Monday, April 30, 2012

Ugly as Sin: New Phone App Will Tell You If You're Ugly or Not

Superstar singer Adele debuts her new single "She's Got Steve Buscemi Eyes". 
 Visit Steve Buscemi Eyes for more hilarious photos!

A handy cruel (and pointless) new iPhone app promises to be brutally honest and tell you what your good friends and family will never tell you...whether you are ugly or not!

The Ugly Meter App  has been on the market for a while now, but suddenly it promises to knock the über-popular "Angry Birds" from its long-standing perch as the most popular phone app internationally. It's already been the Number One most purchased app in China for the past few weeks and is Number Two on the list in the United States.

The application came under fire last year by anti-bullying advocates who feared that school students would use the feature to ridicule and degrade fellow students. The application allows users to take an image of their face, and then scans it for symmetry, contours, and other elements to determine how good (or bad) looking a person according to a specific set of beauty-determining criteria. Ratings are handed out on a scale of 1-10, and include some not-so-nice quips about a person's looks the lower on the scale they rate.

The app exploded in popularity after shock-jock and America's Got Talent judge Howard Stern featured it on his highly-rated Sirius XM radio show. The app designers, Dapper Gentleman, are currently bringing in the dough, as Ugly Meter has been downloaded more than five million times. 

"I made the cover of Vogue, so bugger off bloody, Ugly Meter! You're just plain cruel!"

Burning Bridges: Metal Thieves Steal 10-Ton Bridge

How easy is it to steal a 10-ton bridge? Very easy, as was the case in the Czech Republic.

It seems a group of very crafty metal thieves concocted a rather simple plan: pretend to be part of a demolition crew contracted by the state to tear down a pedestrian footbridge over a length of unused railroad tracks to make way for a new bicycle route. The plan worked, and the metal thieves quickly took to task dismantling the steel bridge, working tirelessly until the (devilish) deed was done.

After the bridge and over 650 feet of railroad track had been taken away, city officials soon discovered that there had been no order or contract to take down the bridge, and that they had been duped by some clever grifters who were only interested in selling the remnants of the bridge and railroad track for scrap to make some quick, dishonest money!

Now, the poor town is without a pedestrian bridge and new cycling route, not to mention potentially millions that the scrap metal would have brought to the city's coffers!

Hundreds of Pelicans Wash Up Dead on Beach in Peru

Scientists in Peru are desperately scrambling to figure out just exactly what is causing thousands of animals to wash up dead on beaches in the South American nation.

The latest incident took place over the weekend, when beach-goers were horrified to discover at least 500  dead pelicans strewn along a forty-mile stretch of beach. This is only a few weeks after hundreds of dead dolphins were found along the exact same area. In addition to the dolphin and pelican deaths, 54 boobies, five sea lions, and several sea turtles have been found dead or dying in the region over the past several weeks.

An official spokesperson for the Peruvian government stated that governmental organizations are "deeply worried" about what is causing the horrifying mass animal deaths in their nation and promises to use all resources available to discover the cause of the devastation.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fort EastEnders: London Flats to House Missiles During Olympics

Residents of an apartment building in London might feel as if they are being featured in a storyline on popular English soap The EastEnders after the government has informed them missiles will be installed on the roof of their complex!

The residents of the complex, located in the upscale East London neighborhood of Bow, were recently informed via leaflets that "A high-velocity missile system may be situated on the roof" and that 10 soldiers will be stationed in the building for two months during the Games, which will commence on July 27.

Last evening, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that the missiles would be deployed at the location within the next few days. The ministry described the missiles as a "useful deterrent" against terrorists who might target the high profile Olympic Games in London. Local residents state that the leaflets reassured the missiles would "only be used as a last resort".  

The building was selected because of its "excellent view of the surrounding area and the entire sky above the Olympic Park", the leaflet said.

Londoners have reason to be concerned over terrorism. In July 2005, a day after London was named the host city for the 2012 Olympic Games, four suicide bombers attacked three underground trains and a bus, killing 52 people.

Happy One Year Anniversary, Wills & Kate!

One year ago today, millions of Royal Well-Wishers clogged the streets near London's famed Westminster Abbey to celebrate the Wedding of the Millennium between Prince William and his beautiful, blushing bride  Kate!

The wedding was broadcast live around the world, with close to one billion people tuning in to see the handsome Prince Charming marry his exquisitely beautiful bride. The ceremony went on without a hitch, with millions also remembering William's much beloved mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales, who would have been so incredibly proud watching her son, all grown up, on his wedding day.

The Royal Wedding also launched another superstar into the international consciousness, that of Kate's younger sister, Pippa Middleton. Her super-svelte derriere showcased in a stunning Alexander McQueen dress as she helped carry her sister's bridal train nearly stole the entire ceremony!

So, Happy First Anniversary to the young Royal Couple!

German Court to Artist: Killing Puppies Onstage Is NOT Considered Art

A court in Berlin, Germany, has warned an artist planning to strangle two puppies live onstage that laws definitely prohibit anyone from killing animals for the purpose of entertainment!

The German artist had planned to stage his play, titled Death as Metamorphosis, at a small theater in the Spandau district of Berlin, as a way to highlight the unfortunate plight of sled dogs in Alaska, who are often killed once they can no longer compete in races.

Accompanied by funeral music and an ominous-sounding gong, the artist had planned to strangle two innocent puppies with cable ties after a brief meditation. Fortunately, a Berlin administrative court stopped the show from going ahead as planned on Friday, saying that animal protection laws in the country forbid an animal from being harmed or killed during a performance meant for entertainment. Who would find something so disturbing "entertainment" is another matter entirely...

