Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weee....AHHHHH!!! Roller Coaster Rips Arms & Legs Off Test Dummies

Roller coaster aficionados worldwide will certainly have an "arm raising" experience riding a new thrill ride soon-to-open in the UK.

The new terrifying coaster, dubbed "The Swarm", will be opening at Thorpe Amusement Park in Surrey, England, but the ride just might be a bit too intense, after test dummies strapped in to the coaster lost appendages during a dry run. The top secret coaster cost a reported  £20,000,000 to construct, and stands 127 feet high and reaches speeds up to 62 miles per hour. But test runs for the behemoth creation were more than a little troubling after photographs revealed the amputated arms and legs of the test mannequins.

Thorpe Park, however, claims the dummies lost their limbs in the pursuit of pushing The Swarm to the "absolute limit" because customers wanted the most extreme experience possible, without losing any vital appendages. Mike Vallis, divisional director at the theme park said he was now 100 per cent satisfied the ride met safety standards.
The dummies were apparently damaged when the ride took them too close to a prop church built on the premises. An emergency response team was promptly called in to respond to the problem before the park opens up to the public on March 15.

Seeds of Life: Doomsday Seed Vault Receives 25,000 New Seeds

Does the fate of humanity hide inside this cold, stark vault?

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (better known as the "Doomsday" Seed Vault) has added  25,000 new rare seeds to its already impressive collection.

Opening in 2008 in Svalbard, Norway, the steel and concrete vault was constructed high above the Arctic Circle as a way for humans to preserve precious seeds of practically every plant, flower, fruit and vegetable on Earth. The idea is when a cataclysmic event strikes the Earth, the seeds preserved at the vault will be able to replenish the planet and provide food, should humans even survive the catastrophe.

This week, the Seed Vault is set to receive nearly 25,000 samples of seeds from around the world, including those of grains that grow on one of the world's highest mountain ranges and a plant whose stems redden an Ecuadorean drink on the "Day of the Dead." Scientists hope they will be able to use "Jurassic Park" technology to bring back plants in the future, even after becoming extinct.

The cold, stark location was chosen for its permafrost, which will be able to keep the fragile seeds cool, even should power be cut to the location. Funding for the enormous project came from a host of generous benefactors, including Microsoft founder billionaire Bill Gates as well as the wealthy Rockefeller family. 

O-R-E-O: World's Favorite Cookie Celebrates 100th Birthday

Break out the Cookies and Milk...the Oreo Cookie celebrates its 100th birthday!

Nabisco sold its very first yummy Oreo in 1912. The simple recipe required a delicious vanilla filling sandwiched between two chocolate wafers. It was an immediate success after its introduction and has gone on to become the bestselling cookie in the world. Over 320 billion Oreos have been gobbled up over the past one hundred years.

Nabisco plans to honor the cookie with a month-long birthday celebration featuring an international publicity campaign across media new and old, centered on a birthday-party theme and complete with special events and will include a limited-edition Birthday Cake Oreo. "What we’ve really set out to do is something authentic for the brand, true to its roots, that is fresh for today," an executive with the company tells the New York Times.

So, break out a glass of milk and a stack of Oreos and help celebrate. To help get you into the festive spirit, watch this classic 1980s Oreo commercial, featuring a very young Urkel...I mean Jaleel White (who will be shaking his groove thing on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Atreyu's Horse: Woman Battles Tirelessly to Save Horse Trapped in Mud

Nicole Graham comforts her horse Astro. Photo/The Daily Mail

An Australian woman bravely fought the elements to save her beloved horse from the grips of death after it became hopelessly trapped in a mud pit, with the ocean tide set to sweep in and drown the mighty animal.

In a powerful and emotional scene straight out of the classic children's movie The Neverending Story, Nicole Graham remained resolutely beside her horse  Astro, comforting the enormous animal as rescuers tried desperately to free him from the quicksand-like trap on a beach in the town of Geelong, near Melbourne, Australia.

What had started out as an idyllic journey riding the horses on the beautiful beach on a southern hemisphere summer day quickly deteriorated into a nightmare after Graham and her daughter Paris found themselves steering the horses into a dangerous mud trap. Graham and Paris successfully managed to pull the smaller horse from the quagmire, but the much-larger Astro began to quickly sink in deeper and deeper.

Graham's daughter ran to call for help as she remained by Astro's side, clinging to his neck and trying to comfort him, all along fearing the powerful tide would begin to sweep onto the beach and drown the frightened horse. In her desperation, Graham also became trapped in the mud pit. Help quickly arrived and after a three-hour ordeal, both Astro and Nicole were pulled from the pit and the jaws of death.

Graham, who owns more than 10 horses and runs an equine dentistry business, told the Geelong Advertiser how a peaceful afternoon's ride had turned to terror. "It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling." 

I'm thrilled there was a happy ending to this tale...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Going Rogue: Alaska School Covers "Naughty" Statue

A school in Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, has been accused of "going rogue" after complaints that a statue dedicated in front of the school resembles a certain female body part!

The sculpture, called The Warrior Within, began to draw snickers from students and even faculty members soon after it was installed near the school's entrance. Students began to immediately compare it to the female genitalia, causing the students, teachers and parents alike embarrassment each time they passed the 12.5 foot high sculpture, which is carved from stone and concrete and was commissioned by the school for a reported $100,000.

The sculpture's perceived resemblance to a female body part comes from the two carved shields -- one made of bronze, the other aluminum -- that are surrounded by feathers that form the focal point. Three days after the work of art's dedication, the school decided to cover up the sculpture with a large tarpaulin, ostensibly in an effort to "protect the art work from vandals".  The sculpture was later unveiled again, after the artists responsible planned to educate the public on the real meaning of their work of art.

This all seems like that episode of Everyone Loves Raymond, when Raymond's mom creates that unique sculpture for her art class...

Village of the Damned: English Towns Re-Named Ashton Kutcher

Photo Courtesy the Daily Mail

Village dwellers in the UK woke up yesterday to find that their little hamlets had mysteriously been re-named...after Two & A Half Men star Ashton Kutcher!

