By now you have heard the sad news. Sharky the dolphin is dead. Sharky, just 30 years old, was fatally injured while performing her signature trick at SeaWorld. Leaping high into the air, she and another dolphin collided head on. Sharky suffered a mortal blow to the head. The other dolphin appeared to be uninjured.
Stunned visitors to the park who witnessed the tragic accident were left wondering, what is the porpoise? Was Sharky the victim of her fate, or do things happen just for the halibut? A tragedy of this magnitude is bound to leave us floundering for answers.
There has been a wave of sympathy from visitors since Sharky's untimely death. A necropsy will be performed to determine if Sharky had any underlying physical problem that could have led to the accident. Some believe that being kept in captivity makes dolphins more likely to make mistakes they wouldn't make if in their natural habitat.
The results of the necropsy and an investigation of the accident could turn the tide for dolphins everywhere. Sharky, you may not have died in vain.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
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A town in Poland is planning on cashing in on some of John Cleese's popularity by holding a Silly Walk contest. The former Monty Python comedy group member and inventor of the famous Ministry of Silly Walks, is currently appearing in a TV commercial for a Polish bank. In the commercial he mentions the town of Pcim.
Although the mayor of Pcim was afraid originally that the image of Cleese and the Silly Walks comptetition would subject his town to ridicule, he has come round to see not just the comical side of it, but the possible benefit from the publicity.
Cleese has already given permission for his likeness to be used on billboards in the town of Pcim, but the mayor is hoping that Cleese will accept his invitation to attend the town's summer festival and judge the silly walks contest.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thank you cards are a nicety that society approves of on all sorts of occasions, but they are extremely useful in terms of business contacts as well. Whether it's a contact in a company that can provide you useful referrals or whether it's simply to keep your company's name at the forefront in the mind of someone who can send business your way.
Thank you Cards used judiciously can increase your business and referrals when a contact has a number of services or vendors to choose from. Although many companies strictly regulate gratuities and gifts from outside services and vendors so there is no favoritism or kickbacks, a simple Thank You card won't be unfavorably looked upon but will make you stand out amongst your competitors.
Sending customized Thank you Cards when you truly appreciate someone choosing your business or service, will put you at the top of their list in a subtle way. The next time they are looking for that service, or someone asks them to recommend a service, it's your name and logo that will be on their desk.
Sometimes it's better to just stop and ask for directions!
A bus driver in Norfolk, England was following directions from his sat-nav when he drove into a river. The sat-nav led the driver right into the river and when it told him to continue, he did just that, rather than stopping and backing out again onto the road.
Consequently, he was several hundred yards in when his boss came to pull him out. The vehicle was in water to the headlights, with fish swimming around it.
The taxi company that owns the damp mini-bus has started getting calls from people looking to book river tours.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It's time for a little trashy reporting, time to delve deep into the muck and mire to bring you a story that truly stinks.
Gareth Corkhill is a desperate criminal, but you wouldn't know it to look at him. When you look at him you see a hard-working husband and father, but look closer - here's a man whose disdain for the law has become so strong that he actually left his trash bin lid open by four inches.
That's right, Gareth Corkhill's trash bin was too full. For this act that caused such an environmental blight as the unsightly, ajar bin lid, Gareth received a fine amounting to $480 (a week's wages) and a criminal record. They aren't playing footsies with those committing eco-crimes in West Cumbria, England.
"I can't believe I now have a criminal record for simply putting rubbish in my bin," he said. "My only crime was to leave the lid slightly open. Now I might go for a job interview and be better than someone else but the employer will see that officially, I am a criminal.
"They won't know the details of what I did. They won't know that I only put a little too much rubbish in the bin."
Monday, April 21, 2008
Forums are a great place to air opinions, ask questions, debate, argue and generally share your enthusiasm on a topic with others who are just as addicted as you are. And if sports is your addiction, then Addict Sports is the forum of choice. Find threads on nearly every sport and sports topic - fantasy baseball picks nfl picks and more. Check out the Trivia Forum to test your knowledge or kick back in The Dugout for talk about everything not related baseball, just talk. Every sports addict needs a home and Addict Sports provides every comfort. Have a look.
