Saturday, April 29, 2006


Brutus tries to eat a chainsaw, for breakfast.

A cyclone hit Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory last week and blew the top of a tree down across the fence of a saltwater crocodile enclosure at Corroboree Park.

So Fred Buckland was tasked with getting up there and taking down the rest of the tree with his chainsaw, in case the weight of the tree broke down the fence and let the crocodiles run free.

And crocodiles can run fast when they want to. They can even catch up with slow moving humans, even if you get a good head start on them. There's been a few German tourists in the Northern Territory who's last thoughts were, 'Look how big it izzz. It can't catch me...'

Being a smart man, Fred Buckland didn't want to actually get into the enclosure with the sixteen foot long saltwater crocodile, nicknamed Brutus, for obvious reasons. Fred climbed a ladder, leaned over the fence and began chainsawing the fallen trunk.

Brutus was watching him. And Brutus didn't like the sound of that chainsaw. Not at all.

So Brutus leapt twenty feet (that's TWENTY FEET) out of the water, ran halfway up the tree and before Fred could piss his pants and run for his life, Brutus had snapped the chainsaw out of his hands.

A man from the crocodile park puts it lightly when he talks about what happened next :

"Freddy got a bit of a scare and jumped straight off the ladder. He was certainly ready for his rum for the day and it was only 10am.

"Freddy was very lucky. It could have been him dragged back into the pond and eaten for breakfast."

Australians are known for their black humour, and this is about the scariest, and funniest, thing I've seen in months.

Have a look at the photo above again....does it look like Brutus smiling to you? Yep, he's one happy crocodile. He lost a few teeth apparently.

So did you know crocodiles weighing a few hundred pounds can launch themselves from the water some twenty feet and then RUN up a tree?

There's been a few tourists and locals in the Northern Territory who have discovered this knee-weakening, stomach-dropping, bladder-loosening ability of the saltwater crocodile.

Not many of them lived to spread the word, however.

Freddy Buckland got off easy. He just lost a chainsaw....and maybe a pair of work pants.

(source for story details and photo : The Daily Telegraph)

Thursday, April 27, 2006



From : Chocolate maker Cadbury has been told it does not 'own' the colour purple, as its attempt to sue a rival was rejected by Australia's Federal Court.

The company, which uses a dark shade of purple in its global marketing effort, launched legal action in 2003 in a bid to sue Australian-based confectioner Darrell Lea over its use of similar colours....

The Federal Court in Melbourne also heard Cadbury had written to a string of other rival Australian companies to highlight their use of purple, and threaten legal action if it continued.

"Cadbury does not own the colour purple and does not have an exclusive reputation in purple in connection with chocolate," Justice Heerey said.

"Darrell Lea is entitled to use purple, or any other colour, as long as it does not convey to the reasonable consumer the idea that it, or its products, have some connection with Cadbury."

The case had dragged on for three years!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006



Finland is not known for its satanic metal bands, until now.

Lordi is set to be the most controversial Eurovision Song Contest entry in years, and the band are loving every minute of their new found international fame. How could they not? Within days of being announced as the official Finnish entry, the band has been written up in hundreds of newspapers and featured on TV news across the planet. They even made the front page of the International Herald Tribune. The front freaking page! Awesome.

Now all they have to do is win the thing.

Lordi are not unknown to international metalheads, but they are more infamous for their onstage antics than they are for their songs. Costumes that include massive platform heels and eight foot long Satan wings, slabs of meat exploding onstage, blood spouting chainsaws, flame spurting drumkits, detonating baby dolls, entrails know, the usual.

Finland's religious leaders have gone nuts, fearing an outbreak of Satanic worship, which is strange, considering the band are anything but Satan lovers. It's just an act, you know, for the kids.

They hate Satan, apparently, and even have a song called 'The Devil Is A Loser'.

Finland's president Tarja Halonen has already been petitioned to veto the band as the official entry in the contest. Some locals would prefer a traditional Finnish folk singer instead, but Lordi fans are having none of that. They know what they want, and they want to rock, even if it is a bit Satan-ish in appearance.

But lead singer, Mr Lordi himself, wants to set the record straight for the foog-heads who just don't get it.

"Enjoying the music of evil looking creatures isn't the same as condoning evil," he explained. "We have the same aesthetic as horror films. The scarier the film, the more fun it is. And rock music should be all about fun."

It's hardly a new concept. White Zombie rocked the same role in the mid-1990s, and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and AC/DC occasionally dabbled with the devil for onstage theatrics in the 1970s.

Conspiracy theories about the band, and why they were chosen, are flourishing in Finland. They refuse to take off their masks in public because they are Russian agents attempting to destabilise the country before Russia attempts a coup.....or so one story goes.

Greece is hosting the Eurovision song contest this year and an anti-Lordi movement has sprung up to get the band kicked out of the comp. There are fears Lordi's presence will stop the contest from being taken seriously (!) and the band's antics will somehow bad-name the host country.

Not as much as it will if Greece is successful in getting Lordi banned from the competition.

One Lordi band member told the International Herald Tribune, "Finns nearly choked on their cereal when they realized we were the face Finland would be showing to the world."

More than 600 million television viewers will get the chance to vote on whether Lordi have the Eurovision goods to carry off the contest. They will certainly be the most anticipated. If Lordi doesn't get booted out before the contest begins that is, but this seems unlikely now the band have achieved such a level of infamy, internationally.

