Saturday, March 31, 2012

Potty Shy? New Gadget Hides Your Bathroom Noises

Do you hate to have to use a public restroom because of a phobia about other complete strangers hearing you do your business? Well, there's a new invention just for you...

The ever-industrious Japanese (who take toilets very seriously) have designed a new gadget that promises to conceal any bodily sounds you might make while using a public loo.

The new Eco-Otome Toilet Sound Blocker device is cleverly constructed to look like an ordinary key chain. When you are in the middle of making Number One or Number Two (depending on just how potty shy you are), simply push the button on the device and it will generate the loud, continuous sound of a high-pressure toilet flushing for twenty-five seconds, drowning out any unfortunate slips, grunts, plops or pooooots you might have released, sparing you any embarrassment and leaving you with your dignity completely intact. The person in the next stall won't have a clue about your bathroom habits, which is exactly the way it should be....

Half-Billion Dollar Winning Lottery Tickets Sold in Maryland, Illinois & Kansas

There were three winning tickets sold for one of the largest lottery jackpots ever! The Mega Millions nationwide lottery was an estimated $640 million, more than half a billion dollars!

The ever-increasing jackpot created frenzied scenes of lottery ticket fever throughout the nation yesterday, as millions of people decided to buck the astronomical odds of winning and purchase a ticket. The lottery bureau announced this morning that 3 tickets with the winning number were purchased outside of Baltimore, Maryland, Illinois and Kansas. At this time, all winning ticket holders are still anonymous.

The winning numbers are:  2-4-23-38-46, with the Mega Ball of 23. So, check your numbers this morning to see whether or not you will be sharing a half-billion dollar prize!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Face for Rent: Students Sell Face Time to Pay Off Debt

Two college students in Great Britain have come up with a novel way to help pay off their debts by renting out their faces as human billboards to advertisers!

Ross Harper and Ed Moyse launched their website in October 2011 as a last ditch effort to pay off their student loan debt, which was a combined total of around $80,000 US. They have since been selling prime real estate on their faces to advertisers willing to pay top dollar/pound/Euro for the opportunity to participate in the unique promotional tactic.

"Companies can literally buy advertising space on our faces. We then paint whatever they’d like: a message or logo onto our faces," Harper told Marketplace. Initially, the charge was a rather meager £1 per day, put now they are charging up to $600 a day.

So, is the plan working? Although the guys admit they are not millionaires quite yet, they have put a dent in their debt, bringing in almost $50,000 in only 180 days! My advice is to have a nice facial massage and cleansing once in a week to keep those mobile billboards fresh and pristine!

Too Much Information!: UK Government Briefed on Planetary EMERGENCY Involving Wide-Scale Methane Release

Mass Methane Gas Leak in North Sea

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quaker Oats Icon Gets Plastic Surgery Makeover

Larry, the smiling gentleman from the Quaker Oats carton, has received an Extreme Plastic Surgery Make-Over!

It seems the 134-year-old man who has graced literally billions of Quaker Oats boxes was in need of some cosmetic touch-ups to keep up-to-date with the changing times. From new photographs, it looks as if ol' Smiling Larry has had a face-lift, liposuction under his chin and along his jawline as well as an upper and lower eye-lift. I can't be sure, but it also appears as if he has had some Botox injected into his forehead to erase some wrinkles and maybe some Restylane filler to make the folds running between his nose and lower lip less noticeable.

Alas, while the cosmetic surgery overhaul doesn't cost a penny with the help of Photoshop, if Larry were a real guy wanting to look younger, he would have to shell out an estimated $55,000 on all the above-mentioned surgical procedures!

So, does seeing Larry's more youthful visage make you want to eat more oatmeal?

Insanity Airlines: Woman Arrested After Attacking Flight Crew

A passenger on US Airways flight 1697 from Charlotte, North Carolina to Ft. Myers, Florida., had to be restrained and put in hand ties after attacking the flight crew, according to police and airline officials.

The female passenger got out of her seat mid-flight and attacked the crew, kicking them, spitting in their faces and knocking one flight attendant to the cabin floor. Witnesses said that one flight attendant had bruises and bandages as well as noticeable scratch marks on her face and body.

The woman, identified to be Peggy Albedhady-Sanchez of Union City, New Jersey, was removed from the airport by police once the plane arrived. She was observed by medics in the terminal before being taken away. During that time she was screaming and crying. Family members claim that a combination of medication and alcohol consumed during the flight is responsible for the emotional break-down.

The incident comes after a lengthy spate of similar incidences in the once Friendly Skies in the past several weeks, including a JetBlue pilot who went "completely berserk" during a flight this week, in which he broke through a pair of plastic wrist restraints. This also follows another recent incident of a female flight attendant, who announced over the plane's PA system that there was a bomb on the flight, panicking passengers. The flight attendant also had to be forcibly restrained until the flight could make an emergency landing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boom Boom Boom: Strange Noises Return to Wisconsin Town, Louder & Longer

The strange loud, booming noises that plagued a small town in Wisconsin have returned, and this time they are louder and last longer!

After a lull of four or five days when the noises were not reported, suddenly they returned again yesterday. Residents of Clintonville, Wisconsin, started calling in to emergency services to report the return of the odd, booming sounds, accompanied by shaking earth. Geological experts concluded that the noises, described by witnesses as the sound of loud gunfire or fireworks exploding, were caused by a series of micro-quakes in the area.

As most people in Wisconsin are unaccustomed to experiencing earthquakes, the idea wasn't much of a relief to the residents of the town, especially in light that the booms have returned once again. Many are left with the fear that a major earthquake is brewing, now that the noises have decided to return...louder and longer than before.

Another Facebook Death as Woman Commits Suicide Live Online

Another death has been linked to social media mega-site Facebook after a woman in Taiwan allegedly committed suicide while carrying on conversations live via the site.