Fans of the show Star Trek: The Next Generation will remember Geordi LaForge, the chief engineer whose blindness was compensated for by his VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) that transmitted images of the world to his brain through electrodes implanted in his temples. Geordi could see more than other humans, being able perceive waves of the electromagnetic spectrum instead of ordinary light.
The character was a first on television, having had his blindness reversed by technology and performing a job on a Starfleet ship. But the concept is no longer science fiction, for doctors in Britain have successfully implanted "bionic eyes" in blind patients, giving them rudimentary sight.
The device consists of a video camera and transmitter that are mounted on a pair of glasses. The images are transmitted to an artificial retina and travel along the optic nerve to the brain. The patient will now be able to see light and dark, and perceive motion.
Researchers hope to invent a much smaller camera, one that could be implanted directly into the eye and of course, the future of the technology can only promise more advancement with better quality of images transmitted.
Someday, there may be not a cure for blindness, but a high-tech replacement for the biological eye that is damaged and a new sense of hope for all those suffering severe vision problems. It could be as soon as The Next Generation.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
If you regularly make calls overseas to relatives, friends or even for business, there's a way to get better rates than offered by the big phone companies. Phone company rates can change depending on the day or the time of your call, and overseas rates tend to vary and may follow a completely different rate schedule.
One way of ensuring you get the cheapest rate possible is to use a phone card for calling overeas. When you purchase a phone card, your rate is guaranteed. One good site for comparing rates and finding phone cards for overseas dialing is TheRich.com. It's easily searchable and lets you review and compare the available cards for the country you wish to call.
Whether you're calling Asia, the Middle East or Europe, using a pre-paid phone card can save you money and there won't be any surprise rate changes or extra fees.
Sony's new commercial for digital cameras tries to outdo their previous escapades with exploding paint, bouncing balls and play-doh rabbits. They built "Foam City". For the shoot (which lasted 16 hours) they built the world's largest foam machine which covered the streets in foam and many of the street's inhabitants as well.
The video was uploaded onto Youtube and has become a smash hit.
I don't know why I should be surprised at this - the US has 2/3 of the world's lawyers - but even considering how prevalent the litigous attitude in society is, this case goes too far.
Apparently bored with being an inmate in Luzerne Country Prison, Scott Bolton decided to give himself an unscheduled parole by exiting the prison via a rope made of bedsheets.
Unfortunately, Bolton fell from a high window and was paralyzed from the waist down due to his injuries.
Bolton is now filing a lawsuit against the prison, alleging that he did not receive proper care. He's asking for $100,000 compensatory damages and $250,000 punitive damages.
The other inmate that Bolton was with did escape, and was on the lam for three days before being apprehended. Bolton claims that his escape partner, Hugo Selenski, a convicted murderer, beat him up and pushed him out the window.
Interestingly, Mr. Selenski is not named in the lawsuit, only the warden and other county officials.
Friday, April 11, 2008
You've probably heard of the Darwin Awards, the distinction given to people who manage to die due to their own stupidity. Every now and again you come across someone who has has only narrowly escaped being awarded that distinction.
A man in Pueini village, Romania, had found a very useful object in his garden. He soon employed it as an anvil, sharpening hoes and scythes. But unbeknownst to him, what he was repeatedly striking with a hammer was a live, unexploded missile left over from WWII.
Local firefighters advised the man that the bomb was still active, and an army bomb squad soon proved it by exploding the missile in a safe area.
The question that must be raised is this: In what way does a WWII missile resemble an anvil?
I leave it to you,, which of these would you not hit with a hammer?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The holidays are long past us and if you look around you might see just the tiniest buds springing forth on the trees. The air, though still a bit chilly, holds a promise of warmer days to come. Are you going on a spring vacation, or planning a special summmer trip? Well, if you had taken advantage of the best deals before Christmas, you could have saved enough to take that vacation.
