February 27, 2005

Chicken News Roundup

  • Someone call Vince McMahon! Hulk Hogan is feuding with his neighbors and the town council over his right to keep Lilly the Rooster (and other pets, but we know what's really important).
  • Luckily Hulk doesn't live in Conneticut, from whence comes this story: Bags of decapitated chickens left at courthouse
    A suspicious package that led police to close streets around the federal building and call in a bomb squad Wednesday was filled with decapitated chickens, police said.
  • There's probably no relation with this event in Florida: County workers make disturbing find at park
    [A]s workers went about their business February 7th they came across a sweatshirt, with four decapitated chickens wrapped up inside. The following week they came across a more gruesome scene. There were three chickens and one goat.
  • Wired has an article about a research project at the University of Delaware using chicken feathers for circuit boards. Right now they're mostly being converted into low-grade animal feed, but keratin derived from the feathers might be used for other purposes:
    In addition to use in circuit boards, other possible applications for the feathers include composite materials for the construction and automotive industries. Hurricane-resistant roofing, termite-proof building materials and nonstructural car parts like dashboards, door panels and trim parts are a few possibilities.

    Wool also plans to develop carbon fiber from the chicken feathers. Heating the feather fiber under nitrogen makes the material 20 times1 stiffer (and 80 percent smaller), which creates more-rigid composites that are still hollow and light. Such a material would be particularly well-suited for automotive applications, and even the manufacture of tennis rackets and golf clubs.

    Emery also envisions medical applications for the feathers. Keratin from feathers could be used in cosmetics, for bone repairs and as skin patches to deliver medicine, he said.

    For now, Wool hopes to inspire companies to replace environmentally unfriendly plastics with bio-based materials.

    "Chicken-feather-based printed circuit boards will bring new meaning to 'farmer in the Dell," Wool said. "Let's hope this idea will fly."

    Note that keratin is the same protein found in human nails and hair.

Posted by jeffreyb at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2005


Guess who got an honorable mention in the Washington Post's Style Invitational contest?

The theme was "appropriate (or inappropriate) corporate sponsorships of historical events or of people's life stories."

I liked my rejected ideas better, although they may have been a bit obscure:

"The Life and Times of William of Occam", presented by Gillette

"The Death of Tycho Brahe", sponsored by Depends Adult Undergarments

Got to say that the winning entries were vastly better than anything I came up with:

First runner-up, the winner of the 1959 white wine with the broken cork:

The Alfred Packer Expedition, brought to you by Manwich.

(Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

And the winner of the Inker:

The French Revolution, brought to you by Pez.

(Jennifer LaFleur and Jim Getz, Dallas)

Posted by jeffreyb at 03:43 AM | Comments (0)