Friday, May 29, 2009

Pink dolphin a standout in La. shipping channel

NEW ORLEANS – What's pink, has red eyes and leaps around a Louisiana shipping channel long enough for you to believe your eyes? A rare albino bottlenose dolphin. Bottlenose dolphins are common in the lower Calcasieu Ship Channel, feeding in the deep water and riding on top of boats' waves. And when the pink one jumps amid four dark gray dolphins, it's easy to spot.

The albino is just the 14th reported worldwide, and the third in the Gulf of Mexico, according to biologist Dagmar Fertl of Plano, Texas.

It was first reported by Wesley Lockard of Rayville, La., as a small calf in June 2007. Lockard, 26, said he and family members were fishing when they were stunned by the sight. "Something comes up and you say, `Wow! Did I just ...?' Then he comes up again and you say, `Yeah! I just saw a pink dolphin!'" he said.

Now, the mammal is as much a part of the channel south of Lake Charles as boats and fishermen.

"We see him on a pretty regular basis," said Roddy Blackburn, crewman and relief captain of a boat that ferries pilots to ships.

But spotting the pink one, believed to be about 2 1/2 years old, does take time. Michael Harbison, a state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist, has seen it several times, but only when he wasn't looking for it. He spent two trips — one for 10 hours — trying to locate it but didn't see the dolphin.

The albino is usually seen with four adults, and probably splits time between the Gulf and the lower 10 miles of the ship channel, said Harbison. Typically, dolphins surface for a second or so to breathe, then dive for up to 10 minutes, moving a half-mile or more, he said.

Five days after the initial sighting was reported nearly two years ago, the dolphin was seen again.

For 90 minutes, fisherman Randy Smith watched the dolphin leap alongside an adult they assumed was its mother.

"It was unbelievable," said Smith, who was returning from a Gulf fishing trip with friends when he saw the dolphin.

Many people refer to the dolphin as a male, though its sex is unknown.

Biologist Mandy Tumlin of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hopes more people will report sightings and give officials as much detail as possible. But they should stay at least 50 yards away and limit themselves to a half-hour of watching to keep the animals from getting too comfortable with people and boats, she said.

No specific studies are planned, but sightings will help the department track the animal.

"As rare as this is, we're trying to get as much as we can (about) this one individual," she said. "We definitely want to protect it and keep it safe."

On the Net:

NOAA albino dolphin fact sheet:

Marine mammal viewing guidelines:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stupid News-Iowa man charged after allegedly eating bag of pot

IOWA CITY, Iowa – A man has been arrested in the Iowa City area after police say he tried to eat a bag of marijuana to avoid drug charges. University Heights police said the man was pulled over early Sunday for a traffic violation. Police said the officers noticed a marijuana odor on his breath, and a green, leafy substance on his shirt.

Police Chief Ron Fort said the officers then discovered the man had a partially eaten plastic bag in his mouth.

Fort said the suspect eventually gagged, and a medium sized bag came out of his mouth.

The man was charged with preventing apprehension and obstructing prosecution and third-offense drug possession.

Information from: The Gazette,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bodybuilders flee drug testers; event canceled

BRUSSELS – The Belgian bodybuilding championship has been canceled after doping officials showed up and all the competitors fled.

A doping official says bodybuilders just grabbed their gear and ran off when he came into the room.

"I have never seen anything like it and hope never to see anything like it again," doping official Hans Cooman said Monday.

Twenty bodybuilders were entered in the weekend competition.

Cooman says the sport has a history of doping "and this incident didn't do its reputation any good."

During testing of bodybuilding events last year, doping authorities of northern Belgium's Flanders region found that three-quarters of the competitors tested positive.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stupid News-Deputies: Banana used as gun in holdup, then eaten

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Authorities in North Carolina say a store owner and a patron thwarted a teen accused of trying to carry out a robbery by concealing a banana beneath his shirt to resemble a gun.

Winston-Salem authorities say 17-year-old John Szwalla entered the Internet cafe Thursday and demanded money, saying he had a gun.

The owner, Bobby Ray Mabe, said he and a customer jumped Szwalla, holding him until deputies arrived. While they waited, Mabe says the teen ate the banana.

Mabe says deputies took pictures of the peel. Forsyth County Sheriff's office spokesman Maj. Brad Stanley says deputies joked about charging Szwalla with destroying evidence.

Szwalla faces a charge of attempted armed robbery. Jail officials say he doesn't have an attorney.