The sleepy English villages of  Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, Ashton under Hill in Worcestershire, Ashton in south Northamptonshire and finally Ashton Keynes in Wiltshire were all re-christened Ashton Kutcher in the middle of the night! 

Most villagers were shocked by the sudden, unannounced name changes! Not only were the town's names changed, but flowers beds sprang up spelling out the star’s name and local pubs were re-named the Ashton Kutcher Arms, serving 3.9% Ashton Kutcher Ale - much to the confusion of many of the regular patrons. Busts and statues of the handsome star were also spotted in local shops and town squares!

It seems that Comedy Central UK wanted to play a bit of a prank on the locals, while promoting the new season of the hit comedy series Two & A Half Men, which is returning to English airwaves with Ashton famously replacing the ousted Charlie Sheen. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hands Across Russia: Protestors Form 10 Mile Chain Around Moscow

Tens of thousands of Russians joined forces (and hands) around Moscow to show solidarity and to protest the presidential candidacy of Vladimir Putin.

People joined hands and formed an enormous chain of humanity, which circled the Russian capital's historic district. The chain of protestors formed a ten-mile long barrier around the metropolis, home to some twelve million people.

The aim of the protest was to keep up the pressure on Putin who was Russia's president from 2000 to 2008, and is running for a third, now six-year term in a March 4 election. 

Supporters of Putin also staged their own rally, carrying placards that read "Putin Loves Everyone" and "One More Week Before Putin's Victory". The supporters also passed out pro-Putin ribbons with the colors of the national flag, but many people refused to accept the tokens. 

Putin is anticipated to easily win against four Kremlin-approved challengers, but an unprecedented wave of protests has undermined his image throughout Russia as a strong, super-human leader who rules with broad public support. Supporters of Russia's opposition protest also took to the streets of St. Petersburg today. 

Protests against Putin began in December, following a parliamentary election that saw widespread vote rigging to boost the results for Putin's party. Many Russian citizens were angered when the decision that Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev intended to switch jobs. 

The End Is Near: Wyoming Passes Bill to Prepare for Economic & Societal Collapse

The End Is Near Resort, five miles ahead! Where the Fun ALWAYS Ends!

The Wyoming House of Representatives in Cheyenne has passed a "Doomsday" bill that would give the Western state a heads-up in the event of a cataclysm that could possibly collapse the US government and economy.

House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food, fuel and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

The bill would also give the state the power to print its own currency in the event of a complete economic collapse. House members approved an amendment on Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine the extreme conditions under which the state would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier, although Wyoming is completely land-locked.

Representatives stated that preparing for a "worse case scenario" is only prudent, in light of current economic conditions around the world as well as the increase in natural disasters and wide-spread revolutions and civil unrest sweeping the globe.  “I don’t think there’s anyone in this room today what would come up here and say that this country is in good shape, that the world is stable and in good shape — because that is clearly not the case,” state Rep. Lorraine Quarberg, R-Thermopolis, said. “To put your head in the sand and think that nothing bad’s going to happen, and that we have no obligation to the citizens of the state of Wyoming to at least have the discussion, is not healthy.”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fires in the Sky: NASA Investigates Fireballs of February Phenomenon

On St. Valentine's Day Eve, something disturbed the animal population of rural Portal, Georgia. Deep in the night, cows began to moo nervously, dogs and coyotes began to howl and other woodland creatures scurried about the local forest in fear. What caused the nocturnal commotion? A brilliant and large meteor streaking through Earth's atmosphere and burning up in the nighttime skies!

"At 1:43 AM Eastern, I witnessed an amazing fireball,"  Portal resident Henry Strickland told local media. "It was very large and lit up half the sky as it fragmented. The event set dogs barking and upset cattle, which began to make excited sounds. I regret I didn't have a camera; it lasted nearly 6 seconds."

The meteor shows are a common event. Dubbed "The Fireballs of February" by NASA,  the fireballs have become a source of mystery for scientists and other sky-watchers around the world. The space agency has been monitoring the annual event for the past 50 years and have reached the conclusion that the unusual February showers are different from other meteor showers throughout the year, but are unclear on the reason why. 

"These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating," explains meteor expert Peter Brown, a physics professor with the University of Western Ontario in Canada. "They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15 km/s, decelerate rapidly, and make it to within 50 km of Earth’s surface." The start of the yearly spectacle was noted on February 1, when a brilliant fireball streaking across the sky was witnessed by thousands in Dallas, Texas.

The fireball was bright enough to be seen on NASA cameras located in New Mexico more than 500 miles away. "It was about as bright as the full Moon," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Agency. Based on the NASA imagery and other observations, Cooke estimates that the object was 1 to 2 meters in diameter.

So, look to the skies over the next few nights, and you might catch the free spectacle.

Fly the REALLY Friendly Skies: Ohio Airline Offers Mile High Flights

Ohio-based Flamingo Airways is now offering couples the opportunity to join the Mile High Club without running the risk of being escorted off the airplane by burly, humorless TSA agents at the end of the flight!

The amorous airline offers couples wanting to put an extra spark in their relationship a special package worth $425, which includes an hour-long trip high into the friendly skies, along with a bottle of champagne, scrumptious chocolates and an extremely discreet pilot. So, no need to get nookie in a claustrophobic airplane water closet, getting your clothes stained by that lovely blue sanitizing substance used in those amazing vacuum toilets!

"I have had a high heel in my ear once, been shot in the back of the head with a champagne cork, and thank God we wear headsets," "Captain" Dave MacDonald recently told local Cincinnati affiliate WCPO. The airline claims the romantic rendezvous flights are a smashing success, with the company taking as many as eight randy couples into the Wild Blue Yonder each day. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bridge Over the River Norris: Slovaks Vote to Name Bridge After Chuck Norris

"I have a bridge in Slovakia named after me...what do you bring to the plate?"

Action star Chuck Norris has the chance to add another superlative to his list of reasons why he is better than you... the people of the nation of Slovakia will be voting to name a bridge in his honor.

