Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meanwhile in Poland: "Vote or Die!"

When Democratic Left Alliance party member Jędrzej Wijas says “Vote or Die,” he means it.

Translation courtesy of YouTuber TheBigMclargehuge: “End of the useless talking, enough of the stupid wars. Secular government, dignified life, freedom, is my goal. Vote wisely.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

80 years old serbian stuntman who ate 25,000 light bulbs and 6,000 vinyl records retires after choking on a bike pedal

An iron-stomached serbian stuntman who has eaten his way through tons of scrap is retiring after he nearly died when he bit off more than he could chew.

Branko Crnogorac, 80, from Apatin in Serbia, has left audiences open-mouthed as he scoffed his way through 25,000 light bulbs, 12,000 forks, 2,000 spoons, 2,600 plates and nearly 6,000 vinyl LPs during his 60-year career.

But he has now quit after choking on a pedal when friends bet him he couldn't eat his whole bike within three days.

Mr Crnogorac has retired from a 60-year career of eating scrap metal after choking on one of the pedals on his bike.

Mr Crnogorac said: 'I almost died. I needed emergency surgery. Doctors at the same time found two kilograms of assorted ironware in my stomach, including two gold rings.

'It was a wake up call for me and since then I just haven't had the same desire to munch metal.

'So after 20 years of eating everything I've realised my digestive system is not as strong as it used to be, so I've decided to retire.'

His bizarre career started when a friend recommended he should start eating sand to combat an acid stomach.

'It worked and I thought why not try something else and one thing led to another,' he added.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

OnStar Tracks Your Car Even When You Cancel Service

 Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.

 OnStar began e-mailing customers Monday about its update to the privacy policy, which grants OnStar the right to sell that GPS-derived data in an anonymized format.

Adam Denison, a spokesman for the General Motors subsidiary, said OnStar does not currently sell customer data, but it reserves that right. He said both the new and old privacy policies allow OnStar to chronicle a vehicle’s every movement and its speed, though it’s not clear where that’s stated in the old policy.

“What’s changed [is that if] you want to cancel your OnStar service, we are going to maintain a two-way connection to your vehicle unless the customer says otherwise,” Denison said in a telephone interview.

The connection will continue, he said, to make it “easier to re-enroll” in the program, which charges plans from $19 to $29 monthly for help with navigation and emergencies.

The privacy changes take effect in December, Denison said, adding that the policy reinforces the company’s right to sell anonymized data.

“We hear from organizations periodically requesting our information,” he said.
He said an example of how the data might be used would be for the Michigan Department of Transportation “to get a feel for traffic usage on a specific section of freeway.” The policy also allows the data to be used for marketing purposes by OnStar and vehicle manufacturers.

Collecting location and speed data via GPS might also create a treasure trove of data that could be used in criminal and civil cases. One could also imagine an eager police chief acquiring the data to issue speeding tickets en masse.

Jonathan Zdziarski, an Ohio forensics scientist, blogged about the new terms Tuesday. In a telephone interview, he said he was canceling his service and making sure he was being disconnected from OnStar’s network.
He said the new privacy policy goes too far.
“They added a bullet point allowing them to collect any data for any purpose,” he said.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Julian Assange should be awarded Nobel peace prize, suggests Russia

Russia has suggested that Julian Assange should be awarded the Nobel peace prize, in an unexpected show of support from Moscow for the jailed WikiLeaks founder.

In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about "nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate".

"Public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him," the source from inside president Dmitry Medvedev's office told Russian news agencies. Speaking in Brussels, where Medvedev was attending a Russia-EU summit yesterday , the source went on: "Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rare Condition Caused Baby to Start Puberty at Six Months

Little Maisie Beatty started displaying the physical traits of adolescence – which included developing breasts – just a few months after birth.

Her parents Linda and Simon, both 37, first noticed something was wrong when they spotted blood as they changed her nappy – which later turned out to be a period.

Just weeks later they were ”mortified” when she started developing breasts at the age of nine months.

Maisie was eventually diagnosed – at the age of two – with McCune-Albright Syndrome, a rare genetic defect which affects a handful of youngsters worldwide.

