Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Friday, 23 December 2011
The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) of the United Kingdom is a self-regulatory organization founded 15 years ago. The outfit is engaged in fighting child sexual abuse content in the web. Internet Watch Foundation has partnership with police, government and the entire Internet industry. In other words, it has the authority to impose specific measures against online services that facilitate the spreading of kids pornography. This is not hard to do because all largest Internet service providers in the United Kingdom are subscribed to it. Nevertheless, Internet Watch Foundation doesn’t always hit the nail on the head, and that’s what it did in the case of file-hosting service called Fileserve.
Originally, the access to the file-hosting service was blocked by British Internet service providers. The reason was that a specific link was mistakenly believed to lead to child abuse images. The outfit explains on its site that it addresses potentially criminal activity, because the material can only be confirmed to be truly criminal by the court. The part of IWF’s function is to provide partners with an accurate and current URL list to make them able block child sexual abuse material. Fortunately, later Internet Watch Foundation has reconsidered its decision in this case.
According to media reports, after the outfit blocked the service, British Internet users could not either access their personal files or download other files. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t quite happy about the blocking of the service they used. At the same time, they had no idea who to blame for the problem, so they had nothing left except for complaining to their Internet service providers. In a few days, the file-hosting service posted a clarifying message which explained that the Internet Watch Foundation had recently introduced some changes that might affect users’ download ability on the service.
With the time passing and Internet piracy developing more rapidly, means and reasons for blocking access to online services have become very hot and debatable issues. Moreover, in the wake of the effort of the government of the United States to introduce the already infamous anti-piracy legislation known as the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), the word “censorship” seems to become flammable as always causing waves of protests on the Internet, and is likely to be seen in the streets, too.
Thursday, 22 December 2011
3 face prison time in special toilet paper scam
Federal prosecutors in Florida say at least three people working for a septic tank company duped customers into buying about $1 million in unnecessary products - in some cases enough toilet paper to last more than 70 years.
More than a dozen customers were told they needed special toilet paper to avoid ruining their septic tanks because the federal government changed regulations on toilet paper. The federal government does not regulate septic tank products.
The trio pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit wire fraud.
The Miami Herald reported ( http://bit.ly/uNgbS7 ) that they worked for FBK Products. A phone number for the Riviera Beach-based company was not working Saturday.
The trio faces up to two decades in prison when they are sentenced in February.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Thief suspect pins blame on 'ghost'A man suspected of theft has blamed a ghost for the crimes.
Joseph Hughes from Mount Gilead, Ohio was accused of stealing a generator, a welder and 12 air conditioning units from the sheriff's office in Morrow County.
The stolen items were found in the ex-police officer's basement.
Hughes told the court: "It's going to sound kind of ridiculous, but we believed that there was some paranormal presence in the basement.
"It sounds kind of ridiculous, but there was evidence to support it."
The prosecutor responded: "I've been practising since 1983, and I can say that's the first time I've heard of paranormal activity in the course of a trial."
Hughes was found guilty of 18 charges.
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Police charge man over suitcase of cash left in cafeA man who left a suitcase stuffed with nearly A$1 million (626,112 pounds) in cash in a Sydney cafe, and was then found dazed and sitting in the rain, has been charged with a number of offences, police said on Friday.
Staff at the cafe in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Burwood noticed the unattended suitcase early on Tuesday after the man came into the cafe but then became nervous and left.
To their surprise the suitcase contained almost A$1 million in cash. Local media said the money ranged from A$100 notes to A$5 notes, bundled into various amounts.
A few hours later police found a 49-year-old man in a dazed condition, sitting in the rain wearing a yellow singlet, surf shorts and red flip-flop sandals.
Police allege he assaulted three officers shortly after he was taken into custody.
The man was then taken to hospital for treatment. He was returned to police custody on Thursday, when he was charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime, assaulting police and two other charges.
This was the second time this year that bags stuffed with large amounts of cash have been left unattended in Sydney.
Monday, 19 December 2011
Polish squatters 'move in' to affluent London area 'because rents are too high'
A group of Polish squatters have taken up residence in a £1m home in one of London's most affluent areas because "rents are too high" for them to afford to live in the area.The six squatters "moved in" to the Victorian home in Highgate, north London, a fortnight ago.
The home is located a short distance from homes owned by Kate Moss, the model, and actor Jude Law.
They even put a sign up in the window stating that they are claiming squatter's rights and do not intend to move until rents in the area fall.
Figures show that rent for a five bed home costs about £5,000 a month.
One 24-year-old squatter told a local newspaper: "There are so many empty big buildings not in use - it's a big waste.
"We can't afford to pay rent in this area and have enough money to live on, so squatting is the solution."
The £1m property is believed to be in the process of renovation.
But locals say that builders downed tools after the owner told them he couldn't afford the work until the recession ends.
One local, who did not want to be named, said he had spoken to the six Polish squatters and told them the owner had been informed of their "occupation".
He said: "The house was bought a couple of years ago and was being done up, but work has stopped since the recession bit.
"I spoke to the squatters who said they wanted to stay in the area, but couldn't afford the rents so just moved into this empty house."
He added: "They don't cause too much of a problem, but this is a nice area where people pay millions of pounds for their homes and don't want to see a bunch of squatters moving in."
Sunday, 18 December 2011
English Heritage plans a really 'blue' plaque for stripper
It gives a whole new meaning to the term blue plaque – English Heritage wants to install one of its honours outside the home of a famous stripper.She was a pioneering performer whose daring routine pushed back the boundaries of public decency in 1940s Britian.
But a plan to honour Phyllis Dixey, the first stripper to appear in London's West End, with an English Heritage blue plaque has met with fierce resistance.
The government agency wants to place the award outside Dixey's former home in an art deco mansion block in Surbiton, the district which became a byword for suburban respectability when it featured in the 1970s comedy The Good Life.
However, the plan has run into opposition from residents of Wentworth Court concerned about the attention the plaque would bring to the building.
Dixey, a music hall entertainer, lived in the block during the late 1930s, just before she found fame as the "Queen of Striptease".
Her early shows attracted the attentions of police and authorities but were eventually tolerated and her performances at the Whitehall Theatre became a fixture of wartime and post-war London.
The wording of the proposed plaque is: "Phyllis Dixey 1914 to 1964, Striptease Artiste lived here in flat number 15."
English Heritage has contacted all residents in the block to get permission, but they have so far refused to grant it.
The residents' association has suggested to English Heritage a different form of words, such as "burlesque" dancer - but its request has been turned down, on the grounds that burlesque describes an American tradition.
Nigel Bruce, the head of the residents' association, said: "Eyebrows were raised when it was discussed at the AGM. Part of the concern was the title that they were thinking of putting on the plaque.
"It would certainly raise the eyebrows of passers-by."
He added: "We have asked if there is any other wording we could have in its place."
Mr Bruce said the association was still considering the matter and that a consultation process had just finished.
One resident opposed to the plaque said: "The word striptease leads you to a certain visual image. I know that is her history, but I would want it to be said in the nicest way possible.
"People would go 'It's the stripper building.'"
Dixey's family are also opposed to the plan, saying the current wording gives a unfortunate impression of their relative. They are also calling for English Heritage to change the wording.
Oliver Dixey, 34, from Pill, near Bristol, whose grandfather was the dancer's brother, said: "It has upset some of the family. To be fair, she was a stripper. There are no bones about it. But we would prefer for her to be called a fan dancer.
"A stripper in 2011 is completely different to what it was when she was doing it. We don't want her portrayed in the same way."
The Wentworth Court residents' association now say they want to support the wishes of the family.
English Heritage's blue plaques panel, which includes Stephen Fry, the broadcaster, shows no signs of backing down.
