Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hilton sues site with her personal items

LOS ANGELES - Paris Hilton filed a federal lawsuit Monday, seeking to shut down a Web site that displays personal photos, videos, diaries, and other belongings once kept at a storage facility.

The Web site was launched last week claiming the items were auctioned off after Hilton neglected to pay the Los Angeles-area storage facility. It also promises visitors who pay a fee of $39.97 access to Hilton's passport, medical records and other legal documents.

In her lawsuit, Hilton said she put her possessions in storage two years ago when she and her sister, Nicky, moved out of a house that had been burglarized.

The 25-year-old heiress said a moving company was supposed to pay the storage fees and was "shocked and surprised" to learn her belongings were sold at a public auction.

"I was appalled to learn that people are exploiting my and my sisters' private personal belongings for commercial gain," Hilton said in a declaration supporting the lawsuit, adding she was concerned the information could be used for identity theft or harassment.

The lawsuit alleges defendants Nabil and Nabila Haniss paid $2,775 for the contents of the storage unit and later sold the items for $10 million to entrepreneur Bardia Persa, who created the site.

Phone numbers for Nabil and Nabila Haniss of Culver City could not be located. Persa did not immediately respond to an e-mail Monday seeking comment.

Hilton's publicist Elliot Mintz said that she would like the site shut down and "would like all of these items returned to her."

Greased, Naked student Disrupts Lunch

WESTERVILLE, Ohio - A high school lunch period was disrupted Monday by a greased, naked student who ran around screaming and flailing his arms until police twice used a stun gun on him, authorities said.

Taylor Killian, 18, had rubbed his body with grapeseed oil to keep from being caught, and got up after the first time he was shocked to continue running toward a group of frightened students huddled in a corner at Westerville North High School, Lt. Jeff Gaylor said.

"That prank went a little farther than he intended, I guess," Gaylor said.

Officer Doug Staysniak was monitoring the lunch period when Killian, with long hair and a full beard, ran in the room toward students, who screamed and ran away. The officer is normally assigned to a middle school and did not recognize Killian as a student, Gaylor said.

Police said that an administrator ordered Killian to stop, but that the student made a sexual gesture and kept running.

Killian is in jail and charged with inducing panic, public indecency, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. A message seeking comment was left at Killian's home.

School officials reported that Killian was a good student, Gaylor said. There was no indication of substance abuse or a medical problem.

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Teenage Girl forced by Policeman to Perform Jumping Exercises while Topless

MIAMI - A Florida city has agreed to pay $35,000 to a teenage girl who was forced by a policeman to perform jumping exercises while topless in order to avoid arrest on an indecency charge.

The Pensacola City Council approved the payment on Thursday night to settle a lawsuit the girl filed against the city police department.

Officer Shawn Patrick Shields approached a parked car and found two partially dressed teenagers inside in April 2003, according to a police report. The officer put the 16-year-old girl and 19-year-old man into his police car and threatened to arrest them for lewd and lascivious behavior.

The girl said Shields suggested she instead perform topless exercises as a punishment and shined his flashlight on her while she did five jumping jacks.

Shields resigned under pressure, pleaded no contest to a criminal charge of extortion and was ordered to serve two years on probation, police Lt. Randy Stull said.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Batman's nemesis The Joker gets his Dutch I.D.

Is The Joker, one of Batman's fiercest enemies, a Dutch citizen?

A 35-year-old man from the western Dutch town of Hellevoetsluis convinced local authorities to issue him an identity card with a picture that shows him as The Joker, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Thursday.

The man also managed to apply for a driver's license picturing him with the cartoon character's trademark white skin and dark hat.

ANP said the man was working in the security sector and had wanted to show that current rules for identity papers were insufficient.

The Joker, played by Jack Nicholson in the movie version of Batman, is probably the best known enemy of the fictional superhero.

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Snakes Help Soothe the Joints at Spa

Hold the Dead Sea salts and tea-tree oil. An Israeli health and beauty spa has introduced a new treatment to its menu -- snake massage.

For 300 shekels ($70), clients at Ada Barak's spa in northern Israel can add a wild twist to their treatment by having six non-venomous but very lively serpents slither and hiss a path across their aching muscles and stiff joints.

"I'm actually afraid of snakes, but the therapeutic effects are really good," customer Liz Cohen told Reuters Television as Barak let the snakes loose on her body.

Barak uses California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes and milk snakes in her treatments, which she said were inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the creatures to be soothing.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

70kg Python that Ate 11 Dogs Captured in Segamat

SEGAMAT: The mystery surrounding 11 missing dogs was solved when villagers caught a huge python on Wednesday.

Ali Yusof, 35, who had lost 11 dogs in the past three months, found the python coiled at the edge of a swampy area near his orchard at Kampung Pogoh here.

He ran to inform other villagers.

"I was shocked to see such a huge python," he said.

It took six men and three hours to capture the 70kg snake which measured 7.1 metres in length and 60cm in diameter. They tied it to a tree.

Ali said he had four dogs to guard his orchard, but for the past three months the canines had disappeared one after another, and he had to replace them. He suspected his guard dogs were being eaten by a beast after he found footprints of the dogs disappearing into a swampy area.

"But I did not expect it to be a python," he said.

Ali and the villagers contacted the Wildlife and National Parks Department in Segamat and the officers collected the python yesterday.


Nicole Kidman in a Crash during LA Movie Shoot

Nicole Kidman was taken to a hospital after the Jaguar she was in crashed early Thursday during downtown shooting of the science fiction thriller "The Invasion," police said.

Kidman, 39, was examined at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and then released a short time later. Paramedics were called to examine Kidman for injuries before she was taken to the hospital, police said.

"Nicole Kidman was in the vehicle at the time of the accident and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. She was released shortly thereafter," Warner Bros. said in a statement.

No other actors were involved in the scene at the time of the accident, the studio said.

The Jaguar was being towed by a camera rig that skidded while taking a corner and caused Kidman's car to hit a pole on West Sixth Street, police said. The actress was wearing a seat belt.

"The stunt driver apparently went off course and hit a light post at about 1 a.m.," police Officer Karen Smith said.

Eight people, including Kidman, stuntmen and cameramen, were taken to hospitals for examination and were released, Smith said. Warner Bros. said two crew members had minor injuries.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., also said production continued after the crash and Kidman was expected back on the set Thursday.

The Oscar-winning actress, who stars as a Washington psychiatrist who unearths the origin of an alien epidemic, was involved in a scene involving an escape from zombielike characters who are on the hood of the car.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Doggie Beer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - After a long day hunting, there's nothing like wrapping your paw around a cold bottle of beer. So Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt.

"Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the verandah and drink a beer. So we thought, my dog also has earned it," she said.

Berenden consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the nonalcoholic beer, branded as Kwispelbier. It was introduced to the market last week and advertised it as "a beer for your best friend."

"Kwispel" is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.

The beer is fit for human consumption, Berenden said. But at euro1.65 ($2.14) a bottle, it's about four times more expensive than a Heineken.

