Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Protection For Ontario: "the Sale of Goods Act says that merchandise must be fit for the intended purpose".

I came across this on Ellen Roseman's "On Your Side" blog (here: Roseman article in Jan 30 2011 Star

Apparently, "the Sale of Goods Act says that merchandise must be fit for the intended purpose".

To Summarize if you buy something, then find out that it doesn't work right, you are entitled to a refund, regardless of the store "policy" about returns. They shouldn't have sold it to you in the first place.

The act is here: Ontario - Sale of Goods Act :

It says (in part), "there is an implied condition that the goods will be of merchantable quality".

Regarding store policies: "An express warranty or condition does not negative a warranty or condition implied by this Act".

And this just won't comply with the Act "Sorry, we aren't responsible 'cause we aren't the manufacturer". The Act says, "whether the seller is the manufacturer or not".

Roseman's Article

Mayor Hazel Turns 90 - Mississauga Has Flourished Because Of Hazel!

Kate Allen
Staff Reporter

Hazel McCallion didn’t want to talk about her recent scolding during an ongoing inquiry into conflict-of-interest allegations. That was just as well, since none of the Mississaugans packed eight rows deep to see their mayor seemed to be interested.

They weren’t there to demand accountability — they were there for the giant bun.

Mississauga’s Square One mall was the site of a fawning bash on Saturday that was meant to serve as both an early celebration of McCallion’s 90th birthday, actually on Feb. 14, and Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 3.

Sporting the chain of office and tapping her feet jauntily, McCallion occupied the seat of honour as men in Chinese dragon costumes cavorted and bowed before her and an opera singer flown in from Hong Kong led the crowd in “Happy Birthday.”

In place of a cake, McCallion sliced into a massive Chinese bun symbolizing longevity. One presenter at the event, paid for by Square One, called her “the most popular mayor in the whole wide world.”

The festivities were a significant departure from the recent proceedings of a judicial inquiry into McCallion’s promotion of a land deal brokered by her son that would have brought a convention centre-hotel development to downtown Mississauga. In a written submission released Thursday, city lawyer Clifford Lax blasted her involvement “inappropriate” and “unbecoming of an elected official.”

McCallion refused to comment on Lax’s submission after the celebration. “You can’t get it out of me,” she responded to repeated questioning.

But in comments to the crowd, McCallion referred obliquely to the controversy.

“It’s my prayer that in spite of the failure of us getting a convention centre — which I tried so hard to get, and I’ve taken a lot of flak because of it — I want you to know that we’re going to work hard to get (one) in the city core.”

Asked whether events like Saturday’s bash prove that dirt has trouble sticking to the matriarch of Mississauga, former councillor Carolyn Parrish, who was defeated in last October’s election after spearheading the push for an inquiry into the land deal, insists that McCallion’s popularity is eroding.

But, she said, “Some of the community groups have worshipped Hazel’s shrine for so long, they can’t stop now…. there will always people who say, ‘Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter what happened, to me she’s the queen.’”

Elected to her twelfth term in October, McCallion has been serving as Mississauga’s mayor for over a third of a century, often with overwhelming support.

Fissures only began to appear in the McCallion monolith in 2009, when Parrish and a group of breakaway councillors successfully pushed for a conflict-of-interest inquiry. Yet in October, McCallion was elected with 76 per cent of the vote.

Justice Douglas Cunningham, head of the inquiry, will announce his findings in the coming weeks.


Thiefs steal from armless musician- Toronto

Saturday, January 29, 2011

No meat in taco's lawsuit USA

SAN FRANCISCO - Taco Bell Corp is pushing back against a lawsuit that claims the fast food chain’s “seasoned ground beef” is not all it’s made out to be.

Taco Bell, a Yum Brands Inc subsidiary, said that it plans to take legal action against the “false statements” being made about its food. The chain operates, manages or franchises more than 5,600 locations in the United States, according to the lawsuit.

Taco Bell’s tacos, burritos and other Mexican menu items advertised with beef actually contain a filling of mostly non-meat substances like “isolated oat product,” according to the lawsuit filed last week in a California federal court.

“The ‘chicken’ and ‘carne asada steak’ served by Taco Bell is, in fact, chicken or carne asada steak,” the lawsuit says. “The ‘seasoned beef,’ however, is not beef.”

