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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today's Gift from The Smoking Gun: A Seven-Year-Old Designated Driver
"Meet Alfredo Martinez. While the Nevada man should be saluted for knowing that he was too drunk to get behind the wheel last night, he probably should not have tabbed his seven-year-old son as his designated driver. Martinez, 37, was arrested after Reno cops spotted his car weaving across lanes and stopping suddenly. When officers pulled over the vehicle before it could enter a highway, they found a plastered Martinez in the passenger seat and his son behind the wheel."
Mayor Mistakenly Hands Out Sex Number
"The mayor personally distributed thousands of fliers discouraging underage drinking only to find they mistakenly contained the phone number for a sex talk line.

Edmond Mayor Saundra Naifeh and more than five dozen volunteers went door-to-door Saturday to deliver 22,000 fliers. The city attorney notified Naifeh Saturday night after the police department learned of the mistake."
Smell of Pizza Leads Deputy to Suspects
"A sheriff's deputy sniffed out two men suspected of robbing a pizza delivery woman when he caught a whiff of pepperoni and sausage pizza at their home."
Truck Spills 2 Tons of Pig Heads on Road
"A truck spilled two tons of pigs' heads on a road in western Germany, giving passing drivers a shock on the night before Halloween, police said Tuesday."
Jet lands on taxiway at Newark Airport
"A catastrophe was narrowly averted when a jetliner landed on a narrow taxiway at Newark Airport instead of on the runway, The Post has learned.
In an astonishing screw-up Saturday, the pilot of Continental Flight 1883 touched down on a taxiway just to the north of the runway - only feet from administrative buildings. Then he proceeded to the gate as if nothing had happened, sources said yesterday."
Batman helps Ga. town infested by bats
"So many bats have infested the town's historic district that the sky turns black with each sunset and the neighborhood is calling on Batman to come to the rescue.
That's what the local bat remover goes by. George Perkins often makes public appearances in the caped crusader's costume and drives his own Batmobile — a retro-styled Chrysler Prowler with bat emblems. Callers to his office in Eufaula, Ala., known as Bat Cave 1, or Union Springs, Ala., known as Bat Cave 2, hear the 'Batman' TV show theme while on hold."
Police Stun Gun Kills Teen with Bible
"In a statement obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, police in Jerseyville, about 40 miles north of St. Louis, said 17-year-old Roger Holyfield would not acknowledge officers who approached him and he continued yelling, “I want Jesus.”

Police tried to calm the teen, but Holyfield became combative, according to the statement. Officers fired the stun gun at him after he ignored their warnings, then fired again when he continued struggling, police said"
Robber dies from self-inflicted wound
"A man found dead on an Oakland street early Saturday morning from a gunshot wound may have accidentally shot himself a short time earlier while robbing a Pinole liquor store, according to investigators."
British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory
"British scientists have grown the world's first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The technique that created the 'mini-liver', currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver."
Dinosaurs 'lived for 300,000 years after Mexican meteor strike'
"Dinosaurs were killed off by a meteor that hit the Earth 300,000 years after the one blamed for their extinction, a scientist has claimed.
...
But according to Dr Keller, Chicxulub was only the warm-up for a much larger impact more than a quarter of a million years later. It was this meteor which left a tell-tale layer of extraterrestrial iridium in rocks around the Earth, not the earlier one, she says."
Dead woman wins election by coin toss
"A dead woman won re-election to a school board in rural Alaska after her opponent lost a coin flip meant to break an electoral tie.

Katherine Dunton, who died of cancer on Oct. 3, the day of the local election, was re-elected to the Aleutian Region School District board after her opponent, Dona Highstone, called 'heads' on a coin toss that landed 'tails,' state and local officials said."
$24.2 million for men burned atop rail car
"A federal jury awarded $24.2 million to two men who were severely burned by electrical wires when they trespassed onto railroad property and climbed atop a rail car."
Dungeons & Dragons player tried for murder after killing co-worker with homemade sword
"Williams arrived at his job the day of the killing armed with a homemade 38-inch samurai sword. Witnesses told police that Flemons appeared to hand Williams a piece of metal in a chivalrous manner, as if challenging him to a duel, before chasing him and stabbing him to death.

The medical examiner ruled that Williams died as a result of 'multiple chop wounds to the neck.'

Witnesses told police that, after the killing, Flemons bought a beer and cigar at a nearby convenience store. He then returned to the scene and positioned Williams' body as if on a cross. Then he opened the beer and lit the cigar as he waited for the police to arrive, his colleagues said."
Kobayashi Wins Burger Eating Contest
"Takeru Kobayashi raised the bar of athletic greatness yet again today, devouring 97 Krystals in 8 minutes in what was arguably the most impressive competitive eating feat of all time. In doing so, Kobayashi defended his title in the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship, which he has held since its inception in 2004."
Gay sex forces closure of Sydney store's toilets
"The closure of customer toilets in a Myer store in Sydney due to rampant homosexual activity has exposed a massive list of venues being used by members of a gay website as hook-up points.

Among the places listed as meeting spots for men 'cruising for sex', on squirt.org, is the Royal Australian Air Force's Richmond base and Sydney Opera House's toilets.

Management at Myer's Sydney city store in Pitt Street were forced to close its level one toilet to the public because homosexuals were using the facility as a meeting point, often having sex in full view of other horrified users."
Mailbox bandits have message for owner
"Keggy the missing Taranaki mailbox is intact and in a better place, its captors say.
The distinctive beer-barrel mailbox was taken from its home in Bell Block more than a week ago.
Nothing had been heard of the mailbox since, until a letter arrived at the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.
The letter – signed by 'The Mailbox bandits' shows Keggy lying on a blue duvet with a copy of the Taranaki Daily News story about its disappearance.
It says Keggy is in 'mailboxtopia', with all of the other mailboxes that have been 'mistreated'."
Wave of Animal Beheadings in Florida
"'I'm sure there's a coven of witches or devil worshipers around here,' said Sandi Bosset, 61, who has been finding headless hens and roosters on her front lawn. 'These are obvious rites of witchcraft and satanism.'"
Film fans faint at Saw III show
"Staff at a UK cinema have had to call emergency services three times in one night because of a spate of people passing out during horror film Saw III."
“Bones” McCoy of Star Trek fame would be proud.
No – it’s not his infamous “tri-corder”. But MIT researchers have developed a prototype device that will permit many, many diagnostic tests to be done at the same time.
...
The beauty of the new device is that it will be contained on a tiny computer chip – and even capable of being carried into battle and used to determine the presence of biological weapons."
Pirate Update!
"18.10.2006 at 1400 LT off Ticala, San Pablo, Samboanga del Sur, southern Mindanoa, Philippines.
Armed pirates attacked a group of fishing vessels engaged in fishing. Four fishermen were killed in the shootout. "
Divers shed light on pirate legend as Blackbeard's ship releases its secrets
"This month, a crew of 13 is heading out to sea each day, hoping for clear-enough weather to dive the 20 to 25ft to the ocean bottom to excavate what they believe is Blackbeard's ship.

The team has found cannons, a bell, lead shot of all sizes, gold dust, pewter cups and medical devices, like a urethral syringe used to treat syphilis with mercury."
Man Tries to Use Fake $100 Clinton Bill
"'The bill was unmistakably fake due to the fact that the ink was running on the bill, the president's face was missing and for the president's name, it had the name Clinton on it,' said Deputy Nathan Stephens."
Swiss Bankers Investigated for Manipulating Treasuries Market
"The two giant Swiss investment banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are under investigation over possible manipulation of the market in US government bonds.

One Credit Suisse bond trader said to be caught up in the investigation has recently left his position, and UBS said yesterday that it was co-operating with an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wall Street's regulatory body."
Irwin Halloween costumes split Americans
"Bad taste Steve Irwin costumes, which include a bloody stingray barb attached to a khaki shirt, are among the top Halloween costumes in the US this year.

The macabre outfits have split Americans, with some condemning the costumes while others find them amusing."
Log on and become a legionnaire
"Fresh recruits trooping to its headquarters in Aubagne, just east of Marseille in southern France, are an e- mail generation of legionnaires who first explored joining the force online from their homes in Venezuela and Brazil, Japan and China.

Since the 8,000-man legion started running its Web sites in 2001, the composition of the force has shifted. Latin Americans now make up 25 percent of the force, up from 15 percent, while the Asian presence has increased to 8 percent from 6 percent."
Elephants' jumbo mirror ability
"Elephants can recognise their own reflection, showing self-awareness seen before only in humans, great apes and bottlenose dolphins, scientists say."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Proof that Internet porn prevents rape
"'More Net access, less rape.' A 10 percent increase in Net access yields about a 7.3 percent decrease in reported rapes. States that adopted the Internet quickly saw the biggest declines. And, according to Clemson professor Todd Kendall, the effects remain even after you control for all of the obvious confounding variables, such as alcohol consumption, police presence, poverty and unemployment rates, population density, and so forth."
State of emergency widens over Russian alcohol poisoning
"A second Russian region has declared a health emergency over a nationwide outbreak of alcohol poisoning that officials say has killed more than 100 people.

The eastern Siberian region of Irkutsk 'has instituted a state of emergency in 14 territories,' regional administration spokeswoman Albina Nechayeva said in a statement on Monday.

A total of 733 people are currently being treated for alcohol poisoning in Irkutsk region hospitals, 173 of them in serious condition, while 33 people have died, the statement cited regional health official Igor Ushakov as saying."
Idiot Criminal of the Week
"If you're going to rob a shop, there are certain basic ground rules to follow. Not staring into a CCTV camera is one. Not firing a shotgun in a fireworks store is another. And now we can add to this list of criminal dos and don'ts – don't go back to the store after robbing it to moon the staff."
Divers get caught in the net
"It's not the usual catch a fisherman Expects - but two divers were accidentally trawled up by a fishing boat at the weekend.

The man and woman were 14m below the surface when they became tangled in ropes attached to crab and lobster pots."
Busy bus boy busted again!
"Congratulations to a 15-year-old thief from Florida, who gave vehicle theft a little touch of class this weekend when he was arrested for stealing a bus – before driving it along the correct route for 12 miles, stopping to pick up passengers and collect fares on the way.

Impressively, he did so while he was on probabtion… for doing the exact same thing.

Police admit that, after he allegedly stole the bus in Orlando, Ritchie Calvin Davis stuck to the speed limit, and made all the scheduled stops along the route."
German ‘love witch’ loses court battle
"A German woman won a lawsuit against a “love witch” who failed to induce her ex-boyfriend to come back with rituals under the full moon designed to cast a spell over him, a Munich court said Monday."
Politically Incorrect in New Jersey
"A new Web site owned by an 18-year-old New Jersey native is causing controversy because of its use of the n-word.

It's called NiggaSpace.com - and it mimics the popular myspace.com site.

The owner - who goes by the name Tyrone, and won't reveal his race - said 'this is no way meant to be racist, my biggest intention is to change the connotation of the word.'"
The Scoop on Poop
"Now on display is a five-thousand square foot exhibit on excrement titled “The Scoop on Poop,” which invites visitors to explore the science of scat.

The exhibit is filled with photos of animals in some of their most indelicate moments. Stool sample models abound: hay-like football-sized balls (elephant), kidney-bean-looking pellets (porcupine) and coal-like lumps coated with fur (black bear)."
Bungie Jumper scares crowd, smashes head
"A man staging a bungee-jumping stunt to scare people on the hay ride died after his head slammed into the side of a trailer.
...
A witness says the cable suspending the man snapped. She says her first thought was that it was 'just a dummy falling out of the tree.“ But she says 'then everyone started screaming.”"
Irishmen sell dirt to US emigrants
"Two Irishmen have set up a business selling dirt to nostalgic Irish Americans who want a handful of 'the mother country' on their graves.

Pat Burke, 27, and Alan Jenkins, 65, have just shipped their first $US1 million load of 'official' Irish soil to New York - at $US15 ($NZ23) per 340 gram bag - and confidently expect it will be followed by many more.

'The demand has been absolutely phenomenal,' Burke, an agricultural scientist from County Tipperary, said on Friday."
Outcry over tots' pole-dancing kit
"A 'sexy' pole-dancing kit has been pulled from the toys and games section of a website run by Britain's biggest retailer after protests from outraged parents.
The Peekaboo pole-dancing kit, which has a 'sexy garter' to help 'unleash the sex kitten inside' was sold in Tesco Direct's toys and games section, The Daily Mail reported."
Witchcraft and Murder!
"The plan to kill a pregnant 16-year-old in Claremont in August of 2005 was meant to free the defendants from a hex, according to testimony presented in court on Tuesday."
Happy Crapper Strikes
"'To know there's been a stranger touching your things, it's scary. It's bad enough they break into your home, but to do that' -- she can't even bring herself to speak of the thief's most despicable act -- 'you wonder what kind of person does something like that. You wonder if it's a message. What else are they capable of?'"
Ex-counselor faces pornography charge:
"When he was arrested on July 6, Knudsen told investigators he had more than 10,000 pornographic images in his home. They found eight three-ring binders of images in his bedroom, 97 videotapes and nearly 500 discs, including, according to court documents, 'numerous images and videos depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.'

Police also seized 43 other three-ring binders, 520 videotapes and 462 discs from Knudsen's garage, including some homemade footage, a spokeswoman said."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cruise ship 'arrested' in dispute over unpaid wages
"The cruise ship Casino Royale was 'arrested' by the U.S. Marshals Office today in a suit employees brought to recover back wages totalling more than $230,000.

U.S. District Court in Tampa ordered National Maritime Services Inc. to take charge of the ship, which will remain in its berth at the Port of Tampa until the dispuite is resolved, said NMS spokesman Mark Brown."
Clown statues vandalized in Sarasota
"Most of the vandalism has involved the statues being damaged by removing items from the statues. Items that have been removed from the clown statues include: sling shots, a Ringmaster's baton, a pen, and a shopping bag. Anyone who has observed the stolen items is asked to report their observations to the Sarasota Police Department."
Gun blast ignites fireworks shop
"A fireworks shop in Wisconsin has burned to the ground after, police say, a man attempting to rob the business fired his shotgun, setting off fireworks."
Book Paints Escape-Artist Houdini As Spy
"A new biography of the legendary performer suggests that Houdini worked as a spy for Scotland Yard, monitored Russian anarchists and chased counterfeiters for the U.S. Secret Service - all before he was possibly murdered."
Islam vs. Britain Update: Imam give the nod to kill gays
"'I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion.
'He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: If the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts.'
'I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community.'"
Teacher Charged With Disturbing Corpse
"A high school science teacher is charged with breaking into a century-old funeral vault, handling the remains of a corpse, and taking photographs of two students holding the bones inside the crypt.
Authorities have charged Candace Longworth, 31, of Bastian, with a felony charge of disturbing and defiling a dead person from a place of burial and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The teenagers have been charged as juveniles.
'It's not anything anyone would call school-related,' said Tazewell County Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Lee. 'It's just bizarre.'"
23 girls brawl over handsome boy
"Police were called in Bulgaria after a mass fight broke out between 23 teenage girls over a handsome male student.

The girls, aged between 15 and 18, used brass knuckles, chains and beer bottles to fight over the lad whose name was not revealed."
On the case of the "missing" helium
"Astrophysicists may have solved the embarrassing problem of why there is so much less helium-3 in the universe than predicted by standard cosmology and star-evolution theories. Peter Eggleton of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US and colleagues at Monash University in Australia have calculated that when aging low-mass stars swell to become 'red giants', the large amount of helium-3 they have produced is pushed down into the stars’ hot interiors, where it is then burnt up."
Mystery of the 'dramatic' change in Kate Moss' nose
Cocaine strikes again!

"Yet pictures taken of the supermodel as she arrived at Heathrow on a flight from New York show one part of her visage - her nose - appears to have changed suddenly and dramatically.

As she looked straight towards camera, the flashbulb unforgivingly lit up her face, and clearly showed shadowy indents where normally one would expect nostrils to protrude.

It is hard to see how the apparently collapsed nostrils could be explained away by unfortunate lighting or make-up."
Islam vs. France Update: Chirac 'horrified' at attack that left woman badly burnt
"French President Jacques Chirac has expressed his 'horror' at an overnight attack on a bus by youths that left a woman badly burnt and on the verge of death.
The attack, in the southern city of Marseille, was the worst incident in an upsurge in urban violence in some parts of France on the weekend that coincided the first anniversary of the riots that gripped the country last year."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Smoking Gun Weekend Special: Touchy Townshend's Tawdry Treatise
"When Pete Townshend ducked out this week from an interview on Howard Stern's radio show, the rock star cited comments made by Stern & Co. indicating that they planned to bring up his 2003 arrest on suspicion of possessing child pornography. While a London police probe cleared The Who guitarist, the musician was placed on a U.K. sex offender registry (for five years) because he had visited a web site containing child porn images. While Townshend, 61, has acknowledged using his own credit card to visit the illicit site, he told cops that he was simply conducting 'research.' This Townshend scholarship resulted in a six-page treatise on the easy availability of online child porn."
Wis. City Braces for Halloween Party
"Playboy magazine cited the annual event when it named the University of Wisconsin-Madison the nation's top party school in April. But the celebration is taking on a different look this year, thanks to city and campus leaders who have tired of the violence.

Police had arrested 68 people as of early Saturday morning after the opening night of the celebration, significantly lower than the number of arrests following the party's start last year. Police spokesman Mike Hanson did not list the charges but said 13 of those arrested went to jail."
Black Cat Adoptions Banned on Halloween
"Like many shelters around the country, the Kootenai Humane Society in Coeur d'Alene is prohibiting black cat adoptions from now to Nov. 2, fearing the animals could be mistreated in Halloween pranks _ or worse, sacrificed in some satanic ritual."
Fridge Falls On Local Woman, Traps Her For 4 Days
"A Roseville woman was pinned down to the ground for four days after her refrigerator fell on top of her in her kitchen, as she fought to stay alive.

69-year-old Inga Walen's refrigerator was top heavy and as she leaned in to open the fridge door, it fell forward, toppling her.
"
Brits catch Mad Shitter
"British Transport Police have charged a man in relation to a series of alleged vandalism attacks on trains across Croydon and the south east.
Bonney Eberndu, 36, of no fixed abode, was arrested by officers in Camberwell Green bus garage yesterday (Wednesday).
The charge relates to around 22 incidents on trains where human excrement was found smeared in carriages."
Ottawa seeks to deport U.S. man "exiled" to Canada
"An American sex offender who was sentenced by a U.S. judge to three years 'exile' in Canada was arrested by Canadian border guards on Thursday and faces deportation, the government said.

Federal ministers and legislators had expressed deep unhappiness after a New York state judge allowed former teacher Malcolm Watson -- convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl -- to live in Canada on probation rather than spending time in a U.S. jail."
Photo Gallery: New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil
"Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out."
EMI Music CEO says the CD is 'dead
"EMI Music Chairman and Chief Executive Alain Levy Friday told an audience at the London Business School that the CD is dead, saying music companies will no longer be able to sell CDs without offering 'value-added' material.
'The CD as it is right now is dead,' Levy said, adding that 60% of consumers put CDs into home computers in order to transfer material to digital music players."
Teen's breast-piercing plan nets flesh-eating infection, mastectomy
"A teenager who decided to get her breasts pierced for her 18th birthday faces reconstructive surgery after a flesh-destroying infection forced doctors to remove her left breast."
Statue Of Dennis The Menace Stolen
"The mischievous Dennis the Menace has gone missing -- except this time, he's not hiding because he broke the rules. A statue of the perennial pint-sized troublemaker that has stood for almost two decades in a city park was unbolted and stolen sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, Monterey police said."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Urine-throwing man ruins meal
"The restaurant manager, Alex Giarola told the Wimbledon Guardian: 'The family were just having a good time and enjoying their meal before the guy walked in.'

