Saturday, March 7, 2009

Booze good for your bones.

Damn, my bones must be like adamantium. From LiveScience:

A glass of wine or a bottle or two of beer a day may strengthen the bones of older men and women, but drinking more than that could actually weaken bones, according to new research from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

The research, on men and post-menopausal women over 60 years of age, found that regular moderate alcohol intake was associated with greater bone mineral density (BMD).

While earlier research had suggested the link between moderate drinking and improved bone density, the Tufts' study looked specifically at the "possible effects of three alcohol classes, beer, wine and liquor, on BMD," said Katherine Tucker, the director of the epidemiology research program at Tufts. "We saw stronger associations between higher BMD and beer drinkers, who were mostly men, and wine drinkers, who were mostly women, compared with liquor drinkers," she said.

Tucker and her colleagues speculated that silicon found in beer is contributing to the higher bone density in men. It is less clear why liquor and wine might protect bone density.

Man has stepdaughter sign sex abuse contract.

All sex abuse is bad, but this is just weird. From
A man lured his teenage stepdaughter into having sex with him by signing a "contract" which agreed she could keep child bonus payments when she got pregnant.

The years of abuse was condoned by the man's wife because she was afraid to have another baby in case it had a congenital disease.

The case has been called one of the most bizarre child-sex cases to come before an Australian court as the stepfather not only got the girl to sign the contract but also made her keep a false diary in which she recorded having sex with a fictional boyfriend named "Luke".

The plan was to blame "Luke" when she became pregnant.

UK couple die at assisted suicide clinic.

From CNN:
An elderly British couple who died together at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland died "peacefully" after receiving "wonderful and humbling care" from their doctors, the couple's family said.

Peter and Penelope Duff from Bath, England, died in Zurich on February 27, according to a statement released Thursday by their family and reported by Britain's Press Association. Both had terminal cancer, the statement said.

"Penny had fought a rare cancer, GIST, since 1992 and Peter's colon cancer had spread to his liver," the statement said.

"Their decision in no way reflected on the wonderful and humbling care they have received from their consultant, doctors and nurses, for which the family, and they, were so appreciative."

[...] Dignity in Dying, a British charity that advocates the choice of assisted death for terminally ill patients, said it was "extremely sad" that the Duffs had to travel abroad to die.

"Had they had the option of an assisted death in this country they may still be alive, as their physical ability to travel would not have been a factor," said Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying.

Wootton called on Parliament to modernize laws on suicide to allow for assisted dying.

Even the Japanese PM can't read Japanese.

Seriously - kanji is hard, so desu ne.
Reading Japanese isn't easy — even for Japanese.

Take Prime Minister Taro Aso. He's made so many public blunders that an opposition lawmaker tried to give him a reading test during a televised session of the Diet.

The leader bungled the word for "frequent," calling Japan-China exchanges "cumbersome" instead. Another time, he misread the word "toshu" (follow), saying "fushu" — or stench — and sounded as if he were saying government policy "stinks."

While the media and Aso's political rivals have been quick to heap ridicule, many Japanese have seen a bit more of themselves in Aso's goofs than they would like to admit. Since his missteps, books designed to improve reading ability have become all the rage.

Mo ichido gozaimasu...

Dead goat left outside NY politician's home.

Maybe it was just a gift of delicious, free goat? From Raw Story:
A state assemblyman said he found a dead goat outside his suburban New York home and believes it represents a death threat against him.

Republican Greg Ball said Friday he has been battling corruption in Putnam County and believes the threat comes from "entrenched interests" he would not name.

State Police Sgt. Ted Daley says the incident is under investigation. He would not comment on any threat.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vampire discovered in mass grave.

Great, I'm so glad we've awakened 500-year-old evil. From New Scientist:

A SKELETON exhumed from a grave in Venice is being claimed as the first known example of the "vampires" widely referred to in contemporary documents.

Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence in Italy found the skeleton of a woman with a small brick in her mouth while excavating mass graves of plague victims from the Middle Ages on Lazzaretto Nuovo Island in Venice.

