Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Ms Sandiford to be executed for drug trafficking.

A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.

Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.

As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Marbella Forest Fire

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Dream Warriors Testament: PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM Flash News best selling new addiction book

Dream Warriors Testament:PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM 

Dream Warriors testament, Arriving at a time in my life after thirty years of not drinking to leave an honest account of what it was like, my experience the good and the bad, the addictions of which alcohol was but one, the spiritual experiences and the formation of my personal program.The founding of Narcotics Anonymous in Spain.The trails and tribulations of the battles and failures with the ego.Many people need to remain anonymous within my journal and many may see there rolls differently.The writing is by a dyslexic this is not an excuse but a fact.Without the help of AA,NA,CA,ALANON,OA,SA and CODA this story would have not been possible.Many Angels have appeared in my life and I acknowledge you all.My sponsor and authentic founder of NA Spain remains my confident and long term friend.This person without any thought of reward spent endless time supporting me threw the early years of recovery  and whom I will be eternally grateful.

PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM


Now cast your mind back thirty years.A hopeless drunk is staggering our of a nightclub set in an area known as over the border in a North East English town. The street lights  shimmering off the tarmac rushed towards me as I crumpled into unconsciosness My semicomatse head bouncing off the granite curbstones feeling like a gentle caress. Blackout, oblivion was where my advanced alcoholism always took me. The promise of a wonderous adventure filled illusions had long since disappeared.The idea that I could handle alcohol or drugs had seemed irrelevant the inevitability of my condition overcame me I dimmely felt hands rifleing threw my pockets. Hopelessly drunk I was incapable of doing anything even my bodily functions now took care of themselves. Death, whatever that was, would have been welcomed as yet another phase of insane bingeing ran its course.By know I was starting to understand that once I drank I had no control over the outcome.All the excuses had been used up and I was in utter bewilderment as to why my longtime friend alcohol had turned on me.Where had my friends disappeared to and the conviviality of there happy company.

The answer crashed into my befuddled brain I had used up all there excuses as well as mine and had become the unfunny court jester who continuosly embarrassed them with drunken brawling heaping abuse onto those closest to me as the full reality of my condition became apparent to them all.The witty raconteaur had become the stinking drunk,bloated vomiting and unfunny.In reality I sorted out dark places where people like me sort the company of like minded others.The illegal blues clubs and shebeens the drinking dens for prostitutes and criminals.I could not resist the call to visit once I had, had that first drink.It did not matter what it was for I had long since recognised that if it was a weak shandy or a double whisky the results would be exactly the same.It came as no surprise to be lying in the gutter blacked out.

What did come as a surprise was to be sitting in the back of a taxicab.What had happened had I met with a good Samaritan for they where a rareity in this area of dockland.I was over the years after this to try many times to attempt to rationalise this answer out. Had some golden lady of the night rescued me doubtful but possible or a kindly taxi driver even more improbable.Yet here I was being dropped off outside my front door in a small suburban village.My eyes fearfully scanned the street for what had become the inevitable results of my binges a police car.I thanked the taxi driver and searched for my keys.No police car but now the guilt and remorse the terrible psychical withdrawal from alcohol gripped my being. I must have another drink as my skin started crawling and the stomach wrenching vomit reflex took hold.

It was at this time I recognised that all the lights were on yet there was no one in the house.I stopped I glanced at the red flock wallpaper with the glistening remains of the whisky glass catching the evidential reflection of the lights.Yes this was the right house.There was the drinks cupboard it was open nothing remained. Panic,fear my head whirled a neon red sign shown in my head NO DRINK.No drink nothing.I heard a car drive up my car, my wife.I needed to get what was left of the brain into gear.I wracked my brain for a solution something that would work something that would give one more drink anything.She was on the path give me an idea any idea nothing. The withdrawls were kicking in the shakeing was starting with the first tremors my fingers twitched as the withdrawls started.Its just a hangover.You used the magic word that would start the withdrawl HANGOVER. I didn’t do hangovers anymore I just got sick very sick very quickly.How the hell was I to get a drink I must have a drink.I needed a solution fast any solution.

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid's chromatophores.

 

 The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido of Roger Hanlon's Lab in the Marine Resource Center of the Marine Biological Labs helped us with the preparation. You can read their latest paper at:http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/08/13/rspb.2012.1374

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STAR WARS DETOURS™ Trailer

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Monday, 13 August 2012

London's secret music venue and their livestream act

boiler-room-ch1.jpg

With an invite-only door policy and super secret location, Boiler Room is London's most exclusive music venue. But elitism isn't the premise for its clandestine nature—in fact, anyone with an Internet connection can easily join in the fun. Using a simple webcam, the crew behind Boiler Room livestreams each set for the world to see free of charge, and each month more than a million viewers tune in to see performances by artists like James Blake, The xx, Roots Manuva, Neon Indian, Juan Maclean and more.

boiler-room-ch2.jpg

We recently chilled out to the smooth sounds of Brooklyn's How To Dress Well before rocking out to revered musician Matthew Dear, who brought down the house with an intense 40-minute DJ set. Keep an eye out for our interview with Dear, but for now you can get a little more insight into the underground music scene's most talked about livestream show by checking out our interview with assistant musical programmer and Boiler Room host Nic Tasker.

boiler-room-ch3.jpg
How important is it for Boiler Room to remain secret, at least in its location?

That is quite an important aspect of it, purely because it means when you do shows you don't get a lot of groupies, pretty much everyone in the room is either a friend of ours or one of the artist's. It helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere for the artist and I think they feel less pressure. They're also just able to chill out and be themselves more rather than having people being like, "Hi can I get your autograph?" If the artists are relaxed usually you get the best music.

It seems like there is more interaction among the crowd than at a typical venue, is that intentional?

It's definitely a social place. All the people that come down, most of them we know and they're all our friends. So they come down, hang, have a drink and just chill out, basically. From our very set-up, we do it with a webcam, we're not a highly professional organization but I think that's kind of the charm of it. The main thing is people come down with the right attitude.

boiler-room-ch4.jpg
How much of the show is prescribed?

I guess that depends on the artist. We never say anything. Literally, whatever they want to do—we're kind of the platform for them to do whatever they want, so if Matthew Dear wants to come and play an hour of noise with no beats, he can do that. That's fine with us, and I think that's why artists like coming to play for us. We're not like a club where you have to make people dance, we don't give a shit if people dance. It's nice if they do and it makes it more fun, but some nights you just get people appreciating the music, which is equally fun.

boiler-room-ch5.jpg
Is there a particular kind of artist you guys look for and ask to come perform?