The Walker Texas Ranger actor is extremely popular throughout most of Eastern Europe, where his movies and television shows are still a top draw. The only  two other top names in the running for the bridge, which will span the Morava River and cross the border into neighboring Austria, were Maria Theresa, after an Hungarian empress and the Devinska Cycling Bridge in honor of a nearby historic village. Yeah, like there's any competition there!

The final decision about the name will be up to a regional assembly. But regional governor Pavol Freso has said it would follow the wishes of the local people in the internet ballot where Norris leads as the top choice for the bridge's name by a landslide.

 The voting will run through the month of April. As of Thursday, 1,157 votes have backed Norris, 74% of the total, leaving the runner-up "Maria Theresa Bridge" far behind with a meager 8% of the votes.

Xena Occupying Princess: Lucy Lawless Joins Oil Drilling Protest

She played a tough-as-nails warrior princess on television and now actress Lucy Lawless has taken on a new role as an activist.

Lawless climbed aboard an oil-drilling ship Friday in her native New Zealand, joining six other Greenpeace activists to try to stop the vessel from setting off for an oil expedition trip to the Arctic.

Speaking from atop a 174-foot drilling tower aboard the Noble Discoverer in Port Taranaki, New Zealand, Lawless told members of the press on Friday that strong wind gusts and tough weather conditions were making it difficult to stay aboard but that she and the other protesters planned to occupy the ship for "as long as we possibly can." The activists brought food and other provisions.

Dressed in a bright red jumpsuit and matching helmet, the Spartacus: Blood and Sand actress held up a large banner that read "Stop Shell", referring to the oil company responsible for the drilling expedition in the pristine Arctic waters. Lawless commented to the press that she was taking action for the first time in her life to protest oil drilling and to draw attention to the climate change nightmare currently gripping the globe and its inhabitants in a vise-like grip.

Five police officers did board the ship on Friday, after Shell officials notified the authorities of the on-board protest.  "I'm here today acting on behalf of the planet and my children,'' Lawless said. "Deep sea oil drilling is bad enough, but venturing into the Arctic, one of the most magical places on the planet, is going too far.''

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parting Shots: Woman's Accusatory Obituary Goes Viral

Most obituaries are written with warmth and tenderness, in an effort to honor the passing of a loved one. Families use the memorial as a way to reflect on the life of the person they have lost, reconciling their grief and coming to terms with a painful passing. Alternatively, they can be used to settle some family scores!

An obituary that appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Valentine's Day was obviously meant to do just that. The memorial to Josie Anello at first appeared just like any other, mentioning her name and age, and how she was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Vic Anello. At this point, the obituary takes a major detour into darker terrain.

The memorial continues: "She is survived by her Son, 'AJ', who loved and cared for her; Daughter 'Ninfa', who betrayed her trust, and Son 'Peter', who broke her heart." Hmmm...I wonder which one of the children wrote the obit?

Daughter Ninfa placed her own obituary honoring her mother in the paper the following day, minus any references to betrayals of trust or breaking of hearts. What is the cause of the animosity? Money (but of course). Basically, it boils down to the fact that Angelo (AJ), 63, and his sister, Ninfa Simpson, 65, accuse each other of stealing from their mother. Angelo says his sister used their mother's Social Security checks to go on vacation with her husband (to such destinations as Branson, Missouri, and Alaska). Ninfa says her brother maxed out their mother's credit cards and chipped away at her life savings. Both insist that the other's allegations are untrue.

One member of the family who doesn't have much to say about the ruckus is brother Peter, who has been estranged from the family for over 25 years. I'm beginning to see why...

Sacha Baron Cohen Banned from Oscars Ceremony?

The Oscars ceremony proves once again that it doesn't have a sense of humor after telling the UK comic and actor Sacha Baron Cohen that he will be banned from the event if he plans on pulling any red carpet shenangians!

The controversial Borat and Bruno star has been warned by Academy officials that his tickets to the Oscars will be rescinded unless he promises not to show up at the event dressed as the sex-crazed  Gadhafi meets Saddam Hussein character he has invented for his latest parody film The Dictator.  The 40-year-old actor had been invited to the event as the star of one of the Best Picture nominated films, Martin Scorsese's animated Hugo.

"We haven't banned him," an Academy spokesperson assured the press. "We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do. But his tickets have not been pulled."

Perhaps the Academy is trying to prevent Cohen from pulling a stunt like the one he performed at the 2009 MTV Awards, where he descended from the ceiling dressed in angel wings and landed butt-first on equally controversial rapper Eminem. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

X-Ray Specs: New Google Glasses Lets You Surf the Web

If Google has their way, you won't have to lug around a smartphone to look for directions or surf the web while out and about, you'll be able to do so using your cool, designer cyber shades!

The Android-based glasses will use 3 or 4G technology and will work just like your smartphone, only the information will be displayed on a tiny screen only millimeters from your eye. The lenses will cost about the same as a smartphone and will also include motion sensors and GPS as well as a low-resolution camera, making it possible for the glasses to give the user information about their location and even the location of nearby friends and family.

Users will be able to scroll through information displayed on the screen via a series of head tilts and gestures. For those concerned about privacy issues,  Google wants to make sure people know if the glasses are recording their movements and reporting it to other users. The glasses are currently in development at Google's mega-Top Secret Google X laboratories located in an undisclosed location in California and should be on the market by the end of 2012, just in time for the Christmas gift-buying season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Things Your Mother Should Have Taught You: Don't Pee on an Electric Transformer

A UK man was sentenced to a year in prison after he and an accomplice tried to rob a power station, only to suffer severe, life-threatening injuries after urinating on an electric transformer.

36-year-old Michael Harper of Leicester, England, suffered serious burns after making the mistake of unzipping and hosing down an electrical transformer, which promptly exploded, knocking out power to thousands of local residents and causing more than $50,000 in damages. Apparently, Harper and the accomplice had broken into the substation to steal scrap metal to sell to finance their heroin habit.

