Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Do you want flies with that? - So Many Flies At Burger King, Inspectors Wouldn’t Open Mouths -

Do you want flies with that? - So Many Flies At Burger King, Inspectors Wouldn’t Open Mouths - 

Do you want flies with that?

A Burger King on the city’s South Side has been closed by the city, after inspectors found so many insects buzzing around that they were “afraid to open their mouths.”

As WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports, the Dumpster Task Force closed the Burger King at 1701 W. 95th St., on the eastern edge of the Beverly neighborhood, on Tuesday.
More than 200 flying insects of various species were found throughout the Burger King. They were spotted on the walls, the ceilings, the shelves for clean dishes, around the sink, in the food storage area, in a dry storage area, on the tubing of boxes of soft drink syrup, and in front of the drive-up window, according to the city’s Department of Streets & Sanitation.

A wasp nest was also found just over the rear door.

Additionally, an outside grease container was encrusted with grease on the lip and grip, and grease was found splattered on the ground and on the wall behind the container, the city said.

“Pest control was woefully inadequate and poor housekeeping fueled the infestation of flying insects at the Burger King near 95th and Ashland,” Josie Cruz, deputy commissioner of Street & Sanitation’s Bureau of Rodent Control, said in a news release. “We closed this location for the critical violation of inadequate pest control and they won’t be allowed to reopen until they clean and pest-proof their restaurant, revamp their pest control and housekeeping plans, and then pass a tough reinspection.”


More than a beverage: 14 ways to use beer around the house -

More than a beverage: 14 ways to use beer around the house - 

Most of us don’t usually think of beer as an earth-friendly alternative to improving our gardens and lawns or dealing with a host of pests. However, if you can bring yourself to part ways with your favourite brew, or at least invest in some of the cheap stuff, you’ll be surprised by beer’s many uses.

1. Trap slugs and snails: Place dishes or jars of beer around your garden, especially in the evening. In the morning, the slimy critters, which have been drawn by the beer’s aroma/fermentation, will have drowned. The beer can be reused until it evaporates for garden pest control.

2. Trap fruit flies: If you keep a compost pail in your kitchen, you will also likely have fruit flies. Just place a jar or can of beer on the kitchen counter. Cover the top with plastic wrap or paper, leaving a small opening for the flies to get into. The fruit flies won’t be able to get back out.

3. Distract bees and wasps from your outdoor gathering: Beer placed in cups around the outskirts of your picnic or barbecue will attract bees and wasps. It’s not a long-term wasp control tactic; it’s more like placing difficult relatives at the furthest table.

4. Get rid of mice: If you don’t have a cat, a small amount of beer placed in a pail will help take care of a mouse problem, especially if you prefer to capture mice in a humane fashion. Just put an inch or so of beer in the pail, place some type of ramp, such as a piece of wood for the mice to crawl up. The mice fall into the pail and then you can remove your inebriated mice to some place outside.

5. Cockroach trap: Put a piece of bread soaked in beer in a jar. Put Vaseline around the lip of the jar. Roaches are attracted, get in, and can’t get out.

6. Fertilize your gardens: The sugars in beer are also enjoyed by your garden vegetables and flowers.

7. Fertilize your indoor plants: Yep, they like beer too. You don’t want to overdo it with indoor plants since they are contained and not subject to the cleansing distribution of rain. Use flat beer, just a small amount at the base of the plant.

8. Get rid of brown spots in your lawn: The acids in beer kill off fungi and pests, and the fermented sugars feed the grass.

9. Stain removal: Instead of pulling out a chemical cleaner when you’ve dribbled tea or coffee on your clothing or rug, soak the stain in beer. Let the beer sit for awhile then dab with a clean cloth. Wash well with soap and water once the spot has soaked. Always spot-test the fabric first.

10. Spruce up wooden furniture: Rub flat beer gently onto furniture using a soft cloth. The beer will help restore some of the polish and colour.

11. Clean gold jewellery: Similar to how you would use commercial gold-cleaning chemicals, just place your gold jewellery in a dish of beer. Let it soak, then remove, rinse, and gently polish with a dry cloth.

