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Lester Haines

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Space paparazzo captures bipolar butterfly

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking portrait of nebula PN M-29 – less prosaically dubbed the "Twin Jet Nebula", or "cosmic butterfly" if you're feeling particularly poetic. This bipolar nebula, which lies some 4,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, has two stars at its centre. The larger …
Lester Haines, 27 Aug 2015

NASA's Dawn gets intimate with Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has sent earthwards its "closest-yet views" of dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn is currently at an orbital altitude of 1,470km above the asteroid belt body, with its framing camera snapping at a resolution of 140 metres per pixel. Among the pictures on offer is the Gaue crater, seen here at the bottom of the …
Lester Haines, 25 Aug 2015

Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

Visitors disembarking at the ferry terminal on the Scottish Isle of Bute are sadly no longer greeted with a Gaelic sign reading: "Welcome to Rothesay – The doorway to the beauty of Penis Island", after the local council moved swiftly to correct a balls-up and add a missing accent. According to The Scotsman, the sign had for …
Lester Haines, 25 Aug 2015
Darren Walsh and his Dave trophy. Pic: Dave

'Hans free' mobe gag crowned Fringe's funniest

Peterborough funny man Darren Walsh has secured the 2015 "Funniest Joke of The Fringe" title with the splendid: "I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free." Ten experts engaged by comedy channel Dave spent a week at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on the look-out for the best quips, which were then put …
Lester Haines, 25 Aug 2015

White Stork mates with ISS, delivers bundles of resupply joy

Japan's space truck Kounotori 5 ("White Stork 5") today successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), bearing 4.5 tonnes of scientific kit and supplies. White Stork captured by the ISS's Canadarm2. Pic Scott Kelly White Stork captured by the ISS's Canadarm2. Pic: Scott Kelly/Twitter ISS Expedition 44 …
Lester Haines, 24 Aug 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Ugandan 'rolex'

Our latest expedition into wonderful world of wobbly dining takes us to Uganda, where street vendors punt the popular "rolex", according to one Reg reader who, having tried one in the capital Kampala, reckoned it was a good fit for post-pub dining. The rolex, we should explain, has nothing to do with timekeeping, but gets its …
Lester Haines, 23 Aug 2015
xmm-newton_galactic_core_648

Euro X-ray 'scope snaps Milky Way's 'tumultuous heart'

A new image from the European Space Agency's (ESA) XMM-Newton X-ray 'scope gives a nice view of the wild party at the Milky Way's "tumultuous heart". The XMM-Newton image of the Milky Way's centre The snap spans around one thousand light-years and was compiled from all XMM-Newton probes of the area, "adding up to about one …
Lester Haines, 21 Aug 2015

NASA dismisses asteroid apocalypse threat

NASA has issued a statement dismissing web rumours that an asteroid will slam into Earth close to Puerto Rico sometime between 15 and 28 September, causing "wanton destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America". Paul Chodas, head honcho at the Near-Earth …
Lester Haines, 21 Aug 2015

Gas giant cores actually built from shedloads of gravel

New research has lent weight to the idea that the cores of gas giants, such as Saturn and Jupiter, were quickly formed from billions of small pebbles, rather than a smaller number of more substantial rocks over an extended period of time. According to Nature, previous wisdom had it that these planets built up from "a stately …
Lester Haines, 20 Aug 2015

Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank becomes TV reality

It's taken almost 20 years, but Alan Partridge fans may finally get to see what is considered one of the great unmade TV series: Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank. A 1997 episode of I'm Alan Partridge saw the eponymous hero pitch an increasingly bizarre list of programme ideas to a BBC executive, as he suffered a nervous …
Lester Haines, 20 Aug 2015

Japan's 'White Stork' soars heavenwards to ISS

Japan earlier today successfully launched its Kounotori 5 ("White Stork 5") ISS resupply vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center. Carrying 5.5 tonnes of scientific equipment and supplies, Kounotori 5 was lifted aloft by an H-IIB rocket in a dramatic night-time fire and smoke spectacle. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( …
Lester Haines, 19 Aug 2015

Indian Mars probe beams back 3D canyon snaps

India's Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft, aka Mangalyaan, has beamed back 3D images of the Ophir Chasma, which forms part of the Red Planet's massive Valles Marineris. One of the images of the Ophir Chasma. Pic: ISRO The Ophir Chasma poses for Mangalyaan. Pic: ISRO The snaps were captured by the spacecraft's Mars Colour …
Lester Haines, 18 Aug 2015

