The Top 500 Worst Passwords of All Time

July 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From the moment people started using passwords, it didn’t take long to realize how many people picked the very same passwords over and over. Even the way people misspell words is consistent. In fact, people are so predictable that most hackers make use of lists of common passwords just like these. To give you some insight into how predictable humans are, the following is a list of the 500 most common passwords. If you see your password on this list, please change it immediately. Keep in mind that every password listed here has been used by at least hundreds if not thousands of other people.

There are some interesting passwords on this list that show how people try to be clever, but even human cleverness is predictable. For example, look at these passwords that I found interesting:

ncc1701 The ship number for the Starship Enterprise
thx1138 The name of George Lucas’s first movie, a 1971 remake of an earlier student project
qazwsx Follows a simple pattern when typed on a typical keyboard
666666 Six sixes
7777777 Seven sevens
ou812 The title of a 1988 Van Halen album
8675309 The number mentioned in the 1982 Tommy Tutone song. The song supposedly caused an epidemic of people dialing 867- 5309 and asking for “Jenny”

“…Approximately one out of every nine people uses at least one password on the list shown in Table 9.1! And one out of every 50 people uses one of the top 20 worst passwords..”

Go here to see the full list. I must admit that I personally was embarrassed. I use difficult passwords for really important things but not for everything.

THE NEWS

Escapee lived in caves for 16 years: “An escaped prisoner who had been hiding out in caves and living mainly off fruit during 16 years on the run has been recaptured in northern Portugal. Although the bearded, long-haired man tried to resist arrest when police cornered him at daybreak, he did not use the pistol he had on him, a police spokesman. The 54-year-old man had been serving a 10-year sentence for murder when he escaped in 1993 and disappeared into his native region of Vieira do Minho. “Since his escape, he hid out and lived in three or four caves in the region, which he knew well,” said Chief Inspector Carlos Gomes of the judicial police in Braga, northern Portugal. “He fed himself on fruits and had never seen a doctor, but he seemed to us to be in good health.” Police got back on to his trail a couple of years ago and launched Operation Cro-Magnon to bring the caveman to justice, said Gomes. They discovered that from time to time the fugitive received food and medicine from members of his family.”

20 years sounds about right for a nuisance like this: “A passenger has been convicted of interfering with a flight crew after allegedly punching an off-duty pilot and flight attendant while travelling from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, US. Californian businessman James Allen Cameron faces up to 20 years in jail over the incident, the AP reported. Mr Cameron, 50, was allegedly drinking before becoming agitated during the flight on April 23 last year. When an off-duty pilot tried to stop him from leaving his seat Mr Cameron punched him, and also assaulted a flight attendant who tried to restrain him, prosecutors say. The passenger had to be restrained with duct tape, handcuffs and seat-belt extenders, which he reportedly bit and chewed on in his attempts to break free, so he was then placed in handcuffs. Mr Cameron’s lawyer is seeking a new trial.”

A strange wisdom, but one that would be understood and respected in India: “An article in the online newsletter of a Catholic mission in Phoenix revealed that Walters died two years ago at the age of 76. He left an estate worth about $4 million. Along with the money he left for NPR, Walters also left money for the mission. But something distinguished Walters from any number of solvent, well-to-do Americans with seven-figure estates: He was homeless. Walters was a retired engineer from AlliedSignal Corp.; an honors graduate of Purdue with a master’s degree; and a Marine. Walters never married, didn’t have children and was estranged from his brother. But he wasn’t friendless… When Walters retired, he evidently retired from the world of material comforts. He didn’t have a car. “He just gave up all of the material things that we think we have to have,” Belle says. “You know, I don’t know how we gauge happiness. What’s happy for you might not be happy for me. I never heard him complain.”

Gold strike in phone box: “It looked like a bunch of snotty tissues abandoned in a public phone booth, but hidden inside were two lumps of pure gold. The unusual parcel sat untouched in the Bilinga phone booth for three days before Gold Coast shopkeeper Stewart McNaughton decided to clean up. But when he gingerly picked up the tissues he made the shock discovery — wrapped inside were two ounces of gold. The precious metal, worth more than $2300, belonged to Victor Robertson, of NSW, who accidentally left it behind the day he flew out of Gold Coast Airport for a month-long international holiday. On his return to the Coast yesterday, the 31-year-old painter was astounded to find Mr McNaughton had handed in the gold to police and he was able to reclaim it. As a reward for returning his precious parcel, Mr Robertson repaid the favour by giving Mr McNaughton a carton of Fourex Gold. “His honesty and decency just blew me away — it’s changed my perception of people,” said Mr Robertson. Mr Robertson, who lives west of Newcastle, said he had invested in the gold several years ago and was carrying two ounces in the coin compartment of his wallet as he planned to use it for spending money on his trip to the UK and Malaysia.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Playsuit time: British singer shows that a playsuit can be attractive on adults too

July 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here is the story, for what it is is worth

