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Saturday, September 30, 2006

China's 'cruelty olympics' causes international outrage
"A bear struggles to retain its balance while gripping the two metal hoops, which look more like shackles than acrobatics equipment, as a wildlife park worker looks on and laughs."
Man on motorcycle killed doing wheelies
"A motorcyclist was killed Friday afternoon in Annapolis while doing wheelies down West Street, city police said."
Includes interesting impact photo of car and bike.
Virgin to Make Astronaut Idol!
"Six contestants will compete for a spot on the Virgin Galactic project, which aims to send the first commercial passengers into space in 2009. President of Virgin Galactic, Will Whitehorn, says filming could begin as soon as testing on the Virgin aircraft is completed in the second half of next year"
Parasitic weed seems to smell its prey
"The parasitic dodder plant doesn't have a nose, but it knows how to sniff out its prey. The dodder attacks such plants as tomatoes, carrots, onions, citrus trees, cranberries, alfalfa and even flowers, and is a problem for farmers because chemicals that kill the pesky weed also damage the crops it feeds on."
Mega-mountains spurred explosive evolution
"A continental crash that raised one of the biggest mountain chains in the Earth's history may be responsible for the explosive diversification of animals more than 500 million years ago.

Sediments washed from the mountains – dubbed the Transgondwanan Supermountain – added vital nutrients to the ocean, opening new evolutionary opportunities, says Rick Squire, now at Monash University in Clayton, Victoria, Australia."
HP 'routinely' uses email tracking
"Congressional hearings have revealed how HP made controversial use of email tracking technology in an attempt to identify the source of a board-level mole."
Warcraft gamers locked out after Trojan attack
"In latest attack, malware designed to steal user names and passwords from World of Warcraft players has been planted on maliciously constructed websites that pose as repositories for gaming advice.

Unprotected Windows users visiting these sites can get infected through malicious browser pop-ups. The malware also spreads through infectious emails, game forums, in-game chat, and other mediums. The culprit of the latest attack is a variant of PE-Looked (a strain that normally targets the popular online game Lineage), a representative from Trend Micro told The Sydney Morning Herald."
Calif. redwood confirmed as tallest tree
"Researchers have confirmed that a redwood named Hyperion in a remote Northern California forest is the world's tallest tree.

Steve Sillett, a forestry professor at Humboldt State University, recently climbed Hyperion and measured it at 379.1 feet, one foot taller than previously thought."
Man Wears Cardboard Box at Pa. Hearing
"Justin Michael Kalich, 26, wore the box at the suggestion of his lawyer while he waited outside a judge's office for an appointment Thursday morning.

'I'm trying to think outside of the box, so to speak,' attorney Jeff Leonard said."
Naked Peeper Made to Pay Neighbors $13K
"A man has been ordered to pay more than $13,000 to former neighbors he spied upon while sitting naked in his house."
Man Allegedly Tells Police He Stole Pot
"A man who police say was caught with two pounds of marijuana allegedly told officers the drug wasn't his because he stole it."
'We're all slightly mad. Heh heh!'
"The hills are alive with the sound of clicking coconuts. No, before you ask, I'm not suggesting coconuts migrate, they've been brought here specifically so 400-odd people can stand in a line in front of a castle in Stirlingshire and form the world's longest-ever 'coconut conga' in tribute to a popular 1975 comedy film."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Perv Congressman Resigns After IM's to Teen Unveiled!
"Florida Rep. Mark Foley's resignation came just hours after ABC News questioned the congressman about a series of sexually explicit instant messages involving congressional pages, high school students who are under 18 years of age."

Read the whole transcript here!

The Washington Post has a Congressional Sex Scandal list here.

This should come as no surprise. As I youth I came across a book called "The Sexual Profiles of Men in Power", written by some sociologists and sexologists in the 70's. It was quickly "banned" in the USA (i.e. every publisher contacted dropped the book like a red hot potato). The authors interviewed high-class, high-price D.C. call girls, their enablers and others and discovered that those in elected positions are undoubtedly the most sexually perverse and deviant of us all. Golden Showers, Brown Showers, Dirty Sanchezes - you name it, both Senators and Representatives were into it *bigtime*. And this just proves that there is no reason to believe things are any different now.
Granny bar owner chases off armed robber with her own gun
"So this guy with a sawed-off shotgun walks into Josephine's bar and restaurant in Midland around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

But the punch line is: The bar's owner, 82-year-old Josephine Slater, had a gun of her own and ordered him out of her Midland Avenue bar with just a few bucks in hand.

To make things even worse: Slater, a widowed grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of 15, said that about two hours later, the gunman came back to the bar to have a beer.
"
Bar fight at the Irma roils Cody
"'A couple came up to me after it was all over and shook my hand and said, 'We're from South Carolina, and we just want to thank you, that was the best bar fight and greatest entertainment we've ever had,' ' said Scott Richard of Cody.

Richard said he was present for the melee, and at times became sucked into the fracas. In a town known for rowdy saloon brawls, Richard said he heard the fight described as the biggest in 15 years."
Millions of anchovies die on Spain beach
"The fish, all juveniles, were found stranded along large stretches of Colunga beach, 35 miles east of the port city of Gijon, a normally pristine seaside landscape in the verdant province of Asturias.
'More than three tons have been found so far, and our main — untested — hypothesis at the moment is that they tried to flee from predators and accidentally beached'"
Escaped Hamster Forces Plane to Land
"The flight from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to the southern Austrian city of Graz made a stop in Innsbruck so officials could search for the furry stowaway and make sure it didn't gnaw through any cables, the airline said in a statement."
Man forced off plane by fellow passengers
"A Spanish university professor with a long beard and dark complexion said Thursday he was briefly forced off an airliner during a layover on the Spanish island of Mallorca by passengers who feared he was an Islamic terrorist."
Prisoners train as croc handlers
"Prisoners in northern Australia are being offered a snappy new way of rehabilitating - by training as crocodile handlers."
Thai superheroes Not Welcome Near Tanks
"Covered from head to toe in latex super hero costumes, the actors presented flowers to soldiers and then posed in their best 'superhero' pose for a gaggle of media the show promoters had alerted.
After ignoring repeated requests from police to stop their 'show', the superheroes were driven away on the back of a flatbed police truck."

Includes a fun video clip!
White House gates shut to 'Kazakh reporter' comic
"Borat, the fictional TV reporter from Kazakhstan, may have gotten under the skin of Kazakh officials but on Thursday he couldn't get past the gates of the White House.

Secret Service agents turned away British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as the boorish, anti-Semitic journalist, when he tried to invite 'Premier George Walter Bush' to a screening of his upcoming movie, 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.'"
A spot in the sun
"It looks like a speck of dust on the surface of the sun. But this spectacular picture shows the space shuttle Atlantis alongside the International Space Station (ISS) silhouetted as they orbit the earth."
Outrage as US baby wig craze hits Britain
"Celebrity wigs designed for babies up to nine months old and are set to hit the market, to the outrage of children's charities."
Wave of copper-thief electrocutions
"At least seven men in five states have been fatally electrocuted since July while hacking through power lines to steal wire made of copper, which has been commanding near-record prices, police say.

“It is a growing problem with the rise in the price of metals,” says Lt. Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Smith says one thief died Aug. 30 and another July 7. Both were found with wire cutters and other tools that suggested their intent. He says at least 30 more copper thefts have occurred in the county so far this year."
Black bear eats family's Chihuahua
"'When the dog started to bark, the bear turned around and started coming for the dog,' Fletcher said. 'He grabbed the dog and ripped him, basically, off the leash in front of my kids.'"
Kazakhstan Versus Borat: The David and Goliath of PR Battles
"However, in a match without clear resolution, it is not readily apparent who is David and who is Goliath. In fact, it is a game of intense one-upmanship where the coveted 'good press' is the lucrative reward in this unusual and very public symbiotic relationship."
Neanderthal 'butcher shop' found in France
"French and Belgian archaeologists say they have proof Neanderthals lived in near-tropical conditions near France's Channel coast about 125,000 years ago."
Self-healing material also pinpoints damage
"A flexible material that automatically repairs damage and also pinpoints where it has been wounded has been developed by US researchers. They say it could eventually prove useful for airplane maintenance."
Small-Town Mayor Offers Water For Sex
"An Arkansas mayor accused of seeking sex from women in exchange for preventing their water from being turned off has agreed to resign."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Law student thief caught in getaway cab
"A law student who used taxis to escape with loot from dozens of house break-ins has been jailed after police in Australia caught him red-handed in the back of a cab fleeing his latest heist.

When not studying for a masters degree in law, Phillip Ryan See, 27, used his off-time to rob 43 houses in Sydney's plush harbourside suburbs, netting goods worth more than A$110,000 ($83,000), the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said on Thursday."
Single-parent job plan fuels divorce frenzy
"Chinese education officials have scrapped a job cut plan that allowed single-parent teachers with children to stay in work after it prompted a rash of divorces, a Chinese newspaper said on Wednesday.

The plan to cut teachers in primary and middle schools in Dandong, in northeastern Liaoning province, had resulted in 41 teachers at a single school filing for divorce in a week, the Shanghai Daily reported."
Louisville Paper Gets Disc With 232 Photos of Nude National Guard Women
"U.S. Army officials are taking a close look at whether women in a Kentucky National Guard unit posed nude for pictures with their M-16s and other military equipment, authorities said.

A local newspaper reported that it had a disc containing 232 of the photos, which they did not publish, and do not plan to publish"
Animal Rebellion Update! Squirrels menace Mountain View
"Mountain View Community Services Director David Muela said that as many as six people have been bitten or scratched by squirrels since May, and that the attacks have become more ferocious in the last month.

Ironically, efforts to curb the behavior may have exacerbated the squirrels' aggressive tendencies, Muela said.

This summer, the city installed new trash receptacles featuring metal tops with a latch that makes it nearly impossible for an animal to rummage through the can in search of food. Increased park ranger patrols and flier distributions cautioning against feeding the animals might have further cut the squirrels' food supply, prompting them to act more assertively in their quest for food."
Judge Dismisses Alpaca Paternity Lawsuit
"Cathy Crosson sued in Monroe Circuit Court to get the owners of an Illinois breeding farm to disclose which of its male alpacas sired the year-old offspring of her prized female, Peruvian Lily of the Incas."
Dry Cleaner Finds Note About 'Murder'
"A note found in a customer's clothing read, 'You have committed a murder, but no one believes it. All I can do is kill myself, then everyone will see what you have done.'

It was signed: 'Your wife, Alice.'"
Man Allegedly Seeks Revenge Over Glasses
"A man upset that his neighbor's children helped break his wife's eyeglasses is accused of trying to bomb the neighbor's house in retaliation."
Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore In New Jersey
"A dead humpback whale washed ashore Thursday morning after the carcass was spotted floating in the ocean the day before."

Hopefully they won't try to dynamite it!

Hat tip to Kara!
Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo Interior Concept
"Future passengers aboard Virgin Galactic spaceliners can look forward to cushioned reclining seats and lots of windows during suborbital flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, a concept interior of which was unveiled by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson Thursday"
Al Qaeda's Latest Tactics
"French counter-terror experts leading an international inquiry into the attacks discovered that a facility, set up there by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s late Iraq commander, had developed the new design which works through Internet messengers like Skype or MSN.

Network-connected mobile phones can remotely detonate over the Internet simultaneous explosions hundreds of miles apart, anywhere on the world. US forces located and killed Zarqawi on June 7, 2006.

This system, seen only in Bangladesh so far, is more complex than any used by al Qaeda before. A year ago, some 350 explosions in quick succession in 36 districts hit government facilities and hotels in Dhaka and 16 other Bangladeshi towns. One person was killed and 115 people injured."
Robbers use sex store handcuffs to tie up workers
"Three thieves robbed a suburban Atlanta sex shop early Wednesday after tying up employees with silver leg irons and black fur handcuffs taken from the store shelves, police said."
Sharp develops triple-vision LCD panel
"The world's third-largest LCD TV maker said its 'triple directional viewing LCD' splits the screen light into three different directions, generating a different image depending on whether the screen is being viewed from the left, center or right."
End of the World Update: Warm Water Advances toward Arctic Alaska
"The phenomenon of warming water in the Arctic Area seems to extend to the Western Greenland toward Alaska and the Canadian Basin, as discovered a team of University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center."
14-year-old student flees to Cuba
"A 14-year-old West Miami-Dade boy ran away from home last week, boarded a plane and took a startling international flight alone -- to Havana, his father said Tuesday."
When Did Pussy Become a Bigger Star than Sexy Kitten?
"Did you ever wonder why there are so many photos with women celebrities showing their most intimate parts in front of the cameras? Because I did, especially during these past weeks, when so
many of them surfaced on the Internet. And I just can't help from asking: do they do it on purpose (like some well planned marketing strategy) or are they just too air-headed to be aware that their vagina is completely exposed? "

Complete with candid photos of celeb snatches!
One Step Closer to Chaos for the Polish Government
"The tape, which had been made in secret and broadcast on the TVN private channel station, displays how Adam Lipinski, one of Prime Minister Kaczynski’s closest political allies, attempts to persuade Self-Defense Party deputy Renata Beger, a main target for bribery following accusations of forging voter signatures, to continue to support the government, in spite of the fact that she refused at first. Beger knew about the entire scene being filmed and she admitted to being the one who announced the TV station about this incident and also provided the videotape to be aired."
Man, 73, held in machete attack
"The owner of a car dealership was arrested after allegedly attacking a customer with a machete, police said."
Brother gets 3-year-old sister drunk, police say
"A 14-year-old boy was arrested after his 3-year-old sister was found passed out drunk from hard liquor at home, police said.
...
The girl's blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent, authorities said. Minnesota state law considers drivers drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent."
FBI: Passenger On Plane Fought Man Who Smelled
"The FBI said that about two hours before the flight was scheduled to land, the Japanese man elbowed the passenger sitting next to him. Federal authorities said the Japanese man didn't think the passenger should be using an iPod in flight and complained that he smelled. He then poured perfume on the man, poured water on himself and vomited in the aisle, authorities said."
Gifted school teacher arrested on pornography charges
"'Reiner stated, in sum and substance, that he had a fetish for young boys, slavery and cannibalism,' though he said that he did not actually practice cannibalism, the federal officials said, quoting Canadian border police."

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Sub to get 6 year bath
"The U.S. Navy has approved a plan from Hunley scientists to restore the Confederate submarine by soaking it in alkaline chemicals to leech out the salts that were absorbed into its hide during 136 years at the bottom of the ocean.

It is a conservative - and slow - process that could delay some plans for a Clemson University campus on the old Navy base and a Hunley museum, perhaps until 2014."
Not the same old song and dance
"If you want a job at the Philadelphia Park Casino, you'd better bring your dancing shoes.
Job applicants said they're being asked to dance to “YMCA” or a Bon Jovi song — with blow-up guitar — during interviews at the Bucks County Visitors and Conference Bureau in Bensalem."
Greeks accused of drowning immigrants
"Survivors from a group of 40 illegal immigrants have accused the Greek coastguard of throwing them into the sea off the Turkish coast.

Six people drowned and the rescued immigrants claim three others are missing."
S. African Murder Mania
"South Africans are killing relatives and acquaintances at an alarming rate, police said Wednesday, acknowledging traditional methods for battling crime do little to stem the tide.

According to an annual police report on crime, nearly 50 people killed every day across the country a figure that will likely add to South Africa's reputation as a violent society."
E-mail - without a trace
"The makers of VaporStream, a web-based messaging system from Void Communications, have come up with a recordless, confidential alternative to e-mail and instant messaging that's spam-free and can be used with any e-mail address."
China accused of selling organs of executed prisoners
"Shocking new evidence of the trade in human body parts has revealed how British patients could be buying organs from executed prisoners for £50,000"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Navy donates secret ship
"The Sea Shadow, an experimental stealth ship, and the Hughes Mining Barge, built for the CIA in a failed super-secret scheme to raise a sunken Soviet missile sub, could become a tourist attraction near you."
Prostitute turns table on crooked cop
"A prostitute forced repeatedly into having sex with a Boston policeman said she feared the abuse would never stop -- until she stole his badge.
When the officer, Michael LoPriore, telephoned her to get it back, the FBI was tuning in to their conversation, the 19-year-old’s lawyer, John Swomley, said on Wednesday."
Video may put thong-clad burglar in bind
"A northern Kentucky man wearing only a thong and carrying a knife allegedly videotaped himself attempting a burglary, then left the tape behind, police said."
Three-year-old buys pink convertible on eBay
"Jack Neal briefly became the proud owner of a pink convertible car after he managed to buy it for 9,000 pounds ($17,000) on the Internet despite being only three years old."
Alleged Hitler art sells for $223,000
"Artwork attributed to Adolf Hitler sold at a British auction for nearly three times its estimated price, despite claims the works were fakes."
Pirate Update!
In the wake of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, we had a busy week with 9 pirate attacks reported, including these:
" 21.09.2006 at 2005 LT at 12:01S - 077:13.5W, Callao Roads anchorage no.12, Peru.
A robber boarded a container ship whilst port authorities boarded for formalities. D/o raised alarm but the robber threw ship's stores overboard and threatened the duty crew with a big knife. Upon seeing crew alertness the robber jumped into the water and escaped with a boat waiting with four accomplices. Harbour master was informed and a coast guard patrol boat arrived to search the area.
...
19.09.2006 at 0215 LT in posn 24:07S - 046:21W, Santos anchorage area no.4, Brazil.
Seven robbers armed with guns in six meter long blue hull boat boarded a container ship. They held hostage one watchman but another watchman escaped and report to d/o. Crew mustered and SSAS activated and port authorities informed. Robbers broke in to a container and escaped 50 mins later in their boat. "
Guilty pleas in pot snacks case
"Kenneth Affolter, 39, admitted he controlled and managed several marijuana-growing sites in Emeryville and Oakland where plants were grown and turned into edible products such as 'Munchy Way' candy bars, designed to look like Mars Inc.'s Milky Way bars; 'Pot Tarts,' designed to look like Kellogg's Pop Tarts; and 'Trippy' peanut butter, designed to look like Unilever's Skippy product."
Are (man’s best) friends electric?
"A man who was fitted with an electronic tag after drink-driving took the tag off and put it on his dog instead - and then went down the pub.