They were enjoying their meal slightly less once the guy – who walked straight up to the family, ignoring a waitress who tried to help him – said 'this is for you' and threw a clear plastic bag filled with urine over the family and their table.

He then walked straight out again.

Helpfully, although the police were called immediately, they didn't turn up for half an hour. Thus leaving the family to sit around soaked in urine, looking at the pish-sodden remains of their pizza."
Murder Trial Juror Booted for Invoking Numerology
"The jury was trying to decide a high-profile murder case when the trouble began. One of the jurors brought numerology into the debate -- a mystical system said to divine truths from a person's birth date and from the sum of the letters in a person's name.

But numerology is nowhere in the jury instructions at D.C. Superior Court. And yesterday, after hearing from the woman's frustrated fellow jurors, Judge Wendell P. Gardner Jr. kicked her off the panel."
Nurse With Decades-Old Grudge Kills Patient
"For five years, the death of Sandra Baker Joyner after a mini-facelift was attributed to medical error. But last month, investigators proposed a more sinister explanation.

Joyner, 45, went to a doctor's office for a mini-facelift and wound-up dead. But North Carolina authorities now believe this was no medical mistake. They're calling it a case of murder.

As she lay bandaged in the recovery room, Joyner was poisoned by a nurse anesthetist who believed Joyner had stolen her boyfriend back in high school some 30 years ago, authorities said."
Man threatens suicide, killed by police
"A Beaver County man, threatening suicide, was killed yesterday by a Franklin Township police officer.

State police, the primary agency on the case, preliminarily has ruled the shooting justifiable, pending further investigation."
'Russian roulette' goes wrong
"Christopher Woods, 20, pointed what he thought was an empty starting pistol at friends, as a joke. They said the gun made clicking sounds as he pulled the trigger.

But then he put the gun to his head, and the pistol, which had been converted to fire steel ballbearings, discharged."
Mysterious humming driving Aucklanders 'bonkers'
"A mysterious humming driving people to despair across Auckland has pricked the ears, and curiosity, of scientists trying to find the source."
Oh my god, South Park mocks Irwin
"The latest episode shows an animated Irwin in Hell with a stingray poking out of his bleeding chest."
Honeybee Genome Sheds Light on "Killer" History, Bee Secrets
"Scientists have sequenced the honeybee genome, revealing some of the biology beneath the insects' advanced social systems and powerful sense of smell as well as the spread of Africanized (or 'killer') strains.

The study, which paves the way for a new era of bee research, marks the third insect genome to be sequenced, after the fruit fly and the mosquito."
Pete Townshend Blows Off Howard Stern
It's all about his "research"...

"The legendary Who guitarist-songwriter ducked out of his scheduled interview on Stern's satellite radio show on Wednesday upon hearing Stern talk about a touchy subject for him _ his 2003 arrest in London on suspicion of possessing child pornography. Townshend was cleared of the charges.

Townshend, along with girlfriend Rachel Fuller and Who bandmate Roger Daltrey, was listening to Stern's New York-based broadcast as he waited in a London studio for his interview to begin. Co-host Robin Quivers brought up the 'child pornography stuff' and Townshend's claims that he was abused as a child. 'Oh yeah, we could ask him about that,' Stern said. Townshend stormed out, leaving Daltrey and Fuller to talk to Stern."
Doherty Chronicles Update!
"Supermodel Kate Moss confirmed speculation she is to wed rocker boyfriend Pete Doherty at a London party on Tuesday night. The catwalk beauty sparked rumors of an imminent marriage when she was photographed wearing an engagement ring in Florence, Italy last Thursday."
End of the World Update
"Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid's potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 AU or less and an absolute magnitude (H) of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs.
...
There are currently 822 known PHAs."
Soil minerals point to planet-wide ocean on Mars
"An ocean of water once wrapped around Mars, suggests the discovery of soil chemicals by NASA’s rovers. But the same chemicals also indicate that life was not widespread on the planet at the time the ocean was present."
Undercover TV pranksters penetrate North Korea
"His conclusion was that laughter is a rare commodity in the country led by dictator Kim Jong Il — which may have helped the Danes carry out their plot without anyone calling their bluff.

'No one grasped the thick irony and satire,' Bruegger said. 'I believe we only survived because 50 years of mind control has wiped out any sense of irony and satire.'"
S. Koreans buy condoms, book motel rooms in response to N.Korean nukes
"As tends to be the case in disasters and crises, sales of condoms and reservations at motels surged in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test on Oct. 9. One online hotel reservations site reports that everything is completely booked up through the end of the month in what it calls an “exceptional” flood of guests. If there is apathy about security among Koreans, there is also a silent terror seeking release in sex."
Ancient Brothel Restored in Pompeii
"It was the jewel of Pompeii's libertines: a brothel decorated with frescoes of erotic figures believed to be the most popular in the ancient Roman city.

The Lupanare — which derives its name from the Latin word 'lupa,' or 'prostitute' — was presented to the public again Thursday following a yearlong, $253,000 restoration to clean up its frescoes and fix the structure."
Prosecutor arrested after allegedly having sex in Qwest Field bathroom
"A Thurston County senior deputy prosecutor who was ejected from Qwest Field Sunday after employees said he was having sex in a bathroom told his boss he was just using the facilities."
More WTC Body Parts Emerge
"More than 200 pieces of human remains have been found at the World Trade Center site since the discovery of bones by workers clearing rubble from manholes sparked a new search a week ago, an official said on Thursday."
Search for alien life turns to TV
"A new generation of ultra-powerful radio telescopes designed to peer into the origins of the universe could also be used to look for any radio or TV emissions by extraterrestrial civilisations, New Scientist says.

TV and radio broadcasts are in the 50-400 megahertz range, which overlaps with the frequency range of between tens and hundreds of megahertz made by radio waves from hydrogen atoms forged in the early universe.

Harvard University astrophysicists Abraham Loeb and Matias Zaldarriaga suggest that tell-tale spikes in the energy spectrum which are made by TV and radio broadcasts could be discernible to telescopes such as the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) now being built in the Netherlands."
Huge Native American face on Google Earth
50° 0'38.20"N 110° 6'48.32"W

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Congressional Pervo Games Heat Up!
Sen. George Allen of VA busts opponent for his porno fiction writing!

"“A shirtless man walked toward them along a mud pathway. His muscles were young and hard, but his face was devastated with wrinkles. His eyes were so red that they appeared to be burned by fire. A naked boy ran happily toward him from a little plot of dirt. The man grabbed his young son in his arms, turned him upside down, and put the boy’s penis in his mouth.” "
Mum stopped CPR 'to have a smoke
"A methadone-addicted mother stopped for a cigarette while attempting to resuscitate her baby as instructions were relayed on the phone from a triple 0 operator, a Supreme Court jury was told yesterday."
UN initiates arms trade agreement
"A United Nations committee has voted overwhelmingly to begin work on drawing up an international arms trade treaty.

The measure would close loopholes in existing laws which mean guns still end up in conflict zones despite arms embargoes and export controls."
Queen 'lays 2,000 eggs a day'
"A round of applause, then, to Reuters, who manged to take the typo to new levels today, with an online article about the genetics of honey bees which claimed that Queen Elizabeth lays up to 2,000 eggs a day.

Somehow, every time they meant to refer to the queen bee, the phrase 'Queen Elizabeth' was substituted instead.

This led to the article informing us that 'Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day.'"
400 people trapped by deadly California blaze
"A wind-driven wildfire near Palm Springs engulfed a fire engine Thursday, killing three firefighters, and up to 400 people were trapped at a recreational vehicle park when flames blocked the only road out, officials said.

'Everybody is hunkered down here. They're fighting the fire around us. It's across the street from us,' said Charles Van Brunt, a ranger at the station at the entrance to Silent Valley Club."

Hat tip to Kara!
Black and White Twins!
"In a case of ebony and ivory living together in perfect harmony, twins born in Australia have shocked doctors - because one is black and one is white."
Yet another reason not to 'shroom alone!
"The movie had ended, her 8-year-old daughter was asleep, and Sally had dozed off on the couch to the drone of 'That '70s Show.' Around midnight Sunday, she awoke with a start: A man she had never seen before was standing over her.

The man, whom police identified Tuesday as Jordan Laird Case, 20, had slipped into the Southwest Tualatin Road apartment through the unlocked front door. He lived in the building next door, where police found marijuana plants, psychedelic mushrooms and a mescaline-making operation."
Stop mailing fake grenades, Canadians told
"Tired of having its offices evacuated due to false alarms, Canada's postal system said on Monday it will no longer transport replica and inert military explosives.

Canada Post said that fake and inoperative grenades and artillery shells have caused 'numerous' evacuations of post offices in recent years, which have disrupted the flow of mail and scared employees."
Area man charged with bestiality
"A 44-year-old Saginaw man remains jailed today on charges of bestiality after he was seen engaged in sexual acts with a dead dog, Michigan State Police troopers said.
Ronald Kuch was arrested after police searched the area of Midland and Carter roads Friday for a man who ran away from a Bay County Animal Control officer. The entire incident was within view of a nearby day care center."
Islam vs. France Update:
"Youths in the Paris suburbs have attacked two buses in separate incidents on the eve of the anniversary of rioting among immigrant communities."
Tupperware Takes on a New Role: Art
"Tupperware has many purposes: forming Jell-O rings, spin-drying salads, storing spaghetti, microwaving oatmeal. But Tupperware as an evening bag? It may look a bit like a sandwich box, but the lace-patterned accessory is among the winners of a contest that challenged Tupperware sellers and users to get creative with the iconic plastic containers."
Authorities discover tons of gold belonging to Pinochet
"Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet allegedly has at least 180 million dollars-worth of gold stashed at HSBC's regional bank in Hong Kong, authorities have discovered according to local media reports Wednesday."
Spoiled milk sparks school evacuation
"A plastic bottle with foul-smelling contents that was found in a men's bathroom at Swartz Creek High School two weeks ago prompted an evacuation and a visit by the bomb squad. But lab results show that the bottle contained spoiled milk."
Angry shopkeeper uses forklift on car
"A shopkeeper got so angry about the way a man had parked his car that he climbed into a forklift, placed the fork under the car and lifted it off the ground, police said Wednesday.

Wasek Safrah, 51, of Ossining, also punched out both the offending car and the man who parked it, said Lt. Brian Karst of the Carmel police. He was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and assault."
License seeker rams license office
"A young woman's goal of getting her driver's license crashed this week — right into the license branch. The 20-year-old woman was pulling into a parking spot outside the license branch when she hit the accelerator instead of the brake, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Bucy said."
US denies Vegemite ban
"Australians travelling to the US can breathe easy. So can the 100,000 or so Australian expatriates living in America.

The US government today dismissed media reports it had banned Vegemite.

'There is no ban on Vegemite,' US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesman Mike Herndon said."
NBA Players Told To Leave Guns At Home:
"NBA Commissioner David Stern is suggesting the league's players should confine their shooting to the court -- not the streets.

He said he'd prefer that his players leave their firearms behind when they go out. Stern said the statistics seem to indicate that 'if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically.' He called the issue of players and guns an 'alarming' subject."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Florida serial killer died singing a hymn
"Danny Harold Rolling, Florida's most notorious serial killer since Ted Bundy, died singing.
He was executed by injection Wednesday evening for the grisly murders of five college students during a 1990 spree that terrorized the college town of Gainesville, Florida.
...
'Mr. Rolling sang a song,' he told reporters. 'It was almost hymnal.'"
Woman surprised by grave marker saying she died:
"Earline Wheeler Gardiner is alive.
While visiting Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens this week -- the Celeste Road cemetery where her husband of 6½ decades is buried -- she ran into a relative, who seemed surprised to see her.
He led the 84-year-old Saraland woman back to a family plot, already marked by headstones, with a spot for her next to her late husband's grave.
Only, according to a metal plaque added to a stone, Earline Gardiner died Oct. 26, 2005."
Horror on the street as woman tries to commit suicide in public
"These disturbing images from China show a distressed woman attempting suicide on the street.

The woman tried to slash her wrists with a razor sharp blade, before slashing her throat.

But before her wounds could prove fatal, she was seized by emergency services who dressed her cuts and rushed her to hospital."
German troops in skull photos row
"Photos apparently showing German troops posing with a skull in Afghanistan have caused outrage in Germany.
...
On one of the pictures, a soldier is seen holding the skull next to his exposed penis, on another - soldiers pose with the skull on their jeep."
Dog pee caused mass blackout
"Gary, 42, said: “There was an almighty explosion and the whole street lit up. I turned round and the dog was on fire.”"
Party ban at China's Great Wall
"Partying and all-night music raves are to be banned from parts of the Great Wall as China imposes laws to protect its top tourist attraction.

Writing and driving on the wall are also among several activities that are being prohibited, the government said."
Porn star exits California governor's race
"Porn star Mary Carey is dropping out of the California governor's race to be with her injured mother, who has been hospitalised in Florida since jumping off a four-story building last month. "
Extra anus kills four-legged chick
"Forzie the four-legged chicken will cluck no more.

The Te Uku-bred Barnevelder chick - hatched at Marlene Dickey's property at the start of last month - has died.

But it wasn't the extra legs that led to its death, more likely an extra anus, Mrs Dickey believes.

'He developed two bottoms and I think he got glugged up,' she said."
Paul McCartney is a F'n Idiot Update
Heather Mills threatened to sue The Sun after they splashed ugly details of the divorce on their pages; their response is to tear her a new one:

"Here are lies which show she has not got a reputation to defend.

LIE 1: Lady Mucca frantically denied working as a prostitute. But in July it emerged she was a £5,000-a-night hooker whose clients including arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and an Arab prince.

LIE 2: Heather told Sir Paul she had only been a topless model. In June we revealed she was snapped in a string of pornographic poses for a German sex manual."

Read the story for numbers 3 through 6!

What are the chances of aliens sniffing us out?
"Beaming signals into space to find ET could potentially be risky for Earth and its inhabitants. So researchers are developing a Richter-like scale to assess the chance that extraterrestrials could detect – and potentially react to – such signals."
Social Engineering Strikes Again!
"Investigators said Stewart, who worked at a privately run prison in the Florida panhandle, called the Mount Washington restaurant in April 2004 and posed as a police officer, then persuaded the boyfriend to have the girl perform sex acts on him."
Computer Beats Fastest Text Messenger
"Ben Cook's fingers flurried so fast you couldn't see what he was doing until he had done it. But when the cell-phone screens cleared, the world's fastest text messenger was handed his first head-to-head defeat Tuesday: a voice-recognition computer had bested his record time on a complicated 27-word message."
Tape Shows Agent Writing Bogus Tickets
"A sanitation agent was shown on videotape breaking light bulbs on the street in front of a restaurant and then writing a littering ticket to the restaurant's owner, a state assemblyman said.

The video shows the uniformed Department of Sanitation agent dropping several long fluorescent bulbs in the Brooklyn street. A street-sweeping truck cleans the mess soon after, and then the agent writes a $300 ticket to the restaurant's owner for improper disposal of the lights."
You can't have enough shoes, bags, labels..
"Women over 40 own an average of 19 pairs of shoes - with many possessing more than 100, according to a new survey.

Handbags were also popular with 11 being the average number, although more extravagant shoppers admitted having more than 200."
The case of the rattling dog
"Owner Olivia Parkinson, eight, noticed that Barney 'rattled' whenever they went out to play together.
She told her father Andrew, who took the nine-month-old pet to a vet.
There, an X-ray revealed Barney had a belly full of sticks and stones.
He was immediately taken into the operating theatre, where vet Natasha Bright extracted five large twigs, six golf ball-sized rocks and whole crab apples from his stomach."
Burglars rob empty bank
"A gang of robbers in Romania broke into a bank's headquarters - only to find it empty.

The three criminals expected to hit the jackpot with their raid on the Nova Bank in Constanta city centre.

But they did not know the bank was relocating to new premises and its vaults had been emptied."
Man separates from wife, ring finger
"A Viennese man cut off his ring finger and presented the digit, still holding his wedding band, to his ex-wife after an acrimonious divorce, Austrian news agency APA reported Tuesday.

Charged with dangerous harassment and assault for the act, he told a preliminary hearing he did not regret having cut off the finger and had chosen deliberately not to reattached it."
Burglary suspect on the lam goes wham!
"A 31-year-old man was arrested on burglary charges Sunday after falling 50 feet from a tree during an attempt to evade police, officials said."
Principal suspended for giving ‘wedgie’
"Messerli was suspended for two days without pay and four days with pay for grabbing a Park High senior's soccer jersey and pulling it over his head and giving the student a 'wedgie' by pulling up on the waist band of his underwear. The incident happened on Oct. 5 at a junior varsity soccer game."
Hacker unlocks Apple music download protection
"A hacker who as a teen cracked the encryption on DVDs has found a way to unlock the code that prevents iPod users from playing songs from download music stores other than Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes, his company said on Tuesday.

Jon Lech Johansen, a 22-year-old Norway native who lives in San Francisco, cracked Apple's FairPlay copy-protection technology, said Monique Farantzos, managing director at DoubleTwist, the company that plans to license the code to businesses."
70-year-old ex-SAS soldier dares to tackle four muggers and wins
"A 70-year-old former British soldier who fought guerillas in Aden and Triad gangs in Hong Kong showed four muggers how it doesn't pay to mess with the SAS."
4 Tennessee firefighters charged with arson
"The fire chief and three members of the volunteer fire department in Tiptonville, Tenn., appeared in court Tuesday on arson charges stemming from a string of fires over the past two years."
Top-Earning Dead Celebrities
"The 13 icons on our sixth annual Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list collectively earned $247 million in the last 12 months. Their estates continue to make money by inking deals involving both their work and the rights to use their name and likenesses on merchandise and marketing campaigns. To land on this year’s list, a star needed to make at least $7 million between October 2005 and October 2006."
Lottery retailers enjoying luck of the draw "Through the Freedom of Information Act, CBC has learned that retailers won close to 200 times, winning on average $500,000.

Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal, a statistician with the University of Toronto and author of Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Possibilities, said statistically retailers should have been expected to win around 57 times."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Amazon river 'switched direction'
"The world's largest river, the Amazon, once flowed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific - the opposite of its present direction, a study shows."
Google Earth offers US election info
"Google has added information on the forthcoming November 7th US congressional races to its Google Earth application.

The company said that it has included a feature in the Google Earth sidebar that will have 'place marks' for 435 races around the country.

According to Google, the feature was first conceived of by Google Earth programmers who could not find adequate nationwide election coverage"
Drug Raid Yields Secret Docs
"A drug raid on a Los Alamos scientist's home in New Mexico turned up what appeared to be classified documents taken from the nuclear weapons lab, the FBI said Tuesday.

Agents searched the home of the female scientist, whose name was not released, as part of a methamphetamine investigation, according to an FBI official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case."
Pilot-Fatigue Test Lands JetBlue In Hot Water
"Last year, thousands of JetBlue Airways passengers became unwitting participants in a highly unusual test of pilot fatigue.

Without seeking approval from Federal Aviation Administration headquarters, consultants for JetBlue outfitted a small number of pilots with devices to measure alertness. Operating on a green light from lower-level FAA officials, management assigned the crews to work longer shifts in the cockpit -- as many as 10 to 11 hours a day -- than the eight hours the government allows. Their hope: Showing that pilots could safely fly far longer without exhibiting ill effects from fatigue."
Pete Doherty Update! Police may quiz Pete over La Doherty Vita
"Pete Doherty was facing a police investigation today after he was involved in a brawl with an Italian photographer outside his hotel.

The Babyshambles singer’s experience in Rome was anything but La Dolce Vita when he was left covered in blood."

More here, including a photo of bloodied Pete.
Virginia ballot glitch chops names:
"U.S. Senate candidate James H. 'Jim' Webb has lost his last name on electronic ballots in three Virginia cities where election computers can't cope with long names.