No, not particularly, it's just whatever we're feeling. Thristian [Boiler Room's co-founder] has the main say on musical direction, but it's a massive team effort. In London there's five of us, New York there's two, LA there's one and Berlin there's two.

Tonight you had different set-ups for each artist, do you tailor their positioning in the room to their style?

It definitely depends on the act and what kind of music they do. With live bands we found what works nicely is having them opposite each other because it's like they're in rehearsal, like they're just jamming. Which is again trying to give them that chilled out feel that they're just at home jamming and there happens to be a camera there. For some of our shows we've had over 100,000 viewers. When you think of those numbers it's quite scary, but when you're in the room and it's all friends it creates that vibe that people don't mind. You can imagine if you had all those people in front of you it would be a very different situation.

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Have you ever thought of Boiler Room as an East London version of Soul Train?

It's never crossed my mind like that, but I can see why you think that. I like to think of us as the new music broadcaster, kind of the new MTV, but obviously we operate in the underground scene mainly. But I like to think that what we do is as revolutionary as what they were doing. We're always growing into something new.

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What's up next for Boiler Room?

We have had visual people in doing 3D mapping, and that's something we're looking forward to progressing—doing more with the visuals. We've got the upstairs as well, we're starting to do breakfast shows with some high profile DJs, we're going to be doing that regularly. Each will have an individual format. The next step is progressing the US shows, we're alternating weekly between New York and LA, so the next step is to take Boiler Room to America

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Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.

Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap presents a groundbreaking developmental road map to guide readers away from their co-dependent behaviors and toward a life of wholeness and fulfillment.UK Citizens

This is the book that offers a different perspective on codependency and is strongly recommended by Dream Warrior Recovery as part of a solution based recovery. This bestselling book, now in a revised edition, radically challenges the prevailing medical definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Rather, the authors identify it as the result of developmental traumas that interfered with the infant-parent bonding relationship during the first year of life.US Citizens

Drawing on decades of clinical experience, Barry and Janae Weinhold correlate the developmental causes of co-dependency with relationship problems later in life, such as establishing and maintaining boundaries, clinging and dependent behaviors, people pleasing, and difficulty achieving success in the world. Then they focus on healing co-dependency, providing compelling case histories and practical activities to help readers heal early trauma and transform themselves and their primary relationships.

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Vintage Ads Most Disturbing Household Products

 


All of the following ads are real and unaltered, so don't blame us. We weren't there when they were made, and in some cases the entire insane thought process that went into creating them has been lost to history. Maybe they made perfect sense at the time?

Maybe. But it's really hard to see how even our parents and grandparents didn't get nightmares from ...

#13. Three-Legged Dingo Boots

vintageadbrowser.com

The Message:

Here are some boots that you should buy, because famous people wear them. Three of them.

The Horror:

Wait, what?

Yes, amazingly, the fact that this ad stars a pre-murder O.J. Simpson is the second-creepiest thing about it. And you can squint and try to read the text all you want -- it makes no reference whatsoever to the fact that their spokesperson has three legs. There's no cute slogan like "Boots so comfortable, you'll wish you had another foot!" Nope. It's like some guy in the art department just said, "Eh, I don't like how you can't really see the chair, let's just add another leg to fill that space."

We know what you're thinking: "Cracked, this is obviously a subtle 'big dick' joke. 'Third leg?' Get it?" But, no, it turns out this was a whole campaign they did with various celebrities, some of whom are women:

eBay
Like, uh ... this famous lady right here.

But O.J. seems to be the most frequent star of the "Third Leg" campaign, which apparently lasted for years. Note how his afro shrinks as he gets more comfortable with his new appendage:


The picture in that third ad would have been perfect for the cover of his book.

Please don't blame us for the inevitable nightmare in which O.J. is running after you, in the dark, those three boots pounding down the pavement after you with a noise like a wounded horse.

#12. Lord West Suits Will Impress Your 7-Year-Old Date

vintageadbrowser.com
"I like my women like I like my code names: 007."

The Message:

Women of all ages dig men in tuxedos!

The Horror:

According to the text, this dinner suit is for "sophisticated traditionalists," a euphemism we weren't previously aware of for "child molesters." Because there's no other way to interpret this picture. That's not tenderness on their faces. That's hunger. If you told us that they're a father and daughter, that would only make it creepier.

And it turns out that this is only the worst example in a whole series of ads associating little girls with selling tuxedos.

eBay
The style is best described as Godfather meets Lolita.

Can you imagine the pitch meeting that led to this campaign? Picture Don Draper from Mad Men standing before his clients, selling them on this idea:

"Class. Elegance. Making out with little girls. These are the values your company represents."

"Did ... did you say 'making out with little girls,' Don?"

"Yes," replied Don with perfect confidence.

"OK, just making sure."

Sitting at the end of the table, Peggy looks at Don and smiles. He did it again.

#11. Man in Tuxedo Carefully Considers Naked Child

library.duke.edu
"Told you it was bigger. Now pay up."

The Message:

Regular soap sinks in the bathtub, causing children to take longer in washing themselves and their fathers to get angry and spank them. Prevent child abuse by buying Ivory Soap -- it floats.

The Horror:

OK, they're clearly just fucking with us at this point. Remove the text and the message becomes clear: "In the old days, child predators used to dress way better than they do now." But let's put the pedophilia overtones aside for the moment and examine the text.

Was the elaborate scenario described under the picture (involving childhoods ruined by non-floating soap) really such a common problem in the '20s, or was this based on the painful personal experiences of whoever commissioned this ad? We're betting on the latter option. Note that the father's body language doesn't say "I'm going to spank you" -- he's clearly pondering which part of the kid's body to break first.


"Maybe the 28th trimester isn't too late for an abortion."

#10. "Are You Sure I'll Still Be a Virgin?"

thesocietypages.org
"If you didn't think band camp counted, I don't see why you'd think this would."

The Message:

Don't worry, teens, you can use Tampax tampons without losing your virginity.

The Horror:

Be honest: How many of you looked at this picture and immediately recognized it as a Tampax ad? And how many looked at it and thought it depicted a teenage girl being sexually propositioned? It's not just us, is it?

This ad would have looked 90 percent less sordid if both people involved were clearly visible. Instead, the second teenager is for some reason sitting on the floor of the porch with her back to us, so we can't see how young, or scared, she is. But, of course, all of that is purely from our own depraved imagination. The real ad is simply about two teenagers debating whether or not inserting a tampon counts as sex.

#9. Escaped Convicts Love Revell Authentic Model Kits

vintageadbrowser.com
"Is this the new plan, boss?"
"I've spent all day plotting against Superman; this is 'Lex Time'."

The Message:

Hey kids! Check out these sweet model kits!