All of this comes the same week as a group of students at Berlin's University of the Arts threatened to guillotine a sheep live on camera, depending on the results of an online vote. The students claimed the project was meant to stimulate debate on humanity and democracy. According to Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper, the website registered 120,000 "Yes" votes approving the killing of the animal and 190,000 "No" votes in only six days.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Don't Like Bad Names: Bob Geldof Wants Daughter to Change Son's Name

He's known for selecting less-than-normal names for his own children, but it seems former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof doesn't like the name his daughter Peaches Geldof has chosen for his new grandson!

The singer/philanthropist, who was one of the masterminds behind the famous 80s famine fundraiser Live Aid, is reportedly not happy with the name of his grandson, who has been christened Astala Dylan Willow Cohen-Geldof. This is definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black, as the names of Bob's children include some highly unusual selections. 

He has a daughter, Fifi Trixibelle, 29, who was named Fifi after his aunt and Trixibelle because his late ex-wife Paula Yates wanted a belle in the family. They then had 23-year-old Peaches Honeyblossom, as well as their youngest daughter, Little Pixie, 21. Geldof is also the adopted father to Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence-Geldof, the daughter of his ex-wife Paula Yates and late Australian rock star Michael Hutchence, the former lead singer of the band Inxs. (Hutchence committed suicide in 1997, while Yates died of a reported drug and alcohol overdose in 2000.)

Geldof told UK newspaper The Sun about his daughter's selection of a name: "Yuck! What’s he going to be called in school? Ass? Stella? It’s a girl’s name, let’s face it." Grandaddy should talk, right, kiddos? 

Nutella Settles Law Suit, Admits Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread Isn't "Healthy"

Ferrero Chocolates, the makers of that oh-so-delicious chocolate/hazelnut spread known as Nutella, have settled a law suit filed against the company for $2.5 million.

The law suit was brought against the Italian-based company by a mother in California who was mortified to see that Nutella was being advertised as a healthy food choice for American children. The company, however, does stand by the nutritious quality of their product and the way in which it was advertised as a healthier choice over other calorie and fat-laden snacks.

The money won in the class-action law suit will be distributed between anyone who purchased a jar of the yummy scrumptious treat between August 2009 and January of this year. Any consumers interested in receiving a reimbursement for purchasing the product after mistakenly believing it was incredibly healthy and beneficial  may fill out a form online here.   Customers may be reimbursed up to $20, depending on just how many health conscious consumers file for the refund.

Ferrero states that they will now place the fat, calorie and cholesterol information more plainly on the label for all consumers to read and make a personal decision whether their product is "healthy" or not.

Open Wide: Woman Sues Dentist After Swallowing Screwdriver

A woman in Kentucky is suing her dentist after she alleges he dropped a small screwdriver down her throat during a routine cleaning!

It seems the dentist, Dr. W.B. Galbreath of Lexington, Kentucky, accidentally let go of the dental tool, which fell to the back of patient Lena David's throat, which she subsequently swallowed in a reflexive action. Ms. David contends that the dentist and his assistants weren't too concerned about her swallowing the instrument, instructing her to eat a high fiber diet to help expedite the screwdriver's passage through her intestines. Ms. David also alleges that Galbreath told her to try and make herself vomit by placing her finger down her throat, which did not work. She complied with all the instructions given, but soon realized she was in trouble and went to the hospital.

Doctors had to perform emergency surgery on David to remove the screwdriver, which had become lodged in her digestive tract, a condition that could have ultimately killed her, Ms. David's lawyers contend. She spent six days in the hospital recovering from her life-threatening ordeal.

She is seeking an undisclosed sum of money for damages and pain and suffering.

Fit for a Queen: Ugly Eel from Great Lakes to Be Baked in Pie for Queen's Jubilee

"Okay, I'm not very photogenic. But the Queen wants to eat me!"
A rather hideously ugly creature from the Great Lakes has received a Royal Command Performance from Queen Elizabeth II.

The creature, known as a sea lamprey, is actually quite the menace around the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, but is considered something of a delicacy in the UK, where icky cuisine is the norm. The parasitic lamprey was once common in Great Britain, but is now on the endangered species list and is protected.

The city of Gloucester, which has given the pie as a gift to the monarch since the Middle Ages, made a request for the lamprey to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which was only too happy to supply them with a case of the ugly beasts. The commission has already sent two pounds of the slimy eel taken from Lake Huron to the UK, where they will be baked into the archaic lamprey pie dish to help Queen Elizabeth celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, which will mark the 60th year of her monarchy.

Sarrah Maccey of the Gloucester Folk Museum says that she and a royally approved chef will bake the pie, and she is researching ancient local recipes. One traditional 15th-Century recipe calls for the lamprey to be cooked in a sauce of red wine, vinegar, cinnamon and its own blood, then baked in a thick, handmade crust. Yum!

The Queen is a real trooper of course, and will undoubtedly consume the "pie" with a pleasant smile on her face!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Attack of the Jelly Fish: Gelatinous Sea Creatures Shut Down Nuclear Plant

For the first time in recorded history, a tiny, gelatinous sea creature known as a sea salp is responsible for shutting down a nuclear power plant!

Thousands of the creatures have invaded the cooling water intake cove at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California. Salps are small marine animals similar to jellyfish that are typically 2 to 3 inches long. They often link together and float in the water in long rope-like formations. It seems the creatures drifted along the current and winded up floating into the cooling system.

The salp can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and this gives them the ability to multiply quickly, a phenomenon called a bloom. Thousands of the creatures can then form together, floating along the ocean current, often drifting hundreds of miles.

At one point, there were so many of the creatures clogging the cooling tank valves that the system had to be shut down temporarily until the salp could be removed. With the temporary shutdown of Diablo Canyon, California’s two nuclear power plants are now offline. The San Onofre nuclear generating station in Orange County has been offline for three months following the discovery of leaks in the plant’s steam generators.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whoops! Photographers Break Priceless Ancient Artifact

Photographers in New York City accidentally dropped a priceless 2,600-year-old terracotta statue, shattering the ancient artifact!

