io9 Bringing The Science Today

Just a quick note, but two fun and interesting science links from io9.  First, a look into why koalas have human (or human-like) fingerprints.  A good bit of info for the layman about convergent evolution.  Second is a look at dogs and other animals shaking water off themselves, and why they are so good at it.  With fun high-speed video!  io9 has quickly become my go-to site for sci-fi and comic book movie stuff as they have my preferred balance of spoiler to non-spoiler content.  I hope you enjoy these!


MPAA Arms Malaysian Theaters with DVD Sniffing Dogs, Night-Vision Goggles

No, that’s not a joke. It really happened, just in time for Spiderman 3 and POTC3.

After showing people to their seats, trained ushers are strapping on the goggles and scanning darkened cinemas around the country to spot anyone trying to make illegal copies of movies with hand-held video recorders or mobile phones.

The Motion Picture Association, which is training Malaysian ushers to catch the pirates, said cinemas had caught 17 people in the past two months, during which Hollywood studios released blockbusters like “Spider-Man 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

“All of the cases were spotted with night-vision goggles,” the association’s Malaysia manager, Nor Hayati Yahaya, said on Friday. “Its very successful.”

Just, wow. It gets better:

The association, which represents the big Hollywood studios, recently brought to Malaysia two dogs trained to sniff out DVDs — with stunning results. The two Labradors, Lucky and Flo, have sniffed out more than a million DVDs and broken a fake DVD ring.

They have been so successful that authorities believe Malaysian pirates have put a bounty on the dogs’ heads.

Hmm. Not exactly hunting down drug dealers or finding people trapped in wreckage.