The Horror:

There's only one possible scenario in which this picture could have come to exist: The photographers were getting ready to shoot this ad when they realized that the boy who was supposed to be holding up the models in the picture never showed up for work. Panicking, the man from the ad agency looked around the studio.

"Dmitri, can you come here for a second?" he said to the guy who fixes the lighting. "Stand here and hold this model. Yes, that's great. You'll play the boy in this ad."

"But sir," said the photographer, "Dmitri was just released from jail. In fact, he's still wearing the prison jumpsuit."

"No, no, he's perfect. Look at him. Look at that childlike innocence in his face."


"Could you open the top button maybe, show a little chest hair?"

"Perfect."

#8. Our Competitors = Surgical Ass Torture

vintageadbrowser.com
"Don't worry, sir, the gloves are just to establish atmosphere."

The Message:

Using cheap toilet paper can lead to medical complications.

The Horror:

... which in turn can lead to rubber-gloved hands inserting clamps in your anus. Better play it safe and go with Scott Tissues.

This attempt to traumatize customers into buying their product with threats of anal torture was part of a whole marketing campaign created during the Great Depression in which Scott Tissues' slogan went from "Wipe your butt with us" to "Wipe your butt with us, or die in a world of asshole pain."

Of course, it was all bullshit: There's no such thing as "toilet tissue illness," it was just a thing they made up to convince people to keep buying tissues at a time when they were lucky enough if they had a toilet.

#7. "Before You Scold Me, Mom ... Maybe You'd Better Light Up a Marlboro"

deceptology.com

The Message:

Before you beat your baby for stealing your favorite hat, have a cigarette and relax yourself. Then beat the baby.

The Horror:

How many times did this months-old child have to be punched before it learned to pick up the Marlboros and offer them to mommy to calm her down? If that's not the saddest thing you've imagined all week, you're dead inside. This is actually one in a series of ads from the '50s, back when Marlboro was targeting mommies instead of rugged cowboys. Sometimes the babies actually seem to be guilting their moms into smoking more.

tobacco.stanford.edu
"You turned me into an addict when I was a fetus, now deal with it."

Oddly enough, the version of this ad aimed at fathers doesn't involve scolding, but a pompous baby in a basket defending daddy's rather feminine cigarette tastes (note the reference to "beauty tips" at the bottom).

tobacco.stanford.edu
This is the kind of debate babies have all the time.




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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Jessica Harper admits £2.4m Lloyds Bank fraud

A former Lloyds Bank worker in charge of online security has admitted carrying out a fraud worth more than £2.4m. Jessica Harper, 50, had been accused of submitting false invoices to claim payments between 2007 and 2011. At the time she was working as head of fraud and security for digital banking and made false claims totalling £2,463,750. Harper, of South Croydon, south London, will be sentenced on 21 September. At Southwark Crown Court, Harper admitted a single charge of fraud by abuse of position by submitting false invoices to claim payments. 'A very simple fraud' She also admitted a single charge of transferring criminal property, the money, which she had defrauded from her employers. Harper was arrested on 21 December before being charged in May. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote Jessica Harper has today been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat” Sue Patten Crown Prosecution Service Antony Swift, prosecuting, did not open the facts of the case but said it was a "a very simple fraud". He added Harper had already repaid £300,000 and was in the process of selling her house for about £700,000. "That will be some £1m out of £2.5m that's gone missing," he told the judge. Carol Hawley, defending, said: "She appreciates the seriousness and has made full admissions in interview. "She understands perfectly well on the next occasion she will be facing imprisonment of some length." Breach of trust Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith granted Harper bail on the condition she stays at her current address, obeys a 21:00 to 07:00 curfew and hands in her passport. Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Central Fraud Division, said: "Jessica Harper has today been convicted of the type of crime the bank employed her to combat. "The evidence in the case was clear and left Harper with little choice but to plead guilty. "In doing so, she has admitted to a huge breach of trust against her former employer." Lloyds is now 39.7% state-owned after being bailed out by the government during the financial crisis.

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Shares in Standard Chartered dive after Iran allegations

Shares in Standard Chartered PLC dropped sharply today as investors reacted to US charges that the bank was involved in laundering money for Iran. The charges against Standard Chartered were a shock for a bank which proudly described itself recently as “boring.” Shares were down nearly 20 percent at 1,187 pence at one point in early trading Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. In Hong Kong, they were down 16.6 percent near the end of the session. New York State Department of Financial Services alleged on Monday that Standard Chartered schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250 billion from 2001 to 2007, leaving the United States' financial system “vulnerable to terrorists.” Standard Chartered said it “strongly rejects” the allegations. In a statement, the bank said “well over 99.9 percent” of the questioned transactions with Iran complied with all regulations, and the exceptions amounted to $14 million. The New York regulator ordered Standard Chartered representatives to appear in New York City on Aug. 15 “to explain these apparent violations of law” and to demonstrate why its license to operate in the State of New York “should not be revoked.” Gary Greenwood, analyst at Shore Capital in London, said the possible revocation of the New York license was of far greater concern than any potential fine, which could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Standard Chartered's US operation facilitates trade for customers that have operations in both the United States and emerging markets. “Indeed, this is an area of the business that has been highlighted by management for growth,” Greenwood said. “A loss of its US banking license would not only jeopardize part of this profit stream, but the associated reputational damage could also have a severely damaging impact to its operations within emerging markets.” The New York agency alleged that Standard Chartered conspired with Iranian clients to route nearly 60,000 different US dollar payments through Standard Chartered's New York branch “after first stripping information from wire transfer messages used to identify sanctioned countries, individuals and entities.” The New York regulators called the bank a rogue institution and quoted one of its executives as saying: “You (expletive) Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians.” The order also identifies an October 2006 “panicked message” from a London group executive director who worried the transactions could lead to “very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage to the group.” If proven, the scheme would violate state money-laundering laws. The order also accuses the bank of falsifying business records, obstructing governmental administration, failing to report misconduct to the state quickly, evading federal sanctions and other illegal acts. Between 2004 and 2007, about half the period covered by the order, the department claims Standard Chartered hid from and lied about its Iranian transactions to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Before 2008, banks were allowed to transact some business with Iran, but only with full reporting and disclosure, the order states. In 2008, the US Treasury Department stopped those transactions because it suspected they helped pay for Iran to develop nuclear weapons and finance terrorist groups including Hamas and Hezbollah. The order states the bank has to provide information and answer questions to determine if any of the funding aided the groups or Iran's nuclear program. Last week, Standard Chartered' chief executive, Peter Sands, boasted that the bank has racked up a 10-year string of record first-half profits “amidst all the turbulence in the global economy and the apparently never-ending turmoil in the world of banking.” “It may seem boring in contrast to what is going on elsewhere, but we see some virtue in being boring,” Sands added.