The glitch in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville also affects other candidates with long names, officials said."
Month of corporate hospitality kills Chinese official
"After a month-long wining-and-dining marathon - interrupted by massages, card games, sightseeing and the occasional morning of work - the county auditor from Yanshan in northern Hebei province succumbed to alcohol poisoning, according to local media reports.

The story might have died with him in April were it not for subsequent revelations that the fatally lavish binges were paid for by the company he was supposed to be inspecting, Yanshan Power Supply."
Celeb Hypocrisy Update
See the stats on folks like Julia Roberts, JLo, George Clooney and Brad Pitt:

"Hybrid cars are all the rage in Hollywood. Celebrities drive them like they're a badge of honor. You save a few gallons of gas, you save the planet. Right? Well, not when you hop on a private jet and burn enough fuel to propel NASCAR through 2050."
Roaming Men With Shotgun Attacking Walkers On Streets
"Authorities in Orange County, Fla., are searching for a group of men armed with at least one shotgun targeting people walking on streets, according to Local 6 News."
Children aghast as pelican swallows pigeon whole
"Families strolling through a London park were left shocked when a pelican picked up and swallowed an unsuspecting pigeon.

The Eastern White pelican struggled with the desperately frantic pigeon in its beak for more than 20 minutes before swallowing it whole."
In Formative Years, the Sun Had Sisters
"The Sun had sisters when it was born, according to new research, hundreds to thousands of them.

And at least one was a supernova, providing further support for the idea that there could be lots of planets around other stars since our solar system emerged in such an explosive environment."
Report finds sex always on men's minds
"Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University say most men are always thinking of sex.

A study released Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists found 54 percent of men and 19 percent of women admit they think about sex every day -- or several times a day -- in a society where they are bombarded with subconscious erotic images."
Oxygen fluctuations on Earth ensured only dinosaurs survival
"A team of scientists led by University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward has concluded that a fluctuations in oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere was responsible for the survival of only dinosaurs and the extinction of other anthropods.
"
Spa gets hit by a smooth criminal
"Authorities are hunting a man described as a 'serial waxer' and a 'spa bandit', after a series of incidents in which he would run out of beauty spas without paying.

The man - who gave the name 'Scott Kendry' – booked into the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, where he indulged himself by getting his chest, back, underarms and eyebrows waxed, as well as a Brazilian bikin wax (no, we don't understand that part either). He also opted for over an hour of massage, as well as planning a manicure and a pedicure."
End of the World Update: Global ecosystems 'face collapse'
"Current global consumption levels could result in a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century"
Woman accidentally mails cat
"A 67-year-old woman in Germany managed to send her cat in the mail to her nephew. By accident.

Edith Schonberg, of Rosdorf, Schleswig Holstein, said that Felix managed to sneak inside the parcel while she was wrapping it – possibly while she was away looking for sellotape."
Bad boiler burglars' blast boo-boo
"Three burglars accidentally managed to blow up a house as they tried to steal a boiler, police believe.

One man was trapped under rubble for more than an hour after being thrown out of a first-floor window during the blast."
Wrong animal for animal rights
"Animal terrorists who planned to liberate a circus tiger changed their minds when they saw how large it was – and freed a rabbit instead."
Meanwhile in N. Korea
"The spirit of devotedly defending the leader that has been cemented on the basis of absolute trust in Kim Jong Il has become a revolutionary view on life of all the party members and an immutable faith that has been hardened in the tempest of the most rigorous revolution.
The revolutionary slogan 'Let us defend the headquarters of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il at the cost of our lives!' reflects the pledge and determination of all the party members.
The intensified moves of the imperialists hardened the single-minded unity of the party under the great banner of Songun. The rigorous ordeals of the revolution marked an occasion of foiling mean and wicked moves of the enemies and strikingly demonstrating the might of single-minded unity all over the world. "
Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins "James Bond" research firm
"Former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has joined the British research firm thought to have provided the inspiration for 'Q', the character who creates spy gadgets for James Bond.

Tenet has been appointed an independent non-executive director of QinetiQ, the company said on Tuesday."
Charles quizzed on tax evasion
"Prince Charles faces new scrutiny over his accounts as MPs demand to know why his main income benefited from tax exemptions.

The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has written to the Treasury questioning why the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster do not pay corporation or capital gains tax."
Remember Worries About Global Cooling?
"In April, 1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster. Citing 'ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,' the magazine warned of an impending 'drastic decline in food production.' Political disruptions stemming from food shortages could affect 'just about every nation on earth.' Scientists urged governments to consider emergency action to head off the terrible threat of . . . well, if you had been following the climate-change debates at the time, you'd have known that the threat was: global cooling."
World's Smallest Horse Has Big Attitude
"Thumbelina, the world's smallest horse, is just 17.5 inches tall.
However, the 5-year-old miniature horse, which lives at Goose Creek Farms in the St. Louis area, makes up for her small size with her attitude.
'She thinks she's the boss of the whole pasture,' said her owner, Paul Goessling."

Hat tip to Kara!
Pirate Update!
If you ever wonder just how pirates can get away with all this, consider the following examples:

"19.10.2006 at 0700 LT in posn: 22:12.10N - 091:40.50E, Chittagong 'b' anchorage, Bangladesh.
Robbers were detected at stern stealing zinc anodes of a product tanker. Ship's crew threw empty bottles and moved the rudder to deter robbers. Robbers escaped in their boat. Local authorities were informed but no assistance arrived.

18.10.2006 at 2000 LT in posn: 22:12.10N - 091:40.50E, Chittagong 'b' anchorage, Bangladesh.
Robbers boarded a chemical tanker and stole ship's stores. Authorities were informed and promised to send assistance but never turned up. Master explained this is a normal reply to ships but help never arrives. "
Beer fingerprints to go UK-wide
Who needs Big Brother when you got Big Labour?

"The government is funding the roll out of fingerprint security at the doors of pubs and clubs in major English cities.

Funding is being offered to councils that want to have their pubs keep a regional black list of known trouble makers. The fingerprint network installed in February by South Somerset District Council in Yeovil drinking holes is being used as the showcase."
Russia opens vodka museum
"Russia has opened a vodka museum with over 50,000 bottles of the national drink on display.

The Moscow museum showcases many special versions of the drink, including some bottles produced over two centuries ago."
Budapest counts cost of turmoil
"The Hungarian capital Budapest remains tense after a day of clashes between police and protesters on the 50th anniversary of the anti-Soviet revolt."
US jails Egypt pair for slavery
"Two Egyptians have been jailed by a US court after pleading guilty to enslaving a 10-year-old Egyptian girl at their south California home."
Blair calls for everyone to record DNA on databases
Yet another reason to despise Blair and Labour!

"Millions of people should have their genetic details recorded on government DNA databases, regardless of whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, Tony Blair said yesterday.

The Prime Minister's demand for the 'maximum number' of samples to be recorded will increase pressure on Scotland to follow England's lead and allow routine retention of DNA from innocent people."
Dutch mayor raises prostitute plan
"A Dutch mayoress has raised eyebrows by backing the idea of sending prostitutes to accompany Dutch troops on foreign missions.
'The army must consider ways its soldiers can let off steam,' Annemarie Jorritsma, mayor of the town of Almere in central Netherlands and a member of the ruling VVD liberals, told Dutch television."

It might be better to supply UN peacekeepers with such camp followers, as they are the ones most in need of such services since they are the ones most guilty of raping locals.
Self-Portraits Chronicle a Descent Into Alzheimer’s
"When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer’s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist in London, responded in characteristic fashion.
From that moment on, he began to try to understand it by painting himself,” said his wife, Patricia Utermohlen, a professor of art history."
Viking landers may have missed Martian life
"NASA’s twin Viking spacecraft may have missed signs of life during their examination of the Martian surface 30 years ago. Researchers now say that the landers’ experiments were not sensitive enough to find life and in any case may not have been able to spot the strange forms that Martian life might take.

The results from Vikings’ onboard experiments are confusing because some tests suggested the presence of organisms capable of digesting organic molecules"
RIP: Pink Flamingo, 1957-2006
"The pop culture symbol met its demise after its manufacturer, Union Products, of Leominster, Mass., was socked with a triple economic threat -- increases in costs of electricity and plastic resin combined with loss of financing. Production ended in June, and the plant is scheduled to close Nov. 1, according to president and CEO Dennis Plante. Union Products made 250,000 of its patented plastic pink flamingos a year in addition to other garden products."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Beer truck rolls onto car injuring woman
"The truck, loaded with thousands of beer cans, continued tipping and rolled onto Johnson's car, flattening it and trapping her inside."
Police hunt train defecator
"Transport police are hunting for an 'exceptionally antisocial' man who has been defecating on trains across the country, causing tens of thousands of pounds-worth of damage.

The vandal, who strikes by smearing excrement inside the carriages, appears to wait until he is alone before committing the offence but investigators can discern no other pattern to his behaviour. Police say the man has soiled at least 30 trains since August, mainly in the south-east."
Dreaming the Impossible Dream: Cuba ponders how to fix socialist economy
"Cuba has begun debating how to correct rampant theft and inefficiency in state-run services, from pouring beer to shining shoes, that could signal a step toward economic reform under acting President Raul Castro.

In a scathing three-part series on graft in shops and bars entitled The Big Old Swindle, the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde said on Sunday a team of university experts will investigate ways to improve services."
Great Ape Scolded for Pulling Fire Alarm
"One of the great apes at a research center in Des Moines has learned a valuable lesson -- don't pull the fire alarm. A bonobo named Panbanisha did just that last Friday, sending out the fire department to the Great Ape Trust of Iowa.

Fire department spokesman Brian O'Keefe said Monday it was the first known case of an animal setting off a fire alarm in Des Moines."
6,000-yr-old house discovered in China
"Chinese archaeologists have discovered the remains of houses dating back 6,000 years in northwest Shaanxi province.

The remains were located on a section of a farming terrace in Linglong village of Baoji city. The remains were about one-fifth the size of the original houses which are estimated to be nearly 200 square meters, archaeologists said."
Beer keg explosion kills 1 at party
"Investigators were trying to determine who tossed a beer keg into a burning barrel at a party, causing a deadly explosion that sent metal shards slicing through a crowd of people."
Thai teens get high on cow dung, mosquito coil ash
"Using everything from cow dung fumes to Coca-Cola mixed with mosquito coil ash, teenagers in southern Thailand are intent on getting high at any cost."
Bostonians Light 30,128 Pumpkins
"Bostonians on Saturday lit 30,128 pumpkins on Boston Common, shattering the world record for the most jack-o'-lanterns lit in one place."
Is America at war with Vegemite?
"In a revelation that has horrified Australians, it is being reported that America has banned Vegemite, the noxious, dark brown gloop that's a close relative of Marmite.

And in a revelation which could horrify Britons - or at least those foolish Britons who like the terrible stuff - Marmite could potentially fall foul of the same law."
Vote card sent to dead president
"Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic has been invited to vote in an upcoming referendum, despite having died while awaiting trial in March.

Serbia's Press newspaper said a voting card had been sent out, inviting him to a polling station in a Belgrade suburb."
‘Coup Possible in Pyongyang’
"A ``Beijing-friendly palace coup’’ may happen in North Korea to drive out the North’s ``dear leader’’ Kim Jong-il, a U.S. weekly magazine reported in its latest issue.

Chinese officials used to ``scoff’’ at the idea of effecting Chinese-style regime change in the Stalinist state, but an ``unprecedented debate’’ has taken place over Beijing’s North Korea policies, Newsweek said in its Oct. 30 issue."
Parent Charged With Pulling Gun At Pee-Wee Game
"Assault charges have been filed against a father and a referee following an altercation at a pee-wee football game in Northeast Philadelphia."
Explosion on German motorway kills one
"A construction worker was killed and five people wounded when machinery struck an explosive device during roadworks in southern Germany on Monday, police said.

Police are not yet certain, but said it could have been an unexploded World War Two bomb."
Stolen cars found in Iraq
"More and more cars stolen in Norway are turning up in Iraq, with some of them being used by suicide bombers.
The car thefts in Norway are thus being linked to terrorist activity and the financing of terrorism."
Islam v. France Update: Youths set passenger bus alight in Paris
"A band of up to 30 youths forced passengers out of a bus in a southern Paris suburb in broad daylight, set it on fire and then stoned firefighters who came to the rescue, a police official said."
It'll never take off...
"When artist Mark Clews was a boy, he dreamed of becoming a pilot and spent hours chucking toy planes across his room.

When he hit 24, he decided to live the dream in his own unique way.

He built a life-sized replica of a balsa wood toy plane and used an enormous elastic band to try to power it into the sky."
Marmite is toast of the art world
"Creator Dermot Flynn is exhibiting his portraits of celebrities on pieces of toast daubed with Marmite, that notorious divider of opinion. The idea is that they are all people Britons either loathe or adore."
German driver's car directs him into toilet
"A German motorist followed the command 'Turn right now' from his navigation system and crashed into a small toilet hut by the side of the road - about 30 metres before the crossing he was meant to take."
Americans Planning to Bomb the Moon
"Before NASA sends astronauts back to the moon, Marshall Space Flight Center scientists want to use an impact probe to blow a crater in the surface and send robot rovers searching for hidden reserves of water and useful minerals."
Scientists confirm Phar Lap was poisoned with arsenic
"Scientists have confirmed the legendary Phar Lap was poisoned with arsenic, but say there's no way of tracing who was responsible.

Scientists at the Australian Synchrotron Research Program examined Phar Lap's hair and concluded the champion racehorse ingested arsenic about 35 hours before his death in the United States in 1932."
Unique Russian woman talks to animals, communicates with the dead and reads people’s minds

If it's in Pravda, it must be the truth!

"Galina Karpova is one of the few who can talk to the animals. She can also communicate with the dead, read minds and locate missing objects across great distances. Her special abilities have been certified with the degree of Doctor of Sciences awarded by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. Karpova successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at public viva."
How Borat hoaxed America
"When a gangly foreign reporter with broken English, bushy moustache and crumpled suit turned up at artist Linda Stein's New York studio, she thought she was helping spread the word about women's rights.

Ms Stein, with two other members of Veteran Feminists of America, agreed to be filmed for what they thought was a documentary to help third world women.

But then the reporter started talking about his wife's farm work ('she pulls the plough'), women walking three steps behind men ('it used to be 10 steps, my country is advancing') and asking how to contact Pamela Anderson."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Democrat Accused of Billing NYers for Phone Sex
"A Democratic congressional candidate accused in a political ad of billing taxpayers for a call to a phone-sex line said an associate may have misdialed the number while trying to reach a state agency.

The ad that began airing Friday shows Democrat Michael Arcuri leering at the silhouette of a dancing woman who says, ``Hi, sexy. You've reached the live, one-on-one fantasy line.''
"
Paris Freaks Out Japanese
"Around a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

'A third of patients get better immediately, a third suffer relapses and the rest have psychoses,' Yousef Mahmoudia, a psychologist at the Hotel-Dieu hospital, next to Notre Dame cathedral, told the newspaper Journal du Dimanche."
Thieves Lead to Discovery of Egypt Tombs
"The arrest of tomb robbers led archaeologists to the graves of three royal dentists, protected by a curse and hidden in the desert sands for thousands of years in the shadow of Egypt's most ancient pyramid, officials announced Sunday."
Hippos killed off by hungry militiamen
"The last remaining hippos in eastern Congo are facing extinction and could be wiped out by Christmas in many parts of a significant national park if heavy poaching by hungry militiamen continues.

In the first two weeks of this month, more than 400 hippos were slaughtered in Virunga National Park, a lawless area that was once home to one of Central Africa's greatest hippopotamus concentrations, the Zoological Society of London said in a statement."
Professor Admits He Was Wrong To Discipline His Child With Ants
"The attorney for an Alcorn State University professor said his client admitted he was wrong to discipline his child with ants.

On Tuesday, professor Festus Oguhebe pleaded no contest to one count of felony child abuse for putting ants on his child."
Mexican gangs displaying severed heads - Yahoo! News: "The drug lords at war in central Mexico are no longer content with simply killing their enemies. They are putting their severed heads on public display.
In Michoacan, the home state of President-elect Felipe Calderon, 17 heads have turned up this year, many with bloodstained notes like the one found in the highlands town of Tepalcatepec in August: 'See. Hear. Shut Up. If you want to stay alive.'"
Islam vs. France, Round 2
"French police and youths clashed in a Paris suburb on Sunday as tensions mounted ahead of the anniversary of riots last year that shocked the country and provoked renewed debate about the integration of immigrants."
In Cuba, 'On the Left' Means A Flourishing Black Market
The time-bomb is ticking for Cuba's communists:
"The thriving underground economy functions as a pocket of capitalism, prescribed by supply and demand, within the Western Hemisphere's only communist state. Observers say it may be the precursor of a push for a market economy, one that could accelerate after President Fidel Castro dies; on the other hand, they say, the black market may simply be the byproduct of a system that rewards the wily and well-connected.

'They're very entrepreneurial,' Wayne Smith, a former chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, said in an interview. 'When I go down to Cuba, I've had the impression that everyone is waiting for something to happen. There's a sense that changes are going to come.'"
Student Crushed by Elevator
"Polakowski, a freshman pre-business major, was pinned when he tried to escape through a gap between the top of the elevator and the third floor, police said.

It was unclear if he jumped or tried to climb out, Amweg said. It also wasn't clear why the elevator descended with the doors open. Students gave differing accounts of how many people were inside."
Quiz expert flops on Mastermind
"A Mastermind contestant has scored the lowest total in the show's history - just one point on his specialist subject.

Simon Curtis, of Castleford, has run a quiz league in Yorkshire for 15 years and won £250,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
House dropped on museum
"A house has been 'dropped upside down' on the roof of the Viennese Museum of Modern Art.

The art project, entitled House-Attack by top local sculptor Erwin Wurm, is supposed to look as if the house has fallen out of the sky and landed on the famous museum in the centre of the Austrian capital."
Candidate: Use Textbooks As Shields From School Shooters
"One of Oklahoma's nominees for state superintendent of education has proposed a unique idea for protecting students from outbreaks of violence.
Bill Crozier, a Union City Republican going against incumbent Democrat Sandy Garrett, said he believes old textbooks could be used to stop bullets shot from weapons wielded by school intruders.
If elected, he said he would put thick used textbooks under every desk for students to use in self-defense."
A Bizarre Study Suggests That Watching TV Causes Autism
"Lo and behold, Waldman and colleagues found that reported autism cases within certain counties in California and Pennsylvania rose at rates that closely tracked cable subscriptions, rising fastest in counties with fastest-growing cable. The same was true of autism and rainfall patterns in California, Pennsylvania and Washington State. Their oddly definitive conclusions: 'Approximately 17% of the growth in autism in California and Pennsylvania during the 1970s and 1980s was due to the growth of cable television,' and 'just under 40% of autism diagnoses in the three states studied is the result of television watching due to precipitation.'"
Residents wake to find 19-year-old stranger asleep on couch
"Residents of a Bantry St house in Alexandra were left shaken yesterday morning when they woke up to find a stranger asleep on their couch.

Constable Craig Colyer, of Alexandra, said police were called to the house when residents discovered a 19-year-old male asleep in their living room."
Man simulated sex with statue of ram
"A sales manager, who pulled down his pants and pretended to have sex with a statue of a merino ram, told police he was drunk and 'just being a clown'.

His action was spotted not only seen by a passing policeman, but also by a busload of about 40 international tourists – one of whom took several photos, Rotorua District Court was told yesterday."
Belching cows under scrutiny
"A North Canterbury dairy farm is under the watchful eye of scientists who are measuring methane gas from 700 cows burping.

The scientists, from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research (Niwa), Landcare Research and Agri-Food Canada are using a range of techniques to study the volume of harmful greenhouse gases emanating from the agricultural industry."
From $200,000 to $0 in 10 seconds
"A car salesman's decision to take a brand new $200,000 Audi for a spin last weekend has left him facing a trip to court after the car was written off.

