Saturday, June 20, 2009

Strip club sues its own 14-year-old dancer.

Yeah, the strip club is the victim here. From the Houston Chronicle:
A strip club that hired a 14-year-old as an exotic dancer is now suing the girl, saying the seventh-grader swindled them into breaking state law.

The San Antonio teen allegedly exposed her breasts while working at Cheetah Club in Corpus Christi, a violation of state law.

Alan Yaffe, the club’s attorney, said the club didn’t know the girl was a minor.

“She came (into the club) with 6-inch stiletto heels and a miniskirt and looked just like a model from a Miss America’s contest,” Yaffe said.

Yaffe also disputed the sequence of events that authorities say brought the 14-year-old girl to Club Cheetah, where she exposed her breasts — a violation of state law.

Police say Leslie Campbell, 48, kidnapped the teenager in San Antonio in March, took her to Corpus Christi, sexually assaulted her over the course of a week, gave her a false identification card and forced her to strip at the club.

Police say the girl, who has not been identified, escaped from Campbell’s home and has been reunited with her parents in San Antonio.

Campbell was arrested and remains in Nueces County Jail on charges of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

RJL Entertainment Inc., — which is doing business as “Cheetah Club,” according to tax records — filed the lawsuit last week.

The suit seeks unspecified damages from Campbell, the girl and her parents, as well as a declaration from a judge that it did not intend to hire a minor.

“We’re the victims here,” Yaffe said.

Authorities also arrested Jeffery Shawn Martinez, a manager at the club, on charges of employment harmful to a minor and sexual performance of a child. He was released on bail.

Yesterday was the happiest day of the year.

Gosh, didn't notice it considering NYC has had about 30 straight days of rain. From Ananova:
Britons should have plenty to smile about on Friday, 19 June - as it's officially the happiest day of 2009.

Our spirits have apparenty been boosted by the sunny start to summer, the longest days of the year, the nearing of payday - and optimism that Andy Murray could win Wimbledon.

Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall devised a formula to pinpoint the day we are all most likely to feel the happiest.

And the Cardiff University lecturer said people should forget credit crunch worries because the secret of happiness lies with things which are free.

Dr Arnall, 44, said feel-good sensations are enjoying time with friends and loves ones, appreciating nature in the sunshine and looking forward to the weekend and a holiday.

His complicated mathematic formula is: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He.

O = being outdoors and outdoor activity, N = nature, S = social interaction, Cpm = memories of childhood summers and other positive thoughts, T = temperature, and He = excitement about holidays.

Friday, June 19, 2009

iPod saves girl hit by lightning.

From Daily Mail. The pics in the article are crazy!
A teenage girl who was struck by lightning may have been saved by her iPod, it emerged today.

Sophie Frost and boyfriend Mason Billington, both 14, were sheltering beneath a tree in a storm when the 300,000-volt bolt hit her iPod, knocking them out.

But since her headphones were hanging from her school uniform - and not in her ears - the wires diverted some of the current away from her body, avoiding vital organs.

The effect of the strike was also reduced because she was holding hands with Mason at the time, splitting the shock between them.

Sophie escaped with minor burns while Mason, who recovered first and heroically carried her to safety, received eye damage which doctors hope will not be permanent.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The Goldblum just defended flies on The Colbert Report.


The Goldblum is LOVE.

Japan bans all trade with North Korea.

From AFP:
Japan on Tuesday banned all remaining trade with North Korea to punish the isolated communist regime for its latest nuclear and missile tests, the government said.

Prime Minister Taro Aso's cabinet "agreed on a ban on all export goods" to the impoverished state on top of an import freeze imposed after the North's first atomic test in 2006, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura.

Tokyo's latest move comes amid worries Pyongyang may soon conduct a third nuclear test after the UN Security Council voted Friday for tougher sanctions in response to the regime's May 25 underground test.