Boffins identify world's (possibly) first flowering plant

US and European plant boffins have identified what may be the world's first flowering plant, an aquatic species which once grew abundantly in freshwater lakes in what is now Spain. The team, led by Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher, examined more than 1,000 fossilised specimens of Montsechia vidalii, dating back …
Lester Haines, 18 Aug 2015
Facepalm

Spain triumphs! Fascist anthem hails Spanish badminton champ

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) evidently needs to update its international anthems CD library after it played the old-school fascist Spanish Royal March to hail Carolina Marín's successful defence of her world women's singles title on Sunday. Marín, who saw off India's Saina Nehwal in the world championship final in …
Lester Haines, 18 Aug 2015

Has anyone lost 37 dope plants, Bolton cops nonchalantly ask on Facebook

The South Bolton tentacle of Greater Manchester Police has scored itself a bit of net kudos with a Facebook appeal for a "forgetful horticulturist" to come forward and claim 37 "mislaid" marijuana plants. The appeal on the GMP Bolton Facebook page, with photo of the mislaid cannabis plants The potted pot plants were dumped …
Lester Haines, 18 Aug 2015

Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

VID NASA has released a video of last week's test burn of an RS-25 motor, which will ultimately power the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS). The 535-second blast – equivalent to "the amount of time the engines will fire during an actual launch" – took place last Thursday on the A-1 test stand at the Stennis Space …
Lester Haines, 17 Aug 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Spanish summer soother salmorejo

It's been a bit of a scorcher here in sunny Spain this summer, with temperatures at SPB HQ regularly nudging the mid-30s, and accordingly our latest nosh neckfiller is a classic dish from down south offering an agreeable chilled alternative to frying bacon and eggs on the bonnet of the car. Introducing, then, Cordoban " …
Lester Haines, 16 Aug 2015

Costa Rican authorities detain drug-smuggling pigeon

Costa Rican prison authorities have thwarted a cunning attempt to smuggle drugs into chokey via carrier pigeon, CNN reports (in Spanish). An officer at the La Reforma penitentiary, on the outskirts of the Costa Rican capital San José, became suspicious of the bird and detained the winged narcotic messenger after luring it with …
Lester Haines, 14 Aug 2015

Flying Spaghetti Monster spotted off Angolan coast

A BP team operating an ROV at an oil well off the coast of Angola has spotted a deep-sea creature with an uncanny resemblance to Pastafarian deity the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Captured at a depth of 1,325 metres, the beast does indeed appear to sport noodly appendages. Once the footage arrived at the office of Daniel Jones …
Lester Haines, 14 Aug 2015

Monster Scalextric Formula 1 circuit to go under the hammer

A rather impressive Scalextric track designed by F1 commentator and former driver Martin Brundle, featuring "the best corners, chicanes and sections" from 2015 Formula 1 circuits will go under the hammer later this month in aid of the BBC's Children in Need. Suffice it to say, the winning bidder will need an extremely large …
Lester Haines, 13 Aug 2015

NASA primed for 9-minute live test of mighty rocket motor

NASA will tomorrow broadcast live a test firing of its RS-25 powerplant, "one of four engines that will power the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), and carry the agency’s Orion crew capsule as part of the journey to Mars and other deep-space destinations". The motor is expected to roar into life at 17:00 EDT …
Lester Haines, 12 Aug 2015

Illinois man steals vibrator, strips naked, attacks Obama

An Illinois man cuffed for suspected theft of a sex toy, and who told cops he had "no idea" how a pink Euphoria G-Spot Delight vibrator came to be in his boxer shorts, later recalled quite clearly that he didn't much like the US prez when he "stripped completely naked" in his cell, making "derogatory comments about President …
Lester Haines, 12 Aug 2015
Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. Credit: NASA

Lettuce in SPAAACE: Captive ISS 'nauts insist orbital veg is 'awesome'

VID As promised, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have eaten the first ever "fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space" - "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce. Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui were the first to sample the produce from the Veggie orbiting vegetable patch, although …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015

What a shower: METEORS will BLAZE a FIERY TRAIL across our skies

The BBC is pulling its annual trick of promising skygazers a "dazzling display" of Perseid meteors this week, as the Earth passes through the trail of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Peak meteor activity will be tomorrow night (Wednesday August 12) from around 2300 UK time, and enthusiasts can expect "at least one every few …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015

Aussie bloaters gorging on junk food 'each and every day'

Australians have been warned to get their dietary act together, after a survey revealed a growing and alarming trend for junk food excess. According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 40,000+ respondents to its Healthy Diet Score Survey – "a scientifically validated survey which …
Lester Haines, 10 Aug 2015