And then there is the silicone version from a fashion show in Columbia

THE NEWS

Mother takes little kids for picnic in the middle of a road: “A mother was doped up on Valium when she allowed her young children to sit and eat fast food in the middle of a busy road, a court has been told. The 32-year-old woman, who cannot be named, took her boys, aged one and four, out for McDonald’s on November 11 last year, the Brisbane District Court has heard. The court was told the mother bought the children food then led them halfway across a busy road at Calamvale in Brisbane’s south. She sat down to eat with the children on the median strip, causing concerned McDonald’s staff to call the police. The woman, who has been on a methadone program since 1995, told police she had taken Valium before their outing. She said she did not know why the drug, which she took every day, had adversely affected her on that occasion and caused her to put the children in danger. She pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the life of a child. Both children now live with their father.”

Acoustic fingerprints?: “If you like the sound of your iPod and mobile phone being theft-proof, listen up. Scientists have found a way of using the “acoustic fingerprint” of a person’s ear to ensure no one else can operate their iPods, mobile phones and other personal portables. Overseas researchers have discovered they can identify individuals from the unique sounds of the ear chamber. They sent a barely audible tone using an earphone that stimulates the hair cells beyond the inner ear into producing a minute sound of their own. The sound is given a unique “fingerprint” by an individual’s eardrum, ear bones and the shape of their ear canal. This biometric “pin number” would be instantly detected by an iPod, mobile phone or any other device fitted with an anti-theft acoustic fingerprint detector. Acoustic fingerprints could be used to pay bills, or do banking transactions securely with confirmation of identity as easy as donning a set of headphones or putting a phone to your ear.”

The ultimate whale story: “A drowning diver has a beluga whale to thank for helping to save her life after her legs were paralysed by cramps. Yang Yun was taking part in a free-diving contest at Polar Land in Harbin, north-east China, in which participants were required to sink seven metres to the bottom of a pool and stay there for as long as possible without the aid of breathing equipment. Ms Yun, 26, thought she was going to die amid the beluga whales she shared the arctic pool with, after struggling to move her legs while trying to kick her way to the surface. “I began to choke and sank even lower and I thought that was it for me – I was dead,” she told The Sun. “Until I felt this incredible force under me driving me to the surface.” That “incredible force” was Mila, a beluga whale which had noticed her distress and clamped its jaws around her leg. Using her sensitive nose, Mila drove Ms Yun carefully to the surface, to the amazement of onlookers and an underwater photographer who captured the entire incident on film. “Mila noticed the problem before we did,” an organiser told The Sun. “She’s a sensitive animal who works closely with humans and I think this girl owes her her life.”

Lying British law graduates destroy their own future: “Two young women have gone from sunning themselves on a world famous beach to languishing on the floor of a crowded jail cell after an alleged robbery scam backfired. British law graduates Shanti Simone Andrews and Rebecca Claire Turner, both 23 and on a round-the-world holiday, were arrested early this week after going to Rio police to declare possessions worth about $2500 had been stolen on a bus ride from southern Brazil. Police, suspicious that the women took three days to report the alleged theft and still had their passports, walked them back to their hostel near Copacabana beach. There, a search of lockers turned up the mobile telephones and iPod the women said had been stolen. They now face up to five years in jail over what police believe was an attempt to falsely cash in on an insurance payout… Rio’s tourist police are vigilant against such scams following a rise in false claims.” [A conviction will prevent them from ever getting a job a a lawyer. They were obviously expecting the lax British police practice of simply recording the report]

Lucky but honest British bank customer: “From Merseyside, the tale of the man who found almost £29 million in his Barclays bank account and couldn’t hand it back. Dennis Hayes was credited with the amount and claims he tried to tell the bank but was told he could withdraw as much as he liked. Barclays says he was given the wrong balance slip and the money was never there. Hayes says the bank took him seriously only when he wrote to chief executive John Varley: “Following the recent adverse publicity concerning the practice of the banking profession in paying huge salaries, bonuses and pensions, I was surprised and delighted to discover you reward your customers in a like manner . . .”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Moses and Jesus Playing Golf

July 29, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon while Moses, Jesus, and another guy were out playing golf. On the first tee-box, Moses pulls out his driver and blisters a shot up the right side of the fairway, rolling fast towards a water hazard. Moses quickly raised his club, parting the water while his ball rolls through to the other side safely.

Next up on the tee, Jesus hits a really long drive right towards the very same water hazard. His ball came to rest dead center of the pond, hovering just over the surface of the water. Jesus casually walks out onto the pond, and chips it up onto the green within a couple feet of the flagstick.