Taco Bell simmers 100% U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected beef in a “proprietary blend of seasonings and spices” to give it a signature taste and texture, Taco Bell President Greg Creed said in a statement.

All seasoning ingredients are listed on the website, he said.

“Unfortunately, the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later — and got their ‘facts’ absolutely wrong,” Creed said.

Dee Miles, who represents the plaintiff, said Taco Bell calls its product “taco meat filling” inside the company, but beef to customers.

“We’re going to move forward and I believe we’re going to be successful,” Miles said.

The proposed class action lawsuit asks Taco Bell to stop misrepresenting its products and engage in a corrective advertising campaign. It also seeks attorneys’ fees and costs.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Central District of California is Amanda Obney v. Taco Bell Corp., 11-00101.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Urban Legend Case : The Lawyer And His Cigars


This took place in Charlotte , North Carolina .
A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then
insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great
cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of
small fires.'

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that
the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued and WON!

(Stay with me.)

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that
the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer
held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the
cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them
against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable
'fire' and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance
company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his
loss of the cigars that perished in the 'fires'.


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him
arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and
testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was
convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was
sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award

  1. Lawyer Commits Insurance Fraud With Box of Cigars? -

    4 Feb 2003 ... 25, 2005. We read or hear daily of unscrupulous folks benefitting ... The lawyer sued....and won! In delivering the ruling the judge ... This is a true story and was the 1st place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest. ... There is no such thing as the "Criminal Lawyers Award Contest" ... - Cached - Similar
  2. Burned Cigars Insurance Claim Hoax

    Last updated: 5th November 2010. First published: 19th August 2008 ... Subject: FW: BEST LAWYER STORY OF THE YEAR - Only in America ... This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest! ... Incidentally, the "Criminal Lawyers Award Contest" does not appear to exist. ... - Cached - Similar
  3. Up in Smoke! (The Cigar Arsonist) - Urban Legends

    The lawyer sued.... and won! In delivering the ruling the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. ... This is a true story and was the 1st place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest. ... Fantastic Tales Guardian (UK), 15 Oct. 2002. Last updated: 09/13/07 ... - Cached - Similar
  4. This Is A True Story!!! Must read [Archive] - David Icke's ...

    7 posts - 6 authors - Last post: 18 Feb 2009
    This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award contest. Souce from ... › ... › Main ForumsGeneral - Cached
  5. Lawyer story/joke/it's safe [Archive] -

    9 posts - 6 authors - Last post: 23 Mar 2009
    This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award contest. You don't really believe that, do you? ... - Cached

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Strange But True...

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates....

1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 ....

NOW go figure this out.... take the last 2 digits of the year you were born, plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL .... 111


Monday, January 24, 2011

Fitness guru Jack LaLanne dies at 96

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By Elizabeth Weise and Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY

Leaders of the fitness world are remembering Jack LaLanne, who died Sunday at age 96, as a pioneer who set an example all his life that inspired people of all ages.

LaLanne, widely considered the founding father of the fitness movement in this country, preached strength training and healthy eating long before it was fashionable.

He had a fine singing voice and would often burst into song around Elaine, his wife of 51 years, singing an old standard from World War I.

On Sunday, it was Elaine who sang to him: "If I were the only girl in the world and you were the only boy. Nothing else would matter in the world today. We could go on loving in the same old way."

"I sang it to him," Elaine told USA TODAY on Monday, "and he smiled, and it wasn't that much longer before he passed away."

LaLanne's syndicated exercise show aired on television from 1951 to 1984. For many Americans, it was their introduction to the idea of eating right and staying fit.

Jane Fonda recalls the iconic show well. "His two white German shepherds wandering in and out, the one-piece signature jump suit that hugged his to-the-end muscular, perfectly proportioned body and viewer-friendly, sweet persona, made American people — mostly men at that time — view fitness as something attainable for anyone willing to put in the time with Jack. I liked and admired him very much."

Russell Pate, an exercise researcher at the University of South Carolina-Columbia, says: "In the course of his very long career, Jack LaLanne motivated millions of Americans to increase their physical activity and fitness. He was a remarkable role model, and he personally demonstrated that it is possible to maintain a very high level of fitness well into advanced age.

