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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 11:37:14 AM EST
The Local - Swiss spend most on English but lag behind

Despite spending more on teaching the language than the top four countries, Switzerland ranked only eleventh in an international survey comparing English proficiency levels among adults.

A study last year by Education First, a company specialised in teaching English across the world, compared results from 44 countries, with Norway achieving top marks, online news website 20 Minutes reported.

Switzerland was beaten by Poland, Malaysia, Austria and Germany, as well as by more obvious contenders such as the Netherlands and Sweden.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where was the UK in the list?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 06:21:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you check the map in the report, it looks like they didn't include the U.K., Ireland, or Greece (nor, strangely, Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia).
by gk (gk) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 06:34:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Germany urged to end sex offender castration

Europe's top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has urged Germany to end the practice of surgically castrating sex offenders.

The council's anti-torture committee said such voluntary treatment, albeit rare in Germany, was "degrading".

In Germany no more than five sex offenders a year have been opting for castration, hoping it will lower their sex drives and reduce their jail term.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:40:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see what the problem is, if it's an opt in solution for sex offenders. I don't know what the results are in Germany but I read an interview with a guy who'd had it done here and he said it was marvelous to be freed of a life shattering compulsion

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists regenerate a plant -- 30,000 years on

Russian scientists have grown flowering plants using seeds stored by squirrels 30,000 years ago and preserved by the Siberian permafrost, a new study showed, in what may become a key experiment in the race to revive ancient species.

The seeds of the herbaceous Silene stenophylla are by far the oldest plant tissue to have been brought back to life, according to lead researchers Svetlana Yashina and David Gilichinsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The latest findings could be a landmark in research of ancient biological material and the bid to potentially revive other species, including some that are extinct.

The scientists highlight the importance of permafrost itself in the "search of an ancient genetic pool, that of preexisting life, which hypothetically has long since vanished from the earth's surface".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 02:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bugger that, we want a mammoth !!

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Male Y chromosome extinction theory challenged

Men may not become extinct after all, according to a new study.

Previous research has suggested the Y sex chromosome, which only men carry, is decaying genetically so fast that it will be extinct in five million years' time.

A gene within the chromosome is the switch which leads to testes development and the secretion of male hormones.

But a new US study in Nature suggests the genetic decay has all but ended.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 03:08:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macho Gardening | Harpers

The Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University declared the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, which burned through the latex gloves of the researchers assigned to pick it, to be the hottest pepper on earth. "There will be a run on seeds and plants," predicted grower Jim Duffy. "Like Cabbage Patch dolls right before Christmas."

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 05:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I fully support the CPI at NMSU.

Not being an S&M kinda guy, I do not ever intended to eat one of them things.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 at 05:33:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's funny how it works. A few years back people said a million scovilles would kill. Then the naga chilli came along and you can now buy dinners in restaurants that boast it's "flavoured" with nagas. You can buy sauces with ratings in the millions and I'm sure there must be people who eat it neat.

So, why not have something madder ? Good luck, my digestive system decided years ago that deathwish chilli was not for me and I have reluctantly agreed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 03:35:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once food is spiced beyond a 'mild' level of heat it's impossible to taste anything but the hot.  At which point why not just eat the chilies directly?

(He asked, rhetorically.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 11:34:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two things. Cooking times and sensory manipulation.

Cooking long enough violates the volatile oils and leaves a more subtle range of tastes. Sensory manipulation is achieved by blending two or more types of chili musically: so you get top notes, mids and bass effects. This is while eating - another set of musical notes appears in due course.

It is even possible, for the experienced chilista, to decide whether sweat will break out on the pate, the forehead or the entire face - and even predict the location of a breakout of blushing blotchiness.

Everything I cook draws inspiration from East of Italy - and you can keep going as far as Hawaii but no further. All the spices you need come from Eurasia and and the islands.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:26:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cooking long enough violates the volatile oils


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 12:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"to break in upon or disturb rudely" which is not what you want if you are vapourizable - speaking from the volatile oil's perspective.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 01:04:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fox host Lou Dobbs slams Arrietty and The Lorax for 'liberal agenda' | Film | guardian.co.uk

Conservative filmgoers beware: Hollywood is after your children (again) with the release of two new films that shamelessly deliver a pro-liberal message.

The Secret World of Arrietty, Studio Ghibli's animated take on The Borrowers, is an insidious polemic that encourages class envy and redistribution of wealth. Meanwhile, Dr Seuss' The Lorax is yet another example of environmental radicalism, according to Lou Dobbs of the Fox Business Network.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 07:48:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can skip the HouseTrip ad at the beginning, but I found that a bit interesting, too.  Here's a video about someone planted "gardens" in potholes.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 09:39:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results | Science Insider
Physicists had detected neutrinos travelling from the CERN laboratory in Geneva to the Gran Sasso laboratory near L'Aquila that appeared to make the trip in about 60 nanoseconds less than light speed.


According to sources familiar with the experiment, the 60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos' flight and an electronic card in a computer. After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed. Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos.

It's still not too bad for Geneva to L'Aquila.....
by gk (gk) on Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 at 10:04:44 AM EST
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