At the time the woman died, many people believed that the plague was spread by "vampires" which, rather than drinking people's blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying. Grave-diggers put bricks in the mouths of suspected vampires to stop them doing this, Borrini says.

The belief in vampires probably arose because blood is sometimes expelled from the mouths of the dead, causing the shroud to sink inwards and tear. Borrini, who presented his findings at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Denver, Colorado, last week, claims this might be the first such vampire to have been forensically examined. The skeleton was removed from a mass grave of victims of the Venetian plague of 1576.

Canadian asks US border inspector for manners, gets pepper sprayed.

Getting maced in the face is how Americans say hello! From Breitbart:
A Canadian says he got a face full of pepper spray after repeatedly asking a U.S. border inspector in Blaine, Wash., to say please. Desiderio Fortunato says he thought the inspector who told him to turn off his engine Monday was rude and asked him to say please.

The 54-year-old British Columbia resident told The Bellingham Herald that the inspector repeatedly ordered him to turn the car off and then said he would spray him if he didn't.

Fortunato says he was stunned and blinded by the pepper spray and was pulled out of the car and handcuffed. He was detained about 3 hours.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Milne (MILL'-en) in Seattle says it was a lawful order that travelers must obey. He says the use of force is under review.

Octopus gets inside locked lunchbox.

From Breitbart:
What is 7 feet long, weighs 30 pounds, has eight arms and fits in a box slightly larger than a milk crate? Truman the octopus. Truman squeezed into a clear, acrylic box while trying to snag his lunch at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Aquarium workers often place food inside locked boxes for the intelligent animals to crack open. It's what the aquarium calls an "enrichment activity," but it didn't go as planned Thursday.

In this case, crabs were locked in a smaller box inside the bigger box, which is 14 inches per side. The impatient Truman bypassed the locks and squeezed his body through a 2-inch hole in the exterior box.

He spent about 30 minutes inside before slithering out, delighting staff and guests who witnessed the spectacle.

He never did get the smaller box open.

Australian politican saves would-be suicide.


FORMER Victorian premier Steve Bracks and his wife Terry saved a man seconds before he was about to jump from the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne.

"Terry and I did what any other Victorian would have done and helped another person in trouble," Mr Bracks said yesterday.

The Bracks were returning home on Thursday night when they saw a large man "standing on the railings obviously looking as though he was about to throw himself off".

Mr Bracks and two other men - one of them an off-duty police officer - pulled him to safety.

Obama gives DVDs to British PM as official gift.

Kind of a Bush move, no? From the Daily Mail:

As he headed back home from Washington, Gordon Brown must have rummaged through his party bag with disappointment.

Because all he got was a set of DVDs. Barack Obama, the leader of the world's richest country, gave the Prime Minister a box set of 25 classic American films - a gift about as exciting as a pair of socks.

Mr Brown is not thought to be a film buff, and his reaction to the box set is unknown. But it didn't really compare to the thoughtful presents he had brought along with him.

The Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.

The unique present delighted Mr Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.

Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

In addition, Mr Brown and his wife showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America.

In return, the Obamas gave the Browns two models of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, to take home to sons Fraser and John.

Woman bites off partner's tongue.

He can't even lick his wounds! From BBC:
A Tyneside woman deliberately bit off her boyfriend's tongue during a drunken birthday kiss, a court has heard.

Tracy Davies, 40, bit a third of Mark Coghill's tongue off, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

They were celebrating Mr Coghill's 45th birthday at his Newcastle bedsit in October 2008, when she grew upset because she was not pregnant.

[...] Mr Coghill, a former customer service advisor, told the court he could no longer work, struggled to speak, and had lost many of his taste buds.

"I will never enjoy a curry again," he said. "I can't distinguish between certain foods, like the difference between cheese and toast, and just toast.

Russia threatens gas war with Europe.

Interesting article that delves into the shadowy, twisty world of Eastern European business, politics, and good ol' cutthroat corruption.
Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, today raised the spectre of a new gas war in Europe and warned that Russia could cut off supplies to European consumers unless Ukraine paid its gas bill by Saturday.

