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BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')

Stilly River Sage 01 Aug 07 - 02:51 PM
Georgiansilver 01 Aug 07 - 04:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 01 Aug 07 - 06:50 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 02 Aug 07 - 06:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 07 - 07:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 02 Aug 07 - 07:43 PM
frogprince 02 Aug 07 - 08:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 07 - 09:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 Aug 07 - 12:20 AM
Sam L 03 Aug 07 - 01:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Aug 07 - 05:10 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Aug 07 - 06:51 PM
Anne Lister 07 Aug 07 - 06:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 07 - 10:39 AM
Amos 07 Aug 07 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Aug 07 - 10:12 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 07 - 11:24 AM
Amos 08 Aug 07 - 02:58 PM
Amos 08 Aug 07 - 03:23 PM
KB in Iowa 08 Aug 07 - 03:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM
KB in Iowa 08 Aug 07 - 04:56 PM
JennyO 09 Aug 07 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 09 Aug 07 - 08:39 AM
KB in Iowa 09 Aug 07 - 09:18 AM
jeffp 09 Aug 07 - 11:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM
jeffp 09 Aug 07 - 11:35 AM
KB in Iowa 09 Aug 07 - 11:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM
Amos 09 Aug 07 - 07:28 PM
TheSnail 11 Aug 07 - 06:50 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Aug 07 - 09:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Aug 07 - 09:08 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Aug 07 - 09:43 PM
frogprince 13 Aug 07 - 10:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 07 - 10:39 PM
Amos 13 Aug 07 - 11:11 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 07 - 12:35 AM
JohnInKansas 14 Aug 07 - 04:19 AM
frogprince 14 Aug 07 - 09:57 AM
bobad 14 Aug 07 - 10:07 AM
KB in Iowa 14 Aug 07 - 10:53 AM
frogprince 14 Aug 07 - 11:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 07 - 12:44 PM
KB in Iowa 14 Aug 07 - 12:52 PM
EBarnacle 14 Aug 07 - 01:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM
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Stilly River Sage 14 Aug 07 - 02:07 PM

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Subject: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 02:51 PM

This is a new thread for posting topical news stories. The long-running "I Read it in the Newspaper" was of late frequented by a very determined spammer and I see that Joe closed it earlier this week. All 834 entries in that thread are here. It contains interesting, odd, funny, or bizarre articles that a regular core of folks find in our online browsing and want to share, and I started this thread to continue the tradition.

Since it is hard to know whether online newspaper links are durable or not, I usually paste the article and add a link. If the article is very long I post an excerpt and direct readers to follow the link for the rest.

This first article comes under the heading of "they didn't talk about this in my Defensive Driving class." Some hazards are difficult to anticipate. --SRS

Driver Killed by Flying Pizza Shop Roof

August 1, 2007
A powerful wind gust blew off a section of a pizza shop roof, killing a passing motorist when it slammed into his car, state police said Wednesday.

Michael Brandon Hess, 19, of Glade Springs was traveling on Route 58 Tuesday evening when the roof and possibly remnants of an air conditioning unit landed on his Ford Mustang, Sgt. Michael Conroy said.

Conroy said he suspects the roof was ripped off by a microburst, caused by air descending from a thunderstorm. Scattered damage to some homes was also reported in this southwest Virginia community.

Hess was driving alone and was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no reports of injuries in the pizza shop, Conroy said.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 04:30 PM

DRIVER BADLY INJURED BY FLYING POLE.
A man, driving his BMW estate car home after a day at the races in York, was badly injured and in shock after a pole came flying through the windscreen of his car. Andreas Pilanovic appeared from nowhere said the Manchester man who was driving the car...etc etc............


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 06:50 PM

When you post an article please give the link or enough of the story so we can make sense of it. (As it happens, that is all there was of the first article I found, and it was an AP story that appeared in several places).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 06:21 PM

Southampton, UK

MAN FOUND DEAD IN PIZZA RESTAURANT.

The police today named a man found dead in Pizza Hut in Hedge End.

Albert Postlethwaite (27) was found covered in tomato sauce, pepperoni, ham, pineapple and cheese.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and think he may have topped himself


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 07:15 PM

You know, this isn't quite going the way the last "I Read it in the Newspaper" thread did. We seem to be off to a slow start.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 07:43 PM

Well, damn. Another zealot got another god reference in. But this is Texas, so I shouldn't be surprised. You'd think someone would have complained about this move so a few of us could have said "don't do it." My son is in high school, and I'll be writing a note that more or less says "Phuck the pledge" and gives good and lucid reasons why saying the pledge is nonsense and adding these words is an abomination.

