Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Pilot locked out of cockpit after co-pilot reportedly falls asleep at controls -

Pilot locked out of cockpit after co-pilot reportedly falls asleep at controls - 

A pilot of a Dutch airline was reportedly locked out of the cockpit mid-flight when his co-pilot fell asleep at the controls.
Dutch authorities said the alleged incident occurred on a Transavia Boeing 737 flight in September, the Times of India reported.
Transavia is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.
Dutch authorities have launched a probe into the incident after it was released as part of the Dutch aviation safety board's quarterly report.
The pilot reportedly left the cock-pit to use the restroom two and a half hours into the flight, the report said. When he called for the first officer over the intercom in the cockpit, he failed to respond.
"When he managed to get into the cockpit, he found the first officer asleep," the report said.
The report comes ahead of a set of new EU laws that could enforce longer shifts for pilots.
A 2012 survey by the European Cockpit Association said that four in 10 pilots have fallen asleep while in flight, The Times of India reported.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/31/pilot-locked-out-cockpit-after-co-pilot-reportedly-falls-asleep-at-controls/?test=latestnews

Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in Horsemeat scandal -

Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in Horsemeat scandal -

Burger King has revealed that some of its burgers were contaminated in the horsemeat scare, as the tainted food crisis threatened to undermine the confidence of consumers, and major retailers tried to protect their reputations.

The fast food company, whose products were not tested in the food standards checks by Irish authorities that sparked the furore earlier this month, moved production from the Silvercrest plant in Ireland to Germany and Italy as a precaution. On Thursday night it said test results at the plant revealed "very small trace levels" of horse DNA in its products, but burgers taken from restaurants had tested negative.

As governments in Ireland, the UK and Poland, where a supplier used by Silvercrest for a year is thought be the source of the contamination, continued their urgent investigations, Burger King admitted that contrary to previous assurances made to it by Silvercrest, they too have been now been linked to the scandal. Authorities insist there is no health danger to consumers.

In another potentially serious development, Aldi UK became the first major retailer to suspend its contract with a British plant, Dalepack Hambleton in north Yorkshire, which like Silvercrest is part of the ABP Food Group, pending further investigations into why three of nine newly-tested burger samples had traces of horse and pork DNA. The products were from stock withdrawn in recent weeks as a precaution but made since October, the company said.

The Aldi announcement came a week after tests at Dalepak for ABP and the UK Food Standards Agency had come back negative for horse DNA. The FSA has also previously suggested that its investigations into Dalepak were concentrating on events before October.

Aldi in Ireland has terminated its contract with the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan, Ireland, where Burger King, Tesco, the Co-op and Asda have all pulled out. Burger King said on Thursday that new tests on burgers made at Silvercrest had shown traces of horse DNA.

Burger King said in a statement: "Our independent DNA tests results on product taken from restaurants were negative for any equine DNA. However, four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA.

"Within the last 36 hours, we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland. They promised to deliver 100% British & Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them."

Diego Beamonte, vice-president for global quality at Burger King Corporation, said the company was "deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100% beef burgers. Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you."

All the major supermarkets including those not implicated in test results by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland published on January 15 which started the scare, withdrew from sale products made at the two ABP plants and Liffey Meats as a precaution.


Thousands of Radioactive Cattle Found Near Fukushima -

Thousands of Radioactive Cattle Found Near Fukushima - 

Thousands of cows were abandoned in the evacuated zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tōhoku region of Japan and released radioactive materials from the plant.

Now, nearly two years after the disaster, those abandoned cattle were found to be contaminated with radioactive elements. Traces of radioactive cesium, silver and tellurium were found in the 79 cattle analyzed by a scientific team led by Tohoku University engineer Tomokazu Fukuda and published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Fetuses and calves had radioactive materials concentrations up to 1.5 times higher than the adults. The calves had been born, and the fetuses conceived, after the disaster.

In the event of a nuclear Armageddon, don’t eat the steak. Radioactive elements collected most heavily in the cattle’s skeletal muscle.

The cattle showed differences in radioactivity depending on what they had been eating. One group of cows had been kept in a pen and fed grass that hadn’t been contaminated in the Fukushima disaster. These cattle were less radioactive than cattle that had been allowed to graze freely in the area within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant.

None of the cattle showed outward signs of mutation.

The Japanese cattle aren’t the first bovines to be inadvertently irradiated. During some of the very first tests of the atomic bomb at the Trinity site in New Mexico, cattle were accidentally exposed to radioactive fallout. Those cows were also studied to help scientists (and potential nuclear doomsday survivors) understand how the steak and milk suppliers might stand up to radiation.


Study: New E15 gas can ruin auto engines -

Study: New E15 gas can ruin auto engines - 

This week's warm Washington temperatures had some thinking about rolling the Lawn-Boy out of the garage for the first cut of the year. And we all know what that means: Difficult starts due to E10 gas that gels when it sits.

Now, according to a new study, cars and truck may face the same fate thanks to President Obama's demand for a higher ethanol in the new E15 gas.

The fuel industry's American Petroleum Institute tested the 15 percent ethanol gas approved in 2010 and found it gums up fuel systems, prompts "check engine" lights to come on, and messes with fuel gauge readings.

"Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways," said the industry report. Worse: API said the fuel problems--not found in E5 or E10 blends--aren't always covered by auto warranties.

The industry prefers pure fuel to an ethanol mix, but the report isn't likely to slow the administrations green push, according to a Washington auto lobbyist.

The key points from the API report are below:

The additional E15 testing, completed this month, has identified an elevated incidence of fuel pump failures, fuel system component swelling, and impairment of fuel measurement systems in some of the vehicles tested. E15 could cause erratic and misleading fuel gauge readings or cause faulty check engine light illuminations. It also could cause critical components to break and stop fuel flow to the engine. Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways. Fuel system component problems did not develop in the CRC tests when either E10 or E0 was used. It is difficult to precisely calculate how many vehicles E15 could harm. That depends on how widely it is used and other factors. But, given the kinds of vehicles tested, it is safe to say that millions could be impacted.

In 2010 and 2011, EPA gave the green light to use E15 - the 15 percent ethanol gasoline blend - in model-year-2001-and-later cars and some other vehicles. EPA's action was irresponsible. EPA knew E15 vehicle testing was ongoing but decided not to wait for the results. Why did EPA move forward prematurely? Part of the answer may be the need to raise the permissible concentration level of ethanol so that greater volumes could be used, as required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Most gasoline sold today is an E10 blend, but rising volume requirements under the law can't be met much longer without going to higher blends. When Congress passed the law, it could not know it was creating this problem. Today we know. The answer is to repeal the RFS before it puts millions of vehicles and many motorists at risk.


Smelly sperm whale secretion could mean big money for British beachcomber -

Smelly sperm whale secretion could mean big money for British beachcomber - 

One very smelly sperm whale secretion may soon make one lucky British beachcomber a very happy man.

Ken Wilman told British broadcasters that he had been walking along Morecambe beach in northern England when his dog, Madge, discovered a hard, soccer ball-sized piece of smelly rock.

“She wouldn’t leave it alone. I picked it up and it smelt horrible so I knocked it with my walking stick and a small lump came off,” he told Sky News television in comments broadcast Thursday. “I put both pieces back on the beach but something in the back of my mind told me it might be something unusual.”

One Google search later and Wilman realized that Madge had found ambergris, a waxy byproduct of sperm whale digestion that has traditionally been used in perfumes, spices, and medicines — and can fetch large sums of money. He said he immediately drove back to the beach to find the ambergris. He said he has been offered €50,000 ($68,000) for the musky material.

Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, said the find appeared legitimate.

“It’s a waxy, yellow-grey piece of flotsam. I’m sure that 95 per cent of people would walk past it without further thought,” he said in a telephone interview. He praised Wilman’s quick thinking, invoking the scientific dictum that “fortune favours the prepared mind.”

Wilman, 50, had a slightly different take on his find, telling BBC television that people should trust their dogs.

“If your dog pays an interest in something, YOU pay an interest in something,” he said. “Because you never know. There’s gold out there on that beach — floating gold.”


25 Facts That The Mainstream Media Doesn't Really Want To Talk About -

25 Facts That The Mainstream Media Doesn't Really Want To Talk About - 

For decades, the mainstream media in the United States was accustomed to being able to tell the American people what to think.  Unfortunately for them, a whole lot of Americans are starting to break free from that paradigm and think for themselves.  A Gallup survey from earlier this year found that 60 percent of all Americans “have little or no trust” in the mainstream media.  More people than ever are realizing that the mainstream media is giving them a very distorted version of “the truth” and they are increasingly seeking out alternative sources of information.  In the United States today, just six giant media corporationscontrol the mainstream media.  Those giant media corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many prominent websites.  But now thanks to the Internet the mainstream media no longer has a complete monopoly on the news.  In recent years the “alternative media” has exploded in popularity.  People want to hear about the things that the mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about.  They want to hear news that is not filtered by corporate bosses and government censors.  They want “the truth” and they know that they are not getting it from the mainstream media.

We are watching a media revolution happen, and many in the mainstream media are totally freaking out about it.  In fact, some in the mainstream media have even begun publishing articles that mock the American people for not trusting them.  For example, a recent CNN article entitled “Still ‘paranoid’ after all these years” portrayed Americans that don’t trust the media as paranoid conspiracy theorists that have left rationality behind…

Ever have the feeling you’re being lied to by the news media, the authorities, the corporate world? That somebody — or something — is out to get you?You’re not alone.

Welcome to 21st-century America.

Look around. Trust is hitting historic lows. Just a third of Americans have a favorable view of the federal government, a decline of 31% since 2002, according to the Pew Center for People and the Press. Gallup has Congress’ approval rating is in the low 20s, after nearing single digits last summer. And the news media aren’t much better off.

“Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985,” a Pew report said.

The article goes on to make it sound like it is very irrational not to trust the media, but in this day and age it is imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves.  Blindly trusting someone else to do your thinking for you is very dangerous.

