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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3 crazy monkey commercials from Sweden.

monkey.jpg I have a special place in my heart for any commercial starring a monkey, Its one of the the reasons why i named this site DropKick Monkey in the first place. All three of these are pretty great. The whole idea behind this campaign is to get people in Sweden who on average eat a bannana after they work out to switch to Gainomax an after workout supplement drink. The three clips are titled ‘Scary monkey”, :Hypnotic monkey” and “Cute monkey” to give you an indication of what to expect..

These spots come to us from the offices of Saatchi & Saatchi Stockholm, Sweden and Oskar Bård from Hobbyfilm.

Scary monkey

Hypnotic monkey

Cute monkey

Advertising agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Stockholm, Sweden
Creative directors: Adam Kerj, Fredrik Preisler
Art director: Gustav Egerstedt
Copywriters: Amalia Pitsiava, Adam Reuterskiöld
Production company: Hobbyfilm
Director: Oskar Bård
DOP: Erik Sohlström

Original here

Fatboy Slim - The Joker


Meet the man who wants even more snow

OTTAWA — 'I'm crazy," he keeps saying.

"He's nuts," says his next-door neighbour.

"All my friends think it's crazy," says his youngest son.

But perhaps it is the rest of us who have lost it.

Guertin's driveway snowbank stood higher than two very tall men Friday morning before the latest blast hit in the Wicked Winter of 2008. By yesterday afternoon, the growing bank had passed the second storey of his home in this Ottawa suburb and was threatening the chimney.

Guertin is certain he now holds the world's record because, well, who else would be "crazy" enough to spend an entire winter hauling the snow up from his drive to pack it into a monolith? It has become the National Capital Region's oddest tourist attraction - and many hope its most fleeting.

The 44-year-old Ottawa native began it, he says, simply because Environment Canada was predicting a winter to end all winters and, besides, as a carpenter, his natural inclination is to build things. There is the perfect backyard rink. And there is the robot costume - but more on that later.

He began in November with a normal shovel, lifting the snow and packing it down, then carefully squaring it off, just as he has done for years in the backyard to create snow banks around his rink every bit as upright and resilient as arena boards.

He then switched to a shovel with a longer handle, and then longer still. He built a special adapter for his snowblower so that, on a calm day, it would spray straight up like a fountain and curl just so that the snow would land on the brow of the growing hill and he could then pat it down with the longer shovel.

Around December, he had to bring in a two-step stool, then a four-step one, then a stepladder. In February, he had to borrow a full extension ladder and, today, even that is not quite high enough as he heads up and then has to crawl to get out onto the top for the packing down.

There was a time around Christmas when he thought he would create a snow version of the Gaspé's popular Percé Rock, but the bank grew so high and heavy that he began to worry that a hole through it might be seen as a safety concern.

Already this past weekend the fire department and the local bylaw officer have come to cruise by Guertin's Toulouse Crescent home, their official vehicles carefully picking their way through the amateur photographers and video recorders who have come to see for themselves.

Guertin is now hoping for more snow, at least one more big wallop that will provide him without enough cold raw material to complete the turret he is now thinking of constructing at the end closest to the road.

He imagines himself and his three boys - Sam, 15, William, 13, and Adrien, 12 - standing there and able to survey a world that seems, these days, to have been all but crushed by the falling white.

There may be blossoms in British Columbia and chinooks in Alberta, but for the rest of the country there has only been snow, more snow and more snow yet to come.

It has created a nation in the throes of cabin fever, with families fleeing, where possible, in those provinces holding March Break, and with daylight time particularly welcome yesterday in those parts of the country where people were able to use a simple twist of the finger to lop off an hour of this unbelievable winter.

No matter what the real definition of "cabin fever" - an irritability and restlessness brought on during long sea voyages or long winters spent in isolated frontier dwellings - the signs are far more about this early March than crocuses.

What else can explain the current state of Parliament Hill?

Why else would the people of Alberta not even bother heading out to vote?

Everywhere Canadians look - from the stock market to the gas pump - there is only misery and a desperate wish for better times to come.

But not on Toulouse Crescent, not at No. 1657 where Luc Guertin's snowbank rises up like some frozen tsunami about to crush the cab of the truck he sometimes stands on to smooth out the sides.

The Wicked Winter of 2008, says Guertin, is the best winter he's had since he was a little kid and he and his six siblings would build forts and tunnels all day long.