Stupid-Man tried to hire prostitute for his son, 14

LONDON (Reuters) – A man who tried to hire a prostitute to take his 14-year-old son's virginity as a present was spared jail by a court on Friday.

The Polish national took the boy out in his car and allowed him to pick out the prostitute, who was standing at the side of the road in the red-light district of Nottingham.

But the 42-year-old father was arrested because the teenager had chosen an undercover police officer, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, after he admitted a charge of trying to solicit a woman to have sex with a child, the Press Association reported.

The court heard that the father, who came to Britain eight years ago, was arrested last July during an undercover operation by the city's vice squad.

Prosecutor Adrian Harris said the man and his son had approached the undercover officer whose code name was Sarah and beckoned her over .

He asked "Sarah" how much it would cost for her to have sex with his son and they agreed on a 20 pound fee. However, when the car pulled over, the man was arrested by plainclothes police officers.

"The boy said that they had driven past the girl and his dad pointed to her and said 'will she do?'" Harris said.

"He said 'yes' and they had turned round. He said his dad did this because he was still a virgin and he was taking care of that for him."

Judge Jonathan Teare said he would spare the father jail because of his excellent character and that he believed he did not mean any harm to his son.

"You have a duty of care to your son and that is to look after his moral welfare, not as you might think to break him in to the ways of sex through a prostitute," he said.

The court was told the boy would continue to live with his father.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

Weird Spider Facts

Certain female species of spiders such as the Australian crab spider, sacrifice their bodies as a food source for their offspring.

Some male spiders pluck their cobwebs like a guitar, to attract female spiders.

Fried spiders taste like nuts.

The largest spider ever was the Megarachne which had a diameter of 50 cm. The fossil was found in Argentina.

The bite from a black widow spider is not automatically fatal. In fact, less than 1% of all people bitten by this spider run the risk of dying, and most of them are saved with the use of antivenin.

The skeleton of a spider is located on the outside of the body.

Spiders usually have eight eyes, but still they cannot see that well.

There are about 34,000 species of spiders.

Spiders have claws at the ends of their legs.

Only the female black widow spider has a poisonous bite. The male spider's venom is not poisonous and it does not attack its prey.

Of the 35,000 species of spiders, only 27 species are known to have caused human fatalities.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busty Sexy mascot can stay at eatery if curves covered

Restaurant owner Kenny Tessel, who runs a Reading, Ohio barbecue restaurant, KT's Barbeque, speaks during a board meeting in Reading, Ohio, Thursday, May 14, 2009. The life-size mannequin stands as a busty beacon outside the restaurant. He told zoning officials at a hearing Wednesday night that the advertising gimmick has boosted business 40 percent.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mad about MAD, LA man builds a dream out of CDs

LOS ANGELES - It's always been a mad MAD world for Neil Cuadra. The 55-year-old Internet entrepreneur has photographed a portrait he made of MAD magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman's head using junk mail CDs and DVDs and sent it to the magazine, a feat that landed him in the magazine's 500th issue, published in April.

Police: 'Nicotine Ninja' prefers brand-name cigs

GOLDEN, Colo. – Jefferson County authorities are looking a man they've dubbed the "Nicotine Ninja" believed to be responsible for stealing $120,000 worth of cigarettes. Authorities said the suspect is completely clad in dark clothing and covers half his face with a black cloth when he breaks into liquor stores in the middle of the night. The man is believed to be responsible for 118 burglaries across the metro area during the last two years.

Authorities said he usually only takes brand-name cigarettes and ignores the generic brands.

Information from: KDVR-TV,

Surgeon allegedly operates on wrong part of mouth

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Officials at a Providence hospital group said an oral surgeon began operating on the wrong part of a patient's mouth this week before discovering the error. It's the fifth wrong-site surgery in the last two years in the Lifespan hospital chain.

Timothy Babineau, president of Rhode Island Hospital, said that the mistake occurred Monday at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Babineau said Wednesday the surgical team was able to perform the correct procedure with "good results." He said the patient is in good condition and no complications are expected.

A hospital spokeswoman said the state Department of Health is investigating.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Basketballs launching on space shuttle mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Harlem Globetrotters will soon have a presence way above the globe.

Space shuttle Atlantis will carry a pair of basketballs when it rockets away on a repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Liftoff is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

One of the balls belongs to the Globetrotters. It was deflated to save room inside the shuttle, which is jammed with spacewalking gear and new telescope parts.