Auckland Giltrap Prestige employee Philip Pottinger's Sunday afternoon drive ended when the new Audi S6 Avant with a 5.2 litre V10 engine rolled up to six times in Kauri Rd, Whenuapai - 20km from the car firm's Grey Lynn address. His passenger was injured."
5.47-Carat Canary Diamond Found in Park
"A Wisconsin man visiting a state park took home the ultimate souvenir: a 5.47-carat canary diamond.

Bob Wehle of Ripon, Wis., found the diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro Oct. 14. The park is the world's only publicly operated diamond site where visitors are allowed to search and keep any gems they find."
Researchers developing purple tomatoes
"Oregon State University researchers are fine-tuning a purple tomato, a new blend of colors and nutrients. The skin is as dark as an eggplant. But it doesn't just look cool, it could be better for you.

The novel pigment contains the same phytochemical found in blueberries that is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease."
Cops Arrest Alleged 11-Year-Old Drug Dealer
"An 11-year-old boy has been arrested in New Brunswick and charged with selling cocaine and heroin.

New Brunswick police Sgt. Richard Rowe said the boy and two teens were arrested Tuesday night carrying 234 bags of heroin and 111 bags of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3,450. "
Pope loses ring, faithful give it back
"According to Italian media reports, the papal ring slipped off his finger twice while he was shaking hands with well-wishers as he left Verona's Bentegodi stadium Thursday."
World's most expensive smoke, but is it the best?
"It's the world's most expensive cigar -- $440 each and it only comes in boxes of 40 -- but is it the best? Nobody knows because no one has smoked one.

The Cuban havanas from the Cohiba brand are so precious that no one has actually lit one yet, although the blend was tested by a group of tasters before the cigar went into hand-made production, according to Norma Fernandez, the 'torcedora' or cigar-roller from the El Laguito factory in Havana."
There's no dashboard warning light for this...
"A German car rental clerk had to take apart the interior of a removals van to take out an eight-foot boa constrictor that had escaped from a cloth sack on the passenger seat and slithered behind the dashboard."
Scales of justice weigh heavy for dieting escapee
"An Australian prisoner who went on a crash diet so he could squeeze his way out of jail escaped to show authorities that he could go straight on the outside, a court heard Friday."
Grumpy Kazakhs invite Borat to "his" land, at last
"'His trip could yield a lot of discoveries -- that women not only travel inside buses but also drive their own cars, that we make wine from grapes, that Jews can freely attend synagogues and so on,' Aliyev told local news agency Kazakhstan Today late Wednesday.

The Central Asian state's Foreign Ministry threatened Cohen with legal action last year after he hosted an international music show as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Charles Darwin's works go online
"The project run by Cambridge University has digitised some 50,000 pages of text and 40,000 images of original publications - all of it searchable.

Surfers can even access downloadable audio files to use on MP3 players."
Russian Scientists Say Earth May Collide With Asteroid in 2035
"“We cannot exclude the possibility that the asteroid which is now orbiting the Sun will collide with the Earth in 2035,” the agency quoted the observatory spokesman Sergei Smirnov as saying. “But it will be only in 2028 that we will be able to determine the danger level,” the scientist added. "
Despite popular belief, the world is not running out of oil
"If you think the world is on the verge of running out of oil or other mineral resources, you've been taken in by the foremost of seven myths about resource geology, according to a University of Washington economic geologist.
'The most common question I get is, 'When are we going to run out of oil.' The correct response is, 'Never,'' said Eric Cheney. 'It might be a heck of a lot more expensive than it is now, but there will always be some oil available at a price, perhaps $10 to $100 a gallon.' "
Jumper Dies at W.Va. Bridge Day
"A participant in West Virginia's annual Bridge Day festival was killed after his parachute either failed to open or opened too late Saturday morning, officials said."
Neo-Nazis rally for jailed singer
"Hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathisers have demonstrated outside a jail in Berlin calling for the release of the singer of an outlawed far-right rock group."
Inmate refuses to leave jail
"'He rejected an offer to leave in 1992,' Thomas Melzer, a spokesman for the Brandenburg state justice ministry, told Bild newspaper. 'We can't do anything if someone sentenced to life in prison doesn't want to leave.'"
Dynamite is new weapon in battle to save forest
"When it comes to protecting the environment, dynamite is not one of the materials that comes to mind.

But yesterday RSPB Scotland began a unique approach to conservation by using explosives to blow up a number of trees in the ancient Abernethy forest.

The project, which involved blowing up the crowns of nine trees, is part of an attempt to increase the amount of large-volume dead wood in the forest."
Sitter Fatally Injured 2-Year-Old With Fly Swatter
"Murder charges have been filed against a woman who police say inflicted a fatal head injury on a St. Augustine toddler she allegedly beat with a fly swatter.

"
Man: Cookie Monster hit me first
"The 22-year-old Maryland man who allegedly punched out Cookie Monster at Middletown's Sesame Place last summer is trying to turn the tables on the teenage girl who plays the lovable character by claiming that it was she who attacked him. "
German cottage destroyed by meteor
"A fire that destroyed a cottage near Bonn and injured a 77-year-old man was probably caused by a meteor and witnesses saw an arc of blazing light in the sky, German police said on Friday.

Burkhard Rick, a spokesman for the police in Siegburg east of Bonn, said the fire gutted the cottage and badly burned the man's hands and face in the incident on October 10."
Gum was at center of twins' fatal fight
"For want of a piece of gum, one Maury County 14-year-old allegedly lashed out at his twin brother with a steak knife.

Less than 24 hours later, one brother's body was at the morgue being autopsied, while the other brother was standing before a judge, charged with first-degree murder."
Teddy Kennedy - KGB Stooge!
"The offer was to help the Soviet leadership, military and civilian, conduct a PR campaign in the United States as President Ronald Reagan sought re-election. The goal of the PR campaign would be to cast President Reagan as a warmonger, the Soviets as willing to peacefully co-exist, and thereby turn the electorate away from Reagan. It was a plan to enlist Soviet help, and use the American press, in unseating an American president."
Solomon Islands PM offices raided
"Australian peacekeepers in the Solomon Islands have raided the office of the country's prime minister looking for evidence in a controversial sex case."
Atheist gifts pontifical school in will
"An Italian journalist and self-described atheist who died last month has left most of her books and notes to a pontifical university in Rome because of her admiration for
Pope Benedict XVI, a school official said Saturday.

Oriana Fallaci had described the pontiff as an ally in her campaign to rally Christians in Europe against what she saw as a Muslim crusade against the West. As she battled breast cancer last year, she had a private audience with Benedict, who was elected only a few months earlier, at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo."
Why 112 cars are burning every day
"An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year and there have been 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services. Nearly 3,000 police officers have been injured in clashes this year. Officers have been badly injured in four ambushes in the Paris outskirts since September. Some police talk of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism."
Suicide Lesbian Teens and Text Messages!
"Authorities in Atlanta are describing what they say was a suicide attempt by a 16-year-old girl, who they say sent text-messages on her cell phone as she was about to drive into an oncoming car.

They say the girl had told friends she was going to kill herself, because another female student at her high school had refused to have sex with her."
Newspaper carriers bust deaf thief
"Two newspaper carriers foiled an alleged robbery when they saw a man crawling out of a cell phone store at 3:30 a.m.

Brian Van Dyke, who with wife Kim has delivered the Citrus County Chronicle for four years, said he yelled at the man to stop, but the suspect, 27-year-old Eric Rothwell Smart of Inverness, kept walking because he is deaf."
Ferrari Crash Dirtbag Pleads No Contest
"A Swedish businessman who authorities say crashed a Ferrari worth $1.5 million has pleaded no contest to drunken driving.
Bo Eriksson will be sentenced after his trail on charges of grand theft and embezzlement."

Long time blog readers will recall that the dirtbag in question was involved in the Gizmondo meltdown of 2005, burning investors for $100 million.
Bored schoolkid was arson about
"A schoolboy was so bored by a fire-safety talk that his teacher was giving that he set himself on fire.
The boy, a first-grader at the school in Chandler, Arizona, was playing with a lighter behind his back while the teacher read from a book on fire prevention, as he sat on the floor with his classmates."
Lord, stop me talking nonsense
"The prayer for non-crap-talking reads: 'Lord, if in an unsober state, and under the influence of those around me, I say something stupid, please give me strength to retract my words. Protect me against senseless bravado and pride.'

Father Jedrzejewski defended the book, saying: 'This book will make it easier for young people to meet with God.' "
'World Cup Air' bag plan deflated
"A Chinese businessman who describes himself as chief executive of the Lunar Embassy to China is suing after he was denied a permit to sell bags of air from the World Cup air.

Li Jie is taking legal action against a Beijing trade bureau after they denied him a permit to sell bags of 'World Cup air' for 50 yuan a bag (about £3.40) to football fans who couldn't make it to Germany this summer."
U.S. skinhead violence on the rise
"Violence by skinhead gangs in the United States is on the rise because of splits in the extreme right movement, a U.S. watchdog group said on Friday.

The Hammerskin Nation gang has long dominated the skinhead scene, but in the last two years other gangs like the Outlaw Hammerskins and the Vinlander Social Club have rebelled against them, said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project."
A year later, France fears renewed unrest
"When the call came about a car burglary in this raw suburb north of Paris one night last weekend, three officers in a patrol car rushed over, only to find themselves surrounded by 30 youths in hoods throwing rocks and swinging bats and metal bars.

Neither tear gas nor stun guns stopped the assault. Only when reinforcements arrived did the siege end. One officer was left with broken teeth and in need of 30 stitches to his face."
BA jet seconds from disaster in US 'near collision'
"A packed British Airways jet was just seconds from disaster after plummeting out of the sky in a dramatic near miss over America, it has emerged.

BA flight 2166 carrying 175 terrified passengers, three pilots and 11 crew plunged 600 feet in a bid to avoid collision with another plane above it."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Man Accused Of Engaging In Sex Act With Family Dog
"Investigators said 26-year-old, Michael Patrick McPhail may be the first person to face prosecution in Washington State under a new law protecting animals from sexual abuse.

According to charging documents, McPhail’s wife told Pierce County sheriff’s investigators she saw him engage in a sex act with the family pet.

Sherriff’s investigators said she took two photographs with a cell phone camera, then contacted police."
Child Allegedly Abducted By Man In Gorilla Suit: "Police in Washington are asking for the public's help in tracking down a man who allegedly dressed as a gorilla and grabbed a 5-year-old as he ran through a super market."

Hat tip to Kara!
Detroit Man With Mannequin Fetish Arrested Again
"A Detroit man with a history of smashing store windows to grab female mannequins has been accused of indulging his fetish again.

Ronald A. Dotson, 39, was arrested and jailed Oct. 9 after breaking a window at a cleaning-supply company to get at a mannequin in a black and white French maid's uniform, police said."
George Michael Smokes Joint during TV interview
"Inhaling deeply, he said: 'This is the only drug I've ever thought worth taking but you have to wait. It never occurred to me to take even this until I was about 22 or 23.

'This stuff keeps me sane and happy. I could write without it...if I were sane and happy. I'd say it's a great drug - but obviously it's not very healthy. You can't afford to smoke it if you've got anything to do. Anything at all would be foolish.'"
Students Busted For Giving School Aide Pot Brownie
"Police in Manilus say 16-year-old Zebediah Gallagher sold the brownie to 17-year-old Corrine Prigl, who then gave the brownie to a school aide at a high school in Manilus, about 10 miles southeast of Syracuse."
Man Indicted In Wife's Suicide Plunge Off Bear Mt.
"Victor Han , the man who allegedly allowed his wife to drive off a 300-foot cliff with their daughters in the family minivan was indicted Thursday on charges of reckless endangerment, promoting a suicide and endangering children. "
Skunk Ape on the Loose in Florida
"The “Skunk Ape,” Florida's answer to the Bigfoot legend, is making one of its periodic appearances — this time in the form of a 5-year-old blurry photograph.

Tales of the Skunk Ape, a smelly, hairy giant ape man, have circulated in Florida for more than six decades, but no one has ever come up with conclusive proof the creature exists."
Yet another reason not to feed panda cubs
"A panda cub bit off part of the thumb of an American visitor who was feeding it at a reserve in southwest China, state media said Thursday."
NZ vicar in 'knickers-run' rescue
"Concern was raised when the only clothing shop in the small North Island town of Inglewood stopped selling women's underwear.

So the Reverend Gary Husband proposed starting a regular 'knickers-run' to the nearby city of New Plymouth."
Pooty-Poot's 'rape joke' played down
"Russia's President Vladimir Putin has been overheard joking about the virility of his Israeli counterpart, who is accused of multiple rape.

A Russian journalist said Mr Putin joked that President Moshe Katsav was a 'mighty man', adding 'we all envy him'."
Backup Punter Faces Attempted Murder Charges for Stabbing Rival
"Prosecutors filed a charge of attempted first-degree murder Thursday against a former University of Northern Colorado backup punter accused of stabbing his rival in the kicking leg.

Mitchell Cozad, 21, is accused of stabbing starter Rafael Mendoza on Sept. 11 outside Mendoza's apartment. Mendoza, who has returned to the team, was treated for a 3- to 5-inch deep puncture wound in his right thigh and released."
Shooters sent out to curb bunny explosion
"The volume of rabbits in Stockholm has become such a traffic problem that the city authorities have taken to sending out shooting squads at dawn to reduce their numbers."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

End of the World Update: Warm winds of change hit the Antarctic - Break-up of ice sheet could be pinned on global warming
"The exceptional warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is due mainly to stronger winds in the area, scientists have found. These warm winds probably caused the recent break-up of a massive Antarctic ice shelf, they say."
Man beaten with a pickaxe handle in Britain's first 'web-rage' attack
"Police today warned internet users to guard their identities after a man was convicted of Britain's first 'web-rage' attack."
Official contact with aliens to take place within next 4 months
"Jan Val Ellam is a bestselling author of 15 books about Spirituality and its connection with Ufology. According to Ellam’s own words he has been maintaining contact with the representatives from the outer space for the past 20 years and taking detailed notes in a special notebook.

It was they who warned him about the earthlings’ upcoming encounter with several alien races some time between November 15, 2006 and April, 2007."
Antarctic ozone hole biggest on record, U.S. reports
"'From September 21 to 30, the average area of the ozone hole was the largest ever observed, at 10.6 million square miles ,' said Paul Newman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington.

If the stratospheric weather conditions had been normal, the ozone hole would be expected to reach a size of about 8.9 million to 9.3 million square miles, about the surface area of North America, NASA said in a statement."
Oslo gay animal show draws crowds
"Curators say a Norwegian exhibition on homosexuality among animals has been well received, despite initial indications of strong opposition."

Hat tip to Anna-Marie!
Paul McCartney Is An Idiot Update!
"Sir Paul McCartney spent yesterday with his lawyers following Heather Mills's allegations that he violently attacked her during their four-year marriage."
Grandparents convicted for heroin dealing
"A Belgian court has sentenced two 73-year-old grandparents to two-year suspended jail terms this week after they were convicted of dealing in heroin and other drugs, the tribunal said.

The elderly pensioners had taken over the business of their grandson, who himself had been imprisoned for selling heroin, cocaine and ecstasy."
Granny who shot thief to get medal
"A 67-year-old Brazilian grandmother who shot and wounded a bag-snatcher in Rio de Janeiro will get a medal from the crime-ridden city's legislators even though she faces trial for illegal gun possession. "
Scientists start work on 'invisibility cloak'
"US and British scientists said they had found a way to hide an object from microwave radiation in a first step towards making what they hope will be an invisibility cloak.

Such a device could be used to elude radar, but the researchers, like many scientists, are not working with any particular goal in mind but hope its uses will become apparent later."
Austrian Removes 'Sexist' Urinals
"An Austrian businessman announced Thursday that he would get rid of urinals shaped like a woman's mouth from a public toilet near Vienna's national opera, after facing pressure from politicians who demanded their removal."
Official: Fake NFL threat competition between two men
"A law enforcement official told CNN that a man has admitted he posted a fake bomb threat against National Football League stadiums in major U.S. cities as part of an Internet competition with a person in Texas to create the scariest terror scenario possible.

The official told CNN that it's too early to say whether the man will be charged."
Mad dictator unveils mad building
"In a bold move to wrestle the focus of international mockery away from nearby Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan has unveiled a giant building shaped like a book.

The building in the former Soviet state is called The House of Free Creativity, and is designed to celebrate press freedom and give journalists a luxurious environment in which to work.

There's just one slight problem. There is no press freedom."
‘Beer goggles’ for kids - bad idea
"A teacher's otherwise perfectly sensible plan to teach children about the dangers of alcohol - by forcing them to wear goggles which simulated being drunk - went slightly wrong when a girl fell over, hit her head on a desk and knocked out her teeth."
Crossbow Road Rage
"A motorist, angry at being cut-up and infuriated by an obscene gesture, took revenge with a drive-by shooting – using a crossbow.

When Wayne Allen Dierks, Jr was cut off by another motorist on Sunday, he allegedly decided that the best way to respond was to race after the man in his SUV and fire a crossbow through his car's rear window."
Amazonian Indians invade mine
"One of Brazil's largest mines has been shut down after 200 native American Indians stormed it, wielding bows and arrows, and took its workers hostage.

The incident - more evidence the bow and arrow may be making comeback as a weapon of choice - occurred just a few weeks after two rival groups of Bolivian miners blew themselves and their mine to bits in a two-day long dynamite fight."
Cult leader says he's too obese for execution
"A federal judge on Tuesday delayed next week's execution of cult leader Jeffrey Lundgren to allow him to join a lawsuit by five other death row inmates challenging the state's use of lethal injection.

In his request to join the lawsuit, Lundgren, 56, said he is at even greater risk of experiencing pain and suffering during the procedure than other inmates because he is overweight and diabetic."
Poland returns cows that swam from Belarus
"Poland transported 240 cows back to Belarus Thursday when vets established the animals were in good health after swimming across the Bug River."
Spanish king denies shooting drunk bear
"A spokeswoman for Spanish King Juan Carlos said Thursday that Russian reports the 68-year-old monarch brought down a tamed and inebriated bear during a visit in August were 'ridiculous.'

The palace confirmed the king, who is known to enjoy hunting, was in Russia at the time of the alleged shooting, but it says he didn't kill any bear, let alone one that was fed vodka-spiked honey."
Drugged N.Y. woman driving naked kills pedestrian
"A speeding car driven by a naked woman high on drugs hit and killed a pedestrian in the New York City borough of Staten Island, before flipping over and stopping in a parking lot, authorities said on Thursday."
Fried Coke a big hit at US state fairs
"Fried Coke's inventor, concessionaire Abel Gonzales Jr., is a creative fryer whose experiments have proven popular. Last year he sold 20,000 fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches, the Morning News reported. Fried Coke looks to be an even bigger hit: he sold 16,000 cups of the sticky balls in the first two weeks of the fair, which runs through Oct. 22."
Thieves sitting on 40 vibrators
"Police in Israel are looking for 40 vibrators, whips and a vibrator worth 200 dollars, after a prominent sexologist's car was broken into.

It's thought that the thieves who broke into Shelly Pasternak's car probably didn't know what they were taking, as the sex toys were contained in two metallic cases similar to those used to transport audio equipment."
Texas inmate kills himself hours before execution
"Michael Johnson, scheduled to be executed today for the 1995 robbery-murder of a Waco-area convenience store clerk, committed suicide this morning at the Texas death row in Livingston.