Putin said that if Kiev failed to pay there could be a repeat of January's gas war, which saw much of Europe shivering without Russian gas. There would be "a suspension of the supply of our fuel both to consumers in Ukraine and to consumers in Europe," Putin told his government.

Naftogaz, Ukraine's state-owned gas company, claimed this afternoon that it had paid its debt for February to Gazprom, Russia's state energy company. Gazprom earlier said it had received $310m (just under £220m) but was still owed $50m.Ukraine now has to settle its bill every month.

Putin's threat follows a raid yesterday by armed secret service agents on the Kiev headquarters of Naftogaz.

The raid is part of a bitter power struggle between Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, and the country's prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Yushchenko, who controls Ukraine's SBU security service, ordered the raid in an apparent attempt to seize the contract signed by Tymoshenko and Putin, which ended January's gas war.

The deal with Gazprom led to the resumption of transit gas supplies to Europe after Ukraine agreed to pay a price for its own gas approaching market levels.

Yushchenko is now trying to sabotage the deal in an attempt to undermine Tymoshenko, his former ally turned bitter adversary, analysts suggest.

The Putin-Tymoshenko deal eliminated the shadowy intermediary company RosUkrEnergo – whose owners have allegedly agreed to back Yushchenko's attempts to win re-election in next year's presidential election, they add.

Tymoshenko has furiously accused Yushchenko of corruption. Yesterday she criticised the raid on Naftogaz and said that the security forces loyal to the president were "out of control".

"The SBU is blatantly breaking the law and the president is covering up for them," she said, adding that the raid violated the constitution.

This morning a group of unarmed men turned up at the offices of Ukrtransgaz, the company that runs Ukraine's pipelines.

According to Naftogaz, the group left the company's premises an hour later after a standoff with members of parliament who had rushed to the scene. An SBU spokeswoman, Maryna Ostapenko, said its officers were conducting a criminal investigation into "abuses in the gas sector".

Yushchenko accuses Tymoshenko of effectively stealing $5bn worth of gas, transferred from RosUkrEnergo and gifted to Naftogaz.

And so on and so forth...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dalek found in pond.

As my friend Sean put it: "Wreckage from the Time War is everywhere. And everywhen." Be afraid.

Volunteer Marc Oakland was stunned when he pulled the head of a Dalek from the murky depths of a pond he was helping to clean.

The 42-year-old sales executive found part of Doctor Who’s arch nemesis as he pushed a rake along the surface while wading waist-high in water.

He said: ‘I’d just shifted a tree branch with my foot when I noticed something dark and round slowly coming up to the surface.

‘I got the shock of my life when a dalek head bobbed up right in front of me.’

His group, who were clearing rubbish near Beaulieu, Hampshire, had already fished out an old table football game, dozens of lager cans and even a muddy skateboard.

But the last thing they were expecting to find was a full size head from one of the Time Lord’s most feared adversaries complete with its distinctive eye stalk.

‘It must have been down there for some time because it was covered in mould and water weed, and had quite a bit of damage,’ said Mr Oakland.

More on the end of Mankind here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coozer-Bits: Science Edition.

tDuh: Study finds emotions hold sway over physical health worldwide.

Dorky: First virtual reality technology created that lets you see, hear, touch, taste and smell. (Taste?)

Awesome: Genetic study finds treasure trove of new lizards.

Hot Cha Cha: Prawnography shows captive bred shrimp lack lust.

Duh: Stress unravels brain structure.

Duh: Power gives people the illusion of control.

Tech: Nanostitching could strengthen airplane skins.

Quantum paradox directly observed.

Sooo... what happened? From EurekAlert:

In quantum mechanics, a vanguard of physics where science often merges into philosophy, much of our understanding is based on conjecture and probabilities, but a group of researchers in Japan has moved one of the fundamental paradoxes in quantum mechanics into the lab for experimentation and observed some of the 'spooky action of quantum mechanics' directly.

Hardy's Paradox, the axiom that we cannot make inferences about past events that haven't been directly observed while also acknowledging that the very act of observation affects the reality we seek to unearth, poses a conundrum that quantum physicists have sought to overcome for decades. How do you observe quantum mechanics, atomic and sub-atomic systems that are so small-scale they cannot be described in classical terms, when the act of looking at them changes them permanently?