Harper's kind accomplice, Richard Boyce, 50, promptly left the seriously-injured man behind to fend for himself, but was later arrested by police officers, with severe burns to his own hands. An English judge sentenced Boyce to four years in jail, but reduced Harper's sentence to one year because of his medical ordeal. "You were seriously injured and very nearly lost your life, and will be permanently disfigured," he told Harper at his sentencing.

Amazing Race Producer Murdered in Africa

Sad news coming from the world of reality television: A producer for the hit CBS reality series The Amazing Race have been found dead while scouting locations in Africa. Sources say that show facilitator Jeff Rice was poisoned while traveling  in Uganda, apparently in an extortion attempt by local thugs.

Details are still sketchy, but both Rice and another producer were forced to take poison after refusing demands from their kidnappers. Rice died in the poisoning, while the other producer has survived. Rice was not currently working on The Amazing Race while in Africa but had worked on Season 20 of the show, which premiered on CBS on Sunday night. Rice's job as a facilitator had him traveling all around the world, scouting locations for the Emmy-winning hit series, hosted by Phil Keoghan.

The $120 Million Scream: Edvard Munch's Iconic Painting Sells for Record Sum

Update: Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream broke all the records when it sold at auction last night for almost $120 million, Sotheby's is reporting. This is the largest sum ever paid for a painting. The previous record was $106 million for a Picasso painting. The winning bid came via telephone. The auction house has not yet disclosed who the winning bidder is.

A world-famous painting by celebrated Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is set to be auctioned off in May, and the starting bid is an earth-staggering $80 million!

This is the fourth version of the  iconic painting titled The Scream, which will go to auction at New York City's famed Sotheby's on May 2. The pre-sale bid of $80 million is the highest starting bid for any item in the history of the prestigious auction house. The 1895 pastel-on-board work of art is the only privately owned version of the renowned painting, belonging to a Norwegian businessman whose father was Munch's friend and patron. Two versions of the work belong to the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, while another is at the National Museum, also in Oslo.

The painting rose in notoriety with the release of the Wes Craven directed horror movie Scream in the mid-90s. The killers in the film wore masks that were said to be modeled on the screaming figure in the expressionist painting. 

Like a Lime Green Thumb: Hillary Clinton Stands Out at G20 Conference

"One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong..."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must not have received the memo to wear white to the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico! If her desire was to stand out in the crowd, she certainly accomplished her goal!

Clinton opted to wear a bright lime green ensemble to the informal meeting of G20 members to discuss how to boost sustainable development, food security and the international economy, among other important, global issues. She didn't take the embarrassing fashion faux pas very seriously, as she laughed and joked about her brightly colored outfit with fellow members of the panel when it came time for a lively photo op.

Of course, the former First Lady  is accustomed to coming under fire for her blindingly bright, sometimes dowdy fashion choices. As Project Runway designer Tim Gunn succinctly put it, "Why must she dress that way? I think she's confused about her gender. All these big, baggy menswear tailored pantsuits?"


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Prince & The Brawler: Monaco's Prince Pierre in Bloody New York Bar Brawl

Pierre Casiraghi, left, with sister Charlotte & brother Andrea

Being in a bar brawl is not exactly what one thinks of as princely behavior, but that's just exactly what happened to Monaco's Prince Pierre Casiraghi while in New York City over the weekend.

The 24-year-old prince, the grandson of beautiful American film legend Princess Grace Kelly, was left injured and bloodied after a fight broke out at the Double 7 night club in mid-town Manhattan late on Saturday evening. Witnesses say Pierre and a group of his friends, including shipping heir and Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriend Stavros Niarchos III, approached  Manhattan club owner Adam Hock. Hock was joined at the table by a bevy of beautiful supermodels, including Natasha Poly, Valentina Zalyaeva and Anja Rubik. Hock exchange words with the young royal and his entourage after they began to drink from a $500 bottle of vodka on Hock's table and a fight ensued. 

Witnesses say that Hock punched Pierre directly in the face with such force, he flew across the room and crash landed into a neighboring table.  Speaking to the New York Post, one witness said: "Pierre’s face looked broken, with deep cuts and blood everywhere. He looked like he needed plastic surgery." Hock also allegedly attacked Niarchos and two other men in Pierre's party. 

Casiraghi was taken to the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center with his injuries but was released later on Saturday. Hock has been charged by police with four counts of third-degree assault for the alleged attacks on the prince, Niarchos and the two other men.

Pierre is the son of Princess Caroline. His father, Stefano Casiraghi, was killed in a tragic high speed boating accident in 1990, when Pierre was only two-years-old. He has an older brother, Andrea, and a sister, Charlotte.  

Outer Limits: Foo Fighters Want to Record Next Album in Space

Multi-Grammy winning rock band The Foo Fighters have announced a rather lofty record their next album in Outer Space!

Lead singer Dave Grohl made the confession to MTV this week, saying he would like a completely original sound to the band's next recording and believes blasting off into outer space just might accomplish this goal. "We have an idea. It's kind of a really big idea. We're going to record it in space. To tape. An analogue moonshot," the outspoken singer has declared. The band's current hit album Wasting Light was recorded on analogue in the garage of Grohl's house.

There's a connection to space in the band's name: Foo Fighters was the secret code name given to Unidentified Flying Objects witnessed by the US military during World War II.

Dave might want to do us all a favor by taking his arch-nemesis Courtney Love (who was married to his former Nirvana band mate, the late Kurt Cobain) along for the ride and kicking her out into the depths of the cold and endless space...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Angry Birds: Chris Brown Gets Attacked by Seagulls on Beach

It might be that seagulls can sense the presence of EVIL after singer Chris Brown was attacked by a flock of the feathered friends while on a Miami beach.

The misogynist Brown, who made a fool out of himself with a silly tirade following his post-Grammy performances last week, was enjoying some down low time on the beach with his latest victim girlfriend Karrueche Tran, when the seagulls took a dislike to his very existence (like a majority of the planet). The clueless Brown was impeded in his attempt to run away from the flying menace when his baggy shorts came down around his ankles. (I'm sure one day he will be wearing his shorts extra-baggy during an upcoming prison stint.)