Students must remember 'God' in Texas pledge
link

This year's Legislature added the phrase "one state under God" to the pledge, which is part of a required morning ritual in Texas public schools along with the pledge to the U.S. flag and a moment of silence.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state's pledge.

"Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, 'You know what? We need to fix that,' " said Riddle, R-Tomball. "Our Texas pledge is perfectly OK like it is with the exception of acknowledging that just as we are one nation under God, we are one state under God as well."

By law, students who object to saying the pledge or making the reference to God can bring a written note from home excusing them from participating.

But adding that phrase has drawn criticism from some who say it's unnecessary and potentially harmful to children who don't share the same religious beliefs. "Most Texans do not need to say this new version of the pledge in order to be either patriotic or religious," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. "This is the kind of politicking of religion that disturbs many Americans, including those who are deeply religious."

The revised wording in the Texas pledge took effect on June 15, and the Texas Education Agency sent an e-mail reminding school districts about the change earlier this week.

Officials with Houston-area districts say they will notify schools and parents about the new requirement.

Rebecca Suarez, spokeswoman for the Houston Independent School District, said a letter about the change will be sent home to parents when their children return to school. And a flier with the pledge's revised wording will be sent to each campus before classes start.

Texas has had a pledge of allegiance since 1933. In 2003, the Legislature required all schools to pledge allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags and observe a moment of silence every morning at the beginning of classes.

Texas isn't the only state that has its own pledge of allegiance. Other states include Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky.

Mississippi and Louisiana mention God in their pledges. And Kentucky lays claim to being blessed with "grace from on High."


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 08:56 PM

I've been in Michigan for 23 years, and had no idea that MI or any other state had a state pledge of allegiance. What drivel.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 07 - 09:58 PM

The Canada lynx has recently been re-introduced into Colorado. Several of the cats have moved into in New Mexico, and an article about their protection appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
http;//www.freenewmwxican.com/news/65890.html
Canada lynx


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Aug 07 - 12:20 AM

Here's that story:

Groups seek more protections for lynx

ALBUQUERQUE — Conservation groups from three states are asking federal wildlife officials to provide endangered species protections for the Canada lynx throughout its range in Northern New Mexico.

The elusive, long-haired cats are federally threatened in several states in the West, but not in New Mexico. They are even considered endangered by state officials in neighboring Colorado, where more than 200 lynx have been reintroduced since 1999.

Some of the cats have drifted south into New Mexico, and conservationists argue they should be protected here as well.

The groups sent a petition seeking protections Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Matthew Bishop, a New Mexico attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center, which is representing the conservationists.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service has never once used an artificial state boundary or county boundary or any boundary below the international level … to divide one biological grouping or population of a species," Bishop said in an interview. "This would be the first time."


Bishop said the petition seeks to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to make a decision on the lynx's status in New Mexico since the cats have been spotted in the state.

Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Elizabeth Slown said Wednesday that the agency had not seen the petition. She said the agency will likely have 60 days to review the document and decide if federal biologists need to do more research on whether the lynx should be listed in New Mexico.

If the agency were to deny the petition, Bishop said, his clients would immediately challenge the ruling in court. "Any decision not to protect the lynx in New Mexico would be seen as arbitrary and capricious," he said. "The lynx needs more habitat, not less."

While the Fish and Wildlife Service doesn't consider New Mexico as part of the lynx's historic range, conservationists contend in the petition that the finding is irrelevant because research shows some 80 lynx have been located in Northern New Mexico and several have been found dead in the state since the reintroduction program began in southern Colorado.

Bishop also noted lynx habitat and the snowshoe hares the cats feed on don't stop at Colorado's southern border, but continue into New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges.

"I've seen conservation maps, and it just drives you crazy. There's a straight line (at the Colorado border)," he said. "It drives you crazy because you just know that suitable habitat stretches down into New Mexico."

The groups that signed the petition include Santa Fe-based Forest Guardians; the Center for Native Ecosystems in Paonia, Colo.; Animal Protection of New Mexico; Carson Forest Watch of Llano, N.M.; Sinapu of Boulder, Colo.; and the Animal Protection Institute of Sacramento, Calif.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Sam L
Date: 03 Aug 07 - 01:15 AM

There's enough of the flying pole story to make sense of it, just enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Aug 07 - 05:10 PM

I remember from reading about the Lewis and Clark Expedition that they brought back plant and animal specimens. They tried to bring back some small animals and birds live; just two survived the trip- a prairie dog and a magpie.
I was reminded by this conservation story about the blacktailed prairie dog. Once the prairie dogs were abundant and widespread, but now only small patches of habitat are left. Again, from the Santa Fe New Mexican.
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/65922.html
Prairie Dog


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Aug 07 - 06:51 PM

Woman Lives After Pickup Plunges 150 Ft.
link

August 06, 2007

EL PASO, Texas - A pickup truck hit a boulder and tumbled over a 150-foot cliff, but the 71-year-old driver survived, officials said.

