Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ancient Prada: Archeologists Uncover 4500 Year Old Purse

Wilma Flintstone & Betty Rubble model the latest in prehistoric prêt-à-porter.

Excavators in Germany have uncovered what is believed to be the world's oldest handbag, National Geographic reveals!

The amazing discovery—believed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world—was found in a grave site at an ancient burial ground on a 250-acre site being excavated outside of Leipzig, Germany. The item—thought to be a ceremonial handbag used to carry precious cargo of the time—is elaborately decorated with over 100 canine teeth and is at least 4500-years-old, dating from the time of the Stone Age.

Over the millennium, the leather and fabric that the purse was fashioned from has rotted away, leaving only the dog teeth as evidence of its former glory. While a handbag made of canine teeth is an extremely rare find, canine teeth used for ceremonial decorations is actually a common theme among Stone and Bronze Age artifacts.

In fact, so many teeth from dogs have been excavated from graves around the region that it suggests dogs were as important as livestock to Stone Age man and they have been man's best friend since pre-historic times.

We know that the handbag would look right at home on the arms of Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble!

Because He's Worth It: Man Steals $40,000+ in Skin Care Items

A Coppell, Texas, man has turned himself into authorities after being on the lam for stealing over $40,000 worth of skincare products from stores during a six-month period starting this past December!

Efrain Hardman, dubbed the "Oil of Olay Bandit" by local media and police, was caught on various surveillance recordings, walking away with large quantities of high-end cosmetics and skincare products. It is believed his intentions were to re-sell the products on the open market, earning a hefty profit, seeing as he didn't pay anything at all for the items.

The smooth-faced 27-year-old criminal recently lost his job at an Irving, Texas, fast-food restaurant, and was in dire need of some quick cash, police are guessing. Hardman surrendered to the police after the local NBC affiliate news program aired a story about him, naming him as the prime suspect in the robberies once authorities identified him from surveillance footage recorded at several Tom Thumb grocery stores, which seemed to be his favorite target.

Hardman has been charged with four counts of theft in Coppell, but other cities in Texas are also interested in pressing charges against him.

Friday, June 29, 2012

La Dolce Vita: Italian Village for Sale on eBay for $3 Million

If you are in the market for a good deal, you might consider purchasing an entire Italian village for the bargain basement price of $3 million US!

The medieval Tuscan hill town of Pratariccia—which consists of a total of 25 abandoned houses and buildings atop a promontory —is up for sale at online auction house eBay, for a reasonable starting bid of $3 million. The once lovely hilltop hamlet has been abandoned since the late 1960s. eBay does list the village as "in need of restoration", as most of the buildings have seen better days, many with collapsed roofs and crumbling façades after decades of neglect.

Set amid beautiful rolling hills and stunning scenery, Pratariccia is nestled deep in the Tuscan countryside and only 25 miles from the Renaissance gem of Florence. The town is also close to the inhabited hilltop villages of Bibbiena and Poppi, with Poppi being famous for its castle with Renaissance frescoes and Latin manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages.

Pratariccia also borders a national park that holds the source of the Arno River which flows through Florence before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

The town is currently owned by an order of monastic monks and was listed on eBay earlier this month for an original asking price of $5 million US. The price was lowered in recent days. If you are interested in purchasing the fixer-upper village, you may bid for it on eBay here: 

Covered in Poo: Are Bird Dropping Facial Treatments the New Botox?

If A-List stars like actor Tom Cruise and David and Victoria Beckham look as if they haven't aged a day in the past decade or so, you can thank a helpful dose of bird poo!

It seems the Mission Impossible star has taken to using an unusual facial treatment to erase the passage of time from his face that contains the excrement of the nightingale bird. The poo is mixed with rice bran and water and then applied to the face as a mask and allowed to dry for several minutes. The facial mask is washed away, revealing a more youthful, radiant complexion. Apparently, the poo acts as a natural exfoliant for the skin, stripping away dead skin cells that dull the complexion and allow for the formation of wrinkles.

The treatments obviously work, as Cruise, the star of the musical Rock of Ages in theaters now, looks the same as he did in 1998. The popular actor will turn 50-years-old on Monday, and is said to eschew plastic surgery and Botox injections in favor of the all-natural treatment. He almost looks as youthful as his wife [Edit: Soon-to-be-ex-wife, as Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise today! Wonder if the bird poo was part of the reason?], actress Katie Holmes, who is 17 years his junior. Superstar couple David and Victoria Beckham, who are good friends of Cruise, are also rumored to be fans of the intriguing facial treatments.

The bird dropping treatments have been used for centuries in Japan, where the formula was originally created to cleanse the skin of geishas and kabuki actors, who traditionally used heavy, powder-based makeup to theatrically conceal their facial features.

The facial treatment can be purchased online here:

Cruise hasn't aged at all in at least a decade. Could bird poo be his secret to youth?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thriller, Tiger Once Belonging to Michael Jackson, Dies

A tiger that once belonged to the King of Pop Michael Jackson has died of lung cancer at the age of 13.

The female tiger named Thriller —after the star's bestselling album — and her brother Sabu both once lived at Jackson's mythical Neverland Estate near Santa Barbara, California. The pop superstar relinquished custody of the tigers in 2006, after a series of financial reversals. The cats were eventually given to The Birds actress Tippi Hedren, who runs the wildlife preserve Shambala fifty miles north of Los Angeles, California.

