Saturday, September 19, 2009

Leonard Cohen recovering after collapsing onstage.

Leonard Cohen is the coolest person who has ever lived. Speedy recovery! From HuffPo:
Leonard Cohen is recovering after collapsing onstage while on tour in eastern Spain, his music company said Saturday.

The veteran poet and performer has been released from hospital after suffering from a stomach complaint, Doctor Music Concerts said in a statement.

Cohen was part-way through his song "Bird on the Wire" in Valencia when he fainted, causing the band to stop playing to rush to his aid as concertgoers watched. The concert was stopped.

A video showing Cohen kneeling down several times during the performance and then keeling over sideways during a saxophone solo has been placed on YouTube on the Web by a fan.

The Canadian-born musician, who will be 75 years-old on Monday, was taken in an ambulance to the Nueve de Octubre hospital in Valencia but released early Saturday, Barcelona-based Doctor Music Concerts said.

Monkey pushes woman off cliff.

A monkey has pushed a woman off a cliff.

The woman, 60-year-old Zhou Juchang, made the claim after winding up at the bottom of a seven-metre rockface, fracturing her hip and breaking three ribs.

Now she’s suing her travel agent, who organised her trip into China’s Chengdu Wildlife Park.

The monkey allegedly flew into a rage when the woman refused to hand over the bag of monkey food which her tour guide recommended she buy.

A spokesman for the park said the woman’s mistake was showing fear.

“If you show fear a monkey will bully you,” he told London’s Metro.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Teen birth rates higher in highly religious states.

I have a theory that religion and sex are equally popular in states where there's nothing else to do. From LiveScience:
U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.

The relationship could be due to the fact that communities with such religious beliefs (a literal interpretation of the Bible, for instance) may frown upon contraception, researchers say. If that same culture isn't successfully discouraging teen sex, the pregnancy and birth rates rise.

Mississippi topped the list for conservative religious beliefs and teen birth rates, according to the study results, which will be detailed in a forthcoming issue of the journal Reproductive Health.

However, the results don't say anything about cause and effect, though study researcher Joseph Strayhorn of Drexel University College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh offers a speculation of the most probable explanation: "We conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

Insane killer escapes on field trip to county fair.

From Raw Story:
In an Associated Press story entitled "Insane killer escapes on field trip to county fair," the wire service reports, "Authorities have put out a statewide alert for a mentally ill killer who escaped during a hospital field trip to a county fair, leading to fears that he'll become more unstable and potentially dangerous the longer he is on the loose with no medication."

"Sgt. Dave Reagan of the Spokane County sheriff's office says Phillip Arnold Paul remained at large Friday and officials believe he's headed to Sunnyside, the town where his parents live," the AP story adds.

Media reports indicate wide incredulity from local residents and officials that an "insane killer" [...] was allowed to go to the fair in the first place.

Police firearms instructor accidentally guns down civilian during a classroom demonstration.

From Daily Mail:
A police firearms instructor accidentally gunned down a civilian worker during a classroom demonstration after failing a training course, a court heard.

PC David Micklethwaite, 52, blasted telephone operator Keith Tilbury at point blank range after mistakenly loading a live round into a 'Dirty Harry' style .44 Magnum revolver.

The victim was taken to hospital where doctors performed life-saving surgery on his bowel and kidney.

Mr Tilbury, 51, did not regain consciousness for 12 days, and has never returned to work.

Micklethwaite, a firearms instructor with Thames Valley Police, faces a massive fine after admitting breaching Health and Safety laws.

He shot Mr Tilbury while attempting to show civilian recruits how the chamber spins in a Magnum made famous by Clint Eastwood.

JRR Tolkien trained as British spy.

Elvish or.... Nazispeak?!! From the Telegraph:
Tolkien, one of his generation's most respected linguists, was ''earmarked'' to crack Nazi codes in the event that Germany declared war.

Intelligence chiefs singled him and a 'cadre' of other intellectuals to work at Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre in Buckinghamshire.

Its staff - which included Alan Turing, the gay codebreaker - would later decipher the 'impenetrable' Enigma machines.

This saved Britain from German conquest by allowing the Navy to intercept and destroy Hitler's U-Boats.

According to previously unseen records, Tolkien trained with the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS).

He spent three days at their London HQ in March 1939 - six months before the outbreak of the Second World War and just 18 months after the publication of his first book, The Hobbit.

But although he was ''keen'', Tolkien - a professor of English literature at Oxford University - declined a £500-a-year offer to become a full-time recruit.

The reasons behind his decision are not known.

But he went on to write the Lord of the Rings trilogy, one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-Century literature.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

5 popular zombie survival tactics... that will get you killed!

Great article from Cracked on why everything we know about zombie survival is wrong. Must-read.

Everybody has a zombie contingency plan. A unique and ingenious stratagem they've spent hours contemplating that ensures they and their loved ones will stay alive in the event of a zombie apocalypse. The only problem? You've got the exact same essential plan as everybody else: go raid the gun store, get out of the cities as fast as possible, find a sturdy base to fortify and hole up in, use a melee weapon whenever possible to conserve ammo and--if the worst does come to pass and you find yourself facing down a crowd of the undead--take your time, aim carefully and make every shot a head shot.

