Thursday, April 16, 2009
The amazing image was taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory, which is orbiting 580km above the Earth.
[...] The hand was created when a star exploded in a supernova, creating a rapidly spinning 20km-wide star called a pulsar, which is deep inside the white blob at the hand's wrist.
The pulsar is spewing out enormous amounts of electromagnetic energy, creating a dust and gas cloud so wide it would take 150 years to cross at the speed of light.
The red disc is a separate gas cloud. The fingers are thought to have been created as energy passed from the pulsar to the gas cloud.
NASA scientists estimated the moment depicted here actually happened 17,000 years ago.
From The Independent:
Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today.
The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.
"The water level has gone down below 250 feet here. It used to be at 40 feet a few years ago," Shatrughan Sahu, a villager in one of the districts, told Down To Earth magazine
"Most of the farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well."
Mr Sahu lives in a district that recorded 206 farmer suicides last year. Police records for the district add that many deaths occur due to debt and economic distress.
Two men have reportedly admitted killing their elder brother and eating parts of his body which they kept in the fridge for months.
The pair, named only as Timur and Marat G, said they murdered their brother Rafis at their home in the central Russian city of Perm, according to newspaper Tvoi Den.
Police grew suspicious when the brothers reported Rafis missing but were vague about his details.
After raiding their house, officers are said to have found the victim's skeleton, which had been stripped bare and buried in the garden.
Timur reportedly said he had fought and killed Rafis because he bore him a grudge over a 10-year prison sentence.
[...] They then came up with the idea of eating the evidence so Timur would not have to go back to jail.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I just watched both Sanshiro Sugata films. Judo forever! From The Guardian:
They are among the most famous fighters in the world, renowned for their discipline, speed and toughness. Now Japan’s martial artists are being laid low by an epidemic that is inflicting them with itching, disfigurement and baldness.
Doctors and officials say the sport of judo is facing ruin because of an infectious skin fungus spreading through clubs across Japan. It is passed from one participant to another during the grappling that is at the heart of the sport.
Practitioners of Western-style wrestling and the ancient sport of sumo have also been afflicted by Trichophyton tonsurans, a skin-eating fungus similar to athlete’s foot. So concerned is the sport’s governing body, the All Japan Judo Federation, that it commissioned research to gauge the extent of the problem.
It revealed that almost one third of judo clubs and half of all high-school judo teams have been struck by the fungus, which is highly infectious and difficult to treat. Its symptoms include patches of redness on the neck, face and upper body, which are often itchy and swollen.
A Nottinghamshire businessman who set up a 30ft dung-firing catapult to deter intruders has been burgled after police warned him it was illegal.
Joe Weston-Webb, 71, a former travelling showman, decided he needed the deterrent after a series of break-ins, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The catapult, based on a Roman boulder-thrower, was originally built for a series of unsuccessful attempts to fire his wife, Mary, across the River Avon in 1976.
Mr Weston-Webb settled for a career in business after designing a type of click-together wooden flooring which earned him contracts with hotels and the entertainment industry, including the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
But following a series of attacks by vandals on his company, Grumpy Joe, in Ratcliffe-on-Soar, he restored the rusty catapult and equipped it to fire bags of chicken droppings at intruders if an alarm was triggered.
His eccentric methods attracted media attention as well as a warning from Nottinghamshire Police that using the giant catapult would be illegal as it did not constitute "reasonable force".
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Parents all know that children make it harder to do some of the most enjoyable adult things. Bluntly put, kids can get between you.
Now scientists have attached some numbers to the situation.
An eight-year study of 218 couples found 90 percent experienced a decrease in marital satisfaction once the first child was born.
"Couples who do not have children also show diminished marital quality over time," says Scott Stanley, research professor of psychology at University of Denver. "However, having a baby accelerates the deterioration, especially seen during periods of adjustment right after the birth of a child."
[...] An unrelated study in 2006 of 13,000 people found parents are more depressed than non-parents. Scientists speculate that the problem is partly a modern one, because parents don't get as much help at home as they did in previous generations.
Booze: Egypt's oldest wines were spiked with meds.
Politics: Court says Franken won Minnesota.
Cthulhu Watch: Japanese fisherman come upon bizarre, slimy sea creature (with video).
Politics: US to provide Lebanon military with unmanned aircraft.
Tech: VCR's still standard in one in three Japanese households.
A Colombian businessman will have to undergo numerous cosmetic operations after his nose was allegedly bitten off by singer Julio Nava at a bar in Bogotá.
