Saturday, October 30, 2010
A hotel guest starved to death after ordering staff not to disturb him - two weeks before his body was found in his room by a maid. Kieran Toman booked himself a room at the plush Hyde Park Towers Hotel in Bayswater, north London, on July 9 this year and told staff he did not want them to enter his room without permission.
An inquest into 39-year-old Mr Toman's death heard how he was discovered in an 'emaciated' state on July 23 - 14 days after he checked in after a maid noticed an unpleasant smell from his room. Giving evidence at Westminster Coroner's Court last week, Pc Emily-Jane Wells - who was called to the scene - said Mr Toman was found dead in his en-suite bathroom. She said: 'The housekeeper said she was told by a cleaner there was quite a smell coming from the room. 'She had gone to bang on the door, but there was no reply and when she opened the door she found him lying dead in the bathroom.
The inquest heard how Mr Toman had booked the room for a five-month period before his body was found just a fortnight into his stay. Assistant deputy coroner Dr William Dolman said toxicology reports had 'not found anything of note'. Dr Dolman added: 'A solitary man books into a hotel and two weeks later his dead body with signs of decomposition is found in a basement room. He himself had asked not to be disturbed but the head housekeeper had realised something was amiss and had got into the room and the rest of the evidence speaks for itself.'
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Friday, October 29, 2010
In Toronto David Chen and two employees at Lucky Moose Food Market on Dundas St. W. were accused of assault and forcible confinement for chasing down and detaining a man who had returned to the Dundas St. W. store about an hour after stealing a rack of flowers in May 2009.
The Crown contended that Chen used excessive force in catching the thief and throwing him into a van until police arrived. It maintains that Anthony Bennett had not been caught in a criminal act when the citizen’s arrest was made. Now Bennett has a bit of a criminal record with 43 findings of guilty and the longest term he has been sentenced to has been 90 days. As for Chen, he works from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. most days and often sleeps on a cot at the store.
So who are the police protecting?
The case centred on whether Chen went too far by tying up the shoplifter, who had taken $70 worth of plants on display outside Chen’s Chinatown store. In the past police had taken up to 5 hours to respond to theft reports.
The case became a cause célèbre across the country, with many hailing Chen as a hero for taking the law into his own hands against a serial shoplifter when police wouldn’t respond. During the trial the courthouse was packed with many supporters from the Chinese community.
Today David Chen was vindicated when the Judge acquitted him. Judge Ramez Khawly pointed to the “moral cynicism” in Toronto’s Chinese community because of police inaction and inattention.
A judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.
The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.
The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street.
At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident.
But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.
Infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to a 1928 case.
It was quite unfortunate in the manner in which Claire Menagh died. But suing a innocent 4 year old makes a mockery of the justice system that frankly has been taking a beating anyway. Somehow I feel behind every bad lawsuit is a lawyer with a warped sense of justice.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
After accusing his girlfriend of cheating on him, a Nebraska man allegedly tied the woman to a couch in their apartment and waterboarded her, according to police.
Trevor Case, 22, has been charged with domestic assault, false imprisonment, and making terroristic threats in connection with the bizarre incident early Saturday morning at the Lincoln home he shared with the 22-year-old victim.
Police allege that Case stuffed "hospital socks" into Danielle Stallworth's mouth and bound her wrists with belts and hair ties before placing a shirt over her head and dousing it with water, according to a Lincoln Police Department report. “He poured a pitcher of water on her head, and she started freaking out and thought she wasn’t able to breathe,” cops noted.
The waterboarding practice, of course, leaves victims with the sensation that they are drowning.
Can we all agree that waterboarding your girlfriend is never a good thing. Even when she cheats on you. We have to save that kind of stuff for terrorists not your live-in partner.
Does there have to be a subplot to every game? Kessel vs. Seguin when the Bruins are in town? Colton Orr vs. Derek Boorgaard when it's the Rangers? Mikhail Grabovsky vs. Andrei Kostitsyn? Bryan McCabe vs. Leaf fans? The return of Matt Stajan? The media is so annoying.