There are even days when he will dress up in a complete robot costume he built with his own hand and head out to polish off the driveway with lights flashing across his head and disembodied talk flying out the speaker that serves as a mouth.

"I love it when people driving by think this guy's got to hire a robot to clean his drive," he says.

"I like it," says youngest son, Adrien, "but all my friends think it's crazy."

"My wife thinks I'm crazy, too," says Guertin. "But that's okay - I am crazy!"

"He's nuts, all right," says neighbour April Desjardins with a laugh.

"But, you know, it does show us how much snow we've had this year."

Original here

5 Horrifying Food Additives You've Probably Eaten Today


Deciphering food labels is tricky business. They're filled with lots of multi-syllabic words that border on being impossible to pronounce, chemicals that sound like they could kill you just by touching them and ... much, much worse. Read on, unless you've eaten recently.

#5.
Shellac

Most everyone is familiar with shellac as a wood-finishing product. It's often used to give furniture, guitars and even AK-47's that special shine. But did you know it is also commonly used as a food additive? Yep, that's why those jelly beans you gorge on every Easter are so shiny.

But what exactly is shellac?

Are you sure you want to know?

Shellac is derived from the excretions of the Kerria lacca insect, most commonly found in the forests of Thailand.

The Kerria lacca uses the sticky excretion as a means to stick to the trees on which it lives. Candy makers use it to make those treats you love so much shiny and beautiful. Then you eat them. The insects that is.

You see, the process used to harvest the Kerria lacca excretion is a pretty simple one. They just scrape that shit right off the tree. Unfortunately for you and your future enjoyment of shiny candies, this leaves little room for quality control measures to guarantee that the insects themselves aren't scooped up also.

Once that happens, and it almost always does, the insect simply becomes part of the shellac-making process. And the candy-making process. And the candy-eating process.

Before some health nut out there pipes up to tell us they don't eat candy, we'd like to point out that, during the cleaning process, apples lose their natural shine. Care to guess how it's restored?

If all of this is making you a bit queasy, we understand. It's not every day that you find out you've been celebrating the resurrection of Christ by consuming handfuls of insect-infused treats your entire life. But before you head to the medicine cabinet, consider this. That pill you want to take to quell your nausea? It didn't get shiny on its own. Alright, we swear, this is the last time we'll mention that you've been eating insects for a good majority of your life.

#4.
Bone Char

Some things are not as they seem. Just like Keith Richards appears to be alive but has really been dead for years, that sugar you put on your cereal in the morning isn't really white. Or at least it doesn't start out that way.

When it starts its sweet, delicious life, sugar is brown--a color deemed to be "undesirable" by the sugar industry. Don't be such racialists, sugar industry! To make their product more acceptable to whitey, sugar companies use a filtering process to strip it of its color. In some cases, the process is a typically boring one, using ions and such. But sugar derived from sugar cane (about a quarter of the sugar in the United States) goes through a ... different process.

Domino, the largest sugar producer in America, uses bone char to filter impurities from its sugar. Bone char is delightfully produced using the bones of cows from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan that have died from "natural causes," like when cows forget to wear a helmet when riding their motorcycles.

The bones are bleached in the sun and sold to marketers who then sell them to the US sugar industry after they've been used by the gelatin industry. What the gelatin industry does with the bones, we don't want to know. The bones are then heated to the point that they become a perfect means of filtering sugar.

We don't know by what alchemy this method purifies the sugar, we're certainly no scientists. But when you tell us that your purification method involves the ground-up bones of a sacrificed animal, well, we're just going to assume Satan is involved.

#3.
Carmine

Carmine can also be identified on food labels as Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470 or E120. We mention that because we're guessing you'll want to check for it in the future after reading this.

Oh, and that thing we said about how we'd stop mentioning that you eat bugs? We totally lied. If you're eating something red right now, or if you have recently, have a gander at the label.

There is a strong chance it was made with carmine. And what's that? Are you sitting down?

Carmine is made, literally, from ground-up cochineal insects, which is just a more harrowing way of saying mashed red beetles. Because you're dying to know more, the insects are killed by exposure to heat or immersion in hot water and then dried. Because the abdomen region that houses the fertilized eggs contains the most carmine, it is separated from the rest of the body, ground into a powder and cooked at high temperatures to extract the maximum amount of color.

Then, it's added to that yogurt you ate this morning while lording your health consciousness over the guy in the cubicle next to you who had an Egg McMuffin.


Carmine: Like a bucket of blood, except more disgusting.

