Monday, September 8, 2008

Whale leap gives twitchers a surprise

By Daily Telegraph Reporter

This is the breathtaking moment a humpback whale was caught on camera leaping from the sea
Photographer Ross Newham knows of only one other similar picture taken off the British coast. Photo: SWNS

The extremely rare photograph of the 50ft mammal was taken by wildlife enthusiast Ross Newham just two miles off the Isles of Scilly, near Cornwall.

Mr Newham, 41, was on a bird watching trip when the whale leapt in front of his boat, providing him with the picture opportunity of a lifetime.

"On our way out I spotted this large whale about 300 yards away and that's when things started to get exciting,' said Mr Ross, of Maidstone, Kent.

"All of us were looking at the right patch of sea, which was flat calm, when it decided to leap out of the water. Fortunately, I was the one who pressed the button at the right time. It was a very special moment to witness something like that."

Mr Newham, a communications manager for a plant research company, took the stunning photographs of the migratory species last Saturday.

He said he knew of only one other similar picture taken off the British coast, and that was off Scotland more than a decade ago.

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5 Real World Criminals Who Were Certified Super-Villains

By Ian Fortey

We would never glamorize criminals. We don't want any of our young fans to grow up to rob or steal, at least not from us.

You know who we will glamorize? Supercriminals. Those flamboyant, creative types who just go above and beyond. Sure, what they did was despicable. But we can all learn from their desire to go beyond the call of duty. Way beyond.

Captain Killdozer

Some people in the world you just don't fuck with. Unfortunately you can't always tell who those people are until it's too late and such was the case with Marvin Heemeyer. He lived in a little town in Colorado with a population of about 500. He was a welder and owned a muffler repair shop and, presumably for a while, he was a totally non-sinister individual who never even considered doing anything crazy like building a massive, nearly indestructible machine of terror.

For a while.

Then, Heemeyer wound up in a dispute over his land with a cement manufacturing plant. He leased his business to someone else and sold his property while the new owners gave him six months to vacate. It was during that six months that Heemeyer built a death machine, a Komatsu D335A bulldozer outfitted with armor plating over the cabin and engine.

The armor in some places was over a foot thick and had concrete between sheets of steel, making it pretty much unstoppable. The tank was also outfitted with onboard cameras and monitors in the cabin so Heemeyer could see where he was going. The inside was made nearly airtight to resist a potential gas attack and had air conditioning, food, water and life support. Once he got in Heemeyer had no plans to actually leave the bulldozer.

Outside, the bulldozer had .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle mounted on the back, and three other semi-automatics mounted elsewhere. Basically, this was a machine designed to make everyone in his town of 500 take one massive, synchronized fear shit the moment it rolled out of his workshop.

Heemeyer took his machine of insanity out for a spin on June 2, 2004 by crashing it through the wall of his workshop. He then plowed through the concrete plant, the town hall, the local newspaper, a judge's house, a hardware store owned by a guy who had pissed him off, and seven other buildings, causing about $7 million in damages.

The bulldozer, which came to be known as the Killdozer since that really is the only appropriate name for it, was hit with over 200 rounds of ammunition and three small explosions that barely left a scratch on it.

Eventually the Killdozer got stuck in a basement and the engine failed. A single shot was heard in the cabin. While Heemeyer took the easy way out, and it still took authorities twelve hours to cut their way into the machine. Surprisingly, Heemeyer had not rigged the dozer to then self-destruct and destroy the entire town.

Dr. Chaos

It's clear that Joseph Konopka was looking for work in the exciting growth industry of super-villainy when he quit his job as a computer systems administrator and gave himself the nickname Dr. Chaos.

Konopka, who had been making about $50,000 at his job, wanted to enact some manner of a Dr. Doom-scale destruction spree, presumably out of boredom or just to prove he could.

Recruiting a team of others online who then became known as The Realm of Chaos, which we have to admit sounds pretty awesome, Dr. Chaos used his Lex Luthoresque intellect and knowledge of computers to cause 28 power failures, disrupt radio and television broadcasts, shut down air traffic control, attack an ISP's computer system and counterfeit software.