"As boomers begin turning 65, I hope that many have learned from Jack LaLanne's inspiring example."

Fitness expert Donna Richardson Joyner, a member of The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, says, "He was the pioneer of fitness and health. Because of his vision, love, passion and commitment to fitness and health, he inspired myself and people around the world to take care of our bodies and live better lives.

"Jack paved the way for those of us following in his footsteps by bringing the importance of personal health and physical fitness to the foreground of pop culture. His legacy will live forever. "

LaLanne, appearing on his show in his trademark tight-fitting jumpsuit, was groundbreaking. He was honest about weight and health, always telling viewers that you had to use up as many calories as you took in. His patter as he counted out each leg lift, curl and tuck was part old-time preacher and part carnival barker.

"You've got to work at living. Ninety-nine and nine-tenths of Americans work at dying!" he told viewers. "You've got to eat right, exercise and have goals and challenges. Exercise is king; nutrition is queen. Put 'em together and you've got a kingdom!"

LaLanne was "a weak, sickly child" who gorged on cakes, cookies and pies, he told USA TODAY in 2004 when he turned 90. In 1929, he said, at the age of 15, he had the experience that changed his life. A resident of Berkeley, Calif., he went to hear a lecture about nutrition by Paul Bragg, who "pounded up and down the stage. He had all this energy I wanted," LaLanne said.

Bragg urged his audience to eat only natural, unprocessed foods, something LaLanne took up with a vengeance. "I actually got on my knees and I said, 'Dear God, give me the willpower to refrain from eating these foods that are killing me!' " he said.

At the end of two weeks, he said, he felt "like an entirely different human being."

He went from being the butt of jokes to captain of his high school football team and took up bodybuilding, entering competitions. He started his own gym in 1936 in Oakland A precursor of the modern health club, it included a health-food store and a juice bar.

He was "way ahead of his time on multiple fronts — the value of exercise for health, keeping it simple, the importance of exercise in maintaining quality of life, and he appreciated the importance of weight-lifting in maintaining muscle and health as we age," says exercise researcher Tim Church, director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

"He was the perfect example of what we call squaring the curve — leading an active and fulfilling life to the very end."

Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University, agrees. She was the vice chair of the committee that wrote the government's current guidelines on physical activity.

"He was a wonderful renegade," she says. "I love that he pushed boundaries. He made people believe in themselves and realize that they underestimate their potential. He made people feel strong.

"He was the pioneer of fitness and health. Because of his vision, love, passion and commitment to fitness and health, he inspired myself and people around the world to take care of our bodies and live better lives. Jack paved the way for those of us following in his footsteps by bringing the importance of personal health and physical fitness to the foreground of pop culture. His legacy will live forever. "

When he was 81, LaLanne told USA TODAY, "I feel no different now than I did when I was 21. I'm so into what I'm doing, helping people. I'm in as good shape as I was back then. It's amazing how long one can keep going if one wants to.

"Fitness starts between your ears," he said. "You have to figure out what you want and then go ahead and do it. Your body is your slave. So many people retire when they get to 55, 60. They send a message to 70 trillion cells, 'Hey, we're going to take it easy.' They don't burn the calories they used to. And they're going to get fat.

Even at that age, LaLanne kept up a challenging exercise schedule. "I spend two hours a day exercising. But the average person can do half an hour three or four times a week.. .. I lift weights for at least an hour. And I spend another hour swimming or doing other exercises in the water. It's all very vigorous."

He said he changed his program every three or four weeks. "You have 640 muscles, and they all need their share of work," he said. "If you don't exercise on a regular basis, it's like going to bed with a rattlesnake: It's going to get you."

The LaLannes were involved in various business pursuits ranging from vitamins to an exercise program for seniors called Better Balance for Life to the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.

While older Americans remember him from his exercise show, for many younger Americans the couple's infomercials are their connection to LaLanne.

Elaine says she and the couple's children, Dan, Jon and Yvonne, plan to keep the business going. "We've got a lot of irons in the fire, and just because he's gone doesn't mean he's going to stop."

Their son Dan also is has a cartoon about Jack LaLanne's story in the works. It's in pilot production now, Elaine says.