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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pigs worship God of Materialism

If ever there was a god to prevent you from worshiping material things, it would be this one.


The hideous pig-like thing is the masterpiece by Chinese artist Chen Wenling called God Of Materialism.

godmaterialismUgly pig with green eye darting at thier master

Looking chuffed, the huge greedy pig has minions of other tiny, and just as unattractive and scary, pigs worshiping in awe at its heels.

The group stare up at their master, adorned with a plethora of jewels and necklaces representing the grotesque love of material things.

The sculpture, which looks like a bad dream, can be found at the Asia Art Centre in Beijing.

And if you're brave enough to go and see it, it will be there till October 18th 2008.



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Brad Pitt is reportedly utilising his free time to plan his wedding with Angelina Jolie.


Brad Pitt busy planning wedding

The 48-year-old has taken charge of preparations for the wedding that is expected to take place end of September. He has flown in a team of builders to renovate the home he shares with Jolie in southern France.

"Angelina isn`t so bothered about when they tie the knot, it`s Brad who is piling on the pressure," a website has quoted a source as saying.

"He wants the main house to be finished when the event takes place, even though the close friends and relatives who are invited aren`t the types to care. He wants everything to be absolutely perfect," the source added.

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

yellow jacket stun gun case for iphone



yellow jacket is a case that transforms the iPhone 4 & 4S into that 650,000-volt stun gun you've always needed.





scheduled to hit the US market in fall 2012 the case is advertised as being able to 
easily stop an aggressive male attacker, and ready for use in less than two seconds. 
its designer seth froom, a former military policeman came up with the product after 
being robbed in his home at gunpoint.

what is the demand for such a hostile product you might ask? well, yellow jacket 
has managed to receive over 100,000 USD worth of backing on the crowd-funding 
website indiegogo which means that there must be quite a few people out there 
who feel the need to transform their phone into a weapon.


detail of the stun gun nodes 

the iPhone's designers could never have conceived half of the the weird and wonderful accessories 
that have been designed for use with the iPhone since its launch, but even in the name of self defense 
a stun gun seems a bit much, doesn't it?

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

A million Britons live with the hell of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Nadine Stewart was convinced she was going to die. Just ten minutes after setting off for a pop concert with her sister, she felt a tingling sensation in her arms and pain in her chest.

‘I knew I was having a heart attack,’ says Nadine, 41, a customer services adviser from Morecambe, Lancashire. ‘I begged my sister to take me to A&E: I ran in and screamed that I was having a heart attack.

‘They put me on a monitor and my heart was fine — what I had suffered was a panic attack. I have no idea to this day what caused it, but it terrified the life out of me.’ 

Nadine Stewart has to do everything nine times or fears her husband will die

Nadine Stewart has to do everything nine times or fears her husband will die

But worse was to come. ‘Afterwards, I developed a fear that if I didn’t do something nine times, something terrible would happen to me, my husband Paul or a member of my family.’ says Nadine. 

‘If I made a drink I had to stir it nine times. If I locked the door I had to check it nine times and if I used a cloth to wipe a surface I’d have to wipe it nine times. I don’t know why it was nine. I realised I was being utterly irrational. But every time I tried to curb it — such as only stirring my drink three times — I’d begin to panic.'

 ‘If I didn’t do these things nine times, I’d imagine Paul and me veering off the motorway in our car and see his injured face in the aftermath.’

Nadine had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the top ten most disabling disorders in terms of its effect on quality of life. 

Last month both the British actress Emily Blunt and the MP Charles Walker revealed they suffered from it, with Walker admitting he had to do everything in multiples of four — and felt the need to wash his hands hundreds of times a day. 

 Who knew?
Surveys estimate that fewer than
10 per cent of those suffering OCD are currently receiving treatment.

They are not alone. Around a million people in the UK are thought to be undergoing treatment for OCD, the majority of them women. Women are twice as likely as men to develop anxiety disorders such as OCD — and high-achieving perfectionists are particularly at risk. 

‘There are two parts to OCD, the obsession and the compulsion,’ explains Joel Rose, of charity OCD Action. ‘The obsession is a thought that pops into your head, about harm coming to someone you love or you causing harm to someone.'

‘Everyone has these thoughts but most of us ignore them and get on with our lives. Someone with OCD will develop a compulsive ritual as a reaction to them. It can be continually washing their hands or something invisible like repeating the same phrase over and over in their heads.'

‘The time spent on these compulsions lengthens with time. A severe OCD sufferer might spend six or seven hours a day washing their hands in the hope nothing terrible happens to their children.’

The cause of the condition is not known, though a stressful event in someone’s life may trigger an underlying problem. 

Nadine has never pinpointed the root of her troubles — though they began in the year she started a new job, moved house and got engaged. ‘I had no reason to feel anxious,’ she said, ‘though I suppose there was a lot of change.

‘I became scared of choking to death so I stopped eating and lost three stone in less than three months. I couldn’t leave the house without Paul, and even then it would take me three hours to pluck up the courage.’

Someone who can empathise with Nadine is Jeni Scott, 31, who’s had OCD for three years. 
It began when her father had a heart attack and her mother was diagnosed with cancer, soon after Jeni left university. 

‘I became obsessed with doing things in order,’ says Jeni, a tutor from Newport, Wales. ‘I started making lists but it had everything on it such as “get up, have shower, make a cup of tea” and if I didn’t stick to it I would punish myself by denying myself a treat.

Actress Emily Blunt, star of Five Year Engagement, has revealed she suffers from OCD

Actress Emily Blunt, star of Five Year Engagement, has revealed she suffers from OCD

‘I developed a phobia of being in the rain in the wrong clothes and had to take a backpack with spare bra, pants, coat, shoes and umbrella everywhere with me. I’d carry antibacterial gel in my bag and use it every ten minutes. I’ve still no idea why I did it, I just found it helped me.’ 

Aisha Faisal, from Reading, Berkshire, also suffers from OCD — and it’s getting worse. ‘I developed it in my teens when my mother fell ill and I had to clean the house,’ the 26-year-old says. ‘Now I’m obsessed with everything being super-clean. I wash my hands 14 or 15 times a day, I shower for an hour at a time and wash the shower head and bath thoroughly before I step in. 

‘If someone touches me, I cringe. My neighbour touched my scarf to tell me it was pretty and I had to have a shower and put all my clothes in the wash.’ Aisha, who has three children under four, admits her obsession extended to giving birth. 