In order to feed the voracious appetites of Leaf fans, the Toronto media needs to keep feeding us stories. Now it's hard to find interesting stories 365 days in a year. Writing about the latest Tomas Kaberle trade rumours can get pretty redundant. So instead why not keep rehashing trades when ever the players involved play each other? How boring can that get?
This Kessel vs. Seguin thing is really wearing thin. With Kessel only 23 and Seguin a mere 18, we may be stuck hearing about this nonsense for the next 10 years.
Let's get this over with real early. You want to know who won that trade? It's the Bruins because the Leafs always get the short end of trades. Now let's just move on.
n Australian man who exposed his genitals in a pub told police he shouldn't be charged because "he only had a small appendage".
Toowoomba man Timothy Scott Clark dropped his pants in view of patrons of the Southern Hotel on the night of September 9. Several people took photographs, Toowoomba Magistrates was told on Tuesday.
But when police arrived to arrest him he told them he didn’t think he would be charged in the circumstances “as he only had a small appendage”, police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Lewis told the court, according to reports.
Regardless, Clark was charged with drunk and disordely behaviour and, perhaps fearing his evidence wouldn't stand up in court, he failed to appear yesterday. He was fined $300 and no conviction was recorded.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
There are more twists to this crazy story. Randy Quaid and his wife Evi have been released from a Canadian detention facility after she was declared a Canadian citizen.
The Quaids were arrested in a tony Vancouver neighbourhood last week on outstanding U.S. warrants for felony vandalism. During the hearing, Evi Quaid repeatedly said her father was a Canadian FBI agent, a claim she explained later by saying her father was a Canadian who moved to the United States and began working for the FBI.
The pair later appeared at an immigration hearing in which they requested refugee status based on their belief that they were being persecuted by “Hollywood star whackers,” as they put it, and that their lives were in danger.
In the process of doing her eligibility hearing for her refugee claim some of the information that she gave us led authorities to believe that she might actually be a Canadian citizen. Her father was contracted and he forwarded documentation that she is a Canadian citizen. So they withdrew all their proceedings and she can live here, she can work here.
It wasn’t the colour of the money or the chill in the air or the curling on TV. It’s that he wants to be on TV. Once a legend of YouTube, Chris Bosh said that after seven seasons in northland, he was ultimately disheartened by the Raptors’ scarce appearances on the U.S. tube.
“Really, it’s all about being on TV at the end of the day,” the five-time all-star said Tuesday. “Seriously. A guy can average 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds), and nobody really cares. If you don’t see it (on U.S. national TV), then it doesn’t really happen.”
The more Bosh talks about why he left the Raptors the dumber he sounds. This guy needs to shut up. He's gone and no one here cares about him anymore. So the latest reason for leaving Toronto is that his pals back home don't get to see him on their big ass plasma HD TVs. It's no longer about winning a championship or playing with his amigos. Who cares about scoring 30 points if all of America doesn't get to see you do it. Can these athletes possibly be bigger narcissists?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
It was pretty much known that Manny Ramirez wouldn’t be returning to the White Sox in 2011 and now we know where he would like to land instead.
Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com that the Toronto Blue Jays are looking very attractive right now after they hired John Farrell as their new manager. Ramirez and Farrell were together in Boston before Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers in 2008.
"I still have a lot of baseball left in me," Ramirez said. "I think that I can still bat if I keep myself healthy, and it is less probable to have an injury playing as the designated hitter."
Who the hell needs a $20 million DH? I still vividly remember that Frank Thomas mess. We had to pay Thomas not to play. Besides who knows if Manny can still hit after being suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's Performance Enhancing Drug policy for taking human chorionic gonadotropin. The guy is a cancer in the dressing room, has the maturity of a 8 year old and most of the time just goes through the motions.
Consumer Reports have published the results of their Annual Auto Survey and there's good news for General Motors, whose numbers showed considerable improvement. Still, no U.S.-based car makers were able to beat out either Honda or Toyota for reliability.
Leading the way for GM was its Chevrolet brand, which saw 83% of its vehicles receiving average or better scores in predicted reliability. That's a huge uptick from last year's 50% rating.
