Friday, October 8, 1999

Mr Baby Man is Going Down

As a bit of bored fun, I'm going to spend some time taking away Mr Baby Man's followers (of Digg fame). I've discovered a little bit of an exploit in Digg's follow/unfollow tools. Actually it's more of a glaring bug, one of many many bugs that Digg currently has. Digg wants to be like Twitter and Facebook, but they don't want to give the necessary resources it takes to maintain a site like that. I'm writing this blog post so that I can successfully time stamp my claim to having done this. I can only alter his follower count a little bit at a time because of Digg's limits on actions a user can do on their site. Additionally, I should point out that this doesn't actually take his followers away from him, but it does make his follower count go down. He'll have the same followers, but the amount of followers Digg says he has will go down, and probably freak him out and make him think people don't like him anymore =D.

If this thing I'm doing somehow gets a lot of attention, I'll reveal how I did it. If not, the secret dies with me =).

Here is more information on mrbabyman and why you should care.

I've decided to include a screenshot of his current follower count. When I started, he was very close to 22,000; now, he's at 20,833. It's a little slow going because of rate limits, but i'll get him down to zero quickly enough =D. Click on the photo to get the full size version.

Balloonboy's Mom Tells Police Incident Was a Hoax

AP – Larimer County Sheriff Department officers remove several boxes and a computer while executing a search …

DENVER – The mother of the 6-year-old boy once feared missing inside a runaway helium balloon admitted the whole saga was a hoax, according to court documents released Friday.

Mayumi Heene told sheriff's deputies that she and her husband Richard "knew all along that Falcon was hiding in the residence" in Fort Collins, according to an affidavit used to get a search warrant for the home.

She allegedly told investigators the incident was a hoax meant to make them more marketable to the media.

"Mayumi described that she and Richard Heene devised this hoax approximately two weeks earlier.... She and Richard had instructed their three children to lie to authorities as well as the media regarding this hoax," the affidavit said.

Richard Heene has denied a hoax. His lawyer, David Lane, said Friday he is waiting to see the evidence in the case.

"Allegations are cheap," Lane said.

Mayumi Heene's lawyer, Lee Christian, was traveling and didn't immediately respond to messages left with his office.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden has said he will recommend charges against the Heenes including conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, making a false report to authorities, and attempting to influence a public servant. The most serious charges are felonies and carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison.

Alderden said authorities also would be seeking restitution for the costs of the balloon chase, though he didn't provide a figure.

His office has said it will likely be next week before it forwards its findings to prosecutors to decide on charges.

In frantic calls to a TV station, 911 and federal aviation officials, the Heenes reported that they feared Falcon was in the homemade, saucer-like balloon when it was accidentally launched from their back yard last week.

Millions watched as media and National Guard helicopters tracked the balloon across the Colorado plains. It landed in a dusty farm field, where ground crews looked inside but found no sign of the boy.

Later, the relieved-looking couple reported Falcon had been hiding in their garage the whole time. But suspicion heated up when Falcon made a comment on CNN that sounded like "You had said we did this for a show."

Sheriff's deputies questioned the parents separately on Oct. 17, two days after the flight. Mayumi Heene told authorities "she and Richard Heene had lied to authorities on October 15, 2009 (the day of the flight)," the affidavit said.

She told investigators "that the release of the flying saucer was intentional as a hoax.... The motive for the fabricated story was to make the Heene family more marketable for future media interest," the affidavit said.

The Heenes twice had appeared on ABC's reality show "Wife Swap," and acquaintances said Richard Heene had plans for other possible shows.

The producer of "Wife Swap" had a show in development with the Heenes but said the deal is now off. The TLC cable network also said Heene had pitched a reality show months ago, but it passed on the offer.

Sheriff's officials declined to comment Friday.

Among the items taken by authorities during the home search Saturday were video cameras, computers, hard drives, a picture of a flying saucer, receipts, papers, a phone/address book and a flight itinerary. The list didn't identify the passenger, destination or date of travel.


Associated Press Staff Writer Kathy Packer contributed to this report from Fort Collins.