"It was a miracle that someone saw her vehicle," Sheriff's spokesman Rick Glancey said. "It is one of these days when God was on her side."

Helene Crosser told authorities that she was driving on Loop 375 to watch the sunrise early Sunday when her shoe fell off and got jammed beneath the brake pedal.

Crosser said she tried to pull off the road, but couldn't slow down because the shoe stopped the brake from fully working.

She was trapped in the Texas heat for seven hours until a driver spotted glint of light reflecting from afar and called 911. Authorities said Crosser didn't have a cell phone with her.

Crosser was taken to a hospital with dehydration and non-life-threatening injuries.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Anne Lister
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 06:53 AM

I'm sorry, I'm not going to transcribe the story because really it's summed up in the headline, but I was very taken with the way it featured in our local newspaper (the South Wales Argus):

MYSTERY BIKE RACK PUZZLES DRINKERS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 10:39 AM

Tabster, most of these are read in online newspapers. Perhaps your local rag as an Internet component?

Anyway, here's an oddity today:

Woman Has Pencil Removed From Head
link
August 07, 2007

BERLIN - After being plagued for 55 years with the torment of a pencil lodged in her head, a German woman has finally had it removed.

Margaret Wegner, now 59, was 4 years old when she fell while carrying the 3.15 inch-long pencil, which went through her cheek and into her brain.

"It bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head," Wegner told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. "It hurt like crazy."

At the time the technology did not exist to safely remove the pencil, so Wegner had to live with it - and the chronic headaches and nosebleeds that it brought - for the next five-and-a-half decades.

But on Friday, Dr. Hans Behrbohm, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Berlin's Park-Klinik Weissensee, was able to use modern techniques to identify the exact location of the pencil so that he could accurately determine that the risks of removing it, and then take most of it out.

The operation was particularly difficult because of the way the pencil had shifted as Wegner grew, Behrbohm told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

"This was something unique because the trauma was so old," said Behrbohm, who has also operated to remove bullets from the brains of shooting victims, and glass from the brains of people involved in car accidents.

Though a 0.79-inch piece of the pencil could not be removed, Behrbohm said it does not present a danger.

And now Wegner, the wife of German boxing coach Ulli Wegner, will no longer have the headaches and nosebleeds, and her sense of smell should also return soon, Behrbohm said.

"She shouldn't suffer any longer," he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 07 Aug 07 - 10:56 AM

Eight-million-year-old bug is alive and growing


12:12 07 August 2007
NewScientist.com

An 8-million-year-old bacterium that was extracted from the oldest known ice on Earth is now growing in a laboratory, claim researchers.

If confirmed, this means ancient bacteria and viruses will come back to life as ice melts due to global warming. This is nothing to worry about, say experts, because the process has been going on for billions of years and the bugs are unlikely to cause human disease.

Kay Bidle of Rutgers University in New Jersey, US, and his colleagues extracted DNA and bacteria from ice found between 3 and 5 metres beneath the surface of a glacier in the Beacon and Mullins valleys of Antarctica. The ice gets older as it flows down the valleys and the researchers took five samples that were between 100,000 and 8 million years old.

They then attempted to resuscitate the organisms in the oldest and the youngest samples. "We tried to grow them in media, and the young stuff grew really fast. We could plate them and isolate colonies," says Bidle. The cultures grown from organisms found in the 100,000-year-old ice doubled in size every 7 days on average.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 10:12 AM

'The Independent' (UK newspaper), 8th Aug 2007

EXTINCT

"...the Yangtze river dolphin which today is declared extinct. It is the first large mammal to be wiped from the planet for 50 years, and only the fourth entire mammal family (sic) to disappear in 500 years. And it was driven to its death by mankind ..."

" After more than 20 million years on the planet, the Yangtse river dolphin is today officially declared extinct, the first species of cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise) to be driven from this planet by human activity.
An intensive six-week search by an international team of marine biologists involving two boats that ploughed up and down the world's busiest river last December failed to find a single specimen."

"The Yangtse fresh-water dolphin was a remarkable creature that separated from all other species so many millions of years ago, and had become so distinct, that it qualified as a mammal family in its own right."

Apparently, the last captive specimen died in 2002.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for posting that.

