Friday, January 30, 2009
Phillip Binder was charged with murder and is scheduled to appear later Thursday for a bond hearing in Violence Court (Br. 66) at the Cook County Criminal Court at 2600 S. California Ave., police said.
[...] About 2 a.m. Tuesday, Phillip and Charles Binder were inside Charles' home at 2027 W. 70th Pl. with other family members when Phillip allegedly stabbed Charles in the chest -- reportedly with a butcher knife in a fight over $2, police said.
The money was reportedly going be used to purchase drugs, police said.
(Submitted by Hairy Neck C. Thanks!)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
A new policy being used by at least one major credit card company judges a shopper not necessarily by his credit purchases and payments alone, but also by the fiscal behavior of the fellow shoppers in the stores he visits.
And in some cases, the bad repayment history of the guy behind you in line at your local megastore could result in a reduction of your credit line, which, in turn, could lead to a reduction in your credit score -- all because of where you shopped.
I like that the airline's spokesperson's name is Misty. I wonder if she giggled coyly as she defended the ad campaign. From HuffPo:
MIAMI — Flight attendants and pilots for Spirit Airlines Inc. want the company to pull a series of sexually suggestive advertisements, along with a new requirement they wear a Bud Light patch on service aprons.
[...] "I feel as though I have entered a time warp and am reliving the battles for respect and justice for women that we fought for 40 years ago," Friend said.
Some of Spirit's ads invite customers to enjoy its DD's (deep discounts) and "MILF" (many islands, low fare) specials - double entendres that also refer to large breasts and a crude acronym popularized in the 1999 movie "American Pie" that describes an attractive mother.
[...] Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson said the union was consulted last year when the carrier began the discussion on selling apron ad space, and it raised no concerns. Pinson said some of the ads in question have been used for more than a year.
"Actually we've had great response from passengers that love the fares we offer through those promotions," Pinson said. She disputed the flight attendants' characterization that the aprons made them "walking billboards," and called them small and tasteful.
[...] Other recent campaigns include the "Threesome Sale" and December's "Cheap and Easy and Nothing to Hide" sale.
Science: Mammals that hibernate or burrow less likely to go extinct.
PSA: Peanut butter recall grows to 400 products.
Sad: US Army reports record number of suicides.
PSA: Millions of workers strike in France to protest the economy, disrupting air and rail services.
Awesome: Obama signs equal pay law.
D'oh: Japanese businessmen loses $4m after burying it in his garden.
Film: Craptastic director of Smokin' Aces to make unnecessary A-Team movie.
PSA: Digital TV transition now NOT delayed.
Hot Cha Cha: School invites pole dancers to demonstrate "fitness" for 14-year-olds.
Boozalicious: British pub offers pints of beer for a pence each. (Sadly, a British penny is now about $10 US)
Lame: Bloomberg's new target after smoking and trans fats.... salt.
Yipes: Statue erected in Iraq in honor of shoe-thrower. (Are we still "winning hearts and minds"?)
Science: Shape-shifting fish fools scientists.
Creepy: Man tries to knife out his ex's breast implants.
Local: Queens is the happiest borough in NYC. Yay Queens!
Sad: Think you've got it bad? Britain faces the worst recession of any developed nation.
Sad: Boy sleds into path of moving SUV.
Science: Honeybees can tell the difference between different numbers.
Dead: John Updike.
I'm getting really, really drunk on December 20, 2012. From CNN:
Fueled by a crop of books, Web sites with countdown clocks, and claims about ancient timekeepers, interest is growing in what some see as the dawn of a new era, and others as an expiration date for Earth: December 21, 2012.
The date marks the end of a 5,126-year cycle on the Long Count calendar developed by the Maya, the ancient civilization known for its advanced understanding of astronomy and for the great cities it left behind in Mexico and Central America.
(Some scholars believe the cycle ends a bit later -- on December 23, 2012.)
Speculation in some circles about whether the Maya chose this particular time because they thought something ominous would happen has sparked a number of doomsday theories.
Hasta la vista, robo callers! As of December, all pre-recorded sales calls need to have a way for consumers to opt-out of their mailing lists, either by pressing a button or saying something.No doubt this will happen at the end of the call. So the good news is that you have a way to get off their list. The bad news is...
