Archive for May, 2008

Please don’t try to steal from the lion park

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

‘Thief’ who broke into a lion park is ‘ripped apart’ by up to 10 animals

A suspected thief who broke into a lion park was “ripped apart” by up to 10 animals.
The intruder got through three security fences before reaching the main enclosure when he was ferociously attacked by the wild beasts.

Ian Melass at the Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, said: ‘It was late yesterday after the park was closed and the rangers were rounding up the lions to be put in their enclosure overnight.

‘They noticed one male lion and two female lions sitting on something and under closer inspection they found it was a human body.

Please don’t play with baby raccoons

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Trouble wears a mask: 16 who befriend baby raccoon now face rabies threat

Sixteen people who fed, kissed and held a baby raccoon on Hilton Head Island now are being treated by a physician after the animal tested positive for rabies.

Twenty of their pets are under quarantine for 45 days, said Clair Boatwright, spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

There also are seven more people who might need vaccines to prevent them from contracting the disease, she said.

Though the raccoon was found on Hilton Head, Boatwright was not sure if all of those exposed are Beaufort County residents. DHEC would not release names.

“Someone adopted a baby raccoon and passed it around to everyone they knew and kissed it on the lips,” Boatwright said. “There was a lot of affectionate handling, kissing it and feeding it. Part of that is it was three weeks old, and they inserted fingers into the raccoon’s mouth. Saliva is one way that rabies spreads.”

Politically Incorrect in the High School Yearbook

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Jones High yearbook category: Most Likely to End Up on ‘Cops’

The mother of a former Jones High School student whose picture appeared above the yearbook category “Most Likely to End Up on Cops” is ticked off that the school allowed the label to make it to print.

“My reaction was, I couldn’t believe they would allow such a topic to appear in a yearbook,” said Carolyn Green, whose son, Marquise Laroach, appeared in the photo. His name, spelled ‘Marquis’ in the yearbook, appeared alongside that of another senior, who was identified as “Jasmine Franklen.”

“Jones High is a predominantly black school trying to improve its image,” Green said. “How does this achieve that? It defeats the purpose.”

Please don’t inject patients with bleach

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Nurse Charged With Injecting Patients With Bleach

A former nurse accused of intentionally injecting bleach into two patients at a dialysis center was arrested Friday, police said.

Two witnesses said they saw Kimberly Clark Saenz, 34, draw bleach into syringes and inject it into two patients’ dialysis lines at the DaVita Dialysis Center on April 28, Lufkin police said in a statement.

Both patients survived, but one required treatment at a hospital, police said.

Police said tests showed bleach in the syringes and dialysis lines.

Saenz, who remained in Angelina County jail Friday evening, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Her bail was set at $200,000. A jail official said he did not know whether she had an attorney. Attempts to find her home phone number were unsuccessful.

There’s a stranger in your closet

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Japanese woman caught living in man’s closet

A homeless woman who sneaked into a man’s house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man’s closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.

Prehistoric tribe spotted in Brazilian jungle

Friday, May 30th, 2008

‘Uncontacted tribe’ sighted in Amazon

Researchers have produced aerial photos of jungle dwellers who they say are among the few remaining peoples on Earth who have had no contact with the outside world.

Taken from a small airplane, the photos show men outside thatched communal huts, necks craned upward, pointing bows toward the air in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest.

The National Indian Foundation, a government agency in Brazil, published the photos Thursday on its Web site. It tracks “uncontacted tribes” — indigenous groups that are thought to have had no contact with outsiders — and seeks to protect them from encroachment.

More than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide, and about half live in the remote reaches of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru or Brazil, near the recently photographed tribe, according to Survival International, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.

Hat tip to Joel!

Arctic Icecap Not Quite Melted

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

The irony leaves us cold

I am on the bridge of the massive Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, and the tension is palpable. We have hit ice – thick ice.

We are travelling from the northeastern corner of Russia, across the Bering Sea and the top of Canada to Resolute Bay in Nunavut. At least that’s the plan. We haven’t even reached Canadian waters and we are already in trouble.

The ice master studies the mountains of white packed around the ship while the 24,000-horsepower diesel engines work at full throttle to open a path. The ship rises slowly onto the barrier of ice, crushes it and tosses aside blocks the size of small cars as if they were ice cubes in a glass. It creeps ahead a few metres, then comes to a halt, its bow firmly wedged in the ice. After doing this for two days, the ship can go no farther.

The ice master confers with the captain, who makes a call to the engine room. The engines are shut down. He turns to those of us watching the drama unfold, and we are shocked by his words: “Now, only nature can help this ship.” We are doomed to drift.

What irony. I am a passenger on one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world, travelling through the Northwest Passage – which is supposed to become almost ice-free in a time of global warming, the next shipping route across the top of the world – and here we are, stuck in the ice, engines shut down, bridge deserted. Only time and tide can free us.

Politically (In)Correct in Iran

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Cleric ‘calls all feminists whores and foreign spies’

A top Iranian cleric from the northeast, Ayatollah Ahmad Elmalhoda, has reportedly called feminists “whores and foreign spies”.

“These whores, clutching a piece of paper in their hands to gather signatures, are working for foreign powers and want to destabilise the Islamic Republic,” said Elmalhoda.

He is the highly influential prayer leader in the northeastern holy Shia city of Mashad.

Elmalhoda has called on the government to “intervene decisively against these whores, because it is improper to leave them to act with impunity.”

A few weeks ago, Elmalhoda said women who do not wear the Islamic veil as instructed “turned men into animals.”

Thought control is here

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Monkeys control a robot arm with their thoughts

Two monkeys with tiny sensors in their brains have learned to control a mechanical arm with just their thoughts, using it to reach for and grab food and even to adjust for the size and stickiness of morsels when necessary, scientists reported on Wednesday.

The report, released online by the journal Nature, is the most striking demonstration to date of brain-machine interface technology. Scientists expect that technology will eventually allow people with spinal cord injuries and other paralyzing conditions to gain more control over their lives.

The findings suggest that brain-controlled prosthetics, while not practical, are at least technically within reach.

In previous studies, researchers showed that humans who had been paralyzed for years could learn to control a cursor on a computer screen with their brain waves and that nonhuman primates could use their thoughts to move a mechanical arm, a robotic hand, a robot on a treadmill or a small vehicle.

Sharks on the Attack in Mexico

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

3 shark attacks have Mexico resort area in panic

No one could even remember a shark attack along this resort-studded stretch of Mexican coast popular with surfers and Hollywood’s elite. Many of the large predators had been pulled from the ocean by fishermen.

