Friday, January 30, 2009

Phone Scam-Do Not DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284, AND 876

We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said 'Hey, this is Karen . Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you.' Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809 We didn't respond...
Then this week, we received the following e-mail:
Do Not DIAL AREA CODE 809, 284, AND 876

This one is being distributed all over the US . This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call.

Be sure you read this and pass it on.

They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has been arrested, died or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc.
In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away.. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls.

If you call from the U.S. , you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute.

Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $24,100.


The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (The Bahamas).
The charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong..

Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them beco me aware of this scam.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stupid News:Man arrested for wearing a Batman mask on a public street

TAMPA, Florida - Batman has had a slew of enemies over the years – The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman – but in Ybor City last year, he added a new nemesis: Tampa police.
Ybor City's version of the Caped Crusader –his real name is Walsh Ian Nichols – was sitting on a curb eating sushi on Oct. 21 when an officer arrested him for wearing a mask on a public street. More...

Mother of Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh stabbed to death

HOUSTON — The mother of infamous Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh has been stabbed to death, and Koresh's aunt was in custody on a murder charge Saturday.
Bonnie Clark Halderman, 60, was found Friday afternoon at the home of her sister, Beverly Clark, in a rural area near Chandler, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said. Chandler is about 175 miles north of Houston. More...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Picture by "new artist" Putin fetches $1.1 million

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – A picture sketched by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has fetched 37 million roubles ($1.15 million) at a charity auction.

The painting of snowfall seen through a window, finished by a professional artist, features a sprawling "Putin" signature and was introduced at Saturday's auction with the words: "Here is a new artist."

The auctioneer started bidding at 20,000 roubles ($620), the same as the other lots, only to meet cries of "Let's not be penny-pinchers" from the buyers, who demanded a starting price of five million roubles.

A black belt in judo, Putin has cultivated an image of a tough man, lionized by Russian media but so far not known for artistic talent.

An auction organizer said Putin had painted the picture in 20 minutes and then a professional artist filled in the details.

"Of all the paintings presented there, this was the best one," said a spokeswoman on Sunday for "Our Artists," the Moscow-based gallery which bought the painting.

The gallery, located in an exclusive wooded avenue just outside Moscow favored by oligarchs and top officials, said it would exhibit the painting to the public.

(Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Michael Stott and Dominic Evans)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bizarre News:Man found burned in apartment with no sign of fire

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Investigators are baffled as to how a man suffered second- and third-degree burns inside his apartment — even though the only sign of a fire was a candle in the bathroom. Knoxville Fire Department crews found the 56-year-old victim inside his apartment bathroom Monday afternoon with third-degree burns to his face and second-degree burns to his hands.

Officials say they knocked on the door of the unit at Cagle Terrace Apartments, and went inside when they heard someone moaning.

The man, who was not identified, was later taken to a burn center for treatment.

Fire officials say their investigation is ongoing.

Information from: WVLT-TV

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Strange News:Man speaks nonstop for 124 hours to set speech record

France - Frenchman Lluis Colet broke the world record for the longest speech after rambling nonstop for 124 hours about Spanish painter Salvador Dali, Catalan culture and other topics.
The 62-year-old Catalan and local government worker spoke for five straight days and four nights to set the record in the southern French town of Perpignan....More

Strange News:A grieving groom is set to wed his deceased fiancee

London - A grieving London groom will wed his dead fiancée in a marriage-style ceremony six months after she died in a car crash. Alan Hooley, 25, plans to recreate the romantic nuptials the loving couple had planned before his 21-year-old lover, Charlotte Simpson, was killed in October. More...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The World's Tallest Stuff

The World's Largest Man-Made Islands

Perhaps no structure on this list more embodies the original impulse behind the tall building — pure human hubris — than Dubai’s Palm Islands. Composed of three separate islands, Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, the entire construction will add nearly 330 miles of beach front to the city of Dubai. Parts of Palm Jumeirah are currently open for development, with the remaining islands to be completed in the next 10-15 years. When finished, the three islands will contain over 100 luxury hotels while Palm Deira itself will be almost as large as Paris.