Shaun Cliff was given the tag as part of a community service order in June – but just four days later, he managed to remove the tag and put it on his dog, who would stay at home while Cliff went a-boozing, a court heard."
Man dies from eating objects
"A man died because he couldn't stop swallowing inanimate objects, and inquest has heard.
When Dewi Evans' stomach was cut open in a operation to clear his blocked bowel, doctors found items including uncovered a magnet, a pen top, a paper towel and a screw. Plus 54p in change."
Zero-gravity surgery 'a success'
"A team of French doctors say they have carried out a successful operation on a human under 'weightless' conditions in an adapted aircraft."

Most passengers call this the Vomit Comet:
"...[I]t amounts to a rule of thirds – one third violently ill, the next third moderately ill, and the final third not at all."
Man with 10-year erection may not get his cash
"A former handyman from North Providence who won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a malfunctioning penile implant may not get the money after a judge dismissed his claim."
Porn star's name may ring a 'Bell'
"He may have played nerdy eighth-grader Samuel (Screech) Powers in the sitcom 'Saved by the Bell.' But former TV geek Dustin Diamond can now take his place with Colin Farrell, Tommy Lee and Kid Rock as the star of his very own sex tape.
Everyone who remembers Diamond as a lovable putz is in for a shock once they see a 40-minute video in which he engages in a kinky three-way with two women, sources tell us.
We can't get too graphic here, but word is that the action includes some bodily functions and an act known as a 'Dirty Sanchez.'"
Yet another glorious achivement of Hugo Chavez!
"Convenience store operator 7-Eleven Inc. is dropping Venezuela-backed Citgo as its gasoline supplier at more than 2,100 locations and switching to its own brand of fuel.
...
A spokeswoman for Dallas-based 7-Eleven said its 20-year contract with Citgo Petroleum Corp. ends next week. About 2,100 of 7-Eleven's 5,300 U.S. stores sell gasoline."
Body Of Leather-Clad Man Found On NYC Street
Complete with leather mask and collars!

Hat tip to Kara!
New, Tough Paper Won't Burn
"When describing paper, the following probably never comes up: flame-retardant, bacteria-resistant, rewritable and pathogen-decomposing.

But those words describe the kind of unusually tough paper that researchers at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville have developed."
'Crocodile Hunter' Believed He Would Die
"'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin always felt he would die early but that it would be a car wreck, not an animal, that killed him, the widow of the daredevil TV star and conservationist said Wednesday.

In her first interview since Irwin died from the jab of a stingray Sept. 4, Terri Irwin said her husband had an uncanny way with animals that both of them believed would keep him safe as he caught crocodiles, snatched up snakes and played with other dangerous beasts."
Tanks for the memories...
"Thai coup leaders have banned go-go girls from dancing near tanks and troops on Bangkok streets as a distraction from the serious business of power, a spokesman said on Wednesday."
'Mermaid' girl takes her first unaided steps
"Milagros, whose name means 'miracles' in Spanish, was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or 'mermaid syndrome,' which left her legs connected from the heels to her groin."
Locust plague encircles Mexico's Cancun resort
"Clouds of locusts have descended around the Mexican beach resort of Cancun, destroying corn crops and worrying officials in a region still recovering from the devastating fury of last year's Hurricane Wilma."
Iowa Woman Finds Drowned Bat in Tea Mug
"A western Iowa woman is recovering from the shock of finding a drowned bat in her tea mug - after she sipped from the cup all day. The brown bat, about the size of two tea bags, was found a few weeks ago by a 60-year-old Woodbury County woman, said Chuck Cipperley, an environmental director for the Siouxland health office in Sioux City."
Animal Rebellion Update!! Marauding elephants anger Kenyan villagers
"This conflict between man and beast has been present for as long as Nimrod Nyaga, more than 90 years old, can remember.
In past years, villagers lit fires and banged metallic objects together to scare away the mammoth creatures. The animals are now cleverer and will not even budge when stoned."
The farmers keep buckets of stones at their doors to use as missiles.
'They just make a wide berth of the fire and break the fence at some other point to get into your farm,' said Nyaga, whose septic tank is now a grave for the unlucky elephant.
They are unafraid, totally unashamed.'"

To quote President Bush: "Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy -- a war that will be fought by Presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress."

But how can it be bipartisan if elephants are the threat???
Suit blames video game for N.M. slayings
GTA Strikes Again!!!
"Family members of three people slain by a 14-year-old on newsman Sam Donaldson's New Mexico ranch sued the makers of the video game 'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City' on Monday, claiming the crimes would not have occurred had the teenager never played the violent game.

The $600 million lawsuit names several companies and Cody Posey, who it alleges played the game 'obsessively' for several months before he shot his father, stepmother and stepsister in July 2004. Posey, now 16, was sentenced earlier this year to state custody until he is 21."
Idaho Couple's Home Infested With Snakes
"Snakes, perhaps thousands of them, fell on Lyman Hepworth's head when he opened the door to a pump house near the small house the couple planned to buy.

'When it warmed up, we walked onto the yard and the whole yard moved,' Jeanine Hepworth told the Rexburg Standard Journal."
Own a replica of the St. John's Bible-- just $115,000:
"Some colleges woo supporters with tailgate parties, others with exotic trips. St. John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., is offering alumni and friends the chance to buy a really big Bible for $115,000."
15-month-old boy fatally crushed
"A 15-month-old Concord boy was crushed to death, apparently after his mother and her brother got into a fight and fell on top of him, authorities said Monday."
Sleepwalking teen wakes up after 3-story fall
"The Naperville resident and sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign soon learned that two days earlier, on Aug. 20, he had crawled out of the window of his fraternity house at about 3 a.m. and fallen three stories. He shattered a kidney, bruised a lung, injured his spleen and broke eight ribs.

But Platek didn't remember a thing, because he was sound asleep when it happened."
Bill Clinton Kills Santa
Yet another reason to avoid Fox News (and Leno!)
Fight Erupts Between Drivers at Toledo Speedway
"A dispute that erupted during a stock-car race after one driver's car went into the wall led to a wild fight in which the driver took a running leap through the plastic windshield of another car."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Best Man Parties Too Hard, Ends Up In Jail
"A 29-year-old man who had flown in from Australia to be the best man at his friend's wedding got himself arrested - twice - and ended up missing the wedding, police said.

Kersten Fernandes' problems began about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, when police said he and four others were highly intoxicated and began pounding on doors along Bourbon Street."
Police storm Guatemalan prison
"Guatemalan security forces killed seven inmates on Monday when they stormed a notorious jail that had been controlled by prisoners for 10 years.
Inmates in the Pavon correctional facility lived in spacious houses built in the prison's grounds and ran drug and extortion rackets on the outside via mobile phones."
Planets have scientists buzzing
"A new wide-field survey of the sky has made its first major discovery - two planets orbiting far-distant stars."
Indonesian Mud Mess Update! Catastrophic mudslide could last 100 years, say scientists
"Mud, gas and boiling water that have been gushing out of the ground in East Java since May, submerging half a dozen villages and 20 factories, could continue for a century with 'catastrophic consequences', European experts said yesterday. Efforts to seal the channels through which the mud is escaping are unlikely to succeed, and it is impossible to tell how much fluid remains underground, according to a University of Oslo geology team."

Monday, September 25, 2006

IAEA commissioner falls into water tank at Czech nuclear plant
"A US commissioner from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) emerged unharmed after falling into a water tank at the Dukovany nuclear power plant on Friday."
Born Without Fingerprints: Scientists Solve Mystery of Rare Disorder
"Two rare and related diseases leave their sufferers with no fingerprints. Now scientists may have cracked the genetic code behind the inherited ailments."

For some reason, I think that there is a natural selection bias in favor of the fingerprint-free...
Mystery Impact in New York
"Whatever it was left a hole roughly three feet deep and the size of a manhole in her backyard a couple weeks ago and set fire to a tree trunk that was buried underground. She said she smelled it during the night and thought a neighbor was having a bonfire nearby — but sure enough, there was a hole there the next day that wasn’t there before.

‘‘It left a big hole in our backyard,’’ Ms. Barden said. ‘‘The fire department came and put it out. It had burned all night I guess.’’"
Invisible Mountain Skyfish Update!
"Skyfish are mysterious, paranormal objects that fly through the skies or swim in water at speeds so incredibly fast they're invisible to the human eye, but are regularly captured on video camera. And Japan is home to one of the world's most adept skyfish anglers, according to Cyzo (October).
Incredibly, Kozo Ichikawa, a 64-year-old tangerine farmer from a rustic part of Shizuoka Prefecture, claims he can catch the skyfish - also referred to as Unidentified Marine Animals -- with his bare hands."
Idiot Animal Smuggler of the Week!
"When the rare birds of paradise escaped from his suitcase and flew over the heads of U.S. Customs Agents at Los Angeles International Airport, Robert Cusack decided it was best to confess that, yes, he did have more to declare.

'I have monkeys in my pants,' Cusack told the agents."
Mars Rovers Near Key Site
Expected to survive 90 days, they are still roving 900 days later. Please tell me again about all the efficiencies of a manned space program? The cost of sending BOTH rovers to Mars and running them for the last 3 years is less than the cost of a single launch of a Shuttle.
Politically Incorrect in Christendom!
"When Muslims begin the holy month of Ramadan this weekend, Christians worldwide will be praying along with them. But Muslims may not welcome the support. In a campaign called the '30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus,' Christians will be asking God to help Muslims accept Jesus."
Menthol cigarettes may hook smokers-study "Smokers of menthol cigarettes find it harder to quit than those smoking regular cigarettes, researchers said on Monday, perhaps explaining why blacks in the United States suffer disproportionately from smoking-related ailments.
For a variety of historical and cultural reasons, including targeted advertising, about 70 percent of black smokers smoke menthol cigarettes such as Kool or Newport compared to about 30 percent of white smokers, said the study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine."

Ditch them Kools and Newports folks!
End of the World Update: Earth Headed for Warmest Temps in a Million Years
"In about 45 years, temperatures on Earth will be hotter than at anytime during the past one million years, says the U.S. government's top climatologist in a new report released today."
Spectacular Hedge Fund Meltdown!
"A young, though by no means junior, energy trader in Calgary made some very big bets on natural-gas prices that went spectacularly wrong. They have cost his employer, a Greenwich-based hedge fund called Amaranth Advisors, $6 billion since August 30th. That is more than half of what not long before was $9 billion it had under management."
Beginner's guide to wireless auditing
"Since our talks at Black Hat Vegas and DEFCON, Jon Ellch and I have been peppered with questions regarding how to find vulnerabilities in wireless device drivers and the specific techniques that were employed. Rather than answer these questions one at a time, an article seemed a better course of action. In this first article, we will discuss how to build an auditing environment, how to construct fuzzing tools and, finally, how to interpret the results."
Science discovers auras, a couple thousand years late...
"Human hands glow, but fingernails release the most light, according to a recent study that found all parts of the hand emit detectable levels of light.
The findings support prior research that suggested most living things, including plants, release light. Since disease and illness appear to affect the strength and pattern of the glow, the discovery might lead to less-invasive ways of diagnosing patients."
Glitch puts Red Hot Wives on Holyrood TVs
"Engineers were today investigating a glitch which appeared to put porn on to the Scottish Parliament's TV system.
Adverts for adult channels ranging from Red Hot Wives to Playboy TV and Spice Extreme began to appear on 320 TV monitors at the Holyrood complex over the weekend."

Yeah, right, a "glitch"...
Judge Shows David Gest The Door
"A New York judge today tossed a $10 million lawsuit brought against Liza Minnelli by her estranged husband, who claimed that the singer beat him silly during the couple's tumultuous 16-month marriage"

As always, The Smoking Gun has all the docs!
King of Kalmykia
Chess-crazed Russian nutcase-politico is also an alien abductee!

"Life is not all plain sailing for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the flamboyant leader of the Russian republic of Kalmykia.
...
He has already been pressganged into one trip on a UFO - in 1997 when he was on a business trip to Moscow. 'They took me from my apartment and we went aboard their ship,' he says, sitting in his office in Kalmykia's capital, Elista. 'We flew to some kind of star. They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFOs do exist.'"
Grow Your Own Limbs
"In response to the hundreds of soldiers coming home from war with missing arms or legs, Darpa is spending millions of dollars to help scientists learn how people might one day regenerate their own limbs.
Prosthetics are getting better all the time, but they will never be as good as the limbs we were born with. So two teams of scientists at 10 institutions across the country are competing to regrow the first mammalian limb."
'Hypoallergenic cats' go on sale:
"The company says the animals will not cause the red eyes, sneezing and even asthma triggered by cat allergy, except in the most acute cases.

Despite costing $3,950 (£2,104), there is already a waiting list to get one."
Man Attacks Bus With Screwdriver
"According to witnesses, the suspect was dodging in and out of traffic on foot.
At one point he jumped on the front bumper of an OCTA bus and attacked it with a large screwdriver, said Santa Ana police Commander Baltazar De La Riva."
Teddy Bear Kills 2,500 Fish In New Hampshire
"A teddy bear dropped into a pool at a New Hampshire fish hatchery killed all 2,500 rainbow trout living in the pool.

Fish and Game Department hatcheries supervisor Robert Fawcett said the teddy bear, dressed in a yellow rain coat and hat, clogged a drain earlier this month at the Milford hatchery, blocking oxygen flow to the pool, and suffocating the fish."
Groom, Father & Brother Arrested In Wedding Brawl
"A wedding in Gloucester over the weekend will be one to rememeber – and for all the wrong reasons.
A groom and his brother were arrested for allegedly beating up their father – because he had too much to drink and became violent."
Hitler art heading to auction
"Long before he was a murderous dictator, Adolf Hitler was an aspiring artist.
On Tuesday more than 20 watercolors and sketches he's believed to have done will go up for auction in England."
The online book of the dead
"A website that pays tribute to dead users of online community MySpace has become a surprise hit.
MyDeathSpace.com invites grieving relatives to send in details of friends or family who once used the popular site. There is also a directory of deceased MySpace users and a gallery of recent deaths."
Pet iguana banned from mall
"A man who has happily walked his pet iguana through a Gateshead shopping centre for eight years without any trouble has been banned from bringing the reptile into the mall."
What an enormous tool
"The £630 genuine Swiss Army knife, made by official manufacturer Wenger, includes items such as a bicycle chain rivet setter, a cigar cutter, a flashlight and laser pointer alongside the more mundane six knife blades, countless screwdrivers and saws."
Deputies crash home, shoot dog, seeking man already in their jail
"The incident began as Fayette sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Warrant Division arrived shortly after 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the North Jeff Davis home of Brian and Yvette Tilton to serve a Clayton County warrant on Michael Horton, the brother of Yvette Tilton.

The problem was that Horton was not at the residence. He was in Fayette County Jail, where he had been since Tilton turned him into authorities back in May."
How the men from the ministry hid the hunt for UFOs
"The Ministry of Defence went to extraordinary lengths to cover up its true involvement in investigating UFOs, according to secret documents revealed under the Freedom of Information Act."

It is precisely this kind of behavior that convinces researchers that there really is something to the phenomena. If there's nothing to it all, why all the secrecy, especially for events that occured decades ago?
PM calls on Poles to feed the ducks
"Poland's beleaguered Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski surprised Warsaw's press corps when he called a news briefing on Saturday in a Warsaw park to call on Poles to feed ducks with the approach of winter."
Beijing's penis emporium
"Nestling beside the dog's penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.
'Donkey,' says Nancy. 'Good for the skin...'
She guides me round the penis platter.
'Snake. Very potent. They have two penises each.'
I did not know that."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Kobayashi 41; Boston 28"
Nobody can withstand Kobayashi!
"Takeru Kobayashi devoured 41 lobster rolls in 10 minutes, beating a team of four Boston eaters who combined to finish with 28. The contest was an official stop on the GoldenPalace.net World Series of Competitive Eating circuit.
Besides adding another world title to his collection, Kobayashi collects $10,000 for the win."
Man urinated on cash till
"Witnesses said the man was standing in line at the check out at a ShopRite store in Chester, New York state.
He suddenly climbed on the belt, took out his penis and urinated on the till, reports the Times Herald Record."
Ananova - Gardener still going strong at 103
"A 103-year-old Dorset gardener reckons he is Britain's oldest worker.
Jim Webber started working on the land aged 12 and has clocked up 91 years since, reports The Sun.
And in all that time the great-grandad has never had a holiday."
End of the World Update: Many Brits prefer long life to sex
"Four out of ten Britons would be prepared to give up sex if it meant they could live to be 100, according to a new poll."
Dick Paper Mystery Resolved
"The Navy reports with certainty that the submarine on which he was a seaman was identified in about 225 feet of water in the Gulf of Siam."
Rocket Bike will kill you in style
Complete with YouTube video demo!
Pirate radio stations challenge feds
"'We're not stealing anything. We're claiming something that's rightfully ours,' he says.
His goal is to create FM radio stations faster than the FCC can shut them down.
'It's always been our position that if enough people go on the air with their stations, the FCC will be overwhelmed and unable to respond,' he says."
Calif. ferret lobby says `legalize them`
"Organizers of the event tell the San Francisco Chronicle that the classification of the ferret as a wild animal by state game officials is a mistake akin to classifying the family dog as a wolf."
Father, son killed in treasure hunt
"A magician had persuaded Ramadan Mohamed Baraka, a 55-year-old driver, that the treasure was buried under his house in Senhour village 80 km southwest of Cairo, it said."
Willie Nelson's Stash
"Music and marijuana fans alike will appreciate this evidence photo memorializing the stash seized earlier this week from Willie Nelson's tour by Louisiana state police. During a September 18 traffic stop, cops smelled a strong odor of pot emanating from Nelson's bus. "
Car Dealership Draws Fire For 'Jihad' Ad:
"A Columbus, Ohio, car dealership's planned radio advertisement that declares 'a jihad on the automotive market' has drawn sharp criticism for its content. But the business says the commercial won't be changed."
X-rated Tolkien: it's not for the kiddies
"A darkness is once again descending on JRR Tolkien’s fabled land of Middle-earth. An unfinished work completed by the writer’s son is such a departure from the world of hobbits that it may merit an X-certificate.