So when sharks attacked three surfers in less than a month, two fatally, it was unthinkable.

The latest attack came Saturday, when a shark chomped down on the arm of surfing enthusiast Bruce Grimes, an American expat who runs a surf shop in Zihuatanejo.

Grimes and a handful of other surfers were out on dark, choppy waters when he felt something lift his board. He managed about five strokes before teeth sank into his arm. “Shark!” he screamed, wresting his arm back. Grimes made it to shore, escaping with a few gashes.

“There wasn’t any time to panic,” he said. “I thought: ‘Don’t want to die. Don’t want to lose my arm.’”

UFO Crash in Vietnam

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Vietnam reports UFO explosion

An unidentified flying object exploded in mid-air over a southern Vietnamese island, state media said Wednesday, a day after Cambodia’s air force retracted a report of a mysterious plane crash.

The Vietnam News Agency said residents of Phu Quoc island, 10 km (6 miles) off the coast of the Cambodian province of Kampot, found shards of grey metal, including one 1.5 meters (1.5 yards) long.

“The explosion happened at about 8 km (5 miles) above the ground, and perhaps it was a plane, but authorities could not identify whether it was a civil or military aircraft,” VNA said in a report headlined “UFO explodes over Phu Quoc Island.”

Aliens on Video in Denver

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Phone home: Purported UFO video to be shown Friday

A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.

Jeff Peckman, who is pushing a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver to prepare the city for close encounters of the alien kind, said the video is authentic and convinced him that aliens exist.

“As impressive as it is, it’s still one tiny portion in the context of a vast amount of peripheral evidence,” he said Wednesday. “It’s really the final visual confirmation of what you already know to be true having seen all the other evidence.”

When Peckman went before city officials this month to discuss his proposed ET initiative, he promised to show the video.

How not to premiere your movie

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

‘Sex and the City’ premiere turns ugly

The “Sex and the City” premiere at Radio City Music Hall became all the rage Tuesday night after a ticket snafu left thousands of fashionistas all dressed up with absolutely no place to go.

Organizers of the celeb-studded event overbooked the 6,000-seat theater, leaving bounced fans fuming.

The angry crowd surged against police barricades, cursing and stomping their Manolo Blahniks.

Security officials said up to 2,000 people – who had gotten tickets through promotional giveaways authorized by movie studio New Line Cinema – were shut out of the screening.

Flying on a wing and a prayer

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Pilots Run Out of Fuel, Pray, Land Safely Near Jesus Sign

It seemed like an almost literal answer to their prayers. When two New Zealand pilots ran out of fuel in a microlight airplane they offered prayers and were able to make an emergency landing in a field — coming to rest right next to a sign reading, “Jesus is Lord.”

Grant Stubbs and Owen Wilson, both from the town of Blenheim on the country’s South Island, were flying up the sloping valley of Pelorus Sound when the engine spluttered, coughed and died.

“My friend and I are both Christians so our immediate reaction in a life-threatening situation was to ask for God’s help,” Stubbs told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He said he prayed during the ill-fated flight Sunday that the tiny craft would get over the top of a ridge and that they would find a landing site that was not too steep — or in the nearby sea.

Please don’t water the lions

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

6 lions eat South African man

Police say six caged lions left only fingers and intestines after eating a worker giving them water.

The lions attacked the 49-year-old man Tuesday after he went inside their cage to deliver water, police said Wednesday.

Doh! Balloon escapes without parachutist occupant

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Balloon blows away free fall record bid

French skydiver Michel Fournier’s bid for a record-breaking parachute jump from Earth’s stratosphere was aborted Tuesday when the balloon that was to carry him into the far reaches of the sky slipped away from his flight crew.

The former paratrooper had hoped to set new records for the highest jump, fastest free fall, longest free fall and the highest altitude reached by a man in a balloon. But those hopes drifted away over the plains of Saskatchewan when the balloon escaped.

Still clad in his bright yellow pressure suit, the visibly frustrated Fournier waved away cameras after his ride slipped away shortly after 5 a.m. (7 a.m. ET). There was no immediate word on how the effort was botched, but his flight crew was attempting to recover the balloon, according to his official Web site.

Sex in the City, Nazi-Style

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Book: Paris Under Nazis Was One Big Sex Romp

A new book which suggests that the German occupation of France encouraged the sexual liberation of women has shocked a country still struggling to come to terms with its troubled history of collaboration with the Nazis.

Like a recent photographic exhibition showing Parisians enjoying themselves under the occupation, the book’s depiction of life in Paris as one big party is at odds with the collective memory of hunger, resistance and fear.

“It is a taboo subject, a story nobody wants to hear,” said Patrick Buisson, author of “1940-1945 Années Erotiques” (”erotic years”). “It may hurt our national pride, but the reality is that people adapted to occupation.”

Autistic child voted out of kindergarden in Florida

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Mom says teacher let classmates vote autistic son out of class

Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son’s kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney’s office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.

Yet another reason not to visit Juarez Mexico

Monday, May 26th, 2008

E-mail ‘bloodbath’ threat paralyzes Mexican city

Mexico’s northern border town of Juarez, infamous for its history of drug-related violence, has gone into lockdown after an e-mail began circulating warning of an unparalleled “bloodbath” in the coming days.

Shops, bars and restaurants have shut and soldiers are patrolling the streets, giving a surreal and dangerous tone to this city of 1.4 million people which sits just across the US border from the Texan town of El Paso.

Authorities are taking seriously the anonymous e-mail, which menaced “the bloodiest and most violent weekend in the history of Juarez.”

The place is already reeling from a surge in murders that has claimed around 400 lives so far this year, several of them police officers and members of rival narcotics gangs.

The US embassy to Mexico has told US citizens that the message represented a “potential threat” and that public places, nightspots and the main streets in Juarez should all be avoided.

In Juarez, nerves frayed by the rising body count — including at least 20 people killed over the past weekend, among them two policemen gunned down as they finished their shift — have begun to shred in terror because of the much-forwarded e-mail, even though its veracity was unknown.

Mexico Navy joins the war on sharks

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Mexico Navy hunts for sharks after attacks

The Mexican Navy searched for sharks in the ocean near Pacific surfing beaches on Monday, after two bathers were killed and another maimed in a rare spate of shark attacks.

Three boats and a helicopter patrolled the sea while Navy and rescue officials scanned the horizon with binoculars from popular beaches around the southwestern Mexican resort of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. They warned surfers not to go far out.

“We’ve been monitoring the beaches; we’ve done reconnaissance flights,” Rear Adm. Arturo Bernal said, adding that no big shark had been detected yet in the area.