Taiwanese authorities say 31-year-old Claire Lin from Taipei gave a running commentary about her plans to kill herself  to at least nine people on her friend's list, but none of them contacted emergency services to prevent the tragedy. Lin lit up a charcoal grill in the enclosed space of her bedroom with the intent to asphyxiate herself, even going so far as to post a photograph of the flaming grill in her bedroom, burning next to two of her stuffed animals.

Although some of her friends begged her to stop, none of them contacted emergency services to try and help the disturbed woman. One of her Facebook friends, identified as Chung Hsin, told Lin: "Be calm, open the window, put out the charcoal fire, please, I beg you."

Lin responded with "The fumes are suffocating. They fill my eyes with tears. Don't write me anymore."

Her last online entry read, "Too late. My room is filled with fumes. I just posted another picture. Even while I'm dying, I still want FB [Facebook]. Must be FB poison. Haha."

Soon after, the woman's family reported her suicide to the authorities, but were unaware of her online conversations regarding her plans to kill herself. Apparently, Lin was distraught that her boyfriend was not on speaking terms with her and failed to visit with her on her birthday.  

Chai Ben-rei, a sociologist at Taiwan's Feng Chia University, said the incident reflected social isolation in the Age of the Internet, where many people view real life events playing out as a game or a form of entertainment for the masses.

"People may have doubts about what they see on the internet because of its virtual nature, and fail to take action on it," he said.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Land of Chocolate: Study Finds Eating Lots of Chocolate Keeps You Thin

Want an easy and delicious way to stay thin? Eat plenty of chocolate, one study says!

The March issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine has published the findings of a new study claiming that people who frequently ate chocolate had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who didn't load up on the yummy, sinful treat.

Researchers examined more than 1,000 healthy men and women for the study who were free of heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol problems. They were all enrolled in another study that measured the effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, but for this study researchers assigned them questionnaires that gauged how often participants chowed down on chocolate.

The researched discovered that the participants in the study that ate the most chocolate during an average week actually had healthier BMI's than ones who indulged on dark chocolate less often. Although chocolate is high in calories, it also contains beneficial antioxidants, which might explain the healthy connection.

So, the next time you have the desire to bite into a Hershey bar, remind yourself it's good for your health and diet!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Go Tell It on the Mountain: Thousands Flock to French Mountain for "Safe Haven"

Media has been reporting the odd phenomenon of thousands of people making a pilgrimage of sorts to the French village of Bugarach, where a mountainous peak, shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years, apparently offers safety from "the approaching apocalypse".

The international press has been quick to marginalize the thousands of individuals who have decided to heed an inner voice to come to the limestone Pic de Bugrach, by calling these people "hippies" and "New Agers" in order to make them objects of ridicule. "Hippies"? Seriously, who uses that term in the year 2012? This isn't 1974 folks, as if that wasn't obvious enough.

Recently, a spate of UFO sightings near the limestone mountain peak made the news. There have been rumors for decades that Hitler had a secret compound in the mountain. The mountain also allegedly gave Steven Spielberg the idea for his classic film Close Encounters of the Third Kind after visiting the area in the 1970s.

So, what is bringing these people to the area? There doesn't appear to be any Facebook campaign drawing them. It is a very quiet movement, spreading not so much by social media and text message, but rather by a grass roots, word-of-mouth campaign. Media didn't catch wind of the movement until well after it started, but they didn't waste any time swooping in to quash any beauty there might be within it all. It happened much more simply, how things in life used to take place, so long ago now that it is difficult to even remember. That world seems like a lost, beautiful dream, clouded by the fog of modern technology that robbed us of our humanity, of our ability to think independently, to act on our own instincts and follow what our hearts and minds are telling us to do.Why listen to your heart when Facebook or twitter can tell you what to think, what to do and when to do it?

So, is this a Field of Dreams for the 2012 generation? There is talk of constructing a "Noah's Ark" at the top of the mountain, an oasis for survival, should an approaching Apocalypse descend upon the masses. From where I'm seated, the time does indeed seem to be now. Now it is a matter of if something should happen or if something will not happen for many people, who would apparently miss the point of all this.

For a biased and jaundiced sound bite on the story, you may watch the following video, but remember you do have the ability and right to think independently:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Soccer Superstar David Beckham Puts Beckingham Palace Up for Sale

Soccer superstar David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, have put their sprawling English countryside manor house on the market, for a cool $29 million.

Seems the stylish couple, who have settled into their home in Los Angeles where David plays for the LA Galaxy, thought better of keeping the estate in their homeland when their lives now keep them Stateside the majority of the time.

The couple purchased the gorgeous estate, dubbed "Beckingham Palace" by the British press, in 1999, for a reported $4 million,  but have done extensive refurbishing of the home and property over the past decade. Beckham had the opportunity to return to Europe to play with a French team late last year, but declined, stating that his family is his top priority, and his children, sons, Romeo, Cruz, Brooklyn and infant daughter Harper, are well-adjusted in their lives in LA, and he did not wish to uproot his family.

The super-couple also maintain a home in the French countryside, as well as their sprawling LA home base.

Hungry for Hunger as The Hunger Games Smashes Box Office Records

Anticipation for the film The Hunger Games has reached its frenetic peak, as the sci-fi film opened up on Friday, to a record-breaking box office.

The movie, based on a series of bestselling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, posted the fifth best opening day in movie history, and the largest box office for a non-sequel, by taking in an estimated $68.3 million since midnight Saturday morning. The action/adventure flick easily surpassed the previous opening-day record  for a non-sequel, 2010′s Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp, which brought in $40.8 million. 