It seems like we must have driven some other cetaceans from the planet before this. Quite a few are hovering at the brink, but I thought humans had offed a few in the early 20th century. Hmmmm. Will have to look into that.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 02:58 PM

Linguistic phenomenology from Scientific American.com:

"The Simpsons Movie debuted this weekend to higher-than-expected sales, bearing testament to the show's enduring popularity. If you needed any convincing that after 18 years on the air The Simpsons has thoroughly penetrated the popular consciousness, consider the following usage of the word "embiggen," one of the many fine references with which one Simpsons fan can detect another.

The term comes from the 1996 episode Lisa the Iconoclast, in which we learn that a young Jebediah Springfield is supposed to have spoken it after wrestling a bison, or "land cow."


Jebediah: [on film] A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

Edna: Embiggens? I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield!

Ms. Hoover: I don't know why. It's a perfectly cromulent word.


Here is the word in a rather different context:

"While in both cases for P anti-D3-branes the probe approximation is clearly not good, in the set up of this paper we could argue that there is a competing effect which can overcome the desire of the anti-D3s to embiggen, namely their attraction towards the wrapped D5s. Hence, also on the gravity side, the non-supersymmetric states would naively be meta-stable."

That's string theory-ese, for the uninitiated.

...
This passage comes from a paper by Stanford University physicist Shamit Kachru and three colleagues, entitled (duh) Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking. [Hat tip to Kottke.org by way of the illustrious Chris Mims.]

String theory is physicists' best guess at how to unify quantum mechanics with gravity, which ought to be swell for understanding what happens inside black holes and before the big bang, as well as why nature has the different forces it does. Unfortunately, researchers have had a hard time putting it to the test because it is consistent with many different possible universes, of which more later.

I emailed Kachru, one of the most prominent younger researchers working on string theory, to get the back-story. Here's what he told me, in Q-and-A form. (Hint: it only has to do with the biggest development in string theory in the last 10 years.)

SA: How did you come across the word embiggen?

SK: I first came across this word in "The Simpsons," a source of knowledge for all serious theoretical physicists. It was used in the sentence "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." So by context I assume it means "to enlarge or expand in size."

The passage deals with something called a D-brane. What is that, exactly, and why is it important?

"You can imagine two types of strings, closed loops and "open strings" (like jump ropes, with two ends). The open strings can only end on objects called D-branes, which are objects in the theory that can have any spatial dimension from 0 (a point) to 9 (filling all 10 spacetime dimensions). So e.g. a 2-brane is like a sheet of paper, on which open strings are allowed to end.

In many string theories, although gravity arises "for free," the only way to get gauge interactions [i.e., other forces--ed.] analogous to electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces, is by having D-branes present in the vacuum [meaning spacetime].

A 3-brane could fill all of our observed 3 spatial dimensions, and if the right gauge interactions arise on it from careful study of the open strings, we could even imagine that we live on such a D3 brane.

Later, in my research (starting in [this 2001 paper]), I encountered a phenomenon where D-branes in certain string backgrounds [or shapes of spacetime] like to expand into "larger" D-branes (which is known in general as the Myers effect). A rough analogue is the behavior of an atom in an electric field: although the atom is electrically neutral, the field polarizes the constituent electrons and protons, and pulls the atom apart a little bit, making it bigger. (I.e. there is [what is called] a dipole moment [or an overall separation of positive and negative charge]).

Similarly, D-branes in string theory can carry dipoles of higher D-brane charges. The relevant case for us was that a D3 brane can carry D5 dipole charge; in the right circumstances, background fields (analogous to the electric field above) then cause it to "expand" into a D5 brane wrapping some two-dimensional curve in the geometry.

You can see that in this situation, it is ideal to use the phrase "...the
anti-D3 brane embiggens into a D5 brane wrapping..." and that is roughly the context in which we used the phrase."


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 03:23 PM

The search continues for a 350-pound brown bear that escaped overnight from an Ontario zoo.

The Niagara Regional Police say it happened shortly before midnight at ZooZ Animal Zoo in Stevensville.

The bear, named "Willy," is a five-year-old brown bear, not a 700-pound grizzly bear as first reported by police.

Police, employees from ZooZ and a local veterinarian are all on scene assisting in the search.

A helicopter from the Niagara County Sheriff's Department is also in the air looking for the bear.

Niagara Regional Police say they are holding a tight perimeter around the zoo and that there have been no confirmed sightings since early Wednesday morning.

The owner of the zoo said the bear escaped sometime after 11pm, and was soon spotted by a resident who lives nearby.

She notified police.