Lordi's 'Hard Rock Hallejuah' is the song to watch for when Lordi play the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals on May 18.

Something's got to give for Finland in the Eurovision stakes this year. They've come last in the rankings a record eight times.

Satanic heavy metal may make all the difference.

Go here for Lordi's official site. It's definitely worth a look.

Cyprus has announced Lordi's videos are too scary to air on TV!

Google News tracks the ongoing controversy.

Monday, April 24, 2006



He was 33 years old, he was addicted to crystal meth, or ice, he was feeling suicidal, he just couldn't take it anymore.

So in a moment of chemically warped clarity, or insanity, he picked up a nail gun, loaded it with an assortment of nails measuring one and a half to two inches long, and then he started firing them into his skull.

He shot six nails into his right temple, two more below his right ear. When that didn't work, he pressed the nail gun to the left side of his head and shot another four into his brain.

It is unknown whether he ran out of nails, went out to score some more meth, or just got bored with the whole suicide trip, but he didn't go to see a doctor straightaway. That took some time.

And when he showed up he complained of headaches (!).

He then tried to claim he had had a "nail gun accident".

Twelve nail gun accidents?

He later admitted the nails got inside his skull via a series of failed suicide attempt.

"Surgeons removed the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill, and the man survived with no serious lasting effects, according to a report on the medical oddity in the current issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

"The nails came close to major blood vessels and the brain stem but did not pierce them. The patient was in remarkably good condition when he was transferred to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, where the nails were removed.

The patient was later transferred to psychiatric care and stayed under court order for nearly a month before leaving against doctors' orders."

Go here for more stunning x-rays and the full story.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


China's President Hu had a memorable visit to the US last week. It started off well. He went to Seattle and did some deals for a few hundred new Boeing airliners, checked out the cafe latte s with the head of Starbucks and went home with Bill Gates for a quiet dinner.

But then President Hu went to Washington, and that's where it all started to go so terribly, terribly wrong.

First there was the journalist screaming at him during his welcoming ceremony at the White House with President Bush, cursing him to hell and back, calling him a murderer and saying his days were numbered. Then Bush grabbed Hu's arm and yanked him into position for a photo op, much to his complete chagrin. You just don't touch President Hu, apparently. You certainly don't grab and rustle him.

And then there was the fact that the Chinese National Anthem was introduced by an MC at the White House as being the anthem of the "Republic of China"....which is what Taiwan calls itself.
China being, of course, "the People's Republic of China".

If Bush wanted to throw off his number one rival for King Of The World, mess with his head a bit before they got down to business, then Bush's staff and secret service were doing a top notch job.

The mysteries of psychological warfare might also explain the following two photographs, taken during a President Hu speech. It wasn't a long speech, twenty minutes or so, President Bush can now babble on for ninety minutes or more.

But for some reason, maybe a late night, maybe a bit of extra stress in the workplace now key staff are abandoning ship and being indicted, White Housers there were feeling tired and weary.

And some were downright sleepy.


"Checking his notes" was the explanation offered by Vice President Dick Cheney's spokesman.

No-one's explained what Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice was doing. So we've helped out :


Friday, April 21, 2006


A US publishing company, specialising in graphic novels, is set to unroll a stream of non-fiction GNs over the next two years, including biographies of Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan.

But it's the adaptation of 'The 911 Commission Report' which is attracting most of the attention.

The 150 page GN, to be published in September, has been drawn in a "classic American comics style" and all the information found therein is claimed to be drawn directly from the 9/11 Commission's final report.

The writers and artists promise to "visually walk you through the FAA and the Department of Defense. It will show who is talking to who; offer a time line of the attacks; information on Islamic fundamentalism; the transition from the Clinton administration to Bush. Everything that's in the report, and it's all studiously apolitical, just like the original report."

Go to Publishers Weekly to read the full article.

We've got the official report, we've got at least two movies based around 9/11 coming up, we've had a telemovie, we've now got the comic far away can 9/11 : The Musical possibly be?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


British surgeons have blasted both China, for using the organs of executed prisoners in a rapidly expanding human transplant industry, and British nationals for fuelling the horrific trade by becoming 'transplant tourists'.

According to the UK Guardian : "The British Transplantation Society said that 'an accumulating body of evidence suggests that the organs of executed prisoners are being removed for transplantation without the prior consent of either the prisoner or their family'.

"Thousands of organs are thought to be involved in the lucrative trade, it said. Transplant centres, patients, and the Chinese authorities and judiciary could all be implicated in a breach of human rights."

But the rise of transplant tourists is directly related to a massive shortage of available organs in the UK. A problem caused, apparently, by the fact that the death rate of young Brits, from whom viable organs can be 'harvested' has dropped in recent years.

Doctors who have left China have been the main whistleblowers to this bizarre trade, mostly in liver and kidney transplants, and the largest proportion of 'transplant tourists' heading to China for operations appear to be from Japan and Korea. Chinese Americans are also heading back to the homeland for fast, and cheaper, transplant operations than they will get back in the United States.

From the Guardian : "Websites of Chinese transplant centres openly tout in English for business from foreigners...they offer a fast supply - between a week and a maximum of a month for a kidney transplant...The cost of a kidney transplant is put at $62,000 (£34,600), and a heart transplant at $140,000."

One UK professor told BBC Radio that the speed at which patients and 'donor's were matched up suggested to him that Chinese prisoners were being selected for fast execution based on the quality of their organs.

