Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Abercrombie & Fitch has offered to pay Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, a character in hit reality show Jersey Shore, to stop wearing its clothes, fearing its image is being tarnished.
The offer includes other members of the MTV show's brash, foul-mouthed, spray-tanned Italian-American cast, and A&F is "urgently waiting a response", the US fashion retailer said in a statement.
The weight-lifting, tight-abbed Sorrentino could have walked straight out of one of A&F's racy ads, which often feature well-toned young models, but the company wants nothing to do with him.
"We are deeply concerned that Mr Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image," an A&F spokesperson said in the statement, titled: A Win-Win Situation.
"We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.
"We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino and the producers of MTV's Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response."
Jersey Shore first aired in 2009 and follows the adventures of eight young Italian-Americans on the Atlantic coast of the US state of New Jersey as they party all night, fight and drink themselves silly.
Sorrentino, a 29-year-old former model, often lifts his shirt to show off his six-pack in the show, flashing his underwear's A&F logo.
The fourth season of Jersey Shore is currently being filmed in Florence, Italy with the first episode earlier this month pulling in a record 8.8-million viewers.
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Couple sued by neighbour for £20,000
A hard-up couple from Prestwich, Manchester, are being forced to sell their home after a neighbour hired no-win, no-fee lawyers to win £20,000 in damages from them over a ''minor'' accident outside their former council house.Victim care worker Foroozan Panahandeh, 45, claimed she was floored by a two foot length of plastic guttering which fell three feet onto her as she put out her bins.
She then took out a negligence claim against next door neighbours Brendan Hodgkiss and his partner Cynthia Parker, both 52, who had bought their local authority property in Prestwich, Manchester under the right to buy scheme - four months after the incident.
In a misspelt letter to Mr Hodgkiss, solicitors for Essex-based Holmes and Hills said: ''It is alleged that the accident was caused my (sic) the negligence of yourself, your servants or agents. My client suffered an injury to her neck, left shoulder and knee.''
In a series of medical reports Mrs Panahandeh, an Iranian married mother of two who arrived in the UK in 1992 to complete a chemistry Masters degree then told how she suffered ''moderate to severe'' pain over three years after the incident.
She said the injury meant she had problems working on a computer, was unable to go jogging or play volleyball again and had even been forced to abandon her weekly hobby of knitting.
She said she was unable to apply makeup or wash her hair a week after the accident and claimed she found it ''too much trouble'' washing in the shower.
Mrs Panahandeh initially sued Mr Hodgkiss, Mrs Parker and also Salford City Council which owned the property at the time of the incident claiming negligence and ''breach of statutory duty.
The civil action was discontinued against the local authority for undisclosed reasons in May 2010 at Salford County Court but a judge later ordered the couple to pay damages and costs totalling £20,254.81 plus interest.
It is believed Mrs Panahandeh's share of the legal payout will be no more than £3,000 under the terms of claim form submitted earlier to the court. The lawyers are thought to have pocketed up to £13,000 and the rest has gone in court costs.
Earlier this month Mrs Parker, a care worker and Mr Hodgkiss a roofer, who offered to pay the money at £50 a month got a warning letter from Jason Brady principal partner and head of the personal injury team at Holmes and Hills saying the matter would be referred to their civil litigation department unless the legal bill is paid.
A breakdown of the lawyer's bill shows the firm which charged £220 an hour spent over 11 hours writing 112 letters and made 49 phone calls over a five hour period and reveals details of another 21 hours he spent on issues ''other than correspondence.''
The letter said: ''You have recently repeated an offer to discharge the Judgement and Orders for Costs at the rate of £50 per month although of course this would take some 34 years for the entire sum to be discharged.
''Clearly this arrangement is unacceptable and is not agreed by the Claimant. If further action is necessitated our client will look to you for the additional costs of taking such action.''
Mrs Parker said: "I just cannot believe that a two foot piece of plastic hitting this woman from just three feet above has cost so much money and leaves us on the verge of having to sell our house.
''We were told we would have to pay this money at the rate of £500 a month within three years or her lawyers were going to take it back to court for sale of the property.
''Brendan doesn't get a regular wage, and mine just about covers the mortgage. He's gone down from about 11.5 stone to 8.5 stone through the stress.
"It's been over our heads now for six years and it's making us very ill. I'm so stressed and I am now coming to work to escape the pressure and stress of home. We don't know what to do about paying back this cash.
''I simply just haven't got that kind of money they want from me and it's inevitable we'll have to sell our house pay it off."
Mrs Parker and Mr Hodgkiss, both 52, who have a daughter aged 17 had orginally begun renting their council property in May 1990. Mrs Panahandeh bought her house next door in 2004 and initially they got on well.
Mrs Parker said: "I went round and knocked on and asked her whether she needed any help. We gave her some bedding and curtains because she didn't seem to have anything at all.
"She was quite friendly and very nice. Our kids used to play out the front garden. People are very close in our community and this was no different."
But problems began when a gate to a shared passageway separating their terraced homes fell down and Mrs Panahandeh urged her neighbours to fix it.
Then in November 14 2005 Mrs Panahandeh claimed she was hit by the falling guttering whilst walking along the passageway after putting out her bins.
In a statement said: ''I was hit on the head by a large object that fell from the storage shelving about this passageway. As I was hit on the head I fell to the ground.
