February 25, 2015

Eager for spring

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Only in Japan (8)

Funerals are being held for ROBOTIC dogs in Japan because owners believe they have souls

Incense smoke wafts through the cold air of the centuries-old Buddhist temple as a priest chants a sutra, praying for the peaceful transition of the souls of the departed.

Some Japanese owners of robot dog AIBO believe their 'pet' have souls

It is a funeral like any other in Japan. Except that those being honoured are robot dogs, lined up on the altar, each wearing a tag to show where they came from and which family they belonged to.

The devices are 'AIBOs', the world's first home-use entertainment robot equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and capable of developing its own personality.


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How to clear snow from your car

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February 24, 2015

Actually, this is unfair to ticket scalpers

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Evidently she forgot her hat

Woman caught masturbating during 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

It was only to be expected.

A horny Mexican moviegoer has been arrested for masturbating while watching "Fifty Shades of Grey," reports La Verdad.

The woman, said to be 33 years old, was caught red-handed while watching the film at a cinema in Sinaloa, western Mexico.

She was noticed by other cinemagoers and reported. It was also claimed she was sitting in the 12th row of the movie house.

The woman was arrested and, ironically, given the S&M nature of the movie, slapped in handcuffs by cops.

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The architect

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February 23, 2015

Jeep humor

Spotted on a Jeep last week.

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Apostrophe war

Punctuation is tearing this town apart! Ontario town split on whether there's an apostrophe in its name

SARNIA, Ont. — To apostrophize or not to apostrophize, that is the question in Bright's Grove, Ont.

Or Brights Grove.

Depending on who you talk to. Or what government document or what sign you're looking at in town.

The small southwestern Ontario hamlet can't seem to decide, and as a result both versions of its name grace signs, maps and government documents, which is upsetting townsfolk on both sides of the debate.

At least one member of the village recently wrote city hall to express her disappointment with new signs that feature the name with an apostrophe.

"She was pretty upset that every time she comes into Bright's Grove she believes the spelling is wrong," said Jane Cooper, director of planning.

Government databases say the apostrophe doesn't belong.

But school names bearing a possessive "s" and other community markers suggest the possessive determiner is correct.

For Carol Ryan, there's no debate.

"The sign should be 'apostrophe s,'" said the 67-year-old Bright's Grove resident. "It always has been apostrophe s my whole life."

Ryan's claim is based on her family history.

Her great-grandfather, she said, was Robert Bright, one of two brothers who started farming the area in 1864. According to newspaper records, his nephew John Bright named the community.

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Out of paper

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February 20, 2015

Fore! (3)

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A two-time champ

I could manage 4 miles in an hour (a very brisk walk). But I don't know about eating a dozen doughnuts too...

The 2-time Krispy Kreme Challenge champion explains how one prepares for 12 doughnuts and 4 miles in 1 hour

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama--Eric Charette has run two miles to Krispy Kreme, scarfed down a dozen doughnuts, and ran two miles back, finishing in first place.

Twice.

And did it without puking.

"I set the course record in 2011," Charette said. "For the four mile run, plus eating a dozen doughnuts, my time was 28:53. I think my donut eating split was under six minutes. Then I was the overall winner again in 2013."

Originally from Kingsford, Michigan, the 38-year-old Huntsville resident competes in 40 races a year, albeit none as gluttonous as the annual UCP Krispy Kreme Challenge, taking place this Saturday at 8 a.m. in Huntsville.

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Mardi Gras, 2015

Carnival and Mardi Gras 2015

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The Queen of Panama City carnival Onissis Samaniego participates during a parade of the Panama City carnival in Panama City, Panama, on Feb. 16. (Alejandro Bolivar/EPA)

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February 19, 2015

Head shot

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Nice work if you can get it (15)

Donors wanted: your bodily waste could be a big earner

Think before you flush: your faeces could be earning you money. The Massachusetts-based company OpenBiome, which banks and sells frozen faecal samples, is offering up to $13,000 a year for contributions from healthy, clean-living individuals. But you'd have to pass a stringent screening test first. [...]