The manuscript for The Children of Hurin, to be published next spring, contains incest, suicide and a multitude of violent deaths. Any film version is likely to have restricted audiences because of the subject matter."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hungarian Chaos Continues
"Large crowds have gathered in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, for the biggest demonstration yet in a week of protests against the government.

More than 50,000 people have filled the square outside the Hungarian parliament building."
Tuberculosis Helped Bring Down Mastodons:
"Scientists examining mastodon skeletons found a type of bone damage in several of the animal's foot bones that is unique to sufferers of tuberculosis. The disease would have weakened and crippled the animals, making them more vulnerable to humans and climate change, two factors that scientists have long speculated were behind their extinction in North America."
Bracelet monitors human drunkenness
"Repeat drunken drivers in Sacramento County may find themselves wearing some unfashionable new jewelry -- a high-tech ankle bracelet that can tell if they've been drinking."
Rolling Stones star gives up drugs - because they're too weak
"He said: 'I really think the quality's gone down. All they do is try and take the high out of everything.
'I don't like the way they're working on the brain area instead of just through the blood system.
'That's why I don't take any of them any more. And you're talking to a person who knows his drugs.'"
Armed police deploy in Prague after attack warning
"'The government received information from representatives of the security services and police of an increased risk of a terrorist act on the territory of the capital, Prague, related to increased security risks of similar character abroad,' Topolanek said in a written statement.

'The government ... decided to strengthen security measures on the territory of the capital, Prague, with the aim of eliminating the existing risks,' he added."
Man Strolling With Pot Plants Busted
"'I look out the window ... , and I see him walking north carrying a green leafy substance, all pulled up by its roots,' Burdock said. 'He was carrying it like you'd carry a bundle of presents. It was tall enough where he was looking over the top of them, and he's just walking like nothing's going on.'"
Monkey strangles girl to death in India
"The ape attacked the girl called Mamta in the Gorakhpur district located some 300 kilometres east of state capital Lucknow on Wednesday, after she tried to chase it away when it was eating corn kernels, the Asian Age daily reported."
End of the World Update: China has its worst spell of acid rain
"The CMA report said 19 of the 155 acid-rain monitoring stations across China recorded acid rain every rainy day last month. Beijing had 80 percent acid-rain days, the news service Xinhua reported."
Coup Leaders Urge Thai Soldiers to Smile
"Military coup leaders in Thailand _ often called the 'Land of Smiles' _ apparently don't want to ruin that image. They've ordered soldiers to smile."
Animal Rebellion Update! Elephants: 239, Humans: 265
Yes, dear readers - it's war, with all its awful consequences:
"The battle between humans and elephants is very serious," said Assam's chief wildlife warden M.C. Malakar.
...
Villagers often poison the marauding elephants while in the past they drove them away by beating drums or bursting firecrackers, officials said.

In recent months, herds of wild elephants have been wreaking havoc in several parts of Assam after straying into settlements and drinking liquor brewed from fermented rice by villagers."

This weekend's YouTube video: Skeet shooting cars
Friends, this is well worth your five minutes!
Falling TV kills sixth child in area this year
"Manar Alkandari, 3, was trying to adjust the television when it fell on her head, officials reported. She was taken to an urgent-care center and then to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she was pronounced dead Thursday night."
IRS to monitor underwear donations
"Eyebrows were raised in late 1993 after press reports that President Clinton took itemized deductions on used underwear he had donated to charity when governor of Arkansas. For instance, on the return he filed for 1986, Mr. Clinton valued a gabardine suit “with ripped pants” he gave to the Salvation Army at $75 and three pairs of underwear at $6."
Bongulating baby Mom properly jailed
"A Montana mother who allowed her 18-month-old baby daughter to inhale from a marijuana water pipe on several occasions was properly convicted, but should not have to spend five years in jail, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday."
Girl "sweats" glass from forehead
"In what seems to be a bizarre case that has baffled medical practitioners, a young girl in the district of Kailai, far western Nepal, has been emitting transparent solid objects, purported to be glass pieces, from her forehead."
Illuminating the Shadow People
"You're walking down an empty street alone, when suddenly, you have the eerie feeling that someone's following you. Is your mind playing tricks on you? Maybe so. According to a new study, when a specific region of the brain called the left temporoparietal junction (TPJ) is stimulated, it can create the illusion of a 'shadow person.'"
Proposed Ordinance asks Each Household to Have a Firearm
"All Americans have the right to bear arms. Some towns have even gone as far as to require each household to have a gun. Now a small Idaho town is contemplating a similar idea-- it's called the Civil Emergencies Ordinance."
France Looks Into bin Laden Death Report:
"The French defense ministry on Saturday called for an internal investigation of the leak of an intelligence document that raises the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have died of typhoid in Pakistan a month ago but said the report of the death remained unverified."

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Catch Me If You Can" thief jailed
"Jody Harris, 28, taunted police to try and catch her, telephoning detectives and offering up false promises to turn herself in before police finally trapped her in a 'sting' operation in July."
U.S. map thief resented prestigious libraries
"A dealer of antique treasures who admitted stealing more than $3 million in rare maps was resentful of the world's top libraries and acted to finance his rich tastes and rising debt, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Shedding light into why Edward Forbes Smiley III stole 98 of the world's most precious maps over seven years, papers filed in Connecticut's U.S. District Court said he initially acted because he felt he had been wronged and slighted."
Court says $32,000 is too much to fondle bosom
"The court jailed a couple in their twenties for more than a year for charging a 74-year-old who suffers from dementia a total of 25,500 euros to enjoy the woman's breasts on 10 occasions."
Sheep slaughtered in 'satanic' ritual
"Police are hunting 'devil worshippers' after a series of sickening 'satanic rite' attacks on sheep at a national park."
The meltdown continues! HP Chair Resigns Amid Probe Fallout
"Hewlett-Packard Co. shoved Chairwoman Patricia Dunn off its board Friday, severing its ties to a leader whose efforts to plug a media leak morphed into a spying scandal that has spawned criminal and congressional investigations."
Atlantis shuttle's return flight triggers panic in Mexican village
"The Space Shuttle Atlantis's return flight prompted panic in a Mayan village in Mexico, with local residents inundating police with phone calls about a 'ball of fire' in the sky and the 'sound of an explosion'"
Volcano steaming, scientists puzzled
"Twin plumes of steam rising from the Cape Douglas area have Alaska Volcano Observatory scientists puzzled — and hoping for clear weather to figure out what’s going on.
“It’s not in a place where we expect to see steam,” said Rick Wessels, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory."
Grand Theft Auto fan charged with car theft
"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Shylo Kujawski - who has Grand Theft Auto prominently tattooed on his back - was spotted acting suspiciously in a Vancouver suburb where several stolen cars had been reported.

Using the tattoo to identify Kujawski as a convicted auto thief, police said they then set up a stakeout that nabbed him attempting drive away in a stolen car."
Woman Finds 1.30-Carat Diamond in Park
"A Tennessee woman whose husband predicted she wouldn't have any luck gem hunting at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park made a sparkling discovery: a 1.30-carat diamond."
Cambodians Have 'Formula 1' Buffalo Race
"Residents of a village near Cambodia's capital staged a 'Formula 1' race Friday to mark the end of the annual honoring of deceased relatives. The contest wasn't between cars, but water buffaloes."
Pa. Farm Discovers a Four-Legged Chicken
"Henrietta the chicken was living inconspicuously for 18 months among 36,000 other chickens at Brendle Farms _ until a farm foreman discovered she had four legs."

Hat tip to Kara!
Police officer faked call to active duty in Iraq
"Balestrieri, 36, reportedly faked U.S. Navy documents that said he had been called back to active duty in January, a month after buying a $220,000 home in Riverview near the Lockheed Martin Information Technology center, where he was hired Jan. 3.

Believing the apparently phony military orders, the police department continued to pay Balestrieri the difference between his salary and his income as a U.S. Navy reservist."
What happens when a fake john meets a fake police officer?:
"A sting was nearly stung Thursday when a Syracuse police officer pretending to be a john met a suspected prostitute pretending to be a police officer."
Artist gets one last laugh — in obituary
"When an obituary for the lifelong jokester appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it was accompanied with a photo — of the back of his head."
Dear Madam, just a short note to say you died:
"A woman recovering from major surgery returned from a doctor's appointment to find a letter telling her she was dead."
Drunk Firefighter Steals Fire Truck
"A firefighter from Rockland County was charged with DWI after he reportedly stole a fire truck and drove it to a fire in New Jersey.

Police say Raymond Oprey was determined to battle a blaze at a shopping center in Closter, N.J. So Oprey, who says he's a firefighter with an FDNY ladder company in the Bronx, allegedly stole a fire truck from the Rockleigh Fire Department near his home and headed to the scene, using the radio inside the truck several times."
Thieves Whack Manhood From Tiki
"Masked thieves armed with a chisel stole the penis of a wooden Maori figurine, or tiki, at the entrance of a public library in northern New Zealand, police said."

Hmm, didn't Alcibiades get blamed for doing something like this way back when?
Judge apologizes, gets reprimand for viewing porn in chambers
"A judge who repeatedly viewed pornography on the computer in his chambers apologized Friday after receiving a public reprimand from the Florida Supreme Court for violating judicial ethics."
Woman steals suitcase from grave
"A woman has appeared in court in New Zealand after she allegedly dug up a man's grave and stole a suitcase from it, just hours after he was buried."

Ok, yes it is weird to dig up any grave for any reason. But just who the f*** buries a suitcase with themselves anyway??
Nude wet meat soil bandit caught
"When Colt Langstaff returned to his home in Cool, California, on Monday, the first thing he noticed was that his garden fence had been knocked down, there was an unfamiliar pickup truck parked on his drive, and his personal belongings were scattered over his lawn.

The second thing he noticed was the naked man wrapped only in a sheet coming out of his backdoor. The naked gentleman asked Langstaff what he was doing there. Langstaff pointed out that is was his home, at which point the naked man ran away."
Horrified burglars flee from rolling heads
"Horror-stricken burglars fled in panic from a west Vienna cellar Thursday evening when they opened containers and a number of human heads rolled out, police said on Friday."
End of the World Update: Oceans have cooled in recent years
"Despite the long term warming trend seen around the globe, the oceans have cooled in the last three years, scientists announced today."
The First Space Hotel
"Bigelow announced at lunch that he will be putting up a three-person space station in late 2009 or early 2010, about fifty percent bigger than an ISS module. He is putting up a destination in hopes that the transportation will come along (and in order to spur the transportation providers). "
Begorrah! Leprechaun theme park for Jackson?
"The “Thriller” singer, who left the U.S. for the Mideast following his acquittal on sex charges, has been spending time on the Emerald Isle recently, and is looking into buying an estate there — possibly a castle — according to reports.

What’s more, he’s supposedly interested in opening up a leprechaun-inspired theme park."
'Cocaine' drink claims to be real thing
"Anti-drug campaigners today attacked the makers of a soft drink who have called their product cocaine.
The high-energy drink is being billed as a 'legal alternative' to the class A drug, using a massive hit of caffeine instead of cocaine."
Agents Find 3 Immigrants in Duffel Bags
"Agents working an immigration checkpoint found three illegal immigrants hidden in sealed nylon duffel bags, Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

None of the immigrants found during the two consecutive stops Wednesday was harmed. All declined medical attention, though agents said they were sweating profusely."
Paris Hilton admits she is stupid
"'Like I really, I don't remember,' she said on police tapes obtained by the television show Dateline. 'I'm not, like, that smart. I forget stuff all the time.'"
Forbes' richest Americans
It's that time of year again. Bill Gates is still top of the list at $53 billion. Clawing his way in at #98, Donald Trump with a meagre $2.9 billion.
Here's what $900 million looks like:
"Nine-Hundred Million dollars. The single stack of dollar bills is now climbing to 300,000 feet, or 56.8 miles. This is the dollar amount for the damage caused by a natural disaster, according to insurance claims filed by victims in four states that were affected by a category 3 hurricane, (Dennis) in July, 2005. This amount of money is what an ideal elementary school class size (400 students) can expect to earn in their lifetimes, combined."

Feds: 'Smiling Bob' firm ran $100M scam
"The company, which recently said it has 5 million customers worldwide, is known for its 'Smiling Bob' ads that depict a man whose life gets better after he uses the company's Enzyte for 'natural male enhancement.'
The company markets nationally a variety of other products claiming to help everything from night vision to memory to female libido."
Yet another reason not to call exotic dancers for sex!
"A Wood County supervisor resigned Tuesday after he was accused of trying to hire an exotic dancer for sex while attending a government convention in La Crosse."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Microgram
See the latest government intelligence on new drugs arriving on the streets!
Dogs At Work Paying Off
"Bringing dogs to work might make good business sense, according to one survey that found 46 million Americans would work longer hours if they were allowed to bring their furry companions into work with them.
So what used to be unheard of is now becoming almost commonplace. About 20 percent of American companies, including giants like Google, allow dogs in the office. The theory is that dogs reduce stress — and that's good for business."
Innovator Devises Way Around Electoral College
If you can't win by the rules, go around them!
Channel 4 crucifies human corpse
"Channel 4 is to broadcast a documentary showing a human corpse being hung on a cross to depict Christ's suffering.
Anatomist Gunther von Hagens will use a real body to show how people died when crucified in the 90-minute film."

No doubt we will now see angry Christians rioting and demanding apologies while threatening a Crusade.
Amazing marijuana grow-house ring
Officials say the scheme involved alleged marijuana financiers in New Jersey who offered people “relocation packages” featuring 100 percent financing for homes in the Port St. Lucie area. The homes were converted into marijuana “grow houses,” which the homeowner agreed to operate for two years.
After that, the homeowner could either sell the place and split the profits with their New Jersey financiers or keep growing pot."
Teens drive stolen car onto US anti-terrorism base
"Two teenage car thieves drove a stolen car on Wednesday without being stopped onto the US military base that commands much of the war on terror, triggering an investigation into the security breach, police and military officials said. "
Special Pirate Update: Jolly Rogers
In honor of this week's International Talk Like A Pirate Day, take a look at these Jolly Rogers, flown by the most dangerous pirates of all: Submarines!
Bagpipers blamed for empty office building
"But one shopper, a bagpiper himself, who refused to give his name, said he could understand why firms would turn down the office space due to buskers.
'There are a few bagpipers who take it in turns to play there. Some are very good but one, in particular, is not,' he said.
'I don't think that on a hot day, when you have the windows open, I would like to have to listen to him for hours at a time.'"
Man accused of vandalizing rivals' stations:
"A Medina gas station owner was so upset that two of his competitors were selling gas for less last year that he vandalized their stations, police said.
The tactics: glue in the credit card readers, beer bottles through windows and foul-smelling deer repellent on the pumps."
Sex, Skin, Fireworks, Licked Fingers -- It's a Quarter Pounder Ad in China
"Beef is luxurious. Beef is healthy. And, yes, beef is sexy.
These are the messages McDonald's Corp. is sending Chinese consumers as it tries to seduce them into eating more hamburgers."
Couple arrested in rock-throwing siege
"Nearly every night for a month, fist-sized rocks and pieces of brick rained down on three homes along Via Camellia.
The barrage shattered windows, dented family cars and chipped stucco, not to mention scaring residents who were afraid of getting pelted by just stepping outside.
Sheriff's deputies and neighbors repeatedly staked out the area near Woodland Parkway and Mission Road, wearing night-vision goggles and hiding in bushes while a helicopter searched overhead.
The barrages continued."
Samaritans Unwittingly Help in Car Theft
"'It is incredible that an entire neighborhood would participate in this comedy of errors,' said Sgt. Dave Norton.
'Nobody asked why a 14-year-old is out with a vehicle and doesn't know how to drive it,' said Norton. 'His looks and size should've made bells and whistles go off in people's minds.'"
Eat a Roach and Be the First in Line
"Why wait in line when you can just eat a cockroach? That's the question Six Flags Great America is asking its thrill seekers during its Halloween-themed FrightFest. The amusement park is daring customers to eat a live Madagascar hissing cockroach in exchange for unlimited line-jumping privileges."
Cops: Don't Open Door, There's a Gator
"Police lights and a phone call woke Kevin Jessup at 4 a.m. 'Good morning, sir,' a deputy told him in the pre-dawn call Wednesday. 'I advise you not to step out your front door. There's an alligator right there. A large one.'"
More TVs Than People in Average Home
"That threshold was crossed within the past two years, according to Nielsen Media Research. There are 2.73 TV sets in the typical home and 2.55 people, the researchers said."
Botanists grow 200-year-old seeds
"Three plant species have been produced from 200-year-old seeds found in a Dutch merchant's notebook that had been sitting in The National Archives."
Wild turkey tale ruffles neighbors
"Five years after a flock of wild turkeys showed up in the Shade Street neighborhood of Lexington, about the only thing that folks can agree on these days is that now they are gone.