Johnson, 29, cut his jugular vein and an artery in his right arm with a makeshift blade about 2:45 a.m. He was declared dead at a local hospital at 3:40 a.m."
Animal Rebellion Update! Stingray Jumps Onto Boat, Stabs Florida Man
"'This ray leaped into a boat that a gentleman was just cruising on the Intracoastal like every ordinary family does, and apparently he tried to remove it from his boat and it kind of latched onto him,' said Rich Gonzalez of Lighthouse Point Fire Rescue."

Hat tip to Kara!
Global Positioning Tech Inspires Do-It-Yourself Mapping Project
"'Trap' streets, phantom churches, and typos are just some of the dangers travelers might face when navigating the streets of Great Britain.

That's because, unlike in the United States, the British government holds copyright on the data it produces—including maps—and it licenses that data mostly to corporate buyers.

In rare cases, corporate map producers have added a ghost or two to the government's data: nuggets of false information known as Easter eggs that serve as clues for protecting copyrights."
I liked this - saw it via Digg this morning. Actually the Digg item links to a Flickr page which regurgitates the images but misses out on the meat of this item.

These pictures are all imaginary designs for warning signs for the threats we (might) face tomorrow. Things such as being aware of an Antimatter hot spot or whether there are any Active Nano-devices.

One I particularly liked was the Motivation Hazard - quote: "Motivation hazards: as we learn to affect our brains better there is an increased risk for addictions, gain pleasure from something harmful, or that we edit ourselves to like our current state no matter what. The poppy represents such motivation traps."

Direct Link

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Toyshop owner robs bank with water pistol
"A struggling Austrian toyshop owner was arrested after he tried to rob a bank with one of his toy guns."
Meanwhile in N. Korea
"General Secretary Kim Jong Il together with KPA servicepersons enjoyed an art performance given by the KPA Song and Dance Ensemble on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU).
...
The ensemble put on the stage colorful numbers including mixed choruses 'Always Looking up to the Leader', 'Glory to the General ', 'Memory of Old Home', 'Chol Pass Arirang', 'Blue Sky over My Country', 'The Road of Victory' and 'Arirang for Prosperity', female folk song and mixed chorus ' Let's Gather Mulberry Leaves', witty talk 'Love of Comrades' and dances 'A Recruit Has Come' and 'Appearance of Hero.'

The performers sang high praises of the immortal exploits of President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who have glorified the 80-year-long history of the Korean revolution with heroic feats since the foundation of the DIU and fully represented the unshakable faith and will of the army and people to further consolidate the socialist country as an invulnerable fortress and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche with the might of single-minded unity. "
Postcard arrvives after 40 years
"A postcard sent in 1966 by a student to his parents on the other side of Poland has finally arrived after 40 years."
Toddler survives 50ft fall
"Two-year-old Vid Pavlicic fell through stair railings on the fifth floor of a block of flats in the town of Kragujevac while playing.

But after plunging down the stairwell to the basement of the building, he reportedly got up and walked away unhurt."
Musical condom hits the high notes
"A musical condom designed to play louder and faster as lovers reach a climax is to go on sale in Ukraine."
US adopts tough new space policy
"The US has adopted a tough new policy aimed at protecting its interests in space and denying 'adversaries' access there for hostile purposes.

The document - signed by President Bush - also says 'freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power'."
Iran cuts Internet speeds to homes, cafes
"Iran's internet service providers (ISPs) have started reducing the speed of Internet access to homes and cafes based on new government-imposed limits, a move critics said appeared to be part of a clampdown on the media.

An official said last week that ISPs were now 'forbidden' by the Telecommunications Ministry from providing Internet connections faster than 128 kilobytes per second (KBps), the official IRNA news agency reported. He did not give a reason."

Perhaps they were listening to Sen. Ted Stevens: "They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

Slurring minister wins internet stardom
"A Belgian politician who slurred and grinned his way through a television interview following an election victory achieved internet stardom after the clip scored over 430,000 hits on video website YouTube. "
Heartbroken Chinese man's revenge backfires
"A heartbroken Chinese man who lost his small fortune in a swindle has been jailed for two years after he threatened to blow up a train station, state media reported tiday.

Xiao Shejun called the Hankou Railway Station in central China's Wuhan city in May, threatening to 'blow it to the ground' unless authorities put one million yuan (about $NZ192,190) in a bank account, Xinhua news agency said."
Diamonds are icing on $20m cake
"A confection billed as the most expensive wedding cake in the world makes its debut on Monday night in Beverly Hills, but is likely to cause indigestion.
The extravagant $20 million diamond-studded wedding cake, created by Mimi So Jewelers and cake designer Nahid La Patisserie Artistique, is the star attraction of the Luxury Brands Bridal Show and will be unveiled on exclusive Rodeo Drive."
Sticky end for glider attempting world record
"An Auckland glider attempting to crack a world record 600km flight crashed into a bog after just 23km.
Veteran glider Murray Wardell landed in the swamp near Pouto Point in Kaipara Harbour on Saturday."
Kazakhstan misspells ‘bank’ on money
"The Kazakhstan central bank has misspelled the word “bank” on its new notes, officials said Wednesday.
The bank plans to put the misprinted notes — worth 2,000 tenge ($15) and 5,000-tenge — into circulation in November and then gradually withdraw them to correct the spelling."
Busted: Astronomers Nab Culprit in Galactic Hit-and-Run
"The Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral to the Milky Way, appears calm and tranquil as it wheels through space. But appearances can be deceiving. Astronomers have new evidence that Andromeda was involved in a violent head-on collision with the neighboring dwarf galaxy Messier 32 (M32) more than 200 million years ago.
'Like a CSI team, we gathered clues and reconstructed the scene of the crime,' said Pauline Barmby (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), a member of the research group that made the discovery. 'The evidence clearly shows that M32 is guilty of committing a hit-and-run.' "
State-run Ganja Stores on the Ballot in Nevada
"Organizers of a Nevada ballot measure hope voters in a state where almost everything goes will go one better and legalize marijuana.

If it passes Nov. 7, Nevada will be the first state to allow adults to possess up to an ounce of pot that they could buy at government-regulated marijuana shops."
Bloomberg's car jacked in New Jersey
"One of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's personal employees was running an errand for the mayor this morning in New Jersey, when someone punched him and stole the mayor's car."
Airline will pay for passengers
"A low budget airline, which flies from Edinburgh, is claiming to be the first in the world to actually pay passengers to travel with them.

SkyEurope Airline, a Central European company, said today it will cut ticket prices to minus £1."
Pimp My Tortoise
"Tina the tortoise has been given a lift after being fitted with a suspension system and a pneumatic tyre to help her cope with muddy terrain.

The three-legged reptile can now go 'off-road' after the 4x4-style system was attached to her shell."
Microchip gets dog back to owners after 1,400-mile trek
"Kobe the terrier is back with his family after a 1,400-mile trip. The small white pooch vanished from his Bellflower home last month and was found by a stranger in Denton, Texas. A microchip implanted in his neck contained his owner's information."
Masturbating candidate defiant
"A candidate for the position of Sheriff in Aspen, Colorado, has run into controversy because of an art video he made of himself which shows in masturbating into a hole in the ground.

Rick Magnuson, 41, says that the video is a healthy examples of artistic self-expression."
Candidate charged with sex abuse dies
"The crash occurred four days after the 36-year-old Aurora man was charged with sexually abusing two girls last year. Schepp, who was running as a Republican for a seat on the Kane County Board, would have faced a minimum 34-year prison sentence if convicted.

He was free on bail when his car hit the bridge abutment, hurling him more than 50 feet from the silver car, which shattered into several pieces and caught fire, authorities said. Campaign pamphlets touting Schepp's candidacy were scattered amid the debris."
Andy Griffith Running For Grant County Sheriff
"[A] Platteville man has legally changed his name to the man who famously portrayed TV's fictional sheriff of Mayberry and he said that he hopes the move will get him elected, WISC-TV reported.

Griffith is now the legal name of the former William Fenrick, a co-owner of Downtown Discs, a Platteville music store. He filed the paperwork in May to change his name and run as an independent for sheriff. (For trivia buffs, the character that the actor Andy Griffith played on the '60s TV show 'The Andy Griffith Show' was actually called 'Andy Taylor.')"
Student Accused Of Impersonating N.J. Congressman
"A 26-year-old law school standout was arrested for pretending to be a New Jersey congressman, so he could obtain visas for relatives and others in his native Cameroon, said a federal prosecutor. "
Boy refuses to drive with parents who were drinking
"A Beaver County husband and wife both face drunken driving charges after their son, fearing for his safety, refused to ride in their vehicles and began running away on a highway over the weekend."
Doherty's drug progress 'mixed'
"Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty's solicitor has described his battle to come off drugs as a 'mixed bag'.

The 27-year-old appeared at Thames Magistrates Court in east London for a review of his treatment after pleading guilty to drug possession in August."
Man dismembers girlfriend, cooks body parts
"A suicide note in the pocket of a man who jumped off the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel late Tuesday led police to the grisly scene of his girlfriend’s murder, where they found her charred head in a pot on the stove, her legs and feet baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body in trash bag in the refrigerator, according to police and the couple’s landlord. "

Hat tip to Kara!
Nanny State Idiots Update: Elementary Principal Bans Tag During Recess
"Students at Willett Elementary School in Attleboro can no longer play tag during recess. The same goes for touch football and other unsupervised 'chasing' games.

The school's principal said there's too much risk of injury to children during games like tag. Officials are also afraid if someone gets hurt, the school will get sued."
Happy Students Do Worse In Math
"In essence, happiness is overrated, says study author Tom Loveless.

'We might want to focus on the math that kids are learning and just be a little less obsessed with the fact that they have to enjoy every minute of it,' said Loveless, who directs the Brown center and serves on a presidential advisory panel on math."
Man found trapped in hotel air-conditioning duct
"Hal Lloyd Winter, 40, a Miami Beach resident, climbed up onto the roof and began crawling through the vents. He fell 30 to 40 feet and got caught on screws holding the ductwork in place, authorities said.

Hotel employees told authorities they heard his screams from the inner walls."
Senators spent $30,000 on hotel despite warning not to go to Afghanistan
"Canadian senators waited in an expensive Dubai hotel for seven days after a failed attempt to reach Afghanistan when the military had warned them not to attempt the trip in the first place, CTV News reported Wednesday."
Electromagnetic Artillery Arrives
"'Star Wars' technology is being adapted for ground war use at the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren, where an electromagnetic railgun capable of hitting targets 200 miles away has been tested successfully.

The weapon, tested earlier this month at the King George County base, fired nonexplosive projectiles at incredible speeds, using electricity rather than gun powder.

The technology could increase the striking range of U.S. Navy ships more than 10-fold by the year 2020."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dismantling the bodies
"It took the ghouls 45 minutes to take out the bones, then another 15 minutes for the skin, arms, and belly, according to a key figure in the Brooklyn-based body-snatching case."
Toddler In Hospital After Drinking PCP-Laced Juice
"An Indianapolis toddler is in critical condition today, a day after he drank from a juice bottle that contained the hallucinogenic drug PCP.

Police say his mother's boyfriend hid the drug in the bottle during a police stop."
Tripping Your Way to Sobriety
"You are hooked on alcohol and you want help getting off the booze.
You go to your doctor, and he or she says, 'Drop some acid.'"
Artillery round melted for scrap kills two
"Two people were killed and seven seriously wounded in Uganda when an artillery round blew up as a man tried to melt it down for scrap metal, police said on Saturday."

More news of the Animal Rebellion...

Baboons run wild in Cape Town....

Conflicts between baboons and humans in the suburbs of prosperous Cape Town have gotten so bad that monitoring teams have been deployed to keep the animals away (South Africa map).

The large monkeys invade people's homes in the coastal Table Mountain region, sometimes confronting people who try to scare the baboons off.

Here for more details.

Bank's £91m balance gaffe
"A woman was mistakenly told by her bank her balance had reached a staggering £91 million."
End of the World Update!! Giant comet may collide with Earth late October
If it's Pravda, it must be true!
"According to the Russian astronomer Nikolai Fedorovsky, a giant comet flying at top speed is bound for Earth. Should the comet stay on the collision course, it may hit the planet in late October. The impact will cause devastating tsunamis, earthquakes and avalanches, says Fedorovsky. He saw the killer comet in a telescope two weeks ago."
Message in bottle travels around world in 47 days
"A six-year-old girl who threw a message in a bottle out to sea off the coast of northeast Scotland in the hope that it might be found in Scandanavia was delighted to learn that it had been discovered on the other side of the world, in New Zealand, The Independent said on Friday."
Man Gets 160 Years for Killing Family to Attend Prom
"A judge sentenced a man Tuesday to 160 years in prison for killing his father, stepmother and two stepsisters so he could attend high school prom events in 1989."
Turkey Testicle Festival Saved!
"The Fort Myers Beach council voted 4-1 Monday to allow the Surf Club bar to use the Turkey Testicle Festival name after a laugh-out-loud discussion.

'This would be the fourth annual Turkey Testicle Festival. ... The fiber of our town has not unraveled,' said Councilman Charles Meador."
Wynn accidentally damages Picasso
"Pablo Picasso's 'dream' painting has turned into a $139 million nightmare for Steve Wynn.
...
A day earlier, Wynn had finalized a record $139 million deal for the painting of Picasso's mistress, Wynn told The New Yorker magazine

The accident occurred as a gesturing Wynn, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that affects peripheral vision, struck the painting with his right elbow, leaving a hole the size of a silver dollar in the left forearm of Marie-Theresa Walter, Picasso's 21-year-old mistress."
Tyson Says He May Fight Against Woman
"Mike Tyson says he may include bouts with women on his next tour, and mentioned professional boxer Ann Wolfe, who is 21-1 with 15 knockouts.

'She's such a prominent, dominant woman in the boxing field,' Tyson said. When asked if he was joking about fighting women, Tyson said, 'I'm very serious.'"
Wesley Snipes Indicted
"Wesley Snipes has been indicted on federal criminal charges for his role in a bizarre tax avoidance scheme that allegedly included him seeking $12 million in fraudulent refunds and failing to file six years of tax returns. In an eight-count indictment unsealed today, Snipes and two others are charged with knowingly attempting to defraud the government by claiming that his substantial income was somehow immune to taxation"
China University Requires Golf Lessons
"A Chinese university is requiring law and business students to take golf lessons to prepare them for a business world where deals are made on the golf course, news reports said Tuesday."
Steampunk laptop looks awesome; works
"This amazing looking steampunk laptop has a Morse key over the trackball and a manual typewriter keyboard. And the most amazing part of all? It actually works"
Yet another Celeb Activist-Hypocrite
"Bono, the rock star and campaigner against Third World debt, is asking the Irish government to contribute more to Africa. At the same time, he's reducing tax payments that could help fund that aid.

After Ireland said it would scrap a break that lets musicians and artists avoid paying taxes on royalties, Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate."
Wacko Jacko Update: Lawyers "consipring" to bankrupt him!
"Michael Jackson is accusing his former attorneys of conspiring to put him into involuntary bankruptcy.

In papers filed on Aug. 29 in Tarzana, Calif., but unseen until now, Jackson accuses former attorneys Ayscough & Marar of “approaching other lawyers” who represented Jackson “in an effort to get such lawyers to join [with them] in forcing Jackson into involuntary bankruptcy …”

Jackson also claims in the papers that Brent Ayscough — the attorney who unsuccessfully represented him in a lawsuit brought by former partner Marc Schaffel — threatened to expose confidential information about Jackson to the press, violated rules of professional conduct and committed both negligence and malpractice."
Man, 105, seeks wife
"Gong Duruo, who was born at Chengde, Hebei province, in 1901, wants a wife less than half his age.
Gong, a doctor, said: 'First, the woman better have a history of doctor practice or learning literature, since I need assistance to write a medical book."
Stolen egg returned after 43 years
"An egg stolen from a museum has been returned - after 43 years.
The little bustard's egg was anonymously returned to Overbeck's Museum, Salcombe, near Devon."
'Gold teeth stolen while owner slept'
"A Florida man claims someone reached into his mouth and stole his gold teeth as he slept."
Pirate Update! 7 Incidents last week, including this:
" 07.10.2006 at 0140 LT in posn:: 06:45.1S - 039:19.9E, Dar Es Salaam anchorage area no. 2, Tanzania.
Five robbers armed with knives boarded a container ship. They held a crew member and tied his hands and feet and robbed ship's and personal property. Master reported to port police but robbers escaped before the police boarded. "
Pakistani claims asylum because she's seven feet tall
"A 7ft 2ins Pakistani woman is to live in Britain on benefits after claiming asylum because she is 'too tall' to return home.

Zainab Bibi, 33, claims she faces constant persecution and ridicule in her own country over her height. She has lodged an asylum claim with the Home Office and has already been granted a two-year visa to remain in the UK."
This is the shape of things to come for mankind
"Humans will grow to an average of 6ft 6in, live to the age of 120 and all have brown skin by the year 3,000, an evolutionary expert suggested yesterday.

Dr Oliver Curry, of the Darwin@LSE research centre at the London School of Economics, said our species will evolve to be taller and live longer, and that racial differences will become less and less pronounced, thanks to trends in nutrition, medicine and migration."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dog falls from window, nabs suspect
"A Gilford police dog fell from a second-story window while searching for a robbery suspect during the weekend, but still got its man."
Controversyplagued superheavy element 118 finally created
"Element 118 has been indirectly discovered in experiments conducted at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia by a collaboration of researchers from Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California."
State Documents Found Blowing Through Streets
"'I think I have everybody's livelihood from anybody from 1974 that had to do with Ohio Ethics Commission disclosure statements, Ward said while holding an armful of documents.

He kept collecting out of conscience.

'The Christian thing to do to turn it in so no one else would have it,' he said of the sensitive information.

The Ohio Ethics Commission required state officials to file forms detailing their personal and financial information in 1973."
'Jolted' Fish Gave Early Warning Of Hawaii Quake
"Fish in a lagoon at a Hawaiian resort began to jump out the water like they were being jolted with electricity minutes before a 6.6 magnitude earthquake rattled the islands, causing blackouts and landslides, according to Local 6's Erik von Ancken, who is vacationing in the area."
Judge orders man to make up for ruined Christmas
"A Georgia man has been sentenced to take his wife and two children out to Christmas dinner at one of Atlanta's most expensive restaurants.

A judge imposed the sentence on Wendell Rogers for ruining last Christmas by fighting with his wife in front of their children and trying to prevent her from calling for help."
Has the mayor's new girlfriend, who is only 20, been drinking?
"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's new squeeze, Brittanie Mountz, just turned 20 last month -- and that raises a couple of questions about the couple's nights on the town.

The biggest question is whether Mountz has been drinking, and it's been swirling since the pair made their first public appearance and walked down the red carpet together at the San Francisco Symphony in September.

At the time, Mountz had a MySpace page that said she was 19. It now says she's 26."
Rare meteorite found in Kansas field
"Scientists located a rare meteorite in a Kansas wheat field thanks to new ground-penetrating radar technology that someday might be used on Mars."
Principal resigns over kitten shooting
"The school principal in a remote community along the Canadian border has resigned and faces potential criminal charges for firing a shotgun on school property last month to kill a pair of orphaned kittens."
Greeting everyone! Paul here in London. Karl and I are very pleased to announce that the Seventh Episode of the Weird Nylon Podcast is now available! I get a little vexed over an item or two and drop the F-Bomb.... Karl's voice is a little buzzy from time to time but there's no tmuch we can do about that over Skype. We do our best... it's all about the content eh?

Elephants. Pirates. Pete Doherty. Ants. The Killers. and a whole lot more. Luvvly...

Right click save as from THIS LINK
Czech Jet Pilot "Nearly Downs Civilian Plane" Over Sweden
This is soooo typically Czech:
"A Czech fighter-jet pilot was aiming 'at the wrong target' when he nearly shot down a civilian aircraft during a military training exercise in northern Sweden last week, a Czech defence ministry spokesman said Monday.
But for now 'no one can say whether it was his fault,' spokesman Andrej Cirtek said."
Pooty-Poot Does Another Journo
No one ever leaves the K.G.B.