The Chinese government takes the accusations, which only recently belonged to the realm of urban legend, seriously enough to impose a ban from July 1 on "the buying and selling of organs".

The UK Guardian also revealed, in September, 2005, that a Chinese cosmetics company had used skin and flesh harvested from the corpses of executed prisoners in beauty products that were on sale in the wealthier shopping districts of Europe.



Tim Platt wasn't happen about what had happened to his local pub, the White Lion, in Hampton-in-Arden. He'd been drinking there for thirty years. He liked the musty red carpet, the big brass things hanging on the walls, the old photographs and ancient beer ads.

Then the owners went and spoiled it all. They didn't want to serve beer, with some food, they wanted to sell food, and maybe some beer.

Before Tim Platt knew what had happened, his grotty, but comfy, old local had been transformed into what most rural Brits disgustedly refer to as a 'gastropub'.

Tim still went to the White Lion, but nobody was going to tell him to shut up and end his complaints about how much he disliked the bare floors and bare walls and all round boring minimalism decore of the place.

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph : "It was a sad day," said Mr Platt, "it's a traditional village local but it was becoming bare boards and characterless. I voiced my opinion. It should serve food with beer, not food and no beer."

He was warned to keep his opinions to himself, he didn't, so he was banned. Forever.

But the new look, new food, pub didn't go over so well, and it didn't find the richer, Londoners-in-the-country set that would help it survive in the ultra-competitve English foodite market. The owner sold up.

Platt saw his chance, pooled his savings with a mate or two and bought the White Lion.

Thick carpet is going back in, he's on the prowl for old photographs and if he can find the right kind of brass gear to hang on the walls, that'll be going back up, too.

He wants to return the White Lion to his vision of what a traditional country pub should be.

"Business is going well and I think a lot of the villagers who were unhappy, as I was, are now returning to the pub," Mr Platt told the Conventry Evening News.

"There was an element of surprise when people heard I was buying the pub but there's been a lot of support in the village and people appreciate what we're trying to do."

But it won't be exactly the same. The carpet will be new, so it won't be sticky, or squelchy, or musty, or scarred with cigarette burns.

But Mr Platt will live with the little differences. For now, he's victorious, and he's burning the torch for a return of the British country pubs to the way they used to be. A warm and cosy meeting place for all the locals, not just those weekenders who can afford to spend $30 on steak and chips, with a caramelised sauce.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006



Tom Cruise told American interviewer Diane Sawyer that he would "eat the placenta" of the baby soon to be born to him via actress Katie Holmes.

When it was pointed out that this would be a pretty big meal, and not just a nutritious and tasty, if bloody, snack he appeared to back off from the idea.

You can turn placenta into a number of allegedly tasty recipes ("It's like fillet mignon!"), including placenta roast, placenta lasagna and placenta pizza.

Go here for the full placenta recipes.

Cruise has also backed off from the idea that Katie Holmes would have a drug-free, scream-free birth, now that he has learned having a baby is the female equivalent of passing a bowling ball through the eye of a penis.

"The mother makes as much noise...and know, she's going through it. She does what she's gotta do. OK?" Cruise said.

Holmes can now have as many drugs as she wants, Cruise confirmed.

Cruise also admitted in the Diane Sawyer interview that he is now an Operating Thetan 9, which is just about as high as you can go in the Scientology ranks. Cruise is supposed to now have extraordinary abilities to heal the sick, including himself. As an example, he pointed out he hasn't had a cold in "....ages".


Here's what you need to know about the supra-alienesque abilities of an OT 9 :

Some of the miracles of life have been exposed to full view for the first time ever on the Operating Thetan levels (1 to 15). Not the least of these miracles is knowing immortality and freedom from the cycle of birth and death.

....enables the individual to span the distance from Homo sapiens, with his drugs, his pains, his problems, upsets and fears, to higher states and freedom as a spiritual being.

Oh, so Tom Cruise will still be making movies in two or three centuries time?

Cruise may now be able to transcend space and time, but he still has to fly around the world to plug his new movie.

If only he could just connect with the 5 billion planetary minds all at once and say "Go see my new flick, it's really good." Maybe when he reaches OT level 15, perhaps?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Iguanas can grow up to six feet long and are "aggressive"
during the mating season.

They are the most unlikely warriors you will see in the United States. They are elderly retirees, they are armed, they are angry and they are filled with blood lust. Blood lust for the monster iguanas that have invaded their retireee island paradise.

Some 10,000 of the "ill-tempered" reptiles are over-running the upmarket retiree community of Bocca Grande in Florida.

The Times of London is calling it a "turf battle," claiming the residents of Bocca Grande, outnumbered ten to one by the "ill-tempered" reptiles and the residents are now trying "reclaim their homes, gardens and beaches from the prehistoric-looking interlopers.

"'I think the iguanas may have met their match in the people of Boca Grande," Bill Sweetser, an animal trapper on the mainland, said. He recently set up a service, Iguanagon, in response to the problem. 'It’s war down there.'"

One of those going into battle is 60 year old Bonnie McGee. She proudly keeps a pellet gun by the back door of her home to fight off the reptiles. She has "taken out a few".

Residents are reporting they have even been bitten by iguanas, who apparently get very aggressive during the mating seasons. Well, who doesn't?

It's not just air guns that are weilded as weapons. Pouring bleach over the reptiles apparently works very well, as do golf clubs, and there are iguana traps for sale in the local hardware stores.