Whether they were harassed, forced out, or killed in the dark of night remains a mystery and, more important, a source of deep division."
New York City Subway Smell Map
For my fellow denizens of NYC, Gawker has a lovely Subway Odors map, warning you of the lovely bouquets of urine, mold, feces and so forth
HP CEO Allowed 'Sting' of Reporter
"HP's leak investigation involved planting false documents, following HP board members and journalists, watching their homes, and obtaining calling records for hundreds of phone numbers belonging to HP directors, journalists and their spouses, according to a consultant's report and the e-mails."
Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling arrested for being drunk in public.
"Skilling is to be sentenced next month after being convicted of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors following Enron's stunning collapse in 2001. He faces 20 to 30 years in prison."
The crochet lawn
"Friends thought Jane Bolsover was spinning them a yarn when she unveiled her plan – to knit a life-sized English garden.

But here it is, accurate right down to the flowers and insects, even the worms and carrots in the vegetable patch."
Casino Built Where Gambling Is Illegal
"The $36 million Kewadin Shores Casino and Hotel opened in June and has restaurants, a lounge and an indoor pool, overlooking Lake Huron's Horseshoe Bay north of the Mackinac Bridge.

But its 29,000-square-foot casino with 800 slot machines and 26 gambling tables has been unable to operate because the U.S. government says part of the casino was built on land where Indian gambling is not allowed. "

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gators, Crocs Found in 'Rain Forest' Home
"Animal protection agents said they found nine alligators, a crocodile, a python, two eels and a tortoise sitting in feces in the home along with lizards, iguanas, birds and fish and several emus outside in the backyard."
Man's Lost Gnome Attends Steelers Game
"The 14-inch tall red-and-white statue disappeared from Snyder's Morgantown yard in the spring, and Snyder has since received three letters claiming to have been written by 'Gnomey.'

The latest letter, which Snyder received this week, included photos of the gnome in the company of Steelers fans attending Pittsburgh's football home opener.

'You never took me to any games,' the note said. The letter ended: 'Have to go now. Boarding a plane. Now, finally, broadening my travels.'"
Despite Rumors, Black Hole Factory Will Not Destroy Earth
C'mon folks - there's nothing to see here, lets move along...

"If any of the models are right, the accelerator should create a black hole anywhere from every second to every day, each roughly possessing 5,000 times the mass of a proton and each a thousandth of a proton in size or smaller, Landsberg said.
Still, any fears that such black holes will consume the Earth are groundless, Landsberg said."
Would You Care For A Little War With Your Mid-Term Election?
Dinner is about to be served!
"Two recent orders by the American military have led some observers to conclude that the U.S. is preparing for an attack on Iran.
One order was a 'Prepare to Deploy' command sent to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters, telling the ships’ commanders to be ready to move by Oct. 1.
The other was a request from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for a fresh look at long-standing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf."
CBC head quits after defecation, bestiality remarks
"The chairman of the publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has resigned after remarks about bestiality and ruminations about defecation"

With GREAT difficutly, I will pass on such a glorious opportunity to make snide comments about Canada and Canadians...
Police investigate 'bizarre' foot licking at Wal-Mart
"About 5 p.m. in Wal-Mart at 1109 St. Patrick's Drive, an 80-year-old female shopper stumbled upon a man sitting in the floor of an aisle stocked with curtains.
The woman apologized for stepping on the man's fingers. The man told her he was participating in a religious ritual and asked for her help.
The woman, now alarmed, complied with the man's instructions to stand on his hands and then spit. The man began to lick the woman's feet."
Owners to plead no contest in club fire deaths
"The owners of a nightclub where a 2003 fire killed 100 people will plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges, and only one will have to serve prison time, their lawyer said Wednesday. Victims' relatives were outraged."
Thong fetish dog eats knickers
"What do Carrie Grant, David Beckham and a dog from Nottingham have in common? They all like ladies underwear. But unlike the former, who just like wearing them, the latter likes eating them."
Jerusalem? Never heard of it
"'Jerusalem. There is no such city!' the Jerusalem municipality said in the English-language version of a sightseeing brochure it had published originally in Hebrew.

The correct translation: 'Jerusalem. There is no city like it!'"
Woman paid thousands to rent rotary phone
"A widow rented a rotary dial telephone for 42 years, paying what her family calculates as thousands of dollars for a now outdated phone.
Ester Strogen, 82, of Canton, first leased two black rotary phones — the kind whose round dial is moved manually with your finger — in the 1960s. Back then, the technology was new and most people had to rent telephones as part of their basic phone service.
...
Until two months ago, Strogen was still paying AT&T to use the phones — $29.10 every three months, the phone company says."
Panda bites man, man bites panda back at Beijing zoo
"A drunken Chinese migrant worker jumped into a panda enclosure at the Beijing Zoo, was bitten by the bear and retaliated by chomping down on the animal's back, state media said Wednesday.

Zhang Xinyan, from the central province of Henan, drank four jugs of beer at a restaurant near the zoo before visiting Gu Gu the panda on Tuesday, the Beijing Morning Post said."
Crack puppy OK, under veterinary care
"A puppy that was fed crack cocaine by a driver who was stopped at a DUI checkpoint appears to be healthy and unharmed by the incident."
End of the World Update: The Ice at the North Pole Gets Thinner
"The scientists examining satellite images of the North Pole were astonished to detect dramatic openings in the ice. The openings are larger than the British Isles and appeared in the so-called perennial ice – the ice that doesn't normally melt in the summer – north of Svalbard and extending into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole. Researchers discovered that 5 to 10 percent of the Arctic perennial ice has fragmented by late summer storms."
Calif. PC Thief Takes Court Computers
"A man was convicted of various theft charges, after prosecutors say he stole computers from the courthouse while he was on trial for computer theft."
Ice Foiled Ancient Settlement of Britain Seven Times
"If at first you don't succeed, then try, try again.
This appears to have been the motto of ancient humans trying to inhabit the British Isles. These settlers were beaten back by ice sheets at least seven times before managing to permanently establish themselves, researchers say."
Second night of Budapest violence
"Police on horseback charged a group of protesters who were attempting to reach the governing Socialist Party's HQ."
U.C. Irvine Scientists To Start Ant Civil War
"Hoping to trigger an ant civil war, U.C. Irvine scientists are experimenting with a colorless potion that makes bosom-buddy arthropods try to decapitate one another, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday."
Central Valley teacher gives x-rated handout
"A veteran teacher used the font — depicting quasi-anatomically correct male and female stick figures contorting into letters of the alphabet — on the cover sheet of a spelling curriculum given to parents at a Pine Tree Elementary open house last week."
Woman, 84, hid Nazi camp work for six decades -- even from her husband
"An 84-year-old San Francisco woman was deported to Germany this month after admitting she worked as a guard in a Nazi-operated concentration camp, federal officials announced Tuesday.

News about the dark chapter in Elfriede Lina Rinkel's past left her relatives in the Bay Area stunned. They said Rinkel had kept the secret for more than 60 years, from them and, apparently, from her late husband -- a German Jew who had fled the Holocaust himself."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Express lift to the stars
"A radically different way to reach outer space -- the space elevator -- may finally be getting off the ground floor thanks to recent huge advances in technology."

As is well known to Sci-Fi readers, this is by far the best way to get to orbit. If the idea ever escapes into the realm of reality, we will all be in for some amazing times indeed!
"Water Wars" loom? But none in past 4,500 years
"With a steady stream of bleak predictions that 'water wars' will be fought over dwindling supplies in the 21st century, battles between two Sumerian city-states 4,500 years ago seem to set a worrying precedent.

But the good news, many experts say, is that the conflict between Lagash and Umma over irrigation rights in what is now Iraq was the last time two states went to war over water."
Is It Normal to Hear Voices in Your Head?
"According to a recent study, hearing voices in one's head is extremely common, which makes it normal. Scientists at the Manchester University who conducted the study said that 1 in 25 individuals is prone to hearing voices, therefore it is a rather common symptom among people. Researchers also added that a person who hears voices is not a crazy person, despite the common misconception."

Well, I'm glad that's settled! I was getting worried there for a moment...
The TomKat Kitten Is Having a Bad Case of Cold Feet
"Holmes was overheard saying at a party that 'I don't have my life anymore. I'm not comfortable', making room for speculation that, no matter what Cruise might say, he is a manipulative and control-freak of a partner."
Tiger's wife in topless pics storm
"Tiger Woods has reacted with fury after a Dublin magazine printed topless photos of a woman which it wrongly claimed it was the superstar golfer's wife."
Thief accidentally turns himself in
"An Italian thief accidentally turned himself in after losing his cellular phone while robbing an elderly lady, calling his own number to meet the finder -- and unwittingly arranging a date with police."
Ohio Man Sentenced In Coffee Urine Case:
"A former postal worker who poured urine into his co-workers' coffee must serve six months in a jail work-release program. Thomas Shaheen, 50, of suburban Springfield Township, also must pay $1,200 to the people he used to work with to cover their cost of making a secret video of his role in tainting the office coffee."
Doctor Accused Of Stealing Cadaver Hand And Giving It To Exotic Dancer
"The dancer, Linda Kay, kept the hand in a jar of formaldehyde in her bedroom. Friends have said she called the hand 'Freddy.'

Police discovered the hand, along with six human skulls, at Kay's home in July, after being called there on a report that a roommate was suicidal. The roommate was not home, but Kay was."
Meanwhile in N. Korea...
"Roberto Carbonel Pezo, chairman of the Peru-Korea Friendship Institute for Study of the Juche Based Songun Policy, in a speech titled 'Role of Songun politics' said that the Songun policy is the outstanding one which helps the Korean people to firmly defend their dignity and build a great prosperous powerful nation of Juche, ever victorious one which enables them to defeat any aggressor at one stroke. The DPRK, not a big country, has emerged a powerful country thanks to the Songun politics, an all-powerful treasured sword, he said, adding: The DPRK is a socialist country centering on the popular masses. "
Man leaps off bridge after $20 bill
"Mark Giorgio jumped off the US 41 bridge into the Manatee River, falling over 40 feet into the water, just to get his twenty-dollar bill back."
Bat infestation baffles California store
"This summer, a colony of bats have made the West Main Street store in Ripon their home away from home, fluttering and perching over the heads of nervous employees and shoppers."
£1,000 space ship launches
"These amazing images were taken by Cambridge University students who sent a camera close to the edge of space for less than £1,000."
'Redemption' for unmovable dog
"According to Israel Radio, Rabbi Yitzhak Basri, a Kabbalah scholar, said: 'Sometimes the souls of sinners, such as adulterers or people who slept with non-Jews, enter the body of a dog.'

'It is known that when a righteous man dies, the souls of people in need of redemption come to him so they can be healed as a result of his death.'"
Church warden necrophilia charge
"A church warden in a small Swedish town of Surahammar has been charged over having sex with a corpse."
Thailand's PM Cancels U.N. Speech
At last! A coup staged by someone who has read Luttwak. The Thai military takes over the country while the PM is out on his annual "UN Opening Session" boondoggle. Humiliated abroad, he's on his way back to try and salvage something. This should be fun.
Animal Rebellion Update! Hawks Attack More Than 100 People in Rio
"Residents of crime-plagued Rio de Janeiro have a new kind of predator to worry about _ hawks. A pair of hawks have attacked more than 100 residents of the upscale Ipanema beach district over the past year, scratching peoples heads and faces, doormen working at buildings in the area said Monday."
Fate of TV host's cadaver raises questions about tissue industry

Dismembered and sold!

"After 'Masterpiece Theatre' host Alistair Cooke died, errors in the medical records accompanying his body fell through the cracks, one by one.

His name was misspelled. His birthdate was off by 10 years. His Social Security number wasn't even close. The name of his doctor, contact information for a relative, the time and cause of his death: all wrong.

None of that prevented the removal and sale of the 95-year-old's arms and legs. The fate of his pelvis and other tissue remains a mystery."
Fish join Americans in War on Terror
"
A type of fish so common that practically every American kid who ever dropped a fishing line and a bobber into a pond has probably caught one is being enlisted in the fight against terrorism.

San Francisco, New York, Washington and other big cities are using bluegills -- also known as sunfish or bream -- as a sort of canary in a coal mine to safeguard their drinking water."
Free lessons for commuters
"'Starting from Monday, passengers travelling on two trolleybus routes will find leaflets with key phrases in Lithuanian, English and Polish on board,' said Daiva Malinauskiene, the project's co-ordinator."
Police retake Hungary's state television building after overnight riots
Angry protestors stormed the building, looted it and set it alight.
Police say Maine couple kidnapped daughter, intent on forcing abortion
"After she became pregnant by a man who is now in jail, her parents allegedly resorted to extreme tactics: Police say they tied her up with rope, gagged her with duct tape, and put her in the family Lexus and drove her across state lines, intent on forcing her to have an abortion."
Hungary PM: Our darkest night
"Riots in the wake of a leaked recording of Hungary's prime minister admitting officials lied about the economy were 'the longest and darkest night' for the country since the end of communism in 1989, the embattled leader has said.
Ferenc Gyurcsany told a news conference on Tuesday that the unrest at the Budapest headquarters of Hungarian state television took police by surprise."
Pirate Update!
In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, we have the following real pirate event:

"16.09.2006 at 2030 LT at Pelintung wharf, Dumai, Indonesia.
Two robbers armed with large knives boarded a chemical tanker at berth. They assaulted master and stole large amount of cash and escaped. Master sustained serious injuries and needed hospital treatment. "
Arrrh you a pirate?
"It's 'Talk Like a Pirate Day,' so let's all practice our R's. Ready? All together now:

'Arrrh!'"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Prosecutor: Las Vegas teen said no one would miss murdered homeless man
"When Lobato, now 23, realized Bailey didn't have any drugs, she pulled out a butterfly knife, cut off his penis and killed him with a combination of stabbings and blows to the head with a baseball bat, according to Kephart."
Robbery Suspects Fleeing Police Jump Off Dark Bridge, Miss Water
"Two burglary suspects whose car stalled while trying to elude police early Thursday were seriously injured when they jumped off a dark bridge and fell 30 feet on to the ground, missing water, according to police."
Man has sex with hedgehog
"A desperate boyfriend ripped his willy to bits when he tried to cure premature ejaculation by having sex with a hedgehog.

Zoran Nikolovic — dubbed Mr Jiggywinkle — claimed to be following the advice of a witch doctor when he injured himself on the animal’s pricks."
Kite flyer cliff fall victim named
"Police have named a 32-year-old man who died when he fell off a cliff while flying a kite.

Andrew Armstrong, from Stewkley, Buckinghamshire, was flying his kite 200 yards from the coastal cliff path at Blackstone Point, Noss Mayo, South Hams, Devon, when the accident happened at 11.30am on Saturday."
Dad breaks leg in phobia cure attempt
"'This is an example of what not to do as a parent,' police Capt. Andy Rundle said. 'And let this be a lesson to everybody: Somebody's tried it, and it's not a good idea.'"
Car Launches Into 2nd Story of L.I. Building
"A car hit a dirt hill at high speed and flew 200 feet into the second story of an apartment building Tuesday, killing the driver, police said. "
Casino: $737,203 Slot Machine Jackpot A Mistake
"A man who claims he hit a $737,203 jackpot on a nickel slot machine has hired an attorney after the club claimed the big win was a huge mistake."
New theory and old equations may explain causes of shipsinking freak waves:
"Before the first laser measurement of a freak wave in January 1995, oceanographers and mathematicians predicted that such monster waves should only occur about once every 10,000 years. But as the occurrence inspired satellite measurements, scientists observed many more freak waves than theory predicted. In fact, observations imply that a handful of these waves is occurring at every moment somewhere on the ocean."
Kobayashi to take on team of 4 in Lobster Roll contest
"Takeru Kobayashi will compete against a team of four amateurs in the first-ever GoldenPalace.net Lobster Roll-Eating Challenge to be held on September 23rd at Boston's Phantom Gourmet Food Festival. At stake is a purse of $10,000.

'Kobayashi has never lost an eating contest to a human being on American soil -- we’ll now see if he can handle a team of four,' said Richard Shea, President of the International Federation of Competitive Eating."
Drunken cowboy arrested
"A drunken German cowboy was arrested after he rode his horse into several pubs looking for a nightcap."
Strongman lifts helicopter
"Austrian strongman Franz Muellner set a new world record after a 1.8 tonne helicopter landed on his back

Franz Muellner supported the machine for almost a minute after it landed on his shoulders to secure his place in the Guiness Book of World Records."
Man, 29, passes for toddler
"A businessman flew from Britain to Amsterdam on his two-year-old daughter's passpart.