Minutes from a meeting say: "Having revisited the various options, the team remained confident that the original proposed inscription offered the most accurate description of Dixey's occupation and should be retained."
They are being supported by the British Music Hall Society, which proposed the plaque in the first place. Terry Lomas, from the group, said: "I do understand residents' concerns, but 'striptease artiste' tells what she did.
"Burlesque wouldn't work, and fan dancing was just one of the things she did. She would love to be named as an actress, but that is too bland - and she wasn't a very good one."
An English Heritage spokesman said negotiations were still going on with the owners and the family over the wording.
"We always get consent for plaques from the owners," she said. "Often people are very happy to do it, but in this instance, we are just not getting that from the owners.
"It is about how to describe Dixey's occupation. We want to represent exactly how she was seen, otherwise you lose the meaning of it."
The process by which plaques are awarded is rigorous. In Dixey's case, it has lasted almost nine years since the application for an award was first lodged.
The panel commissions researchers to investigate the historical worth of proposed candidates before deciding whether to go ahead with a plaque.
In the 1930s, prior to Dixey's innovation, the display of nudity in West End theatres was restricted to displays of motionless women, under a ruling by the Lord Chamberlain summed up as "If you move, it's rude".
After her heyday in the 1940s with The Whitehall Follies and the Peek-a-Boo revue, Dixey's star waned as fashion changed and – as she saw it – more coarse nude shows took away her audience. She eventually fell into poverty and was declared bankrupt.
She later worked as a cook and died of cancer in 1964 at the age of 50. Her life was portrayed in the 1978 film The One and Only Phyllis Dixey, starring Lesley-Anne Down.
Friday, 16 December 2011
'Jesus Christ, Benton': swearing dog owner
A dog walker in Richmond Park had to expend a little more energy than planned after his canine companion called "Benton" took more than a passing interest in the park's wildlife.The smartphone clip begins with the amateur cameraman admiring some of the Royal park's majestic deer on a seemingly perfect autumnal day.
But the serene south west London tableau is soon pierced with several cries of "Benton!", each cry growing ever louder.
The lens is soon drawn to the direction of the commotion and captures a spooked herd of deer gathering pace as the tone of the cries turns ever more exasperated and blasphemous.
With the deer continuing off into the distance the cause of the tumult hoves into view; Benton the dog giving full chase to the herd as his owner chases him in turn, his calls still unheeded as the person capturing the scene lets out a snigger as the video ends.
The owner, who has not been identified, repeatedly yells his pet’s name with little effect as it chases the deer through the popular south-west London park.
As more than 20 deer run off in the distance, the middle-aged man, dressed in a cap, jeans and a brown jacket, is heard cursing the inquisitive dog as it races off in the distance.
The cheeky pet then causes the deer to run across the busy road that cuts through the park, forcing vehicles to stop.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Facebook’s CensorshipAfter there emerged a massive fuss about numerous insensitive “joke” pages created on Facebook, the company has given up and deleted groups that make light of rape.
Originally, the social network refused to remove these pages, saying that the poor-taste jokes were not a sound reason to go that far. However, the observers argued that these pages are pro-rape and are more than just a joke, as they encourage victimization, making light of a very serious crime. Finally, Facebook has given in to pressure and announced that there was no place on their site for hateful, threatening, and inciting violence material. The company promised to take reports of offensive material very seriously, but they also wanted Facebook to remain a place for people to openly discuss issues and express their views, at the same time respecting the feelings of others.
Undoubtedly, this is a very difficult subject, as there are two sides to the story now: while the pages in question are offensive as intended, it is yet another victory for censorship. The company launched new administrator tags to enable page owners mark their groups as jokes. This will give them a chance to more likely stay operational as long as they are marked as humorous or satire.
The question remains not about the reasons for Facebook to refuse removing the bad jokes, because it’s really unlikely the company was harboring pro-rape gangs, but about the company’s power over censorship in the first place. The critics do remember the Boycott BP group in 2010, whose page quickly gained hundreds of thousands of members and later disappeared almost at random through account deactivations. Later, the company claimed that it had “accidentally” deleted the 800,000 strong page. By the way, the company’s removal of pages is not written in their terms and conditions, so it appears that Facebook’s policy is mostly based on politics, profit and private interest. It was in the run up to the last general election in the United Kingdom, when the reports emerged about Facebook killing anti-Conservative pages because of “breaching” terms and conditions.
In other words, Facebook should introduce a transparent policy about its wide-reaching terms and conditions, and explain why the company is selectively exercising its power in removing single pages without explanation.
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Spanish Court Found Piracy HarmlessA Spanish judge handed down an interesting ruling in a case involving sale of pirated copies: the defendant doesn’t have to pay damages to the right holder,because it is impossible to determine the extent of the damage to sales. The judge also suggested that piracy may increase sales.
Anyone who believes that piracy only harms or only benefits the authors is wrong. Digital piracy has different effect in each case, which is stipulated not only by different areas of the media industry – gaming, music, reading, or movie – but it also depends on a level of popularity and target audience. Indeed, there are a lot of cases in which digital piracy has had a positive effect on sales, as studies have revealed that the “pirates” turned out to be the best customers in the music industry. The spokesperson for EMI record label confirmed that there’s evidence that file-sharing may be useful rather than harmful. He also admitted that maybe the industry shouldn’t oppose file-sharing all the time.
Although his assumptions are a rare event for large bumps in the music industry, he wasn’t the only person speaking this way. In recent months, several people in the anime and publishing industries came to similar conclusions. This idea didn’t go unnoticed among lawyers either – the above mentioned judge from Spain pointed out in his ruling that the damage couldn’t be defined because it was unclear how many people would have been willing to purchase the product at the initial price. He said that people were likely to buy a cheap pirated copy than the original for $20-30.
According to the judge, instead of harming to the copyright holders, piracy can help sales. He said it’s possible that the potential buyer only wants to try the content before purchasing it legally. Thus, file-sharing may help legal publications. “I declare that in this case there was no harm done for which compensation would be possible,"- concluded the judge in his decision.
Despite the fact that similar conclusions had been reached in many studies before, it’s the first case where a judge was speaking in a similar way. In our era with human rights violated in order to protect the interests of a few media companies with a turnover of millions of dollars, people need a more realistic, balanced and independent view of the real consequences of digital piracy.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Beer for dogs goes on saleEverybody knows you shouldn't give your dog a sip of your beer, but pooches no longer have to miss out -- because a new brew made specifically for dogs has gone on sale.
Bowser Beer really is a beer made for dogs. But unlike your Stella Artois it won't get them drunk and it's designed with their digestive system in mind.
While the beer contains the same malt barley brewers use, the vitamins are good for shiny coats, the hops (which are dangerous to dogs) are replaced with beef or chicken.
As for the taste, it's described as being a "beefy-malty broth" which most dogs lap it up either straight out of the bottle or over ice or their food.
Makers said they came up with the idea for a dog beer after making a pretzel for dogs and thinking that it would be good if they could wash it down with a beer.
Jenny Brown of '3 Busy Dogs' said: "It's like a non-alchoholic beer and contains malt like beer. People drink with their dogs and they love the malty taste so here's something tailored to their digestive needs."
Monday, 12 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Kitten survives washing machine spin cycle
A kitten called Scampi was close to drowning after he climbed into a washing machine moments before it was put on a spin cycle.The inquisitive eight-week old ginger and white cat hopped into the washing machine when his owner Frances Leate, 29, left the room to collect some laundry.
Frances, of Colchester, Essex placed more clothes into the drum and switched the load on for a 40-degree wash.
The mum-of-one was texting friends when she suddenly realised Scampi was not about and a "feeling in the pit of her stomach" told her that the tiny terror in the wash.
