Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cats and dogs singing 'Silent Night'

Yu Darvish can pitch but is he worth the money?

Daisuke Matsuzaka cost the Red Sox north or $100 million and the overall assessment is that he was a bust. Just didn't live up to the hype. George Steinbrenner, only managed 514 major-league innings. Kei Igawa, who despite the US$50-million invested in him between the posting fee and contract. There are some big dollar risks here.

Darvish has a sparkling 1.99 ERA in seven seasons in Japan, has thrown for more than 200 innings in a season four times already and is five inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than Dice-K — sturdy enough, in other words, he may not be as susceptible to a imminent breakdown.

The word leaking out is that the Blue Jays won the bidding for Darvish with a bid of $48 million.

Stay tuned.

Red neck Christmas tree week

Toddlers banned from making hand signs to 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'

The children were making the sign with their hands to indicate a twinkling star as they sang along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, when staff asked them to use a different gesture - prompting a furious response from one parent.

The disgruntled mother said: "It seems a little politically correct. These are innocent little children just making a sign to show a star. No-one would give it a second thought. Now every parent may worry their child may be making an offensive gesture when they're singing this song."

A spokeswoman for City of York Council, who are responsible for the Sure Start mother and toddler group in Acomb, York, denied it was a case of political correctness, insisting it was more "a sensible decision taken to prevent deaf children or deaf parents being offended by the use of the gesture".

She added that staff at the Sure Start group had been on a sign language course at which they were advised that the "star" gesture was very similar to the sign used for female genitalia.


How would you hide 204kg of cocaine?


Disguising the stash as flour or washing-up powder appears to be a little too old school for South American drug-runners – with the new method of choice being to wrap their blocks in Swastikas.

A van carrying 204kg of cocaine in brick-type moulds plastered with the Nazi stamp is the latest bust, as authorities attempt to stamp down on the raging drug trade.

The branding destroyed all chances of the smugglers making it safely to a farm to have the drugs cut, with Special Counter-Narcotics Police Force (Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotrafico – FELCN) intercepting the van in the town of Warnes.

The driver was arrested by authorities at the scene.


Woman gets into Christmas spirit, attacks ex-boyfriend with antlers

He figured it was his house too, so when Terry Nowakowski's ex-girlfriend locked him out Tuesday afternoon, he decided to break down the door.

When he stepped inside, authorities said, he was greeted with antlers.

His ex-girlfriend, Chelsea Harrison, armed herself with a mounted deer head and "began striking him in the face and body with the ends of the antlers until she lost her grip dropping it to the floor," a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states. Nowakowski, 20, managed to flee and call for help.

He told deputies he and Harrison, 23, are broken up, but have a 3-year-old daughter together. They both own the home at 4129 Loury Drive in Zephyrhills, so they live at the same residence for financial reasons and "for the good of the child," the report states. Their daughter witnessed the fight, authorities said.

The argument started when Nowakowski walked outside and called his current girlfriend "which he believes angered Chelsea," the report states.

Nowakowski said Harrison locked the door, so he tried to get inside by removing a screen. When he poked his head inside the window, he said, Harrison punched him in the face.

That's when he decided to break down the door.

His face was swollen and cut from the alleged antler attack. Harrison denied the accusation.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Flashback Friday - Pat Benatar

First he ruined music, now Canada

Bad Christmas sweater week

Robbers want only iPhones, no BlackBerries

Picky Prowlers Only Want iPhones

A pair of would-be robbers targeting Columbia students in upper Manhattan seem to be rather picky as they prowl.

Twice at 526 114th St., and once at 556 114th St., the suspects demanded the victims hand over their iPhones, police said.

The first victim complied, but the second only had a Droid, according to police. The thieves apparently didn't want a Droid -- so they took cash instead.

The third victim also didn't have an iPhone, but the men allegedly refused to believe her and threw her against a fence to search her.

"I think it speaks to the resale value of an iPhone," one student on the Columbia campus said.

In each case, the suspects got away. Police hope someone will recognize them in a newly released surveillance video.

The frightening encounters may be the talk of the campus, but students said they were caught somewhere between amusement and alarm.

"It's insulting they don't want my BlackBerry," said a female student.

"I don't like mine," said another student. "I'm waiting to get an iPhone myself."

