Friday, July 28, 2006

Zombie Dance Party Ends In Jail Time!

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Six friends spruced up in fake blood and tattered clothing were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of toting "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Police said the group were allegedly carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb, while meandering and dancing to music as part of a "zombie dance party" Saturday night.

"They were arrested for behavior that was suspicious and disturbing," said Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesman. Police also said the group was uncooperative and intimidated people with their "ghoulish" makeup.

One group member said the "weapons" were actually backpacks modified to carry a homemade stereos and were jailed without reason. None of the six adults and one juvenile arrested have been charged.

"Given the circumstance of them being uncooperative ... why would you have those (bags) if not to intimidate people?" said Inspector Janee Harteau. "It's not a case of (police) overreacting."

Harteau also said police were on high alert because they'd gotten a bulletin about men who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people in other states.

Kate Kibby, one of those arrested, said previous zombie dance parties at the Mall of America and on light-rail trains have occurred without incident. Last fall, nearly 200 people took part in a "zombie pub crawl" in northeast Minneapolis.

Kibby said they were cooperative and followed the two officers to the station where they were questioned and eventually loaded into a van and booked into jail.

"It was clear to us that they were trying to get a rise out of us," KIbby said.

Members of the group could face lesser charges like disorderly conduct, police said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Ninka-Nanka" Alludes Cryptozoologist Expedition In West Africa!

Xan Rice in Banjul
Monday July 24, 2006
The Guardian

It has a long mane and an even longer body - 10 metres (30ft) from crested head to mirror-scaled tail. But the Ninki Nanka, legendary "killer dragon" of west Africa, continues to prove elusive.

Six people from the Devon-based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) went to Gambia this month to look for the beast, which has often been "seen" by locals but never captured or photographed. In books it is usually portrayed as a giant lizard or a kind of dinosaur. The team spent a fortnight collecting reports of sightings and traipsing through swamps believed to be the Ninki Nanka's habitat. "Lots of people claimed to us that they knew someone, usually a grandparent or uncle, who had seen the creature," said Richard Freeman, the CFZ's director of zoology. "But very few had seen one themselves."

Folklore could explain the lack of witnesses: anyone who sees the Ninki Nanka is supposed to die within five years.

But Mr Freeman wants to continue the search in Guinea: "People can laugh, but new species are still out there. This year a pig the size of a sofa was found in Brazil."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Jellyfish Attacks Japanese Nuclear Power Plant!

A nuclear power plant in Japan was forced to lower the output of its reactors after jellyfish blocked a filter in a seawater cooling system.


Power from two reactors at Chubu Electric Power Co's plant in Hamaoka had to be reduced after the water intake system shut down automatically.

Workers removed the jellyfish mass and output later returned to normal.

"It's the first time we have had to lower power output because of jellyfish," a company spokesman said.

Output for the two reactors was reduced to between 60 and 70% of capacity for about three hours, the company said.

"We sometimes do the same thing when debris from typhoons sticks to the filter," the spokesman told Reuters news agency.

The Hamaoka plant is in Shizuoka prefecture on Japan's Pacific coast.

Recently, giant jellyfish have been a problem for fishing and coastal communities on Japan's west coast.

The government has been looking at measures to deal with the creatures, worried about their potential impact on local economies.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Demon Duck Of Doom Discovered In Australia!

SYDNEY (Reuters) -
Forget cute, cuddly marsupials. A team of Australian palaeontologists say they have found the fossilised remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom".

A University of New South Wales team said the fearsome fossils were among 20 previously unknown species uncovered at a site in northwest Queensland state.

Professor Michael Archer said on Wednesday the remains of a meat-eating kangaroo with wolf-like fangs were found as well as a galloping kangaroo with long forearms that could not hop like a modern kangaroo.