''I fell onto my right knee and onto my right hand. I suffered from immedate pain in my neck and shoulder and in my right hand and I was also suffering from a headache. The main problems that I have are with my neck and right shoulder area and I have suffered from stiffness and pain in this area for sometime.''
Mr Hodgkis and Mrs Parker said they were unaware of the incident until after they bought their property under the council house right to buy scheme in March 2006 for £38,900.
They got their first letter the following October from a different legal firm acting for Mrs Panahandeh before the matter was taken up by Holmes and Hills in July 2008.
Mrs Parker added: "We had absoutely no idea about this incident at the time and had we known I'm sure could have sorted it out without the need for lawyers to be brought in. The first we knew about it was when we got a legal letter.
''In the ginnell there are two ledges on the top. Things have been stored there from before we even moved there.
''At the time of the accident the house was owned by the council and we didn't have house insurance because we didn't think we would need it at the time. We just had contents insurance.
"We got in touch with the solicitor and told them the plastic didn't belong to us and inisting the property was owned by the council. We couldn't afford a solicitor of our own at that time and we assumed it would all go away but then we kept getting more letters from a different firm.
''We kept saying the house was owned by the council at the time and it wasn't our problem but we got confused about court dates.
''Unfortunately Brendan didn't turn up for the hearing because he didn't realise when it was taking place. The next thing we knew was we were getting letters saying the judge had ruled we were at fault and that we had to pay up.
''We eventually went to see a solicitor of our own but he said he would want £5,000 in legal costs to pay him and said all we could expect was a reduction in the damages payout.
''We tried to appeal by going it alone with the papework but her lawyers ran rings round us in court quoting all sorts of case law and we stood no chance. What adds insult to injury that the solicitors got so much money from it.
''There are people out there who have been the victim of serious accidents who get less than she has. There's no justice in this world.
"People like me are struggling and can't pay to get the legal help but the people making the claims get everything given to them because the solicitors know they will get thousands out of the claim. ''
Mrs Panahandeh has since moved out of her property and was unavailable for comment.
Monday, 29 August 2011
PETA to launch porn site
In another sensational attempt to draw attention to the plight of animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning to launch a porn site later this year.
A spokeswoman for the group says the site will feature adult content along with graphic images of animals that viewers may not expect to see.
“We are preparing to launch our own peta.xxx site, but instead of just showing people our iconic ads we then show them how animals suffer for entertainment,” PETA's Ashley Byrne told Australia's Herald Sun. The organization says its sexy side displayed in galleries and videos will quickly give way to the sinister world of animal mistreatment uncovered by the group’s hidden camera investigations.
PETA has raised temperatures -- and controversy -- over the years by employing porn stars like Sasha Grey and Jenna Jameson as well as scantily clad models and celebrities in TV commercials and advertisements to promote animal rights, veganism and vegetarianism.
Earlier this month, Hulk Hogan's daughter, Brooke, participated in a provocative photo shoot for a PETA campaign. The 23-year-old was photographed lying naked in a cage as part of the Women In Cages exhibition.
"I hope it shocks [people] to see a human in the place of an animal," Hgan said. "It really shows how absurd that treatment is. ... We're all God's creatures. Just because we don't speak the same language doesn't mean [animals] don't have feelings too."
Sunday, 28 August 2011
New Zealand Government Will Have to Disconnect ItselfWith New Zealand “graduated response system” in place, some might wonder who could be one of the first victims of the regime. Surprisingly enough, it appears that it could be the New Zealand government itself! Facing copyright violation, the country’s Green Party claims that this could finally force the government to disconnect itself from the web.
The industry observers have repeatedly pointed out that the government of New Zealand simply didn’t think their “three-strikes” legislation through before enforcing it, and the latest development doesn’t quell such thoughts. The Green Party of New Zealand has claimed that the country’s government could face fines for copyright violation unless it disconnects itself from the web.
Of course, there doesn’t seem to be a plan for the government to deal with the new legislation. The law in question causes controversies because the holder of the account – Parliamentary Services – provides access to the Internet to several hundreds of users, any of whom could cause infringement notices to be sent. Actually, after the law passage, which is scheduled to come in to effect this September, there have been a lot of assumptions that this legislation could end all public Wi-Fi in New Zealand. Consequently, it appeared that the country’s own government isn’t immune to this either.
Aside from the government, schools, libraries and universities also run the risk of facing fines or disconnection from the web. One of the universities in Auckland has even claimed that they might cease providing online services for students because of the possible copyright liability.
Meanwhile, it is believed that the country’s government has a responsibility to ensure that public institutions are able to navigate around the new legislation and not face the risk of penalties.
However, by failing to provide information or advice to those institutions, the government has left them in a legal grey area. Moreover, after the law was passed in New Zealand, Wikileaks released some diplomatic cables proving that it was pushed and bought by the United States. This, of course, instantly raised concerns with the Green Party, which asked why Hollywood was writing their laws for New Zealand. Well, let’s see who will become the first victim of the “three-strikes” law.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Canadians Opposed Surveillance LegislationThe governing party of Canada – the Conservatives – was planning an omnibus crime legislation which was supposed to include surveillance provision. Although the bill is not yet tabled, opposition to this bill is already growing.