She rushed into her kitchen to be confronted with the awful sight of the the washing machine filling with water before starting to spin.
The hysterical mum switched the machine off but the water remained in the drum and she watched her beloved kitten "drowning" in front of her because the automatic lock initially prevented her from opening the door.
Frances dashed outside and frantically knocked on her neighbour Pam Morris' door and the pair finally managed to pull the sodden and lifeless moggy from the machine.
Frances said: "I could see his little body squashed up against the glass.
"He was looking out at me and it was just awful - I could see that he was drowning and I was desperately trying to get the door open.
"I completely and utterly panicked and was thinking whether to phone the police or the fire brigade but rushed out of my flat to get help."
The freelance writer picked up her bedraggled and lifeless pet and was initially convinced he was dead.
But when she realised Scampi was still breathing she rushed to her car and drove him to her local vets.
She was told the little kitten had a large amount of water on his lungs and was lucky to be alive.
After a night at the vets and a course of antibiotics, the tiny tearaway is back at home and has even been jumping BACK into the washing machine.
Frances said: "My daughter, Tabetha, has been giving him lots of extra cuddles since it happened but he really has no idea of what he put us through.
"It is as if he is as good as new but now I am worried about him falling down the toilet - I am a neurotic mother to him now.
"He is completely back to normal and is an amazing little bundle of energy again.
"The vets were amazed - he is just so lucky because his little body was filled with water.
"But I will just never forget that image of his helpless little face staring out at me from the machine - I really thought he was going to die - it was heartbreaking as he started going under the water
"I think just a minute longer and that would have been it - he had been in there for about 10 minutes when we finally opened the door."
It has been a dramatic first eight weeks of life for Scampi after he was found abandoned as a tiny kitten in a box in the street along with his five brothers and sisters.
The kittens were taken into a cat rescue home before Scampi went to live with Frances, her 11-year-old daughter and their seven-year-old cat, Tiger.
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Man run over by model train in back gardenA man has been taken to hospital after getting run over by a model train set in his back garden.
The unnamed man in his seventies had been sitting on the large-scale model locomotive in Wilmcote, near Stratford when it left the tracks and fell off a garden wall.
The OAP train fan was left trapped under the model train for 30 minutes until ambulance crews and firefighters arrived and were able to release him.
He was airlifted to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and is said to have suffered abdominal and pelvic injuries.
It's not known when the garden-based train schedule will be back on schedule.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Ambulance crews were called to a man who had reportedly been trapped by a large scale model train in the back garden of his home.
“The man in his seventies was apparently sitting on the locomotive when it left the rails and came off a garden wall. The patient was trapped for almost thirty minutes as ambulance crews and firefighters worked to release him.
“The patient suffered abdominal and pelvic injuries. He was given pain relief and immobilised by ambulance crews with the use of a splint, neck collar and spinal board, before being airlifted to the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.
Friday, 9 December 2011
Children to be banned from blowing up balloons, under EU safety rules
Children are to be banned from taking part in traditional Christmas games, from blowing up balloons to blowing on party whistles, because of new EU safety rules that have just entered into force.The EU toy safety directive, agreed and implemented by Government, states that balloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke.
Despite having been popular favourites for generations of children, party games including whistles and magnetic fishing games are to be banned because their small parts or chemicals used in making them are decreed to be too risky.
Apparently harmless toys that children have enjoyed for decades are now regarded by EU regulators as posing an unacceptable safety risk.
Whistle blowers, that scroll out into a a long coloured paper tongue when sounded – a party favourite at family Christmas meals – are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14.
The new rules are designed to protect children from the chance that a piece of the whistle could be swallowed and cause choking.
The EU directive will also force manufacturers and retailers to attach safety warnings to toys hitherto regarded as harmless.
Official guidance notes: "For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded." Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent, warned that toy safety bans were part of a trend to micro-manage children's lives at the expense of allowing them to explore, learn and have fun through play.
"Toys and activities, such as blowing up balloons, are part and parcel of the type of children's play that helps them become independent and self-reliant," he said.
"These bans diminish the experience, both of having fun and learning, by turning play into a danger zone with rules that stifle life and adventure for children." Under the EU legislation, Britain will have to ensure that toys are not sold in shops unless they fully comply with the new safety requirements.
As well as new rules for balloons and party whistles, the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be.
All teddie bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.
Paul Nuttall, a member of the European Parliament's consumer safety committee, said the "kill joy" world of EU officialdom was being ill-equipped to understand the concept of children having fun.
"I would say that this is crackers but I sure children are banned from using them too. EU party poopers should not be telling families how to blow up balloons," said the Ukip MEP.
British toy manufacturers are concerned that the new rules, which include defining colouring books and anything played with by under-14s, could drive up the price of Christmas presents because of the cost of safety tests.
But the European Commission has insisted that the new safety legislation was needed to prevent "horror stories".
"These safety standards have been agreed by the UK together with the other EU member states in order to prevent every parent's worst nightmare," said a spokesman.
Another EU official admitted that the new regulations could be difficult to understand but insisted that safety experts knew best.
"You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it," said an official.
DON’T FOREGET THAT THESE OFFICIALS HAVE NEVER BEEN ELECTED!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Gorilla and tiny duckling become unexpected friends at New York zoo
This huge gorilla and tiny duckling became unlikely friends after the bird escaped into the ape's zoo enclosure.Visitors to the zoo were stunned when the baby duck suddenly appeared inches from the primate.
Fearing the 90kg western lowland gorilla might react badly to the feathered visitor, onlookers held their breath to see what would happen.
But rather than give the duckling a hard time, the 4 and a half foot gorilla became fascinated with the bird and inspected its new friend with a nearby stick.
The 15 year old female ape, called Fran, happily let it waddle about before the duckling was removed by zookeepers.
Although gorillas are frequently portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, they are shy, peaceful vegetarians.
Photographer Tom Warren, 51, captured the intimate scenes at Bronx Zoo, in New York.
He said: "I went to the zoo and quickly became aware of a commotion in the gorilla exhibit, as many of the school children were yelling 'ducky, ducky!'
"We all watched with amazement as the little duckling wandered around the exhibit, while the gorillas either backed away from it or inspected it with curiosity.
"Then I spotted the duckling on the log next to a seemingly, amused gorilla.
"The duckling did not seem the least bit intimidated and for good reason, as Africa's gentle giants eat mostly fruits and plants.
"How fortunate I was to witness a wonderful moment between two unlikely friends.
"I held my breath and was able to fire off a few frames, knowing that the moment that I was witnessing was a very special one.
Tom, from New York, added: "I was relieved when I got home and that the scene was in focus despite the fact that the photograph was taken through a thick piece of plexiglass."
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Toronto zoo defends decision to separate 'gay' penguins
Toronto's zoo is splitting up a pair of male penguins whose affection has drawn headlines and jokes about "Brokeback Iceberg."The African penguins have shared the nest they built since coming to the zoo about a year ago. But since the penguins are an endangered species, zoo officials plan to separate Pedro and Buddy so they can mate with females.
The pair has what's known as a "social bond," but it's not necessarily sexual, Tom Mason, the zoo's curator of birds and invertebrates, said.
The zoo has received hundreds of calls about the pair. Mr Mason said he got a call from a group called the Canadian Society for Gay Animals.
The story of the same-sex pair has gone viral online, leading to cheeky YouTube videos. Late-night TV comics have jumped into the icy waters of penguin passion.
But it's really not the way it looks, Mr Mason said.
"Penguins are so social they need that ... company. And the group they came from was a bachelor group waiting for a chance to be paired up with females," said MrMason, who received the penguins from a US zoo earlier this year. "They had paired up there, they came to us already paired, and it's our job to be matchmakers to get them to go with some females."
