Strange But True News:
Posted Fri Oct 19, 2007 05:42 PM
iPod Lights Man's Pants on Fire
By: Tom Conlon
Danny Williams' taste in music is so wretched, his own iPod tried to kill him. Very recently, the Douglasville, Ga., native looked down to find his pants pocket engulfed in flames. The culprit: his year-old iPod Nano.
Williams walked away from the incident uninjured thanks to a piece of glossy paper in his pocket, which he believes spared him from being badly burned. But, as if having your iPod try to immolate you isn't frightening enough, consider where this episode took place: Williams works at a kiosk at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As Williams said himself:
"If TSA had come by and seen me smoking, they could have honestly thought I was a terrorist."
This fire is just the latest in a series of recent lithium-ion battery flame-ups. After smoke and flames were reported by consumers last August, Sony has since been forced to recall more than seven million laptop batteries it made for its own computers as well as for Dell, Apple, Gateway, Toshiba and several others. This summer, a Chinese man was killed when his cell phone battery exploded in his chest pocket, sending a broken rib tearing into his heart.
The lithium-ion battery has become ubiquitous due to its small size and ability to hold a charge, making it the perfect power supply for our increasingly mobile world. Unfortunately -- while very rare -- it is more likely than other types of batteries to light on fire or even explode.
As for this latest incident, Apple has pledged to replace Williams' iPod, but wouldn't comment further. As a result, we are unable to tell you which batch of iPod Nanos are affected and how widespread the problem might be.
Hey Apple, we're all very aware that you came out with some shiny new iPods last month. But, resorting to these scare tactics to convince us to upgrade? That's a new low.
Original Story found at: http://www.switched....S00010000000001
I have one of the First Gen. Nano's and this here actually does concern me. Hopefully I'm somewhere near water if mine goes up in flames, but then again I wear mine against my chest.
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2007 04:39 PM
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2007 04:41 PM
Posted Thu Oct 25, 2007 09:15 PM
According to Australia's The Age, the above-pictured skirt looks like a pretty red dress under normal circumstances, but when flipped inside out over the wearer's head turns into a pretty dead-on soda machine disguise -- the perfect foil for some mugger or more violent criminal (at least in Japan, where street crime is rare).
Other fashion-forward, crime-prevention accessories the article cites are wraparound sunglasses so dark you can't make eye contact with perverts on the subway, and a "manhole skirt" that folds up all your valuables into something that looks an awful lot like a manhole cover, which you then place on the street should a criminal step into view.
You can laugh, but these flippable fashion outfits are actually inspired by ancient Ninja stealth techniques -- apparently Ninja warriors would hide under black cloths at night to avoid enemies or surprise-attack them.
Only in Japan, folks, does the old "no one here, just us Coke machines" technique actually ward off would-be rapists and/or muggers.
How about you? Would you feel safe wearing this thing?
You have to see this to believe it, picture below, I think...
Posted Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:17 PM
Posted Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:29 PM
you know, that's exactly what I thought
Posted Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:48 AM
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A Gainesville man's lack of sight didn't stop him from defending his home from an intruder.
According to police, Cevaughn Curtis Jr., 28, broke into Arthur Williams' house in Gainesville at around 3 a.m.
Curtis, police said, knocked on the door, asked to be let inside but Williams refused. Curtis then tried to force his way into the home.
Click here to find out more!
The 75-year-old retired taxi dispatcher, who's been legally blind for the past 61 years, opened fire on the would-be-thief who kicked down his door, police said.
Police said Williams shot Curtis, who tried to flee but collapsed on the front porch, inthe left side of the neck. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Police said Curtis was charged with burglary of an occupied residence and battery on a person over the age of 65.
Officials are praising Williams for protecting himself.
Posted Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:03 PM
Posted Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:26 PM
Turns out, the best drinking stories in history are actually, well, historical. So raise a glass to your forefathers and marvel at these tales.
1. Admiral Edward Russell's 17th-Century throwdown
Think you can drink like a sailor? Maybe you should take a moment to reflect on what that truly means.
The record for history's largest cocktail belongs to British Lord Admiral Edward Russell. In 1694, he threw an officer's party that employed a garden's fountain as the punch bowl.
The concoction? A mixture that included 250 gallons of brandy, 125 gallons of Malaga wine, 1,400 pounds of sugar, 2,500 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 5 pounds of nutmeg.
A series of bartenders actually paddled around in a small wooden canoe, filling up guests' cups. Not only that, but they had to work in 15-minute shifts to avoid being overcome by the fumes and falling overboard.
The party continued nonstop for a full week, pausing only briefly during rainstorms to erect a silk canopy over the punch to keep it from getting watered down. In fact, the festivities didn't end until the fountain had been drunk completely dry.
2. The London Brew-nami of 1814
The Industrial Revolution wasn't all steam engines and textile mills. Beer production increased exponentially, as well. Fortunately, the good people of England were up to the challenge and drained kegs as fast as they were made. Brewery owners became known as "beer barons," and they spent their newfound wealth in an age-old manner -- by trying to party more than the next guy.
