Archive for February, 2006


Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Student Killed in Abseil Stunt to Impress Girlfriend

`A college student fell to his death on Thursday while scaling the wall of an apartment building to impress his girlfriend. The 20-year-old freshman identified as Lee was found lying in the parking lot of a six-story building in Dongseon-dong in Seoul at around 3:20 p.m. on Thursday. The parking attendant called an ambulance but Lee succumbed to his injuries in hospital six hours later.

The parking attendant said he was alerted by hearing a thump in the parking lot to find a young man bleeding from his head and mouth.

Lee’s girlfriend told police the couple had an argument a day earlier, and when she refused to see Lee, he rang and told her to look out the window. Police speculate that Lee fell while trying to abseil from the roof to the fourth floor, where his girlfriend lives, using a TV cable.’


Boycott backfires: South Park gets record audience

`An appeal from the Catholic Church for New Zealanders to boycott an episode of South Park has resulted in a record audience there for the controversial cartoon.

The “Bloody Mary” episode of South Park drew more than six times the normal audience, New Zealand broadcaster TV Works announced Thursday.

The episode, which aired Wednesday night, was seen by 210,000 viewers, according to Rick Friesen, the broadcaster’s chief operating officer.

“I expected a bit of a rise, but not that much,” he told the Associated Press.’


Test scores not lowered by television

`A new study by two economists from the University of Chicago taps into a trove of data from the 1960s to argue that when it comes to academic test scores, parents can let children watch TV without fear of future harm. [..]

Data from cities where preschoolers were exposed to the new technology, and data from cities where they were not, was correlated with test scores from about 300,000 students nationwide in 1965, as collected in the Coleman Report, a 1966 survey titled “Equality of Educational Opportunity” done under the Civil Rights Act. The study also looked at test scores from pre- and post-TV age groups within cities.

The result showed “very little difference and, if anything, a slight positive advantage” in test scores for children who grew up watching TV early on, compared to those who did not, Shapiro said. In nonwhite households and those where English was a second language or the mother had less than a high-school education, TV’s positive effect was more marked.’

Halliburton gets disputed Iraq funds

`The US Army has reimbursed a subsidiary of Halliburton Co, the oil services giant formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, most of the costs disputed by government auditors on a on a no-bid contract in Iraq.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the Army decided to reimburse Halliburton engineering and construction unit Kellogg Brown & Root all but about million ($12 million) of .9 million in costs that Pentagon auditors had questioned as possibly inflated or unwarranted.

This was part of an overall .4 billion contract to deliver fuel and fix oil equipment in Iraq, the Army said.’

Homeless man tries to steal sheep

`A homeless man who police say tried to take a sheep from the Little Rock Zoo has been arrested on numerous charges. A security guard at the zoo called police Tuesday evening after spotting a man carrying a trash can with a sheep in it, a police report said.

When officers arrived Grady Allen Carnahan, 32, told them he was a doctor and the sheep was sick. He said he was taking the animal to a veterinary clinic, the report said.

Carnahan fought with officers as they were trying to take him into custody, police said.’

Mount McKinley Getting Dangerously Crowded

`North America’s tallest mountain is getting crowded – too crowded for safety.

Starting next year, the National Park Service will cap the number of climbers allowed on Alaska’s Mount McKinley at 1,500 a year – not too many more than the record 1,340 alpinists who attempted to scale the 20,320-foot mountain last year.

McKinley, known locally as Denali or “the High One,” is required climbing for many of the world’s most serious mountaineers, who attempt to reach the summit of the highest peak on each of the seven continents. About half the climbers who attempt McKinley come from other countries, according to the park service.’


Record $125m stolen in UK robbery

`Last week’s raid on a security depot in the county of Kent has been confirmed as the biggest heist in British history, netting robbers £53 million ($125.4 million), police said today.
Police hunting for the gang behind the heist are questioning four suspects held in the past 24 hours, Kent’s Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Leppard said in what he described as a major development in the case.

Seven others have been arrested but freed on bail since the heist on Thursday.

The six robbers posed as police officers.

They kidnapped the manager of the security depot, along with his wife and small child, and held them before making off with the cash.’


Ex-Taliban enrolled at Yale

`A former spokesman for the Taliban, Rahmatullah Hashemi, has enrolled as a student at America’s prestigious Yale University where he has taken a class on terrorism, The New York Times magazine reported today.