Everyone knows that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas shopping season starts in earnest, but do you know about Cyber Monday? Cyber Monday is the first Monday following Thanksgiving, and the deals available are just as good - better, in fact, because you shop from your computer, without all that hassle of parking and lines and crowds at the mall.
A cyber monday site will feature all the discounts and sales that merchants are offering on cyber monday. Cyber-Monday.org has a huge list of merchants, from department stores like WalMart down to electronics and niche stores. With such a range, you could possibly buy a gift for everyone on your list without ever leaving the house and save money at the same time. Need something for winter sports enthusiast? There's Dick's Sporting Goods or Eastern Mountain Sports.
The best feature of the site is that they will send you email alerts, so you know what great discounts and sales will be coming up from which merchants. If you do a bit of planning beforehand, you can sit down at your computer on cyber monday with a coffee and complete your holiday shopping all in one go and still have time left over to enjoy the day.
If you prefer shopping online to taking multiple trips to brick and mortar stores, then you already know how convenient it is. Sites like Cyber-Monday.org are simply a better way to arm yourself with information before you shop. It's user-friendly, saves you time and money, and helps keep you out of the noisy mall.
Coffee, that dark, aromatic brew that fills the house with its seductive fragrance and warms your morning. Drink it black and you have an anytime beverage that renews your energy and banishes brain fog. Add cream and sugar and you have dessert.
I love coffee. I love coffee from my little pot and specialty coffee from that little shop downtown. There are gourmet coffees that I yearn for.
But I think this coffee delicacy is one that I will pass on, and not just because it costs $100 per cup. If you are like me, you probably can't afford coffee that special and rare. Be glad that you can't.
The price is not even my main objection, it's more the way the coffee is processed. No, it's not any chemical processing using toxic ingredients, the process is completely natural and organic. It's done in the digestive system of a palm civet.
In case you are unfamiliar with the palm civet, it's a strange little animal - a cross between a monkey and a cat. Civets have an affection for coffee too, they eat the ripe coffee cherries as part of their diet, but they aren't capable of digesting the beans and so those pass through the digestive system and come out... well, you know where.
Now you have to wonder who was the first person who decided to retrieve coffee beans from civet feces and actually use them to brew a cup of coffee. That in itself strains your credulity. But when people are willing to pay $100 for a cup of coffee that is basically covered in excrement, then you realize how good it is not to be rich.
Because you are not rich, you will never be tempted to impress your friends by drinking a one hundred dollar cup of coffee made from animal dung.
Now, isn't it better to be poor?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Advertising your business or service can be a costly proposition and that is why this new service, MyCityFaces.com is such a great idea. MyCityFaces.com is a site that let's you list your business or service free - no matter where you are - them makes your listing available to anyone searching for that service in your area.
Basically, MyCityFaces.com is like a huge billboard, available always on the internet and is a completely searchable database. Services and businesses are grouped by type of service and by location. You can search by country and major city as well as by category.
Whether you're an accountant, a Realtor or a nail tech, you need customers in order to be successful and that means getting your business noticed and getting your name out where people can find it. Some types of advertising are less effective because they don't reach a specifically targeted population. With MyCityFaces, people who are searching for the service you provide will see your profile. Add a picture to bring that personal touch, let people know what your qualifications are and bring in customers who need the service you provide.
For the consumer, it's a great site to view and compare service providers in your area or an area you will be traveling to. Profiles give you more information than a listing in the phone book - sure you get a phone number, but you can also check the location on a map, get directions and go to the provider's website directly from their profiles.
MyCityFaces fills a need for both businesses and consumers. If you are a service provider, remember that it's free to sign up. So what's stopping you?
Next time you're tempted to complain about the state of your teenager's bedroom, try to keep in mind that there are much worse things he could have in there than all that clutter and clothing. He could be like Bokamosho Nthelang, 15, who keeps 150 snakes in his bedroom.
The South African teen has been collecting snakes since he was 10 years old, but his hobby has caused both him and his parents not a little grief. He has been bitten three times by poisonous snakes, twice a Cape cobra and once a puffadder.