When Jackson sold the Neverland Estate, his veterinarian asked Hedren —the mother of actress Melanie Griffith —to take the sibling tigers into her sanctuary. Other animals that were a part of Jackson's extensive menagerie— including giraffes, flamingos, orangutans, elephants and dozens of reptiles —were sent to other sanctuaries in other parts of the country.

Hedren states that both the tigers arrived at Shambala in good physical and mental condition. She was upset, however, that Jackson never returned to see the tigers after parting with them, nor did he contribute financially to their care, although some of the proceeds from the sale of Michael's famous Thriller video jacket —which went for $1.8 million at auction in 2011—were handed over to help with some of the enormous expenses.

Last Monday marked the third anniversary of Jackson's untimely death.

Branded a Cheater: New Men's Ring Makes an Impression

If you are the type of person who likes to show your ownership of your husband, then you might be interested in a new ring that literally brands the phrase "I'm Married" into your hubby's ring finger.

Web site The Cheeky is now offering up the special "Anti-Cheating" ring, which leaves an impression of the phrase proclaiming the wearer's marital status. So, a philandering husband will be left with the scarlet phrase on his ring finger, even if he attempts to take off his wedding ring to fool others into believing he is single!

The branded words are only temporary, of course. (You can consult The Story of O for a more permanent solution!) The ring is made out of strengthened titanium, which is obviously stronger than the marriage of the person wearing the ring, and retails for a bargain $550.

 The web site describes the ring as follows:

"With Arnold, Tiger and two timing IMF guy in mind, we have created this wedding ring for people intent on cheating. The negative engraving on the inside means that when you are in the ‘Club’ and an attractive woman…or man comes along to chat, slipping your wedding ring off is not an option. The mark left on your skin says…I’m Married".

The site also gives the ring a lifetime guarantee, "til death...and all that".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No Sexy Tractors Allowed: Kenny Chesney Doppelgänger Gets Booted from Concert

A man with an uncanny resemblance to country crooner Kenny Chesney has received an apology after getting booted from a recent concert.

Apparently, Chesney's doppelgänger Nate Blankenship thought that he would have a bit of fun before a concert at Nashville's L-P Field, having himself photographed with fans of the singer who couldn't get up close and personal with the real deal.

Security team members approached Blankenship and told him he was "causing confusion" during the concert and proceeded to toss him out of the stadium. Now, Chesney's camp is issuing an apology, stating the star had not been informed of the incident and had nothing to do with his twin being thrown out of the venue.

"Being made aware through the media that fan Nathan Blankenship was removed from the Brothers of the Sun Tour show in Nashville on Saturday night, the promoter of the show is contacting Blankenship to resolve the matter," read a statement from Chesney's record label Sony to E! News. "No one in Chesney's management or promoter camp was aware that this fan had been escorted from the show until after it had been reported by the media."

Renee Zellweger's ex has promised to refund Blankenship his ticket money and will be sending him a gift basket of Sony merchandise as an apology.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Novelist/Screenwriter Nora Ephron Dead at 71

Award-winning novelist, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron has passed away in New York City at the age of 71.

Ephron carved out a highly-successful career for herself in Hollywood, writing the screenplays for some of the most popular comedies of the past several decades, including When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.

She began her journalistic career writing essays for periodicals and magazines, before trying her hand at novel-writing. Ephron admitted her 1983 bestseller Heartburn was loosely based on her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein and detailed his alleged infidelities during the course of their marriage. The novel was later made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, with Ephron writing the screenplay.

She would find her niche in writing movie scripts. She wrote the script for the Academy Award nominated film Silkwood, which would star Streep along with Cher and Kurt Russell. Her biggest success would come with her romantic comedies-dubbed "chick flicks" by the mass media. When Harry Met Sally was a huge financial success at the box office, catapulting former As the World Turns actress Meg Ryan into international super-stardom. Sleepless in Seattle was also a mammoth box office smash around the world, pairing Ryan once again with her popular co-star Tom Hanks.

More recently, she experienced success with Streep yet again in Julie & Julia, with the actress emoting as chef Julia Child (and earning yet another Oscar nomination). Her bestselling memoir I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts About Being a Woman published in 2007 detailed her own insecurities about Hollywood and her appearance as she aged in a town that does not allow for aging.

Ephron passed away of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia, her son Jacob Bernstein told The New York Times. She is survived by her third husband, Goodfellas screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi, and her two sons with ex-husband Carl Bernstein.

Mysterious Baltic "UFO" Cuts Off Electrical Equipment, Turns Off Cameras

The mysterious "Millennium Falcon" shaped object that rests on the floor of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden is stirring up even more interest from UFO enthusiasts and scientists alike after it was revealed that electric equipment cuts off whenever instruments get too close to it.

Divers have been studying the object since its discovery in May of 2011, which was given its nickname due to its resemblance to a spacecraft featured in the popular Star Wars films directed by George Lucas.

Professional diver Stefan Hogerborn, part of the Ocean X team which has set out to study the strange object, has reported that some of the equipment and cameras being used for the exploration mysteriously cut off whenever team members are floating above the site. 

"Anything electric out there - and the satellite phone as well - stopped working when we were above the object," Hogerborn is quoted as saying. "And then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again, and when we got back over the object it didn’t work."

Fellow team member Dennis Åsberg states, "We have experienced things that I really couldn’t imagine and I have been the team's biggest skeptic regarding these different kind of theories.I was kind of prepared just to find a stone or cliff or outcrop or pile of mud but it was nothing like that, so for me it has been a missing experience I must say."

