Dec 15, 2006

Atleast 1 bin Laden is going to be shot really soon!

First of, I didn't know elephants kill, but apparently this happens once in a while. In October 1999, drunken elephants killed 4 people and flattened a village.

This week, the hunt if on for killer elephant named Laden in Eastern India. Laden is a serial killer, having trampled 14 people over the past 6 months! He has so far proved himself to be so elusive, that authorities have hired a bounty hunter to track him down. That bounty hunter is scouring the forest with his own contingency of 5 forest guards!

Rangers in India's Assam state have issued a shoot-on-sight order on a killer rogue elephant named after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Laden has trampled 14 people to death in the past six months in the north-eastern state, officials say. The order came after the rogue bull killed a woman on Wednesday. So far he has eluded hunters.

Humans and elephants have come into greater conflict in recent years as man encroaches on jungle territories. Assam's wildlife warden Chandan Bora said the order had been given to kill the rogue elephant within a week. But he said: "We've hired a licensed hunter to kill the rogue elephant but so far Laden is untraceable. "The hunter, accompanied by about five forest guards, is still in the jungles trying to hunt down Laden."

Laden was branded a "rogue" - a violent, isolated elephant - in the summer after the deaths reached double figures. He was given his name by villagers in Assam's eastern district of Sonitpur.
The encroachment of man on the elephant's natural habitats is bound to yield friction. It's a sad story...though quite amusing.

World's tallest man saves dolphins

That's interesting...Though the dolphins must have been really freaked out.
From the Daily Telegraph...
The dolphins at an aquarium in Fushun, Liaoning Province, had fallen sick after swallowing the plastic from the edge of their pool, and attempts to use surgical instruments to remove the plastic failed because of the contraction of the dolphins' stomachs in response to the instruments, the China Daily newspaper reported.

Veterinarians than decided to ask for help from Bao Xishun, a 2.36-metre-tall herdsman from Inner Mongolia.

The official Xinhua news agency said Bao, using his arm length of 1.06 metres, was able to reach deep enough into the dolphins to pull out the plastic.

Dec 14, 2006

Movie recommendation: Not One Less

I thought I'd step out of the usual scope of my posts and recommend a movie. Not one less is a Chinese movie directed by Zhang Yimou. You may know him from his recent movies, Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

It's about this rural Chinese substitute teacher, barely 13 years old, who is sent in to substitute at another rural village. The students aged between 4-8 come from really poor families. Since they're poor some of their classmates have already left school in order to work in the city to made ends meet. The teacher who she is substituting for, needs to attend to his sick mother,and he promises her an added sum of money if she can somehow keep the kids from abandoning.

The movie is simple, thought provoking, honest and it reflects how poor and impoverished certain parts of the world really are. It's the same tale in Pakistan, where poor children work rather than study. Though its a different story whether or not they can even afford the education.

What makes this movie seem a lot more genuine is the use of real people rather than actors. It was a really good foreign flick, and if you're into these types of films, I would highly recommend it!

Sony distributes this film in the US and they have a pretty helpful promotional page on it.

My rating: 8/10

Ban on Indian movies in Pakistan is pointless

Pakistan has banned Indian movies in theaters for 30 years now. This ridiculous law, however, has not stymied the popularity of films and shows from across the border. Indian soaps, movies, and game shows are quite routinely copied. Though its not all one way traffic, as I recall my friends mentioning that Pakistani dramas were quite popular back in India too.

The piracy industry in that part of the world has been thriving ever since somebody figured out how to burn a cd-rom. Naturally there are no figures to support this claim, but I am sure there is plenty of financial loss to the filmmakers. This article in Asia Media talks about efforts being made to lift the ban.
The Pakistani Film Exhibitors Association has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court asking for permission to import and screen Indian films in movie theatres, with amicus curiae Qazi Faez Isa arguing the ban was irrational and resulted in closing down of about 925 cinemas over the years and bringing down the number and quality of feature films produced in Pakistan.

India has no such ban on the import of Pakistani films according to the lawyers. They argued that Indian films in theatres would increase revenue and attract more viewers.

What's interesting is the ban was initially sought out for 5 years in 1961. The aim was to actually improve the Pakistani film industry. How stupid is that?

It seems to me that the only thing that can improve the quality of films is competition. If Indian films are better, then so be it. Banning them isn't going help the local industry. The ban should be lifted. It doesn't make sense.

Though could they perhaps place restrictions on the length of these movies!? 3 hours! I can't stand how long desi films are...

Dec 12, 2006

Stewie Griffin's 'Sexy Party' music video

Stewie Griffin : Sexy Party
This is hilarious!