Buddy, who is 21, had a female partner for 10 years and produced some offspring but his partner died, Mr Mason said. Pedro, 10, has yet to produce offspring
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
'Second Paris' built towards end of First World War to fool Germans
A second Paris, complete with a Champs-Elysées and Gard Du Nord, was built towards the end of the First World War to fool German bombers, it has emerged.Details of the incredible creation emerged as the French capital prepares to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the Armistice.
According to archives unearthed by Le Figaro newspaper, military planners believed German pilots could be fooled into destroying the dummy city rather than the real one.
It was situated on the northern outskirts of Paris and featured sham streets lined with electric lights, replica buildings and even a copy of the Gare du Nord – the station from which high-speed trains now travel to and from London.
"It's an extraordinary story and one which even Parisians knew very little about," said Professor Jean-Claude Delarue, a leading historian based in the French capital.
"The plan was kept secret for obvious reasons, but it shows how seriously military planners were already taking the new threat of aerial bombardment".
The scheme to lure German pilots to the wrong targets was hatched by the DCA air defence group (Défense Contre Avions) in 1918, as the war was coming to an end.
Radar was in its infancy in 1918, and the long-range Gotha heavy bombers being used by the German Imperial Air Force were similarly primitive.
Their crew would hold bombs by the fins and then drop them on any target they could see during quick sorties over major cities like Paris and London.
French planners chose an area around the commuter town of Maisons-Laffitte, some 15 miles from the centre of Paris, and on a stretch of the River Seine similar to the one in the capital.
Famous quartiers of Paris, including those around the Arc de Triomphe and Opera, were created, as well as industrial suburbs like Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers.
Private firms were used to create the city, with an electrical engineer called Fernand Jacopozzi hired to illuminate the second 'City of Light'.
Wooden replicas of buildings were completed with ingenious details, including translucent paint creating the impression of the 'dirty glass roofs of factories'.
White, yellow and red lamps were also used to create the effect of machines in operation at night, while false trains and rail tracks were also partly illuminated at night.
But, despite such details, the replica Paris was not quite finished before the last German air raid in Paris, in September 1918, meaning it was never tested.
The fake Paris was rapidly deconstructed after the war, said Professor Delarue, who suggested that it had long since been built over.
While Paris remained largely unscathed from both World Wars, London was severely damaged, with thousands killed or injured.
A raid by Gothas on the English capital in June 1917 saw 162 people killed, including 46 children at a kindergarten in Poplar, in the East End. Up to 500 more people were injured.
One of the reasons for the high number of casualties was because bombing raids were a relative novelty in Britain, with many civilians crowding together to watch them.
Paris, in contrast, prepared far better. At the end of the war Jacopozzi was honoured for his defensive work, and went on to find fame illuminating the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
Monday, 5 December 2011
Man dances whilst shoplifting in New Jersey
CCTV of Anthony DiVietro dancing whilst stealing clothes has become an internet sensation.Anthony DiVietro, 26, appears to be having fun dancing whilst putting clothes in his trousers to steal.
But CCTV captured him in his act at the Kmart store in Blackwood, New Jersey.
The "Dancing Shoplifter" video became an internet sensation, achieving over 100,000 hits in a few days.
Thanks to the video's popularity, someone recognised DiVietro and he was arrested
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Woman steals back bike from thiefA Colorado woman has stolen her bicycle back from a thief after meeting him for a test drive.
Kathryn Lucas discovered her vehicle being sold on Craiglist by Denzel O'Neal Crawford shortly after he took it from outside a bar in Boulder on November 4.
Lucas then arranged to meet the 18-year-old and his brother at a nearby apartment complex under the pretence that she wanted to purchase the bike, but instead loaded it into her car and drove away right in front of them.
"They were a lot bigger than I thought they were," she told The Denver Channel. "I thought it'd be like a little person that stole bikes and I'd be like, 'Hey, I called the police and that's my bike and you're trying to sell it to me,' but just took it for a ride and went with it."
Lucas then informed police of Crawford's address, being told before authorities tracked him down that that she "probably would not want to do that by [her]self" in the future.
Crawford, who does not have a criminal record, admitted to taking the bike when questioned by Westminster and Boulder Police. He was described as being "extremely co-operative" during the investigation.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Swedish sperm donors are well-adjusted menMen who pass a screening process and donate to sperm banks in Sweden score better on personality measures, such as responsibility, confidence and self-acceptance, than other men in their peer group, according to a Swedish study.
Sweden was the first country to pass a so-called non-anonymous law, which entitles children to contact the sperm donor if they choose. Britain, Australia and other nations also require that donors consent to being contacted.
The United States allows donors to remain anonymous and for them to get paid, unlike Sweden, where men can only volunteer.
The non-anonymous laws could be a problem for both sides since nobody can prepare themselves for their reactions if a child decides to contact the biological father, said Gunilla Sydsjo, lead author of the study and a professor at Sweden's Linkoping University.
"A decision made at the age of 25 might be crystal clear for the individual at that time but might take on other dimensions 20 years later," she wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
"We have, in this study, shown that the men who are accepted for the program were all in the normal range of character and also demonstrated a mature personality and a stable character.
The study, published in the British obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG, looked at 115 men who donated sperm at clinics in Sweden between 2005 and 2008, comparing them with men of similar age who did not attempt to donate sperm.
Donors in Sweden go through a screening process that weeds out men with psychological or health problems. The study questionnaire asked about behaviours, emotions and social skills.
On two measures, self-directedness and cooperativeness, the donors scored higher than the comparison group, showing that they pursue goals, stick to their values and take responsibility, researchers said.
The donors scored lower on one measure, called harm avoidance.
"This indicates that the sperm donors described themselves as being less worried, uncertain, shy and less subject to fatigue," the researchers wrote.
All other personality traits, including persistence and novelty seeking behaviours, were similar between the two groups.
The results suggested that the donors would not be thrown if a child decided to contact them, said Robert Oates, president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, who was not involved in the study.
"They will be able to handle it if in the future somebody comes to them and says, 'I am your donor child'," he added.
"I think the majority are just nice people who want to help people out. That may be a different personality from the 21-year-old college student who wants to make a lot of money."
Two recent studies have shown that uniting children with donor fathers is usually a positive experience, but the researchers wrote that they were not aware of any children in Sweden taking advantage of the transparency law to contact their biological fathers.
Friday, 2 December 2011
Police trick 19 criminals into coming forward with free beer
Nineteen wanted criminals were arrested by police after being tricked into meeting officers by the lure of a free crate of beer.Undercover officers at Derbyshire police sent letters to dozens of people who had evaded arrest asking them to ring a marketing company to collect a free crate of beer.
A total of 19 suspects fell for the hoax and called the number on the letter, which put them through to police officers based at Chesterfield Police Station.
They were told that they needed to arrange a date and time for the free alcohol to be dropped off at an agreed address.
But instead of being handed free ale the wanted men found themselves confronted by police, handcuffed and under arrest.
Chief Inspector Graham McLaughlin, who is leading the sting known as Operation Rocky, said: "These suspects are people who have managed to evade arrest for some time so we have used different tactics to find them.
"It has been very cost effective as it can take a lot of time and money to track people down.
"We use a variety of methods to arrest those suspected of committing criminal offences and we will continue to use new tactics when necessary."
Alleged offences committed by some of those arrested range from burglary and robbery to a serious sexual assault.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
Lollipop lady stops pack of wild horses heading towards school
A fast thinking lollipop lady stopped seven wild horses galloping down a road towards a busy school.Shocked Janice Woodland, 53, spotted the animals after helping a little girl across the road at Alderman Jacobs School.