Not impressed, the third guy steps up to the tee without taking any time and just randomly whacks at the ball. Rightfully so, the ball is hit with a nasty hook that clears the left OB markers and goes over a fence into oncoming traffic. It bounces off a truck’s windshield hitting a nearby tree, bounces onto the roof of the greenkeeper’s shed, back out onto the fairway and towards the same pond that Moses and Jesus hit. Before it gets wet, the ball ricochets off a small rock and bounces onto a lily pad on over the water water when a bullfrog jumped up and ate the ball. Right at that moment, a bald eagle swoops down and grabs the frog, flying away. As it flew over the green, the frog squeals with fright and drops the ball right next to the flagstick, taking one bounce and landing in the cup for an astounding hole in one.

In disgust, Moses then turns to Jesus and says, “I hate playing with your Dad.”

THE NEWS

Woman trapped in toilet for week: “An elderly Ipswich woman fell in her toilet, then spent a week trapped there before a neighbour heard her cries for help. The 67-year-old was severely dehydrated when ambulance officers found her about midday on Sunday after a concerned neighbour raised the alarm. A Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said emergency services broke into the house at Eastern Heights in Ipswich through the back door. “The lady was manouvred to one side to free her. The door swings inwards and she had her feet wedged on either side of the toilet,” said the DCS spokeswoman. “She was very dehydrated but she was conscious.” She was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment. Neighbour Michael Hibberd has told media the woman told him she had been there since about 3am on Sunday. “To me that meant that morning but she meant last Sunday.” He said it was not out of the ordinary not to see the lady in the course of a week. “I’d never even seen her collect her mail,” he said.”

Tourists miss isle after GPS blunder: “Two Swedes expecting the golden beaches of the Italian island of Capri got a shock when tourist officials told them they were 650 km off course in the northern town of Carpi, after mistyping the name in their GPS. “It’s hard to understand how they managed it. I mean, Capri is an island,” said Giovanni Medici, a spokesman for Carpi regional government, said. “It’s the first time something like this has happened.” The middle-aged couple, who were not identified, only discovered their error when they asked staff in the local tourist office Saturday how to drive to the island’s famous “Blue Grotto.” “They were surprised, but not angry,” Medici said. “They got back in the car and started driving south.” The picturesque island of Capri, famed as a romantic holiday destination, lies in the Gulf of Naples in southern Italy and has been a resort since Roman times. Carpi is a busy industrial town in the province of Emilia”. [Pic of the real Capri above]

A British grandmother has become a fugitive from the French judicial system, wanted for a conviction that she never knew she had: “Deborah Dark, 45, from Richmond, West London, was blissfully unaware of her status as a wanted woman when she went to visit her elderly father in Spain. Her plight became clear only as she tried to return home. At the airport she was arrested and incarcerated for a month, as French authorities sought to have her extradited to serve a six-year sentence. Though a Spanish judge denied the request she was arrested again on her return to London. A European Arrest Warrant has been issued and authorities in every member state of the EU are obliged to detain her should she set foot in their country. The City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court also refused to extradite her, the judge questioning whether she could be given a fair trial so long after the event. Nevertheless, she says that her life has been shattered by the ordeal and the threat of arrest has left her confined to Britain. She has lost her job, has become indebted and is unable to visit her ageing father.”

Serial bigamist Emily Horne allowed to walk free: “A former glamour model who married five men without divorcing any of them was given a suspended prison sentence yesterday by a judge who said she had “undermined the institution of marriage”. During the past 13 years, a soldier, a bank worker, a website designer, a train guard and a salesman have all believed they were legally married to Emily Horne, 30, who says she likes “making people happy”. Only the first wedding, in 1996, was legal. Horne, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, escaped with a ten-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after a court was told that she was receiving treatment for personality disorders. The woman who maintains that “the thing I’m guilty of most is falling in love” is in the process of divorcing her only real husband and has pledged to send back all five wedding rings.” [The pic above might hint at the secret of her success]

How DOES he do it?: “He doesn’t have millions in the bank. And without being too unkind, the grey frizzy hair, spectacles and squinty smile don’t exactly scream pin-up boy. But there is something about Lembit Opik. Something that seems to attract the attractive woman. Something that made the Liberal Democrat MP look like the cat that got the cream as he showed off the latest lady to fall under his spell. After TV weather presenter Sian Lloyd and Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia, he now has an underwear model whispering sweet nothings in his ear. At 21, Mr Opik’s new girlfriend Katie Green, who he is said to have met at a party three months ago, is the youngest of his most recent ‘soulmates’. But the 44-year-old politician no doubt regards himself as young at heart. ‘Katie is beautiful, smart and attractive,’ he declared in an interview with Closer magazine. ‘She’s charming, unpretentious, interesting and engaging. We’ve got to know each other really well.’ That’s how it always starts. But Mr Opik’s previous romances have ended badly, and unfortunately often been documented in eye-watering detail.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Nerves of steel

July 28, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is a case of a photographer photographing another photographer. The following heartstopping pictures were taken by Hans van de Vorst from the Netherlands at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The identity of the photographer in the photos is unknown.

I was simply stunned seeing this guy standing on this solitary rock in the Grand Canyon.