Dunking Parakeet becomes Web video star

Teaching a parakeet to putt is no tap-in. Ask David Cota, who spent months training his Indian ringneck parakeet A.J. to use a tiny putter to sink putts on a miniature green, making the 5-inch tall bird an Internet video star.

"It doesn't look all that tough nowadays, but try to get a a bird to hold a little stick basically in its beak. The first time, he snapped it right in half," Cota said. A.J. can also dunk a tiny basketball on a tiny court. He rolls over. He shakes. His play dead is spooky.

A "Tonight" show darling from the end of the Johnny Carson era, A.J. and Cota are staging a comeback thanks to such Web sites as YouTube.com. A.J. has a MySpace.com page and his own Web site.

The 16-year-old parakeet recently won an "outrageous bird" viral video contest sponsored by MagRack, an on-demand television network. A.J.'s sporting skills impressed a 13-member celebrity panel that included actor Carol Spinney, Sesame Street's "Big Bird" since 1969, and Tippi Hedren, who got her star turn in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic "The Birds."

"I've never seen a little parakeet that was that athletic," said Hedren, who learned to love her avian co-stars despite Hitchcock's ruthless plot. "He was really astounding with his golf game and the basketball. It's just too cute, too adorable. And he looked like he was having fun with it, too."

Cota, 38, owes his extended 15 minutes of fame to two dead parakeets.

The first bird belonged to a college girlfriend. Cota was left to care for it. It died.

"A fluke," he insists. He tried to slip in a replacement parakeet — and ended up single with plenty of free time to train his new pet parakeet, named "Axl" for the lead singer of Guns N' Roses.

Axl was accidentally crushed only hours before he was scheduled to perform on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in May 1990. Cota's college roommate fell asleep and rolled on top of the bird in a hotel room provided by NBC. The death made national news.

Carson turned the mishap into a comedy bit. Wearing a black armband, he hosted an on-air memorial service for Axl, complete with "Taps" performed by Doc Severinsen. Carson gave Cota a new parakeet, A.J., whose name is a nod to Axl and to Carson. He told Cota to come back on the show when he'd trained the new bird.

Cota and A.J. performed for Carson. They have also been on with Jay Leno and on David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks."

Cota, who works for sports apparel distributor in southwest Florida, stumbled into the world of bird training by accident.

In college, he and his friends were impressed by Axl's skills at the college drinking game "quarters." The goal is to bounce quarters into a glass, or drink if you miss. Axl would run down runaway quarters and dunk them.

"The bird became kind of like the wild card," Cota said. "You could bid to have the bird on your team, so if you missed and the bird would put it in, you'd still get credit. So I just turned that quarter game into basketball."

A.J. now knows far more tricks than Axl did. Cota and his friends have built elaborate sets including a basketball court featuring the Portland Trail Blazers' logo and a putting green complete with plastic putter and a golf bag.

Next up on A.J.'s training agenda: Water skiing.

"I don't think there is any limit to what I can show him," Cota said.

Video Link on Youtube

Singapore's Crazy Horse Topless Cabaret to Close

SINGAPORE: One of Singapore's high-profile initiatives to shake off its straight-laced image has fallen flat, with the promoters of the topless Crazy Horse Paris cabaret announcing Thursday that it will close due to poor attendance.

Eng Wah Organization Ltd., which introduced the famous Parisian cabaret - known for its scantily dressed dancing girls - to Singapore a year ago with the support of the government, said it will book losses of 7.1 million Singapore dollars (US$4.6 million; euro3.5 million) because of the closure.

Eng Wah managing director Goh Min Yen said Singapore may not have been ready for the show.

"We may have brought it a little early. I believe that Singapore has the potential to support a vibrant nightlife and there will be future opportunities that we can explore,'' she said at a news conference.

Singapore was the first city in Asia to host a Crazy Horse Paris cabaret, ahead of several other Asian cities, including Tokyo and Hong Kong, that have bid for rights to the show.

As part of a strategy to become a vibrant international city, Singapore has in recent times loosened some of its strict social controls.

Bar-top dancing is no longer illegal, chewing gum can be bought from drug stores and two casinos are being built.

The last show in Singapore of the cabaret, which has been running for 55 years in its Paris home, is scheduled for Jan. 31

Loan Sharks Paint Dogs Red

KUALA LUMPUR: Loan sharks here have found a perfect way to end The Year of the Dog - painting their victims' dogs in bold red paint.

Such was the case of sales executive Lee Kok Kuean, 30, who came home recently to find the walls and gate of his terrace house splattered in red paint, along with his two pet Shih Tzus, whom he fondly calls Bobby and Bobo.

Adding to his grief was the fact that he was taking the brunt for his older brother's apparent money-borrowing addiction.

Since Jan 20, multiple loan sharks had harassed Lee to return an undisclosed amount of money which had been borrowed by his 33-year-old brother over a period of several months.

Rude awakenings at midnight and threats have since become the norm for Lee, who lives together with his parents.

"They (Ah Longs) are definitely barking up the wrong tree. My parents and I shouldn't be taking responsibility for his actions.

"My mother has settled some RM40,000 for him for the past five years and yet he refuses to stop borrowing money," said Lee, adding that he had no knowledge of what his brother does with the money.

Speaking to reporters at a conference at the MCA Public Complaints and Services Department on Thursday, Lee complained that the police had yet to take action despite having lodged the report on Sunday.

In this matter, department head Datuk Michael Chong urged the authorities to take the matter seriously.

"In this month alone, there have been 48 cases involving at least 254 loan sharks, bringing an alarming total of RM1,261,216 of cash being owed," said Chong, who was rudely interrupted when a loan shark by the name of Ah Sim called Lee's handphone during the conference, threatening to hurt his parents unless he paid up.

Lee has since disowned his brother, stating that he will have nothing further to do with him.

Chong later continued to say that Ah Longs should spare the innocent party from being the target of their anger.

In a related case, cobbler Lai Yoke Moy, 34, also present at the conference shared the same sentiments, as she had been harassed by loan sharks for her husband's debts.

"Please look for him and not me," she said in between sobs.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Girl Produce Coloured Stones from her Toes

A small town girl has become an overnight sensation. She produces colourful crystal-like stones from beneath her toenails.

Rubber tapper Kamariah Koning, 52, said since her 23-year-old daughter Siti Suhana Saadon was featured on TV3 yesterday, people have been coming to her Taman Cempaka Dua, Durian Tunggal, home from far and wide. And the telephone has not stopped ringing.

"People just want to know how the stones grow from my daughter's toes," said Kamariah. “We are not looking for publicity, but we want someone to research on this and heal my daughter," she said.

He mother told reporters that the skin under Siti Suhana's toe nails opens up, releases a stone and then closes itself.

"I don‘t work as I have to care for my disabled brother. Also, I feel weak when the stones are about to come out," said Siti Suhana.

COLOURFUL: The stones (at left) produced by Siti Suhana's toe. NST PIX BY Nashairi Mohd Nawi.

CLOSER-LOOK: Kamariah looking at one of the crystal-like stones from her daughter's toe.