The ex-Taliban spin doctor and “roving ambassador”, who has spent time in the presence of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, is now a Yale “freshman” improving his English through a special non-degree program.

Hashemi, who once publicly defended the Taliban, told the magazine, however, that he started having serious doubts about its harsh moral codes as early as 1998 when women were being lashed with leather strips and executions were occurring in Kabul’s football stadium.’


Bacteria Turns Styrofoam into Biodegradable Plastic

`Bacteria are everywhere, silently going about their business of breaking down cellulose, fermenting foods or fixing nitrogen in the soil, among a host of other activities. Given their ubiquity and diversity of functions, biotechnologists have been searching for new uses for different strains of the microscopic organisms, such as consuming oil spills or even capturing images. Now biologists at the University College Dublin in Ireland have found that a strain of Pseudomonas putida can exist quite happily on a diet of pure styrene oil–the oil remnant of superheated Styrofoam–and, in the process, turn the environmental problem into a useful, biodegradable plastic.’

Man sentenced for ride-by bottom slap

`A Colombian man has been sentenced to four years’ house arrest for slapping a woman’s bottom as he rode by her on his bicycle, sparking debate on whether the punishment fit the crime.

Showing re-enactments of the incident, television news shows were filled on Friday with legal experts offering opinions about the judgment handed down earlier in the week by Bogota’s district court.

Some said that to confine bicycle messenger Victor Garcia to his home for four years for smacking Diana Marcela Diaz’s buttocks was excessive. Others said it would deter other men.’


US leader crashed by trying to ‘pedal, wave and speak at same time’

`He may be the most powerful man in the world, but proof has emerged that President George Bush cannot ride a bike, wave and speak at the same time.

Scotland on Sunday has obtained remarkable details of one of the most memorably bizarre episodes of the Bush presidency: the day he crashed into a Scottish police constable while cycling in the grounds of Gleneagles Hotel.

The incident, which will do little to improve Bush’s accident-prone reputation, began when he took to two wheels for a spot of early-evening exercise during last year’s G8 summit at the Perthshire resort.

After a hard day’s discussion with fellow world leaders, the president was looking for some relaxation. Instead, he ended up the subject of a police report in which the leader of the free world was described, in classic police language, as a “moving/falling object”.’


How To Build A UFO

`This is a design of how to build a real UFO. On the ceramic mold that can be something as simple as clay mixed with fine sand and water or more complex. Homemade jet engines can be used to cure the mold and melt the metal but remember its not thrust that is needed it is heat(BE CAREFULE). For heat lower the RPM’s of the jet engine and increase the fuel flow. If your going to build and operate jet engines PLEASE talk to people who have experiance with such matters. An exploding jet engine will KILL YOU and whom ever you have around. Your family, kids, or friends. Be careful. Jet engines are very much simple machines to build with very few parts but they are dangerous. Also, coal or both coal and jet engines(much safer for newbie’s or turbin fans and coal is much more safer.) to cure the mold and fire it. Coal can be homemade too and its cheaper than buying it. Jet engines can be made with a home foundry and coal or just buy the parts and put them together or just order them out right. And last, depending on how much heat planed to throw at the mold and how big the UFO is it may be necessary to throw up a kiln around it. The kiln can be designed as necessary.’

Myspace girl turns out to be a cop, and man is arrested

`A Battle Creek man is in the Calhoun County jail accused of trying to solicit sex from a minor that turned out to be an undercover police officer.

The Emmett Township Department of Public Safety says they caught 32-year-old Brian Woodman in an Internet sting. He’s accused of chatting with a girl he thought was 14-years-old and then arranging to meet her for sex.

When Woodman arrived for that meeting, he found out that he had been chatting with an undercover police officer.

Woodman was arraigned today on eight felony counts.’


Bouncer jailed for killer kick

`A young Brisbane IT specialist who worked as a part-time nightclub bouncer for extra cash has been jailed for seven years for killing a drunk patron with a single kick. [..]

Coddington was overhead to say to Hutchings: “I fucked your mother.”

It was alleged that when Coddington repeated the insult Hutchings kicked him with a fast, sharp blow to the head.

Coddington, who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.29 per cent, died a short time later of a brain haemorrhage.

Hutchings has maintained he only hit Coddington on the shoulder in a bid to subdue him, and the kick did not have enough force to do any damage.’