The group was also responsible for setting a number of fires and, at the time of his arrest in 2002, Dr. Chaos had been stockpiling cyanide in underground tunnels.

In total, it's estimated Konopka and his group caused as much as $3 million in damages, as well as setting the bar high for any future cyber villains, if for no other reason than that the really cool nickname is already taken.

The Hypno-Robber

Vladimir Kozak, whose media-born nickname "Hypno-Robber" was ripped right out of a really shitty issue of Spider-Man from the early 70s, managed to steal somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 from banks in Moldova. If you are unfamiliar with Moldova, it's because its only claim to fame is being the poorest country in Europe and a good chunk of its citizens make about $2 per day.

Despite the country being the geographical equivalent of a wino, Kozak used his eerie and potentially bullshit powers to pull off at least six robberies by establishing eye contact with bank tellers, talking all suave-like and hypnotizing them Dr. Mindbender style, possibly with the use of a magic hypno coin or glasses he purchased from a comic book.

Since his crime spree began, the fierce power of the Moldovan police department has cracked down and warned all bank tellers to avoid eye contact with Hypno should he make an appearance. They were also advised to call security and not attempt to detain him themselves, because of course he may unleash his hypnosis when threatened.

None of their tips may work if, instead of hypnosis, Kozak's plan involves telling the $2-a-day bank tellers that he'll split the money with them if they just hand it over, and to feed the authorities the bullshit hypnosis story so they won't get nailed as accomplices.

Of course there's no evidence to support that, but the alternative is to believe this man has the kind of mind control powers that would let him take over the world if he felt like it. Or at least have sex with lots and lots of women.

Papa Doc

Dr. Francois Duvalier was the former President for Life of Haiti, a title which he gave himself because that's the kind of thing you do when you're a crazy dictator. His father was named Duval Duvalier and was a judge while his mother, Ulyssia Abraham, was insane. The only thing missing was exposure to radiation to help him on his way to perfecting his villainy.

In 1957, he was sort of legitimately elected president. Rather than waste time worrying about things like the economy or environment or whatever the hell non-crazy politicians pretend to care about, Duvalier went about reviving the voodoo religion, modeling himself after Baron Samedi, the Voodoo angel of death.

He wore sunglasses all the time, changed the way he spoke and was referred to as Papa Doc. Propaganda produced at the time feature Jesus standing behind a seated Duvalier saying "I have chosen him." Because if there's one thing Jesus loves, it's that crazy voodoo shit.

Because no voodoo dictator super-villain is complete without a scary secret police force, the Tonton Macoute was formed, stealing their name from the Creole word for Boogeyman and making their living through crime. While Papa Doc went about trying to convince people he was the physical embodiment of Haiti, as well as being a Voodoo spirit and the president, the Tonton Macoute wandered the country side pretending to be voodoo demons and killing people with machetes for no reason other than that's what scary ass voodoo demons would probably do.

In his effort to maintain his position as president for life, it's estimated as many as 30,000 people were murdered and many others were kicked the hell out. Apparently his ultimate, diabolical plan was to rule over a completely empty, shitty island. Unfortunately for him, he died before he could see whatever the hell he was working towards come to fruition.

The Iceman

Somewhat less dorky than the X-men's Iceman and far more godawfully frightening, is Richard Kuklinski, former mob hit man and all around badass crazy son of a bitch. Typically, being a hit man is just regular-style-villainous and not in the realm of super-villainy, but the Iceman really went above and beyond for his craft.

The Iceman claimed to have killed over 200 people in his lifetime, with his first victim coming at age 18. Once he hooked up with the mob and the Gambino crime family, he began killing with a variety of methods from gunshots to stabbings to poisonings. He had a bit of a hard-on for cyanide and would inject it, sprinkle it in food, spray it as an aerosol or just dump it on people.

"What is this about? The murders? It's the murders, isn't it?"

And, because that's not quite crazy enough, he also claims to have fed living people to rats and shot a random person in the head with a crossbow just to see if it worked (after all, imagine his embarrassment if the thing failed during a paid job).

While the Iceman is a cool nickname for anyone who kills people for a living, Kuklinski got his from a period in his life when he tried to be clever about disguising his crimes. Forensic science being a pain in the ass for most murderers, Kuklinski decided to throw it a curveball by using a Mister Softee ice cream truck as a spot to house his victims.