LaLanne died at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at his home in Morro Bay, Calif., with his family around him, she says.

"On Friday he felt that something was wrong with his breathing," and tests at the hospital showed he had pneumonia, she says. "So we brought him home and they tried everything, but it didn't work."

The family is planning a funeral in Los Angeles for the first or second week in February. "I'm kind of waiting for Arnold's schedule, he wants to do one of the eulogies," Elaine says of California's former governor and body builder, Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Arnold loved Jack. He called and talked to me a long, long time" Sunday night.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CBS FIRES AJ COOK Over Money Criminal Minds

CBS decided it was time to, in their words "refresh" the veteran show. AJ Cook's contract option was not picked up at all thus firing her and Paget Brewster's role was reduced to a lesser number of episodes for the upcoming season. Cook negotiated to come back for 2 episodes (which finished flming yesterday) so she could bring closure to her JJ character, while Brewster renegotiated her contract so that she will appear in 10 out of 13 which transltes into her appearing 17 episodes out of the overall 22 or 23 that this season will have. She will still remain in theopening credits and retain her "regular cast member" status. Brewster later stated via her twitter page that while she will be back, this will be her last season on the show. CBS described their decision to do this as "creative reasons" one in their effort to, again "refresh" the show. CBS also stated that a new female FBI agent will be introduced later in the season as a recurring character with the possibility of her becoming a regular cast member.

All of the cast, with exception of Shemar Moore who does not have a twitter account, voiced their displeasure and shock at CBS's decision and have stood by Brewster and Cook throughout all this. Ed Bernero has stated he did and does not agree with the network's decision but he has no say or control over the actor's contracts as both Cook and Brewster are employed by CBS while he is employed by ABC who co-owns the show with CBS.

CBS stated it had nothing to do with money and everything to do with taking the show in another direction. However, many fans believe the complete opposite and Brewster stated on her twitter page that "creative reasons" has always been a bullsh*t executive excuse b/c it is and always is about money.

Fans started a petition ( ) which currently has 47,000 plus signatures and continues to grow. Even though CBS has stood firm on their decision to fire and reduce these two women fans conintue to sign the petition, urge people to continue spreading the word and getting others to sign.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Repeal or not to repeal healthcare. The facts are clear

Jan 19, 2011 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)

The future of health care reform repeal
By Ed Hornick, CNN

Washington (CNN) -- Republicans have put the wheels in motion to try to repeal President Obama's health care reform law. CNN breaks down the issue and the efforts' future.

What's behind the push for repeal?

Simple: It's a campaign promise that House Republicans are trying to honor.

During the runup to the midterm elections, Republicans campaigned heavily on repealing and replacing the law. They cited the "will of the people" -- noting that voters, especially members of the Tea Party movement, overwhelmingly rejected the Democrats' policies.

After their historic gains in the midterms, Republicans now control the House and hold a large number of seats in the Senate, and they are living up to that promise. The GOP has been saying that the law as currently written will hamper prospects for long-term economic growth while doing little to slow spiraling medical costs.

House Speaker John Boehner, who used to refer to the bill as a "jobs killer," now says that repealing the "job-crushing" health care law is critical to boosting small business job creation and growing the economy, reflecting sensitivities in the wake of the mass shooting this month in Tucson, Arizona, that critically injured a Democratic colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

What are the chances of repeal?

Nearly nil.

The measure is expected to pass the House, where Republicans have the numbers, but has little chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama will veto it if it gets to his desk, and there are not enough votes in either chamber to override his veto.

Most Republicans acknowledge the virtual impossibility of an outright repeal but have indicated that there will be attempts to defund portions of the measure or eliminate specific provisions in the months ahead.

But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis indicates that Republicans may have trouble moving ahead with defunding the law. The measure includes $106 billion in new spending authorizations that Congress will eventually need to appropriate, according to CBO Director Doug Elmendorf. But $86 billion of those authorizations cover politically sensitive programs that were in existence before the passage of health care reform.

What do Americans think?

Polls suggest that Americans are not so happy with the law.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday, when asked whether they would rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions or keep them in place, 50 percent of all Americans favored repeal -- even though only one in six dislikes everything in the bill. Four in 10 oppose such a move.

