Fishtaki, a ‘top-of-the-foodchain-only’ sashimi restaurant is employing top chefs to prepare and serve up top meals to the ocean’s top predators. Sharks are getting the swim-up service at a new ‘Shark Restaurant’ the Uvongo beach reserve in South Africa, all thanks to eco-tourism.

“We had issues with sharks harassing swimmers a few years ago. At the same time, we had many divers wishing to see these breeds up close. This way, we solve two issues,” says local Mayor Johan Gomabili, “The money that comes in from the increased tourism more than compensates for the added expense of top chefs.”

When asked why such culinary talent was required, he says that it is to cater to the right tastes.

“We get a lot of ‘raggies’ (Ragged Tooth Sharks) and Cow Sharks that are curious, but they aren’t the ones we want to keep away from swimmers. Bull Sharks are especially aggressive, so we’ve been studying their tastes, their habits and catering the fish served to their palette.”

The sashimi is served via an underwater sushi-train, keeping the chefs safe and dry, and well out of range of diners looking for dessert.ChesterLogoSmall

This is Not Cthulu

Captain Art O’Callaghan has played down suggestions that his crew has found ‘Cthulu’. Referring to the mythical creature created by author H. P. Lovecraft, a sonar image taken by his trench-mapping team in the Atlantic ocean shows what appears to be an enormous octopus-like creature.

When asked about the image, he denies that it is anything but ordinary, despite its likeness to mythical creatures such as the Kraken, a legendary giant octopus.

Structure, not creature,” he stresses, “We don’t know if it’s biological in nature, we don’t know if it’s moving. It’s one frame out of a thousand others that we’ve taken, and I’m not about to go calling it something it’s not. It could be an anomaly, a pocket of bubbles or an underwater mountain crest covered in algae. We just don’t know.”

A communications operator, who has refused to be named, contradicts him, “Nonsense. This is top-notch equipment that can take sonar, thermal and infra-red images of extremely deep-sea trenches. Coupled with the raw image is advanced processing and noise filtering. Anomalies or shadows like he’s suggestion just don’t happen. There is something there, and that’s that. I’ve checked it, like, five times, and it’s about 750 metres in diameter, whatever it is.”

When asked if he would be returning to the ‘Cthulu Trench’, as it is known among his crew, Captain O’Callaghan is firm, “I’m employed to do a job, and I’m doing it, end of story. We’ve got another two months worth of sweeping to do, weather permitting. The trenches won’t map themselves.”ChesterLogoSmall

Flashing Personality

A remarkable discovery has been revealed from a ten month long investigation into cars and personalities. The speed of a car’s indicators reflects the personality of the owner.

“We have found that the rate of flash is proportional to the impulsiveness of the driver. More cautious drivers tend to have a slower flash rate,” says Freda Ghert, Lead Officer of the study at Long Beach Market Research.

In a bid to see what motivates customers to buy certain cars, Freda and her team have been probing in the psyche of vehicle owners and pairing the data with facts about their car.

“If I were a salesman, I’d look very carefully at the results of this study. Many of the findings are intuitive, many more are not,” she says, “The indicator speed is not the only correlation discovered, but it certainly is up there with the most surprising.”

Long Beach Market Research is looking to apply their new knowledge to develop an app to quickly determine the likely type of car a customer may want to purchase.ChesterLogoSmall

Cloud Tumours

Cosmic Radiation is the cause for tumours within clouds, says leading meteorological expert Sam Skediva.

The cysts are formed when vapour molecules within the clouds are struck by cosmic radiation, high energy protons and nuclei that come from the solar system. Using scanning radio telescopes, Skediva and his team have demonstrated that clouds act as a sacrificial barrier to the harmful radiation.

“The tumours you see are a result of the fantastically high energy of the incident radiation. Vapour molecules collect around the trail of the decaying particles, in a similar fashion to a cloud chamber, but what we find extraordinary is that the residual traces ‘grow’ to form a cyst,” he says, “Although some of the cysts do grow, and can eventually grow so large as to disrupt the functioning of the cloud, there is no solid evidence for alarm. This happens on a daily basis as clouds are formed and unformed and reformed.”

More likely than not, the rate of extinction of clouds is more than enough to mitigate any ill effects.”Most of these are what you might call ‘benign’, and those that are ‘malignant’ don’t hang around for long enough to cause any lasting effects.”ChesterLogoSmall


Drop your shovel and pick up your net: There’s gold in them waves!

Squid are being hunted in the Caspian sea not for their meat, but for their precious metal content.

Douglas Graham, of Dorset, has spent years perfecting a method to extract the valuable resource, “We started off figuring out a way to extract toxic heavy metals from fish. Once we discovered that we were getting more than just lead and mercury, that was when we performed a break-even analysis.”

The process is a kind of ‘distillation for metals’, with the details kept deliberately vague.

“The process has taken a decade to become profitable. It is patented, internationally, but we want to get a firm foothold before we release the details.”

The metals are extracted using an electrolytic process, whereby the fish are dried, ground to a fine powder and mixed in a solution. The slurry is then passed through a series of specially designed chambers, each drawing out the precious minerals. The result is that, from 100kg of fish, 30 grams of gold, silver, platinum and copper can be extracted. The rest is sold as fertilizer and filler to make up the shortfall.ChesterLogoSmall