The zoo owner said the cage the bear escaped from has a 9-foot fence, with an electric fence inside it as well.

She wouldn't say if the fence was damaged.

The zoo owner they don't believe the bear is dangerous to humans, because he's primarily a vegetarian.

However, police are advising people not to approach the bear and bring pets inside.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 03:43 PM

Woman runs over driving instructor


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published August 6, 2007


NAPLES, FL - A man giving a 30-year-old woman a driving lesson had to be airlifted to a hospital after the woman accidentally ran over him, the Collier County Sheriff's Office said.

David Tanner, 51, was teaching Victoria Hosner how to drive Thursday night when she accidentally hit the gas pedal and accelerated backward, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Tanner was standing near the vehicle and was knocked to the ground. Victoria Hosner then ran over Tanner's leg.

"It was totally an accident," Victoria Hosner's husband, David Hosner, said.

Victoria Hosner continued to drive in reverse and caused about $6,000 worth of damage, authorities estimated.

Tanner was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. He was discharged by Sunday, according to hospital records.

A deputy thought Hosner's eyes were bloodshot and her breath smelled of alcohol, according to the Sheriff's Office. A test measured her blood-alcohol level at .146, above .08, at which the state presumes a driver impaired.

Hosner faces charges of driving under the influence, three counts of driving under the influence with damage to property or to a person and driving without a license.

She was released on $4,250 bail Friday, according to jail records.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM

That's a strange one, isn't it? You'd think the instructor would notice sometime like that before he even lets her in the car.

The bear, named "Willy," is a five-year-old brown bear, not a 700-pound grizzly bear as first reported by police.

A brown bear IS a grizzly bear, the brown bears on Kodiak Island are a subset of the grizzly group. (I think it's Kodiak Island where they are found).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 08 Aug 07 - 04:56 PM

Yes, you would think the instructor would have noticed she was drunk.

I like that she was charged with driving without a licence.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: JennyO
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 06:44 AM

I'm wondering what he was doing outside the car. Surely as a driving instructor, he should be inside the car, next to her. A learner driver isn't allowed to drive without a licensed driver next to them, isn't this so? It certainly is here in Oz. The instructor might be in trouble too.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 08:39 AM

"A learner driver isn't allowed to drive without a licensed driver next to them, isn't this so?
That'll be why she was charged with driving without a licence, I suppose...


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 09:18 AM

I'm guessing he either had not yet gotten into the car or had stepped out for a moment. No, you are not supposed to drive w/o the instructor in a case like this. Of course you are not supposed to drive while drunk in any case. You aren't supposed to run over things to the tune of $6,000 in damage either.

I wonder if he is a professional driving instructor or just a friend doing her a favor. Either way, running over the instructor isn't a very good idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: jeffp
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 11:02 AM

Heard on NPR this morning. Sorry the details escape me, but a turtle escaped from its cage in a zoo, sparking a 7-hour search. The turtle was found 20 yards from its cage. It must have been running as fast as it could.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM

I found a link to the story here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12623090

A Tortoise's Great Escape

Morning Edition, August 9, 2007 · A rare tortoise disappeared from a Virginia zoo. It's not clear whether a visitor freed it or it slipped out on its own, but it was gone. The Burmese Mountain Tortoise raced away with the speed a tortoise is famous for. Zoo staff found it seven hours later in a patch of bamboo just 20 yards from its pen.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: jeffp
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 11:35 AM

That's the one. Thanks Stilly!


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 11:38 AM

Sounds like they used the same search method my boys do.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM

Yeah--walk around long enough and you'll trip over what you were looking for. My 15-year-old employs that method.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 07:28 PM

In other news news, a courageous group of enterprising idealists is starting a RealNews network which promises intelligence and timely reports on the world unsuppressed by large commercial interests.

I like their style.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: TheSnail
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 06:50 AM

"Explorer John Blashford-Snell has just returned from an expedition into the Bolivian jungle in search of a 5-mile wide meteorite crater and an extraordinary looking dog."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/

I say. I say. My dogs got two noses.
How does it smell?
Bloody marvellous.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 09:05 PM

I'm not finding anything at that link. It apparently changes daily, isn't durable. I looked him up. Here is a link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6940289.stm. Very interesting. Double the nose prints on the glass door at his house!

Double-nosed dog not to be sniffed at


Explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell has had close encounters with vampire bats and angry bees, but his latest brush has been with a rather odd dog. He spotted a rare breed of Double-Nosed Andean tiger hound, which has two noses, on a recent trip to Bolivia. The chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society said the dog, named Xingu, was "not terribly handsome".

