Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wood Spider...

Let's end 2007 with a laugh and a smile...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fire fighters aid in penis operation...

According to the BBC, "Firefighters helped operate on a man who was rushed to hospital after getting a metal ring stuck on the end of his penis.
Doctors at Royal Wigan Infirmary in Greater Manchester put out the alert after fearing the man faced amputation as the ring cut off his blood supply.
Two firefighters used a mini hand grinder to cut through the ring during a 20-minute procedure.
It is understood the man, aged in his 40s, was given an anaesthetic.
The firefighters placed a thin sheet of metal around his penis to protect the skin while removing the ring, which appeared to have been cut off from the end of a pipe.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed fire crews were called to the hospital at around 12.10 GMT on Thursday to "deal with a situation".
A spokeswoman for Royal Wigan Infirmary said they were unable to comment about the incident."

Welcome Home...

A nice uplifting commercial that I never saw on tv....

Honey Makes 'Comeback' as Natural Disease Fighter

According to FoxNews, "Amid growing concern over drug-resistant superbugs and nonhealing wounds that endanger diabetes patients, nature's original antibiotic — honey — is making a comeback.
More than 4,000 years after Egyptians began applying honey to wounds, Derma Sciences Inc., a New Jersey company that makes medicated and other advanced wound care products, began selling the first honey-based dressing this fall after it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Called Medihoney, it is made from a highly absorbent seaweed-based material, saturated with manuka honey, a particularly potent type that experts say kills germs and speeds healing. Also called Leptospermum honey, manuka honey comes from hives of bees that collect nectar from manuka and jelly bushes in Australia and New Zealand.
Derma Sciences now sells two Medihoney dressings to hospitals, clinics and doctors in North and South America under a deal with supplier Comvita LP of New Zealand. Derma Sciences hopes to have its dressings in U.S. drug stores in the next six months, followed by adhesive strips.
Comvita, which controls about 75 percent of the world's manuka honey supply, sells similar products under its own name in Australia, New Zealand and Europe, where such products have been popular for over a decade.
"The reason that Medihoney is so exciting is that antibiotics are becoming ineffective at fighting pathogens," said Derma Sciences CEO Ed Quilty.
Another big advantage, he said, is that the dressings' germ-fighting and fluid-absorbing effects last up to a week, making them convenient for patients being cared for at outpatient clinics or by visiting nurses. They also reduce inflammation and can eliminate the foul odors of infected wounds.
Since receiving FDA approval, Medihoney has brought in sales of $150,000 (euro104,181) in 10 weeks and Quilty plans to nearly double his 15-person sales force in 2008 thanks to the two new Medihoney products.
Honey dressings and gels, as well as tubes of manuka honey, have been gaining in popularity overseas, fueled by scientific reports on their medical benefits and occasional news accounts of the dramatic recovery of a patient with a longtime wound that suddenly healed.
Regular honey can have mild medicinal benefits. A study published Dec. 3 showed it helps to calm children's coughs so they can sleep. But manuka honey is far more potent, research shows.
Dr. Robert Frykberg, chief of podiatry at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix, said the Medihoney product has worked on about half the patients with diabetic foot ulcers who have used it.
He said the Medihoney dressing can also prevent the dangerous drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA from infecting open wounds.
"It's been used on wounds where nothing else will work," said biochemist Peter Molan, a professor at the University of Waikato in New Zealand who has researched honey and other natural antibiotics for 25 years.
He's found manuka honey can kill the toughest bacteria even when diluted 10 times and recommends it especially for people with weak immune systems.
"There's more evidence, clinical evidence, by far for honey in wound treatment than for any of the pharmaceutical products" for infection, Molan said. However, it won't work once an infection gets in the blood. "It's not a miracle."
Some U.S. hospitals and wound care clinics are already using Medihoney dressings to treat patients with stubborn, infected wounds from injuries or surgical incisions and nonhealing pressure ulcers on diabetics' feet, which too often lead to amputations.
Kara Couch, a nurse practitioner at Georgetown University Hospital's Center for Wound Healing in Washington, said it works well for patients who have "wound pain" or infected wounds.
One patient who had an open wound that didn't heal for a few years "healed 90 percent in three weeks," she said, adding that the usual rate for chronic wounds is barely 10 percent a week.
David Crosby, a retired insurance claims examiner from Hanover, Massachusetts, began using Medihoney two months ago on a 2 1/2-year-old burn on his leg after high-tech treatments did not help. The burn's size has shrunk by half and it continues to heal.
"At this stage, any improvement's better than nothing," Crosby said.
Dr. Craig Lambrecht, a North Dakota emergency physician, started using a paste version of Medihoney while serving with the National Guard in Iraq last winter.
At a military clinic for Iraqi children, he used it on patients with severe burns from cooking fuels, open fires and explosions. He said Iraqi families soon preferred the honey over other treatments because it was natural and because the honey dressings don't need to be changed as often as traditional ones. The children also healed more quickly and with less complications, he said.
After seeing its success in Iraq, Lambrecht, who has five children of his own, is a fan.
"I would use the Medihoney on burns on my children, as the first choice, without question," he said."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What will change buy?...

Did you ever wonder what you could buy if you saved your pocket change?...
Well, MSNBC reports that an "Indiana farmer saves all of his pocket change [for 14 years] to purchase a new truck." This isn't his first time to do this...

Here's the 2 minute news video.

A penny earned is a penny saved...

One last laugh...