The film has been boosted by highly favorable reviews, and good notices for the mostly young cast, including Kentucky-native Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Miley Cyrus' alleged fiancé Liam Helmsworth as Gale and Josh Hutcherson (another Kentucky native) as Peeta.

The book and film are set in an apocalyptic not-so-distant future, where people are forced to compete in a televised fight-to-the-death battle for the entertainment of the masses. The subsequent books in the trilogy are expected to be adapted for the big screen as well, taking over for a retired Harry Potter series and a winding down Twilight series. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ghost Ship: Trawler Swept Away by Japanese Tsunami Found Off Canadian Coast

A Japanese fishing boat lost in last year's horrifying tsunami has been found, over four thousand miles away off the west coast of Canada!

The trawler is part of the estimated five million tons of debris swept up by the mammoth, twenty-four foot tsunami that devastated countless cities and villages along the Japanese coast following a powerful 9.0 earthquake in March 2011. Now, more than a year after the cataclysm, Canadian military air patrol have spotted the ghost vessel, unmanned since the disaster, near the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the coast of British Colombia. The ship, which was used for squid fishing, was moored near the city of Hachinohe in the Aomori prefecture when the tsunami hit, said Toshiro Yoshinaga, an official with the Japanese Coast Guard. Canadian agencies are monitoring the ship for marine pollution.

A massive "floating island" of debris from Japan is steadily making its way across the Pacific Ocean, and is hovering close to the western coasts of both the United States and Canada. Experts believe the toxic debris could start washing ashore within the next year.

Blindside: Pat Robertson Believes God Should Punish Peyton Manning/Denver Broncos

700 Club founder and televangelist Pat Robertson blindsided former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his new team the Denver Broncos by more-or-less telling them "God is going to get you for trading Tim Tebow..."

It seems the 82-year-old Robertson, who has spent the better part of the last several decades having daily one-on-ones with the Big Chief in the Sky, heard it from God himself that he's not very pleased with how badly the Broncos treated their quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow rose to fame with his quiet dignity, humbleness and his now-famous prayer session at the beginning of each football game. Manning had to sit out the entire season with the Colts due to a persistent neck injury which required delicate surgery. After the Broncos made the announcement that Manning was coming on board, it was revealed they had traded Tebow to the New York Jets.

"I think the Denver Broncos treated [Tebow] shabbily," Robertson said on The 700 Club. "He won seven games, he brought them into the playoffs, for heaven sakes. I mean, they were a nothing team. He rallied them together with spectacular last-minute passes and, you know, when they beat Buffalo -- I mean, Pittsburgh, excuse me — it was a tremendous victory."

He continued his rant by saying, "So Peyton Manning was a tremendous MVP quarterback, but he’s been injured. If that injury comes back, Denver will find itself without a quarterback. And in my opinion, it would serve them right," he said.

So, beware! A curse is upon you, Broncos & Manning!!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Faded Desert Rose: EU to Ban Syria's 1st "Lady" from Luxury European Shopping Trips

European Union foreign ministers have placed a travel ban on the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as the crisis in the Middle Eastern nation continues to worsen.

The British-born Asma Al-Assad, once dubbed "The Rose in the Desert" for her beauty, has seen sanctions placed against her as well as travel restrictions. The First Lady is well known for her frequent lavish shopping trips to Europe and abroad, where she would always go to the most expensive and exclusive stores to purchase large quantities of luxury goods to take back home to the opulent Presidential Palace.

Last week, activists released thousands of hacked e-mails allegedly from the First Lady, which detailed that she continued to shop for luxury items such as crystal Swarvovski chandeliers and expensive Christian Louboutin shoes as Syria began to fall into full-scale revolution. Her husband immediately sent in military forces to brutally quell any civil unrest. The BBC claims more than 8000 lives have been lost since the oppressive crack-down started a year ago.

It is unclear if the EU travel ban will prevent Al-Assad from traveling to Great Britain, where she was born and educated. Al-Assad's ancestral home is the city of Homs, which has become the center of her husband's brutal crack-down on dissension.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wedding Locomotion: Bride Wears World's Longest Train

If you thought Pippa Middleton had a job carrying sister Kate's wedding dress train at last year's Royal Wedding, you haven't seen anything!

A Romanian design house debuted the world's longest bridal train in stunning fashion, by having a model wear the outrageous wedding accessory while on a hot air balloon. The balloon landed near the Palace of the Parliament in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. The model's train measured a staggering two miles in length, and took ten seamstresses over one hundred days to hand sew, using French lace and Italian taffeta. The cost of the materials was almost $8000, not including all of the labor.

The new record breaks the old one by some considerable distance, as the old record for the world's longest bridal train was not even a mile in length. The lovely bride modeled the amazing dress, as the gown's train stretched almost the entire length of one of Bucharest's main boulevards. The world-record breaker is actually a good nose thumbing by the Romanians at the Dutch, who held the old title. Seems the Netherlands tried to block Romania's inclusion in the visa-free European travel zone, which didn't sit very well with many in the country. The Romanian fashion house Andree Salon came up with the idea as a way to get back at the Netherlands for the snub and promote the country's growing fashion industry.

Stinky Food Diet: Strong Food Aroma Makes You Eat Less, Study Says

Need to go on a diet, but feeling deflated because you never seem to be able to lose all the weight you want? Maybe you should be chowing down on a nice slice of Limburger cheese, with liver and onions with a side of  asparagus and a poached egg!

Scientists studying how the smell of food affects how much we eat have determined that the stronger the smell a food item has, the less a person will eat of it. In an experiment, researchers enlisted the aid of 10 adults, lots of vanilla custard and zero spoons—because the custard was squeezed directly into each subject's mouth, in amounts the subject controlled. With each taste, subjects also got a blast of the strong custard aroma puffed directly into their nostrils.