Recently the web was hit by the suggestions that the Canadian surveillance bill may be bundled in to omnibus crime legislation and tabled in the near future. That wasn’t exactly news for industry observers, but the news was that multiple experts, academics and organizations have stepped up to formally oppose the bill in question. They have recently sent an open letter to Prime Minister where they voiced their concerns about the proposed legislation. The opposers cited previous laws making up the surveillance legislation in the last government session and expressed their concerns about them. The particular concern is that three of the proposed bills would have serious negative implications for the privacy rights of the citizens. In addition, the controversial aspects would not receive the scrutiny they deserve if they were rolled into an omnibus bill.
The main focus of concern was the ease by which the country’s ISPs, social networks, and even their handsets and cars can be turned into instruments to spy on their activities, thus implicating fundamental rights and freedoms. In addition, the letter contains a very detailed list of other concerns, warning that the costs of enforcing such measures would finally be passed on to consumers, because it is a new cost of doing business for Internet service providers. Actually, it has precedent: in France, when the country’s government forced Internet service providers to adopt a “three-strikes” regime, the broadband providers just passed the costs of implementing the system on to their subscribers.
Although the letter was signed by a lot of people and organizations, there’s a difference between when the citizens were fighting dangerous bills in the past and today. The matter is that the Conservatives have a majority government, which means they are able to pass whatever bills they want without fearing an opposition. In other words, no evidence or reason would matter to the government, it will simply legislate how it likes, and this is the government the country is stuck with.
Friday, 26 August 2011
China Praised UK Internet CensorshipOne would know that their online censorship plan is too strict when China praises them for it. A few weeks ago, if someone saw a headline like that, they would think the author was insane, but it’s nothing but the truth.
A few days ago, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron claimed he wanted to stop citizens from communicating on social media if it is used to instigate violence. Today the majority of industry observers interpret this as meaning that the PM suggests to block social media sites altogether whenever civil unrest is suspected.
Unsurprisingly, blocking social media has caused lively debate, particularly in the United Kingdom. Today the discussions around possibly censoring the web have received international attention, which includes China. Today Chinese state media site “Global Times” suggested that “Western” countries were coming to realize that free speech couldn’t go unhindered online. It also said that the UK government’s wariness of the Internet and Blackberry Messenger, which are symbols of freedom of speech, was a forced reaction, which might have upset the Western world. However, the open discussion of containment of the web in UK had given rise to another opportunity for the entire world. Media in the United States and United Kingdom earlier criticized developing countries for curbing freedom of speech, but the new attitude of the UK would hopefully help appease the quarrels over the future management of the worldwide web.
Meanwhile, the Chinese advocates of an unlimited development of the web are recommended to think twice about their original ideas, because there are a lot of posts and articles inciting public violence online, which could cause tremendous damage when tweeted without control. In this case, the governments would have the only choice to shut down those sites and arrest the agitators.
The “Western” part of the world, however, believes that the UK Prime Minister should think twice how he is going to prevent rioting. Of course, any move to crack down on rioters will receive no resistance but help and support. At the same time, the attempts to control the web in any way are an extremely slippery slope with respect to free speech. In other words, there should be difference between Cameron’s policy and China’s policy at the very least.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Moderate wine drinking may help promote weight loss
Drinking just a glass of wine a day may actually help weight loss, researchers now believe.In a study that will raise the spirits of anyone driven to stick to soft drinks for the sake of their waistline, academics say previous assumptions about a link between alcohol and obesity have been inaccurate.
Their analysis of previous research shows that although heavy drinkers are likely to put on weight, those who just enjoy an occasional tipple are unlikely to pile on the pounds.
In fact, connoisseurs of less fattening drinks such as wine may even lose weight as well as being at lower risk of developing diabetes.
“Light-to-moderate alcohol intake, especially wine intake, may be more likely to protect against weight gain, whereas consumption of spirits has been positively associated with weight gain,” says the paper by researchers at Navarro University in Spain, which has been reviewed by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research.
The paper, published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, states that “alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain” as 1 gram of alcohol has an energy content of 7.1 calories.
But analysis of 31 studies published between 1984 and 2010 found they were “contradictory” and did not “conclusively confirm” a link between drinking and weight gain.
The papers that did find a link tended to involve studies of heavy drinking, so the Spanish researchers suggest: “It is possible that heavy drinkers may experience such an effect more commonly than light drinkers.”
They say more research should be carried out into the role of “different types of alcoholic beverages”. A pint of lager contains about 200 calories, twice as many as in a glass of wine.
“The type of alcoholic beverage might play an important role in modifying the effect of alcohol consumption on weight gain.”
Members of the forum, commenting on the new paper, agree: “While it is common for individuals, especially women, to state that they avoid all alcohol consumption because they ‘do not want to gain weight,’ data are very limited on this subject.”
They cite studies that show heavy drinking is linked to weight gain but regular drinking is not: “These results suggest that the frequent consumption of small amounts of alcohol is the optimal drinking pattern associated with a lower risk of obesity.”
Other research has suggested that moderate drinkers are at 30 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes, and that even obese people should not abstain from alcohol for this reason.
Moderate drinkers have also been found to be at between 16 per cent and 25 per cent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which in turn makes them more likely to have a stroke or coronary artery disease.
Research on the effects of alcohol on weight has also been complicated by the fact that heavy drinkers have traditionally also smoked cigarettes, which lower the risk of obesity.
Few studies have looked at diet, previous weight gain or loss or “binge drinking” among subjects.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Combat garden gnomes
A US serviceman has come up with an unusual sideline - selling combat garden gnomes.
