Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Spend A Penny?

Peeping Tom hides in portaloo

A man suspected of hiding inside the waste tank of a portable toilet at a yoga festival in the United States has been arrested on charges of unlawful sexual contact and invasion of privacy.

Luke Irvin Chrisco, 30, was arrested in the Colorado town of Vail, west of Boulder, after police there stopped his vehicle on reports of a man illegally begging in the area.

"An astute officer realised that he resembled the portable toilet suspect," Boulder police said on Friday (local time).

Boulder detectives were contacted, and after interviewing Chrisco, he was arrested for the portable toilet incident.

Police said the strange event occurred June 17 at the Hanuman Yoga Festival when a woman using the facility noticed movement inside the storage tank and asked a male bystander to investigate.

The man told police he saw someone inside the tank covered in a tarp.

A security guard waited outside the toilet for 10 minutes until a shirtless, barefoot man with numerous cuts on his back and legs emerged covered in faeces.

The guard tried unsuccessfully to apprehend him as he ran from the festival grounds.

Boulder police chief Mark Beckner said in a written statement that his department received a dozen tips on the suspect's identity.

Chrisco faces one count of unlawful sexual contact and one count of criminal invasion of privacy, both misdemeanours.

He is being held on a $US1,000 ($953) bond for the begging charge, and a $US1,500 bond for the alleged toilet offences.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Dear Dogs….Please Take Notice!!

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.
The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog's or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:
(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals.. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.
Remember, dogs are "better" than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes, or buy the latest fashions
(9) don't criticize with the "eye roll" or muttered remarks,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ....

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Silent “Invasion”?

Half of Britons have German blood

They are among Britain’s most bitter rivals, but despite two world wars and any number of football matches, it would seem we are closer to the Germans than many might imagine.

Geneticists claim that as many as half of Britons have German blood, a consequence of Anglo-Saxon migration after the Roman Empire fell.
“There is no use in denying it,” Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, wrote this week. “It is now clear the nation which most dislikes the Germans were once Krauts themselves.”
University College London academics studied a segment of the Y chromosome that appears in almost all Danish and north German men. They found that half of British men also have the segment.
Researchers following up the UCL study claim that Anglo-Saxons swiftly took over Britain and changed the genetic make-up of its inhabitants.
Heinrich Härke, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, said that “up to 200,000 emigrants” came to south east England in the fifth and sixth centuries. In a study of a Saxon cemetery near Oxford, he found that a quarter of its artefacts matched those discovered along the Elbe.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

An Expensive Pee?

Eight million gallons of water drained from reservoir after man urinates in it

The operation is costing the state's taxpayers $36,000 (£22,000) and was ordered after Joshua Seater, 21, was caught on a security camera relieving himself in the pristine lake.

Health experts said the incident would not have caused any harm to people in the city of Portland, who are supplied with drinking water from the reservoir.
They said the average human bladder holds only six to eight ounces, and the urine would have been vastly diluted.
But David Shaff, an administrator at the Portland Water Bureau, defended the decision to empty the lake.
"There are people who will say it's an over reaction. I don't think so. I think what you have to deal with here is the 'yuck' factor," he said.
"I can imagine how many people would be saying 'I made orange juice with that water this morning.' "Do you want to drink pee? Most people are going to be pretty damn squeamish about that."
Mr Seater had been out drinking with friends when he decided to relieve himself in the open air reservoir at 1.30am.
He has not been arrested or charged with a crime, but may ultimately face a fine.
He apologised publicly for his behaviour, adding: "It was a stupid thing to do. I didn't know it was a water supply, I thought it was a sewage plant.
"I wouldn't mind paying for it but I don't have a job right now. I'm willing to do community service to clean up the place because I feel bad and feel pretty stupid." Sergeant Pete Simpson, of Portland Police, said: "It's really an unfortunate incident that probably could have been avoided if he had just chosen a bush."

Friday, 24 June 2011

Get A Job or A Life!!!

Brit to attend 26 festivals in a month

A British music journalist is planning to attend 26 festivals in just one month in the hope of setting a brand new world record.

A British music journalist is planning to attend 26 festivals in just one month.

London-based Greg Parmley will travel through 13 different European countries on his motorbike in the hope of setting a brand new world record.

Starting at Glastonbury festival in Somerset, South West England, he will then head on to the Graspop Metal Meeting in the Belgian town of Dessel.

Throughout his extensive travels, Greg will also attend the Slovenian heavy metal festival Metalcamp and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Attending events in Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the 36-year-old music lover will eventually end his adventure at the High Voltage Festival in London.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Snail’s Pace?