Japan's exports to the North -- mainly machinery and transport equipment such as trains and vehicles, food, electronics and industrial goods -- totalled just 792.6 million yen (8.2 million dollars) last year, the finance ministry says.

Analysts see Japan's new sanctions as largely symbolic because North Korea conducts the bulk of its trade with its large communist neighbour and closest ally China, also its biggest source of aid.

NSA analysts spied own girlfriends, wives.

From Raw Story:
According to the reporter who first broke the NSA wiretapping story, there is no proof the agency has scaled back its interception of the personal phone calls and email messages of American citizens as promised by the Obama administration or even that it is being straight with Congress about its activities.

James Risen and Eric Lichtblau revealed the NSA’s over-collection of data in an article for the New York Times on Tuesday, noting that one NSA analyst was even found to have been reading the private email of former President Bill Clinton.

Risen told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann the next day that he knew of no other cases like the Clinton incident but that many NSA analysts had been abusing their powers in other ways. “It sounded like, from the former NSA analyst that we interviewed, that it was rare to access the emails of celebrities or famous people,” Risen stated, “but that it was fairly routine, according to him, for people to access the emails of girlfriends or wives or other people that they might know.”

Vampire gets road rage.

From Ananova:
A road rage driver bit a pedestrian in Romania because he took too long to cross the road.

Mihai Nicoara, 36, told police the furious motorist leapt from his car and sunk his teeth into his belly at a crossing in Iasi.

"He just shouted at me and then grabbed me by the belly with his teeth. He tore my shirt and I have a pretty nasty wound now," he said.

[...] "Now I'll make sure I never dawdle again," he added.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

British navy captain bans Brussels sprouts for being the "devil's vegetable".

It's about time someone in authority spoke out against demon sprouts.
A British navy captain has banned Brussels sprouts from his ship and labelled them the "devil's vegetable", reports said Wednesday.

Commanding Officer Wayne Keble made the order to his 390-strong crew on HMS Bulwark because he "hates" the vegetable, the Daily Telegraph reported.

But he denied speculation that he brought in the ban because sprouts make the sailors suffer from flatulence in the cramped conditions on board.

Captain Keble disclosed his order after he was asked to confirm reports that he had banned fried foods from his ship for health reasons.

He said: "The only thing I have banned on board is Brussels sprouts. They are the devil's vegetable and the only thing I do not like, and the only thing I hate.

"Brussels sprouts are absolutely banned on board HMS Bulwark. I do not eat them so I do not know what the after-effects are."

The distinctive smell of sprouts is caused by sulphur compounds released when cooked.
More here.

Teen wakes up at tattoo parlor with 56 stars on her face.

Wow, I'm totally not going here to get my dolphin tramp stamp. From Ananova:
A Belgian teenager is suing a tattooist for £10,000 after claiming she woke up with 56 stars on her face.

Kimberley Vlaminck, 18, claims Rouslan Toumaniantz spoke such bad English and French that he misunderstood her at the Tattoo Boy studio in Courtrai, Belgium.

She claims she fell asleep while the tattooist went to work and woke up to find 56 stars on her face.

"It is horrible," sobbed Kimberley. "He has turned me into a freak. I can't go out on the street now without people looking at me."

However, Mr Toumaniantz insists she "got what she wanted" - and only complained when her dad got angry and her boyfriend dumped her.

Miss Vlaminch wants compensation to undergo laser treatment to remove the tattoos, but even after the treatment - that will cost upwards of 10,000 Euros, she is likely to be left with scars for life.

Sen. Ensign, GOP candidate for 2012, admits to affair.

John Ensign:

GOP wunderkind? Check.
Born-again Christian? Check.
Member of Promise Keepers, who are "committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity"? Check.
Voted to impeach Clinton? Check.
Asserted that any politician who cheats on their spouse should resign? Check.

Yay, I won GOP Hypocrisy Bingo!

More here.

Woman cancels wedding after discovering fiance is porn star.