MSNBC reports that even "in death, Chet Fitch is a card. Fitch, known for his sense of humor, died in October at age 88 but gave his friends and family a start recently: Christmas cards, 34 of them, began arriving -- written in his hand with a return address of "Heaven."
The greeting read: "I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don't (tarry) there.' Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain.
"Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a point to let me in the first time, so I had better not press my luck. I'll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Chet Fitch"
A friend for nearly 25 years, Debbie Hansen Bernard said, "All I could think was, 'You little stinker.'"
"It was amazing," she said. "Just so Chet, always wanting to get the last laugh."
The mailing was a joke Fitch worked on for two decades with his barber, Patty Dean, 57. She told the Ashland Daily Tidings this week that he kept updating the mailing list and giving her extra money when postal rates went up. This fall, she said, Fitch looked up to her from the chair.
"You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards," he told her. "I think you'll probably be able to mail them this year."
He died a week later."
I wish that I known Chet. He had a great sense of humor.
Here is the news video.

One Rough Christmas Eve...

According to FoxNews, an Iowa man spent Christmas Eve in a septic tank. "Christmas Eve stunk for Robert Schoff.
The 77-year-old Des Moines man got stuck in his septic tank.
"It wasn't good, I'll tell you what," Schoff told the Des Moines Register. "It was the worst Christmas Eve I've ever had."
Schoff's holiday adventure started Monday when he dug a hole and reached inside to find a clog. He lost his balance and became wedged in the opening of the tank.
The 5-foot 5-inch, 135-pound Schoff hollered, screamed and hoped his wife, Toni, would hear him.
He waited for an hour until she walked by a window and noticed feet in the air.
"I saw these kicking feet and ran out, but couldn't get him out," Toni Schoff said.
She called 911.
Two Polk County sheriff's deputies arrived to yank her husband out.
"How that happened, I don't know," he said. "I thought it was the end of my life. Thank God my wife saw me. I don't think I could have stood staying in there much more. She's my lifesaver.""

Thankfully, the guy's wife saw him. But imagine what the sheriff deputies were thinking when they saw his feet coming out of the septic tank....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This surprised me...

You have probably heard the story by now. Former PM of the UK Tony Blair just converted to being a Roman Catholic. Now I am not going to be getting into arguments of what he decided to do or how someone may have ill feelings for the Roman Catholic Church.
The thing that surprised me was that the BBC in the story reports that [it] "comes as research shows Catholic churchgoers now outnumber Anglicans for the first time since the Reformation in the UK...A study by the organisation Christian Research has found Church of England services are no longer Britain's most popular form of worship and have been overtaken by Catholic mass..."
Now this stuns me. Then again, I don't live in the UK. Those living there may have seen this coming for a long time.

'Medical myths' exposed as untrue

Our friends at the BBC report that [some] "claim drinking eight glasses of water a day leads to good health, while reading in dim light damages eyesight.
Others believe we only use 10% of our brains or that shaving legs causes hair to grow back thicker.
But a review of evidence by US researchers surrounding seven commonly-hold beliefs suggests they are actually "medical myths".
Some are utterly untrue, while others have no evidential proof, the British Medical Journal reports.
Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis hunted medical literature for evidence on each claim.
They found no evidence supporting the need to drink eight glasses of water a day.
In fact, studies suggest that adequate fluid intake is often met by drinking juice, milk, and even caffeine-rich tea and coffee.
Data also suggests drinking excessive amounts of water can be dangerous.
The belief that we only use 10% of our brains appears to be completely untrue.
Studies of patients with brain damage suggest that damage to almost any area of the brain has specific and lasting effects on mental, vegetative and behavioural capabilities.
Brain imaging studies also show that no area of the brain is completely silent or inactive.
And the belief that hair and fingernails continue to grow after death may be an optical illusion caused by retraction of the skin after death. The actual growth of hair and nails requires a complex interplay of hormonal regulation not present after death.
Again, illusion may be to blame for the belief that shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, and coarser, report author Rachel Vreeman told the BMJ.
The stubble resulting from shaving grows out without the finer taper seen at the ends of unshaven hair, giving the impression of thickness and coarseness.
Again, expert opinion is that reading in dim light does not damage your eyes. And there is little evidence to support the banning mobile phones from hospitals on the basis of electromagnetic interference.
Finally, eating turkey - and the tryptophan amino acid it contains - does not make people especially drowsy.
Indeed, turkey, chicken and minced beef contain similar amounts of tryptophan.
The researchers explained: "Any large meal can induce sleepiness because blood flow and oxygenation to the brain decrease, and meals rich in protein or carbohydrate may cause drowsiness. Wine may also play a role."
Dr David Tovey, editor of Clinical Evidence journal, said: "The difficulty is it is often hard to disprove a theory.
"On the flip-side, absence of evidence does not necessarily mean absence of effect.
"Where reliable evidence becomes really important is in helping people make serious decisions about harms and risks.
"Many of these 'myths' are innocuous. However, we are still finding evidence that runs contrary to current practice and what we expect."..."

Friday, December 21, 2007

She did what to Santa?...