According to a law suit filed in New York Supreme Court, Corice Amran is suing Louise Blouin Media photographers after they requested to shoot the Nigerian Nok statue for an edition of Art + Auction magazine. The trouble began when the shutterbugs decided to move the ancient statue to the opposite side of the art gallery, allegedly because the light was better for a photograph. During the move, the statue was dropped onto the floor of the studio, shattering it into many pieces!

"During the photographers' move of the Nok figure, the Nok figure fell onto the floor and was smashed into a myriad of pieces, it cannot be restored and is a total loss," the complaint states. Lawyers for the prosecution showed photographs of the shattered sculpture in court.  "As the result of defendant's negligence, the 2,630-year-old Nok figure owned by plaintiff was destroyed," the complaint continues.

Amran seeks $300,000 in compensatory damages for negligence in the destruction of the irreplaceable statue.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fire in the Sky: Information on Sunday's Exploding Meteor Over Nevada & California

More information is coming to light regarding the large bolide meteor believed to have exploded in the atmosphere over Reno, Nevada and the Sierra Mountain Range of California early on Sunday morning, April 22, 2012.

According to respected scientific web site , the loud, concussive explosion caused by the meteor impacting Earth's atmosphere, rattled homes and was heard in a broad area covering more than a thousand square miles. The explosion caused a flurry of calls to emergency services from concerned citizens across the region.

According to Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, the source of the blast was a moderate meteor roughly the size of a minivan. "The energy is estimated at a whopping 3.8 kilotons of TNT, so this was a big event," Cooke states. "I am not saying there was a 3.8 kiloton explosion on the ground in California. I am saying that the meteor possessed this amount of energy before it broke apart in the atmosphere." 3.8 kilotons would be approximately one fourth of the energy released by the "Little Boy" atomic weapon dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of WWII.

As for the conjecture that this bolide meteor event was a part of the yearly Lyrid meteor shower, Cooke is not convinced: "This meteor was probably not a Lyrid; without a trajectory, I cannot rule out a Lyrid origin, but I think it likely that it was a background or sporadic meteor." The Lyrid meteor shower is believed to be the remnants of Comet Thatcher, which disintegrated as it neared the sun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

On the Good Ship Lollipop: Happy Birthday to Shirley Temple

Today marks the birthday of legendary child star Shirley Temple!

Yes, the adorable, curly-haired ragamuffin who stole the hearts of America and the world during the Great Depression turns 84-years-young today! Shirley was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California, to George and Gertrude Temple. It was her mother who encouraged Shirley to become a performer by exposing her to classical music and dance at a very early age.

Shirley had her first movie role at the tender age of five, when she co-starred in the 1933 comedy Stand Up & Cheer. Her charm and appeal to an audience suffering through the Depression was obvious, and movie executives were soon courting the little star. Her following role, in 1934's Bright Eyes, featured the adorable tyke singing her signature tune, "On the Good Ship Lollipop". 

Shirley would go on to make a total of 43 films, and she received an Juvenile Academy Award for her acting efforts. She would retire from the movie industry in 1950, at the age of twenty-two. She would go on to pursue a career in politics, running unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1967 and serving as ambassadors to Ghana and Czechoslovakia during the 1970s and 80s.

She published her autobiography, Child Star, in 1988, detailing her amazing experiences working on movie sets as a young girl and meeting practically all of the Hollywood royalty of the day. By all accounts, she is living a quiet, unassuming life now at her home in Santa Monica, and she rarely makes public appearances these days.

If you have ever spent a snowy or rainy Sunday afternoon watching an old Shirley Temple movie that made you smile, take a moment to wish her a very Happy Birthday!

Flight of the Butterfly: Early Canadian Red Admiral Migration Worrisome

Thousands of beautiful Red Admiral butterflies have descended upon dandelion-covered fields in Ottawa, Canada, in a worrisome northern migration, weeks ahead of their normal schedule.

Butterfly experts believe that this Spring's unusually warm season-the warmest ever recorded in large parts of the United States and Canada-is to blame for the off-kilter migration. The Red Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta), which resembles a smaller version of the Monarch butterfly, can be found in more temperate climates across North America and Europe. The species usually migrate north in late-Spring. The current migration comes almost a month before the usual time of migration.

Edward Bruggink, a greenhouse manager at Ottawa's Carleton University, commented on the early migration: "It's a bit of a shock," Bruggink said. "Everything's out of whack. Things are not the way they should be at the moment." Experts are concerned that a cold snap, which will bring much-colder temperatures to the area along with snow and high winds this week, will endanger the delicate butterfly species.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Large Boom, Possibly from Exploding Meteor, Heard in Nevada/California

UPDATE: NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tells News Channel 4 in Reno, Nevada, they have received reports of a meteor strike near the Kingsbury Grade area but there is no confirmation at this point.

A loud boom accompanied with shaking ground was heard Sunday morning around 8:00AM local time across a significant region of Northern Nevada and the Sierra mountain range.

A large number of witnesses in the Sierra around El Dorado County, Nevada, have reported they saw what they believed to be a bright meteor streaking across the sky just before the explosion was heard.

There have been reports of seeing something in the air or hearing a boom from many parts of the Reno-Sparks metro area, also the Sierra, the Tonopah area and the Winnemucca areas of the state. Emergency services began to field calls from concerned citizens almost immediately after the explosion was heard and felt.

The explosion, if discovered to be from a meteor impacting the Earth's atmosphere, follows a lengthy series of similar sightings and loud sounds heard from suspected meteor's in recent weeks. A large meteor was observed exploding above the skies of New Zealand only two weeks ago, which prompted calls to television stations and emergency services as well. Video of a suspected meteor blazing across the skies of Brazil hit the Internet only yesterday.