Businssman Santiago Montoya told Radio W, that the incident was sparked by a lesbian encounter. He and his girlfriend Ingrid Callejas were at El Sitio bar with his April 28th when Nava's girlfriend approached Callejas and attempted to engage her sexually. Callejas protested and Montoya intervened. Montoya said his intervention provoked the attack from Nava.
"He could have punched me and held me to the ground, but no. His reaction was to grab me, throw me to the ground, bite my nose off and chew it. Then he and his girlfriend left smiling," said Montoya.
He said he then looked for the piece of his nose on the floor but couldn't find it. " I never saw him spit it out".
Money stuffed in a woman's bra saved her life after she was shot aboard a bus in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, local media reported.
The incident took place Saturday in Bahia's capital, Salvador, where 58-year-old Ivonete Pereira was shot in the chest by one of two attackers who tried to rob the bus.
She was traveling to her summer home in the nearby town of Lauro de Freitas and because of frequent bus attacks in the region, she hid 150 reals (69 dollars) in 20- and 10-real notes coiled inside the left side of her bra.
Her bra was stuffed with just enough cash to absorb most of the impact, although she still had to be taken to hospital to have the bullet removed.
A retired sergeant was gunned down during the shooting with the assailants, who managed to escape.
A $10 cardboard box that uses solar power to cook food and sterilise water has won a $100,000 science prize for ideas to fight global warming.
The "Kyoto Box", named after the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol that seeks to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, is aimed at billions of people who use firewood to cook.
Costing just €5 ($9.20) to make, it can also make it easier to boil polluted water.
"We're saving lives and saving trees," the Kyoto Box's developer Jon Boehmer, a Norwegian based in Kenya, said.
As if UK food wasn't bad enough... From BBC News:
A chemist who contaminated food and wine in Gloucestershire supermarkets with his own urine and faeces has been sent to prison for nine years.
Sahnoun Daifallah, 42, of Bibury Road, Gloucester, was found guilty of four counts of contaminating goods at four businesses in May 2008.
Judge Carol Hagen said at the hearing in March that she found him to be "a potentially very dangerous man".
Daifallah, who defended himself, had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Astonished surgeons have removed a two-inch long fir tree growing inside a patient's lungs.
Doctors thought Artyom Sidorkin, 28, had cancer when he began coughing up blood and complaining of agonising chest pains.
But as they operated to remove a tumour the medics were amazed to discover the perfectly formed spruce thriving inside the lung.
"I blinked three times and thought I was seeing things," said surgeon Vladimir Kamashev at Izhevsk Hospital in Russia.
Doctors believe that Artyom breathed in a tiny seed which then began growing in his lung and that the sharp pains were the plant's needle-like leaves digging into his lung.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Famed adult film star Marilyn Chambers was found dead in her home in the Canyon Country area, authorities said today.
L.A. County Sheriff's investigators tell KTLA that the 56-year-old actress was discovered Sunday night just before 9p.m. by her daughter McKenna in a mobile home in the 16000 block of Vasquez Canyon Road.
Chambers, whose real name was Marilyn Ann Taylor, had been living at the Canyon Country location for the past several months.
No cause of death was given, but investigators say foul play is not suspected.
An autopsy is planned.
Chambers broke into the porn industry by appearing in the 1972 film "Behind the Green Door," which was the first widely released pornographic film in the United States.
An NYU student took her fleet of miniature robots out for a roll in the park and was shocked by what she found -- kind, helpful, New Yorkers!
Kacie Kinzer sent 10-inch-tall cardboard "tweenbots" across Washington Square Park, equipped with nothing more than directions written on their flags and drawn-on smiles.
The little electronic critters can only go forward, so their journeys were totally dependent on the kindness of strangers.
Park visitors, Kinzer said, were more than willing to pay heed to the message on the robots' flag: "Help Me."
Without fail, Kinzer said the robots made it from the park's northeast corner at University Place and Waverly Place all the way to the southwest corner, at MacDougal and West Fourth streets.
Kinzer tailed her robots with a hidden camera in her bag.
"Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passer-by would always rescue it and send it toward its goal," Kinzer, a Tisch School of Arts student, wrote on her blog. "Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged."
Kinzer measured her first Tweenbot trip at a relatively speedy 42 minutes, with the help of 29 pedestrians who intervened with a push in the right direction.
BEIJING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China published its first working plan on human rights Monday, pledging to further protect and improve human rights conditions.
The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010), issued by the Information Office of the State Council, or Cabinet, highlighted goals that would be implemented in less than two years.
This action made China one of 26 countries that have responded to the United Nations' call to establish a national human rights plan since 1993.
