Saturday, October 24, 2009
A Sicilian builder transferred from prison to house arrest tried to get himself locked up again to escape arguments with his wife at home.
Santo Gambino, 30, did time for dumping hazardous waste before being moved to house arrest in Villabate, outside the Sicilian capital, Palermo, Italian news agencies reported.
Gambino went to the police station and asked to be put away again to avoid arguing with his wife, who accused him of failing to pay for the upkeep of their two children.
Police charged him with violating the conditions of his sentence and made him go home and patch things up with his wife.
A six-year-old Chinese girl has doctors puzzled after thick grey hair started growing all over her body, earning her the nickname "cat-girl".
Li Xiaoyuan, from Fengkai in southern China, had a small birthmark on her back just months ago, which has since grown to cover her entire back and parts of her arms and face, The Sun reports.
"Doctors told us it was just how a birthmark even when it started spreading but now it covers half her body," her father Li Yan was quoted as saying.
"None of the other children want to play with her, they are calling her cat-girl and are really mean."
Her mother Li Jian said it broke her heart to see her daughter suffer like this.
A surgeon at Zhaoqing City Dermalogical l Hospital in China's Guangdong province said Li Xiaoyuan may have a rare skin disease that makes normal moles run amok.
Dr Lou Zhongquan said laser surgery could have been used if the skin problem was smaller, but there would be a significant chance of post surgery haemorrhage if Li was operated on.
Friday, October 23, 2009
One story I know was true and I remember it. On January 1, 1965, pissed off that he had to work on the holiday, Soupy ended his live broadcast by encouraging kids to tiptoe into their still-sleeping parents' bedrooms and remove those "funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents" from their pants and pocketbooks. "Put them in an envelope and mail them to me," Soupy instructed the children. "And I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico!" Several days later, Soupy announced that money (mostly Monopoly money was unexpectedly being received in the mail. He explained that he had been joking and announced that the contributions would be donated to charity. As parents' complaints increased, station management felt compelled to suspend Sales for two weeks. Young viewers picketed the station. He was a real character.
Police have arrested a hall monitor, Linda Cubano, and charged her with three counts of petty larceny in connection with the thefts.
17-year old Tiana Rapp said she had reported the missing money to school officials, who suspected a student was responsible. But something didn't add up, she said, because the girls' lockers were patrolled by an adult hall monitor.
The criminal struck again a couple of weeks later: That time, Rapp was left $40 poorer.
Initially, Rapp didn't buy the adults' explanation of the thefts, but she did know that her losses had begun to add up.
That's when Rapp and a friend with whom she shared a locker, a girl who also lost $20 in the second theft, devised a plan to catch the thief.
On Monday, the teen sleuths set up a video camera inside a locker, propped it up just so and trained it on the locker containing their belongings.
Sure enough, Rapp said, 12 minutes into the video, it appears that the hall monitor walks by the locker containing Rapp's silver handbag, opens the locker with a master key and begins rifling through it.
The girls showed the video to school officials and a County police detective - who later showed the footage to Cubano, 54, of Selden.
Cubano was charged with three counts of petty larceny after she admitted swiping students' belongings, police said. She was issued a desk ticket. Cubano could not be reached for comment.I can't wait for the NBC series based on this case.
The Kingston Frontenacs hosted a Don Cherry Military Appreciation Night recently and guess who the Frontenacs dressed up as? Well Don Cherry of course.
The Frontenacs wore the Don Cherry hockey jerseys as part of their Military Appreciation Night promotion to honor troops at Kingston's Canadian Forces Base Kingston. Cherry, an avid supporter of the military, was on hand for the annual event. As a tribute to Cherry, each player wore a special jersey that looked like a red plaid blazer complete with a tie and flower in the lapel.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Ontario's already record budget deficit has grown to a staggering $24.7 billion – billions higher than economists expected. That may be a shock to a lot of people but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Keynesian economic theory calls for increased government spending during a recession. The stimulus spending we have witnessed over the past year is exactly what John Maynard Keynes would have recommended if he was alive today. But during recessions government revenues shrink so one would expect a sizable deficit.
Keynes also believed that during strong economic growth, governments should cut back on spending. So essentially governments should be going the opposite direction of the private sector. When the private sector shrinks, government should fill in the void and as the private sector grows, government should slow down. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced today that as the province comes out of the recession, the government will need to make spending cuts which is consistent with Keynesian economics. The only problem is whether this government has the discipline to stick to a plan.