'Paranormal Activity' Beats 'Saw VI' at Friday Box Office

Just when you thought it was safe to assume the mega horror franchise would once again own another Halloween at the box office, Friday estimates are showing that Paranormal Activity ($7.5 million) beat Saw VI ($7 million), despite the fact that the latter is playing on over 1,100 more screens than the former. Could this finally be the year that a Saw film tanks at the box office? Could Paranormal Activity be the movie that keeps Jigsaw in check? And if Saw VI loses the weekend box office to Paranormal Activity (which early estimates are indicating), what will this mean for the Saw franchise moving forward?

Whether or not you liked Paranormal Activity, you really do have to give it props for being one of the most successful underdog flicks in history. Do you realize that if the film somehow manages to pull in a total of $100 million at the box office (after this weekend it could climb above $60 million), it will become the most successful Paramount film in modern history? As Deadline Hollywood points out, the movie was acquired for $300k and the studio only spent around $10 million on prints and advertising, so, says a DH "insider", "this will be the best return Paramount has ever had." I'd like to repeat that because it's definitely worth repeating: This little indie film could give Paramount the best return it has ever had. Remarkable.

WTF? Obama Declares swine flu 'national emergency'

h1N1. This is a national emergency? We have been busting Muslim terrorists everyday in states across this nation and the flu is the national emergency?

It's all about the "emergency measures," IMAO.

The emergency declaration, signed by the president late Friday, enhances the ability of medical treatment facilities to handle a spike in influenza A(H1N1) patients by allowing them to implement emergency plans thanks to federal requirement waivers.

This should be interesting.

US President Barack Obama has declared swine flu a national emergency.

The White House said the president signed the proclamation concerning the 2009 H1N1 outbreak on Friday evening.

It increases the ability of treatment facilities to handle a surge in H1N1 patients by allowing the implementation of emergency plans.

Magician Screws Up Trick, Magician Called Out for It, Magician Explains that was SUPPOSED to Happen

World's Coolest (and weirdest) Air Conditioners

That’s an Air Conditioner?!

As most of you already will be aware, air conditioning systems are ten-a-penny these days and grace both the interior and exterior of many buildings throughout the world with their undoubtedly bland appearance. In cities especially, it’s easy to walk down a street and see at least one cooling box attached to every building. However, it seems that at least a few manufacturers, designers and artists are very, very slowly realising that it’s possible to disguise these beasts and think outside the box when it comes to the visual appearance of such a widely used piece of equipment.



Image Source

LG Air Conditioning

Image Source

Wall-mounted A/C units can be an eyesore at the best of times, more often than not attracting the eye for all the wrong reasons and potentially ruining a room’s interior in one fell swoop. Enter LG with their supposedly aesthetically pleasing ARTCOOL range; almost flat air conditioners with picture frames mounted on the unit’s front-facing side, resulting in a disguised unit which resembles a flat-screen TV. A definite improvement.

The Plug and Socket

Giant Plug
Image Source

Giant Orange Plug

Image Source

Attached to the outside wall of National Magazine Company’s offices on Ganton Street, London, is this impressively enormous plug and socket. It was created by James Glancy Design and, although it doesn’t function as a socket should, the installation does serve a purpose by disguising the building’s exterior air conditioning system, instead creating what is now a local attraction for positive reasons.

The Dunstable Wind Catcher

Dunstable Wind Catcher

Image Source

Wind Catcher

Image Source

The Chilterns Gateway Centre on Dunstable Downs is home to this amazing, surprisingly low-tech air conditioning system. The Wind Catcher, seen above, sits approximately 100m away from the main building and naturally draws air underground to one end of a pipe, the other end of which sits inside the centre’s main building. By the time the air reaches the centre it has been cooled by the earth’s latent temperature. It’s a beautiful modern take on a system which has been used for centuries in Persian architecture.



Image Source

Televox 2

Image Source

And finally, a disused A/C unit modification which serves absolutely no purpose other than to brighten up the days of passers-by in Bushwick, Brooklyn. What was an abandoned, rusty A/C unit, attached to an abandoned, rusty shop front is now a cardboard TV box courtesy of street artist D.Billy.

