Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is 419: the Nigerian Scam?

Every year, more than 50,000 people worldwide fall victim to the Nigerian Scam. Usually contacted by e-mail about a business proposal or winning a lottery, the victims lose their life savings after they are persuaded by stories with very tempting outcomes.

According to some reports, the scam is the third most lucrative industry in Nigeria, generating over 5 billion dollars in the last 20 years. Authorities have named the scam after the number of the article in the Nigerian constitution that deals with the matter - 419.

For the last few months, a talented filmmaker from Canada produced a movie, showing how the e-mail scam works. As far as we know, this is the first movie ever made on this topic - but if there are some other ones, please let us know.

Watch the movie trailer!

Why should you see the movie?

The Internet is flooded with e-mails promising money-making business proposals, lottery win notifications, and fabulous inheritances. This is the story of how one man's involvement with such an Internet scam ruined his life. The inclusion of real correspondence with the scammers gives an added level of realism to this shocking film - a dramatic piece about a human journey, hope, values of life, and awareness.

“419: The Nigerian Scam” is a drama that chronicles the drama of Peter Hathaway, a talented broker living in Seattle, who receives a business proposal from Nigeria. The proposal is well written and extremely tempting, and promises to make Peter $720,000 richer. Although married with children, Peter recklessly pursues the deal, falls into the trap, spending all of his family’s savings, and loans from various people – a total of almost $80,000.

“My best friend lost all his savings after being victimized,” says Sorin Mihailovici, producer and director of “419: The Nigerian Scam”. “I will never forget for the rest of my life the look on his face and the ordeal he went through. His tragedy inspired me to create this movie.”
Mihailovici went a step beyond in the movie, using real documents from the correspondence with the scammers. You can see one of these documents in the trailer, at 00:54.

“419: The Nigerian Scam” is an educational (how to avoid all kinds of offers and Internet deals) and a dramatic story – a must-see movie.

If you want much more details...

The Q&A page offers you much more details, in case you are interested. Samples of real scam e-mails, how many kinds of 419 scams are out there, details about the movie and producers - all these here.


Hit at Edmonton International Film Festival!

On September 28, "419: the Nigerian Scam" was screened at the Edmonton International Film Festival. The movie was a huge success and was received very well by the audience. Director Sorin Mihailovici had a Q&A session after the movie (see photo) and his presence was requested for quite a few interviews after the screening!

Original here

Michelle Allen Will Dress As A Cow, Pee On Your Porch And Give You The Best Mug Shot Ever


32-year-old Michelle Allen of Middleton, Ohio was just minding her business, urinating on a neighbor’s porch while dressed as a cow, when cops told her to please go home. Later that day, cops were called once again as Allen was blocking traffic and chasing terrified children. It was at this point that cops went ahead and decided to arrest her. Cows > The Pigs, motherfuckers:

The arresting officer says Allen smelled of alcohol, slurred her speech, and was belligerent. She also alleged cussed at the officer.

Allen informed police that, if brought to jail, she would “cause problems.” She did manage to put on a suit for her court hearing, but not before leaving us with the finest mug shot in the history of the world.

How udderly terrifying. The report makes it clear to mention that:

It is not clear why she was wearing the costume.

Um, maybe because she’s awesome?

Original here

How could parenting 17 kids be dull? Just watch.

The latest in a string of documentaries about the Duggar family in Arkansas follows them on a trip to New York City.

By Joanna Weiss

You may have heard of the Duggar family. They are Arkansan, religious, and incredibly fertile, with 17 kids whose names all begin with the letter "J."

Do they deserve to be TV stars? TLC clearly thinks so, having done well enough with a string of Duggar documentaries, including "14 Children and Pregnant Again!" and "On the Road With 16 Children!" Tonight at 10, the network launches its new series "17 Kids and Counting." (Yes, there's another one coming. Soon, they'll have to change the title, and perhaps add an exclamation point.)

This is well-trod ground for a network that has staked a claim on biological curiosity, particularly with "Jon & Kate Plus Eight," the popular show about a couple with twins and sextuplets. Unsurprisingly, "17 Kids and Counting" shares a lot with "Jon & Kate," particularly a central flaw: These people are truly, mind-numbingly dull.