The World's Tallest Dam

Construction began on the Nurek Dam (984 feet) in 1961 while the central Asian nation of Tajikistan was still a republic within the Soviet Union, and was completed an efficient 19 years later. The dam provides 98 percent of Tajikistan’s electrical needs and was one of the first to be constructed with an asphalt central core of cement forming an impermeable barrier along the Vakhsh River.

The World's Tallest Hotel Not in Dubai

Though eclipsed both by Dubai’s Rose Tower and Jumeirah Emirates Tower, the Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok, Thailand, nevertheless boasts 88 floors and 673 guest rooms. The 997-foot Tower is located in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district known for its shopping and its 1.5 mile long artificial lake.

The World's Tallest Monument

Commonly known as the “Gateway to the West” the St. Louis Arch, designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, marks the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The arch is surrounded by a 91-acre national park along the Mississippi River and stands 630-feet-tall. Visitors can take a four-minute tram ride up one of the “legs” of the arch to the observation deck at its center for spectacular views of St. Louis.

The World's Tallest Hotel Never Actually Completed

Destined for greatness, the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, stands at 1,083 feet, was supposed to boast 105 floors and 3.9 million-square-feet of floor space, and was meant to have seven revolving restaurants. Not surprisingly this towering pyramid’s construction was put on hold in 1992 when North Korea confronted more pressing matters. What remains is the pyramid itself, but it lacks windows and fixtures and has been deemed unsafe for human occupancy.

The World's Tallest Casino (sort of)

Unsurprisingly located in Las Vegas, the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino boasts a 1,149-foot-tall observation tower and restaurant, making it the tallest free-standing tower in the United States. While you can be shot straight up 160 feet in the air, or ride a mechanical arm over the Tower’s edge, there are no actual games in the tower itself.

The World's Tallest Bar

On the 87th floor of Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower–literally “Golden Prosperity Building”–is the appropriately titled Cloud Nine. In February 2001, cocktail-sipping patrons observed Han Qizhi, a 31-year-old shoe salesman, climb the 1,214 foot tower barehanded.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Odd News:Outrage at busty Virgin Mary models, Sexy

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – A prominent fashion designer has sparked outrage in Chile by dressing up models like the Virgin Mary -- in some cases with ample, near-naked breasts.

The Roman Catholic Church condemned Ricardo Oyarzun's plans for a show featuring the models, and a conservative group tried unsuccessfully to block it in court.

Oyarzun said he had received telephone threats and had excrement smeared on his doorstep.

"There is no pornography here, there's no sex, there are no virgins menstruating or feeling each other up," Oyarzun said ahead of the catwalk show set to be held at a Santiago nightclub later on Thursday. "This is artistic expression."

He said his designs -- which include halos, look as though they come from a nativity scene and include religious icons -- were inspired by the Virgin Mary but not intended to represent her.

"We look on with special pain and deplore those acts which seek to tarnish manifestations of sincere love toward the Virgin Mary, which end up striking at the dignity of womankind by presenting her as an object of consumption," Chile's Episcopal Conference, which includes Catholic bishops, said in a statement.

The show is more evidence that Chile, heavily influenced by the church for decades, is shaking off its reputation as one of the most socially conservative countries in Latin America.
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Stupid News:Police: woman goes to hair appointment after crash

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – An elderly woman in Palm Beach County crashed with her vehicle into a man on a scooter and then kept driving to make her hair appointment, police said.

Louise Davidson, 77, was arrested Thursday for leaving the scene of an injury crash, Boynton Beach police said.

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the woman was turning right when she veered into the path of the oncoming scooter that had the right of way. The man was thrown by the impact onto the windshield and then fell to the road, she added.

Police said they later spotted the woman's car after she had her hair appointment.

Authorities said the man suffered abrasions all over his body but the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Information from: The Palm Beach Post
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The fighter Jeff Monson charged with mischief; ESPN not an accomplice

Jeff Monson is either really dumb or really smart. I'm leaning towards the latter.