The News-Press reports that a "Connecticut woman wanted to get her hands on a particular holiday package.
Sandrama Lamy was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and breach of peace for allegedly groping Santa Claus. The 33-year-old woman apparently has a thing for older men, but her X-rated wish is an automatic disqualification from Santa’s “nice” list.The world is no longer safe for shopping mall holiday characters. Just ask the Easter Bunny. He’s still reeling from the infamous Bunny Brawl of 2006 at the Edison Mall.Now, another case of shoppers gone wild. This time it was Kris Kringle getting a Christmas goose. Apparently, the jolly old soul’s little round belly did not shake with laughter like a bowlful of jelly. Laying a finger aside his nose was the signal to alert mall security: “There’s a ’ho ’ho ’ho in my lap!”Such mall mauling is unprecedented, according to “Santa Tim” Connaghan, president of, who coaches hundreds of prospective red-suits a year. He told reporters it’s not unusual for grown-ups to ask to pose with St. Nick, but he’s never heard of anyone making the moves on the man.
“I’ve had some very nice ladies sit on my lap,” Connaghan said. Careful, Santa.“Once in a while they’ll say ‘I hope Mrs. Claus isn’t going to be upset.’ You have to be discreet and kind and say, ‘Oh no, she’ll be OK. You can sit here, but only for one photo.’ ”Apparently the Connecticut woman had a different kind of photo opp in mind — something more suitable for an adult magazine than the family Christmas card.Just wait till news of this reaches the North Pole. Mrs. Claus might very well pull a Faith Hill, publicly chastising another woman for manhandling her man. Can you say sexual harassment lawsuit?Easygoing Santa might be apt to let his fondling fan off easy, but his pushy wife could be another matter. The control freak is always pressuring him to eat more to keep up his image. “Nobody wants a skinny Santa,” she nags.Whether he sports six-pack abs or a little round belly, it seems that some women crushing on Kringle just can’t keep their paws off Claus."

Scared of Santa

So do you remember the child that was scared to sit on Santa's lap. He/She was fit to be tied and may have been screaming "bloody murder?" Well, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel sure does with these photos.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's official: Guinness is good for you

According to the BBC, [the] "old advertising slogan "Guinness is Good for You" may be true after all, according to researchers.
A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks.
Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US.
Guinness [was] told to stop using the slogan decades ago - and the firm still makes no health claims for the drink.
The Wisconsin team tested the health-giving properties of stout against lager by giving it to dogs who had narrowed arteries similar to those in heart disease.
They found that those given the Guinness had reduced clotting activity in their blood, but not those given lager.
Clotting is important for patients who are at risk of a heart attack because they have hardened arteries.
A heart attack is triggered when a clot lodges in one of these arteries supplying the heart.
Many patients are prescribed low-dose aspirin as this cuts the ability of the blood to form these dangerous clots.
The researchers told a meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida, that the most benefit they saw was from 24 fluid ounces of Guinness - just over a pint - taken at mealtimes.
They believe that "antioxidant compounds" in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.
However, Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, said: "We never make any medical claims for our drinks."
The company now runs advertisements that call for "responsible drinking".
A spokesman for Brewing Research International, which conducts research for the industry, said she would be "wary" of placing the health benefits of any alcohol brand above another.
She said: "We already know that most of the clotting effects are due to the alcohol itself, rather than any other ingredients.
"It is possible that there is an extra effect due to the antioxidants in Guinness - but I would like to see this research repeated."
She said that reviving the old adverts for Guinness might be problematic - at least in the EU...
The original campaign in the 1920s stemmed from market research - when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan was born.
In England, post-operative patients used to be given Guinness, as were blood donors, because of its high iron content.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers were at one stage advised to drink Guinness - the present advice is against this..."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hulu at work...

Uncle Barky told me about I just easily registered with the site and received a temporary password. I logged into the site and found this sweet clip from "The Office." If you work for a company that provides some type of customer service, you should find a laugh in this clip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Robot Chicken...

Mindless humor...

Mindless humor from Robot Chicken...

Another piece of human debris...

In a previous post, I explained what I consider as a piece of human debris. Well ladies and gentlemen, we have another "winner." His name is Robert William Fisher. FoxNews reports "[to] neighbors, Robert William Fisher seemed like an average guy.He loved to hunt and fish. He doted on his kids and dedicated himself to a career of helping others, first as a firefighter, then later as a surgical catheter technician and respiratory therapist.
But there was a dark side to Fisher. People close to him described him as a loner, a control freak who didn't want anyone outside of his close-knit family raising his kids.
It could have something to do with his parent's divorce, when he was just a teenager, investigators say. He went to live with his dad, but when his father remarried, Fisher took it hard and vowed to never divorce.
On April 10, 2001, police suspect that dark side got the better of him.
He and his wife Mary, who were having marital troubles, were having an argument at their Scottsdale, Ariz. home. The night before, neighbors heard yelling from the house.
"We don't know what it was about," said FBI special agent Robert Caldwell. "Mary was probably getting ready to leave him. Rather than have someone else raise his kids, it was better off to start off a clean slate."
Also at home that night were Brittney, 12, and Bobby, 10.
Caldwell said Mary, who had already caught Robert cheating with another woman, learned he was having another affair. Mary already took Robert back one time. She wasn't going to do it again and planned to leave him.
She would never get the chance.
Investigators say Robert shot Mary, 38, in the head, then hunted down his two children and slit their throats. Fisher is thought to have then put an accelerant on their bodies, opened a gas line to the heater and lit a candle down the hallway that caused the house to explode.
That night, Fisher just vanished without a trace, Caldwell said...
Nearly seven years later, Fisher remains the only suspect. He is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, three counts of first-degree murder and arson of an occupied structure...
Authorities have few clues on where he might be, and say because of his anti-social lifestyle, he's unlikely to make friends or share grisly secrets about his past.
"He's perfectly fine to be on his own," Caldwell said, who became involved in the case in February 2002. "If you keep your identity low and you're not showing your face or contacting friends and family, it's easy for you to avoid detection."
Thousands of tips have poured in from across the country but have led to dead ends.
A few years ago, authorities thought they had found their man after a sighting in Canada. The tipster said Fisher's description matched that of the tipster's mom's new boyfriend.
Canadian authorities conducted surveillance and captured the man. But the fingerprints didn't match Fisher.
Fisher remains at large, and is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities want him dead or alive.
"We have to assume he is alive until we find his body or him," Caldwell said.
Authorities believe Fisher may have killed himself, but the search continues.
"We definitely want to see closure for the family and locate and arrest Robert," Caldwell said.
The 6-foot, 190-pound fugitive, has a gold crown on his upper left bicuspid tooth. He sometimes walks with an exaggerated erect posture because of back problems. He also chews tobacco.
The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Fisher's arrest."
If you have seen this gutless pig and hasn't killed himself yet, then please contact your local authorities. The Reward would be great; but I would enjoy it more if we have him enjoying the rest of life with Bubba in a cold cell...
Here's a video of the gutless wonder with his family. Tape was modified and sounds were removed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Montage W/Conan O'Brien