GM is still lagging behind Ford, which once again was the top domestic car maker. CR's survey of 1.3 million vehicles found that 90% of Fords have at least average reliability. While the car company wasn't able to beat out Honda or Toyota, it did score top marks in two categories: family cars (Fusion Hybrid) and large SUVs (Ford Flex EcoBoost).
Chrysler performed woefully in comparison to its U.S. counterparts, with 12 of the 20 models that CR had sufficient data for rating below average in reliability. None of Chrysler Corporation's models scored above average. However, the magazine does point out that Fiat's acquisition of Chrysler means that many of its products will either be replaced or redesigned in the near future.
Meanwhile, Toyota still reigned supreme over all car makers, in spite of all the recalls in the last year. The world's largest car company earned top scores in five vehicle categories: small cars (Yaris), midsized SUVs (FJ Cruiser), luxury SUVs (Lexus LX), minivans (Sienna V6, FWD), and full-size pickups (Tundra V6). Of all Toyota brands, only the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS and the new Lexus IS 250 convertible scored below average. The redesigned 2010 Toyota Prius, hurt by antilock brake problems on early vehicles, scored only average.
Rob Ford’s victory last night overshadowed what took place in Vaughan. The changes to Vaughan council are quite simply a taxpayers’ revolt. Five out of the nine incumbent members of council are gone including the mayor and two regional councillors.
Former Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua won the mayor’s job in a landslide with a minimal campaign. He was only in the race for 5 weeks although there had been speculation for months that he would run and spent only about $100,000. Yet, he received 60% of the votes and was ahead of the incumbent mayor, Linda Jackson by 35,000 votes.
Jackson still faces 40 municipal election act charges for alleged spending improprieties during that election, with her court case still months away. There was outrage about her expense accounts, including bottles of wine, and her Hummer. In an unprecedented move, even her own council demanded her resignation in 2008.
Racco had waged a largely negative campaign, insisting he was the only one who could free Vaughan from the clutches of developers and the stink of scandal but finished in third place
If there was any satisfaction, it may have been that several city councillors were also unseated by furious voters as were two of the three incumbent regional councillors. Regional Councillors Joyce Frustaglio and Mario Ferri fell on their swords as did Ward ! Councillor Peter Meffe, and Ward 3 Councillor Bernie DiVona (who finished a distant 3rd). DiVona, a 16-year council veteran, is facing trial next year on allegations he overspent his 2006 campaign expense limit and used campaign funds for personal purchases.
Joyce Frustaglio was one of Ms. Jackson's strongest opponents so at the minimum she is guilty of having refused with work Jackson for 4 years. Deb Schulte is a new face, a local engineer who won with her advocacy against expansion of the urban boundary.
Meanwhile, former mayor Michael Di Biase found his way back to Council as one of three regional councillors, earning 20,667 votes despite unresolved election-finance charges against him. The judge in Mr. Di Biase’s case is set to rule in December.
Graham, who says he is 'not obsessive', collected his first piece of fluff on 17 January 1984 while on a backpacking holiday in Australia. He vows to continue until he is no longer capable - and has even considered stuffing a cushion with his collection. He said: 'One evening in Brisbane, when a little bored and under-occupied, I noticed the lint in my navel and started wondering about it. I became curious as to how much of it one person can produce and decided the only way to find out was to collect it for a while and see. I had an empty film canister with me, which became a perfect receptacle.
'That's all there was to it - no obsession or grand plan, just simple curiosity.' Mr Barker said the amount of fluff he collects each day depends on what clothes he has been wearing - with thermal underwear being the most 'productive'. He added: 'I found that having a shower tends to wash away any lint, so the logical time to collect is just before getting in the shower each evening. I turn on the taps then pluck and store while waiting for the water to heat up. The whole process only takes about ten seconds and has become automatic - I don't need to devote much time or attention to it.'
Yeah this guy isn't obsessive. Well other than picking shit out of his belly button every day. I'm guessing this guy has never been with a woman. Can you imagine he's making passionate love to a woman and notices some lint in belly button.
Monday, October 25, 2010
She even has a topless action figure.
Isn't her 15 minutes up yet?