My wife still doesn't know that I was a grip on Edward Penishands. A very strong grip. From the Telegraph:
Haylie Hocking, 27, only found out that strapping 30-year-old fitness fanatic Jason Brake made adult films just weeks before the big day.

A friend organising her hen night searched online for a male stripper and spotted Jason with a woman in a porn movie.

Now Haylie has called her vicar to cancel the wedding.

She said: "There was no way I could marry an adult film star."

The pair met last year when Jason became a customer at the garage where Haylie worked.

He told her he was a personal trainer and the couple began dating.

She told a magazine she found he was a romantic, thoughtful and passionate lover and six months after meeting he moved into her flat in Bristol.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Robotic ferret to detect hidden drugs and weapons, destroy humanity.

From EurekAlert:
A new type of robot being developed will make it easier to detect drugs, weapons, explosives and illegal immigrants concealed in cargo containers.

Dubbed the 'cargo-screening ferret' and designed for use at seaports and airports, the device is being worked on at the University of Sheffield with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The ferret will be the world's first cargo-screening device able to pinpoint all kinds of illicit substances and the first designed to operate inside standard freight containers.

It will be equipped with a suite of sensors that are more comprehensive and more sensitive than any currently employed in conventional cargo scanners.

New, superheavy element to enter periodic table.

From NewsDaily:
A new, superheavy chemical element numbered 112 will soon be officially included in the periodic table, German researchers said.

A team in the southwest German city of Darmstadt first produced 112 in 1996 by firing charged zinc atoms through a 120-meter-long particle accelerator to hit a lead target.

"The new element is approximately 277 times heavier than hydrogen, making it the heaviest element in the periodic table," the scientists at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The zinc and lead nuclei were fused to form the nucleus of the new element, also known as Ununbium, Latin for 112.

Operation: Mindcrime... The Musical?

This isn't surprising. Mindcrime is totally theatrical, even operatic. Plus it rocks my stupid ass. From Playbill News:

Adam Pascal, the Tony Award-nominated actor-singer known for his dual passions of musical theatre and rock music, is pursuing a dream he's harbored since his teen years: to create a stage musical version of "Operation: Mindcrime," the 1988 concept album by metal group Queensrÿche.

Pascal, currently starring in his Tony-nominated role of Roger in the new national tour of Rent, told that Queensrÿche (pronounced "Queens-Rike") has given permission to — and will collaborate with — Pascal to conceive a Broadway-aimed musical of their popular recording about a brainwashed drug addict, Nikki, who becomes an assassin and seeks the love of a reformed hooker named Mary, who is now a nun.

The project is in the early stages, with no director, librettist, producer or music director attached, but Pascal said that Queensrÿche — including frontman and co-songwriter Geoff Tate and manager Susan Tate — has given him the go-ahead, and that the new musical will include new songs and connective material by the band.

[...] The musical might incorporate some content from the 2006 follow-up album, "Operation: Mindcrime II," but Pascal said that he had no interest in cobbling together a Queensrÿche "jukebox" show that might include, for example, the band's non-"Mindcrime" hit, "Silent Lucidity."

More on the Crunchberry legal saga.

From Lowering the Bar, my favorite litigation news blog:
The tale of Janine Sugawara, the woman who sued the manufacturer of "Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries" for allegedly misleading her about the "berries," has turned out to be extremely popular, bringing literally tens of thousands of people to this site over the past few days.

Unfortunately, one of them was her lawyer.

He thought I had been unfair to his client and asked me to clarify that she had not alleged that she personally believed "crunchberries" to be an actual kind of fruit. This was a little puzzling to me, especially since the judge who dismissed her case seemed to have interpreted her claims the way I had (and I had quoted his opinion at length in my post). The lawyer ultimately seemed to accept that this was understandable, but asked me to look at the pleadings and the motion for reconsideration they have filed (that's the "update" - they are asking the judge to reconsider), in order to get a better sense of what the plaintiff was really arguing. So I did that.