The other is a century-old ball on loan from the University of Chicago that was once handled by the man the Hubble Telescope is named after. Astronaut John Grunsfeld, an alumnus who will serve as the chief telescope repairman, is taking it up.

Edwin Hubble — the astronomer for whom the space telescope is named — tossed the ball around in a 1909 victory against Indiana University. The 6-foot-2 Hubble was a star forward on the University of Chicago's Big Ten champion teams of 1907-1908 and 1908-1909.

Because the old ball did not have an air valve, Grunsfeld cut it open and discovered it was filled with fiber packing material. The stuffing was removed so the ball would take up as little room as possible aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

The Globetrotters, coincidentally, have ties to Chicago. That's where they were founded in 1926.

After traveling to 120 countries and six continents, the Globetrotters wanted to expand into space.

"It is only fitting that the team that has seen more of the world than any other in history would have a presence beyond the stratosphere," Globetrotters chief executive officer Kurt Schneider said in a news release.

After Atlantis returns to Earth, the Globetrotters will put their red, white and blue space ball on display at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. The Hubble ball will go back to the University of Chicago.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cow may get new home after slaughterhouse escape

NEW YORK – A cow nicknamed Molly who escaped from a New York City slaughterhouse may have a new lease on life. New York police said the all-black cow got out from Musa Hala, Inc. about 1 p.m. Wednesday, a slaughterhouse where animals are butchered according to religious restrictions.

She wandered nearly a mile before she was corralled and captured by Emergency Services Unit officers. She was darted and delivered to the city's Animal Care and Control, where she was nicknamed Molly.

Officials there are looking into whether Molly the cow can be placed at a farm sanctuary to live out her life or if she must be returned for slaughter. It depends on whether anyone comes forward to claim her. Animal care officials said a handful of cows in the past decade have escaped to the city streets.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fun Disease Facts & You Are Scared Of The Swine Flu

People that use mobile phones are 2.5 time more likely to develop cancer in areas of the brain that are adjacent to the ear they use to talk on the mobile phone.

Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress.

Over 436,000 U.S. Troops were exposed to depleted uranium during the first Gulf war.

On average, 90% of the people that have the disease Lupus are female.

Many cancer patients that are treated with chemotherapy lose their hair. For some when the hair grows back, it can grow back a different colour, or be curly or straight.

Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for about 180,000 deaths per year.

Chances of a women getting breast cancer are increased by excessive use of alcohol.

A popular superstition is that if you put a piece of bread in a baby's crib, it will keep away diseases.

A person that is struck by lightning has a greater chance of developing motor neurons disease.

Every year in the U.S., there are 178,000 new cases of lung cancer.

Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Asthma affects one in fifteen children under the age of eighteen.

Every eleven minutes in the U.S., a woman dies of breast cancer.

Due to eating habits in the USA, one in three children born in the year 2000 have a chance of getting type II diabetes.

The oldest known disease in the world is leprosy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cool Animal Facts

The chameleon has a tongue that is 1.5 times the length of its body!

Squirrels can't remember where they hide half of their nuts.

Only male crickets can chirp.

A rabbit's teeth never stop growing.

Alligators cannot move backwards.

Texas horned toads can shoot blood out of the corners of their eyes.

The faster kangaroos hop, the less energy they use.

An okapi's tongue can grow to be 17 inches long.
An owl's eyes are bigger than its brain.

Salamanders breath through their skin.

The guanaco of South America, a cousin of the camel, has pads on its feet to keep its feet from burning on desert sand or freezing in mountain snow.

Foxes sometimes nip at the heals of cattle so the stomping of the cattle makes mice and other rodents come out of the ground, for the fox to eat.

Salamanders are known to come out of wood when it was burning inside a fireplace, this is because Salamanders hibernate in wood.

Whether an alligator is a male or female is determined by the temperature of the nest where the egg is hatched – 90 to 93 degrees will make it a male; 82 to 86 degrees will turn it into a female.

Some animals produce their own lights, called bioluminescence. The Brazilian railroad worm has a red light on its head and green lights down its side. All it needs to drive on the street is a turn signal.

You may have heard someone say, "It’s raining cats and dogs." There have been actual documented cases from all over the world of fish, frogs, dead birds, snakes, snails, beetles, worms and jellyfish raining down from the sky in great numbers, but no reports of showers of cats or dogs.