Anyone that does not acknowledge that the mainstream media has an agenda is not being honest with themselves.  The mainstream media presents a view of the world that is very favorable to their big corporate owners and the big corporations that spend billions of dollars to advertise on their networks.  The mainstream media is the mouthpiece of the establishment, and the worldview being pushed on the big networks is going to be consistent with the economic, financial, political and social goals of the establishment.  The mainstream media loves to talk about things that fit with that agenda, and they don’t like to talk about things that suggest that there is something wrong with that agenda.

The following are 25 facts that the mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about right now…

#1 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that gun sales are absolutely skyrocketing in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

#2 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that disarming the population has resulted in some of the most horrific massacres in human history.  The following is from the Warrior Times…

1911 – Turkey disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.

1929 – Russia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.

1935 – China disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.

1938 – Germany disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 16 million Jews.

1956 – Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.

1964 – Guatamala disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.

1970 – Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.

#3 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that a bill allowing for the “indefinite military detention of US citizens on American soil” was passed by the U.S. Senate on Friday.

#4 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that volcanoes all along the Ring of Fire are roaring to life.  It seems like a new eruption is being reported every few days now.  In fact, a red alert has just been issued for a massive volcano that sits along the border between Chile and Argentina.

#5 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the use of genetically engineered seeds has caused on explosion of new “super weeds” that are incredibly difficult for farmers to kill.

#6 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that renowned trends forecaster Gerald Celente is predicting a “financial disaster” in 2013.

#7 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that it is easier to get into Harvard than it is to get a job as a flight attendant in America today.

#8 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that nearly 400 TSA employees have been fired for stealing from travelers since 2003.

#9 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that giant corporations such as Facebook are funneling gigantic amounts of money through offshore banking havens such as the Cayman Islands in an effort to avoid taxes.

#10 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the U.S. dollar is in danger of losing its status as the primary reserve currency of the world.

#11 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that Barack Obama has gone off to vacation in Hawaii while the rest of the nation hopes for a fiscal cliff deal to get done.  Of course the mainstream media has to mention that he is on vacation because they always keep track of what the president does, but they are not making a big deal out of it because they love Obama.  And it sounds like Obama is having quite a good time on his little vacation…

The president is expected to indulge in some of his favorite pastimes on the island where he was born and raised: golf, an expedition for the local treat “shave ice,” and an evening out with family and friends. He hit the links at the nearby Marine Corps base under sunny skies on Saturday afternoon.

#12 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that there are government websites that give immigrants instructions about how to come over to our country and apply for welfare.

#13 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the U.S. economy is losing millions of jobs to nations where it is legal to pay workers slave labor wages.  The mainstream media is totally married to the one world economic agenda that their corporate owners make so much money from, and so they say nothing as a steady stream of businesses and jobs continue to leave the country.

#14 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the recent tax increase is causing large numbers of wealthy individuals to consider moving out of the state of California.

#15 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that hunger and poverty are absolutely exploding in the United States at the same time that they are telling us that the economy is “recovering”.

#16 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that North Korea now has a three-stage rocket with enough range to potentially hit the western United States.

#17 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the United States Postal Service is losing 25 million dollars a day and is on the verge of financial collapse.

#18 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that our biggest oil supplier in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, still kills people for changing religions.

#19 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that political correctness is taking over America.  The truth is that the media does not see any problem with that at all.

#20 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that nearly half a million employees of the federal government are making more than $100,000 a year.

#21 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the birth rate in the United States fallen to an all-time low.  The elite are actually absolutely thrilled that less babies are being born.

#22 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that violent crime in the United States increased by 18 percent in 2011 and that many major U.S. cities are seeing violent crime totally spiral out of control.

#23 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that Barack Obama received more than 99 percent of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Ohio on election day.

#24 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that during the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. national debt grew by about as much as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.

#25 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that the Federal Reserve created the conditions for the last financial crisis and their mismanagement of the economy has now brought us to the verge of another horrible economic downturn.  According to the mainstream media, the Federal Reserve is “above politics” and should not be criticized.

Are there any other items that you feel should be added to this list?  Please feel free to share them by posting a comment below…


Tennessee bill would require schools to report gay activity to parents -

Tennessee bill would require schools to report gay activity to parents - 

A Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation that would require schools to inform a student's parents if the child is engaging in homosexual activity.
Under the measure sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, a school counselor, nurse or principal can inform parents if their children's "circumstances present immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality."
Campfield told reporters on Wednesday that he considers the "act of homosexuality" to be dangerous to a child's health and safety.
The measure is part of a similar proposal, known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, that Campfield passed in the Senate in 2011, but the companion bill failed in the House last year.
The proposal would ban the teaching of gay issues to elementary and middle school students.
Campfield says the current legislation has a House sponsor and he's optimistic about its passage.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/31/tennessee-bill-would-require-schools-to-report-gay-activity-to-parents/?test=latestnews

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall take the Tube -

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall take the Tube - 

To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall took a trip on the Tube.

Click here to see the gallery.

The pair touched in with their new Oyster Cards at Farringdon station before catching the Metropolitan line to Kings Cross.

They were given a tour of the station including platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter books. 


