updated 10:45 a.m. ET, Wed., March. 25, 2009
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
- BANGKOK - A Thai firefighter dressed as Spider-Man to rescue an autistic boy who climbed onto a third-floor balcony and dangled his legs over the side because he was nervous on his first day of school.
Firefighter Somchai Yoosabai was called in after the 11-year-old boy's teachers and mother failed to coax him off the ledge on Monday, he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"He was nervous about the first day at school, and he was asking for his mother," Somchai said. "He cried and refused to let any of us get close to him."
Overhearing a conversation between the boy's mother and his teachers about his love for comics and superheroes, Somchai rushed back to the fire station to change into a Spider-Man costume before swinging into action.
"I told him Spider-Man is here to save you. No monster will hurt you now," Somchai said. "Then I told him to walk slowly toward me. I was very nervous that he might have slipped if he got too excited and ran."
Somchai, who keeps costume of Spider-Man and a Japanese superhero Ultraman to liven up fire drills at schools, said the teary-eyed boy broke into a smile and started walking into his arms.
On Tuesday, the Anchorage Daily News also printed a blistering editorial on Palin, calling her response to the State Legislature's Troopergate report "Orwellian." She claims the report vindicates her when in fact it says on page eight, "I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act." She broke the state ethics law, pure and simple.
Also: McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam Hussein In Lobbying Effort:
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.and Rick Davis, McCain's Campaign Manager, Made Nearly $2 Million To Defend Mortgage Giants From Stricter Regulations:
Senator John McCain's campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.Not to mention that John McCain told USA TODAY that he "has no problem with his top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann's past lobbying work. The fighting between Russia and Georgia has brought renewed attention to Scheunemann and the lobbying firm he founded, Orion Strategies, which received more than $730,000 from Georgia since 2001."
Can he have any more lobbyists on his team?
Find out how your taxes will change under the candidates tax plans.
Obama has opened up a 14-point lead in a CBS/NYT survey. Don't get over-confident my friends, there's still 20 days left and who knows what ugliness lies on the last page of McCain's scorched-earth campaign book. However, conservatives are blaming McCain for the possible Obama landslide.
Also: The Scholastic Presidential Election Poll results are in and Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote, to 39 percent for Republican nominee Senator John McCain.
"Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy. In 2000, a majority of student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result, but not the result of the popular vote. "
Don't forget the last debate is tonight. Tune in, turn on, vote!
EDIT: I had to add one more link - The Daily Show on McCain's new fiery stump speech. Awesomely hilarious.
The thawed body of a creature reputed to be Bigfoot reportedly weighs more than 500 pounds.
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, a pair of Bigfoot-hunting hobbyists from north Georgia, say they found the creature's body in a wooded area and spotted several similar creatures that were still alive.
The carcass of the furry half-man, half-ape is 7 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs more than 500 pounds, they say. However, the two are not disclosing the exact location of their discovery to protect the remaining creatures.
Tom Nelson, chairman of the biology department at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, said he's "pretty skeptical" the world will feast its eyes on a new species Friday.
"That would certainly rock mammalogy," joked Nelson, who specializes in the study of mammals. "I see a research grant in my future."
Whitton and Dyer plan to unveil what they say is DNA and photo evidence of the discovery in Palo Alto, California, in conjunction with a group called Searching for Bigfoot Inc.
( Read more... )
"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things — bad language and whatever — it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition," Carlin told the AP in a 2004 interview. "There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."
Everything seemingly is spinning out of control
By ALAN FRAM and EILEEN PUTMAN, Associated Press Writers
2 hours, 9 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
, twist in your grave.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 3 minutes ago
ATHENS, Greece - A Greek court has been asked to draw the line between the natives of theof Lesbos and the world's gay women.
Three islanders from Lesbos — home of the ancient poet, who praised love between women — have taken a gay rights group to court for using the word lesbian in its name.
One of the plaintiffs said Wednesday that the name of the association, Homosexual and Lesbian Community of, "insults the identity" of the people of Lesbos, who are also known as Lesbians.