Now the local officials are getting involved and are considering bringing in the professionals to help with the eradication program. But it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and the locals will have to pay an "iguana tax" to meet those costs. This has reportedly caused some ugly scenes at public meetings.

Once cherished as unusual pets, thousands of iguanas escaped, or were set free, by owners at the end of the Great Iguana Pet Boom of the 1970s. Since then, the large, bright-green skinned reptiles breed rapidly and when food supplies are healthy, they can grow up to six feet in length.

The iguanas have been causing "chaos" for years in Florida, eating flowerbeds, raiding pets' food bowls left outside, getting into roofs and insulation, swimming up sewer pipes and out of toilets and beating the heat in backyard pools, fouling up the water. They can be found defacating on back porches and lazing around on sofas inside homes.

Female iguanas can breed twice a year and lay some 50 eggs at a time. In Florida, at least, except for the occasional brave dog, the iguanas have no natural predators and so their numbers have grown unchecked for at least six years. Until, that is, Florida retirees began to arm themselves with air guns.

Years ago, the iguana population was under control and they were featured prominently in tourist guides as the "Dragons of Gasparilla". T-shirts were flogged and locals lobbied for the iguanas to be protected.

Bizarrely, the reptiles were hand fed by local restuarants and the previous generation of retirees, and the reptiles favorite food, hibiscus plants, were cultivated specially for them.

But the iguanas have fallen from grace after breeding out of control, tearing up the landscape and invading homes. Some estate agents, while showing around clients, have found the three-foot beasts lounging defiantly on sofas.

But it's not such a clear cut story. The other side, the local environmentalists, claim the 'War' is a beat up by a few local "angry millionaires, who object to the reptiles hanging around their swimming pools and using their patios as lavatories."

Hilariously, the local paper, the Boca Beacon, has an environmental columnist, and she doesn't buy the "out of control" claims about the iguanas at all. She has accussed the locals of acting "like a lynch mob."



He may have been 83, "totally blind" and confined to a motorised walking frame, but nothing was going to stop Allan Inglis from placing a bet on his father horse.

A $114,ooo bet, in cash, at the local racecourse.

A veteran of World War II, Allan knew exactly the horse he wanted to back, Racing To Win, but when he whirred up to the tote desk, the woman serving didn't take him seriously, at first.

Once the plastic folder full of cash was counted up, the bet was on and half an hour later Allan was being handed a cheque for $509,600.

"I'm 83 years old and doing bugger all except trying to stay alive," Allan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

But it's not his largest gambling win, or so he claims.

"I've won more playing boule."

Monday, April 17, 2006



The US State Department is setting out a controversial program to try and patch up the damaged reputation of the United States in the rest of the world. And the first step will be the issuing of a set of guidelines to American business people travelling abroad. There are plans to issue the same, or similar, guidelines to American tourists as well.

The US State Department's advice, in short, is : Shut Up And Listen.

In a move that will sound alarm bells in the heads of the New World Order crowd, the US State Department is going to issue US employees heading overseas for work a 'World Citizen Guide'.

The aim is to "help improve America's battered international image".

Here's some of the 'tips' that are expected to go into the 'World Citizen Guide' :

• Think as big as you like but talk and act smaller. (In many countries, any form of boasting is considered very rude. Talking about wealth, power or status - corporate or personal - can create resentment.)

Listen at least as much as you talk. (By all means, talk about America and your life in our country. But also ask people you're visiting about themselves and their way of life.)

Save the lectures for your kids. (Whatever your subject of discussion, let it be a discussion not a lecture. Justified or not, the US is seen as imposing its will on the world.)

Think a little locally. (Try to find a few topics that are important in the local popular culture. Remember, most people in the world have little or no interest in the World Series or the Super Bowl. What we call "soccer" is football everywhere else. And it's the most popular sport on the planet.)

Speak lower and slower. (A loud voice is often perceived as bragging. A fast talker can be seen as aggressive and threatening.)

Your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs. (Religion is usually considered deeply personal, not a subject for public discussions.)

• If you talk politics, talk - don't argue. (Steer clear of arguments about American politics, even if someone is attacking US politicians or policies. Agree to disagree.)

From the London Telegraph :

Keith Reinhard, one of New York's top advertising executives, who heads BDA, said: "Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values. That, in short, is the image of the Ugly American abroad and we want to change it."

The National Tourism Agency for Britain has jumped in quick to point out that not all Britains hate Americans or think there is a need for change.

A spokesperson told the London Telegraph : "Americans have a certain reputation which, for the majority, is undeserved. These guidelines sound like good common sense but they're not something the majority of our American visitors need. As tourists, they're out to enjoy themselves and have a good time. We continue to welcome them."

Sunday, April 16, 2006


The cat on the left in the trolley looks like it's thinking about calling its agent to get a better gig. The look on its face is priceless, 'I've never been so humiliated!'

The Moscow Cat Theatre has managed to train a bunch of cats to do some pretty extraordinary things. But it's not a circus. God, no. What cat would be seen dead performing in a circus? No way, this is the Theatre.


What are you doing next week? Performing a bit of Shakespeare? Or some Chekov?

It's a circus. They just don't want to tell the cats that.

It's a pride thing, apparently.

Go here to see more from the Moscow Cat Circ...Theartre.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


By Darryl Mason

The Pope has done his Good Friday special, and he's still not a big fan of gay marriages, contraception, poverty and altering the human gene for any purpose at all.

No big suprises there.