Nature Conservation removed some of the snakes last year, and the boy wasn't supposed to be adding any more to his collection. One of the dangers is that local hospitals in his small town don't have supplies of anti-venom.
So when your teen piles up dirty clothes, CDs and assorted teen paraphernalia in his room, be thankful that none of it has teeth.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
No matter what you are looking for in police gear and tactical gear, you're best bet is always go to the professionals. LA Police Gear was founded by Los Angeles area Police Officers. They serve the military, police, security professionals and the general public with a wide offering of name brands like Blackhawk Gear and others, as well as outstanding customer service and great prices. Check out their closeouts. Chat live with a customer service representative who can answer all your questions. Whether you're looking for clothing, footwear, boots, flashlights or holsters, LA Police Gear has it all.
The jury in the inquest into the death of Princess Diana has returned their verdict and told us what we have known all along - that driver Henri Paul was drunk, the car was going too fast, the tunnel was dangerously designed, the papparazi chasing the car contributed to Paul's making a deadly mistake, Diana and Dodi were not wearing seatbelts and contributed to their own injuries.
It's not the verdict that Mohamed Al-Fayed wanted to hear. After ten years and a six month inquest, after all the evidence was presented and theories explored, after all the heartache and hardship that the inquest placed on Diana's sons, Al-Fayed is still convinced that Diana was killed by MI6.
Al-Fayed was said to be disappointed in the verdict, and still questioning the cause of the accident, while Diana's sons expressed gratitude to the judge, the jury who served for six months, the witnesses who had to rehash many painful, personal memories and those that tried in vain to save Diana's life on that fateful night.
One must understand the deep pain and grief of a man who has lost his only son, but the improbable conspiracy theory is never going to bring him peace.
It's time now, to let them go. Ten years have passed since that tragic night when the gracious Diana and her companion Dodi Fayed lost their lives. Time should heal all wounds, and so it would, if Mohamed Al-Fayed could lay down his anger, and allow time to bring him to peace.
When you finally get that basement finished off and turn it into a room to host your friends, there are a few essential items you will need to make it turn out right. Yes, of course, a huge flat screen TV to watch the game. Maybe a dart board, as long as none of your friends has really bad aim. Last but not least, a full bar.
You need a clock too, so your friends can keep an eye on the time and get home in time to avoid a costly divorce. Over the bar, I would place a wall clock like one of these Guinness wall clocks.
Now, clocks can make the room. Even if you don't care much about interior design, you still want to know what time it is - so why not keep time with the accuracy of an atomic clock? Did you take down the pictures of your ex-girlfriend and now your mantel looks empty?
A nice mantel clock will fill in the gap, and give you something to look at.
Actually, I love clocks, all kinds of clocks and like to keep one in every room. From booming grandfather clocks to cuckoo clocks, there's a charm about them and it's a great way to express your individual style. And there's nothing people appreciate more than someone who's always on time.
Monday, April 07, 2008
When the back yard begins to resemble a jungle and the grass is tall enough to lose your dog in, then you have two choices - mow it or hire a lawn guy.
The city of Turin, Italy found that lawn care was running them a hefty sum - about $40,000 per year. So they decided to go a more natural route and hired 700 sheep to graze the overgrowth away.
Now sheep are more environmentally sound in some ways, if they don't eat down to the roots. Plus you can always use them for wool to get through the long winters. But drivers have complained about sheep blocking the roads as they roam from meal to meal.
I think they missed the easiest solution - just pave over all the grass. It's a one-time expense and there's no bar to traffic, motorists can drive right through the parks. That will save on gas and cut down on methane emissions from sheep flatulence.
What's more environmentally friendly than that?
No one wants to be in the position of needing a good DUI or criminal defense attorney, but when you do, what better choice could you make than attorneys who are former prosecuters with experience in the criminal court system from both sides, lawyers who know how the system works and can make it work for you instead of against you?
In Southern California, such a firm is Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys | California Felony Misdemeanor DUI Lawyers, with 50 years experience - having litigated hundreds of felony and misdemeanor cases, and rated in the top 5% of US law firms. And your case will never be tried by a new or inexperienced lawyer, you are guaranteed that only a firm partner will litigate your case in court. Experience counts, and you can have it on your side.