The object was first uncovered in May of last year, but because there was no funding for a dive at the time, the team members were unable to explore the site until now. The crew had reported a strange, metallic outline along with a similar disk-shaped object some 200 meters away. Team members at the time reported that the object resembled an aircraft that looked as if it had crash landed into the ocean, with parts of it breaking up like the fuselage of a plane and scudding a large distance across the sea bed floor.

 The company designed and built a submarine in the hopes that it will lure tourists and treasure hunters willing to pay money to help continue fund the exploration. Another dive is scheduled in the coming weeks.

Supersonic: New Jet Could Fly London to Sydney in 5 Hours

A proposed new supersonic jet could be capable of flying from London to Sydney, Australia in as little as five hours.

Jetliner manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream are working in tandem with NASA to develop the first supersonic passenger aircraft for the business jet market. The consortium is working on the project, dubbed "The Son of Concorde", which would be capable of traveling at speeds of up to 2,485 miles per hour. Such a plane would be able to fly from London to Sydney-a distance of over 10,000 miles- in under 5 hours, a trip that would take almost 24 hours using conventional commercial aircraft.

As of now, the biggest obstacle the consortium faces is the "sonic boom" produced by aircraft traveling faster than the speed of sound. This problem has prevented supersonic aircraft from being feasible to use over land in the past. As of now, the fastest commercial aircraft in use, Gulfstream’s new G650, can fly 646 miles per hour and has a top speed of just 704 mile per hour.

The last supersonic aircraft in commercial use was the Concorde, which was taken out of commission in 2003 after a series of accidents, including a deadly crash at Paris' Charles du Gaulle Airport in 2000, which killed all 109 passengers aboard.

A prototype of the experimental aircraft is expected to debut at the Farnborough Air Show in London next month.  The jet, given the code name X-54, would start limited runs in 2020 and be commercially viable by 2030 if is determined to be safe and reliable.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Double Jeopardy: Alex Trebek Suffers Another Heart Attack

Popular game show host Alex Trebek is recovering from a mild heart attack.

The 71-year-old Jeopardy host was admitted into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Saturday evening with chest pains. A spokesperson for Sony Television said that Trebek was "good spirits and is currently under observation and undergoing further testing. He is expected to fully recover and be back at Jeopardy! when production begins taping in July for the new season, the show's 29th.”

This is the second heart attack for the affable Trebek, who has hosted Jeopardy for the past 28 years. He suffered his first mild heart attack in December of 2007, but he was back at the podium hosting his popular game show only a few weeks later.

He also made headlines last year after he injured his Achilles' tendon chasing a female burglar that had broken into his San Francisco hotel room.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Paradise Lost: Shame of Maldive's "Garbage Island"

The islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean have long been associated with incredible beauty, a paradise for tourists from around the world who flock to the tiny archipelago to enjoy its amazing beaches.

But the island nations' secret shame has been revealed, as one of the islands in the chain of twenty-six atolls that make up the Maldives has been turned into a squalid area of burning garbage.

The inhabited island of Thilafushi has been transformed from its former idyllic beauty into an island of fetid, burning rubbish. Not far from the eyes of tourists, the tiny atoll is now the trash receptacle for the entire nation, which boasts a population of only 330,000 residents. Tourism, however, boosts the population of the island considerably at any given time, as over 750,000 people a year visit the Maldives, with most coming from Europe. The huge influx of visitors each year has created a nightmare in waste disposal, with the government unable to handle the immense amounts of garbage created. It has been estimated that each visitor generates more than a pound of garbage a day during their visit.

The island must cope with an estimated 300 tons of garbage each day, with very little space to deal with such copious amounts of human refuse. Thilafushi is now referred to by locals as "Garbage Island". A thick, toxic haze of continuously burning rubbish now taints the once cerulean blue skies over the island, and the garbage is stacked to the ocean's edge, marring formerly pristine white sand beaches.

Now, inhabitants of the island are scrounging among the vast piles of garbage, in search of scraps of metal or anything that can be salvaged and sold in order to make end's meet. Recently, boats have been tossing the garbage directly into the sea, not wanting to wait up to seven hours to dump their loads into the open land fill on the island. Now, the government has temporarily banned more garbage from being dumped on Thilafushi, with boats now being sent to India to dump their refuse.

A  recycling program has been put into place in earnest in an attempt to help control the overwhelming trash situation.

The Tide Is High: Scientists Say Sea Levels Rising Faster Than Expected

Sea levels around the globe could rise by as much as two to three times faster than previously expected, according to a dire new report released by think tank US National Research Council.

The committee of climate experts re-evaluated the latest United Nations estimates and updated them with new data regarding polar ice-cap melting and concluded the melt-off is accelerating the rise in sea levels worldwide at a far faster rate.

 By the year 2100, the National Research Council estimates that global sea levels will rise on an average between 20-55 inches (50 and 140 centimeters). A United Nations panel on climate change in 2007 had projected a rise of only seven to twenty-three inches worldwide during the same time frame.

In terms of near-future sea level changes, the committee has predicted a rise in coastal water levels by three to nine inches by the year 2030 with a rise of up to 19 inches by 2050.  These rates are considerably higher than predicted in a report released by climate experts in the year 2000.

The committee was initially convened by an executive order from California to assess sea level rise in order to make preparations for coastal impact, and to make the first detailed predictions for the US West Coast. The study concluded that Oregon and Washington State would perhaps be less impacted by the rising tides, as tectonic activity in the region is actually causing  land in the area to rise higher.