Marathon snail man Lloyd Scott sacked for not raising enough money

He hoped to raise at least £100,000 for Action for Kids but the charity said it received only about £20,000.

The 49-year-old former footballer, from Essex, has raised more than £5million for charity over the years and suffered nose bleeds and vomiting whilst completing this year's London marathon dressed as Brian the Snail.

Shocked at the decision he said: ‘I don’t think it has been handled in an appropriate manner. Anybody would deserve to be treated better,

'The trustees made their decision just 11 days after I'd finished the marathon,
'I hadn't recovered fully and was unable to fulfil the potential of the event.'

The charity said losses were incurred as a result of providing publicity and support but Mr Scott claimed he was unable to raise as much as he had hoped because of the poor financial climate.

'He was given notice according to his contract with us, due to losses incurred in his latest marathon, explained Action For Kids founder Sally Bishop.
'Whilst Lloyd's involvement in the marathon significantly raised our profile it did not result in any increased funding, and in fact, cost the charity several thousand pounds,

'Our priority is always to our donors, and the children and families we support. So it is with regret we had to take this decision.'

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

He Should Get Out More!

Lego fan builds 8.5m long toy city in own home

He then spent nine months using 250,000 bricks to build an 8.5m (27ft) long, 2.75m (9ft) high creation.

Named the Garrison of Moriah, it is inspired by his love of science fiction and mythology – particularly Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

But to say thank you to understanding Susanne, he also built life-sized statues of them on their wedding day.

Gerry’s childhood love of Lego was rekindled after he left college and found a box of his old bricks.

‘I started thinking how I now have the money and space to actually build the things I wanted to build without a little sister to rampage through my Lego creations,’ he said.

‘I learned to not jump or even flinch when stepping on a Lego piece in my bare feet.’

Once his wife agreed to allocate a special room at their home in Limerick, Pennsylvania, Gerry used online Lego marketplace BrickLink to buy the raw materials, worth £45,000 new.

His first major structure was a 1.7m (5ft 7in) blue monster holding a castle on its head – and the whole creation is set to grow further.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Home Doctor?

Wart blasted off with shotgun

For five years Sean Murphy was driven to distraction by a painful blemish that no amount of creams, ointments or doctors' appointments could cure.

So he came up with his own radical and permament procedure to remove the stubborn wart forever - he blasted it with a 12-bore shotgun.
But not only did the blast take off almost his entire finger, it also left him facing 15 years in jail for the illegal possesion of a firearm.
Yesterday, with only a stump to show for the middle of his left hand, and a suspended 16-week prison sentence, he insisted he had no regrets.
“I’m happy with that,” he said outside Doncaster Magistrates’ Court, South Yorkshire.
“I know I could have gone to jail for up to 15 years for a firearms offence. My solicitor did a very good job.
The best thing is that the wart has gone. It was giving me lot of trouble.”
Richard Haigh, defending, said Murphy, 38, had been “a victim of his own stupidity when domestic pressures got to him”.
Mr Murphy decided to open fire with the Beretta after fortifying himself with several pints of beer. He settled down outside his caravan, took aim and opened fire.
Police heard about his unconventional treatment and launched an investigation.
Murphy, who lives in the town, told the bench he had found the Beretta under a hedge earlier in the year.
Having decided to use the Beretta, he administered the “anaesthetic” of Yorkshire bitter.
He stretched out his left hand, pointed the end of the barrel at its intended target, and used his other hand to hold the stock steady. Then he pulled the trigger.
Murphy denies that the beer affected his aim. He insists the fault lay with the weapon’s recoil.
'I didn't expect to lose my finger as well when I shot it, but the gun recoiled and that was it,’ he said.
'The wart was gone and so was most of my finger. There was nothing left of it, so no chance of re-attaching it.'
Murphy had been a security officer at Markham Grange Nurseries, Doncaster, at the time he applied the Beretta treatment in March. He has since lost his job.
In court he pleaded guilty to theft of the shotgun by finding, and a second charge of possessing a firearm without a valid certificate.
In addition to the suspended prison term, his client was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £100.
South Yorkshire Police are still trying to discover how the Beretta found its way to the hedge where Murphy found it.
They know it was stolen in a burglary two years ago, but have no further record of its passage through the criminal underworld.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Pub Crawl?