We hope Karrueche takes the "attack" as a serious OMEN to get as far away as possible from the volatile Brown, who infamously beat-up his ex-girlfriend, singing superstar Rihanna. Instead of being remorseful about his vile behavior, Brown has instead decided to revel in his status as an abuser of females, wallowing in his "fame" and sticking his tongue out at the female race. 

"May the power of Christ compel you..."

The Giant Wakes: Japan's Mt. Fuji Volcano Shows Signs of Awakening

Mount Fuji, the scenic volcano that has long been the symbol of Japan, is now showing signs of increased activity. Reports coming out of Japan claim that Mount Fuji (Fujiyama) is now exhibiting signs of an imminent eruption.

The volcano, the highest point in Japan, is located only sixty-two miles from the capital of Tokyo and can be seen from the metropolis on a clear day. Fuji last erupted in 1707, when a violent eruption took place, which destroyed many villages located at the flank of the mountain and covered nearby Tokyo in a thick layer of ash. Many towns are currently located in the lava flow of the 1707 eruption and would be in danger of being destroyed should the volcano erupt again.

A moderate-sized earthquake located slightly to the west of Fuji took place a few days after the devastating 9.0 earthquake struck near Tokyo in March of last year. According to the report, which includes an unclear photo of the area, a row of new craters, the largest 50 meters in diameter, has appeared on the eastern flank of the volcano at 2200 meter elevation. Steam was observed erupting from these vents.

Mount Fuji is one of the Three Holy Mountains of Japan, which also includes Mount Tate and Mount Haku. Japanese scientists and authorities are currently monitoring the situation for any changes in the volcano's status.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Grimm's Stupid Tales: Robber Gets Nabbed After Leaving Candy Wrapper Trail

A bumbling Arizona thief let his sweet tooth get the best of him after robbing a local store, so much so that he left a trail of empty candy wrappers for the police to follow directly to his door.

Police in Eloy, Arizona, say that Jose Lopez, Jr. forced his way into a shop and made away with a safe containing cash and jewelry as well as some chocolate candy bars that were on display. The police had to do a little footwork, but eventually they discovered a trail of discarded candy wrappers strewn about, which handily led them to Lopez' front door, less than a quarter of a mile from the crime scene!  Authorities also identified Lopez' footprint from the scene of another robbery.

Lopez, dubbed "The Hansel & Gretel Bandit",  has now been arrested for third degree burglary, theft, possession of marijuana, and had an outstanding warrant for violating probation. He is being held in the Pinal County Jail. The stash of more than $2000 as well as the stolen jewelry have been returned to their rightful owners.

Fight the Linsanity: B-Baller Jeremy Lin Fights to Trademark Nickname

New York Knick's break-out star Jeremy Lin isn't about to allow his new-found popularity dribble away! The super-hot athlete has applied for a trademark for his nickname "Linsanity" with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The soft-spoken Lin applied for the trademark this week, putting his claim on a huge array of merchandising that would bear the name Linsanity, including sneakers and athletic apparel,  T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, robes, caps, slippers, sandals, and pajamas. Merchandising could potentially bring the 24-year-old burgeoning superstar untold millions of dollars.

The Huffington Post is reporting that two California business men have already filed a trademark for the name, and one of the men is currently running a website called We suspect Jeremy's lawyers will be filing some legal papers of their own regarding this, especially since the website is selling clothes and gear in the Knicks blue and orange colors and mentions the "Garden" (short for Madison Square Garden, the Knicks home court).

All is not perfect in the World of Linsanity...The Knicks lost last night to the New Orleans Hornets, with Lin experiencing a sub-par game. 

Degrassi Actor's Remains Identified After 4 Years

Degrassi Junior High actor Neil Hope (in glasses)

An actor who once starred on popular Canadian school melodrama Degrassi Junior High has finally been announced dead, four years after his unclaimed body was buried.

The Degrassi Junior High actor Neil Hope, who played Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on the popular 1980s TV series, died in near-anonymity over four years ago, his family has confirmed after lengthy attempts to track down his whereabouts.

The reclusive actor had little contact with family and friends during his final years and died alone in an Ontario, Canada, rooming house in 2007, claims his ex-fiance Christina Boulard. Boulard says that the star of the groundbreaking television series died from natural causes at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope suffered from diabetes.

Hope was one of Degrassi's earliest stars, appearing as Griff on the first installment, The Kids of Degrassi Street, in 1979.On the later Degrassi Junior High he portrayed the troubled character Derek Wheeler, known as  "Wheels", who struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. The actor was candid about his own difficult childhood growing up with parents who were alcoholics.

Hope would make guest appearances on Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2001 and 2003, but parts became scarce for the struggling actor. Boulard is planning a private memorial in June for Hope's old Degrassi colleagues and close friends in order to pay tribute to their fallen fellow actor and friend.

Beyond the Matrix: Keanu Reeves Dispels Vampire Rumors by Appearing in Daylight

The Matrix star Keanu Reeves managed to instantly dispel thousands of rumors swirling around the Internet that he is a vampire by appearing out in public...during the middle of the day.

Rumors began spreading across social media websites such as twitter and Facebook that the eternally-youthful Reeves, 47, must be one of the living dead. Citing his seemingly ageless face (he looks the same today as he did twenty years ago), gossip-mongers started to analyze just how the Speed actor has maintained his handsome good looks over the past several decades.

Of course, Reeves did star in Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic tale Dracula with actor Gary Oldman as the titular blood-sucker. (Co-incidentally, Coppola's nephew Nicolas Cage has also been the subject of his own "Living Dead" rumors.)  Reeves' appearance yesterday in Berlin, Germany, however, quickly dispelled all of those silly rumors, as the actor was photographed by paparazzi enjoying some shopping in the stylish city, in the middle of the day, which as everyone knows, is a big No-No if one is a vampire. The actor was in town to attend the Berlin Film Festival.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Safe Cracker: Man Buys Safe on eBay with Big $$$ Left Inside

 A Tennessee man is reaping the rewards of buying a safe for $122 on online auction site eBay...and discovering the safe contained more than $26,000!
James Labrecque listed the safe for sale on his eBay account, with the helpful disclaimer "What you see is what you get, no returns, and no money back", as he did not have the combination to the safe. Someone was only too eager to snap up the safe for a bargain price, not knowing that it contained a hefty chunk of cold, hard cash.