Ohhhh yeahhhhh baby....Girls With Plungers (you've all been wanting it)

Plunger girls

Plunger girls 0
Plunger girls 1
Plunger girls 2
Plunger girls 3
Plunger girls 4
Plunger girls 5
Plunger girls 6
Plunger girls 7
Plunger girls 8
Plunger girls 9
Plunger girls 10
Plunger girls 11
Plunger girls 12
Plunger girls 13
Plunger girls 14
Plunger girls 15
Plunger girls 16
Plunger girls 17
Plunger girls 18
Plunger girls 19
Plunger girls 20
Plunger girls 21
Plunger girls 22
Plunger girls 23
Plunger girls 24
Plunger girls 25
Plunger girls 26
Plunger girls 27

Oh Yeah Gotta Love this Halloween Costume

For more pics, go to the Fascinating Pics blog!

This just in: Suzanne Sommers is a vapid, belief-driven attention whore with a new book on alternative cancer treatment

BREAKING: Health Author Suzanne Somers Mostly Wrong About Science, Medicine

It’s the book every medical writer in the country wants to ignore. Suzanne Somers’s latest “health” tome hit the bookstores this week, and this time she's offering her advice on how to cure and prevent cancer. As if people with cancer don’t have enough problems. When the review copy arrived, we decided to give it a once-over—so you don’t have to.

The gist of Somers’s argument is that conventional cancer treatments—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy—take a destructive approach and that chemo, in particular, is overused. Long an advocate of alternative therapies, Somers argues that it makes more sense to build up the body to fight cancer than it does to tear it down through radiation and chemicals. She is particularly enamored of nutritional “cures.”

Of course, Somers has had no formal medical or scientific training, but considers herself an authority—in part because she’s survived breast cancer after choosing not to have chemotherapy, and because she’s a regular on the alternative-medicine circuit. This book, like her others, consists mainly of transcripts of her conversations with various alternative-medicine doctors, as well as lots of details about her own experiences and prevention regimen, which she has spelled out many times before, most notably on Oprah earlier this year. It’s noteworthy that her promotion of the book began by publicly blaming Patrick Swayze’s recent death on chemotherapy, rather than his pancreatic cancer. (She has since apologized to his family.)

Cancer is a highly emotional topic, particularly since the war on cancer isn’t going particularly well. As my colleague Sharon Begley recently put it, “Cancer is on track to kill 565,650 people in the United States this year—more than 1,500 a day, equivalent to three jumbo jets crashing and killing everyone aboard 365 days a year.” The fact is that modern medicine is far from understanding everything we need to know about cancer, and the most effective treatments available often come with nasty side effects. We all wish there were more effective and less toxic options, and we need to stay open-minded about new discoveries and alternatives. Maybe some of the doctors Somers interviewed in her book will eventually prove to be on to something.

But there is a big difference between staying open-minded and tossing aside treatments that have been proven effective after rigorous testing in favor of new “natural” therapies that have undergone much flimsier scrutiny. If you’re someone who needs answers now, and want to make health decisions based on solid scientific findings rather than wishful thinking, there’s not much in Somers’s latest book to help you. The basic problem with the book, says Dr. Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer, “is that it’s really inaccurate” when it describes the science behind current treatments and lacks a basic understanding of the scientific method. Not all research findings are equally authoritative. Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean it works. “Some people confuse what they believe with what they know," Brawley said.

Even if some patients are cancer-free after following a certain treatment plan, that doesn’t prove that it was the treatment that cured them, especially if no control group was used for comparison. “We’re finding that about 25 to 30 percent of some cancers stop growing at some point,” Brawley says. ”That can make some treatments look good that aren’t doing anything.” Until doctors figure out how to identify which patients have cancers that won’t progress, he said, the only option is to treat everyone.