Man visits 45,000th British pub

A man has had a drink at his 45,000th pub in Britain.
Bruce Masters from Bedfordshire, England started visiting pubs in 1960 and has since drunk more than 25,000 pints of ale, travelling around one million miles across Great Britain.
"There are still a great many pubs I have not been to," the 66-year-old told Metro. "If something is worth doing, it is worth doing properly."
Masters keeps a record of all the pubs he has entered on his computer. The list includes bars at airports and on trains.
His most recent visit was to the 'Hole in the Wall' pub in Portsmouth.
Asked whether his wife minds his fascination with pubs, Masters responded: "She does not begrudge me doing this. She just prefers to stay at home."

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Get A Life!

Asterix comics contain 700 traumatic brain injuries, say academics

Academics have carried out a detailed analysis of the 700 head injuries suffered by characters in the Asterix comic books, in a paper published by a respected medical journal.

The German scientists calculated that the “plucky little Gaul” and his sidekick Obelix were responsible for causing more than half of the wounds, “under the influence of a doping agent called ‘the magic potion’”, with Roman soldiers their most common victims.

They found that many of those who were knocked out in the 34 books, more commonly enjoyed by schoolboys than neurosurgeons, were often left with an outstretched tongue or amnesia but none appeared to die.

The researchers, led by Marcel Kamp at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, conclude: “The favourable outcome is astonishing, since outcome of traumatic brain injury in the ancient world is believed to have been worse than today and also since no diagnostic or therapeutic procedures were performed.”

Their paper, published in the official journal of the European Association of Neurosurgical Socities, known as Acta Neurochirurgica, sets out with no apparent irony their aim to “analyse the epidemiology and specific risk factors of traumatic brain injury in the Asterix illustrated comic books”.

They explain how in the books, published first in France in the 1960s and 1970s, the inhabitants of a small village in Gaul resist the Roman invasion with the help of a magic potion brewed by a druid.

The main characters “thump” Romans, pirates and Goths but a “detailed analysis had not been performed hitherto” of the injuries they suffered.

By “screening” all 34 books, the authors found 704 cases of head or brain injury, all but six suffered by men.

The victims were mostly Romans (450) but also included 120 Gauls, 59 bandits or pirates, 20 Goths, eight Vikings and five Britons. In 402 cases the perpetrators of the violence were Asterix and/or Obelix themselves.

In 696 cases “blunt force” was used but eight people were strangled and six suffered a fall.

More victims (390) suffered severe trauma than moderate (89) or mild (225), with the researchers using the standard Glasgow coma scale to assess the seriousness of their wounds.

About half (390) lost consciousness after being attacked and 188 were drawn with hypoglossal paresis – “an outstretched or sideward pointing tongue”. Half also had periorbital ecchymoses or “raccoon eyes” and some had “sporadic amnesia”.

The druid Getafix took the longest time to recover after “a case of massive force” in the form of a large stone known as a menhir falling on his head.

However the paper notes: “No case of death or a permanent neurological deficit following traumatic brain injury has been found.”

Most of those attacked were wearing helmets at the time but the “vast majority” lost this protective barrier “during the traumatic event”.

Asterix typically drank some of Getafix’s magic potion before fights.

“Ingestion of the magic potion by the aggressor was believed to give superhuman strength and was in fact associated with severe initial impairment of consciousness of the victims.”

However the researchers say that the potion was also used to treat wounds and point out that mistletoe, one of its key ingredients, “has been shown to have effects on brain tumours”.

In a comment piece, Karl Schaller, a neurosurgeon at the University of Geneva, describes the Asterix comics as “very important” in European history and adds: “Fighting against pretension of hegemony by the bad guys – be it on land or on water – has never been illustrated in a more decent, ironical and sometimes hilarious manner.

“Most interestingly, according to the analysis provided by this paper, it was not that dangerous either, given the low rate of serious injuries.”

……..and these moronic “academics actually get paid for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Sheep 'saved owner's life'

A Wiltshire woman says her pet sheep saved her life - by spotting her breast cancer.

Emma Turner, 41, from Wroughton, had no idea she had a tumour when Cotswold sheep Alfie suddenly began butting her in the chest, reports the Daily Mail.

A deep bruise developed on the archaeologist's chest over the next few days and she then discovered a lump in the middle of it.

Ms Turner went to hospital to have the lump checked out and a biopsy revealed the early stages of breast cancer.

She has now undergone chemotherapy to treat the tumour, which doctors believe could have gone unnoticed for years if Alfie hadn't butted her.

Ms Turner said: "Alfie is normally really well behaved but that particular day he went nuts and it took three of us to hold him down.

"The doctors and nurses said that if Alfie hadn't done what he did, when he did it, I wouldn't have found the lump for a few years, by which time it would have spread.