The test patients who were exposed to the intense aroma of the custard before eating actually ate less of the rich, delicious dessert topping than those who were not exposed to the scent before chowing down.  Scientists believe the strong aroma of the food sends a signal to the brain that the item is very rich and high in calories or fat, making the average person eat less.

So, the next time you have the urge to cheat on your diet, taken a ginormous whiff of the decadent treat you are about to might trick your brain and not turn into a glutton!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Misery & Company: Kathy Bates to Play Charlie Harper on Two & a Half Men

It seems Chuck Loree and the producers of Two & A Half Men over at CBS are still trying to mine nuggets of humor out of their on-going feud with axed actor Charlie Sheen!

The network announced yesterday that Academy-Award winning actress Kathy Bates will make a cameo appearance on the hit sitcom, appearing as the ghost of Sheen's character Charlie Harper. After Sheen was fired from the series following a long episode of erratic and freakishly odd behavior, the producers decided to off his alter ego on the show by having his obsessed stalker Rose push him in front of a Paris Metro train in the season premiere. That 70s Show actor Ashton Kutcher was brought onto the canvas as a replacement for the troubled star.

Bates will appear to Charlie's brother Alan (played by Jon Cryer) after his character has a mild heart attack and ends up in the hospital. Bates will no doubt steal any scene that she is in! The episode is set to air on April 30.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Real Life Brazilian Rapunzel to Sell Hair to Help Impoverished Family

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel...Let Down Your Hair!!!"

There's a real-life Rapunzel in Brazil, and she's about to cut off her luscious, long locks in order to help her family, who live in the infamous favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

12-year-old Natasha Moraes de Andrade, who was given the fairy-tale nickname years ago, has never once cut her hair in her lifetime. Amazingly, her hair now measures 5 feet, 2 inches in length, almost as long as she is! The upkeep on the flowing locks, however, has become a burden to Natasha and her family. The pre-teen estimates that she spends up to $600 a year on hair-care products, not to mention the hour and a half she must spend each day brushing it to keep the tangles away!

"I love my long hair and I'll be sad when it's gone," the teen told UK's The Daily Mail. "But it's a pain looking after it. I can't do a lot of things, like P.E. lessons at school." Natasha told the publication that she is hoping to sell her hair for at least $5000 and use the money to help her family spruce up their home and pay the bills.

For photos of Natasha and her fairy-tale hair, you may visit the following link: Brazilian Rapunzel Wants to Sell Her Hair

Oprah Winfrey Lays Off Workers at OWN Network

In a cost saving move to help the financial situation of her struggling network, powerhouse mogul and former talk show host Oprah Winfrey has made the decision to lay off more than 30 employees from her OWN cable channel.

Winfrey, who left her highly successful talk show last year to devote all of her time to running the burgeoning channel, has struggled to bring in viewers to the network. Last week, it was announced that the network was cancelling the ratings-deprived Rosie O'Donnell talk show after only six months, in an effort to slash costs. Winfrey had hand-picked the former Queen of Nice O'Donnell to replace her own show, allowing O'Donnell to film in her vacated Harpo Studios in Chicago. While O'Donnell's show initially started off with decent ratings, viewership continued to plunge lower and lower on a weekly basis, forcing Oprah to make the difficult decision to axe the show, saving a reported $25 million per month in costs.

Winfrey reportedly didn't play favorites with her firings, letting go people who had been with her on her talk show for decades. In an official statement, she stated: "The economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network.”

 Executives from Discovery Communications, which co-owns the channel with Winfrey after investing hundreds of millions of dollars, will now be taking a more active role in the channel after the current restructuring.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rattled & Stirred: Strange Noises and Rumblings Shake Wisconsin Town

Something is rattling the citizens of a small, Wisconsin town, and it isn't only gas prices and the horrifying economy!

Bizarre noises, rumblings, shaking and loud explosions have been haunting the small town of Clintonville, about 180 miles north of the capital city of Madison. The odd shaking and sounds started early Sunday evening and have continued to be reported, off and on, throughout the night and into today as well.

The strange noises have been described by the locals as sounding like someone clanging on pipes with a sledgehammer, a constant low and deep thunder or a large amount of firecrackers being set off simultaneously. Accompanying the noises are seismic-like shaking and rumbling of the ground, although no seismic activity has been recorded in the area by the United States Geological Survey.

The sounds were so loud on Monday morning, that a reporter for CNN could hear them while interviewing town manager Linda Cuss via telephone. The strange phenomenon has not caused any significant damage or any reported injuries in the tiny, bedroom community, which boasts a population of around 4,600.

One possible explanation is methane gas escaping from underground rock formations. Another is a rock burst, which can happen when mining or quarrying uncovers long-buried rock, suddenly relieving stress and resulting in loud explosive sounds being reported. The reports follow similar odd noises and rattlings being heard in other locations throughout the US in recent months, including North Carolina, Idaho, and Tennessee.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard to Be Re-Released in Theaters

Whitney Houston's biggest success as an actress, the 1992 hit film The Bodyguard, will be re-released in movie theaters across the US for an exclusive one night only engagement. The special re-release is to commemorate the movie's 20th anniversary as well as to mark the tragic passing of its leading lady, who died last month at the age of 48.

The film, co-starring Kevin Costner, was a semi-autobiographical account of Houston's own life as a talented and world-famous singer, and was a surprise box office smash success upon its initial release, bringing in almost half a billion dollars worldwide. The film's soundtrack also spawned Whitney's biggest hit song, a cover version of the Dolly Parton classic torch song "I Will Always Love You", which went to Number One in every country in the world with a published music chart.

Kevin Costner spoke at Whitney's funeral, commenting that she didn't feel she was a good enough actress for the role, saying "Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you you weren’t just good enough. You were great.”

For a complete list of theaters that will be participating in the one-night exclusive screening of The Bodyguard, please click here.