12. Polishing brass pots: Using a soft cloth, gently rub beer onto the pot. Let the pot sit for awhile, rinse, and dry with another soft cloth. The acids in beer work wonders on most metals.

13. Loosen rusty bolts: Using beer to loosen bolts is a bit “Macgiver-ish”, but the acids in the beer may dissolve enough rust to allow you to get them loose.

14. Insulation: Lastly, for the truly adventurous and creative, if you use full, unopened cans of beer in construction of walls, the beer absorbs the cold and won’t freeze in temperate climates (due to the alcohol content).

Brain-eating amoebas blamed in three deaths -

Brain-eating amoebas blamed in three deaths -

It's eerie but it's true: Three people have died this summer after suffering rare infections from a waterborne amoeba that destroys the brain.
This is the time of year when there is an uptick in cases. The amoebas flourish in the heat -- especially during the summer months in the South, thriving in warm waters where people swim.
Health officials usually record about two to three cases in a given year -- 1980 was the highest with eight deaths. And most of the time, they occur in children and teenagers.
"These are rare infections, but super tragic for families," said Jonathan Yoder, the waterborne disease and outbreak surveillance coordinator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We don't want to minimize how hard it is for families."
The amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri, is the only type that infects humans and is more than 95% lethal. The first death in 2011 occurred in June in Louisiana, according to the CDC.
A 16-year-old died Saturday after becoming infected by an amoeba in Brevard County, Florida, according to CNN's affiliate WFTV. The amoeba could have entered the teen's body as the teen swam in a nearby river.
The central Florida station reported that the teenager had suffered fever, nausea and headaches. A spinal tap showed that Naegleria fowleri was present in her spinal fluids.
In another case, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed Friday that a child from central Virginia died from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, which is caused by the amoeba. The Richmond Times Dispatch said the child was a 9-year-old boy from Henrico County.
The child died within the last few weeks, said Dr. Keri Hall, the state's director of epidemiology. She declined to share other details. Virginia's last confirmed case was in 1969.
Amoeba infections in humans are extremely rare. The CDC found 32 reported cases in 10 years -- compared with 36,000 drowning deaths from 1996 to 2005.


Sexy French underwear for kids sparks fashion debate - French "loungerie": Too sexy for kids? -

Sexy French underwear for kids sparks fashion debate - French "loungerie": Too sexy for kids? - 

French "loungerie": Too sexy for kids?
A new fashion trend tests French limits on age-appropriate clothes. And American prudishness.
Thomas Mucha
Merci, France.
It's a comfort to know that we can count on you to distract us from serious economic problems like rising unemployment [3] and the worsening debt crisis across Europe [4]
Toss in an American sense of prudishness, a few photos of scantily-clad kids and voila: we've got a simmering story line for web-fueled scandal. 
That's the script for today's emerging outrage, anyway.
It comes courtesy of Fashionista, which features a French company [5] called Jour Apres Lunes [6], a maker of "loungerie" (loungewear + lingerie = loungerie) for kids.
Here's how Fashionista [7] explains it:
It basically looks like lingerie – with maybe a tad more coverage – and would be totally okay for adults to wear but Jours Après Lunes is producing this stuff for girls ages 4-12 (the “loungerie” for the 3 month – 36 month age range is actually age-appropriate and cute, thankfully), so that mother and daughter can match. According to the site, the designer has a long background in designing lingerie (for grown ups) and she’s designed a “femme” collection for the over-tween set.
What’s disturbing about Jours Après Lunes is not just the fact that it’s lingerie for people who probably shouldn’t be old enough to even know what lingerie is, but the photographs on their website. The little “filles” are styled like grown women with Amy Winehouse hair, sunglasses and pearls and there are a few instances of Thylane Blondeau-esque seductive gazing and reclining poses.
Thylane Blondeau, by the way, is a 10-year-old model who appeared recently in French Vogue [8], which naturally, sparked more outrage.
So is loungerie a viable business opportunity? Or does it go too far? And does it matter, either way? 
Decide for yourself. Here are three screen grabs from the Fashionista story.
You can see the rest of the images here at Fashionista [5].


