Friday, July 30, 2010

North Korean soccer team publicly shamed.

From Gawker, thanks to reader Jen:
When North Korea bowed out of the World Cup after losing every match, everyone wondered what would happen to them: Would they be sent to the coal mines? Executed? Fed to Kim Jong-Il's half-man/half-tiger monsters? They were publicly shamed.

According to the Toronto Star, the shaming occurred July 2, shortly after the team returned from South Africa:

"The 23-man roster – minus its two Japanese-based ringers, Jong "Weepy" Tae-se and An Yong-hak – was hauled up on stage in front of 400 attendees at the inaptly named People's Palace of Culture.

"The audience included a large number of university students and athletes, as well as high party officials.

"For the next six hours, players were reprimanded for failures in their play."

They were accused of "betraying the young General Kim Jong-un" (Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent), and failing in the "great ideological struggle" during their mostly disastrous World Cup appearance. (They lost to Portugal 7-0.) And, most cruelly, they were made to publicly criticize their coach, Kim Jong Hun. Hun has been rumored to have been expelled from Kim Jong-Il's Workers' Party and "has been sent to perform forced labor at a residential building construction site in Pyongyang," according to Radio Free Asia.

Of course, there were rumors that the entire 1966 North Korean team had been sent to the coal mines, but a BBC documentary crew found them alive and happy years later.

And that's the difference between sports in North Korea and America: In North Korea, they shame their professional athletes. In America, our athletes publicly shame themselves.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ahmadinejad attacks Paul the Octopus.

From Huffington Post:
Paul the Psychic Octopus became a superstar by accurately forecasting the results of eight consecutive World Cup matches. But while the tentacled oracle may be enjoying his retirement, it seems the rest of the globe just can't get enough -- and the recent media saturation may now be spurring a backlash.

Over the weekend, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed the octopus for "spreading Western propaganda and superstition." And the cephalopod prophet has also become the subject of a Chinese comic suspense film, to be called "The Murder of Paul the Octopus," which stars a stunt octopus in the title role.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greenpeace activists close down BP gas stations.

From the Independent:
BP petrol stations were shut down by activists today in a bid to urge the oil company to adopt greener energy policies.

Greenpeace claimed it shut off fuel supplies at around 50 service stations in central London this morning.

A spokesman said activists stopped the flow of fuel by flipping safety switches located on the forecourts and then removing them to prevent the petrol stations reopening.

They also hoisted signs saying: "Closed. Moving beyond petroleum".

The protest is a bid to urge Bob Dudley who is expected to take the helm from outgoing BP chief executive Tony Hayward to move away from "his predecessor's obsession with high risk, environmentally reckless sources of oil".

At one station in Camden, north London, Greenpeace climbers replaced BP's logo with a new version showing the green "sunflower" disappearing into a sea of oil.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bear toots horn, takes car on joyride.

From Breitbart:
A bear got into an empty car, honked the horn and then sent it rolling 125 feet into a thicket, with the bear still inside, a Colorado family said.

Seventeen-year-old Ben Story said he and his family were asleep in their Larkspur home, 30 miles south of Denver, when the bear managed to open the unlocked door of his 2008 Toyota Corolla early Friday and climbed inside.

A peanut butter sandwich left on the back seat is probably what attracted the bear, Story said.

It's not unusual for bears to open unlocked doors to cars and houses in search of food, said Tyler Baskfield, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

"It happens all the time," he said. "They're very smart."

Once inside, the bear must have knocked the shifter on the automatic transmission into neutral, sending the car rolling backward down the inclined driveway and into the thicket, Story said.

The door probably slammed shut when the car jolted to a stop, he said, trapping the bear inside.

Neighbors had called 911, and deputies freed the bear by opening the door with a rope from a distance. It then ran into the woods.

Story said he'll need a new car because the bear trashed the interior while apparently trying to find a way out.

The bear also left what Story called "a present" on the driver's seat.

"A nice pile, actually," added his dad, Ralph. "Something to remember."

Baskfield said such incidents are worrisome because they endanger the bear as well as the public. Wildlife managers trap and kill problem bears that learn to scavenge for human food and garbage.

"Food was left in the car. It's troubling for us," he said.

Cops raid raw-food grocery store, guns drawn against raw milk.

From LA Times:
With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.

Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid's target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.

"I still can't believe they took our yogurt," said Rawesome volunteer Sea J. Jones, a few days after the raid. "There's a medical marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they're raiding us because we're selling raw dairy products?"

Cartons of raw goat and cow milk and blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese were among the groceries seized in the June 30 raid by federal, state and local authorities — the latest salvo in the heated food fight over what people can put in their mouths.

On one side are government regulators, who say they are enforcing rules designed to protect consumers from unsafe foods and to provide a level playing field for producers. On the other side are "healthy food" consumers — a faction of foodies who challenge government science and seek food in its most pure form.

They want almonds cracked fresh from the shell, not those run through a federally mandated pasteurization process that uses either heat or a chemical to kill off salmonella and other possible contaminants. They hunger for meat slaughtered on the farm. And they're willing to pay a premium — $6, $8 or more — for a gallon of milk straight from the cow.

So despite research outlining the dangers of consuming raw milk and other unprocessed foods, they're finding ways to circumnavigate federal, state and local laws that seek to control what they can serve at the dinner table. Such defiance, they said, comes from growing distrust of a food sector that has become more industrialized and consolidated — and whose products have been at the root of some of the country's deadliest food contamination cases.

"This is about control and profit, not our health," said Aajonus Vonderplanitz, co-founder of Rawesome Foods. "How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?"

Scientists and regulators point to epidemiological evidence linking disease outbreaks to raw milk: The milk can transmit bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria, which can result in diarrhea, kidney failure or death.

"This is not about restricting the public's rights," said Nicole Neeser, program manager for dairy, meat and poultry inspection at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. "This is about making sure people are safe."


Funny: Celebs and their animal look-a-likes.

D'oh: 5 things to do before losing your wallet.

Cthulhu Watch: Scientists tap into Antarctic octopus venom.

Science: We might be inside a black hole.

Sad: New York to kill 170,000 geese.

Dorky: Pics from Comic-Con.