Monday, January 26, 2009

Last whale stranded in Australia dies

In this image provided by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, a pod of sperm AP – In this image provided by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, a pod of sperm whales are seen stranded …

HOBART, Australia – The last survivor among a group of 45 sperm whales that became stranded on a remote Australian sandbar died Sunday, ending a long and disappointing rescue effort.

The whales became stuck on a sandbar just off the island state of Tasmania's northwest coast on Thursday. Officials who rushed to the site to help survivors found only seven alive, and began pouring water over the semi-submerged mammals to keep them cool as they tried to devise a plan to free them.

But survivor numbers dwindled each day. The last one, which had hung on for more than three days but was hemmed in behind the bodies of others in the pod, died Sunday afternoon.

"We were aiming for a rescue but the longer the rescue took the more remote (the chances of a rescue) became, and the whale died," said Warwick Brennan, a spokesman for the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries.

Earlier Sunday, rescuers gave up hope of saving the last survivor.

"We are administering palliative care," said Chris Arthur, a spokesman for Tasmania's Parks and Wildlife Service.

The animals — the largest up to 60 feet (18 meters) long and weighing up to 22 U.S. tons (20 tons) each — were too heavy to lift free of the sandbar, Arthur said.

Ironically, the thick blubber that insulates the animals when they swim in deep Antarctic waters has posed one of the greatest dangers.

"The blubber, which is a real asset to them in the deep cold waters, just really makes them heat up quickly," Brennan told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio earlier Sunday.

Strandings happen periodically in Tasmania, where whales pass during their migration to and from Antarctic waters.

Scientists do not know why the creatures get stranded, but they suspect in this case that rough conditions in the narrow channel between the island and the mainland had churned up sediment in the water and confused the pod's sonar navigation.

Last November, 150 long-finned pilot whales died after beaching on a rocky coastline in Tasmania despite frantic efforts to save them. A week earlier, rescuers saved 11 pilot whales among a pod of 60 that had beached on the island state.

Sperm whales become stranded less often than other species because they spend most of their time in deep waters, away from the coastline. But scientists say ocean currents and feed stocks have brought them closer to shore.

Officials have said the carcasses would be left in place to rot or be eaten by scavengers.

Original here

5 Horrific Serial Killers (Who Are Free Right Now)

By Cezary Jan Strusiewicz

We're not here to scare you. All we're saying is that many of the world's most terrifying serial killers are in fact roaming free, and could be outside your door right now.

Due to some legal loopholes and a system that's surprisingly forgiving of mass murderers, some true monsters have been cranked out onto the street. So the next time you go shopping, you may want to keep an eye out for...

Nikolai Dzhumagaliev



Why You Don't Want to Meet Him:

Nikolai Dzhumagaliev is as close to a real life Hannibal Lecter as you can get. The main difference is that Dzhumagaliev has metal teeth.

Operating in 1980 in the former Soviet Union, Dzhumagaliev is one of the most prolific serial killer cannibals the country has ever seen. Affectionately called "Metal Fang" for the set of white, metal teeth which had replaced his own chompers (making himself a sort of hybrid between Lecter and Jaws from James Bond), Dzhumagaliev is said to have killed and eaten somewhere between 50 to 100 women... and even served a few portions to his unknowing friends.

"No, seriously, Nikolai, what is in this?"

No, we didn't make this guy up.

Why You Might Meet Him Anyway:

After being sentenced to a mental institution in Uzbekistan and escaping once, the government decided that less than 10 years of rehabilitation was enough for this serial killer and simply let him go.

"And you PROMISE you won't eat any more women?"

So Where Is He Now?

Very little is known of Dzhumagaliev's current whereabouts, though he is said to be living with his relatives in Eastern Europe. However, being a free man and all, he can travel anywhere he pleases. Perhaps a place where almost no one has heard of him. Like your town, for example.

It could be your neighbor.

Nikolai has always been described as a very charming and well-spoken man, and one not bad to look at to boot (which only helped him lure more women into his fridge). The Jaws teeth are, thankfully, a dead give away. But hey, he could totally blend in at a James Bond convention. Unless he keeps his mouth closed, in which case he could blend in anywhere at all. Your basement, for instance.

Karla Homolka



Why You Don't Want to Meet Her:

Let's say you're a woman. And let's say that prior to your wedding, your husband-to-be expresses his one wish: He wants to rape your sister. If your immediate reaction to help him do it, then you're probably Karla Homolka.


When the sister died during the course of their adventure in unspeakable horror, Karla panicked, called the police and gave herself up.

Oh, wait, no. She and her husband decided to do it again, to another victim. And another. Thus we wound up with the terrifying husband and wife serial killer team of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, whose rampage only ended when Karla was charged with two counts of manslaughter in 1993. She then held a "going away party" before going off to jail, possibly with an amusing cake decorated for the occasion.

Why You Might Meet Her Anyway:

As bad as Karla was, apparently her husband was worse. Despite a mountain of conflicting statements from Karla and Paul, she managed to get a plea bargain in exchange for rolling over on her man. She served 12 years in prison and was released in 2005.