In a journal paper published in the New Journal of Physics, 'Direct observation of Hardy's paradox by joint weak measurement with an entangled photon pair', today, Wednesday, 4 March, authored by Kazuhiro Yokota, Takashi Yamamoto, Masato Koashi and Nobuyuki Imoto from the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University and the CREST Photonic Quantum Information Project in Kawaguchi City, the research group explains how they used a measurement technique that has an almost imperceptible impact on the experiment which allows the researchers to compile objectively provable results at sub-atomic scales.

The experiment, based on Lucien Hardy's thought experiment, which follows the paths of two photons using interferometers, instruments that can be used to interfere photons together, is believed to throw up contradictory results that do not conform to our classical understanding of reality. Although Hardy's Paradox is rarely refuted, it was only a thought experiment until recently.

West Virginia considering banning Barbie dolls.

They should ban Ugly Dolls, too, for teaching kids it's okay to have three eyes and tentacles. (Submitted by Jennifer C.)
A lawmaker in West Virginia has introduced a new bill that if passed would ban the sale of Barbie dolls in the state. Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge says that toys like Barbie place too much importance on beauty and have an unhealthy influence on girls which could affect their "intellectual and emotional development."

As reported by MSNBC, Edlridge told a local news station last week that he "just hates the image that we give to our kids that if you're beautiful, you're beautiful and you don't have to be smart." He admits that he knows the bill has little chance of being passed.
More here.


WTF: 13-year-old kills brother to take over family drug ring.

D'oh: British National Party accidentally uses Polish plane in anti-Eastern European immigration ads.

Yipes: EasyJet comes within 15 seconds of crash after control system switches off.

Lame: Dad, 36, charged with orchestrating bawdy teen party that included booze and stripper pole.

Sad: Rare jaguar euthanized.

Creepy: Aquatic animals emit laughing gas.

Russian Crime Watch
: Woman knifes husband in eye for refusing to peel potatoes.

Duh: Russia still certain that emo culture causes murder, cannibalism.

Interesting: Geographic map of the US recession.

Sad: Deforestation causing animal stampedes into Sumatran villages.

Yipes: Man jumps out of moving American Airlines plane.

Lame: Japan and US protecting rapists in the US Army, refusing justice to victims.

Hero: Cat saves elderly woman from fire.

Lame: Groom robbed banks to pay for lavish wedding.

Wal-Mart customer finds 10 teeth in wallet.

From Breitbart:
FALMOUTH, Mass. - A customer shopping at a Wal-Mart for a wallet claims he found something that definitely didn't fit the bill: human teeth.

Police say the man found 10 human teeth last Saturday when he unzipped a compartment in the wallet. One tooth had a filling. The customer turned the wallet and the teeth over to employees at the Falmouth, Mass., store but left without giving his name.

Police investigating the incident told The Cape Cod Times that the teeth belong to an adult, but since there was no blood or gum tissue on the teeth, they would be unable to perform DNA tests.

A Walmart spokeswoman said the company believes it's an "isolated incident" but will investigate.

Future of Japan's anime industry in doubt.

Truly, a sad day for out-of-work tentacle monsters. From Japan Times:
The deepening recession and rapid shift in the overall landscape surrounding the industry have caused many to fear for the future of one of the nation's most prized cultural exports.

"The global fan base for Japanese 'anime' is increasing, but with the old business model crumbling it isn't translating into profits," said Yasuo Yamaguchi, executive director of the Association of Japanese Animations.

For the past decade, the industry has been hammering out average annual sales of ¥200 billion in what experts described as an "animation bubble."

Yamaguchi predicted, however, that the industry's proceeds for fiscal 2008 — which have yet to be calculated — would be lower than 2007, when total sales dropped almost ¥20 billion from 2006, a record high year, according to AJA statistics.

"The financial crisis is forcing sponsors to cut down on television advertisement fees, and this in turn is shrinking the budgets for animations, pressuring everyone involved in the production," Yamaguchi said.