The study also concluded that the change in sea levels would continue to contribute to the increase in severe and catastrophic weather events globally.  The study predicted that seismic activity in California could cause a sudden rise in sea levels along the coastline by as much as a meter (3.3 feet), with devastating results.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

OMG! You Killed Kenny: Man Who Threatened South Park Creators Gets 12 Year Sentence

A man who threatened the lives of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker has received a 12 year prison sentence handed down by a New York court.

33-year-old Jesse Curtis Morton of Brooklyn, New York, received the sentence after posting online threats against Stone and Parker as well as a host of others who he deemed "enemies of Islam". Morton, who converted to the Muslim religion, founded the now-defunct Revolution Muslim web site, which attacked individuals and organizations perceived as an affront to Islamic beliefs.

Morton offered an apology at his sentencing, stating he "contributed to a clash of civilizations" by espousing a violent ideology. "I justified atrocities by Muslims simply because they were carried out by the weak against the powerful."

The incident stemmed from an episode of South Park where the Prophet Muhammad was depicted in a bear costume. Islamic laws strictly forbids any characterization or drawings of the Prophet from being published, which is a punishable offense considered to be blasphemous.

The always irreverent cartoon has courted controversy countless times since its debut on the Comedy Central cable network in 1997, featuring off-color and often offensive humor as well as stinging parodies of contemporary themes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Founding Father: Book Belonging to George Washington Sells for Eight Figures

A book once belonging to American president George Washington sold at Christie's Auction House in New York City for almost $10 million.

The book, titled The Acts of Congress, was printed in 1789 and contains Washington's annotated copy of the American Constitution, a draft of the Bill of Rights, as well as handwritten notes in the margins and his signature and family crest on the title page.

A fierce bidding war commenced at Christie's between two unidentified parties, but ultimately the winning bid of $9,826,500 was offered by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which owns and runs Washington's historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

The book remained at Mount Vernon until 1876, when it was sold by Washington's nephew Lawrence for only $13, around $300 in today's money. It at one time belonged to publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst— who Orson Wells used for the basis of his classic film Citizen Kane.

The amount is one of the highest ever paid for a bound manuscript. The book is expected to be returned home to Mount Vernon by the Association.

Not So Good Humor: Northeast Faces Ice Cream Bar Shortage

As parts of the country swelter under an oppressive heatwave, the Northeastern half of the United States faces a dire emergency: a shortage of Good Humor ice cream bars!

It seems that this year's freakishly warm Spring has left the venerable ice cream company with a low stock of its most popular ice cream bars, including the flavors Chocolate Eclair, Toasted Almond and Candy Center Crunch. Fans of the yummy summer-time favorite in the Northeast might find that their local stores will be completely out of the cooling treats.

A company representative assures that stock of the more popular flavors will be hitting retail outlets again over the next few weeks. ""We are confident that all issues will be resolved by mid-summer," parent company Unilever spokesman Jeff Graubard said in an email.

That can't come soon enough to ice cream truck drivers in the area affected by the outage, as they've seen sales of their scrumptious treats fall by at least 5 percent during the shortage, as customers are very particular to the flavors they want. Drivers report that often customers will opt not to buy anything at all once they've discovered that their favorite flavor is unavailable to purchase.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lost World: Department of Homeland Security to Seize Dinosaur Fossil

The 70-million year old fossilized remains of a dinosaur unearthed in Mongolia's Gobi Desert is set to be seized by the US government's Department of Homeland Security.

The priceless fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Bataar, the Asian cousin to the more famous Tyrannosaurus Rex, was sold at auction last month for more than $1 million, despite objections from the Mongolian government, which has banned the export and sale of fossils since 1924.

Now, a New York court has issued a warrant for the fossil forcing the auction house to return the remains to Mongolia, where it was discovered seven years ago and illegally smuggled out of the country, sources say.

In order to circumvent auction house regulations, the person in possession of the fossil at first claimed the remains were discovered in Great Britain. A spokesperson for the Heritage auction house says that the fossil was purchased in good faith, based on the information given by the seller. The New York court has ruled that the remains were exported illegally to the US via Great Britain, and now must be returned to the Mongolian government.

The first Tyrannosaurus Bataars skeletons were discovered in the Gobi desert in 1946 by archeological expeditions which were supported by the former Soviet Union.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Torrential Rains Flood Minnesota Zoo, Leaving Animals Dead

Torrential rains brought intense flooding to areas of Minnesota yesterday, including the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth.

It is feared that more than fourteen animals perished in the rapidly-rising flood waters, which came after a series of thunderstorms drenched the region with more than nine inches of rain in less than 24 hours. The popular zoo, which sits at the bottom of a hill, has been the victim of flooding in the past, but none worse than yesterday's deluge.

Almost all of the zoo's barnyard animals that belonged to the petting zoo for children perished in the flood waters, including six sheep, four goats, one donkey, one raven, one snowy owl and one turkey vulture. Two of the park's popular seals, Fesity and Helen, managed to escape their flooded enclosure but were rescued as they tried valiantly to flee the flood waters. People living near the zoo photographed the terrified seals as they frantically lumbered across busy roads in an effort to escape the deadly waters.

The zoo's female polar bear Berlin also temporarily escaped from her enclosure as well, but was quickly tranquilized and placed in a temporary pen, away from the flood waters and out of harm's way.  

A creek flows through the normally idyllic 16-acre property, which means torrential rains can cause dangerous flash flooding. Zoo keepers fear that the animal death count will continue to rise, as staff and volunteers enter the flooded enclosures to survey the damage and take a census of the animals. 