US Naval Reserve officer Shawn Thorsson says he came up with the idea because he wanted a military presence in his garden.
The 34-year-old, from Petaluma, California, explains: "I have no formal sculpting training. I've always been fond of tinkering in my workshop though.
"While I was in Afghanistan someone sent me a package of those cheap plastic green army men as a gag.
"Some months later I was out at sea on a container ship and had a lot more down time. I was mulling over what else I could do with little green plastic army men.
"I was also thinking of sculpting out some comical garden gnomes. It didn't take long before these two ideas merged and I started sketching out Combat Garden Gnomes."
Shawn is now selling his combat gnomes on online marketplace Etsy.com - £25 each or painted ones for £35.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
US Olympic hopeful dismissed for urinating on 12-year-oldAn Olympic Games hopeful has been booted from the US ski team's development squad after urinating on a passenger during a cross-country flight.
18-year-old Robert Vietze was flying to New York on Tuesday when he stumbled into an 12-year-old girl on his way to the bathroom, inadvertently relieving himself all over his fellow passenger.
Police detained Vietze upon his arrival at JFK International Airport on a federal misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, but the sportsman was later released.
Despite claiming that he did "not realise" where he was urinating, Vietz appears to have had his Olympic dream ended by the incident.
"Based on the information we have, Sandy Vietze is in violation of the USSA code of conduct and team agreement, and has been dismissed from the team," US Ski and Snowboard Association executive vice president of athletics Luke Bodensteiner told the New York Post.
Vietze admitted to authorities that he had consumed approximately eight alcoholic drinks during the flight.
Monday, 22 August 2011
Ferry runs aground after captain stuck in toiletA Finnish ferry has run aground while its captain was stuck in the bathroom.
One member of staff managed to slow the island-hopping tourist ferry down, but the vessel, carrying 54 passengers, slammed onto a rock near the shore of Helsinki, the Finnish coastguard said Friday.
The captain got stuck in the bathroom because of a jammed lock and yelled for help, the coastguard said.
Some passengers were bruised and tableware was broken in the incident. The coastguard is investigating whether the captain's actions amounted to criminal endangerment.
"He was stuck in the toilet. As soon as the staff member got the door open, it was too late," said Jan Sundell, head of investigation.
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Ubisoft’s Customers Discontent With DRM UseUbisoft is known worldwide as a company which generated controversy back in 2010 over the DRM use. Their method of copyright protection went further than the rest of their fellow companies and required from all customers to have permanent connection to worldwide web to be able to play any games produced by the company. Last year Ubisoft announced its respected principle, which included using a DRM protection tool, for which an “always-on” broadband connection was necessary.
After the company started using this protection tool, its customers became more and more angry. The matter is that those customers who had the misfortune of having some trouble with Internet connection, or just lost service, were not allowed to continue with the disk and returned to the main menu. By the way, the rule was applied not only to the network games – the inclusion of this controversial DRM protection also made it impossible to play video games offline! Even those who wanted to play the games using the “single player” mode, were not allowed to do so without “always-on” Internet connection.
After the introduction of this new DRM protection, not only the customers having troubles with constant connection became angry with the company. Later the problem had escalated when due to failures of the company’s authorization servers legitimate game players had been “plugged out” a number of times. At the same time, this had never happened with pirated versions. In other words, only paying customers were affected, and the reason of the problem was of anti-piracy matter, while pirates experienced no minor inconvenience. The situation not only sounded nonsense, it indeed was nonsense, which the industry observers were tired to prove.
However, Ubisoft remained confident in the efficiency of its new anti-piracy tool and ignored multiple complaints from displeased consumers. Despite the ever increasing flow of complaints from their loyal customers, the company keeps releasing games using the built-in DRM tool intended for anti-piracy fighting. The latest game which will undoubtedly harm legitimate players while not affecting actual pirates is the “Driver: San Francisco”, which launch was announced for late August.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Redneck Olympics: the main events
Here are some examples of the Redneck Olympic events:Redneck Horseshoes Also known as Washer Pitching and Hillbilly Horseshoes and similar to the old-fashioned parlour game only featuring toilet seats.
Armpit Seranade As suggested by its name, the production of a music of sorts amplified by a microphone. Excess flesh not necessarily an advantage, as demonstrated by previous contestants.
Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest A contest popular across the United States, with varying rules all centred on distances. The rules generally applied include that professional tobacco spitters are not eligible, denture wearers must abide by the judge's decision if their teeth go further than the seed, and no pipes or straws can be used for propulsive purposes.
Bobbin’ for Pigs Feet Pickled limbs are generally used for this delightful contest, which sees contestants plunge face first into troughs of water only to re-emerge with their quarry gripped between their teeth. Those to retrieve the most feet in an allotted period of time raise a trophy of a mounted, crushed beer can.
Mudpit Belly Flop Described as the defining moment of the whole tournament, a crowd gathers round to judge who can make the biggest splash. Previously won on multiple occasions by self-proclaimed redneck grandma, Barbara Braswell.
Friday, 19 August 2011
Porn shoot spotted by New York executive outside his office
A bored New York executive staring out from his office was given quite the surprise when he captured a pornographic film being made in an adjacent apartment.The eagle-eyed worker looked out of his window at the start of the working week and saw filmmakers and an adult actress recording a series of x-rated antics.
Dressed in suspenders and, well not much else, the blonde bombshell was captured strutting her stuff both inside the apartment and out on the balcony.