Mark Coshever, 29, was allowed through airport security and on to a plane after picking up the wrong passport at home."
Man Sets Sights on Eye-Popping Record
WARNING: Photo is not for the faint hearted!
"Claudio Paulo Pinto is looking to break an eye-popping record. Literally. Pinto can pop his eyeballs out of their sockets at least 7 millimeters (0.3 inches), a national record for eye-popping according to RankBrasil, an organization modeled after the Guinness Book of World Records that lists Brazilian records."
Man with gun crashes through Capitol barricade
"An armed man ran through the hallways of the U.S. Capitol after crashing his vehicle on the Capitol grounds Monday in the worst breach of security since a gunman killed two police officers eight years ago.

Police officials and congressional aides said the man was tackled outside a basement office after leading police on a chase through the building. They said he was carrying a small weapon but there were no reports of shots fired."
Shark that walks on fins found in Papua New Guinea
"Scientists carrying out research in Papua New Guinea say they have discovered dozens of new species underwater, including a shark that walks on its fins and a shrimp that looks like a praying mantis."
Child slavery suit charges 30,000 stolen, trained as camel jockeys
"UAE Vice President Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been accused of enslaving about 30,000 children, some of them as young as two, since 1975.

The suit filed in U.S. district court in Miami charged that Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, and his brother, Hamdan, ordered the stealing of the children to raise them as camel jockeys, Middle East Newsline reported."

Hungary PM admits lying day and night, opposition asks him to resign
"A leaked recording that caught Hungary's prime minister admitting the government had lied about the economy - keeping it afloat through 'tricks'' and relying on 'divine providence'' - has prompted protests outside parliament and calls for his resignation.

The tape was made at a closed-door meeting in late May, weeks after Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's government became the first in post-communist Hungary to win re-election."
Alien "ID Chart" to Aid Search for Extraterrestrial Life
"The search for planets with extraterrestrial life has gotten a new tool: an 'ID chart' that scientists will use to compare alien worlds with Earth as it has appeared over the eons.
Many astronomers say they expect to find Earthlike planets soon, when better technology enables them to spot small, distant worlds."
Willie Nelson Cited for Marijuana Possession
"Willie Nelson and four others were issued misdemeanor citations for possession of narcotic mushrooms and marijuana after a traffic stop Monday morning on a Louisiana highway, state police said."

Hat tip to Joey!
Big Brother is shouting at you
"Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly."
New recruit for Terracotta army
"Pablo Wendel, 26, sneaked into a pit housing about 2,000 of the ancient life-size pottery warriors and horses, put on the military costume he had made himself and took up a position on a small pedestal he had taken along.

He stood there, motionless and unblinking, for a couple of minutes until police found him."
Terrorist detainees spellbound by Harry Potter tales:
"The Harry Potter stories are the most popular books in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre's library, the Pentagon has revealed.

JK Rowling's tales of the young wizard were the most requested by terror suspects held at the high-security camp from among 3,500 titles available."
Pig withstands Tasers while fleeing slaughter
"A pig on the lam from a trip to the butcher withstood Taser shots from police officers and eluded authorities for more than an hour after wandering onto Green Bay's major highway Wednesday night."
Beasts bound around Britain
"Pandas, wallabies and crocodiles are just some of the more unusual creatures which have been spotted in the British countryside, alongside the more usual rabbits, foxes and deer.

Racoons, wolves, pandas, scorpions and a penguin are also on the loose, says a report by animal group Beastwatch UK."
Cricketer banned for fan flip-out
"An ex-international cricketer has been banned from the game for a decade after he flipped out during a local league match and threw the ball at spectators in frustration."
Nigerian man's magic goat claim
"A man suspected of killing his brother claims he thought the body was a goat.
The Nigerian man, whose weapon was an axe, told police that the body had magically turned into his sibling's corpse."
Pete Doherty To Present The Today Programme?
"Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty is to guest edit Radio Four’s prestigious Today programme, according to reports.

The troubled musician is meeting BBC producers to discuss taking charge of a Christmas time special – as soon as he’s out of his current stint in rehabilitation."
Man rejects first penis transplant
"Although the operation was a surgical success, surgeons said they had to remove the penis two weeks later. 'Because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off,' Dr Hu said. An examination of the organ showed no signs of it being rejected by the body."
Neo-Nazis join quiet march to poll victory: "There was not a skinhead to be seen in this Baltic town at the heart of Germany’s neo Nazi revival. No thugs with steel-tipped paratroop boots, no ranting xenophobes.
Yet the signs are clear: the far Right is on the march in Eastern Germany.
The neo-Nazis, picking up an astonishing level of support on the home turf of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, look set to win a big chunk of seats in regional elections on Sunday. And to make sure that middleclass voters do not panic ahead of the ballot, they have donned camouflage."
YouTube and MySpace face the music
"It was only a matter of time. YouTube and MySpace are being accused of copyright infringement by one of the biggest entertainment companies in North America, Universal Music.

CEO Doug Morris pointed out how YouTube and MySpace users illegally post music videos and other content from Universal artists. “We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars,” Morris told investors Wednesday."
Posh dorms, amenities becoming the norm at college
"On a number of campuses, students are able to hire personal maids to clean and do their laundry. They pay moving crews to pack and transport their stuff -- plasma TVs and other high-end electronics included. And they're living large in housing that looks like anything but a dorm."
A Chip That Can Transfer Data Using Laser Light "Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design.

As a result, chip makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs — the phenomenon known as Moore’s law — that has driven the computer industry for the last four decades."
The Automat Returns
"Yes, the automat. No, not the Horn & Hardart Automat that appeared on the dining scene at the turn of the last century and finally closed the last of its 180 restaurants in New York in 1991. This is a brand-new concept. A hip new automat that dispenses comfort food '25 hours a day' in New York City's East Village."
Man Jailed for 11 Years in Bizarre Divorce Saga
"It hinges on a charge of civil contempt designed to force Chadwick to turn over $2.5 million the courts say he hid overseas all those years ago. Except he won't. Or can't, depending on whom you believe.

So Chadwick sits.

'He's an anomaly,' says his lawyer, Michael Malloy. 'They don't know what to do with him.'"
WWII bomb prompts evacuation in France
"Some 20,000 residents Nantes, of one of the largest cities on France's Atlantic coast, were evacuated from their homes Sunday while experts defused an unexploded Allied bomb from World War II."
Hewlett Review Is Said to Detail Deeper Spying
"A secret investigation of news leaks at Hewlett-Packard was more elaborate than previously reported, and almost from the start involved the illicit gathering of private phone records and direct surveillance of board members and journalists, according to people briefed on the company’s review of the operation."
First Female Space Tourist Heads to ISS
"
Ansari paid a reported $20 million to become the fourth private astronaut to take a trip on a Russian spacecraft and visit the station.

'I'm just so happy to be here,' she said ebulliently as she entered the rocket Monday, watched by about a dozen relatives including her husband and mother."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nurse Breaks Silence, Reveals WWII Atrocity
"Former nurse Toyo Ishii says that during the weeks following Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, she and colleagues at an army hospital at the site were ordered to bury corpses, bones and body parts - she doesn't know how many - before the Americans arrived.
A mass grave of between 62 and more than 100 possible war-experiment victims was uncovered in a nearby area in 1989. But Ishii's account - publicly released in June - could yield a far larger number and a firmer connection to Unit 731, Japan's dreaded germ and biological warfare outfit."
Straw Poll Links Blood Type With Investment Savvy
"Blood type may have something to do with stock investment styles and the success of investment, a poll of 1,126 individual investors suggests. The poll was conducted by stock investment portal site Paxnet (paxnet.moneta.co.kr) from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8.

According to the firm, investors with blood type A and AB were more likely to pursue stable investment strategies and were relatively successful in investments, while those with blood type of O and B made more aggressive investments and often lost money."
NY Times embraces mafia tactics to avoid federal investigations
"“With this crazy environment, with subpoenas and so on, there is this feeling that you have to act like a drug dealer or a Mafioso,” Mr. Barstow said. “We don’t have any reason to think right now that there aren’t going to be more of these cases. So we should take precautions. It’s just no longer an abstract threat.”"
Immigration raid cripples Ga. town
"Trailer parks lie abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to replace more than half its workforce. Business has dried up at stores where Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer and cigarettes just weeks ago.

This Georgia community of about 1,000 people has become little more than a ghost town since Sept. 1, when federal agents began rounding up illegal immigrants."
Politically Incorrect Down Under
"Racism complaints have forced Transperth to withdraw taxpayer-funded ads showing a gorilla wearing a fez.

The Public Transport Authority confirmed that the campaign, which cost about $7000 and depicted an ape wearing what is sometimes considered an Islamic cap, was stopped after three complaints."
Body Washes Up Near Set of 'CSI: Miami
It's not the first dead body to unexpectedly appear on a "CSI" set. One was found this week in a Los Angeles building where "CSI: New York" was filming. Police also didn't consider that death suspicious.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Judge: 'You should never have been a mother'
"'You are like the proverbial wicked stepmother of fairy tales,' he said. 'You should never have been a mother; you are the antithesis of everything that is a mother.'"
OAP WHO FELL DOWN MANHOLE IGNORED BY PASSERS-BYS
"A GRANDAD stuck down a manhole had his cries for help ignored by passers-by for almost an hour.

Clive Colins, 65, was about to open the boot of his car in a busy shopping car park when he stepped back on to a loose manhole cover and tumbled down a 5ft hole.

About 30 people walked past him, even though he was yelling for help and his head, a leg and an arm were stuck above the surface."
The faithful go nuts when they are finally allowed to party!
"Gruber and Hungerman found that when states eliminated blue laws, church attendance declined while drinking and drug use increased significantly among young adults. Even more striking, the biggest change in bad behavior mostly occurred among those who frequently attended religious services, they report in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 'The Church vs. the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?'"
Man leaves dead woman in condo for four days
"For four long, hot days, police say, Angel Pichel hid a gruesome secret inside his fishing-themed Coconut Grove condo: the woman who died in her sleep after a night of partying with him.

Not knowing what to do, Pichel told police, he wrapped her body in a comforter and left her in the living room."
Traffic rules - wear a wig
"Cyclists may be safer wearing a long-haired wig than a helmet, new research suggests.

In England, a Bath University study found drivers gave a wider berth to cyclists with long hair than those wearing helmets.

The study, by psychologist Dr Ian Walker, also found bare-headed cyclists were given more room than those wearing helmets."
Outback tourist rescued twice in one week
"A 50-year-old man, dubbed the 'Bumbling Brit' by British press, is recovering in Alice Springs hospital after being rescued in Northern Territory bushland for the second time in a week. "
Intruder killed by nurse was hit man, police say
This is a followup to the story blogged last week about the nurse who strangled a home invader. Looks like her hubby hired a hit man to off her!
Neanderthals' 'last rock refuge'
"Our evolutionary cousin the Neanderthal may have survived in Europe much longer than previously thought.

A study in Nature magazine suggests the species may have lived in Gorham's Cave on Gibraltar up to 24,000 years ago."
Puffy planet poses pretty puzzle
"Astronomers have found a strange new world that has them pondering again the essential properties of a planet."
Tom Cruise and his Scientology Goons
"When Viacom kingpin Sumner Redstone cited Tom Cruise's personal conduct as the reason for killing his production deal with Paramount, the 83-year-old mogul's candor rocked Hollywood. But Radar has learned Redstone may have let Cruise off easy, particularly in light of allegations the actor dispatched goons from the Church of Scientology to intimidate Redstone's studio chieftan, Brad Grey."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Animal bordellos draw Norwegians
"Neither Denmark nor Norway has a prohibition on sex with animals, as long as the animals do not suffer.

On the Internet Danish animal owners advertise openly that they offer sex with animals, without intervention from police or other authorities, Danish newspaper 24timer reports."
Fugitive nabbed after 30 years living on a dead man's ID
"Dollie Walton's children always found Thomas Fry, the man who had lived with her for nearly 30 years, to be a bit strange.

He was secretive about his past before he met Walton in Chattanooga in 1978, and he didn't have a driver's license or a birth certificate, her son Jerry Walton said Thursday.

'He's always been an evasive person. He said he couldn't remember his Social Security number,' Walton said."
Problem bears feasting on illegal entrants' trash
"At least four bears have been destroyed this summer after encroaching on humans in southeastern Arizona, and biologists say the trash dumped by illegal immigrants is part of the problem because it acclimates the animals to people."
Politically Incorrect at the Vatican!
"In his speech, Benedict quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus who said, 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
Japanese Nerve Gas Cult Leader Loses Last Appeal
"Japan's Supreme Court condemned to death Shoko Asahara, founder of the doomsday cult that attacked the Tokyo subway with nerve gas in 1995, throwing out his final appeal.

The bearded guru, who ordered Japan's worst ever terror attack which claimed 12 lives, was revered as a god by his sect, whose hardline followers are under constant surveillance."
Geniuses get fewer hangovers
"High IQ scores may do more than separate geniuses from those of lesser intelligence, they could also be an indication of how much clever people are likely to suffer from hangovers.

New research by Scottish scientists suggests that smart people are less likely to repeatedly experience the excruciating headache, nausea, dry mouth and sensitivity to light and sound that can follow a heavy night out."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Microwaved Fake Penis Update!
"A woman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with a bizarre incident in February that resulted in a fake penis being microwaved at a convenience store."
Woman dies on freeway after 5 cars hit her
"Police said around 10:25 p.m. Wednesday, a woman attempted to run across four lanes of traffic on the 6800 block of Southwest Freeway near Hillcroft Avenue when she was struck by an unknown vehicle traveling north

The driver of the vehicle did not stop.

Her body was then struck by at least 4 more vehicles and an 18-wheeler. None of the vehicles stopped after striking the woman's body except the driver of the second vehicle."
3rd Rare White Buffalo Born on Wis. Farm
"A farm in Wisconsin is quickly becoming hallowed ground for American Indians with the birth of its third white buffalo, an animal considered sacred by many tribes for its potential to bring good fortune and peace."
Men are more intelligent than women, claims new study
"A controversial new study has claimed that men really are more intelligent than women.

The study - carried out by a man - concluded that men's IQs are almost four points higher than women's."
Rage Over MySpace Photo Leads to Arrest
"A 22-year-old woman was arrested after authorities say she tried to hire someone to kill another woman whose photo appeared on her boyfriend's MySpace.com Web page."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm off to Prague for the next few days, so there will be little to no blogging for the rest of the week. Sorry, but it's vacation time for me!
A Modern Lysistrata! Colombian gangsters face sex ban:
"Wives and girlfriends of gang members in one of Colombia's most violent cities have called a sex ban in a bid to get their men to give up the gun"
End of the World Update: Air Force chief sez Test weapons on Americans
"Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns, said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne."
Sect warned over ‘doomsday’ prophesy
"The Government has warned members of a religious sect to stop causing panic in Nyandarua District.

The Nyandarua District Commissioner, Mr Khamasi Shivogo, said the Government would ensure that the House of Yahweh sect, which had predicted that Tuesday would be the end of the world, did not instil fear in the district."
He's a Crunchy nut... advert showing man riding dog sparks fury
"Nearly 100 complaints have been made against the new Crunchy Nut Cornflakes advert, which shows a very small man finishing work and riding home on the back of an Irish Wolfhound.

Dog lovers say the behaviour in the scene is cruel and could be copied by children."
Polish 'slave' labourers feared murdered
Italians revert to their Roman roots:
"In July, 25 people were seized in a joint operation by Italian and Polish police after an inquiry revealed that thousands of Poles had been hired to work on farms described by Italy's chief organised crime prosecutor as 'out and out concentration camps'. Polish police said workers were fed on little more than bread and water, forced to labour for up to 15 hours a day, paid virtually nothing and beaten by guards."
Bush to hold talks on Ali G creator after diplomatic row
"Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.
And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident."
Gaddafi says Coke is African
"Speaking at a celebration marking the seventh anniversary of the African Union, Gaddafi said: 'The essential ingredients for Coca Cola come from African plants and so compensation must be paid to us.'"
Passenger Disrupts Cross-Country Flight
"A passenger tried to open the exit door of a jet during a cross- country flight on Tuesday night, airline and federal officials said."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Skeletons Of Bloodiest Day
"Skeletons bearing marks of horrendous sword injuries have been unearthed beneath a North Yorkshire hall.

The victims of a medieval battle were discovered beneath the floor of the dining room of Towton Hall, between Tadcaster and Sherburn-in- Elmet, dating from the Battle of Towton in 1461.

The discovery was made as part of a ten-year investigation into the archaeological evidence of the longest and bloodiest battle ever fought in England."
Pluto is Now Just a Number: 134340:
Pluto-haters strip it of its name!

"Pluto has been given a new name to reflect its new status as a dwarf planet.
On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number 134340 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system.
The move reinforces the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) recent decision to strip Pluto of its planethood and places it in the same category as other small solar-system bodies with accurately known orbits."
H-P Chairwoman to Step Down Amid Spying Scandal
"Hewlett-Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn apologized for the company's use of inappropriate surveillance techniques and will relinquish her post in January."

Her private investigator-spies used some social engineering to get access to the phone records of board members. Now everyone is launching investigations.
Scientists Prepare to Create Mini Big Bang
"If the theories are correct, the collider should create tiny black holes that evaporate and leave behind other particles. These particles might offer evidences about additional spatial dimensions above the familiar three ones we know.

'That would be an even bigger headline than the black holes. It could be that there is a whole new universe a millimeter away from our heads but at right-angles to the three dimensions that are here,' Dr Cox said. 'That would be a real paradigm shift - our relegation to a little sheet in a multi-dimensional universe. That kind of thing is really profound and will capture the imagination that perhaps the origin of mass won't, although it should. For the first time in many decades we have built a machine that exceeds our powers of prediction. New processes are bound to be discovered. We are truly journeying into unknown territory.'

