Anyone want to live in a metal box?

A Detroit-based construction consortium hopes to use empty shipping containers to build a $1.8 million, 17-unit condominium project. The Detroit Free Press reports today that the project would stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios.

Groundbreaking could take place this fall on the project if it wins city approval, and it could open in 2009. It’s designed by Detroit-based architect Steven Flum. Developers plan to offer condominium units measuring 90 to 180 square metres.

Prices will range from about $100,000 to about $190,000. I guess it is an interesting idea for afforable housing but those prices seem more than a little extreme. I would think $30k-$40k per dwelling is more reasonable.

Mounties Taser 82 Year Old Man in Hospital Bed

Here is a little story about those brave Canadian Mounted Police Officers up in Canada, Frank Lasser, 82, was subdued in his hospital bed because he was not willing to relinquish a small pocket knife he was holding.  This guy just came out of heart bypass surgery recently and when unable to breathe properly becomes delusional.  He said he couldn’t explain why he refused to let go of the knife even after the Mounties arrived.  There were three Mounties present so I can’t imagine why they had to resort to using a taser gun, talk about excessvive force.

Here is a couple of amusing quotes from the officers, “Whether the person is 80 or 20, we are dealing with a person who had a deadly weapon in their hand,” Cpl. Scott Wilson told CBC News.  “We could not deploy our … pepper spray, because we could potentially contaminate the entire hospital.”  Gimmie a break!

Lucky Break for Trapped Woman

The newspaper boy unlocked a side door and saw the couple about two feet inside, 84-year-old Blanche Roberts helpless looking right back at Pitts. Her right leg was pinned beneath the body of her 77-year-old husband Fred, who apparently had died last Wednesday evening of a heart attack after mowing the lawn.

Her only request was for water. She knew her name and her relatives, but described her husband as “sleeping,” said Pitts, who delivers the Southern Illinoisan, published in nearby Carbondale, Illinois. The coronoer said Fred Roberts likely died of a heart attack, based on accounts from the Roberts’ visitors that day.

Blanche Roberts was taken to a hospital in nearby Herrin. The hospital on Tuesday wouldn’t confirm whether she still was being treated there; Pitts said the couple’s relatives told his wife Monday that she was doing fine.

Pitts has delivered on that route for three years but said he never met the Robertses before Sunday. But he thinks fondly of Blanche Roberts, who often tipped him in letters. Lucky for the curious newspaper delivery boy, eh?

Kinky Underwater Fun

Marine biologists studying wild octopuses have found a kinky and violent society of jealous murders, gender subtrefuge and once-in-a-lifetime sex. The new study by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, who journeyed off the coast of Indonesia found that wild octopuses are far from the shy, unromantic loners their captive brethren appear to be.

The scientists watched the Abdopus aculeatus octopus, which are the size of an orange, for several weeks and published their findings recently in the journal Marine Biology. They witnessed picky, macho males carefully select a mate, then guard their newly domesticated digs so jealously that they would occasionally use their 20-to-25-centimetre tentacles to strangle a romantic rival to death.

The researchers also observed smaller “sneaker” male octopuses put on feminine airs, such as swimming girlishly near the bottom and keeping their male brown stripes hidden in order to win unsuspecting conquests.

Shortly after the female gives birth, about a month after conception, both the mother and father die, researchers said.

“It’s not the sex that leads to death,” said Christine Huffard, the study’s lead author. “It’s just that octopuses produce offspring once during a very short lifespan of a year.” I guess the conclusion is that underwater sea life is very similar to us.

Do you fold your toilet paper or crumple it?

Here is some interesting information about toilet paper, I will personally state that I am a folder and think that anyone that is a crumpler is kinda weird.

The Fold Versus Crumple Debate

I’ll try to put this as delicately as I can. Apparently there’s a significant debate about whether it’s better to fold several sheets of paper, or crumple them together in a bunch. One major argument in favor of the “fold” method is that depending on the quality of your paper and your folding technique, you can refold (and thus reuse) a single set of sheets. The counter-argument is that this is super-gross. I have my own opinions on this issue, but let’s just say I’ve tried multiple methodologies over the years and feel that I’ve perfected my technique.