"Everyone at the hospital is convinced that Alfie saved my life."

Ms Turner rescued five-year-old Alfie when his mother died during childbirth and nursed him through a number of illnesses during the first 18 months of his life.

She devoted months of love and attention to him and he became a firm favourite with visitors to Vowley Farm, in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where she keeps him.

Friday, 17 June 2011

A Knight’s Tale?

Knight's bid to win maiden backfires

A would-be knight who tried to woo a maiden by riding into her home on a horse is facing five years behind bars for aggravated breaking and entry.
Lovelorn Jan Rudnicki, 40, hatched the scheme to bowl over divorcee Gosia Domoslawska after a night's drinking down his local bar in Jarnoltowka, Poland.
But terrified Gosia, 36, dialed 999 when her drunken suitor - stripped to the waist - galloped up her garden path and smashed his way through the front door like a battering ram.
"He's a loon. I was at home watching TV with my daughter when I heard this deafening crash and suddenly this half-naked man on a horse appeared in my front room," she said.
"I never fancied him before and I certainly don't now. If this was supposed to win my heart he must be seriously off his rocker," added Gosia.
Pal Mirek Nowak explained: "At first we thought Jan was joking. But then he went outside, climbed onto this horse - which he'd ridden to the pub - and set off bare-breasted and bare-backed.
"The next thing we knew, he'd been arrested."
Now the divorced dad-of-seven Jan has apologised and offered to replace the door.
But a police spokesman said: "Smashing into someone's home uninvited is a crime and he will be punished for it."

Thursday, 16 June 2011

All Steamed Up!

Steamroller joyride ends with man pinned
A man who allegedly took a steamroller on a joyride had to be rushed to hospital after he became pinned beneath the machinery.
Police were called around 3:20 a.m. Sunday after received reports a man's ankle was under a steamroller and he was pinned. He was taken to hospital with a serious leg injury.
Police said the man had allegedly taken the steamroller for a joyride and lost control, the steamroller tipping over on him.
Police said alcohol was a factor.
The man is facing charges of theft and impaired driving. An investigation is underway.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Here Piggy Piggy?

Pigs cause jam after escape attempt

Eight pigs have caused a traffic jam after tipping over a trailer they were in to try to escape being slaughtered in Novokuznetsk, Russia.
Eight Russian pigs caused a big traffic jam after trying to escape being slaughtered.
The "stressed" porkers broke out of the trailer they were being transported to an abattoir in by rocking the vehicle from side to side - and their actions caused big queues on a bridge in Novokuznetsk, Russia.
A spokesman for the traffic police department in the west Siberian city said: "The pigs might have been under stress during the ride and started rocking the trailer."
Drivers helped try to catch the porkers and some members of the public assisted in moving the trailer, but two of the crafty pigs have so far managed to avoid being butchered and still remain at large in the city.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Gravy-Train Never Stops In Europe!

European parliament refuses to release expenses report

The European Parliament is refusing to release a secret report detailing widespread abuse of MEPs expenses despite an EU court ruling that there is "overriding public interest in disclosure".

The existence of the document, written by Robert Galvin, a senior EU official who is the parliament's chief internal auditor, was first disclosed by The Daily Telegraph in 2008.
Despite public controversy across Europe over misuse of generous allowances paid to MEPs, parliament officials have fought tooth and nail to keep the Galvin report, number 06/02, secret.
During an internal investigation, Mr Galvin discovered large scale abuse of £185 million in MEP staffing allowances and general expenditure expenses, paid without receipts.
Parliament lawyers argued that publicising the report "could be used to derail" decision-making in the EU assembly.
"The use members make of the allowances available to them is a sensitive matter followed with great interest by the media," said a legal submission.
EU judges threw out the special pleading in a judgement on Tuesday but parliament officials yesterday continued to refuse to disclose the report until an administration decision on whether to appeal in August.
Ciaran Toland, the Irish lawyer who took the case to court, said he was disappointed that parliament would not hand over the document.
"They should publish it and accept the finding of the court. It is a principle that this kind of report should be published now and in the future," he said.
"No self-respecting parliament should ever be afraid to discuss its finances in front of the citizens who elect it, and who pay for those very funds."
Heidi Hautala, a Finnish Green MEP, said: "Instead of inventing trumped excuses to deny citizens access to information that should be in the public domain anyway, the parliament should be helping."

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cooling Off?