The canyon’s depth is 900 meters (3,000′) here. The rock on the right is affixed to the edge of the canyon and perfectly safe. Watching this guy in his rubber thong sandals, burdened with a camera and a tripod, I asked myself 3 questions:

1. How did he climb that rock?

2. Why not take that sunset picture from that rock on the right, which is perfectly safe?

3. How will he get back?

After the sun set behind the canyon’s horizon he packed his things and prepared himself for the jump. This took about 2 minutes. At that point he definitely had the full attention of the crowd. This is the point of no return.

After that, he jumped in his thong sandals & only having one hand free . . . The canyon’s depth is 900 meters (3,000 feet) here.

You can see that the adjacent rock is quite a bit higher than where he is (& quite steep). He hopes to use his one free hand to grab on to the rock. Look carefully at the photographer. He is carrying a camera, a tripod and also a plastic bag ~ all on his shoulder or in his left hand. He lands low on his flip flops ~ both his right hand and right foot slip away… And at that moment I take this shot:

He pushes his body tight against the rock ~ waits for a few seconds, throws his stuff on top of the rock, then climbs up & walks away.

Snopes says that the fall risked at that point is much less than 3,000′ so could be nasty but would be unlikely to be fatal. It is still a great example of agility, though

THE NEWS

Missing baby, toddler found in bin: “Two children who were reported missing by their mother in the US have been found safe and well in a rubbish bin. The Ohio woman reported that the two-year-old girl and eight-month-old boy were missing about thirteen hours before they were found. Police said they were discovered crying inside a large rubbish bin in Dayton, Ohio. The mother alleged the children had been taken by her boyfriend. She told police he had fled with them after the pair had a fight. Dayton, Ohio police Chief Richard Biehl said the children were thirsty, hungry and dirty, but appeared to be in remarkably good condition, Associated Press reports. The children were found in the bin outside an electrical repair business. An employee reportedly arrived at work and thought he heard the sound of children crying. He and another worker found the children after opening the lid, police said. The children have been taken to a hospital. Police have not said whether charges have been laid.”

Tamil man set fire to house after no lunch: “A violent husband has been jailed for setting fire to his house with his wife and two daughters inside, after his lunch was not made. Rajah Theivendradas, 54, of Endeavour Hills, has been jailed for four years, with a minimum of two years and three months, the Herald Sun reports. He had earlier pleaded guilty to five charges including reckless conduct endangering serious injury and arson. His family suffered superficial burns after being forced to run through the flames to reach safety. Theivendradas also had a number of intervention orders taken out against him before he set fire to the staircase in the house. Victorian County Court Judge John Nixon said Theivendradas was out of control but not psychiatrically disturbed. “It was an inexcusable, senseless, destructive and dangerous criminal act on your part,” he said. The court heard Theivendradas had been drinking heavily on the day before the fire and had an argument with his elder daughter about respect. He set fire to the house when he discovered his lunch was not made the following day” [This took place in Australia but the name of the offender sounds Tamil, and Tamils seem to have a trust in violence]

Australian cougar wins a heart: “Charmyne Palavi and toy-boyfriend Michael Browne have discussed their engagement with a women’s mag, with Browne – who is 16 years younger than his bride-to-be – revealing he was floored when he met Charmyne at the Normanby [hotel]. “My mates think it’s great. I’ve pulled one of the most well-known women in Australia,” Browne, 22, gushes. “She was wearing a little black dress and I thought she was hot as hell. When I got home to my aunty’s I showed some photos on my phone and said; ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry’.” As for Palavi’s NRL [football] groupie past, Browne says he isn’t fazed. “No one’s perfect and I liked Charmyne’s confidence and honesty.” [A cougar is an attractive older woman who pursues younger men, often promiscuously]

Swiss psychiatrist fights fear … with LSD: “A Swiss psychiatrist is treating severely ill patients with LSD to alleviate their fear of pain and death. Other psychedelic drugs are being tested on patients in the United States, Britain and Israel. Are psychotropic substances about to make a comeback in therapy? Nothing’s happening, Udo Schulz thought to himself with quiet regret. I must have been given the placebo. He was lying on a mattress in a brightly lit room, waiting for the first real drug experience of his life. Schulz, 44, is German and suffers from cancer. He is also the first person in more than three decades who has been allowed to consume LSD legally in the context of a scientific study. The goal of the study is to determine whether lysergic acid diethylamide, the notorious drug of the hippy era, could be useful in the treatment of certain emotional disorders.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Gibraltar airport

July 27, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We have all had to stop our cars at crossings to let a train go by but stopping to let an aircraft land? It happens every day in Gibraltar. The roads run right across the runway of the airport