But Pope Benedict XVI's really cut loose, getting far more apocalyptic than his predecessor did.

According to the London Times, the English translation of his prayers and mediations contained lots of talk about our "Satanic" age. Wonder who he might be referring to in partix?

Some other highlights from his prayers go like this : By messing with the human gene, trying to alter it to cure diseases and disabilities, scientists are trying to "modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God."

He calls this brilliant new science of saving lives and easing suffering, "insane, risky and dangerous” and claims scientists are trying to "take God’s place without being God”.

Apparently, "we have lost our sense of sin. Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”

I think he's talking about Harry Potter, and maybe Playstation, too.

One of the prayers continued thus, "our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness.”

Okay, he's definitely talking about Playstation now.

He had this to say about the mothers of the world, "River of tears shed by mothers, mothers of the crucified, mothers of murderers, mothers of drug addicts, mothers of terrorists, mothers of rapists, mothers of psychopaths, but mothers all the same”.

And you can't argue with that.

For a church that is richer than Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and all the world's oil companies combined, the Pope's got plenty to say about poverty, which is always important, but it doesn't seem to be going away any time soon, does it?

“Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?”

How true is that? In the same half hour of news last week, I saw a story on the obscene obesity of porky little American kids and another story on a million infants starving to death in Africa. The irony was enough to make you want to cry, and deep fry some more cheese sticks.

"Where is Jesus in the agony of our time?"

Right here, apparently.


An American woman claims she used an Easter egg dye kit on this hard-boiled egg, eight years ago, and it left an image of Jesus. She was running late for an Easter service, so to hurry up the drying process, she blew on it, the ink smeared and this was what she found when she returned home.

It's the face of Jesus, claims Linda Bargas.

"I think it just happened, and it's something beautiful to look at," Bargas said.

Eight years old, but she claims it doesn't smell rotten.

But eight years is long enough to own a Jesus egg, she claims, so she wants to sell it. Presumably on E-Bay.

Now, Linda may see the face of Jesus on this Easter egg, but I see something else, far more clearly. The black hooded profile of Death himself, just to the right.

Now that is creepy.

Or maybe we're both mad.

Friday, April 14, 2006




From the Associated Press : A second person in less than a year died Wednesday after going on a ride at Walt Disney World so intense that it has motion sickness bags.

The 49-year-old woman became ill after riding 'Mission: Space' on Tuesday. She was taken to a hospital, where she died...

'Mission : Space' is one of the most popular rides at Disney World. Severe chest pains have sent other riders to hospital. You get in, it spins you in a centrifuge at twice the normal force of gravity.

Here's one description of the experience : The ride simulates a rocket launch and a trip to Mars. A clock counts down before blastoff, which includes smoke and flame and the sound of roaring rocket engines. The G-forces twist and distort riders' faces.

Posters on one comment board I saw while looking around the subject of Theme Park Deaths raved about how fantastic it was to go on rides where the Gs were so strong you blacked out for a few seconds. "I couldn't wait to go on it again!" was a common response.

There's a couple of websites devoted to tracking amusement and theme park deaths and accidents from around the world. There have been hundreds of deaths and severe injuries in the past few years.

Brain injuries, severed fingers, fleshed stripped from shin bones when people have had their legs dragged under carriages, massive collisions between cars on rollercoasters that have sent dozens of people to hospital, people thrown from rides and killed on impact with the ground or steel support girders, children's hearts literally exploding under severe stress, swing rides snapping free and flinging riders sixty or seventy feet across carnivals...

Maybe that's what helps to make the rides so exciting. You are literally defying death.

This is one of the more comprehensive sites that tracks amusement park deaths and injuries, and Disney theme parks get plenty of listings :

Verified Injury Accidents At Theme and Amusement Parks.

Disney usually stretches the court cases out for a few years and then settles, quietly, on the condition that no further information be released.

Apparently a rollercoaster that 'kills' someone has been 'blooded', according to a couple of the sites devoted to coaster maniacs, and this makes them all the more desirable to ride.

There are coaster freaks from all over the world who holiday together every year and go and ride the latest and greatest coasters, and then review them, scathingly, in online forums.

Ride On.

Go here for some haunting images (and link-thrus) from an abandoned Japanese theme park.

Thursday, April 13, 2006



There's virtually nothing anywhere on the net about this story, bar a few paragraphs in the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. With the connection to the madness surrounding anything related to the Da Vinci Code, you'd think this would have been newsworthy.

If I find links to online stories, I'll post them, but for now this is about all the news there is, courtesy of the Telegraph.

The first bodies of the Knights Templar, the mysterious religious order at the heart of The Da Vinci Code, have been found by archaeologists near the River Jordan in northern Israel.

British historian Tom Asbridge yesterday hailed the find as the first provable example of actual Knights Templar. The remains were found beneath the ruined walls of Jacob's Ford, an overthrown castle dating back to the Crusades, which had been lost for centuries.

They can be dated to the exact day -- August 29, 1179 -- that they were killed by Saladin, the feared Muslim leader who captured the fortress.

"Never before has it been possible to trace their remains to such an exact time in history,' Mr Asbridge said. "This discovery is the equivalent of the Holy Grail to archaeologists and historians. It is unparalleled."

But were any of the bodies holding a little cup in their hands?

Who were the Knights Templar? What did they do? Why are they so prominently featured in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code? Well, they practically wrote the plot for Brown nine hundred years ago.