"The business chief of Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Anatoly Voronin, was killed last night in his apartment in central Moscow, the agency reported.
Death was the result of multiple knife wounds, according to police, Itar-Tass reported. Several theories are being investigated, the agency said."
One giant step for home entertainment?
"In this astonishing photo, a model is wearing a new gadget, from electronics manufacturer Toshiba, that enables the wearer to experience a full 360-degree view on a 40 centimetre dome-shaped screen."
Painting the town pink
"Inspired by a trip to Jaipur – known as the 'Pink City' because of the distinctive colour of its buildings – city official Arvind Kumar Singh conceived the plan to paint all the buildings in the city pink.

'What better colour than pink – which symbolises good mood, soothing sight and good feelings. Pink also fosters communal amity and harmony,' he told the BBC.

Beyond that, the exact details of how pink buildings will lower the crime rate and violence in the city is a little unclear."
Singers sent of for abusing fans
"It should have been a proud moment for teenage identical twins launching their music careers.

But Francine and Nicola Gleadall were arrested at the launch of their debut single at a football stadium after abusing opposition fans."
And now, the virtual news
"Reuters, one of the world's leading news agencies, already operates from 196 bureaux around the world. Now, it's added a 197th – in a virtual, online world.

It will become the first news agency to have a permanent presence reporting from events in the Second Life online world, in a move that may be the first step into a brave new world of journalism, or may be a cheap stunt, depending on how cynical you are."
Cat Starts House Fire, Dog Saves Owner"After a disabled woman's cat started a house fire, her specially trained dog rescued her by bringing a phone to call for help. Jamie Hanson, 49, received third-degree burns on her arm in the fire that killed both of her pets, Sheboygan County Sheriff's officials said Monday."
Man Claims New World Record for Fasting
"A Russian man on Monday claimed to have set a new world record _ for fasting. A bearded and hollow-cheeked Agasi Vartanyan finished what he said was his 50th day without food, climbing out of plastic cube on the banks of the Neva River outside of St. Petersburg _ and promptly berating reporters.

'I feel offended because my efforts did not attract much attention,' the 46-year-old said. 'Only local media wrote about it.'"
Robber’s wish to go to prison granted
"A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police."
Is that an iPod in your pocket ... or 39?
"Three New York men are charged with stealing 39 iPods by stashing them in a special pair of oversized jeans that didn't trigger security detectors at a Target store, police said. 'On the video you can see them walk out of the store cool as a cucumber,' Riverdale Police Chief Dave Hansen said."
First Antimatter Chemistry
"The Athena collaboration, an experimental group working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, has measured chemical reactions involving antiprotonic hydrogen, a bound object consisting of a negatively charged antiproton paired with a positively charged proton.

This composite object, which can also be called protonium, eventually annihilates itself, creating an even number of telltale charged pions. Normally the annihilation comes about in a trillionth of a second, but in the Athena apparatus (and its very thorough vacuum conditions) the duration is a whopping millionth of a second."
Stealth satellites
"A patent recently issued to an upstart space entrepreneur could be another sign that stealth satellites are real — not vestiges of the previous millennium’s battles.
In late 2004, right about the time that some U.S. lawmakers publicly unveiled a previously classified $9.5 billion program to build satellites that orbit the Earth undetected from the ground, Robert Bigelow, hotel entrepreneur and founder of Bigelow Aerospace, submitted a patent application for a satellite that proposed to do just that."
Discovered after 60 years, the secret agents tortured and killed
"According to a report in the daily La Repubblica, local government archivists have discovered that they were Italians infiltrated into the German-occupied part of Italy after Italy's withdrawal from the second world war in 1943. 'They worked either for the forerunner of the CIA, the American Office of Strategic Services [OSS], or for the British Special Operations Executive [SOE],' said Carla Giacomozzi, who led the research team."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Possible evidence of cell division, differentiation found in oldest known embryo fossils
"A group of 15 scientists from five countries has discovered evidence of cell differentiation in fossil embryos that are more than 550 million years old. They also report what appear to be cells about to divide."
Sardinia as lost island of Atlantis
"Top scholars have gathered in Rome this week to discuss the exciting and controversial idea that Sardinia is the lost island of Atlantis .
The theory, developed in a book by the Italian journalist Sergio Frau, has drawn international acclaim but also fuelled heated criticism ."
Farty Gas Triggers Suspended Animation State
"Hydrogen sulfide gas, a favorite of laboratory pranksters, appears to also induce a state of suspended animation in mice. Interestingly, it manages to lower the metabolic rate while maintaining normal blood pressure, something the researchers didn't expect, and which could have all sorts of applications in medicine."
Astronomers Scope The Weather On Extrasolar Planet
"Astronomer Joseph Harrington, of the University of Central Florida, has reported the first direct observation of distinct day and night temperatures on a planet orbiting another star."
Kangaroo on the loose in Austria
"It's not the first time there's been a missing marsupial in the European nation. In March, a kangaroo led police on a chase through the snow."
500 students riot at Calif. high school
"A fight between two high school students erupted into a riot of 500 people, prompting officers to fire bean bags and rubber pellets to scatter the crowd, police said. No major injuries were reported."
Helmets, Crutches Used As Weapons During Football Brawl
"'It was a great game,' FIU quarterback Josh Padrick said, 'until 9 minutes left in the third quarter.'
...
'It's not our fault,' said Miami's Kenny Phillips, who had an interception. 'Whatever it was, it wasn't us.'
Moments later, Jon Peattie kicked the extra point for a 14-0 lead and the melee began; replays showed an FIU player crashing into Miami holder Matt Perrelli as the first of many blows. Pushing quickly turned into punches, both sidelines emptied and several fights broke out."
N. Korea Update: China may back coup against Kim
"The Chinese are openly debating 'regime change' in Pyongyang after last week's nuclear test by their confrontational neighbour."
Police accuse Israeli president of rape
"Israel said on Sunday its police force had acquired evidence suggesting President Moshe Katsav had raped and molested women who worked for him.
Katsav, whose position is largely ceremonial, has denied any wrongdoing and said he is the victim of a 'public lynching without trial or investigation.'"
Meanwhile in N. Korea...
" The U.S. is now hatching every conceivable plot to bring down the DPRK, while directing the spearhead of attack against it.
Its hostile policy toward the DPRK has gone beyond the tolerance limit and a dangerous atmosphere of confrontation reminiscent of that on the eve of war is now prevailing on the Korean Peninsula.
It is against this backdrop that the U.S. is escalating its financial sanctions against the DPRK worldwide while being busy spreading sheer lies in a bid to intensify its operations to destabilize the DPRK as evidenced by the reinforced operation of 'Voice of Free Asia.' "
38 Million Sharks Killed for Fins Annually, Experts Estimate
"Some chicken stock, a few mushrooms, chicken breast, scallions, a little sherry, oil, spices—shark fin soup is fairly easy to prepare. But to make soup for six, you'll also need about a pound (half a kilogram) of shark fin meat.

Demand for that crucial ingredient has led to the killing of a median of about 38 million sharks a year, according to a new study that offers what may be the first reliable estimates of the number of sharks killed for their fins."
Monolith Perhaps Largest Found in Mexico
"Archaeologists announced Friday that a monolith discovered earlier this month near Mexico City's main square is perhaps the largest ever unearthed in the city's center."
Second Bizarre Accident Strikes New York Woman
"A woman whose apartment was burned in the high-rise crash of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle's plane was the victim of another frightening, bizarre and high-profile Manhattan accident years earlier, when a lamppost knocked over by a parade float seriously injured her."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Rivalry cited in macabre prank
"Dead sheep strung up on goal post; district officials are not amused"
Who could imagine that the marching band got all the action!?!
"UW Marching Band members engaged in a head-shaving hazing incident and lewd dancing on a recent road trip that recalls even worse conduct in previous years, administrators said Thursday."
It's John Paul II, the cartoon hero
"The Vatican will make history this week when it releases a cartoon film about the life of Pope John Paul II."
All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us
Bloggers take on the Jihadis and their useful idiots in the maintream media!
Dog gnawed on bra that led to crash, teen tells troopers
A time-worn excuse for failing to hand in one’s homework has been offered as the reason that a red bra triggered a rollover accident last month on northbound I-75 in Wood County.

The dog ate it.
Dialing Up a Sea Change
"At the beginning of 2000, India had 1.6 million cellphone subscribers; today there are 125 million -- three times the number of land lines in the country. With 6 million new cellphone subscribers each month, industry analysts predict that in four years nearly half of India's 1.1 billion people will be connected by cellphone."
Local pianist accused of BWI bomb threat
"Spicka, 59, is accused of sending two threatening e-mails to airport officials about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities say he tried to conceal his identity by calling himself 'George Orwell' and sending the email through software that hides its origin."
Politically Incorrect at U Texas Austin
"A group of first-year law students at the University of Texas at Austin has been chided by the dean for participating in a “Ghetto Fabulous”-themed costume party and posting pictures from it online."
Please join me in welcoming my new co-blogger Parky! He is the mastermind behind our Weird NyLon podcast and will undoubtedly be supplying us with plenty of weirdness going forward.
Bride's gown made of cream puffs
"Valentyn Shtefano’s pastries were known for attracting stares and giggles as well as lip-smacking murmurs. But even his fiancée was surprised when Shtefano told her he was making her wedding dress — out of flour, eggs, sugar and caramel."

From the Podcast - Jaffa Cakes


Jaffa cake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Under UK law, no VAT is charged on biscuits and cakes — they are "zero rated". Chocolate covered biscuits, however, are classed as luxury items and are subject to VAT at 17.5%. McVitie's classed its Jaffa Cakes as cakes, but in 1991, this was challenged by HM Customs and Excise in court. This may have been because Jaffa Cakes are about the same size and shape as some types of biscuit. The question which had to be answered was what criteria should be used to class something as a cake or biscuit.

McVitie's defended the classification of Jaffa Cakes as a cake by
producing a giant Jaffa Cake to illustrate that their Jaffa Cakes were
simply mini cakes.


[Parky: And this is the kicker:]
They also argued that the distinction between cakes and biscuits is simply that cakes go hard when stale, whereas biscuits go soft. It was demonstrated that Jaffa Cakes become hard when stale and McVitie's won the case.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Willie Nelson's stash

Kamikaze comet ripples Saturn's ring
"A smack from a small comet in the 1980s may be responsible for ripples in one of Saturn's rings, images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft suggest. The finding is another indication that the rings are not static and can change on human timescales."
Bizarre 'string of pearls' adorns Saturn
"A mysterious 'string of pearls' has been imaged in Saturn's atmosphere by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. These and other features indicate that the Ringed Planet's atmosphere is much more active than expected."
Meanwhile in N Korea: They might have The Bomb, but not much electricity
"As the world grapples with how to rein in the 'axis of evil' state which this week conducted a nuclear test, this spectacular satellite photo unveiled yesterday by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shows in stark detail the haves and have-nots of the Korean peninsula."
Going down the UTubes
"A website which sells machines for making tubes and pipes has been swamped with visitors looking for YouTube.
Utube.com, the internet sales arm of Ohio-based Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment, was even taken down earlier this week by the huge volumes of traffic they recieved from millions of visitors who have confused it with YouTube."
Malaysian Pays $54,300 for Vanity Plate
"A Malaysian man has paid $54,300 for a car license plate bearing his surname, the highest bid in the country for such an item, an official and news reports said Friday."
Congressional Follies Continue!
"Federal prosecutors in Arizona have opened a preliminary investigation of a camping trip Congressman Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., took 10 years ago that included two teenage congressional pages, a Justice Department spokesman told NBC News"
Free Fall Radio: Air America Goes Bankrupt
"Air America Radio today filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities in excess of $20 million and assets of only $4 million."
Elephants and Republicans!
"Republican House candidate and former reality TV show contestant Raj Peter Bhakta believes riding an elephant across the Rio Grande is the way to take a seat away from the Democrats.

Bhakta, challenging first-term Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, rode the elephant across the Rio Grande along the Texas-Mexico border to make a point about border security."
Islam vs. France Update
"Turf conscious bloggers in Paris' rundown, mostly Muslim, suburban immigrant housing estates rival in violent messages that threaten to beat senseless and even kill any intruder caught in 'our ghetto.' Almost every word is misspelled, in both argot slang and pidgin French. And these are not empty threats. An average of 14 policemen a day are injured in bloody clashes with jobless youngsters. "
Australian bitten 5 times by Death Adder
"The 50-year-old man, whose identity was not immediately released, was attacked after he mistakenly picked up the snake believing it was a lizard, emergency officials and media reports said."
What Would Happen If Humans Disappeared
We're a virus about to be anti-bodied!

Hat tip to Paul!
Cat sets up home in nest
"A cat has set up home in a bird's nest in Norfolk.
...
The cat only leaves the cherry tree to beg for food at her back door then climbs back up the tree."
Rabbit's week under the bonnet
"Jon Llewlyn, 34, had spotted the wild bunny hopping around near his car but assumed it had gone when he later drove away.

But after he arrived at his home in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, he noticed its fluffy head poking out of the front grill, reports the Mirror."
Man kept grenades on mantelpiece
"Heimen van der Wal, from Makkum, kept the grenades on his mantelpiece for decades after discovering them in woods near Arnhem as a child.

'We though they were harmless,' his wife Marjan told the Antwerp Gazette. 'Our children have even played with them.'"
Baby sitter kills bear that breaks into yard
"A northern Idaho baby sitter shot and killed a 422-pound black bear that broke into a backyard where three toddlers were playing."
Ganja Bomb Defense Fails
"A Vero Beach man who testified he fled from police because he discovered a large amount of marijuana in his lap and thought it was a bomb someone tossed into his car was sentenced to 30 years in prison."
New Research Adds Twist to Global Warming Debate
"A new study provides experimental evidence that cosmic rays may be a major factor in causing the Earth’s climate to change.
...
Ten years ago, Danish researchers Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen first hypothesized that cosmic rays from space influence the Earth’s climate by effecting cloud formation in the lower atmosphere. Their hypothesis was based on a strong correlation between levels of cosmic radiation and cloud cover – that is, the greater the cosmic radiation, the greater the cloud cover. Clouds cool the Earth’s climate by reflecting about 20 percent of incoming solar radiation back into space."
4 Bodies, Including 2 Kids, Found Shot In Fla.
"There’s been a gruesome discovery along an isolated stretch of Florida’s Turnpike. Four bodies, including those of two children, were found Friday in St. Lucie County, and each appeared to have been shot several times."
Gaming firms exit US for just $1
"Online gaming firm Sportingbet has sold most of its US business for $1 (53p) hours before a law was passed outlawing internet gambling across the country."
Nobel Peace Prize Shocker! Someone who deserves it actually wins
"Yunus was something of a surprise winner in a large field of nominees that included diplomats who brokered peace deals in hotspots like Indonesia's troubled Aceh Province and global celebrities like U2 lead singer and development advocate Bono.

But in awarding the $1.36 million prize to the Vanderbilt University-trained economist, the committee said his work showed that "even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development."

Faking College
"A student impersonator 'attends' Rice University for a year"
Some Psychiatrists See 'Shopaholic' As a Diagnosis
"'I would say, 'You are so beautiful, I can't live without you; I love the way you sparkle,' ' recalled Schenk, 62, in an interview. 'The jewelry would say back, 'You need me. You look pretty when you wear me.' I would say, 'I do need you. I can't possibly think of being without you. But something has to change. I need to stop this. I can't afford a penny more.' '"
Unlucky roots of Friday the 13th
"The day Friday and the number 13 have been associated with bad luck for thousands of years, but it is only in recent history that the two have been amalgamated."
Michigan woman tries to sell mummy on eBay
"You can buy almost anything through e-Bay — but a mummy?
Officials are trying to track down the origins of a mummified human skeleton that a Michigan woman tried to sell on the Internet auction site."
Man Unable to Urinate On Demand
"A man who was jailed for urinating in a drink that was consumed by and sickened a convenience store customer could be in trouble again, this time because he says can't produce that bodily fluid when told to."
Animal Rebellion Update! Goat killed after it allegedly attacks pregnant woman
"According to authorities, the goat was 200-pounds, and was ready to attack. However, the owner of the animal refutes the police's claim, saying that the goat was about 50 pounds, and was only playing."
Robot bear to save lives
"Soldiers may no longer have to call for a medic on the battlefield – thanks to a robot which can pick up the wounded and carry them to safety.

The remote-controlled android, dubbed the Battlefield Extraction and Retrieval Robot (Bear), has a range of up to 50m."
UFO menace ‘not a threat’
"The Defence Ministry has denied that Britain is in peril from alien warships descending from the skies, while acknowledging that has received 714 reports of unidentified flying objects in the last six years."

Tell it to the mutilated cattle!
'Mouse Orgy' at Paris Disneyland
"The Walt Disney Co today said it took 'appropriate action' against employees at its Paris theme park who were caught simulating sex while dressed as Disney characters in a digital video that has received wide attention on the internet. "
Leadership at Work
"According to an Atlantic Beach Police Department press release a security guard called police after they got a complaint of Morris standing naked on a hotel room balcony touching himself inappropriately.

When police arrested Morris they also found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
...
According to the Brunswick County Board of Education chairman, Morris was taking part in the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Fall Leadership conference at Atlantic Beach."
Congressional Follies Update!
I *love* election years!

"The best case for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is that he was sloppy about financial disclosure rules in accounting for a real estate deal on which he made a $700,000 profit. The more unattractive case is that the senator's inaccurate description of the investment was an effort to disguise his partnership with a Las Vegas lawyer who's never been charged with wrongdoing but whose name has surfaced in federal investigations involving organized crime, casinos and political bribery since the 1980s."
Troops battling Afghan marijuana forests
"'The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very readily. It's very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices ... and as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests'"
Woman who cried rape was the rapist
"A woman who falsely claimed she was date-raped before becoming pregnant and abandoning her unwanted baby in a rubbish bin has been jailed for the statutory rape of the child's father – her 12-year-old cousin."
Florida Man Charged With Keeping Son Locked Up for 3 Years, Tracking Moves With Camera
"The home of Randall Warren Piercy, 41, was like a prison that had cameras in almost every room, with the father monitoring the boy on TV and computer screens, sheriff's Lt. Annie Smith said Thursday.

Over the past three years, the boy did not attend school, receive medical attention or have contact with people outside the family, Smith said. Authorities said he was home-schooled but could not read children's books."
No slang in songs, Vietnam says
"'The censorship concerns exclusively the vocabulary,' he said, adding there was 'nothing political' in the move.

State-controlled website VietnamNet said 'the public has raised its voice about the trend of using 'garbage' words in Vietnamese songs.'"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fertile women dress to impress
"'They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably,' said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study."
Egyptians haven't heard of opinion polls
"An opinion poll conducted by an Egyptian government body showed that 61 per cent of those surveyed had never heard of opinion polls before,"
T-ball coach gets 1-6 years for ordering beaning
"A youth league baseball coach convicted of getting one of his players to injure a teammate was sentenced to one to six years in prison today."
Russian Assassins in Iraq
"Last June, after five Russian diplomats were killed by Sunni Arab terrorists, many experienced counter-terrorism professionals expected the Russians to act. Russia, over some two centuries, has developed some very successful techniques for dealing with such terrorism. When confronted with terrorist attacks like this, the Russians go in and play by terrorist rules. They terrorize the terrorists"
Greeks Pull Stuka from Sea
"Greek military divers Friday successfully raised the wreckage of a German World War II Stuka bomber from the sea off the eastern island of Rhodes, the air force said.