If you read her complaint(s) very closely, Ms. Sugawara may not have clearly said that she thought crunchberries were an actual fruit that exist in nature. But she did claim (and still does) that she was misled by the Crunchberries packaging, specifically (1) the word "berry" in the name of the product, (2) the picture of "pieces of cereal in bright fruit colors, shaped to resemble berries," and (3) "the product's namesake, 'Cap'n Crunch,' thrusting a spoonful of 'Crunchberries' at the prospective buyer." See Motion for Reconsideration at p. 2. In the motion, she then says this: "There can be no other reason for the emphasis on berries than to lead consumers to believe the Product is made with real fruit content." Id.

So if I understand correctly, she wasn't saying she thought the cereal was actually made with a fruit called "crunchberries," but rather that the word "berries" and the colorful berry-like objects on the box led her to believe that the "crunchberries" being thrust at her by the Cap'n contained some kind of real berries or real berry parts, when in fact they did not. (Actually, they did - at least "a touch of strawberry fruit concentrate" - though not very much. But let's set that aside for now.)

There is a distinction there, but I'm not sure it's one that makes much of a difference. Here's where I think the problem is: how can a reasonable consumer claim to be misled by the word "berries" immediately following the word "crunch," if that person does in fact know whether or not "crunchberries" really exist? Shouldn't the use of a term that the person supposedly knows is not real be considered a reasonable signal that what's inside the box might not be real, either?

I mean, if you read "The Hobbit," I'm not sure you can complain later that you thought it was going to be a true story.

Poor showing for US in ranking of best cities to live in.

I remember we were taught in school that the US is the best country in the world and we're so lucky to live here. I suppose that's still true if you don't consider western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Singapore, Japan etc. See 2009 rankings here.

Wait... Luxembourg? Seriously?

Marijuana damages DNA and may cause psychosis, cancer.

I can be accused of cherry picking my news to defend my biases (blah blah, suck it), so I thought I'd point this item out to give the anti-pot folks a little ammo. Just something for them to gloat over as they enjoy their next double martini spiked with prescription drugs.

From LiveScience:
A lot of studies have shown marijuana is not good for you. It can fry the brain and contribute to psychosis. The latest one finds "convincing evidence" that marijuana smoke damages the genetic material DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer.

Toxic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung and other cancers. However, there has been uncertainty over whether marijuana smoke has the same effect.

Scientists are especially concerned about the toxicity of acetaldehyde, present in both tobacco and marijuana. However, it has been difficult to measure DNA damage from acetaldehyde with conventional tests.

Using a highly sensitive new method called modified mass spectrometry, Rajinder Singh at the University of Leicester and colleagues found the data they sought, they report in the June 15 issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

"These results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis [marijuana] smoke, implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate cancer development," the researchers write. "The data obtained from this study suggesting the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke highlight the need for stringent regulation of the consumption of cannabis cigarettes, thus limiting the development of adverse health effects such as cancer."

Earlier this year, a separate study found evidence that adolescents and young adults who smoked a lot of marijuana are more likely than non-users to have disrupted brain development. Research in 2007 found pot smokers have on average a 41 percent increased risk of developing psychotic disorders later in life.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scientists doom planet after resurrecting 120,000-year-old bacteria.

Oh, great idea! That bacteria we know nothing about that can survive and propagate on so little? Let's reintroduce it to the planet! From New Scientist:
A tiny bacterium has been coaxed back to life after spending 120,000 years buried three kilometres deep in the Greenland ice sheet.

Researchers who found it say it could resemble microbes that may have evolved in ice on other planets.

Officially named Herminiimonas glaciei, the bug consists of rods just 0.9 micrometres long and 0.4 micrometres in diameter, about 10 to 50 times smaller than the well-known bacterium, Escherichia coli.

"What's unique is that it's so small, and seems to survive on so few nutrients," says Jennifer Loveland-Curtze of Pennsylvania State University, whose team has described the new species.