A docu-reality series has to hinge on personality - think of Bravo's vibrant and occasionally vile reality stars, such as personal trainer Jackie Warner (of "Work Out") and various wealthy housewives. We cheer for the drama, the train wrecks real and averted, the chew-outs and meltdowns.

The Duggars, by contrast, have no discernable personality traits, other than an overwhelming piety. They make the even-keeled Jon and Kate look like the Honeymooners. Their kids, while admirably well-behaved, don't exactly have an edge. So in place of character and conflict, we get logistics. "Jon & Kate" episodes have centered on such conflicts as how to hang shelves in the garage while putting the kids down for a nap. Tonight's Duggar premiere centers on a family trip to New York, and how the family gets through the streets without losing anyone.

While we get a running count of suitcases carried and pizzas consumed, we glimpse little of the Duggars' inner psyche. If things are tough for them around bedtime, they never let on. And while we see them sing hymns in the family bus, their independent family website reveals far more about the depth of their Christianity. (It's deep.)

TLC spends more time, instead, gathering reactions from people who encounter the Duggars on the street. For the most part, the strangers have the same thing to say: Seventeen kids? Wow.

That about sums it up, but it doesn't require another minute of elaboration.

Joanna Weiss can be reached at

Original here

Teenager stabbed best friend to death in Russia with a pair of TWEEZERS in a row over looks

By Will Stewart In Moscow

A teenage girl has killed her best friend by stabbing her over 100 times with a pair of tweezers in a row over looks.

Pretty Kristina Danilova, 18, murdered childhood pal Olga Samoilenko in a fit of rage after being told her she was ugly and would never get a boyfriend.

She pulled her eyebrow tweezers out of her make up bag and attacked her friend, who bled to death.


Civic buildings at the centre of Ulyanovsk, Russia: A teenage girl from the town stabbed her best friend more than 100 times with a pair of tweezers

Danilova told detectives: 'Olga remarked that I was ugly and would never ever find a boyfriend.

'How could I stay calm on hearing something like that from someone who I had always considered my best friend?'

She continued: 'We were at a birthday party. It was late.We had been talking about guys, when Olga said she was in great demand with the lads.

'She said it was because she was blonde and advised me to dye mine the same colour.

'I replied that being blonde was an incurable condition, not something to aspire to. Word by word our friendship just unravelled.'

The pair went outside to talk things through when Danilova stabbed Olga repeatedly in a frenzied attack.

She claims she had no recollection of the attack.

She said: 'I didn't mean to kill her, it happened accidentally.'

Enlarge Moscow

The town is in western Russia, around 600 miles from Moscow

The killing has shocked the pairs schoolfriends in the town of Ulyanovsk, 600 miles east of Moscow.

One said: 'They used to sit at the same desk and shared every secret with each other. They even went to do the same course at the economic faculty of the local university so as not to part.

'They were always together. They were so close, that everybody envied their friendship.'

After stabbing Olga, Danilova fled the scene, leaving her former friend to bleed to death. Police believe she may have been saved if help had been called.

One detective said: 'It was a frenzied, mad attack. You would not imagine the damage a pair of tiny eyebrow tweezers caused the poor girl.'

Danilova is currently in pre-trial custody and faces ten years in jail.

Original here

The 6 Most Adorable Animals (To Ever Go On a Bloody Rampage)

By Kevin Inks

Sometimes, cute, fuzzy animals just get tired of our shit. Forced to crap in boxes, subsist on food that is basically liver-scented sawdust, it's no surprise that even the friendliest of creatures has been known to cause the occasional apocalyptic cascade of destruction.

Che Goatvara

Carl Hulsey wanted a watchdog. But why on earth would you get a watchdog when a watchgoat will serve the same purpose, right?

Uh, no. It turns out that is a very bad idea. Specifically the part where Carl tried beating the goat with a stick every day to make him more aggressive.

Again, he should have seen this coming. He was trying to make the goat aggressive, but who's he going to get aggressive towards, Carl? You. The asshole with the stick.

On May 16, 1991, Carl Hulsey stepped outside with his beatin' stick for the last time. "Snowball," as the goat was known, rushed his tormentor, ramming him in the stomach, twice knocking him down.

Carl fled, but Snowball wasn't going to take any of that shit. The goat chased his former master up the porch stairs, and, with one swift butt, knocked him over the rail towards the ground five feet below. In the end, Carl died of a ruptured stomach.

