Saturday, February 13, 2010
Last year there were complaints that Canada was restricting access to Olympic venues in order to provide Canadian athletes with an advantage at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Could this have been a factor in the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili? There have been numerous crashes all week long by athletes who may not be familiar enough with the venues.
Training days in Whistler have been crash-filled. A Romanian woman was knocked unconscious and at least four Americans – Chris Mazdzer on Wednesday, Megan Sweeney on Thursday and both Tony Benshoof and Bengt Walden on Friday in the same training session where Zoeggeler wrecked – have had serious trouble just getting down the track.
Kumaritashvili is the fourth competitor to die at the Winter Games, all in training, and the first since 1992.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Felony snowball throwing charges have been leveled against two Virginia college students for allegedly pelting a city plow and an undercover police car during Saturday's blizzard. Charles Gill and Ryan Knight, both 21, were nabbed by cops in Harrisonburg, where they attend James Madison University. According to police, the pair first targeted a city plow last Saturday afternoon. The driver responded by calling cops to report the frosty fusillade. When police responded to the scene in a bid to identify the assailants, their unmarked vehicle also came under an icy assault, according to a Harrisonburg Police Department press release. Gill and Knight, a guard on JMU's basketball team, were then apprehended and booked into jail for throwing missiles at occupied vehicles, a felony. Gill (top) and Knight are pictured below in Rockingham County Sheriff's Office mug shots. If convicted of the felonious snowball tossing, the men each face between one and five years in prison, and a maximum $2,500 fine.
Donna McPherson says she tied up Lexie, her 10-year-old Westie, in front of Ace Supermarket "for two minutes" so she could buy milk.
When she returned, his $25 green wool coat with leather trim and belt was gone.
Fortunately, she said, Lexie wasn't wearing his pricier Burberry.
"How could anyone steal a coat off someone's back in the freezing cold?" McPherson said. "I asked him, 'Where's your coat?' like he could answer me. I looked all over and could not find it."
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Adam Giambrone's sex life was not the reason why he shut down his campaign. Many politicians have had worse scandals and pushed on. About a decade ago Mel Lastman revealed he had two illegitimate children. You just have to come clean and move on.
But Giambrone didn't do that. At least not soon enough. He originally admitted to only one relationship but a day later admitted that were others. The delay suggests that he likely didn't come clean with his political handlers. With heavyweights like Robin Sears and John Laschinger in your corner, you have to trust their judgment. I would guess that would have asked immediately if there were more skeletons in his closet. He likely said no. Then later came clean but it was too late. His credibility was shot and so was theirs. A lot of big hitters were backing his candidacy and my guess is they were about to jump ship. With 10 months to go they could find another candidate to hook their wagons to. When they leave so does the money which is the lifeline of political campaigns.
At that point Giambrone was toast.
The British girl from Worthing, West Sussex, has a rare condition called Sleeping Beauty Sickness, but there’s no Prince Charming on the way to rescue her. Doctors don’t know what causes it or how to cure it — only that it strikes teenagers and goes away by itself after eight to 12 years.
Until it goes away, life is groggy ever after.
Louisa’s mum, Lottie, said that the girl had flulike symptoms just over a year ago. Shortly afterward, she had her first bout of extended sleeping.
She was eventually diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, whose victims worldwide may number no more than 1,000. The victims live normally for weeks or months at a time, with normal sleep patterns and normal energy levels. Then, with little warning, they’ll go to sleep for days or weeks at a time. So far, Louisa’s longest bout in bed has been 13 days.
An Arab ambassador called off his wedding after discovering his wife-to-be, who had worn a face-covering veil whenever they met, was bearded and cross-eyed, the UAE newspaper Gulf News reported Wednesday.
The envoy had only met the woman a few times, during which she had hidden her face behind a niqab, or face-covering veil, the paper said.
After the marriage contract was signed, the ambassador attempted to kiss his bride-to-be, upon which he discovered she had facial hair and was cross-eyed, it said.
The ambassador told an Islamic Sharia court in the United Arab Emirates that he was tricked into the marriage, as the woman's mother had shown his own mother pictures of her sister instead of her, the report said.
He sued for the contract to be annulled and also demanded the woman pay him 500,000 dirhams (US $136,000) for clothes, jewelry and other gifts he had bought her.