Could things get much worse for RIM. Muggers will no longer steal your Blackberry and victims are almost begging thieves to take their Blackberry so they can replace it with an iPhone. Going to be a lot of unemployed people in Waterloo, Ontario in 2012.


Mike Millbury charged with assaulting 12 year old during hockey game

I couldn't resist this post. The guy is a nightmare. A annoying Don Cherry wannabee who was a bully on the ice, in the TV studio and obviously now even behind the bench during kids games.

Chinese fugitive plays a cop on TV for 13 years

A Chinese actor who played a detective in a television drama has been arrested after spending 13 years on the run from the police.

Ji Siguang is accused of attacking a policeman in the city of Qiqihar in northern China with three other men. The officer's gun was stolen during the assault.

Since then, Mr Ji is alleged to have gone on the run, changed his name to Zhang Guofeng, and built a career as one of China's most successful character actors.

He has appeared in more than 30 television dramas, including a hugely popular series named Lurk in 2009.

Mr Ji was finally tracked by police in southern China where he was filming a new costume drama named Shaolin Tigers in which he portrays a Buddhist monk.

He has reportedly admitted his involvement in the 1998 assault and confessed he had always been scared he would be recognised.

Incredible story. In a country of 1.4 billion it's easy to get lost in the crowd so you would think that a fugitive of justice could easily blend in the crowd. But you would think that if that crook decided to go on TV, he would easily be detected.


I want this domesticated penguin

I hate shootouts but you still have to admire this goal

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A competition for insomniacs - World Watching Paint Dry Championships

Apparently the most boring thing to do is watch paint dry so what better test of endurance and concentration than the World Watching Paint Dry Championships, which are due to be held in the UK next year. Those looking to compete in the championships must send in a picture of themselves watching paint dry and state the longest time they’ve managed to stare at a wall of drying paint without looking away.

They will also need to tell organisers what their favourite colour is and why. A shortlist will then be drawn up and those contestants will be invited to attend an ultimate final in front of media at a location in central England.

The final stare down will see six paint watchers from around the world fight it out for the international title and an iPad. A spokesman for the organisers said: 'We’ve all heard the phrase, "I’d rather watch paint dry" and so we have decided the time has come to give people the chance to do so, for as long as they can bear.

'You don’t need to be physically fit or participate in a vigorous training regime, what’s more important is mental strength, concentration and endurance. Previous paint-watching experience isn’t essential, but a bit of practice might help prepare contestants for the mammoth task ahead of them.'

Not sure what would be worse being a competitor or part of the audience. Let's just say you wouldn't feel relunctant to take a pee break. It's not like you're going to miss any of the action. What if you were a competitor and in the heat of the battle you suffered a stroke. Who would notice? In fact the stroke victim would have a unfair advantage.


Bad Christmas sweater week

Mohammad Shafia reminds me of Karla Homolka

Homolka and Paul Bernardo, her husband and partner-in-crime, were arrested in 1993. In 1995, Bernardo was convicted of the two teenagers' murders and received life in prison, the full maximum sentence allowed in Canada. Homolka struck a deal with prosecutors who believed that she was an unwilling participant for a reduced prison sentence of 12 years in exchange for a guilty plea for manslaughter. However, videotapes of the crimes later surfaced and demonstrated that she was a more active participant than she had claimed.

During the summer of 1990, Bernardo became obsessed with Karla's younger sister Tammy, and told Karla that if she really loved him she would let him deflower the girl. Homolka agreed and stole the anesthetic agent halothane from the Martindale Veterinarian Clinic where she worked. On 23 December 1990, "after a Homolka family Christmas party, Bernardo and Karla Homolka drugged Tammy Homolka with the animal tranquilizers. Bernardo and Karla Homolka raped Tammy while she was unconscious. Tammy later choked on her own vomit and died.

Can you think of a more heinous act then participating in the rape and death of your own sister? Which brings me to Mohammad Shafia who is accused of killing three daughters and a wife to save the family's honour. Both Homolka and Shafia were instrumental in the death of family members showing no remorse. In both cases they were able to rationalize the deaths in their mind while denying involvement. Both cases garnered considerable attention because of the uniqueness of the crimes and the callousness of the accused.

I want one of these whining baby rhinoceroses

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can you pass Anger Management classes if you stabbed someone in class?