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Qantas bars Passenger for Bush T-Shirt

An airline passenger barred from a flight for wearing a T-shirt labeling President Bush a terrorist has threatened legal action against Australia's flag carrier Qantas.

Allen Jasson, 55, an Australian IT expert who lives in Britain, was stopped from boarding a London-bound Qantas flight at Melbourne Airport last Friday for wearing what the airline said was an offensive T-shirt.

Airline staff said the T-shirt of Bush with the tagline "World's number 1 terrorist" could have upset other passengers and demanded it be changed for another.

But Jasson, who had earlier traveled on a Qantas domestic flight wearing the Bush T-shirt, said his right to freedom of speech had been infringed by Qantas.

"I am not prepared to go without the T-shirt. I might forfeit the fare, but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech," Jasson told Australian media on Monday, adding he would seek legal advice.

Qantas issued a statement saying comments made verbally or on a T-shirt which had the potential to offend other travelers or threaten the security of aircraft "will not be tolerated.

Phone Thief Repents after 21 SMSes

A Chinese thief has returned a mobile phone and thousands of yuan he stole from a woman after she sent him 21 touching text messages, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Pan Aiying, a teacher in the eastern province of Shandong, had her bag containing her mobile phone, bank cards and 4,900 yuan ($630) snatched by a man riding a motorcycle as she cycled home on Friday, Xinhua said, citing the Qilu Evening News.

Pan first thought of calling the police but she decided to try to persuade the young man to return her bag.

She called her lost phone with her colleague's cell phone but was disconnected. Then she began sending text messages.

"I'm Pan Aiying, a teacher from Wutou Middle School. You must be going through a difficult time. If so, I will not blame you," wrote Pan in her first text message which did not get a response.

"Keep the 4,900 yuan if you really need it, but please return the other things to me. You are still young. To err is human. Correcting your mistakes is more important than anything," Pan wrote.

She gave up hope of seeing her possessions again after sending 21 text messages without a reply.

But on her way out on Sunday morning, she stumbled over a package that had been left in her courtyard only to discover it was her stolen bag. Nothing had been taken.

"Dear Pan: I'm sorry. I made a mistake. Please forgive me," a letter inside said.

"You are so tolerant even though I stole from you. I'll correct my ways and be an upright person."

Sharon Stone Film may receive Worst Film Award ( Golden Raspberry Awards)

Who says you have to be good to win an award in Hollywood?

Sharon Stone may have hit stardom years ago with her original version of "Basic Instinct," but last year's sequel belly-flopped big time and now is up for top honors at the 27th annual Golden Raspberry awards celebrating the worst in filmmaking.

"Basic Instinct 2" received seven nominations, tying the unfunny comedy "Little Man," made by the Wayans brothers, for the most nominations at the Razzies, which will be held on February 24, a day before the Oscar awards are given.

"Basic" nominations came for worst picture, actress, supporting actor, director, sequel, screenplay and screen couple while "Little Man" earned nominations for worst picture, remake/rip-off, director, screenplay, screen couple and two different nominations for worst actor.

John Wilson, who heads the group that spoofs the Oscars by celebrating the year's worst films, called Stone's movie "a lascivious murder mystery that turned out to be a laugh riot," and he dubbed "Little Man" "a comedy nearly as devoid of laughs as 'Schindler's List.'"

Shawn and Marlon Wayans star in "Little Man," directed by their brother Keenen Ivory Wayans in what Wilson called a blatant knock-off of a 1954 Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Also up for the worst movie competition was M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy "Lady in the Water," "The Wicker Man," starring Nicolas Cage and "BloodRayne," a bloodless vampire movie directed by Uwe Boll, who is hailed on the Internet as one of the world's worst directors.

Five films are competing in a new category called Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment: "Deck The Halls," "Garfield: a Tail of Two Kitties," "RV," "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" and "The Shaggy Dog."

Vying for worst actor are Tim Allen, for three films, "Santa Clause 3," "The Shaggy Dog" and "Zoom," Cage for "Wicker Man," Larry, the Cable Guy (Dan Whitney) for "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector," Rob Schneider for "The Benchwarmers" and Marlon and Shawn Wayans for "Little Man."

Competing with Stone in the worst actress category are sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff for "Material Girls," Lindsay Lohan for "Just My Luck," Kristanna Loken for "BloodRayne" and Jessica Simpson for "Employee of the Month."

Other well-known names competing for Razzie awards are Ben Kingsley, Martin Short and Danny DeVito competing as Worst Supporting Actor.

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Diver was Partly Wwallowed by Shark

An Australian abalone diver told rescuers he was partly swallowed head-first by a Great White Shark on Tuesday but managed to fight his way free, suffering a broken nose and bite marks around the chest.

Diver Eric Nerhus, 41, was underwater with his 25-year-old son and other divers off Cape Howe, near Eden on Australia's southeast coast, when the 3 meter (10 foot) shark attacked.

Rescuers earlier mistakenly reported his age as 25.

"He stated that he was head-first into the shark," a spokeswoman for Snowy Hydro SouthCare rescue service told Reuters after airlifting the diver to hospital.

"When he came to us he was conscious and alert but had a broken nose and lacerations to both sides of his torso and chest -- bite marks all the way around," the spokeswoman said.

Nerhus told fellow divers he didn't see the shark coming as the water was so dirty that visibility was severely limited.

"It was black. He didn't see it coming, but he felt the bite and then started getting shaken, and that's when he knew he was in the mouth of the shark," said local diver Michael Mashado.

The shark bit Nerhus around the head first, crushing his face mask and breaking his nose, fellow diver and friend Dennis Luobikis told Reuters.


"He was actually bitten by the head...the shark swallowed his head," said Luobikis, adding a second bite by the shark saw it clench its jaw around Nerhus' torso.

"The brunt of the bite was taken by his lead-weight vest. Its all over your torso. Eric said to me at the wharf that his weight vest saved him," he said.

Abalone divers spend sometimes 6 to 8 hours underwater and use lead weight vests, not lead belts, to stay down. The vests spread the lead weight across the body, minimising back strain.

Nerhus fought frantically to free himself from the shark's jaws and was eventually pulled back aboard his boat by his son.

"He pushed his abalone chisel into its head while it was biting and it let him go and swam away," said Luobikis.

Luobikis said it was a miracle his friend had lived.

"Eric is a tough boy, he's super fit. But I would say that would test anyone's resolve, being a fish lunch," he said.

Attacks by Great White Sharks are usually fatal because of the massive size of the predators, which breed in Australia's cold southern waters, and the sheer force of their bites.

Sharks, including Great Whites, are protected in Australia.

Australia has had a number of shark attacks in the past year.

In December, a surfer off the southern coast survived an attack with minor injuries, while a 15-year-old boy swimming off a remote southwest beach had his leg bitten.

Last January, a scuba diver off the Western Australian city of Perth survived an attack by a Great White after fighting it off with his speargun and then his hands.

A 21-year-old woman died last January after she was attacked by three sharks while swimming off an island on Australia's northeast coast. She lost both forearms and suffered wounds to the legs and torso.