Girl, 19, is eaten by bear and her cubs - made three calls to her mum as the bear takes one hour to eat her -

Girl, 19, is eaten by bear and her cubs - made three calls to her mum as the bear takes one hour to eat her - 
Killed ... Olga Moskalyova
Killed ... Olga Moskalyova

A TEENAGE girl gave her mother a horrific commentary by mobile phone as a brown bear and three cubs ate her alive.

Olga Moskalyova, 19, made three calls to mum Tatiana during an hour-long ordeal as the adult bear toyed with her before killing her.

At one point she screamed: "Mum, the bear is eating me! Mum, it's such agony"

Tatiana, whose husband, Olga's stepfather, was also killed, said: "I heard the real horror in Olga's voice, and the bear chewing."

The killings took place near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in eastern Siberia.

Read more -


AMAZING video of Otis the fearless parachuting pug dog in action -

AMAZING video of Otis the fearless parachuting pug dog in action - 

OTIS the pug flies through the air strapped to owner Will Da Silva - in his 64th tandem skydive.

The ten-year-old dog wears special goggles for the parachute leaps from thousands of feet above LA.
Will said: "He seems to love it.
"He's having a ball like a dog with his head out of the car window."

Gerard Depardieu unloaded on an Air France jet Tuesday - ... as in he pissed in the aisle -

Gerard Depardieu unloaded on an Air France jet Tuesday - ... as in he pissed in the aisle - 

Gerard Depardieu unloaded on an Air France jet Tuesday ... as in he pissed in the aisle.

Depardieu was on the ground in Paris, waiting for his plane to take off for Dublin, but a delay on the ground proved too much for the actor.

Depardieu told the flight attendant, "Je veux pisser," --  I have to pee -- but she was unmoved ... telling the famous Frenchie he would have to wait 15 minutes because the flight was about to take off.

According to witnesses, Depardieu unzipped his pants and pissed on the aisle carpet.

The jet returned to the gate and it took nearly 2 hours for the ground crew to clean up the mess.

Depardieu was escorted off the plane and it's unclear if authorities will take action against him.

The actor's reps could not be reached for comment.


British man has died in a shark attack while on honeymoon in the Seychelles -

British man has died in a shark attack while on honeymoon in the Seychelles  - 


Ian Redmond, 30, from Lancashire, survived the attack off Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, but died afterwards, a local police spokesman said.

He lost an arm and suffered severe hip injuries whilst snorkelling on Tuesday in what was the second fatal shark attack in the same area this month.

Authorities have stopped diving in the area as they try to catch the shark.

Mr Redmond and Gemma Houghton were in the second week of their honeymoon and had been due to fly home on Sunday, police spokesman Jean Toussaint said.

He said two men on a catamaran had assisted Mr Redmond just after 1700 local time and he was taken to hospital, but had no chance of surviving.

"We discovered that the British citizen was badly injured on the hips and the arms. He was assisted medically but unfortunately he could not make it," he said.

'Freak accident'
"We haven't got the autopsy report yet but he definitely lost a lot of blood."

A 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark off the same beach just over two weeks ago.

The Seychelles Tourism Board's director Alain St Ange told the BBC the latest attack was caused by a "foreign shark" and was a "freak accident".

He said: "We need to find the beast and get it out of our waters, we have requested help from South Africa and two experts are arriving in the country in the next day."


