Talk of the town: Record bridge puts tram farce in shade

IF you chose not to spend your £770 million on half a tram line, the money could go a long way.

If you live in China, for instance, add a mere 200m to that and you could have a 26-mile sea bridge - the world's longest.

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which opened yesterday, links China's eastern port city of Qingdao to an offshore island, Huangdao.

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The record-breaking 35-metre-wide bridge, which took just four years to build and is supported by more than 5000 pillars, cost a mere 10 billion yuan (960m) according to Chinese state-run media.

Our tram line between the airport and the city centre seems less of a bargain than ever.

By George! Sensible idea is better late than never

GEORGE Foulkes may not be an MSP any more, but he still got a mention at First Minister's Questions yesterday when a backbencher highlighted the noble peer's recent comments in support of increased "fiscal responsibility" for Scotland.

Alex Salmond responded by saying that during four years at Holyrood, Lord Foulkes had hardly ever managed a sensible idea.

"He goes back full-time to the House of Lords and he comes up with a cracker!"

Slip of the tongue

WHAT'S got a sticky tongue that can stretch more than half a metre?

Edinburgh Zoo's newest little 'un - a baby anteater.

The "curious looking" mammal was born at the zoo to its pair of giant anteaters including the adult male, named Lucifer.

Born almost blind and totally toothless, it is though already equipped with that distinctive long sticky tongue - just perfect for raiding ant and termite mounds.

Scientists take heart

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ON the subject of animals, new scans of a tarantula's beating heart have given researchers greater insight into the unique evolution of spiders.

With the help of complex MRI scans, scientists from the University of Edinburgh, for the very first time, have been able to reveal in detail how the hearts of tarantulas beat.

The scans, which show blood flowing in and out of a spider's heart, reveal that its functions are much more complex than previously thought.

The images, which looked at the heart rate and blood volume, could help further research in explaining how spiders differ genetically from other species.

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