Emma Allen-Vercoe at the University of Guelph in Canada went further to find the ideal donor, whose faeces could be used for a synthetic version of a faecal transplant. Her group wanted someone who had not taken antibiotics, didn't drink or smoke, and was healthy and in shape. They ended up using samples from a woman brought up in rural India.

Colleen Kelly, at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, no longer uses overweight donors after one of her patients developed obesity (see main story).

A study in mice suggests that a faecal transplant can even pass on personality traits, so recipients may also want to consider the disposition of their donors. "I would pick the thinnest, nicest person who eats well," says Kelly.

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How sweet it is

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February 18, 2015

A gerbil!

You gotta love the way her opponent just laughs aloud.

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News from the Socialist Fairyland

North Korea fights for 'people's dreams' with barrage of slogans

(Reuters) - "Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!"

"Let the wives of officers become dependable assistants to their husbands!"

"Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by the joint operation of the army and people!"

North Korea released a list of more than 300 new political slogans on Thursday to mark 70 years since the foundation of the isolated state and its ruling Workers' Party.

The slogans, which ran to more than 7,000 words in translation and spanned two pages of the party's broadsheet newspaper, called for a wide range of improvements including "more stylish school uniforms" and "organic farming on an extensive scale".

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Money well spent

The owner's brother explains that the helmet damage occurred because the owner took a spill from his motorcycle and ended up being dragged by a bus. The owner survived, though he spent some time in an intensive care unit with serious injuries. (None to his head, though.)

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February 17, 2015

Clever decorating (5)

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I missed it!

Thank Heaven!

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Second Annual Valentine's Day Tours of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that due to overwhelming demand a third Valentine's Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has been added this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Initially, there were two tours scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., but these quickly reached capacity. The tours will be led by the Plant's superintendent, Jim Pynn, who will give a short overview of the wastewater treatment process, followed by a visit to the 120 foot high observation deck located atop the digester eggs. Located in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood, Newtown Creek is the largest of the City's 14 treatment plants, with a capacity to treat more than 300 million gallons of wastewater a day from portions of Manhattan, western Queens and northern Brooklyn.

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Land Rover resurrection

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February 16, 2015

Solar dynamics

February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

In honor of SDO's fifth anniversary, NASA has released a video showcasing highlights from the last five years of sun watching. Watch the movie to see giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun's surface.

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Love the one you're with

Man and woman meet on trolley, have sidewalk sex in front of shoppers

CHULA VISTA, Calif., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Shoppers gawked as a man and woman who had just met began having sex in public on Sunday afternoon, according to police and witnesses.

The two had reportedly just met on a trolley before rolling around and kissing on the ground at about 3:30 p.m. in front of a Christina's dress shop in Chula Vista, Calif.

Stunned shoppers gathered to watch, and after 15 minutes the man had stripped bare atop the woman, who at that point was nude except for a skirt.

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Ping, ping, ping

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February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day (6)

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February 13, 2015

More Windy City

Two views of Chicago:

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Looking east toward the lake
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Looking west across the lake

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Merde alors!

Well, Canada is the home of poutine, after all.

Humiliation in France as it finishes seventh in World Cup of chefs, well behind the U.S. (but still way ahead of lowly Canada)

PARIS — It is considered to have one of the finest cuisines in the world. But France faced gastronomic humiliation after it failed to make the podium on home soil in a global cooking championship.

Norway won this year's gold medal in the Bocuse d'Or, a contest often described as the World Cup of chefs. France only managed to muster seventh place in the competition in which chefs must "demonstrate creativity, spontaneity and the mastery of their art".

Rubbing more salt into the wound, America – home of fast food and "le hamburger" – took silver, a historic first, with Sweden clinching the bronze.

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How it's done (7)

I wonder how they get those spikes back out of the ground.

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February 12, 2015

In the 'Why didn't I think of this?' category...

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They sent him to which hospital?