The U.S. state of Florida annually records by far the most shark attacks.

Between 1990 and 2005 there were 341 shark attacks off Florida, according to the U.S.-based International Shark Attack File, www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm

Over the same period, Australia reported 74 attacks, South Africa 72, Brazil 62 and Hawaii 57.

It’s a bra! It’s an eyepatch! It’s a bra! It’s an eyepatch!

Every so often, the fashion world turns very practical.

tuesdayfashion.jpgWith this “creation” unveiled in Paris this week, women have all kinds of flexibility.

They have a bra, a blindfold, an eyepatch, a toga… Probably even a Wonder Woman outfit, if they fold it the right way. What other designer lets you go from pirate to super-hero without even packing an overnight bag?

A model presents a creation by French designer Adeline Andre as part of her Spring-Summer 2007 Haute Couture fashion collection in Paris.

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Man arrested for smuggling 500 parrots in a car

Kazakh border guards arrested a man trying to smuggle 500 parrots in his car from neighbouring Uzbekistan, media reported on Tuesday.

"Border guards discovered a live cargo of 500 parrots in his car," Kazakhstan Today news agency quoted a KNB security service official as saying.

It was unclear how the parrots fit into the Kazakh man's Audi. Trade in wild parrots is banned around the world, according to the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.


Spit Sacks for Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers in China's financial capital of Shanghai are to be issued with "spit sacks" to curb their habit of rolling down their windows and hawking into the road, state media reported on Tuesday.

Phlegmatic cabbies will soon have a sack fixed to the metal grill that surrounds the driver's seat, so that both they and their passengers can make use of it.

The special sacks will be distributed to 45,000 taxis by the Shanghai Patriotic Sanitation Committee to curb spitting in public places, a habit Chinese authorities have long been trying to discourage.

"The 'no spitting' regulation came after Shanghai decided to make people give up the ugly and unhygienic habit and present a healthy city for the 2010 World Expo," the China Daily said.

The spit sack follows an earlier innovation in Shanghai's public hygiene, after the city attached spittoons to garbage cans on sidewalks, the newspaper reported.

The spittoons, however, were not a success. Residents mistook them for ashtrays.

Organizers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, worried about the reaction of visitors, have repeatedly said the capital needs to teach its people to stand in line, stop spitting and littering and generally be better mannered.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Celebs Beware of the Bra Strap Police

As Oscar season gets underway, followers of fashion are being urged to monitor celebrities on the red carpet and report any out-of-place bra straps to the Strap Police.

With bra straps transformed from a practicality into a hot fashion item, one Web site has set up a name-and-shame service to out celebrities and other women suffering from "ugly bra strap syndrome."

Margarita Reis, who runs bra company Margarita Couture, said the growing range of bra straps -- from clear plastic to coloured, encrusted with Swarovski crystals or decorated with flowers -- meant there was no excuse for women to let worn or discoloured bra straps slip into public view.
She has set up the Strap Police on her Web site www.brastraps.com to help keep unsightly straps out of sight.

"Ugly bra strap syndrome is what women get as they dress up and bare their shoulders with an out-of-place strap showing," said Reis, a musician turned bra retailer who is based in Fort Lauderdale, Miami.

Reis said she expected to get a lot of feedback.

"I was watching an award show recently and saw a well-known celebrity sporting dirty bra straps underneath a beautiful evening dress - that is a major fashion faux pas!

"If they -- or any of your friends -- are guilty of showing ugly straps then send them a fashion violation from the Strap Police," said Reis.

Reis, who company sells more than 90 different styles of bra strap, says pairing the wrong bra straps with a dress or top can ruin a fashion look.

Other retailers also sell decorative bra straps that include diamantes or pearls.

"We've created an industry that addresses what has been a really big problem in the workplace, at cocktail parties, because many women had not had the option to get straps to match their outfit," said Reis.

Forbidden City May Close Starbucks

Beijing's Forbidden City may close down its Starbucks in the face of growing protests that the presence of a U.S. coffee shop in the former imperial palace is an insult to Chinese culture, a newspaper said on Thursday.

An online campaign initiated by a television host to drive Starbucks out of the Forbidden City had won the backing of more than half a million Internet users, the official China Daily reported on Thursday.
Rui Chenggang, an anchorman on state television channel CCTV9, wrote in his blog that Starbucks' presence at the Forbidden City was "not globalising, but trampling, Chinese culture", the paper said.
"The museum is working with Starbucks to find a solution by this June in response to the protests," Xinhua news agency quoted museum spokesman Feng Nai'en as saying.
"Whether or not Starbucks remains depends on the entire design plan that will be released in the first half of the year."
Feng said that as part of a facelift, shops in the Forbidden City were being "reassigned" and that one-third had already been removed.
The rectangular Forbidden City, formally known as the Palace Museum, covers 74 hectares (183 acres) surrounded by a moat to the north of Tiananmen Square and has a fabled 9,999 rooms. It was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Starbucks outlet opened in 2000 amid a media backlash so severe that the museum authorities considered revoking its lease after a couple of months.
Starbucks Vice President for Greater China Eden Woon was quoted by the Beijing News as saying the company had no plan to leave the site.
"Starbucks appreciates the deep history and culture of the Forbidden City and has operated in a respectful manner that fits within the environment," he told Reuters.
"We have provided a welcome place of rest for thousands of tourists, both Chinese and foreign, for more than six years. We are honoured to have the opportunity, under an agreement with the Forbidden City, to enhance visitors' museum experience."
In 2002, public protests led to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet being booted out of Beihai Park, a former royal garden neighbouring the Forbidden City.

Thank You Music Video (MV) to Indonesia on Haze

I am totally amazed at the quality of the Music Video done below. The music & tune is rather interesting and catchy.

Its a Music Video done in the Chinese and Malay language on the recent Haze in Malaysia.

Watch the whole Music Video, its 5.25 minutes and its worth it.

Watch the Video below or click here.

Thank You MV (haze season)

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Singer Paula Abdul Cancels Interviews after Drunken Video

"American Idol" judge Paula Abdul canceled media interviews on Friday as an online video emerged of the television star slurring and gesticulating her way through a TV interview a day earlier.

Some viewers of the footage posted on the popular online video site YouTube.com suggested she should head into rehab because it appeared she had been drinking.

But Abdul's spokesman, Jeff Ballard, denied that was under the influence of alcohol or on some kind of medication and said the U.S. performer never drank.

Ballard said the interview was one of the last in a string of question-and-answer sessions she had done over two hours on Thursday ahead of a new season of "American Idol," debuting next week on the Fox network.

"She was exhausted. This was at the end of three days of press (interviews and appearances), and she has had cameras following her around for a reality TV show too," said Ballard, referring to a new documentary series about the star's life.

"She was sitting in a room with just a camera and a mic on, and the controllers dropped the sound twice, which is why she rolled her eyes."

Ballard said Abdul, 44, had canceled all media interviews on Friday because she had a sore throat after sitting in the chilly studio on Thursday.

"She never drinks. I have known Paula Abdul since she was 13, and I have never seen her drink ever in my life. ... And no, she is not on any kind of medication," he said. "She was a little tired."