He'd freeze their bodies inside and then toss them out later, one at least two years later, so that the freezing would skew the estimated time of death. The plan fell apart on him when he didn't let one of the victims thaw long enough and the coroner found ice in the body. We suppose this is better than the other way ice cream truck murders could get found out, involving a trail of traumatized children chasing the jingle down the street.

The Iceman was eventually caught and imprisoned, and was set to testify against his mob associates. He died in prison before he got the chance, however, just to be an asshole one last time.

To find out how to properly deal with real world super-villains, check out yesterday's look at 6 Great Martial Arts for Killing a Man With Your Bare Hands. Or for some children who will eventually turn to a hilariously misguided life of super-villainy, watch amazing psychic kids (get exploited on TV) in today's Hate by Numbers.

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Undercover Cop Never Knew Selling Drugs Was Such Hard Work

PHILADELPHIA—Rick Bastone, 31, an officer with Philadelphia's 23rd Precinct, has gained newfound respect for America's hard-working drug dealers ever since going undercover to sell narcotics.

Enlarge Image Undercover Cop

The worn-out Bastone.

"I had no idea how tough this was," said Bastone, standing on a dilapidated corner in 20-degree weather while awaiting a cocaine drop-off Monday. "I guess I imagined it being like in the movies: drinking champagne, hot-tubbing with honeys, and cruising in customized Escalades while watching the cash roll in. But here I am, freezing my ass off. I've got to say, these drug-dealing scumbags really earn their pay."

Assigned to the PPD's undercover narcotics division on Feb. 22, Bastone said he expected his life as a drug dealer to be glamorous and hedonistic. His preconceptions were shattered after just a few days of grueling, firsthand experience.

"I thought being a cop was hard, but it's not half as hard as being a pusher," Bastone said. "You're hustling on the streets all day, then going to parties at night to build up clientele. And it's not like you can enjoy yourself at these parties. When you're there, you're networking and sizing up competitors and setting up deals. There's hardly a second to breathe, much less get your swerve on."

Unlike law enforcement, Bastone said drug-dealing is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job.

"My best customer knocks on my door at all hours whenever he's in need of a heroin fix," Bastone said. "I'd love to tell him to get lost, but he'd probably just go to someone else's corner and take his contacts with him. Then there's the constant pressure to sell: I've got to keep upping my purchases from my distributor, or else they'll give my corner to someone else. Christ, I need a vacation."

Dealing drugs, Bastone said, also demands a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise.

"First, I had to have the metric system down cold," Bastone said. "Then, I spent almost two weeks learning the weight of a gram of coke by feel. Plus, you have to always stay on top of the current street lingo, which is constantly changing—and not just the drug slang, but slang for everything from currency to getting a drink. Cops don't have to know any of that."

Contributing to Bastone's stress level is his growing distrust of Gary "Muffinhead" Yarbo, a small-time, oft-incarcerated dealer used by the PPD as a means to help undercover officers enter the drug scene.

"I've always got to keep one eye on what I'm doing and one eye on Muffinhead," Bastone said. "I know he won't rat me out on purpose, but he's not the brightest guy. Just one slip-up, and I've either ruined months of backbreaking work on the street or I'm a dead man. Man, all this, and you don't even get health insurance."

Heidi Bastone, the officer's wife, has noticed the change in her husband's view toward those on the other side of the drug war.

"Rick always used to talk about 'the lazy drug dealers,'" Heidi said. "Not anymore. He's always talking about how amazed he is that guys like [local cocaine kingpin] Dean 'Powder' Edwards have been doing this for 20 years. I really don't think Rick can last another six months, so hopefully he'll have a solid case built by then. I sure hope so. I don't think I can stand much more of his bitching about how he spent all day hauling around kilos of uncut Colombian."

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Comcast Driver To Senior Citizen: "Get The F!@# Down From Your Car So I Can Kick Your Ass"

Northfaceninja watched in horror as a Comcast employee repeatedly smashed his Comcast van into a car driven by a senior citizen before barking: "Get the fuck down from your car so I can kick your ass." The angry employee quickly abandoned his ass-kicking plan once he noticed onlookers jotting down his license plate number.

