Saturday, September 25, 2010

Britain gets bigger....

Now Britain is the fattest country in Europe (and the fifth most overweight in the world)

Last updated at 12:31 AM on 25th September 2010
  • Americans are still top of global obesity table
Britons are the fattest people in Europe, with one of the world’s fastest obesity growth rates, according to a leading international think-tank.
The UK comes top out of 20 European Union nations, with almost one in four people so fat they could face an early grave. 
Levels of fatness in Scottish children are second worst in the world, behind the U.S., while children in England are eighth worst.
Overall, in a study of citizens of the 33 richest countries, the UK is fifth behind the U.S., Mexico, Chile and New Zealand.
Obese woman squeezing her flab
Unhealthy: Britain is the fattest country in Europe and the fifth most overweight of the world's 33 most-developed nations, according to a study
Developed nations are getting fatter, warns the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development which produced the report.
The Paris-based watchdog claims the growing costs of healthcare and wasted resources are making obesity a top priority for many governments.
Report author Franco Sassi, a former London School of Economics lecturer, puts the blame on modern lifestyles.
He said: ‘Food is much cheaper than in the past, in particular food that is not particularly healthy, and people are changing their lifestyles. They have less time to prepare meals and are eating out more in restaurants.
Worrynig trend: OECD graphic shows how dramatically weights have increased across the world, with England rising as fast as America
Worrying trend: OECD graphic shows how dramatically weights have increased across the world, with England rising as fast as America

‘There is a frightening increase in the epidemic. We’ve not reached the plateau yet.’
According to the report, the lifespan of an obese person is up to 10 years shorter than that of a normal-weight person – the same loss of lifespan incurred by smoking.

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NYC Taxi cab meters rigged...

Dozens of NYC taxi drivers accused of charging double fare

Passengers in New York City's yellow taxis have been cheated by thousands of drivers who manipulated their meters to double the fare rate, officials said.

A New York taxi
A New York taxi Photo: ALAMY
Fifty-nine of the worst alleged offenders were arrested on Wednesday, but officials said the criminal cases represented the tip of the iceberg, and that up to 22,000 drivers were believed to have deployed the fare trick before the city took steps to stop the practice in the spring.
Forty-five of the drivers arrested were charged with felony or scheming to defraud, while misdemeanour petty larceny cases have been lodged against another 14.
Six drivers reeled in more than $10,000 (£6,400) apiece by repeatedly bumping their meters up to a higher suburban rate when they actually were in the city, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.
One driver overcharged more than 5,100 times between November 2008 and June 2010, prosecutors said.
Unsuspecting passengers overpaid an average of about $5, officials said. But they said the overcharges added up to a sprawling scam among the cabs.
The investigation began after a passenger complained to the city about a fare that seemed to go up too fast last July.
The city Taxi & Limousine Commission concluded in May that almost 22,000 cabbies out of the city's roughly 48,000 yellow-cab drivers had improperly charged the double rate, which is supposed to apply only when taxis cross into suburban Westchester or Nassau counties. Passengers were overcharged 286,000 times, for a total of about $1.1 million, the TLC said.
The city's 13,000 taxis are now equipped with warning systems that alert passengers if the higher rate is being charged.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an advocacy group, criticised the criminal cases, derived from data collected through taxi technology that includes GPS systems.
Drivers said some seeming overcharges were actually honest mistakes. Taxi Commissioner David Yassky said in May that cabbies who overcharged once or twice would not be punished.

Friday, September 24, 2010

292,000 smokes in 100 years...