Knowing that his colleagues would surely say it was all lie, the worker, who wished to remain anonymous, got out his iPhone and began filming what was unfolding outside his window.
To spread the message even further, the website Curbed.com was tipped off about the shoot, with images emailed in which were later posted on-line for users to view themselves.
In a brief explanation sent to the site, the tipster calmly wrote: 'I hit the jackpot, and witnessed the makings of a pornographic film.'
For the record, the offices are located in lower Manhattan on 800 and Third and the comforting thing it seems is that even pornstars have go to work on Mondays
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Cow leaps three foot fence and squashes car
Motorist Robert Gould is lucky to be alive after a startled cow leapt over a three-foot fence and landed on his car.
The frightened Friesian has written off Robert's Citroen C5 after denting the bonnet and breaking a wheel after bounding onto the busy road.
Stunned police later breath-tested Robert after he called 999 to report the collision.
It is understood the cow which died at the scene had been trying to escape from a farmer when it jumped into the road on the outskirts of Leek, Staffs.
Robert escaped with cuts and bruises despite skidding almost 80 yards and ending up on the wrong side of the road as he tried to stop.
The 24-year-old said: "I am now looking out for low-flying cows when I am driving ."
House-hunter Robert was travelling at 60mph and had been on his way to view a property in Cheddleton at the time of the accident in Macclesfield Road.
Safety officer Robert, of Barlaston, Staffs, said: "I was driving along when a cow jumped out and landed on my bonnet.
"It had hurdled a three-foot high fence and hit the front of my car.
"I had no time to brake and my car veered to the other side of the road.
"I was very lucky that nothing was coming in the opposite direction.
"The police were very nice about everything, although I don't think they could quite believe it either.
"They breath-tested me which came back negative."
Dad Chris, aged 53, said: "To see a cow flying over the top of the car made Robert jump and it has left him in shock. It was a good job the road was not busy at the time."
The dead cow was later removed by a digger.
Bob Lee, who retired from Staffordshire Ambulance Service after 30 years dealing with emergencies, said: "I have heard of someone being trampled by a cow, but never a cow jumping over a fence and landing on a car."
Farmer Clive Langford-Mycock believes the cow must have been very frightened to have jumped the fence during last weekend's incident.
The farmer, a former Staffordshire National Farmers' Union chairman, said: "Accidents involving farm animals are very rare.
"Something must have happened to frighten the cow. Possible causes could be thunder or lightning, low-flying aircraft or one of those stupid Chinese lanterns.
"I hope the driver gets over it."
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Man tries to smash guitar with head but is told to clear up after collapsing
A man known only as 'Andrew' has become an unlikely YouTube star after making eight separate attempts to smash a wooden guitar over his head, only to sorely regret it when his mum orders him to clean up the mess he has made.
So, of course, Andrew tries again, and as the instrument bounces off his skull for a fourth time he assures us: 'I'm ok, I'm ok.'
But the woman watching, (just visible in the mirror on the far wall) who we can only assume is his mother, thinks otherwise telling him: 'No, you're not.'
Clearly Andrew knows better, so he hits himself a few more times with said guitar, before swooning and falling over.
But it would seem his troubles have only just begun as his outraged mother tells him to clear up the 's**t' littering her clean sofa and floor.
To Andrew's credit, though, the guitar did crack a bit.
YouTube users were equally unimpressed by Andrew's antics, with one saying: 'lol @ the nagging mom. he's ok though. you can't cause much brain damage if there isn't much brain to begin with.'
Another wrote: 'I think doing this actually brought him BACK to his senses instead of knocking him out of them.'
Poor Andrew. We're sure his record deal is in the post.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Police Dog Severs Man’s PenisCODY Melancon is suing the Gretna Police Department, of Gretna, La, for allowing one of their dogs to bite him in the groin. The bite virtually severed Melancon’s penis.
The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune quotes Melancon:
“I don’t have any sensation down there. I can’t get an erection. I’m 25 years of age.”The story goes that police were at Melancon’s apartment to arrest him on charges of kicking in someone’s front door and hitting an occupant. Melancon says he was on his knees when officer Joseph Mekdessie let Zin off his leash.
Melancon is seeking a reasonable $31 million for hurt feelings and media bills and other stuff.
This story seems timely given the popular cry for police to be tougher with British rioters and looters – the scrotes. Might using dogs to exact punishment and reduce the villain’s chances of breeding be the preferred police tactic – a win-win?
Monday, 15 August 2011
UK Nuke Website FilteringUK Business Secretary Vince Cable made an announcement of an introduction of some recommendations provided to “modernize” IP system by allowing a number of exceptions to copyright legislation for things like limited private copying. In addition, Ofcom announced that site blocking of copyright violation wouldn’t be effective and consequently scrapped provision of the Digital Economy Act for now.
Hopefully, the government of the United Kingdom announced plans to “modernize” the IP system in the country to help create proper conditions for businesses to invest, develop and create jobs.
Business Secretary said he would implement all recommendations that have been made in an independent review on IP legislation completed this past spring by Professor Ian Hargreaves. Secretary Cable announced in a press release that the government was focused on boosting growth and the Hargreaves review emphasized the potential to grow the economy of the United Kingdom. By developing a more open copyright legislation it will allow innovative businesses to create and introduce new products and services that will be able to compete fairly in the local thriving markets for consumer equipment.