‘Each time I had Caesarean sections — the thought of having a natural birth makes me feel physically sick.’ She made the surgeons assure her everything had been scrubbed thoroughly before each operation. Understandably, her OCD worries the rest of her family. ‘My husband Ali finds it very hard to see me like this. I won’t let him touch me when he comes in from work: he has to shower and put on clean clothes before he can hug me.'

‘With three young children, being clean is impossible and I bathe them twice a day in the winter and sometimes four times a day in the summer if they’re hot and sticky.’

As a result of her obsession her own hands are red raw and she suffers from eczema. ‘I have been to the GP but it’s very difficult to treat. I know I must do something soon, because my eldest daughter, who is four, is picking up on my behaviour and I feel very guilty about that.'

‘The other day she came in from the garden and said she was dirty so needed to get out of her clothes and I washed her and cleaned her thoroughly. My husband can’t believe our electricity bill because the washing machine is on constantly.’

While Aisha is still in the grip of OCD, Jeni and Nadine have overcome the condition. According to the NHS, the two recognised forms of treatment are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), which helped Jeni, and anti-depressants. 

But Nadine used another therapy called The Linden Method — a two-day workshop costs £995 — when she reached her lowest point early last year.

‘I was unable to work, leave the house or answer the phone,’ she says. ‘My vision became blurry, my hands would spasm and I’d get pains like rheumatism. I began to think: “What’s the point in living?” yet I was too scared to kill myself.’

The Linden Method — which has also helped OCD sufferers Jemma and Jodie Kidd — works by convincing the sufferer’s sub-conscious that they are safe. 

‘I’m a different person,’ says Nadine. ‘I can leave the house, I’m applying for jobs, taking up hobbies and it’s transformed my relationship with Paul. 

‘He says it’s like having a wife in a wheelchair who can walk again. Except I feel I can not only walk, I can fly.’




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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Spain Scraps Siesta as Stores Stay Open to Spur Spending

The Spanish shopping siesta may be about to become the latest victim of the sovereign debt crisis. To stimulate spending after a 23 percent drop in retail sales since 2007, the euro region’s fourth-largest economy this month approved measures that allow shops of more than 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) to open for 25 percent longer a week. The new rules may encourage the outlets to sell during the traditional afternoon snooze from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on an additional two Sundays or holidays a year for a total of 10. “When everything was fine, nobody complained, but now that things have gone awry, then it’s another story,” said Carmen Cardeno, director general for domestic commerce at the nation’s economy ministry, which created the rules. “We need to evolve and be more flexible.” Spain is following its European neighbors in trying to liberalize shopping hours that have traditionally been checked by governments in the region to protect religious observances, for rest and on behalf of smaller retailers that have fewer resources to staff shops around the clock. England has allowed retailers to open for longer on Sundays during the Olympics than the six hours usually allowed. In France, food shops can be open 13 hours a day and stores located in tourist areas have the right to open on Sundays. Spanish shops are allowed to open for less time than anywhere else in Europe, according to its government, which was asked by retail associations to allow large stores to open 16 Sundays or holidays a year. Some smaller merchants opposed the extension, arguing that the bigger stores would have the necessary manpower and they wouldn’t. The new measures allow stores 18 additional business hours a week and will permit merchants to decide when to cut prices in sales instead of only twice a year. Siesta Time The country’s regions will get to decide how to implement the rules, though they usually follow the lead of the central government. In Madrid, which is an exception, stores have been able to open for as long as they want since July 15. Outlets of less than 300 square meters also have no restrictions on opening hours, though the Spanish tradition of eating at home and having a siesta means most shopkeepers keep their businesses closed for about two hours in the middle of the day. The new measures may not be enough to offset shrinking demand in Spain’s 217 billion-euro ($264 billion) retail industry, which is worsening each year the crisis goes on in a nation where one in four people is out of work. The number of companies seeking bankruptcy protection rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,224 in the first quarter, according to the nation’s statistics institute, with commerce being the third- largest contributor behind construction and housing firms and industrial and energy companies. ‘Almost Insignificant’ Javier Millan-Astray, director general of retail association ANGED, said the approved loosening of restrictions on opening hours doesn’t go far enough. “The government’s reform is almost insignificant,” Millan-Astray told reporters in Madrid, when retail groups pushed for 16 Sunday openings. The associations’ “new proposal would help boost consumption and create more jobs because when we open on a holiday, people come and shop. It’s unbelievable that amid this crisis, we have to keep our stores closed.” Spain has been wrestling with the dilemma of preserving its culture and modernizing the industry for decades. The socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2004 rolled back liberalization of opening hours instituted by his predecessor, bringing them back to rules from the 1990s and leaving the country with the tightest regulations of any European country. Job Creation Even with the latest proposals, “retail regulation is hurting both business and customers in Spain,” said Fernando Fernandez, a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid. “Both big and small retailers would benefit from fewer restrictions. When big retailers such as Ikea or Zara open a store, all small shops in that area benefit from that.” Ending the restrictions completely would create 337,581 jobs across all industries and add 17.2 billion euros to economic growth this year, according to a study commissioned by the government, which examined the implications of several scenarios. The nearest of those to the current proposals, under which stores open on 16 Sundays or holidays, could have added 47,945 full-time retail jobs, the study found. About 1.8 million people worked in retail in the first quarter, 0.3 percent less than in the year-earlier period. Stores are also bracing for change as the government looks to the retail industry to help boost tax revenue. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will increase the most common rate of sales tax to 21 percent from 18 percent on Sept. 1, putting an additional brake on consumers’ ability to spend. previous

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Spain king ousted as honorary president of World Wildlife Fund branch after elephant hunt

The World Wildlife Fund’s branch in Spain has ousted King Juan Carlos as its honorary president — a title he’d held since 1968 — after deciding his recent elephant hunting safari was incompatible with its goal of conserving endangered species. The announcement Saturday was the latest in a string of bad news for Spain’s royal family, which has been embarrassed by legal and other scandals. The fund said in a statement that “although such hunting is legal and regulated” it had “received many expressions of distress from its members and society in general.” It said members voted at a meeting Saturday in Madrid to “to get rid of the honorary President” by a substantial majority of 226 votes to 13. The Royal Palace declined immediate comment on the announcement. Many Spaniards were dumbfounded when news broke in April that the king had made a secret journey to hunt elephants in Botswana even though it was widely known he was president of the Spanish branch of the fund. Such an opulent indulgence also angered Spaniards at a time when national unemployment hovers around 25 percent, the economy is contracting and there are fears the country may need an international financial bailout. The Spanish public learned of the safari only after the king had to fly back in a private jet to receive emergency medical attention for a broken hip suffered during the trip. In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, a sheepish Juan Carlos apologized, saying as he left the hospital: “I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.” It was a poignant moment because the royal family had been under intense media scrutiny for all the wrong reasons. The king’s son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, is a suspect in a corruption case, accused of having used his position to embezzle several million euros in public contracts through a supposedly not-for-profit foundation he’d set up. Over Easter, the king’s 13-year-old grandson, Felipe Juan Froilan, shot himself in the foot with a shotgun, even though Spanish law dictates you must be 14 to handle a gun. The king on Tuesday decided to take a pay cut in solidarity with civil servants who are to lose their traditional Christmas bonuses as part of the government’s most recent austerity drive. The salaries of Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe will be reduced about 7 percent — to about 272,000 euros ($334,000) and 131,000 euros ($160,000) respectively — in line with government policy, the Royal Palace said. The king and prince acted voluntarily in cutting their salaries, the palace said.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Invasion of the pickpockets

