Friday, February 27, 2009
URBANA, Ill. – Someone is disposing of placentas in the sewage system and authorities in central Illinois just want it to stop. Workers in Urbana-Champaign found a placenta Thursday in a filter that keeps large objects out of the sewage treatment plant. It was the third found this year. Officials said it's never happened before. They wonder if a midwife or veterinarian is avoiding the expense of medical waste disposal.
The placenta is an organ that joins mother and fetus and is expelled during birth.
They are potentially infectious, although health officials said the risk to the public is low. State regulations prohibit disposal in sewage systems.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said he's not entirely sure whether the placentas are human or animal. More testing is under way.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
MIAMI (Reuters) – Florida wildlife managers have launched an experiment to see if they can keep crocodiles from returning to residential neighborhoods by temporarily taping magnets to their heads to disrupt their "homing" ability.
Researchers at Mexico's Crocodile Museum in Chiapas reported in a biology newsletter they had some success with the method, using it to permanently relocate 20 of the reptiles since 2004.
"We said, 'Hey, we might as well give this a try," Lindsey Hord, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's crocodile response coordinator, said on Tuesday.
Crocodiles are notoriously territorial and when biologists move them from urban areas to new homes in the wild, they often go right back to the place where they were captured, traveling up to 10 miles a week to get there.
Scientists believe they rely in part on the Earth's magnetic fields to navigate, and that taping magnets to both sides of their heads disorients them.
"They're just taped on temporarily," Hord said. "We just put the magnets on when they're captured and since they don't know where we take them, they're lost. The hope would be that they stay where we take them to."
Hord and his co-workers have tried it on two crocodiles since launching the experiment in January, affixing "a common old laboratory magnet" to both sides of the animals' heads. One got run over by a car and died, but the other has yet to return, Hord said.
Once an endangered species, American crocodiles' numbers have rebounded to nearly 2,000 in coastal south Florida, their only habitat in the continental United States. That puts them in increasing contact with humans, especially in areas where backyards border on canals around Miami and the Florida Keys.
Crocodiles are still classified as a threatened species, so game managers are reluctant to move them to new areas where they might be killed battling other resident crocodiles for turf rights, Hord said. Unlike alligators, which are far more numerous, each crocodile is considered important to preserving the species, he said.
"These crocodiles are unique and valuable creatures and we feel like we have a responsibility to live with these animals as much as we can," he said.
Many frightened residents don't share that view, although crocodiles are shy creatures, Hord said. Wildlife managers will try to relocate any thought to pose a significant risk, mainly those that seem to have lost their fear of humans.
Most crocodiles in Florida are tagged as hatchlings so biologists can easily recognize them, Hord said.
Any that come back twice after being captured and moved are sent to zoos or otherwise placed in captivity, something biologists hope to avoid if the magnet experiment works.
"This one is by no means a really well-developed scientific study with a control group. It's just something we thought we would try," Hord said. "We do have to make some room to live with them."(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Todd Eastham)
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Monday, February 23, 2009
CAMDEN, Ark.—If only he had remembered to take the pistol out of a sack of nickels he brought to a bank, he may have remained free and not become a suspect in a recent burglary. An 18-year-old man entered the BancorpSouth branch Wednesday to change $88 worth of nickels to paper money, Camden police said. After spotting the gun, the teller told a supervisor, who called police.
After police questioned him, they had cause to obtain a search warrant for his home, where they found $16,000 worth of allegedly stolen property, including eight firearms. Camden police Capt. Scott Rosson said many of the nickels were from a stolen coin collection.
The Ouachita County Jail said Friday that the man was charged with resisting arrest and possession of a firearm. Police were investigating the burglary aspect of the case. The jail didn't have information on his bond.
Rosson said the man had no intention of robbing the bank. The .44-caliber handgun was not loaded but ammunition for the gun was also in the bag. Police said the man planned to sell the gun at a pawn shop.
Information from: Camden News,
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Santa Rosa Steven Lightfoot's Theory
Santa Rosa resident Steven Lightfoot's calling may be the most bizarre. From the moment John Lennon was killed by deranged gunman Mark Chapman on Dec. 8, 1980, Lightfoot has suspected a cover-up. On his website (www.lennonmurdertruth.com), he presents evidence that has convinced him Lennon was assassinated by horror writer Stephen King, with assistance from the Reagan administration and other government officials. Although Hart hadn't seen Lightfoot at a council meeting for several weeks, Lightfoot has frequently shown up over the years to expound on his theory, which no one has apparently taken very seriously. www.lennonmurdertruth.com
Contrary to all reports about a lone drifter named Mark David Chapman who allegedly shot John Lennon in the back December 8, 1980 you’ll find ample evidence in the back issues of Time, Newsweek, and US News and World Report magazines to suggest otherwise. Namely, that John Lennon was, not only politically assassinated, but that Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and, you’d better sit down, horror novelist Stephen King are the three people who can be proven guilty of the crime.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009
In 1829, George Wilson and an accomplice received death sentences for murder and robbing mail trains. His accomplice quickly took a trip to the gallows, but Wilson had influential friends in Washington. These friends beseeched Andrew Jackson for leniency on behalf of their friend, and Old Hickory relented. In 1830, he pardoned Wilson for his capital crimes; the mail robber would only have to serve a twenty-year term for his other misdeeds.
It sounds like great news for Wilson, but when authorities presented him with the pardon, Wilson perplexingly refused to accept it.
After much legal back-and-forth, Wilson’s case came before the Supreme Court, which ruled that since the pardon was a bit of property, there was no legal way to force Wilson to accept it. Like his accomplice, Wilson was hanged. I guess a twenty year prison term is no walk in the park but it sure beats dying?