He said: "This breed could be used for sniffing out mines or narcotics because they have an enhanced sense of smell."

Colonel Blashford-Snell first encountered a Double-Nosed Andean tiger hound called Bella in 2005 when he was carrying out reconnaissance for this year's expedition in the area near Ojaki. He told Radio 4's Today programme: "While we were there, sitting by the fire one night, I saw an extraordinary-looking dog that appeared to have two noses. "I was sober at the time, and then I remembered the story that the legendary explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett came back with in 1913 of seeing such strange dogs in the Amazon jungle. "Nobody believed him, they laughed him out of court."

The dog seen two years ago was Bella, and on a second trip to the area, which began in May and has just ended, the explorer discovered her son Xingu in the village of Ojaki. He had just produced a litter of puppies with a bitch that had a single nose. Two of their offspring had double noses, and two had the normal quantity, but the double-nosed pups died after three days.

A veterinary expert with the group examined Xingu to see if he had a cleft palate, but this was not the case. "There is a chance that these dogs came from a breed with double noses that's known in Spain as Pachon Navarro, which were hunting dogs at the time of the Conquistadors," said Colonel Blashford-Snell. "I think it's highly likely some of these were taken to South America and they continued to breed. They're good hunting dogs." He added that Xingu was "quite an aggressive little chap" who stood about 16 inches in height and loved salt biscuits but "wasn't a terribly handsome dog".

Xingu's best friend is apparently a wild pig called Gregory, and the two animals "rule the roost" in their village. "Other dogs snarl at Xingu, because they can sense he's different. He's the smallest dog there but he sees the other dogs off," Colonel Blashford-Snell said. "He's very intelligent and with a wonderful sense of smell, as you might think. "The Bolivian Army came and took DNA samples because they're interested in the breed. He's not the only dog like this, there are others in the area."

The Scientific Exploration Society was in Bolivia to investigate a shallow crater about five miles in width. According to Colonel Blashford-Snell, he has now found evidence that this was caused by a giant meteorite, which struck the Bolivian Amazon Basin up to 30,000 years ago.

He says he has found evidence of human habitation within 50 miles of the blast zone, and believes these people were wiped out as a result of the meteor's impact.

The explorers also carried with them a church organ from Dorset as a gift to local Bolivians in order to secure their help with finding the meteorite.

- - - -

That was quite a remarkable trip! First the dog, then the crater, then the organ transplant!


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 09:08 PM

I originally pulled out this thread to post the following story. No point in adding it to the double-nose one, it would get lost in there.

This from my local paper today:

Playground fire prompts Arlington schools to action

ARLINGTON -- School Superintendent Mac Bernd has called a 3 p.m. news conference today to brief the public on what the district is calling the "critical issue" of spontaneous combustion of engineered wood fiber on playgrounds. [I'll say!]

On Thursday, playground equipment was melted by the heat of a small fire on the playground at Anderson Elementary School in east Arlington. Though the fire was quickly extinguished, school and fire officials are addressing the unusual circumstances that caused the play surface to spontaneously combust.

Check back for more details.



You bet! We don't want to see another headline "Child dies of smoke inhalation while on the playground."

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 09:43 PM

And the Ontario paper today had the headline: Bush loses "Brain"


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: frogprince
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 10:09 PM

Was that his left brain, or his right brain? Which side did Rove sit on, and which side was Cheney on?


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 10:39 PM

Cougar breaks into jewelry store.

This story, "Officers nab cougar in Plaza shop, was printed in the Santa Fe New Mexican, August 12, 2007.
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/66564.html
Cougar
I have shortened the article.

This happened in downtown Santa Fe, not in the outskirts. About one AM, police got word of a big cat roaming downtown. Officers located the cougar inside a jewelry store on the Plaza after finding a large hole in the glass door of the store. An officer confronted the cat in a dark hallway and fired a slug from a 12-gauge shotgun. The police retreated and called the State Dept. of Game and Fish. The Game and Fish Officer, John Zamora, drove two hours from Tierra Amarilla. He found the cat in the last stall of a restroom. No blood, so the shotgun had missed.
He loaded his dartgun, crawled into the restroom to about eight feet of the cougar. Zamora said he had to lay flat on his stomach so he could shoot under the stall door. He hit him in the shoulder area.
The cat reacted wildly to the dart, tranquilizer darts explode on impact to drive the drugs into the animal. Zamora and a policeman raced to get out and closed the door.
After 15 minutes, the 100 pound cat was tranquilized and placed in a large dog kennel.
Zamora took the cat back to a wilderness area near Chama, some 2 hours north and west of Santa Fe, where it was tagged and released into the wild.