Britain is in the grip of a pickpocketing epidemic as Eastern European gangs descend on London ahead of the Olympic Games.

A surge in sneak street thefts means more than 1,700 people fall victim every day – an increase of nearly a fifth in only two years, according to official crime  figures released yesterday.

At the same time, police warned that professional gangs from Romania, Lithuania and even South America who operate in capitals across Europe are heading to Britain, intent on cashing in on unwitting tourists at London 2012.

How they do it: A member of the pickpocket gang approaches a BBC reporter investigating the rise in thefts ahead of the Olympics

How they do it: A member of the pickpocket gang approaches a BBC reporter investigating the rise in thefts ahead of the Olympics

Keeping him occupied: The man speaks to the victim on the pretense of needing directions while another gang member approaches from behind

Keeping him occupied: The man speaks to the victim on the pretense of needing directions while another gang member approaches from behind

A BBC investigation exposed the tactics used by Romanian thieves, who were previously operating in Barcelona, to dupe their victims.

The criminals boasted of their ‘one-second’ theft techniques which leave targets unaware that anything has happened until  it is too late. They can make £4,000 a week taking wallets, smartphones and laptop bags. The goods are then shipped back to Romania and sold on the black market.

 Scotland Yard has made more than 80 arrests already and warned thieves the capital will be a ‘hostile environment’ in the coming weeks.

The Met has even drafted in a team of Romanian police officers to deal with the problem and patrol in the West End of London and Westminster during the Games. They will not have arrest powers.

Distracted: An accomplice (left) then plays drunk so he can get close enough to the target to strike

Distracted: An accomplice (left) then plays drunk so he can get close enough to the target to strike

 

Sleight of hand: The 'drunk' man jostles around with the BBC reporter, making it harder for him to notice what is going on

Sleight of hand: The 'drunk' man jostles around with the BBC reporter, making it harder for him to notice what is going on

 

 

Rich pickings: The sneering thief walks away with the wallet from the unsuspecting victim

Rich pickings: The sneering thief walks away with the wallet from the unsuspecting victim

Teamwork: The thief quickly hands the wallet to another member of the gang, who spirits it away

Teamwork: The thief quickly hands the wallet to another member of the gang, who spirits it away

 

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘These Romanian officers will prove to be a huge asset in cracking down on certain criminal networks who are targeting tourists in central London.’

Official statistics released yesterday showed pickpocketing thefts rose 17 per cent in the past two years.

In 2011/12, a total of 625,000 people fell victim, the Crime Survey of England and Wales showed.

That is an increase of more than 102,000 since 2009/10.

The vast majority of the total are classified as ‘stealth thefts’, but in 83,000 cases the victims’ possessions were ‘snatched’.



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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDS TODAY


 
Grabbing a cup of coffee
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Dining out at your favourite restaurant
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Spending some time at the museum
  Description: Description: 810C23D4F768471C975BAA3637C7E2F9@HomeLT
 
Meeting at a popular fast food centre 
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Relaxing at the beach
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Going to a game
 
Description: Description: 86E35EEDDDD8402D90B4DE9C978CB4BF@HomeLT 
 
   Going out on a date
Description: Description: E2E7E88F4CF34955A4CAA39B6C207ED2@HomeLT   
 
Taking a drive around town
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I am thankful I belong to another generation  !!!!
 
“It’s become appallingly clear that our Technology has surpassed our Humanity” -- Albert Einstein
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Friday, 13 July 2012

Tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings

Tattoo
'It's wisest to pick someone whom you cannot break up with or divorce.' Photograph: Gary Powell/Getty Images

Tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings – at least if you believe the report in Thursday's Daily Mail, which looked at "embarrassing" matching couple tattoos – designs that complement or complete each other across two, romantically involved bodies.

Yet there are millions of people who feel no embarrassment about the tattoos they share with their friends, lovers and even exes. Moreover, as with most perceived "new trends" in tattooing, this practice is one with a history far older than the current generation; it's a phenomenon that provides both an insight into human beings' fundamental relationships with their own bodies and the bodies and lives of those close to them.

 

Tattoos have been used as markers of association for probably as long as human beings have walked the earth, to mark tribal affiliations, regimental membership in the military, membership of fraternal orders such as the masons or US college Greek letter groups, and to signify gang membership.

The most common of these types of affiliative tattoos, though, is marking an attachment to a loved one. There's an old adage in tattooed circles that suggests getting your lover's name tattooed on you is a sure kiss of death for that relationship, and it's an old gag too: Norman Rockwell's famous 1944 Saturday Evening Post cover painting, The Tattooist, shows a salty sailor in the tattooist's chair, having yet another name added to an arm already full of the crossed-out names of past paramours. Even earlier, a cartoon in Punch from 1916 shows a "fickle young thing" – a well-turned-out young woman, as it happens – revisiting her tattooist to seek an amendment to the ornamental crest tattoo on her arm as she has, euphemistically, "exchanged into another regiment".

 

None of this seems to have affected the long-standing popularity of having names or symbols tattooed to commemorate couples' love and bond. Magazines in the 1920s reported the latest fad for newlyweds was getting matching tattooed wedding rings; preserved tattooed skins in the Wellcome Collection from the late 19th century feature names and portraits of lovers; studies of tattoos in the American navy in the 18th century reveal a large percentage of seamen of the period bore tattoos of the names of women; even Christian pilgrims in the 16th century were recorded to have borne the names of their wives on their skins, as tokens or identificatory marks; and records attest to romantic tattooing even in ancient Rome – St Basil the Great (329-380) is said to have condemned the tattooing of a lover's name that he observed on someone's hand. While I'd certainly never advocate getting a permanent mark of your relationship too hastily, it does seem that the instinct to inscribe a permanent token transcends the ages. Caveat amator.