"What? You t'ink I'm funny? How am I funny?"

When the news broke that the goat was going to be put down, the arbiters of his fate were flooded with letters, pleas for amnesty, and even threats of death if Snowball didn't walk. Some people even offered to adopt the deranged beast.

Snowball had become something of a folk hero to animal-rights activists, a symbol for resistance of oppression everywhere. One piece of advice for his supporters: at his coming home party, don't bring a pinata.

The Cairo Chicken Massacre

Thanks to one chicken, the village of Nazlat Imara became the scene of a bizarre cross between The Ring and the set-up of some horrible joke.

It all began on August 31, 1995, when one chicken "accidentally" fell into a well in the little Egyptian village. A nearby 18-year-old farmer decided to descend into the well to retrieve it. He got caught in an undercurrent and tragically drowned.

Upon seeing this, his sister and two brothers decided the most logical thing to do was to follow him in one at a time.

Each of them got caught in an undercurrent and also tragically drowned.

Two elderly farmers, who, we can only assume were watching the show with a vacant grin, then decided to follow them. Where four healthy, full-grown adults had failed, two frail Egyptian men could only succeed.

They got caught in an undercurrent and drowned. Tragically.

With the day's chicken-related death count at six, which has to be at least three more than most days, other villagers got the message and decided not to throw themselves at the sixty-foot stone shaft.

The villagers called the cops, like they probably should have five villagers ago.

"It looks like... six dead bodies... and a chicken! Get it!"

The icing on the cake is what the local police found when they drew the bodies out of the well.

They found the chicken, alive. Only the anatomical limitation of a beak kept the triumphant smirk off its face.

The Gopher Explosion

On April 3, 1995, three employees of the Carroll Fowler Elementary School in Ceres discovered a small gopher on school grounds. Naturally, they elected to dispose of it in the most humane way possible... by imprisoning it in a small janitorial closet and spraying it with chemicals until it developed a deep hatred for them. And, apparently, superpowers.

After several minutes of tormenting the pathetic creature with cleaning solvents used to harden gum on the underside of school desks, the employees became frustrated with the gopher's lack of deadness. Obviously, this trio didn't pay enough attention to Caddyshack, or they would have seen what was coming.

A cautionary tale.

They stopped for a quick breather, and by that we mean, a smoke. Since smoking wasn't allowed on school grounds, the closet was about the only place the three could retreat to satisfy their cravings. This would be the closet now full of chemical solvent vapors.

Predictably, their lighter ignited a massive fireball of the damned, scorching and consuming all in its path. The three were rushed to the hospital with burns, several schoolchildren wound up with minor injuries and effects from chemical inhalation.

On the other hand, our gopher hero decided he wasn't going to take Death's shit anymore. The blast that had burned three adults had left the gopher relatively unharmed. He was found later, clinging to the wall of the closet.

That's right. The gopher was clinging to the wall. An animal that is known solely for digging. Was clinging. To the wall. Reports do not say if its eyes were glowing with the demonic hellfire of Satan, so we're forced to assume they were.

Kamikaze Cow

In November, 2005, Charles and Linda Everson were vacationing at Wapato Point in Washington, and were driving back to their hotel, when a cow plummeted off of an adjoining 200-foot-tall cliff and crashed onto the hood of their car. The couple managed to escape unharmed, but their minivan was never the same.

The way we see it, there are three distinct possibilities.

1. Mad cow disease made the cow think she was an airplane.

2. She was trying to re-enact Batman's hood jump from the parking garage scene in The Dark Knight.

3. She's a cow, and as such, is designed solely for being hamburger and lacks the basic neural functions required to not fall off things.

Whichever one of those is true, it happens way more than you'd think. Plenty of places already have signs set up under the logic that an obnoxious yellow warning will help prevent something that is impossible to predict and impossible to react to until it has already smashed through the roof and flattened you like an accordion.

WARNING: cartoonish death ahead.

The bottom line is that if you're driving beside a cliff in cattle country, this can happen to you at any moment. Though there's not much you can do to prevent it, we suggest having a sunroof installed. It won't help, but it will give you an amusing view before every bone in your body is pulverized.