Why a jewelry store? A cafe two doors down.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 11:11 PM

It was a female.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 12:35 AM

More (not "the rest") of the story:

'Spontaneous' fire prompts AISD to close 20 playgrounds

ARLINGTON -- Arlington school district officials on Monday closed playgrounds at 20 elementary campuses after an unusual spontaneous combustion fire on a playground at Anderson Elementary School last week, officials said. Fire officials say the sudden blaze originated in the soft wood fiber surface underneath the play structures.

School Superintendent Mac Bernd said the district will replace all wood-chip playgrounds in the district with pea gravel within two weeks. Bernd, who called a news conference on Monday to announce the closings, said that no children were at the playground when the fire broke out, and that warning signals would have included heat, discoloration of the surface and finally smoke before flames would have broken out.

Bernd said the Anderson playground equipment, which was constructed of metal and plastic components, melted and has to be replaced.

The equipment sustained about $35,000 in damage. The district will pay another $200,000 to replace the wood fiber with pea gravel, Bernd said.

Fire department and school district officials reviewed surveillance video of the fire and determined that it was not caused by vandalism or arson, but spontaneous combustion, Bernd said. Officials likened the fire to the combustion that can occur with organic material in a compost pile if it is not turned regularly. The material on the ground at the school became saturated with rainwater over the summer, then began to decompose under the elevated summer heat. As the temperature climbed on Thursday afternoon it ignited the dry chips on the surface.

"It was a very unusual occurrence," Bernd said.

Arlington Deputy Fire Marshal Keith Ebel called it a "perfect storm" of circumstances. "Everything had to be just right for this to occur," he said.

- - - - -

This isn't surprising at all. I have to clean the wet grass out from under my mower before I put it away because I can smell it composting in the garage otherwise (and it rusts out the mower). With this odd weather year, a compost fire burning down the garage would round out the weird season!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 04:19 AM

BAD NEWS IN BALI!!!

Booze shortage dampens spirits in Bali

Import problems has hotels, bars on Indonesian resort island worrying

Reuters
Updated: 1:11 p.m. CT Aug 13, 2007
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Hotels and bars on Indonesia's resort island of Bali have been hit by an alcohol shortage due to an import problem, officials said Monday.

The tourism industry is worried that the shortages could impact the number of foreign visitors, said Djinaldi Gosana, executive director of the Bali Hotel Association.

Tourism in the predominantly Hindu island of Bali in mostly Muslim Indonesia is starting to recover after suicide bombers attacked the island in October 2005, killing 20 people. The attacks came after more than 200 died in nightclub bombings by Islamic militants in 2002.
A trade ministry official said the state-owned firm responsible for importing alcohol for hotels and restaurants had not applied for quotas, which must be renewed every six months. The official, who declined to be identified, did not elaborate.

Bali's Denpasar Post newspaper reported that the shortages followed the discovery of an alcohol smuggling ring using falsified duty stamps.

"Our members are complaining of a shortage of wines and spirits over the past two months. Apparently there's a reorganization at the customs department after the discovery of a smuggling ring," Gosana said, adding he was not clear if other parts of Indonesia were also affected.

He said some outlets on the resort island had been forced to close because of the shortage.

"It's an even bigger blow for hotels that offer all-inclusive packages. Their reputation is suffering," he said.

According to government data, tourist arrivals in Bali rose 34 percent to 781,059 in the first half of 2007 from a year ago.
The island will host a number of major international meetings this year, including a key U.N. conference on climate change in December.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited

Let's all drink one for them ... (?)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 09:57 AM

Ya know...I'm not a prohibitionist; I have a drink now and again. But: if anyone cancels plans to spend vacation (or "holiday") time in some beautiful, exotic place, because the supply of alcohol there might be limited, I think it says something about his priorities, if not about his denial of an alcohol problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: bobad
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:07 AM

"And I don't have a drinking problem, 'cept when I can't get a
drink"

Tom Waits - Bad Liver And A Broken Heart


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 10:53 AM

Japanese biker fails to notice missing leg


TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- A Japanese biker failed to notice his leg had been severed below the knee when he hit a safety barrier, and rode on for 2 km (1.2 miles), leaving a friend to pick up the missing limb.

The 54-year-old office worker was out on his motorcycle with a group of friends in the city of Hamamatsu, west of Tokyo, on Monday, when he was unable to negotiate a curve in the road and bumped into the central barrier, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

He felt excruciating pain, but did not notice that his right leg was missing until he stopped at the next junction, the paper quoted local police as saying.