Experts believe the meteor may have been part of the yearly Lyrid meteor show, which is thought to be the remnants of exploded Comet Thatcher. The meteor shower was expected to peak in the overnight hours this evening.


The Divorce Whisperer: Cesar Millan to Pay Big $$$ in Divorce Settlement

The star of National Geographic network's popular series The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, has been ordered to cough up a very large sum of money in a costly divorce settlement.

Millan, 42, has been ordered by a California court to pay ex-wife Ilusión $23,000 a month for spousal support and $10,000 for child support. This is in addition to a lump sum payment of $400,000 Millan must pay to his ex, after more than sixteen years of marriage. The couple initially separated in 2010 and are the parents of two teenaged boys. Gossip website TMZ reports that Ilusión is seeking primary physical custody of the children and their father Cesar will be allowed visitation rights as well as spousal support.

The Mexican-born star, who famously came to the United States as a young man with nothing but the clothes on his back, now earns more than $2 million a year from his television series, as well as from writing bestselling books and publishing his own magazine devoted to his love of dogs. He also has a list of high-profile, celebrity clientele for his services, including superstar couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

TWEET TWEET! Study Shows Birds Sing Louder to Be Heard Over Traffic

A recent study conducted by the respected journal The Scientific American has discovered that birds in urban environments sing louder today than they did in 1965.

The scientists who conducted the study of the Zonotrichia leucophyrs (the white-crowned sparrow) realized that the birds near to San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Bridge park are now singing at a much higher pitch than they did just forty-seven years ago. Bird experts believe that the animals have adapted to the loud traffic noises near to the popular tourist attraction and now sing more loudly to be heard over the din of urban noise pollution.

The study concludes that the change in behavior in the birds proves the theory that evolutionary processes can occur in a relatively short period of time, giving animals a chance to adapt to sudden environmental changes and improving a species chances at survival. The higher pitch singing allows for better communication between the birds in an urban setting, giving them the chance to be heard more clearly during the mating process.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lioness: 2000 Year Old Artifact Depicts Female Gladiator

A 2000 year old bronze statue recently unearthed may be proof that female gladiators took part in to-the-death battles during the heyday of the Roman Empire!

The ancient artifact depicts a female warrior with her arm outstretched in a victory pose. In her hand, she carries a sica, a curved short sword used in arena matches by gladiators, who were often captured warriors from other countries. She is nude from the waist up, wearing only a loincloth, typical of battling warriors, but no body armor for protection. Archeologists believe the statue was not created wearing armor to showcase that the carving was indeed of a female gladiator. 

Very few statues of female gladiators have ever been found, after the Emperor Septimus banned females from gladiatorial combat in the year AD200. Before the banning, female slaves were sometimes forced into bloody, deadly battles for the entertainment of the masses during the days of Ancient Rome. 

The remains of a "muscular" woman from the times of the Roman occupation of what is now England were discovered in 2010. The woman was buried in an elaborate ceremonial wooden coffin with iron straps and copper strips in Credenhill, UK. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dark Shadows Vampire Jonathan Frid Dies at 87

Actor Jonathan Frid, best known for his role as vampire Barnabas Collins on the popular Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, has died in Canada at the age of 87.

News of Frid's death comes only a few weeks before the world premiere of director Tim Burton's take on the 60s era soap, with superstar Johnny Depp in the role of Barnabas.

The soap opera, which debuted in 1966, was originally a contemporary daytime drama, with elements of suspense. The show didn't catch on with audiences until the appearance of classically-trained actor Frid as the tortured, 200-year-old cursed vampire Barnabas, destined to live eternity as a blood-sucker. The show quickly became a sensation, and featured not only vampires, but werewolves, witches, the re-animated dead and time travel.

The show would influence a slew of future actors and directors, including Burton and Depp, who both acknowledge their appreciation of Frid and the role that made him a star. Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played the object of Barnabas' love and devotion, Maggie Evans/Josette DuPre, remembered her time working with the actor: “I’m so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex, and plain-spoken man that he was,” she wrote. “What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, lovable, and thoroughly professional.”

Frid filmed his final movie appearance, a brief cameo for the Dark Shadows reboot, late last year.

O No!!! Time Magazine Leaves Oprah Off 100 Most Influential List

Former talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, currently at the helm of her embattled network OWN, has been given a very painful snub... The venerable publication Time magazine has failed to include her in their annual list of the 100 Most Influential People!

This will be the first time that Winfrey has not been included on the list, which the magazine began compiling and publishing in 1999. Until now, Oprah has appeared on the list of the world's most influential people more times than US presidents and the Queen of England.

Why the drop off from the list? Once Oprah stepped down from hosting her hugely-successful talk show after twenty-five years, she dropped out of the limelight to focus on running the Oprah Winfrey Network. The network has gotten off to a very rocky start, however, and has been struggling in the ratings and to find its target audience, namely Winfrey's fans. Unfortunately, almost all of Oprah's hard work now takes place behind-the-scenes, alienating the very audience she has been frantically trying to find. Winfrey recently let go of many of her staff due to downsizing, some after decades of hard work and devotion, as well as cancelling Rosie O'Donnell's talk show after only six months on the air.

While Oprah did not make the list, sisters Kate and Pippa Middleton did for the first time. Also on the list are football star Tim Tebow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and basketball player Jeremy Lin. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Forever Young: Dick Clark Dead at 82

Legendary television host and producer Dick Clark has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82.

Clark was best known for being the affable host of the long-running, syndicated music series American Bandstand, which ran from 1956-1989 with Clark as the host. He was responsible for giving many musical legends their first breaks on the show, including superstars Prince and Madonna. His association with youth and pop culture of the time earned him the nickname "America's Oldest Living Teenager".