In a separate prison interview with The Associated Press, with interrogators nearby, the woman said she was part of a plot in which young women were raped and then sent to her for matronly advice. She said she would try to persuade the victims to become suicide bombers as their only escape from the shame and to reclaim their honor.
The suspect, 50-year-old Samira Ahmed Jassim - who said her code name was “The Mother of Believers” - has given unusual firsthand descriptions of the possible workings behind last year’s spike in attacks by women bombers. Not so much strange and scary and pretty sick too. I hope this woman rots in prison for many years.
Friday, February 13, 2009
LONDON (Reuters) – A British bishop was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty after he helped his two young sons to perch on top of the chimney of their house to read a book as part of a school project.
Bishop Jonathan Blake, of the Open Episcopal Church, took pictures of his sons Nathan, eight, and Dominic, seven, while they sat on top of their two-storey home.
The children were calmly holding a book called "The Killer Underpants" for a school competition to find the most unusual place where a pupil had read a book.
After a neighbor alerted the police, the clergyman said he was arrested, driven away in a cage in the back of a van and kept overnight in a cell.
"I was taken out in handcuffs in front of the whole neighborhood while my children were in tears," the 52-year-old told Reuters on Thursday. "I was kept in the cells without any information about what was taking place from 7 p.m. until 10 a.m. the following morning.
"I am appalled and incredulous. I would never have imagined in a thousand years that this could have happened." The children were wearing safety harnesses and got on to the chimney via a flat roof at the back of the house in Welling, southeast London, he added.
Blake said he would make an official complaint and has already contacted London police chief Paul Stephenson and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "A member of the public reported that two small children had been left unattended on the roof of a house. A 52-year-old man was arrested in connection with the allegation and has since been released without charge."
(Reporting by Peter Griffiths)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
North Texas authorities seized 22 dogs found crammed inside a station wagon with their owner. The owner locked the car doors and refused to come out when a constable tried to serve her a warrant for the seizure of the dogs early Monday, said SPCA spokeswoman Maura Davies.
Two puppies and 20 dogs were taken to a shelter until a judge decides who gets custody, the SPCA said. A hearing on the custody of the animals is set for Feb. 16 in Denison.
The dogs were in the car along with a pot of water, blankets and waste.
"The car was soaked with urine and covered in feces. The ammonia level in the vehicle was 23 parts per million even after the doors had been opened for several minutes. As a frame of reference, humans start experiencing health issues at 12 parts per million," Courtney Stevens, SPCA of Texas rescue and investigations supervisor, said in a news release.
The owner does not face charges, Grayson County constable Michael Putman said. She was not coherent and the SPCA said it has contacted Adult Protective Services about the woman.
Pottsboro is about 70 miles north of Dallas.
Let me be clear: About 90 percent of the time, I post weird news to try to make people laugh.
But sometimes news is weird and not at all funny. Case in point: Raymond Knez Jr. of Eau Claire, Wis. faces criminal charges for shooting his girlfriend's two dogs and four cats while her children were watching.
According to a police report obtained by WQOW, Knez was upset when the dogs were fighting, started drinking, and shot the animals in "the best interest of the family."
If this guy is guilty, I hope he'll go to a prison where he'll be able to take courses in coming up with less sorry excuses.
Every February, more than two million visitors from all over the world come to the Sapporo Snow Festival, as giant ice sculptures and statues line Orori Park and the main streets in Suskino.
The snow festival began in 1950, but it got a big boost in 1972, when Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
These days, many countries from overseas compete, even from places where it rarely if ever snows.
I took some interest in the contest a few years ago, when Yankee outfielder Hideki Matsui was honored in snow sculpture -- an honor Alex Rodriguez can now kiss goodbye.
Oh, and that's not Matsui you see on above. It's Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Competitive Eating Champs!
7 1/2 Extra Large Bacci Pizza Slices
15 Minutes/ July 9, 2005
45 Slices/Famous Famiglia Pizza
10 Minutes/October 13, 2008
Armour Vienna Sausage
8.31 pounds Armour Vienna Sausage /Lowe's Motor Speedway Charlotte
10 Minutes/ May 28, 2005
8.8 pounds Tempura Deep Fried Aspargus Spears/ Stockton Asparagus Fest
10 minutes/ Apr. 26, 2008
Six Pounds Baked Beans
One Minute, 48 Seconds
Baked Beans, Long Course
8.4 Pounds Baked Beans/ 84 Lumber
2 minutes 47 seconds/ Aug. 7, 2004
Beef Brisket BBQ Sandwiches
34.75 Beef Brisket BBQ Sandwiches/Cherokee Casino
10 Minutes/July 26, 2008
3 pound 3 ounces pickled beef tongue whole
Five Pounds/ TripRewards 1st Birthday
11 Minutes, 26 Seconds/ May 10, 2005
Blueberry Pie (Hands-Free)
9.17 lbs blueberry pie/Stand By Me World Pie Eating Championship
8 minutes/July 28, 2007
2.76 Pounds Pork & Chicken Bologna/Eats of Strength
Six Minutes/May 6, 2006
58 Johnsonville Brats / Brat Days
10 Minutes/ Aug. 5, 2006
5 1/2 pounds of buffet food
Crazy Legs Conti
15 BurritoVille burritos
Burritos, Long Form
11.81 lbs burritos/Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill
10 Minutes/Sep. 22, 2007
7 quarter-pound sticks, salted butter
6 pounds 9 ounces giant cabbage
Two Pounds Chocolate Candy Bars
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