"My sister can't say she is a Lesbian," said Dimitris Lambrou. "Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos," he said.
By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer
If Bush & Co. were the heads of any other country, and pulled this shit, they would be sitting on trial in the Hague for war crimes. Pure and simple. The fact that more people aren't outraged, that our Congress is allowing them to walk out the door next year without bringing these criminals to justice, absolutely boils my blood.
WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found thatand top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader,, as a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.
The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq hador was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to or both.
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."( The Full Text )
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.
Delhi has long struggled to cope with the marauding monkeys
SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys.
The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.
The High Court ordered the city to find an answer to the problem last year.
One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.
The city has also employed monkey catchers to round them up so they can be moved to forests.
But the problem has persisted.
Culling is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who revere the monkeys as a manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman, and often feed them bananas and peanuts.
Urban development around the city has also been blamed for destroying the monkeys' natural habitat.
Mr Bajwa, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is survived by his wife and a son, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
"Star Wars" -- Revenge of the WritersStill a little upset with the Jar Jar Binks debacle? Think you know what happened between the time Anakin became Vader and Luke met Obi Wan in the desert? If the idea of expanding that far, far away galaxy is a lifelong dream of yours, you might want to grab your iBook and get on your speeder bike and hurry on down to Santa Monica.
A TMZ spy informs us that the Star Wars camp is in Santa Monica interviewing writers for their upcoming live action Star Wars TV movies. Some of the writers already under consideration have written for "Lost" and "Heroes." The show will cover the 19-year span between "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars: A New Hope." The new show will focus on minor characters in the Star Wars universe, so don't expect them to dwell on Luke Skywalker's terrible twos.
If you do secure an audience with Mr. Lucas, may the force be with you.
LAFAYETTE, Tennessee (AP) -- The state has closed a day care facility after a worker allegedly hid crying infants in a storage room during an unannounced inspection, possibly to disguise inadequate staffing, officials said.
Two of the infants were crying when the inspector arrived. When the inspector found them, the worker acted as if she did not know they were there, according to the state's suspension order.
It was at that point that things began to get really strange.
The Mountain Democrat ('California's oldest newspaper') gives some details from the police report, following the eventual arrest of the naked man, identified as Terence Michael Dean, 37. It is a tribute to what went on that day that the fact its protagonist is called Colt Langstaff and lives in a town called Cool is by far the most boring thing about this story.
After the naked sheet guy fled, Langstaff went into his house to discover that all the taps were running, causing a small flood. Why were the taps running? It's unclear, but it was possibly something to do with the many packages of meat that Langstaff found lying in the sink and bath. It was just after Langstaff noticed the bathroom meat that the police arrived. Several other features of the crime scene immediately called attention to themselves. The trails of potting soil were one element. The first soil trail led to the front door, where a rudimentary shrine had been created, featuring a statue of the Bhudda on top of a bongo drum. The second trail of soil led to the suspect's truck. The origin of the soil was quickly traced by the detectives to around 100 houseplants that had been ripped from their pots, and placed near the truck. The truck was also observed to contain a considerable amount of Langstaff's property, notably his toaster, some pictures, and of course a number of empty potting soil bags.
Now, at this point, readers familiar with this type of crime will probably be asking themselves, 'hey, shouldn't there be teddy bears on plant stands as well?' You will be relieved to know that no fewer than three plant stands holding teddy bears were also discovered in the vicinity of the truck. Inside the house, the lit candles in the living room were perhaps less impressive than the contents of the kitchen – namely some burned matches, a bowl of unpopped popcorn, a bowl of water with Langstaff's car keys in it, and paper note floating in a cup of water that read 'I love Cherry.'
At this point, the sheriff's deputies were told that a naked man had introduced himself to one of Langstaff's neighbours, asking to be taken to a hospital. Upon arriving at the neighbour's residence, they identified a naked man wrapped in a towel and smoking a cigarette as the likely suspect, and arrested him.