Hunting Dog Shoots a Man, Gets Away With It

In August, 1999, in Stuttgart, Germany, the corpse of a fifty-one year old man was found next to his car. The cause of death? A shotgun wound.

The gun in question was lying on seat of the car, next to a bawling dog.

Puzzled, the local cops pulled out their CSI kits and, probably after scanning everything with a green laser beam, realized the shot had come from inside the car. There was no evidence of another shooter.

Other than the dog, that is. They decided the hunter had been leaving his car, when the excited dog jumped on the cocked and loaded gun. It discharged, killing the owner.

That's the theory, anyway. For all we know, there may be a very inventive serial killer in Germany right now, still shaking his head in incredulity that the cops fell for his framing of a freaking dog in a shooting death.

Or, maybe the gunshot rang out after a tense standoff between hunter and dog, at the tail end of a bitter discussion about just who was going to eat the pheasant they brought home.

We'll never know. What we do know is you shouldn't trust an animal with a loaded gun. That's like handing Al Qaeda a nuke on the assumption that they're too damned stupid to figure out how to use it.

"I am gonna fuck you up so hard.

There's always that chance that your dog has waited his whole life for just that opportunity.

A Reindeer Attacks Santa Claus

In September of 1997, Capt. Larry Roberdeau arrived outside of a South Dakota mobile home, responding to a 911 call the Police Station had received earlier.

"I never saw anything like this," he says. "I came on the scene, and there was a reindeer trying to kill Santa."

Let us clarify. It was the home of James Emery, a full-time Santa. And when we say "full-time", we're talking about a guy who apparently wears his costume year-round if the following video is to be believed.

We'll give you a moment to calm down after the thrilling reenactment. Look at the way he's desperately grabbing onto the beast's horns. We think the poor thing was just trying to get away.

Anyway, as he tells the story, he went out to feed his reindeer in the middle of what happened to be mating season. He got a little too close to one reindeer's favorite female. The jealous male, named Casper because Emery apparently doesn't know shit about Santa Claus mythology, went on the attack.


Now, we're assuming that to a reindeer, Santa isn't a jolly fellow delivering gifts. To them Santa would be a cruel taskmaster, who according to legend forces their brethren to haul his fat ass on a frantic global trip through the freezing cold.

Also, if you saw Santa hitting on your girl, wouldn't you step in? Do you think your girl would pass up the chance to fuck Santa?

To make it just a little more ridiculous, the cop on the scene remarked, "This is the most bizarre case I've ever been on... . Involving a reindeer and a man."

Well we should hope so.

The deer suffered a fatal heart attack from all the excitement. And what did James "Santa" Emery do, after he indirectly caused his precious deer's death?

He ate him.

Santa, you may be beloved around the world, but among the reindeer, you're a douche.

Original here

Top 15 Amazingly Fat Cats.

(Photo from’s Fat Pets gallery)

Why do we love fat cats? Duh! Because they’re so cuddly, cute and fat, of course!

Many fat cats have become Internet phenomenon - the web has seen several viral emails on this subject (including a famous fake one that purportedly show a monstrously large mutant cat found in an abandoned nuclear research facility, see below).

The fattest cat on record is Himmy, a tabby belonging to Thomas Vyse of Redlynch, Queensland, Australia. Himmy weighed 46 lb., 15.25 oz, and died in 1986 at 10 years of age. Fearing people will simply overfeed their cats to top the record, a fully justifiable reason, Guiness Book of Records stopped accepting applications for this record.

The average weights for adult male and female cats are 6.2 lb and 5.4 lb, respectively (with neutered cats ranging from 7 to 11 lb). So, why do these fat cats weigh so much? Sarah Hartwell explains it all here: Feline Medical Curiosities: Dwarf Cats, Giant Cats, Fat Cats.