The winning bidder was very delighted to give Labrecque positive feedback on eBay, letting him know how thankful he was for the "special gift" left inside the vault.  Labrecque quickly tried to convince the buyer to share the treasure trove with no avail. In fact, the buyer quoted Labrecque's helpful disclaimer back to him!

"I made a mistake, you know, that's what it boils down to. And it cost me dearly," says Labrecque, who admits that he did rattle the safe around to see if there was anything inside before selling it.  He also insists that if he bought the safe and discovered the money inside, he would have split the money 50/50 with the seller... Um...okay. Right!

Genie in a Bottle: Christina Aguilera Tries to Unload $13.5 Million Home

Superstar singer Christina Aguilera has posted new photographs of her beautiful Beverly Hills mansion in an effort to try and sell the property in a sluggish economy and heinous housing market.

The 31-year-old star of NBC's hit talent show The Voice has a unique sense for design, and her bedroom  resembles the interior of Jeannie's bottle in the classic 60s television series I Dream of Jeannie. (Which is appropriate, as her very first hit song was titled "Genie in a Bottle", which hit Number One in 1999 when Christina was an adorable, sweet-faced teenager.)

The home became famous when MTV filmed the popular reality series The Osbournes at the location from 2002 until 2005. Aguilera purchased the home from Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne in 2008 and did some major redecorating of the interior, obviously! More photographs of the incredible home can be found at: Hollywood Backwash

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Diary of Foxy Knoxy: Amanda Knox Signs Lucrative Book Deal

Amanda Knox, the American who was accused of murdering a love rival while studying in Italy, has signed a lucrative book deal to tell her story. Sources say that Knox met with a number of high profile book publishers and that a bidding war broke out for her memoirs. Harper Publishing came out on top of the bids, with an offer estimated to be in the range of $4 million for international publishing rights.

Knox, who spent four years behind bars in an Italian prison accused of murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was exonerated of all charges and was allowed to return to the United States in October. Her boyfriend,  Raffaele Sollecito, was also cleared of all charges in the murder, which made headlines around the world and kept millions captivated. The news isn't as good for Sollecito, as Italian prosecutors asked the country's highest criminal court to reinstate the murder convictions against him and Knox this past week.

Knox, 24, has only done one interview since being released from prison last year. She is currently dating musician James Tarrano and living in Seattle, Washington. The as-yet-untitled memoir is expected to be released by early 2013.

Independence Day: Did President Eisenhower Secretly Meet with Aliens?

Conspiracy theorists are salivating once again after "official" reports were released, claiming that US President Dwight D. Eisenhower secretly met with alien races during his tenure in the White House!

Closely resembling an episode of sci-fi series The X Files, former government official and noted academic Timothy Good claims that in 1954, during the height of the Cold War between the US and the former Soviet Union, "President Eisenhower had three encounters, set up meetings with aliens, which took place at certain Air Force bases including Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico."

There may be some corroborating evidence to Good's claims. In 2010, retired New Hampshire state representative Henry McElroy, Jr. says he accidentally viewed a  top-secret brief meant for Eisenhower's eyes containing information about the existence of aliens in America and the possibility of President Eisenhower meeting up with the creatures.

Eisenhower allegedly met with a secret race of blond aliens known as "The Nordics", who tried to warn the Commander in Chief of the existence of a dangerous alien race that would later be known as "The Greys". The Nordics also warned the president about the dangers of nuclear war, asking the United States to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. President Eisenhower refused.

Eisenhower next met with the "more hostile" Greys, who came to Earth from a dying planet. The aliens then made a secret pact with the president: they could "harvest" as many humans as they wanted from Earth in exchange for the secrets to their own superior technology.  The President [allegedly] agreed to the exchange!

Wow, this really would have made a great episode of The X Files. I just know Agents Scully and Mulder would have ferreted out the truth!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pin It: Mark Zuckerberg Gives His Approval to Pinterest

Facebook founder and billionaire philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg has given his stamp of approval to relative newcomer social media site Pinterest by creating his own profile for the popular site.

The site, which allows members to pin topics of interest to them and share the information with their friends and family, has exploded in popularity over the past six months, becoming one of the most visited new sites on the web, with millions of new members each day. Of course, most Pinterest readers connect to their profiles via their Facebook pages, so perhaps it isn't such a big surprise that Zuckerberg would place his own profile to the site. So far, the busy CEO hasn't pinned many topics of interest to his profile and he is only following a hundred or so profiles belonging to other people.

If Mr. Zuckerberg's profile becomes more active, however, it might definitely be a good sign for the new upstart on the block. "The simple content sharing site can easily be called the hottest start-up of 2012," adds Stan Schroeder from tech site

Stranded: Mysterious Dolphin Deaths Continue Worldwide

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has announced that eleven more dolphins have stranded themselves on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A series of dolphin strandings began in January of this year. The agency states that since January, more than 170 dolphins have been stranded, with 124 of the unique aquatic mammals dying. Experts say that the cause of the strandings is not known at this time.

Similar incidences of dolphin strandings also have been taking place in Peru. Last week, the dead bodies of more than 200 dolphins were discovered scattered along a 150-mile stretch of beach on Peru's Pacific Ocean coast. Large quantities of dead anchovies also washed up on the beaches at the same time. Experts have still not determined an exact cause of the mass animal deaths, but one scientific web site states:

 "This is a very bad sign. We can suspect methane or other poison out-gassing, or perhaps underwater volcanic activity which means more precipitation either of the rain/flood or snow/freeze variety."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Even Naked Cowgirls Get the Blues: Nude Woman Leads Police on Slow-Speed Chase

Corpus Christi, Texas, police were lead on a strange, slow speed chase through a suburban neighborhood by a nude cowgirl... wearing only her cowgirl boots!