Microsoft co-founder recovers ship's bell of 'The Mighty Hood'

A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has recovered the ship's bell of battlecruiser HMS Hood – the pride of the Royal Navy, which, on 24 May 1941, was sent to the bottom of the North Atlantic by the German battleship Bismark, with the loss of 1,415 lives. Video still showing the recovery of the bell of HMS Hood An …
Lester Haines, 10 Aug 2015
Ted Cruz poses with an AR-15 for his machine gun bacon video

Texas senator Ted Cruz serves up sizzling 'machine gun bacon'

Texas Republican senator and US presidential wannabe Ted Cruz has clarified his position on both the Second Amendment and vegetarianism by cooking up some "machine-gun bacon". Youtube Video Readers will note that Cruz's weapon of choice is not actually a machine gun, but rather a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle. Co- …
Lester Haines, 10 Aug 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bacon and egg sushi

OK, sliced pork fans. In response to criticisms that our recent culinary trip to Hawaii – in search of the quite remarkable Spam musubi - simply did not feature enough bacon, we today present for your wobbly dining pleasure the very cutting edge of Anglo-Japanese fusion cuisine. Yes indeed, consider if you will bacon and egg …
Lester Haines, 01 Aug 2015

El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

Pics "Are you really going to wear that into the canteen?" That was the perfectly reasonable question posed by Emmet Fletcher, communication officer at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) as my nephew Matt Haines braced himself for lunch sporting a Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) lab coat and pipe. Back in April …
Lester Haines, 31 Jul 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy

Our call for reader post-pub nosh neckfiller suggestions continues to bear fruit, and for your wobbly dining consideration today we present "biscuits and gravy", courtesy of Robbin Nichol. According to Robbin, this stodgetastic delicacy – of 1996 movie Sling Blade fame – "is a big thing in some Southern States in the US and …
Lester Haines, 25 Jul 2015

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

We're obliged to Reg reader Stephen Gunnell for providing a possible answer to the pressing question of how much exactly is a "smidge". To recap, this diminutive measure is a favoured unit in our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipes, as in "a smidge of furikake seasoning" – although we've never defined it scientifically. This …
Lester Haines, 23 Jul 2015

SPECTRE-tacular: New trailer out for Bond 24. But where's the pussy?

James Bond fans chomping at the bit to enjoy the forthcoming 24th cinematic outing for 007 can avail themselves of a light aperitif in the form of the full-length Spectre trailer. According to the blurb accompanying the vid: A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2015

べーコンはどこですか? demands post-pub nosh fan

Our recent foray into the remarkable world of Hawaiian-Japanese fusion post-pub cuisine prompted some entertaining commentard chatter. Spam musubi on a plate Amid teary-eyed recollections of Spam fritters and pink blancmange, wit 1980's_coder delivered an inevitable but nonetheless highly agreeable verdict on Spam musubi, …
Lester Haines, 22 Jul 2015
Spam musubi

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Those of you of delicate culinary sensibilities would do well to look away now as we present for your wobbly dining pleasure the highly improbable Hawaiian-Japanese canned pork fusion cuisine that is Spam musubi. This Pacific island classic was apparently concocted up by Hawaii's Japanese population after they were introduced …
Lester Haines, 12 Jul 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Uitsmijter

We're obliged to readers who answered our recent call for post-pub nosh neckfiller suggestions, and rest assured we now have a extensive menu planned for the coming months, based on your input. One comment which caught our eye came from "dan1980", who pitched the "cheese and tomato sandwich", daringly proposing: "Add ham or left …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2015

Oil & gas? Pah. We’ve got a MASSIVE 3D printer, beams Dubai

Dubai has announced it will erect "the world’s first fully functional 3D printed building", hoping to establish the United Arab Emirates "as the global centre of technology in architecture, construction and design". The "approximately 2,000 square feet" structure "will be will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall 3D …
Lester Haines, 02 Jul 2015

Linux bids for UAV world domination by enslaving future skybot army

The Dronecode open-source UAV platform initiative has announced that it has welcomed on board a raft of new members, who'll help drive the project towards becoming a de facto standard for consumer and commercial drones. The non-profit organisation – governed by the Linux Foundation – was formed in late 2014. Founding members 3D …
Lester Haines, 29 Jun 2015

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Proof, were it needed, that El Reg is down wiv da lingo comes with the inclusion of "backronym" in the Oxford English Dictionary – one of 500 new words just added to the bulging lexicon. As regular readers know, we like a nice backronym, hence "Paper Aircraft Released Into Space" (PARIS), "Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator" ( …
Lester Haines, 25 Jun 2015