Castellammare di Stabia is trying to be the latest location in Italy to make use of new powers to crack down on what is deemed to be anti-social behaviour.
Mayor Luigi Bobbio said the regulations would help "restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence".
Offenders would face fines of between 25 ($35) and 500 euros ($696).That means a tough new dress code which would effectively outlaw everything from miniskirts to low-cut jeans when people walk around Castellammare di Stabia.
There will also be a ban on sunbathing, playing football in public places, and blasphemy, if the proposals are approved at a council meeting on Monday.
Castellammare di Stabia is latest city to make use of the extra powers handed down by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government to mayors, in the effort to fight crime and confront anti social behaviour.
In other places they have banned sandcastles, kissing in cars, feeding stray cats, wooden clogs and the use of lawn mowers at weekends.
Sandcastle? Wooden clogs? Sunbathing? When did the Taliban take over Italy? In fact why don't you add Italy to list of places I'm not interested in visiting along with Afghanistan, Somalia, Thailand, Sudan, Iran, Haiti, Chechnya, and the Gaza,
Sunday, October 24, 2010
A pet dog has become a local celebrity in China because he prefers to walk upright on his back legs.
Zhou Guanshun, the 18-month-old dog's owner, of Zhumadian, Henan Province, taught his pet to walk on two legs by holding one of its front paws.Each morning, Zhou takes Lu Lu to the nearby Century Square for a walk, where Lu Lu is a celebrity among the morning exercisers who all love him and bring him snacks.
The only teams to make the playoffs with $100+ million payrolls were the Yankees and Phillies and as we know now that wasn't enough to make it to the World Series. This season the teams to make the playoffs were ranked 1, 4, 10 (the Giants), 11, 15, 19, 21, 27th (the Rangers) in highest payrolls.
Yes the 27th highest paid team may win the World Series which is a complete reversal of last season when the highest paid team steamrolled their way to the Series. Meanwhile the near bankrupt Texas Rangers stripped $13 million from the payroll and find themselves in their first World Series.
So it seems that on the surface maybe payroll doesn't matter. Or perhaps it provides a significant advantage although it is just one of may factors that determine the World Series Champions.
When you look at the World Series finalists over a 20 year period (see chart below) you will see that 70% of the time the team with the larger payroll wins the Series. In fact, teams like the Texas Ranger in 2010, Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, Colorado Rockies in 2007 and the Florida Marlins appear to be more the exception than the rule. When the Toronto Blue Jays led baseball in payroll they were World Series Champions. Since they cut their payroll, they haven't even come close to making the playoffs.
So what do you think?
On July 1st 1979 Sony released its first generation Walkman, which set the sights of things to come. The cassette Walkman became a huge hit, from selling only 3,000 players in it’s introduction month, Sony sold close to 200 million different versions of the cassette based Walkman during its 30-year reign on the shelves.
Sony has finally shipped the last consignment of Walkman’s to Japanese retailers back in April, and after these units are sold you will no longer be able to purchase a brand new cassette Walkman through the manufacturer.
I remember it was an impressive device when it was first released. The Cassette Walkman was supplanted by portable CD players, which were replaced by MP3 players. Coincidentally, today is also the iPod's ninth birthday, another iconic music player.
Today's edition of the Toronto Star, normally a terrible newspaper, is actually worth reading for one reason: It was guest edited by the Dalia Lama. Here's a video of His Holiness' thought process while deciding what went into the paper's Sunday edition (front page is above).
Here's a local news station asking the police chief of Costa Mesa, California how the car owner dealt with "the overwhelming stench." (Answer: Her father regularly pooped in the car, so she was "immune to the smell.") The driver had placed a box of baking soda in the car to mask the smell and covered the body with a blanket and some clothes.
The driver told authorities she befriended the homeless woman in a park in nearby Fountain Valley and told her she could sleep in the car. When the driver found the woman dead in the passenger seat, she was afraid to tell police, she said.
I hope the authorities don't spend too much money trying to determine whether this woman is batshit crazy. You don't need a Ph.D. to figure this one out. I can just see the used car salesman trying to unload this car trying to explain the bad smell.