Somers relies heavily on patient testimonials, but any scientist knows that talking only to those who benefited from a treatment can give less than objective results. A case in point: she lavishes praise on the research of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, who uses a combination of enzymes, massive amounts of nutritional supplements (130 to 175 a day—yes, you read that right), a strict diet, and daily coffee enemas, which he says can cure pancreatic cancer. However, just about two months before Somers’s book was published, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published the results of a controlled observational trial of Gonzalez’s protocol vs. chemotherapy for patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and enrolled 55 patients who met strict clinical criteria. A year into the study, 56 percent of those using chemotherapy were still alive, compared with only 16 percent of those who chose the enzyme therapy. In other words, those who picked chemo over the alternative treatment lived three times as long. Interestingly, the study was concluded in 2005, yet Somers doesn’t mention this in the book.

Somers also shines the spotlight on Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski of Houston, whose controversial cancer treatments have resulted in years of battles with the FDA and the courts. Over the past 30 years, despite government investment, he has failed to provide compelling data that his expensive treatments work. More recently he expanded his research efforts into anti-wrinkle creams. (Side note: it is more than a little ironic that Somers is touting the work of Burzynski, who synthesizes peptides from human urine to create what he says is a cancer cure. In the books she’s written about hormones, Somers has expressed nothing but disdain for FDA-approved hormones synthesized from horse urine.)

Another treatment that gets the sign of approval from Somers is mistletoe extract, which is a popular treatment in Germany, and which she credits with keeping her cancer-free for years. There are some intriguing studies, but good science requires looking at all the studies, not just the ones that support your opinion. When German scientists published a review of the data on mistletoe as a cancer treatment in 2008, they found that the evidence was “weak.” Other reviews have concluded that there were quality problems with many of the studies and that more research is necessary.

Not all the recommendations Somers makes in the book raise eyebrows. She says eating healthy and exercising, reducing stress, and getting a good night's sleep may reduce the risk of cancer. That's true, but it's not news. She’s right that not every woman with stage I breast cancer needs chemo. Few doctors would argue. In fact, they have the technology to calculate the size of the likely benefit, and agree that sometimes it’s quite small. Most doctors offer it as a choice to women who want to do everything possible to prevent cancer’s return.

“And she’s right when she says that only some leukemias, lymphomas, and testicular cancers can be cured with chemotherapy,” Brawley says. “We admit that many conventional treatments are not as beneficial as we would like. But that doesn’t dismiss evidence that screenings have reduced the death rates of breast and colon cancer, or that the lives of other patients with cancer can be saved with early treatment or that chemo prolongs lives. Even in cases of stage IV breast cancer, or lung or prostate or colon cancer, when the cancer has spread throughout the body and particularly into the bone, we can’t cure people with chemotherapy, but we can prolong life and increase their quality of life. In her book, Somers completely rejects the idea that chemotherapy has any of these benefits.”

When I interviewed Somers earlier this year, she said that she gets irritated when the media identify her as the former ditsy blonde from the TV sitcom Three’s Company. She would rather be identified as an author; after all, she’s written 18 books, most on the topics of weight loss (even though she’s admitted to Larry King that she’s used liposuction) and hormones (she recommends treatments most hormone specialists and oncologists describe as potentially risky.)

For her next book, we’d like to suggest a topic she knows very well: media manipulation. You have to love the fact that the only blurb on the back of the book (“Ms. Somers writes with the passion of the prophet”—Wall Street Journal) comes from a review trashing an earlier book. Somers’s real specialty is understanding that when a celebrity writes a controversial book, it doesn’t matter how much mainstream doctors and serious researchers attack it, or whether people’s health is put at risk. Attacks bring publicity, and publicity sells books. Here’s hoping that this time the public proves her wrong.

Warwickshire Police banned from saying the following words: evening, afternoon, boy, girl, homosexual and frequent

What's all this then? Police can't say 'Evenin' all' any more

A Flowchart to Determine What Religion You Should Follow

Flowcharts are a great way to make sense out of confusing scenarios, and there's no scenario that's more confusing than trying to figure out what religion you should follow. This helpful flowchart was created to guide you through this complex process:

Can you all spot the error in this diagram?

Nanny State: You're too fat to have children, so lets take your infant away

Social workers remove new-born baby from obese mother

Social workers have moved to take into care a baby born to an obese mother.