Social Security wrongly declares 14,000 people dead each year -

Social Security wrongly declares 14,000 people dead each year - 

More Americans are being erroneously killed off by the Social Security Administration every day.
Of the approximately 2.8 million death reports the Social Security Administration receives per year, about 14,000 -- or one in every 200 deaths -- are incorrectly entered into its Death Master File, which contains the Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, death dates, zip codes and last-known residences of more than 87 million deceased Americans. That averages out to 38 life-altering mistakes a day.
While these errors occur online, in the depths of the administration's database, they have a very real impact on the people who have effectively been declared dead.
"Erroneous death entries can lead to benefit termination, cause severe financial hardship and distress to affected individuals, and result in the publication of living individuals' [personal identifying information] in the [Death Master File]," the Inspector General said in its most recent evaluation of the database.
Laura Brooks, of Spotsylvania, Va., discovered she had been declared dead when she stopped receiving her disability checks, and her rent and student loan payments unexpectedly bounced.
She went to her bank and a representative said her account had been closed because she was dead. Brooks, a 52-year old mother of two, was already on permanent disability because of a severe depressive disorder, so hearing this turned her already difficult world completely upside down.
"It was one of those surreal things, like seeing a UFO," said Brooks. "When you are a person who already thought that maybe you should be dead because life was so bad to you, I thought this could be a premonition."
The bank representative told Brooks she couldn't reopen her account until she could prove she was alive. When she went to the Social Security office in January 2001, she found out she was declared dead on Dec. 6, 2000. To correct this, she had to submit the pay stubs she was receiving from a program that helps people on disability get back to work.

Obama's State-of-the-Art Tour Bus Made in Canada -

Obama's State-of-the-Art Tour Bus Made in Canada - 

President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost U.S. jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built -- in Canada, The New York Post has learned. 
The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts. 
It's a VIP H3-45 model, the company's top of the line, and is used by major traveling rock bands. 
"That's the more luxurious model," Christine Garant of Prevost told The Post. 
"When we have the Country Music Awards, we sometimes see a lot of them," she said, noting that Kid Rock, David Lee Roth and Kenny Rogers also have owned them. 
Obama's new ride is equipped to carry all the baggage a president needs -- including the "football" that allows him to remotely control U.S. nuclear weapons. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/17/obamas-state-art-tour-bus-made-in-canada/

1,000 people have been charged over the rioting in London - aiming for 3,000 convictions over the disorder -

1,000 people have been charged over the rioting in London - aiming for 3,000 convictions over the disorder - 

More than 1,000 people have been charged over the rioting in London, the Metropolitan Police have said.

Acting commissioner for the force Tim Godwin hailed a "significant milestone" as he said a total of 1,005 suspects had been charged after 1,733 arrests.

Praising the work of officers gathering evidence to bring the charges, he said the public response to appeals over the riots last week had been fantastic.

The force has said it was aiming for 3,000 convictions over the disorder.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the latest police figures were "testament not only to their (Met's) dedication, but also to the outstanding support they have had from law-abiding Londoners who will not tolerate this behaviour in their communities."

Youth ambassador
Chelsea Ives is among those who has appeared in court charged in connection with the riots.

Miss Ives, 18, denies two counts of burglary, violent disorder and attacking a police car in Enfield, north London, on 7 August.

She was remanded in custody until a hearing at Highbury Magistrates' Court on 7 September.

A spokesman for the London mayor said the teenager was not a 2012 Olympics ambassador, as has been reported.

It is understood she was appointed a youth ambassador by Waltham Forest council in the 2008/09 academic year.

At the weekend Mr Godwin said the force was targeting 3,000 convictions over the riots that spread across the capital.

Under Operation Withern 500 officers have gathered 20,000 hours of CCTV footage.

Forensic officers have made more than 300 submissions to labs from more than 1,100 crime scenes, the Met said.

Scientists plan mission to blow up an asteroid 'hurtling towards Earth' - similar to plot of Hollywood film Armageddon -

Scientists plan mission to blow up an asteroid 'hurtling towards Earth' - similar to plot of Hollywood film Armageddon - 

It seemed far-fetched on the silver screen.
But the European Space Agency is planning to launch a mission similar to the plot of Hollywood movie Armageddon, in which Bruce Willis and his intrepid team attempt to blow up a huge asteroid that’s hurtling towards Earth.
The real version, if it goes ahead in 2015, will see a satellite fired at break-neck speed into a ‘test’ asteroid to see if its course changes.