Bronx Women Busted At JFK With Cocaine In ‘Diapers’ - More Than 6 Kilos Of Coke -

Bronx Women Busted At JFK With Cocaine In ‘Diapers’ - More Than 6 Kilos Of Coke - 

Talk about a loaded diaper.

Priscilla Pena and Michelle Blassingale, of The Bronx, arrived at JFK Airport on a JetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

Pena was selected for inspection by customs agents because a drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to something around Pena’s midsection, according to the court documents.

According to an affidavit, agents searched Pena’s luggage and said she appeared very nervous during the search.

An agent then requested a pat-down and Pena agreed. That is when the agent found a hard object around Pena’s stomach and buttocks.


New App Lets Users ‘Bang’ Facebook Friends - facilitate sexual encounters with users -

New App Lets Users ‘Bang’ Facebook Friends - facilitate sexual encounters with users - 

A controversial new sex app called “Bang With Friends” claims to facilitate sexual encounters with users and their Facebook friends without the embarrassment of rejection.
“Anonymously find friends who are down for the night,” the company website said. “Your friends will never know you're interested unless they are too!”
The Bang With Friends app, aimed at 20-somethings, was created by three college-aged men from California, who are withholding their identities, according to US media reports.
The app, launched a week ago, only alerts users of a potential hookup if both parties express interest by selecting what is called the “Down to Bang” button.
The creators of the app said it has already gained more than 30,000 users, registering five new users every minute according to a report on the online tech site Mashable.
“By being honest and forward, we’re taking the no [BS] approach [to sex],” one of the apps creators told The Daily Beast.
But critics of “Bang With Friends” told RIA Novosti, putting the physical first is the reason for the demise of the majority of marriages and relationships in the United States.
“Back in the day people would court, they would go out with different people without exploring the sexual relationship because it allowed you to get to know what you may or may not have in common,” said Kristen Crockett, a Washington based relationship coach.
And while some who use the app may be more interested in sex than building a relationship, Crockett cautions users with the potential drawbacks of getting physical with a Facebook friend.
“Once you start sleeping with someone, your red flags, your fears, all of those things get pushed into the back of your mind,” she said, adding often times people ignore signals and signs because of how the person makes them feel physically.
One of the app’s creators told The Daily Beast, the group came up with the idea as a way to improve traditional online dating sites like Match.com.
“It would be great, as guys, if you could find out which girls are actually into you and not dance around anything,” he said.
Skip the dating and jump straight to the sex, one of the creators said.

Read more -

Leafy Greens Cause the Most Illnesses—Mushrooms, the Least -

Leafy Greens Cause the Most Illnesses—Mushrooms, the Least - 

Sometimes a diet of Tang and chewing gum seems the only safe option left. A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study finds that leafy greens—for example, lettuce, spinach, kale, and arugula (or “rocket,” as some Canadians call it)—cause more illnesses than any other food. Anxious herbivores need not worry themselves sick, though: Mushrooms were associated with the fewest cases of illness among all foods.

Together, fruits, nuts, and vegetables accounted for 46.1 percent of food borne illnesses from 1998 to 2008. Leafy greens accounted for 2.1 million cases, or 22.1 percent of the total, often by carrying viruses. Fungi were responsible for only 4,542 cases, due mostly to toxins produced by the food and to chemicals such as pesticides.

People often cook mushrooms, rather than eat them raw, and they consume them less frequently than leafy greens. It’s also rare that people eat poisonous mushrooms, CDC spokesperson Candice Hoffmann wrote in an e-mail.

The study did not measure how much of each food is typically consumed. (This might explain why there were few incidents—only 9,097 cases—of illness associated with game such as venison and bear.) The average American eats only 4 pounds of mushrooms each year, compared to 30 lbs. of lettuce.

Also, greens such as lettuce and spinach cause illness more frequently because they are consumed more often, not because they are grown or harvested in a riskier way than other vegetables, says Scott Horsfall, chief executive officer of the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement, a program under the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture.

In fact, the problem with leafy greens has less to do with farming than with handling. Many were tainted with norovirus, which causes stomach flu, and “were most often contaminated during preparation or service by a sick food handler,” the report found. Infected persons are contagious “from the moment they begin feeling sick until at least three days after they recover” and can spread the virus through vomit and stool, according to the CDC.

Before sadistic meat eaters start chuckling at the fates of some health-focused, leaf-eating counterparts, they should consider this: While leafy greens may have caused the greatest volume of sickness, poultry accounted for the most deaths, at 19 percent. Pass the portobello mushrooms, please.


Horsemeat could have been in British beef burgers for a year -

Horsemeat could have been in British beef burgers for a year - 

Katherine Brown, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, told MPs that the Polish supplier at the heart of the scandal has been selling beef "filler" to an Irish meat processor for over a year.

Anne McIntosh, the chairman of the committee, said: "How do we know that this horse meat has not been in beef burgers for months if not years?"

Mrs Brown said: "It is possible that these burgers have been on sale in this country for a year. This filler had been used for a year. And therefore when the Polish get to the bottom of this we will hope to know whether it's likely that this has been going on for a year."