Politically Incorrect in the Fourth Reich

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Germans give former SS doctor accused of killing 900 children a medal

A former SS doctor accused of sending 900 sick children to their deaths under the Nazi euthanasia programme has been awarded a German medical association’s highest honour.

The decision comes as Jewish organisations continue to press Germany to put 92-year-old Hans-Joachim Sewering on trial for mass murder.

He was given the Guenther-Budelmann medal by the German Federation of Internal Medicine for “unequalled services in the cause of freedom of the practice and the independence of the medical profession and to the nation’s health system”.

Sewering was a doctor at a tuberculosis clinic near Munich before World War II.

He allegedly signed orders sending 900 German Catholic children from the clinic to a “healing centre”.

In fact, it was a killing centre carrying out a secret Nazi policy of murdering the handicapped who were declared “useless eaters” by the Nazis before the war.

More proof that the Caste System is evil

Monday, May 26th, 2008

At Least 37 Killed in India Caste Riots

Protests by one of India’s lower castes spread to new areas Monday as government forces were ordered to evict demonstrators who had blocked highways and railroad tracks, government officials said.

Four days of bloody demonstrations in western India by members of the Gujjar community have so far claimed the lives of 36 protesters and one policeman in the worst-hit Rajasthan state.

The Gujjars are seeking to reclassify their hereditary caste to a lower level, which would allow them to qualify for government jobs and university places reserved for such groups. The government has refused.

The riots have paralyzed road and rail traffic between Jaipur, the state capital, and Agra, where the famed Taj Mahal monument is located, as well as to Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, said Rohit

On vacation this week

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Hi All,

I will be on vacation in California for the next week.  Blogging will resume next Monday.

All the best,


It’s always fun partying with the Governor’s son

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Gov. Ritter’s Son Turns Mansion into Frat House

It was a night filled with costumes, kegs, and partying. One problem, it took place at the Colorado Governor’s Mansion.

According to the Denver Post, photos posted on the internet show Governor Bill Ritter’s 22-year-old son August Ritter III drinking from a keg at a recent masquerade party held at the historic home.

The other picture shows August Ritter and an unidentified female playing around with the state flag.

An invitation, reading, “Mansion Masquerade-Because Life is Too Tasty Not to Party”-was also posted on a social-networking site asking guests to bring a date “of legal age.”

Diving into wood chipper not too brite

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Man survives diving into wood chipper in Roseville

A man tried to kill himself with a wood chipper in Roseville Thursday afternoon.

The crew of a tree repair service company was clearing trees in a public area when the man appeared and jumped head-first into the industrial-sized wood chipper.

The workers immediately turned off the machines and called 911.

The man was rushed to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he remains in the intensive care unit. Officials say he suffered severe, life-threatening injuries to his head and torso.

Forgotten for 35 years…

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Woman’s dead body lies in flat for 35 years

Governments have changed. War erupted and ended. Neighbors had children, and then grandchildren. But Hedviga Golik never left her tiny apartment in Croatia’s capital — until her mummified body was carried out this week, 35 years after she died.

Police said Friday that no one ever reported Golik missing and no one has come to claim her body.

Residents of her loft building in downtown Zagreb had broken into Golik’s flat after deciding that the apartment should belong to them, and not to her. Startled by the remains in bed, they called police.

Forensics experts said Golik likely died in 1973, about the time a neighbor last saw her. Expert Davor Strinovic said she seemed to have died of natural causes, but “it’s almost impossible to say for certain” after so much time.

Some of Golik’s neighbors claimed she had talked about going abroad.

How not to deal with a big financial loss

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Austrian man kills five family members after investment loss

AN AUSTRIAN man who lost a six-figure sum in bad investments has admitted killing five family members with an axe to spare them the “disgrace” of financial ruin.

The 39-year-old public relations consultant, identified only as Reinhard S, walked into a Vienna police station at 3.20am yesterday, and told the duty officer: “In my apartment are my dead wife and my dead child.”

The man said that, after killing the two, he drove two hours to Linz, where he killed his father-in-law and his parents.

After trying and failing to hang himself, he turned himself in.

Politically Incorrect on the Campaign Trail

Friday, May 16th, 2008

A little rock hits a noisy target

Throw a rock into a congregation of collies, retrievers, poodles, spaniels and assorted other aristocrats and you can be sure the dog yelping in unexpected pain is the one you hit.

President Bush, marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel, reminded the Knesset yesterday that the appeasement of evil is the route to catastrophe.

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” he said. “We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Please don’t fart at your employees

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Office worker awarded £5,000 after boss constantly broke wind in her direction

A bullied office worker has been awarded £5,000 after her boss raised his right buttock from his chair and broke wind in her direction.

Humiliated mother-of-three Theresa Bailey, 43, was the only woman on a sales team where “laddish” behaviour made her life a misery, and continued despite complains to senior managers.

After she objected to sexist banter a beach ball was thrown at her head – and when she had problems working her computer was ordered to wear a badge saying “I’m simple”.

Now an employment tribunal has ruled that Mrs Bailey was sexually discriminated against while working for direct marketing firm Selectabase, in Deal, Kent, and awarded her £5,146.

Setting fire to plane you are on is not too brite

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Angry flight attendant charged with setting fire on plane

A flight attendant angry about his work route smuggled a lighter aboard an airplane and set a fire in a bathroom, forcing an emergency landing, authorities said Thursday.

The Compass Airlines flight carrying 72 passengers and four crew members landed safely in Fargo on May 7 after smoke filled the back. No injuries were reported. The plane was flying from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan, authorities said.

Eder Rojas, 19, appeared in court Thursday, following his arrest a day earlier in Minneapolis, and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said. The charge of setting fire aboard a civil aircraft carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

His public defender did not return a phone call seeking comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim, who is prosecuting the case in Fargo, would not comment.

Court documents said Rojas, of the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury, told authorities he was upset at the airline for making him work the route. He is accused of taking a lighter with him through the security checkpoint, authorities said.

Cult gives up on end of the world

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Remaining cult members quit cave

The nine remaining members of a Russian doomsday cult holed up underground for months awaiting the end of the world abandoned it Friday after authorities removed two rotting corpses from their cave.

An above-ground kitchen used by the doomsday cult in the Penza region during the summer.

The nine were the last of a group of 35 men, women and children that had dug into a hillside near the Volga region town of Penza in November and threatened to blow themselves up with gas canisters if authorities tried to remove them.

The elaborate structure — complete with sleeping rooms, a makeshift kitchen and religious altars — suffered a series of partial cave-ins earlier this year caused by melting snows. The cave-ins prompted most of the group, including self-declared prophet Pyotr Kuznetsov, to leave.