Great montage with Conan O'Brien as he opened an awards show last year. If you didn't get a chance to see this when it aired, then please have a look now for a few laughs...


A lot of press has been made lately of Oprah's endorsement of Obama. In fact a lot of people aren't happy to see Oprah endorsing anyone if it's not "their" candidate. But Oprah isn't the first tv personality to endorse a candidate. Conan O'Brien has done it already...

Granted his endorsement was for Finland...

Do you remember the news updates?

Do you remember the quick news updates from the old three networks. Uncle Barky found this little gem. According to him, "Here's the ultimate minimalist approach to a network news update. Seven stories in 50 seconds, courtesy of the late Tom Snyder in a 1976 break from NBC programming. Watch how Snyder slides papers with his left hand while pumping out the crisp verbiage. There's even a tongue-in-cheek kicker. Perfect."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cayenne pepper, anybody?...

Featured in a previous post where he tests out the NuttyBuddy, our friend eats cayenne pepper. He looks to be some radio personality. I have no idea what radio station has him. I just hope he is well paid for his antics. Let the laughing begin...

Hulu anyone?...

Uncle Barky asks "Have you hulu'd yet?"
He reports that you probably haven't hulu'd yet. "The new service is barely brand new, but it's already a treasure trove.
Backed by NBC Universal and News Corporation (parent company of Fox), is the must-see Web site of the year for TV-philes of all ages. You'll have to register and get a password first. That could take a day or two, or longer.

After that, there is such a thing as a free lunch. Hulu's eclectic list of programming choices, in just its very formative stages, ranges from Hill Street Blues to Family Guy, from Doogie Howser, M.D. to Scrubs.

The time travels are the most tantalizing. For no charge, you can dial up the complete premiere episodes and more of Emmy caliber series such as Hill Street, Doogie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Miami Vice, The Practice, St. Elsewhere, WKRP in Cincinnati, Remington Steele, Picket Fences and even the original Lorne Greene-fronted Battlestar Galactica...

Hulu also lets you catch up on an array of ongoing series. For now, all of them are either Fox or NBC Universal properties, including Heroes, House, The Office, Prison Break, Friday Night Lights, etc., etc...

The current hulu menu lists 158 titles, including a handful of movies such as Sideways and October Sky. Some early commenters complain that the movies are edited for content, which would be a dumb thing to do if true. You'll find far more to like than dislike about hulu, though. It makes a too-good-to-be-true first impression, and that's an understatement..."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Does 'E' Really Mean Empty on Your Gas Gauge?

My favorite reporter John Stossel has a report that appears on this Friday's 20/20 episode. I mentioned another of his reports in a previous post. He reports "[w]e've all been there. You're driving down the highway, miles from the nearest gas station, and your car's fuel gauge is quickly approaching empty. Is it time to panic? Or is there still some gas sloshing around at the bottom of the tank that can keep you in motion?
Does empty really mean empty on your car's gas gauge, or is that a myth?
Last month, I ran a test. I bought a spare can of gasoline and set out on a road trip -- a trip that started with next to no gas in my minivan's tank. When I left New York City, the car's gas light was on and the needle on the gas gauge was near "E."Luckily, my car has a feature that seems more precise than the needle: a digital read-out. It said that I still had 25 miles to go.
If that's true, what does empty really mean? Is it when the needle hits "E"? Is it when the digital read-out hits zero? I kept driving. Would the car stop moving when the read-out hit zero?
It didn't.
My car still kept going. And going, and going, and going."
Stossel also points out this web site.

Interesting views from Dennis Miller

I watched Dennis Miller when he appeared on Saturday Night Live. His views nowadays are interesting. You and I may not agree with everything he says... But you have to admit he does make you think with his added humor. He is usually great when he appears on the Jay Leno show. Here are a couple of clips with his thoughts:

If you've never heard Miller before, then let me know what you thought about what he says...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More tests on the NuttyBuddy...

Dude tests the NuttyBuddy out on himself... Check out the girlfriend's giggling...

McDonald's fines slow eaters...