THE NEWS

Britain’s official spooks too dumb even to use a spellchecker: “Spies at MI6 pride themselves on being able to spot every little detail as they fight to keep Britain safe from the threat posed by terrorists. But spooks have littered their own website with spelling mistakes that would shame a GCSE student – raising serious questions about their ability to check simple facts. The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) site, which is used to tempt high-flyers into a career spying for Britain, is awash with basic errors. A cursory check through the first few pages of the site revealed at least 17 sloppy spelling mistakes. The poor English is particularly evident in serving officers writing about the work they undertake for Queen and country. Senior spies will be furious to see staff reports containing such elementary errors. It is the latest gaffe by the agency, which is leading the fight to keep Britain secure from international terrorism. [The smart ones are all working for Russia]

Russian warship fires on an apartment building: “A RUSSIAN warship preparing for a holiday celebration accidentally fired a dummy artillery shell into the courtyard of a Vladivostok apartment building. Nobody was hurt but the shell’s impact broke windows and left a small crater outside the nine-storey apartment building in Vladivostok, a port city on Russia’s Pacific Ocean coast close to China and Japan. “There were no explosives in the dummy shell,” Roman Martov, a spokesman for Russia’s Vladivostok-based Pacific Fleet, said. “The reasons why the rocket-assisted projectile flew a greater distance than it had been assigned are unknown,” he added. Local police said in a statement that the impact shattered the windows of several apartments and scattered fragments of rock and glass on nearby cars, but added that there were no injuries.”

Looking good at 50: “Amanda Redman is laughing, slightly uncomfortably, at the heady news that she was recently voted Most Desirable Older Woman by readers of a certain magazine for pensioners. “Oh gawd,” she guffaws, “is that a good thing?” Until now, it seems her considerable charms have mostly been noticed by men at the younger end of the age spectrum. “Britain’s Favourite Cougar” would seem more appropriate. For those unfamiliar with the term, a cougar is not just a graceful and magnificent member of the big cat family; it has lately been used to describe the gorgeous older woman who prefers the attentions of the younger man to those of paunchy, bald-headed males of her own age. Said term, then, could have been invented for Redman. “But the funny thing is that the men that I have found to be the most caring, the most sensitive and the most nurturing have often been younger,” she says. “It’s that, more than anything, that attracts me to them.” Redman faces her 50th birthday next month.”

Bill Gates quits Facebook over ‘too many friends’: “MICROSOFT co-founder Bill Gates said he was forced to give up on the social networking phenomenon Facebook after too many people wanted to be his friend. Mr Gates, the billionaire computer geek-turned-philanthropist said he had tried out Facebook but ended up with “10,000 people wanting to be my friends”. Mr Gates, who remains Microsoft chairman, said he had trouble figuring out whether he “knew this person, did I not know this person”. “It was just way too much trouble so I gave it up,” Mr Gates told the business forum.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

One vision of where American healthcare is headed

July 26, 2009 at 12:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE NEWS

Tasty woofers in Korea: “North Korea is promoting the virtue of dog meat as a way to beat the summer heat and says customers are packing Pyongyang restaurants for a bite. The North has been hosting dog meat food contests to help develop the traditional cuisine, the official Korean Central News Agency said. Dog meat is called dangogi, or “sweet meat”, a euphemism coined by North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung in the early 1980s. “Our ancestors believed hot dangogi soup consumed during the dog days of summer helped prevent diseases from malnutrition and bolster stamina,” KCNA said. It cited a 17th-Century book on herbal medicine to tout the nutritional value of dog meat. According to the book, dog meat is especially good for the digestive organs, blood circulation and bone marrow and improves stamina. “During the current dog days of summer, many customers are visiting dangogi restaurants in Pyongyang,” KCNA said. “Dangogi-jang (dog meat soup) is becoming popular even among Koreans living abroad and foreigners as well,” it said. Dog meat is enjoyed in both North and South Korea. But while dog meat restaurants in the South are assuming a low-profile because of international criticism, in the North dangogi cuisine is a source of pride and a mark of national identity.”

Woman survives five-storey fall: “Last weekend, Gold Coast model Holly Hadson fell five storeys from a balcony at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast. She was staying at the Seaforth Hotel after taking part in a promotion at Friday’s Wharf Tavern in Mooloolaba. Police said witnesses reported seeing Ms Hadson, 24, attempting to climb from a sixth floor balcony to the level below. She tumbled as she fell then landed on her feet. Ambulance officers said Ms Hadson shattered both ankles but remained conscious. She was released from Nambour Hospital last week and is now recovering at her parents’ Gold Coast home. Her friends have rallied around her as she recovers. “Please don’t scare everyone like that again,” one friend wrote on her Facebook page. [Pic of her above. Aren't you glad she survived?]