The last nine inhabitants emerged Friday after the bodies of two women who died in the cave were removed, a local police officer said. He did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Rocket man is real

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Rocket man flies on jet-powered wings

Some people go fishing on their day off. Yves Rossy likes to jump out of a small plane with a pair of jet-powered wings and perform figure eights above the Swiss Alps.

Rossy, 48, made his first public flight with his self-made flying contraption in front of the world press Wednesday, after five years of training and many more years of dreaming.

“This flight was absolutely excellent,” the former fighter pilot and extreme sports enthusiast said after touching down on an airfield near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

Medical Monstrosity of the Day

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

9-year-old girl’s twin is found inside her stomach

A 9-year-old girl who went to hospital in central Greece suffering from stomach pains was found to be carrying her embryonic twin, doctors said Thursday.

Doctors at Larissa General Hospital examined the girl and surgically removed a growth they later discovered was an embryo about six centimeters (more than two inches) long.

“They could see on the right side that her belly was swollen, but they couldn’t suspect that this tumor would hide an embryo,” hospital director Iakovos Brouskelis said.

The girl has made a full recovery, he said.

Footie Riots Overwhelm Police in Manchester

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Uefa violence ’stretched’ police

Police in Manchester who came under violent attack from Rangers fans in the city for the Uefa Cup final admitted they were “stretched” by events.

Assistant Chief Constable Justine Curran said the influx of 150,000 Scottish fans was “unprecedented”.

She said officers were attacked and riot police were deployed after a city centre big screen failed, adding: “I had 15 officers injured last night.”

Police made 42 arrests and ambulance crews dealt with 52 cases of assault.

Politically Incorrect in New Jersey

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Sikh student’s turban set ablaze during school fire drill

A routine fire drill at Hightstown High School in Mercer County turned terrifying for one student.

As students gathered outside on school grounds one morning last week, someone came up behind a 16-year-old junior, a member of the Sikh faith, and allegedly set the boy’s turban on fire.

His hair was singed in several places, but he was otherwise unhurt, according to his uncle, Harjot Pannu.

“He felt like a bee stung him, and he patted on it,” said Pannu. “Next thing he knew, a teacher came over and told him he was on fire.”

An 18-year-old Hightstown senior, Garrett Green, was arrested hours later and charged with arson and criminal mischief, said Ben Miller, an investigator with the Hightstown Police Department.

Ant terror in Houston

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

‘Crazy’ ants wreaking havoc in Houston — and they’re spreading

You won’t be able to hear them.

Don’t even try.

But somewhere out there, maybe as near as your backyard, the crazy Rasberry ants are marching. Hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of them are coming in a near-unstoppable zig-zagging insect army intent on making your home, yard and life a living hill.

First spotted in 2002 in Pasadena by Tom Rasberry, the exterminator for whom the rice-grain-sized insects are named, the ants now have spread through much of the greater Houston area. May through September is their peak period — a time when billions of the critters with a reluctance to sting and a habit of chewing up electrical wiring may infest a single acre. Homeowners daily sweep up dust bins of their dead and maimed.

“They’re just running wild. You know how racehorses run down the track? They go both ways. They have nowhere to go, just running crazy wild,” complained Patsy Morphew of Pearland. “They crawl through the eaves of the house and go into the bathroom. You know what it’s like to sit down on the commode with crazy ants running everywhere?”

Alien Update in Britain

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Britain Opens Up Secret UFO Files

The men were air traffic controllers. Experienced, calm professionals. Nobody was drinking.

What they saw has never been explained. And they were so worried about losing their jobs that they demanded their names be kept off the official reports.

No one, they knew, would believe their claim that an unidentified flying object landed at the airfield they were overseeing in the east of England, touched down briefly, then took off again at tremendous speed.

But that’s what they reported happening at four in the afternoon on April 19, 1984, at an unspecified small airport near the eastern coast of England.

Their “Report of Unusual Aerial Phenomenon” is one of more than 1,000 pages of formerly secret UFO documents released Wednesday by Britain’s National Archives.

Like a scene from a James Bond movie

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Golfers’terror as speedboat lands in bunker

TWO golfers yesterday watched open-mouthed as a speedboat flew 100ft through the air in front of them and landed in a greenside bunker.

French tourists Claude Bieth and Catherine Guillet were playing the sixth at the famous Loch Lomond course when the boat hurtled out of the water and took off.

Claude, 62, said: “It clipped the sand and flew about 30 yards through the air.

“The boat seemed to go in slow motion and came to a halt in a bunker.

The motor kept going but it was stuck fast.”

Hat tip to Kara!

God has no problem with aliens

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Vatican: It’s OK for Catholics to Believe in Aliens

There could be alien life forms and believing they exist isn’t contradictory to faith in God, the top astronomer at the Vatican said in an interview published Tuesday.

In the Vatican newspaper piece, titled “The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother,” the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes said the expansiveness of the universe means there could be life on planets other than Earth.

“In my opinion this possibility exists,” Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, told L’Osservatore Romano. “Astronomers believe the universe is made up of 100 billion galaxies, each of which consists of 100 billion stars. … Life forms could exist in theory even without oxygen or hydrogen.”

Funes said that there might even be other intelligent life out there, but believing in its existence doesn’t pose a problem for those of the Catholic faith.

Politically Incorrect in Georgia

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Cobb bar protested as racist for Obama T-shirts

Marietta tavern owner Mike Norman says the T-shirts he’s peddling, featuring cartoon chimp Curious George peeling a banana, with “Obama in ‘08″ scrolled underneath, are “cute.” But to a coalition of critics, the shirts are an insulting exploitation of racial stereotypes from generations past.

“It’s time to put an end to this,” said Rich Pellegrino, a Mableton resident and director of the Cobb-Cherokee Immigrant Alliance. It was among the organizations planning to gather outside Mulligan’s Bar and Grill Tuesday afternoon to protest the “racist and highly offensive” shirts.

“There’s no place for these views, not in this day and age,” he said.

Just down the street from Marietta’s famous Big Chicken, Mulligan’s has carved a provocative niche in an increasingly multicultural area, thanks to its owner’s ultra-conservative political views. If you live in Marietta, it’s impossible not to know what’s on Norman’s mind, as he posts his views on signs in front of Mulligan’s.

Among his recent musings: “I wish Hillary had married OJ,” “No habla espanol — and never will” and the standard “I.N.S. Agents eat free.”