...you'll probably have to listen to their whole spiel to do it. Also, it will only work of the telemarketer follows the rules, less scrupulous ones or outright scammers are unlikely to let you off their list, and could even find ways to profit off it. "Thank you for your selection. To process your opt-out request and verify your identity, please enter your bank account number..."
CNN: How confident are you both in your abilities as musicians?
McKenzie: 24 to 27 percent.
Clement: I'm 24. He's 27.
McKenzie: Combined we're mediocre.
CNN: How are you enjoying the fame that's come from the success?
McKenzie: Oh it's lovely. You get free desserts.
CNN: Just free desserts?
McKenzie: Free drinks. Sometimes some free shoes.
Clement: Sometimes people invade your privacy.
McKenzie: Strangers talk to you.
Clement: But balanced against the free desserts, it evens out.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Liberia's president has declared a state of emergency after hordes of ravenous caterpillars infested the country.
Tens of millions of the worm-like larvae have appeared in the northern part of the country, where they are destroying green crops like cabbage and collard greens and contaminating the water supply, Liberian Information Minister Laurance Bropleh told CNN Wednesday from the capital of Monrovia.
"I am not aware that they have been here before, ever, and certainly not in this great number," Bropleh told CNN. "That is why it was so overwhelming initially when we first discovered it."
The state of emergency covers the three northern Liberian counties of Bong, Lofa, and Gbarpolu, Liberian officials said.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told legislators Monday that 350,000 people in 62 communities in those three counties may have been affected.
There are also indications the bugs have spread to neighboring Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, Bropleh said.
Here's where it gets crazy:
Hammond said the caterpillars started showing up sometime during the week of January 12 but spread quickly. In just a week, he said, the caterpillars had spread to 50 villages.
The pests multiply rapidly and adult moths are able to fly long distances at night, the FAO said.
Worsening the situation, the area's water supply has been contaminated by the huge volume of feces dropped by the caterpillars, the FAO said.
Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead."
Chris Lippincott, director of media relations for the Texas Department of Transportation, confirmed that a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, was hacked into during the early hours of Jan. 19.
"It was clever, kind of cute, but not what it was intended for," said Lippincott, who saw the sign during his morning commute. "Those signs are deployed for a reason — to improve traffic conditions, let folks know there's a road closure."
"It's sort of amusing, but not at all helpful," he told FOXNews.com.
A top doctor has admitted her part in hoodwinking a leading medical journal after inventing a medical condition called "cello scrotum".
Elaine Murphy - now Baroness Murphy - dreamt up the painful complaint in the 1970s, sending a report to the British Medical Journal.
She came clean when the hoax resurfaced in the 2008 Christmas edition.A BMJ spokesman said the inclusion and subsequent debunking of "cello scrotum" had "added to the gaiety of life".
Science: 6 biggest mysteries of our solar system.
Science: Euro-Indian telecommunications satellite mysteriously fails in space.
Lame: The true victims of the recession? Spoiled girlfriends and wives of investment bankers.
Cthulhu Watch: Japanese diners hospitalized after eating blowfish testicles.
Awesome: Ancient wounds reveal triceratops battles.
A postman who rescued a baby otter on a Scottish roadside took her on a 220-mile tour in his mailbag.
Kenny Wilson, 50, of Tweedbank, in the Borders, spotted the cub - named Orla - lying on the A7 near Stow on Sunday.
He stopped his car, popped her in his mailbag to keep her warm and then bought her kitten milk and fed her through the tube of a ballpoint pen.
He then took the otter with him on a Mini car enthusiasts' rally before taking it to an animal rescue centre.
The six-week-old otter was said to be doing well at the Arthurshiel centre near St Boswells in Roxburghshire.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
From Chronicle Books:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.Comes out in May but you can pre-order it now.
*wipes a tear*
A new study connects young adults' use of video games to poorer relationships with friends and family – and the student co-author expresses disappointment at his own findings.
Brigham Young University undergrad Alex Jensen and his faculty mentor, Laura Walker, publish their results Jan. 23 in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
The research is based on information collected from 813 college students around the country. As the amount of time playing video games went up, the quality of relationships with peers and parents went down.
"It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time," Walker said. "My guess is that it's some of both and becomes circular."
For the record, Walker did not stand in the way of her family's wish for a Nintendo Wii. Jensen had hoped to find some positive results as justification for playing Madden NFL.