New power system spells the end of wires: “The days of wires powering electronic devices could soon be at an end, with the development of a new system that will allow laptops, mobile phones and televisions to be left unplugged in the home while being recharged. The new technology exploits a recent breakthrough in physics, according to the US company WiTricity. It has shown that it can send electricity “wirelessly” through the air and can switch on a light bulb or keep a computer running. “Let’s face it: wires suck,” Eric Giler, chief executive of WiTricity, said at the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford this week. “Batteries also suck.” The new system has the potential to do away with mountains of disposable batteries and miles of wiring. “There is something like 40 billion disposable batteries built every year for power that, generally speaking, is used within a few inches or feet of where there is very inexpensive power,” Mr Giler said. The system is able to operate safely because the energy is largely transferred through magnetic fields. Mr Giler was keen to emphasise safety during the demonstration. “There’s nothing going on — I’m OK,” he said as he walked around a television running on wireless power. The science behind the system was developed by the physicist Marin Soljacic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After being woken on three consecutive nights by the “battery low” beep of his mobile phone, he wondered: “Why can’t all this electricity in the walls just come out and power my phone?”

Why am I not surprised?: “Stepping back from the sheet of paper before her, Tillie the artist cocks her head, surveys her work, then launches into a frenzy of finishing touches. No one minds that she appears to be making a dog’s breakfast of her latest assignment. As the world’s pre-eminent canine painter, the ten-year-old Jack Russell terrier — full name Tillamook Cheddar — has clawed her way up to become something of a big cheese in the art world. Notching up her 20th solo exhibition, she has earned more than $100,000 from sales of her work, visited five countries and drawn comparisons with the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. “If you put her work before someone without telling them that a dog did it, they wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a human artist’s,” said Jane Hart, curator of the Hollywood Art and Culture Centre in Hollywood, Florida, who knows because she has tried it.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

This looks ancient — but is it?

July 25, 2009 at 12:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE NEWS

God strikes back: “A French robber was found dead in a graveyard in the southwestern Dordogne region, struck by a heart attack as he chiselled religious symbols off a tombstone. The 54-year-old was found last week in a cemetery in the town of Valeuil, said local mayor Pascal Mazouaud. “A woman from the village spotted the body of a man lying on the ground, and next to it a small ladder, a hammer and chisel,” Mr Mazouaud said. “He was busy stripping off tombstones in the summer heat.” Called to the scene, a doctor concluded the man, who came from the Bordeaux region further west, had suffered a heart attack. Police found his car full of an assortment of objects, whose origin they were trying to trace.”

Naked girls plough fields to ‘embarrass’ gods: “Farmers in an eastern Indian state have asked their unmarried daughters to plough parched fields naked in a bid to embarrass the weather gods to bring some badly needed monsoon rain. Witnesses said the naked girls in Bihar state plowed the fields and chanted ancient hymns after sunset to invoke the gods. They said elderly village women helped the girls drag the ploughs. “They (villagers) believe their acts would get the weather gods badly embarrassed, who in turn would ensure bumper crops by sending rains,” Upendra Kumar, a village council official, said. “This is the most trusted social custom in the area and the villagers have vowed to continue this practice until it rains very heavily.” India this year suffered its worst start to the vital monsoon rains in eight decades, causing drought in some states.”

Chinese drunken driver sentenced to death: “A drunk driver who killed four people as he fled the scene of a crash has been sentenced to death, in China’s first capital punishment of a traffic offence. Sun Weiming was handed the death penalty by an intermediate court in southwest China’s Chengdu city yesterday for endangering public safety, State newspaper the Huaxi Metropolitan Daily reported today. The 30-year-old was convicted of an accident in crowded downtown Chengdu in December last year that resulted in his Buick sedan smashing into four other cars as he tried to speed away from the scene. Besides being drunk, Sun was also driving without a licence. “Sun Weiming will go down as the first traffic troublemaker in China to be sentenced to death for endangering public safety,” the paper said. The Chinese public has increasingly called for more severe punishment for those caught drinking and driving following a string of fatalities in recent years. Police had said Sun’s car was travelling at more than double the speed limit, the China Daily reports.”

Dodgy wedding limo: “As her wedding limo raced backwards downhill a vision of a bride in a blood-spattered dress flashed through Angela Ceberano’s mind. The ordeal lasted only a minute when the brakes failed on her chauffeur-driven vintage Rolls Royce. But it was almost enough to ruin her wedding day. “There was just absolutely no brakes. The driver was putting his foot on the brake and saying ‘it’s not working, it’s not working’,” Mrs Ceberano said. “When he pulled the hand brake . . . he had it in his hand. “Because the car was so big – it was a really heavy car – the driver was swerving across the road. We were completely out of control. We were airborne at one stage.” The car eventually came to a stop in a dip, narrowly missing a traffic island. It was the presence of mind of her bridesmaids – including her husband’s sister singer Kate Ceberano – that saved the day. “My bridesmaids were like, ‘Right, let’s get out of the car’,” she said. “We were just standing in the gutter in our wedding frocks.” With help from a kind neighbour who took them in and offered them champagne to calm them down while they organised their own replacement transport, the bridal party arrived at the ceremony an hour and 15 minutes late. The car company eventually refunded the $1500 paid up front, but only after months of wrangling by her father and a lawyer’s letter. “It was a really dodgy car company. They were so unprofessional, they still haven’t contacted me to even apologise,” Ms Ceberano said.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Discrimination!