Abdul, a former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader who gained fame in the late 1980s as a pop singer with such hits as "Straight Up," has been known for emotional displays on "American Idol."

In a 2005 People magazine interview, she denied having a drug problem, saying, "I'm not addicted to pills of any kind."

She went on to explain that she suffers from a neurological disorder that causes chronic pain and requires a weekly injection of an anti-inflammatory drug.

China teens casual about one-night stands

More than half of China's high school students find nothing wrong with one-night stands and an overwhelming majority of girls would not reject a boyfriend's demands for sex, a poll suggests.

Some 6.2 percent of the survey's 2,300 high school students in Xuanwu, a downtown district in the Chinese capital of Beijing, had already had a sexual experience and the average age of students losing their virginity was 15, the China Daily said on Thursday.

The results surprised educators, the newspaper said.

"The new generation is open-minded about sex," Zhang Meimei, a professor at Capital Normal University who was involved in the survey conducted last year, was quoted as saying.

"We can only conclude that it is a result of a fast-changing society."

China's traditional culture sanctifies abstinence and the ruling Communist Party is also officially puritanical, but three decades of market reforms have brought forth an ever more rebellious and diverse urban youth culture.

Of the 1,300 girls asked if they would agree to sex when asked by a boyfriend, only six gave a definite "no."

"The typical answer: 'As long as he loves me, it's OK'," the newspaper said.

About 200 respondents of both sexes said they would have a one-night stand if the opportunity arose, it added.

Such liberal attitudes to sex have sparked concerns over safe sex, with more than 40 percent of respondents who had had sex saying they did not use contraceptives for their first time, the China Daily said.

Underage girls accounted for about a quarter of the 1.5 million abortions in mainland China every year, and teenage pregnancies were on the rise, the newspaper said.

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Any Idea on HOW to Send a Skunk from Canada to California?

Canadian wildlife officials are looking for a brave driver prepared for a 3,500-kilometre (2,200 mile) trip to take a stinky stowaway skunk back to her home in California.

But the skunk, who survived a seven-day journey across the United States and into Canada without food and water, after being accidentally locked away in a transport truck, is having a hard time finding someone to give her a ride home.

"We can never give a no-spray guarantee, of course," said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director at the Toronto Wildlife Center, which has been caring for the skunk since January 5, referring to the black-and-white striped animal's foul-smelling defense mechanism.

"It would have be somebody who would be prepared for that possibility."
Releasing her into the wild in Canada is out of the question, Karvonen said.

"It's totally and utterly illegal from a provincial and federal standpoint to release a California skunk in Ontario."

As well, "skunks are very territorial animals ... "They won't just readily accept a stranger in their territory, so there will be a big skunk fight."

The skunk likely dozed off in some piping being stored in a yard in California. The cargo was eventually loaded onto a truck to Mississauga, Ontario, just west of Toronto.

"She was certainly a bit dehydrated and thin when we got her," Karvonen said. "Luckily, at this time of the year, even in California, a skunk would likely have more fat reserves ... so that was probably fortunate for her."

While airlines usually agree to return such "accidental travelers" for free, Karvonen said the response has not been positive in this particular case.
Frankly, she's not surprised.

"I wouldn't want to fly on a plane with a skunk either," she said. "She's not necessarily going to spray, but I'm sure a skunk has never experienced takeoff and landing and those are pretty startling things, and that's usually when they spray."

Skunks can blast their sulfurous spray as far as 3 metres (10 feet) from two anal scent glands, leaving victims with stinging eyes and gasping for air.

Ground transport is the most likely way to get the skunk home, so the Wildlife Center is looking either for a private driver traveling to California or a willing trucking company with the Pacific Coast state on its route.

"At least if you're in a car, you can stop and roll down the windows," Karvonen said. "If you're on a plane for five hours, you don't have a lot of options there."

She added that, despite the problem of finding transport, putting the animal down was out of the

"It is a perfectly healthy animal who's just gotten away from its home territory. Certainly, to euthanize it just because she doesn't have a ride home is not a nice option for us."

Those with an idea on how to get the animal home can contact the Toronto Wildlife Center at 1-416-631-0662.

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Sibu Cops Save Girl from Rapists

Police saved a 15-year-old girl from two youths who allegedly attempted to rape her in a four-wheel drive following a dramatic high speed chase here.
The chase started from Jalan Chew Siik Kiong and ended near Sungai Engkalat when suspects' vehicle plunged into the Igan River.
The suspects, aged 18 and 24, and the girl managed to swim to safety. Police subsequently apprehended the suspects one in a drain and the other in a nearby sago plantation.

Police, who had to fire a warning shot to get the 24-year-old suspect to surrender, seized the vehicle, which was reported stolen in Bintulu recently.

The drama unfolded when a patrol car was deployed to Jalan Chew Siik Kiong to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle.

Arriving there at about 4am, the policemen found two youths and a girl inside the car parked behind a building.

Suddenly, the driver sped off, and the patrol car gave chase.

The girl, from a longhouse at Km48 Jalan Oya, told police that she met one of the suspects two days ago in town and he invited her for a dinner at a restaurant on Tuesday.

Saying that her drinks might have been spiked, as she felt drowsy after having drinks during dinner, she claimed that the suspects attempted to rape her.


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Schoolgirls Competing to be No.1 in Sex Game

A GROUP of female students in a secondary school in Johor Baru are said to be competing among themselves to be the one with the highest number of one-night stands, Nanyang Siang Pau reported.

Each of the 10 students in the group, aged between 13 and 15 years old, would fork out between RM50 and RM100 to be in the game.

The student with the highest number of sex partners within a month would get a “reward”, which ranged from between RM500 and RM1,000, said the report.

Usually, a student would need between 13 and 15 sex partners to claim the “reward”.
It was learnt that the school had expelled some students involved in the activity, but the report added that it was still going on.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

New Toilet has Flush with Live Fishes

Now this is something you may definitely want to put in your newly renovated home. A toilet flush feature with Live Fishes!!!

Home renovators looking to bring life to the smallest room in their home now have the chance -- with a toilet that doubles as an aquarium.

The Fish 'n Flush is a clear two-piece toilet tank that replaces a standard toilet tank, with a see-through aquarium wrapping itself around a conventional toilet tank.

"We wanted to develop a product that had a dual purpose - to serve as a proper, fully functional toilet and also as a source of entertainment and conversation," said Devon Niccole, marketing director of California-based designer AquaOne Technologies Inc. which has just started to selling the tank.

He said the company, which specializes in water conservation equipment for home appliance, had worked with a marine biologist to design a tank that ensured the fish were not harmed when the toilet was flushed.

The aquarium toilet tank, which sells for $299, fits most toilets with the 2.2-gallon aquarium piece able to be easily removed for cleaning. The toilet tank itself holds 2.5 gallons which gives sufficient pressure for flushing.

"Some people think we're nuts but other just love it and parents are using it to help their children with potty training. One thing you can guarantee is that people will be talking about it after seeing it in your home," said Niccole.