Some have worried that such an experiment that would create black holes could destroy the entire planet, but Dr Cox dismissed the worries. 'The probability is at the level of 10 to the minus 40,' he said. That is a 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance."
2 Billion Viagra Spam Emails Resulted in a “Hard” Investigation
"The identity of the suspected man has not been disclosed to the public as yet, but his computer has been confiscated for analysis. If he will be found guilty of the civil charges brought against him, the man faces a financial penalty of AU $1.1 million (US $828,000) per day under the 2003 Australian Spam Act."
Man Says Naked Attackers Robbed Him
"A former city official who is under investigation in an FBI corruption probe was arrested for public intoxication after claiming he was robbed by naked and scantily clad attackers at a male strip club, authorities said."
Man Writes of Launching 'Feline Jihad
"Max Gerskin wrote a two-part series in the Chattanooga Pulse weekly publication, the first of which was published Aug. 9 and titled, 'Madder Max: The Cat Lady and My New Dog.' The second installment was published Wednesday and titled, 'Feline Jihad: The Cat Lady, Part II.'"
Celebrity Boutique Sues Us Weekly, Saying Lack of Coverage Is Hurting Business
"The owner of Kitson, the Robertson Boulevard clothing store favored by young celebs such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Denise Richards, says that Us Weekly magazine is intentionally omitting any mention of the store in its issues because of a nasty legal feud."
Shutout of Packers worth $275K in furniture "The furniture store on Route 34 west of Plano promised that if the Bears shut out the Packers in the season opener at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Labor Day weekend shoppers would get their furniture free.
Sure enough, the Bears posted a staggering 26-0 victory, handing Favre his first career shutout and ending the Packers' 233-game streak of always putting something on the scoreboard.
Store owner Randy Gonigam sat agog Sunday evening as the Bears pulled off the unthinkable -- a feat worth about $275,000 to his customers."
First Global Connection Between Earth And Space Weather Found
"Researchers discovered that tides of air generated by intense thunderstorm activity over South America, Africa and Southeast Asia were altering the structure of the ionosphere."
Armchair sleuths uncover strange military sites in China:
"Tech-savvy armchair sleuths around the world are having a field day discovering military secrets in China.
Three times in the past few months, they've stumbled across unusual military installations using Internet programs that allow those online to view satellite and aerial images of the world.
In the most recent find, users spotted an underwater submarine tunnel off China's Hainan Island. They've also found a mock-up of a Taiwanese air base in China's remote western desert. In a bizarre discovery, a computer technician in Germany noticed a huge and startlingly accurate terrain model in northwest China that replicates a sensitive border area with India."
Crime of Passion
"Mel Gibson may have expressed some unusual opinions about what sort of people are responsible for all the conflict in the world, but in one devoutly Christian Northumberland household, it was his film The Passion Of The Christ that led a man to try strangling his wife.

In the end, she only managed to stop him killing her by croaking the words 'do not touch God's anointed' at him."
Shuttle Astronauts Lose Parts During Spacewalk
"Astronaut Joe Tanner was working with the bolt when it sprang loose, floated over the head of Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and skittered across the 17½-ton box-like truss that they were hooking up.

While the washer went out into space safely, Tanner worried the bolt and spring could get into the truss's wiring and tubing and causing problems."

Tell me again, why do we need a space station?
Son gets marijuana for doing homework
That should really help his grades!
Q-Ray bracelet buyers were misled -U.S. judge
"U.S. District Judge Morton Denlow ordered QT Inc. of Mount Prospect, Illinois, and its owner, Que Te Park, to refund more than 100,000 buyers of the bracelets -- priced up to $249.95 -- and forfeit profits of $22.6 million earned between 2000 and 2003.

The ruling supported a 3-year-old complaint by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and rejected the defense's theory that if people believed they were helped by the product, why not advertise?"
Cyclist breaks finger punching bus
"Italy's Alessandro Petacchi was forced to quit the Tour of Spain Sunday after he punched his team bus and broke a bone in his right hand thereby ending his troubled 2006 season ended.

Petacchi finished stage 15 to Almussafes but was so angry he did not win the sprint that he vented his frustration on the door of the Team Milram bus and fractured the top of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand"
Wanted: 20 short actors with hairy feet
"Producers of a musical version of 'The Lord of the Rings' are looking for candidates to play the hobbit heroes in the epic fantasy based on J.R.R.Tolkien's classic."
Get ready for more travel harassment! Study shows 'direct link' between air travel, flu spread
"Scientists have found what they call the first real evidence that restricting air travel can delay the spread of flu -- a finding that could influence government plans for battling the next influenza pandemic.
Air travel has long been suspected of playing a role in flu's gradual spread around the globe each year, but yesterday, Boston researchers said they finally have documented it: The drop in air travel after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks seemed to delay that winter's flu season by about two weeks. "
Police Investigating Schwarzenegger Tape
"A state investigation team is examining whether hackers were involved in releasing a digital recording of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about a Hispanic legislator's fiery temper, a spokesman said."
Pirate Update
Last week was relatively mild: 4 incidents, all in Bangladesh, mostly smash-and-grab raids.
The Chittagong anchorage is one of the most popular locations for pirate attacks.
Around 100 birds found inside dirty home
"Deputies found about 100 birds of various species, two dogs, two turtles, and a rabbit. They say no one was properly caring for the animals."
Cops: Baggy pants prevented suspect's escape attempt
"[P]olice say Camel was wearing jeans that were about four sizes too big.
Police say Camel also wasn't wearing underwear under the loose jeans.
The CHP says an increasing number of foot pursuits are ending quickly because suspects can't run and hold their pants up at the same time."
Next time you are in a similar situation, remember to bring a belt!
Belief in God remains strong in U.S., poll finds
"Americans remain a people of great faith: 95 percent believe in God and just 11 percent have no religious affiliation, according to a survey released yesterday by Baylor University.
...
Americans largely agree that God exists, but they do not agree what God is like, what God wants for the world or how God feels about politics," said Christopher Bader, also a report author. "
Vietnam's Electric Man electrocuted
"A Vietnamese man who once appeared on national television to demonstrate his ability to resist electric shocks has been electrocuted while repairing a generator, an official said on Tuesday."

I am reminded of a quote from the physicist Richard Feynman: "reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
Last week it was a stingray. This week it's a Goliath Grouper.
"A Florida diver shot a large grouper with a spear gun then apparently drowned when the fish sped into a hole, entangling the man in the line attached to the spear"
Humans Strike Back! 10 Stingrays Slain Since Irwin's Death
"Slain stingrays since have been discovered on two beaches in Queensland state on Australia's eastern coast. Two were discovered Tuesday with their tails lopped off, state fisheries department official Wayne Sumpton said. "
Cyclists wearing helmets 'more likely to be hit'
"Dr Walker said: "Drivers think, 'He knows what he's doing, he won't do anything surprising'. But that's really quite a dangerous thought, particularly as so many cycling novices are told to wear helmets."

Monday, September 11, 2006

'Vulgar, aggressive zombies'
"Britain is a country of 'vulgar, aggressive, unprincipled, consumerist zombies,' according to a new book by a French writer.
...
She writes of the British: 'They have no understanding of philosophy, beauty or art. They do not even have any intellectuals. It is a kingdom of narrowly educated specialists on the one hand and those lacking general culture on the other."

This should be fun!
Mystery mud swallowing Indonesia
"The drilling company, Lapindo Brantas, has admitted responsibility for the gigantic, bubbling torrent of noxious mud, which has already destroyed twelve factories and seven villages in East Java. However, they are refusing to explain exactly why the Earth is spewing unstoppable toxic goop, citing an ongoing police investigation."
No sausage record for Namibia
"Namibia has never set a world record – and its first attempt to do so, by barbecuing a five mile-long sausage, fell agonisingly short when safety fears forced organisers to shut the five mile sausage cooking event down."
Scottish terrorists in water threat
"The threat came in an email sent to the Glasgow offices of The Sunday Times, which warned that they group planned to poison the public water supplies in England only, and claimed: 'We have the means to do this, and we shall. This is a war and we intend to win it.'

The SNLA – which may be no more than only one or two people – includes in its aims the reversal of 'mass English immigration' to Scotland, and the restoration of Scots Gaelic (spoken by just over 1% of the population) as the national language."
Auto-eroticism undoes driver
"A Slovak driver who crashed into a bus shocked rescuers who found him unconscious and half naked with a vacuum pump on his penis."
NYC Unveils 9/11 Memorial Hole
"'From the wreckage and ashes of the World Trade Center, we have created a recess in the ground befitting the American spirit,' said New York Governor George Pataki from a cinderblock-and-plastic-bucket-supported plywood platform near the Hole's precipice. 'This vast chasm, dug at the very spot where the gleaming Twin Towers once rose to the sky, is a symbol of what we can accomplish if we work together.'"
World Reaches 2.5 Billion Cell Connections
"The total number of worldwide cellular connections now stands at 2.5 billion -- just 12 months after passing the 2 billion mark.

Wireless Intelligence, which tracks the global mobile market said growth is currently running at more than 40 million new connections per month -- the highest volume ever."
Nanny State Fascists Strike Again: Group wants beer ads sans sexy women
"The group is asking the industry to voluntarily adopt the new code, which forbids sexism or the association of products with sexual performance, sexual attraction or popularity.

The code prohibits any implication that alcoholic products improve physical or intellectual capacities or has health benefits.

It bans the use of images of people who look younger than 25 and any that make alcohol particularly attractive to people under 18."
Somali radio re-opens without music
"A Somali radio station closed by Islamists for playing local love songs deemed to encourage immorality returned to the airwaves today after pledging to stop broadcasting music."
Why You Shouldn't Pickpocket at Mecca's Great Mosque
"A Nigerian man had his right hand severed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday after he was convicted of stealing in the Great Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest shrine, the interior ministry said."
Rwandan singer on mass murder charge
"'Between 1990 and 1994, Simon Bikindi composed, sang, recorded or distributed musical works extolling Hutu solidarity and accusing Tutsis of enslaving Hutus,' the ICTR indictment says.
'These songs were then used to incite Hutus to identify and kill Tutsis,' the indictment says."

This similar to what happened to Julius Streicher at Nuremburg. Streicher was the notoriously anti-semitic editor of Der Sturmer newspaper, a pub that even the Nazis had trouble stomaching because of its extremity. Streicher was not part of the Nazi regime; indeed he was put under house arrest early on in the war, well before the mass killing got going full steam. However, that did not save him at Nuremburg - he was sentenced to death by hanging solely because of the words that he wrote and published. His final words were "Heil Hitler!"

Sunday, September 10, 2006

100 years of pranks
"S.S. Adams turns 100 this year. It has survived economic swings and management changes. And it has staked a place in American lore, bringing consumers products such as the dribble glass, the money-changer and the snake that jumps out of the nut can.
These days, the company has about 20 workers, some of whom labor away on 45-year-old machines to produce items such as smoke-from-the-fingertips and two-headed coins."
Rover nears crater science trove
"Nasa's robotic Mars rover Opportunity is closing in on what could be the richest scientific 'treasure trove' of its mission so far.

Within the next two weeks, Opportunity should reach the rim of a crater wider and deeper than any it has visited in more than two-and-a-half years on Mars."
Dad of 37 fights for the snip
"An Argentine man who is the father of 37 children is taking legal action for the right to a vasectomy.
Cleto Ruiz Diaz, 44, from Corrientes has gone to court because vasectomies are illegal in his state."
Body art made its mark 300,000 years ago, scientists claim
"Archaeologists digging at the Twin Rivers site found ochre pigments of various colours, including red, yellow, brown, black and "sparkling purple", at levels in the ground that correspond to 300,000 years ago - long before the rise of modern man, Homo sapiens."
FIDDY/DIDDY rap war
"50 CENT has threatened to kill rival P DIDDY in a new song"
Naked and hungover in the US embassy bushes
"He won't be the first 18 year old Stockholmer to wake up wondering where he is after a night of hard partying. But he is the first - and probably the last - to discover that he has come round in the grounds of the American embassy.
Naked and confused, the young man tried to hide himself in the embassy bushes on Sunday morning. But after a while he was caught and questioned by police"
'Stinking' recluse removed from home
"A bout of influenza 26 years ago terrified Carmela so much that she tried to seal herself off from germs by barricading herself in her home, the papers said."
Burglars are on a par with 'expert' pilots
"Burglars are so good at robbing people's houses they deserve to be regarded as experts in their field on a par with pilots, academics have concluded."
The Cuban farm revolution 'forgot'
"So, when a friend told me that 47 years after all that, there is, still, one private farm in Cuba where the owner really can ride for two days and not leave home, I found it difficult to believe.

It had to be worth a visit."
City's cardboard warriors prepare to do battle
"Box Wars involves people dressing up in cardboard suits and fighting each other with cardboard weapons.

Originating in Australia, the popularity of Box Wars has spread, largely via the internet, to Canada and the US."

More on Box Wars here.
Arrest threat over police gnome
"Police have served Mr MacKillop with a notice for 'placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment'."
Wife Away, Man Sows His Wild Oats
"We'll let you discover what led investigators to charge Stevens with animal cruelty, weapons possession, and trespassing (all of which are misdemeanors). As detailed in an inventory form, deputies seized, among other pieces of evidence, a .357 Magnum, a coffee can filled with feed grain, and a bottle of Bertolli extra virgin olive oil, which, as the property sheet notes, is 'rich and fruity.' Which seems just about right."
N.Y. Woman Wins $1 Million Lottery Again
"In 2002, her winning ticket in the Cool Million scratch-off game, which has since been discontinued, was a shot of 1 in 5.2 million, according to the New York State Lottery. Last month, she beat odds of 1 in 705,600 when she got the $1 million prize in the New York lottery's Jubilee scratch-off game.

Overall, her chances of winning both games were a slim 1 in 3,669,120,000,000."
Craigslist sex prankster outs men
"A 'prankster' named Jason Fortuny – a web developer in Seattle - posted an explicit advert (copied from a different city's personal ads) on the Seattle Craigslist site, posing as a submissive female seeking an aggressive, dominant man for sex. He wanted to see how many responses he could get in 24 hours.
He received a grand total of 178 responses via email, many including sexually explicit photos of the men – which he then proceeded to post, in their entirety, on the web.
Many of the men used their real names to contact the '27 yo sexy str8 woman'. Many used their work email addresses. Some sent phone numbers, or instant messenger screen names. Out of the 178, 145 of them sent pictures – some just of their faces, many others of ruder, less public parts of their anatomy. A good number of them admitted they were married."

Yes, Fortuny has received at least one death threat since he did this.
End of the World Update: Biofuels won't help, they'll hurt!
"Extensive production of biofuel crops, such as oil palms, could destroy remaining areas of rainforest and bring about a new cycle of worldwide intensive agriculture involving vast applications of artificial fertilisers and pesticides, and requiring enormous water resources, said Professor Crane, who as the head of Kew Gardens is the world's leading plant scientist."
Ruins said center of mysterious civilization
"Experts are examining the ruins of a pre-Columbian culture in an area of Honduras where there had been no previous evidence of major indigenous civilization.
The site, discovered earlier this year, consists of 14 mounds that form part of what are believed to be ceremonial grounds, the Honduran Institute of Anthropology said."
Scrap for the US, gold for India
"The 9/11 attacks may have occasioned anxiety around the planet, but for this small town on the Delhi-Amritsar highway in the Fatehgarh Sahib district, it has meant a boom for the scrap and metal remoulding business. Overcoming health concerns and superstitions, the dealers here have made it a habit to track international terrorist strikes, simply to pick up the scrap from such incidents."
No swastika mittens for NATO leaders
"Hundreds of Latvians knitting 4,500 pairs of woollen mittens as gifts for the November NATO summit have been told to avoid a folk symbol said to ward off evil since it looks like a Nazi swastika."
On Star Used To Capture Carjacking Suspect
"After Williams was taken into custody, he told Local 6 News that his job was robbing people.
'Get a job?' Williams said. 'I got one -- taking white people's cars like yours.'"
Thieves felled by moose
"Police in Salten in northern Norway could thank an unlucky moose for helping them stop three men they believe were behind a major burglary."
Ghana apologizes to slaves' descendants
"Most textbooks exploring the history of African slavery blame the trade squarely on Western colonial powers and the New World colonies that trafficked in human cargoes.
The fact that Africans sold their own people into slavery is mostly ignored.
But Ghana — a stable English-speaking country in conflict-ravaged, mostly francophone West Africa — has never shied away from it"
Why the iPod is losing its cool
"Industry experts talk of a 'backlash' and of the iPod 'wilting away before our eyes'. Most disastrously, Apple's signature pocket device with white earphones may simply have become too common to be cool."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Jet Set - The Best That Money Can Buy
"Private jet owners have an average annual income of $9.2 million and a net worth of $89.3 million. They are 57 years old. And 70 percent of them are men.