UK Government Briefed on Planetary EMERGENCY Involving Wide-Scale Methane Release

BBC News is reporting that members of Great Britain's Parliament were given an emergency briefing this past week over what is being called an imminent "planetary" crisis.

Scientists told UK members of Parliament this week that the possibility of a major methane release triggered by melting Arctic ice definitely constitutes a dire "global emergency". Scientists speculate that the Arctic Sea could be completely ice free for as long as a month by this year or next, due to runaway climate changing conditions. Experts fear this mass melting event could instigate the release of long dormant methane gas fissures frozen beneath the ice shelf into earth's atmosphere.

Scientists from Scotland's Edinburgh University had originally suggested the construction of platforms in the Arctic for pumping seawater sprays into the atmosphere in order to cool the planet, but one member emphatically stated that the situation is currently so grave that the platforms would take too long to construct in order to help reverse the dangerous situation. "I don't think there's time to do the ships for the Arctic now," Professor Salter of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group told Parliament members. Curiously, the Parliamentary meeting took place while UK Prime Minister David Cameron was summoned to the White House for a behind closed doors emergency meeting with US President Barack Obama. This information also comes after NASA announced plans to launch five missiles into Earth's atmosphere from Virginia on Sunday (March 18) evening to "study atmospheric conditions".

Mass methane gas release into Earth's atmosphere is believed to be responsible for the largest Extinction Level Event in our planet's history, the Permian Extinction. Informally known as "The Great Dying", the Permian event was responsible for the death of 90% of all life on Earth, including mammals, reptiles, insects, marine and plant life.

Full story from the BBC. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

By the Rockets' Red Glare: NASA to Launch 5 Rockets from VIRGINIA?

Update: NASA has delayed the launch until Wednesday evening: (March 21)

NASA has announced plans to go ahead with a scheduled launch of five unmanned rockets into space on Sunday evening, after a four day delay. The launches will be conducted at the Wallops Flight Facility, located on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The salvo of five rockets will be launched high into the atmosphere in quick succession, and the launches will be visible over a large area. The rockets will release chemical tracers at about 60 miles up into Earth's atmosphere, allowing NASA scientists to track  high-altitude winds that can top 300 mph.

The missiles' tracers will create luminous, milk-white clouds in the upper-atmosphere, which could be visible to sky watchers from South Carolina all the way up to parts of New England. Why NASA has decided to launch the missiles from Virginia, a location not noted for its missile launches, remains to be seen. News of the launch comes after reports of an anomalous change in earth's magnetic wind, coming from the opposite location than normal, began breaking on the Internet, leaving many to speculate about the existence of an approaching extra-solar system object.

Yoda, The World's Ugliest Dog, Dead at 15

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Yoda, the homely pooch who took home the title "World's Ugliest Dog" has died at the age of fifteen.

The Chihuahua and Chinese Crested Mix won the title for the homeliest canine at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Peteluma, California in 2011, beating out 28 other dogs with pitiable mugs, and taking home a $1000 prize as well as instant celebrity status. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, according to owner Terry Schumacher.

Yoda experienced luck despite her off-putting appearance by arriving in the Schumacher home, after Terry's daughter found the puppy outside of their apartment. Schumacher initially believed the dog was a rat before discovering it was actually a member of the canine species. The family took the unusual looking dog in and quickly named her Yoda, after the wise but not terribly attractive Jedi master from the Star Wars films.

Officials from the World's Ugliest Dog competition state that Yoda will continue to hold the title posthumously until a new dog receives the title in June.

Fuh-Get 'Bout It: Jersey Shore Could Be Underwater in 20 Years

"Are there tanning beds underwater? I'll be just like Ariel from The Little Mermaid!" Snooki
The Guidos and Guidettes of MTV's "reality" series staple The Jersey Shore may have to find a new location to be annoying and inconsequential according to a new climate change study conducted by prestigious Princeton University.

The study reveals that runaway climate change is rapidly altering the stability of our planet, creating continuous outbreaks of catastrophic storms such as hurricanes and cyclones as the risk of devastating floods is also on the rise. The study suggests by as early as 2030, the risk of "once in a century" type storms and flooding will increase by at least twenty percent. Large parts of the New Jersey shore line will be in serious jeopardy of being inundated by massive storm surges from increasingly more common and powerful "mega-storms".

The rising sea levels could decimate many low-lying areas up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US, displacing millions of residents, closing businesses, shutting down essential industry and costing the economy hundreds of billions of dollars, if not more. Entire cities and towns would have to relocate to higher ground, and important infrastructure would have to be rebuilt.

The study concludes that by the end of the century, sea levels will be on the average four to five feet higher than current levels. So, Jersey Shore crew, you may want to be on the hunt for a location with a higher elevation to spend your "Golden Years". May I suggest the Himalayas?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stranded: Japanese Tourists Drive into Ocean Due to Malfunctioning GPS

A car carrying three Japanese tourists on vacation in Australia became trapped in the mud after the satellite navigation system they were using neglected to inform them of the span of water between them and their destination, an island off the coast of Queensland!

Seems the intrepid tourists had all the faith in the world that their automobile's GPS system would lead them in the right direction, but they quickly began to suspect something was afoul when the nice, comfortable paved road they were driving on turned into mushy, mangrove mud. The rental car quickly became mired down in the thick, muddy mess, forcing the three Japanese students out of the vehicle to search for help. Unfortunately, the tide began to roll back in, and the car was inundated with water.

Other tourists and passing boats managed to catch an amusing glance of the tiny Hyundai stuck in the ocean, but luckily the three passengers all made it safely back to shore. Insurance will cover the cost of the lost vehicle, but the tourists will have to pay approximately $1500 in taxes and fines.