Couple confesses to killing noisy neighbors

An Italian couple have confessed to killing four neighbors including a toddler after a long feud over noise, a prosecutor said Thursday, resolving a gruesome murder case that has held the country in thrall.

Thirty-year-old Raffaella Castagna, her two-year-old son, her mother and a neighbor were found with their throats slit on December 11 in Castagna's apartment in the wealthy northern town of Erba. Their home had been set on fire.

The press immediately fingered Castagna's husband, a Tunisian immigrant recently freed from jail under a mass pardon, only to offer rare front-page apologies when it emerged that at the time of the murders he was on a trip to his homeland.

The vicious nature of the murders fueled talk of a vendetta linked to the Tunisian's previous conviction for drug dealing.

But earlier this week police arrested Olindo Romano and Rosa Bazzi, an apparently respectable middle-aged couple with no criminal record living in the same building. They confessed in a 10-hour interrogation and Bazzi said she killed the two-year-old, investigators said.

The neighbors had a long-running feud with the Castagnas whom they accused of being noisy, but surviving members of the Castagna family never imagined they would go so far.
Investigators said they believed the murders were premeditated.

"This is a case that has shaken the consciences of everybody, including us the magistrates," prosecutor Alessandro Maria Lodolini told a news conference. "It became a matter of honor for us to resolve it as quickly as possible and reassure public opinion," he said.

Police were eventually led to the culprits by a 60-year-old neighbor who was attacked and left for dead when he tried to help the victims. They also found blood in Romano's car.

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Nepal Tourism Mistakenly uses Peru Inca photos

Royal Nepal Airlines has apologized to Peru after mistakenly using a photo of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu to promote tourism in Nepal.

Peru's foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday the flagship carrier of the Himalayan kingdom, about half way around the world from the Andean country, had put the picture of Peru's tourism icon, Machu Picchu, on a poster under a slogan "Have you seen Nepal?"

Peruvian mountaineer Ernesto Malaga, who was visiting India last month, noticed the blunder on a poster hanging on a wall in the airline's office in New Delhi. Peruvian authorities requested explanations from the airline via the embassy.

"The airline ... offered apologies to Peru for using the picture of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary on a poster to promote their country and assured that the lamentable error has been corrected," the statement said.

"As a consequence, the Nepalese airline fired an employee in the rank of a manager ... It is concluded that it was an isolated error," it added.

From a distance, some mountain temples in the Himalayas could be mistaken for Incan ruins, which also cling to steep slopes.

Nepal is actively promoting tourism in the hope that foreigners will return in big numbers to visit its snow-capped mountains and ancient temples after a long Maoist revolt.

In the meantime, Peru's government is urging residents and visitors to vote for the Andean Machu Picchu site as one of the world's new seven wonders in a publicity campaign by the New7Wonders Foundation (www.new7wonders.com).

Built in the 1460s and abandoned for three centuries after the Spanish conquest, Machu Picchu, or "Old Peak" in the Quechua language, was rediscovered by U.S. archeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911.

Beckham says its Not For the Money! when he gets $1 Million A Week in LA

Beckham heads for LA in $1 million a week deal

MADRID (Reuters) - David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the Spanish season and sign a five-year deal for U.S. side Los Angeles Galaxy worth $1 million a week, the biggest in world sport.

"After discussing several options with my family and my advisors to either stay here in Madrid or join other major British and European teams I have decided to join LA Galaxy and play in the Major League Soccer (MLS) from August this year," Beckham told Reuters.

The 31-year-old former England captain, married to former Spice Girl pop star Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams, will earn a total $250 million over the five years financed heavily by endorsements and including bonuses based on performance and the future success of the MLS.

"I would like to thank supporters and the people of Madrid who have made my family and I so welcome in my time here making this an extremely difficult decision to make," Beckham added.
"I have enjoyed my time here enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me an opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans."

Beckham, who joined the Spanish giants from Manchester United in June 2003, is still one of the most recognisable and marketable sports figures in the world despite being dropped by England following last year's World Cup quarter-final exit and has spent much of the Spanish season on the bench.

He is certainly the biggest name to move to the U.S. since soccer greats Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff played in the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s and early 80s gives a major shot in the arm to the Major League Soccer (MLS), formed 10 years ago.

In a televised interview issued by LA Galaxy, Beckham added: "Another challenge has come up and it is the right time for us to do it.

"I didn't want to go out there at 34 years old and for people to turn around and say he's only going there to get the money. It's not what I'm going out there to do.

"I'm going to hopefully build a club and a team that has a lot of potential. I think that is what excites me.

"Regrets? No. I have never had any regrets throughout my life and career and I never want to.

"To play with the players I have played with, to play with (Zinedine) Zidane was the biggest honour I have had in my career, to play with the likes of Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos you know, for me, there is no regrets there."


Real Madrid confirmed that Beckham would not renew his contract with the club on their Web site (www.realmadrid.com).

LA Galaxy had made public their interest in Beckham who runs a football academy that shares its home with the team and who has close links to the Anschutz Entertainment Group who own the club.

"David Beckham coming to MLS might be viewed by some as one of the most important moments for soccer in this country and perhaps the history of professional sport," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

"David transcends the sport and is a cultural icon. David is clearly one of the most recognisable athletes in the world. People are going to feel really good about David Beckham spending the rest of his career in the U.S."

The news ends months of speculation about the future of the midfielder whose contract with Real expires at the end of the season.

Having been first choice in the Real Madrid starting lineup since he moved to Spain, Beckham lost his place following the arrival of Italian coach Fabio Capello.

He has only started five of Real's 16 league games this season and was known to be frustrated with his lack of opportunities in the first team.

The former Manchester United player said he was now inspired by the challenge of cracking the American soccer market.

"I am proud to have played for two of the biggest clubs in football and I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world's most popular game in a country that is as passionate about its sport as my own.

But he insisted he would be giving his all for Real Madrid until the end of the season to try to win the major trophy that has eluded him since he joined the club in 2003.

"For the rest of this season I will continue to give 100 percent to my coach, team mates and fans and I believe (coach) Fabio Capello will bring this club and its supporters the success they truly deserve."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cisco to sue Apple on iPhone name

Cisco Systems is suing Apple Computer for trademark infringement in a US federal court, for using the iPhone name.

Apple launched its new handheld device under the iPhone name on Tuesday, at the Macworld event in San Francisco.

Following the launch Cisco said it hoped to resolve the matter by Tuesday evening after negotiations.

Apple responded by saying the lawsuit was "silly" and that Cisco's trademark registration was "tenuous at best".

"We think Cisco's trademark lawsuit is silly," Apple spokesman Alan Hely said. "There are already several companies using the name iPhone for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) products."

"We are the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cell phone, and if Cisco wants to challenge us on it we are very confident we will prevail."