Northfaceninja writes:

On Sept. 5, 2008 at around 8:00 PM, I was driving on John Daly Blvd in Daly City, CA when I witnessed something totally inappropriate by a Comcast driver in a Comcast truck: Roadrage.

As i was driving slowly amidst the traffic, i noticed a commotion with other fellow drivers telling a Comcast driver to stop harassing and leave an older driver alone. The Comcast driver was clearly shouting expletives and telling the older driver to get the 'Fuck' down from his car so he can 'kick his ass'. Along with other witnesses, i saw the comcast driver tapping or 'slow bumping' the older man's car in front of him whilst yelling profanity. Concerned motorists started to jot down the license plate number and called for assistance. At this time, the Comcast driver weaved in out of traffic and proceeded to the nearby freeway.

I do not know the circumstances leading to this incident. Maybe the older driver was a bad driver or perhaps the Comcast driver had a rough day, but one thing i know is that this 'roadrage' driver needs to be trained in handling these types of situations. We've all encountered idiot drivers and cetainly had our bad days, but as a society, we can not let our anger be the judge and executioner of what we perceive as wrongdoings.

If Comcast is reading this, I realize that not all of your drivers are like this, but this particular bad apple in your company definitely needs a reprimand and anger management training. If he can't handle situations like this properly, then maybe he shouldn't be driving around in your company vehicles.

BTW, the Comcast Pickup Truck's license plate number is 6295791 (California Plate).

The lesson of the story is this: Never piss off a Comcast driver or he might ask you to come down from your vehicle to receive some ass kicking...FREE OF CHARGE!

Clearly this individual act of asshattery isn't sanctioned by Comcast, but the company with official policies for changing water jugs and making coffee almost certainly has a policy guiding employee conduct, one that explains that employees wearing Comcast uniforms or driving Comcast vans are Comcast representatives.

In this instance, the employee was representing Comcast, because doesn't Comcast really want to kick all of our asses, financially, spiritually, and every other imaginable way? We really wouldn't mind if Comcast's marketing, or say, official responses to the FCC, matched its employee's misdirected moxie.

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Easier To Just Walk

6 Great Martial Arts for Killing a Man With Your Bare Hands

By John Hart

Were you one of those guys who took Tae Kwon Do or Karate lessons as a kid? Did you learn to break little boards with your fist, and dream of becoming the baddest man on the planet?

Well, consider your dreams shattered like so many bones. There are martial arts taught around the world that are designed to break people, not boards, and you've still got some learning to do, kid.

Starting with...


Country of Origin: Russia

Russia is a country with a history of diverse, if not incredibly numerous, invaders, having been attacked by the Mongols, the Huns, the French, and the Germans at one time or another. This meant the Russians had many chances to learn new ass-beating techniques, often using the martial arts from the last invader to crush the nuts of the next one.

Over time the Russians developing a particularly brutal form of wrestling on the steppes. Then during the Communist Revolution of 1917, Russian martial artists decided that man-handling, joint tearing, and bone breaking just weren't good enough for the communist Soviet people, so they modified it into sambo, which, in Russian, is an acronym for "Self-Defense Without Weapons."

They originally taught it to the Red Army and government agents, but with crime on the rise, sambo has seen a lot of use by bodyguards, who added a few extra moves like "killing your attacker with his own knife, making him look like a giant douche in front of everybody."

Sambo in Action:

Here's a sambo training session with some old bald guy with balls bigger than our fists teaching students how to make anybody who assaults you with a knife feel outrageously stupid for a few seconds before they bleed out.

We're pretty sure that on the street, the next move involves going ahead and tearing the dude's arm off.

Muay Thai

Country of Origin: Thailand

Like many countries in southeast Asia, Thailand has been violated more times than (tranny prostitute joke omitted for being too easy). So, like the Russians, they got lots of practice at punching people to death. Thus was born Muay Thai, a.k.a. The Art of Eight Limbs. Yeah, eight limbs. Muay Thai counts the knees and elbows as separate limbs and focuses on using those "limbs" as clubs, slamming the opponent with them as hard and often as possible.