A hormone imbalance had ‘tricked’ her body into beginning puberty and would have triggered a dangerous growth spurt if doctors had not intervened.

”Seeing blood on her nappy was devastating and it really took my breath away. To see that is every parents nightmare. But discovering the breasts was the most difficult. I was absolutely mortified. I was so shocked I nearly dropped her and dared not think what was happening to my beautiful baby.

When she was later diagnosed it was like the weight of the world had been lifted from our shoulders, as we finally what was causing the symptoms and could deal with it.”

Maisie, now four, was born six weeks premature at Hemel Hempstead Hospital and spent the first four weeks in special care.

She returned home with Simon, Linda, their son Giacomo, five, and daughter Mollie, 14, and displayed no ill-effects until aged six months when Linda noticed some blood on her nappy whilst changing her.

Linda immediately took her to Hemel Hempstead Hospital in November 2007, when Maisie was diagnosed with thrush and the couple were told it was nothing to worry about.

But the following month the same occurred and the couple were horrified when a doctor insinuated Maisie may be being sexually abused.

Linda said: ”The GP insinuated there may be sexual abuse taking place which was the most devastating experience of my life. He started asking questions about who we left Maisie with and how she was cared for. It was extremely difficult to deal with as we both knew nothing had taken place.”

 Again they returned home and it was not until three months later in January, when Maisie was nine months old, she started to develop breasts.

”I picked her up and it was all I could do to hold onto her when I noticed she had started developing breasts,”
added Linda.

”I immediately inspected her and she had developed tiny firm breasts, those you would normally associate with a young teenage girl. That was when I knew something was wrong and that something had to be done urgently.”

The following month Maisie underwent a series of blood tests at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Cambs., in a bid to determine what was happening to her body.

And in March 2008, doctors diagnosed her with McCune-Albright Syndrome, which was effectively causing her body to go through puberty as a baby. The condition causes a hormone imbalance which caused the brain to initiate puberty too early.

Girls are born with full reproductive organs but these only become active when hormonal changes cause the brain to send a signal via the pituitary gland, usually around 12 or 13 years old.

If left to go unchecked Masie would have experienced a sudden growth spurt to 3ft tall before she stopped growing altogether, which could have brought fatal complications when her organs matured to full size. The condition also causes fibrous dysplasia, which means her bones are porous, leaving them weak and susceptible to fractures.

Simon quit his job as a business manager in the motor industry to care for Maisie and now runs an online business monitoring companies while managers are abroad.

Now aged four, Maisie has enrolled on a clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital which she attends once a month to control her hormones and postpone puberty. Once she reaches a suitable age, it is thought Maisie, who started Crosshall Infant School last week, will come off the drugs and experience normal teenage development.

Teaching assistant Linda added: "Thankfully, there are no major long-term effects of the condition."

"Experts have told us she can go on to have children and the length and quality of her life will not be affected. She walks with a limp, which we hope will be cleared up with an operation and sometimes struggles to walk up large flights of stairs.
But otherwise she is a healthy young girl.

It’s such an unusual case I don’t blame anyone for missing it early on, but am eternally grateful for all the wonderful support Maisie has received."

Friday, October 22, 2010

MakerLegoBot - A Lego 3D printer

The MakerLegoBot can print 3D Lego models, using standard Lego bricks. In this video, a simple Lego house is printed from an MLCad model on my computer. The robot uses 3 Mindstorm NXT robot brick's and 9 motors. You can find more information and build instructions at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World's Most Dangerous Jobs part 3 - Crocodile Wrestlers

The daily grind at the office may not seem so bad after viewing these images.
For, no matter how grumpy your boss may be this morning, at least you aren't actually risking life and limb by sticking your head in his jaws.
But that is exactly what the crocodile wrestlers at a Thai zoo do on a daily basis. The men at the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo perform what may well be the world's most dangerous job. The wranglers have been performing the stunts at the zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, since it was set up in 1985. During the hour-long shows they stick their head between the jaws of some of the zoo's biggest crocs, in the style of Krai Thong, a legendary Thai crocodile hunter. (Link)