Saturday, April 2, 2011

Man arrested after trying to sell U.S. spy drone on eBay.

This is really shocking. People still use eBay?? Item.
It is said you can buy and sell anything on eBay.

But for one Philippine national who sold and mailed a U.S. military drone to undercover agents, the postage and packing could cost him up to 20 years in jail.

Henson Chua, 47, was caught by an undercover Homeland Security agent as he tried to sell the four lb 'Raven' for $13,000. He is now charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act and smuggling and faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

It is not known how Chua acquired the hand-launched plane, but according to official documents he allegedly bought it from the Philippine government.

The Raven is equipped with three cameras that U.S. troops use for battlefield surveillance and can be taken apart by troops and then reassembled for use.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, agents with the Homeland Security Department found out last May that Chua was offering a Raven for sale on eBay for $13,000.

The listing had nine pictures of the plane that clearly showed an ID tag and bar code proving its authenticity.

Homeland Security agents then began to talk to Chua, who had been living in the U.S. since April 2010 on a non immigrant visa.

Agents then called Chua on May 17, where he allegedly claimed to have bought the Raven from the Philippine government, who sold it as abandoned property.

U.S. agents then allegedly warned Chua that exporting the plane out of the country was illegal.

But in an email exchange, Chua then told them: 'Now, as far as the US permits. yes you're right that could be a bit of a problem for me if this isn't done right.'

'It's tricky because you have to be a registered broker with the state department in order to transfer US military items.(The Raven and its parts are definitely military items.) Otherwise, you're breaking US law.

'I'm not really registered, so I hope that is not a problem for you :)'.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dying bats will cost U.S. economy up to $50 billion.

From ScienceDaily:
Bats in North America are under a two-pronged attack but they are not the only victim -- so is the U.S. economy. Gary McCracken, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the $3.7 to $53 billion a year range.

McCracken's findings are published in the April edition of Science. McCracken conducted his study with Justin Boyles of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Paul Cryan of the U.S. Geological Survey and Thomas Kunz of Boston University.

Since 2006, more than a million bats have died due to a fungal disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). At the same time, several migratory tree-dwelling species are being killed in unprecedented numbers by wind turbines. This hurts the economy because bats' diet of pest insects reduces the damage the insects cause to crops and decreases the need for pesticides.

In fact, the researchers estimate the value of bats to the agricultural industry is roughly $22.9 billion a year, with the extremes ranging as low as $3.7 and $53 billion a year.

"These estimates include the reduced costs of pesticide applications that are not needed to suppress the insects consumed by bats. However, they do not include the downstream impacts of pesticides on humans, domestic and wild animals and our environment," said McCracken. "Without bats, crop yields are affected. Pesticide applications go up. Even if our estimates were quartered, they clearly show how bats have enormous potential to influence the economics of agriculture and forestry."

According to the researchers, a single colony of 150 big brown bats in Indiana eat nearly 1.3 million insects a year -- insects that could potentially be damaging to crops.

WNS infects the skin of bats while they hibernate. Some species such as the little brown bat are likely to go extinct in parts of North America. The disease has quickly spread from Canada to Tennessee, Missouri and Oklahoma and actions to slow or stop it have proven unsuccessful.

It is unknown how many bats have died due to wind turbines, but the scientists estimate by 2020, wind turbines will have killed 33,000 to 111,000 annually in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands alone. Why migratory tree-dwelling species are drawn to the turbines remains a mystery.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Politics: The 8 worst governors in America.

Aww: Missing deadly cobra found alive in Bronx Zoo.

Dick: GoDaddy CEO posts video of him shooting an elephant.

Yipes: Rabid skunks descend on Arkansas.

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately - busy busy busy. Will start posting more frequently very soon!

Survey shows women hate their Facebook friends.

I'm pretty sure men feel the same way... From Mashable:
When it comes to Facebook, we have friends, and we have “friends.” A recent survey found that for many women on Facebook, their true feelings about many of their Facebook friends might be less than friendly.

Daily deals site Eversave talked to 400 women about their Facebook relationships. The company originally conducted the survey as market research on the social network’s influence on the daily deals ecosystem, but Eversave was surprised to uncover the love/hate relationship between women and their online friends.

For example, the majority of female respondents said they had at least one friend who was a “drama queen” on Facebook. A majority also said they had at least one obnoxiously “proud mother” as a Facebook friend.

Most women — 83% of respondents in this survey — are annoyed at one time or another by the posts from their Facebook connections. For these respondents, the most off-putting post was some kind of whine; a full 63% said complaining from Facebook friends was their number one pet peeve, with political chatter and bragging coming in a distant second and third.

Stink bug epidemic spreads across U.S.

From Daily Mail:
Few of us ever come to terms with the idea of bed bugs infesting their house and home.

But now a new threat is on the rise that is arguably worse - stink bugs.

Sightings of the brown marmorated stink bug have been reported in 33 states so far this year, a rise of eight since fall alone.

The pest appears to be spreading from its traditional home in the mid-Atlantic coast throughout America, experts said.

The only areas to escape the epidemic are the Rockies and the Plains but everywhere else homeowners have found thousands of the dime-sized creatures infesting their homes in beds and in sofas.

Stink bugs are named after the smell they emit whenever they are squashed or crushed.

Like bed bugs they do not transmit disease and are not poisonous.

They do however bite you, eat your plants and vegetables and emit an appalling stench when they are squeezed that resembles decaying garbage.

They are also almost impossible to get rid of and have wings which means they fly off when you try to catch them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Celebrity chef turns down wish from dying child.

Update: She has been shamed by the interweb into granting the wish. Item!

From the Nonprofit Quarterly:
To her cooking show fans, she's known as the Barefoot Contessa. But her treatment of a six-year-old boy from Portland, Ore., suffering from leukemia, can only be characterized as flat-footed.

Enzo Pareda, who says he watches Ina Garten's cooking shows in his hospital bed with his mother, had asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to set up a meeting for the two of them. According to the, which is feasting on this story, Garten turned down Pareda's request twice. The first time she said no to Pareda, who has been suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia for three years, because of a conflict with a book tour. The second time she begged off saying she was too busy.

Pareda's mother has been chronicling her son's failed attempts to meet the Garten on a blog, Angels for Enzo. After the second time Garten spurned the request to meet, Pareda's mother wrote: ''I felt terrible for him, he has been unwavering in his desire to meet her for 3 years and despite many attempts to get him to pick a 2nd wish or change his mind he would not." When hearing the news a second time, Pareda asked his mother, “Why doesn’t she want to meet me?"

The Make-A-Wish Foundation acknowledges that sometimes "planning for wishes doesn't turn out as originally envisioned, despite people’s best intentions and efforts throughout the wish-granting process." A spokesman for Garten says the chef does her best to help with as many groups as she can, but can't say yes to all them. Pareda isn't giving up, though. He told his mother: “I still want her as my 1st wish, even if she doesn’t want me."