They believed that Jesus Christ had conceived three children with Mary Magdalene, who moved to France after the crucifixion. Their progeny married into royalty; hence, there existed members of the French nobility who had divine blood in their veins. The Knights Templar eventually dedicated themselves to protecting the lives of these descendants of Jesus, the Merovingians.

Go here for a brief account of their history.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006



Ultra-Orthodox Jewish hackers are waging insurgenty war against the massive empire of Israeli porn sites on the web. The 'Sex Commandos' crack porn sites run by Israeli companies and delete the entire contents of the sites, and leave a message and a photo of this guy, a revered rabbi.

The messages says porn is an "abomination" and "a violation which has caused many people's death, troubles and calamities."

"What is this violation?" the messages squawk to those who fight they were going to see some hot chicks getting it on, but instead cop a stern look from the old guy. "...a man who has spilt his sperm for nothing!"

Well, not for nothing....

(source :

From ABC America : "It's an unusual area of science, but after a patient described mysterious experiences and feelings during a close brush with death, Dr. Kevin Nelson knew he wanted to learn more.

"'It was so vivid to him. I was struck by the intensity of the report he gave me,' Nelson said of the patient's near-death experience, which occurred when Nelson was a medical intern.

"He and his team of researchers discovered that the near-death study group had a significantly higher rate (60 percent compared with 24 percent) of a sleep disorder known as rapid eye movement, or REM, intrusion.

"This disorder causes one of the most active dream states of sleep -- REM -- to intrude into wakefulness, causing a person to sometimes wake up and feel paralyzed, experience leg muscle weakness or wake up to hear sounds other people didn't."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006



In London, a bull mastiff attacked a two year old child. It's jaws locked on and nothing could get that dog to let go.



First the father of the two year old kid stabbed the dog four times with a bread knife.

Then the cops arrived and hit the dog with blasts from a 50,000 volt Taser gun.

Mitch, the bull mastiff, continued his attack.

Police marksmen unloaded a couple of shots into the dog from a Glock 9mm and then waited to see if the dog would let go, or go down.

Mitch stayed upright. They fired again, same thing. More bullets hit the dog, Mitch wouldn't go down.

The father of child, and owner of the dog, couldn't believe what he was seeing, neither could the police marksmen.

"Mitch kept getting up and wouldn't die. It was a nightmare," the father was quoted as saying in the UK's Daily Mail.

The police cotinued to fire, emptying a whole clip into the mutt.

Eventually bullet number 17 saw Mitch slump to the ground and die.

The kid, Nicholas, only spent one night in hospital and suffered no serious injuries.

Almost as disturbing as the dog attack is the fact that police marksmen who couldn't kill the dog, at first, were officers from Scotland Yard's CO19 specialist firearms squad.

This is the same squad that blew apart Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on the London Underground last year, in the wake of the July 7 terrorist attacks.

They unloaded eight shots into Menezes in front of screaming witnesses, most of those bullets went straight into his head.

The CO19 are supposed to be specially trained to take out would be suicide bombers with what is known in the biz as the "Shot Of Excellence." One single shot that reportedly can sever the spinal cord and stop any detonation.

Well, that was the theory anyway.

Mitch, the dog they couldn't kill, might send them all back for a second look at the whole "Shot Of Excellence" concept.

Go here to read the full story.

Monday, April 10, 2006


According to Russia's MosNews, a 75-year-old grandad has become a porn star in Russia.

He didn't set out to become one of Russia's most popular adult movie stars. He was 'talent-spotted' when he accidentally walked onto the set of a porn film.

Maybe there's something lost in the translation here, but David Bozdoganov had seen what he thought was an advert for a muscleman show and went inside to check it out. He found himself in the studios of the Gorodcki production company where director Alexander Plahov noticed Bozdoganov's "massive package straining against his trousers".

The director said his next thought was 'This could be an original idea.'

And so Alexander Plahov's gut instinct proved right. Grandpa Porn has proven to be an unlikely success in Russia, with David starring in The Old Neighbour and The Handyman At Work, amongst other big selling titles.

At 75, David now finds himself a famous fixture amongst the professionals of the Russian porn world....for one particular habit of his preparation for shooting a scene.

Acorrding to his director, "David's female co-stars always complain because David believes in the beneficial power of garlic and insists on rubbing it on his erection before a scene, so it’s rather smelly.”

That one was detail too many.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Thanks to the extraordinary amounts of money that can be earned from running weblogs visited by thousands of people a day, I recently decided to spend a few weekends renovating my bedroom and my bathroom with a kind of Persian-inspired Super-Bling theme going on.

So tell me this. Do you think it's all a bit too much? Did I go overboard?

Be honest. Is it all just a little bit tacky or a touch too much?

Okay, this is not my bedroom or my bathroom and I'm not much of a renovator at all. Unless taking out the garbage is renovating the kitchen from rubbish.

These two extraordinary images of extremist wealth are from the rooms at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. And even though some of the rooms can cost more than $US15,000 a night, you do get a free breakfast and, get this, free newspapers!

Wow! Now that's luxury!

Go here to take a look around for yourself.

These stunning sculptures are made from pieces of driftwood, pieced together by artist Heather Jansch. Go here for more images and further info about the artist.


John Howard and George W. Bush have both been threatened with assassination in the past twelve months


Someone wanted the Australian Prime Minister John Howard dead. And someone threatened to do it. Like US President GW Bush, Howard has had at least one threat of assassination levelled against him since the start of the War On Iraq.