OK, so what are you waiting for? Check out Neatorama’s top 15 list of "fat-tastic" fat cats:

15. Snowball the Giant Nuclear Mutant Cat.

Snowball gained Internet notoriety in 2001 when emails circulated around the world, saying that the 87-pound cat is a mutant cat found in abandoned nuclear research facility run by the Atomic Energy of Canada:

Rodger Degagne, a former employee with AECL in Chalk River, may be embarking on a new career as Feline Breeder. Relaxing in his spacious home on the shores of the Ottawa River, Mr. Degagne recalls how 15 years ago he befriended two stray young cats on the old AECL research facility at Chalk River. The kittens had appeared in late summer and apparently had gotten under a security fence around the old labs abandoned since the late 50’s. With the help of his tuna sandwich, Mr. Degagne was able to coax the kitties close enough so that he could pick them up. A self-described animal lover, he did not want to place the kittens in the local Humane Society. In this largely rural area, cats of all stripes and ages largely go unwanted and are humanely disposed of after a few days. …

"We knew that Snowball wasn’t your average cat when the neighbor’s German Shepherd ran yelping away from his first encounter with her. She just isn’t afraid of any animals. After we found a half eaten raccoon out by the garage, we decided that maybe Snowball should be kept fenced in. We soon discovered that while we can keep Snowball in the yard, we couldn’t keep raccoons from Snowball. At least it kept the food bills down!" Rodger laughed. "Like all female cats she is very territorial, but with us she is just a big ole kitten" he said.

The story turned out to be a hoax, perpetrated by Cordell Hauglie, who just wanted to make his daughter laugh by super-sizing their cat Jumper with Photoshop!

Since Snowball is a fake, he comes in at No. 15 of Neatorama’s Fat Cat List.

Link | See also: Tourist Guy with a Cat: a Hoax Within a Hoax.

14. Mischief, Britain’s Slimmer Pet of the Year.

Yes, fat cats are so fat that they’re not healthy. So, to acknowledge the importance of losing weight, coming at number 14 is Mischief, a cat from Stevenage, UK:

"Mischief couldn’t fit through the cat flap or even wash himself," Sharon Harding said of her six-year-old cat.

Mischief slimmed down to 14 lbs after losing about 11 lbs in 9 months. He won Britain’s Slimmer Pet of the Year award, and can now "move around a lot more than he used to".


Update 1/12/07: There’s a cat named Goliath who was caught stealing food when he got trapped in a doggie door! At 20.2 lb, Goliath would’ve been on this list here: Link

13. Riley, a 24-Lb. Maine Coon.

This fuzzy cat is a 2-year-old Maine Coon named Riley. According to his owner Martha, who is photographed holding him here, Riley weighed about 24 lbs (via Snopes).

12. Tiddles of Paddington Station.

One of the most famous fat cats was Tiddles, a 32-lb. cat who lived in the ladies’ bathroom at Paddington Station, London.

Tiddles was adopted in 1970 as a stray 6 week old kitten by lavatory attendant June Watson. He lived dined on chicken livers, lambs’ tongues, kidneys, rabbit or steak brought in by his admirers and had his own personal fridge. Tiddles continued to grow in girth and received fan-mail from around the world as well as appearing in news reports. His weight was due to overeating, but vets’ attempts to put him on a diet failed (largely thwarted by titbits from admirers). Tiddles easily became ‘London Fat Cat Champion’ in 1982 at 30 lb (13.6 kg). He was put to sleep in 1983 after vets found fluid round his lungs. Tiddles had essentially eaten himself to death - killed by kindness - and photos show a grotesquely overweight and sad-looking cat, immobilised by his own girth

Link (turn off your speaker, the web page has an annoying wailing siren - apparently, it’s a feature.)

5/5/06 Update: Original Link (Thanks Sarah!)

11. Xu Jirong’s Chinese Fat Cat.

Xu Jirong in Qingdao, China has a 9-year-old super fat cat pet that weighs in at 15 kg (33 lb.) and its waist measures around 77 cm (30 in). Xu’s cat likes meat, but doesn’t like to eat fish. The secret of its tubness? One steamed bread and half a bowl of chicken heart and some pork every day. Link

10. Leo, the World’s Longest Cat.

Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red, or simply "Leo" is Frieda Ireland’s pet cat. According to Guiness World Record, Leo is the world’s longest cat - he weighed 35 lb and measured 48 inches tall from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail and

Guinness compares Verismo Leonetti Reserve Red to the same size as an 8 year old child and his paw just fits into a size 2 child’s shoe. But if he were a human to Guinness’s scale, Leo would stretch over 8 feet tall and weigh 220 pounds.

Freida says “We have to keep our eye on him when we’re cooking, because he can stand up and put his paws on the kitchen counter.”