The veteran school patrol warden immediately held out her lollipop to stop the charging animals and corralled them into a nearby garden.
Mrs Woodland helped to keep the horses penned in while police and RSPCA officers are called to the scene.
School headteacher Margaret Sargent today saluted popular Janice after she headed off possible disaster.
Mrs Sargent said: "Nobody was hurt because of Janice's prompt actions. She was brilliant. Parents who closed the school gates to stop the horses coming into the playground also did well."
The horses bolted in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, Cambs, at about 9am on Monday morning.
Mrs Woodland, of Whittlesey, said: "I looked up the road and thought that's a lot of horses.
"I stood there and held my stick out as they ran towards me and they must have been startled by my jacket.
"It was just like One Man and his Dog the way they saw me and all went into the garden!
"t was lucky the horses didn't come running along 10 minutes earlier as they would have killed some children.
"It's not something you expect to see"
Pupil Tanya Crew, 13, was in the playground when she saw the horses jump into the garden.
Tanya said: "We just had to keep them all calm. They had come from the back of the Wash and they were really sweaty because they had run so far."
The horses were taken back to their field by their owners.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
£13,000 police drone lost after crashing into River Mersey
An aerial drone hailed by police as the latest tool in the fight against crime was declared lost after crashing into the River Mersey.The craft, which was launched in Merseyside four years ago in a hail of publicity, now apparently lies at the bottom of the river.
Because of force budget cuts, senior officers have also decided to consign any plan to replace it to the depths of the ocean.
Police lost control of the £13,000 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) while operating it from the Riversdale Police Social Club, in Aigburth, on a "routine training exercise".
Bosses spoke to the red-faced officers after the incident.
The drone went AWOL on a Wednesday afternoon at the club, which is used for police functions and celebrations.
The Mersey is a mere 500 yards from the force's playing field, close to Liverpool Cricket Club.
The drone was high above the Aigburth club when police said it suddenly lost battery power.
The UAV tried to perform a safety landing in adverse weather conditions, but the craft - which was a long distance from those operating it at the time - crashed into the Mersey.
A search was carried out, but the drone was given up lost.
The force was compensated by insurers for its £13,000 value but senior officers decided against replacing it due to the financial climate.
A police spokesman said: "Initially the force identified the potential benefits of a UAV within operational policing.
"But during its use officers recognised certain technical and operational issues, including staff training costs and the inability to use it in all weather conditions.
"The use of the UAV by officers requires a considerable amount of training, skill and practice.
"Officers cannot operate the UAV without first completing an intensive training course."
Merseyside was the first force in the UK to use a drone to carry CCTV cameras to monitor trouble hotspots and film crowds.
Weighing the same as a bag of sugar, the "spy in the sky" could land almost anywhere, allowing police to scan the most remote of locations.
Officers said it would help the force's antisocial behaviour team and it was hoped it would prove effective monitoring large-scale events, traffic congestion and even help in firearm operations.
But it had a somewhat chequered history during its four years in use. In February last year, the drone celebrated its first arrest, helping to locate a suspected car thief who escaped from a car following a police chase in Litherland.
Its thermal technology was integral in finding the man hiding by a canal in thick fog. But later that month, police fell foul of the law by using their aerial device without an appropriate licence.
The drone was subsequently taken out of service temporarily while the correct licence was obtained.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which launched an investigation, took no further action and an appropriate certificate was subsequently granted.
A Merseyside police spokesman added: "Full aerial cover and support is provided by the North West Air Operations Group. "We remain committed to providing the best policing service possible to the people of Merseyside and will always use all the resources available to us in order to tackle crime."
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Zimbabwean man claims prostitute turned to donkey
A Zimbabwean man has told a court that he hired a prostitute who during the night transformed into a donkey, and that he is now "seriously in love" with the animal, according to state media."I think I am also a donkey. I do not know what happened when I left the bar, but I am seriously in love with (the) donkey," Sunday Moyo told the court, according to The Herald newspaper.
Moyo, 28, was arrested in the town of Zvishavane, about 185 miles south of the capital Harare on Sunday.
He said he had paid $25 for a prostitute, and was surprised Sunday morning when he heard people accusing him of having sex with a donkey.
Moyo has been charged with bestiality and remanded in custody. The court has ordered him to undergo a mental examination, The Herald said.
Monday, 28 November 2011
Poole lifeguards in Hitler YouTube videoThe RNLI has apologised for what it described as an "offensive" video made by members of its Dorset lifeguard team and posted on the internet.
The video, entitled "Lifeguards Awesome", features Poole lifeguards in uniform on Sandbanks beach.
It includes simulated sex scenes and an impersonation of Adolf Hitler.
The RNLI said it was "extremely dismayed" by the content of the film and had asked for it to be removed from YouTube.
One scene during the nine-minute long video sees a lifeguard offering sex education "advice" which includes references to violence towards women.
Spencer Gammond, head of external communications for the RNLI, said: "The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is extremely dismayed by the offensive content of this video and apologises unreservedly to anyone who has seen it.
"Immediately after this was drawn to our attention we contacted YouTube, and the unknown person who uploaded the video, to demand its removal.
"We are carrying out a thorough investigation and will take disciplinary action against those who have used RNLI resources inappropriately and shown such disregard for the public, our supporters and our charity's good name."
He added that the "shameful behaviour by a very small minority" was not representative of the RNLI's 900 lifeguards.
RNLI GET A LIFE
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Police link Taco Bell fire to irate customer
A Taco Bell customer angry over too little meat on his extra large chalupas may have tried to set an Albany, Georgia restaurant on fire, police said on Friday.
A police officer spotted a small fire burning in the drivethru of the Taco Bell early on October 23, Albany police said.
The officer discovered a melted plastic container with liquid still burning inside, police said.
Earlier that morning, a male customer called the restaurant, complaining that his chalupas did not have enough meat on them, according to police.
When a restaurant employee told him that the store was about to close and that he would have to return the next day, he allegedly replied, "That's alright, I'll just come up there and redecorate the place."
The fire in the drivethru caused only minor damage to the building and there has not yet been an arrest in the case, Albany police said.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Man stabbed over alleged Monopoly cheating
There is no card in Monopoly that advises a player to stab another.
There is, however, one that orders you to go to jail.
And that's where a New Mexico woman found herself after a game of Monopoly with her boyfriend and 10-year-old son turned bloody.
Convinced he was cheating, Laura Chavez, 60, of Santa Fe, N.M., grabbed a kitchen knife and repeatedly stabbed Clyde "Butch" Smith.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper, "[The boy] stated his grandma, Laura, and [her boyfriend] were both drinking a beer from the same can while playing the game (of Monopoly.) [The boy] further advised that during the time they were playing the game, his grandma and [her boyfriend] started to argue because she thought [the boyfriend] was cheating at Monopoly."
The paper reported that after police responded to a call at the home in southwest Santa Fe Wednesday, they found 48-year-old Smith "bleeding heavily from his head and right wrist area."
Chavez - who police say admitted stabbing the man - was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a household member with a deadly weapon, battery upon a peace officer, assault upon a peace officer and resisting or evading a police officer.
Smith, meanwhile, remained hospitalized late Wednesday but was in stable condition.
Friday, 25 November 2011
Police searching for pink bikini burglarPolice in the US state of Indiana have reached out to the public for help in tracking down a bikini-clad male burglar.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have released surveillance footage of a man breaking into a daycare centre on October 20 and trying on a range of swimsuits, eventually settling for a pink-coloured number in which to explore the building.
The offender, who changed into his regular clothes before leaving the business, is described as white or Hispanic and sports a long, black ponytail.
Authorities released the video as part of an appeal for information, but censored some of the footage to "obscure unidentified parts sticking out of the bikini".