Drunk and disorderly Darth Vader gets away with assault

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Drunk ‘Darth Vader’ spared jail

A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for attacking two Star Wars fans while dressed as Darth Vader.

Arwel Wynn Hughes, 27, from Holyhead, Anglesey, admitted assaulting Barney Jones and cousin Michael with a metal crutch, whilst shouting “Darth Vader”.

Hughes told police he had no memory of the incident as he was drunk.

District Judge Andrew Straw said the publicity his case had received was perhaps a good thing, and a “wake up call” to deal with his alcohol problem.

Diane Williams, prosecuting, said the two cousins had set up a Jedi faith church with around 30 local members in the Holyhead area.

Barbecue with gasoline not too brite

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Cars Fried in Barbecue Blaze: How Not to Cook Sausages

Two men trying to barbecue on their balcony on Saturday evening ignored some elementary rules on sausage cooking, police said.

The men, enjoying the sunny spring weather with their wives, couldn’t get the coal to light with their lighter liquid so the 37-year-old host decided to pour a glass of petrol on it instead.

That did the trick. “The resulting darting flame made him drop the glass of petrol. That in turn startled his 28-year-old friend who dropped the petrol canister, which contained between three and five liters, onto the floor,” police in the southwestern German city of Kaiserslautern said in a statement.

The burning liquid ran off the balcony onto the host’s car which burst into flames. The fire then engulfed his wife’s car next to it as well another car parked on the other side.

Yet another reason to avoid JetBlue

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Man Says JetBlue Pilot Forced Him To Sit On Toilet

A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.

Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan’s Inwood section, says in court papers the pilot told him to “go ‘hang out’ in the bathroom” about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight because the flight attendant complained that the “jump seat” she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

Mutlu was traveling on a a “buddy pass,” a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on Feb. 16, and returned to New York on Feb. 23, the lawsuit said.

Initially, Mutlu was told a flight attendant had taken the last seat on the plane, but then he was advised she would sit in the employee “jump seat,” meaning he could have the last seat, the lawsuit said.

The pilot told him 1 1/2 hours into the five-hour flight that he would have to relinquish the seat to the flight attendant, court papers say. But the pilot said that Mutlu could not sit in the jump seat because only JetBlue employees were permitted to sit there, the lawsuit said.

Teenage Terror Girls Blows Up Houses

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Report: Girls Gang Blows Up Houses With Homemade Bomb Over Boy

A gang of London teenage girls is suspected of destroying three houses and killing a man with a homemade liquid bomb during an argument over a boy.

According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, witnesses say a purple, smelly liquid was poured into a mailbox of one of the homes, which set off a massive explosion.

The intended target of the attack, Charlotte Anderson, was injured in the blast and rushed to the hospital with severe burns. Her next-door neighbor, Emad Qureshi, 26, who was at home with his parents, was killed when he was crushed by falling debris, it was reported.

13-yr old buys hookers with Dad’s card, plays X-Box

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers

A 13 year old from Texas who stole his Dad’s credit card and ordered two hookers from an escort agency, has today been convicted of fraud and given a three year community order.

Ralph Hardy, a 13 year old from Newark, Texas confessed to ordering an extra credit card from his father’s existing credit card company, and took his friends on a $30,000 spending spree, culminating in playing “Halo” on an Xbox with a couple of hookers in a Texas motel.

The credit card company involved said it was regular practice to send extra credit cards out as long as all security questions are answered.

The escort girls who were released without charge, told the arresting officers something was up when the kids said they would rather play Xbox than get down to business.

China’s getting ready for nuclear war. Are you?

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

China preparing for nuclear war

Defense analysts for the British intelligence service MI6 believe China is preparing for the “eventuality of a nuclear war.” The conclusion follows evidence that Beijing has built secretly a major naval base deep inside caverns which even sophisticated satellites cannot penetrate, says a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

In an unusual development, the analysts have provided details to the specialist defense periodical, Jane’s Intelligence Review, which published satellite images of the base location which is hidden beneath millions of tons of rock on the South China Sea island of Hainan.

The MI6 analysts have confirmed the submarine base hewn out of the rock will contain up to 20 of the latest C94 Jin-Class submarines, each capable of firing anti-satellite missiles and nuclear tipped rockets.

Knocking out the satellites would leave Taiwan, Japan and other countries around the Pacific Rim effectively without a key warning system. An attack also would disrupt vital communications between U.S. battle squadrons in the region and Washington.

Never mistake a shark for a dolphin

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Man Survives Mauling by 16-Foot Shark in Australia

An Australian swimmer who was mauled by a 16-foot shark and survived said Sunday he saw a shadow in the water seconds before the attack and thought it was a dolphin.

The shark, believed to be a great white, seized Jason Cull by the left leg as he was swimming at Middleton Beach in southwestern Australia on Saturday.

Cull, 37, survived after grappling with the beast and after a lifeguard at the beach came to his aid.

The shark was one of three that swimmers reported seeing at the beach Saturday. Officials closed the beach after the attack.

From his hospital bed where he was treated for deep lacerations, Cull told reporters he saw a shadow moving in the water just before the attack and mistook it for a dolphin.

How our tax dollars protect us from harm

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

FBI, ATF Battle for Control Of Cases

In the five years since the FBI and ATF were merged under the Justice Department to coordinate the fight against terrorism, the rival law enforcement agencies have fought each other for control, wasting time and money and causing duplication of effort, according to law enforcement sources and internal documents.

Their new boss, the attorney general, ordered them to merge their national bomb databases, but the FBI has refused. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has long trained bomb-sniffing dogs; the FBI started a competing program.

At crime scenes, FBI and ATF agents have threatened to arrest one another and battled over jurisdiction and key evidence. The ATF inadvertently bought counterfeit cigarettes from the FBI — the government selling to the government — because the agencies are running parallel investigations of tobacco smuggling between Virginia and other states.

The squabbling poses dangers, many in law enforcement say, in an era in which cooperation is needed more than ever to prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Michael A. Mason, a former head of the FBI’s Washington field office who retired in December from a senior post at FBI headquarters, said outside intervention might be needed.

“It’s a sad case, and we’ll continue to investigate it and try to ascertain just what occurred up there”

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Kids, Mom Lived With 90-Year-Old’s Corpse for Weeks in Wisconsin

Two children and their mother lived for about two months with the decaying body of a 90-year-old woman on the toilet of their home’s only bathroom, on the advice of a religious “superior” who claimed the corpse would come back to life, authorities said Friday.

The children — a 15-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy — cried hysterically Wednesday after a deputy who came to their Necedah home looking for Magdeline Alvina Middlesworth ordered them out because of the stench from her body.

