Archive for February, 2007


Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Shocking Ice Storm

A power line explodes in the background during filming for a story about an ice storm.

(3.4meg Windows media)

see it here »

Bird-brained Chinese scientists learn to fly pigeons

‘Scientists in eastern China say they have succeeded in controlling the flight of pigeons with micro electrodes planted in their brains, state media reported on Tuesday.

Scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology said ther electrodes could command them to fly right or left or up or down, Xinhua news agency said.

“The implants stimulate different areas of the pigeon’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and force the bird to comply with their commands,” Xinhua said. [..]

The report did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons.’

‘Don’t cry children, I was only aping about’

‘It was only meant to be a safefy drill but dozens of children were left in tears after an animal escape drill at a zoo went hilariously wrong.

Check out the gallery for more pictures

As acting goes, it was a little too convincing.

The idea was to test the readiness of zoo staff for the escape of a dangerous animal.

But despite the ludicrously obvious disguise of the runaway beast, its pre-ordained destiny – to be shot with a tranquilliser gun – had children in tears. [..]

The ordeal of the zoo visitors began immediately when the fancy-dressed ape jumped out and frightened a school party.’


Kansas City baby disfigured by rat while sleeping in crib

‘Exterminators began sweeping a Kansas City neighborhood infested with rats after one of the rodents crawled into a baby’s crib and severely disfigured the girl’s face.

Authorities said the girl’s parents put her in a crib next to their bed early Sunday and awoke a few hours later, when a heart and breathing monitor alarm went off. The 4-week-old baby, which had been born prematurely, was lying in a pool of blood with her nose and part of her upper lip chewed off.’


Takeoff Into A Wave

This plane takes off from an aircraft carrier right into a big wave, and flies right through it.

(955kB Windows media)

see it here »

Terry Gilliam Tries to Revive Dark ‘Tideland’

‘ Terry Gilliam’s film Tideland gets a second chance starting today.

The story of a young girl whose parents are drug addicts — which Gilliam describes as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Psycho — fared poorly with audiences during a brief U.S. theatrical release last fall. [..]

Gilliam says that the movie, which also stars Jennifer Tilly, is “about people in search for love, it’s about relationships. It’s also about drugs, sex and necrophilia. What more would you want in a movie?” he adds with a laugh. [..]

But he persisted, he says, “because I think it was genuinely a good story to tell. The fact is a lot of the public won’t like it, but I’m actually interested in the part of the public that will.”‘


Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

‘Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh – more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh – guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.’

Japanese whale hunt ended early

‘Japan’s whaling fleet has cut short its hunt in the Antarctic after a fire two weeks ago crippled the main boat.

The controversial annual hunt, which Japan says was carried out for research purposes, was meant to continue until the end of March.

But Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research said the Nisshin Maru boat could not be fully repaired at sea.’


Drive into a truck? Why not..

(1.5meg Windows media)

see it here »

Laptop use while driving blamed for fatal crash

‘A 28-year-old Chico man was killed Monday after he lost control of his car while working on his laptop computer while driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“We have reason to believe he was operating his laptop because it was still on and plugged into the cigarette lighter,” said CHP Cmdr. Scott Silsbee. [..]

The crash closed lanes in both directions for nearly two hours and traffic was diverted to alternate routes while a helicopter transported an injured couple to Rideout Hospital and work crews cleared the debris.’


$10 wok keeps TV station on air

‘Why pay $20,000 for a commercial link to run your television station when a $10 kitchen wok from the Warehouse is just as effective?

This is exactly how North Otago’s newest television station 45 South is transmitting its signal from its studio to the top of Cape Wanbrow, in a bid to keep costs down.

45 South volunteer Ken Jones designed the wok transmitter in his spare time last year when he wanted to provide wireless broadband to his Ardgowan home.’


Lesbian split sparks feud on IBM fortune

‘A feud threatens to tear apart the family of Thomas Watson jnr, the founder of IBM, after a claim by his daughter’s estranged lesbian lover to a share in his fortune.

The battle over how to divide up the multi-million-dollar Watson trust fund has been triggered by an extraordinary legal question before a US court: is his daughter’s one-time lover also Watson’s grandchild?’


Teller (of Penn and Teller) Speaks

First time I’ve ever heard him talk.

see it here »

U.N. court clears Serbia of genocide

‘The highest U.N. court cleared Serbia on Monday of direct responsibility for genocide in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war, but said Belgrade had violated its obligation to prevent and punish the mass killing.

Bosnia had asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule on whether Serbia committed genocide through the killing, rape and ethnic cleansing that ravaged Bosnia during the war, in one of the court’s biggest cases in its 60-year history.

It was the first time a state had been tried for genocide, outlawed in a U.N. convention in 1948 after the Nazi Holocaust.’

Teen thought throwing water on 90-year-old would be ‘hilarious’

‘A Cloquet teenager who told police he found it funny to throw ice water on a nursing home resident was charged with stalking, and a prosecutor wants him to stand trial as an adult. [..]

According to a criminal complaint, the Cloquet teenager told police he found it so funny when he dumped a pitcher of ice water on a 90-year-old nursing home resident in June that he returned and did it twice more, in December and again last month.

“Me and (another teenager) were like, this is gonna be hilarious, ’cause this lady was talking to herself and she was yelling and stuff so we threw it on her,” the 16-year-old boy told police, describing the first incident.

“She started screaming and freaking out so we thought this was hilariously funny, and we were all talking about it in school and everyone was laughing about it,” he said, according to the complaint.’


Beer Launching Fridge

‘Have you ever gotten up off the couch to get a beer for the umpteenth time and thought, “What if instead of ME going to get the BEER, the BEER came to ME???” Well, that was how I first conceived of the beer launching fridge. About 3 months and several hundred dollars later I have a fully automated, remote controlled, catapulting, man-pit approved, beer launching mini-fridge. It holds 10 beers in its magazine with 14 more in reserve to store a full case. It is controlled by a keyless entry system. Pressing unlock will start the catapult rotating and when it is aiming at your target, pressing unlock again will stop it. Then the lock button can be pressed to launch a beer in the selected direction.’

see it here »


Plane Crashes

Lots of plane crashes.

(4.8meg Windows media)

see it here »

Printable Cold Sores

‘Nowhere in advertising is the gap between natural beauty and manufactured perfection more apparent than on subway posters. As we wait for transportation, we are unwillingly assaulted by larger-than-life representations of supposedly beautiful salespeople. The large scale of these ads and their extremely close proximity to the viewer offer up more than perceived intimacy, however… they give us the chance to see the mechanical flaws designed to correct their physical flaws.

Why don’t we just see them for what they are? They are regular people just like us, they just have a team of retouchers waiting at the ready.

Printable cold sores allow us to take action! Bring these people back down to our level, and tell advertisers that you don’t agree with their message. How can you help? It’s easy…’


Italian teacher cuts off noisy kid’s tongue

‘An Italian teacher has been suspended by her school in Milan after cutting off the tongue of a lively 7-year-old child with a pair of scissors, daily Corriere della Sera reported Tuesday.

The boy has since had his tongue stitched back but is afraid to go back to school. His parents say he suffers nightmares and runs away whenever he sees a knife. They are now suing the school for damages. [..]

According to Corriere, the 22-year-old substitute teacher threatened the child twice with a pair of scissors before actually chopping it off.

‘Pull out your tongue. I’ll cut it, and you’ll no longer talk,’ she was quoted as telling the child.

The teacher, who has only been identified by her initials R S, has since apologized, claiming it was an accident.’

Balls Of Steel: Fake Lie Detector

‘The guys from Balls Of Steel convince an audience member to come up on stage and be subjected to a lie detector. Little does he know the detector is actually just an air conditioner. This poor guy ends up admitting some very embarrassing things’

(19.5meg Windows media)

see it here »


Guatemala sinkhole

‘A 330-foot-deep sinkhole killed at least two teenagers as it swallowed about a dozen homes early Friday and forced the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people in a crowded Guatemala City neighborhood. Officials blamed the sinkhole on recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main.

The pit emitted foul odors, loud noises and tremors, shaking the surrounding ground. A rush of water could be heard from its depths, and authorities feared it could widen or others could open up.’

with good images of the sinkhole. It’s large.

Update: now with video

see it here »

Philly boutique gets two buckets of pot

‘Workers at a downtown boutique called police after unexpectedly receiving two buckets of marijuana worth $90,000. Police were called to Fusion on Saturday after employees received the two packages of marijuana totaling about 20 pounds.

“Officers received a call that the manager of the store had received a package from FedEx and when he opened it there was a five-gallon bucket inside,” said Capt. Chris Werner. Inside that bucket was 10 pounds of marijuana. The second package arrived about an hour later, this one from a different delivery service but with similar contents.

Both packages were from California and addressed to the store, but there were no names on the address labels.’


Balls of Steel: Knock and Don’t Run

(9.3meg Windows media)

see it here »


Mom guilty in faked retardation

‘A woman admitted Monday that she coached her two children to fake retardation starting when they were 4 and 8 years old so she could collect Social Security benefits on their behalf.

Rosie Costello, 46, admitted in U.S. District Court that she collected more than $280,000 in benefits, beginning in the mid-1980s. Most was from Social Security, but the state social services agency paid $53,000. [..]

According to the plea agreement, Costello began coaching her daughter at age 4, and later used the same ruse with her son. He feigned retardation into his mid-20s – picking at his face, slouching and appearing uncommunicative in meetings with Social Security officials.’


Pakistani man sells wife’s kidney to buy tractor

‘Pakistani police have arrested two men after a village woman complained that her husband and relatives had sold one of her kidneys in order to buy a tractor, police said on Tuesday.

Although her kidney had been removed 18 months earlier, the woman, named Safia, only learnt it was missing after seeking treatment for a urinary tract problem in January.

“She has said that she was three months pregnant when her husband, Shakeel Ahmed beat her and then took her to the hospital for treatment,” said Mohammad Akram, duty officer at Noushera Jadeed police station in Punjab province.

“But at the hospital her husband, in connivance with three other people, sold her kidney to buy the tractor,” he said.’

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Christians Brainwashing Children

see it here »

Antarctic ice melt reveals exotic creatures

‘Spindly orange sea stars, fan-finned ice fish and herds of roving sea cucumbers are among the exotic creatures spied off the Antarctic coast in an area formerly covered by ice, scientists reported Sunday.

This is the first time explorers have been able to catalog wildlife where two mammoth ice shelves used to extend for some 3,900 square miles over the Weddell Sea.

At least 5,000 years old, the ice shelves collapsed in two stages over the last dozen years. One crumbled 12 years ago and the other followed in 2002.’


Illegal trade of ivory reaches unprecedented levels in Africa

‘The illegal trade of elephant ivory has reached such unprecedented levels in Africa that the authors of a U.S. report published Monday are urging western nations to provide more aid for better enforcement.

They say the trade has increased despite an international ban on ivory imposed in the late 1980s.

“Poaching right now has reached its worst levels in history,” said Samuel Wasser, one of the report’s authors and director of the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology in Seattle.’


Professional Pickpocket

(38.3meg Windows media)

see it here »

Students Break Teacher’s Neck Over iPod

‘Police have arrested and charged two students Friday in an attack on a Germantown High School over an iPod, according to other students and police.

Officials said 60-year-old math and photography teacher Frank Burd broke two bones in his neck.

“You could hear it break. You could hear when he fell on the ground,” said Synquetta Reid, a student who saw the incident.

School officials said the teacher had taken an iPod from a student during class, and after class, two students were waiting in the hall for him. One student pushed him and another threw a punch.

“He fell … on his face. After that, they turned him over and there was all this blood,” Reid said.’