The Guardian in the UK reports that "[the] question of just how long it should take to eat fast food is being answered by the burger giant McDonald's, which is making customers finish within 45 minutes or face a charge of £125 (about $250).
Motorists who care to linger over their McMeals for any longer at some drive-throughs are receiving demands from a private company that manages car parks for the burger chain.
If they do not pay, the fee rises steadily and customers are threatened with court action and approached by bailiffs. A spokeswoman for McDonald's said the 45-minute restrictions had been introduced at about 40 restaurants because car parks were being abused. She said signs explaining the policy were displayed and leaflets given out.
Many supermarkets and restaurants are handing over the management of their car parks to companies which use number plate recognition cameras to log when people enter and leave.
If they stay too long, the details of the registered keeper of the vehicle are obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and he or she is billed. An elderly Wiltshire couple were recently berated by Tesco after taking too long to do their Christmas shopping at the supermarket.
The company that manages McDonald's car parks, Civil Enforcement, also works with a string of other blue-chip companies. BP used it until recently to monitor some of its petrol station forecourts.
One motorist, Jamie Thomson, told the Guardian of his experience at a McDonald's near Gatwick: "I ordered a burger, chips, a doughnut, coke and coffee. I sat in my car eating my lunch, and listening to the radio. After eating, I continued to sip my coffee for a time, and ate my doughnut. Then I left. All perfectly normal." He says he was in his car for about an hour.
Several weeks later, he received a letter from Civil Enforcement demanding £125, or £75 if the charge was paid quickly. At first Thomson, a businessman from Sussex, did not even realise that he was being charged for spending too long at McDonald's, as the notice gave only a partial address.
When he remembered his visit to McDonald's, Thomson asked Civil Enforcement for photographic proof of his "offence", but was told he would have to pay for a photo. He contacted the DVLA to ask how Civil Enforcement had obtained his details, and was told the DVLA releases data to bodies which have "reasonable cause" to ask for it.
McDonald's told Thomson that the use of "enforcement methods" happened only in "extreme" circumstances. The company added: "At this restaurant we have stipulated that a member of the public may be parked for 45 minutes unless permission is given to stay longer by the duty manager."
McDonald's in effect washed its hands of the charge, saying it had been imposed by Civil Enforcement and the burger giant did not profit from it.
Thomson's charge has risen to £213. He has been threatened with court action and received a letter from a debt collection company. He said that neither he nor any member of his family would eat at the chain again.
Civil Enforcement operates more than 700 car parks, and says it issues a "considerable number" of parking tickets every year. Its founder, Gary Wayne, argued its "hi-tech approach" was "less confrontational than clamping and towing"."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Testing an athletic cup...

"Former baseball player Mark Littell believes so much in his product - an oddly-shaped athletic cup - that he is willing to take a ball in the groin to prove it." He really believes in his NuttyBuddy. Now that's what I call believing in your product.

CIA story from ABC News

You have probably already heard about this story from ABC News. According to the report, John Kiriakou, the CIA officer whose team captured Al Qaeda Chief Abu Zubaydah, said his team subjected Zubaydah to waterboarding, and that the technique "broke" the terror leader in "less than 35 seconds." He said said he believes waterboarding is torture, but said the need for intelligence that would help prevent future attacks justified the technique.
"The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks," Kiriakou said of the information Zubaydah provided.
"What happens if we don't waterboard a person, and we don't get that nugget of information, and there's an attack," Kiriakou said. "I would have trouble forgiving myself."
The CIA secretly recorded the interrogation of Zubaydah, then destroyed the tapes. Kiriakou told ABC he had no idea that the CIA was taping the session, or that the tape had been destroyed."
I have no problem with members of the CIA subjecting terrorists to waterboarding in order to prevent the deaths of innocent people. But to me, the most disturbing portion of the story is the following: "In that context, at that time, Kiriakou says he felt waterboarding was something the United States needed to do.
"At the time, I felt that waterboarding was something that we needed to do. And as time has passed, and as September 11th has, you know, has moved farther and farther back into history, I think I've changed my mind," he told ABC News."
I knew we would get to a point after 9/11 in which we would fall back into the ways that we thought prior to the attacks. As time progresses, we change our minds until there is another attack. And then we start the process all over again when we ask ourselves why we didn't connect the dots...

Playing chicken with a train...

The London Daily Mail reports that "Captured on CCTV, the jaw-dropping moment a man missed being hit by a train by a fraction of a second.

This is the moment a 21-year-old man diced with death as he played on tracks as a train came hurtling towards him.
Showing off in front of his friends, Andrew Ogden, from Astley Village, Chorley, struck a pose standing right in front of an oncoming train.
The dangerous near-miss was captured on CCTV cameras at Rylands level crossing in Chorley on July 14.

Just before 10pm that night, Ogden and three friends were walking across the level crossing when Ogden stopped and stood with his arms raised in front of the train.
He jumped out of the way at the last possible moment before the Northern Rail 20.48 Manchester Airport to Blackpool service sped past at 50mph.
The driver of the train was unsurprisingly left extremely shaken and had to finish work for the night before being signed off work for a week by his doctor.
Superintendent Peter Holden of British Transport Police said: "This was a shocking case of somebody blatantly showing off to their friends which could so easily have ended in tragedy. He was inches away from being struck by a train travelling at 50mph.
"This sort of incident is plain stupidity and people need to realise that it is viewed by BTP extremely seriously. The driver genuinely thought he had struck the man and was left extremely traumatized.
"I hope that people look at this case and understand that trespassing on the railway is not a game and if you are involved in incidents such as this you will be dealt with by the courts."
Ogden pleaded guilty to obstruction without intent and will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on 7 January 2008.
Ogden was released on unconditional bail pending sentencing on 7 January."

Here's the video.

Can you say "moron"? I knew you could....

Sunday, December 9, 2007

With whom would you have dinner?...

Recently at my new job, our boss asked those at a meeting with whom would they have dinner. Not having much time, my mind raced for names as my turn approached. Names of people both living and dead were flying through my mind. And then the answer hit me: I would love to have a chance to have dinner with both President Abraham Lincoln and Leonardo Da Vinci. As soon as their names left my lips, the reasoning poured from me.