A Quinnipiac University national poll also released Tuesday offered similar results. According to the survey, Americans by a 48 percent to 43 percent margin want Congress to repeal health care reform.

A GOP defection

A top Republican recently said that the law should not be repealed. And he has the credentials to back it up.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a surgeon who retired from Congress in 2007, said Tuesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center -- an organization he chairs with former Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, among others -- that the law should stand.

"It is not the bill that (Republicans) would have written," he said. "It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land, and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based."

He added: "(The bill) has many strong elements. And those elements, whatever happens, need to be preserved, need to be cuddled, need to be snuggled, need to be promoted and need to be implemented. But how do you do it? How do you do a lot of what is in this law?"

Other doctors-turned-lawmakers, such as Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, are staunchly opposed to the law.

What do Democrats say?

Top Democrats, meanwhile, argued that the public is behind the law, which they say is already helping millions of Americans, and lashed out at the GOP's efforts.

The Department of Health and Human Services released an analysis warning that almost 130 million non-elderly Americans with pre-existing conditions would be at risk of losing their insurance without the guarantees provided by the legislation.

"The new law is already helping to free Americans from the fear that an insurer will drop, limit or cap their coverage when they need it most," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "Americans living with pre-existing conditions are being freed from discrimination in order to get the health coverage they need."

Democrats have pointed out, among other things, that an increased number of Americans are covered by the law.

Going South ? Buying foreign currencies made easy online

Buying U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies is the next frontier for people who like the convenience and money-saving potential of doing business online.

Still obscure compared with online investing and banking, online foreign exchange has a lot of potential for snowbirds and others who travel out of country and are sick of lining up at forex offices where the rates aren’t very good.

The newest entrant into the business is a U.K.-based company called Travelex that specializes in handling foreign currency exchanges for individuals travelling overseas. Travelex is a big player in online currency exchange in Britain, and now it’s branching into both the Canadian and U.S. markets.

At, you can exchange Canadian dollars into 70 or so international currencies. You pay for the transaction online using your credit or debit card and Travelex then sends your foreign banknotes to you by courier for free (next-day delivery is available at no extra cost). If you have some foreign currency left over when you return, Travelex will buy it back from you at the same wholesale rate that the financial big boys get.

“It’s definitely our experience that people have a tendency to bring back some currency with them,” said Jon Dario, president of Travelex Currency Services Inc. “They’ll scrounge all around to get the best exchange rate before they travel, and then they spend $30, $40, $50 to exchange back their leftover currency at the end of their trip.”

Travelex is about convenience as opposed to offering the lowest possible exchange rate. “Our online price is better than some other locations,” Mr. Dario said. “The main value for customers is going to be the convenience factor – free delivery to homes – and no service fees.”

Clearly displayed pricing that helps you comparison shop is something else Travelex offers. In the late morning Monday, it priced a Canadian dollar at 93.94 cents (U.S.) on its website. Over at the TD Canada Trust branch in my office building, the dollar was pegged at 95.62. At an Accu-Rate Foreign Exchange office across the way from the TD branch, the dollar was pegged at 96.42.

Even better was the price of 97.50 cents that was offered by Western Union Canada’s online FX service, formerly known as Custom House. Setting up an account requires you to provide a copy of a bank letter or a statement for a saving or chequing account at a Canadian financial institution. Once you’re up and running, you can log in to the Western Union website, buy however much foreign currency you want and have it deposited into a U.S.-dollar chequing account held at any bank.

Payment for your transaction is carried out by having Western Union debit your bank account, or by sending money to the firm through your online banking website. If you buy some foreign currency on Monday morning, the transaction should be completed by Wednesday.

Andrew Endl, senior foreign exchange dealer at Western Union in Calgary, said the firm uses wholesale rates that undercut the retail rates used by the banks. “I’ve seen us anywhere from half-a-cent to 2.5 cents better than the banks on some transactions.”

Western Union has an additional price advantage in that it resets its exchange rate every 30 seconds, compared with as infrequently as once or twice at day at other forex outlets. If the loonie moves to your advantage, you can capitalize instantly with your Western Union account by booking a foreign exchange transaction.

If you’re a snowbird bulk-buying $10,000 or more in U.S. dollars, Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange Inc. says it offers competitive rates for currency exchange.