On the latest block ravaged by Coatesville's plague of unsolved arsons, former residents grimly trudged through 15 charred homes yesterday before boarding up the windows.
They salvaged what they could from rowhouses ruined Sunday by fire, smoke and water, packing their lives into relatives' cars through a frigid afternoon and mulling suddenly bleak futures.
Pausing, they assembled to look blankly up at the scorched brick buildings and discuss homespun theories about who might have set the latest in a string of 14 unexplained Coatesville fires since Jan. 1. Grasping to explain the cause of their misery, they guessed about gang members, immigrants, disaffected firefighters and various others.
"I'm too scared to go to sleep at night," said Dee White, 49, who lives several blocks away from the Fleetwood Street block that burned Saturday.
"I don't know what happened. I just know I'm homeless," said Tina Thomas, 38, on the porch of her Fleetwood Street home of 20 years.
Men might want to remember a new rhyme: a drink a day keeps erectile dysfunction away.
Despite traditional views about the effects of booze on male performance, new research suggests that moderate drinking actually protects against impotence in the long term – perhaps for the same reason a glass or two of wine a day cuts the odds of suffering from heart disease.
There is good evidence that
excessive drinking can hinder sexual performanceafter a night out – a phenomenon sometimes called "brewer's droop". The effect has been noted for many years: "[Drink] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance," Shakespeare reminds us in Macbeth.
But over longer periods, moderate drinking doesn't seem to be linked to erectile dysfunction, says Kew-Kim Chew, an epidemiologist at the University of West Australia in Nedlands, whose team conducted an anonymous postal survey of 1770 West Australian men.
After accounting for differences due to age, smoking and heart disease – all risk factors for ED – Chew and colleagues found that drinkers experienced rates of impotence 25% to 30% below those of teetotallers.
[...] But the New York State inspector general’s office says that she turned her staff at the Health Department into her personal chauffeurs, porters and shopping assistants during her seven-year tenure, and has referred a criminal case, including potential felony charges, to the Albany County district attorney.A report from the office of Inspector General Joseph Fisch to be released Tuesday depicts Dr. Novello as preoccupied with shopping and routinely abusive of her authority over employees, ordering them to buy her groceries, pick up her dry cleaning and even water her houseplants.
[...] Dr. Novello also ordered a Medicaid fraud investigator in her department to drive her on trips to Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. On numerous occasions she had state workers drive her or her mother from the Albany area to Newark Liberty International Airport, roughly 300 miles round trip, to fly to Puerto Rico for personal business. When traveling between state offices in New York City and Albany, she liked to stop at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y., and she is also accused of using state workers to take her on excursions to three malls in the Albany area. Security guards who acted as her drivers said in interviews with state investigators that she would embarrass and yell at them if they did not do things the way she wanted and expected them to be at her beck and call at all hours.
Film: Excelsior! Stan Lee sued for $750 million.
Sad: Death march of the penguins.
Yipes: White House email system crashes.
Eats: In recession, people forced to eat crap.
Tech: Hackers steal 4.5 million users' information from Monster in Britain's biggest cyber theft case.
Eats: Shocking news: doner kebabs aren't good for you!
Tech: Wikipedia editors might now approve all changes.
WTF: Japan won't recognize baby's existence because it was born 300 days after a divorce.
Media: Demonstrators shut down BBC, protesting network's refusal to air charity appeal for Gaza.
Yipes: Russian cops kill two people to obtain their apartment. (2nd item. The 3rd item is pretty crazy too. Russia is a scary place.)
Tech: Ten sci-fi devices that could soon be in our hands.
Awesome: Creationism defeated in Texas.
Follow-Up: Cabbie returns wedding gifts to forgetful newlyweds.
Zombie Watch: Last of ghouls who sold body parts jailed for 8-24 years.
Lame: Thief steals Torah, forgets about that whole "Thou shalt not steal" thing.
Nonprofit: Mayor Bloomberg gave a whopping $235 million to charity last year.
Creepy: An entire pub of customers watch UFOs fly overhead.
PSA: Senate okays delay of digital TV transition.
Hot Cha Cha: Hide Bill Clinton - new White House aide is a total hottie. (pic might be NSFW)
A mistrial was declared Monday when a home-invasion robbery suspect smeared human feces on his attorney's face then threw more at the jury.