July 24, 2009 at 12:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE NEWS

Brits forget three things a day, research finds: “The average adult forgets three key facts, chores or events every day, a study has found. The study also found men are more likely to forget things than women – even though women generally have more to remember like watering the plants. Around 15 million of us will leave a cup of tea to go cold today while a similar amount will forget where they put the keys to their house or car. Meanwhile, 12 million go to the shops only to completely forget what they went for – and the same will forget about wet washing in the machine, acording to research carried out by National-Lottery.co.uk. PIN numbers, passwords and chores such as taking food out of the freezer the night before and charging your mobile phone also featured highly on the list. And more than one in ten admits forgetting to buy a lottery ticket which may have cost them a win. The study found one in four people have missed an important appointment and nearly one in five have fallen out with a friend over a forgotten date or event. One in ten have also been in trouble with friends for forgetting either the name of their offspring or their birthday. And six per cent have been dumped for forgetting a partner’s birthday.”

Attempted robbery ends with torn genitals, Viagra hangover: “The attempted armed robbery of a Russian hairdresser became a three-day sex ordeal for the would-be thief, leaving him with torn genitals and a Viagra hangover. IT website The Register reports the man, known as Viktor, tried to rob the hairdresser in the town of Meshchovsk. The owner, 28-year-old Olga, agreed to hand over the takings but as she was giving him the money, used her karate skills to knock him to the ground and tie him up with a hairdryer cord. She then locked him in the storeroom and told colleagues she’d call the police. However, she instead stripped him and cuffed him to a heater with a pair of fluffy pink handcuffs. She then fed him Viagra and raped him several times over the next four days. When finally released, Viktor went first to hospital for treatment for his torn frenulum, and then reported Olga to the police. When she was arrested, Olga reported him for robbery. “What a b**tard,” shecomplained. “Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I’ve bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1000 roubles when he left.” Viktor admitted she had fed him well.

Chinese man’s penis stuck in park bench: “A man is lucky to still have a penis after he inserted it in a metal park bench and became stuck, doctors say. At least a dozen police and emergency services workers were called to the park in Hong Kong after 41-year-old Le Xing’s penis became trapped in a hole, apparently after he became aroused. According to reports from Hong Kong, the “lonely and disturbed” Mr Xing told police he thought it would be fun to have sex with the bench, UK’s The Telegraph reported. Unfortunately for Mr Xing, news crews descended on the park to film the rescue effort: Doctors had tried to drain some of Mr Xing’s blood in an attempt to loosen his penis, but to no avail. Rescuers eventually cut away part of the bench and Mr Xing was taken to hospital where doctors took another four hours to free him. They said if Mr Xing had been stuck for another hour they would have had to amputate his penis.”

US town employee fired over porn actress wife: “The mayor of a small Florida town has defended the town council’s decision to fire its city manager after officials learned his wife is an adult film actress. Fort Myers Beach mayor Larry Kiker insisted that Scott Janke’s termination had nothing to do with his spouse’s job, that the town was merely trying to maintain order. Janke married Anabela Mota Janke, who goes by the stage name Jazella Moore, in October. He began working for the town in March 2008. “What we were addressing was a situation where we weren’t going to be able to govern the town with all the disruption and interruption,” Kiker said. The plan appears to have backfired. “I’ve done over 30 interviews (with media) … I’ve gotten hundreds of emails, we’re getting threatened,” Kiker said. “Nobody is getting any work done around here.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Mysterious Canada

July 23, 2009 at 12:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now that Vancouver has won the chance to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, these are some questions people from all over the world are asking. Believe it or not these questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website. Obviously the answers are a joke; but the questions were real!

Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? ( England )

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.

Q: Will I be able to see polar bears in the street? ( USA )

A: Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )

A: Sure, it’s only four thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada ? ( Sweden )

A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATM’s (cash machines) in Canada ? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto , Vancouver , Edmonton and Halifax ? ( England )

A: What, did your last slave die?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada ? ( USA )

A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe . Ca-na-da is that big country to your north…oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary . Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Canada ? ( USA )

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada ? ( England )

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? ( USA )

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Calgary , straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada ? ( Germany )

A: No, WE don’t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Where can I sell it in Canada ? ( USA )

A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )

A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada ? ( USA )

A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in 0Toronto and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )

A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada , but I forget its name. It’s a kind of big horse with horns. ( USA )

A: It’s called a moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )

A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

THE NEWS

The ultimate trailer trash: “Three people have been accused of letting rats bite a 6-week-old girl and chew off her toes at their cluttered an Ohio mobile home. Pike County prosecutor Rob Junk says the baby’s toes on one foot were gone when sheriff’s deputies went to the home Sunday after receiving an anonymous tip off. The baby was said to be in a fair condition at a Columbus hospital. A married couple and the 18-year-old boyfriend of the baby’s mother have been charged with the felony of child endangering. They appeared in court for an initial hearing Tuesday but no pleas were entered. The pair were jailed pending a plea hearing in two weeks. The prosecutor says they all lived in the mobile home west of Piketon, a village noted for its old uranium enrichment plant. He added that the baby’s mother was a juvenile and has not been identified. It is unknown if she will be charged.”