(Not) in the Ghetto: Andy Warhol's Elvis Painting to Fetch $50 Million +

Update: Andy Warhol's silkscreen Double Elvis sold for $37 million at Sotheby's. One of 22 made by the pop artist, it's based on a movie still and depicts Elvis as a gun-toting cowboy.

A 1962 silkscreen painting by famed pop artist Andy Warhol featuring a gun-toting Elvis Presley is expected to bring in more than $50 million when it goes up for auction in May.

Famed auction house Sotheby's of New York City will be auctioning off the copy, known as "Double Elvis (Ferus Type)" and anticipate a starting bid for the painting at around $30 million. There are nine similar Elvis paintings hanging in museums around the world, but Warhol created a total of 22 paintings with the superstar singer as the subject matter at his studio in New York City's Union Square between the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The images for the paintings were taken from publicity stills for various Western movies Elvis acted in during his stint as a matinee idol, after becoming a top box office draw around the world.

The last time a Warhol Elvis painting went up to auction it fetched a record-breaking amount when an Italian private collector paid a staggering $100 million US for the work of art known as "Eight Elvises".

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sorry, Wrong Number: Teen Sends Prank Text to Police Officer


An Arkansas teen is in hot water after sending an ominous prank text message to a random phone number, which turned out to belong to a cop!

The 15-year-old apparently got the idea to send a prank message that stated "I hid the body. Now what?" from the online site Pinterest. Only, that random number she just so happened to select was that of a local police officer. The message was quickly reported and a task force was dispatched to investigate if a serious crime had been committed. Police traced the cell phone number and discovered the girl's address.

The police department didn't find the prank very funny, however, after spending valuable time and money investigating the incident. I'm sure officers gave the unfortunate teen a good talking to after she was released with a warning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Man Vs. Network: Bear Grylls Fired by Discovery Channel

Rugged survivor man Bear Grylls has finally found an enemy he cannot beat...his own television network!

The Man Versus Wild host has been given the steel-toed boot treatment after the Discovery Channel announced Bear would no longer be part of the network's roster. The firing comes after a lengthy contract dispute between Bear (real name Edward Michael Grylls) and network executives, in which neither party could reach acceptable terms.  

Bear has hosted the popular program since 2006, in which he uses and teaches survival techniques in difficult or life-threatening situations. The host gained fame for his outrageous techniques during the course of the show, including drinking his own urine to survive being lost in the desert and munching down on just about any insect or rodent he could find.

A spokesperson for the 38-year-old states, "Bear has loved the Man vs. Wild journey, and looks forward to producing further cutting-edge content again soon for his loyal audience." Grylls has been married to wife Shara since 2000 and they have three sons, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Rising Tide: Detergent Theft on the Rise

It would seem that thieves really want to take retailers to the stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of laundry detergent!

The detergent thieving has become so rampant in some cities that special task forces have been assembled to put a stop to the clean freak thievery. In St. Paul, Minnesota, one particularly talented thief has been accused of stealing more than $25,000 of the suds over the course of a year. Some crooks work in tandem, rounding up a cart full of Tide and rolling it out the emergency exit doors where an accomplice is waiting with the get-away car.

Apparently, there is a growing black market for the detergent, as the cost of the product continues to go higher by the day. With the average cost of a bottle now at over $15 nationwide, thieves are stealing the detergent and illicitly re-selling it on the street, bringing in big bucks. As there are no serial numbers on the bottles, they are impossible to track.

As least we know that America's thieves are clean as the economy continues to sink into the crapper!

The Heat Is On: US Set to Bask in Summer Like Late Winter Temps

A large part of the US is set to bask in temperatures usually relegated to early summer as an unusually unseasonable heat wave arrives!

It will appear that some areas of the country will skip over Spring this year and head directly into the summer months, as highs in the mid-to-upper 80s will reach as far north as Chicago and parts of southern Canada this week. Most of the country witnessed very little winter weather at all this season, with temperatures breaking records across the board, in many places ten to fifteen degrees higher than during an average winter.

Yesterday, New York, experienced a warm southerly breeze that brought temperatures into the high sixties, with a high of 71 which ties with the record set in 1890 for the same day. Boston, Massachusetts, reached into the low seventies, topping the previous record of 69 set back in 1902. 

The famed cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC, are already starting to bud, weeks earlier than they have in the past, as the nation's capital is expected to see highs in the low-to-mid 80s over the next several days. The South and Midwest will also experience a host of summer-like days, which will increase the likelihood of moderate to strong thunderstorms in an area that witnessed a strong storm and tornado outbreak last week. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Brief History of Big Bang Theory: Stephen Hawking to Make Cameo Appearance on Hit Sitcom

The funny physicists of CBS' juggernaut sitcom The Big Bang Theory will have a legendary guest star when noted scientist Stephen Hawking makes a cameo appearance.

The famed theoretical physicist was finally coerced  convinced to drop in on the mega-hit sitcom and taped his scene this past Friday, where he has a run-in with megalomaniac and all-around odd-duck Sheldon Cooper (portrayed by Emmy-winning actor Jim Parsons).

CBS had issued a standing invitation to Hawking to make an appearance on the series, but was told that the Einstein Award winning physicist was too ill to take part. (Hawking was diagnosed with ASL -Lou Gehrig's disease- while studying at Cambridge University.)

The episode featuring Hawking is set to air on April 5. The show will feature another big name guest star on the March 29th episode when Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy lends his voice to a dream sequence featuring Sheldon.

Tazed & Confused: Police Officer Suspended for Using Stun Gun on 9-Year-Old

A small town Ohio police officer is on suspension while the entire police force has been shut down after the part-time constable on patrol used a taser stun gun against an unruly 9-year-old boy.