No, they don't dick around. While other martial arts have techniques called "Shifting Sands" and "Transposing Shadows," Muay Thai has techniques called "Throwing Buffalo Punch," which can take down a Buffalo in one hit. Yes, they were apparently invaded by buffaloes at some point.

The art is still practiced in Thailand today both as an awesome way of killing people and as a sport, complete with boxing gloves. However, padded fists don't help much when your opponent is breaking your face with his knees and elbows. And, while the story of Muay Thai fighters gluing broken glass to their hands is false, the wrappings they used before boxing gloves were about as soft as concrete and left deep cuts on the fighters. When boxing gloves were introduced, deaths in the ring were cut from "common" to "not common enough to be considered a crime against humanity."

Muay Thai in Action:

The most awesome story from Muay Thai comes from 1774 Burma, after the Burmese had taken Thailand (then called Siam). Nai Khanom Tom, a practitioner of Muay Thai was brought into the fighting ring so the king could see how it stood up against Lethwei, the Burmese martial art. Ten seconds into the opening match, his opponent resembled a pile of lumpy mashed potatoes and was likely crying like a little girl, right up until he got knocked the hell out by a flying knee.

However, the judge ruled that his pre-fight dance had "distracted" his opponent and overturned the knockout. Being the gentleman he was, Tom fought another nine Lethwei masters in a row with no rest until everybody stupid enough to step into the ring with him was quivering in a pool of blood, urine, and shame.

In response to this, the king of Burma openly stated that Thai people had poisonous hands. Tom was given his freedom and offered a choice of a pile of cash or two hot wives. Tom basically said that money was easy to get, but hot pieces of tail didn't fall from the sky, and off he rode into the sunrise (not sunset, as Thailand is east of Burma), banging his hot wives the whole way.


Country of Origin: United States

No military in the world sees more action in more places than the United States Marine Corps. The average marine has been in at least two combat engagements per year since 1775. As a result, the Marine Corps' close combat program has been incorporating techniques from the various countries they've killed people in, culminating in the "Marine Corps Martial Arts Program," or "MCMAP."

Among the marines themselves, though, it is known as 'Semper Fu,' which is a name even Max Fightmaster could be proud of. The modern program also teaches the use of improvised weapons, bayonets, and parts of the gun other than the bullets.

MCMAP in Action:

Before MCMAP came along, the marines had something called the LINE System (Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement) which was invented in the 1980s. MCMAP was formed in 2001 because marines were increasingly being used in situations that didn't require them to kill their opponents, and that was the only thing LINE was good for.

Now, when you use a MCMAP move on somebody, each move typically has the option to utterly destroy whatever body part you have in your hands or just put it in excruciating pain...or both, thus leading to a kinder, friendlier Marine Corps that only sometimes kills you.


Country of Origin: Malaysia

Malaysia has always been a brutalized country. Pirates, Portuguese, the British, and even the Japanese in WWII have long seen the country as the coolest hunk of land to own in the South Pacific. That really pissed the Malaysians off. So, instead of playing France and whining about it, they invented silat, then later added in stuff they learned from all the guys who invaded them.

Are you seeing a pattern here? To get kick-ass martial arts, you just need a country that's been in lots and lots of wars.

Many martial arts gurus cite spiritual enlightenment and a quest of self-perfection as the goal of their study, but not silat. Early silat masters developed their martial art solely for the purpose of beating the piss out of invaders. The style is typically marked with a lightning quick attack style designed to close on your opponent as quickly as possible, beat the hell out of him within 10 seconds, then finish him with a hammer blow to the face, throat, or kidney.

The honor and fairness are thrown out the window in favor of fighting dirty and exploiting weakness. They even encourage nut shots. As a counter, all silat students are put through a training regimen that involves having people break bricks on your ribs and bend iron bars around your neck to build up pain tolerance.

Silat in Action:

Below is an example of one of the dirty moves commonly used in silat, as taught by The History Channel.

Yes, in one lightning-fast movement, the silat master breaks your nose and crunches your balls.

