Thursday, February 29, 2024

Pot Pourri

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Obama’s favourite chef opens his 1st restaurant

London: US President Barack Obama’s favourite chef has opened his first restaurant in the UK.

Austrian-born chef Puck, who opened his first restaurant, Spago in Los Angeles three decades ago, founded his 26th restaurant Cut at Park Lane of London.

“The lunch portions are slightly smaller,” the Independent quoted the restaurant’s director, Loyd Loudy, as saying.

“And there are more greens and more seafood. Wolfgang loves the fish and seafood. It is much better than he can get in Los Angeles,” he added.

Loudy even added that though Puck had been eyeing London for years, ‘there has never been the right mix’, as he always wanted to open the restaurant in a hotel.

According to Loudy, Cut will be quite unique to the Londoners with its style of service.

“It is the philosophy of service. Wolfgang believes passionately in front of house. The way we greet people and the style of service will be more like in the US, and entirely new to London,” he added. (ANI)

Man with mental illness history claims to have shot down UFO

London: A Swedish man with a history of mental illness claims to have shot down a UFO he believed was coming to kidnap him.

According to the Dale-Demokraten newspaper, the 23-year-old man fired two pistol shots through his apartment window before opening fire at what according to him were alien invaders.

The gunman, who has not been named, claims one shot hit a UFO, causing it to explode.

The police was called by a woman who was in the apartment at the time the shooting took place in the central Swedish ton of Hedemora.

Despite the presence of armed officers, it took several hours for the police to convince the shooter that aliens had not marked him down for abduction and that he was safe.

“We do not believe that the threats voiced were anything other than the desperation of a confused person,” the Telegraph quoted local police in a statement as saying.

The shooter was later charged with illegal possession of a firearm and threatening a police officer and a psychologist who examined him after his arrest said he was suffering from severe psychiatric disorder.

The police are now trying to find out where and how the man, who also has previous convictions, managed to get hold of the gun. (ANI)

2,000-year-old palace discovered in Mexico

Mexico City: A team of Mexican specialists discovered remnants of a 2,000-year-old Mayan palace at an archaeological site in the southeastern state of Chiapas.

“The discovery constitutes the first architectural evidence of such an early occupation of the ancient Mayan cities of the Upper Usumacinta basin” in the Lacandona Jungle, the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement Wednesday.

The project’s director, Luis Alberto Martos, said this new discovery was made in a sunken courtyard located in the northern part of the the Plan de Ayutla archaeological site and represents the first evidence of occupation of that area between 50 B.C. and 50 A.D.

Martos added that the earliest concrete evidence of Mayan occupation of that region before now had dated back only to 250 A.D.

He said the palace consists of “rooms with walls almost one meter wide, whose corners are rounded, an early characteristic of Mayan architecture”.

The archaeologist added that Mayans of a later era dismantled the palace and filled in the courtyard to raise the level of the other buildings, and that is why “the remains of the early palace remained below and were preserved”.

The later constructions were built between 250-800 A.D. and correspond to the Classic period, when this site played an important political role.

This research will provide a deeper look at political interaction and integration in this region, “an area where several kingdoms were in conflict and battles were waged and alliances formed”, Martos said. (IANS)

Pippa slapped with parking ticket

London: Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa was slapped with a parking ticket after she parked her car outside a Mayfair restaurant.

Pippa, who caught the limelight over her famous posterior during her sister’s royal wedding, parked her convertible BMW Z4 outside Scott’s Restaurant, a favourite haunt of photographers, while attending a meeting, reports the Telegraph.

The car soon caught the attention of a parking warden.

And when Pippa, 27, returned, a ticket already had been stuck to the windscreen. (ANI)

As a student I wasn’t very studious: Pak PM

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has admitted that he was “not very studious” when he was a student.

Talking to a group of youngsters in a PTV programme Thursday, Gilani said: “In our age, there were less opportunities.”

He added: “As a student, I was not very studious but I was an all-rounder and participated in extra-curricular activities.”

“…I read poetry of Mirza Ghalib in detail,” Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Gilani as saying.

He said the government was working to make the economy strong and at present Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, exports and foreign remittances are at an all- time high and the stock exchange is performing better.

Gilani said Pakistan should build a strong economy to win respect in the comity of nations.

“If you ask for money from people, they do not respect you,” he said adding that people should pay their taxes to make the country strong.

“We have to improve economic conditions and create more opportunities for youth.” (IANS)

Fathering at 50? Your kids may be autists

Sydney: Children fathered by men aged 50 years or above face a higher risk of autism or schizophrenia due to a repetition or deletion of their genes, says a research.

Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) researchers have pinpointed a genetic mechanism that may explain why such children are more likely to develop such neuro-degenerative diseases (loss of neurons).

Using advanced screening methods, they compared the offsprings of three-month-old male mice with those fathered by less sprightly 14-16 month old fathers, the journal Translational Psychiatry reports.

“This study provides the first evidence of the biological mechanism that may be responsible,” he explains.

They found that mice fathered by older dads had an increased number of new copy number variants (CNVs) in their DNA, according to Queensland Institute statement.

CNVs can either result in the missing of genes or can make more copies of them. So CNVs can delete or repeat whole ‘paragraphs’ of genetic code.

These results offered the first experimental demonstration that the offspring of older males have an increased risk of new CNVs, according to QBI professor John McGrath. He conducted the research with Emma Whitelaw (Queensland Institute), and QBI’s Claire Foldi and Traute Flatscher-Bader. (IANS)

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