But the carmine terror doesn't end there. Food manufacturers are well aware that word has gotten out about exactly what carmine is and that people are less than impressed about it. So a number of crafty manufacturers have resorted to labeling it not as carmine, but instead as "natural color," thereby guaranteeing you'll never really know for sure if your cherry ice cream contains the USDA recommended amount of creepy crawlers.

Nice. Hey, speaking of that ...

#2.
Natural Flavor

When it comes to food, most of us get nervous when people are intentionally vague. We steer clear of that street vendor selling "Meat Soup" and "Food Burritos."

So when you see that a label has included "natural flavor," you should be equally alarmed. If you're thinking the "natural flavor" in your orange candy must obviously come from oranges, think again. If it was from oranges, they would say so, right on the can. It would be a selling point.

The problem is, natural flavor can, literally, be anything that isn't man made. Cat urine could be a natural flavor. If someone discovered that goat jizz added a special zing to ice cream and they could prove that eating it wouldn't make you sick ... natural flavor. We're not saying either of these are in your foods, but you get the idea.

One potentially disturbing example of natural flavor gone bad comes from, where else, McDonald's. Back in 1990, amid constant public outcry about the amount of cholesterol in their french fries, McDonald's started using pure vegetable oil in their fryers.

Wait, what were they using before? Why, beef lard. When they stopped using it, and McDonald's realized fried potatoes don't taste as good without some molten beef added, it was "natural flavor" to the rescue.

When vegetarian groups demanded to know what the mystery flavor was, company reps would only say it was "animal derived."

They wouldn't say what animal. According to the book Fast Food Nation, "Beef is the probable source, although other meats cannot be ruled out. In France, for example, fries are sometimes cooked in duck fat or horse tallow." Horse. Tallow.

Hey, nothing unnatural about that!

#1.
Bacteriophages

In 2006, the FDA approved the use of bacteriophages to fight listeria microbes on lunch meat, wieners and sausages. If you're unfamiliar with the term "bacteriophages," let us put it in a layman's term for you. Viruses.

In this case, six viruses, to be exact. There is an excellent chance that ham sandwich you had for lunch this afternoon was sprayed with a mixture of six different viruses in an effort to fight a microbe that kills hundreds of people a year. Hundreds. Approximately the same number of people that die in plane crashes. Because of this clear and present danger, your lunch meat is slathered with a buffet of viruses.

This probably sounds bad enough already, but wait until you hear Intralytix, the company that developed the bacteriophage mixture, explain exactly how the virus works. "Typical phages have hollow heads that store their viral DNA and tunnel tails with tips that bind to specific molecules on the surface of their target bacteria. The viral DNA is injected through the tail into the host cell, where it directs the production of progeny phages."

We'll take it from here. The battlefield on which this virus vs. microbe war plays out is the bologna that you used this morning to prepare your afternoon lunch. Around the same time the hollow headed bacteriophages were storming the beach at listeria, you were lifting that bologna sandwich to your mouth. Just as the phages were thrusting their hollow, viral DNA-filled tails into the host cells (also living on your sandwich), you were jamming the whole nasty battle right down your oblivious gullet.

If you've ever tried the Subway diet without success, this might be a good time to give it another shot. If thinking about the rampant virus vs. microbe violence you're about to ingest doesn't put you off eating for the rest of the day then nothing will, tubby.

Original here

The two-year-old boy kept alive by daily doses of Viagra

He is only two, but Oliver Sherwood regularly takes Viagra - to keep him alive.

The toddler has a rare condition that causes chronic high blood pressure. Something as simple a chest infection could kill him.

The pulmonary hypertension, as it is known, can be controlled with four doses of Viagra a day.

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Viagra to survive: Oliver, holding on to his mum Sarah Sherwood, must take four doses of the drug a day

The drug improves blood flow, which in adults can boost erectile function but in rare cases such as Oliver's can open the veins and capillaries to aid circulation.

His mother Sarah, a part-time nurse, said: "We joke when we pick up his drugs that it would be Christmas come early for most people. Obviously the dose isn't high enough to have the effect it would on adults.

"Viagra is an expensive drug but it's actually one of the cheapest to treat pulmonary hypertension.

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Still upbeat: Oliver Sherwood, 2, suffers from pulmonary hypertension which affects his breathing

"We're just hoping it'll continue to work as he grows a bit older."

But Oliver's future could be in doubt because other drugs he could use as he gets older might no longer be funded by the Health Service.