Indiana Jones whips Bond in greatest movie character poll

Reg reader movie buffs will doubtless have an opinion on the news that Indiana Jones has been voted "greatest movie character of all time". The whip-cracking archaeologist beat James Bond into second spot in a public poll conducted by Empire. Han Solo rolled in third, meaning two podium appearences for George Lucas and Harrison …
Lester Haines, 24 Jun 2015

Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit

A shaken British mother has recounted how she and her family narrowly escaped death at the fangs of the feared South American eight-legged death machine which is the Brazilian wandering spider. Mum-of-four Laura Horsfield, 31, bought a bunch of bananas from a Tesco in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, on the perfectly reasonable …
Lester Haines, 23 Jun 2015

US students prevail in rocket-powered egg challenge

A group of Alabama students claimed the International Rocketry Challenge crown in Paris last week, pipping their British and French rivals into second and third places, respectively. The seven students from the Russellville City Schools – competing as RCS Engineers – were pitted against the UK's "Team Terminator", from James …
Lester Haines, 22 Jun 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Nasi goreng pattaya

We invite our wobbly dining regulars to travel with us today to Malaysia, in search of "nasi goreng pattaya" – a tempting egg omelette envelope stuffed with chicken fried rice, with a distinctly Western splash of tomato ketchup. Nasi goreng pattaya is known as nasi goreng amplop in Indonesia, where nasi goreng ("fried rice") is …
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfillers: Reader suggestions invited

We at the post-pub nosh neckfiller team are drawing up a menu for the next batch of wobbly dining delicacies, and invite readers to suggest their faves for inclusion on the list. As our alcohol-fuelled haute cuisine regulars know, since last November we've travelled the world in search of those recipes best suited to mitigating …
Lester Haines, 19 Jun 2015

Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

Artist Anish Kapoor has decried French "intolerance" towards art, after vandals attacked his vast vagina sculpture in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. The provocative work – officially dubbed "Dirty Corner", but known popularly as the "Queen's Vagina" – was discovered damaged by yellow paint on Wednesday morning. …
Lester Haines, 19 Jun 2015

PRATCHETT chats to Oz from 31,000m above Planet Earth

Pics + vids + graphs EDGE22 - PRATCHETT Mission Summary The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission is in good shape after the final test flight of our Vulture 2 spaceplane's avionics - dubbed PRATCHETT - soared to 31,050m (101,870ft) above Colorado on Saturday. Our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory piggybacked the PRATCHETT …
Lester Haines, 16 Jun 2015

Innocent Spaniards roasted by experimental napalm mead

Pics Regular Reg readers will be aware that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket wrangler Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton, when he's not lighting blue touchpapers, may be found brewing 18 per cent ABV mead or blowing his own head off with 1.5 million Scoville masala omelettes, featuring the awe-inspiring Carolina Reaper …
Lester Haines, 14 Jun 2015

Hold on to your hats: LOHAN'S PRATCHETT mission launch imminent

Our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory are as we speak on the ground at Colorado Springs East Airport preparing for the imminent launch of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) PRATCHETT mission. Lift-off is scheduled for around 13:30 Mountain Daylight Time (19:30 GMT), and all being well, you should be able to …
Lester Haines, 13 Jun 2015

LOHAN'S PRATCHETT mission set to soar Saturday

Barring a last-minute change in the predicted weather, our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory will on Saturday dispatch the last Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test payload into the stratosphere over Colorado. The mission – codenamed PRATCHETT in honour of the late Discworld author Sir Terry – is a final test of …
Lester Haines, 11 Jun 2015

Spanish TV journo leaves subordinates cowering after verbal shoeings

The news editor of Spanish regional television company Castilla-La Mancha Televisión (CLMTV) is herself in the news this week following accusations she persistently abuses her staff with foul-mouthed outbursts. According to recordings obtained by cowering subordinates, Victoria Vigón regularly offers frank off-camera analysis of …
Lester Haines, 10 Jun 2015

Life in plastic, it's fantastic: Playmobil supremo dies at 81

Horst Brandstätter, the man behind the global Playmobil phenomenon, has died aged 81. Horst Brandstatter. Pic: Brandstätter Group Horst Brandstätter. Pic: Brandstätter Group According to the official obit, Brandstätter passed away on 3 June at his home in Zirndorf, Bavaria, having continued to work to the end on what was "his …
Lester Haines, 09 Jun 2015