She speculates that thanks to its tiny dimensions, it can survive in minute veins in the ice, scavenging sparse nutrients that were buried along with the ice. It also has extensive tail-like flagella to help it manoeuvre through the veins to find food.

"Along with the snow, you get dust, bacterial cells, fungal spores, plant spores, minerals and other organic debris," says Loveland-Curtze. "So we postulate that it lives in these microniches in the ice."

Researchers in the team coaxed it back to life by keeping it at 2 °C for 7 months, then at 5 °C for a further four-and-a-half months, after which they saw colonies of very small purplish-brown bacteria.

Follow-Up: Snakes defeated.

We reported recently that snakes were taking over the world. It is with mixed feelings that we report today that the tide has turned, even though it took (wtf) AK-47s to do so...
Power hoses and AK-47 assault rifles have succeeded where Sierra Leone's snake-charmers failed by removing 400 cobras and vipers that overran a police station.

Authorities in the southern district of Bo called in police, army and fire fighters after the snakes scared away police officers and residents reporting crimes.

"We have forced water into the building and some of the snakes trying to escape were shot by our men carrying AK-47s," said Brima Kontu, head of the police station in Gerihun.

About 250 of the estimated 400 snakes who had made the station their home have been killed.

"Hopefully the combined force will be able to free the house from the snakes by next Tuesday," Kontu told Reuters.

More here.

Minutemen vigilantes storm immigrant home, kill child.

Messed up... more here.
A female vigilante from an anti-illegal immigration group led a raid on a house where a man and his nine-year-old daughter were shot dead, it emerged today.

Shawna Forde, 41, and two others allegedly dressed as law enforcement officers and forced their way into the family's rural home just ten miles from the Mexican border.

Brisenia Flores and her 29-year-old father, Raul Junior Flores, died and Brisenia's mother, who has not been named, was wounded in the attack.

Forde, Jason Eugene Bush, 34, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, have been charged with first degree murder along with other charges said Sheriff Clarence Dupnic of Pima County, Arizona.

Forde and Bush are part of Minutemen American Defence, a small border watch group in Arizona whose mottos are 'Doing the job our Government won't do' and 'Defending America's borders'.

According to the group's website Forde is the leader while Bush, who also goes by the nickname 'Gunny', is its operations director.

According to Sheriff Dupnic the motive for the murder was financial.

He said: 'The husband who was murdered has a history of being involved in narcotics and there was an anticipation that there would be a considerable amount of cash at this location as well as the possibility of drugs.

'This was a planned home invasion where the plan was to kill all the people inside this trailer so there would be no witnesses.

'To just kill a nine-year-old girl because she might be a potential witness, to me, is just one of the most despicable acts that I have heard of,' he added.

Curse word on school roof spotted from space.

From LiveScience:
Students at a UK grammar school used bricks to spell out a certain word for a certain bit of male anatomy (co*k), on the school's roof. Then it was spotted by satellite, in a Google Earth image, according to The Register.

The headmaster requested it be taken down. But hey, maybe the kids were just doing some kind of cosmic rooster worship?

Meantime, what can't be seen from space these days? The military has spy satellites with enough resolution to actually spot that human anatomy, er, in the flesh, were it to be displayed thusly. Google Earth uses images that aren't so crisp, yet a search (yes, on Google, but we're not going to provide the links here...) will reveal lots of, well, sunbathers.

San Francisco to fine people $100 for throwing out food.

Oh, San Fran. You so crazy. From MSNBC:
Trash collectors in San Francisco will soon be doing more than just gathering garbage: They'll be keeping an eye out for people who toss food scraps out with their rubbish.

San Francisco this week passed a mandatory composting law that is believed to be the strictest such ordinance in the nation. Residents will be required to have three color-coded trash bins, including one for recycling, one for trash and a new one for compost — everything from banana peels to coffee grounds.

The law makes San Francisco the leader yet again in environmentally friendly measures, following up on other green initiatives such as banning plastic bags at supermarkets.