Hannah Shaw Grove and Russ Alan Prince, two researchers, surveyed the group to find out who they are, what makes them tick, and perhaps most interestingly, what they spend their money on."
A few highlights: $30k/year on booze, $98k/year on "experimental travel", $107k/yr on Spas etc...
Robotic Frisbees of Death
"The circular drones will be lanuched 'from munitions dispensers or by means of a simple mechanism similar to a shotgun target (skeet) launcher,' Triton adds. Once in the air, they'll be tele-operated by soldiers on the ground. Or, if needed, the fightin' frisbees will pilot themselves as they hunt for guerrillas."
3 arrested after 16 sickened on pot cookies
"At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, about 16 people, ages 18 to 25, at the co-op experienced adverse reactions after eating marijuana cookies, brownies or cookie dough and called for help, authorities said. Some of the victims also had been drinking, according to students who were present at the time.
Their symptoms included anxiety, rapid heart rate, chest pains, 'and a feeling of doom,' said Alameda County Fire Capt. Tim Dillon."
Upskirt Photography is Illegal? Go Figure!
"When confronted by Alexander, Batton admitted taking a picture of the woman but insisted that the action was not illegal -- that he had seen it on a local television newscast, Carter said.
Even as he was being taken to jail, Batton -- who works for DirecTV -- 'continued to profess that he had done nothing illegal,' Carter said.
He said Batton told officers he 'was just curious.'"
Trio Accused of Gunpoint Prayer Session
"A woman and two roommates are accused of holding her brother at gunpoint as she prayed for his repentance, even firing a shot into the ceiling to keep his attention."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Videos from the inside of the microwave oven
See what happens when you zap things you shouldn't!
Men pay high price to watch strippers
"The trio took off their clothes and started washing each other at the man-made Balashikh beach on the Moscow River in the capital.
But as passing businessmen stopped and left their cars to watch the free strip show a gang of thieves made off with their luxury cars."
Monkey threw stone at zoo visitor
Have captive primates commenced their own intifada?
"We never had this before, but we have to investigate and find out how he learn this trick, soon people will think not even Rio's zoo is safe anymore, even the animals are getting violent!"
Paper from sheep poo
"A company in Snowdonia has won an award for making greetings cards and gifts out of sheep droppings.
Creative Paper Wales won a £20,000 Millennium Award for its Sheep Poo Paper products, reports the BBC."
Naked protest covered up
Singapore prudes bust PETA action against KFC before it starts.
Saudi Police Ban Sale Of Cats And Dogs
"The police have issued a decree banning the sale of the pets, which are seen as a sign of Western influence.
The prohibition on dogs may be less of a surprise, since conservative Muslims despise dogs as unclean. But the cat ban befuddled many, since Islamic tradition holds that the Prophet Muhammad loved cats — and even let a cat drink from his ablutions water before washing himself for prayers."
Meanwhile in N. Korea...
"Fifty-eight years have passed since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was founded on September 9, 1948. The Korean people take this opportunity to express profound gratitude to President Kim Il Sung for his immortal exploits performed in founding the prestigious DPRK and making them to be the most dignified people in the world.
...
The energetic guidance of the President resulted in founding the DPRK in 1948 and he was elected the head of the state in accordance with the unanimous will and desire of the entire Korean people.
The DPRK is developing as a powerful socialist country under the Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il."
Rumor Mongering: 50 Cent Arrested? No, Can't Be!
Gawker gratuitously tosses in a "possibly for cocaine" in the first paragraph before admiting the arrest was for "driving without a license or a bunch of other random, boring violations." However, they do have cool photos of his silver Lamborghini.
Microsoft-Designed School Opens To Students:
"Students -- who are called 'learners' -- use smart cards to register attendance, open their digital lockers and track calories they consume. They carry laptops, not books, and the entire campus has wireless Internet access.
Teachers, or 'educators,' rather than using blackboards, have interactive 'smart boards' that allow teachers to zoom in and out, write or draw, and even link to the Internet.
There's no library, but an 'interactive learning center' where information is all digital and a 'multimedia specialist' will help out students."

I think they'll regret that last bit - if these kids manage to get into college, they'll be overwhelmed the first time they hit a real library.
Nurse Strangles Intruder With Bare Hands
"A nurse returning from work discovered an intruder armed with a hammer in her home and strangled him with her bare hands, police said.
...
Under Oregon law people can use reasonable deadly force when defending themselves against an intruder or burglar in their homes."
Snake eats whole sheep
Hat tip to Kara!
Politically Incorrect in California
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized Friday for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of 'black blood' and 'Latino blood.'"
Shatner, Nimoy and 40 years of 'Star Trek'
Yes folks, today is the 40th Anniversary of Trek's first broadcast! And in true American style, Shatner and Nimoy don't let us down:

"If you ask them what still gets them fired up about the late producer Gene Roddenberry's creation after all these years, you get an answer that -- underneath the glibness -- is very telling:

SHATNER: Money.

NIMOY: Yeah. The big, the big bucks.

SHATNER: Money. The money gets you fired up.

TOGETHER: The biiiig bucks.

Seriously?

SHATNER: Yes, that was serious. We were very serious about that.

NIMOY: Yeah. But seriously, folks."

Are Neighborhood Aliens Listening to Earth Radio?
"'The first radio experiments go back a hundred years,' said Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California.
'But they were low power and low frequencies that don't make it into space. You don't get signals that make a serious job of getting out there until the 1930s.'
That means that only 40 or 50 of the nearly 200 known exoplanets are close enough to have heard us."
Farm workers admit fowl play
"'Palmer threw a turkey into the air and Allen took a swing with a pole,' Mr Eales added. 'He (Allen) took a good swing and hit it. The investigator heard a thud and there was laughter. The turkey fell to the floor and Allen kicked it while it was lying, flapping on the ground.'"
Calif. Redwood May Be Tallest Live Thing
"Two amateur California naturalists found the tree earlier this summer during a bushwhacking expedition in search of tall trees. Chris Atkins, credited with discovering the Stratosphere Giant in 2000, and Michael Taylor returned later with scientists to obtain more exact measurements of the tree's height using a tripod-mounted laser."
Racy balloon act heats up climate meeting
"A skimpily dressed burlesque dancer, who asked scientists to pop balloons on her costume, proved too hot for a climate-change conference in Australia."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Giant Panda Gives Birth at Atlanta Zoo
"After seven years of trying and hoping, Zoo Atlanta officials announced a rare giant panda birth Wednesday, one of only a few in the United States."

Blessing or Curse? On Sunday, did we not learn about the griveous financial burden Pandas impose on every zoo unfortunate enough to have them? The Atlanta Zoo now has to shell out another $400k / year for this little cutie.
Never Ever Let Them Pull The Plug On You! Groundbreaking Test Reveals Awareness in 'Vegetative' Woman
"'I was absolutely stunned,' said Adrian M. Owen, a British neurologist who led the team reporting the case in Friday's issue of the journal Science. 'We had no idea whether she would understand our instructions. But this showed that she is aware.'"
Tenn. City to Pull 'Goats Working' Signs
"The goats were released recently in part of the Missionary Ridge area to hellp control rampant kudzu growth.
But orange signs reading 'goats working' and warning of a $250 'goats fine' were not posted by the city, said Lee Norris, deputy administrator of public works."
Beer Memorabilia Collectors Trade Wares
"By graduation, Ahrens had 250 cans, and he kept adding to them. The collection eventually grew to include about 30,000 cans _ winning him a spot for about 15 years in 'The Guinness Book of World Records.'
Ahrens said he has since whittled his collection down to about 2,000 cans.
'Some things are unmanageable,' the law book salesman said Wednesday."
Police: Man Robs Bank to Be 'Supported'
"Police said Gaetan Roy had just lost his job, so he came up with a plan: Rob a bank, hang around, then get taken to jail to be 'supported.'"
Woman Found Guilty in Dead Puppy Attack
"A woman accused of pummeling a dog breeder over the head with a dead Chihuahua puppy was found guilty Wednesday of misdemeanor assault and trespassing.
Lisa Hopfer, 34, faces up to 18 months in jail and a $1,500 fine."
Cemetery's Flags Found in Squirrel Nest
Now they've gone too far!
"Groundskeepers at Forest Hill Cemetery thought it was kids who were stealing dozens of American flags. That is, until one found a giant squirrel's nest."
Group Says Giant Worm Must Be Protected
"It's 3 feet long, pinkish in color, smells like a lily and must be saved from extinction, conservationists said Thursday in asking the federal government to protect the Giant Palouse Earthworm under the Endangered Species Act."
End of the World Update! Global warming taking Earth back to dinosaur era
"Global warming over the coming century could mean a return of temperatures last seen in the age of the dinosaur and lead to the extinction of up to half of all species, a scientist said on Thursday.
Not only will carbon dioxide levels be at the highest levels for 24 million years, but global average temperatures will be higher than for up to 10 million years, said Chris Thomas of the University of York."
The moment a motorist blew up a speed camera
"A man who blew up a roadside camera to destroy evidence of his speeding was today jailed for four months."
Hat tip to Kara!
Captain Kirk reveals he won't go boldly into space
"The Star Trek legend was offered a ticket by Richard Branson onboard Virgin Galactic's first passenger flight in 2008. But Shatner, fearing he would be ill in space or the starship would crash, ironically revealed he's terrified of space travel.

The 75-year-old actor said: 'I'm interested in man's march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me.'"
'Kill the Frosties kid'
"The teenage actor from that irritating Frosties ad has received an avalanche of internet death threats for his despised role.
Now the Frosties kid has broken his cover to hit out at the hate campaign. The 15-year-old can only be identified as Sven for his own safety, appeared alongside cartoon tiger Tony in the hideous commercial."
Armless driver declared harmless
"Colin Smith of New Zealand has had dangerous driving charges against him dropped.
Colin Smith has no arms.
He was caught speeding by police on New Zealand's North Island in March, and given a NZ$170 (£60) on the spot fine. However, police also decided to charge him with the more serious offence of dangerous driving, on the grounds that a) he didn't have a license, and b) he didn't have any arms."
Horse sex pervert news overload
"A pervert who has been banned from every field in Britain was further disgraced yesterday, after being found lurking at the stables where he had sex with a horse."
Witchdoctors sign sick notes as healthcare costs spiral
"Edwin Muguti, the deputy health minister, said conventional medicines were no longer adequate. 'Why else would we have HIV and asthma, which have no cure?' he said. 'It is important that we encourage our traditional medical practitioners and conventional doctors to work together for the benefit of our people'. N'angas will only be able to sign their patients off work for a maximum of a week."
OJ Update!
"The father of the man OJ Simpson was accused of killing is asking a Los Angeles court to give him publicity rights to Simpson's name, image and likeness."
HP investigated for obtaining phone records
"Hewlett-Packard is being investigated by California's attorney general for obtaining phone records during an internal investigation into company leaks, according to a filing the PC maker made with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

Shares of HP (Charts) slid about 1 percent on the news."
Cell phones found inside four prisoners
"The discovery was made Tuesday at the prison in Zacatecoluca, in central El Salvador, after suspicious officials took X-rays of each of the inmates, federal corrections chief Jaime Villanova said."
Human heads dumped in Mexico bar
And you thought Scarface was violent!
"Armed, masked men have burst into a bar in Mexico and flung five human heads onto a crowded dance floor, in an apparent warning to a rival drug gang.
An official said 20 men entered the bar in Uruapan city, Michoacan state, fired into the air, forced revellers to lie down and then 'threw down five heads'."
Yet another reason to avoid Facebook
"On Tuesday morning the popular social networking site unrolled a new feature dubbed the 'News Feed' that allows users to track their friends' Facebook movements by the minute."
South Korean loo coup flushed
"Attempt to seize throne at toilet summit shows movement’s growing clout"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ex-Governor Is Sentenced To Prison
"Witnesses said Ryan often flashed rolls of $100 bills. Yet federal investigators discovered that, in the course of a decade, Ryan withdrew only $6,700 in cash from his bank."
Nice job if you can get it, eh?
End of the World Update: 'Virtually untreatable' TB found
"Extreme drug resistant TB (XDR TB) has been seen worldwide, including in the US, Eastern Europe and Africa, although Western Europe has had no cases."
Sumter Woman Finds Possible Ancient Coin In Grocery Change
"When the coins come out of the cash drawer, they all sound the same. And when Lynn Moore picked up her change and walked out of a Sumter Bi-Lo last November, she had no reason to believe her coins were any different.
Boy, was she wrong.
...
“My research on it would tell me that it (was made in) approximately 132 to 135 A.D.'"
MIT team describes unique desert cloud forest
"In an area that is characterized mostly by desert, the trees have preserved an ecological niche because they exploit a wispy-thin source of water that only occurs seasonally, said Elfatih A.B. Eltahir, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and former MIT graduate student Anke Hildebrandt. "
Muggers pick wrong victim
"Three teenage thugs ended up in hospital after trying to steal a junior kick-boxing and karate champ's mobile phone."
Police help car thief
"Helpful officers in Moscow, Russia, were about to leave the scene and let Alexei Ashurin wait for breakdown services when they noticed the Volkswagen's lock was broken and a screwdriver was sticking out of the ignition."
Russians have sex while driving
"Russians are Europe's worst drivers with 25% admitting to having had sex behind the wheel, according to a new survey.
The poll, by KRC Research and Goodyear, also found Russians do not use seatbelts, break speed-limits, drive through red lights, drive drunk and have sex while driving more often than other Europeans."
Journalist attacked, caught on video
He knew too much about identity thieves!
Google News adds newspaper archives
"Google Inc. has added the ability to search through more than 200 years of historical newspaper archives alongside the latest contemporary information now available on Google News"

Update: It goes back 300 years! And Time Magazine is offering free access to every issue since its founding; many other pubs are considering doing the same. Over the next couple of years, this will undoubtedly unleash a spectacular amount of new research in countless fields, most of which will be conducted by youthful researchers and much of which will be very illuminating.
Sex-With-Corpse Scheme Busted
As always - the Smoking Gun has the docs!

"When Nicholas Grunke last week spotted a newspaper photo of Laura Tennessen, the Wisconsin man apparently became so smitten that he plotted a rendezvous with the 20-year-old woman. But the photo Grunke saw accompanied an August 27 obituary of Tennessen, who died in a motorcycle accident. Undeterred, Grunke allegedly plotted with his twin brother Alex and a friend, 20-year-old Dustin Radke, to rob Tennessen's grave so that he could have sex with her corpse."

Hat tip to Kara!
Wife Shoots Husband Who Shot Chicken, Police Say
"A neighbor said when she arrived home Monday night there were police cars clustered at the bottom of the driveway and deputies escorted her to her front door.
'It looked like 'CSI,' ' Cheyenne Dickenson told the Register-Guard. 'There were dead chickens lying all over the place.'"
Hat tip to Kara!
"If I'm going to die ... I want it filmed"
"'If I'm going to die,' the late 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin said in a 2002 interview, 'at least I want it filmed.'
He spoke with his usual humor, and clearly had no idea what would happen four years later. But the fact is, a tape does exist of Irwin's fatal encounter with a stingray while filming a TV show."
Scientist Says Lots of Dinosaurs Remain
"Good news for dinosaur fans: There are probably a lot more of them waiting to be discovered. At least, their fossils are."
Phone telepathy: You knew it was true
"Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy.

Rupert Sheldrake, whose research is funded by the respected Trinity College, Cambridge, said on Tuesday he had conducted experiments that proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even e-mails."
Priests asked to shame drunk drivers
"Prosecutors in overwhelmingly Catholic Poland have asked priests to read out the names of drink-drivers from the pulpit as part of efforts to reduce the country's high road death rate."
Graveyard thieves choose tombstone over flowers
"Authorities are investigating why thieves would want to remove a heavy marble slab off a family tomb. Its disappearance was noticed by a relative who had gone to tend to the grave."
Jewel of a find
"A 2200-year-old treasure trove of gold jewellery has been unearthed from a Thracian burial mound on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Chief: 'It's a crime of horrific proportions'
"A cook was charged Tuesday with shooting and dismembering the owner of a bed-and-breakfast and killing three other people in a grisly Labor Day weekend crime spree that shocked people across the Maine countryside."
No word on cannibalism yet, but given the fact that it was the cook who dismembered them, you gotta wonder...
Foot-in-Mouth Strikes Germaine Greer
"The expat Aussie, known more these days for her regular bashing of her homeland, fired pot shots at Irwin within hours of news spreading across the globe that he'd been fatally stabbed by a stingray.
Australian leaders, experienced animal handlers and Irwin's friends were outraged, saying Greer was looking to boost her flagging literary career."
Teen's video raises new issues
"Newspapers are pretty good at covering the news. What happens when they become a part of the news?
That's what happened last week when The N&O found itself in possession of an hour-plus videotape recorded by a Hillsborough teenager shortly after the killing of his father and before a shooting spree on the Orange County High School campus. The 19-year-old, Alvaro Castillo, had sent the tape to the newspaper minutes before he went to the school."
Flight Passenger Sent to Mental Hospital
"Catherine Mayo, 59, of Braintree, Vt., has been in federal custody since Aug. 17, when United Flight 923 was diverted to Boston after Mayo urinated on the floor of the cabin and made statements that the pilot and crew believed were references to al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks."
Evoution keeps us superstitious. Now that's lucky
"Even the most rational people behave in irrational ways and supernatural beliefs are part of the same continuum, Professor Hood told the British Association Festival of Science in Norwich yesterday.
To demonstrate his theory he asked members of the audience if they were prepared to put on an old-fashioned blue cardigan in return for a £10 reward. He had no shortage of volunteers. He then told the volunteers that the cardigan used to belong to Fred West, the mass murderer.
“Most hands went down,” he said.
“When people did wear it people moved away from them. It’s not actually West’s jumper. But it’s the belief that it’s West’s jumper that has the effect.
“It is as if evil, a moral stance defined by culture, has become physically manifest inside the clothing.”"
Yet Another Suicide Squirrel Attack
"A squirrel scampered into the bicycle wheel of an unlucky Finnish opera singer, causing him to fall, knock himself out and break his nose just ahead of the world premiere of a new opera."