So what’s the distribution of crumplers versus folders in the wild? An online toilet paper usage survey has received almost 5,000 responses. At the moment, the folders are slightly in the lead (52%), but tend to be a little older than crumplers. Also, far more crumplers are male than female (70% of crumplers in the survey are male). You can take the survey or just hit the ‘View’ button to see the results without contributing your own.

Big Boobs Wins in Court

A Japanese pin-up model says that her big breasts have not only boosted her career — they also helped her overturn a court verdict. The bikini model, who goes by her professional name Serena Kozakura, was cleared after a court decided she was too well-endowed to squeeze into a room through a hole, as she had been found guilty of earlier.

“I used to hate my body so much,” Kozakura, who has appeared in product commercials on television, told the private Asahi network in an interview aired Tuesday. “But it was my breasts” that won in court, she said.

The case was splashed through the Japanese media on Tuesday, with the Asahi network even inviting her to demonstrate how she could not fit through the opening. Kozakura, 38, was convicted last year of property destruction after a man said she kicked in the wooden door of his room and crawled inside, apparently because he was with another woman.

Kozakura had said the man made the hole himself. In her appeal, the defence counsel held up a plate showing the size of the hole and said that she could not squeeze through with her 110-centimetre (44-inch) bust. “The judges were very good-mannered as they showed no expressions on their faces. I guess they’re well-trained,” Kozakura said. Tokyo High Court presiding judge Kunio Harada agreed and threw out the guilty verdict on Monday, saying there was reasonable doubt over the man’s account. Well that was a nice…story.

Dog Kept on ‘Ice’

The case of a chilli dog on display at a local convenience store prompted an outraged woman to take action. Cindy Gravelle says she took a big gulp when she spotted a miserable looking pooch in the walk-in cooler, pressing its face up against the glass door, during a milk-run to her local 7-Eleven earlier this week.

Gravelle was doubly disturbed the next day to find the same dog, which appears to be an American Eskimo, in the cooler apparently for safekeeping while its owner worked a shift at the store near Centre St. and McKnight Blvd. N.E.

“Eight hours later it was still in the fridge,” the horrified 41-year-old said yesterday.

“What is wrong with these people?”

Gravelle’s dogged pursuit to rectify the situation led Calgary Humane Society officials to contact the store about the strange pet-keeping practice.

7-Eleven spokesman Alyn Edwards said it was “a discretionary decision” based on “unique circumstances” which will not happen again. It appears the dogs owner thought because it was an Eskimo dog it needed to be kept in very cold surroundings.

Teen Pregnancy Considered Normal

A recent report out of Berkely confirms that dinosaurs had high rates of teen pregnancies. Dinosaurs descended from reptiles and evolved into today’s birds, but their growth and sexual maturation were more like that of mammals – complete with teen pregnancy, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, scientists.

The conclusion, reported the week of Jan. 14 in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, comes from an analysis of the only three dinosaur fossils that have been definitively identified as female. Thin slices of these dinosaurs’ fossil bones all show an internal structure similar to tissue found in living female birds – a layer of calcium-rich bone tissue called medullary bone that is deposited in the marrow cavity just before egg-laying as a resource for making eggshells.

Tenontosaurus lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous period, 125 to 105 million years ago, and was an ancestor of the duck-billed dinosaurs. A common plant eater, it is known for its long tail that made the dinosaur up to 27 feet long when walking on four legs. Because fossils of these one- to two-ton beasts are common in Oklahoma, Werning was able to obtain many fossil bone slices from the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Both a femur (thigh bone) and a tibia (shin bone) from the same fossilized Tenontosaurus showed medullary bone, while growth rings in its bones indicated the pregnant dinosaur was eight years old. As the father of a pre-teen girl this article caught my eye.