The 54-page document is divided into five sections: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Civil and Political Rights; Rights and Interests of Ethnic Minorities, Women, Children, Elderly People and the Disabled; Education in Human Rights; and Performing International Human Rights Duties, and Conducting Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of International Human Rights.
"The realization of human rights in the broadest sense has been a long-cherished ideal of mankind and also a long-sought goal of the Chinese government and people," the document stated.
China plans to continue to "raise the level of ensuring people's civil and political rights" through improving democracy and the rule of law, it said.
From the Toronto Star:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan–A female provincial official known for fighting for women's rights was gunned down in southern Afghanistan yesterday, following a day of fighting in the region that left 22 militants dead, officials said.
A Taliban spokesperson, Qari Yousef Ahmedi, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Gunmen killed Sitara Achakzai outside her home in Kandahar city and then drove off, said Matiullah Khan Qateh, police chief of Kandahar province. He said the four men drove up on two motorcycles and shot Achakzai as she was getting out of her car.
Achakzai, a dual German-Afghan citizen, spent the years of Taliban rule in Germany and returned to her native country to fight for women's rights, said Shahida Bibi, a member of the Kandahar women's association who worked with Achakzai.
A member of Kandahar's provincial council, Achakzai was vocal in encouraging women to take jobs and fight for equal rights, Bibi said.
A ringleader behind a notorious sex crime DVD has posted a hate-filled rap song on the internet boasting about it.
In an expletive-riddled diatribe, the 19-year-old brags of his notoriety and vows to commit more violence, Melbourne's Herald Sun reported exclusively this morning.
In 2006, the thug encouraged friends as they sexually assaulted and spat on a girl in a sickening attack filmed and distributed on a DVD titled "C--- the Movie". He also set the 17-year-old girl's hair on fire beside the Werribee River in Melbourne.
Now, in a rap posted on a website under his nickname, the teen boasts the attack video was viewed more "than the 10 o'clock news".
"I hope it hurts to reminisce when you think about us Werribee kids, all things we did," he sings.
The teen avoided jail over the crime but attacks "cunning judges", saying they can all "get f---ed".
Victims of crime advocate Noel McNamara said the song was "disgusting". He said it proved the teenager treated his crime like a joke and should have been sentenced to jail.
Eleven youths were charged over the humiliating Werribee DVD, with most placed on youth supervision orders. All were required to attend a counselling program for young sex offenders.
Duh: Barter making a major revival in Russia.
Neat: 70,000 glass beads from Spain's empire found in Georgia.
WTF: Karate expert kills two over lice infestation.
Lame: United Airlines won't let you be with your dying mother cuz it's time for the ticketing agent's break.
Yipes: Man dies after plummeting into trash compactor.
Sad: 90% of koalas in Japan infected with HIV-like virus.
Lame: Amazon de-ranks gay and lesbian books.
Politics: Russia and Iraq reviving prewar oil contracts.
Yipes: AA meeting turns into shootout.
Yipes: Public library bans body odor.
A Polish politician has lashed out at Poznan zoo for acquiring a "gay elephant" that seems to enjoy the company of other males, local media reported.
The elephant named as Ninio is no certainty to reproduce.
"We didn't pay 37 million zlotys for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there. We were supposed to have a herd, but as Ninio prefers male friends over females how will he produce offspring?" said Councillor Michal Grzes.
But, the head of the zoo says the 10-year-old Ninio, may not be old enough to decide his "mate" just yet. Elephants reach their sexual maturity at 14.
An Azeri immigrant in Russia's northern city of Saint Petersburg has been charged with hiring hit men to kill his 21-year-old daughter for wearing a mini-skirt, police said today.
The man's arrest follows the detention last week of two other citizens of Azerbaijan, a majority Muslim state in the Caucasus, who confessed to murdering the girl, a university medical student.
“They admitted to being paid 100,000 rubles ($4140) by the girl's father. They said he wanted to punish his daughter for flouting national traditions and wearing a mini-skirt,” a police source told said today.
The girl was abducted on the street in Russia's second city on March 8, taken to the outskirts of Saint Petersburg and then shot twice in the head, the source said.
Idiot Cubs fans should hang themselves. Courtesy of Crazy C.
A dead goat was found hanging on a statute of Harry Caray outside Wrigley Field early Monday on the North Side. A similar incident occurred in 2007, police said.
About 2:40 a.m., police responded to a 911 call indicating a dead goat was hanging from a rope on the statue of Harry Caray outside Wrigley Field at the intersection of Clark and Addison streets, according to Town Hall District police.
