How to choose chopsticks
The most important criteria when choosing a pair of chopsticks, according to specialist retailer Toshiki Sato, is whether they fit your hand and accentuate your dishes and plates. More of his tips in The Daily Yomiuri:
"An appropriate length for chopsticks is 1.5 times longer than the line connecting the tip of your thumb to your index finger when held at a right angle."
"As for thickness, it depends on how comfortable they are to hold. Women are advised to choose slightly thinner chopsticks to make their hands look beautiful."
"Octagonal chopsticks are almost round and fit snugly in the hand, making them popular with women. … Meanwhile, triangular chopsticks are easy to hold, even for men with big fingers."
Swallows evolve shorter wings
"Birds in Nebraska have evolved shorter wings, which may help them avoid dying on roads by taking off quickly and darting away from cars," says New Scientist magazine. "Eighty million U.S. birds are killed by traffic each year. Cliff swallows have taken to nesting on road bridges, so may be especially vulnerable. Charles Brown of the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma has been picking up dead swallows for 30 years. Roadkill numbers have steadily declined since the 1980s, even as the number of roadside nests has risen. The killed birds have longer wings than birds caught in mist nets for research, and on average the caught birds' wings have got shorter. It makes sense: Shorter wings are better for a quick vertical takeoff, and improve manoeuvrability."
Who's on your mind?
"Scientists scanning the human brain can now tell whom a person is thinking of, the first time researchers have been able to identify what people are imagining from imaging technologies," reports Scientific American. "Work to visualize thought is starting to pile up successes. Recently, scientists have used brain scans to decode imagery directly from the brain, such as what number people have just seen and what memory a person is recalling."
The phone sees your pulse
"Fujitsu has unveiled a smartphone that can take a person's pulse by looking at their face," reports The Daily Telegraph. "Pointing the smartphone camera at a person's face for around five seconds will give an accurate reading of their pulse, Fujitsu says. The Japanese firm says the technology could be available within a year and could have health benefits as well as possible security applications. The application works by analyzing variations in a person's face caused by the flow of blood along numerous blood vessels. … The company suggests that cameras at concerts or other events could monitor crowds to spot people who are in poor health. At airports, the technology could be used to identify people who are acting suspiciously."
Burglar nabbed by the tag
"Authorities in Louisiana say they tracked a man accused of stealing drugs from a pharmacy because he left behind a pickax he used to break in – and forgot to remove the price tag," reports Associated Press. "Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Col. John Fortunato says the sticker included a barcode indicating when and where the pickax was bought. The store had video of the purchase. Mr. Fortunato tells The Times-Picayune that a store near the pharmacy had surveillance video from the night of the burglary, showing the same man and a vehicle licence plate."
Hottest nose in New York?
"Many New Yorkers are scrambling to the offices of local plastic surgeons to get a new nose: that of British royal and picture-perfect fashionista Kate Middleton," says The Huffington Post. "According to a report by the New York Daily News, Ms. Middleton's perky schnoz has become 'spring's hottest accessory' for many New York women – so much so that many plastic surgeons in the city say they've seen a burgeoning number of requests for the royal nose in recent months."
Thought du jour
Haste is good only for catching flies.
- Russian proverb