"I think we'll see a major decrease in the number of anime programs broadcast. Agencies dependent on television as a primary financial source will need to search for alternatives."

UK beer tax closes down 2,000 pubs, costs 20,000 jobs.

From the Guardian:

A record 2,000 British pubs have closed with the loss of 20,000 jobs since the chancellor, Alistair Darling, increased beer tax in the 2008 budget, new figures published by the British Beer and Pub Association reveal today.

The figures came alongside a separate forecast by Oxford Economics that 75,000 more jobs in the drinks industry are at risk. The finding is based on the impact of last year's 18% increase in excise duty and the implications of the four-year drinks tax escalator.

The two beer tax increases placed an additional £520m cost burden on the sector, the data show.

Publication of the new figures comes on the day that five ministers are due to be questioned on the issue by MPs at a Commons emergency summit.

Tragic end to minor leaguer traded for a bag of bats.

Could be worse. He could've been traded to the Mets. From FOX News:
Ask the most hard-core baseball fan about John C. Odom and most likely you'll get a blank stare. Yet millions of people have heard of the slender right-hander.

He was the minor league player traded for 10 maple bats.

It became a big joke last May, when word of the unusual swap jumped off the sports pages, and Odom went from pitcher to punch line.

He seemed to handle it well, too. A former prospect in the San Francisco Giants' chain — future Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum bunked on his couch in Class A ball — Odom gladly agreed to interviews. He kidded about the kooky deal that made him famous, saying it would make a better story if he reached the majors someday.

"People are like, 'I'd kill myself' and stuff," Odom said at the time, dismissing any such notion.

Three weeks after the trade, he abruptly left the team. Six months after the trade, he was dead.

The medical examiner said Odom's death in Georgia on Nov. 5 at age 26 was an accidental overdose from heroin, methamphetamine, the stimulant benzylpiperazine and alcohol.

Asteroid barely misses direct hit with Earth.

As if we don't have enough to worry about. Thanks CNN.
You had a close encounter with a 40-yard-wide asteroid this week, but the astronomer who first spotted the large rock said it's nothing to worry about.

Asteroid 2009 DD45 on Monday passed within 38,000 miles of Earth, less than twice the height of the geostationary satellites we depend on for communications, according to Robert McNaught of the Australian National University.

McNaught, who watches for asteroids with his telescope 250 miles northwest of Sydney, Australia, discovered the approaching rock last week.

"It's not something to worry about, but something to be aware of," he said.

While a direct hit on Earth could be a devastating natural disaster, McNaught said keeping track of asteroids can make a hit "potentially preventable."

"If discovered in advance and with enough lead time, there is the possibility of pushing it off course, if you have decades of advance warning," McNaught said. "If you have only a few days, you can evacuate the area of impact, but there's not a great deal [else] you can do."

Handprint reveals dinos had bird hands.

From the Chicago Tribune:
Steven Spielberg got it wrong.

In his classic 1993 film "Jurassic Park," the director showed Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor and other carnivorous dinosaurs walking with their forearms hanging down like a monkey's and their palms more or less parallel to the ground -- a posture derisively referred to by paleontologists as the "bunny position."

A growing body of evidence, however, has suggested that the creatures were physically unable to assume this position because their wrist bones would not turn in such a fashion.

Now, the first unequivocal handprint of a 198-million-year-old crouching carnivore confirms the speculation, providing clear evidence that the front limb struck the ground on its side, like a karate chop, and thus would have been of little use for walking.

The extremely rare handprint from the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in Utah indicates that even early dinosaurs had forelimbs similar to those of birds, reinforcing the now widely held conclusion that birds are the only living descendant of the ancient monsters.

Bus driver beats up McGruff the Crime Dog.

Well, at least he didn't set Smokey the Bear on fire. From Breitbart:
A bus driver thought it would be funny to take the bite out of McGruff the crime dog by punching the Washington, D.C., mascot.

But police say children who witnessed the stunt were horrified.