Jesus, you're not going to last five minutes. Here's why.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Runner forced to take gender test is a woman... and a man.

Missed this one, which was sent in by Coozer-Phile Duff. From NY Daily News:

Tests show that controversial runner Caster Semenya is a woman ...and a man!

The 18-year-old South African champ has no womb or ovaries and her testosterone levels are more than three times higher than those of a normal female, according to reports.

The tests, ordered by The International Association of Athletics Federations after Semenya's 800-meter victory in the World Championships, determined she's a hermaphrodite - having both male and female organs.

Semenya could be stripped of the gold medal she won in Berlin last month and her competitive future is in limbo, according to Australia's Daily Telegraph.

The athletics governing body is also expected to advise her to have surgery to fix the potentially deadly condition, the paper reported. The IAAF would not comment on the results that have yet to be released.

According to a source with knowledge of the IAAF tests, Semenya has internal testes - the male sexual organs that produce testosterone.

Testosterone is a hormone responsible for building muscles and for producing body hair and a deep voice.

Confirmation of the test results is sure to stoke the controversy that erupted after the university student's sensational track triumph.

She has been embraced in her home country - where she was declared "our girl" - and appeared on a magazine cover after a feminine makeover.

"God made me the way I am and I accept myself. I am who I am and I'm proud of myself," she told You Magazine, which ran a photo spread.

Schoolchildren vote 13-1 to slaughter lamb.


A group of schoolchildren who reared a lamb from birth and named it Marcus have overridden objections by parents and rights activists and voted to send the animal to slaughter.

Marcus the six-month-old lamb has now been culled, the head teacher of the primary school in Kent confirmed yesterday, after the school's council - a 14-member group of children aged six to 11 - voted 13-1 to have him killed.

The decision has provoked fury among animal-loving celebrities, animal and human rights campaigners and the parents of some of the children, and led to threats against Lydd primary school and its teachers, according to a member of staff.

About 250 children at the school take part in a program designed to teach them about rearing and breeding animals.

The educational farm was started this year, with Marcus being hand-fed by the children.

[...] Despite that, the school said there had been overwhelming support among the children, the staff and most of the parents to have Marcus - a castrated male who could not have been used for breeding - sent to the slaughterhouse.

But opponents branded it heartless and cruel, with animal rights campaigners asking why Marcus could not have been used to teach the children about wool, and human rights campaigners worried about the emotional impact of Marcus's death on the children.

Student fells intruder with samurai sword.

From CBS News:
Baltimore police say a Johns Hopkins University undergraduate student armed with a samurai sword killed an intruder he discovered in his garage.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says campus security and an off-duty city officer responding to a call for a suspicious person heard screams to call police around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of University Parkway.

Guglielmi says the student told a man he found inside his garage to leave and the man accosted him. That's when Guglielmi says the student defended himself, cutting off the man's hand and causing a severe laceration to his upper body.

He says the man died on the scene, but police are not yet releasing his name.

Police are interviewing the student and his three roommates and are talking to prosecutors about whether to file charges.

Spineless Senate cuts funding for ACORN after bad publicity.

ACORN helps hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans find affordable housing, an increasing need in this economy. Gosh, wonder why right-wingers would do anything to derail a nonprofit that works to improve living conditions and voter engagement in low-income and minority neighborhoods..... From a gleeful FOX:
The Senate voted Monday to block the Housing and Urban Development Department from giving grants to ACORN, a community organization under fire in several voter-registration fraud cases.

The 83-7 vote would deny housing and community grant funding to ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

The action came as the group is suffering from bad publicity after a duo of conservative activists posing as a prostitute and her pimp released hidden-camera videos in which ACORN employees in Baltimore gave advice on house-buying and how to account on tax forms for the woman's income. Two other videos, aired on the FOX News Channel, depict similar situations in ACORN offices in Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.

The Senate's move would mean that ACORN would not be able to win HUD grants for programs such as counseling low-income people on how to get mortgages and for fair housing education and outreach.

Former GOP lawmaker charged with murder.

Clearly, this is ACORN's fault. From Huffington Post:
Lexington police charged former Kentucky lawmaker Steve Nunn with murder Monday in the death of his ex-girlfriend.

Nunn, 56, was also charged with violation of a protective order. Lexington police said warrants were served on Nunn after he was taken Monday to the Hart County jail.

Nunn had been under guard at The Medical Center of Bowling Green since Friday, the same day Amanda Ross, 29, a Department of Insurance employee, was shot to death outside her Lexington town house.

Authorities found Nunn hours after the shooting at the Cosby cemetery in Hart County with what appeared to be self-inflicted wrist wounds. Nunn's father, former Gov. Louie Nunn, and mother are buried in the cemetery.

Nunn also faces six counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly brandishing a .38-caliber handgun when he was found at the cemetery, about 95 miles southwest of the scene of the shooting.

Nunn ran unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2003. He lost a bid for re-election to the state House in 2006 after 15 years as a state representative.

He returned to state government in 2007 as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but was put on administrative leave in February after being charged with domestic violence for allegedly striking Ross. He resigned in March.