Weusi McGowan, 37, was upset because San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser refused to remove Deputy Alternate Public Defender Jeffrey Martin from the case, prosecutor Christopher Lawson said.
At the mid-morning break, McGowan produced a plastic baggie filled with fecal matter and spread it on Martin's hair and face, then flung the excrement toward the jury box, hitting the briefcase of juror No. 9 but missing the juror himself.
"That juror didn't even see it coming," Lawson said.The prosecutor said the defendant was compliant after the outburst and was taken into custody without further incident.
A tiny sea creature capable of rejuvenating itself over and over again may hold the secret to eternal life.
The jellyfish-like Turritopsis Nutricula reverts back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.So for this creature it's sex, not piety that is the key to living for ever.
Turritopsis is technically known as a 'hydrozoan' and is the only animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self.
It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation.
Theoretically, this cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering the animal potentially immortal.
While most members of the jellyfish family usually die after propagating, turritopsis has developed the unique ability to return to a polyp state.
Having stumbled upon the font of eternal youth, this 0.2ins creature is now the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists.
Moral: Always keep a bottle of whiskey within reach. From BBC:
A man who became trapped beneath his sofa for two days said he survived by sipping from a bottle of whisky.
Joe Galliott, 65, lost his bearings during a power cut at his home in Yeovil, Somerset, and fell against the three-seater which toppled onto him.
Because of back problems, he was unable to free his 19-stone frame and remained stuck for 60 hours until a neighbour spotted him through the curtains.
He said a bottle of whisky, which had rolled within reach, kept him going.
"The whole settee tipped over catching me like a rat in a trap," he said
"I took a sip of [the whisky] and thought, well this isn't too bad."
Cult comedy Red Dwarf is returning to TV, 21 years after its initial launch.
The show has been resurrected by digital channel Dave for a two-part Easter weekend special, which sees the cast finally return to Earth.
Written and directed by Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor, the new show reunites the line-up, including Coronation Street's Craig Charles.
[...] Set three million years into the future, the show followed the exploits of Dave Lister, slovenly crew member of the mining ship Red Dwarf - and the last man in the universe.
He was joined in his weekly attempts to make it back to Earth by a cast of oddballs including human hologram Arnold Rimmer, mechanoid servant Kryten and Cat - a preening half-man, half-animal who evolved from the ship's cat.
[...] The new two-part series Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will be followed by a "no holds barred" episode without sets, special effects or autocue.The weekend will climax with Red Dwarf: the Making of Back to Earth, a behind-the-scenes special from the new episodes.
A New Zealand man says he found confidential data about US military personnel on an MP3 player he bought from a thrift shop in Oklahoma.
Chris Ogle, 29, said: "The more I look at it, the more I see and the less I think I should be looking."
The files included names and telephone numbers of American soldiers, according to reports by TV New Zealand.
One expert says the files are unlikely to compromise security, as most of them are from 2005.
Some included a warning that the release of its contents is "prohibited by federal law".
As well as personal details of US soldiers, such as social security numbers, the files also listed pregnant female troops and apparent mission briefings in Afghanistan.
Monday, January 26, 2009
CRAPSTONE, England — When ordering things by telephone, Stewart Pearce tends to take a proactive approach to the inevitable question “What is your address?”
He lays it out straight, so there is no room for unpleasant confusion. “I say, ‘It’s spelled “crap,” as in crap,’ ” said Mr. Pearce, 61, who has lived in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon, for decades.
[...] In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.
Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.
These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.
Indonesia as joined Malaysia in banning Muslims from practising yoga that includes Hindu rituals, fearing that it may corrupt their faith.
The country's senior body of Islamic clerics ruled that Muslims must refrain from yoga if it involves elements such as chanting mantras, which reflect its Hindu roots.
The edict came after the 700-strong Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) sent study teams to gyms and yoga classes across the country to see what effect Hindu rituals might have on Muslims.
When Malaysia's fatwa council told Muslims they should avoid yoga last year, the ruling provoked such strong opposition that the prime minister, Abdullah Badawi, stepped in to overturn the outright ban.
Badawi said Malaysia's Muslims could still practise yoga provided they did not recite mantras.
New research from Monash University bee researcher Adrian Dyer could lead to improved artificial intelligence systems and computer programs for facial recognition.