Police say Metro bus driver Shawn Brim climbed off a bus, adjusted his side view mirrors and then punched officer Tyrone Hardy, who was handing flyers to children on a Washington street while dressed as the crime dog.

After the punch, the 38-year-old Brim got back on the bus and drove away, but was quickly pulled over Saturday.

Police say Hardy had a swollen right cheek, but seemed more concerned that the attack upset the kids.

International Criminal Court issues warrant for Sudan's president.

About time. Unless this is another meaningless gesture so that the world doesn't have to actually *do* anything. From BBC:

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's president on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

But the court in the Hague stopped short of accusing Omar al-Bashir of genocide. He denies the charges and has dismissed any ICC ruling as worthless.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, after the announcement, amid fears of unrest.

The UN estimates 300,000 people have died in Darfur's six-year conflict.

Millions more have been displaced.

Court spokeswoman Laurence Blairon announced the ruling by a panel of judges on the charges presented by ICC prosecutors.

She said Mr Bashir was suspected of being criminally responsible for "intentionally directing attacks against an important part of the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians and pillaging their property".

Rotten eggs are the new Viagra.

Wow, and I thought my furry fetish was odd! From Ananova:

Scientists say the smell of rotten eggs is arousing for men and could be used to create an alternative to Viagra.

Nerve cells release minute amounts of hydrogen sulphide - the gas which gives rotten eggs their distinctive smell - when a man becomes aroused, causing blood vessels to relax and so fill with blood.

Similar research on another gas, nitric oxide, led to the creation of Viagra, reports the Daily Mail.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Girl swallows engagement ring in a Wendy's Frosty milkshake.

Nothing says romance like shitting out a Wendy's value meal and putting the contents on your finger.
The idea was a variation on a common theme: Put the ring in a drink and let his beloved discover it. Harris did his part, hiding the ring in a Wendy’s Frosty milkshake. But, as he and his girlfriend, Kaitlin Whipple, told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Monday in New York, she ate the entire shake and never found the ring.

[...] Harris checked everyone’s cups and didn’t find the ring — gulp! This was not in the script. The video shows him hugging her and whispering in her ear that she had eaten her engagement ring.

Whipple’s gut reaction was disbelief, the story being harder to swallow than the ring.

“I thought he was joking,” she told Lauer. “I couldn’t believe that I swallowed the ring. I kept waiting for him to get down and propose.”

Harris couldn’t believe it either. “It’s not that small a ring,” he told Lauer, a bit defensively.

Stupid people here.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Creepy: Reusable toilet paper?

Yipes: Woman finds cell phone in bag of potato chips.

Lame: Staten Island Department of Education official caught sending racist jokes; asks "what's the big deal?"

WWIII Watch: China invades THE MOON!

Sad: 200 whales and dolphins beached and stranded in Australia.

Hot Cha Cha: Can people unlearn their naked shame?

WWIII Watch: Russia launches military satellite via proton rocket.

Hero: Man pulls car by his eyelids.

Yipes: Aussie teens go on machete rampage (no one injured).

Germany considers bailing out Holocaust company.

Maybe Germany should bail out Madoff, too. From the Daily Mail:

The German government is in the embarrassing position of having to decide whether or not to bail out a mammoth industrial company accused in wartime of using the hair shorn from Jews murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

The Schaeffler group is a pillar of German industry and employs 222,000 people worldwide.

It is is Europe’s largest car parts supplier but is lumbered with close to £14billion of debt after buying out the major rival and tyre maker Continental last year in a hostile takeover.

Bright pink dolphin spotted.

Back in November, I, along with Coozer-Phile Kelly, took a boat from a small fishing village in Hong Kong (Tai O, on Lantau Island) to find pink dolphins. Per the guidebooks, throughout the entire world, pink dolphins are only found there. Guess not!

These are the stunning pictures of a rare pink bottlenose dolphin spotted swimming in a Louisiana lake.

The mammal was pictured by local charter boat captain Erik Rue, who has been studying the dolphin since it first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in Southwestern USA.

Capt Rue, 42, originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.

'I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter. It was absolutely stunningly pink', he said.