 

Single tattoos that span multiple bodies appear to be a more recent phenomenon, however. In 1977, New York-based tattoo artist Spider Webb undertook what was probably the first conceptual art project to use tattooing, in a piece called X-1000, in which he tattooed single, small Xs on to 999 individuals, and, as a culmination, one large X on the final, 1,000th skin, conceived as one contiguous work. This tattoo, potentially spanning thousands of miles at any one time, was, Webb said, "the largest tattoo ever done at any point in history". In 2000, as the culmination to a performance art project begun in 1998 designed to highlight the horrific lives and plights of the homeless and hungry in Mexico City, Santiago Sierra produced his piece 160cm Line Tattooed on Four People, a single black line tattooed across the backs of prostitutes in exchange for wraps of heroin, as a symbol of their desperation, interdependence, and utter powerlessness. Sierra would later remark: "You could make this tattooed line a kilometre long, using thousands and thousands of willing people." In 2003, author Shelley Jackson famously published her short story Skin on the bodies of 2095, one tattooed word per person. These tattoos bring together strangers in common cause.

 

My favourite set of matching tattoos, though, are probably the ongoing collection of work worn by twins Caleb and Jordan Kilby, tattooed with matching work by influential and extraordinarily talented New York-based artist Thomas Hooper. If you must get matching tattoos with someone, it's wisest to pick someone whom you cannot break up with or divorce, and to get the work carried out by a tattoo artist who will produce a piece of work that will stand the test of time on its own terms.

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Latvian company creates leather bound Ferrari


Motors News

We're familiar with seeing tight leather on smoking hot women, and weird old men, but it's a first for us seeing a leather bound Ferrari F430.

There seems to be a lot of fuss over this leather bound Ferrari F430 in the UK with both The Sun and The Daily Mail reporting about it recently.

However, this isn’t a new car by any means as US motoring blog Jalopnikreported on the F430 way back in August last year. It’s a pretty cool, albeit manky, car so we thought we’d show you anyway.

It’s the work of a Latvian custom car company called Dartz who hit the headlines in 2009 when they created a $1.5 million ruby red SUV with whale foreskin-covered seats. Yes, foreskin…

Anyway, some high roller with more cash then sense decided it would be a great idea to cover his €170,000 Ferrari in dark leather.

The owner of Dartz, Leonard Yankelovich, said: "One of our very rich customers from the Cote d'Azur wanted a leather exterior and knew we could deliver.

"It took three of my staff 16 working days to apply the leather and finish. He was more than happy when he picked it up."

He won’t be too happy when he scratches it though.

Is this the most expensive way to ruin a Ferrari?

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Australian mega-brothel gets go-ahead

Sydney brothel has received the green light for a multi-million-dollar expansion which will see it become Australia's largest sex premises, with rooms featuring multiple beds and pool tables. Plans to double the number of rooms at inner Sydney's "Stiletto" into a mega-brothel complex were knocked back late last year by the city council on the grounds that it was too big. But the owners won an appeal to the Land and Environment Court this week, with Commissioner Susan O'Neill ruling the Aus$12 million ($12.2 million) development, including a wing for group bookings, should go ahead. "The issue of a moral objection to the nature of the activities of a sex premises were raised by some of the public submissions and resident objectors," O'Neill said in the judgement seen by AFP Wednesday. "As a sex premises is a legal land use and permissible... with consent, moral objections to the proposal are not relevant considerations." O'Neill said Stiletto's operation to date had been assessed by the council as "acceptable and better than most" brothels in the city, and the proposed expansion to 40 rooms had addressed traffic and other concerns. Stiletto promotes itself as "the world's finest short-stay boutique hotel and Sydney brothel". Its standard hourly rate of Aus$370 includes room, lady of choice and beverages. It is open 24 hours each day of the year except for Christmas Day and boasts a "mixed clientele" which it claims includes top-end celebrities including movie stars, sportspeople and rock bands. Prostitution in Australia is governed by state and territory laws with brothels being legal in some parts of the country, including New South Wales, while in other areas, such as the Northern Territory, they are banned.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Barclays boss Bob Diamond resigns

Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned with immediate effect. The move comes less than a week after the bank was fined a record amount for trying to manipulate inter-bank lending rates. Mr Diamond said he was stepping down because the external pressure on the bank risked "damaging the franchise". Chairman Marcus Agius, who said on Monday he was stepping down, will take over the running of Barclays until a replacement is found. "I am deeply disappointed that the impression created by the events announced last week about what Barclays and its people stand for could not be further from the truth," Mr Diamond said in a statement. He will still appear before MPs on the Treasury Committee to answer questions about the Libor affair on Wednesday. "I look forward to fulfilling my obligation to contribute to the Treasury Committee's enquiries related to the settlements that Barclays announced last week without my leadership in question," Mr Diamond said. Last week, regulators in the US and UK fined Barclays £290m ($450m) for attempting to rig Libor and Euribor, the interest rates at which banks lend to each other, which underpin trillions of pounds worth of financial transactions. Staff did this over a number of years, trying to raise them for profit and then, during the financial crisis, lowering them to hide the level to which Barclays was under financial stress. Prime Minister David Cameron has described the rigging of Libor rates as "a scandal". The Serious Fraud Office is also considering whether to bring criminal charges.

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Beware of missed call to check SIM cloning

Next time if you get a missed call starting with +92; #90 or #09, don't show the courtesy of calling back because chances are it would lead to your SIM card being cloned. The telecom service providers are now issuing alerts to subscribers —particularly about the series mentioned above as the moment one press the call button after dialing the above number, someone at the other end will get your phone and SIM card cloned. According to reports, more than one lakh subscribers have fallen prey to this new telecom terror attack as the frequency of such calls continues to grow. Intelligence agencies have reportedly confirmed to the service providers particularly in UP West telecom division that such a racket is not only under way but the menace is growing fast. "We are sure there must be some more similar combinations that the miscreants are using to clone the handsets and all the information stored in them," an intelligence officer told TOI. General Manager (GM) BSNL, RV Verma, said the department had already issued alerts to all the broadband subscribers and now alert SMSes were being issued to other subscribers as well. As per Rakshit Tandon, an IT expert who also teaches at the police academy (UP), the crooks can use other combination of numbers as well while making a call. "It is better not to respond to calls received from unusual calling numbers," says Tandon. "At the same time one should avoid storing specifics of their bank account, ATM/ Credit/Debit card numbers and passwords in their phone memory because if one falls a prey to such crooks then the moment your cell phone or sim are cloned, the data will be available to the crooks who can withdraw amount from your bank accounts as well," warns Punit Misra; an IT expert who also owns a consultancy in Lucknow. The menace that threatens to steal the subscriber's information stored in the phone or external memory (sim, memory & data cards) has a very scary side as well. Once cloned, the culprits can well use the cloned copy to make calls to any number they wish to. This exposes the subscribers to the threat of their connection being used for terror calls. Though it will be established during the course of investigations that the cellphone has been cloned and misused elsewhere, it is sure to land the subscriber under quite some pressure till the time the fact about his or her phone being cloned and misused is established, intelligence sources said. "It usually starts with a miss call from a number starting with + 92. The moment the subscriber calls back on the miss call, his or her cell phone is cloned. In case the subscribers takes the call before it is dropped as a miss call then the caller on the other end poses as a call center executive checking the connectivity and call flow of the particular service provider. The caller then asks the subscriber to press # 09 or # 90 call back on his number to establish that the connectivity to the subscriber was seamless," says a victim who reported the matter to the BSNL office at Moradabad last week. "The moment I redialed the caller number, my account balance lost a sum of money. Thereafter, in the three days that followed every time I got my cell phone recharged, the balance would be reduced to single digits within the next few minutes," she told the BSNL officials.