Dr Dyer is one of Australia's leading bee experts and his latest research shows that honeybees can learn to recognise human faces even when seen from different viewpoints.
Dr Dyer said the research could be applied in the areas of new technology, particularly the development of imaging systems.
"What we have shown is that the bee brain, which contains less than 1 million neurons, is actually very good at learning to master complex tasks. Computer and imaging technology programmers who are working on solving complex visual recognition tasks using minimal hardware resources will find this research useful," Dr Dyer said.
"Most current artificial intelligence (AI) recognition systems perform poorly at reliably recognising faces from different viewpoints. However the bees have shown they can recognise novel views of rotated faces using a mechanism of interpolating or image averaging previously learnt views."
The findings show that despite the highly constrained neural resources of the insects (their brains are 0.01 per cent the size of the human brain) their ability has evolved so that they're able to process complex visual recognition tasks.
Children who talk on cell phones while crossing streets are at a higher risk for injuries or death in a pedestrian accident, said psychologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in a new study that will appear in the February issue of Pediatrics.
"Cell phones clearly offer convenience and safeguards to families, but they also may pose risk," they said, "particularly when children attempt to multitask while conversing on the cell phone and have reduced cognitive capacity to devote to potentially dangerous activities such as crossing streets."
For the study, researchers used a virtual reality software program and three screens to display an actual Birmingham-area crosswalk with simulated vehicles of different sizes traveling on the virtual street. The psychologists found that all of the children - even those who were experienced with talking on cell phones, crossing streets or rated as highly attentive - were more likely to exhibit risky behaviors when they crossed the virtual street while talking on a cell phone.
PALM BEACH, FLA. - Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff's Palm Beach home underwent some redecorating over the weekend -- in toilet paper.
Strips of white paper hung from trees in front of the estate.
Some teenage boys called The Palm Beach Post taking responsibility for the prank. They said they were retaliating after losing their trust funds to the accused swindler.
Madoff is under house arrest in his Manhattan penthouse while he awaits trial.
WTF: Chicago cop tells students that there's nothing wrong with beating up suspects.
WTF: Thailand sends hundreds of refugees out to sea, to their deaths.
Awesome: Obama reverses Bush on auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards.
Aww: Husband's kiss wakes "sleeping beauty" wife out of coma.
PSA: Frequent sex & masturbation linked to prostate cancer risk.
WTF: British cabbie drugs and rapes 8 women, is released without charge, then goes on to rape 7 more.
Justice: Raccoon bites off pervert's manhood.
Sports: Russia to bid for 2018 World Cup. Because that's just what Russia needs - more skinhead hooligans.
D'oh: Teen stabbed to death at a church party for peace.
Science: Chimps also forge bromances.
Awesome: Spinning black holes shoot out plasma jets that extend millions of light years and shred galaxies!
A monster truck show promoter, who days earlier touted his event's safety record, died after being crushed by one of the trucks during a show in Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday night.
George Eisenhart's death was the second fatality at a monster truck event in just over a week.
"Saturday's incident, which is an uncommon occurrence, ... was a freak accident," Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Sunday."Review of the incident shows that George [Eisenhart] accidentally stepped in front of a moving vehicle in a fashion that did not provide the vehicle's driver adequate time to react," said a statement from the Monster Truck Racing Association. "All of us at the MTRA send our deepest condolences to the Eisenhart family and all the parties involved. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend."
Iceland's ruling coalition resigned Monday, three months after the collapse of the country's currency, stock market and several major banks, and following months of public protests, Kristjan Kristjansson, a spokesman for the prime minister told CNN.
The government also fell after the resignation of the government's commerce minister in response to the country's financial mess. The minister, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, resigned Sunday, saying the government had failed to restore confidence in the three months after the collapse of the financial system.
Senior government officials from the two parties that make up Iceland's coalition government -- the prime minister's Independence Party and the Social Democrats party -- had met Sunday to discuss the government's future but nothing was resolved, a spokesman for the prime minister said.
Sigurdsson's resignation followed Saturday's demonstration in which about 6,000 to 7,000 people in front of the parliament building called for the government of Prime Minister Geir Haarde to step down.
Protests have been staged regularly since the collapse, but Saturday's was one of the biggest to date, a spokesman for the prime minister said.