The Swarm: Military Unveils Insect-Sized Spy Drones

The next time you swat at a pesky mosquito or other insect buzzing around your head, you might want to take a second look. It could be a military spy drone with a built in camera and microphone!

Over recent years a range of miniature drones, or micro air vehicles (MAVs), based on the same physic principles used by flying insects, have been presented to the public. While it may seem like something out of novel by the late techno-thriller author Michael Crichton, experts assert that the technology is indeed quite real and that the US government is probably already utilizing it for surveillance purposes, both abroad and within the country as well.

In 2008, US Air Force unveiled insect-sized spies as small as a bumblebee that could not be detected by conventional radar and would be able to fly into buildings to photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists. The Air Force also revealed what was dubbed "mini-lethal drones" the same year, allegedly designed by using Leonardo da Vinci's blueprints for his famed Ornithopter flying machine, and claimed they would be ready for roll out by 2015.

The goal of the new breed of surveillance craft is to combine swarm technology with bio-inspired drones to operate with little or no direct human supervision in a dynamic, resource-constrained, adversarial environment.

Scientists and military experts have often looked to the natural world as inspiration for terrestrial as well as space craft, integrating elements used by birds and insects to create the perfect flying machine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Swedish Zoo Keeper Killed by Wolves

A zoo keeper in Sweden has been attacked and killed by a pack of wolves in her care, many she had taken care of since they were pups.

The 30-year-old female worker was attacked by at least eight wolves after she entered their enclosure at the Kolmården  Zoo. Her body was recovered by other zoo workers who had to form a human chain in order to force the wolves back and away from the body. The worker had been an employee at the zoological park for over three years, and had worked intensively with the wolves.

Animal experts say that such an attack by wolves on a human is an extremely rare occurrence, but that similar incidents have taken place. Experts also exert that zoo animals do not have a fear of humans, which can put some zoo workers in danger. No decision has been made if any of the wolves will be removed from Kolmården in light of the vicious attack.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Double Fault: Tennis Player Injures Line Judge in Temper Tantrum

Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian had an on-court freak-out, which resulted in an unfortunate line judge receiving a pretty nasty injury.

The 10th-seeded Nalbandian was leading during the second set Sunday at the Queen's Club during the Aegon Championship final in London when he kicked the small barrier surrounding the line judge out of anger. A piece of the barrier broke away and then hit the line judge, causing him to bleed from his left shin.

After checking on the line judge, the match umpire decided to call an end to the game, giving a victory to Nalbandian's opponent  Marin Cilic. Nalbandian insists that he should not have been disqualified for his violent reaction, stating "Sometimes you get very frustrated on court and it’s tough to control that, and sometimes I do a mistake. So it’s very tough to end a final like that,”

ATP rules state that any violent outbursts conducted during the course of a match must end in an automatic default judgement. The Argentine player had been leading the sixth-seeded Cilic 7-6 (3), 3-4 in the grass-court Wimbledon warmup when the incident occurred.

Self-Inflicted: Man Writing Kindness in America Book Admits to Shooting Self

A West Virginia man who claimed to have been shot hitchhiking across the country while writing a book on kindness in the United States has admitted the whole incident was a hoax.

Authorities say that 39-year-old Roy Dolin shot himself in the arm as a desperate ploy to garner attention for the book he was writing, titled Kindness in America. Police believe Dolin shot himself and then created an elaborate story about a man driving a maroon colored pick-up truck pulling up and shooting him without provocation as he walked along a desolate stretch of Montana road last week.

Authorities later arrested Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, and charged him with felony assault in connection with the crime. Dolin would finally admit that he had made the entire incident up, and charges have been dropped against Danielson, who remains in jail on unrelated drug charges.

Before admitting it was all just a hoax, Dolin talked at great length with reporters from around the world about the alleged crime, claiming he was writing a photographic coffee table book detailing how kindness still existed in the heart of America.  He would go on to cite several incidences of spontaneous kindness he had experienced during his journey across the country, although those claims are now suspect. He also told reporters that the attack had not changed his mind that kindness still existed in the nation.

It is believed his main motive was to gather enough attention to score a high-dollar book advance from a publishing house as well selling movie rights to his story.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Walking the Tight Rope: Daredevil Successfully Walks Niagara Falls High Wire

Daredevil Nik Wallenda (of the famed Flying Wallenda family) became the first person ever to successfully walk across a tight rope suspended above the mighty Niagara Falls yesterday.

Taking careful, steady steps, Wallenda made his way across the 1800 feet of the Falls, battling wind as well as a continuous mist from the waterfall. The entire stunt was broadcast on ABC, who insisted Wallenda use a safety tether for the extremely risky daredevil act as insurance for the spectacle, which cost the network $1.3 million to put on.

Of course, being a daredevil is in the blood of the 33-year-old father of three, who is a 7th generation member of the circus act Flying Wallenda's. The family can trace their flashy, show biz roots back to 1780 Austria-Hungary, where family members entertained royalty and peasants alike with acrobatic feats, juggling, animal training and trapeze performances.

After successfully completing the walk, Wallenda said he was able to accomplish the feat with "a lot of praying, that's for sure. But, you know, it's all about the concentration, the focus, and the training."