Police say that they first saw Taylor Burnham, 18, standing naked outside of a Jeep Wrangler parked in an alleyway, wearing just her boots made for runnin' at three o'clock in the morning. When the officers turned on their lights, Burnham quickly hopped into the vehicle and left the scene.

She wasn't too hot to get away, as she took her time, ambling through residential streets at a slow rate of speed, while a league of police cars followed along in hot pursuit. Burnham eventually drove the vehicle onto a sidewalk before coming to a stop.

The police report states that the suspect appeared intoxicated and was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor drunk driving count as well as a felony count of evading arrest in a motor vehicle. The report doesn't give any reason why Burnham was running around in the buff.

Fireworks: Did Katy Perry Take a Stab at Ex-Russell Brand During Grammy Performance?

Sometimes, when one is hurt, taking a jibe at the person who did the hurting can really make you feel better, especially if you have some 100 hundred million people from all around the world in the audience...

It seems that "Fireworks" singer Katy Perry did just that at the Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday evening. Sources are saying that the pretty 25-year-old songbird altered the lyrics to her latest single "Part of Me", allegedly in response to the bitter break-up of her 19-month marriage to the Get Me to The Greek actor Russell Brand.

The singer took to the Grammy stage at the Staples Center in a space age, form-fitting pant suit and short, blue hair, belting out her newest song. Sources say she changed the lyric "You can keep the dog from me/I never liked him anyway” to "Keep your diamond ring/In fact, you can keep everything ... except for me."

Word is Perry is smarting from rumors that Brand plans to spill the beans about their tempestuous relationship in an up-coming tell-all book, while she has decided to take the high road...until now. The singer has had a record-breaking string of Number One hits from her Teenage Dream album, although she left the Grammy ceremony without a gong. Her performance topped a memorable night that saw a tribute to fallen singer Whitney Houston, who tragically died at the age of 48 the day before the ceremony.


Monday, February 13, 2012

It's a Dog Thing: Martha Stewart's Pooch Wins At Westminster Dog Show

Courtesy of Stewart's Facebook page

Domestic maven Martha Stewart has a new feather to add to her hand-crocheted cap: one of her dogs won the Best in Breed title at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show in New York City.

The dog, a Chow named Genghis Khan, was given the special honor at the world-famous dog show, and Martha was so proud, she quickly took to her twitter and Facebook pages to post the wonderful news, along with some choice photographs for all the world to enjoy.

She was sure to post a photograph of Genghis living in up in grand style and splendor while staying at New York's legendary Plaza Hotel, where he hung out before getting down to business charming the judges at the competition!

Congratulations, Martha, on Genghis' big win at the there anything this lady can't do?

"Dah-ling,  I love you but give me Park Avenue..."

Athens Is Burning: Civil Unrest Returns to Greece with Tough New Austerity Measures

Civil unrest and rioting has returned to the Greek capital of Athens after the country's government voted in favor of tough new austerity measures designed to keep the Mediterranean nation from defaulting on its staggering national debt and bringing about the possible collapse of the European Union. The proposed new bail-out of over €200 billion brought out hundreds of thousands of angry protestors, already suffering under worsening economic conditions since a similar bail-out was voted through only last year.

Angry mobs clashed with riot police throughout Athens and beyond, as protestors lobbed rocks and Molotov cocktails and chunks of marble from buildings and statues . Officials says that over 50 buildings within the Athens city limits have been burned to the ground and many public monuments have been defaced in the worst civil unrest seen in Greece since last summer, that saw hundreds of buildings set ablaze.

The clashes broke out at around 6PM local time as tens of thousands of angry citizens, responding to calls from unions, streamed into Athen's Syntagma Square facing the country's Parliament. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos appealed for calm amid the unrest, warning that Greece cannot weather riots " at these crucial times. Vandalism and destruction have no place in a democracy and will not be tolerated," he added.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

She Lion: Shakira Attacked by Hungry Sea Lion

International pop superstar Shakira got a little too-close for comfort with a sea lion after the aquatic mammal decided it wanted to eat her Blackberry as a bit of a snack, mistaking the hand held device for a shiny, scrumptious fish!

The Colombian-born "She Wolf" singer posted about the incident on her official Facebook page (translated from her original Spanish language post):

“Omg what just happened to me! I was attacked by a sea lion!

“This afternoon I happened to see some sea lions and seals. I thought to myself how cute they were so I decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists and went down to a rock trying to pet them doing a baby talk while taking pictures...

“Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me.

“Everyone there screamed, including me. I was paralyzed by fear and couldn't move, I just kept eye contact with it while my brother "Super Tony" jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast.

“We both got our hands and legs scratched by the rocks while trying to protect ourselves. I believe what happened is that it confused the shiny reflection of the blackberry I was taking these pics with, with some sort of fish. It probably thought I was teasing it with food and then taking it away from it.

“Wow! It's funny that only half an hour before I was complaining to my guide Andrew that I never get to see wild animals up close on adventurous trips. Oh well, I can't say that anymore!! Now I'm off to see some penguins! I hope they are a bit more friendly!”

Yikes! We're glad that Shakira is okay after the scary incident which took place in South Africa, especially in light of the devastating news regarding Whitney Houston's tragic death last night.

Let Them Eat Cake: Dessert for Breakfast May Help You Lose Weight

Remember when you were a kid and you would ask mom if you could have a big ol' slice of cake for breakfast? Remember how her answer was always an emphatic "No!!!"? Well, you might be able to tell your kids "Yes!" to that question, according to a new study from the University of Tel Aviv in Israel.

Researchers say having a little slice of dessert after eating a more-healthy, well-balanced breakfast could actually help weight-loss. The study claims that since a person's metabolism is more active and functional in the early morning hours, people can burn off more calories by eating calorie-ridden foods earlier in the day, giving them more time to use up the energy provided by the sugary snack.