Mrs Brown told MPs that the FSA had not identifies horse meat as a risk in the past, which is why it was not tested for.

But they hope that investigations in Ireland and Poland will get to the bottom of the situation.

Meat from a plant in Ireland was supplied to food companies including Tesco, which withdrew from sale all products supplied by Silvercrest in County Monaghan.

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney announced earlier this week that their tests had shown that the horsemeat was probably being imported from Poland.

The result showed “significant levels” of equine DNA in imported “raw material,” amounting to 20 per cent horse DNA content relative to beef.


High School To Collect Students’ Hair For Mandatory Drug Testing -

High School To Collect Students’ Hair For Mandatory Drug Testing - 

A Kansas City high school will begin collecting hair from students to conduct mandatory drug tests.

KHSB-TV reports that Rockhurst High School will start the random drug testing during the 2013-14 school year.

“Our point is, if we do encounter a student who has made some bad decisions with drugs or alcohol, we will be able to intervene, get the parents involved, get him help if necessary, and then help him get back on a path of better decision making, healthier choices for his life,” Rockhurst Principal Greg Harkness told the station.

The school will collect 60 strands of hair from the student and test for several types of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. If a student comes back with a positive drug test, that student will have 90 days to get drug-free. The station reports the file will be destroyed for a student who tests positive after graduation and colleges and universities will never know about the failed test.

Matthew Brocato, the school’s junior class president, told The Kansas City Star that the mandatory drug testing is not to punish students who fail.


U.S. Navy minesweeper to be dismantled after running aground off Philippines -

U.S. Navy minesweeper to be dismantled after running aground off Philippines - 

A U.S. Navy minesweeper that ran aground on a reef off the coast of the Philippines two weeks ago will be cut up and removed in sections, officials said.
The 224-foot USS Guardian got stuck Jan. 17 on the Tubbataha Reef, in the Sulu Sea, after leaving a port in Subic Bay. The crew of 79 was evacuated the next day, while Navy brass considered options for dislodging it. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Anthony Falvo told Stars and Stripes they concluded it could only be dismantled and removed in pieces in a process that will take at least a month.

“Our naval architecture and salvage experts have reviewed all possible alternatives, and our only supportable option is to dismantle the damaged ship and remove it in sections,” Falvo wrote in an email to the military news website.
“We have the right team of experienced professionals to conduct this complex operation and to ensure that it is done safely while minimizing damage to the surrounding marine environment. We expect the first floating crane to arrive in a few days and the dismantling to take over a month — we will work to conduct the operation as quickly as safety, weather and environmental protection allows.”
No one was injured when the ship, one of  the Navy's 14 Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships in service, ran aground about 400 miles southwest of Manila.
The ship's hull was scored  in the accident and it has since been shifting on the reef, causing damage both to the reef, which is recognized as a United Nations World Heritage Site, and to the ship. Some 15,000 gallons of diesel have spilled into the sea, though the rest of the ship's fuel was removed.

Read more: - 

Japan's airlines replaced 787 batteries 10 times in brand new planes -

Japan's airlines replaced 787 batteries 10 times in brand new planes - 

U.S. regulators said Wednesday they asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners after Japan's All Nippon Airways revealed it had repeatedly replaced the batteries even before overheating problems surfaced.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the agency made the request after recently becoming aware of battery problems at ANA that occurred before a Jan. 7 battery fire in a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. Boeing has already collected some of the information, he said.
ANA said it had replaced batteries on its 787 aircraft some 10 times because they didn't charge properly or connections with electrical systems failed, and informed Boeing about the swaps. Japan Airlines also said it had replaced 787 batteries. It described the number involved as a few but couldn't immediately give further details.
All 50 of the Boeing 787s in use around the world remain grounded after an ANA flight on Jan. 16 made an emergency landing in Japan when its main battery overheated.
The 787 is the first airliner to make wide use of lithium-ion batteries. They are prone to overheating and require additional safeguards to prevent fires. However, ANA spokeswoman Megumi Tezuka said the airline was not required to report the battery replacements to Japan's Transport Ministry because they did not interfere with flights and did not raise safety concerns.
Having to replace batteries on aircraft is not uncommon and was not considered out of the ordinary, she said.
Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, said in Washington that the agency was checking whether the previous battery incidents had been reported by Boeing.
Boeing in Japan said it couldn't comment while the NSTB investigation is underway. GS Yuasa, the Kyoto, Japan-based manufacturer of the batteries, said it could not comment.
With 17 of the jets, ANA was Boeing's launch customer for the technologically advanced airliner. The airline has had to cancel hundreds of flights, affecting tens of thousands of people, but has sought to minimize disruptions by switching to other aircraft as much as possible.
The battery problems experienced by ANA before the emergency landing were first reported by The New York Times.
Japanese and U.S. investigators looking into the Boeing 787's battery problems shifted their attention this week from GS Yuasa to the manufacturer of a monitoring system. That company, Kanto Aircraft Instrument Co., makes a system that monitors voltage, charging and temperature of the lithium-ion batteries.
On Tuesday, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it was conducting a chemical analysis of internal short circuiting and thermal damage of the battery that caught fire in Boston.
The probe is also analyzing data from flight data recorders on the aircraft, the NTSB said in a statement on its website.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/30/japan-airlines-replaced-787-batteries-many-times/?test=latestnews