It's one thing to have annoying neighbors, and have them harassing you. You can always go to the police or file restraining orders to keep pesky people or those threatening you with harm away from your property. But what do you do when the threat comes from outer space?
A man in Bosnia became convinced that he is being targeted by aliens after having no less than five meteorites strike his home. All five rocks that the man has turned into the University of Belgrade have been confirmed as meteorites, and scientists are at a loss to explain why they have all fallen in this particular area. But this Gornja Lamovite villager has another explanation - he says that it is obviously an attack from aliens.
He has replaced the roof to his house with one reinforced with steel girders and claims he is unable to sleep for fear of the next attack. He isn't sure how he managed to annoy the extraterrestrials, but he is convinced it is an alien plot against him.
The meteor strikes, all within the last year, have all occurred during rainstorms.
Friday, April 04, 2008
I have had a couple of different Internet service providers in the last few years, everything from dial-up to cable and now with DSL. Most of the changes were brought about by moves and availability, but the fact is, that regardless of which type of ISP you use, you want the same things - reliability, speed, a minimum of down time and above all, low cost. Before you decide on an Internet service provider, I recommend you visit a site like GetISP.info to compare deals for Dialup, DSL, cable, wireless and Satellite broadband.
The first choice for speed is probably cable, but because you're limited to the cable company in your area, it's harder to find a bargain. Still, many providers run promotional offers, offer discounts or cheap plans, so check out the offers from your local cable company before you decide you can't afford it, you might be surprised.
How much speed you need depends a lot on what you'll be doing on the Internet - reading emails, blogging, running your own site, gaming - so if you're not sure which type of ISP is best for you, you should read this article on how to choose an internet service provider.
My bottom line advice is to always keep a dial-up ISP in case your broadband provider goes down for an extended period, or you have to connect when you're away from home and staying in a location where your accomodations don't provide internet access. There are many low-cost plans but if you need to use it as emergency back up only, why not opt for a free dial-up ISP?
The more informed you are, the better the chances that you will choose the ISP that provides the bandwidth and speed you need while costing you the least amount of money.
Everyone's got a talent, if you can look hard enough to find it - even Britney Spears may have some left. Some talents are not suited to Hollywood glitz but still garner some attention, like suspending cutlery from your head.
That's exactly what 9-year-old Joe Allison did to break a world record and gain entry in to the Guinness Book of Records. He balanced no less than 16 spoons on his face, to beat the previous record of 15.
Joe's talent may have lain undiscovered if it were not for a dare from a cousin to put a spoon on his nose. Finding that spoons seemed to magically stick to his face, Joe kept adding more spoons until he amassed the number that won him the silverware title.
Joe thinks he can do better than 16 spoons, but may have to wait until he grows a bit more face to hang them on.
Joe may have strange hobbies, but he's a nice-looking boy, though, isn't he?
Thursday, April 03, 2008
If you've ever watched a television talk show and thought "I can be more entertaining than that", then surf on over to blogTV.com for your chance to do your own live show.
All you need is a webcam and an internet connection and blogTV will provide the host for your own live broadcast. Whether you can sing the birds out of the trees, have a few tricks up your sleeve, or just have strong opinions you want to share, it's a great venue for creating your own show.
It's completely interactive too. Respond directly to a live chat audience while you broadcast. Even if you don't want to be the star of your own live tv show, you can be a part of the audience, listen to varying opinions and put in your own two cents by joining the chat. First there was Youtube with member videos and comments, now blogTV goes beyond with live broadcasts and immediate audience feedback.
There's a saying in the newspaper biz that basically says that "Dog Bites Man" is a lousy headline because that happens all the time and isn't going to sell any papers. Get a story you can title "Man Bites Dog" and you have a headline that is going to sell the newstand out.
Well, there are two such stories in today's news. Mankind turning the tables on creatures we share the planet with, and winning.