A large, lively crowd had gathered to watch the event, with over 125,000 people gathering on the Canadian side of the falls and an additional 5000 on the American side. Around a dozen people have crossed high wires downstream at the Niagara Gorge, but this is the first time anyone has crossed directly over the Falls.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Call Him Snuggles: Man Arrested 4th Time for Having Public Sex with Teddy Bear

An Ohio man has been nabbed for trying to get busy with his favorite teddy bear while out in public, and it's not the first time he's been caught in flagantre dilecto with Paddington.

28-year-old Charles Marshall of Cincinnati, Ohio, was issued a citation on Wednesday for masturbating with the cuddly toy in an alleyway outside of the Elm Street Health Clinic. (Talk about your Nightmare on Elm Street!

Police records, however, reveal that this is actually the FOURTH time Marshall has been caught and cited for pleasuring himself with the plush bear in the past several years. He received a citation for indecency and disorderly conduct following the last incident of engaging in public sex with a true novelty toy. 

Marshall has also served short stints in jail and been subjected to several fines for the incidences according to website The Smoking Gun,. For whatever reason, he can't seem to break his attachment to the teddy bear, much like Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming comedy flick Ted, in which the superstar actor plays a character whose talking childhood stuffed teddy bear remains an unwanted constant in his life. 

Invaders from Mars? Drone Aircraft Being Transported on US Highway Causes Alien Invasion Rumors

Sightings of a strange, unidentified object being transported by an eighteen-wheeler around the Washington, DC, area had many people believing alien visitors had arrived in the US capital!

Motorists began taking snapshots of the UFO-shaped object strapped down to a flatbed big rig on Wednesday evening. Soon enough, the pictures had already made their way onto social media sites Facebook and Twitter, sparking rampant rumors that alien invaders had made First Contact with earthlings.

Concerned citizens also began to call local emergency services to report the UFO being escorted down the Capital Beltway. When an emergency dispatcher asked one witness to describe the object, he hesitantly said "a UFO. I mean, I don't really know. I don't see too many UFO's on a regular basis."

As it turns out, the mystery object was an unmanned drone aircraft being transported to a top secret location. Drones have been used in the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan to patrol troubled regions and to report back high-tech surveillance. The US government has announced a controversial plan to begin using drone craft within the United States. Recently, an airplane flying over Denver, Colorado, had a very close encounter with an alleged drone aircraft, almost prompting a mid-air collision.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dressed to Kill: New Trailer Re-Imagines Mrs. Doubtfire As a Horror Film

If you thought there was something dark and disturbing about Robin Williams' cross-dressing performance in the smash hit 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire, you are obviously not alone: A new video "trailer" re-imagines the comedy film as...a psychological thriller.

Taking a cue from Brian De Palma's 1980 cross-dressing slasher flick Dressed to Kill starring Michael Caine, the clever new re-cut trailer features suspense-filled footage of Williams creating his matronly alter ego Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, with devious intents against the mother of his children, ex-wife Sally Field, who has been given full custody of the couple's three children. The creator of the trailer, Peter Javidpour, describes his version of the movie's new plot as “An unemployed actor undergoes a drastic transformation in a twisted attempt to regain the trust of his estranged family.”

It's not such a large stretch of the imagination, as Robin Williams has delivered several successful turns as a deeply disturbed villain in the suspense films One Hour Photo and Insomniac. You may watch the re-imagined version of a classic below:

Get a Womb: New Chair Recreates Our Earliest, Most Comfortable Memories

It may seem like something out of an adorable Anne Geddes portrait but a new designer chair promises to recreate all the comforts of being back in your mother's womb.

The chair, made from 100% recycled materials, is designed to emulate the soothing qualities of a mother's womb, certain to bring rest and relaxation even to the most-stressed out of people. The low-tech sleeper is the creation of Design Museum artist-in-residence Freyja Sewell, who claims the womb chair inspires different feelings and emotions to each individual who rests inside of its calm and serene sanctuary.

The designer also explains the practicality of the chair, as property and rent prices soar and more people have to share living quarters out of necessity, the chair will allow people to experience their own peace and tranquility among the chaos of everyday life.

The chair can also be an oasis to withdraw from the high-tech assault of endless texts, cell phone calls, e-mails and instant messages that barrage us all on a daily basis, Sewell claims.

The Black Death: Oregon Man Diagnosed with Bubonic Plague

An Oregon man is in critical condition after being diagnosed with the Bubonic Plague. He is the fifth person to be diagnosed with the deadly disease in the state since 1995.

The man, a resident of rural Cook County, contracted the disease after being bitten while trying to rescue a mouse from the clutches of a stray cat on his property. At this point, it is not clear if the man was bitten by the mouse or the cat, but both animals are known carriers of the dreaded disease. The Plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, is transmitted from the bites of fleas. The bacteria then enters the blood stream, where it infects the lymph nodes of the human body, as the bacteria quickly multiplies throughout the body. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bleeding mouth, nose or rectum and dying skin tissue.

 The cat has died and its body has been sent to the Center for Disease Control for testing. Although very rare now, the Black Death as the Plague is also known was one of the worst pandemic diseases in human history during the Middle Ages, decimating Europe and Asia and reducing the population by up to 60% in some areas of the continents. The disease is now highly treatable through medications, if symptoms of the illness are diagnosed and treatment begins promptly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Off with His Head: Game of Thrones Used Dubya's Decapitated Head in Battle Scene

HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones has ignited a firestorm of controversy after it was revealed that a mock-up of former US president George W. Bush's decapitated head on a spike was using during a gory battle scene.

Now, Republican politicians are calling for a boycott of the popular series after the stunt was revealed. The show's creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss made the stunning announcement on the Season One's DVD commentary, but have insisted that there was nothing political about the scene. 