Pensioner who has smoked 292,000 cigarettes celebrates his 100th birthday

Last updated at 6:32 PM on 24th September 2010
A pensioner who has smoked almost 300,000 cigarettes during his lifetime has celebrated his 100th birthday.
Arthur Langran, who survived being blown up by a grenade during the Second World War, claims the secret behind his longevity is always doing what everyone tells him not to.
The father-of-two started smoking when he was 20 and has smoked at least ten cigarettes every day since then - the equivalent of 292,000.
Celebration: Arthur Langran toasted his 100th birthday by puffing on a cigar and enjoying a glass of whisky
Celebration: Arthur Langran toasted his 100th birthday by puffing on a cigar and enjoying a glass of whisky
The centenarian, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, also drinks a glass of single malt whisky every night before he goes to bed, another factor he credits for his long life.
That one glass though, added up, equates to 900 bottles of the spirit but Arthur claims he has no plans to change his ways.
Wartime: Arthur Langran was a sergeant in the Suffolk Regiment. He survived being blown up by a grenade during the Second World War
Wartime: Arthur Langran was a sergeant in the Suffolk Regiment. He survived being blown up by a grenade during the Second World War
'I always say the secret is doing things you're not told to do,' he said.
'I have been smoking since I was 20 and I still enjoy it - and a pipe.'
He celebrated his birthday with a drink at his local pub on September 8th.
Amazingly until he left the Army and discovered his birth certificate he had always believed he was born on September 6th.
His son Peter, 60, has admitted he's told his father, who was born an orphan, to continue his routine of smoking and drinking.
'These days he rolls himself five or six a day but used to smoke more and has his pipe once in the morning and once in the afternoon,' he said.
'The doctor has said it's not worth getting him to give up the cigarettes. 
'He's had a tough old life. He was an orphan, had a terrible time living and working in Canada and was blown up by a grenade in the war.'
Arthur returned to Britain in 1940 after being sent to Canada as an orphan and went on to join the Army during the Second World War.
The grenade blast during the war has left him with shrapnel under his skin which he still carries round with him today.

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No ID for 8 year old girl... No wine !!

Supermarket refuses to sell bottle of wine to father... because he has no ID for his eight-year-old daughter

Last updated at 2:56 PM on 24th September 2010

A father who went shopping with his daughter claims checkout staff refused to sell him a bottle of wine because he had no ID for the eight-year-old.
Navid Asadi, 28, says he was asked for identification as he arrived at the till with Leyla at the Tesco Express store in Leigh, Essex.
Despite explaining his daughter was only eight, he claims shop workers refused to sell him the alcohol and said the store later confirmed their decision was company policy.
Mr Asadi, who had popped into the shop to buy groceries, said: 'I just can't believe it.
'I totally understand if you are 18 and with a group of kids but my daughter is eight.
Navid Asadi was stunned when he was asked for little Leyla's identification by checkout staff at the Tesco Express store
A father who went shopping with his daughter in Leigh, Essex, claims checkout staff refused to sell him a bottle of wine because he had no ID for the eight-year-old
'I was buying potatoes, bananas, ham, regular shopping, and had a bottle of wine and they would not serve it to me.
'They didn't serve me so I left the whole shopping and walked out.'
Mr Asadi, from Hadleigh in Essex, added: 'I don't understand it. I was just standing there in shock. She is just eight.
'What did they want me to do? Let her stand outside on her own because I want to buy a bottle of wine?'
After leaving the shop he called the supermarket's headquarters.
'I even called Tesco head office and they said that this is the policy. It is madness,' he said.
A spokesman for the supermarket said: 'Tesco is unable to confirm this incident occurred.
'We are looking into it with the store as a matter of urgency.'
Angela Ives, 46, was refused two bottles of white wine at an Iceland store in Wickford, Essex, last year because she had her 17-year-old daughter with her.
In July, 67-year-old pensioner Christopher Page from Harlow, Essex, was refused a bottle of cider at his local One Stop Shop because he did not have acceptable ID - despite showing his bus pass.

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top prize one million dumplings-Russia

World Karaoke competition: top prize one million dumplings

The world's top karaoke singers have flown into Russia to battle it out for the world title in the emerging "sport" and the unusual top prize of one million Siberian dumplings.

Karaoke Wold Championships in in Moscow
Tami Marie of the United States performing 'Misery' at the Karaoke Wold Championships in in Moscow Photo: AP
Contestants from 28 countries, including the UK, have already started to belt out hit songs from the likes of Abba and Queen giving impassioned performances they hope will win the 2010 Karaoke World Championships.
Each country is represented by a male and female contestant and the competition, which started on Thursday, will culminate today (Saturday) when the jury makes its decisions.
However, this year's top prize of on million Siberian dumplings or "pelmeni" has raised eyebrows.
Natalia Pilyutina, a Russian estate agent who won the top female prize last year, suggested the winner donate the dumplings to poorer countries taking part in the contest.
Organisers said contestants were allowed to perform their songs in different languages but must be genuine amateurs.
Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, Madonna's Vogue and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You were favourites.

Gazelles borrow giraffes' eating habits

Gazelles borrow giraffes' eating habits

A pair of gazelles appear to have learned a trick or two from a group of giraffes which share their zoo enclosure.