Pulmonary hypertension causes the blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs to rise, straining the heart and reducing blood oxygen levels, causing breathlessness and exhaustion.

Symptoms include severe coughing and breathing problems as blood fills the lungs, constant nose bleeds, dizziness and chest pains.

The condition, which affects 4,000 in Britain, often leads to heart failure.

It is so rare that only five children a year are diagnosed with it in the UK.

The survival rate is around five years, even with medication such as

Oliver, who cannot walk more than a few steps without getting out of breath, takes one tablet of Sildenafil crushed into four 5ml doses a day.

Doctors can increase the dose when his condition worsens, but there is no way of telling how much longer the drugs will be effective.

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Brave: Oliver, from Hucclecote, near Gloucester, having treatment in hospital. His mother Sarah fears his treatment may be hit by looming cuts

As he grows up he will need to switch to more expensive treatments called Epoprostenol and Iloprost to control his condition.

But the Government's drug rationing agency, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, is considering whether to continue prescribing them.

Oliver's mother has started a petition calling for the Health Service to keep funding the treatments.

Mrs Sherwood, 34, of Hucclecote, Gloucestershire, said: "The only hope we had was that he would be maintained through medication but if anything-happens in the future that hope may be taken away."

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association said: "The clinical evidence for this is unfounded and it must be assumed it is based on cost alone."

A spokesman for NICE added: "Our review of the evidence suggests that Sildenafil is both clinically effective and cost-effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension."

Original here

'I was so badly bullied my hair fell out': Girl, 14, reveals ordeal at hands of school yobs

A teenage girl who was the victim of disgraceful bullying for three years has been left so traumatised that her hair has fallen out.

Faith Hawley, 14, said she was verbally abused, punched and even had her hair set on fire after starting at secondary school.

After three years Faith was diagnosed with alopecia, which doctors say was down to stress.

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Bullied: Faith Hawley believes the stress of being bullied made her lose her hair. Now she is taught at home and has a specially made wig

She is one of a growing number of children who are losing their hair due to the trauma of being bullied at school, according to a hairdresser who designed her special wig.

Now, high-achieving Faith is being taught at home to escape the pressure and panic she endured every day.

She said: "Nearly all of my class bullied me - there were only a couple of lasses who didn't say anything.

"The bullying started because I did judo and they didn't like that. Then I got a horse and they used to take the mick out of me for that.

"I was very good at school and got high marks and all my work was in on time, and they didn't like that either."

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'Her hair was so beautiful, with a lovely natural wave'. Faith had long hair before it fell out after three years of bullying

Faith, from Gateshead, Tyneside, hated going to school and soon the worry and stress was having a damaging effect on her health.

She lost weight, suffered stomach aches and tiredness, and was constantly on edge.

She said: "Sometimes when I walked to school, I would try to walk really slowly so I didn't bump into any of the people who were bullying me.

"At break times I wouldn't go out. I would just sit in the library."

Then one morning Faith and her family were shocked to discover a bald patch on her head.

Soon more and more hair started dropping out, including her eyebrows and eye lashes, and a doctor confirmed she was suffering from alopecia.

Her mum Carol said: "It was horrendous, absolutely devastating.

"Her hair was so beautiful, with a lovely natural wave."

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Faith is tutored at home after she says she was bullied for three years at Ryton Comprehensive

Faith tried a synthetic NHS wig but she became very self-conscious.

But then a teacher at her school saw an article about a local radio DJ called Sarah Knapper who suffered alopecia, and referred her to Sunderland hairdresser Neville Ramsay.

Neville created a wig especially for Faith made of 100 per cent human hair, coloured and cut to her specifications.

Neville, who is director of Ramsay and Johnson Hair and Beauty, said: "Ninety per cent of our wig clients have alopecia, and they're getting younger.

"Girls aged from 14 to 19 are coming in here after suffering bullying at school and stress. We've had hundreds of cases." Faith and her family are thrilled with the result.

Faith's Dad Shaw, 49, said: "Neville has recreated it beautifully. It's really superb. He's done so much for her self-esteem and confidence."

Faith, who is receiving steroid injections to help promote her own hair growth, is now home-tutored and is taking her GCSEs this summer. One day she hopes to become a vet.

Shaw added: "I don't think a lot of kids could sum up the courage that Faith has. She's so determined."

Faith was a pupil at Ryton Comprehensive School, Gateshead, when she was bullied and head teacher Steph Howarth said her claims had been investigated by the school.