So Where Is She Now?

In 2007, Homolka decided that the only place for her and her one-year-old son to live a normal life were the Antilles. So now, she can be anywhere in Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico. You might think that Latin America is not the perfect place for a skinny Canadian blonde to hide but... we don't know how to finish that sentence.

What a monster.

Either way, if while vacation you spot a MILF in her late 30s and want to make sure she is not your type (you know, the raping-killer type), then just remember that the courts have denied Homolka the change of her name. So a quick "Hey Karla" shout-out should clear everything up. If she turns around, that will be your cue to try to break the 500 meter dash record.

Juha Valjakkala



Why You Don't Want to Meet Him:

On July 3, 1998, a then 22-year-old Juha Valjakkala stole a bike. He was spotted and chased by the owners of the bike, Sten Nilsson and his 15-year-old son Fredrik. The chase ended at a nearby cemetery where, cornered and facing a bike theft charge, Juha used the Grand Theft Auto method of avoiding misdemeanors: He shot the father and son to death.

Suddenly realizing he had just made his situation quite a bit worse, he thought one way to redeem himself would be by killing Sten's wife, too.

He was arrested a week later.

"You don't really get crime, do you?"

Why You Might Meet Him Anyway:

After an evaluation labeled him a psychopath (money well spent, Finland!), Juha escaped from prison four times (most recently in 2006). The legal system over there decided this was a pretty good indication that he was both reformed and cured of his psychopathy, and after serving 19 years of his life sentence the Finnish courts simply paroled him.

So Where Is He Now?

After being released, Juha did what any man in his position would do after spending almost 20 years in jail for brutal murder: he stole a car, drove recklessly through the streets and in a surprisingly specific type of crime, drove an unlicensed taxi. Seriously, the man was living GTA.

Even Niko's taxi was licensed, for Christ's sake.

This little stunt caused him a trip back to the slammer. But if you were just starting to feel safer about your planned vacation in Scandinavia, then we have some bad news for you. Juha is being released once again on February 2nd (so he may be free now, depending on what day you read this).

And given his apparent passion for automobiles--unlicensed taxis in particular--God only knows when the next cab you take will be driven by him.

"So, new in town? Why don't I show you our magnificent Swedish cemeteries."

Pedro Lopez



Why You Don't Want to Meet Him:

Here's everything you need to know about South American serial killer Pedro Lopez: when he confessed his crimes to police, they refused to believe him. They listened to him tell his story, glanced at each other and said, "Oh, bullshit. Get outta here."

Then, a flash flood uncovered a grave containing Lopez's victims. A mass grave.

Lopez had killed over 300 girls in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Authorities put him in prison in Ecuador and then explored ways to attach the entire prison to a rocket and fire it into the sun.


Why You Might Meet Him Anyway:

It turns out Ecuador has no death penalty, so Pedro, who has served the maximum sentence of 20 years, was secretly released in Colombia in 1999. So he served about three weeks for each person he killed. That seems fair.

So Where Is He Now?

Two possibilities. He can be in Ecuador, the place where he killed the most victims (an average of three per week). In his own words: "I like the girls in Ecuador, they are more gentle and trusting, more innocent".


But, seeing as he is pursued by InterPol over a recent 2002 murder, there is one more possibility. A country where Latino immigrants have been making their way for years, a place where a such a man can basically disappear among his own people, and find employment. We're not going to come out and say that Pedro Lopez is hiding out in America, or that he could be doing work around your neighborhood at this very moment. But he totally might.

Issei Sagawa



Why You Don't Want to Meet Him:

Issei Sagawa was a student of avant garde literature at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris in the early 80s. In 198,1 he invited a Dutch student, Renee Hartevelt, into his apartment for a little "private poetry reading," if you catch our drift. And by that we mean he shot her and ate her body.

Why You Might Meet Him Anyway:

After the courts declared him insane (no surprise, as the actual details of what happened are far more gruesome than what we relayed up there), he was placed in a French asylum.

However, Sagawa's wealthy father arranged for him to be transferred into a Japanese institution, which, due to some paperwork trouble and lack of cooperation between Japan and France, Sagawa left after only 15 months. With a few pieces of Hartevelt still between his teeth, he became a free man.

So Where Is He Now?

Living in some isolated mansion deep in the woods which he leaves at various nights to feast on the local women? Not exactly. Sagawa is living a perfectly open and public life in jolly old Tokyo, enjoying the status of a celebrity.

He is often a guest speaker at various public events and talk shows, openly talking in graphic detail about his experience with eating a human. Surprisingly, he says it taste like tuna. He also has starred in movies, written two books (one basically a step-by-step re-enactment of his 1981 dinner) and even inspired the Rolling Stones's song, "Too Much Blood."

Now he gives TV interviews (as in the below NSFW clip) casually mentioning how he'd like to eat another girl some day.

Japan, you continue to top yourself.

Original here

Virgin: the world's best passenger complaint letter?