I would love to speak with Lincoln and ask him how he kept going when almost everyone thought the South had won the US Civil War. I want to know how he handled things when the chips were down. He even had to replace his general leading the North during the war. With the Civil War going so badly, his own supporters were asking him how he got the country in such a mess. Everyone was questioning and criticizing him. People were crying in the streets that they didn't want to go off to fight someone else's war, but he stood firm and knew what he was doing was the right thing to do. Even though he bowed a bit to the political winds in first only granting the Emancipation Proclamation to the states south of the Mason Dixon line, he did this in order to maintain the fragile North. I want to know from where he got the fortitude to keep moving ahead when all looked lost during the worst of Civil War for the Union.

And then I would turn to Da Vinci. I would want to hear him laugh about the best selling book and movie that were inspired by his painting of The Last Supper. We could talk about his many drawings and groundbreaking works of art and theories. I would ask him how he came to conceptualize a tank, helicopter, calculator, and concentrated solar power centuries before they were even a part of man's imagination of the future.

After hearing them both speak, I would just sit back and let Lincoln and Da Vinci talk together. Imagine the conversation between those two great minds. Of course, I would be taking notes as they discussed everything under the sun.

So with whom would you have dinner?

Flatley settles false rape claims

First Look: Inside the F-22 Raptor

I saw this jet at a recent airshow. It's one impressive plane.

No arms...No Legs...But still smiling...

Fox9 from Minnesota reports that in St. Paul "A Wisconsin dairy farm worker who lost all four of his limbs after a 40 minute tangle with a powerline is heading home from the hospital.
Benjamin Ruiz, 20, was on his way home from work at a Wisconsin dairy farm in September when he reached down to change a DC in his car and crashed into a utility pole. He stepped out of his car and onto the powerline, enduring electrical shocks for 40 minutes.
When Ruiz woke up in the hospital, he was fighting for his life. Doctors say the chance of him surviving, between his burns and his electrical injury, was maybe one or two in 100.
St. Paul’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Church adopter Ruiz as their own, staying by his side to witness one miracle after another on his road to recovery. Now, it what seems like an impossibly short period of time, Ruiz is heading home.
Ruiz plans to return to his family in Mexico. His parents have not seen him yet because they have been unable to get visas to come into the United States."

Polars bears on the brink?...