Police report that the man fled the premises after triggering a motion-sensitive alarm.
Employees at the centre are said to be unsure as to whether anything was taken.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
92-year-old refused service at off-licenceA 92-year-old woman was refused service at an off-licence because she was unable to prove she was over 18.
Diane Taylor, who is a great-grandmother, was unable to provide photo identification at a One Stop Shop in Essex while trying to purchase some alcohol for her son.
"It seemed so stupid, I thought the cashier was complimenting me," Taylor told The Mirror. "But then I realised that she was being serious so I pulled out my bus pass, my blood donor's card but it was no good, she said she wanted proof of age.
"I was so taken aback I didn't know what to do."
Taylor said she refused to believe she looked under the age of 25 and has since received an apology from a spokesperson for One Stop Shop.
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Vandals target giant inflatable duckQueensland water police have recovered a five-metre inflatable yellow duck found floating down the Brisbane River.
Police tried to tow it back to West End for this afternoon's cancer research fundraiser, The Great Brisbane Duck Race.
Vandals had cut free and slashed the duck before letting it loose.
Organiser Simone Plunkett says she is not sure if the duck is in any condition to be used as a finishing post.
"We think someone has had a little bit of fun with him overnight... and the water police found him heading out to sea earlier this morning," she said.
Later, Ms Plunkett said the big inflatable duck did not make it.
"We thought we'd actually been pretty lucky because the duck has been out on the river for six weeks and we were surprised it hadn't got a hole in it or deflated or someone might have shot a pellet it at," she said.
"But it helped serve its purpose so the race will still go on."
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Man reports the Moon to policeA Hertfordshire man called 999 after spotting a mysterious object hovering above his house - only to find out it was the moon.
The man made the call, not thought to be a prank, in a state of panic saying the object's "lights were blazing".
However, just moments later the caller phoned back the operator to say he had mistaken the UFO for the moon.
The call was released by Hertfordshire Police to remind callers not to block the emergency lines over the busy Hallowe'en weekend.
The man is heard telling police he can see a mysterious flying object coming towards his house with lights blazing.
He said he was in the Canterbury and Stevenage area. The call handler asked him if he could hear engine noises but he said he couldn't.
The call handler spends several minutes writing up his description of the sighting and then says she will contact the local police team to see if they know anything about it.
Jason Baxter, assistant manager at the force communications room, said: "I would like to encourage people before they phone 999 to ask themselves is this really a police matter?"
Monday, 21 November 2011
Move over planking, there’s a new boss hog in town: “Tebowing”Planking is dead. Owling has jumped the shark. Tebow did it. When the almighty Timmy Tebow rallied the Broncos from a 15-0 deficit to defeat the hapless Miami Dolphins 18-15 in overtime, something magical happened. While everybody else on the Broncos’ sideline was whooping it up as they moved in to swamp their kicker Matt Prater with football love, Tim Tebow was busy kneeling down for an impromptu one-on-one with the J-man. A photograph was snapped and an era was born.
Now that our nation has finally gotten over ripping off Australia’s prized ‘planking’ craze, we need something new to Tumblr about at work. And just in time, a nation turns its lonely eyes to a kneeling Tebow, who thankfully will probably never understand the sarcastic undertones that come with people mocking your champion pose in odd situations and then sending them to a Tumblr that aggregates all of the photos. And that’s why we love you, Timmy. Tebow on.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Don’t mention Nazis or Jews
A playwright has cancelled a play set during the Second World War after claiming he was asked to remove references to Nazis, Jews and the invasion of Poland over fears of “offending” the audience.Rod Tinson, whose Hallowe’en play was due to be staged at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth, Cornwall, has accused English Heritage of trying to create a “Disneyfied” version of history by insisting on changes to his script.
The play featured scenes from different periods in the Tudor castle’s history, including its role during the Second World War as a key coastal defence against German invasion of Britain.
Mr Tinson said English Heritage asked him to tone down parts of the script, including a young Jewish character expressing fears about his family in occupied Poland, over concerns that visitors would be “offended” by the material.
The playwright cancelled the play after refusing to make the requested changes. He said he could not understand why his script would be deemed offensive. “They said it was inappropriate for an English Heritage audience. What version of history are they trying to illustrate at this place?” Mr Tinson added.
“It was intended for adults, many of whom remember the war or know people who were involved in it. I cannot understand it. I refused to change it because it would have changed the whole storyline.
“The reason the buildings are there was to fight off any attempts by the Germans to invade.”
The play was due to be performed as part of the castle’s adults-only ''ghost tours’’ programme, which runs for four nights over the weekend.
Mr Tinson’s script made frequent reference to the venue’s historic Second World War gun batteries.
Charlie Fear, the events manager at Pendennis Castle, said the programme would go ahead with a script from a different writer.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to pull Mr Tinson’s play and we will reimburse him for his time and effort,” she said. “This was our first time working with Mr Tinson and we were unable to agree on the right approach for our event.” An email to Mr Tinson said to be from Ms Fear, read: “I need to be very clear here, and in order to make this work, we have to remove any references to sex (including buggary (sic)) and any swear words, including 'bloody’ I’m afraid. I would also like the references to Poland, Jews and Nazis removed too please.
“Our English Heritage visitors would be offended by the content as it still stands and it is essential that I ensure that this does not happen.
“I understand that you want to bring your characters to life, but we have to tone down the language. I hope you understand this and the responsibility I have to ensure that I meet our visitors’ expectations.”
Pendennis Castle was built between 1540 and 1545 to protect the Fal estuary from attack by France and Spain. It is the Cornish end of a chain of coastal artillery fortresses built by Henry VIII.
It was improved during the reign of Elizabeth I and again before the Civil War, when it was subjected to a five-month siege by Parliamentarian forces.
Saturday, 19 November 2011
French study reveals hard facts about penis sizeBoffins in France have published details about the size of the average French penis -- so garlic munching men don't worry about the size of le tackle.
Researchers at Paris-based National Academy of Surgery hope the study will curb a recent rise in penis enlargement surgery.
And so to the numbers... the academics say the "normal" penis is between 9 and 9.5cm when flaccid and between 12.8 and 14.5cm when erect.
Girth of the typical French member is between 8.5 and 9cm circumference when as soft as a floppy beret and then 10 to 10.5cm when doing a baguette impression.
A statement from the National Academy of Surgery said: "The feeling of having an insufficiently-large penis can be a source of anxiety and psychological suffering for a man.
"There has been an increase in demand for penis-enlargement operations in recent years, due to what some people call 'locker-room syndrome'.
"But these lengthening procedures may have only limited results and could have a risk of certain complications, in particular regarding erections."
Friday, 18 November 2011
France Blocked Police Misconduct VideosFrench authorities have ordered the country’s Internet service providers to ban a site developed to allow people publish videos of suspected police misconduct.
Famous copwatch Nord Paris I-D-F started experiencing good traffic after the civilians began posting video footage of policemen beating people up, or otherwise behaving not professional.
Alliance Police Nationale, the country’s police union, has welcomed the court decision that banned the access to this website, saying that demonstrating video footage of the country’s policemen being violent would only encourage people to be violent to the cops in respond. In fact, if a person knows he or she is going to get a good kicking while being arrested, they are more likely to make an attempt to either run away or fight back. At the same time, fighting back doesn’t look like something that French policemen like a lot, because it usually makes it harder to hit a victim.
According to the media reports, the judges have considered the website a threat to the integrity of the police forces. That’s why they have taken such decision. A reasonable question remains the following: is being staffed by psychopathic bullies looking forward to beating up suspects not a threat to the police?