“We have an online bill payment capability with some banks so clients can transfer funds online, which is convenient and free,” Rahim Madhavji, Knightsbridge president, said in an e-mail.

For snowbirds, one more option for buying U.S. dollars is the currency exchange service run by the Canadian Snowbird Association. This service will take money out of your Canadian bank account and then pool it with other CSA members to make a bulk buy. Rate comparisons on the CSA website show substantial savings over bank rates.

Speaking of the banks, they compare well on an international basis when it comes to pricing foreign exchange transactions for clients.

“I know it’s probably going to be a surprise to you, but Canadians are paying pretty good rates relative to a lot of other countries,” Travelex’s Mr. Dario said. “That’s particularly true in the United States – Canadian rates are much, much better, without a doubt.”

The Online Forex Alternative

Four cheaper and/or more convenient ways to exchange Canadian dollars into U.S. currency than using your bank...

Canadian Snowbird Association currency exchange program

Details: Bulk purchasing of U.S. dollars cuts your cost. Funds are withdrawn from your C$ account and transferred into your US$ account. Fees of up to $5 per month for each month a transfer is made.

Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange

Details: Competitive exchange rates for transactions of $10,000 or more. You can pay for transactions through online bill payment on some bank websites.


Details: Buy foreign currency online and have it couriered to you at no extra cost. Pay online by credit card or debit.

Western Union Canada online FX (formerly Custom House)

Details: Lets you pull money out of your Canadian chequing account, convert it into U.S. dollars at an attractive rate and then deposit it into a U.S.-dollar account.

Rob Carrick

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Womens tears lower mens testosterone...


If women’s tears can make men melt, it’s because they’re meant to.

Israeli scientists have discovered that emotional tears shed by women have a hidden scent that lowers male testosterone levels significantly.

The scent may well be an evolutionary adaptation meant to protect women against aggressive or sexually charged men, says neurobiologist Noam Sobel, whose study was released Thursday by the journal Science.

“In our view this study opens a new field,” says Sobel, who studies biochemical signalling agents — often known as pheromones – that are secretly sent between humans.

So far, research on such subliminal substances has concentrated on human sweat, says Sobel, an assistant professor at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.

“But sweat is not the only way humans emit chemicals, and that’s what led us to consider tears,” he says.

Earlier research had shown that tears shed from sadness or fear contained about 25 per cent more proteins than could be found in the eye-cleansing variety, produced when chopping onions or dusting furniture.

To see if these extra chemicals might be sending out signals, Sobel’s team recruited a contingent of six readily weeping women.

“Each one of these women has their own favourite tear-jerking film,” says Sobel, senior author on the three-year study. “And they sit down in a room on their own with the video film and a vial.”

These tears were then whisked off to be smelled, fresh, by any of the study’s 50 male subjects. Half the time the males were given ordinary saline water to sniff, while the other half they were presented with the tears.

The men, who were not told which liquid they were smelling, could identify no apparent odour difference between the two. But when sniffing the emotional eye effluence, they showed a number of marked physiological and psychological changes.

In one experiment, men viewing images of women’s faces found them less sexually attractive when they had smelled the tears than they did when presented with the saline solution.

As well, men reported being less sexually aroused in general after whiffing tears than they did when the salt water was used.

“But what told a more pronounced story were the physiological measures,” Sobel says. “Tears reduced testosterone compared to saline very significantly.”

Measured in saliva samples, testosterone levels were lower in 40 of the 50 men after sniffing the tears than they were with the inert saline water.

Sobel does not know yet what the active tear chemicals are, or where or how they are produced in the body.

And the study could not say whether male tears have the same calming effect. When researchers advertised for crying recruits, there simply were no male takers, Sobel says.

“We posted an ad looking for individuals who could cry with ease and we obtained an overwhelming reply from women volunteers and absolutely no men.”

Money laundering thru government Casinos...

Security staff at two B.C. casinos intercepted four attempted transfers of gaming chips worth $1.6 million during a period of suspected money laundering at gambling establishments in the province, CBC News has learned.

Documents obtained from a Freedom of Information request revealed that casino staff watched as about $800,000 worth of chips changed hands in two incidents at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C., in May 2010.