He also became known for the  popular New Year's Rockin' Eve specials live from New York's Times Square for the ABC network, which he began hosting in 1972 and continued to do so for more than three decades, even after a stroke in 2004 made it difficult for him to speak clearly.

A busy man, he hosted another long-running series, game show The $25,000 Pyramid, which he co-created. Throughout the 1980s, he would co-host blooper reel show TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes with his good friend, the late Ed McMahon. In the 80s, he began producing television musical awards and spectaculars, including The American Music Awards, for which he received Emmy nominations.

Clark had been in St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, after undergoing an outpatient procedure Tuesday night. He suffered the heart attack following the procedure and  attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. He is survived by his wife of thirty-five years, Kari, and three children.

The Stirring Giant: Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Has Country on Alert

Authorities in Mexico raised the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano near  Mexico City on Monday after it started spewing red-hot fragments of rock and clouds of dust and ash high into the atmosphere.

Officials are so uneasy about the rumblings of the now-glowing Popocatepetl volcano that nearby schools have been shut down and tourists and adventure-seekers are being warned to stay away. The lava dome of Popocatepetl, some 50 miles to the southeast of the capital city, started to expand on Friday, Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention said.

The sudden change in activity in the 5,450 meter (17,900 foot) volcano could provoke large explosions capable of sending dangerous, incandescent fragments out over considerable distances, as well as intense ash showers, the center said in a statement. The volcano, along with its "twin" volcano Iztaccíhuatl, can be seen by Mexico City's 25 million residents on a clear day.

The Center for Disaster Prevention raised the alert level to yellow phase three from yellow phase two, indicating possible magma expulsion and explosions of increasing intensity. It is the third-highest warning on the center's seven-step scale. Emergency services should ready evacuation teams and shelters, limit access to the area around the volcano and alert air-traffic control systems, the center said in an official statement.

The startling increase in activity at the volcano comes a week after a series of earthquakes rattled the country, including a 7.0 tremor that swayed skyscrapers in Mexico City and caused people to flee in panic into the streets. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Masked "Bandits" Close Florida Park

"Masked bandits" have forced the closing of a Florida park after two separate raccoon attacks put park rangers on notice!

Officials were forced to close Kiwanis Island Park in Merritt Island, Florida, after two separate incidents involving the masked creatures attacking humans took place in the span of less than a week. Park officials decided to close the park due to the attacks, after a woman was bitten by a raccoon on Wednesday of last week and a mother and child were attacked on Saturday.

Animal services were able to safely trap two raccoons on Sunday, and the animals were relocated to a more rural area. It is not known at this time what prompted the incidents between the raccoons and park patrons, said Parks and Recreation Director Jack Masson. The decision was then made to close the park until officials could be certain that there were no more "bandits" lurking about, waiting to attack unsuspecting park-goers. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Cannibal Holocaust: Horrifying Details in Brazilian Cannibal Nightmare


Three suspected cannibals have been arrested by Brazilian police on suspicion of having murdered and eaten at least two women who they may have turned into pastries, which they in turn gave to unsuspecting neighbors to eat. 

Jorge Beltrao Negromonte and Elizabeth Pires da Silveira, both 51, and Bruna da Silva of Guaranhuns, Brazil, have been arrested, charged with luring young women into their home with job offers to be a live-in nanny, killing them and then consuming their flesh in what they called a "purification ceremony". It is also alleged that they used the flesh of their victims to make stuffed-meat pastries known as empanadas, which they sold to neighbors, schools as well as to hospitals. 

Police discovered two bodies in the garden of the house of the trio, which authorities believe may be the bodies of Alexandra Falcao, 20 and Gisele da Silva, 30, both of whom disappeared recently. The cannibalistic trio confessed that their intentions were to kill and consume at least three women a year to continue the "purification" process. 

Police also discovered a gruesome "diary" of sorts in the house of horrors written by Negromante, which detailed the trio's heinously vile plans. 




New Chocolate Printing Press Makes Delectable Designs

The spirit of Willy Wonka is obviously alive and well, as a company in the UK has designed a printer that can make beautiful, edible designs out of chocolate!

The geniuses at Choc Edge, Ltd.  have produced the first-ever choco-matic printer, capable of creating fanciful, 3D designs from scrumptious chocolate sauce. The clever device uses a motorized syringe filled with chocolate to draw on a canvas. The high-precision nozzle can produce chocolate-drizzled graphic designs at the astonishing rate of 2,000 millimeters a minute. The user can program the design desired by using an open source 3D printing program that is included with the printer.

The delightfully delectable printer has been in the works for a number of years, and the manufacturer is now taking pre-orders for the device, which will set you back a cool $4000. Included in that cost is a supply of the necessary chocolate sauce, provided the buyer can stop themselves from opening up a cartridge and just gobbling up all the "ink"!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy Feet! Scientists Count Penguins...from Space!

Scientists conducted a census on penguins in Antarctica using an out-of-this-world method...satellite imagery!

In what The National Geographic is calling "The First Ever Penguin Census from Space", scientists from the UK, US and Australia were able to use high-resolution satellite imagery to count the population of Emperor penguins on the frozen continent. After poring over the data, the scientists were able to count approximately 600,000 of the tuxedo wearing cuties, which was double the number they were expecting to find.

"We are delighted," says a member of the British Antarctic Survey, which was able to spot seven new penguin colonies using the imagery from space. Part of the census technique relies on locating individual colonies, which is done by looking for large brown patches of guano (penguin poo) on the surface of the white ice. Then the high-resolution imagery is utilized to count the approximate number of penguins present.

While the higher-than-expected population is good news, the scientists are still concerned for the future of the species, as the effects of runaway climate change continue to place their fragile habitat in great danger.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Kill Switch: Is China Testing Internet Off Button?