Horse rescued from swimming pool

A horse had to be rescued from a swimming pool after it bolted and fell in when his rider hopped off to answer a call of nature.
It took 11 firefighters and wildlife experts more than an hour to haul the terrified stallion - called Coco - from the open air pool, in Wels, Austria.
"The horse wasn't tied up and he just took off. It crashed through a hedge and went head over hooves into the pool," explained one firefighter.
"He was very frightened but just couldn't seem to haul himself out of there so we waited until he was calm and hauled him free," he added.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Photo Opportunity?

French customs agent axed for fun with Obama passport

French authorities suspended a customs inspector for having a photo taken of himself with US President Barack Obama's passport as the leader entered France for the G8 summit, officials said Friday.
The inspector annoyed traveling US officials by posing for a souvenir picture after stamping Obama's passport as the White House delegation arrived on May 26, a union and local radio station France Bleu Cotentin reported.
"The American officials who handed over the passports of their delegation did not appreciate it," Philippe Bock, a local customs workers' representative of the Solidaires labor union, told AFP, confirming the report.
"The punishment came quickly," he added, saying the inspector was suspended and is likely to be transferred to another department.
The head of communications for the customs service, Jean-Roald L'Hermitte, confirmed there was "an incident involving a senior manager, during the passport check of foreign delegations."
France Bleu said it was the regional head of the customs service but L'Hermitte would not confirm this. He said the agent was suspended for up to three weeks and an investigation was under way.
Arriving for the summit in the northwestern resort of Deauville, Obama's presidential plane Air Force One landed at a minor local airport where customs officers rather than border police carry out passport controls.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Pull Them Up!!

Saggy pants mean no ride on one Texas bus system

The Ft. Worth Transportation Authority, known as "The T," has implemented a new policy that prohibits any passenger from boarding a bus with "saggy" pants that expose the person's underwear or buttocks.
"Riders don't want to see a person dressed like that on a public bus," Joan Hunter, communications manager for The T, told Reuters on Thursday. "Our customers think it's disrespectful."
The saggy pants look has been around for more than a decade, tracing its roots to prison attire because inmates are not issued belts. It spread to the rap and hip-hop music community, and from there became a popular symbol of freedom and cultural awareness for many young people.
Hunter said the new saggy pants policy is simply an extension of the dress code that The T has had for years, which has long required shirts and shoes.
"A lot of different people ride the bus," she said. "And many of them told us it's not a good idea to have your pants below your buttocks."
So up went signs in city buses, reading "Pull 'em up or find another ride."
Hunter said a Ft. Worth City Council member is looking for a donor to pay for billboards that carry the same message.
She said the decision on whether a potential rider's pants are inappropriate is up to the discretion of the bus driver.
The first day the policy was in place about 50 people were removed for improper pants, Hunter said.
Some passengers have complained that The T is trying to dictate what they can and can't wear, Hunter said, but overall reaction has been positive. She pointed out that many Ft. Worth-area schools have a similar policy.
"Following this rule is actually easier than following any other clothing policy we have," she said.
"All you need to do is pull your pants up before you get onto the bus. You don't have to go home and get a shirt or get a pair of shoes. Then, after you get off the bus, you can dress however you want."

Thursday, 9 June 2011

TV Take Away?

Suspected thief transports 59-inch TV on bike

A cyclist was arrested on suspicion of theft after police caught him riding – with a stolen 59-INCH TV.
Stupid Steven Long, 23, was spotted by an undercover cop with the giant plasma screen crammed between his body and the bike’s handlebars.
When he saw the police officer he dropped the TV and made a bolt for it – only to be caught in a nearby garden.
Long, from Daytona, USA, told officers he had been given the TV to settle a debt and claimed he ran from the authorities because ”he didn’t like police”.
The victims said their £1,300 TV was stolen after thieves prised open the garage door to get into the property.
Long was charged with burglary, loitering and prowling and is being held in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. Police are investigating whether he is linked to a number of other burglaries in the area.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bank On It!

Woman, 100, has bank account from 1913

A woman in Ohio, US, has been treated to a birthday party at her bank — where she still holds the same savings account her father opened for her in 1913.
June Gregg turned 100 on Thursday. She recently mentioned to a friend that her account with a Huntington Bank branch in southern Ohio dated back to before World War I.
Branch manager Doug Shoemaker did some digging and says he confirmed it was true and that the account number changed just once, when Columbus-based Huntington acquired what had been called the Savings Bank in Chillicothe.
Gregg says her father wanted her to learn how to save. The bank manager says the account has helped the woman become financially comfortable.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Any Old Excuse!!