The mother — who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the children — gave birth by Caesarean section last week in a Dundee hospital but was told within 24 hours that she would not be allowed to keep the baby.

She has already had the youngest of her six children, aged 3 and 4, removed from her care because social workers feared that they were at risk of becoming obese. The 40-year-old mother weighed 23 stone before falling pregnant.

The parents originally contacted social workers themselves to seek help with managing their children, one of whom has developmental problems. At that time they had a toddler who weighed 4 stone and a 13-year-old boy who weighed more than 16 stone.

The married couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were warned last year that that they had to bring their six children’s weight under control.

Speaking to The Times yesterday the father of the baby, aged 54, said that the whole family was “heartbroken” at the loss of their baby.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I can’t tell you how powerless I feel. The other children are devastated too,” he said.

“My wife was told she could stay with our baby for another 24 hours but then she would have to go home alone. She got up out of her bed and left the hospital right there and then. I had to wait behind to say my goodbyes to the baby.”

The father said social workers had assured him last week that they would not go near the hospital and that he believed an interim report by Dundee Families Project recommending intensive support for the whole family was to be acted upon. He said he was “shocked and traumatised” that social workers had come into the labour ward and attempted to serve papers on his wife.

A hearing tomorrow will discuss a social work application to remove the family's remaining three children.

The family has already made two legal attempts to have the two children already taken from them returned and they were due to make a third appeal against the decision today.

Dundee City Council said: “Local authorities who are involved in the welfare of children have a legal duty to ensure they are protected from publicity that may have a serious effect on them and the council takes seriously this responsibility.

“We have made it clear on numerous occasions that children would not be removed from a family environment just because of a weight issue.”

Weird Cross Lady Jailed After Assault Report

St. Cloud woman jailed after assault report

Irene Antoinette Westbrook

Irene Antoinette Westbrook

A St. Cloud woman was jailed Tuesday after police received a call around 6:07 p.m. from her boyfriend who said he had been assaulted with a telephone.

Irene Antoinette Westbrook, 30, could be charged with felony domestic assault because of prior convictions, according to police. Her boyfriend, a 68-year-old St. Cloud resident, did not require medical attention, according to St. Cloud police. The incident happened in the 600 block of 12th Avenue North.Westbrook is being held in Stearns County Jail.

The Cadbury Gorilla

For those who haven't seen the Cadbury Gorilla, the rest of us are wondering how it is you have kept the strength to keep on living without something so awe inspiring in your life. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, here is the video, and you're welcome:

(Background music: "Something in the air tonight", Phil Collins)

Japan man sues hospital over unnecessary artificial rectum,27574,26243330-23109,00.html

A JAPANESE man has sued a hospital, arguing it unnecessarily gave him an artificial rectum after misdiagnosing him as suffering rectal cancer, a hospital official says.

The man underwent surgery in March at a university hospital in western Miyazaki prefecture to remove the tumour, the Mainichi daily reported on Wednesday.

But his doctor told the man, whose age and name were not reported, that a later examination found no cancer cells in the removed tissue, the report said.

The man, who now has an artificial rectum, is demanding 35 million yen ($416,171) in compensation, the report said citing the complaint filed with the Miyazaki District Court.

"We realise the complaint has been filed,'' a hospital official said.

"We will take appropriate action after examining the case.''

Busty Heart - The woman that can smash things with her breasts!

Boy Builds Bicycle Entirely Out Of Wood


16 year-old high school student Marco Facciola built a bike out of wood. I'm talking every part is made out of wood. Pretty damn impressive. "Marco had to complete this as a non-academic project for his International Baccalaureate, and inspiration came from his grandfather, forced to make wooden wheels for his bike during the war due to rubber shortages." Well props to both you and your grandfather, I'm sure he's proud. Say, mind if I take it for a ride? I'm working on a stunt spectacular where I set a bike on fire and jump over cats in my driveway. No I can't use my own bike Marco, it won't burn right.

Hit the jump for several close-ups of the amazing wooden gears and chain.





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...