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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Businesses

Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies 674

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-true-tragedy-of-our-time dept.
RenderSeven writes "In a press release issued today, baker Hostess Brands asked a bankruptcy court for permission to close all of its plants and sell off their assets, immediately laying off 18,500 workers. Citing high labor and rising health care costs, increasing competition and growing consumer awareness of healthy foods, Hostess says it can no longer operate without union concessions. A crippling strike has already shut down operations at all facilities, and while the Teamsters Union has ratified a new contract to keep Hostess in business, the Bakers Union has refused saying they would rather see the company closed than accept pension cuts. The Teamsters union is urging the bakers union to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking; citing its financial experts who had access to the company's books, the Teamsters say that Hostess' warning of liquidation is 'not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic' but a certain outcome if workers keep striking. If your late-night programming is fueled by Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Zingers, better stock up now." [Editor's note: A whole bunch of users submitted this news. I worry about our readership's cholesterol levels.]
Google

Google's Server Cooling Plan Produces 4ft Alligator 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the who-doesn't-have-a-moat-dragon dept.
concealment writes "In addition to potentially keeping Google's search and email programs from overheating, the pond also has become home to plenty of algae, which meant Google had to stock it with fish. And since this is the Lowcountry, the food chain didn't stop there. 'So we now have a 4-foot alligator that has taken up residence in our pond as well,' Kava said, clearly amused. He added that government experts have said it'll have to be removed once it grows to six feet long."
Businesses

The Island of Lost Apple Products 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the food-tastes-better-on-an-igrill dept.
concealment writes "most of Apple's products are so popular that it seems everything the company does is destined to succeed. But it doesn't take much digging to find a trail of failures and false starts. Even in recent years, there are examples of products that seemed great but never resonated with consumers, and some that seemed so destined for failure it's hard to imagine why any company would have brought them to market. Here are some examples of Apple veering a bit off course."
Government

Romney Campaign Accidentally Launches Transition Web Site 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the post-jumping-the-gun dept.
stevegee58 writes "The Mitt Romney presidential campaign accidentally launched a transition website the day after the election. Sporting a 'President Elect' seal and a catchy new tagline ('Smaller, Simpler, Smarter') , the site was up briefly before the gaffe was discovered and the site taken down. Fortunately an alert blogger, Taegan Goddard, found the errant site and published some screen shots."
Lord of the Rings

New Dinosaur Named After the Eye of Sauron 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-dinosaur-does-not-simply-stomp-into-mordor dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "95 million years ago, the dinosaur Sauroniops pachytholus roamed northern Africa. Fossils, originally found in southern Morocco, only consisted of the upper skull, which included the eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies. Using skull comparison, it is theorized the two-legged meat-eater would have been 40 feet tall, challenging the Tyrannosaurus Rex in height. More fossils are needed for a full analysis, but so far it is very clear this dinosaur towered over many."
Crime

80,000lbs of Walnuts Purloined In Northern California 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-a-lot-of-baklava dept.
Penurious Penguin writes "While not quite as epic or bitter as losing 600 barrels of maple syrup — in two separate heists, 80,000lbs of walnuts have been stolen in Northern California since last week. The heist was discovered after the walnuts failed to reach their destinations in Miami, FL and Dallas, TX. If you happen to see a large man (approximately 6' 2") driving a white semi-trailer and munching on $300,000 worth of walnuts, it may be the villain. Officers with highly trained squirrels have yet to be posted at interstate weigh-stations."
News

A Fun Slashdot 15th Anniversary Get-Together in St. Petersburg, FL (Video) 47

Posted by Roblimo
from the let-loose-the-model-helicopters-of-war! dept.
A lot of people in a lot of places celebrated Slashdot's 15th anniversary by getting together with other Slashdot readers in person. In the Tampa Bay part of Florida, a small and humble meeting was sponsored by an open source company called Fextel at their St. Petersburg HQ. The catering was excellent, and it was a fun group of 12 or so who showed up, about half of whom knew each other from the Suncoast Linux Users Group (SLUG). So we had good food and good people. What else did we need? Remote control helicopter battles, of course! In retrospect, we now believe remote helicopters crashing into each other should be required at any event with a Slashdot theme. We may may just be saying this because we live someplace where the NFL won't let us watch any home games, so we are more entertainment-deprived than most Americans. Then again, maybe helicopter wars are just plain cooler than watching football, and the USA should have fewer NFL games and more Slashdot-based parties.
Idle