H.T. Paul B - for the link and the title

Woman who 'ripped her boyfriend's scrotum to shreds' is sentenced to two years in prison

A woman who was arrested for ripping her boyfriend's scrotum with her bare hands during a brutal attack has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Christina Lorena Reber, 46, from Indiana, was convicted last year of felony battery in connection with the March 2012 attack inside her 60-year-old boyfriend's home.

She was ordered to spend two years in custody by a Circuit Court judge who said her ex-beau suffered 'an extraordinarily heinous injury' at her hands after she left his scrotum torn to shreds.

According to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun the man's scrotum was left with a long wide tear which had been completely torn loose from his body.

During his bedside interview at Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana, cops said that his shirt was also covered in blood.

And when investigators checked in on the man two days after the attack, he reported that his bleeding scrotum was so swollen that he was unable to walk and was missing work.

Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University are named after the Ball brothers. They were the founders of the Ball Corporation, well-known for the glass 'Mason' jars (for home canning) that it's been selling for 125 years. 2015 will be Ball Corp.'s 135th year in business.

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Windy City in the clouds

The city under the clouds: Magical image of Chicago reflected on Lake Michigan is captured by plane passenger coming into land

Chicago appears like a city in the clouds in this stunning photograph taken by a passenger from his plane window.

Plane enthusiast and amateur photographer Mark Hersch captured the jaw-dropping scene of the city silhouetted in Lake Michigan from his seat on a Chicago-bound flight making its final approach.

The late-afternoon image shows the low sun casting a golden glow on the water, which is visible beneath cloud cover.

The buildings of the Windy City cast long shadows out into the water - while closer inspection reveals another passenger jet near the centre of the picture.

Mark said the image is straight out of the camera, without use of image manipulation.

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February 11, 2015

Plane drops

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Valentine's surprise

Seal It With a Hiss

What has six legs, a surprisingly high tolerance for radiation, and is bound to crawl into your loved one's heart?

Back by popular demand, this Valentine's Day we're again offering you the opportunity to name one of the Bronx Zoo's Madagascar hissing cockroaches for your special someone. Don't miss out. Though this holiday tradition began in 2011, tens of thousands of these hissing cockroaches remain nameless.

With a $10 donation, your valentine will get a unique certificate of honor featuring the name of your roach.*

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All they need is a tiny Cupid

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February 10, 2015

Could've been a real downer, man

Yeef! Much too close for comfort.

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Hero cat

Kitty rescue: Homeless cat praised for saving abandoned baby in Russia (VIDEO)

A baby boy not older than 12 weeks has been found in a box on a staircase in an apartment block in the Russian town of Obninsk. The box was meant for a cat, who – after having found a new soul in misery, warmed up the baby and was worried to let him go.

The baby in the cat box was discovered by one of the neighbors, who had heard what she thought to be loud meowing and rushed to rescue the cat from possible offenders.

The furry feline has been living in the apartment block for three years, fed and petted by its residents. The day when she found an unexpected guest in her box was a freezing one, but the baby was very warm, according to the woman, who first discovered the abandoned boy.

"She has been keeping the baby warm for several hours and meowing to call for help," she told Ruptly video agency.

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February 09, 2015

So this cat walks into a bar...

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This seems appropriate

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Transitions

A sample of the art work in Rob Gonsalves' online gallery. We've seen a few of his pieces before but without attribution.

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Involuntary walkathon

Neo-Nazis Slowly Realize This Small Town Totally Punked Them

In preparation for an upcoming neo-Nazi march in the small Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, local residents decided to fight back in a hilariously perfect way: by sponsoring each of the 250 fascist participants. According to Heeb Magazine, "For every metre they walked, €10 went to a programme called EXIT Deutschland, which helps people escape extremist groups."

The anti-semitic walkers didn't figure out the town's scheme until they had already started their march, and by that time, it was too late to turn back. The end result? The neo-Nazis raised more than $12,000 to fund programs to put an end to neo-Nazis.

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