The Australian Federal Police investigated, but apparently the investigation drew a major blank.

One AFP officer decided there was one still one more route worth pursuing, so he turned an infamous psychic from a small country town. Now the cop has been suspended from the force and the psychic was shocked when journalists turned up at her house asking questions.

How good could she be at divining the world of the unkown, of seeing the future, or reading invisible energy fields if she didn't know that a fleet of journos were about to make her the most famous psychic in the country?

The AFP officer was bound by a strict code of conduct regarding national security and the confidentiality of information. He apparently consulted the psychic, who he knew socially, without the okay from superior officers.

An AFP spokesman said : "I can confirm we are currently investigating the matter. A member of the AFP has been suspended … The AFP takes seriously all allegations of misconduct by officers, and does not condone the use of psychics in security matters."

The Melbourne Age has revealed the psychic is a medium named Elizabeth Walker. who seemed genuinely shocked when journalists hit her up for comments yesterday.

"It's an extremely sensitive situation … how did you find out about this?" she asked, not consulting her unique abilities to divine the truth about the mysteries of the universe.

The AFP officer took the stalled investigation into the death threats in his own hands late last year, and the disclosure of national security information has been under investigation since December.

Psychic Elizabeth Walker was called in for questioning by the AFP earlier this year.

Cops and detectives turning to psychics for help, when all other leads have dried up, is not unusual, though it is rarely discussed in the media, and official confirmation is even more rare.

The success rate of pyschic solving crimes, finding missing children or uncovering key evidence has been cited in police training manuals in the US and the UK, and some credit has been given to their unique abilities, but it doesn't happen at all in Australia.

"This really is a B-grade movie script that's been played out in real life," said a spokesman for the Opposition Labour Party.

Is he kidding? This is plot material for an A-grade Hollywood thriller!

PLOT OUTLINE : "Assassin threatens nation's leader, best cops in the country can't find the nutter making the threats, one young cop who wants to make a big splash turns to a psychic friend for help as the threats grow more serious. Cop gets busted, the psychic gets exposed.

"But did the cop find the information he was looking for? Will the plot to assassinate the leader be stopped before it's too late?

"Suspended from the force, the young cop decides to finish the mission he has assigned himself.

"The leader of the country isn't safe, the assassin is on the move, and only one young cop and a middle-aged country town pyschic can stop the hit from going down."

Don't get any ideas, I've already started writing the first draft of the screenplay and I'm up to page fifty four.



This stunning photo by John Alcock appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald site today.

Surfers on the East Coast of Australia are now getting in a few hours sleep before they rise early and head out to tackle what are expected to be the biggest waves in almost three decades.

Wave faces of up to nine metres are expected to appear off shore at a number of Sydney beaches and up the coast. It's bringing every surf legend still alive and able to stand on a board out of the woodwork.

On Saturday the surf beaches were packed, with some seeing wave riders numbering in the hundreds. Insane.

About the waves expected today, former world chapion surfer Barton Lynch told the Sydney Morning Herald : "Regardless of how experienced you are, you have got to be on your game and concentrating completely in these sort of conditions. It is no time to be experimenting or learning."

'Lynch and his surfing partner, two-time world champion Tom Carroll, will be towing each other out to a bombora with a power-ski to make the most of waves that are predicted to hit seven metres at their peak.

"We have known this swell has been coming and have spent the week on test runs with the Jet-ski, checking the equipment and making sure we are well rested and ready," he said.

"Obviously being out in seas of that power and magnitude is dangerous. The ocean pays no regard to whether you are a world champion or a novice, so you cannot relax for a second."'

Go here for the full story.


Notice anything strange about this Scottish village? Look closer. There are no fences between the houses. There is a lake, but again, it isn't fenced off. Why would that be?

Welcome to Firhall, the village of no children. It's not an accident. It was planned and built this way. The people who live don't hate children....they just don't want them around.

In fact, in Firnhall, children are banned.

From The Guardian :

The Scottish village of Firhall, on the outskirts of Nairn on the Moray Firth, is spotless and smart, a cluster of detached houses overlooking a lake. There are no skateboards here, either. No footballs. No noise.

"To buy a property in the village, you have to be 45-plus with no dependent family in tow, and you must sign a contract agreeing not to sell property on to those with children."

"Most people I spoke to at Firhall love living without children around, and are not hesitant in telling you why.

"'I am sick of having conversations with parents about how funny and clever their kids are,' Ivy, a 55-year-old resident, tells me. 'I don't think I noticed how much people go on about their kids until I started living among people who don't.'"

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Manilla's Judge Florentino Floro liked to begin his court hearings with a reading from the Book of Revelation. For starters.

He said he could read the future, exist in two different places at the same time and had the inside line on the guiltiness of those who were brought before him thanks to the help of a trio of "psychic dwarves" - Luis, Angel and Armand - who were, apparently, invisible.

When he wasn't wigging out in the court room, Floro liked to conduct "healing sessions" in his private chambers during break time.

He made the legal community nervous, not just because of his behaviour in court and how that might reflect on them, but because he had the habit of predicting his co-workers in Law would suffer strokes or die, or both.

Judge Florro was infamous long before he came to the attention of the Supreme Court. He considered himself to be an Angel Of Death who had made it his mission in life to punish corrupt court officials and members of the judiciary.

Now it makes sense. They had it in for Judge Florro because he was paying far too much attention to Them.