Mount Sterling authorities are tight-lipped over the details, but people in the know claim that officer Mike McCoy responded to a call involving the 9-year-old, when the mother notified the police her child was refusing to attend school. At some point, a confrontation ensued between the child and McCoy, who then allegedly drew out his stun gun and fired upon the boy.

McCoy was placed on a three-day suspension regarding the incident, but allegations that the Chief of Police tried to cover up what took place has lead to a complete shut-down of the police force pending a thorough investigation as to what exactly took place. The police department's weapons and computers have been seized as part of an on-going investigation.

The county police department has stepped in to offer the town, population 2000,  police protection until the situation can be resolved.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Eye of the Storm: Surveillance Footage Captures Full Extent of Tornado's Fury

Shocking surveillance camera footage shows the full extent of the F4 tornado that ripped through the small Kentucky town of West Liberty last week.

Randy Risner and his wife Norma rode out the terrifying twister in their West Liberty home, hunkering down in the basement as the storm created a wide path of destruction directly outside their door. The carnage was all filmed by the seven surveillance security cameras Risner had placed around his property. Fortunately, Risner's house survived the incredible onslaught of Mother Nature.

The footage, caught from multiple angles around the home and property, clearly shows the powerful nature of the cyclonic winds, whipping debris into a whirlwind, pulling trees out of the ground by the roots, and doing extensive damage to out buildings on the property as well as to neighboring houses. One camera recorded a transformer exploding on a nearby building, with the winds quickly whipping up a fire, as smoked rolled out of the heavily damaged building.

The powerful tornado was part of a terrifying outbreak of storms, which brought death, devastation and suffering to Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio last week.

With the Rising Sun: Japan Marks Somber 1 Year Anniversary of Cataclysm

Today, the somber nation of Japan marks the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large area of the island nation. 

The catastrophic 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of of Japan near Tokyo on March 11, 2011. The earthquake itself panicked citizens and damaged thousands of buildings in a wide area, but it was the ensuing tsunami that created most of the devastation and loss of life. Many towns and cities were completely inundated by the massive tsunami as it rolled relentlessly across the Japanese landscape, obliterating entire towns and villages and scarring the country and its people for a lifetime.

The entire nation observed a moment of silence at the exact time the temblor struck, at 2:46PM local time. The combination of earthquake and tsunami killed at least 19,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of private homes and businesses. Important infrastructure was also left devastated, and the tsunami swept over the Fukushima nuclear facility, causing the power plant to go into a full scale meltdown, with the escaping radiation poisoning a large area around the crippled plant. Japanese officials now admit that a zone around the nuclear facility will not be inhabitable for perhaps hundreds of years, due to dangerous levels of radiation. It is now considered the worst nuclear accident in world history.

Some 3,000 people are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the tragedy, leaving countless family members without any closure to their mourning. The catastrophe also left an indelible mark on the Japanese economy, costing hundreds of trillions of yen in damage, and bringing about a mini-recession to the important industrial nation.

The people of Japan earned the admiration and respect of the entire world with their composure, discipline and resilience in the face of the overwhelming cataclysm while its companies impressed with the speed with which they bounced back, mending torn supply chains.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

People You Might Know: Facebook Reveals Bigamist's Dirty Secret

A word of caution to all of you Wannabe Love Rats out there: If you plan on being married to more than one woman at the same time, you probably shouldn't be friends with both of your blushing brides on Facebook...

A Tacoma, Washington, man is in trouble with both The Law and two angry women after Facebook's friend connecting feature outed Wife Number Two to Wife Number One. Apparently, Alan L. O’Neill married his first wife in 2001, moved out in 2009, and later changed his name and remarried, without going through the legal motions of divorcing his first wife.

O'Neil (formerly Alan Fulk) then proceeded to have both of his wives as friends on his Facebook page. When the social media's friend app sent his first wife a notice that she might have a connection with O'Neil's latest wife, Wife Number One clicked on her profile and saw photographs of her Dearly Beloved slicing into a wedding cake with the strange woman!

O'Neil, who works as a Washington State corrections officer, told his first, legal wife not to tell anybody about his illegal Big Love ways, but she decided to let the authorities know about the situation.  O'Neill has been placed on administrative leave from his job and will be in court on March 22 to face felony bigamy charges.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Exodus: Entire Pacific Nation Faces Relocation Due to Rising Ocean Levels

A small, South Pacific nation is facing the very real possibility of having to relocate all of its citizens in response to rapidly rising sea levels.

The Republic of Kiribati, a nation comprised of 32 tiny atolls as well as a raised coral island, is facing the tragic Exodus as the Pacific Ocean has already begun to encroach many of the nation's atolls. The sea  level has already risen substantially over the past several years, and has reached several of the villages dotted along the string of islands.

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, announced yesterday that he is in emergency meetings with the neighboring nation of Fiji to purchase up to 5000 acres of land that would be designated for the population of the island to relocate.

The diaspora of the nearly 113,000 residents of Kiribati would be a logistical nightmare and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The President stated that skilled workers would be sent first to the relocation center in Fiji on the island of Vanua Levu, where they would help with the construction of homes for the rest of the population to arrive at a later date.

Tong has been very vocal about the plight of his country's inhabitants, addressing the United Nations about the possibility of his homeland being underwater during the course of the next several decades. A plan was originally drawn up to move the citizens to several man-made islands, built similar to large oil rigs, but the idea was dismissed as being too costly and risky.

The diaspora would be the largest forced migration of a large group of people due to dramatic climate change for many decades. Formerly known as the Gilbert Islands, the country won independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the island of Kiribati during their tour of the South Pacific in October, 1982.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Love Boat Gets Dry Docked

The luxury cruise liner that was the backdrop for the long-running television series The Love Boat will soon be headed to the giant scrap heap in the sea.