A woman in an anger management class stabbed her classmate in the neck during an argument about a “Dr. Phil” show, according to a civil suit filed in Oregon’s King County Superior Court. Luna Oraivej, 37, is suing Court Services Institute, a company that provides court-mandated anger management classes, for doing “nothing to intervene or de-escalate the violent confrontation” in a class that left her “terrified and bleeding,” according to legal documents obtained by Courthouse News. Oraivej alleges that her classmate, Faribah Maradiaga, walked into the session late — despite Court Services Institute policies barring the admittance of tardy students — and began to loudly criticize a “Dr. Phil” tape that instructor Eric Leberg was playing. When Oraivej defended the “Dr. Phil” video and asked Maradiaga to “give it a chance,” her classmate snapped, the suit alleges. With Leberg looking on, Maradiaga allegedly approached Oraivej’s seat, pulled out a blade and “swung the knife four times … aiming for her neck.”


Bad Christmas sweater week

Hump day hottie

Selena Gomez

Gasp! Skyscraper design looks like collapsing twin towers

A South Korean developer says it will not alter the design of a twin-tower project despite complaints in the United States that it mimics the explosions at New York's World Trade Centre in 2001. The towers, one with 54 floors and the other with 60, are designed by Dutch architects MVRDV and will be built at the entrance to Seoul’s redeveloped Yongsan business district by 2016.

towers will be connected midway up by a cloud-shaped bridging section that will house amenities including sky lounges, a swimming pool and restaurants. But families of victims of the 9/11 attacks see a marked resemblance between the project known as The Cloud and the clouds of debris that billowed from the World Trade Centre after hijacked airliners ploughed into the towers.

"Allegations that it [the design] was inspired by the 9/11 attacks are groundless," said White Paik, spokesman for the Yongsan Development Corporation. "There will be no revision or change in our project," he said, adding that construction would begin in January 2013 as scheduled. MVRDV said it "regrets deeply" any painful connotations.

"It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process," it said in a statement. "We sincerely apologise to anyone whose feelings we have hurt," it added. Jim Riches, a retired New York deputy fire chief whose son was killed on 9/11, said he did not believe the architects. "It looks just like the towers imploding," he said. "I think they’re trying to sensationalise it. It’s a cheap way to get publicity.”


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is why I always bring a book to read on the subway

Bad Christmas sweater week

Naked Santas world record

It's not illegal to be nude in San Francisco (lewd is, of course, another matter). So it wouldn't be Christmas without an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the most naked Santas in one place, at Washington Square Park in San Francisco. No word on when the record is actually ratified.

While in Toronto we just had the annual Santa Speedo Run.

Couple hire mountain rescuer to save toy frog in Alps

A mountain rescuer says he was hired by a German couple to look for their toy frog that had tumbled from a 2000-metre peak in the Austrian Alps.

After an eight-hour search costing Doris and Juergen Bellmann $560, the cuddly green toy, something of a lucky charm for the couple from near Munich, was found, rescuer Markus Fleischmann told AFP.

"It wasn't that dangerous a mission and, it being off-season, I had nothing better to do," he said.

Doris Bellmann, 53, told the Heute newspaper that she was taking a photograph of her engineer husband and the frog on top of the 2192-metre Hinteren Goinger Halt peak in the Austrian state of Tyrol last month.

Her husband, 54, then slipped. He was able to hang on and get back up again, but the frog tumbled to the depths below.

"We spent two days looking and went home very sad," she said.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Definitely lacks imagination

Bad Christmas sweater week

Man publishes fake obituary for his mom to get time off work

A Pennsylvania man published an obituary for his still-living mother in an attempt to get paid bereavement time off from work, authorities say.

Relatives called The Jeffersonian Democrat newspaper in Brookville, Pennsylvania, after the obituary appeared to report that the woman was actually alive and well and to underscore that, the woman visited the paper, too.

Brookville police charged Scott Bennett, 45, with disorderly conduct on Tuesday. Democrat editor Randy Bartley says he accepted the obituary in good faith after he was unable to confirm the funeral arrangements at press time.

He said the woman was very understanding. Police Chief Ken Dworek says Bennett wrote up the memorial notice because he didn't want to get fired for taking time off.