"Because they didn't hop, these were galloping kangaroos, with big, powerful forelimbs. Some of them had long canines (fangs) like wolves," Archer told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

Vertebrate palaeontologist Sue Hand said modern kangaroos look almost nothing like their ferocious forebears, which lived between 10 million and 20 million years ago.

The species found at the dig had "well muscled-in teeth, not for grazing. These things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh", Hand said.

The team also found prehistoric lungfish and large duck-like birds.

"Very big birds ... more like ducks, earned the name 'demon duck of doom', some at least may have been carnivorous as well," Hand told ABC radio.

Archer said the team was studying the fossils to better understand how they were affected by changing climates in the Miocene epoch between 5 million and 24 million years ago.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lightning Strikes Ipod Boy!

(Denver Post)

Castle Rock - Jason Bunch was listening to Metallica on his iPod while mowing the lawn outside his Castle Rock home Sunday afternoon when lightning hit him.

The last thing the 17-year-old remembers was that a storm was coming from the north and he had only about 15 minutes before he should go inside.

Next thing he knew, he was in his bed, bleeding from his ears and vomiting. He was barefoot and had taken off his burned T-shirt and gym shorts. He doesn't know how he got back in the house.

Bunch immediately called his mother, who was in Illinois visiting family.

"Mom, I think I was hit by lightning," he said.

Kelly Risheill told her son to call 911, and she started the 14-hour drive home.

About the same time, a neighbor saw Bunch's scorched green and white Reebok tennis shoes in the street, a few feet away from the lawn mower. She also called for help.

Bunch was taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center and placed in intensive care. He was sent home Tuesday.

"I'm alive, and that is what I am grateful for," Bunch said as he lay in bed Wednesday.

From the hospital, Bunch called a friend and told him he wasn't able to go bowling. Then, he called a girl he was supposed to meet for a date.

"I said, 'I did not stand you up. I was struck by lightning."'

Bunch's ears were burned on the inside, and he's lost some hearing, mostly on the right side. His hair was singed.

His face, chest, hands and right leg have freckle-size welts on them as if buckshot had come from inside his body out.

The wounds follow the line of his iPod, from his ears down his right side to his hip, where he was carrying the device. The iPod has a hole in the back, and the earbuds dissolved into green threads.

Tata, World's Oldest Crow Dies.


BEARSVILLE, N.Y. - There's no way to prove Tata was the world's oldest crow when he died Sunday at age 59. But an expert on crows says it's possible.

Tata's tale began in 1947 when a thunderstorm blew the fledgling out of his nest in a Long Island cemetery, a mishap that likely led to his long life. Injured and unable to fly, the bird was scooped up by a cemetery caretaker and brought to a local family with a reputation for taking care of animals, Tata's most recent owner, Kristine Flones, told the Daily Freeman of Kingston.

"He was never able to fly, so he became their family pet," said Flones, a wildlife rehabilitator in the Woodstock, N.Y., hamlet of Bearsville, 95 miles north of New York City.

The Manetta family took care of Tata for more than half a century but gave the bird to Flones in 2001 because of their own health problems.

Blinded by cataracts and 54 years old when she got him, Tata was still a wonderful pet, Flones said.

"When you came around him, his energy was very beautiful," she told the newspaper. "It was as if he were exuding or giving off a loving energy."

"It's an incredibly old bird," said Kevin McGowan, an ornithologist at Cornell University who has studied crows for more than 20 years. "They don't live that old in the wild."

McGowan said the oldest living crow he has documented in the wild is a bird he banded as a fledgling and has tracked for 15 years. There is an unsubstantiated claim of a 29- or 30-year-old crow in the wild, but he knows of no older crows, tame or otherwise.

While claims of animal longevity are tough to verify, McGowan said, "This one sounded pretty reasonable to me."

In an environment without predators, communicable disease or the likelihood of a fatal accident, a crow could grow as old as Tata, he said.

Flones said Tata was still active and alert in his later years, to the point each spring that he called out from inside the house to crows outside, often loudly and beginning at 5 a.m.