Hat tip to Kara!
Yet another reason not to plagiarize
"As far as the judge was concerned, the paper he ordered Brandon Dickens to write as punishment for ducking jury duty was plagiarized.
...
"Really, what I was looking for, Mr. Dickens, was your own work," Reader said last week in upping Dickens' punishment from three days in the courthouse to four days _ and ordering him to rewrite the paper."
University of Florida distributes thousands of T-shirts with wrong Roman numerals
They confused MMVI with XXVI. Par for the course for Floridians.
International Talk Like A Pirate Day Coming Up Soon (Sept 19)!
"The essential vocabulary
Ahoy! Hello!
Arrr! An all-purpose word. It can be used as a greeting, agreement, insult, term of affection or a call of surprise.
Avast! Stop and pay attention.
Aye! I agree most heartily.
Aye aye! I'll get right on that, sir, as soon as my break is over.
Beauty: The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by 'me'.
Bilge rat: Insult. The bilge is the lowest level of the ship and loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water.
Grog: An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water.
Lubber: This is the seaman's version of land lover. Someone who does not go to sea.
Smartly: Do something quickly.
Wench: The standard pirate address for a woman."
Stuck in a Swamp
"A jogger missing for four days was found stuck in a waist-deep swamp near the University of Central Florida."
A gut for glut
"Skinnyboy travels the country ingesting obscene quantities of food in mere minutes as a competitive eater - 'gurgitator' in the vernacular - whose promoters unapologetically accord their contests the status of, gulp, sport.

'Part of the whole allure is to know how it feels to be full and be strong enough to eat more,' says Lane, ranked 36th in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. 'Most people know that if you eat 10 hot dogs, you're full. Andrew would know that - 'Full. Stop.' But Skinnyboy would say, 'Full? Eat more!''"
Where there's smoke, there may be crime
"Kenneth Ray Brooks had just left a Centura Bank on Friday when a burst of flames caught the attention of passers-by, police said.

'Witnesses said they could see smoke coming out of his pants,' said Sgt. Barbara Jones."
Blind man guilty of driving charge
"A man with no eyes who is partially deaf and suffers from leg tremors became the first blind person to be convicted of dangerous driving yesterday."

Monday, September 04, 2006

Police caught flat-footed in car chase
"A police pursuit of suspected car thieves through the streets of an Israeli city ended with officers reporting another stolen vehicle -- their own"
Brazil arrests gang members tunneling into banks
"Police Friday arrested 28 members of a major criminal gang that has terrorized the city of Sao Paulo in recent months just as it prepared to rob two banks in southern Brazil by digging a tunnel."
Yet another reason not to paraglide near a hostile border
"An Israeli man was stuck in the middle of a minefield near the Syrian border Saturday after crashing his paraglider and severely injuring himself."
End of the World Update: We're Eating Ourselves To Death
"The mounting epidemic of obesity in children would see many die before their parents, said Kate Steinbeck, co-chair of the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney."
Russian Orthodox protesters drive stake through Madonna photo
"Speaking to protesters, the head of a radical Orthodox group, Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich, declared that Madonna was 'under the influence of the devil'.
'We are proclaiming a new holy inquisition against those who struggle against God,' said Simonovich-Nikshich, who heads the Union of Orthodox Gonfaloniers, a name that alludes to Medieval Italian republics"
Woman orders bears out of her kitchen
"That bear and cub are believed to be the same ones that entered another home and ate food off the kitchen counter. The owners refused to let wildlife officials set traps for bears in their homes."
Airline snooze turns one-way into round-trip
"Sleeping Bulgarian teen flies home from Malta, fails to get off, returns"
Voodoo Caused Man To Kill Kids, Himself:
"A father, convinced he was the victim of a voodoo curse, drowned his two young children in the bathtub and then jumped to his death in front of a subway train, police said Thursday."
Man admits vomit-tipping attack
"A man has been given a deferred sentence by an Aberdeen sheriff after he admitted assaulting a woman by tipping a basin of vomit over her head."
Idiot Criminal of the Week
"Badly injured in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle, a man whom LaPorte Police say was drunk led officers on a high-speed chase early Friday before being snared by a road block.

The 28-year-old Westville man was admitted into the intensive care unit at LaPorte Hospital with a broken collarbone, bleeding on his brain and a fractured spine, according to police."
Oregon man faces 11 years for panty thefts
"Benton County prosecutors said Kim targeted the OSU women's swim team and labeled underwear and personal hygiene items with the names of the women from whom they were stolen. He also photographed himself wearing some of the underwear."
Vigilante mob allegedly beats, kills wrong man
"An angry mob fatally beat a man whom they mistakenly thought was involved in the disappearance of their friend, shortly before police arrested and charged another person in the crime, police said."
Farmer takes revenge on squatter ... with a forklift
"It was an act of revenge on a squatter that most farmers can only dream of. Faced with a uninvited intruder moving onto his land complete with car and caravan, Alan Roberts decided to take matters into his own hands."
Jailed for Nude Pic of His Ex
"A jealous husband who left nude photographs of his wife in phone boxes was yesterday jailed for three months.
Stephen Brayshaw, 40, printed the indecent pictures on business cards along with wife Cheryl's home phone number."
Drug suspect shocks courtroom:
"Vandale Amos Willis, 28, fired his public defender in the courtroom Thursday morning and elected to represent himself. That happens.

What happened next has never before been seen in the St. Louis County Courthouse or perhaps any courthouse.

Willis smeared his own feces across the top of the table where he and Swanum were sitting and also spread it on a chair. He threw some more on the carpeted floor before displaying even more bizarre behavior."
Cops Use High-Tech Cars to Catch Would-Be Thieves
"Minneapolis' bait-car program is one of the first and most successful of its kind in the country. More than 240 people have been arrested in the operation since it began in 1997, including 34 so far this year. The conviction rate is nearly 100 percent -- because it's tough to beat a case with your face on tape as you steal a car."
Bird deaths puzzle Unalaska
"Several hundred black, gull-like shearwaters died after flying into a crabbing boat that steamed through the early morning darkness in Unalaska Bay on Wednesday morning, said Forrest Bowers, a fisheries biologist for the state Department of Fish and Game in Unalaska.

The captain of the boat walked into Bowers' office that day to report that a hail of shearwaters struck his boat for up to 30 minutes, Bowers said. The crew pitched the dead and dying birds overboard, the captain said, according to Bowers."
Theory regarding gator-snake death match debated
Was there a conspiracy involving a 2nd alligator?
"The National Geographic Explorer show examines what happened last September when a 13-foot Burmese python ate a six-foot gator in Everglades National Park. The extraordinary encounter was captured in a memorable macabre photo that captivated the public and experts alike and - for a week, at least - made 'alligator-python' among the most Googled phrases on the planet."
Artwork makes 'miracle tree' shed rainwater
"A 'miracle' tree shed rainwater at Empress Place on Sunday morning, capturing the attention of both tourists and passers-by.

This was actually an art performance put up as part of the Singapore Biennale."
Doherty Chronicles Update: Pete Is Evicted
"Cheapskate Pete Doherty is being kicked out of the flat he has trashed owing more than £10,000 in rent, we can reveal.

The walls of the £350,000 pad are covered in blood and graffiti and used syringes and broken glass carpet the floor."

Mad map to leave Britain in bits:
"Germany is plotting to wipe Britain off the map in their revived bid to create an EU superstate.

They want the 25 member states to scrap their national boundaries so England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland cease to exist."

Perhaps it is finally time to redivide Germany into lots of little states, this time permanently?
Steve Irwin killed in freak accident at sea
Famed crocodile hunter killed by stingray while filming underwater.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The rebellion continues: Dolphin runs amok off French coast
"An enraged dolphin has been terrorising the French Atlantic coast for several weeks, attacking boats and knocking fishermen into the sea"
Angry Mobs Take to Kondopoga's Streets
"The northwestern industrial town of Kondopoga was consumed by ethnic violence over the weekend, with angry and often drunken bands of Slavs waging an uncoordinated series of attacks on natives of the Caucasus.

The violence included mobs with Molotov cocktails burning down Caucasian-owned businesses and natives of the Caucasus being forced out of town. An air of fear and uncertainty permeated the town Sunday"
Sorry, you can't have the internet... you're over 70
"The 75-year-old would only be allowed to sign the forms for the Carphone Warehouse's TalkTalk phone and broadband package if she was accompanied by a younger member of her family who could explain the small print to her."
Guerrilla artist' replaces Paris Hilton's CDs in shops with doctored versions
Bansky strikes out at the cult of empty celebrity. At least now there's a reason to consider buying the CD.
Rescuers to Carry Oxygen Masks for Pets
"Pets here will be breathing a little easier now that local rescuers will be carrying oxygen masks designed for animals.
Six Appleton fire trucks and 13 ambulances will be equipped with masks intended for use on dogs, cats and other small animals."
The masks were funded through donations by animal lovers.
Nude Teens Raising Eyebrows in Vermont
They were all ruined by a Hippie Jam Fest! Where's Cartman?!?
"By most accounts, the stripping started on a whim in early summer when a young woman sat naked on a park bench, Martin said. Then another woman started taking her shirt off downtown.

A music festival promoting nudity and rebelliousness set up in May in a downtown parking lot and attracted nude hula hoopers, Martin said."
Question in a Bottle Finally Answered
"A message in a bottle found after being hidden in a wall at Quonset Naval Air Station for more than 60 years came with a question its authors knew couldn't be answered unless their makeshift time capsule was discovered"
New York City Man Arrested 100th Time
"Officials with the Warren County Sheriff's Department in eastern New York said they found Anthony Love, 40, of Brooklyn with $1,300 worth of merchandise stolen from outlet stores in his car."
Pandas, Giant Pandas - Panda, Inc.
"Hosting giant pandas costs each zoo an average of 2.6 million dollars a year, and that's if no babies arrive. Add a cub, and the budget tops three million dollars. Add two cubs (nearly half of panda pregnancies produce twins), and the tab approaches four million dollars. 'Nobody,' says David Wildt, head of the National Zoo's reproductive sciences program, 'would ever commit this kind of money to any other species.' "
An Old Battle's Fresh Wounds
New book on FDR and the Holocaust stirs up heated controversy. Hitler's been dead for 60+ years and still his name and his deeds appear daily in the news.
Man lives to 112 despite junk-food diet
"'He had terrible bad habits. He had a diet largely of sausages and waffles' "

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bidding brisk as Popemobile sold
"The 24-ton converted truck - said to be both bomb-proof and bullet-proof - sold for £37,000 ($70,500) at auction in Scotland to a man from Ireland."
Moon probe set for impact finale
"Europe's lunar satellite, the Smart 1 probe, is about to end its mission by crashing on to the Moon's surface."
Greek astronomers take on Xena the Warrior Princess in planet name row:
"Greek astronomers have appealed to the world's top astronomical body to maintain a tradition of naming planets after Greek mythological figures, the Athens Observatory said on Friday."

I find this extremely funny given the fact that the planets have Roman names, not Greek!
Nanotube ink Desktop printing of carbon nanotube patterns
Researchers "have developed an approach that uses a commercial inkjet printer to deposit nanotubes onto various surfaces. They simply fill a conventional ink cartridge with a solution of carbon nanotubes dissolved in water, and then the printer produces a pattern just as if it was printing with normal ink. Because nanotubes are good conductors, the resulting images also are able to conduct electricity."
Polynesian sailing myth all at sea
"The Polynesians had trouble reaching remote South Pacific islands, according to a new study that dents their reputation as great seafarers.

An archaeological study shows they settled Rapa, an island southeast of Tahiti, more recently than anyone thought."
Japanese Robot Adds Wheels to IPod:
"The new Japanese robot Miuro turns an iPod music player into a dancing boombox-on-wheels. The 14-inch-long machine from ZMP Inc. blares music as it rolls and twists from room to room. The robot, which looks like a ball popping out of an egg, has a speaker system from Kenwood Corp."
Ancient Raptors Likely Feasted On Early Man, Study Suggests:
"A new study suggests that prehistoric birds of prey made meals out of some of our earliest human ancestors."
Poor little primates were carried off by eagles!
No 'God Spot' in the Human Brain
"Instead, the sense of union with God or something greater than the self often described by those who have undergone such experiences involves the recruitment and activation of a variety brain regions normally implicated in different functions such as self-consciousness, emotion and body representation."
End of the World Update: Climate changes shift springtime
"A Europe-wide study has provided 'conclusive proof' that the seasons are changing, with spring arriving earlier each year, researchers say."

According to the scientists, Spring is arriving a week or so earlier compared to 30 years ago. A friend who has been working in ski resorts in Vail for about the same period of time told me the same thing is happening there. In addition, winter is also arriving there later and later as the years go by.
Big Bang's Afterglow Fails an Intergalactic Shadow Test:
"The apparent absence of shadows where shadows were expected to be is raising new questions about the faint glow of microwave radiation once hailed as proof that the universe was created by a 'Big Bang.'

In a finding sure to cause controversy, scientists at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) found a lack of evidence of shadows from 'nearby' clusters of galaxies using new, highly accurate measurements of the cosmic microwave background. "
A Cosmic Coincidence Resurrects the Cyclical Universe
"A single universe is no longer satisfying, given the most unlikely nature of our own. To explain our existence, it seems we must imagine others. "
From the Disproportionate Pre-Emption Files:
"It is surely obvious now to anybody with even a basic understanding of history, politics and the nature of fascism that something revolutionary has to be done within months -- if not weeks -- if we are to preserve world peace.

Put boldly and simply, we have to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran."
Prison camp art that escaped guards
"Great Escape" prisoner drew the image in his diary shortly after the event. Now it's being auctioned off.
Iron Age chamber found under tractor
It was undisturbed for 2000 years
'Star Wars Kid' cuts a deal with his tormentors
Humiliated in school after his lame-o Star Wars video was posted on the internet by some bullies, he sued their families for $350k. Looks like he took them for something!
Pluto-Haters Be Warned! The Fight for Pluto Rages On:
"It's not over yet.
In the past week a small but growing group of scientists made their first formal attack against the International Astronomical Union's August 24th resolution that left the solar system with eight planets and downgraded Pluto to a new class of objects known as 'dwarf planets.'"
Yet another email fumble!
"Too late, Ms Gao apparently sent a desperate email within Citigroup that reads: 'I am sorry if you found the content of the invitation details offensive and I am glad to entertain. Please stop now.'"

Perhaps the only safe rule of life is to assume that your mom will somehow eventually end up reading whatever you write, so write accordingly...
Where’s Mao? Chinese Revise History Books
"Socialism has been reduced to a single, short chapter in the senior high school history course. Chinese Communism before the economic reform that began in 1979 is covered in a sentence. The text mentions Mao only once — in a chapter on etiquette."
Boredom in the West Fuels Binge Drinking
"It also means that on any given night, an unusually high percentage of young people here are drinking alcohol until they vomit, pass out or do something that lands them in jail or nearly gets them killed."
Politically Incorrect in Der Vaterland
"Red-faced officials at the German culture ministry scrambled to apologise yesterday after two gaffes at former Nazi concentration camps."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jagger keeps on rocking as the lyrics roll up his auto-prompter
"It's hard not to feel sympathy for the old devil. Sir Mick Jagger has succumbed to an on-stage Autocue in the battle against rock’n’roll amnesia.
A screen secreted among the 63-year-old rocker’s onstage monitors scrolls through the lyrics to the Rolling Stones’ classic songs in time with Jagger’s delivery. The prompt, used during the band’s £250 million-grossing tour, even tells him the name of the city where he is performing, and cues his between-song ad-libs."
Batsman carries on after heart attack
"A cricketer carried on batting after suffering a heart attack at the crease.

Jim Young, 57, scored another 12 for his village team despite crushing chest pains, reports the Mirror"
Britney Spears sandwich for sale on eBay
"Describing his actions on eBay, the waiter said: 'It (the management) does not say anything about how I am supposed to discard their food when they have me pick up their leftovers.'"

Mom always sez "clear your plate"!
Bright sun delays train
This is sooo f'n typical! I used to live in the UK and among the standard excuses for lame-o incompetence were "leaves on the tracks"or the typical summer classic "it was too hot for the tracks". I've even heard the utterly pathetic "wrong kind of rain on the tracks". But this is just nauseating.
It reminds me of a quote from Bob Kiley, hired to run the Tube - "Londoners are long suffering yet amazingly patient". Sadly it applies to all who live in the UK...
Meanwhile in North Korea...
"A seminar of social scientists was held at the Grand People's Study House on Aug. 30 on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the sinking of the U.S. ship for aggression 'General Sherman.'...
The speakers noted that the above-said ship intruded into Korea in August 1866 on a scouting mission to realize the U.S. ambition to invade the country...
The sinking of the ship was a struggle against the invaders through which Koreans beat back the first U.S. armed aggression against Korea. It was the fruition of the patriotic and self-sacrificing struggle of soldiers and people of the walled city of Pyongyang.
Kim Ung U, great grandfather of President Kim Il Sung, encouraged the people in Mangyongdae in this struggle. He applied a superb method of attacking the enemy ship with boats in flames and sending it to the bottom of the River Taedong, thereby leading the fight to a victory."
Did cancer patient bury breast at church?
"Workers renovating a church unearthed a package of medical waste that contained a woman's breast, and police believe it was buried there by someone who had cancer."
Critical Obama loses 'favorite son' status in Kenya
"Kenya stepped up criticism of US Senator Barack Obama, accusing him of insulting the Kenyan people and trivializing their achievements during a visit to his father's homeland."

Foot-in-mouth disease seems to be infecting lots of politicians lately.
Mom gets photos of son missing for 24 years
"The mother of a boy abducted 24 years ago said she's bewildered by two photographs left at her front door, apparently showing her son and two other children bound and gagged."
Hat tip to Kara!