Afterall, this is also the same government that:
- spent $1 billion on a electronic health record system (eHealth) with nothing to show for its efforts.
- operates casinos that haven't made money in the past 3 years.
- has failed to control untendered consulting contracts.
- has been damaged by "insider" wins and lottery sellers collecting a disproportionate share of winnings; in some cases, ripping off customers.
As the result of a Freedom of Information Act request, a list of musical artists whose work was used in controversial interrogation techniques has been acquired.
Some bands, including R.E.M. and Pearl Jam, that may have had their tunes used are not happy about this.
The requests are based on the testimony of former Guantanamo prisoners and guards, as well as declassified documents, that identified music from 35 artists -- ranging from AC/DC tunes to the theme from Sesame Street -- used in the interrogations of detainees, Doyle said. See a list of bands and songs involved (PDF).
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Talk about a bad race layout. The leaders in the Des Moines Marathon this past weekend had to stop running near the finish line because the race route crossed over train tracks - and yes a train was on the tracks.
Simon Sawe was leading fellow countryman David Tuwei by 10 seconds when, after a left turn onto the final stretch, he stared right at a train passing on the road. Tuwei caught Sawe and the two waited ... and waited ... and waited for the train to pass. Third-place Geoffrey Birgen had nearly caught the two leaders when the train finally crossed the street about 40 to 50 seconds later.
A 26.2-mile race came down to a 400-meter sprint, and Sawe used his speed as a former 1,500-meter runner to pull away and win.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Ruby Chinese Restaurant in Scarborough abruptly closed down Monday, almost two weeks after it failed two consecutive health inspections.
Notices in Chinese were posted on the doors of the restaurant early in the day. They said the board of directors was shutting it down and filing for bankruptcy.
The restaurant, which could seat 700 people, opened near Finch and McCowan 17 years ago.
Toronto Public Health officials closed it down on Oct. 7 after it was identified as the source of 22 salmonella infections. It failed a second health test on Oct. 9. Officials cited a dirty floor and a cockroach infestation.
In what appears to be a colossal case of bad timing, the Globe and Mail’s Joanne Kates offered a glowing review of Ruby a full three days after health inspectors had closed it down (see below).
The sudden shut down is quite surprising since the problems cited are not difficult or expensive to resolve. There obviously is more to this that we likely will never be privy to. The lease had been terminated by the landlord for nonpayment. So the owners had to have been more than 2 weeks in arrears.
Toronto sportscaster Rick Ralph has been appearing in a Newmarket courthouse to testify about the separation from his wife Paula Menendez in the fall of 2006 and his relationship with radio sales executive Julie Crocker, both of whom were found murdered in Crocker's Markham home in February of 2007.
On the stand, Ralph told the court he met Little several times, recalling one instance in which Little knocked on the door of a hotel room he was in with Crocker. Ralph also admitted to having spent the night at the Crocker home in the master bedroom and testified, "I was awakened by Chris shaking my feet." His portrayal of Little is that jealous husband who stalked his estranged wife.
Ralph was out of town when the murders took place. When he returned his car had been taken in by police as evidence. It had reportedly been vandalized, the word "suffer" scratched into its roof.
During his first day of testimony Ralph recalled how his “rocky” marriage to Paula Menendez dissolved in the fall of 2006. Soon after, he began dating a colleague, Julie Crocker, Mr. Little’s wife of 10 years. However, Ralph indicated that they when he and his wife finally agreed to split up, it was amicable which doesn't support a murder-suicide.
It should be interesting to see how Little's lawyer, John Rosen, attempts to challenge Ralph's testomony. He will want to lay the groundwork for a theory of the crime that paints Ms. Menendez as a desperate, jealous wife who killed her rival and then in despair hanged herself.
Nothing pisses off taxpayers more than being bribed with their own money. I've always considered the recession has become an excuse to buy the next election using stimulus funds. The fact that much of the money is going to Conservative held riding only reinforces my position. The stimulus funding seems to have morphed into re-election strategy funded by future taxpayers who will be saddled with a huge national debt.