Sex with a partner is 400% better

`Lovers know only too well that men usually need a “recovery period” after orgasm, and that sexual intercourse with orgasm is more satisfying than an orgasm from masturbation alone. Now scientists think the two phenomena might be linked.

Following orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released into the bloodstream in both men and women. The hormone makes us feel satiated by countering the effect of dopamine, which is released during sexual arousal. [..]

Surprisingly, after orgasm from sexual intercourse, the increase in blood prolactin levels is 400 per cent higher in both sexes compared with after orgasm from masturbation [..]’

Comet Dust Has Hints of Organic Matter

`Specks of comet dust carried to Earth inside a NASA science probe show tantalizing hints of organic compounds, bolstering suspicions that comets delivered key ingredients for the development of life on Earth.

Analysis of the samples brought back last month aboard the Stardust capsule is in the very early stages, but lead scientist Donald Brownlee said this week that he is encouraged by what researchers have found so far.

“We’re seeing a variety of things that we know absolutely come from a comet,” Brownlee, an astronomer with the University of Washington, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Though analysis has just begun, the samples so far have revealed iron, sulfides, glassy materials and traces of olivine.’

Man charged in Broward prostitution ring sues his clients

`Former escort kingpin Arthur “Big Pimpin’ Pappy” Vanmoor is known for his litigious nature.

In the past decade, he has been a plaintiff or defendant in 29 lawsuits in Broward County alone. He has sued businesses that challenged him, police departments that investigated him, an assistant state attorney who prosecuted him and journalists who reported on him.

But his latest suit has stunned even veteran court watchers.

Vanmoor, 46, has filed a federal lawsuit against six former customers of his escort service. He says they broke the law after purchasing time with his escorts, and it was their illegal actions that led to his arrest, incarceration and deportation, as well as the loss of his business.’

Europe’s chill linked to disease

`Europe’s “Little Ice Age” may have been triggered by the 14th Century Black Death plague, according to a new study.

Pollen and leaf data support the idea that millions of trees sprang up on abandoned farmland, soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

This would have had the effect of cooling the climate, a team from Utrecht University, Netherlands, says.

The Little Ice Age was a period of some 300 years when Europe experienced a dip in average temperatures.’


An abortion manual

`No textbooks or guides existed at that time to help them, and the equipment was hard to find. This is no longer true. For under $2000, any person with the inclination to learn could create a fully functioning abortion setup allowing for both vacuum aspiration and dilation/curettage abortions. If you are careful and diligent, and have a good grasp of a woman’s anatomy you will not put anyone’s health or life in danger, even if you have not seen one of these procedures performed.

Today, I will discuss dilation and curettage — what used to be the most common abortion procedure before vacuum aspiration took its place. Vacuum aspiration is an easier method, but sometimes remaining fetal/placental material necessitates doing a “cleanup” D&C anyway, so you should know how to do this procedure first.’


Becks can’t do son’s homework

`England football captain David Beckham confessed he is befuddled by his six-year-old son Brooklyn’s maths homework.

Beckham, 30, admitted to being baffled when Brooklyn recently asked for help with a school assignment and had to turn to his former Spice Girls pop star wife Victoria to help out.

“Their homework is so hard these days. I sat down with Brooklyn the other day – and I was like, ‘Victoria, maybe you should do the homework tonight’,” Beckham told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

“I think it was maths, actually. It’s done totally differently to what I was teached when I was at school, and you know, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t do this’.

“Brooklyn was like, ‘Please do it with me’, and I’m like, ‘I’ll read your book with you’.”‘


Monday, February 27, 2006


The more famous scientific photo of history

`Almost 80 years ago, a conference on physics organized in Brussels, in the heat of inter-war period, reunited elenco of privileged minds unique.

At the beginning of last century XX, the industrialist and filántropo Belgian Ernest Solvay used part of his fortune in organizing several conferences on physics to which the privileged minds more of the moment were invited.’

School castration has PETA in uproar

‘A teacher who castrated a live pig in front of high school students is the target of protests by animal rights activists throughout the country. [..]

“We’re concerned not only because animals suffer during these routine castrations but also because of the message it sends to students who are still forming opinions about treatment of animals in our society,” said Stephanie Bell, a PETA cruelty case worker.

Rod Van Norman, superintendent of the Southern Kern Unified School District School, said animal castrations often occur in agriculture classes and are an important skill for students to learn.’