The children were in foster care Friday. Their mother, Tammy Lewis, and self-described “bishop” Alan Bushey remained in custody on felony counts of being a party to causing mental harm to a child.

Yet another brawl at a Los Angeles High School

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Hundreds brawl at LA high school, broken up by police

A fight that broke out at a troubled South Los Angeles school escalated into a campuswide brawl involving as many as 600 students before it was quelled by police in riot gear.

The melee, which students said started around noon Friday between rival black and Hispanic gangs, forced authorities to shut down Locke High School and keep students in their classrooms. After restoring order, they rounded up students who hadn’t returned to class and separated them by race, holding Hispanics in the gym and black students in another room.

Four people were arrested, three students for fighting and one non-student on suspicion of possessing a knife, Los Angeles school district spokeswoman Susan Cox said.

Several students were injured and treated at the scene, but nobody was hospitalized, officials said.

Idiot criminals of the week

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Woman Uses Laptop Camera Remotely To Find Stolen Computer

A Westchester woman who had her laptop stolen was able to connect to the computer, photograph two suspects and file the photos to police.

White Plains Police say they used the photos to arrest 23-year-old Edmon Shahikian of Katonah and 20-year-old Ian Frias of the Bronx Wednesday night. Police say they recovered most of the $5,000 worth of electronics stolen from the woman’s White Plains apartment back on April 27.

Drinking on the job not too brite when you’re the DA

Friday, May 9th, 2008

4th Judicial Attorney John Newsome drinking during work

Fourth Judicial District Attorney John Newsome apologized Wednesday after being caught by a television news station’s hidden camera drinking at a bar and later driving a county-owned vehicle.

“I sincerely apologize for ever allowing myself to be placed in that situation where there’s even a perception of wrongdoing,” Newsome said. “Perception can be as damaging as actual wrongdoing. . . . Even the appearance is a distraction for the office.”

Newsome said he is no longer disputing the KOAA report and vowed to do better.

“I realize I need to be setting the standard for setting an example, and that’s what I’ll strive to do,” Newsome said. “I will strive to make sure a thing like this never happens again.”

Turning Corpse’s Head Into Bong Not Too Brite

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

3 accused of using Humble corpse’s head to smoke pot

Two men and a juvenile are accused of digging up a corpse, decapitating the body and using the head to smoke marijuana, according to court documents.

Matthew Gonzalez and Kevin Jones have been charged with the misdemeanor offense of abuse of a corpse, said Scott Durfee, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorneys Office.

Politically Incorrect on the Campaign Trail

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Clinton makes case for wide appeal

Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests.

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Sinkhole Devouring Texas Town

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Regulators Monitor Massive Sinkhole in Southeast Texas Town

Regulators continued monitoring a massive sinkhole which has swallowed up oil field equipment, poles and some vehicles since surfacing just outside the southeast Texas community of Daisetta.

There were no reports of injuries or of any homes being damaged early Thursday.

Investigators with the Texas Railroad Commission were checking pipelines in the area and trying to determine if any regulations have been violated, said agency spokeswoman Ramona Nye.

More Fraternity Fun

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Tulane Fraternity Suspended, 8 Arrested After ‘Hell Night’ Hazing Incident

Ten Tulane University fraternity members faced felony charges Wednesday and the school suspended Pi Kappa Alpha following accusations that the group burned pledges with hot water and pepper spray during a “hell night” initiation.

The fraternity members face felony battery charges — punishable by up to 15 years in prison — in an alleged hazing incident in which two pledges received second- and third-degree burns from boiling water and crab boil being poured on their bodies.

“The two students were treated at a local hospital for severe burns that occurred during the hazing,” Officer Gary Flot, a New Orleans police spokesman, said in a news release.

A Tulane spokesman refused to comment on the allegations or the status of the students on Wednesday, but the school issued a news release saying it had suspended its chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and would investigate.

Coyotes on the attack in California

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

California 2-Year-Old Dragged From Yard by Coyote in Third Such Attack in Five Days

A coyote grabbed a 2-year-old girl by the head and tried to drag her from the front yard of her mountain home in the third incident of a coyote threatening a small child in Southern California in five days, authorities said.

The coyote attacked the girl around noon Tuesday when her mother, Melissa Rowley, went inside the home for a moment to put away a camera, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in an incident report.

Rowley came out of the house and saw the coyote dragging her daughter towards a street. She ran towards her daughter, and the animal released the girl and ran away, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire.

In space sometimes they can hear you scream

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Black Hole Rips Apart Screaming Star

In a distant galaxy, a star orbiting a massive central black hole strays too close to the insatiable giant and is torn apart. But before it can be devoured, the star lets out one last scream in a flare of light that slowly echoes across the galaxy. Astronomers on Earth pick up this faint call and use it to map the nucleus of the galaxy from which it emanated.

This scenario is no bit of science fiction – a team of astronomers discovered one of these rare and dramatic events while combing through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey last December. Their observations are detailed in the May issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The team is still monitoring the “light echo,” and for the first time, one of these events can be observed in great detail, allowing astronomers “to probe different regions of the galaxy,” said study leader Stefanie Komossa of the Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics.

The light echo currently coursing through galaxy SDSSJ0952 2143 likely originated as in the scenario above, with the following details: One of the stars orbiting the galaxy’s central black hole likely strayed off course (perhaps after being nudged into “a fatal orbit,” as Komossa called it, after interacting with another star). Eventually the pull of the black hole would rip the star apart, but before the stellar material was pulled into the accretion disk, it emitted a burst of high-energy radiation.

It’s hazing season again

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

UW probes frat after allegation of hazing event

The University of Wisconsin’s dean of students office and the Interfraternity Council are investigating allegations of hazing by members of a campus fraternity.

Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon dumped a bucket of indecent substances on fellow fraternity members on Langdon Street late Friday night, the fraternity’s president told The Badger Herald Tuesday.

Mike Miesen, president of the UW chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the incident did not constitute hazing and occurred after the conclusion of other non-hazing initiation events. The bucket incident was not sanctioned or supervised by fraternity leadership, he added.

One eye witness speaking on condition of anonymity, who is a member of the UW Greek community but not associated with Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the bucket contained a “slurry of vomit (and) urine with large brown chunks that could have been feces” and was dumped on three members’ heads. The source said he was standing across the street with an unobstructed view and could smell the contents of the bucket that made two of the students vomit.

Smoking ganja while at jury duty not too brite

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Prospective juror in pot trial caught smoking marijuana

Judge Sherman Ross tried to assemble a jury of peers for a woman accused of possession of a marijuana on trial Tuesday.