Industry experts agreed that this particular court order was an obvious will by the county’s authorities to control and censor the civilians’ new Internet public area. Strangely enough, for a country that inspired the United States, France doesn’t have any kind of equivalent to the American First Amendment that prevents the authorities from making any legislation that would abridge the freedom of speech or of the media. On the other hand, France did have legislation that allowed to cut the heads off whoever they liked, so maybe cutting off sites is the next step to it.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
UK Will Delegate Online Censorship to StudentsThe worldwide-known insecurity outfit McAfee revealed that the move of the United Kingdom to filter the web would be dependent on a team of college students having a day or something about that training.
The insecurity outfit is engaged in creating blacklists of Internet material, categorizing online services into porno, gambling or thirty other definitions. This is done to allow Internet service providers block websites with inappropriate content. The lists created by McAfee are then used by broadband providers BT and Sky for their parental controls. All this represents a part of a new government-sponsored code of conduct. However, the critics point at the fact that the way things are, there would be no chance to view the list of websites that have already been blocked and appeals are at the discretion of McAfee. This means that once a website is incorrectly categorized, it will be extremely hard to undo that.
Some industry observers call our days a Golden Age of the censorship in the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that both television and radio were treated by a perfectly normal committee consisting of retired colonels, nuns and religious loonies, it’s another thing with the worldwide web. As for McAfee, the outfit believes that traditional way of addressing Internet services is too expensive. In addition, the entire process is mostly automated, and the system of the company is classifying the website by found keywords. Of course, not all critics could appreciate such system – for example, PC Pro claimed that humans actually need to take a look and see whether a pornography website is really hardcore or it’s more of an erotic location, because it makes difference, you know.
Meanwhile, the team that was made responsible for covering the company’s customers all over the world turned out to be made up of only 5-10 people. Moreover, it was a very popular job for… university students! The applicants get the training which involves going through several online services and the different ratings in order to get just a basic idea of what they have to do.
In respond, a McAfee representative admitted this tiny team has been asked to judge the websites that are considered the most subjective. Indeed, many would agree that it is quite tricky to draw the line between erotic and hardcore pornography, for example.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Man arrested for 'mooning' QueenAn Australian man has been charged by police after he 'mooned' the Queen during her royal visit to Brisbane.
Liam Warriner, 22, revealed his backside to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, as they made their way from the airport into the city.
He is alleged to have bared his bum and wedged an Australian flag between his buttocks while running for 50 yards beside the motorcade.
Warriner, a local construction worker, claims that both the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh waved at him during his run.
On being released on bail, Warriner said that he had been dared to moon the Queen by his colleagues.
He told the Herald Sun: "I mooned the Queen. Everybody's seen someone's butt, come on.
"You see it on TV all the time, you see it in movies, it's accepted in PG-rated programming these days, but yet it's an offence to the Queen."
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
25m bees escape from lorryA US highway had to be closed after a lorry carrying about 25 million bees overturned.
The bees, which were being transported to California to pollinate an almond crop, escaped, reports the BBC.
Interstate 15 in Utah was closed down for several hours while local beekeepers worked overnight to recapture the bees.
Driver Louis Holst and his wife Tammie had to be dragged out of the overturned trailer by rescuers, but were swarmed by the escaped bees on the highway.
Mr Holst said he was stung about a dozen times and suffered a gash on his forehead. His wife also was both stung and bruised.
"We just started swinging our clothes," said Mr Holst. "They stung her all up and down her neck."
Two police officers were also stung.
The trip was among the last of 160 truckloads of bees being sent south from Adee Honey Farms in South Dakota.
"The driver lost control, hit the concrete barrier and rolled over," said Corporal Todd Johnson of the Utah Highway Patrol. "Of course, we then had bees everywhere."
Richard Adee, owner of Adee Honey Farms, said the truckload, worth approximately £72,500 was "pretty much a complete loss".
Monday, 14 November 2011
Police nab man who burned over 100 cars
A man who set fire to more than 100 cars in Berlin, a wave of attacks blamed by some on political extremists, was motivated by envy and frustration, police who arrested him said Sunday.
The 27-year-old told police that being jobless and in debt led him to set 67 luxury cars alight in one three-month run.
Those attacks, aimed mostly at luxury cars such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, set alight 35 more cars parked nearby. The near-nightly attacks, often started by slow-burning barbecue fire lighters, had baffled police and left them looking inept in the midst of a mayoral election.
"This is a sensational triumph," said Berlin state crime office (LKA) director Christian Steiof. A second police official told a media conference that the man confessed to setting 67 cars on fire since June in Germany's poorest big city.
"He wasn't motivated by politics but rather social envy," said Oliver Stepien, a senior police official. "He said in essence: 'I've got debts, my life stinks and others with fancy cars are better off and they deserve this'."
Luxury cars have been set on fire in small numbers in Berlin for many years, especially in districts that once had low rents because of their then-unattractive proximity to the Berlin Wall.
Car arson suddenly soared this year, with up to a dozen vehicles set on fire on some nights. Berlin police turned to federal authorities for help, using high-tech equipment and helicopters with thermal image cameras.
Up to 500 police were deployed on the streets at night to look for suspects and a special 150-person task force was set up. More than 470 cars have been set on fire this year and police are searching for other suspects. They believe perhaps a third have been politically motivated.
"It might have been the case in 2009 that some people in Berlin had some understanding for the fire attacks as some sort of protest," Berlin's Interior Minister Ehrhart Koerting told Reuters recently. "But I don't think anyone has that anymore."
Sunday, 13 November 2011
6,810 bottles of wine topple off a shelf and crash to the floor: Video
A tear must have rolled down the face of every wine and champagne lover in the state of Wisconsin when almost 7,000 bottles of alcohol fell off a shelf at the Superior Discount Liquor store in the city of Sheboygan.You rarely, if ever, get to see a wave of wine cascading towards a terrified group of workers but this was the sight at a wine store in Wisconsin after thousands of bottles crashed to the floor.
The scary incident happened in January but footage of the event has only just been released.
Two workers can be seen narrowly escaping a drenching from the sea of red wine and champagne. Salesman Nick Haen, who is one of the suppliers of the store, was finishing his weekly restock of the shelves when the bottles came crashing down.
'I heard a little shift and all of the sudden I looked up and just saw bottles start coming, and so I turned around and booked it as fast as I could.'
'It was a little bit of a rush, a little bit of a, "Holy man, did that just happen?" It was unbelievable.'
Jodi Berglund, general manager of the Superior Liquor chain, was also uninjured. 'I was coming in from the front of the store. I had put the hand truck down and I just turned to walk away and caught it out of the corner of my eye,' she said.
'It collapsed within seconds. It happened so quickly. It was just an amazing sight afterwards.'
Manager Lori Gregorie was unwilling to disclose the value of the alcohol that was lost but admitted she feared the worst.
'I figured we would be working for days cleaning up glass,' she added. 'There was wine running out the front door, wine running out the back door.'
The store did not suffer any monetary loss as insurance covered the cost. And no customers were physically hurt - although a lot of them might be suffering emotionally.
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Daredevil lovers share picnic on the edge of 800ft cliff
Living life on the edge, this young couple are perilously perched above a 240m (800ft) drop.The pair had carefully crawled right to the end of Australian landmark Hanging Rock, where the sandstone is only a few centimetres wide.
Photographer Michael Matthews was amazed to see the duo so far out on the narrow rock formation, overlooking the Grose River Gorge in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. He said: ‘They even had a hug and a kiss out there but were being extremely careful.’
Matthews, 54, had driven from his home in Sydney, having seen an image of the Hanging Rock on a postage stamp. ‘I decided that I had to see it for myself,’ he said.