Here we reproduce a complaint letter sent to Sir Richard Branson, which is currently being emailed globally and is considered by many to be the world's funniest passenger complaint letter.

Starter, complaint letter, Virgin
'Look at this Richard. Just look at it'

Dear Mr Branson

REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at thehands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it: [see image 1, above].

I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in: [see image 2, above].

I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn't custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this: [see image 3, above].

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation: [see image 4, above].

It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on: [see image 5, above].

I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel: [see image 6, above].

Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.

My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations: [see image 7, above].

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.

So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.

Yours Sincererly


  • Paul Charles, Virgin’s Director of Corporate Communications, confirmed that Sir Richard Branson had telephoned the author of the letter and had thanked him for his “constructive if tongue-in-cheek” email. Mr Charles said that Virgin was sorry the passenger had not liked the in-flight meals which he said was “award-winning food which is very popular on our Indian routes.”
Original here

Looking for trash, workers find $100,000

MOUNT COMFORT, Ind. - Three state highway workers cleaning up litter picked up an abandoned tire — and found about $100,000 inside.

Indiana state police suspect the cash, in denominations of $5 to $100, may be drug money. State Police spokesman Mike Burns said a drug-sniffing dog found the scent of drugs on the bills.

Police said the workers found the tire Friday in a ditch along Interstate 70 just east of Indianapolis.

Police say the tire appeared to be from a large truck. It isn't clear how long it was in the ditch.

Detective Sgt. Keith O'Donnell commended the workers for their "honesty and professionalism" in contacting police.

Original here

Looking for trash, workers find $100,000

MOUNT COMFORT, Ind. - Three state highway workers cleaning up litter picked up an abandoned tire — and found about $100,000 inside.

Indiana state police suspect the cash, in denominations of $5 to $100, may be drug money. State Police spokesman Mike Burns said a drug-sniffing dog found the scent of drugs on the bills.

Police said the workers found the tire Friday in a ditch along Interstate 70 just east of Indianapolis.

Police say the tire appeared to be from a large truck. It isn't clear how long it was in the ditch.

Detective Sgt. Keith O'Donnell commended the workers for their "honesty and professionalism" in contacting police.

Original here

Escaping Cape Fear: 9 Ways To Not Let Fear Stop You

Cape Fear. It’s not only a physical place in North Carolina and a movie by Martin Scorsese, but it’s an imaginary place we create in our minds. It has treacherous waters on three sides and our biggest fears blocking our only route out.

On the other side of these fears is everything we desire; from our dream job to immense success to happiness. So how do we get to the other side? We need to escape!

Here are 9 ways to go about it and not let fear stop you.

1. Understand that fear is your greatest obstacle

Not the lack of knowledge, money, success, or the circumstances you’re facing can stop you from achieving what you desire like fear. Fear not only stops you, but it paralyzes you.

What’s great is that YOU create your fears, so YOU can beat them.

2. Laugh

If you can make fun of yourself and make others laugh during a nerve-racking experience, fear basically disappears. And if you think about it, laughter is more powerful than fear. It can change lives and bring people together.

3. Face fear directly

How do you achieve success?

You face the hard work and persistence it takes to get there.

How do you get over your past?

You face your memories.

So how do you overcome fear?

You’ve got to stare it right in the face and smell its stinky breath.

How do you stare fear in its face? There’s no clear cut way to do it. It varies so much because of different situations. But the most common instance when one needs to face fear is during a desperate moment. Moments when you’re either going to make it or break it. These times are often difficult to plan for.

However, you’ll know when you need to face fear right at eye level. It’s a personal experience and no one can tell you when and how to really do it.

4. Know that fear means you’re doing new things

If you want the same ol’, you do the same ol’. But if you want to change something in your life, you must try and do new things. Doing things you’ve never done in your life will produce fear.

So if you’re fearful, you might actually be on a good path.

5. Don’t tell others you’re scared

You might not completely agree with this, but don’t always tell other people that you’re scared or fearful of something. When you do, you give yourself permission to display your nervousness and fears, and you set yourself up to make mistakes.

There are plenty of ways to relieve your nerves and stress without you directly telling others. Stretching and deep breaths can help.

6. Compare the fear with your end result

When confronted with a fear take a few moments and compare the fear with the end result on the other side.

Is the time and energy you put into the fear worth destroying your dreams, goals, successes, and hard work you put in? I highly doubt it. Realizing this will push you to just go for it!

7. Acknowledge that fear exists for a reason

Not only does having fear mean that you’re human and not a robot, but fear is also one of those necessary obstacles that separates those who want something from those who have a burning desire for that same something.

If there was no fear every single person in this world would be hugely successful.

8. Think back

Think back to a time or times when you let fear get the best of you. What did you miss out on? What opportunities passed you by?

Don’t get frustrated with your past mistakes, but don’t allow fear to force you to repeat them.

9. Remind yourself that you’ve got one shot!

Life doesn’t last for very long. We need to remind ourselves of this all the time.

Original here