Lack of sleep 'kills a man's sex drive'

A study has found that men with poor sleep patterns have significantly lower levels of testosterone, which results in a lack of sex drive.
Experts say that reduced levels of the hormone can bring a host of other negative consequences for young men, including reduced libido and poor reproduction.
They can fail to build enough strength through muscle mass and bone density, leading to low energy levels, poor concentration and fatigue.
Low testosterone levels are also linked to the metabolic syndrome - a cluster of metabolic risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
The study’s findings add weight to growing evidence that sleep deprivation leaves major, long-lasting effects on hormone levels.
Scientists from the University of Chicago found men who get less than five hours sleep a night for a week or longer suffer have far less levels of testosterone than those who get a good night’s rest.
Their study, published in this month's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that the levels of the hormone are reduced dramatically to levels more akin to someone 15 years older.
“Low testosterone levels are associated with reduced wellbeing and vigour, which may also occur as a consequence of sleep loss,” said Prof Eve Van Cauter, who led the study.
“As research progresses, low sleep duration and poor sleep quality are increasingly recognised as endocrine disrupters.”
Prof Van Cauter has been studying the effects of sleep deprivation for more than 10 years.
She added: “(A level of ) 15 percent is not an insignificant amount, since it is about the amount that occurs with normal aging by 10 to 15 years."
The study subjected 10 young men, with an average age 24 who were lean and in good health, to a number of “rigorous tests”.
These tests screened for endocrine or psychiatric disorders and sleep problems.
The men then spent three nights in a laboratory sleeping for up to 10 hours. Then over the following eight nights they slept for less than 5 hours.
Researchers took blood samples every 15 to 30 minutes for 24 hours during the last day of the 10-hour sleep phase and the last day of the five-hour sleep phase.
They were also asked to keep a log of how they felt throughout the week.
The study found that testosterone levels were significantly reduced after just one week of sleep deprivation. The men with the lower levels of testosterone reported a decline in their sense of wellbeing and their mood.
Five hours of rest reduced levels of testosterone by between ten and 15 per cent, with the lowest levels recorded in the afternoon between2pm and 10pm.
Prof Van Cauter, who heads the university’s medicine programme, said that, perhaps unsurprisingly, their vigour fell more every day as sleep restrictions were introduced.
Testosterone levels in men decline naturally by between 1 per cent to 2 percent a year as a man ages.
Last year a study found more than three quarters of Britons would rather have a good night’s sleep than indulge in sexual intercourse with their partners.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Love It or Hate It!

Marmite made illegal in Denmark

According to the marketing slogan it is a taste that you either love or hate. But Danes will no longer get the chance to make up their own minds on Marmite after the British delicacy was banned under food safety laws.

Many well known breakfast cereal and drink brands have already been banned or taken off supermarket shelves after Danish legislation in 2004 restricted foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals.
But Marmite had escaped notice as an exotic import for a small number of ex-pats until the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration telephoned Abigail's, a Copenhagen shop selling British food, to ban the famous yeast spread.
"I don't eat it myself, I don't like it but Marmite was one of our best selling products. Not a day goes by without someone coming in and asking for it," said Marianne Ørum, the shop owner.
"All the English people here are shaking their heads in disbelief and say that it is insane. I agree but it is the law. It's becoming impossible to run a business in this country. We are not allowed to do anything anymore. It is the way Denmark is going."
The shop has now started a "Bring back Marmite" campaign to overturn a ban that is seen as discriminating against Britons living and working Denmark.
Lyndsay Jensen, a Yorkshire born graphic designer working in Copenhagen, told the British ex-pat website, that Britons would carry on spreading Marmite on their toast, even if it meant smuggling it in to Denmark.
"They don't like it because it's foreign," she said. "But if they want to take my Marmite off me they'll have to wrench it from my cold dead hands."
The sale of any foodstuff with the "addition of vitamins, minerals and other substances" must be first approved by the Danish authorities after a health scare over their effect on children or pregnant women when combined with other foods with high vitamin levels.
A spokesman for the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said: "I cannot comment on the Marmite case because our expert is away until Thursday."

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The EU….Value for money????

European Commission spends millions on private jets, luxury holidays and cocktail parties

Commissioners travelled in limousines, stayed in five star hotels and splashed out on lavish gifts including Tiffany jewellery as their member states faced savage budget cuts and rising EU taxes.

An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism into spending by the EU executive has shown that more than €7.5m (£6.6m) was spent on private jet travel for commissioners between 2006 and 2010.

Baroness Ashton, the British EU foreign minister, came under fire when it was reported that she had demanded her own private jet less than 100 days into her new role in March last year.