The study also concluded that those who stuck to the new diet guidelines lost the same amount of weight as those in a control group, but those who didn’t have something sweet to eat along with their bowl of Wheaties gained some or most of the weight back after they lost it. The most likely cause is the hormone ghrelin, that regulates the body’s level of hunger. Since those who had a slice of scrumptious dessert in the morning satisfied their level of hunger, they were less likely to get the munchies throughout the rest of the day.

So, no more slices of cake after a hearty dinner, folks. Eat a piece with your oatmeal or grapefruit in the morning instead, and you should be fine!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So Emotional: A Personal Essay on the Life & Death of Whitney Houston

With the sad news of the death of singing superstar Whitney Houston,  I just felt the need to reflect on what she meant to me...

Her incredible talent, energy and breath-taking beauty were an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Bursting onto the scene in the mid-1980s, her angelic voice and supermodel looks enthralled the planet, and she scored hit after hit after hit. No matter if she was singing a soul-stirring ballad or a dance floor anthem, she put everything into her performances. For a long period of years in the 80s and 90s, she was one of the most popular and top-selling recording artists.

When she was hit by the acting bug, Hollywood beckoned, banking on her gorgeous looks and incredible singing talent to carry her through a movie. In 1992, she hit the big time with the film The Bodyguard co-starring Oscar winner Kevin Costner. The movie was a smash hit, and Houston's recording of the Dolly Parton standard "I Will Always Love You" cemented her position as one of the world's most talented and beloved singers. The song topped the charts in practically every country in the world, winning her even more accolades and awards.

She certainly had the pedigree for singing greatness, being the cousin of singing legend Dionne Warwick and the god-daughter to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Her mother Cissy Houston was also a well-known and highly-respected singer.

The singer began experiencing career setbacks in the late-90s, and she became the fodder for the tabloids with her tempestuous relationship with former New Edition bad boy singer Bobby Brown. She stuck by Brown during his many run-ins with the law and jail sentences, even as she drew great criticism. Speculation of her drug use was rampant, as she exhibited odd behavior in public. Her looks began to suffer, and her voice, once spectacular and pristine, began to crack and break. Her concert performances, once a top international draw, began to dry up as well.

However it will be discovered how she died, I will prefer to keep my memories of a happy, beautiful and amazing Whitney Houston in my mind. Whenever I was feeling a little depressed or sad about something, all I had to do was listen to one of her songs such as "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" or "How Will I Know?" and my sadness would completely disappear for those three minutes. Listening to those songs right now won't make me happy, I'm afraid. They will just remind me of what the world has lost at a far too young age. In time, however, I will remember just how happy those songs made me, and this will be her great legacy to the world. Goodbye, Whitney... I will always love you...

The Hull Chainsaw Incident: Video of Chainsaw Bar Fight Released

Shocking surveillance footage of a bizarre attack by a chainsaw wielding man at a bar in the United Kingdom has been released.

The footage, taped last year at the The Endyke Pub in Hull, England, shows 24-year-old Dean Dinnen, who admits to being drunk and on drugs at the time, casually entering the pub with a chainsaw after the establishment had told him he was not allowed to smoke inside of the restaurant. This apparently angered Dinnen so much that he retrieved a chainsaw and returned to search for the gentleman that had tossed him out of the club for smoking.

The disturbing video shows Dinnen brandishing the dangerous weapon at several patrons as he rips open the arm of Adrian Pryor, 32, before realizing that Pryor was not the man who threw him out of the pub. Patrons can be seen scrambling for safety during the attack, with others arming themselves with bar-stools and pool cues to fight off the crazed attacker. Eventually, Dinnen decides to leave the pub, but can be seen being chased down by an angry mob throwing chairs and kegs at the man, intent on bringing the lunatic to justice.

Dinnen pleaded guilty to several charges including causing grievous bodily harm, and was sentenced to three years in prison for the vicious attack.

What a Gas! Man Arrested for Making Flatulence Joke

The next time you compare your flatulence to a lethal bomb while out in public, you might want to think again...

Police in Mississippi arrested 19-year-old Harold Wayne Hadley, Jr. at the junior college he attends for allegedly writing a sweet little note on a roll of toilet tissue in the bathroom that contained the word "bomb". Hadley, however, insists that the note was not a terrorist threat to blow up the school..."bomb" is a pet word he uses to describe the deadly nature of his farts!

The discovery of the note prompted eleven different emergency agencies to arrive at the school in full combat gear, and the entire campus had to be evacuated. Hadley's family members told local press that he was only expressing great pride in his ability to produce toxic levels of gas from his own body: "He was in the restroom doodling on some toilet paper ... we are from the country, and he calls passing gas, bombs," said Hadley's aunt, who preferred to remain anonymous. "[He] put 'I passed a bomb in the library,' talking about passing gas, and somebody came in and found it, gave it to a teacher that recognized his hand writing and it blew all out of proportion."

Hadley was arrested and held on $20,000 bail. If convicted of threatening to blow up the school, he faces 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Booby Prize: Unedited E-Mail Sent to Tornado Preparedness Members Leaves Many Red-Faced

"Mabel, get out here and show your knockers, the twister's comin' this way!"

A company e-mail that was sent out to hundreds of people has left the Oklahoma Insurance Department more than a little red-faced!

A state worker is now facing disciplinary action after sending out an unedited e-mail to hundreds of recipients offering a prize to the "girl with the biggest tits" at the National 2012 Tornado Preparedness Summit. Obviously, someone intended to play a little prank, but the e-mail was not vetted before being sent out by the clueless employee. Many recipients were quite surprised that the main qualification for the Insurance Commissioner's Award for the year would be the size of a woman's breasts, leaving all the qualified male candidates out of the loop and feeling like victims of discrimination. The category was meant to be for outstanding contributions to the insurance industry in tornado preparedness.

A second e-mail was issued to the same recipients twenty minutes later, retracting the booby prize statement and apologizing to anyone who may have taken offense.

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