The fighter, who last appeared in the Mixed Fighting Alliance, winning over Ricco Rodriguez in December, has a warrant against him for defacing the Capitol building in Olympia, Wash. This warrant was issued after pictures of him painting an anarchist symbol on the building appeared in ESPN the Magazine.

See, Monson is an outspoken anarchist. He has said many times that he wants to do away with the social hierarchies that govern our world. The best way for Monson to share these theories is through the mass media, so publicity is his friend....More
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Hudson River hero is ex-Air Force fighter pilot Sully Sullenberger

This is one Bad Mother!
NEW YORK – The pilot who guided a crippled US Airways jetliner safely into the Hudson River — saving all 155 people aboard — became an instant hero Thursday, with accolades from the mayor and governor and a fan club online.

The pilot of Flight 1549 was Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, 57, of Danville, Calif., an official familiar with the accident told The Associated Press. Sullenberger is a former fighter pilot who runs a safety consulting firm in addition to flying commercial aircraft.

Sullenberger, who has flown for US Airways since 1980, flew F-4 fighter jets with the Air Force in the 1970s. He then served on a board that investigated aircraft accidents and participated later in several National Transportation Safety Board investigations.

Sullenberger had been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis, said Robert Bea, a civil engineer who co-founded UC Berkeley's Center for Catastrophic Risk Management.

Bea said he could think of few pilots as well-situated to bring the plane down safely than Sullenberger.

"When a plane is getting ready to crash with a lot of people who trust you, it is a test.. Sulley proved the end of the road for that test. He had studied it, he had rehearsed it, he had taken it to his heart."

Sullenberger is president of Safety Reliability Methods, a California firm that uses "the ultra-safe world of commercial aviation" as a basis for safety consulting in other fields, according to the firm's Web site.....More..
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Odd News:Indiana boy licks light pole, gets stuck

HAMMOND, Ind. – In a scene straight out of the movie "A Christmas Story," a 10-year-old Indiana boy got his tongue stuck to a metal light pole.

Hammond police say the unidentified fourth-grader was able to tell them that a friend dared him to lick the pole Wednesday night. Temperatures in the Chicago suburb were around 10 degrees at the time.

By the time an ambulance arrived, the boy was able to yank his tongue off the frozen pole.

Police say ambulance personnel explained to the boy's mother how to care for his bleeding tongue.

The 1983 movie is set in a fictional city based on Hammond, the hometown of author Jean Shepherd.

Information from: The (Munster, Ind.) Times
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Fake Chinese banknotes still stinging shoppers

BEIJING (Reuters) – A flood of counterfeit Chinese banknotes that has alarmed consumers stocking up on gifts ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, was still stinging shoppers on Thursday despite government pledges of a crackdown.

China's central bank warned consumers last week to be wary of counterfeits, after local media said high-quality fake banknotes had been found in 14 provinces across the country.

"I was so unfortunate. How could I get a fake note? It looked real in my eyes," a reporter surnamed Zhao told Reuters, after her 50-yuan (five pound) note was refused by cash-detecting machines in Beijing.

Zhao said several of her friends had also been stung by fake 50-yuan bills, amid media reports fake notes were being openly sold in southern China and had appeared in Hong Kong and Macau.

The sale of these notes appeared to be rife in Guangdong, with several online sellers in the southern province bordering Hong Kong boasting their notes could "cheat detectors," the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said.

One website ( calling itself a "direct distributor" of Taiwan-made fake currency, but carrying a phone number with an area code for China's southern city of Shenzhen, was selling batches of notes for 15 yuan per 100 yuan bill.

The spread of fake banknotes has raised warning bells in Taiwan, after Chinese media reports suggested they had originated from the self-ruled island.

In recent years, an issue of newly minted notes has decreased the incidence of fake bills in China which was once awash with counterfeit notes. But most shopkeepers keep cash-detectors, and the ritual of stroking a note and holding it up to the light remains common among local consumers.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Beijing, James Pomfret in Hong Kong and Ralph Jennings in Taipei; Editing by Valerie Lee)

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