Matthews reached a viewpoint known as Baltzers Lookout but still couldn’t see the landmark – which shares its name with another Australian feature made famous by the book Picnic At Hanging Rock: ‘I felt quite vulnerable up there. There were no fences and a wind was blowing. I felt it would be easy to get blown off the cliff if you got too close to the edge.’
Of the couple, he said: ‘I had a sickly feeling in my stomach and a real fear of seeing them fall. They would never have survived the drop.’
Friday, 11 November 2011
Hanford worker taken for ride in portable toiletA Hanford worker was taken for a ride in a portable toilet when it was picked up by a fork lift driver who didn't realize it was occupied.
The Tri-City Herald reports the passenger was not injured in a 15-foot move earlier this month across a gravel road. The driver heard the man yelling inside and let him out.
Washington Closure Hanford spokesman Todd Nelson says it's a reminder for workers to follow procedures and double-check.
The fork lift operator had looked at the door and thought the occupancy indicator showed that no one was inside.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Mo. man tracks down classic car stolen in 1995
A Missouri man and his beloved classic car have been reunited 16 years after the vehicle was stolen.
Edward Neeley, of Jefferson City, Mo., picked up his red 1969 Chevy Camaro in Salt Lake City on Tuesday after tracking it down in Utah last month.
Neeley contacted Utah authorities after he saw the Camaro listed for sale online, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported (http://bit.ly/raLn1d ).
The seller, Brent Dockery of Syracuse, bought the car four years ago on eBay and also is a victim, investigators said. He was unaware its vehicle identification number had been switched.
Davis County detectives obtained a search warrant and found the authentic VIN in the door panel, which confirmed Neeley's suspicions.
After an investigation, the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division returned the car to Neeley, who was determined to be the rightful owner.
"Oh, oh, I got my baby back," Neeley said when he laid eyes on the car again this week. "Never in a million years did I think it would come, even after I found it on the Internet."
Charlie Roberts, spokesman for the Utah motor vehicle division, said it's unknown how many owners the car has had and how many miles it has racked up since it was stolen in 1995. Neeley was 18 years old at the time.
Dockery said he bought the car for nearly $16,000 and added another $10,000 in upgrades, and he wants to take out the upgrades he installed. Utah officials said any further issues between Neeley and Dockery would have to be resolved in civil court.
Neeley had the car shipped back home this week.
"She's back," he said. "She already loves me, I can tell, so we're back together, baby. I'll get (her) back in shape."
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tattooed Barbie prompts parent complaintsParents have complained over a tattooed Barbie doll.
The Tokidoki Barbie features permanently marked skin, a pink bob, and crossed bones stitched on an off-the-shoulder sweater.
"If I give it to [my daughter] she will think [tattoos are] okay. She may want to go get some," parent Bill Smith told ABC News:
"It's teaching kids to want tattoos before they are old enough to dress like that," fellow Virginia resident Kevin Buckner added.
However, a comment on parent blog Babble read: "I much prefer tattoos to unrealistic proportions and the message that the most important thing is to be pretty and get a boy.
"Good for you Mattel for making a doll a little more like the rest of us. I consider it a tiny step in the right direction,"
Insisting that the doll is not marketed to all audiences, toymaker Mattel said in a statement: "The Tokidoki Barbie is a perfect example of a limited-edition doll sold through select retail locations."
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
European Parliament Discussed Copyright LegislationChristian Engstrom, a recently elected official in the European Parliament from the Pirate Party, published resume on the existing copyright legislation, outlining both problems and solutions for a better understanding of the issue.
In the article he said that it is actually impossible to ban non-profit file-sharing without violating fundamental human rights. In fact, as long as means for private communication exist, they’ll be exploited to share copyrighted content. This means that if the government wants to try and limit file-sharing, it will have to cancel the right to private communication. During the last ten years, the copyright law was moving in this very direction, being pressured by international corporation lobbyists seeing their monopolies under threat. Christian Engstrom believes that the governments need to reverse this trend in order to protect human rights. The EP member made a comparison between how the problem really is and how the industry wants everyone to believe it is.
By investigating the economic statistics, one can make a conclusion that household spending on culture and entertainment is increasing, and if people start spending less money on legitimate content, they will spend more on other things, such as tickets to live concerts, and this is good news for the performers, because they usually receive only 5% of the revenues from their sold record, but ten times more of the revenues from a live performance. In this case, the record companies will lose, but only because they don’t add any value anymore.
This idea means that even if it becomes harder to earn money in one part of the cultural sector, it will still become easier in another one. At the same time, as long as the total household spending on entertainment is on the same level, you can’t say that the performers as a group have anything to lose from this scheme.
Finally, Christian Engstrom compared the reaction of the entertainment industry to unauthorized file-sharing with how book publishers reacted to public libraries when they were introduced many years ago. They used the same argument, saying that if people were able to get access to content for free, the writers wouldn’t be able to make a living, but today everyone realizes this argument was wrong.
Monday, 7 November 2011
Man orders size 14.5 slipper and gets size 1,450Tom Boddingham, 27, has a size 13 right foot while his left is slightly bigger measuring a size 14 and a half.
When he ordered his custom slipper, the manufacturers in China misread "size 14.5" and instead built a size 1,450 measuring 7ft long.
Mr Boddingham, who has always worn custom made shoes, said he now plans to sell the giant slipper on eBay.
He said: "It was sent directly from Hong Kong and measures 210 x 130 x 65cms - the same length as a grizzly bear or a family car.
"I reckon I must be the owner of the biggest slipper in the world.
"I'm going to sell it online and if I can make a few quid out of it then all the better."
A company spokesman for Monster Slippers apologised to Tom, from Ilford, in east London, and said the mistake occurred because of a translation error.
The spokesman said: "We have apologised to Mr Boddingham and are making him a replacement slipper of the right dimensions."
A spokesman for the factory said they thought the slipper was for a shop window display.
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Giant green hand reaches out of manhole to remind drivers of danger
Residents in the Chinese city of Tianjin have become so fed up with the local government doing nothing about an uncapped manhole on one of the local roads they have placed a giant green hand in the hole to alert approaching drivers.The hand is in fact a discarded green sofa found by one of the locals and placed in the manhole to warn motorists approaching the hole in the road.
'I was baffled, thinking that the Incredible Hulk was underneath,' said local Li Dong.
The number of accidents has increased since the manhole lid disappeared over a month ago. Despite numerous letters of complaints to government officials, including media exposure about the hole, no action has been taken.
No one knows where the cover for the manhole ended up, but it could be a case of road thieves, similar to an incident in China earlier this year.
In August, a motorcyclist was hospitalised after suffering a fractured skull and broken jaw when his bike went front-first down into a lid-less manhole.
The accident was a result of the high number of manhole lids being stolen to be sold to make scrap metal.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Boy makes £60 a day selling junk food, suspended by schoolA Manchester school has suspended a 12-year-old boy for making £60 ($94) a day from selling chocolate, crisps and soft drinks to fellow pupils.
Tommie Rose was initially warned and sent home for a day over his behaviour, but has continued to persist with his money-making scheme.
He told Manchester Evening News: "I got the idea from watching Dragons' Den and feeling I could do something like that.
"The school just sells water and dinners. I have been bringing in 80 chocolate bars, Lucozade [drinks] and Doritos [packs] each day and have been selling out."
Tommie revealed that he buys in bulk from discount stores before making a profit by selling them at higher prices at the school.
The principal of Oasis Academy in Salford defended the suspension, saying: "The private selling of goods is not permitted, and any persistent breach of the code of conduct is dealt with firmly but supportively through parental engagement."
Tommie's father Gary, 30, countered: "The way they have dealt with it is far too harsh.
"I think he's just showing a bit of business sense, and he shouldn't be missing out on his education because of it."