Man 'follows GPS directions to wrong house'; shot dead... -

Man 'follows GPS directions to wrong house'; shot dead... - 

According to friends of Rodrigo Diaz, they were all going ice skating. Diaz was driving the car, and they were going to pick up one more skater.
They pulled into a driveway, which their GPS -- at least, according to one of the friends -- told them was their destination.
Then, as WSB-TV Atlanta explains, this tale took a troubling turn.
According to Yeson Jimenez, 15, one of the passengers, Diaz pulled into a driveway; then 69-year-old Phillip Sailors peered out of a window of the house.

He allegedly came out, went back inside, then emerged again, firing a gun into the air.
Jimenez says Sailors said nothing to them but "Shut up!"
Jimenez insists they tried to drive away and that as they did, Sailors fired his .22 gun and shot Diaz fatally in the head.

Sailors has been charged with murder with malice.
Lilburn, Ga., Police Chief Bruce Hedley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "At this point we have established probable cause to charge Mr. Sailors."
Sailors' lawyer, Michael Puglise, told the Journal-Constitution: "He is very distraught over the loss of life from the defense of his home. This incident happened late in the evening hours when he was home with his wife and he assumed it was a home invasion and he maintains his innocence."


Husbands who do housework 'have less sex' -

Husbands who do housework 'have less sex' - 

Joe Six Packs take heart.
Married men who shirk traditional “female” housework have more sex with their wives than those who willingly pitch in with the cooking or cleaning, a new study says.
The research, out of the University of Washington, shows that couples who keep to traditional household chores – where men rake leaves or fix the car and women tidy up or shop – have significantly more carnal encounters than their more egalitarian counterparts.
“Where the male is doing the male tasks and the female is doing the female tasks, those are the couples (who) are having more sex,” says Julie Brines, a sociologist at the Seattle school and a study co-author.
The study was released Wednesday by the journal American Sociological Review.
It found that couples spend an average of 34 hours a week on so-called “female” chores and 17 hours on more traditional male tasks. It also found that couples overall reported about five sexual encounters a month.
But households where Dagwood-like dreamboats preformed none of the “women’s work” reported 1.6 times more sexual encounters than those in which men took on the bulk of cooking and cleaning chores.
That increase in sexual frequency went down in an inverse proportion to the amount of traditional “women’s work” a husband took on.
Households where husbands claimed 40 per cent of that housework reported almost one less sexual encounter a month than those in which the males took on none of those chores.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Woman ‘tried to kill husband with poison in her private parts’ -

Woman ‘tried to kill husband with poison in her private parts’ - 

A WOMAN is accused of trying to kill her husband by putting poison inside her private parts – then asking him to perform a SEX ACT on her.
The shocked 43-year-old hubby is now suing her for the alleged attempted assassination.
The woman, from Sao Jose do Rio Preto in Brazil, planted a toxic substance in her genitals then lured her husband to bed, local reports say.
But when she asked him to give her oral sex, he is said to have fled after noticing a strange smell.
The suspicious husband then took his wife, who has not been named, to hospital where doctors carried out tests and found she had ingested a poisonous substance.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4766891/woman-tried-to-kill-husband-with-poison-in-her-private-parts.html

Thieves ditch Corvette carjacking after not being able to figure out how to drive it -

Thieves ditch Corvette carjacking after not being able to figure out how to drive it - 

A Florida Corvette owner said he was almost carjacked at gunpoint, but the would-be thieves ran away because they couldn't figure out how to drive his car.
Randolph Bean was sitting in his bright yellow Corvette when two men took him by surprise, MyFoxOrlando.com reports. It was parked outside Orlando Regional Medical Center in downtown Orlando.
Bean said the two came from behind, and he "barely caught them in the mirror."
According to the police report, one of the men had a gun. 
"He started yanking on the door and made me open the door. He kind of flung it open and dragged me out and demanded that I get on the ground... face down, so I couldn't look at him, of course," Bean told MyFoxOrlando.com.
Bean, 51, said one of the thieves pointed a gun at him while asking how to use the car.
"They apparently couldn't start it," Bean said. "I had to tell him four different times to push in the clutch, because it's a standard transmission."
The suspects reportedly gave up and ran away, leaving Bean on the ground. Police tried searching for the suspects, but they took off.
"My first thought was I guess we don't have driver's ed in school anymore because no one knows how to drive a stick," Bean said. "And my second thing was, don't shoot me because you can't start the car. I'm trying to help you out here."
Though the thieves left the Corvette, they still made off with Bean's phone, keys and wallet.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/29/stick-shift-baffles-would-be-car-thieves-in-florida/?test=latestnews

That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think -

That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think - 

For all the adorable images of cats that play the piano, flush the toilet, mew melodiously and find their way back home over hundreds of miles, scientists have identified a shocking new truth: cats are far deadlier than anyone realized.

In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.