Just like a previous post when I asked for an open-mind, I am asking for an open-mind when reading the article from David Jones of the London's Daily Mail. The headline of the report is 'Polars bears on the brink? Don't you believe it'.
The reports says that "[w]hen you're up above the Arctic Circle, on the trail of polar bears who haven't eaten a square meal in months, it's advisable to follow a few basic rules.
Number one, as perishing cold as you may be, is don't drink too much coffee.
Unfortunately, as an incurable caffeine addict, wildlife documentary maker Nigel Marven can't adhere to this great unwritten imperative while filming his latest series out on the frozen North Canadian tundra.
As a result, I find myself peering anxiously from the safety of a frosten-crusted Jeep, wondering whether I am about to witness the moment that Nigel becomes his star performer's lunch.
Polar bears, you see, have an acute sense of smell which helps them to track down prey up to 60 miles away.
Normally, they use it to sniff out seal pups or Arctic foxes, but when the call of nature forces Nigel to venture out on to the ice (coffee being a diuretic), one keen-nosed 1,200-pounder scents the unusual smells of coffee.
Unseasonably warm weather has left the huge male bear stranded for almost four months, far from his winter hunting ground on the edge of the sheet-ice - so a meaty, 6ft human looks too appetising to resist.
Nigel is just emerging from behind a snow-dusted willow bush when the great white bear comes loping towards him. His instinct is to turn and run for it back to the Jeep.
But the 46-year-old, famed for his daringly close encounters with dangerous animals, quickly remembers the rest of the bear-stalker's survival code.
Realising he will never outpace a creature capable of springing across the slithery surface at 25mph by using his huge paws like snow-shoes, Nigel stands stock still.
Then, showing the bear that he isn't afraid, Nigel raises himself to his full height.
At the same time, he avoids eye contact to let it know he isn't a threat (a fact that seems rather obvious, given that the approaching beast is 3ft taller and seven times heavier).
Alarmingly, however, the bear just keeps on coming.
He is within eight or nine yards of Nigel - close enough for even a man who has swum with Great White sharks to feel concerned - when he is stopped in his tracks by two loud cracks from a pump-action rifle.
The warning shots have been fired by Dennis Compayre, a grizzled old polar bear hand hired to act as Nigel's "eyes and ears" as he films Polar Bear Week, a captivating five-part series which begins on Channel 5 next week.
Since the cameras have stopped rolling, and we are making our way back to base in the gathering gloom, viewers will not see this relatively narrow escape.
Later, however, Nigel is quick to praise his minder.
"This man is my best friend!" he grins, giving Dennis a hearty slap on the back.
Dennis, whose white-flecked woolly beard and thick grey hair make him look remarkably like the creatures he has been observing at close quarters for almost 30 years, accepts the gratitude with a "seen-it-all-before" nod.
To explain what might have happened, he recounts the chilling story of a female researcher in her 20s who was savaged near here.
The only predator that will actively stalk a human, the polar bear had hidden in wait behind the huge tyres of a tundra buggy and pounced as the woman disembarked from a helicopter and dashed to the vehicle.
"She had four huge puncture wounds in her back, and would have died if a guy hadn't jumped out of the buggy and hit the bear with a long pole," Dennis says.
"Those bears seem to love the scent after people drink coffee, and I'd hate to have to shoot one."
We are filming in Churchill, Manitoba, the so-called Polar Bear Capital of the world, where these creatures seem to have more rights than the humans - for good reason.
Not long ago, this isolated outpost on Hudson Bay was in financial trouble.
Then, wealthy tourists discovered the thrill of nature-watching breaks and Churchill, home to the most easily accessible polar bear population, became a fashionable - and newly prosperous - adventure holiday destination.
Although the town is still accessible only by train or light aircraft, its guesthouses are packed during late summer and autumn, when the vast ice-sheet over the bay melts, forcing around 1,000 bears to lollop around for months on the shore.
Lately, however, it is not only polar bear watchers who come flocking.
With the clamour over global warming, it has become a magnet for an army of environmentalists and climatologists who have given Churchill an air of impending doom.
The Arctic ice-cap is shrinking fast, is their message, and as it disappears, so too will the polar bears.
Today, the polar bear population may hover healthily around 25,000 (they live in Russia, Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Canada).
Yet, we are repeatedly warned, if the planet continues to overheat at the present rate, within four decades our biggest carnivore will be extinct, starved to death as its natural hunting grounds disappear.
"Come up and see them while you still can," is the gist of their depressing refrain.
To some Churchill residents, who base their opinions on personal experience rather than fancy charts and computer models, this is so much nonsense put about by scaremongers for their own dubious ends.
When outsiders question whether anyone would be so cynical, they are reminded of that now-famous photograph of a polar bear which appears to be teetering precariously on an Arctic ice-floe, melting faster than ice-cream, in the depths of winter.
For a while, it became a powerful symbol of the perils of global warming - until it was revealed to have been taken three years ago and during the height of summer.
And so the battle lines between Churchill's optimists and pessimists have been drawn.
Nigel Marven's new series does not pretend to answer the complexities of this increasingly heated debate.
True to his easy-going style, he prefers to glory in the natural wonders of the Arctic.
In addition to countless polar bears, he came eye-to-eye with musk ox and moose, blubbery great walruses and curious little lemmings which, we discover, aren't really suicidal after all.
He also met fluffy white seal cubs, giant owls and snow buntings, and foxes whose coats change colour from cinnamon to silver with the passing seasons.
He took an icy dip with mystical white beluga whales and marvelled at the most breathtaking light show on Earth: the Aurora Borealis.
Inevitably, after studying the bears for 80 days and speaking to the people who live among them, he formed his own view about "the disappearing polar bear" controversy.
Flying into Churchill, the weather seems cold enough.
If minus 5C means the greenhouse effect is upon us, heaven knows what it was like before.
According to my taxi driver, however, the seasons have changed, and by rights it should be a whole lot colder.
"Last week, it was minus 20C, but now it's suddenly warmed up again, and not long ago that never happened," he informs me.
In Churchill, the effects of this odd upsurge in temperature are clear.
By this time of year, Hudson Bay has usually refrozen and the bears are beginning to slide off to hunt seals on the fringe of the ice-sheet.
After freezing briefly, however, it has now melted again, and so the bears are still very much among us.
One morning, disconcertingly, I awake to learn that a family of five has been wandering around outside my hotel.
Meanwhile, at the so-called "polar bear jail" - where bears who persistently loiter around town are held after being tranquillised, pending their re-release into the wild - all the concrete cells are full.
This presents the local wildlife authorities with a major headache.
Most of these errant bears are adolescents who haven't yet learned to behave.
But you can hardly give a loutish bear an ASBO. Venturing out of town, we also find bears in abundance.
Researchers have found that their weight has dropped by up to 20 per cent because the melting ice has reduced their feeding time and forced them to swim longer distances hunting for prey. But the ones we see look healthy enough.
Filming these deceptively cuddly-looking creatures is a precarious business, but our cameraman, Peter Thorn, captures some amazing footage.
One afternoon, we watch from a few yards as two fully grown adults stand on their hind legs and box one another, in a sparring context that seems specially staged for us.
"This behaviour is unique to the Churchill bears," whispers Nigel.
"We think they do it because this is the only place they congregate.
"They're testing their mettle because, next spring, they will be fighting for real, over females."
Later, out on the tundra, we encounter a big, ten-year-old old male with distinctive scars on his nose.
"Old battle wounds," remarks Dennis Compayre knowingly.
He calls to the animal which he knows well and has nicknamed Dancer - and the bear immediately pads over to us and rises up to the viewing platform on his hind-legs, coming so close that our minder can pat him on the head.
The bond between bear and man looks uncanny until, with a wry grin, our minder explains that he used to share his breakfast with the bear - violating strictly enforced laws that forbid feeding them, for fear they may become sensitised to humans, and therefore more dangerous.
"Well, why shouldn't we feed them, if they're really so hungry?" he says, hankering for the days when he was allowed to take to the ice with a bottle of Scotch (for himself) and a tub of lard (for the bears).
"What do these do-gooders think we should do? Just let them starve?"
Born and raised in Churchill, Dennis is among those who eye the new "experts" in town with deep suspicion.
According to Polar Bears International, the most prominent and widely respected campaign organisation, the West Hudson Bay bear population has fallen by 22 pc since 1987 and its prospects are bleak.
"If we lose the sea ice, we're going to lose the bears," says Dr Andrew, who serves on the group's scientific advisory council, arguing that they will not be able to adapt quickly enough to become vegetarians if and when the ice melts, leaving them with no hunting grounds.
His world-renowned colleague, Dr Ian Sterling, who has studied the bears since the mid-1970s, says that the ice now breaks up about three weeks earlier and so the bears have a shorter time in which to store up fat.
"There's a direct relationship between the date of the ice breakup and survival.
"The health, or condition, of the bears has declined over the past 30 years."
Dr Sterling says this is the reason why more "problem bears" are appearing in Churchill - and perhaps even why one came sniffing after Nigel Marven drank all that coffee.
"A starving bear isn't going to lie down and die. It's going to look for an alternative food source.
"In West Hudson Bay, that means either garbage dumps, hunting camps or, occasionally, people."
Dennis Compayre raises bushy grey eyebrows as he listens to the environmentalists predict the polar bear's demise.
"They say the numbers are down from 1,200 to around 900, but I think I know as much about polar bears as anyone, and I tell you there are as many bears here now as there were when I was a kid," he says as the tundra buggy rattles back to town across the rutted snowscape.
"Churchill is full of these scientists going on about vanishing bears and thinner bears.
"They come here preaching doom, but I question whether some of them really have the bears' best interests at heart.
"The bear industry in Churchill is big bucks, and what better way to keep people coming than to tell them they'd better hurry to see the disappearing bears."
After almost three months of working with those who know the Arctic best - among them Inuit Indians, who are appalled at the way an animal they have lived beside for centuries has become a poster species for "misinformed" Greens - Nigel Marven finds himself in broad agreement.
"I think climate change is happening, but as far as the polar bear disappearing is concerned, I have never been more convinced that this is just scaremongering.
"People are deliberately seeking out skinny bears and filming them to show they are dying out. That's not right.
"Of course, in 30 years, if there's no ice over the North Pole, then the bear will be in trouble.
"But I've seen enough to know that polar bears are not yet on the brink of extinction."
Just then, spotting a red fox close to the ice track, Nigel calls for the driver to stop.
The timid creature makes off across the snow-blanketed scrubland as Nigel, reaching for his binoculars, dashes off in pursuit.
Within a few seconds, he has almost disappeared from view. Out in prime polar bear territory as darkness descends.
"That Nigel's a hell of a nice guy, but he gets my old blood pressure up," sighs Dennis, reaching for his rifle."