Tens of thousands more was spent accommodating commissioners at luxury five star resorts in exotic locations such as Papua New Guinea, Ghana and Vietnam, the spending figures show.

The Commission also ran up a bill of more than €300,000 (£263,511) for lavish cocktail parties, including an event in Amsterdam costing €75,000, which was described as “a night filled with wonder like no other”.

It spent thousands hiring top orchestras to play at the exclusive parties, while guest speakers at its events were presented with expensive gifts including cufflinks, fountain pens and Tiffany jewellery.

Conservative ministers and MEPs last night reacted furiously to the disclosures, days after the Commission demanded a budget increase of 4.9 per cent, which would cost Britons €3 billion a year in "stealth taxes".

David Lidington, the Europe Minister, said the figures proved the Commission must slash its own spending before its demands for a budget increase can be countenanced.

He said: “Taxpayers across Europe are facing tough decisions about their own housekeeping budgets and its time for the commission to look long and hard and its own spending priorities. Any evidence of extravagance and waste will damage the standing not only of the individual commissioners involved but also of the EU as a whole.

“What’s very clear is that the Commission can afford to make savings before it comes asking national governments for any extra money.”

Bill Cash, Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons, demanded that the EU’s financial watchdog open a formal investigation into the spending.

He said: “Frankly I’m disgusted. The Commission acts like a medieval monarchy and this is taxpayers’ money which is quite clearly being squandered on an outrageous scale.

“This requires formal investigation and as chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee I will be calling upon the Court of Auditors to produce an official report.”

Figures obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and passed to The Daily Telegraph show that the Commission’s President, Jose Manuel Barroso, ran up a bill of €28,000 (£24,500) during a four-night stay at the New York Peninsula Hotel in September 2009.

Mr Barroso stayed at the five-star hotel, where suites cost €780 a night, with an entourage of eight assistants while attending the UN Climate Change Summit. The bill included the cost of hiring meeting rooms and equipment.

The hotel bill came to almost triple the limit of €275 per person per night for accommodation in New York set out in the Commission’s staff regulations.

When questioned over the bill, the Commission said that the overspend was considered reasonable due to inflated accommodation costs in New York during the UN General Assembly.

Commissioners and their families also holidayed at five star resorts in Papua New Guinea and Ghana during 2009.

On one occasion, a delegation of 44 staff was flown to the five-star Palm Garden Resort in Vietnam for an event to “facilitate internal cooperation”.

On top of the £6.6m private jet bill, a further €118,000 was paid for limousines to chauffeur commissioners between official engagements.

Details of the extravagant spending is likely to spark public fury following the Commission’s proposals to levy more than £200 a year from the average British family in direct taxation from 2013.

Janusz Lewandowski, the European budget commissioner, made the demand for tax-raising powers on Tuesday.

Baroness Ashton infuriated British government ministers last month when she demanded an extra £23.5 million to run her diplomatic service, which would take her total budget to £427 million.

The EU foreign minister is the world’s highest paid female politician, earning £230,000 a year. Her demands for more cash were branded “ludicrous” by Mr Lidington last month.

A spokesman for Lady Ashton last night denied that she had requested her own private jet last year, but admitted that she is a frequent user of "air taxis" to destinations where commercial flights are not avaiable.

Martin Callanan, the leader of the Conservative group of MEPs, described the new spending revelations as “scandalous”.

"When the commission said it needs a five percent budget increase to 'pay its bills' we didn't think it meant private jets, Tiffany jewellery and cocktail parties,” he said.

“This is exactly the sort of outrageous spending that needs to be slashed."

Mats Persson, director of the Open Europe campaign group, said the latest disclosures about Commissioners’ spending would further sour the public mood towards the EU.

He said: “With the public mood in Europe turning increasingly hostile to the EU, the Commission would do itself a huge favour by putting an end to this kind of excessive spending. Revelations about EU waste have become almost routine, but that doesn’t make them anymore acceptable.”

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The EU……What a “Gravy Train”!!!!

The European Union's spending

£3 billion

Amount of 'stealth taxes' to be levied on Britons under European Commission plans to generate one third of the EU budget by 2020 using direct taxation powers.

£682 million

The amount Brussels demanded British taxpayers stump up in extra contributions next year to meet a proposed £5.5 billion increase in spending.

£9.2 billion

Amount British taxpayers contributed to the EU in 2010.


The nine tenths of the EU's budget in 2009 that was “materially affected” by irregularities, projects that included the spending of more than £350,000 “improving the lifestyle and living standard of dogs” in Hungary.