The country decided to accept the recommendations made and would set about reforming the country’s IP systems. Meanwhile, the Department for Culture Media and Sport is developing mass notification system in the Digital Economy Act. The system will be the following: in order to deter “vexatious appeals” from alleged violators trying to “disrupt the system”, they will be charged a $30 fee which will be refunded upon successful appeal.
Finally, Ofcom has also concluded that censoring websites alleged of copyright violation wouldn’t be effective, so the outfit has decided to scrap that provision of the legislation for now. If you remember, this past winter the outfit started a review of website filtering to find out if it could work in practice. The legislation demands Internet service providers to block access to online locations if their substantial portion violates copyright.
So, unlike the Unites States, it looks like the British government has come to its senses on copyright legislation in the digital age and produced a reasonable plan protecting the rights of copyright owners and consumers, at the same time encouraging the use of IP.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Teary goodbye for Doctor WhoGrab hold of your man-sized box of tissues as there'll be tears aplenty when the latest series of Doctor Who comes to a close.
According to reports, it's the end of the road for the Time Lord's adventures with travelling companions Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill).
Fans of the show will see the Doctor (Matt Smith) zoom off in the Tardis - on his own. Gulp!
However, the loveable pair, who have become firm favourites with Doctor Who followers, won't be killed off. Writers have apparently decided to "rest" the pair and they'll head home to settle down together.
Speaking of the new plans, a sci-fi source told the Daily Star: "There are going to be a lot of tears in the finale. The Doc will set off in the Tardis for his next adventure on his own.
"Amy and Rory will be reunited with their baby Melody Pond and they make a decision to stay on Earth and be a family.
The source continued: "But TV bosses are well aware the couple have been popular so this won't be the last you see of them." Hoorah!
Saturday, 13 August 2011
UK riots spark huge surge in baseball bats salesThe London and UK riots have been an unlikely boon for a rather specific sector of society… purveyors of baseball bats.
Sales of the sporting equipment come weapon have surged by 6,500% over the past couple of days… and we don't think it's because we're all taking up the sport.
It's thought many worried Brits are instead looking to tool-up and secure their homes from would-be looters.
On Amazon.co.uk many of the most popular items in their 'sport and leisure' category are aluminium baseball bats… it's just a shame many of them have a 4-6 week delivery delay.
While the most popular item is a 60cm long Rucanor aluminum baseball bat, a £25.99 military police telescopic Tonfa - 21" is number two.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Man admits home nuclear reactor was "pretty stupid"A Swedish man has admitted that he was "pretty stupid" for setting up a nuclear reactor in his home kitchen.
Richard Handl, from Angelholm, was questioned by police after he conducted a six-month experiment to recreate a working reactor.
"I had it under control, it was not so dangerous," Handl told BBC News. "It was pretty stupid."
The unemployed 31-year-old said that he had simply been "curious", but would stick to theoretical work from now on.
Handl was discovered after calling the local radiation authority to check whether or not his experiment was legal.
Police were then called to his flat where they confiscated his scientific material as well as his computer.
It is unknown whether there will be any other legal ramifications from Handl's experiment.
Thursday, 11 August 2011
EMI’s Ex-boss Said File-Sharing Was GoodEx-president of EMI Douglas Merrill attracted attention by saying that sharing music files is actually not a bad thing. Of course, this point of view has been voiced before, but not by the person who had been CEO of New Music and president of Digital Business at EMI Music. Besides, Merrill also used to work for Google, where he was chief information officer and vice president of engineering. Currently he is CEO of ZestCast, which means that he isn’t an easily dismissed firebrand claiming that data wants to be free.
Speaking at CA Expo in Australia, Douglas Merrill explained that he felt the entertainment industry was “collapsing” when he joined EMI back in 2008. Meanwhile, he admitted there was information indicating that file-sharing might actually be good for musicians, or at least not bad for them. And so Merrill suggests that maybe the industry shouldn’t be stopping it all the time. Apparently, there’s piracy that is really destructive, but in most cases file-sharing might be good.
Considering such sentiments, it’s not surprising that Douglas Merrill left EMI two years ago, less than a year after taking on the job. He compared pursuing consumers for file-sharing with attempts to sell soap by throwing dirt on the customers. He also pointed out that file-sharing is not actual theft, but rather try-before-you-buy marketing, which you don’t even have to pay for.
Douglas Merrill apparently had insights of interest to a wider audience of executive. For example, there were suggestions that managers should hire a diverse group of employees in order to get a wide range of inputs, they were also recommended to stay out of the way more often, and be aware of innovation regardless of its source. In order to provide evidence, Merrill cited that 66% of the Fortune 100 companies have disappeared or dropped off that list since 1990. His best example to be named is Eastman Kodak, which has more patents than any other entity throughout the globe, while being the most successful research company. Meanwhile, back in 1990, when some young researcher invented the charge coupled device (which is actually the core of every camera nowadays), his boss called him a moron and said they made film. Besides, Merrill warned against reliance on focus groups, especially if the issue is about disruptive or innovative products outside of their experience.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Toilet cleaner hid €40,000 in small coins from the taxmanOfficials in Bonn are counting pennies after raiding a woman thought to have hoarded around €40,000 in small-denomination coins she earned looking after public toilets – and failed to declare to the tax office.