The court annulled the contract but rejected the ambassador's demand for compensation.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
A new supervisor at the Jewish Theological Seminary allegedly made life a smelly hell for a longtime employee by emitting "constant barrages of . . . flatulence" in her work area, a lawsuit claims.
The woman who's suing, Roberta Feinsmith, 67, got glowing reviews in her 12 years as an executive assistant at the Morningside Heights institution - until Alan Cooper was hired as provost in 2007, according to the suit, filed in Manhattan. Cooper the gasbag also had daily yelling and cursing "fits," Feinsmith claims.
The Fair Lawn, NJ, resident repeatedly objected, then caught wind of a bigger problem. Cooper, she learned, sent a mass e-mail last May to the school's full-time staff advocating that older workers put themselves out to pasture.
Baby boomers, he wrote "have created a kind of bottleneck in the work world. The frustration this poses for the young and talented should be obvious." He fired Feinsmith the next day.
Giambrone's interest in the TTC is only to use it as a vehicle to advance his political career. I guess similar to how he views his girlfriend Sarah McQuarrie. But somehow the concept of public service does not really resonate with politicians like Giambrone. It's about keeping his name in the news. It's about attaining power. But he is an "empty suit." Just look at his embarrassing campaign video on YouTube.
He's just not qualified for the job of mayor. Now to the "sex scandal". Many people may not care. Afterall he isn't married so this affair is not the same as those carried out by Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton or John Edwards. Why should we care what Giambrone does in his bedroom (or the couch in his office)?
Well it says a lot about his judgment, his penchant to manipulate and use people, his integrity. All these things should be very important to voters. Lucas' story raises some uncomfortable questions about whether he was really telling the whole truth to this young girl regarding his relationship with McQuarrie. Lucas is obviously no young innocent and may be as manipulative as the TTC chair. But she's not running for mayor.
I don't think even political guru John Laschinger can save Giambrone. Nor should he even try.
Fortunately a few cooler heads have prevailed and note quite correctly that all this commentary is taking place in a vacuum. The Williams family has said next to nothing about the circumstances that lead to the Premier leaving the province.
There are potentially a lot of reasons why he would get surgery in the U.S. including that the procedure he required isn't available in Newfoundland. For those who haven't been to the beautiful province, it is rather remote out there in Atlantic Ocean. There only about 500,000 people living in the province and its largest city has only 100,000 residents. There are a lot of things available in British Columbia, Ontario or Quebec that you can't get in Newfoundland.
If you need to leave the island for some urgently required services, what's the difference if you fly out to Toronto or Boston? That's the reality of living on the "Rock". But we don't really know the circumstances so let's just leave it at that. You can't condemn the entire Canadian publicly-funded system over one case just as you wouldn't condemn the American system because one woman dies in a New York hospital emergency room after sitting there for almost 24 hours.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Your suffering may finally be over, fast food fiends. No more awkwardly torn ketchup packets and tomato-soaked fingers. No more dipping your fries into a dollop of ketchup on a napkin or burger wrapper. NO. Heinz has introduced the ketchup packet 2.0, and the future looks...well, remarkably like the containers of McNugget dipping sauces McDonald's has been using since the '80s. But it's still an improvement.
This bold technological breakthrough took a lot of research.
Heinz struggled for years to develop a container that lets diners dip or squeeze, and to produce it at a cost acceptable to its restaurant customers.
"The packet has long been the bane of our consumers," said Dave Ciesinski, vice president of Heinz Ketchup. "The biggest complaint is there is no way to dip and eat it on-the-go."
A GI waterboarded his 4-year-old daughter in their suburban Tacoma, Wash., home because she couldn't recite the alphabet, police reported.
Joshua Tabor, 27, allegedly admitted to police he used the torture technique because his daughter was terrified of water and he was furious she didn't know her ABCs.
Tabor was arrested Sunday and charged with assault of a child.
Tabor, a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Wash., told police he held the little girl's head backward in a sink of water, Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil told the the local newspaper, the Nisqually Valley News.
Stancil said Tabor had admitted to using this means of punishment three to four times.
Police found the little girl locked in a bathroom with bruises on her back and scratch marks on her neck and throat.
Asked how she got the bruises, the girl is said to have replied, "Daddy did it."
Cops arrested Tabor after neighborhood residents reported him walking around his neighborhood drunk, wearing a Kevlar Army helmet and threatening to break windows.