Temporary blackouts today left millions of China’s Internet users unable to access many Chinese web sites as well as other unblocked foreign sites that they have been free to read in the past.

The outages come only a week after cyber-activist group Anonymous hacked almost five hundred Chinese web sites, including many of those belonging to the government. The mysterious outage was not limited to just China however, as similar blackouts were reported in Hong Kong as well as in Japan. At first, there was speculation that a powerful 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday may have shifted undersea cables, creating the blackout. Chinese Telecom later confirmed that the earthquake had not damaged the cables.

Speculation then turned to perhaps a temporary blip in the system, but the Telecom insisted this was not the case, either. Which has many people around the world guessing that the Chinese government has made a dry run of specific protocols to knock out the Internet should civil unrest, descent and protests start to take place in the Communist nation. The measures could also be put into place in the event of a war.

Two weeks ago, rumors of a coup movement within China began to spread across the Internet. The Chinese government quickly moved in to squash the rumors, sparking arrests and the closing of several web sites affiliated with anti-government sentiment. Recent years have seen countries such as Iran and Egypt employ "kill switch" tactics to take down the Internet during times of strife and political turmoil.

Bee Gee's Singer Robin Gibb Dead at 62

UPDATE: May 20, 2012: Bee Gee's singer/songwriter Robin Gibb has died in London, his family announced today "with great sadness". Gibb had been in a coma following surgery for a twisted bowel as well as battling liver and colon cancer. He had also contracted pneumonia while in the hospital, which further exacerbated his situation. He made a "remarkable" recovery a week after falling into a coma, but his condition quickly reversed and continued to deteriorate. He is survived by his brother, Barry, his wife Dwina, daughter Melissa, and two sons, Spencer and Robin John.

Robin Gibb, the singer/songwriter and one of the founding members of iconic musical group The Bee Gees, is said to be in a coma in a London hospital today.

The singer, who has been suffering from colon as well as liver cancer, has now been diagnosed with pneumonia. Gibb's family, including brother Barry, his wife Dwina, daughter Melissa, 37, and sons Spencer, 39, and Robin-John, 29, were all said to be at his bedside in a private hospital in Chelsea, West London. It is feared doctors are not optimistic about his chances for a recovery. 

The 62-year-old singer revealed his battle with cancer in 2010, after shocking photographs of his extremely gaunt appearance appeared in the media. He had emergency surgery to treat a blocked bowel, before a further operation to treat a twisted bowel, a condition that killed his twin brother Maurice in 2003. The colon and liver cancers were discovered during the procedure. The youngest of the famed Gibb brothers, Andy, died in 1988 at the age of 30 from a heart ailment. 

The Bee Gees were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were awarded seven Grammy Awards over their long career.  The group also can claim one of the biggest selling albums of all time, the soundtrack to the classic 70s film Saturday Night Fever. 

KFC: Earthquake Is Finger-Lickin' Good

There's nothing more comforting than a bucket of Kentucky fried chicken made with 11 secret herbs and spices, especially after a terrifying earthquake! At least, that's what KFC in Thailand mistakenly believed.

After a series of powerful temblors struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, KFC Thailand took to their official Facebook and Twitter feeds with the message "Let's hurry home and follow the earthquake news. And don't forget to order your favorite KFC menu."

The powerful 8.9 quake struck near to the same region where a 9.1 earthquake took place in 2004, which created a devastating tsunami that killed over 275,000 people as it swept across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet liner. A tsunami warning was issued for the entire region following Wednesday's quake, which created massive panic as people fled, fearing a repeat of the Boxing Day cataclysm. Fortunately, the earthquake was not the type to form a large tsunami this time.

People were quick to criticize KFC Thailand for their shameless self-promoting during a time of national crisis, and it certainly would not have been condoned by Colonel Sanders. The offending message was promptly removed and the company issued an apology to the public for its lapse in judgement.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Weather Alert: Potentially Devastating & Catastrophic Tornado Outbreak for Central US

An extremely dangerous tornado outbreak is expected on Saturday over the Great Plains in the US, the National Weather Service is warning. 

The areas of most concern will be in Oklahoma and Kansas, according to the reports. Oklahoma has already been experiencing the opening salvo of the dangerous storm system, after severe thunderstorms along with embedded tornadoes were observed late this afternoon near the town of Norman. 

Warm, moist air flowing northwards from the Gulf of Mexico, which currently has record-warm waters, will collide with cold air funneling down from Canada, creating a highly unstable air mass capable of creating powerful super cell storms with the potential to form dangerous tornadoes that could remain on the ground for extended periods of time. 

This is the second time the Storm Prediction Center has issued a "High Risk" forecast this year; the first "High Risk" forecast came during the March 2 tornado outbreak, which killed 41 people and did $1.5 - $2 billion in damages in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. 

It is also highly unusual (and disturbing) for the SPC to issue a "High Risk" forecast more than a day in advance of a suspected tornado outbreak. People living in the threatened areas need to monitor the news at all times on Saturday and be on the alert for severe weather. 


Mother's Day: Frances Bean Cobain to Mom Courtney Love...STHU!

The daughter of the late rock and roll icon Kurt Cobain has apparently grown tired of her mother Courtney Love's childish antics! (And who could blame her?)

Frances Bean Cobain, the 19-year-old daughter of the former Nirvana lead singer who committed suicide in 1994, felt compelled to make a public statement after her volatile mother's most recent online tirade. Love, 47, went on yet another Twitter rant, accusing her late husband's former band mate, Foo Fighter's lead singer David Grohl, of having an inappropriate relationship with Frances during her younger years.