Dec 10, 2006

Indian survey reveals condoms too big

This story must have been the most emailed article of the week. It was forwarded to me by pretty much everyone!
A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men.

The study found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms.
I noticed that a bunch of amused Pakistani bloggers had it up on their sites too. Funny part is, if the survey were to be held in Pakistan, I'm sure the results would have been similar. After all, we're the same race right.

Either that, or they already ship smaller sized condoms to us!

Dec 7, 2006

What a tragedy: Father dies trying to save family

Most of us in the US have heard about it on the news and have followed the search for the family that went missing while returning home after Thanksgiving. The story eventually unfolded today and its so sad. After being stranded and waiting for a week, James Kim, the dad, felt he had no choice but to go and find help. He eventually trekked 10.24 miles where he collapsed and died of hypothermia. The rest of this report is here. Fortunately, his young family was found alive. If only he had waited a little bit longer...But its completely understandable. He had no choice. He had a 7 month old baby and 4 year old daughter with no food and with the weather bound to get worse. Such a tragedy, and what a brave man....

Dec 4, 2006

E. Coli outbreak at one of my regular eateries

Lucky break for me. This was awfully close to home. An E. Coli outbreak is suspected at the South Plainfield Taco Bell, which I frequent since its the closest one to my residence. It's also a drive through and since my car has died, I haven't gotten to it in the past few weeks. But this was a close shave. This is more of a reminder that I should focus on eating healthy and at home now...

An E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people _ two of them seriously _ was linked by health investigators Monday to three Taco Bell restaurants in New Jersey. Investigators also were examining whether an outbreak on Long Island was connected to the fast-food chain.

All but two of the people who fell ill in New Jersey had eaten at one of the fast-food restaurants between Nov. 17 and Nov. 28, authorities said. But exactly what food contained the bacteria was still unclear.

"We have to find the food they all had in common," said David Papi, director of health for Middlesex County.

All but four of the victims are under 18, authorities said.

Five of the New Jersey victims were in the hospital Monday, including two in serious or critical condition with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can permanently damage the kidneys, officials said.

Twenty of those infected, including two restaurant employees who tested positive for E. coli but did not get sick, ate at a Taco Bell in South Plainfield; another ate at a Taco Bell in Edison; and one ate at a Taco Bell in Franklin Township, authorities said.

In Long Island, an E. coli outbreak sickened at least 14 people, including 10 who ate at Taco Bell. Four restaurants were closed as a precaution in Suffolk County, and Nassau County officials asked that four additional restaurants be closed, health officials said.

Taco Bell Corp., based in Irvine, Calif., had no immediate comment Monday.

The fast food chain closed its South Plainfield restaurant last week when it first appeared that the infection might have come from there. It was not until Monday that suspicion fell on two more Taco Bells.

Company spokesman Rob Poetsch said in a statement over the weekend that employees are required to adhere to strict food-handling rules.

"We have taken every precaution, including temporarily closing the restaurant until the investigation is completed, as nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our customers and employees," Poetsch said.

E. coli, or Escherichia coli, is a common and ordinarily harmless bacteria the feces of humans and livestock, but certain strains can cause abdominal cramps, fever, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, blindness, paralysis, even death.

Most E. coli infections are associated with undercooked meat. The bacteria also can be found on sprouts or leafy vegetables such as spinach. Earlier this year, three people died and more than 200 fell ill from an outbreak that was traced to packaged spinach grown in California. The bacteria also can be passed from person to person if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dangerous E. coli strain 0157:H7 infects about 73,000 Americans a year and kills 61.

Symptoms usually show up three to four days after a person eats contaminated food, although in some cases it can be as long as eight days, said Stephanie Brown, an epidemiologist for Middlesex County.

"If they are having symptoms, then the most important thing they need to do is contact their health care provider," Brown said.

Dec 3, 2006

Germany: Hitler saluting Santa removed from shelves

'Tis the season to be jolly....

Well this is an interesting story. From the looks of it, Santa is not really saluting anyone. It just seems like he is pointing to the sky. Well - doesn't matter. The complaints seem to be going a bit overboard but I suppose it is sensible that they removed the item from shelves. Probably better that way.

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German chain of shops has removed miniature wooden Santa Claus figures from its shelves and destroyed them after customers complained it looked like they were giving the stiff-armed Hitler salute that is outlawed.

Josef Lange, a spokesman for the Rossmann chain that has 1,200 outlets, told Reuters Friday the figures depicting Father Christmas with his right arm stiffly upright toward the sky and holding a sack in his left hand upset some customers.

"We were astonished by the reaction," Lange said. "It looks like he's just pointing up to the sky and we were surprised that anyone saw the so-called 'Hitler salute' in that. But we responded and had the entire inventory removed and destroyed."