The 40-year-old ship, The Pacific Princess, was recently sold to a Turkish demolition company for a rather unspectacular sum of $3.3 million. The 600 passenger ship, which is dwarfed by the city-sized cruise ships built today, had remained in dry dock in Genoa, Italy, for over a year before being sold for scrap.

Constructed in 1971 for Flagship Cruises as the Sea Venture, the vessel was renamed Pacific Princess in 1975 after joining the international Princess fleet. It gained worldwide fame over the next two decades as the backdrop for ABC's hit hour-long comedy The Love Boat television series, which aired from 1977 to 1986.

Cruise directors credited the success of the show with a major boom in popularity of cruises throughout the world during the late-70s and 80s. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing and Fred Grandy as Gopher and depicted fictional passengers and crew involved in misadventures and romances on the high seas, with big name guest star actors making cameo appearances. A new, much larger and more spectacular Pacific Princess joined the Princess fleet in 2002 and continues to sail for the line. The original Pacific Princess' name was changed to Pacific after it left the Princess fleet.

Wash With Care: Reporter Tweets Sexist Label on Boyfriend's Trousers

From the Archie Bunker Collection...

A reporter for UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph has stirred up quite an online controversy after she tweeted a picture of a care label with a decidedly sexist message she discovered on her boyfriend's trousers.

London-based reporter Emma Barnett was quite shocked when she discovered the label, which gave routine instructions on how to wash and dry the trousers along with the interesting alternative "Give It To Your Woman...It's Her Job"!

Needless to say, Barnett didn't take too kindly to the rather sad attempt at humor, and she promptly posted a photo to her Twitter feed, using the hashtag #womenriseup. The photo quickly blew-up across the blogosphere, with millions of re-tweets.

The trousers came from upscale British retailer Madhouse, where an official spokesperson quickly placed the blame for the offensive tag on the overseas manufacturer of the trousers. Still, there should have been some quality assurance inspection of the merchandise before it hit the retail outlets!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese: Where A Kid Can Be Left Behind by Parents

A three-year-old girl must have thought she was in heaven after her parents neglected to take her home from a kid's birthday party being held at a Chuck E. Cheese's in Hartford, Maryland.

No one realized the child was without a guardian until the little girl became tired of hopping into the enormous pit of balls and noshing on cold slices of drab pizza and asked a grown-up if she could have something to drink. Witnesses at the eatery quickly realized that the little girl was not with any grown-ups. Authorities soon arrived on the scene and an announcement was made on the local evening news about a little girl left alone at Chuck E. Cheese's.

Both of the parents apparently watched the 11 o'clock news broadcast to discover that they had done a "Home Alone" with their precious three-year-old. As it turns out, the parents of the little girl, who are separated, each thought the other had taken the girl home after leaving the restaurant.

Child Protective Services released the little girl named Harmony back to her mother after authorities determined it was all just an unfortunate accident caused by a failure to communicate. No charges are expected to be filed against either parent.

The Great Death Coaster: Engineer Designs "Euthanasia" Thrill Ride

Many people love the thrill of riding a roller coaster and the feeling of cheating death, but one engineer has designed a ride that guarantees death for anyone wishing to take a spin!

The thrilling "Euthanasia Coaster" is a theoretical design engineered to "humanely, with elegance and euphoria, take the life of a human being". The structure is made up of a long, continuous series of high altitude loops and twists and turns, all designed to bring about a range of human emotions and feelings, with the ultimate goal of ending the rider's life. Prospective riders will experience emotions ranging from euphoria to thrill as well as tunnel vision and ultimately loss of consciousness and death. In keeping with the theme - the roller coaster carriage is a deathly shade of black. 

After traveling along the coaster at speeds of up to one hundred miles per second, passengers would eventually pass out near the end of the coaster's run and die from a lack of oxygen to the brain. The incredible structure was envisioned by Lithuanian engineer and designer Julijonas Urbonas. Julijonas has been involved in the field of amusement park development since he was a child and describes himself as an architect and engineer whose work is "artistic and philosophical".

"Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful," Julijonas told press in an official statement regarding his death-bringing thrill ride. He anticipates that the coaster could be used for people suffering from terminal illnesses who wish to experience euphoria before ultimately passing away, free of pain and suffering.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunday Girl? Blondie Singer Debbie Harry Mistaken for Lindsay Lohan

You know things are looking bad for Lindsay Lohan when someone who is forty-years older is mistaken for the troubled actress!

Paparazzi and hangers-on were excited when they spotted a blonde lady pop out of New York's Mercer Hotel, where LiLo was staying while she prepared for her appearance on last week's Saturday Night Live. Only it wasn't the puffy-faced Lindsay, it was 66-year-old pop goddess Debbie Harry, the lead singer of iconic rock group Blondie!

Of course, Linsday was born years after Blondie's prime had come and gone, so I'm not even sure LiLo knows who she is. In Lindsay's defense, Deborah  has benefited from the skills of one heck of a plastic surgeon!

Boogie Nights: Man Arrested for Flashing Fake "Junk"

A 26-year-old Maryland man is facing indecency charges for exposing himself to several unsuspecting women on or near the Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. Only the perp didn't actually expose himself to the women, but rather a large, fake version of the male genitalia.

Police allege that Jacob Bovia sat in the front seat of his Honda Accord in a parking lot near the college campus and pulled out the fake penis to flash female victims as they walked by his automobile. (He was apparently inspired by the infamous porn star Dirk Diggler in the film Boogie Nights, starring Mark Wahlberg.)

Police approached Bovia, who was "acting suspiciously" while seated in his vehicle. Police quickly found the enormous fake genitalia in the front seat. He was subsequently arrested and later admitted that he had flashed his "junk on several occasions" over the past several weeks. He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and three counts of indecent exposure (for the simulated act).

"Hello, miss...would you like to see the junk in my trunk?"
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