beloved country and went to the USA to be with the woman he’d met and fallen in love with on the Internet. With his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm, Barry is a much sort after interviewee on radio and TV. He at present is living in Connecticut, with his wife and two children.

Across the Pond * by Storyheart

REVIEWS:

Reviews on Amazon alone now number 84, here are a couple received since last week.

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story., June 11, 2009
By Lonna H. (Chesapeake, Va) – See all my reviews
When Frederick Squire (Fred) finds out that his parents have won a vacation to Australia he is thrilled, that is until he finds out that he will not be joining them. He is given the choice of visiting his grandparents in Scotland or Phil and Julie (family friends) in the United States. When he first arrives in the United States, he is overwhelmed by the differences between here and his home in England.

After some vocabulary misunderstandings, Brittany (Phil and Julie’s daughter) and Fred find they enjoy each other’s company very much. After meeting some of Brit’s friends and enemies Fred feels even closer to her. Young love begins to blossom over typical teenage activities like lunch at the mall, shopping, and baseball.

This book combines humor, conflict and romance into a story that everyone will enjoy. I really enjoyed this book, and I am certain my daughter will too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read For Our Young Adults, June 10, 2009
By Stefani Partin “Stefani” (Citrus Heights, CA) –

When I first started reading this book, I thought about my daughter who just had her first experience in an airplane by herself. I could tell by reading the first chapter that this was a book that was geared towards young adults. Even though I am a mom in my thirties, I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to my oldest daughter who loves to read.

This book is about a boy name Fred who travels from England to the USA to stay with his parent’s friends while they go on a trip to Australia. He is mad at the beginning and ends up falling in love. It reminds me of my young teenage years when I first experienced the feelings of love towards young men.

WEIRD NEWS:

Belgian girl’s tattoo ‘nightmare’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8104645.stm

US man ‘posed as his dead mother’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8106010.stm


Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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