Case in point: In 1814, Meux's Horse Shoe Brewery in London constructed a brewing vat that was 22 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter, with an interior big enough to seat 200 for dinner -- which is exactly how its completion was celebrated. (Why 200? Because a rival had built a vat that seated 100, of course.)
After the dinner, the vat was filled to its 4,000-barrel capacity. Pretty impressive, given the grand scale of the project, but pretty unfortunate given that they overlooked a faulty supporting hoop. Yup, the vat ruptured, causing other vats to break, and the resulting commotion was heard up to 5 miles away.
A wall of 1.3 million gallons of dark beer washed down the street, caving in two buildings and killing nine people by means of "drowning, injury, poisoning by the porter fumes, or drunkenness."
The story gets even more unbelievable, though. Rescue attempts were blocked and delayed by the thousands who flocked to the area to drink directly off the road. And when survivors were finally brought to the hospital, the other patients became convinced from the smell that the hospital was serving beer to every ward except theirs. A riot broke out, and even more people were left injured.
Sadly, this incident was not deemed tragic enough at the time to merit an annual memorial service and/or reenactment.
3. New York state of mind: The Dutch ingratiate themselves to the natives
In 1609, the Dutch sent English explorer Henry Hudson westward for a third attempt at finding the fabled Northeast Passage. A near mutiny forced him southward, and upon reaching land, he encountered members of the Delaware Indian tribe.
To foster good relations, Hudson shared his brandy with the tribal chief, who soon passed out. But upon waking up the next day, he asked Hudson to pour some more for the rest of his tribe. From then on, the Indians referred to the island as Manahachtanienk -- literally, "The High Island."
And not "high" as in "tall;" high as in "the place where we got blotto." Most people would agree that Manhattan has stayed true to the spirit of its name ever since.
4. The worst aftertaste in history
In 1805, British Admiral Horatio Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar off the coast of Spain. Most sailors were simply put to rest at sea, but as an admiral, Nelson had to be brought back to England for an official burial.
To preserve his body during the voyage home, the second-in-command stored Nelson's body in the ship's vat of rum and halted all liquor rations to the crew. Not a bad idea, but when the ship reached port, officials went to retrieve Nelson's body and found the vat dry.
Disregarding good taste (in every sense), the crew had been secretly drinking from it the entire way home. After that, naval rum was referred to as Nelson's Blood.
5. Indian elephants raid the liquor cabinet
No wonder they don't sell beer at the circus. Apparently, elephants like to get wasted. In fact, an outpost of the Indian army in the jungle region of Bagdogra has been under attack ever since a local herd of elephants raided the base in search of food and discovered the soldiers' entire winter rations of rum.
Since then, the pachyderms have regularly raided the base for a drink and have smashed down all defenses put up by the army, including electrified fences and firewalls.
According to The Daily Telegraph, "An officer recently posted there explained that the elephants broke the rum bottles by cleverly curling their trunks around the bottom. Then they empty the contents down their throats. They soon got drunk, he said, and swayed around. They enjoy themselves and then return to the jungle."
This is by no means a singular incident, though. The animal kingdom is well-known for its ability to identify fruit that's begun to ferment. Anthropologists even believe this is how early man discovered alcohol -- by observing the strange behavior of animals on a fruit bender.
Posted Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:28 AM
Hoping to reduce San Francisco's high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a 4-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.
"Having the conversation today will help us figure out whether this is a way to reduce the harms and improve the health of our community," said Grant Colfax, director of HIV prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Organizers of the daylong forum, which also included a coalition of nonprofit health and social-service groups, acknowledge that it could take years to get an injection facility up and running. Along with legal hurdles, such an effort would be almost sure to face political opposition.
Bertha Madras, deputy director of demand reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, called San Francisco's consideration of such a facility "disconcerting" and "poor public policy."
"The underlying philosophy is, 'We accept drug addiction, we accept the state of affairs as acceptable,"' Madras said. "This is a form of giving up."
Sixty-five similar facilities exist in 27 cities in eight countries, but no other U.S. cities have considered creating one, according to Hilary McQuie, Western director for the Harm Reduction Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes alternative drug treatment methods.
"If it happens anywhere in the U.S., it will most likely start in San Francisco," McQuie said. "It really just depends on if there is a political will here. How long it takes for that political will to develop is the main factor."
Drug overdoses represented about one of every seven emergency calls handled by city paramedics between July 2006 and July 2007, according to San Francisco Fire Department Capt. Niels Tangherlini. At the same time, the number of deaths linked to overdoses has declined from a high of about 160 in 1995 to 40 in 2004, he said.
Colfax estimated that there are between 11,000 and 15,000 intravenous drug users in San Francisco, most of them homeless men. Like many large U.S. cities, the city operates a clean-needle exchange program to reduce HIV and hepatitis C infections.
