Peekaboo technology to scan travelers

From the BBC:

A camera that can "see" explosives, drugs and weapons hidden under clothing from 25 meters has been invented.

The ThruVision system could be deployed at airports, railway stations or other public spaces.

It is based on so-called "terahertz," or T-ray, technology, normally used by astronomers to study dying stars. Although it is able to see through clothes it does not reveal "body detail" or subject people to "harmful radiation," according to the designers.

"It is totally and utterly passive. It receives only," said a spokesperson for Thruvision.

The portable camera, which has already been sold to the Dubai Mercantile Exchange and Canary Wharf in London, will be shown off at the Home Office scientific development branch's annual exhibition later this week.

Go here for the complete story.

Homeland Security Travel Safety & Procedures
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Taking 'hospital food' to a new level

Can't wait to dig into a plate of hospital food?

If you're on Taiwan, lucky you. The D.S Music Restaurant in the island nation's capital city of Tapiei has put together a medical them for its restaurant and bar.

Customers are seated around a hospital bed as drinks drip into their glasses from a IV-style container hanging from the ceiling.

This isn't the only such place in Asia. At a bar in Shenzhen, China, staffers dressed as nurses provide drinks from syringes and test tubes.

Mmmm, mmm.

CIA Factbook: Taiwan
Shenzhen Travel Guide
• Dowd's Guides

Brit pubs on endangered list

The iconic image of pubs as a part of England that will always endure is in trouble.

The number of pub closings last year hit a rate 14 times higher than the prior year, according to a new report just released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The BBPA says 1,409 pubs closed in 2007, a rate of 27 per week.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has published its own survey showing a slightly slower pace -- 57 a month -- but notes that 31% of those closed are being demolished, 36% are converted to shops, cafes and restaurants and 33% are converted to some other use, mostly residential.

It is this changeover that is concerning people who want to preserve the country's pub structure. CAMRA is pushing for changes to planning laws to prevent pub demolitions and change of use without planning permission.

So, what is causing the phenomenon?

BBPA Chief Executive Rob Hayward said he blames rising costs, falling sales and the impact of the smoking ban.

“These figures show the reality of the pub trade today," he said, "in contrast to the hype surrounding the myth of '24 hour drinking'."

BBPA statistics say beer sales in pubs are at their lowest level since the Depression in the 1930s. Today's pubs are selling 14 million fewer pints a day than they did when sales were at their peak in 1979.

• The British Pub Guide
• UK Good Food & Ale
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