The scene was included on the tenth episode of Season One, and features the disembodied head of Dubya, with long, straggly hair, covered in mud and impaled on a massive wooden stake. The show's creators did make sure to point out the former Prez's impaled head in the DVD commentary, stating "People may not have noticed this but back up...the last head on the left is George Bush." The creators did make sure to point out that there was no political statement in using Bush's head during the scene, they simply had to use whatever fake heads that were available at the time of filming. 

Not everyone is so convinced. Craig Eaton, president of the Brooklyn Republican Party believes "it's despicable. As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals,' Mr Eaton said. "Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak."

Reports of Osaka Bay Turning Yellow Coming Out of Japan

Courtesy: Fukushima Diary

Reports have been coming out of Japan over the past nine hours that the color of Osaka Bay has suddenly changed color, turning into a shade of very pale yellow. Reports at first began on micro-blogging site Twitter before breaking out across the blogosphere as well.

Citizens in both the cities of Osaka and Kobe began noticing the phenomenon. One Twitter member posted the following to their feed today: “Moving from parents house to Mikage. Osaka bay looked yellowish when I saw from an eminence. Am afraid it’s a sign."

A similar occurrence took place in 1995, shortly before the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which was responsible for the deaths of more than 7000 people in Kobe and the surrounding vicinity. The area also suffered a large scale fish kill only last week, when several tons of dead sardines inexplicably washed up on the beaches near the Japanese fishing port of Ohara in Isumi City of Chiba Prefecture

Seismologists have been issuing warnings over the past several weeks that the area is due for another large earthquake, perhaps comparable or stronger than the 6.8 1995 quake, which caused more than $100 Billion in damages. 

The yellowing Japanese waters comes only days after the skies over parts of China turned an ominous shade of yellow as well.

May the Force Be with Him: Mini-Darth Vader to Undergo Heart Surgery

The pint-sized star of last year's popular "Mini-Darth Vader" Volkswagen Passat commercial that aired during the Super Bowl is set to undergo delicate heart surgery.

Seven-year-old Max Page will have surgery in Los Angeles today to repair a congenital heart defect that has left a hole in the boy's heart and to replace a pulmonary valve. Max gained instant fame after appearing in the adorable commercial, where he dressed up as Star War's villain Darth Vader and tried to use his powers over his Mom, inanimate household objects and even the pet dog, to no avail. The Mini-Darth is delighted, however, when he is able to use his powers to start the family car, a Volkswagen, with a little help from his Dad and a remote key device.

Little Max was diagnosed with the heart defect when only he was only a few months old and has had a pacemaker installed to help control his heart. Max has also served as an Ambassador to the Children's Hosptial of Los Angeles, helping to raise money for other children suffering from similar conditions. May the Force Be With You, Max...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BK Bacon Sundae? Burger King To Offer Bacon Ice Cream Dessert

Fast food chain Burger King wants you to "have it your way", and apparently they believe you simply must have an ice cream dessert complete with breakfast staple bacon! (We know Homer Simpson would be an immediate fan!)

The company is launching a series of new pork, beef and chicken sandwiches on Thursday for a limited summertime run. The icing on the cake for the special summer food series is definitely their new Bacon Sundae—vanilla soft serve ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, a heaping serving of bacon crumbles and a whole piece of yummy fried bacon, a trend that started in Nashville, Tenn. earlier this year.

 The artery-clogging pièce de résistance weighs in at high-flying 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar. The chain is also touting a new slogan, "Taste Is King". New commercials have been celebrating the popularity of summer barbecues to highlight the chain’s emphasis on fire-grilling burgers. Earlier in the year, Burger King also began offering a more healthier alternative menu, featuring fruit smoothies, fresh salads and wraps. Now that the health-conscious consumers have been taken care of, BK obviously wants to continue catering to the junk food junkies that clog the drive-through day in/day out.

A Dingo Did Take Her Baby: Chamberlain Cleared After 32 Years

An Australian court has finally exonerated mother Lindy Chamberlain in the death of her infant daughter, Azaria, after more than 32 years.

The case, involving a mother's claims that a wild dingo entered a camp site at the world famous Aboriginal site Uluru and snatched the nine-week-old Azaria, became one of the most famous legal cases in Australia history. The public and press had already decided that mother Lindy was guilty of killing the infant and lying about the dingo attack to cover up the crime. The mother's demeanor, that of a frank and outspoken woman, did not find favor with the public or press, who were quick to pass judgement.

Chamberlain was eventually convicted and served a three-year sentence before the conviction was overturned. A bloody romper suit worn by the baby was found years later, with evidence that a dingo had attacked and killed the infant, as the family had claimed.

The case was made famous in the 1989 film A Cry in the Dark with actress Meryl Streep playing Lindy Chamberlain. Streep's performance garnered her one of her many Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, but she would lose to Jodie Foster for her riveting portrayal in The Accused that year.

The final inquest in the incident came after a series of dingo attacks and killings of infant and toddlers took place across Australia in the past decade, giving credence to Chamberlain's claims.

Birthday Blues: Study Suggests People More Likely to Die on Birthday

On your next birthday, you might be careful not to strain yourself too much blowing out all of those candles on your cake, as a new study suggest people are more likely to die on their own birthdays as they get older!

Researchers conducted a study of over two million death cases from the past forty years and concluded that people experience an increased risk of dying on their actual birth dates from a series of risks, including heart attacks, strokes, accidents and suicides.