Malware moves up, goes commercial

`Engineers at Panda Software, while in the process of researching a new trojan, uncovered evidence this week that led them to a web site touting custom-built viruses for sale. For the low, low price of only US$990, a user gets his or her own pet trojan horse, complete with tech support. If the file is discovered—as this current model was—the designer provides a guarantee to alter it so that it may continue to avoid detection in the face of updated antivirus software.

The trojan goes by the moniker Trj/Briz.A, and scans the user’s hard drive for information that could be used for financial and identity data. It then sends that information to an attacker working behind the scenes. Additional features include the ability to gather IP addresses and in some cases, the physical location of infected computers. It can also modify the machine to prevent access to web sites devoted to antivirus products.’


Would-be rock star plunges from bed to death

`A teenage guitarist got so carried away while bouncing up and down on his bed mimicking a rock star that he flew out of a third floor window to his death, a Singapore newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Straits Times said Li Xiao Meng, a 16-year-old from China who was studying at Singapore’s Hua Business School, was a keen musician who liked to jump up and down while playing his guitar in his hostel room.

“But on November 17 he took things a bit too far,” the newspaper said, reporting on a coroner’s court findings.’

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Crohn’s disease ‘enigma’ close to solved?

`Researchers in London have discovered that a weak immune response instigates Crohn’s disease, possibly laying to rest the popular belief that an auto-immune condition is to blame.

In a recent study, scientists at University College in London found that people with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes ulcerations in the small and large intestines, encounter a lowered immune system response when trauma occurs in the body.

“It’s very gratifying,” said lead author Anthony Segal, a professor of medicine at University College. “This is first time people know where to look, now that we understand what the cause of disease is. It will redirect research in this area,” he said.’


Moscow stung by US warship gaffe

`The authorities in Moscow have hastily removed posters congratulating Russian war veterans which mistakenly showed the American warship USS Missouri.

The posters were taken down on Wednesday – just hours before Defender of the Motherland Day.

The Russian defence ministry said it did not produce the posters.’


Man Angry About Slamming Door Killed Neighbor

`It’s an unusual motive for murder. Investigators in Belleview said slamming the door drove a man to kill his next-door neighbor in Marion County.

Investigators believe Betty Shepperd was murdered over something that sounds extremely trivial. They said 45-year-old Vito Loiacono was irritated that Shepperd was slamming the door at night and waking him up.

The two allegedly argued earlier in the day and then Shepperd’s friend said she got a strange phone call from someone else in the complex.

“[The person] said, ‘The reason I’m calling you is I saw Vito coming out of Betty’s apartment.’ I said, ‘That can’t be,'” said Shepperd’s friend, Maria Folks.

Folks went to Shepperd’s apartment and found her in the bathroom, where she had been stabbed to death.

“I found the door ajar. I started yelling, ‘Betty! Betty!'”‘

Injured woman can sue Postal Service

`A woman who tripped and fell over letters, packages and periodicals left on her front porch can sue the U.S. Postal Service for damages, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The 7-1 ruling was a victory for Barbara Dolan, who said she suffered wrist and back injuries when she fell in 2001 in front of her Glenside, Pennsylvania, home.

She said postal employees acted negligently by leaving the mail on her porch. No further details were available on the circumstances of her fall.’

Iran: U.S., Israel Destroyed Iraqi Shrine

‘Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the United States and Israel on Thursday for the destruction of a Shiite shrine’s golden dome in Iraq, saying it was the work of “defeated Zionists and occupiers.”

Speaking to a crowd of thousands on a tour of southwestern Iran, the president referred to the destruction of the Askariya mosque dome in Samarra on Wednesday, which the Iraqi government has blamed on insurgents.

“They invade the shrine and bomb there because they oppose God and justice,” Ahmadinejad said, alluding to the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq.

“These passive activities are the acts of a group of defeated Zionists and occupiers who intended to hit our emotions,” he said in a speech that was broadcast on state television. Addressing the United States, he added: “You have to know that such an act will not save you from the anger of Muslim nations.”‘

followup to Iraq faces civil war threat.

Really Big Hole

`This diamond mine in eastern Siberia (Mirny, to be exact) is so deep that the surrounding “air zone… is closed for helicopters” after “a few accidents when they were ‘sucked in’ by downward air flow…” [..]

A now closed diamond mine that measures 1 1/2 km wide 500 m deep. That’s one hole I wouldn’t want to accidently fall into.’