"This was the moment a dippy blonde caused the world's most expensive shunt when she pranged five luxury motors."
Saturday, July 30, 2011
"This was the moment a dippy blonde caused the world's most expensive shunt when she pranged five luxury motors."
Friday, July 29, 2011
10% of brain myth
The 10% of brain myth is the widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only make use of 10 percent (or some other small percentage) of their brains. It has been misattributed to people including Albert Einstein. By association, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence.
Though factors of intelligence can increase with training, the idea that large parts of the brain remain unused, and could subsequently be "activated" for conscious use, is without foundation. Although many mysteries regarding brain function remain, every part of the brain has a known function.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The story of a great flood that destroyed the earth was not unique to the Hebrews, who recorded it in the Bible. The Sumerians, who were earlier than the Hebrews, had their own version of a great flood. Read the Sumerian Flood Myth.
The Flood Myth:
The Sumerian hero Gilgamesh traveled the world in search of a way to cheat death. On one of his journeys, he came across an old man, Utnapishtim, who told Gilgamesh a story from centuries past. The gods brought a flood that swallowed the earth.
The gods were angry at mankind so they sent a flood to destroy him. The god Ea, warned Utnapishtim and instructed him to build an enormous boat to save himself, his family, and "the seed of all living things." He does so, and the gods brought rain which caused the water to rise for many days. When the rains subsided, the boat landed on a mountain, and Utnapishtim set loose first a dove, then a swallow, and finally a raven, which found land. The god Ishtar, created the rainbow and placed it in the sky, as a reminder to the gods and a pledge to mankind that there would be no more floods. See the text Epic of Gilgamesh: Sumerian Flood Myth.
Sumerian Flood Myth
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Monday, July 25, 2011
China has more than just four Apple Stores. A blogger revealed this week that besides the two official locations in Beijing and two in Shanghai, that there are at least three counterfeit Apple Stores in the southern city of Kunming.
Apple hasn't commented on the fake stores, which on the surface, appear to be actual Apple Stores, with such details as acrylic product information panels, long wooden display tables, and a spiral staircase leading to the second level. Even the employees are outfitted in Apple t-shirts and white Apple name tags. It's unclear if Apple will crack down, or if it even can.
However, on the heels of this buzz-worthy news, Chinese industrial and commercial authorities have begun to inspect electronics stores in Kunming, Reuters reports.
The inspections are not authorized by Apple. A worker with Kunming's industrial and commercial department told Reuters they will explore "business licenses, authorized permits on brand use, and the purchase channel of each store."
A store doesn't have to be an official, typically glass-fronted Apple Store in order to sell Apple products. It's possible to become an Authorized Apple Reseller through an application process. For example, there are reports that Apple product maker Foxconn is in the gaining authorization to start selling Apple products in its own stores.
There are 13 authorized resellers in Kunming, but the three stores in question don't have this kind of designation, although they're selling real iPads, iPhones, iPods, and other Apple swag. There is no indication that the store's owners will try to become legitimate, or if Apple would even allow it.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The laughing gunman who shot 85 young victims, one by one
The right-wing extremist who shot dead at least 85 people at a youth camp laughed, cheered and shouted “you all must die” as he sprayed the youngsters with bullets.
The country’s prime minister said Breivik had turned a “paradise into hell”.
The 32-year-old Norwegian was being interrogated by police on Saturday night amid growing concern that he may not have acted alone. Police were poring through his home computer for links to other extremists and terrorist groups.
The killer set off a massive car bomb on Friday afternoon in the centre of Oslo’s political district, killing seven people. He then drove to the island of Utoya where he continued his rampage.
His defence lawyer Geir Lippestad last night said of Breivik: “He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary.”
On Saturday night a video emerged in which the killer, posing with weapons, appears to set out his motivation for the attacks, calling for the eradication of Islam and Marxism from Europe.
Breivik shot several teenagers as they tried to swim off the island to safety. Police teams were searching the water and rocky inlets looking for more corpses.
A mini-submarine was called in to help the search for bodies, along with divers.
Survivors told how they hid under bunk beds, behind rocks and in cabins as Breivik, dressed as a police officer, beckoned the youths to him, promising them safety. Youngsters who fell for his ploy were shot in cold blood.
“He kept shouting: ‘It’s safe to come out. You’ll be saved. I’m a cop.’”
Nicoline Bjerge Schie, 21, who cowered behind a rock near the beach, said: “I could not see the gunman but I heard him screaming and laughing and he gave several cheers.”
She watched at least five of her friends being hit by the gunman’s bullets and watched as the bodies tumbled off the rock and into the lake.
Adrian Pracon, 21, who was shot in the shoulder, said from his hospital bed: “He was yelling out that he was going to kill us all and that we all must die.” Mr Pracon played dead but survived.“He tried everyone, he kicked them to see if they were alive, or he just shot them,” he said.
Erik Kursetgjerde, an 18-year-old Labour Party youth member, said Breivik “would tell people to come over: ‘It’s OK, you’re safe, we’re coming to help you.’ And then I saw about 20 people come towards him and he shot them at close range.”
Edvard Foernes, 16, said the gunman walked through the camp, saying: “Come out and play with me. Don’t be shy.”
Rescuers told of the agonising decisions they had to make as they headed to the island in boats to collect children trying to swim to safety.