He had been under preventative suspension for seven long years, before he was finally booted out for being a nutter...unless of course there are actually invisible psychic dwarves who can help a judge run his courtroom.

The Supreme Court of Manilla finally acted, using the excuse that Florro refused to subject himself to a mental examination, even though he had been,, surprisingly, charged earlier with being mentally unfit.

It's good to know that "psychic phenomena, even assuming such exist, have no place in a judiciary," or so says the Manilla Supreme Court, who finally told him to pack it in, psychic dwarves and all.

The Supreme Court decided Judge Floro may have been too "dysfunctional as a judge", but claimed he may still be successful in "other areas of endeavour", including Manilla's public service.

No government department has decided to make use of the former Judge Floro's remarkable abilities.


Sources : The Independent Online, The Manilla Times, The Australian, Tempo.

Friday, April 07, 2006



For cat lovers, the idea that they might have to hand over their beloved pets to be gassed as part of a cat cull is incomprehensible. But in some parts of the world, the idea of a cat cull is now being taken very seriously.

Why? Because cats could play host to the avian ifluenza virus and even pass it onto humans.

From The Bird Flu Blog :

"In less than a week, the idea that cats could help spread the avian influenza virus to humans, and even act as incubators for the virus to mutate into a human pandemic form, has gone from being a widely discounted theory to the chilling possibility of actually being true.

After the discovery of a dead cat infected with the virus, this theory is now being taken very, very seriously indeed.

In at least four European countries, governments have demanded cat owners keep their animals inside, or face prosecution.

Go here for the full story.

More at Your New Reality

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Or not.

This satellite image is supposedly of an area near Bermuda, but it arrived by e-mail a few weeks back without any information or linkages attached. Only just realised I mentioned the 'hovering islands of Bermuda' in the text of the 'Flying Cars Of Perth' story featured down below, and didn't actually post this image. Whoops. So here it is.

It's interesting that most people who have seen this remarkable image automatically say they see islands floating above the ocean, whereas the pretty obvious explanation is that what appears to be shadows cast by islands above the water are actually shadows of small clouds that happen to be near-perfectly aligned so as to give the visual impression of 'floating islands'.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Australian AFL veteran Peter 'Spider' Everit was on a celebrity quiz show called 'Australia's Brainiest Footballer' tonight. He got the following question, and gave the following answer :

Question : "The author Dan Brown wrote one of the biggest selling novels of all time. The title of the book is 'The Da Vinci....what?'

Spider : "Ahhh.....pass."

Congratulations, Spider, you have given proof to the marketing myth that everyone in the Western World has heard of this book. You proved them wrong.

I hoped this was an early April Fool's joke. But it may not be after all.

The story of this paper ran on on March 29. The story is pretty straightforward, it lays out the alleged facts of the baby's birth and short life, and the discussion board following mostly includes posts saying how disgusting it was the baby was paraded this way, and what the medical condition might be that is responsible for the deformities.

From the original story : "The birth of a bizarre-looking baby in Charikot....on Wednesday, drew a huge number of onlookers to witness the astonishing sight.

"The neck-less baby with its head almost totally sunk into the upper partof the body and with extraordinarily large eyeballs literally popping out of the eye-sockets, was born to Nir Bahadur Karki and Suntali Karki at the Gaurishnkar Hospital in Charikot.

"The bizarre baby, however, died after half an hour of its birth, Suntali, the mother, informed. It was taken to the hospital after its death.

"The news about such a baby being brought to the hospital spread like wildfire and there were hundreds gathered at the hospital to have a look. The police had to be deployed to control the crowd.

"We wouldn't have been able to save it, even if it had been brought here alive," said a nurse attending to the mother at the hospital, "This is an extremely abnormal case."

"The baby weighed 2kg at birth and was born after the normal nine-month gestation period.

"Suntali, already a mother of two normal daughters, was not suffering from any illness during the pregnancy.

"Nir Bahadur, the father, says he does not feel any remorse for the newly-born baby's death. "I am happy that nothing happened to my wife," he said.

"The news about such a baby being brought to the hospital spread like wildfire and there were hundreds gathered at the hospital to have a look. The police had to be deployed to control the crowd.

"We wouldn't have been able to save it, even if it had been brought here alive," said a nurse attending to the mother at the hospital, "This is an extremely abnormal case."

"The baby weighed 2kg at birth and was born after the normal nine-month gestation period.

"Suntali, already a mother of two normal daughters, was not suffering from any illness during the pregnancy.

"Nir Bahadur, the father, says he does not feel any remorse for the newly-born baby's death. "I am happy that nothing happened to my wife," he said. END

I've checked and all the other main hoax and urban legends sites and I haven't seen one posting about this four day old story. If it turns out to be fake, I'll correct the record here. Until then....sorry if I've given you too much to think about.

You can find out more about the condition supposedly responsible for this kind of abnormality - Anencephaly - by going here.

Go here for a story from the Russian media
about a 30 year old man who discovered a mutant twin growing inside.

Saturday, April 01, 2006



The Australian newspaper has fired back at Indonesia over last week's front page cartoon in one of Indonesia's biggest selling newspapers that showed the Australian Prime Minister mounting the Australian Foreign Minister from behind - go here for that image and background story.

Today The Australian's cartoonist Bill Leak published the above cartoon showing the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono sodomising a West Papuan native.

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer called the cartoon "offensive" and "tasteless" and quickly tried to remove himself from the controversy. Good Luck, Alex!

Go here for the full story.