On average, people over the age of 60 were 14 % more likely to die on their birthdays than any other random day. Heart attack deaths rose by a percentage of 18.6 % and were more likely to claim men, while women suffered deadly strokes a staggering 21.5 % on their special day!

There was also a 34.9 % rise in birthday suicides, 28.5 % rise in accidental deaths not related to cars, and a 44 per cent rise in deaths from accidental falls occurring on victim's birthdays. Birthday suicide rates only increased significantly in men, the study concludes.

Famous individuals who died on their birthdays include playwright William Shakespeare, as well as actress Ingrid Bergman. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Too Sexy: Video Compilation of Supermodels Falling Goes Viral

Supermodels are supposed to be the paragon of perfection. Beautiful and utterly flawless creatures who are immune to the slings and arrows mere mortals have to suffer. Or so Vogue magazine and Anna Wintour would have us all believe...

It turns out, those perfectly placid walking mannequins are human, after all. A video making the rounds on all the social media websites demonstrates this all too perfectly. Set to the haunting strains of Joe Cocker's timeless and ethereal "You Are So Beautiful", the video shows supermodel after supermodel doing their little turn on the catwalk... and falling flat on their multimillion dollar faces (or derrieres)!

One model in an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie bikini slips and sashays to the floor, while another model deigns to show emotion and help her up on her feet again. Another model carrying a blindingly pink accessory falls and can hardly get back up again. One poor catwalker tries valiantly to walk in Lady GaGa-esque torture stilettos and makes it almost to the end of the runway before going splat! She makes it back up and tries to continue on, before falling down again and being assisted by some men from the audience.

One poor model misses her steps and lands directly into the pool of water below. Another model in a designer gown plops down on her butt, as another tries to help her up, suffering the same fate! And one more unfortunate model becomes victim to a prop pendulum that swoops down on the stage, knocking her from the runway.

So, if you want to feel better about yourself while stuffing your face into a bag of Doritos Cool Ranch while watching Lizard Lick Towing, you can watch all the supermodel hilarity in the video below:

Pub Alone: UK Prime Minister Forgets Daughter in Local Pub

It may have seemed like something out of the hit Macaulay Culkin comedy Home Alone after UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Sam both forgot their 8-year-old daughter at a pub!

The Camerons had been dining at the Plough Inn, located in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, England, with their three children as well as two other families on Sunday evening. As the families were saying their good evenings, little Nancy decided it was time for a potty break, without telling anyone where she was going.

The couple did not realize that Nancy was not with them until after they arrived at their private country residence, in separate vehicles, some two miles away from the public house!  The Prime Minister had assumed that his wife had Nancy in the vehicle with her, and vice versa!

A spokesperson said that both of the parents were "distraught" over the entire incident, and that the Minister promptly returned to retrieve his errant daughter upon discovering that she was missing and that Nancy was perfectly fine. The spokesperson also stated the Camerons take full responsibility for leaving their daughter at the public house, and did not blame their security officers for the incident. 

The spokesperson failed to comment if either of the Camerons had consumed alcohol while at the pub. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

After 115 Years Together, Turtle Mates Suddenly Can't Stand Each Other

A tortoise couple who have been together for a very long time have suddenly developed a complete aversion to one another!

Tortoises Bibi and Pidi from the Happ Reptile Zoo  in Klagenfurt, Austria, have been mates for the past 115 years, but after more than a century of togetherness, it appears the couple have hit a rough patch in their long-term relationship.

Now, Bibi has taken to attacking her former amour Pidi whenever she sees him, snapping and trying to take a bite out of him. What brought on the newly-aggressive behavior in the normally relaxed Bibi is not known (perhaps she just got tired of Pidi monopolizing all the sandbox time).

Zoo officials, desperate to mend the riff between the two turtles, have called in animal behavior experts to try and resolve their "marital" issues. (I believe 115 years constitutes a Common Law marriage, since they obviously don't have a marriage license.) Hopefully, Bibi and Pidi can resolve any issues and animosities they have, because we'd hate to see them throw away more than a century of turtle love.

Athletes, Gold Medals & UFOs: Expert Warns Aliens Might Invade London Olympics

Regal London is the host of the 2012 Olympic Games, and among high security concerns of a terrorist attack, one former member of the UK's Minster of Defense believes we should also be worried about an alien invasion.

Military and UFO expert Nick Pope claims that large international events such as the Olympiad would be a prime opportunity for intelligent life forms traveling from faraway galaxies to make their presence known on Earth.

"With the summer of mass events we are all on high alert for terrorism. But we must also cast our eyes further afield and be prepared for even the most seemingly unfathomable," Pope cautioned. His time at the UK's Ministry of Defense included investigative work on reported UFO sightings in Great Britain during the years from 1991 through 1994. Initially a skeptic, Pope now says he is a firm believer in the existence of intelligent life forms on other planets, and that the governments of the world need to have a plan of action on the table, should they decide to pay Earth a visit, be it peaceful or hostile. 

He also claims that the UK government has taken the possibility into very real consideration and have made contingency plans for a "worse case scenario"...a full scale alien invasion. He states that many governments of the world believe alien intelligence has been monitoring terrestrial television and radio broadcasts for several decades, but would not elaborate on a reason for the monitoring. 

Pope's role in the UK government has been described as "working for the UK X Files", referencing the hit television show starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson about conspiracy theories and paranormal and alien activity.  He has published several non-fiction bestsellers about extraterrestrials, including Open Skies, Closed Minds.

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