The aim is to assess whether it would be possible to save Earth using this method, should we discover that an asteroid is on a collision course with our planet.
The mission, called Don Quijote, will involve sending two spacecraft towards a near-Earth asteroid.
One will be an ‘impactor’, which is fired into the asteroid, the other an orbitor that will analyse data from the experiment.

One potential target is a 1600ft-wide asteroid called 99942 Apophis, which experts say does have a minute chance - around one in 250,000 - of hitting Earth in 2036, so it would be useful target practice.
The 500kg impact craft, which will be called Hidalgo, will ram into the asteroid at a speed of around six miles a second.
The orbitor, called Sancho, will scan the collision and monitor whether the asteroid changes direction at all.

There will be a lot of fingers crossed in mission control, as a big asteroid impact could wipe out life on Earth.
Nasa, meanwhile, is planning something even more spectacular.
It wants to put humans on the surface of an asteroid within 15 years.
But sending people to one won't be easy. You can't land on an asteroid because you'd bounce off - it has virtually no gravity. Astronauts couldn't even walk on it because they'd float away.
Reaching it might require a Nasa spacecraft to harpoon the space rock.
Nasa is thinking about jetpacks, tethers, bungees, nets and spiderwebs to allow explorers to float just above the surface of it while attached to a smaller mini-spaceship.
Kent Joosten, chief architect of the human exploration team at Johnson Space Center, said: 'This is the big step. This is out into the universe, away from Earth's gravity completely... This is really where you are doing the Star Trek kind of thing.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2026710/Fact-following-fiction-Scientists-plan-mission-blow-asteroid-hurtling-Earth.html#ixzz1VI21TOiY

Does Rick Perry have a Karl Rove problem? -

Does Rick Perry have a Karl Rove problem? - 

The Republican professional political class stayed (largely) silent in the wake of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke might be acting in a “treasonous” manner.
But, one prominent Republican didn’t seem to get the memo.
“You don’t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor to his country,” said former Bush White House senior adviser Karl Rove in an interview with Fox News Channel. “And, suggesting that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas — you know that is not, again, a presidential statement.”
Rove’s willingness to publicly scold Perry is a reminder that the two men (or at the very least Rove and Dave Carney, Perry’s chief strategist) have a long and, some suggest, rocky relationship that dates back more than a decade.
“It’s no secret that there is no love lost,” said one senior D.C.-based Republican.
While there’s little debate about the tension, there’s a more active debate about whether the two mens’ past will have any impact on Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination next year.
Before assessing what the Rove-Perry relationship might mean, let’s revisit how it started.
Back in 1990, it was Rove, a leading Republican consultant in Texas who recruited Perry, then a state House member who had switched to the GOP a year earlier, to take on the popular Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower.
Perry won that race and won reelection to the post in 1994. Four years later, Perry ran for the open lieutenant governor’s office as George W. Bush — Rove’s prized client — was cruising to a second gubernatorial term with an eye on running for president in 2000.
As the lore goes, Perry and Carney, his new chief political strategist, wanted to go negative on John Sharp, the Democratic nominee. Rove resisted and Perry went on to win a very narrow victory.
Carney, who remains Perry’s most senior political adviser, calls the idea of a rift between he and Rove a “huge urban myth,” adding: “I have no animosity towards Karl. So I don’t know where this all comes from.”
Most Republican operatives, however, insist that there is something between the two camps; “Perry was a Rove client at one time,” said one senior GOP operative. “He isn’t a Rove client now. Something happened.”
What’s more debatable is whether the relationship (or lack thereof) between Rove and Perry will have any lasting impact on the presidential race to come.
Rove is a major player in Republican circles, particularly when it comes to the GOP’s universe of major donors. (Rove was involved in the founding of American Crossroads, a leading outside group supporting Republican candidates.)
He is also a prominent commentator — he is a Fox News contributor and a Wall Street Journal columnist — and is well-regarded by establishment Republicans.
Rove’s influence and access, then, could make things difficult in certain circles for Perry. But, those familiar with the situation insist that Rove’s comments about Perry and Bernanke reflect less an ill will directed toward the Texas governor than a desire to be a honest broker within the GOP.
“[Karl] is constantly on the air, and he’s got to have something to say about everybody,” said one high-level Republican strategist. “It’s understandable that anything he says about Perry is going to be looked at through a different prism.”
The Perry-Rove dynamic is one to watch. Even if the two men (plus Carney) have put past differences in the past, their well-known history together makes for a fascinating narrative as the Texas governor continues to make his debut on the national stage.
Perry doesn’t back off Bernanke comments: Despite some suggestions that he committed a gaffe by accusing Bernanke of something close to treason, Perry isn’t backing down.
He told CNN’s Peter Hamby that he stands by the remark, in which he suggested Bernanke’s printing more money between now and November 2012 would amount to a politically motivated trick to prop up the economy — and something that is deserving of some Texas-style justice.
“I am just passionate about the issue and we stand by what we said,” Perry said.
Perry says HPV mandade ‘a mistake’: Perry said this weekend that a 2007 order requiring Texas girls to get a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer, was a mistake.
Perry has come under fire because his former chief of staff worked as a lobbyist for the company pushing the vaccine, and also because conservative activists said it encouraged promiscuity.
“The fact of the matter is that I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,” Perry said.
While somewhat of an in-the-weeds issue, Perry’s decision was controversial in Texas and could prove a liability in the campaign ahead. Perry had previously defended the move.
That former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, is now working for a super PAC supporting Perry’s candidacy.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. tells cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ - "We’ll pay you to stop wearing our clothes" -

