Friday, April 1, 2011

REBEL NEWS ROUND UP IS BACK

After a winter hiatus we're back on the air. Check out the news and talk weekly on The Radiator, starting Fridays around 11:15 a.m. EST on The Howie Rose Variety Show with the program's legendary host, Formless. Here are a few stories:

Gorillas have discovered the joy of iPads, a unicorn skeleton was found at the Tower of London, Google has developed an App that completes your thoughts, and the Bronx Zoo cobra has landed a TV deal. That’s just some of the news on this first day of April.

British Breakthroughs: In the British Sun newspaper wildlife expert Terry Nutkins had some delightful photographs of gorillas frolicking with iPads. For some reason she doubts we'll see them on Twitter or Facebook. Meanwhile, Radio 4 announced that their Today program will soon be broadcast in 3D sound, which will create the effect of people speaking inside your head.

Head Trip: Google offered a touching interview with Michael, its autocompleter, which began as a spellchecker but has now graduated to completing words faster than you can type them. Every time you type words into Google's new search engine, someone at autocompleter instantly provides suggestions for your incomplete thoughts.

Here's how it works. "As a Google Autocompleter,” the company announced in a recruitment statement, “you’ll be expected to successfully guess a user’s intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you’ll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don’t worry, after a few million predictions you’ll grow the required reflexes."

A Star Is Born: In the US, the Bronx Zoo Cobra has landed a documentary deal with Animal Planet. Marjorie Kaplan, president of the Animal Planet and Science networks, said in a statement, "We're looking for raw, untapped talent. We have a triple threat on our hands. Bronx Zoos Cobra is relatable, audacious and venomous, and you don't turn your back on a snake like that!”

When asked about her asp-irations the cobra explained,. "I'd really like to do a talk show like The Soup where I make witty and sssarcastic comments about other animal shows. The possibilities are endlesss." The press release about the special promised "never-before-seen footage, the cobra’s home movies, photography and an exclusive interview with confessionals."

Edible News: Back to England, where Metro – which also provided a video of the unicorn at the Tower of London -- launched its edible edition, using corn starch, vegetable oil and citric acid among other delicious ingredients. "Printing takes a few hours overnight – several seconds to print each page and slightly longer to dry,” they announced. “The finished products are even given a light vanilla scent.” Charles Bouquet, of the Edible Paper Company, said the project will encourage recycling. 'We hope it adds flavor to the stories," he said, "and presents readers with a colorful menu of current affairs."

Kids only Flying: In airline news, the flight comparison site Skyscanner announced the maiden voyage of Urchin Airways, the first child-passenger only plane. "Cabin crew on Urchin Airways will all be dressed as clowns and will oversee the library of video games and supervise a ball pit area,” they announced. “Activities such as egg-and-spoon races will be held along the aisle and targets woven into seating upholstery will offer youngsters the chance to hone their seat kicking skills. Whereas on regular flights children are scolded for making noise, screaming will be encouraged in 'who can scream loudest?' challenges."

Of course, none of the above actually happened on this April Fools Day. But here’s a little real news:

Creeping Toward Single Payer: After a full day of debate, the Vermont House gave preliminary approval this week to health care reform legislation that is designed to put the state on the path toward a single payer system. The vote was 89-47. Backers of the bill say the state's current health care approach is broken. Opponents say it could dismantle the high quality system already in place.

Vermont Schools Left Behind: Nearly 3-in-4 Vermont schools (72 percent) missed performance targets under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to information released Thursday by the Vermont Education Department. Meanwhile 33 percent of Vermont schools were identified as underperforming for missing the mark at least two consecutive years. No school in the state improved enough to get out of the testing.

Tune in weekly to the Rebel News Round Up for much more.



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