The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and an author of the report, said the mortality figures that emerge from the new model “are shockingly high.”

“When we ran the model, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Dr. Marra, who performed the analysis with his colleague, Scott R. Loss, and Tom Will of the Fish and Wildlife Service. “We were absolutely stunned by the results.” The study appeared Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The findings are the first serious estimate of just how much wildlife America’s vast population of free-roaming domestic cats manages to kill each year.


Nursing home defends prostitutes’ visits -

Nursing home defends prostitutes’ visits - 

Helena Barrow, the former manager of the Chaseley Nursing Home in Eastbourne, England has been forced to defend the unusual “holistic care” offered to her residents by prostitutes.

Care workers would take the prostitutes to a resident’s room, put a special red sock on the door and check on them every 15 minutes, reports The London Times.

The nursing home, which cares for disabled ex-servicemen, has long had a policy of allowing sex workers.

However, a spokesman for the East Sussex city council said that it was unaware of the practice and was investigating.

Barrow said: “Sex workers are allowed by law to sexually enable people, but care workers are not."

On one occasion, strippers even made a visit to the nursing home.

Tuppy Owens, of the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance, said: “Many disabled people are living in perpetual frustration. What’s illegal is for disabled people to be denied their human rights.”


Monday, 28 January 2013

Decline In Printed Newspaper Leads To Puppy Poop Problems... -

Decline In Printed Newspaper Leads To Puppy Poop Problems... - 

San Francisco’s animal control agency is relying on donated newspapers to solve pooping puppies problem.

It seems digital newspaper subscriptions and smartphones have cut the once abundant supplies of old newspapers.

Animal Care & Control has been relying on public contributions and San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/XLirUN ) donations to line the cages of shelter puppies needing potty training.

Now, the San Francisco Public Library is donating old newspapers to make sure the shelter has a consistent paper stream.

Animal control will pick up the newspapers twice a month.

Agency supervisor Eric Zuercher says the arrangement with the library has solved a big problem, noting puppies are poop machines.


School forces boys to check out toilet paper for use -

School forces boys to check out toilet paper for use - 

An eastern Pennsylvania high school says vandalism forced it to create a policy in which toilet paper has been taken out of the boys' bathrooms.
Boys at Mahanoy Area High School now must go to the school office to request toilet paper and sign it out. Principal Thomas Smith says that's helped solve a major problem of intentionally clogging toilets that's been going on for two years.
Smith says boys must sign out the toilet paper and then sign it back in. But the Republican-Herald of Pottsville reports some parents are protesting the policy.
Parent Karen Yedsena says some students are too embarrassed to go to the office to get toilet paper and are going home sick instead. School officials say they aren't aware of any such problems.

Read more: - http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/28/after-vandalism-pa-school-removes-toilet-paper-from-boys-bathrooms-must-request/?test=latestnews

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Geneticists Discover a Way to Extend Lifespans to 800 Years -

Geneticists Discover a Way to Extend Lifespans to 800 Years - 

There is now a way to extend the lifespan of organisms so that humans could conceivably live to be 800 years old. In an amazing development, scientists at the University of Southern California have announced that they've extended the lifespan of yeast bacteria tenfold — and the recipe they used to do it might easily translate into humans. It involves tinkering with two genes, and cutting down your calorie intake. Tests have already started on people in Ecuador.

According to an announcement from PLoS Genetics:

Researchers have created baker's yeast capable of living to 800 in yeast years without apparent side effects. The basic but important discovery, achieved through a combination of dietary and genetic changes, brings scientists closer to controlling the survival and health of the unit of all living systems: the cell. "We're setting the foundation for reprogramming healthy life," says study leader Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.

Longo's group put baker's yeast on a calorie-restricted diet and knocked out two genes - RAS2 and SCH9 - that promote aging in yeast and cancer in humans.

"We got a 10-fold life span extension that is, I think, the longest one that has ever been achieved in any organism," Longo says. Normal yeast organisms live about a week.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

GOOGLE Earth exposes NKorea's secret prison camps... -

GOOGLE Earth exposes NKorea's secret prison camps... - 

Human rights activists are turning to Google Earth to identify the vast network of prison camps that dot the North Korean countryside and hold as many as 200,000 people deemed hostile to the regime.

Rights groups are pushing the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to open an international investigation into Pyongyang's "deplorable" record on its citizens' rights, including a system of political prisons that has operated for more than 50 years.
Pyongyang insists that the camps do not exist and are merely foreign propaganda, but the advent of high-resolution, free images from outer space has disproved that claim.
On January 18, the North Korean Economy Watch website announced that a new camp had been identified alongside an existing detention facility in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province.
Using newly provided Google Earth images, analyst Curtis Melvin was able to conclude that the new camp sits alongside Camp 14 and has a perimeter fence that stretches nearly 13 miles.
The facility was built since the last images of the site were released, in December 2006.

The fence has two checkpoints and six guard posts, while a number of accommodation units and office buildings are also clearly visible. A coal mine within the fence does not appear to be operational, Melvin concluded.
Very few North Koreans have managed to escape from prison camps and to freedom outside the country's borders, but those who have tell of terrible suffering.
Inmates - who can be imprisoned for life, along with three generations of their families, for anything deemed to be critical of the regime - are forced to survive by eating rats and picking corn kernels out of animal waste.