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. tells cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ - "We’ll pay you to stop wearing our clothes" -  

A clothing company is offering money to Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his fellow “Jersey Shore” cast members — so they’ll stop wearing the brand on the show.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. says in a news release posted Tuesday that it’s concerned that having Sorrentino seen in its clothing could cause “significant damage” to the company’s image.
Abercrombie says a connection to The Situation goes against the “aspirational nature” of its brand and may be “distressing” to customers. The Ohio-based retailer says it has offered a “substantial payment” to Sorrentino and producers of the MTV show so he’ll wear something else.
The company says it also is making the offer to others in the hard-partying cast.
An MTV spokeswoman did not immediately return messages for comment on Wednesday.

World's largest rodent roams Calif. wastewater plant - Department of Fish and Game says this one is about 100 to 120 lbs -

World's largest rodent roams Calif. wastewater plant - Department of Fish and Game says this one is about 100 to 120 lbs - 

You won't believe what is lurking in the wastewater in Paso Robles. We've all heard of sewer rats — how about sewer capybaras?

They're the largest rodents in the world, and one is roaming North County. They're native to South America, and one was spotted at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant three weeks ago.
Capybaras can reach the size of a large dog, and the Department of Fish and Game says this one is about 100 to 120 pounds.
Some describe it as a giant rat, others a giant guinea pig.
"It was just a different-looking animal than we've ever seen here," said Nick Kamp, a wastewater operator, who took pictures of the capybara.
He said July 22 started out as a normal day — until he saw a capybara rise from the wastewater pond. It's the last step in the wastewater processing plant before it dumps into the Salinas River.
"It had the body of a pig, but it had a longer nose and head to it," Kamp said.
He said the capybara appeared calm and serene.
"He'd come up and look at us and go back down," he said. "At times, it would swim with its head just out of the water, and other times, it would swim totally submerged."
It locked eyes with Kamp before submerging into the wastewater.
"You could see just bubbles that were coming up to the surface where it was swimming," he said.
Capybaras are known to be excellent swimmers, and workers here say this one seemed to know right where it was going. They say they saw it swimming around in the water before finally making its way toward the Salinas River.
But while it's the first time the Department of Fish and Game has gotten pictures, it's not a capybara's first appearance on the Central Coast.

The first sighting was about three years ago five miles east of Paso Robles at the Hunter Ranch Golf Course.
The second was two years ago at a ranch about a mile from the treatment plant on North River Road. The ranch owner says the capybara chased the horse away before eating its hay; it then chased after the ranch's labrador retriever.

Read more -