The annual cost of paying pensions to Eurocrats by 2040, British taxpayers will end up paying £350million of the total.


The amount British taxpayers paid for EU pensions in 2010, giving the average retired Eurocrat an income of almost £60,000.


The number of unelected EU civil servants who pocket bigger salaries than David Cameron's annual income of £142,500.


The annual pay and perks package for Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign minister and highest paid female politician in the world


The number of senior EU officials, earning £185,000 a year, who were entitled to three months time off work on full pay last year.


The amount that the European Parliament’s 736 MEPs can collectively claim this year in “daily subsistence” and “general expenditure” expenses without having to provide any receipts or proof of expenditure.


The annual cost of moving the entire EU parliament hundreds of miles from Brussels to Strasbourg for a plenary sitting once a month as a symbol of Franco-German reconciliation.


The European House of History, to be built by 2014 by MEPs, despite a continuing argument over fundamental historical event, such as what happened during the Second World War.


The annual cost of EuroparlTV, a television channel, which highlights the work of MEPs, and has only 830 daily viewers, less than 10 per cent of the 9,000 people working in the parliament every day.


Cash to train teenagers in Burkina Faso and Mali, two of the world's poorest countries, in “therapeutic dancing” because Africans find that “expression of feelings through the spoken word is often difficult and complicated”.


The funding went to the London-based Flying Gorillas troupe, whose acts includes the “brilliant smelly foot dance”.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Wash-Day Blues

Woman shot washing machine

A Florida woman allegedly flooded her home when she fired a rifle at a target inside her husband's wardrobe, missed and hit the washing machine instead.

Deputies entered the home in Hesperia, St Lucie County, to find "a lot of water on the floor covering most of the residence", according to Sheriff's Office records.

The 21-year-old woman and her husband, 33, are divorcing but had spent an evening together in hope of a reconciliation, reports WPTV.

They had a "good evening" but later started arguing when she told her husband she had a new boyfriend. She said her husband "went crazy" and started shooting indoors.

However, the woman later told deputies she had been shooting the AR-15 rifle with her husband. Asked to write a sworn statement, she allegedly said: "I'll try my best but I'm drunk."

The man told deputies he and his wife had been firing the gun at a target in a bedroom closet and his wife missed a shot while he was outside and struck the washing machine.

Investigators found cartridge casings in the master bedroom, and a target in the wardrobe. Bullet exit holes were found in the wall opposite the washing machine which was riddled with bullet holes.

Deputies said no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Flooded-out farmer needs permit to remove fish

Bureaucrats have added insult to injury for a corn farmer south of Montreal whose fields have been damaged by near-record flooding.

Martin Reid says he's been forced to buy a fishing licence to remove carp that are swimming in a metre of water on his flooded-out fields.

He says he bought the permit to avoid the problems he faced the last time he was forced to remove fish from his flooded farmland. In 1993, Reid was fined $1,000 for illegal fishing.

"My father and I ... were charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada," Reid recalled. "We were jointly responsible for having caused the death of fish for reasons other than sport fishing."

Reid says the fine will jump to $100,000 if he's cited a second time.

He's under strict orders to safeguard the lives of the carp once he begins to expel them.

"We have to collect all of them, and we have to fish both sexes, that's what (the permit) says," Reid explained.

"I have to transport them so as not to damage them, by containers with water inside. If some of them die, I have to bury them."

What's more, his permit expires in two weeks even though floodwaters have yet to recede.

A spokesman for the provincial natural resources department defended Ottawa's decision.

"The idea is to help farmers," said Jean-Philippe Detolle. "The licence was issued to reassure them they won't be fined."

Quebec's wildlife minister, Serge Simard, also defended the decision to fine Reid and his father during the 1993 flood.

"He was pumping water," said the minister. "The fish passed through the pumps and came out in pieces. The neighbours complained because it was contaminating the environment."

Reid, a third-generation farmer, says the government's demands are unacceptable, especially given the severe crop damage that he has yet to fully assess.

"If we wanted to challenge it we would have to sue the federal government and pay lawyers," he said.

"The legal process could drag on for five years."

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Women not attracted to smiling men

A study in Canada has found that women are more attracted to men who rarely smile.

According to research by the University of British Columbia females are more sexually attracted to brooding bad boys than happy-go-lucky lads.

Professor Jessica Tracy of UBC's Department of Psychology said: "While showing a happy face is considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction -- few studies have actually examined whether a smile is, in fact, attractive.

"This study finds that men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles."