Archive for the ‘News, Sort of’ Category

Spiderman in France

December 22, 2005

French skyscraper climber Alain Robert (aka Spiderman) is at it again. This time he scaled a 308-foot Paris building in just under 20 minutes…using only his bare hands and climbing shoes.

Robert is known for climbing some of the world’s tallest buildings with his bare hands and without a safety net. His more than 30 urban climbs include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers.

Source: [Red Orbit]
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Playin Possum

December 22, 2005

A 16-year old from Englewood, PA received quite a pre-Christmas surprise when she found herself face-to-face with a couple of glowing eyes in the depths of the family’s newly purchased Christmas tree.

“I’m looking at the tree and the angel just pops off,” she said. “And a second later, this head just popped up. The eyes were, like, glowing. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God!’ And I screamed.” Other family members came running. “We looked at it and I thought it might have been a fake,” said her father, Michael O’Connor, a Frackville attorney. “But then it moved its head. And I thought ‘Holy Jeez. We’re in trouble.'”

One of the family members took the tree, base and all, and chucked it into the front lawn. Animal control trapped and released the animal later that day.

Source: [ABC News]
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Virgin Mary Found in the Litter Box

December 22, 2005

Why is the Virgin Mary turning up everywhere we look these days? First she’s in a sandwich, now in a litter box. This clump of cat excrement in the shape of the Virgin Mary is for sale on Ebay. Current bid? $2.76. Here’s the description:

On Sunday evening (Dec 18), I discovered a miracle – the Virgin Mary in my own apartment. Specifically, an incarnation of the Virgin Mary in the form of a kitty-litter clump, in my cats’ litter box.If you look closely at the clump, you can see not only the Virgin Mary, but you can make out the hunches of her shoulders, the fingers on the hands, her feet, and even the tip of her nose. She is kneeling in prayer, facing left, with her head tilted down towards her hands. The longer you look, the more details become obvious. This came out of my cat. This is a miracle.

If you don’t know what cat litter is, it’s what you give you cats to bury their business in. It dries everything up and clumps and forms a solid mass. Then you scoop the clump out and throw it away, but in this case, I’m glad I looked before I scooped.

Source: [eBay: VIRGIN MARY Kitty Litter Clump]

Nose Pickers

December 22, 2005

Nose pickers rejoice!  An Austrian doctor believes that picking your nose (and eating the boogers) is actually good for you.  Here’s a portion of the story from Damn Interesting:

In the scientific and medical communities, the technical name for using one’s finger to extract boogers is rhinotillexis, and doing so compulsively is termed rhinotillexomania. The act of eating the resulting harvest is called mucophagy.

There is an Austrian doctor who has gained notoriety by advocating the picking of one’s nose and the consumption of the resulting bounty, particularly in children. Dr. Friedrich Bischinger, a lung specialist working in Innsbruck, would have us believe that people who pick their noses with their fingers are healthier, happier, and more in tune with their bodies. His argument stems from the notion that exposing the body to the dried germ remains helps to reinforce the immune system. The good doctor feels that society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking, and encourage children to take up the habit.

Dr. Bischinger has been quoted as saying (in an Austrian accent), “With the finger you can get to places you just can’t reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner. And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system.” He then added, “Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.”

Damn Interesting » You Can Pick Your Doctor, and You Can Pick Your Nose…

Herring Break Wind to Communicate, Study Suggests

November 20, 2005

256 Well, now here is an interested little tidbit. It appears that herring use gas as a form of self-preservation. Researchers from British Columbia report that these fish use the noise produced by underwater farting to stay in large protective groups under the cover of darkness.

This intriguing idea comes from scientists who discovered that herring create a mysterious underwater noise by farting. Researchers suspect herring hear the bubbles as they’re expelled, helping the fish form protective shoals at night. It’s the first ever study to suggest fish communicate by breaking wind.

Source: [National Geographic]


Horny Ghost

November 19, 2005

251 A 34-year old Malaysian man is just plain worn out. For the last 16 years, he has been troubled by a female ghost who demands sex from him every night.

A Malaysian man sought help from a medium to rid him of a female ghost whom he said had demanded sex from him every night for the past sixteen years, a report said on Saturday.

The 34-year old man, known only as Kelvin, said that the nightmare started when he was only 18.

“Bad luck had followed me ever since,? he was quoted as saying by the Mandarin-language China Press national daily.

“I couldn’t get married although I had five girlfriends, and I have been fired from my job 10 times because I could not get enough sleep and was too tired to concentrate on my work,? he said.

Fortunately for him, a netherworld wedding ceremony was conducted with three paper dolls that were all burned in order to keep the horny ghost company in the afterlife.

Source: [IOL]

Strip-A-Thon

November 19, 2005

246 Who ever said that strippers don’t have hearts as big as their…well, really big hearts. After exotic dancer Rachel Page (stage name: Brook London) of Edmonton was involved in an automobile accident that severely injured one of her legs, she found herself in somewhat of a bind. Drawn to the glory of the stage, she vowed that she would one day dance again. In order to help that effort, her fellow dancers in the Edmonton area are holding a fund raising event to assist with her rehabilitation.

And now, dozens of her fellow exotic dancers in the Edmonton area are planning a “Strip-a-thon? fundraiser to cushion the blow of her total loss of income so she can focus on getting back on her feet.

The fundraiser, being held Nov. 26 at Showgirls in Edmonton, will feature more than 30 exotic dancers over five hours, says Showgirls promotions manager Paul Ballach.

The dancers will donate all the cash they get during the Strip-a-thon to a fund for Page

Source: [Edmonton Sun]

Gaming Addicts

November 19, 2005

244 The Chinese government is looking into measures to control online gaming by youths in response to recent events such as this:

In the latest saga over online gaming addiction in China, the parents of a 13-year-old Tianjin boy are suing the makers of World of Warcraft, blaming the game for the death of their son, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The parents filed a suit against Blizzard Entertainment on Wednesday, saying their son jumped to his death while reenacting a scene from the game, the report said.

Their thoughts on how to combat the scourge of gaming addiction:

The Chinese government has already said it plans to restrict gamers to three hours of consecutive play, using a “fatigue technique? in games. After three hours of play, the online game would lose some player power, and after five hours, the player would lose most power. After that, there would be a delay of five hours before the game could be accessed to its full capacity.

Source: [Red Herring]

Just Give The Kid Her Allowance

November 18, 2005

241 A teenager from Ontario was a bit hard up for money so she decided to sell the family video camera to make a few bucks. Unfortunately, for mom, there was still a video tape inside of the camera…

She didn’t know a home video of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend engaged in an intimate act was in the camera.

Court heard the mother learned the camera was missing on Nov. 25, 2004, when the boyfriend called and complained the tape was being shown around town.

Source: [azcentral.com]

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Attempt to Rob Drug Dealers

November 16, 2005

money, money, money David Sampson of Tampa, Florida made a valiant attempt to pull a heist on a drug dealer’s house. Not a great target by any standards.

…Simpson set out Monday night to rob a group of drug dealers in north Tampa, but he ended up dead when the men followed Simpson and his accomplice to a McDonald’s and started firing, according to Hillsborough sheriff’s investigators.

Source: [St.Petersburgh Times]

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It’s a Record: Most Body Piercings

November 15, 2005

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, American Benjamin Drucker holds the record for the most body piercings with surgical needles.  In just over two hours, Drucker had 745 18-gauge needles inserted into his body at Ix Body Piercing (New Mexico).   For the curious, here are photos.

Russians Develop Spy Turtle

November 15, 2005

turtle.jpg A Russian scientist is in the process of perfecting a new stealth military reconnaisance tool. With highly trained turtles and a remote control device, a new method of espionage has emerged that he believes will foil all enemies. I mean who would expect a turtle with a camera strapped to its back crawling through an area that requires security clearance to be harmful, right?

Alexei Burikov, head of the biology department at Rostov-on-Don State Pedagogical University, says he has perfected a remote control device that can be fitted to a turtle’s shell. The device sends vibrations through the shell that cause properly trained turtles to change direction. A tiny camera fitted to the turtles shell could then spy on the enemy and relay reconnaissance pictures to a command or control center. Burikov did not explain why no one would notice a vibrating turtle with a video camera on its back.

Source: [HamptonRoads.com]

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Beer, Preventative Medicine?

November 15, 2005

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A new study suggests that hops, the flower used to bitter beer, may in fact be good for you. A group of compounds known as flavanoids appear to have anti-oxidant properties that may prevent some types of cancer. Most American lagers appear to be too watered down to have beneficial effects, but styles such as stouts and porters appear to have relatively high levels of the chemicals. The scientists won’t go so far as to recommend that you go out and down a few cases over the weekend:

“We can’t say that drinking beer will help prevent cancer,” said Fred Stevens, OSU assistant professor of pharmacy and scientist in the Linus Pauling Institute.

Source: [Associated Press]

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A Serious Sports Fanatic

November 15, 2005

31-year old Geoffrey Huish likes his rugby. He recently bet a friend that he would cut his testicles off if Wales won in Cardiff. Well, they did and so he fulfilled his promise.

Single Geoffrey, 31, took an agonising ten minutes to perform the horrific op using a pair of blunt wire cutters. Then he put his severed parts in a blue plastic bag and staggered to a social club to announce his desperate deed to fellow Wales fans. Jobless Geoffrey finally collapsed with blood pouring from his groin as horrified drinkers put his testicles in a pint glass of ice. They were handed to paramedics who rushed him to hospital — but surgeons could not sew them back

The Sun Online

Vegetable Dealers

November 14, 2005

bean.jpg 18-year old Eduardo Lorenzo and his 49-year old uncle Hector Ludena were busted for trafficking cocaine from Peru by packing it into food products. Perhaps that’s not so novel, but if you take a look at this Tampa Bay news station’s page, the vegetables that they were using were hundreds of 1-inch long lima bean shaped containers (photos on the site).

Investigators say 18-year-old Eduardo Lorenzo and his uncle, 49-year-old Hector Ludena were smuggling cocaine from Peru by concealing the drugs inside of vegetables and other food products. Police originally arrested Lorenzo on November 6 for possession of a stolen firearm and possession of cocaine. Detectives were led to Ludena’s home, where a search of his residence turned up over a 1,000 grams of cocaine concealed inside the veggies. The street value of the drugs is believed to be about $90,000.

Source: [WTSP News]

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Jailhouse Fire Hot Sauce

November 14, 2005

pepper.jpg Itching for a hobby as they wait out their prison terms, a group of inmates from Brandon, Florida have turned horticulturists. The group of convicts grow their own peppers and are perfecting a hot sauce concoction that they hope to market to consumers.

It can be difficult to add a little spice to your life when you’re in jail, where everything’s the same, day in and day out. But inmates at the Hillsborough County jail are trying. The inmates had been growing hot peppers as part of a horticulture program at the jail for about a year when one of them made a suggestion to make it into a sauce Allen Boatman, the horticulture program’s director, agreed it would be a good idea, and residents of the Falkenburg Road Jail in Brandon are now the proud makers of Jailhouse Fire hot sauce.

Source: [Associated Press]

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Lesser of Two Evils

November 12, 2005

pipe.jpg Considering the stash in this Palm Springs, California resident’s house, it probably was best not to invite the police for a visit. Worried that someone was attempting to break into his home, 59-year old Ronald Meyers requested that the Palm Springs police come out to have a look around. Everything was fine on the outside, but there was a bit of a problem with what they discovered on the inside…

Responding officers found no burglar but asked if they could check inside, said Sgt. John Booth, a Palm Springs police spokesman. When Meyers, 59, let them in, officers allegedly found more than $100,000 worth of marijuana, he said.

The alleged stash included an 8-foot-tall pot plant, more plants growing in the garage and harvested marijuana — some packed into large closeable plastic bags — stuffed in large storage bins in a bedroom, Booth said.

Officers also allegedly found syringes, at least one methamphetamine pipe and other drug paraphernalia, he said.

Source: [Yahoo]

Google Search History Used in Murder Prosecution

November 12, 2005

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Alleged murderer Robert Petrick of North Carolina had his computer confiscated during an investigation by local officials. Among the millions of documents was evidence of foul play Googling:

Robert Petrick searched for the words “neck,” “snap,” “break” and “hold” on an Internet search engine before his wife died, according to prosecutors Wednesday.

More than two years after Janine Sutphen’s body was discovered floating in a Raleigh lake, investigators continue to find new evidence on computers seized from Robert Petrick’s home that prosecutors say support their arguments that Petrick killed his wife. The Google search was the latest in recently discovered evidence found in the 100 million pages of content removed from computers.

Last week, a forensic investigator discovered that Petrick allegedly researched lake levels, water currents, boat ramps and access about Falls Lake just four days before he reported Sutphen missing on Jan. 22, 2003.

Source: [WRAL.com]

Napoleon’s Tooth Fetches a Fine Price

November 12, 2005

toothbrush.jpg

One of Napoleon Bonaparte’s upper canines fetched over $22,000 from a private collector at a recent auction in England. The tooth has made its way through several hands since it was in its original spot in the emperor’s mouth:

The tooth came with papers tracing it back to Napoleon’s physician Barry O’Meara, who apparently extracted it from the former French emperor’s mouth in 1817 during Napoleon’s exile on the British island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. Napoleon died on the island four years later.

O’Meara passed the tooth on to Gen. Maceroni, aide to the King of Naples, who was married to Napoleon’s youngest sister Caroline. The last owner acquired the tooth from Maceroni’s great-granddaughter, Cecilia White, in 1956.

Source: [CNN]

According to MIT, Tin Foil Hats Are Ineffective

November 11, 2005

Conspiracy theorist alert! According to a recent MIT study, the tin-foil hat does not, in fact, protect you against invasive government-controlled radio waves. Good science, or brilliant people with too much time on their hands? You decide.

Source: [ Damn Interesting ]

It’s a Record: Highest Egg Drop

November 9, 2005

egg.jpg David Donoghue of Blackpool, England holds the record of the highest egg drop in which the egg remained intact. The height? An amazing 700 feet (213 m).

David threw the eggs onto a golf course in Blackpool, Lancashire, UK. Getting the physics right is a vital part of the record. “You have to get the forward velocity equal to the downward velocity, then get the egg to land nearly perpendicular on a steep slope,” says David.

Source: [Guinness Book of World Records]

Now That’s a Blowout!

November 9, 2005

bball.jpg The Hanna High School basketball team from Earlsborough, OK received a pummeling on Friday night against its rival Earlsboro High. When the fat lady finally sang, the score was 112 to 2. After going through the first through fifth string players, the opposing coach went through the cheerleading squad and the hot dog vendors to try to avoid scoring anymore points. What do you suppose the Hanna coach had to say in the locker room after a game like that?

Source: [Fox Sports]

I.O.U.

November 9, 2005

piggybank.jpg The current administration under President George W. Bush has managed to borrow more foreign capital than all 42 previous United States presidents combined.

According to the Treasury Department, from 1776-2000, the first 224 years of U.S. history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions, but in the past four years alone, the Bush administration borrowed $1.05 trillion.

Source: [cnsnews.com]

Forget Your Broker, Call Your Senator

November 9, 2005

money, money, money In the first study of its kind, Georgia State University professor Alan Ziobrowski found that United States senators beat the stock market annually by 12 percent.

That is an impressive performance, as fund managers are thought to have the Midas touch if they regularly outperform by about 3 percent, and even hedge funds – which charge steep fees for performance – are now on average only 6 percent better than the market.

The academics who conducted the study looked at 6 000 stock transactions made by senators between 1993 and 1998. They noted that the senators did an especially good job of picking up stocks at just the right time – their buys were typically flat before they bought them, but beat the market by 30 percent, on average, in the year after.

However, it seems the senators might have been given a helping hand. Alan Ziobrowski, a professor at Georgia State University, and his colleagues concluded that at least some senators must have been trading “based on information that is unavailable to the public”.

Source: [Business Report]

Hello From Afghanistan, The Weather is Great Here!

November 9, 2005

bomb.jpg If you’re kicking around international travel plans this winter, you’re in luck! A brand spanking new 5-star hotel has just been built in Kabul! There are plenty of sights to see…

Militants occasionally fire rockets into downtown and the threat of kidnapping forces many foreigners to live in tightly guarded compounds ringed by concrete bomb barriers and to travel in armored convoys.

And the view is fantastic!

About 300 yards away is the Murad Khani slum, where thousands live in flimsy shacks next to open sewers.

If that hasn’t convinced you, imagine that the nightly cost of a room is up to 24 times the monthly income of a local government official! You’ll be wining and dining like a king!

Source: [monteryherald.com]