Another two incidents, also involving a total of about $800,000, were caught while underway at the Gateway Casino in Burnaby, B.C., in August, the documents show.

Passing any amount of chips from one person to another is strictly prohibited and casinos post signs to that effect.

Casino security personnel noted the incidents and the casinos reported the activity to the B.C. Lottery Corporation, but police were not informed, according to the documents.

The attempted transfers occurred during a three-month period in which a combined $8 million worth of other suspicious or unusually large transactions took place at River Rock and at the Starlight Casino in New Westminster, B.C., the documents reveal.

An RCMP investigator told CBC News that authorities suspect the intense activity was part of a money-laundering initiative by gangsters.

Form of currency

The chip transfer incidents lend credence to police concerns that chips are becoming a form of currency for people involved in organized crime.

Depositing large amounts of cash will attract the attention of bank employees, who are quick to inform police.

Chips can be an ideal currency for people who generate high cash flows illegally, according to Douglas College criminology professor Colin Campbell.

"The fact that [chips] are acquired in a casino and can be redeemed in a casino allows bad guys to money-launder," said Campbell.

Gaming chips are issued in denominations up to $5,000 and it is not illegal to take them out of casinos and is difficult for authorities to control how the chips are traded before they are taken back and cashed in.

"It's not improbable for organized crime to have a number of associates simply purchase chips ... then cash them in at a later time," said RCMP Insp. Barry Baxter.

Minister responds

The B.C. minister responsible for gaming, Rich Coleman, said Wednesday that he is concerned about the information revealed in the documents, but urged people not to make assumptions.

"I have requested additional information about the cases in question, to ensure that proper procedures were followed and that the integrity of casino security is upheld in the province," Coleman said in a release. "My understanding is these are not all alleged cases of money laundering and I encourage people to avoid jumping to conclusion."

B.C. NDP gaming critic Shane Simpson said the activity revealed in the documents is unacceptable.

"I think it's a stunning revelation, some $8 million of unexplained transactions in a period of three months," he said.

"It's just unacceptable for anybody to suggest you can walk into a casino with $500,000 in $20 bills and cash them in in some way and there's nothing suspicious about it. Try doing that at your local bank and see what happens."

Homeless Man w/ Golden Radio Voice - Lands a job!

CLEVELAND, Ohio, Jan 5, 2011 (AFP) - A homeless man whose vocal skills became a U.S. Internet sensation has been offered a two-year job with the Cleveland Cavaliers that includes having his living expenses paid by the NBA club.

Ted Williams, who had struggled with drugs an alcohol, became a celebrity when a video clip of his voice skills filmed while he was on the side of highway was posted on the Internet by the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

With his deep tone and polished pronunciation, Williams was so impressive that in addition to his job offer from the Cavaliers, American football voiceover work could also be on the horizon after interest from NFL Films.

"We hope Ted accepts our offer," said Cavaliers announcer Olivia Sedra.

Williams, who pleaded guilty to theft charges after being arrested last May, had been living in a tent.

"We believe in second chances and second opportunities," Cavaliers marketing vice president Tracy Marek said.

"When you know something's right, you just have to launch. The important thing that we wanted to do is to let Ted know that we have something here for him."

Williams, 53, told the Dispatch, "I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times" and was shown holding a cardboard sign with a plea for help from motorists.

Jackpot not first for bell employees

Back to Jackpot not first for Bell Canada co-workers

Jackpot not first for Bell Canada co-workers

January 05, 2011

Brendan Kennedy


The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is interviewing the winners of Monday's $50 jackpot after “extra claimants” said they deserved a portion of the winnings.


Bell Canada should prepare for a flood of applications to its Scarborough call centre — it may be the luckiest workplace in the world.

Four of the 19 co-workers who won a $50 million Lotto Max draw on Monday were part of a group of Bell employees who won $1 million with Encore in 2007.

The odds of winning both jackpots is 1 in 280,633,528,000,000 (that's trillion).

But celebrations were put on hold Tuesday when additional claimants came forward to say they, too, deserved a cut of the historic payout — the largest ever single-ticket win in the province. The money is being withheld as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. investigates.