Torill Hansen, who was camping nearby, said: “I could only take 10 people in the boat and even with that many it was nearly capsizing. Having to decide who to take was horrible.”
Breivik, who surrendered without firing a shot, had undergone military training as part of his compulsory national service and held licences for two weapons including a Glock semi-automatic pistol.
He was also a member of Oslo’s Masonic lodge and posted pictures of himself on the internet in the masonic regalia.
A keen body builder and gun enthusiast, he had held several positions in one of Norway’s biggest political parties, the Right-wing Progress Party, from 1999 to 2007.
His views had become increasingly extreme in recent years and he had been seen by neighbours wearing paramilitary uniform.
Writing on the internet, he cited his hatred for Muslims and enthusiasm for the English Defence League. On the social networking site Twitter Breivik posted a quote on July 17 by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
It emerged on Saturday he had run a farming business and only 10 weeks ago had bought six tons of artificial fertiliser, which he is believed to have used to make the car bomb that was detonated in Oslo’s political district.
The suppliers thought nothing of selling such an amount to a farm businessman. After the bomb exploded, it appears Breivik drove a silver-grey van to Utoya. The van, recovered by police on Saturday, also contained explosives.
Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said: “It’s very difficult at this point to say if he was acting alone or if he was part of a larger network.”
Police have refused to name the victims but said two members of the government were killed in the blast. Norway’s royal family and prime minister led the nation in mourning on Saturday, visiting grieving relatives of the dead youths.
Oslo Cathedral became home to a makeshift shrine with hundreds going there to lay flowers and light candles.
Fighting back the tears, Jens Stoltenberg, the prime minister, said: “It was a paradise of my youth that has now been turned into hell.”
King Harald said: “I’m horrified at the rising toll of fatalities. In the midst of this all we have seen a prime minister handling the situation in a remarkable way.”
Americans Respond to Norway Attacks by Shooting Each Other
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The mission statement of the American Cancer Society (ACS) reads: "Founded in 1913, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. With more than two million volunteers nationwide, the American Cancer Society is one of the oldest and largest voluntary health agencies in the United States. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has state divisions and more than 3,400 local offices."
Many chose to become involved with the ACS fundraising events, including the "Relay for Life". The funds collected by the ACS are used for many causes. The numbers, in millions:
Childhood Cancer Research - $6.2
Other Research - $143
Prevention - $177
Detection/Treatment - $129
Patient Support - $275
Management - $63
Fundraising - $222
Looks black and white to us. The numbers speak for themselves with regard to the funding for childhood cancer, but just to be clear, 0.6% of funds are directed towards research to cure the entire suite of childhood cancers.
Imagine you participate in a Relay-For-Life. You raise $1,000. $270 (27%) goes to admin and fundraising costs. Only $150 goes to any research, and only $6 of that $1000 you raised is targeted towards childhood cancer.
Overall, Charity Navigator gives ACS 3 of 4 stars but only 1 of 4 stars for efficiency. John Seffrin, Chief Executive Officer earns $685,884 or 0.06% of expenses. Program expenses (what it spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver) are 72%, management 6% and fundraising expenses 22%. Total revenue in 2009 was $897,051,000.
A Halifax man scammed out of $14,000 by a fake online romance is speaking out to help others.
Rob Rogers said his misadventure began with a MySpace message from a flirtatious woman. He wrote back to say she'd made a mistake.
"I wish I'd never even written her back to say anything, but I did," he said Wednesday.
The two began emailing back and forth and then switched to instant messaging. Eventually they started talking on the phone. The woman said her name was Rams Murtala and that she was a lonely widow in Ghana.
She also said her in-laws were mistreating her and she asked Rogers to help.
"It was probably four to six weeks before she asked about getting her power turned back on, which at the time seemed like a simple request," Rogers said.
Rogers began lending her small amounts of money, but it added up to $14,000. Rogers dipped into his pension savings to cover her needs.
One day Murtala agreed to fly to Canada from Africa to meet Rogers in person. He waited for her at the airport, but she never came.
"I don't even know if I could describe the emotions when I was watching other people coming off the planes, and hugging one another, and reunions going on," he said.
"Loved ones finding each other. I don't even know if I could find words to describe what that emotion was like when I realized that I was sitting there for no reason."
Rogers then discovered that Murtala never existed and that the photo she used was in fact of an adult actress called Raven Riley. Riley was not involved in the sting.
Rogers said the emotional damage was terrible, but he turned it into a plan to help others avoid similar scams. He is a peer counsellor on the website Romancescams.org. It offers a check list to see if you may be falling victim to a scam.
Halifax Regional Police do not keep numbers for such scams, but an officer said they have seen crimes like the one Rogers fell for before.
Det. Const. Dana Drover said there are ways to test if your online romance is real.
"A criminal wants to be anonymous, they don't want to be found," he said.
"In many cases they'll never ever engage in a webcam conversation, because that can be recorded. And clearly they don't want their identity being known."
Drover said scammers play off the victim's emotional needs. Rogers agreed.
"They knew that I had no children and I would have wanted children," Rogers said.
"She started playing with the, 'Well, I'd love to have children with you and come over and be with you.'"
Rogers said he is still single and has given up on finding love online — unless they can easily meet in person.
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