Reassuringly, Dean has now been released on $25,000 bail.
Updated: 11/23/2006 01:22:44 PM
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Jamie Lee Jones
Jessica Rae Baribeau
Christian Alexander Utne
The six adults and one juvenile who were arrested while impersonating the undead in July filed their lawsuit Thursday.
The ragged group were arrested for "simulating weapons of mass destruction" during a dance party near the Minneapolis entertainment district.
Police alleged that wires protruding from the zombie's backpacks could have been bombs or were meant to imitate bombs. It was later learned the wires were actually radios.
The adult zombies were jailed for two days before police and city attorneys said there was not enough evidence to charge them.
The lawsuit claims the zombie event was intended to "satirize contemporary commercial culture" and the arrests violated the partygoers rights to free speech.
City officials did not return a call to the St. Paul Pioneer Press seeking comment on Wednesday. City offices were closed on Thanksgiving.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Jim Henson's "Fraggle Rock" is coming to the big screen.
The 1980s cult hit TV show is being developed by Ahmet Zappa -- younger son of Frank Zappa -- into a full-length live-action musical fantasy starring the classic characters.
"(Zappa) recently created his own fantasy property ('Mighty McFearless'), and we had him in to talk about books and movies," said Lisa Henson, who serves as co-CEO of the Jim Henson Co. with her brother, Brian.
"During that conversation, I had an intuition that he might be a 'Fraggle Rock' fan. He jumped out of his seat when he heard our idea of making 'Fraggle Rock' into a feature-length movie."
Zappa -- a musician and TV personality who will serve as the project's executive producer -- is developing a treatment in which puppet stars Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red will travel from beneath the Rock and venture into the human world for the first time.
"The Fraggles didn't really get into the human world on the series, so we plan to make the movie more about the intersection between the Fraggles and the humans," Lisa Henson said.
Zappa is informally talking to musician friends about writing original songs for the movie. The original Henson puppets will be refurbished and updated for the film, with little expectation of computer-generated enhancements.
A release date has yet to be determined. Lisa Henson plans to hire a screenwriter and director once an initial treatment is completed.
"We're taking the movie as far as we can independently because the company has a big personal investment in how the movie turns out," she said.
"Fraggle Rock" premiered on HBO in 1983 and over five seasons garnered multiple awards and a global fan following. The show was created by Jim Henson as an international co-production and was adapted for each territory to meet the needs of its audience.
Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.
Bush’s contention that he can ignore provisions of the Patriot Act, whose renewal he ushered last month, has drawn scrutiny. (Jim Young/ Reuters)
President cites powers of his office
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Enlarge Lo Sai Hung, AP By Sylvia Hui, Associated PressHONG KONG — The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.
The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years.
"We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," added Hawking, who arrived to a rock star's welcome Monday. Tickets for his lecture planned for Wednesday were sold out.
He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.
"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
The 64-year-old scientist — author of the global best seller "A Brief History of Time" — is wheelchair-bound and communicates with the help of a computer because he suffers from a neurological disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
Hawking said he's teaming up with his daughter to write a children's book about the universe, aimed at the same age range as the Harry Potter books.
"It is a story for children, which explains the wonders of the universe," his daughter, Lucy, added.
They didn't provide other details.Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Posted 6/13/2006 9:29 AM ET
Humans want to breed without limit. The Earth is limited in size and resources. Unless you either A) get humans to voluntarily reduce the population (current numbers say that without a suitable replacement for oil-based energy needs, the Earth can only sustain perhaps one billion people, meaning about 5.5 billion people need to die) and lower their consumer needs and wasteful attitudes and begin working with almost entirely renewable resources, or B) we need to expand into space and start spreading across the Universe.
Only in an infinite, or nearly so Universe will humans stop these pesky tribal/territorial squabbles that affect us every single day. Tim Leary and Robert Anton WIlson have been saying this for a long time. Science fiction authors have known this for a long time. Even the Egyptians have a myth about us returning to the stars.