Gazelles borrow giraffes' eating habits
Photographer Ben Trimbo, 34, captured the scene at Portland Zoo, in Oregon, United States. Photo: SOLENT
The pair stretch up on their hind legs to strip the last remaining leaves from a 20-feet tall tree which also provides sustenance to their taller cohabitants.
However, the two species are quite comfortable sharing, as the giraffes tend to concentrate on the much higher branches.
Photographer Ben Trimbo, 34, captured the scene at Portland Zoo, in Oregon, United States.
He said: "The gazelles shared the pen with giraffes who would eat leaves as well but at a much higher level.
"It was interesting to see how the animals lived in harmony with each other. They did not encroach on each other's food sources.
"The tree itself stood approximately 20 feet at its top and the animals were eating from it the entire time I was observing them.
"It was around noon so I guess they felt the need to eat lunch.
"They seemed very content and at ease as they calmly picked the leaves they thought looked the best to eat that day."

Back to the future.

Tony Blackburn to present Pick of the Pops

Veteran DJ to replace Dale Winton on Radio 2's Saturday afternoon retrospective chart rundown show
Tony Blackburn
I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here revived Tony Blackburn's career in 2002. Illustration: Graham Turner for the Guardian
Tony Blackburn is to take over from Dale Winton on BBC Radio 2's long-running Pick of the Pops, 43 years after he presented the first programme on BBC Radio 1.
Blackburn, who presents the weekend breakfast show on Smooth Radio, will join the Saturday afternoon retrospective chart rundown show on 6 November.
The DJ's career enjoyed a revival after he won ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here reality show in 2002.
Pick of the Pops was first broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in 1955 before switching to Radio 1 and then Radio 2. Previously fronted by Alan Freeman, Winton has presented the show since 2000.
Blackburn, who was the first DJ heard on Radio 1 when it began broadcasting in 1967, described Pick of the Pops as "one of radio's most iconic and famous shows".
Radio 2 head of programmes, Lewis Carnie, said: "I'm delighted to welcome Tony Blackburn to Radio 2 on a permanent basis. He is one of this country's legendary broadcasters and brings a wealth of knowledge of popular music spanning the years.
"I'd like to thank Dale for being such a tremendous host of Pick Of The Pops for the last decade, and I look forward to continuing our relationship with him on future Radio 2 projects."
Blackburn also presents a Sunday soul and Motown show on BBC London 94.9. Smooth Radio is owned by GMG Radio, part of Guardian Media Group, which also publishes

High heels are smoking....

Marijuana Comes With Online Shoe Order

Police Are Investigating After Woman's Order Includes Pot

POSTED: 7:18 pm CDT September 22, 2010
UPDATED: 7:26 am CDT September 23, 2010

Betty James ordered a pair of sneakers online for one of her children from Finish Line Inc.'s website.
She was stunned when she opened the box Tuesday and found marijuana wrapped in a cigar leaf, known as a blunt.
James said her immediate reaction was, "What?!"
The shoebox was shipped from a Finish Line store in Omaha. James contacted the company and has yet to hear back from management. She also called the Kansas City Police Department.
Officers came to James' home and tested the leaf. The tests showed it was indeed marijuana. The marijuana, the box and the shipping bag were taken by police into evidence. James kept the shoes.

woman fends off bear with zucchini

Montana woman fends off bear with zucchini

Posted: Sep 23, 2010 12:20 PM by Irina Cats (KPAX) 
Updated: Sep 23, 2010 12:41 PM

A Frenchtown woman successfully fended off a black bear who charged at her in the backyard of her home - and she did it with a zucchini.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Department says it happened Wednesday morning, just after midnight on Sorrell Springs Road.

The woman says she opened her back door to let her two dogs out and a short time later the dogs started going crazy.

The woman then opened the back door and saw a bear swiping at her dog and batting him around. 

She started to yell at the bear in an attempt to scare it away, but the bear then charged at her. The bear swiped at her with his paw, tore through her pant leg and scratched her on the leg.

The closest thing to her was about a 12 to 14-inch zucchini, so she grabbed it, hit the bear on the head and the bear took off. 

The woman is okay and so is the dog.

She doesn't want to go on camera or to have her personal information released to the public. 

The sheriff's department is working on getting us some pictures of the scene and possibly getting us a phone interview with the victim.