'I had never seen anything like it. It's the same colour throughout the whole body and it looks like it just came out of a paint booth. The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its colouration, which is quite beautiful.

'The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating it's albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws. I have spotted it about 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

Another pic here.

CIA admits it destroyed 92 interrogation tapes.

From Raw Story:
While it has been known for some time that the CIA had destroyed tapes of interrogations with terrorism suspects, Monday's news that 92 videotapes had been destroyed by the agency was still shocking.

The CIA acknowledged the number of tape erasures in a letter filed by government lawyers in New York. The letter was filed in response to an ongoing lawsuit from the the American Civil Liberties Union that is seeking more details of terror interrogation programs.

The ACLU immediately called for the judge to issue a "prompt finding of contempt" against the CIA.

Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU and counsel on the case said to Raw Story, “The large number of video tapes destroyed confirms that this was a systemic attempt to evade court orders.”

Singh added, "It’s about time, now that the court knows 92 tapes have been destroyed, that it hold the CIA accountable for the destruction of the tapes."

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Interesting: Malaysia plans to oust foreign workers.

Duh: Doctors discover new video game disorder (sore thumbs).

Lame: Ryanair may make passengers pay extra to use on-flight toilet.

Science: Stem cell breakthrough ends ethical dilemma.

Yipes: Drug-resistant gonorrhea on the rise.

Tech: New flat screen technology inspired by coffee stains.

New website will rate all foods in supermarkets.

This is a great idea. The site is already looking pretty useful. Article from New Scientist:

Is it best to buy local produce grown in a greenhouse or an imported alternative? Shoppers will soon have a powerful tool to help answer such conundrums:

Later this month, the San Francisco-based website will add food from supermarkets around the globe to its existing roster of consumer safety and carbon-footprint ratings for non-food goods. If a food product has a barcode, GoodGuide promises to rate it, revealing what it contains in terms of chemicals, colourings, additives and nutrition, as well as its environmental impact.

"You could take 12 hours on 50 different sites checking animal rights, worker rights, anti-GMO sites or anti-irradiation sites. We aggregate all these issues in one place," says GoodGuide's founder Dara O'Rourke.

Curious octopus floods California aquarium.

If there's one thing I've learned from Japanese culture, it's never trust a creature with tentacles.
Staff at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California say the trickster who flooded their offices with sea water was armed - eight-armed, to be exact.

They blame the soaking they discovered Tuesday morning on the aquarium's resident two-spotted octopus, a tiny female known for being curious and gregarious with visitors.

The octopus apparently tugged on a valve and that allowed hundreds of litres of water to overflow its tank.

Aquarium spokeswoman Randi Parent says no sea life was harmed by the flood.

NH bill to legalize opposite sex civil unions.

Yeah, why should gays have all the fun in having all these marriage rights without being married??
New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a new twist in the debate over gay marriage -- whether to allow heterosexual partners to enter into civil unions.

The House will hold hearings on two bills Tuesday to allow the unions. New Hampshire established civil unions last year for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage. The unions carry all the responsibilities and duties of marriage but not the name. The House has yet to vote this year on legislation to allow gays to marry.
Thanks Boston Globe!

Woman leaves life savings on bus.

A woman lost her life savings when she forgot 500,000 kronor ($86,206) on a Swedish streetcar as she was headed to the bank to deposit the money, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The 83-year-old retired seamstress, identified only as Birgitta, had for years kept her savings in a desk in her home in the southwestern city of Gothenburg, but had finally decided it would be safer to put the cash in a bank account, the Aftonbladet daily reported.

On February 19, she had filled a paper bag to the brim with 10,000-kronor piles of bank notes before taking a bus to the centre of town.

"I was going to the bank to deposit the money,'' she told the paper.

But when she got to her stop, she forgot the bag and got off leaving her life savings behind.

Birgitta was too embarrassed to tell her family what had happened at first, and when they finally contacted the bus company the money was long gone.

Red states consume the most porn.

I'm sure it's all just for "research." From ABC News:

A new nationwide study of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states.

"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," says Benjamin Edelman at Harvard Business School.

However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

"Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," Edelman says.