The Junkers-87 dive-bomber was shot down in 1943 and will be conserved and displayed at the air force museum at an airport near Athens, air force spokesman Col. Ioannis Papageorgiou said."
Yet another reason to love The Smoking Gun!
"In the world of the Killers, nothing says Tuesday like Jack Daniels and gin. Except, of course, Thursday and Saturday. Following in the footsteps of Sheryl Crow, the Las Vegas rockers order their dressing room booze on a strict daily schedule, according to their 2006 tour rider, a copy of which you'll find below. For example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are reserved for Maker's Mark whiskey and Absolut vodka. And Sunday is exclusively the province of tequila and Jameson Irish Whiskey."
One small cottage for man
"The traditional red cottage is one of the best known features of the Swedish countryside – seen by many Swedes as a symbol of their country. And, according to Swedish news source The Local, the Swedish Space Corporation now wants to put a little red cottage on the moon."
Men value sports over life itself
"Men with medical emergencies may wait until televised sports events have finished before going to hospital, according to a new study.

The 3-year-long study showed that admissions of men to the emergency department University of Maryland Medical Centre Hospital rose 50% after televised American football games were over, and 30-40% after baseball had ended."
Death row prisoner gets life
"Authorities in Vietnam are investigating the mysterious case of a female death row inmate who looks set to avoid the firing squad – because she's managed to get herself pregant."
Man strangles dog, displays it to owner
"A man strangled his roommate's dog with a belt, then confronted the owner with the dead animal, police said.

Willis Evans, 21, of Erie, apparently killed the small mixed-breed dog early yesterday morning by wrapping a belt around its neck."
Investigation finds former ATF chief had employees help nephew with homework
"Most kids can't go straight to the top to get help with their homework. But it's apparently different when your uncle runs a federal agency.

Investigators say the former head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had some 20 workers help his nephew with a high school project. They spent dozens of hours researching, lining up interviews and pulling file footage for the documentary about the ATF the nephew was doing."
A view with some rooms
"[T]his design for a seven storey building allows the views out of its windows to be varied. Each floor is set on a coaster which turns in the wind – like a horizontal windmill.

To prevent the futuristic structure from spinning out of control, each floor has a brake to stop it at a certain point"
Anti-Violence Activist Charged With Home Invasion
"A Rochester woman involved with anti-violence groups is accused of being among the people who broke into her cousin's house and severely beat the woman. "
Four killed in pothole fight
"Four people died and three were injured after an argument over who should repair a pothole in a rural road in Mexico erupted in to gunfire."
Tidal power plan to blow up two islands
"Scientists have suggested blowing up two uninhabited islands off Orkney to help maximise the potential for tidal energy in the Pentland Firth."
Woman Accused of Smuggling Drugs in Food
"A woman who brought a burrito to a friend in jail has been accused of using the burrito to try to smuggle in heroin."
Schoolyard Chant Foils Armored Heist
"A group of school children helped foil an attempted armored van robbery by memorizing the getaway car's registration plate in a school yard chant, police said Wednesday."
Friends watch man fall from tree, die
"Julian Spencer was adept at climbing trees as a young boy in his native Jamaica.

So when the 49-year-old Dolton man bet a buddy he could scale the tree in front of another friend's Englewood home Monday night, he thought he made an easy $20.

Instead, Spencer tumbled 15 feet to his death when a branch he crawled up to broke during his quest to prove he still had what it takes, police said.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lightning exits from woman's bum
"A Croatian woman was left with a severely burned anus after a lightning strike which entered through her mouth left her body through her bottom."
Bahamas orders man lashed with cat-o'-nine-tails
"A man convicted of trying to rape an 83-year-old woman in the Bahamas has been sentenced to eight lashes with a cat o' nine tails, the favourite punishment of the 18th century Royal Navy."
End of the World Update! The 'wobble' that wipes out life on Earth every 2.5m years
"Scientists have found that on average mammal species enjoy only 2.5 million years of life before being wiped out because of the Earth's 'wobble.'"
Congressional Follies Move Beyond Sex!
"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show.

In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company, according to records and interviews."
Goats Key to Spread of Farming, Gene Study Suggests
"Goats accompanied the earliest farmers into Europe some 7,500 years ago, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society, a new study suggests.

The trailblazing farm animals were hardy and highly mobile traveling companions to ancient pioneers from the Middle East who introduced agriculture to Europe and elsewhere, researchers say."
End of the World Update: U.S. Forgives Multimillion-Dollar Debt to Aid Guatemala Forests
"In a 'debt for nature' swap, the United States has agreed to forgive about 20 percent of the 108 million dollars owed by Guatemala. In exchange, the Central American country will invest 24.4 million dollars to protect species-rich subtropical and tropical ecosystems."
Feds Seize Funds in Prostitution Case
"Federal agents have seized more than $427,000 in cash and stocks from a woman accused of running a money-laundering scheme from her Washington-based prostitution business, court records obtained Monday show.
...
Palfrey's clients may have included wealthy doctors and lawyers in Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs, but no well-known names have so far surfaced, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing"

It's only a matter of time before this joins the DC Sexalanche.

Hat tip to Ricky!
Pirate Update!!
"Gunmen in speed boats attacked barges carrying fuel. Three soldiers protecting the convoy were killed. They kidnapped 25 Nigerian workers and hijacked the barges. They discharged the barges at Billie and the 25 workers are being held in that village."
Firefighters spy on own firebugs
"As Australia braces for a scorching summer wildfire season, firefighters are being forced to spy on their own ranks amid suspicions one-in-five bushfires are lit by firefighters. "
Famous or infamous, dry Sienna acts out again "'Sienna ripped off her hat and said, 'I am Sienna Miller. I am a famous actress!'' Ms. Folino said. 'That's what she did. She was basically throwing a temper tantrum.'"

Hat tip to Kara!
Jumbo-size passengers hit airlines' bottom line
"Chinese airlines are being forced to rearrange their seating to accommodate a burgeoning number of overweight passengers but risk squeezing their profits into the bargain, Xinhua news agency said. "
China agonises over leg-stretching-by-rack surgery
"China has warned image-conscious citizens against using the rack to lengthen their legs after several such operations went badly wrong.

Ten people were reported to have been disfigured after they underwent stretching surgery last year, it added.

The operation, which involves breaking the patient's legs and then stretching them on a rack, has become popular among young professionals 'desperate to climb up the ladder in the country's height-conscious society', Xinhua news agency said, without trying to pull anyone's leg."
Inventor boils the perfect egg
"A British inventor says he has cracked the age-old riddle of how to boil the perfect egg - get rid of the water.
Simon Rhymes uses powerful light bulbs instead of boiling water to cook the egg."
Meanwhile in N. Korea
"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defence capability.
It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."
Pink Prison Garb Freaks Out Criminals
"Low, who was a deputy in Mason before being elected sheriff, estimated the re-offense rate in the county is down 70 percent since he switched to pink jumpsuits for the inmates. He also said there have been no fights between inmates in the jail since it was painted."
Cannon injures 5 Snohomish students at homecoming celebration
"Five students were hurt when they were struck by the Snohomish High School touchdown cannon at the start of Friday's homecoming game.
...
Parthemer didn't know who was operating the cannon and did not know if the students were struck by cannon fire or by some sort of flying debris caused by a possible cannon malfunction."
Morals and Values and Schools Oh My! Whiners crap their pants as home-schooling dad appointed to school board
"'I think he's maybe on the board for other reasons. I think he's concerned about morals and values in the public school system.'"
Embarrassing typo forces ballot reprint
"Ottawa County will pay about $40,000 to correct an embarrassing typographical error on its Nov. 7 election ballot.
That's how much it will cost the county to reprint 170,000 ballots that were missing the letter 'L' in the word 'public.'"
Police Find Burgers Sprinkled With Pot
"Three workers at a Burger King restaurant were arrested after two Isleta tribal police officers discovered that the hamburgers they ordered were sprinkled with marijuana."
Ohio Prosecutor Charged With Indecency
"A city prosecutor was charged with indecency after a security camera caught him walking around naked in a government building after business hours."
300 Monkeys to Be Banished From New Delhi
"The Supreme Court ordered wildlife authorities to catch hundreds of monkeys that roam the Indian capital, often terrorizing residents, and relocate them thousands of miles away, a newspaper reported Wednesday."
Sexalanche Update: 'Foley problem' surfaces for Ohio Democrats
"In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, questions are circulating below the radar screen in Ohio about the past record of Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland on pedophilia.

Strickland is the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Ohio running against Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell."

Mom Tried To Trade Son For Wedding Gown
"Davenport, Iowa, police charged 31-year-old Marcy Gant with one felony count of sale of an individual. She is accused of trying to sell her 4-year-old son.
They said Gant bought a wedding dress from a local street vendor, paid part of the tab, and offered her son to make up the rest of the balance."
U.S. Says Blacks in Mississippi Suppress White Vote
"The government is charging blacks with voting fraud in a state whose violent rejection of blacks’ right to vote, over generations, helped give birth to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet within Mississippi the case has provoked knowing nods rather than cries of outrage, even among liberal Democrats."
Man shells out £14k on army tank for supermarket run
"Driver Stephen Ellison keeps bringing traffic grinding to a halt - by going to town in a 7.5 tonne tank.

The father of one has left other motorists stunned after shelling out £14,000 on a 1974 Sabre light reconnaissance tank."
Self-assembling gel stops bleeding in seconds
"Swab a clear liquid onto a gaping wound and watch the bleeding stop in seconds. An international team of researchers has accomplished just that in animals, using a solution of protein molecules that self-organise on the nanoscale into a biodegradable gel that stops bleeding."
Beer thief nabbed
"The vehicle at 95A Street and 120 Avenue had been left in a parking lot where Chic sniffed out an alcohol-laden track leading to an apartment two blocks away, beer and clothing strewn along the way, police said today."
Woman Charged With Drunk Horse Riding
"Well, that's a DUI of a different color. Heather Darnell, 22, of Mountain City, Ga., faces a drunk driving charge after she steered the horse she was riding onto the highway and tangled with a car, authorities said. Darnell also was cited for entering a traffic lane."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Couple jailed for sex in mosque
"A couple caught having sex in a Kenyan mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan have been sentenced to 18 months jail for what the judge called an 'abominable' affront to religion."
Football Nazis
"Croatia could be kicked out of Euro 2008 if fans abuse England’s black players tomorrow.
Soccer chiefs fear trouble after 200 of their supporters formed a human swastika at a friendly in Italy."
Animal Rebellion Update! Elephants raid village, search for dead friend
"Thousands of people in eastern India have fled their homes in fear as elephants crash through villages looking for one of their herd"
No Pachyderm Gets Left Behind!

Hat tip to Kara!

Monday, October 09, 2006

End of the World Update: UK to join 'killer' asteroid hunt
"UK astronomers are to join a search for Earth-threatening asteroids measuring less than 1km (0.6 miles) across.

Researchers from three universities have signed an agreement to use a one of the world's most advanced telescopes - the Pan-Starrs observatory in Hawaii."
Striking new bird discovered in South America
"A brightly coloured bird has been discovered on a remote mountain range in South America. The previously unknown species, the Yariguies Brush Finch, has striking black, yellow and red plumage."
Man eats 247 Jalapenos to win contest
"'I eat mild salsa,' Huang said. 'But there's nothing like putting yourself through a lot of pain for no reason.'
...
'I cant feel my face,' he said when he was able to speak again."
Darth Vader robs petrol stations
"The staff at two petrol stations in Australia got a surprise recently, when they were robbed by Darth Vader.
The man, wearing a Darth Vader mask and armed with a toy gun, tried to rob a Mobil service station on Friday. However, his control of the Force was insufficient for him to be able to open the till, and he left empty handed."
Animal Rebellion Update! Bulls rampage in Scotland, India
"The bulls are angry. And when the bulls are angry, that's not good news.
In Perthshire, three bulls rampaged across a dual carriageway and into a police station, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, as they made a getaway from an auction.
...
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, an enraged bull ran amok through the city centre – charging through two markets, a movie theater, a Sikh temple and the YWCA during a seven-hour rampage"
Yale Student's Resume Video Raises Wall Street Eyebrows
"Thousands of Ivy Leaguers circulate their resumes each year to New York's investment banks, but few garner as much attention as Aleksey Vayner, who last week submitted an 11-page resume and video to UBS's human resources department.

By the week's end, the Yale University senior's video had raised scores of eyebrows and sparked much laughter in nearly every firm on Wall Street.

Mr. Vayner identifies himself on his resume as a multi-sport professional athlete, the CEO of two companies, and an investment adviser. The video depicts him lifting a 495-pound weight, serving a tennis ball at 140 miles an hour, and ballroom dancing with a scantily clad female. Finally, Mr. Vayner emerges enrobed in a white karate suit and breaks six bricks in one fell swoop."
End of the World Update: Planet enters 'ecological debt'
"Rising consumption of natural resources means that humans began 'eating the planet' on 9 October, a study suggests."
Monster Diamond Update: Bought for $12m
"The diamond, an uncut, 603-carat white gem, weighing 120g (4.2oz), was found in Lesotho on 22 August."
Hookers follow workers' dollars
"For prostitutes working the streets of New Orleans, the post-flood era has sparked a boom in business, largely owing to the influx of an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 out-of-town workers away from their families with money to blow, police said.
It's 'like the Super Bowl' for sex workers, said Deputy Chief James Scott, commander of the Police Department's Intelligence Division, from his division's headquarters in a trailer."
Student, 13, fires AK-47 in Missouri school
"A 13-year-old student fired an AK-47 inside his middle school Monday morning after confronting two others students and his principal, but no one was injured, authorities said."
Woman charged with using baby as weapon
"A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

The baby was critically injured in the attack early Sunday, said District Attorney Bradley Foulk."
$30,000 in ball pythons burn up in Hempfield blaze; homeowner injured
"A blaze in Hempfield early yesterday injured the elderly homeowner and cost his son the large collection of ball python snakes he had been breeding to pay off student loans."

Hat tip to Kara!
Home computers targeted by hackers '50 times a day'
"Home PCs could be under attack from hackers over 50 times a night, suggests a BBC News Website experiment. "
Mysteries of falling toast - revealed!
"The more vigorously you apply the spread, the less likely it is to fall butter side down. This is because pressing firmly with the knife creates an indentation which affects the way bread falls."
Va. Parents Trying to Unadopt Troubled Boy
Sending him back to the land of unloved toys:
"Briggs said she did not know he had lived in five foster homes since he was 16 months old. Nor that his alcohol- and drug-addicted biological parents had physically abused him, injuring his brain stem and impairing his ability to gauge the passage of time."
Dino-Era "Sea Monster" Found on Arctic Island
"In total, 28 well-preserved skeletons of marine reptiles that lived some 150 million years ago have been identified at the site, reports a team from the University of Oslo Natural History Museum in Norway.
The fossil haul includes the Monster, an estimated 33-foot-long (10-meter-long) pliosaur that has not yet been fully excavated. (See images of the newly found sea monster.)"
Mystery man baffles authorities
"A mystery man arrested for breaking into the same house three times in Wales is baffling the authorities.
Police and immigration officials have no idea of the man's name, age, nationality - or what language he speaks."
Gran arrested for failing to give ball back
"A grandmother says she was arrested after her neighbour claimed she refused to return a football kicked into her garden.
...
Police searched her garden and every room in her house for the ball but failed to find it and dropped the case two days later for lack of evidence."
Man used snake as car alarm
"A Serb man who left a 6ft snake inside his car because he couldn't afford an alarm has been arrested after it escaped.
Radovan Darkic, a pet shop owner from Belgrade, left the snake in his E-Class Mercedes every evening to make sure no one would steal it."
£308,000 Starship Enterprise model
"A model of the Starship Enterprise used in the Star Trek TV series has sold for £308,000, 20 times the estimate."

Just to clarify - it was the ship from The Next Generation, not The Original Series.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Donovan Brown, the Democratic nominee in the race for Florida House District 61, said Thursday he is currently confined in a mental health facility under the Baker Act.
Brown, 26, said he was admitted late last week to the Harbor Behavioral Health Care Institute in New Port Richey.
...
'I need to be out with my constituents,' he said in a phone interview from the Harbor."
Britain may loosen Internet gambling law
"Britain may bring in legislation allowing London-listed Internet gambling companies to move their headquarters to Britain, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The paper said it had seen documents in which the government said the move would provide Britain's online gamblers with 'a safe, well-regulated environment'."
Katie Melua plays deepest ever gig
"Katie Melua has made the Guinness Book of Records by performing the world's deepest underwater concert.
Melua and her five-piece band played two gigs for workers on a gas rig 303 metres below sea level."
Poet swaps places with lions
"A Chinese poet, who has locked himself inside a cage surrounded by lions, has been speaking about the stunt.
Ye Fu, 28, and a female assistant aim to stay inside the cage inside the lion enclosure at Qingdao Forest Wildlife World for ten days."
This Year's Ignoble Prizes!
The highlights:
"ORNITHOLOGY: Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.

NUTRITION: Wasmia Al-Houty of Kuwait University and Faten Al-Mussalam of the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.

PEACE: Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant -- a device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but not to their teachers.

ACOUSTICS: D. Lynn Halpern (of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Brandeis University, and Northwestern University), Randolph Blake (of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University) and James Hillenbrand (of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University) for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.

MATHEMATICS: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization, for calculating the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.

LITERATURE: Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly."

MEDICINE: Francis M. Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, for his medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"

PHYSICS: Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.

CHEMISTRY: Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito and José Bon of the University of Valencia, Spain, and Carmen Rosselló of the University of Illes Balears, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature."

BIOLOGY: Bart Knols (of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research, in Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna Austria) and Ruurd de Jong (of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy) for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.
Top BBC presenter in trouble for praising drugs
"Graham Norton, one of BBC television's top presenters, was in hot water after he revealed he had taken 'loads of drugs' and hailed ecstasy as 'just fantastic'."
Bolivia mines officials replaced as fighting stops
"The violence began Thursday morning, when hundreds of miners belonging to independent cooperatives stormed the state-owned Huanuni mine, demanding more access to its tin deposits. State-employed miners counterattacked to regain control of the mine and the groups exchanged gunshots and dynamite.

Miners from both sides, some only in their teens, threw dynamite and homemade explosives at each other from ridge to ridge, sometimes separated by no more than 50 feet (15 meters)."
Muppets teach children a land mine lesson
"'Bang!' The little puppet boy steps on a mine, and now he only has one leg. The Afghan children watching the video at a school on a Kabul hillside gasp."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Abducted by aliens? Seek compo
"A German lawyer says he hopes to drum up more business by pursuing state compensation claims for people who believe they were abducted by aliens."
For Sale: World's first printed atlas
"Next week the 529 year old atlas - based on the findings of 2nd century geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus, known as Ptolemy - could fetch a world record price of more than £1.5 million at auction."
Hungry Critters Attack NYC Ships, Piers
"The city's waterfront is getting cleaner, and bothersome river critters not seen in hundreds of years are once again attacking wooden ships and piers.
The waters were once so filthy that early 20th-century sailors could be sure their boats would be safe from such threats -- because organisms simply couldn't survive in the muck. But scientists are now seeing a resurgence in gribbles, shrimp-like crustaceans that grow to about one-17th of an inch in length and attack wood from the outside, and shipworms, which latch onto the outside of wood and burrow inward, growing up to several feet long as they devour the material. "
Unusually 'big' harvest moon can be seen tonight
"There will be a full moon tonight and it will look 12 degrees wider than normal, an illusion that spaceweather.com attributes to the fact that the moon 'is near perigree, the side of the moon's lopsided orbit that comes closest to Earth.'"
Escaped circus lion injures three in China
"A circus lion startled by the audience at a show in eastern China leapt a barrier and plunged into the crowd, injuring three people including a woman who suffered a miscarriage, state media reported today."
US border arrests 83-year-old on drug charge
"US police arrested an 83-year-old woman on suspicion of entering California from Mexico with 4.5kg of methamphetamine strapped to her body, officials said today."
'Monster' fossil found in Jurassic graveyard
"The Norwegian researchers discovered remains of a total of 28 plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs – top marine predators when dinosaurs dominated on land – at a site on the island of Spitsbergen, about 1,300k from the North Pole.

'One of them was this gigantic monster, with vertebrae the size of dinner plates and teeth the size of cucumbers,' Joern Hurum, an assistant professor at the University of Oslo, said on Thursday."
Agency spends £140,000 to research pockets
"A government quango which spent £140,000 of taxpayers' money to fund research into the history of pockets has been accused of wasting public funds on frivolous projects."
Police in a sticky mess over plan to silence pub leavers
"A police initiative to silence late-night drinkers leaving pubs by giving them lollipops to suck has only succeeded in creating a new sticky litter problem."
End of the World Update: Will George be slayed as England's patron saint?
"[T]he Church of England is considering rejecting England's patron saint St George on the grounds that his image is too warlike and may offend Muslims."
136 stolen cars, 1 suspect: "He enjoyed driving"
"He had fun, fun, fun — until the police took his screwdriver away.
Until that happened, Seattle police say, 23-year-old Liam Moynihan had been on a one-man crime wave, stealing more cars than anyone in King County history."
Mom made son plant drugs on enemy's son
"Trying to get even with an enemy, a Downers Grove woman decided to plant drugs on her rival's son -- and she enlisted her own 14-year-old boy to do the dirty work, DuPage County prosecutors said."
Trump flag's size causes bit of flap in Palm Beach
"The flag erected Tuesday on the estate's south lawn is 15 feet by 25 feet - about the size of a non-Palm Beach backyard swimming pool - waving from an 80-foot tall pole.

'I must say I'm impressed with his patriotism, but it's a little bit out of scale with the neighborhood,' Mayor Jack McDonald said."
Archaeologists find 11-millennium-old building in Syria
"'A remarkable discovery has just been uncovered of a large circular building dating back to 8,800 BC near (the locality of) Ja'de,' the head of the French archaeologal team that made the find told AFP."
Spider causes SUV to crash
"A Levant man told police he lost control of his 2003 Lincoln Navigator after he was startled by a spider on Wednesday morning."
Miss. Dad Names Son After Sports Channel
"Leann Real promised her husband, an avid sports fan, that if they ever had a son he'd get to pick the name. ESPN Montana Real was born this week at Biloxi Regional Medical Center."
Snake Charmer Puckers Up to 19 Cobras
"A Thai snake charmer kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Micro Submarine à la Fantastic Voyage
"The 4 mm length by 0.65 mm diameter sub is small enough to cruise through an artery, powered by a propeller that can be activated by an external magnetic field."
Teacher Charged With Disturbing Corpse
"A high school science teacher is charged with breaking into a century-old funeral vault, handling the remains of a corpse, and taking photographs of two students holding the bones inside the crypt."
Man Tries to Drive 310 Miles in Reverse
"A 22-year-old man attempted to drive 310 miles in reverse on a remote Outback highway after his transmission failed, blocking his forward gears, police said Friday"
Giant Gas Loops Found in Center of Milky Way, Scientists Say
"Two giant loops of cold, dense molecular gas have been seen in the central region of our galaxy, according to researchers based in Japan.
The team says that the features extend for nearly a thousand light years and each loop has a mass about 800,000 times that of our sun"
Animal Rebellion Update! Baboon "Gangs" Run Wild in Suburban South Africa
"The large monkeys invade people's homes in the coastal Table Mountain region, sometimes confronting people who try to scare the baboons off.
Some residents have retaliated by shooting and poisoning baboons and by running them over on local roads."
Brazilian serial killer gets lucky
"Brazilian police have been forced to release a serial killer who confessed to killing five women – because they're not allowed to arrest anybody when there's an election on.
Barbosa Alves de Matos, 25, had confessed to raping and stoning the five women to death after their rotting corpses were discovered on Friday. Unfortunately, Brazilian law prevents the police from arresting anybody not actually caught in the act of a crime, from five days before the election to two days after."
Squirrel collaborator-conman in pipe scam
"A scam artist has cheated an elderly woman out of over £1,000, after preying on her perfectly natural and understandable fear – of squirrels.
The Arkansas man convinced the woman that she needed to squirrel-proof her house, after telling her that he'd seen one of the furry menaces crawling into a plumbing vent on her roof."
Marijuana may help stave off Alzheimer’s - Alzheimer's Disease
"Good news for aging hippies: smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function."
Killer bees living in ceiling
"Javier Tovar got a bit of a surprise when he went to change the lightbulb in his kitchen. He was attacked by 10,000 killer bees."
Man fights alimony to male wife
"A man is going to court in an attempt to get out of paying alimony to his wife – because his wife isn't a woman any more."
Spider collection down the toilet
"A collector of exotic spiders was devastated when his estranged wife flushed his prized specimens down the toilet."
The man paid to watch paint dry
"If you think your job is dull – spare a thought for Keith Jackson.
He has to be one of the most patient people in the world because he is paid to watch paint dry."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Man Apologizes for Courtroom Feces
"A Chicago man apologized for spreading his feces around a courtroom during his trial on drug charges."
Dead Bachelors in Remote China Still Find Wives
"To ensure a son’s contentment in the afterlife, some grieving parents will search for a dead woman to be his bride and, once a corpse is obtained, bury the pair together as a married couple."

Hat tip to Kara!
Korea: The North Replaces Its Army With Something New
"North Korea is facing a real disaster, and it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Famine is back, with the prospect of hundreds of thousands of famine deaths over the Winter.
...
Conducting a nuclear weapons test will not mean that North Korea has useable nuclear weapons, but does mean that the government means to replace its increasingly unreliable army, with a few nuclear weapons. This is needed to provide a credible threat to South Korea. You cannot run an extortion racket unless you can make a credible threat. "
Police hunt breast enlargement cheats
"A German plastic surgeon who was cheated out of payment by several women has given pictures of their enlarged breasts to police, in the hope the photos will help trace them."
Biggest diamond in 13 years goes to market
"A 603-carat diamond, the biggest found in 13 years and the 15th largest in the world, went on sale in Antwerp on Wednesday after being uncovered in Lesotho in southern Africa, the owners said.
'It's about a third bigger than a golf ball,' a spokeswoman for the owners said."
Malaysia to Levy Fines for Poor Speech
"Malaysia will levy fines on those incorrectly using the national language, and will set up a specialized division to weed out offenders who mix Malay with English, news reports said Thursday."
Chinese fugitive leaves cave after 8 years
"A Chinese man wanted by police on gun charges has given himself up after hiding in a cave constructed at the back of his house for eight years, the official Xinhua news agency said."
Google Threatens Politicos!
"He predicted that 'truth predictor' software would, within five years, 'hold politicians to account.' People would be able to use programs to check seemingly factual statements against historical data to see to see if they were correct.

'One of my messages to them (politicians) is to think about having every one of your voters online all the time, then inputting 'is this true or false.' We (at Google) are not in charge of truth but we might be able to give a probability,' he told the newspaper."
Arrest made following porn search at wrong house in Spokane
"In a news conference earlier in the day, Knezovich said he would look into complaints by a 67-year-old man whose house was wrongly raided on Sept. 27 after Detective Timothy D. Hines was one digit off when he sought the location of a telephone number to which the obscene calls had been traced."
Student flying with dynamite "souvenir" indicted
"A U.S. tourist who told airport inspectors that dynamite in his bags was a souvenir from South America has been charged with breaking two security laws and could face up to 10 years in prison and steep fines."
End of the World Update: U.S. Northeast could warm drastically by 2100
"A two-year study by the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment group found that, if emissions go unchecked, the U.S. Northeast could see a rise in average summer temperatures of more than 12 degrees F (6.66 degrees C) by 2100."
Jobless Germans face giving up their cars
"A group of Christian Democrats in parliament wants to introduce legislation that would put a formal limit of 10,000 euros ($12,700) on one car for each family receiving welfare, Focus magazine online reported.

Until now, Germans on the dole have usually been allowed to keep cars worth up to 14,500 euros."
Dutch pedophile party lacks support for vote bid
"The Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity party (PNVD) probably will not succeed in gathering the 570 signatures from supporters needed by October 10 to run in the national elections, the party's secretary Norbert de Jonge told Reuters.

The party was launched in May and its campaign for a cut in the age of consent from 16 to 12, and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals has provoked widespread outrage within and outside the Netherlands."
Animal Rebellion Update! Jackals attack Indian village injuring 35
"'We have not seen or heard anything like this in the last 12 years,' Santosh Kumar, who saw the jackals attacking the villagers. 'Some of them were badly bitten,' he said."
Mysterious mice return to Apopka area
"A strange and unexplained invasion of mice around the Apopka area in 1999 appears poised for a repeat.
Health authorities, plant-nursery owners and state agricultural experts said Monday that mice are infiltrating homes, storage areas and offices along U.S. Highway 441 and the northeast shore of Lake Apopka."
Khameini: Don't masturbate during Ramadan
"Khameini, who is Iran's most powerful political and religious figure, was asked on his website : 'If somebody masturbates during the
month of Ramadan but without any discharge, is his fasting invalidated?'
'If he do not intend masturbation and discharging semen and nothing is discharged, his fasting is correct even though he has done a ḥarām (forbidden) act. But, if he intends masturbation or he knows that he usually discharges semen by this process and semen really comes out, it is a ḥaram intentional breaking fasting,' the Iranian leader said, posting the reply on his website"
Sexalanche Update!
"There's a list going around. Those disseminating it call it 'The List.' It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay."

Ok folks, you've already been warned before - just wait until the lefties are outed, for we are much closer to the start of this nastiness than we are to the end of it, and it is bipartisan...
You've got to hand it to sportswomen with long fingers
"Women whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers are generally better at sport, experts said today.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that finger length ratio can predict a woman's sporting prowess."
Musical condom hits the high notes
"A musical condom designed to play louder and faster as lovers reach a climax is to go on sale in Ukraine."
Customs discover vodka pipeline
"Russian customs officers say they have discovered a mile long pipeline that was pumping vodka to Latvia."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sexalanche Update: Battlefield Foley
Scientology pops up its creepy head in the ongoing sex scandal!
Has-Been Celebrity Freak Out in NYC!
"Legend-in-her-own-mind Sylvia Miles freaked out and made a big scene at the opening of the new Francesco Scavullo retrospective in Midtown the other night when she discovered the exhibition included no photographs of her."

Hat tip to Kara!
Yet another forgotten corpse!
"Police believe the man may have died three or four years ago. But his rent continued to be paid automatically from his bank account, which was automatically replenished by payments from his pension fund.
They found the mummified body in a bed. Elsewhere in the apartment, police found old Austrian schilling banknotes. Austria switched to the Euro on January first, 2002."
Cruelympics Update:
"A black bear perches precariously on a scooter and is forced to drive a circus performer across a tightrope.

This shocking image is just the latest picture to emerge from the barbaric Animal Olympic Games in China, a country with a shameful animal rights record."
It's no joke: IU study finds The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to be as substantive as network news
"Which would you think has more substantive news coverage -- traditional broadcast network newscasts or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

Would you believe the answer is neither?

Julia R. Fox, assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University isn't joking when she says the popular 'fake news' program, which last week featured Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a guest, is just as substantive as network coverage."
'Ban Harry Potter or face more school shootings'
"Referring to the recent rash of deadly assaults at schools, Mallory said books that promote evil - as she claims the Potter ones do - help foster the kind of culture where school shootings happen.

That would not happen if students instead read the Bible, Mallory said."

You've all been warned!
Animal Terror Update
"Watch a group of macaques run amok in a produce market, raid an empty kitchen, and ransack a bootlegger's cache of moonshine."
Andrew Sullivan: Idiot of the Week
"I mean: I know how emails are saved and forwarded; it happens automatically. But I was unaware that IM interactions have some permanent record that can be retrieved after the fact. Is there such a possibility? "
Controversial tree gets police protection
"Indonesian police have slapped a cordon around a huge landmark banyan tree in the capital after members of a Muslim youth group attacked it to prove it had no special mystical powers."

Hat tip to Kara!
Instalanche!
Thanks Glenn! You are the best!

And yes, ratings ALWAYS trump partisanship. News is a business after all!

Dear friends - please enjoy your visit, and don't forget to try out our "Weird NyLon" podcast, with Paul in London and Karl in New York. There you will learn about the latest pirate attacks on the high seas, the revolt of the animal kingdom, idiot criminals and more!
Meanwhile in N. Korea...
"Japan's frenzied launch of an orbiting solar observatory is a criminal act of gravely and apparently threatening peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the rest of Asia, being a link in the whole chain of its preparations for staging a comeback to this region.
If Japan persists in its madcap drive to turn itself into a military power and launch into aggression overseas, it will only lead it to its self-destruction."
Angry Dog Stage Mothers Sue L.A. Agency
"Stage mothers for a Rottweiler and other dogs have sued a company called Hollywood Paws for failing to turn their pooches into stars."
Man Recites Pi to 100,000 Places
"A Japanese mental health counselor recited pi to 100,000 decimal places from memory on Wednesday, setting what he claims to be a new world record."
Politico Sexalanche Continues: W. Va. Lawmaker Embarasssed by Photos
"An apologetic White also wrote that he was "shocked" and "horribly embarrassed" after WCHS-TV aired photos depicting him and at least two other men wearing only body paint."
From the Glass Houses and Stone Throwing File:
"Democrat congressional candidate Mike Arcuri, while serving as district attorney of Oneida County, N.Y., has billed taxpayers for several questionable expenses, including a call to a phone-sex hotline, according to records obtained by HumanEvents.com."

Just the other day we covered the pervo Congressman and his nasty IM scandal. I mentioned at the time that this should have come as no surprise, as research had revealed 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*."

The most surprising thing of all is that those who outed Foley somehow seemed to think that the story would be contained to just him. Sorry - it just don't work that way. Now that the Rubicon has been crossed so close to the election, we should prepare ourselves for an avalanche of Congressional filth, the likes of which will make Clinton's experience look tame by comparison.
Congressman's can't find spinach to celebrate its safety
"A congressman who tried to stage a public spinach-eating news conference to demonstrate that the leafy greens are safe following a nationwide E. coli outbreak scrapped his plan after he couldn't find any in local grocery stores.
...
'The good news is that spinach is able to be sold in the markets,' Farr said. 'The bad news is the markets aren't selling it. One of the efforts that we talked about is how do we regain consumer confidence.'
Parents Charged With Abducting Bride
"The parents of a bride-to-be told their daughter they were taking her on a shopping trip, but then drove to Colorado and kept her there until she missed the nuptials, officials said."
Parking Lot Sale Unearths Lost Lincoln Letter
"An amateur historian believes he has unearthed a letter written by the President Lincoln — after buying it for $1.89 at a parking lot sale."
Islam vs. France, Round 2
"Seven French police officers were hurt during clashes with scores of youths that broke out after a car chase in Les Mureaux, in the western Paris outskirts, justice officials said Monday."
Musical robot composes, performs and teaches
"A professor of musical technology at Georgia Tech, Gil Weinberg, enlisted the support of graduate student Scott Driscoll to create Haile -- the first truly robotic musician. In this way, he became a sort of Geppetto creating his musical Pinocchio."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yet Another Drunk at DWI Hearing!
"A Little Rock woman facing her fifth drunken-driving charge in the span of a year _ and third in less than a month _ showed up to a court appearance drunk Tuesday morning, a court official said."
When Pooper Scoopers Attack!
"A woman with a history of alcohol abuse and drug use was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for attacking a Waukesha couple she didn't know with a metal pooper scooper and scissors in a bizarre middle-of-the-night assault."
Big Coke Haul on Band's Bus!
"At 3:15 a.m., the Monterrey-based Los Payasonicos group’s tour bus with a large painted mural on its side arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. Upon searching the bus, customs inspectors found 200 bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic in a secret compartment."
Europeans Love AIDS!
"More than 40 percent of people in the European Union take no precautions against AIDS during sex, an EU survey showed on Monday."
Passengers safe as hijacking ends
"Turkish officials said the hijacker, identified as Hasan Ekinci, wrote a letter to the pope in August asking for help in avoiding service in the Turkish army.
'I am a Christian and don't want to serve a Muslim army,' he wrote, adding that he had been attending church since 1998."
Amish assassin and his 20-year grudge against girls
"Police believe Charles Roberts deliberately selected girls for execution because of a slight he suffered at the age of 12. The milk tank driver killed himself after lining up 11 girls against a blackboard and shooting them one by one with a 9mm pistol which he took time to reload."
S.F. strip club's hefty lady show sparks tempest: "[W]hen someone booked an entire night of 'BBW' entertainment -- big, beautiful women -- and the clientele reacted by walking out.

The counterman wrote up the customers' objections -- 'I came for fantasies, not nightmares' being one of the more printable ones -- and sent them off in what he thought was a confidential e-mail to the club's board of directors."
Men in Black involved in Diana's Death? "Mysterious 'men in suits' were lurking in the tunnel where Princess Diana died in a car crash, a key witness has revealed.
The witness claims he saw a dozen people standing in the shadows seconds before her tragic death in August 1997."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rioters attack Chinese after Zambian poll
"Chinese shopkeepers barricaded their properties against gangs of looters in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, yesterday as a presidential election sparked a backlash against Beijing's growing influence in Africa.

Michael Sata, an opposition candidate, won 28 per cent of the vote after accusing China of 'exploitation' and turning Zambia into a 'dumping ground'."
Alaskan storm cracks iceberg in Antarctica
"A bad storm in Alaska last October generated an ocean swell that broke apart a giant iceberg near Antarctica six days later, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
The waves traveled 8,300 miles to destroy the iceberg, said Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago and Emile Okal at Northwestern University."
Woman Smoking While Pumping Gas Ignites Fire, Burns Self And Car
"Police said the woman was pumping gas at a Race Trac near the University of Central Florida when a cigarette butt sparked the fire.

Flames burned the gas pump and set her car on fire."
Garage sale goes violent when seller stabbed with pitchfork
"'A pitchfork?' asked Officer Robert Vega, police spokesman. 'Now I've seen it all.'
That was Vega's reaction to a Wednesday report of a garage sale turned violent, an argument between buyer and seller that allegedly ended with the buyer using a pitchfork to stab the seller in the hand."
School Gives Detention To Parents Of Late Kids
"Under the new rule at the Manhattan School for Children, parents who don't drop off their children by 8:25 a.m. have to pick up late slips from the principal's office and go to the auditorium to serve 20 minutes of detention with them."
Woman Catches Baby Falling From 3rd Floor Balcony
"Mary Bussey and her son, Brandon, were walking out to her car when they looked up and saw a baby dangling from a third floor balcony.
Mary said she couldn't believe it and thought it must have been a joke at first; that somebody must have been holding the baby. They soon realized that the baby was holding onto a railing by a single hand."
Employee tries to poison boss with liquid mercury fumes
"Coral Gables police say 58-year-old Robert Friedlander sprinkled the substance in the cubicle of Albert Williams because he was upset about a written reprimand issued for cursing."
Barrel of tar not a barrel of laughs
"[E]very November in the small Devon town of Ottery St Mary, locals run through the streets carrying barrels of burning tar on their backs. But now the tradition is under threat, because it turns out it's quite hard to get insurance for running around with a barrel of highly flammable liquid on your back."
Sitzpinkler revolt in Norway!
"Vidar Kleppe, who was thrown out of the right-wing Progress Party for being too right-wing and went on to set up the even more right-wing Democrats party, says the rule that boys at the school must sit down to urinate is against their human rights, reports Norwegian paper Aftenposten."
Drug mafia's threat to armed forces
"A new threat to Australian forces in Afghanistan is emerging as cashed-up opium lords employ highly trained European mercenaries to protect their booming drug trade.

Australian special forces have been given orders to shoot the Europeans first if they get into a firefight, a source close to the military said."