Link | Guiness World Record

9. Sassy aka "Munchkin".

The web named it "Munchkin the Monster Cat", but his real name is Sassy. Sassy burst into Internet famedom via viral email. Although some thought he was a clever Photoshop fakery, it turned out that Sassy was real:

Sassy was born in Virginia, and moved to Canada in 1991 with me. He was a kitten then and after we had him fixed he started getting fat. I never thought anything of it cause he slept so much. His visits to the Blair Animal Hospital did not find any problems with him and could not figure out why he was so fat. He was on diet food for about 8 years. In 1999 he was noted as being 15.9 kilos. in 2001 he was listed as 40 pounds and then lost 8 when he died. He did not eat an excess amount of food and did not eat table scraps. A bite or two of chicken or tuna was his favorite. I miss him very much and often find his picture posted on various web sites.

(via Museum of Hoaxes)

8. The Dwallibee’s Kailee.

The Dwallibees of Lino Lake, Minnesota, has a 5-year old cat "Kailee" who weighs 40 lbs or about the weight of a 4-year-old. The cat is named after former Minnesota Viking football player, Kailee Wong (who is, of course, a linebacker).

And they say he’s in good health: he’s got low cholesterol (they test cat cholesterol?) and OK blood sugar. Thank goodness the obesity hasn’t manifested itself in kitty diabetes. He gets tested for that every six months.


7. A Bulgarian Fat Cat?

A clip from (Bulgarian?) Guiness Rekord TV showed this surprisingly agile 40.8 lb cat. Sadly, I can’t find any more details on this fat cat.

6. Mikesch, a German Fat Cat.

Hailing from Germany is Mikesch, a black-and-white house cat who weighed about 41 lbs. His owner, an elderly man who had to move to a nursing home, fed him more than 4 pounds of minced meat every day!

Mikesch was taken away from his owner and was put on a strict diet by the Berlin animal shelter:

"You can call it cruelty to animals," said shelter veterinarian Karin Bartell, as the cat stared straight ahead with a bored look.

"It’s a problem for joints and the heart. The cat can’t clean itself because he is too fat. He walks three or four steps and is completely exhausted because the heart no longer works properly and the cat can’t breathe normally anymore."

The latest story is that Mikesch missed his owner (or his minced meat) so much that he is now on a hunger strike!

Sydney Morning Herald: Fat Cat Seized | MSNBC: Fat Cat Hunger Strike

5. Iggy, a Fat Cat from Missouri.

Joyce Kirk of St. Joseph, Missouri, said that her cat Iggy weighed 46 lbs, has a 33-inch waistline, and is larger than most toddlers.

As you may have guessed, Iggy’s favorite pastime is eating:

"He goes through 30 pounds of food every week," Kirk said.

"He’s a waddler. He’s not much for running, but he tries," Kirk said.

Despite Iggy’s girth, Joyce insists he is otherwise healthy and likes a whole lot of loving.

"The vet says he’s perfectly healthy in spite of his weight, and that he’s more active than a lot of skinny cats," Kirk said.


4. Katy, a Russian Fat Cat.

Katy, a 5-year-old cat from the Russian town of Asbest in the Ural mountains, weighs about 50 lbs. Owner Tamara Yapugova said that the cat, who weighs slightly more than the average 6-year-old boy, actually doesn’t eat all that much:

"She has a couple of fish in the morning and about 200 grams of meat in the evening. … We give her vitamins… and we don’t begrudge her milk mixed with sour cream. Dairy products are very good for her after all."

Katy has completely lost interest in sex - her only interest is food: she can eat a whole hotdog in under a minute. (via BBC)

3. Gippsland Big Cat?

In June 2005, deer hunter Kurt Engel shot and killed this large animal in the rugged terrain near the town of Sale, Victoria, Australia. Engel cut off its tail and dumped the body in a nearby river.

People thought that he had captured the famed "Gippsland Big Cat", believed to be mascot pumas released by US soldiers during World War II.

DNA testing, however, revealed that the creature was a very, very large feral cat (its body was estimated to be over 6 feet long - its tail alone measured 26 inches!).


2. Tubcat.

Tubcat, photographed here with its owner, became an Internet sensation in 2002 with its website (THE WWW FAN WEB PAGE FOR TUBCAT THE FATTEST KITTY EVA :D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), spawning just-as-famous fan created arts like Flying Tubcat. How much does Tubcat weigh? Who cares? Tubcat is tubtastic!

(AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, found at Flickr)

1. Lee Raymond, Big Oil Fat Cat.

And the fattest cat of them all is … Lee Raymond of ExxonMobile! Lee Raymond, the retiring CEO and Chairman of the world’s largest oil company got a retirement package worth $400 million, one of the most generous retirement packages ever.

Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes. (via ABC News)

That just so happened to work out to be $141,000 a day, nearly $6,000 an hour or $100 a minute.

In 2005, amidst rising gas prices at pumps across the world, Exxon made $36 billion, the biggest profit of any company in history. Meanwhile, Raymond, told Congress that gas prices were high because of global supply and demand, claiming that "We’re all in this together, everywhere in the world".

Lee Raymond’s gargantuan retirement package truly qualifies Raymond as Neatorama’s Fattest Fat Cat Ever!

Original here

Man receives new leg after drink at his local pub

But that’s what happened to David Huckvale, 42, who needed a £40,000 bionic leg to walk again.

The father-of-two popped down to his local pub on the same day surgeon Alistair Gibson, who specialises in fitting the computer-controlled limb, was there for a pint.

When the two happened to meet Mr Gibson mentioned he had a spare leg and could fit Mr Huckvale for free.

Mr Huckvale had his leg amputated when he was 29 after a benign tumour was removed.

Before the chance encounter, he had been limping around in a false leg, which didn’t fit properly and walked with the help of crutches and was sometimes in a wheelchair.

Mr Huckvale had read about the bionic leg available in the US and was saving for one – but had only managed to put away a fraction of the required £40,000.

He even bought a lottery ticket every week in the hope he might get a windfall.

Mr Huckvale told the Sunday Mirror: “I have been blessed by a miracle. I can now play in the garden with my two girls. Alistair has given me my life back.”

Mr Gibson said he was pleased to have been able to help.

Original here

Man sues Md. doctor, says butt stapled shut

By Luke Broadwater

BALTIMORE – A man alleging a Maryland doctor stapled his rectum shut during an operation — causing him to go without defecating for 17 days — took his federal lawsuit to trial Monday in Baltimore.

Ronald Watkins, 64, of West Virginia, is suing Manuel Casiano, a doctor in Frederick County, for allegedly botching a 2004 surgery that left Watkins with permanent bowel problems.

“The reason for suing Dr. Casiano is very simple: His rectum was stapled shut,” said Julia Lodowski, who with attorney Emily Malarkey is representing Watkins and his wife, Brenda.

Lodowski told jurors in U.S. District Court that Watkins now experiences “rectal discharge” and needs to wipe himself between 12 and 15 times a day.

He’s also had to have four “unnecessary surgeries” because of Casiano’s actions, Lodowski said.

The doctor’s attorney, Conrad Varner, said Watkins’ bowels merely became “swollen shut” because of medical problems — not because of stapling.

Varner said Watkins’ habitual smoking — two packs a day — contributed to his bowel problems, because nicotine constricts blood vessels.

Watkins underwent surgery Sept. 8, 2004, for a newly diagnosed rectal tumor, during which Casiano made the mistake, according to his lawsuit against the Foris Surgical Group.

Watkins then complained of increasing rectal pressure, and an inability to pass gas, his lawsuit states.

In a subsequent surgery, Casiano found that Watkins’ rectum was closed because of staples, according to the lawsuit.
“He couldn’t get past the staple line,” Lodowski told jurors.

“How else do we know that his rectum was stapled shut? Most importantly, Dr. Casiano said so.”

A graduate of New York School of Medicine who works at Frederick Memorial Hospital, Casiano has no record of any disciplinary actions, according to the Maryland Board of Physicians.

Watkins’ lawsuit does not seek a specific amount of damages.

The trial is expected to continue for four days.

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A Shadowy, Wet World of Squirt-Gun Assassins

Mikey FX (Michael Deane) hiding in the basement of his target’s apartment building in Washington Heights.


It was as though Michael Deane, a 32-year-old transplant from London, did not get the memo that crime is way down in Manhattan. He looked like something out of “Death Wish” as he drove slowly past his Riverside Drive apartment in broad daylight, his bloodshot eyes darting from pedestrians to parked cars to old people sitting on park benches.

