Thursday, June 2, 2011

Russian man buries himself for luck, dies.

From NY Daily News:
A superstitious Russian man died after burying himself alive in the hopes it would bring him "good luck."

The 35-year-old computer programmer told friends that spending a night underground would bring him good fortune for the rest of his life.

"According to his friend, the man wanted to test his endurance and insistently asked his friend to help him spend the night buried," police official Alexei Lubinsky told the BBC.

The victim dug a hole in his garden in the eastern city of Blagoveshchensk and created an improvised coffin with pipes for air.

With a cell phone and a bottle of water in hand, he hopped in and had his friend cover the coffin with about eight inches of dirt.

Heavy rain fell overnight and when the friend returned the next morning, his pal was dead.

Police suspect the rain somehow blocked the air supply.

A similarly bizarre fate met a another man in Russia last summer after pals buried him. They found him dead an hour-and-a-half later, crushed by the weight of the dirt.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bees swarm in Little Italy.

This has the whole city a-buzz! From NY Post:
It was the biggest sting operation in Little Italy since the Gambinos were driven off.

Crowds of people stopped to gape at a bizarre bee swarm (left) yesterday at a mailbox on the corner of Mulberry and Grand streets, snapping cellphone pictures and calling friends to marvel at the little bit of country in the midst of the big city.

Andrew Cote, president of New York City Beekeepers, said there was nothing to worry about, as the buzzers are as sweet as honey when they travel in packs.

"Bees are most docile when they swarm," he said.

"They have no hive to protect, and they pose absolutely no threat."

A beekeeper from his group helped the NYPD move the bugs to a safe location, he said.

"People keep bees in New York City, and it's not unusual for them to swarm," Cote said.

"It happens many times. I just picked up a swarm in The Bronx."

But another beekeeper, Chet Crowl, said it's lucky the insects were quickly moved, because "the longer they stay, the more aggressive they get."

Last year, the New York City Board of Health lifted a ban on beekeeping.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Man attacks girlfriend's car with forklift, lifting it with her inside.

From NY Daily News:
A Massachusetts man used a forklift to attack his girlfriend's car, hoisting the vehicle off the ground with the woman inside, cops said.

Then the angry boyfriend slammed the car down on the street several feet away.

Brian Hurley, 41, of Springfield, Mass., began fighting with his girlfriend over money as she dropped him off at work at New England Warehousing Inc. on Saturday morning, police said.

The victim, who was not identified, told cops that Hurley slapped her and then hopped out of her car and began kicking it, causing several dents.

The enraged beau then jumped into the cab of a nearby forklift, steered the forks underneath her car and lifted it into the air.

Hurley split before police arrived, but was later busted when cops found him banging on the door of his home, Springfield's WWLP television reported.

He was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and damaging a car.

The woman wasn't seriously injured.

Amazon rainforest activist shot dead.

Meant to post this last week. How awful. From the Guardian:
Six months after predicting his own murder, a leading rainforest defender has reportedly been gunned down in the Brazilian Amazon. José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo, are said to have been killed in an ambush near their home in Nova Ipixuna, in Pará state, about 37 miles from Marabá.

According to a local newspaper, Diário do Pará, the couple had not had police protection despite getting frequent death threats because of their battle against illegal loggers and ranchers.

On Tuesday there were conflicting reports from about whether the killing happened on Monday night or Tuesday morning. A police spokesperson said there were reports of a "double homicide" at the settlement called Maçaranduba 2.

In a speech at a TEDx event in Manaus, in November, Da Silva spoke of his fears that loggers would try to silence him. "I could be here today talking to you and in one month you will get the news that I disappeared. I will protect the forest at all costs. That is why I could get a bullet in my head at any moment … because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers, and that is why they think I cannot exist. [People] ask me, 'are you afraid?' Yes, I'm a human being, of course I am afraid. But my fear does not silence me. As long as I have the strength to walk I will denounce all of those who damage the forest."

Roberto Smeraldi, founder and director of the environmental group Amigos da Terra, who worked with Da Silva in the Amazon, said he had been in a meeting with Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, discussing changes to the forest code when the news broke of Da Silva being killed. "He was convinced he would be killed one day," Smeraldi said. He added that Da Silva had been "very active" in the fight against illegal forest burning and logging. According to Brazilian media reports, Rousseff has asked her chief of staff, Gilberto Carvalho, to offer support to the murder investigation.

"We now have another Chico Mendes," said Felipe Milanez, an environmental journalist from São Paulo, referring to the Amazonian rubber-tapper who became an environmental martyr after his murder in 1988. Milanez said that in a recent phone conversation with Da Silva's wife she had suggested the situation was "getting very ugly". Milanez added: "He knew the threats were very real. He was scared."

A 2008 report compiled by Brazilian human rights groups listed Da Silva as one of dozens of Amazon human rights and environmental activists "considered at risk" of assassination.