Wait, it gets worse. The most brutal version of silat is taught in the jungle by a guy who learned it by having the crap beaten out of him from the ages 7 to 10 by his master. Did we mention he spent all three years in a pitch black cave where he couldn't even see the inside of his eyelids? Unlike those Shaolin wussbags, his years of training did not teach him restraint and enlightenment, but rather how to tear the flesh off his enemies with his bare freaking hands.

There's also a weapon associated with silat, the kris. It's a wavy knife used with quick, stabbing motions aimed at soft spots on the body. Oh, also, one of the most deadly neurotoxins in the world is smelted directly into the metal and that just a scratch is enough to kill you within seconds. You pretty much have to hope the wielder accidentally stabs himself, though he could still kill you barehanded before the poison got him.


Country of Origin: The Philippines

Eskrima is the ancient Filipino art of beating the piss out of your opponents with embarrassingly small wooden sticks. For centuries, it was used by the Filipinos to beat each other senseless, but when Magellan arrived in 1521, some Filipinos decided to diversify by using it to beat foreigners senseless.

The style involves teaching a variety of lightning fast strikes, grapples, and disarming moves that are equally effective when using the traditional eskrima sticks, knives, or bare hands, the philosophy being that the lack of a weapon should never come between an eskrimador and the ability to murder people.

Also, check this chick out.

The sport of modern eskrima has two varieties. One takes place in gyms and the competitors wear full body armor with face masks and is usually decided by points. The other version takes place in cock fighting pits, where they use metal bars wrapped in a thin layer of foam rather than wooden sticks and can be decided by points, by knockout, by broken bone, or by triple disarm.

Eskrima in Action:

When peasants practiced their style of eskrima, the scrawny rice farmers would, and still do, take on a 1600 lb. water buffalo, meaning they could probably make any WWE star squeal like a little girl within seconds, an event worthy of Pay-Per-View.

One famous eskrima victim was famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

After he converted an entire village to Catholicism, a rival tribe attacked. After being stabbed in the face with a spear and then hamstrung, the tribe attacked with sticks and eskrima'ed him to death in a display so brutal, the Spaniards executed anybody they caught practicing eskrima for 450 years. It only survived because it was disguised as a dance. A disturbingly violent cockfight of a dance.

Krav Maga

Country of Origin: Israel

Israel/Judea/Palestine is the most plundered, conquered, occupied, and all around screwed-with chunk of land on the face of this planet, and the Jews have been systematically brutalized by so many nations that in most parts of the world it's considered weird not to hate them. It should therefore come as no surprise to anybody that the most vicious martial art in the world originates from there.

It was originally invented in the 1930s by a Czechoslovakian Jew named Imrich Lichtenfeld to be used by Jews to defend themselves from Nazi militia, by beating the absolute piss out of them with their own weapons in a matter of seconds and then running before their screams of pain attracted any help.

In 1940, Lichtenfeld fled the Holocaust to what was then Palestine, and began teaching it to local militia. When Israel became a nation in 1948, they began teaching Krav Maga to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

In addition to a lineup of particularly brutal holds, strikes, and take downs, they teach the use of the M-16 as a melee weapon and multiple, lightning fast ways to take a gun away from an opponent and then kill him with it.

Krav Maga in Action:

The basic tenets of Krav Maga require you to assume that your opponent always has another weapon hidden somewhere on his body and both the intent and will to drag you off and torture you to death. It also encourages you to avoid dragging out a fight at all costs by breaking your opponent into multiple, small pieces and, if necessary, running away.

While basic Krav Maga requires you to take on multiple, knife wielding opponents in close quarters, as well as being able to kill anybody who tries to hijack your bus or take you hostage, there is a more advanced course, taught to the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the Israeli special forces. It teaches you how to clear a building full of terrorists with an M-16 and no bullets, as well as how to use pistols in ways that would make John Woo proud.

Without a doubt, Krav Maga is the single most compelling reason to keep your job at Blockbuster instead of taking up a life of crime in Israel. And if you still need convincing, let's just say that it's the only real martial art listed in the "see also" section of Wikipedia's entry on Gun Kata.

For more proof that foreign people are vortexes of barely controlled rage, check out The 9 Most Devastating Insults From Around the World. Or for some website names that might mean something in a foreign language, watch an ad that proves All Domain Names Are Not Created Equal.

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