The usually quiet and publicity shy Cobain decried her mother's insinuations about a possible relationship with Grohl, stating "I have never been approached by Dave Grohl in more than a platonic way. I’m in a monogamous relationship and very happy.” She went on to conclude that "Twitter should ban my mother."

The micro-blogging site just might take this into consideration, after Love was sued for defamation last year by fashion designer Dawn Simonrangkir after the singer/actress made derogatory statements about her via her Twitter feed. Love was ordered to pay more than $400,000 in damages to the designer.

This isn't the only trouble poor Frances Bean has had with Mommie Dearest. Earlier this year, information regarding a restraining order Frances had signed against her mother in 2009 became public. The order alleged that Love was responsible for the death of several household pets, including a cat and a dog. She also alleged that her mother "basically exists now on...Xanax, Adderall, Sonata and Abilify, sugar and cigarettes."

Happy Mother's Day, Courtney!!! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Appetite for Destruction: Axl Rose Says No Thanks to R&R Hall of Fame

Rocker Axl Rose proved that he is still a legendary pain-in-the-ass after all these years by refusing to accept an invitation to be inducted into Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

The 50-year-old front-man of the rock band Guns 'N Roses wrote a long, rambling letter to the Hall of Fame, detailing why he was refusing the nomination, considered by most in the industry to be the highest honor in the musical realm.

Apparently, Rose doesn't feel the love from the academy and claims in his rejection letter that he is neither "wanted or respected" at this year's induction ceremony. He also states that he will not be attending the ceremony and does not wish to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in absentia, and does not grant anyone the right to accept the invitation or speak on his behalf at the ceremony, scheduled for later this year.

Rose rose to great fame in the late-80s and early-90s, fueled by such classic rock hits as "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Paradise City". Rose's volatile and often unpredictable behavior over the years ultimately lead to the demise in popularity of the iconic rock band and he has faded into near obscurity in recent years.

Golden Tweets: Betty White Joins Twitter

The last remaining Golden Girl has joined social media web site Twitter! 

Former Golden Girls and Mary Tyler Moore Show actress Betty White opened up an official account with the micro-blogging web site on Monday. Obviously, the legendary comedienne is still as popular as ever, as she has already amassed almost 200,000 followers in a little over 24 hours!

The lively 90-year-old's account has only made a few tweets as of now, mostly to promote White's new hidden camera comedy series on NBC Off Their Rockers. She also is busy starring in the TV Land hit sitcom Hot in Cleveland as well as filming television commercials and movie roles!

It is unclear if White herself is making the tweets, or if she has a personal assistant do the work for her. You can follow her or send her a message on Twitter at the following address: @BettyMWhite.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Like a Flop: Madonna's New Album Tanks in Second Week

There will be a million bouquets of hydrangeas delivered to the erstwhile Queen of Pop as sales of her new album MDNA take the biggest second week plunge in musical chart history!

The new effort from the 53-year old wax figure chanteuse debuted in the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 200 in album sales last week, beating out another 80s fave Lionel Richie's new album Tuskegee, which came in at Number Two with sales of almost 200,000 copies. However, Madonna's camp may have utilized sneaky practices in hitting the coveted Number One spot, as her record company included the album for free as part of a concert ticket bundle for her upcoming tour, which falsely inflated the actual sales figures.

MDNA looks to sell  an extremely paltry 49,000 copies in its second week, meaning it will be a record-breaking 88% drop in sales, the largest such drop for a Number One album in its second week in musical history! The first single off the album, "Gimme All Your Luvin'" featuring MIA and Nicki Minaj, was a huge flop on the charts as well, despite a heavily-promoted appearance by Madonna at this year's Super Bowl. Her latest single "Girl Gone Wild" doesn't appear to be drawing any interest from fans or haters either.

The superstar singer is set to begin her new world tour next month. Here's a bouquet of your beloved hydrangeas to get you motivated, Madge! Enjoy your Karma Bouquet!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Does a Bear Text in the Woods? Texting Man Has Close Encounter with Bear

Of all the inherent dangers of texting on your phone and not paying attention to your surroundings, the one you would least likely anticipate would be an encounter with a bear in the city. Yet, that's exactly what happened to one young man in Glendale, California...

It seems a brown bear has made the upscale California neighborhood his local stomping ground after the beast was spotted eating frozen dinners out of a garage refrigerator a few weeks ago. After acquiring a taste for yummy human food, the male brown bear was spotted again today, this time trailed by local television helicopters!

As the helicopters followed the animal in quick pursuit, he suddenly turned down an alleyway where local resident Vaz Terdandenyan was walking and using his phone to text his boss that he would be late to work due to the police activity surrounding the bear hunt. Terdandenyan happened to look up from the phone in time to see the 500 lb. bear ambling toward him. Needless to say, he made a hasty retreat in the opposite direction and ran to safety! Luckily, Terdandenyan is a good runner, having recently trained for a marathon.

Animal control agents were able to safely tranquilize the bear with two darts to ensure that he slept peacefully while they worked to get him into a cage to transport him back into the wild. When the bear awakes, he will be released to an undisclosed location deep within the Angeles National Forest.

The Cruise Will Go On: Titanic Re-Creation Cruise Plagued with Problems

A luxury liner set to retrace the exact route of famed ship Titanic has been besieged by problems after setting sail from the port of Southampton, England on Sunday.

The MS Balmoral, a luxury cruise liner operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, departed the UK on Sunday and was set to pick up passengers in France and Ireland before continuing to North America. Many of the passengers have opted to dress in period attire for the cruise, which is to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the doomed ship.

The ship’s progress, however, has been delayed by strong winds that prevented the Balmoral from docking in Cobh, Ireland. The 45 mph winds and rough seas delayed the ship for almost an entire day, according to the BBC.

