Saturday, February 20, 2010

Man fatally burned after dropping cigarette in vodka.

From the NY Post:
A central New Jersey man who was severely burned when he accidentally ignited vodka he had spilled on himself has died from his injuries.

Toms River police had to force their way in to Paul MacClymont’s home early Friday after he called 911 to report his injuries. He told officers he had burned himself the night before when he dropped a lit cigarette in his lap, igniting some vodka that had spilled on his legs.

After briefly rolling around on the floor, MacClymont said he passed out before waking up six hours later and calling police.

The 40-year-old man, who sustained third-degree burns over his entire body, was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he died later Friday.

Study: Vacations don't boost happiness.

From LiveScience:
We're happiest when looking forward to vacations, though once back in the office that level of glee is comparable to our non-vacationing cubicle mates, a new study finds. Essentially, vacations may not be the restorative respites they are chocked up to be.

The researchers surveyed 1,530 Dutch adults, 974 of whom took a vacation during the 40-plus week study period. At certain time points both before and after trips, participants answered questions related to their happiness levels.

Those in the planning phase of a vacation had higher happiness scores than those not going away, which the researchers say, is likely due to holiday anticipation. Following the trip, vacationers and non-vacationers showed no difference in their happiness levels, that is unless the time off was considered very relaxing. In that case, there was a slight happiness boost for vacationers noticeable during the first two weeks back. After eight weeks, that slight increase had faded completely, the scientists found.

The research team isn't surprised by the short shelf-life for this vacation boost. Most vacationers go right back to the daily grind pretty quickly upon return, according to Jeroen Nawijn of Erasmus University in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In addition, past research has shown that for many people, vacations are fully-wired, so they're just an e-mail or text-message away from the office and the relaxation potential is not fully realized.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snack sausages used as iPhone stylus.

From the Food Section:

The electronics blog engadget has reported that snack sausages are being used as a meat stylus by South Koreans to operate their iPhones in inclement weather:

"Apparently snack sausages from the CJ Corporation are electrostatically compatible with the iPhone's capacitive touchscreen, leading many to use them as a 'meat stylus' in the cold weather, rather than remove a glove. And it's not just a joke; apparently South Korean snack sausage sales are soaring."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

12 convicted for fake Pinot Noir scheme.

From FOX News:
TOULOUSE, France — A French court has convicted a dozen wine merchants and wine growers for selling and exporting fake Pinot Noir in a lucrative fraud scheme. A leading U.S. wine merchant in the case says he may appeal.

Among others, the fraud victimized California-based giant E. & J. Gallo Winery.

Claude Corset, head of the wine merchant company Ducasse and a leading defendant in the case, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his wine was "irreproachable" and reserves the right to appeal.

A court in Carcassonne, in southwest France, handed him a six-month suspended prison sentence and a $61,000 fine.

Prosecutor Francis Battut said Thursday that Merlot and Syrah grapes were passed off as Pinot Noir in a scheme dating from January 2006 to March 2008.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

US army enlists nuke-hunting robo-roaches.

What could go wrong? From Wired:

America’s rapidly expanding cyborg-animal army could soon add a new crawler to its ranks. National Defense magazine reports that scientists in Texas have turned the near-indestructible cockroach into a remote-controlled nuke detector.

A team of nuclear engineers at Texas A&M’s Nuclear Science and Policy Institute attached radioactivity sensors to the backs of cockroaches, meant to scope out different kinds of nuclear material. The cockroaches are remote-controlled, so officials could unleash them into potentially contaminated areas that might not be safe for humans.

The roaches would join an array of non-human war-fighters the Department of Defense seems keen on assembling: already, they’ve floated plans for cyborg spy beetles, flying robo-moths and even killer dolphins, allegedly.

But when it comes to nuke-detection, roaches are ideal candidates - for every reason everyone already hates them: the critters can survive for weeks without food, are nearly impossible to kill, and have invaded every continent except for Antarctica. They can also run non-stop for 35 minutes, and are resilient enough to carry a three-gram back-pod for several months. Oh, and somehow the things are radiation-resistant, too.


Funny: Pelican attacks weatherman.

Politics: Falkland War 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Cthulhu Watch: Why an octopus is more awesome than your mom.

Hero: Stranger saves woman who fainted on subway tracks.

D'oh: Always spell check your tattoos.

Gross: Garbage collector sues after swallowing medical waste at clinic.

Duh: Human genome mess ruins the case for a caring, intelligent God.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sebastian Bach saves Axl Rose from knife attack.

From the NY Post:
Chaos was narrowly averted at an intimate Guns N' Roses concert when a man with a knife was tackled by ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach.

The mystery man casually pulled out what appeared to be a switchblade knife as he walked into the packed and uber-exclusive "Nur Khan's Rose Bar Sessions" at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Sunday.

But Bach, who was standing near the door, immediately got the stranger thrown out of the bash, which was attended by a host of stars including Mickey Rourke.

A witness reports, "The man walked in while Guns N' Roses was onstage and pulled out a knife and flicked the blade out. Sebastian, who was standing on a banquette said: 'Nobody is getting anywhere near my man Axl Rose with a knife,' and went after him. Security then immediately threw him out. The man appeared to be drunk. It was dealt with so quickly that none of the other guests or the band were aware of it."

[...] Guns N' Roses played for two hours for 150 guests, finishing up at 3 a.m. before moving the party upstairs with a group of model and rocker friends until 6 a.m.

When earlier asked by The Post's Brian Niemietz if long metal hair will come back in fashion, Bach said, "If it does, people better start now because it takes seven [bleep]ing years to get it this length." Flaunting his golden locks, Bach added, "And this isn't some Jessica [bleep]ing Simpson hair extensions -- this is the real deal." A rep for the Rose Bar declined to comment.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ranger fan proposes on the big screen, gets shot down.

Article from NY Post, video of the V-Day humiliation can be seen here (thanks Matt K!):

Talk about a blocked shot!

A hockey-rink Romeo used today's Rangers game to pop the big question -- only to see his would-be bride storm out in front of thousands booing fans.

"Melissa, will you be my Blueshirt bride? Love, Nick," read the message on the scoreboard, bordered by little hearts. With the stadium -- and Nick -- watching Melissa put her hand over her mouth in apparent horror, picked up her bag and walked out, shaking her head.

Melissa was showered with boos as she left and the Rangers went on to blow away the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

BBC scriptwriters admit using Doctor Who to bring down Margaret Thatcher.

"EXTERMINATE (the Falkand Islands)." From the Daily Mail:
She famously battled the Argentine army abroad and the trade unions at home, but she never knew she was also under attack from outer space.

Left wing scriptwriters hired by the BBC during the 1980s tried to inspire a 'Tardis revolution' by using Doctor Who as propaganda to undermine Baroness Thatcher.

In one series they caricatured the then Prime Minister as a vicious and egotistical alien ruler who banned outward displays of unhappiness among her downtrodden people and used a secret police to oppress dissidents.

Other Doctor Who plots set in distant planets included thinly veiled support for the miners' strike and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, former actors and writers on the show have admitted.

The revelations appear to confirm complaints at the time that the BBC opposed the then Mrs Thatcher's government which prompted the Tory party chairman, Norman Tebbit, to claim that the corporation was in the hands of a 'Marxist mafia'.

But so lacklustre was the extraterrestrial satire that even those who produced it admit that it had no impact on the Conservative government and nobody at the time even 'noticed or cared'.

Sylvester McCoy, the actor who played the Time Lord for two years in the 1980s, said: 'Our feeling was that Margaret Thatcher was far more terrifying than any monster the Doctor had encountered.'