Amy Rice of Minneapolis didn't think twice when a pit bull jumped a fence and clamped his jaws on the head of her beloved labrador retriever. Knowing that she had no chance of pulling the pit bull off her dog, she joined in the fight, biting the pit bull square on the nose. Unfortunately for Amy, a mouth full of dog blood means testing for rabies and maybe a series of shots. But her attack worked and the pit bull let loose his hold on her labrador.
In Australia, a man saved his wife's life by jumping on the back of the crocodile that was attacking her. The croc let go and swam away, leaving the woman with some wounds, but alive.
Hand to hand or teeth to teeth combat with dangerous animals is probably not the recommended way to go in these situations, but in these cases, fighting back saved the day.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
If you've had credit woes and ended up with bad credit as a result, you've probably wondered if there is anyone out there who is willing to give you that second chance you need to rebuild your credit. Bad credit can follow you for years, reducing your chances of getting new credit. But bad credit loans are not impossible to obtain if you know where to look. With a loan you can take care of immediate financial needs and put a new stamp on your credit report with a timely payoff. Another way of rebuilding credit is with bad credit credit cards. They give you the convenience and credit you need while letting you establish a record of on-time payments and credit-worthiness. Bad credit offers can get you started back on the road to good credit.
For mourners who can't make it to the funeral home on time, there's a new service that allows them to watch the service in thne comfort of their own homes. Southhampton Crematorium in England will upload the service for a fee of 75 or about $150 US. The service will be available for viewing for up to seven days after the funeral.
While some hail this as a blessing to loved ones who for reasons of distance or ill health cannnot attend the funeral, others feel it's a crass way to soak some cash out of the grief-stricken. Southhampton Crematorium says they aren't making money on the deal however, they will just about break even considering the overhead.
This sounds like an idea that could gain popularity, unfortunately, it might lead to more and more mourners skipping the trip to the funeral home and catching the service over the net instead. Imagine the pain of the lonely widow when she realizes she is the only one in attendance.
Worse, this may keep only slightly connected mourners from taking a day off work to go to the funeral. And what's next? Phone-it-in weddings?
Webcam doctor appointments?
However you look at it, technology may be slowly eroding the list of excuses for time off work and out-of-town business trips. With it may just go the American way of life.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
It's clear that e-commerce is the wave of the future as more people shop online and the satisfaction ratings keep going up. The net is the new frontier for business and entrepreneurs. So what's holding you back?
There are a lot of aspects to doing business online, and one of them is making the process of buying, checking out and processing payments easy, convenient and secure for customers with the right ecommerce software. You also have to keep in mind the ease of use from your point of view, accessibility to support, cost and being able to take as many forms of credit as possible.
Finding the right shopping cart software is key to making your business as profitable as possible. Ashop Commerce provides a Live Support Tool and Support Ticketing System that gives you real customer service. They have a customizable design, affordable prices and it's a completely webhosted shopping cart software that provides SSL security and a guaranteed uptime of 99.8%. That's a point of some major importance. When you're doing business, you can't afford downtime if you want to keep your customers and increase sales.
To check out Ashop Commerce shopping cart software, you can visit the site and take a Test Drive at their demo store. I think you'll be impressed.
It's a reverse trend in technology, I guess. A man in China has built what he says is the world's largest working cell phone. Weighing 48 pounds and standing 3 feet high, it's an exact replica of his own cell phone - the one that usually fits in his pocket.
I remember my first cell phone. It came in it's own little suitcase with a huge base and an adapter cord for the car. I have had luggage bags smaller than that thing. Through the years cell phones have been getting smaller, lighter, and more functional. So why would anyone want to build a gigantic cell phone?
Are his fingers too chubby to use the tiny buttons on his regular cell phone? Maybe he keeps accidentally speed-dialing his mother. Maybe he's prone to lose things like cell phones and wants something he can find in a hurry.
The constructor of this phone, a Mr Tan, hopes to break some world record with it and says it is fully functional. You can make calls, text and access the internet. It's even a camera phone.
"The only other difference is that I didn't incorporate the vibrate function," he said.