The memorial cruise is set to serve some of the actual meals offered to passengers of the ill-fated Titanic. The memorial cruise will also be carrying descendants of some of passengers who perished when the "unsinkable" ship sank after striking an iceberg off the coast of Canada in 1912. 1517 of the 2,223 passengers died.

The recreation cruise is expected to reach New York in 10 days. It is unclear whether that arrival date has changed due to the delay.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Facebook Acquires Instagram in $1 Billion Deal

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed his company was acquiring free photo sharing application Instagram in an astonishing deal worth a staggering $1 billion!

The social media mega-site announced the acquisition in a message on its web site, stating that the deal to buy the San Francisco-based Instagram would be worth roughly $1 billion in cash as well as stock in Facebook.  The deal is expected to close later in the quarter.

"Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an official online statement regarding the acquisition.

Instagram has become extremely popular for its application that can add special effects to current, modern photographs and make them appear more retro, similar to photos taken with old-fashioned Polaroid or Kodak Insta-Matic cameras.

Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it on the service or a variety of other social networking services, including social media and blogging sites Facebook, Tumblr, twitter, FourSquare and Flickr. The application is compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 or above or any Android device running Android 2.2 or above.

In the News: Greek Protestors Pelt News Anchor with Eggs & Yogurt on Live TV

Protestors in Greece rushed a television station in Athens, pelting a news anchor with eggs and yogurt, all on live television!

The Mediterranean country has been caught up in nationwide, often violent protests for over a year, as Greece battles with a soaring debt crisis that threatens the stability of the Euro Zone and the world economy. Tough austerity measures have created massive civil unrest, with protestors and rioters clashing with police and military on almost a daily basis.

The crisis hit a low-point last week after a 77-year-old Greek pensioner committed suicide outside of the Greek Parliament building, leaving a note behind stating he would rather die than to scavenge for food in the streets like a peasant. The suicide re-ignited the flames of protest against the government.

Protestors apparently gained entry into a television studio where news anchor Panagiotis Bourchas was conducted a live on-air interview. The interview grinds to a sudden halt when a woman off-camera can be heard shouting. Suddenly, a volley of eggs and yogurt can be seen flying through the air, making a direct hit on Bourchas, as his guest dashes off-stage, unscathed. The news anchor is pelted with more food, as his attackers chant anti-fascist slogans. After the protestors run out of things to throw, Bourchas quietly removes his ear piece, picks up his yogurt-splattered laptop and trudges off-camera, as the station puts up a title card on-screen.

It is believed the attack was motivated after Bourchas hosted a show featuring a spokesman from the neo-Nazi political organization Golden Dawn.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sin City RX: Las Vegas Introduces Mobile IV Units for Those Who Over-Indulge

Sin City, the city that never sleeps, has added a convenient new service to those who enjoy partaking in the many delights the town has to offer: A mobile IV unit for anyone who has had way too much to drink but does not want to suffer the painful consequences.

According to a new Las Vegas website, a fleet of tour buses is already rolling along the neon-illuminated streets, with stops at major casinos. If you are in desperate need of the hair of a dog to keep your Vegas vacation from becoming a nightmare, simply notify the service and they will send the bus out to your casino, where they will hook you up to an IV to treat the dehydrating effects of your hangover, for the introductory price of only $150. (Money you can recoup once you are back into fighting form and hitting the blackjack tables.) The treatment and medications are all FDA approved, the site claims.

The buses make routine, nightly stops at the Hard Rock Hotel, Paris, Bellagio and The Cosmopolitan.

Iconic 60 Minutes Reporter Mike Wallace Dead at 93

Legendary broadcaster and 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace has died at the age of 93, a spokesperson has revealed.

Wallace died Saturday night, CBS network spokesman Kevin Tedesco said. On Face the Nation this morning host Bob Schieffer  said Wallace passed away at a care facility in New Haven, Connecticut, where he had been living for the past several years.

Famous for his often aggressive form of interviewing, he was a familiar part of the journalism scene for almost seventy years. He interviewed countless politicians and celebrities over the decades,  and once famously asked the deceased Iranian religious leader the Ayatollah Khamenei if he "was crazy". He also brought superstar singer Barbra Streisand to tears during an interview, criticizing her for being "totally self-absorbed" and for her years of psycho-analysis.

He was one of the original reporters hired to host an ensemble news show titled 60 Minutes in 1968. The show would go on to become a Top 10 ratings staple for several decades, and was still rated in the Top 15 as of last year. He continued reporting for the hard-hitting news program until he announced his retirement in 2006, a year after undergoing delicate heart surgery.

Wallace received 21 Emmy awards during his long, storied career, as well as five DuPont-Columbia journalism awards and five presitious Peabody awards.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Mary Yates Wallace, his son, Chris, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates.

Boing! Boing! Boing! New "Trampoline" Boots Let You Jump Like a Kangaroo

If you've ever had the desire to jump around like a kangaroo, now you have the opportunity! A new athletic shoe has been introduced on the market, complete with spring-loaded, mini-trampolines on the soles which allows the wearer to hop around just like Australia's most famous marsupial.

The new athletic shoes, dubbed Kangoo Jumps, retail for around $265 US (£166) and have already made a splash Down Under, as well as in Europe and South Africa, and have already arrived on US shores just in time for the Spring fitness season. 

The manufacturers claim the shoes protect your knees and other joints while exercising by taking away up to 80 per cent of the impact. They also claim they can increase endurance, improve weight loss and help sculpture your thighs and buttocks into rippling, muscular masses. 

Kangoo Jumps are fastened just like roller blades or ski boots, with quick-release buckles and sturdy straps. Once they’re on, the wearer will need to practice walking and jumping in them to become accustomed to the sensation and to discover their center of gravity. With a little practice, you will be hopping like the Easter bunny (while perhaps drawing some laughs from passersby). 

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