Advocates plan to work on building community support for a safe-injection center, including backing from Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors.
While it's too early to tell what the room in San Francisco would look like, Vancouver's InSite program is located on the upper floor of a low-rise building in a downtown neighborhood where drug users shoot up in the open.
The site, exempt from federal drug laws so users can visit without fear of arrest, has 12 private booths where addicts inject drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal. They can use equipment and techniques provided by the staff, said Thomas Kerr, a University of British Columbia researcher who has extensively studied the program.
While 800 overdoses have occurred on the premises, Kerr said, none of them resulted in death because of the medical supervision provided at InSite. His research also has shown an increase in addicts seeking drug treatment and a decrease in abandoned syringes, needle-sharing, drug-related crime and other problems since the clinic opened, he said.
The results indicate the idea is worth replicating, despite the criticism it may attract, Kerr said.
"I prefer the approach of the Vancouver Police Department, which was: 'We don't like the idea of this, but let's look at the evidence and at the end of three years we will tell you either this is something we can support or it's something we can't support,"' he said.
you know what, I have nothing to say to this one
Posted Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:33 AM
After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."
"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.
She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. "Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."
Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."
"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction."
Potter readers on fan sites and elsewhere on the Internet have speculated on the sexuality of Dumbledore, noting that he has no close relationship with women and a mysterious, troubled past. And explicit scenes with Dumbledore already have appeared in fan fiction.
Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ," she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.
Rowling, finishing a brief "Open Book Tour" of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urged her fans to "question authority."
Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.
I know that there aren't many HP fans here, but being one, I thought that I'd post this.
Posted Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:37 AM
Reuters reports that the budget chain Travelodge has seen a seven-fold rise in sleepwalking in the past year, and that 95 percent of late-night walkers are scantily clad men. As such, the company has begun training staff how to deal with naked wanderers.
The company released a "sleepwalkers guide," which recommends keeping towels handy at the front desk -- "in case a customer's dignity needs preserving."
ok, I call BULLSHIT on this one, this is all happening in one hotel chain, I think these guys are just trying to show off. every now and then I can see a sleep walker, but an increase of that much, that's a load of crap, at least in my books.
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:51 PM
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007 01:26 PM
"When the person tries to grab you — like the bully or the person tries to give you a wedgie — they just rip away," Justin explained Thursday by phone from Los Angeles, where the TV segment was taped Wednesday.
The third graders from Gables Elementary School began brainstorming one day after they were horsing around, giving each other the treatment. Their mother's partner sarcastically said someone ought to invent wedgie-proof underwear, the family said.
The project got the boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition earlier this year, followed by the television appearance.
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007 01:28 PM
While her son, who is in the school's Talented and Gifted program, manages assignments with ease, he has one weak spot: remembering to lower the seat after he's done, Beth Wulf said.
"My mom was getting mad at me for forgetting to put the toilet seat down and she was falling in," said Jake, a fourth-grader at Odebolt-Arthur Elementary School.
"He's done this pretty much all his life," his mother said "He's in too big a hurry to take care of that. He's been reminded thousands of times over the years."
It was during a visit to a doctor's office that Jake's idea for the "Privy Prop" began to take shape.
He noticed the lid to a small trash can, which opened and closed with a foot-powered lever. He went home and told his parents that he wanted to design a similar device for the toilet.
He made it for the school's Invention Convention with the help of his dad, Jason, who designs equipment for a living.
"Jake drew it all out and I supervised," Jason Wulf said. "I helped him with the tools to make sure he didn't cut off any fingers."
Jake built plywood base and then cut thin pieces of steel and fashioned a teeter-totter at the bottom. You step on it and the seats raises. You step off and it closes.
Once it was built, he used a dictionary to come up with a name for his contraption. The final choices — "Jake's John Jack" "Privy Prop" and "Privy Proper" — were voted on by his family with "Privy Prop" winning.
It was selected by judges at the Invention Convention to advance to the regional contest in Pocahontas, where it was chosen to be displayed at the Iowa State Fair this past summer.
Beth Wulf suspects that someone who saw the "Privy Prop" at the fair called the Ellen Degeneres show because one of the show's producers contacted the family this fall asking for a tape with a description of her son's invention.
Two weeks later, a producer called and invited Jake and a parent to fly to Hollywood as part of a show featuring young inventors.
The show was taped on Wednesday. It was to air on Friday.
So where does Jake's project go from here?
He said his family has considered seeking a patent for it, but that might cost too much. There's also a chance a national company might catch wind of it after Friday's show.
One thing is for sure, the Wulf family won't try to mass produce it.
"Because Mom said," Jake said.
Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007 01:31 PM
Police said they knew Richard Waters, 43, shouldn't have been driving the vehicle, and arrested him and charged him with receiving stolen property. The vehicle turned out to be a stolen city vehicle.
Officials said Waters apparently left the emergency brake on when he drove off, and heat from that caused the tire to catch fire.