Friday, December 7, 2007

"450 kegs stolen from Guinness Brewery"

The Irish news RTE reports that " an investigation has been launched following the theft of 450 kegs from the Guinness Brewery on Victoria Quay in Dublin.
180 kegs of Guinness, 180 kegs of Budweiser and 90 kegs of Carlsberg were taken in the robbery.
A man driving a truck drove into the brewery yard at around 4pm yesterday afternoon and stole a trailer containing the drink, which has an estimated value of €64,000.
It is understood there were a number of trailers stored ready for delivery in the yard at the time.
The driver attached one of the trailers containing the 450 kegs to his cab and drove out of the yard through the main gates.
The robbery was discovered a short time later and gardaĆ­ were called. The empty trailer was later discovered in Slane Hill in Co Meath.
In the run up to Christmas there are usually over 250 truck movements both in and out of the complex every day.
Detectives are now examining CCTV footage from the Guinness complex and surrounding area.
Anyone with information on the roughly 40,000 missing pints is asked to contact Kevin Street Garda Station on 01 6669400."

Here's the news story.

Here's the news video from Ireland's RTE.

Kangaroo farts could help global warming...

The Agence France-Presse reports the following over-the-top story:
"Eco-friendly kangaroo farts could help global warming: scientists
Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say.
Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.
While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries.
"Fourteen percent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep," said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland state government.
"And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 percent," he told AFP.
Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers.
"Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 percent more energy out of the feed they are eating," said Klieve.
Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that's nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.
"In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 percent would be a considerable sum," said farmer Michael Mitton.
But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.
Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.
The idea is controversial, but about 20 percent of health conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.
"It's low in fat, it's got high protein levels it's very clean in the sense that basically it's the ultimate free range animal," said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales's institute of environmental studies.
"It doesn't get drenched, it doesn't get vaccinated, it utilizes food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it's a good food."
It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world's driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions."
Good grief... Wonder where PETA is on this...


My little blog has reached the $50 mark with Ad Sense. I know some don't really like Ad Sense; however, I feel like I accomplished something.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You live in "Masturbation Meadow"?...

The Daily Telegraph from Australia reports that "villagers in the small town of Cae Onan on the Welsh border with England have launched a petition to change the town's name because it translates into "Masturbation Meadow".
The Welsh word Cae means meadow but Onan has no meaning in Welsh other than the biblical figure killed by God for “spilling his seed” instead of impregnating his dead brother’s wife.
Onanism is the Welsh word for masturbation. Julia Newsham, who started the petition, told Associated Newspapers she believed council planners meant to call the village Cae Onnen which translates into Ash Meadow.
"Anyone who knows Welsh and the Bible will put two and two together. There is a funny side but it is also embarrassing," she said.
The council said it had no plans to change the town’s name."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Balloons life car... Or not?...

I found this story and video from The Daily Telegraph in Australia. They report that "ARE they for real? This group of guys claims to have lifted a Ford Cortina with a bunch of balloons - and they have the video to prove it." - Watch more free videos
So what do you think? Is this for real?

Do you want cake with that?...

The local NBC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas reports that local [police] "said a 71-year-old
Rowlett woman was arrested and charged with shooting her son-in-law...
Police said the woman shot her 38-year-old son-in-law and then shot herself in the chest Friday night at the Dalrock Meadows Mobile Home Park located on the outskirts of Rowlett.
The victim said he came by the woman's house for dinner, and was shot in the back of his head after she offered him cake.
Police said the bullet just grazed the man's head and he was able to call 911 himself.
His mother-in-law was released from the hospital Monday and into police custody."

Here's the actual 911 call.

And here's the news video.