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Australia’s “Electric Nose” Sniffs Out Graffiti Vandals On Public Trains

The high-tech “Mousetrap” can sense when graffiti vandalism is taking place, allowing train conductors to watch and make arrests in real-time.

One of Sydney's vandalized trains, via Wikipedia Commons.

Forget drug-sniffing dogs, the new tool to fight broken-windows-style crime is a cyber miracle. Recently Sydney, Australia unveiled a high-tech system called Mousetrap that literally smells out graffiti crime in real-time on public transit. With a series of sensors embedded in trains and carriages, it has quietly been used to combat defacement on public systems for over a year. It works by sensing when a graffiti assault is underway via an “electronic nose” sensor that picks up on paint fumes. An alert is transmitted to railway security, allowing them to view live-stream video of the vandalism. The rail network control room is then able to track where the crime is taking place, and undercover police officers are sent to make the arrest. The sensors are so sophisticated they can even decipher whether marker, pen, or spray paint is the medium of choice.

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Baby Paleo Cookbook On Hold Over Health Concerns

“There's a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead”

Pete Evans. Photo via popsugar.com.au

On Wednesday, Time reported that Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans would delay the release of his new book, a paleo diet guide for babies, out of concern that some recipes could be harmful, or even fatal to children. The so-called “Paleolithic diet,” which has become immensely popular over the last decade, attempts to mimic the “purer” food habits of our pre-agriculture, hunter-gatherer ancestors, who proponents of the diet mistakenly believe to have eaten no grains, legumes or dairy. Evans, who has in the past claimed that modern foods cause autism and expressed concern over fluoridated water, co-wrote the new book, called Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way For New Mums, Babies and Toddlers with writer Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin.

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Australia Uses The Motion Of The Ocean To Generate Zero-Emission Electricity And Desalinate Water Simultaneously

The Carnege Perth Wave Energy Project is the first wave-generated, grid-connected power array in the world.

image via YouTube.

It’s not the size of the buoy that counts. It’s the motion in the ocean.

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How the Towns of Bland, Dull, and Boring Made Their Lame Names Work for Them

Small towns stuck with unfortunate or unusual appellations are a surprise hit with tourists

Last year, three little, oft-maligned towns across the world decided it was time to transcend their stigma and use their unfortunate names as a force for good. United by common pain—and the prospect of a little extra tourism—the municipalities of Bland, Australia; Boring, Oregon; and Dull, Scotland teamed up to create what they call the League of Extraordinary Communities, but which many have dubbed the Trinity of Tedium. Although part of the union is about reclaiming the joke of their names and having a good laugh themselves, it’s also just one of many strange bids by small towns to bring in a few extra dollars. And it appears to be working, which we can only hope means we’ll see more such confederacies soon.

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