But the vote buying just keeps getting worse and worse. Oversized novelty cheques in hand, Conservative MPs have come to love bragging about the stimulus money they’re spreading around Canada. But while the funds are from the federal government, you might have a hard time knowing as much based on the accompanying photo ops. Those cheques
Take Gerald Keddy, for example. Last month the Conservative MP from Nova Scotia was pictured handing over a $300,000 cheque with a Conservative party logo on it to officials in Chester, N.S. for upgrades to the local rink. It's enough to make former Liberal Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano blush from embarrassment.
Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson will formally investigate complaints over the use of the Conservative party logo and individual names of members of Parliament on cheques that were used to promote government stimulus projects.
When a government uses tax money to promote itself in this manner it’s also undermining our democratic process: This kind of self-promotional activity gives the incumbent party a huge advantage over the Opposition parties. After all, how can Opposition parties, already hobbled by severe restrictions on how much money they can raise, possibly match what the government spends on advertising? But let's face it this practice has been going on since Johnny Mac was Prime Minister. But do the Conservatives have to be so obvious?
The Pentagon is speeding up the deployment of an enormous bomb designed to destroy hidden weapons bunkers buried deep underground, one that would be the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal.
The 13.6-tonne massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) carries about 2,400 kilograms of explosives and is so heavy only one can be carried aboard a B-2 Stealth bomber.The decision to provide further funding suggests the Obama administration is considering the weapon as part of a long-range backup plan if diplomatic efforts fail with countries believed to be pursuing nuclear weapons programs.
Hay Obama! Congratulations on that Nobel Peace Prize. You obviously deserve it.
The 501 Queen streetcar route in Toronto is 24.8 kilometres (15.4 miles) long. It is the TTC's longest surface route, the longest streetcar route operating in Canada, and one of the longest in North America.
This week, the TTC has split the 501 streetcar route, one of its longest routes and the one featured in a National Geographic "Top 10" of the most scenic streetcars rides in the world.
The existing 501 ride which currently moves about 43,500 people a day will be split in half as part of a test run in order to try to address long-standing concerns regarding the quality and timeliness of service along Queen.
Until November 20th, streetcars traveling westbound will turn back at Shaw, and vehicles moving Eastbound will loop back around Parliament. The overlapping section between these two intersections runs a total of 4 km, and stretches across the majority of the downtown core. On weekends, the 501 will operate as it usually does - in one piece.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The child, now aged six, was treated in hospital for what doctors said was an incomplete circumcision and has since made a full recovery. The boy’s father, who subscribes to a religious philosophy that incorporates Hebrew elements, previously tried to circumcise himself and also had to seek medical help.
He learned about circumcision on the Internet and sent away for special instruments. Court heard he put his son on the floor on some clean garbage bags and towels, with Band-Aids and a veterinary powder used to stop bleeding standing by.
The man tried to drug his young son with wine and told him lie still, but he apparently jerked during the procedure, causing the man’s hand to slip while cutting the foreskin.
The man’s lawyer, Doug Christie, told Allan at the outset that he would try to have the case tossed out on constitutional grounds, saying his religious motive negated any criminal intent.
By the way, I'm not sure if it's the same Doug Christie that defended well known racists and Anti-Semites - Ernst Zundel, James Keegstra, Malcolm Ross, John Ross Taylor and Imre Finta.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
You wonder when this story will finally die down. But after CNN dedicates 4 hours of live air time to following an empty balloon, I guess you need to some how justify your previous news coverage.
The whole incident may turn out to be a hoax but it doesn't really matter. Stories like this capture our attention and receive world wide coverage. Back in 1949, a little girl in California fell down a well. As diggers tried to save her, a huge crowd gathered. The rescue attempt, which took several days, was broadcast nationwide on radio -- and followed anxiously on a new medium called television. Kids and danger strike a nerve in the public.
However, the Balloon Boy story shows how much we have changed in 60 years. It's not enough that we could take a collective sigh of relief that 6 year old Falcon was alright. We had to know everything about this family. The father who chases storms and fancies himself a maverick meteorologist -- was too happy to oblige, putting his whole brood in front of CNN, as well as all three network morning shows. It doesn't help that Heene's family took part several times in the lowbrow "Wife Swap" reality show. Or that reports from "people who supposedly know him" suggested he had a temper and was publicity-crazed.
So now people are screaming hoax! I don't know how much of this was manipulated. I do know we live in a world where people have no problems exposing their personal lives in front of cameras. We have become exhibitionists and voyeurs. And because of that everything is suspect.