But authorities say prospective juror Cornelia Mayo might have taken that concept a bit too far after she was caught smoking a joint outside the courthouse during a break.

The 49-year-old Houston woman was one of 20 people in a jury pool in Criminal Court at Law No. 10.

Ross said he realized something was wrong when juror No. 2, Mayo, didn’t return from a 45-minute break. Before the judge could file a bench warrant for the missing juror, his bailiff got a call from police notifying him that Mayo was being booked on a charge of smoking marijuana outside the criminal courthouse.

Cocaine and Criminal Justice Degree don’t go mix well

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

O.D. death led to huge campus drug sting

Authorities have arrested nearly 100 people and seized guns and drugs in a sting operation at San Diego State University in California, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday.

Among those arrested were 75 students, some of them working toward criminal justice or homeland security degrees. One criminal justice major was charged with possession of guns and cocaine, authorities said.

One student sent a mass text message offering a “sale” on cocaine, the DEA said in a news release.

Campus police and the DEA began their undercover operation after the death of a student from an overdose in May 2007, the news release said. A second overdose death occurred as recently as February at a fraternity house.

“DEA agents infiltrated several student drug distribution cells and more than 130 drug purchases and seizures were made” during the investigation known as Operation Sudden Fall, the news release said.

Frozen kitties are no fun, they no longer jump and run

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Police find 300 cats in freezers

A Sacramento man faces criminal charges after police searched his home and found at least 300 dead cats in his freezers, authorities said.

Michael Parnell, 46, also known as Michael Vondueren, was charged with possessing an assault weapon and obstructing an officer when he was arrested, KXTV, Sacramento, reported.

. Police Sgt. Jim Hose said authorities entered the home because of concern for the well-being of the Parnell’s 81-year-old mother.

Dad won’t be happy about this!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Son wrecks dad’s prized Ferrari

It’s never fun calling dad after crashing his car – but when you’ve just wrecked his prized Ferrari you can bet you’re in for an earful.

A Melbourne man had to make that call on Saturday night after destroying the front end of his father’s Italian Stallion in a smash near Rod Laver Arena.

The front of the red sports car, which police said had been speeding, finished wrapped around a pole in the spectacular accident, which took place on Batman Avenue.

The car is an F360 Challenge Stradale, one of just 16 imported into Australia and New Zealand in 2004, with a price tag speeding past the $400,000 mark.

Keeping dead babies in freezer not too brite

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Three Babies Found Dead in Freezer in West Germany, Mother Arrested

The bodies of three German infants have been found stuffed in a basement freezer and their mother has been arrested, a prosecutor’s spokesman said Monday.

Johannes Daheim said police determined the three infants had not been stillborn but did not say how old they were or what the cause of death was. He said the bodies were found Sunday night after police received a tip and searched the home in Wenden in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The name of the woman was not released. Police said they planned to hold a news conference about the case later Monday.

There have been a number of similar cases in Germany.

30 years of Spam

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Spam reaches 30-year anniversary

Spam – the scourge of every e-mail inbox – celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend.

The first recognisable e-mail marketing message was sent on 3 May, 1978 to 400 people on behalf of DEC – a now-defunct computer-maker.

The message was sent via Arpanet – the internet’s forerunner – and won its sender much criticism from recipients.

Thirty years on, spam has grown into an underground industry that sends out billions of messages every day.

Yet another reason not to take the kids on holiday

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Children taken from drunk parents

A UK couple on holiday in Portugal had their young children temporarily taken into protective custody after they collapsed drunk, officials have said.

Staff at the Aparthotel Mourabel, in Vilamoura on the Algarve called police after they passed out on Friday night.

The children aged one, two and six were taken to a children’s home in Faro while their parents were treated at a health centre in Loule.

The couple did not comment, but the home’s director called it “shocking”.

Dr Luis Villas-Boas said: “It is the first time it has happened in my 22 years working at this home.

Robot insects join the battle this year

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Robobug goes to war: Troops to use electronic insects to spot enemy ‘by end of the year’

It may have seemed like just another improbable scene from a Hollywood sci-fi flick – Tom Cruise battling against an army of robotic spiders intent on hunting him down.

But the storyline from Minority Report may not be quite as far fetched as it sounds.

British defence giant BAE Systems is creating a series of tiny electronic spiders, insects and snakes that could become the eyes and ears of soldiers on the battlefield, helping to save thousands of lives.

Prototypes could be on the front line by the end of the year, scuttling into potential danger areas such as booby-trapped buildings or enemy hideouts to relay images back to troops safely positioned nearby.

Soldiers will carry the robots into combat and use a small tracked vehicle to transport them closer to their targets.

Chili-pepper fire gasses thousands

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Massive Indian Chili-Pepper Fire Stings Throats, Eyes

A fire has broken out at one of India’s largest chili markets, burning hundreds of thousands of pounds of chili peppers and covering the nearby area with a cloud of stinging smoke.

Firefighters were still battling the blaze hours after it broke out Saturday morning. Officials have evacuated neighbors of the market in Guntur in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Residents and officials say the burning chili smoke has stung the eyes and throats of people across the city.

“People are coughing uncontrollably,” says farmer Y. Venkateshwarulu.

Plant-rights movement forming in Switzerland

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

The Silent Scream of the Asparagus

You just knew it was coming: At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the “dignity” of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called “plant rights” is being seriously debated.

A few years ago the Swiss added to their national constitution a provision requiring “account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms.” No one knew exactly what it meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, “The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants,” is enough to short circuit the brain.

A “clear majority” of the panel adopted what it called a “biocentric” moral view, meaning that “living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive.” Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim “absolute ownership” over plants and, moreover, that “individual plants have an inherent worth.” This means that “we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily.”

Female Aliens Hovering Over Mexico

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Spooky Flying Character Has UFO Watchers in Mexico Buzzing

Sensational sightings of a flying human above the skies of Mexico could be genuine, says a paranormal expert.

The mysterious woman-like figure was caught on camera as it hovered above mountains in Nuevo Leon city.

UFO watchers said the figure appeared to be wearing a cape, leading to claims that it was a witch or wizard when it was first seen in 2006.

Now Mexico’s leading UFO expert Anna Luisa Cid says the sightings were true after carrying out her own investigations.

“I think that the possibility is there,” Cid said. “An imaginary object is not recorded on film, nor does it produce over 40 witnesses.”

Nuevo Leon UFO club managed to film the spooky flying character.

Just because it’s made in China doesn’t mean it’s pro-China

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

‘Free Tibet’ flags made in China

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning.