Related Stories
Apple's iPhone Revealed at Mac World

. . . more

"Housewives" to Film in Pregnant Bree's Home

"Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross, who is expecting twins, has been placed on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, forcing production of her hit TV show to shift into her real-life living room.
At the end of this week, the "Housewives" production crew will take over the downstairs of Cross' west Los Angeles home for two days to shoot the last two episodes that she was planning to appear in this season, an ABC network spokesman said on Wednesday.
Cross, 44, moved into the house just months ago with her stockbroker husband, Tom Mahoney, whom she married in June of last year.
Her publicist, Heidi Slan, confirmed that doctors had placed Cross on bed rest last week, but added, "This is a precautionary move only" due to her pregnancy with twins.

The red-headed actress has earned a string of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as the perfectionist homemaker Bree Van de Kamp on the popular prime-time soap.
She co-stars with Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan as a group of women bound together by various intrigues played out on the seemingly quiet suburban cul-de-sac of Wisteria Lane.
"Desperate Housewives" producers had planned to wrap up Bree's story line for the season with just two more episodes after the February 11 show, as Cross's expanding waistline became harder to conceal and her character is not pregnant.
But with the actress now confined to her home, producers decided to bring the show to her, sending in crews to transform the lower level of her house into a stage set matching the interior of Bree's extremely tidy home.
"They are painting the walls, moving in props and furniture from the set," a source from the show told TV Guide magazine, which first reported the story. "They're basically making Marcia's house into Bree's."

Dolce & Gabbana condemned over knife ads

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's advertising watchdog criticized Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana Wednesday for a campaign showing models brandishing knives.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the industry regulator, upheld more than 150 complaints from people concerned that the stylized pictures glorified and condoned violent crime.
One of the two adverts, which appeared in the Times newspaper, showed two men threatening a man in a chair while another lay on the floor with a head wound.
It was printed last October next to an article about knife crime. There is widespread concern over the level of violent assaults in Britain.

A second advertisement in the Daily Telegraph newspaper featured two men supporting a wounded woman holding a knife.
The fashion label said the adverts, which appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, were heavily stylized and were meant to mimic early 19th century art.
The pictures were designed to evoke the Napoleonic period of art, "emphasizing the theatrical effects of that genre."
In a written ruling, the ASA acknowledged the stylized nature of the pictures, but said they could still cause "serious or widespread offence."
"The ad could be seen as condoning and glorifying knife-related violence," the ASA said of the Times advert. "It was irresponsible."
"We reminded D&G of its duty to prepare ads with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society."
Dolce & Gabbana said the adverts drew no complaints when they were published in China, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States.

Austrian Skis Nude after Losing Bet

WENGEN, Switzerland - Rainer Schoenfelder lost a bet Wednesday, and paid for it by skiing nude down the Lauberhorn. The 29-year-old Austrian skier, who hurt his neck and back in a crash last week, lost a bet with his physiotherapist, who had been treating his injuries. Schoenfelder had vowed to ski naked if his pains had lessened by Wednesday morning.

Schoenfelder skied wearing only yellow boots and an orange helmet and gloves, and a photographer snapped a shot of the skier that has been circulated on the Internet.

"Somehow I didn't notice the photographer," Schoenfelder said. "It was an internal bet and of course the whole thing wasn't planned for the public.

"I am happy, though, that the pains have eased up and that it was not cold when I honored my debt."

Schoenfelder had been in pain since his crash in Adelboden last week. After little success treating the pain, his physio performed a "special" treatment on Tuesday and Schoenfelder said he woke up the following morning without pain for the first time since an accident in Turracher Hoehe, Austria, a day before the World Cup races in Adelboden.

Austria head coach Toni Giger said he did not think Schoenfelder would be sanctioned for the stunt.

"I have no problem with nudity in general," Giger said. "I haven't seen the pictures but no one was hurt. ... This was typical Schoenfelder behavior."

Schoenfelder has had a run of bad luck recently.

In the giant slalom at Adelboden, he was disqualified for committing a rare rule violation — he kicked out of the start hut four seconds too early.

World Cup racers have a 10-second window in which to push open the starting wand. They are warned by a succession of beeps when they can go, but Schoenfelder pre-empted the start.

More info - here

Japan School to Test Applicants' Chopstick Skills

TOKYO (Reuters) - As if reading, writing and arithmetic weren't enough, one Japanese high school now also plans to include chopstick skills on its entrance exams.

The Hisatagakuen Sasebo Girls' High School in western Japan will require a 10 minute test using chopsticks to transfer beads, marbles, dice and beans from one plate to another.

"We are a school that has always placed emphasis on the Japanese spirit, and we want our students to understand this," said Katsushi Hisata, the school's vice principal.

That philosophy echoes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to create a "beautiful country" by reviving respect for Japanese traditions and culture, but Hisata said the decision was in line with the school's long-standing emphasis on traditional arts such as tea-ceremony and flower arranging.

To give nervous test-takers a helping hand, students will use special six-sided chopsticks, believed to be easier to wield.

Surveys periodically show that Japanese worry a rising number of youngsters do not have proper chopstick skills.

Some parents even buy "training chopsticks" with loops to help children learn to hold the utensils properly.

Academically talented students who are chopstick-challenged, however, need not worry, Hisata said.

"If they do well on all other subjects, they won't fail the exam just because they have problems using chopsticks," he said.

"It's more a symbol, something we want students to know we pay attention to."

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Il Divo Staying at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

Il Divo in Kuala Lumpur to kick off world tour
KUALA LUMPUR: International operatic supergroup Il Divo arrived here yesterday to kick off their 2007 World Tour.
David Miller from the United States and Urs Buhler from Switzerland arrived in the afternoon while Sebastian Izambard (France) and Carlos Marin (Spain) arrived last night.

Clad in casual wear, Miller and Buhler looked relaxed as they were greeted at the Shangri-La Hotel here. Buhler flew in from wintry Milan while Miller came in from the United States.

Il Divo has released four albums to international acclaim and has sold millions of albums worldwide. They will begin their show on Jan 16 at the Plenary Hall, KL Convention Centre.
Brought in by Arianna Event Management, the sponsors for the event are CIMB, Tourism Malaysia, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, ntv7, BMW, Channel V and Sony BMG. Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur is the official hotel while The Star is the official media.
For ticketing details visit the Il Divo Box Office at the Lobby Level of the Shangri-La Hotel or call the hotel's Il Divo hotline (03-2074 3525) or call the Axcess hotline (03-7711 5000).


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Two Dead, 10 injured When Scaffolding Collapses at Pavillion

When we were out for lunch today at Bukit Bintang area, we were wondering why the contractors were gathering outside Pavillion KL. There were also two police cars there as well. I guess this is why!

KUALA LUMPUR: Two died and 10 others were injured when a scaffolding they were standing on collapsed at a construction site in Jalan Bukit Bintang around noon today.

Four of those injured are in critical condition.

The two dead workers were a Malaysian and Myanmar.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Mohamad Zulkarnain bin Abdul Rahman, who was at the scene of the incident, said the two died when they construction material fell onto their heads after they landed on the ground.

The injured workers were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

The workers were standing on a platform on the metal scaffolding about 15m above the ground when it collapsed.