Are you one of the new lotto claimants? Send us an email

The original group of 19 claimants were individually interviewed by investigators from the OLG's Office of Player Protection on Wednesday.

The group's members were counting on each collecting $2.6 million.

But the OLG said the interviews were simply the next step in claiming the money.

“Any prize over $10,000 goes through a claims review process,” said spokeswoman Sarah Kiriliuk.

Since there is a large group of claimants, the validation process will take longer than usual, she said.

After freely speaking to media earlier this week, the claimants, who formed their lottery pool only a month ago, are now refusing to comment — brushing past reporters on their way up to OLG's Toronto offices Wednesday morning.

Some, however, celebrated on Facebook.

Annette Anderson, whose profile lists Bell Canada as her employer, received many offers of congratulations on Monday. Her husband, Don, updated his status on Monday to “OH HAPPY DAYS!!!” and later explained: “Annette was once [sic] of the 19 who won the $50 million. So that amounts to 2.6 million each :D :D :D :D”

On Wednesday one friend expressed disbelief that others are “trying to jump in” on the lotto win.

“No kidding,” Don wrote. “But this is just so open and shut.”

He said he and his wife are “blue-in-the-face” over the media attention and the fact that some people “are trying to stick they're (sic) smelly hands on the jackpot. They won't succeed.”

OLG would not disclose the names of the claimants, but pool leader and buyer of the lucky ticket Natalie Damianidis showed CTV a checkmarked list of the 19 members she says paid to be part of the draw.

Rumours swirled Wednesday at the claimants' call centre at Brimley and Ellesmere Rds. Several workers said the winners quit en masse Monday, while others said the extra claimants were jilted lovers and ex-husbands. There was talk of dueling office lottery pools, and speculation the winning group may have split from a larger one after a dispute.

Kiriliuk wouldn't confirm the number of additional claimants other than to say there is “more than one.” They will be interviewed over the next few days, she said.

“As the week goes on we'll be able to update you on further advancements in this case.”

But it could be much longer before the money is paid out.

All of the original claimants were asked to demonstrate ownership of the ticket, said Don Pister, another OLG spokesman, adding that typical questions included where the ticket was purchased, by whom and under what circumstances.

“In cases of group wins we would ask, ‘What is your understanding as to who is a member of this group and who is a winner of this prize?'“

Where there are disputes, the OLG tries to reach an agreement among all claimants. When an agreement can't be reached, the OLG awards the prize to a court, as it did in 2008 when a group of Powco Steel employees in Barrie disputed the rightful claimants of a $24.5 million lottery prize.

Last month, nearly three years after the draw, Slawomir Kowalewski was awarded an undisclosed settlement following an OPP probe.

The jackpot for Friday's Lotto Max is an estimated $23 million.

With files from Dan Robson and Amy Dempsey

Double lotto winners

April, 2007, Manitoba: Phyllis Thomas won her second $1 million prize in two years the same way she won her first — by buying a $5 Set For Life Scratch ‘N Win lottery ticket. She became a millionaire the first time on March 18, 2005.

June 2007, Mississauga: Jadwiga and Rudy Taylor of Mississauga won a $20 million Lotto 6/49 prize — their half of the June 13 draw. The Taylors had also picked up a $1 million prize in 1999 with a quick pick ticket.

Nov. 2007, Ontario: Robert Hong won a $15 million Lotto 6/49 prize. In April, Hong and a friend won 6/49’s second prize — they split the $340,500 winnings.

Feb. 2000, Toronto: Doug Russell won $1 million with an Ontario Instant Millions millennium ticket. Three months earlier, he shared a 6/49 lottery jackpot of $73,316 with nine co-workers at Intria-HP.

Compiled by the Toronto Star Library

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pakistani governor killed by his own bodyguard

Police in Pakistan say the governor of Punjab province was killed by his own bodyguard in a gun attack Tuesday in an Islamabad market area.

Police official Mohammad Iftikhar said Salman Taseer was shot by one of his elite protection squad. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Taseer was a vocal member of Pakistan's ruling party and recently spoke out against Pakistan's blasphemy law.

The shopping area where the attack took place is known as Khosar market and is popular with westerners and wealthy Pakistanis. The market has long been regarded as a potential target of a militant attack.

with files from The Associated Press

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