But then some of them saw TV images of protesters holding the emblem and they alerted the authorities, according to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper.

The factory owner reportedly told police the emblems had been ordered from outside China, and he did not know that they stood for an independent Tibet.

This is some serious wanking!

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Japanese official demoted for 780,000 hits on porn sites

A Japanese civil servant was demoted for logging more than 780,000 hits on pornographic Web sites on his office computer over nine months, an official said Friday.

The man, a Kinokawa city government employee in western Japan, visited porn sites from June 2007 to February 2008, city official Tomiko Waki said. The man’s name was withheld.

City officials said the number of hits discovered on his computer’s internal log was so high in part because one click on certain types of pornographic sites registers multiple hits.

Playing with Civil War cannonballs not too brite

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Civil War cannonball explodes, kills Va. relic collector

Like many boys in the South, Sam White got hooked on the Civil War early, digging up rusting bullets and military buttons in the battle-scarred earth of his hometown.

As an adult, he crisscrossed the Virginia countryside in search of wartime relics — weapons, battle flags, even artillery shells buried in the red clay. He sometimes put on diving gear to feel for treasures hidden in the black muck of river bottoms.

But in February, White’s hobby cost him his life: A cannonball he was restoring exploded, killing him in his driveway.

More than 140 years after Lee surrendered to Grant, the cannonball was still powerful enough to send a chunk of shrapnel through the front porch of a house a quarter-mile from White’s home in this leafy Richmond suburb.

Seal rapes penguin in Antarctica

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

‘Sex pest’ seal attacks penguin

An Antarctic fur seal has been observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.

The South African-based scientists who witnessed the incident say it is the most unusual case of mammal mating behaviour yet known.

The incident, which lasted for 45 minutes and was caught on camera, is reported in the Journal of Ethology.

The bizarre event took place on a beach on Marion Island, a sub-Antarctic island that is home to both fur seals and king penguins.

Why the seal attempted to have sex with the penguin is unclear. But the scientists who photographed the event speculate that it was the behaviour of a frustrated, sexually inexperienced young male seal.

Drive-by Pipe Bombing Not Too Brite

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

2 injured in explosion of homemade bomb

Two men were arrested Wednesday after their homemade bomb exploded prematurely, injuring both, authorities said.

Acting on an anonymous tip, Sampson County deputies found a Chevrolet minivan outside Sampson Regional Medical Center with a side window blown out and blast marks on the outside of a door, authorities said.

Inside the hospital emergency room, Martin Bryant Boyette and Julio Frentez Morales were receiving treatment for injuries from a bomb blast, authorities said. An investigation determined that the pair had made several bombs at Boyette’s house, where both lived, and Morales tried to throw one out the window of the minivan on U.S. Highway 701 as they drove past Hobbton Schools, authorities said.

Is ‘Mr Gay UK’ a Cannibal?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Former ‘Mr Gay UK’ charged with murder amid fears victim’s flesh was ‘prepared for cooking’

A former ‘Mr Gay UK’ has been charged with murdering a man, amid fears that part of the victim’s leg was chopped up and chunks of it eaten.

When police discovered the body of Damian Oldfield, 33, at a terraced house in Harehills, Leeds, they are said to have found part of his right leg had been carved up and the flesh diced and cooked on a kitchen worktop. It is thought tests showed the flesh was human.

A police source told a newspaper: “It appears it was being prepared for cooking.”

Hat tip to Kara!

Always look up when you are in NYC!

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Man Injured By Debris Falling From NYC Construction Site

A man was hurt on Thursday after being struck by a piece of plywood that fell from a Manhattan construction site.

Walter Wilkerson, a film company production assistant, was hit by the debris at East 18th Street and Park Avenue South. Wilkinson and a crew were setting up the block to shoot a Mastercard commercial.

Wilkerson was treated and released from Bellevue Hospital Center after arriving at the hospital in fair condition, according to a Bellevue spokesman.

A Buildings Department spokeswoman said the plywood that fell was on a scaffold being raised to assist in facade repair. When it arrived at the 12th floor, the spokeswoman said, it became dislodged and toppled over.

A Big Ooops in Italy

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Italy posts income details on web

There has been outrage in Italy after the outgoing government published every Italian’s declared earnings and tax contributions on the internet.

The tax authority’s website was inundated by people curious to know how much their neighbours, celebrities or sports stars were making.

The Italian treasury suspended the website after a formal complaint from the country’s privacy watchdog.

The information was put on the site with no warning for nearly 24 hours.

Politically Incorrect in Pennsylvania

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Pa. senator says slavery would pass in a secret ballot

A state senator told a black pastor testifying at a committee hearing that, given the chance to cast secret ballots, his fellow legislators would vote to legalize slavery.

Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia, made the comments Tuesday during a hearing on a Republican-sponsored bill to amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages and civil unions, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on its Web site Wednesday.

“What you are advocating here is that we take away the rights of a minority. And I don’t think that’s right,” Fumo, a staunch defender of gay rights, told the witness, Gilbert Coleman Jr., senior pastor of Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship in Philadelphia.

He added, “If we introduced a bill on slavery, it might pass. That doesn’t make it right.”

Coleman, who was testifying in favor of the measure, responded: “I doubt that sir.”
“Oh, don’t bet on it in this General Assembly,” Fumo countered. “I know some people up here, especially on a secret ballot, it would be almost unanimous.”

Bee Home Invasion in Georgia

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Millions Of Bees Invade Georgia Home

Up to 10 million bees have invaded a Georgia home.

The swarm of insects moved into the walls and attic of the house in Martinez in Columbia County, according to homeowner Theresa Manning.

When she noticed bees crawling into an open space into her attic and heard scratching behind the walls she called for help.

Bee removal expert Jason Rehr expected to find a hive with several hundred bees. When he climbed into the attic he was stunned. Honey was dripping from the ceiling and down the walls. Millions of bees had turned the Manning house into their hive.

More proof you can’t rely on the government to keep you safe

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Air marshals grounded in list mix-ups

False identifications based on a terrorist no-fly list have for years prevented some federal air marshals from boarding flights they are assigned to protect, according to officials with the agency, which is finally taking steps to address the problem.

Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) familiar with the situation say the mix-ups, in which marshals are mistaken for terrorism suspects who share the same names, have gone on for years — just as they have for thousands of members of the traveling public.

One air marshal said it has been “a major problem, where guys are denied boarding by the airline.”

“In some cases, planes have departed without any coverage because the airline employees were adamant they would not fly,” said the air marshal, who asked not to be named because the job requires anonymity. “I’ve seen guys actually being denied boarding.”