The tabloid Express paper reported on Friday that the woman had operated in around 50 public toilets across Germany, paying a pittance to helpers to keep the loos clean and collect coins of gratitude from punters.
It seems her lack of generosity was her undoing and one of her helpers tipped off the state prosecutor, the paper reported.
When officials showed up to her house and rang the bell she ignored them, instead racing to the back of her home and throwing files out of the window.
When officials finally persuaded her to let them into the garage they found themselves knee deep in bags of coins – and called for a truck to take them away in, concerned that an ordinary car might not be able to take the weight.
Now they are busy counting the coins so they can proceed with the case.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Nudists furiousMembers of the White House Club in Warlingham, Surrey, have been pushed beyond those by their local council, which has approved plans for a tower block overlooking their grounds.
The club says that its 300 members can swim naked in its 50ft outdoor swimming pool, relax in its sauna or play tennis on its two outdoor courts. Other activities at the five–acre site include table tennis, basketball, badminton and bowls.
But their seclusion looks like it may be rudely interrutped afterTandridge council approved the construction of a five–storey block of flats on the site of a disused office block just 300 yards away.
David Mason, the director of the club, which opened in 1933 and has a membership whose ages range from two to 90, said scores of members had complained to the council and that he was disappointed with the decision.
"Our members playing tennis or standing in front of our clubhouse can be overlooked, especially when the screening trees' foliage is down," he said. "We want to see measures put in which preclude overlooking, and protect our environment, which has been a haven of tranquillity and recreation for more than 70 years."
One of the members, Wendy, 33, a mother of two from Croydon, said she was concerned that the building could attract "undesirable elements".
"This is a lovely, relaxed place where the children and I can come and enjoy its privacy," she said.
Another naturist, a 26–yearold secretary who did not want to be named, said she would "not feel comfortable" being overlooked by so many people while swimming, sunbathing or playing tennis. "Not that I'm ashamed of my body, but I don't want any Tom, Dick or Harry staring at me from their windows," she said.
The club's website states that it is a great place to unwind, adding: "Our beautiful naturist club is one of the nicest places to exercise, unwind and enjoy being naked in nature.
"Whether you want to swim naked every morning or simply enjoy getting an all–over tan during a summer weekend, our club is there for all our members to enjoy."
Sakina Bradbury, a local councillor, defended the proposal. "Putting homes in must be better than what's there now," she said.
Monday, 8 August 2011
Internet Explorer users 'have below-average IQ'
Users of the most popular web browser, Internet Explorer, tend to have lower-than-average IQ, according to a survey of online habits.PC World reports that a "psychometric consulting" firm called AptiQuant gave free online IQ tests to 100,000 people, and then plotted the scores against the browser on which the tests were taken.
It found that Internet Explorer users scored lower than average, while Chrome, Firefox and Safari users were very slightly above average. Camino, Opera and Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame were scored "exceptionally" high.
"The study showed a substantial relationship between an individual's cognitive ability and their choice of web browser," AptiQuant concluded. "From the test results, it is a clear indication that individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers."
Some people have suggested that there may be other factors at work. Business Insider's Matt Rosoff points out that since IE is the default browser for Windows PC users, anyone who doesn't know how to download and install a new browser will be stuck with it - "which drags down the average". And users of other browsers "include a disproportionate number of computer geeks", which might bring their average up. Or, he admits, it might be that "IE users really are kind of dumb."
Within the group of IE users, version 6 users score lowest, while users of version 8 do rather better.
The overall chart shows that Firefox has the smallest percentage of low-IQ users, and the largest of average or high-IQ users. A similar study five years ago found that users had broadly similar IQs.
Jared Newman of PC World said the results should not be taken too seriously. "They are, after all, comprised only of people who feel compelled to take IQ tests," he said.
"But if you ever want to argue that Internet Explorer 6 users are too stupid to upgrade, at least now you've got some empirical evidence."
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Morris dancers 'banned from pub over bells on shoes'
A group of Morris dancers claim they were banned from a pub because of the bells on their shoes.Slubbing Billys dance troupe were given their marching orders from the Swan and Three Cygnets pub in Durham, County Durham, which has a ban on any form of music.
The dance group had spent the weekend in the city, performing in Durham's Market place.
But they ran into trouble when they popped into the pub for a pint - because some of the members had bells attached to their feet.
Slubbing Billys member Duggs Carre, said: "We couldn't believe it when we were told in the strongest possible terms to leave.
"A woman member of staff hollered 'no bells' at us.
"One of our group, wearing his morris dance gear, went in first and was served a pint of beer without question.
"But when two of our lady members followed wearing bells they were told to get out out.
"There were about 15 of us and we all went around the corner to the Half Moon instead.
"We had been dancing in the Market Square on Saturday afternoon and were thirsty, we were looking forward to a refreshing pint."
Band member Jill Morris added: "We have danced in a number of countries, Belgium, Holland and France, as well as all over the UK and never encountered anything like this before.
"We weren't attempting to perform in the pub, simply enjoy a quiet drink.
"But apparently bells on our toes means we will not have music wherever we go, at least not in the Swan and Three Cygnets."
The pub is owned by the Samuel Smith brewery which has a strict no music policy.
Since the policy was introduced seven years ago a popular folk club had to move out of another Samuel Smith's Durham pub - the Colpitts.
But Mr Carre, a council officer, added: "To ban us simply because some of us were wearing bells on their clogs is simply too absurd to be true.
"There is a difference of opinion within the morris dancing fraternity as to whether wearing bells on clogs is appropriate, but we didn't expect it to lead us to a ban.
"We spent the weekend in Durham and had an enjoyable time performing in the city centre.
"But the attitude in the Swan and Three Cygnets left a bitter taste in our mouths.
"We have been to other Sam Smith pubs in Beverley and Whitby without trouble before. After all, it is a Yorkshire brewery and we are a Yorkshire dance group."
The manager of the pub said yesterday he was not allowed to comment on the matter.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Kitten miraculously survives washing machine cycleAn 8-week-old kitten has survived over an hour trapped inside a washing machine.
Aberdeen resident Susan Gordon had been unaware that her kitten Princess had crawled inside the machine's drum when she began a wash cycle.
After realising her mistake, Gordon freed Princess, who was miraculously still alive, and quickly rushed her to see a veterinarian.
"Princess arrived at the clinic very shaken-up and shivering, with a nose bleed and sore eyes," a senior surgeon at Vets Now told BBC News following the incident. "But her owner had managed to dry her off very well prior to bringing her in to the clinic.
"Princess was admitted to the hospital for emergency care, which included oxygen and pain relief for her bruised body," she added. "She was also placed on heat pads to bring her core temperature up to normal."
Despite her ordeal, Princess is now said to be fine, and did not suffer any permanent damage.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Condom found in canned tomato sauceA woman in Brazil has found a condom in a can of tomato sauce.
She was later awarded around $5,000 (£3,000) after a court judge ordered the sauce company to pay her in "moral damages", reports AFP.
Judge Joao Gilberto Marroni Vitola said that the "grotesque" discovery had "profoundly disgusted the family".
The sauce company emphasised that its production and packaging is all automated.
The woman, who lives in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, was applying tomato sauce on her meatballs. She came across the condom at the bottom of the can after finishing her meal.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Police use pepper spray to subdue violent kangaroo
Two Australian police officers have used pepper spray to fight off a rogue kangaroo that attacked an elderly woman in her backyard.The 94-year-old victim, Phyllis Johnson, was taken to a hospital for treatment for cuts and bruises after the attack on Sunday. She told The Courier Mail newspaper that she tried unsuccessfully to fight the red kangaroo off with a broom after it attacked her while she was hanging her laundry.
During the ordeal the animal knocked her to the ground and kicked her several times. She tried to fight it off but the kangaroo would not give up. Eventually she managed to crawl inside to safety, where her son phoned the police.
"I thought it was going to kill me," she told the paper.
"I happened to have a broom nearby and I just started swinging at it. I bashed it on the head but it kept going for me, not even the dog would help, it was too frightened."
Sergeant Stephen Perkins, head of police in the Queensland state town of Charleville, said that when two of his officers arrived at the house, the agitated animal also lunged at them. They were forced to use pepper spray to subdue it.
"One officer had to deploy his spray on the animal and it ran away and saw the other police officer out of the corner of its eye," Sergeant Perkins said.
"The other officer also had to deploy his spray to keep from getting hurt. It's one of the many unusual calls we get out here."
Wildlife rangers were later able to trap the kangaroo, a male red kangaroo. The world's largest marsupials, they can grow to 6ft 7in tall and can weigh 200lbs, however, it is rare for kangaroos to attack people.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
South African 'corpse' wakes up
A 50-year-old South African man thought to be dead woke up in a chilly morgue on Sunday and shouted to be let out, scaring off two attendants who thought he was a ghost, local media reported."His family thought he had died," health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo told the Sapa news agency.
"The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue, but the man woke up inside the morgue on Sunday at 5:00pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place."
This caused two mortuary attendants on duty to flee the building in the small town of Libode in the rural Eastern Cape as they thought it was a ghost.
After calling for help and returning to find the man alive, an ambulance was sent to fetch the man who had "been exposed to extreme cold for nearly 24 hours" said Kupelo.
He said the public should not assume that a sick person had died and contact a mortuary, the report said.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Useless guard dog stolen from his own homeThere's a sure fire way to tell that your dog isn't exactly the world's best guard dog… like when it gets stolen itself.
And that's just what happened to Rocky the Rottweiler, a guard dog who was recently snatched from his home in Gloucestershire.
Thieves are understood to have lifted the fencing into the area where Rocky was kept and stolen him, nothing else was taken.
As such the home owners, who'd hoped the dog would be an active deterrent to would-be burglars, were forced to make an embarrassing call to police to report that he'd been stolen.
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Police told Newslite: "It's believed that thieves lifted the fencing in the area where Rocky, a male Rottweiller, was kept and stole him.
"Investigating officers are following up a number of inquiries and are eager to hear from anyone who saw any individuals, or any vehicles, acting suspiciously in the area last week."
Monday, 1 August 2011
Oops! Forklift smashes $1M worth of Australia wine
An unsteady forklift dropped a container full of fine Australian wine worth more than $1 million, smashing most of the bottles. The winemaker says he's "gut-wrenched, shocked and numb" after the loss of his flagship shiraz.
Sparky Marquis of Mollydooker Wines lost a third of his Velvet Glove Shiraz production after the accident that destroyed all but one of the 462 cases bound for the United States. Each bottle of the Mollydooker wine sells for $200.
Marquis said Friday that when workers opened up the dropped container, "it was like a murder scene. There was red everywhere."
He said the wine was fully insured.