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David Goldman for The New York Times

Mr. Deane staking out the building of an intended victim in the StreetWars tournament.

Near his building, a man washing windows with a bottle of Windex returned his stare, but Mr. Deane kept driving. Would getting sprayed with Windex kill him? Something to think about.

He had been sneaking around like a noir hero for two and a half weeks, finding new and shadowy exits to his regular places. He was tired from lack of sleep, and while it was early yet, he was looking forward to a stiff cocktail when he got upstairs.

But first he had to get there alive. He parked his car a couple of blocks away and started the treacherous walk, his only friend of late tucked under his black shirt, a curiously damp bulge.

His yellow-and-orange Uzi-style squirt gun.

Mr. Deane, a freelance audiovisual technician, was becoming a player to be reckoned with in this year’s StreetWars tournament. With only a few days left, he stood a fighting chance at being the last person standing, the $500 prize in one hand and his dripping gun in the other. But with the pool dwindling, his own would-be killer could not be far.

When StreetWars started on Sept. 7, each of the 250-plus contestants was handed a black envelope marked “Shadow Government,” with the name, home address, workplace, e-mail address, cellphone number and photograph of a player to kill by squirting. After each kill, the shooter acquires the dead rival’s target and begins stalking this new person, all the while looking over a shoulder for whoever is hunting him. It is permissible to shoot in self-defense.

“I told my doorman that if he sees anyone suspicious with a water pistol, then he’s not to let them in the building,” Mr. Deane said.

He shaved the beard he wore for the picture his pursuer is carrying. He is considering borrowing a wheelchair to use as part of a disguise. By Friday evening, he had logged four kills; he was one of 16 players left. “I’ve been walking around like a crazy person,” he said, “wondering when they’re going to get me.” His wife, who works promoting nightclubs, is very patient about the whole thing.

StreetWars was created in 2004 by Franz Aliquo, then a 28-year-old securities lawyer, as a cure for a boredom phase he was working through. Mr. Aliquo named himself Supreme Commander and, with a friend known as Mustache Commander and other helpers, has held several killing tournaments in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London and Paris. The game resembles the 1980s campus phenomenon Assassin, itself a reminder of the 1985 film “Gotcha!” starring Anthony Edwards and his paintball gun.

The contestants are mostly in their 20s or early 30s, from what could be called the kickball set; about 35 percent in the current war are women. “We had a 76-year-old grandmother in San Francisco,” said Mr. Aliquo, who lives in Long Island City, Queens, and now is the events director at, a Web site that distributes daily e-mailed lists of events in various cities. “She got two kills.”

This year’s New York battle began with combatants directed to arrive on a particular Chinatown street corner at midnight. Men with squirt guns led them in small groups to what the Supreme Commander described as “a real-live, working sweatshop” near Mulberry Street, where the Mustache Commander gave everyone an envelope and a shot of whiskey.

On Sunday, the game enters sudden death: however many are left hunt one another. A player can also win by killing the Supreme Commander, a legendarily elusive quarry.

Ezra Donellan, 22, who signed up as Agent Zeb, received a target on Staten Island, where he lives, and immediately turned to his computer for stalking assistance.

“I learn the most amazing things on the Internet without doing anything wrong at all,” he said. “No connections, no calling in favors.”

He and a teammate — up to five can play together — staked out the target’s apartment for an hour and a half on Sept. 8. They grew bored and thirsty, and drove to a nearby CVS for cold drinks.

“Randomly, he just pulls up,” Mr. Donellan said of his prey. What followed is best described as a low-speed chase.

“Up and down two highways on Staten Island, just going,” he recalled. “He thought he lost us and went back home. We beat him back to his house.” Mr. Donellan squirted the target as he parked his car.

The next target was a woman, and the hunting was a bit bumpier. “My partner and I were parked down her block, and we got rolled up on by undercover narcotics officers,” Mr. Donellan said. “They got out and shined their flashlights and asked us what we were doing. My partner said: ‘Just chilling. Well, actually, we’re stalking this girl.’ I just looked at him, like, ‘Really, man?’ And they were like, ‘What are you talking about?’ ”

The players explained — “We showed him our water guns, we showed him our IDs” — and the officers left. His partner shot the woman outside the Cargo Cafe bar on Staten Island on Sept. 13.

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Super Mario Cake