"During her time at the school we did everything possible to act on the claims she made about bullying.

"She made a series of allegations about a group of pupils at the school which were all fully and properly investigated.

"We provided Faith with a lot of support and made sure that she was in different classes from the pupils she had made allegations about.

"We have supported her throughout her time at the school by offering a reduced timetable alongside other measures, but after meeting with the local authority and her parents we decided that the best course of action was to support her family's request for home tutoring.

"She has received regular visits and had additional support from staff at the school in conjunction with the home tutoring."

Original here

Rate-My-Cop: New Website Has Police Furious

CBS13 Correspondent R.E. Graswich Has The Scoop On How Police Are Reacting To Sites Like RateMyCop

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) ― Police agencies from coast to coast are furious with a new website on the internet. RateMyCop.com has the names of thousands of officers, and many believe it is putting them in danger.

Officer Hector Basurto, the vice president of the Latino Police Officers Association, recently learned about the site. "I'd like to see it gone," he said.

"Having a website like this out there puts a lot of law enforcement in danger," he said. "It exposes us out there."

Kevin Martin, the vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, agrees. "Will they be able to access our home addresses, home phone numbers, marital status, whether or not we have children? That's always a big concern for us," he said.

Creators of the site say no personal information will be on the site. They gathered officers' names, which are public information, from more than 450 police agencies nationwide. Some listings also have badge numbers along with the officer's names.

Rebecca Costell says, in a statement, that the site helps people rate more than 130,000 officers by rating them on authority, fairness and satisfaction.

She adds, "Our website's purpose is to break the stereotype that people have that cops are all bad by having officers become responsible for their actions."

The site is so new that many Bay Area police agencies are not aware of it. San Francisco police say they have no connection with the site and would not take any of its comments seriously.

Police associations that represent more than 100,000 police and sheriffs in California are now seeking legislation to see if they can eliminate the site altogether. They say that officers who are rated face unfair maligning without any opportunity to defend themselves.

The CPCA will work with other law enforcement associations to pursue legislation to stop the website. Constitutional attorney and former San Francisco Police Commissioner Peter Keane said eliminating the site is difficult.

"Any kind of publication is protected as long as it's not publishing privileged information," he said.

Original here

Google and Microsoft are not bidding over Digg users like this guy

Over the weekend, first Digg CEO Jay Adelson and then, more believably, BoomTown's Kara Swisher debunked the rumors that Google and Microsoft are in a bidding war to buy Digg. But nobody believes Digg isn't actually for sale. So Gawker Media conceptual artist Richard Blakeley decided to illustrate the typical Digg power user for potential buyers. 13 signs you may be a Digg power user, below:
Original here

Brief confrontation interrupts Eugene's naked bike ride

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Police officers trying to control a mass ride of naked bicyclists decided against making any arrests after the confrontation intensified.

Roughly 100 bicyclists in various states of undress took part in the hour-long event that mimicked similar rides held in bigger cities around the world. Along the way, riders cheered, chanted and stopped traffic as they pedaled through the streets of Eugene.

Organizers of the Saturday night event did not alert Eugene police in advance, but officers quickly caught on. At one point, at least three patrol cars showed up near the main pack of cyclists.

When an officer grabbed one of them, several bicyclists surrounded the officer, shouting at him to let the rider go. After letting the first cyclist go, the officer grabbed another.

Cassandra Hurd, 21, then rammed her bike into the other rider's bike.

She told The Register-Guard newspaper she was trying to keep police from making an arrest: "We were making a statement; we weren't doing anything wrong."

An officer grabbed Hurd, who was wearing only panties, and put her on the ground, preparing to arrest her. Another officer trained his Taser on a naked man who approached the scene, but did not use the weapon.

The officers let Hurd go after the crowd chanted for them to leave her alone.

"We attempted to make arrests but the crowd turned on the two officers we had trying to handle the situation and they elected to disengage before someone got hurt," Eugene police Lt. Rich Stronach said.

Stronach said officers may not have gotten involved if the organizers had contacted police ahead of time and obeyed traffic laws.

Naked bike rides, most of them peaceful, have been staged in dozens of cities around the world in recent years. The purpose, besides fun, is to protest global oil dependency and celebrate cycling and the human body.

Portland has been host to such rides for several years. Last year's event drew more than 1,000 participants.

"It's just fun and it caught on as a novel thing to do," said Jonathan Maus, editor of bikeportland.org. "It's a sign of a good healthy bike culture."

Original here