Rabbits Wreaking Havoc On Cars At Denver International Airport (DIA) -

Rabbits Wreaking Havoc On Cars At Denver International Airport (DIA) - 

Travelers have a warning for drivers who park their cars near Denver International Airport (DIA). Rabbits are chewing the wires under many cars costing owners a lot of money. The rabbits get in and chew the brake lines, the clutch lines and other wiring. Local car repair shops estimates they can do thousands of dollars in damage.

“When I had the trouble with the oil light coming on, the dealer told me the wires that controlled the air conditioning were chewed,” said Ken Blum, one car owner who knows all about the not so funny bunny business at DIA.

Blum has had to have repairs done on his car twice due to rabbit damage and he estimates the cost at approximately $700.

“I saw no signs…nothing to tell me, ‘Hey, beware’,” Blum told CBS4. “My insurance didn’t cover it, the manufacturer didn’t cover it.”

This isn’t a new problem at the airport. CBS4 first started covering hungry hares in 1999. They were munching on the wires of de-icing equipment. Now it seems they’ve moved to the outlying parking lots.

CBS4 contacted airport officials about the problem. They said that only a small percentage of the people who park out there ever complain of rabbit caused car problems. They also told CBS4 that United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services agents patrol the parking lots and remove rabbits when they see them.


The DNA gun that can invisibly tag criminals for weeks after a riot -

The DNA gun that can invisibly tag criminals for weeks after a riot - 

British firm behind the gun in talks with several UK police forces
DNA pellets can tag clothes and penetrate through to skin - staying there for weeks
Allows police can tag troublemakers during riots 
Officers can then use the trace to place suspects at the scene of a crime using UV readers or sniffer dogs to find those tagged

It may look more like a high tech water pistol or something out of a sci-fi film than the latest weapon in the fight against crime.
But an innovative new tagging system using a gun and DNA pellets could make it easier for police to mark the cards of even the most volatile criminal.
Unlike a taser or gun that fires real bullets, the weapon won't hurt a suspect or render them incapacitated so that officers can pounce.

Instead, it will enable police to stay at a safe distance during trouble and identify criminals and arrest criminals days or even weeks after an incident. 
The High Velocity DNA Tagging System, designed for use by police forces and the military by Kent-based firm Selectamark, fires small soft green pellets containing the transparent material at a target from as far away as 40 metres.
Each pellet, which weighs less than a gram and is effectively like a paintball, contains a unique DNA code which could remain on the target for weeks.

Read more: 

Gatorade pulls ingredient linked to reproductive and behavioral problems -

Gatorade pulls ingredient linked to reproductive and behavioral problems - 

Brominated vegetable oil, a synthetic chemical that has been patented in Europe as a flame retardant, will no longer double as an ingredient in Gatorade sports drinks.

Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for Gatorade owner PepsiCo Inc., said the company has been considering the move for more than a year, working on a way to take out the ingredient without affecting the flavor of the drink.

A recent petition on Change.org to drop the chemical – which has more than 200,000 supporters – did not inspire the decision, Carter said, though she acknowledged that consumer feedback was the main impetus.

In the petition, posted by Sarah Kavanagh of Hattiesburg, Miss., “BVO” is described as banned in Japan and the European Union.

The effort quotes a Scientific American article suggesting that “BVO could be building up in human tissues” and that studies on mice have shown “reproductive and behavioral problems” linked to large doses of the chemical.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain - Internal audit reveals 106 children employed -

Child labour uncovered in Apple's supply chain - Internal audit reveals 106 children employed - 

Apple has discovered multiple cases of child labour in its supply chain, including one Chinese company that employed 74 children under the age of 16, in the latest controversy over the technology giant's manufacturing methods.

An internal audit found a flipside to the western consumer's insatiable thirst for innovative and competitively priced gadgets. It uncovered 106 cases of underage labour being used at Apple suppliers last year and 70 cases historically. The report follows a series of worker suicides over working conditions at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles must-have products such as the iPad and iPhone, and lethal explosions at other plants.

Apple's annual supplier report – which monitors nearly 400 suppliers – found that children were employed at 11 factories involved in making its products. A number of them had been recruited using forged identity papers.

The report uncovered a catalogue of other offences, ranging from mandatory pregnancy tests, to bonded workers whose wages are confiscated to pay off debts imposed by recruitment agencies. They also found cases of juveniles being used to lift heavy goods, workers having their wages docked as a punishment and one factory dumping waste oil in the toilets.

One Chinese supplier, a circuit board component maker called Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, was axed by Apple after 74 children under the age of 16 were recruited to work on its production lines. According to Apple, the children had been knowingly supplied by one of the region's largest labour agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources. Its investigators found that the agency conspired with families to forge identification documents. Apple did not disclose the ages of the children involved, but its code of conduct states it will not employ workers under the age of 15, or under the legal working age in any jurisdiction – which is 16 in China.

Read more -