The man and his leg were taken to hospital, but the limb had been crushed in the collision, the paper said.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 11:19 AM

"I'm a three-legged man, with a two-legged woman,
Being chased accross the country, by a one-legged fool..."


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 12:44 PM

He must have coasted that distance. And he didn't stop with such excruciating pain? There's more to this story than made it into the papers, methinks.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 12:52 PM

"There's more to this story than made it into the papers, methinks."

Could be. I have to think I would have stopped to see what had happened if I suffered excruciating pain like that. Especially if the pain was from running into something. I have tried to picture the scene, it conjures an odd image.

That is all there was in the article, though. It was a short article so I just copied the whole thing rather than adding a link. It came from CNN.com.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: EBarnacle
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:22 PM

I wonder what a tox screen would have shown.


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM

exactly!


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Amos
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:47 PM

Didn't have to be coasting -- he was on a motorcycle where acceleration is controlled by the hand.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: News of Note (was 'I Read it . . .')
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 02:07 PM

Okay, after the first reference to "biker" I skimmed it and thought bicycle. Makes slightly more sense. But not stopping? I'd still check the lab work.

On another note: Women hunting men poaching bears.


Two Silvana men arrested in bear-hunting case
August 14, 2007
link

VERLOT - She sniffed them out. The sickly sweet smell of rancid oil deep in the woods was the first clue. The discovery of corn, oats and barley in bear scat was confirmation. There were hunters illegally using bait to lure black bears.

Deep in the woods as the sun set Friday night, state Fish & Wildlife officers Julie Cook and Jennifer Maurstad tracked down their quarry. One man was up a tree on a hunting stand, another about 50 yards away. The pair, both from Silvana and in their 40s, were arrested for allegedly bear-bait hunting.

"This is a very effective manner of hunting bears, but it is illegal," Cook said. In bait hunting, animals are lured to an area with aromatic food, then ambushed by nearby hunters. Bear bait typically is sweet and high in fat. Doughnuts are often used.

Unfortunately for the hunters, bear-bait hunting is illegal in all but 10 states, Cook said. "Bear baiting is egregiously unsporting and inhumane and violators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Andrew Page, spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States.

The society tries to get states to ban bear-baiting or at least phase out the practice. It's been outlawed in Washington since 1996. But bear baiting allows hunters to avoid killing sows with cubs, according to enthusiast Web sites.

Still, bait hunting can acclimate bears to human food, Cook said. Once a bear becomes used to the taste, it continues to seek it out, often putting people at risk. Typically, the bear then needs to be killed. "If they start showing up at campgrounds and are aggressive," they need to be put down, Cook said.

Since Aug. 1, state game officers have been looking for bait hunters east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway. "It's bear season, and we've had complaints about bait hunters in the past," Cook said. About a week ago, she saw evidence not far from Coal Lake Road: rancid, used fryer oil smeared near the base of trees, then licked clean by the bears. There also were empty beer cans, which were not bear bait.

Every morning and evening Cook patrolled the area looking for signs of hunters. On Friday, a pickup truck was parked at a trailhead. Along with Maurstad, the officers set out for their catch.

Tracking armed hunters deep in the woods is terrifying, Cook said. "We're out in the middle of nowhere with no backup," she said. The armed officers quietly approached and then started making lots of noise, so the hunters didn't mistake them for an animal. "Police!" the officers shouted. The men were taken into custody without incident.

Officers seized their expensive hunting bows, an oil can filled with oats and rancid grease, and their Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. They also found a wheelbarrow smeared with blood, and in the truck's bed, the windpipe from a slain animal. There was a sticker on the back of the truck cab advertising PETA: "People Eating Tasty Animals." The men told officers they hadn't taken a bear, but evidence suggests otherwise, Cook said. The men claimed they had hauled an animal for another hunter.

Cook said the men knew what they were doing was wrong, but they had the opportunity and were going to take it. They wanted a prize animal, she said. "It's very selective," Cook said. State Fish & Wildlife agents continue to investigate. More people may be involved, Cook said.

Bear-bait hunting is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, said Fish & Wildlife Sgt. Randy Lambert. People also are banned from hunting in most Western states for two years. For every bear a hunter kills illegally, they are assessed a mandatory $2,000 fine.

Cook, who has been a wildlife agent for 16 years, said it's a once-in-a-blue-moon experience to catch poachers still in their stands, up in a tree. Typically, tracking people illegally hunting can take weeks and months. "It was really satisfying and exciting to catch them in only a week," she said. As for anyone considering using bait to catch a prize bear, Cook has a warning. "You never know when the game warden is watching."


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