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Sunday, 1 July 2012

France brings in breathalyser law

New motoring laws have come into force in France making it compulsory for drivers to carry breathalyser kits in their vehicles. As of July 1, motorists and motorcyclists will face an on-the-spot fine unless they travel with two single-use devices as part of a government drive to reduce the number of drink-drive related deaths. The new regulations, which excludes mopeds, will be fully enforced and include foreigner drivers from November 1 following a four-month grace period. Anyone failing to produce a breathalyser after that date will receive an 11 euro fine. French police have warned they will be carrying out random checks on drivers crossing into France via ferries and through the Channel Tunnel to enforce the new rules. Retailers in the UK have reported a massive rise in breathalyser sales as British drivers travelling across the Channel ensure they do not fall foul of the new legislation. Car accessory retailer Halfords said it is selling one kit every minute of the day and has rushed extra stock into stores to cope with the unprecedented demand. Six out of 10 Britons travelling to France are not aware they have to carry two NF approved breathalysers at all times, according to the company. The French government hopes to save around 500 lives a year by introducing the new laws, which will encourage drivers who suspect they may be over the limit to test themselves with the kits. The French drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - substantially less than the UK limit of 80mg.

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The number of Britons arrested overseas is on the rise, official figures have shown.

 The Foreign Office (FO) handled 6,015 arrest cases involving British nationals abroad between April 2011 and March 2012. This was 6% more than in the previous 12 months and included a 2% rise in drug arrests. The figures, which include holidaymakers and Britons resident overseas, showed the highest number of arrests and detentions was in Spain (1,909) followed by the USA (1,305). Spanish arrests rose 9% in 2011/12, while the United States was up 3%. The most arrests of Britons for drugs was in the US (147), followed by Spain (141). The highest percentage of arrests for drugs in 2011/12 was in Peru where there were only 17 arrests in total, although 15 were for drugs. The FO said anecdotal evidence from embassies and consulates overseas suggested many incidents were alcohol-fuelled, particularly in popular holiday destinations such as the Canary Islands, mainland Spain, the Balearics (which include Majorca and Ibiza), Malta and Cyprus. Consular Affairs Minister Jeremy Browne said: "It is important that people understand that taking risks abroad can land them on the wrong side of the law. "The punishments can be very severe, with tougher prison conditions than in the UK. While we will work hard to try and ensure the safety of British nationals abroad, we cannot interfere in another country's legal system. "We find that many people are shocked to discover that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office cannot get them out of jail. We always provide consular support to British nationals in difficulty overseas. However, having a British passport does not make you immune to foreign laws and will not get you special treatment in prison."

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Friday, 22 June 2012

Entitled "Cock and Bull," this showpiece by British artist Damien Hirst towers above diners at Tramshed, which only serves chicken and steak.

DAMIEN HIRST

Entitled "Cock and Bull," this showpiece by British artist Damien Hirst towers above diners at Tramshed, which only serves chicken and steak.

Internationally renowned British artist Damien Hirst has created an art piece for a London restaurant in which a whole Hereford cow and cockerel are preserved in formaldehyde in a steel and glass tank, smack dab in the middle of the dining room.

Called "Cock and Bull," the showpiece towers above diners at Tramshed which -- surprise -- serves only steak and whole roasted chicken.

Like a giant aquarium mounted on a TV stand, the art installation is an extension of Hirst's Natural History, a collection of preserved animals he's been creating since 1991 -- arguably his most famous series. Hirst also created a painting for the restaurant opening entitled "Beef and Chicken" which hangs on the mezzanine level and depicts the 1990s cartoon characters "Cow and Chicken."

In the basement level, the Cock ‘n' Bull gallery showcases a rotating art exhibit every six weeks. The first exhibition Quantum Jumping features art work themed around "jumping into a parallel dimension," and runs until July 1.

The classically British menu by chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, meanwhile, is conducive to family-style dining with whole roasted, free-range chickens or marbled sirloin steaks, both served with fries. Appetizers include Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers, cauliflower salad, and smoked Cornish mackerel with beets and horseradish.

It's not unusual for restaurants to house the collections of famous and interesting artists, given the synergy between food and ambiance. Pierre Gagnaire's eponymous restaurant, in Paris, for instance, houses works from the Galerie Lelong, while Wolfgang Puck has also turned his restaurant space into an exhibit for a roster of rotating artists at his CUT steakhouse in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, restaurants like Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in New York, Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social in London and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market in London have been shortlisted in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards this year.



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Edward Burtynsky Photographs Farming in Monegros Spain


© Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London Dryland Farming #13, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is having a London moment. Not only are his familiar works on the oil crisis on view but he is also exhibiting a new series examining the impact of long-term farming in Monegros, Spain.


© Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London Dryland Farming #21, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010

These photographs are looking at the tradition of dryland farming carried out over many generations in the north-eastern part of Spain. It's an agricultural region where the land is semi-arid, sparsely populated and prone to both droughts and high winds. The land is made up of sedimentary rock, gypsum, and clay-rich soil. The photographs show the impact of these conditions, as well as man's expanding foot print.


© Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London Dryland Farming #8, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010

Burtynsky is shooting the photos from a helicopter, two thousand feet up: so high that there are almost no details to be identified. The topography looks like an abstract painting.


© Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London Dryland Farming #27, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010

Despite a scarcity of water, generations of farmers have continued to farm, so the photos are a contrast between nature's untamed forces and man's attempts to harness it. The cracks and crevices form writhing lines with deep earthy tones.


© Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London Dryland Farming #31, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010

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