The goat was hanging on one of Caray’s outstretched arms, according to police, who took the goat down and disposed of the remains. It was not known how the goat died and nothing was damaged, according to police.
There is not a "no trespassing" sign and a surveillance camera located nearby is not set on the statue, according to police, who said a similar incident also occurred in 2007, when a butchered goat was found hanging from the statue. No one was arrested in Monday's incident.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
From NY Post:
The estate of longtime Ramone's bassist Dee Dee Ramone, who died in 2002, is asking a court to put the kibosh on a book by the musician's first wife.Vera Davie shouldn't be allowed to publish "Poisoned Heart" because she flouted an agreement with her ex-husband's estate that gave executor Ira Herzog permission to review and make changes to the book, according to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Woody Harrelson defended his clash with a photographer at a New York airport Wednesday night as a case of mistaken identity -- he says he mistook the cameraman for a zombie.
The TMZ photographer filed a complaint with police claiming the actor damaged his camera and pushed him in the face at La Guardia Airport, according to an airport spokesman.
"We're looking into this allegation and if it's warranted, we'll turn it over to the proper authorities," said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Ron Marsico.
The photographer, who was not identified, captured the encounter on a small camera after his larger one was broken.
Harrelson, who is being sued by another TMZ photographer for an alleged assault in 2006, did not deny his involvement.
"I wrapped a movie called 'Zombieland,' in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," Harrelson said in a statement issued Friday by his publicist.
"With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie," he said.
A chemical best known for cementing the bond between a mother and her newborn child could also play a part in picking mister (or miss) right.
A new study shows that men and women who inhale a whiff of the hormone oxytocin rate strangers as more attractive.
When oxytocin courses through our blood, "we are more likely to see people we don't know in a more positive light," says Angeliki Theodoridou, a psychologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who led the new study.
This effect adds to the hormone's known role in human relationships. One study found that oxytocin levels spike after new mothers look at or touch their newborns and may help bonding.
Zombie Watch: Dozens of mummies discovered.
Yipes: Woman vs. polar bear. Some pics here (not graphic, but jeez..).
Lame: New popular dating site matches shallow cute girls with sugar daddies.
Yipes: American termites infesting Japan.
Zombie Watch: Resurrection: A History of Myths.
Travel: 7 tips for buying summer airfare to Europe.
Creepy: Mom harvests son's sperm.
TV: NASA to announce module name on Colbert on Tues.
Duh: 1 in 5 Americans find socialism superior to capitalism.
Yipes: Barack Obama's brother refused entry into UK due to sex attack.
Yipes: Drunk prisoner causes 400-prisoner rampage, millions in damage.
Science: Researchers model structure of our internal master clock.
A rare flicker of humanity in this part of the world... From BBC:
Sri Lanka's government has declared a temporary halt to its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-east.
The move, which aims to let civilians leave the conflict zone safely, comes in view of New Year celebrations that start on Monday, the government said.
There has been no immediate response from the Tamil Tigers.
The authorities have been under growing international pressure to allow time for tens of thousands of trapped civilians to leave the war zone safely.
Australians holidaying in Thailand have been thrown into chaos with the troubled nation last night declared a terrorist risk.At least 5000 Australians are registered with the embassy, many enjoying the school holiday break with their families.
They were told to get out of Bangkok and nearby resorts or stay in their hotel rooms as rampaging protesters swarmed into the streets.
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said the number of Australians in Thailand was likely to be much higher.
Bangkok descended into a second day of violence after the Government declared a state of emergency.
Thousands of protesters stormed a government building and fired shots as they chased new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from his office.
A West Midlands woman married a traffic warden - after falling for him when he gave her a ticket.
Aaron Oseland, 22, pounced when Sally-Ann Spruce, 24, left her car on double yellow lines as she popped into a bank.
Sally-Ann told The Sun: "When he smiled at me I just fell for him. We got chatting and the next thing we knew we were going out."
Aaron added: "I gave her a £30 fine and my phone number. She came over to me and we just started talking. I knew she was the one and I just couldn't let her go."
Microsoft's Hotmail, one of the most popular free e-mail services on the Web, crashed overnight, with consequences ranging from mild inconvenience to high anxiety for millions of users.
Microsoft says it's up and running now, leaving account holders, many of whom remarked online about the Conficker computer worm and other online threats, warily logging on.
For several hours, users logging on to their e-mail accounts got a message that said, "You don't have an inbox ... yet." People were invited to create new accounts, even if they had been Hotmail users for years.
May Jesus come down on his mighty hellbunny to steal your eggs (hide them!!).