Researchers Crown Buddhist Monk the World's Happiest Man 348

Posted by samzenpus
from the mr.-bluebird-on-my-shoulder dept.
concealment writes in with a story about a man who has been crowned the world's happiest. "Tibetan monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard is the happiest man in the world according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin. The 66-year-old's brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — never before reported in neuroscience. The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard's brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — 'never reported before in the neuroscience literature,' Davidson said. The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain's left pre-frontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, researchers believe."
Earth

In Time For Halloween: 9 New Tarantula Species Discovered 26

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-my-parlor dept.
Damien1972 writes "If you suffer from acute arachnophobia, this is the perfect Halloween discovery for you: a spider expert has discovered nine new species of arboreal tarantulas in Brazil. Although tarantula diversity is highest in the Amazon rain-forest, the new species are all found in lesser-known Brazilian ecosystems like the Atlantic Forest and the cerrado."
It's funny.  Laugh.

"Dance Your Ph.D." Winner Announced 31

Posted by samzenpus
from the twinkle-toes dept.
sciencehabit writes "Science Magazine has crowned the winner of its annual 'Dance Your Ph.D.' contest. Scientists from around the globe are invited to submit videos of themselves interpreting their graduate theses in dance form. The results are often hilarious--and highly entertaining--and this year is no exception. This year's winner is Peter Liddicoat, a materials scientist at the University of Sydney in Australia, whose 'Evolution of nanostructural architecture in 7000 series aluminum alloys during strengthening by age-hardening and severe plastic deformation' is interpreted as a performance that employs juggling, clowning, and a big dance number—representing the crystal lattices that he studies with atomic microscopy."
Medicine

Cancer-Detecting Bra Could One Day Surpass Mammograms In Accuracy 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the doctor-clothes dept.
fangmcgee writes "Reno-based First Warning Systems is working on a new bra that could detect if you are developing breast cancer. Integrated sensors and a data controller regularly monitor your breasts and can watch for irregularities which may signal the growth of tumors. Tests so far are showing that the bra is far superior and may be able to detect cancerous growth up to 6 years sooner than self-exams or mammograms."
Idle

Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt 271

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-jump dept.
First time accepted submitter madcarrots writes "The Red Bull Stratos space jump is about to take place. The balloon is filling up and launch is expected around 10 AM MDT. Check out the live feed of the inflation process... it's beautiful!" After some delays it looks like the jump is finally going to happen. UPDATE: The jump was a success. Baumgartner is on the ground and apparently fine.
Idle

Seafood Raised on Animal Feces Approved for Consumers 386

Posted by samzenpus
from the smells-like-progress dept.
If you are a seafood lover and wish that you could eat more fish raised on pig feces, your dreams are coming true. Due to fierce competition in the Chinese tilapia industry, farmers are increasingly switching to feces instead of commercial feed. From the article: "At Chen Qiang’s tilapia farm in Yangjiang city in China’s Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, Chen feeds fish partly with feces from hundreds of pigs and geese. That practice is dangerous for American consumers, says Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety. 'The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,' says Doyle, who has studied foodborne diseases in China."
Image

New Zealand Turning Hobbits Into Actual Cash 89

Posted by timothy
from the phase-two-is-to-revive-smaug dept.
Curseyoukhan writes "With its economy struggling, New Zealand hopes to cash in on 'The Hobbit' by turning it into actual cash. The nation is releasing special commemorative coins depicting characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book. The coin release coincides with the premiere of the first installment in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the book. It is also part of a publicity campaign aimed to rebrand the country '100 percent Middle Earth.'"

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