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The People's Choice Awards

Jennifer Aniston - People Choice Awards Halle Berry - People Choice Awards

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" earned two awards for favorite movie and best film drama at the People's Choice Awards on Tuesday in a show filled with popular Hollywood stars and jokes about Britney Spears' panties -- or lack thereof.

"Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp, who plays fanciful Captain Jack Sparrow in the movie that raked in over $1 billion at global box offices, earned awards for best male movie star and favorite male action star.

Jennifer Aniston, the star of relationship film "The Break-Up," was named top female movie star while her co-star and former boyfriend, Vince Vaughn, was best leading man.

Cameron Diaz earned the title favorite leading lady, and Halle Berry was named best female action star. Rounding out the film awards were Adam Sandler's "Click," best film comedy, and animated hit "Cars," favorite family film.

Aniston, appearing in a flowing short skirt, took the elevated stage and looked down at the fans directly below her. She flashed her famous grin and said, "Man, I tell you, it's a lucky thing we do wear underwear, huh?"

It was a comedic jab at pop singer Spears who made headlines late last year when Hollywood's paparazzi snapped photos of her in a short dress and no panties underneath.
Aniston wasn't the only one with a panty quip, either.

Berry, in a stunning Gucci-designed skirt cut high across her thighs, thanked God for remembering her underclothes, and comedian Robin Williams -- named funniest male star -- said about Berry: "Thank God for having her wear that dress ... Britney -- underwear -- remember that."

The People's Choice Awards are one of Hollywood's first shows in a roughly two-month stretch of award celebrations leading to the February 25 Oscars, the film industry's top honors given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Unlike Oscar winners and others who are chosen by critics, media groups and industry guilds, People's Choice winners are picked by film and television fans who vote online, and the awards are a measure of mass popularity.

Backstage, Williams turned a bit more serious when talking about the awards and what they truly meant to him.

"It's the idea that the people said, 'We like what you do,' and they are the ones who go to the movies and watch the television shows," he said.

In television awards, hit hospital show "Grey's Anatomy" was named best drama and "Two and a Half Men," about a pair of adult brothers raising a boy, was best comedy.

"Heroes," was picked as best new TV drama, "The Class" was the top new comedy, and hit talent show "American Idol" won the award for best reality program for the second year in a row.

The award for favorite male TV star went to Patrick Dempsey and the sexy doctor McDreamy on "Grey's Anatomy," and Eva Longoria, the vixen of "Desperate Housewives," was picked favorite female TV star.

Ellen DeGeneres walked away with two awards, favorite TV talk show host and a second as favorite funny female star.

Finally Country and Western star Kenny Chesney was named best male singer and another country star, Carrie Underwood, was best female singer. Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" was best R&B song, and was Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" was top pop song.

Human Zoo - Adelaide Zoo puts Humans on Display

ADELAIDE - An Australian zoo has put a group of humans on display to raise awareness about primate conservation -- with the proviso that they don't get up to any monkey business.
Over a month, the humans will be locked in an unused orang-utan cage at Adelaide zoo, braving the searing heat and snacking on bananas. They will be monitored by a psychologist who hopes to use the findings to improve conditions for real apes in captivity.
Audiences can vote for their favorite "ape" via mobile phone text messages, in the style of reality television shows, and at the end of the month, a "super human" will be selected to represent the zoo.
"They're completely mad," said one visitor to the exhibit, as the humans, who are allowed home at night, played up to the crowds and checked each other for imaginary lice.

"It's not as exciting as the animals actually, they're not really doing very much," another onlooker said, clearly unimpressed by the volunteers' shenanigans.
One of the human apes, Josh Penley, said the experiment was a chance to "get myself out of my comfort zone and to get a week off work."
Participants wear microphones in front of Web cams to allow watchers to hear the action in what has been billed as "Big Brother behind bars."
Dr. Carla Litchfield, who is conducting the experiment, has laid down firm rules for the new apes: no nudity, no rude behavior and no jumping into the enclosure spa.
Zoo vets haven't ruled out using tranquilizer darts if the humans misbehave.

Official Website - www.Humanzoo.com.au

Scorpion Stung a Passenger on Plane

A stowaway scorpion that stung a man on board a plane headed to Toronto caused a delay at the airport as investigators combed the aircraft for further arachnids, an airline spokesman said on Monday.
The scorpion apparently crawled out of the man's carry-on knapsack on American Airlines flight 1552 from Miami to Toronto on Sunday morning, said John Hotard, a company spokesman in Fort Worth, Texas.
"We delayed the outbound flight and searched the cabin of the aircraft to see if we could find any more, which we did not," said Hotard.
He said there was no indication the scorpion was brought on the plane intentionally.

A return flight to Miami was delayed by less than an hour after touching down at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Hotard said the man told airline officials he was returning to Canada from a camping trip with his brother in Costa Rica, from where the scorpion likely originated.
"This is rare," said Hotard. "I'm not aware of a scorpion stinging a person on any of our flights before."
Still, "we get critters on board from time to time," he said.
After the plane touched down in Toronto, the passenger initially said he was alright but then reported feeling some "numbness," said Hotard, who couldn't provide further details on the man's health.
Fire and emergency crew responded and the man was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said.

Spicy Foods Can Kill Cancers

Scientists have discovered the key to the ability of spicy foods to kill cancer cells.

They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria - the cells' energy-generating boiler rooms.

The research raises the possibility that other cancer drugs could be developed to target mitochondria.

The Nottingham University study features in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

The study showed that the family of molecules to which capsaicin belongs, the vanilloids, bind to proteins in the cancer cell mitochondria to trigger apoptosis, or cell death, without harming surrounding healthy cells.

Capsaicin was tested on cultures of human lung cancer cells and on pancreatic cancers.
Lead researcher Dr Timothy Bates said: "As these compounds attack the very heart of the tumour cells, we believe that we have in effect discovered a fundamental 'Achilles heel' for all cancers.

"The biochemistry of the mitochondria in cancer cells is very different from that in normal cells.
"This is an innate selective vulnerability of cancer cells."

He said a dose of capsaicin that could cause a cancer cell to enter apoptosis, would not have the same effect on a normal cell.

The fact that capsaicin and other vanilloids are already commonly found in the diet proves they are safe to eat.

This could make development of a drug containing them a much quicker and cheaper process.

Dr Bates said: "Capsaicin, for example, is already found in treatments for muscle strain and psoriasis - which raises the question of whether an adapted topical treatment could be used to treat certain types of skin cancer.

"It's also possible that cancer patients or those at risk of developing cancer could be advised to eat a diet which is richer in spicy foods to help treat or prevent the disease."

However, Josephine Querido, cancer information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "This research does not suggest that eating vast quantities of chilli pepper will help prevent or treat cancer.

"The experiments showed that pepper extracts killed cancer cells grown in the laboratory, but these have not yet been tested to see if they are safe and effective in humans."

Cancer Research UK recommends reducing the risk of cancer by eating a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruit.

Dr Bates added that the mitochondria in cancer cells could also be targeted by other compounds.
He said the investigation and development of anti-mitochondrial drugs for cancer chemotherapy was likely to be "extremely significant" in the fight against cancer.

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