Russian museum guarded by cats.

In Mother Russia, museums say Meow instead of Miro! Okay, that sucked, but thanks to La for the tip! From here.
For years, Russia’s Hermitage museum has employed a secret army to protect over three million works of art dating back to Peter the Great.

Recently, the identity of this secret force has come to light: cats!

Although no longer allowed to roam freely through the galleries, around 60 felines earn a living in the basement of the huge former Tsarist palace.

Maria Khaltunen, Hermitage State Museum: "They (cats) work here. They execute, so-called, preventive activities so that rats and mice will stay away or are kept at a minimum. All the museum visitors can see them in the summer. Generally they walk on the square and on the embankment, and also they come out into the big yard. But these (cats) are only those who like to deal with people. Others who prefer living in their community stay in basement."

The priceless treasures of the museum are under the watchful eye of these cats. These four-footed employees are always on guard against rats and mice that can damage the Hermitage collection. They work in the labyrinths of the basement, hunting by day and night.

Cats have been guarding the museum for the last 200 years since the Tsarist period. They first appeared during the reign of Peter the Great’s daughter, Empress Elizabeth. Fed up with hundreds of rodents running through the palace Elizabeth signed a decree ordering the best rat and mice-catching cats to be sent to Her Majesty’s court.

Genius creates Girl Scout Samoas-flavored ice cream.

Edy's ice cream, which is already pretty delicious, has evoked heaven by mixing in Samoas (known by morons as Caramel deLites). Thank you Larissa for this tip! (And screw you, scale!) Awesomeness here.
Bringing home your favorite Girl Scouts® Samoas® Cookie Ice Cream is a delicious way to give something back to your family. It's Samoas® Cookies in Caramel Ice Cream with Fudge. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this product goes to support Girl Scouting.

Trend Spotting: Heroin use on Long Island skyrockets.

I'd need heavy painkillers too if I lived on Long Island... From Newsday:
Between 2004 and 2008, at least 1,068 people in Long Island lost their lives in overdoses of either heroin or prescription opiates. In 2007 alone, a staggering 10,418 people were admitted to rehab facilities in both counties for opiate addiction. Statistics from other locales were unavailable yesterday.

Authorities say aggressive promotion by dealers, increased purity that allows users to snort or smoke the drug, rather than inject it with a needle, prices as low as $5 for a one-time high, and similarity to popular but costly opiate painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin are behind heroin's growth in popularity.

Experts say these painkillers - often found in parents' medicine cabinets, and legally prescribed - are more often than not the entry point to heroin addiction.

Umpire ejects entire crowd at baseball game.

Can this umpire work at Fenway, please?
An umpire emptied the stands at a high school baseball game, ejecting the entire crowd of more than 100 fans for being unruly.

Umpire Don Briggs said he had no problem with any of the student athletes during Thursday's game between Winfield-Mount Union and West Burlington.

He said he had to take action because fans were being unruly, yelling and arguing.

However, West Burlington Superintendent James Sleister said he didn't see any unusual behavior and said he thought the umpire overreacted.

Teen arrested in Miami cat mutilations.

I hate kids who abuse animals, but this little creep is even smiling in his mugshot. Hope the judge realizes this is a future serial killer and puts him away for a long time.
A teenager was arrested early Sunday and accused of committing a string of gruesome cat mutilation deaths that had horrified residents of his Miami area community, authorities said.

For the past month, shocked pet owners in the Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay neighborhoods have reported finding more than two dozen cats killed and mutilated. Some of the dead cats were missing fur and appeared to have been cut with a sharp, straight instrument, police said.

Tyler Weinman, 18, was taken into custody early Sunday at a party, police said. Weinman was charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary.

[...] In all, the deaths of more than 30 cats were under investigation, but Miller said some of those cats were likely killed by dogs. She said additional arrests might be forthcoming, but she declined to name other suspects.