UK: An end to the magic of treehouses? : “A recent amendment to the 1995 Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order decreed that all treehouses and play houses now require full planning permission, part of a comprehensive set of changes to the planning regime which were actually intended to make it easier for homeowners to convert lofts or extend kitchens. At the same time, however, bureaucrats decided to remove some of the ambiguities concerning home extensions, insisting that all plans for ‘verandas, balconies or raised platforms’ — with ‘raised’ defined as anything higher than 30cm off the ground — be submitted to local councils for approval.”

Arrested for practising dentistry in her garage: “Florida officials have arrested a woman for allegedly practising dentistry in a garage she converted into a surgery with a black reclining chair. Rosa Maria Toledo, 56, was arrested on Tuesday. Deputies found a cabinet containing dental castings, moulds, dental crown glues, partial dentures and bridges in her garage. They said she had a ledger containing information for hundreds of patients. Deputies said they had information she had practised as a dentist in Mexico before moving to the US. Toledo was charged with practising dental hygiene without an active licence and being a non-licensed person leasing or operating dental equipment.”

Churches to combine marriage and baptism in UK: “The Church of England will offer two in one wedding and baptism services, officials said Thursday, as research shows increasing numbers of couples in Britain are having children out of wedlock. Although the church does not sanction couples having children before marriage, officials said the new services were aimed at encouraging unmarried parents to eventually tie the knot. The service to be unveiled later Thursday allows couples to baptise their children after their wedding ceremony, and parents themselves can also get baptised at the same time. A church spokesman said clergy would continue to teach that sex is best confined to marriage, but also recognise that it was “not standing in judgment on their past.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Rare photo of the 1940 Tour de France

July 22, 2009 at 12:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kids like weed wackers too

THE NEWS

Britons now drink more Australian and Californian wines than French: “French wine sales have dropped 6.5 per cent in the last year, says the new edition of trade magazine Off-Licence News. France is now in third place and descending, behind Australia and the USA (actually California). Italy (fourth place, up 14.9 per cent), South Africa (fifth place, up 34.9 per cent) and Chile (sixth place, up 14.7 per cent) are all vying for France’s position. Australian wine sales may be down a percentage point but they look in no danger of losing the yellow jersey for a while. And the only French name in the top 25 wine brands sold here is J P Chenet, its sales (you’ve guessed) down by 10 per cent.”

An unlikely pair: “Finding love on Facebook is becoming the norm. We search for lost love and find it again, we search for similar interests and find it, we simply search for singles and hope to change our relationship profile from Single to Married to…” Kelly Hildebrandt a female, aged 20, from Florida found a different way to find a husband. She went searching last February for people who shared her name on Facebook. She found Kelly Hildebrandt, male, of Lubbock, Texas, with a sexy shirtless photo as an added bonus. So female Kelly sent him a brief message. Not sure what she wrote-but it must have been good, because in October, eight months after they met online, the two got engaged. “I thought she was pretty cute,” the male Kelly said of his first reaction. And he was pleasantly surprised, because he’d once tried the same thing only to come up empty-handed. It hasn’t always been easy for the couple, having the same name does create some confusion in the mail box, for starters.”

Drunken driver offers dud swap: “A woman found slumped over her steering wheel at a drive-through bottleshop with a blood alcohol content of 0.27 per cent tried to swap a fruit juice bottle for a bottle of alcohol… The court heard police were called to the Edge Hill Tavern at 7.25pm on June 8 to find Ms Bryant passed out in her car in the drive-through. The attendant had taken her keys from her after she had tried to swap her empty fruit juice bottle for a bottle of alcohol. Magistrate Trevor Black told Ms Bryant she had clearly retreated into alcohol to escape “the burdens thrown at you”, but drinking was not a panacea. Rather than jail her or put her on probation, which may stop her returning to Melbourne to be with her sick mother, Mr Black fined her $1200 and disqualified her from driving for two years.”

Giraffe manor: “In many ways, the setting is just a typical family breakfast. Young children and their mother enjoy croissants and orange juice while sitting around a table together. But things become a little different when you notice a giraffe poking its head through the window to join them for a drink and a bite to eat. In fact, the Carr-Hartley family have the unusual distinction of sharing their home with eight Rothschild giraffes, some of the rarest on the planet. In the shadow of Kenya’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest animals are free to roam their 140-acre estate and are regular visitors at their English-style manor built in the colonial era. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammoth beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. Married owners Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley literally share their dining table with them. And now the pair are sharing the mesmerising experience with the outside world – by opening the manor gates to guests at the world’s only giraffe hotel.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers