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    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    @TF, if you read carefully, you'll notice that the man who poured the cologne on the magician and set it on fire and the people who launched the black magic accusations are not the same people. This is also clarified in some posts of this forum thread.

    The show, Acercate a Los Astros, is an Astrology/Psychic/Numerology show. The host, Franklin Barazarte, is the producer. He personally burned Wayne. Franklin's wife, Adriana Azzi is the normal host, but she was out of town. The voodoo charges, and the suggestion that this was God's revenge, were made against the the show in general, and the Curiosidades team that were on the show (BJ Bueno, Wayne and Fran) in particular, by Domngo Bautista, host of the television program Super Revista.

    As far as I can tell, it is unclear why the TV host did what he did. But apparently some people in the Dominican Republic strongly believe in Voodoo. From the same forum thread :

    In Samana (same island...Dominican Republic) a few years ago, during holidays...

    The owner of an hotel and the local magician asked me to perform the Steve Fearson floating cigarette in his discotheque. I did

    Then, about 10 guys left their chairs, towards me. The owner told me not to move. The local magician had to explain to the group that it was THROUGH ME, thanks to my powers (I remember he used the formula "white great magician") that he could do his daily show on stage !!!!
    As a precaution !

    The following day, the owner told me that in fact, these clients wanted to ask me to "give" them the power to do the same thing with their own cigarettes...but as he also said...we never know.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    Dominican Republic is the other side of the island to Haiti, don't forget.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    Meanwhile, on the subject of black magic :

    Vampire fears boost garlic sales in Serbia
    Local mayor Miodrag Vujetic admitted: "People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened."

    He added that it was all very well for people who didn't live in the area to laugh at their fears but he said nobody in the region was in any doubt that vampires do exist.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    Also :

    Police in Hamburg investigating the death of a man who was found shot in the head in a tied-up sack floating in a river, suspect that rather than having been the victim of a Mafia hit, he killed himself.

    "We are 99.999 percent certain it was suicide," a Hamburg police spokeswoman told The Local.

    "There is no other explanation; no other motive and no other evidence."

    Detectives have worked out that there was enough of an opening in the sack between the cable ties for Sattler to get an arm out and shoot himself so that afterwards the gun would fall to the ground. He would have had to have done this while perched on the edge of a bridge or jetty to ensure falling into the water.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012

    Ach! Yes, the textual reference should have been 196,833. Although the snowflake in Planetary is a reference to the Monster group, a mathematical object that can be represented in a minimum of 196,882 dimensions.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012

    The Mafia story reminds me of the case in SoCal where a woman was found dead, naked, hanging from by the neck from a balcony, with her hands and feet bound but it was ruled a suicide.
  1.  (10875.7)
    Syria has vanished from the Internet. This cannot be good.
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012
    Oh shit. That ... that can't be good.
  2.  (10875.9)
    Plastic found on Mars

    It seems legit, but I can't help feeling like I'm being trolled.
  3.  (10875.10)
    Yep, it's a hoax. NASA web addresses end in .gov not .us - sad really, I got pretty excited for a moment there
      CommentAuthorPurple Wyrm
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2012 edited
    Damn, that's what happens when you spend all of five minutes fact checking (the pic of mardi gras beads really should have tipped me off... :)

    In other news, all flights into Syria cancelled

    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2012
    60 years of sex change ops
    News of a pioneering sex change operation, one of the first involving both surgery and hormone therapy, was announced in 1952 - exactly 60 years ago this weekend.
    "Ex-GI becomes blonde beauty!" screamed one headline as newspapers in the United States broke the news.
    A quiet boy from New York, George Jorgensen, shocked a nation by returning from a trip to Denmark transformed into the glamorous Christine.

    Sex changes in the UK:
    • 42 - Median age at time of operation
    • 11% - Rate of rise year on year
    • 80% of sex changes are male to female
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2012 edited
    Google is running some kind of bullshit scam on their home page, telling everyone to click through to "Tell the world's governments you support a free and open internet". Clicking leads you to a big world map with names and faces popping up randomly, and there's a counter at the bottom supposedly keeping track of everyone who supports a free internet (and how does Google know the name of everyone who's logging in, and what they look like?) Google claims the world's governments are secretly meeting this month to discuss censoring the internet (giving no details whatsoever), and that you need to 'add your voice' to keep this from happening.

    Except that every time you log into the page, the counter resets to about 714,000 and then starts rapidly counting upward. What's more, there's a propaganda video on a link at the bottom of the page, which is just a bunch of random strangers popping up to tell you they support a free and open internet.

    Anyone know what the fuck is going on?
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2012
    Apparently, this is about the WCIT-12 or World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012, which will be organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Dubai this december.

    Apart from Google, other people have expressed their concern : see here and here for example.

    Here's another petition backed by various international organisations.

    The Electronic Frontier foundation has been on the case since may.
  4.  (10875.15)
    So what's with the clearly fake world map of participants with its dodgy counter?
  5.  (10875.16)
    Since when has Warren been setting the Victorian high school curriculum, and why wasn't he doing so when I was in school?

    Serial killer assignment withdrawn from curriculum

    Make a children's book which teaches them about serial killers. Make sure you are aware of the audience it will be written for.
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2012
    @ Purple Wyrm

    This assignment was this year given to year nine students at Northern Bay College in Geelong.

    What age are "year nine students?" I'm assuming something like 14 or 15.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2012
    Year 9 is a little younger than that, 13 to 14.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2012
    Whiskey Restores Sight in Man Blinded by Vodka

    Denis Duthie was celebrating his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with drinks when his world suddenly went dark. As reported, following a four-hour drinking spree — involving vodka on ice and whiskey — at his home on New Zealand‘s North Island, the 65-year-old chef tutor discovered he had gone blind.

    Doctors suspected that Duthie was suffering from formaldehyde poisoning, which occurs when methanol — a common byproduct of home-brewed alcoholic beverages — metabolizes into formaldehyde, the Herald reported. In his case, they believed that the alcohol he had ingestedreacted with the five medications he was taking to manage his diabetes, reported. Treatment for this type of poisoning involves administering ethanol, which is commonly found in alcoholic beverages and prevents the formation of the harmful compound.

    There was just one problem: the hospital lacked enough ethanol to serve as an effective antidote. All hope was not lost for Duthie, though, thanks to the medical staff’s decision to improvise. They sent the hospital’s registrar to purchase a $55 bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey from a local liquor store, and Duthie received a whiskey drip to his stomach through a tube routed first through his nose, the Herald reported.

    Five days later, Duthie awoke in the intensive care unit with his sight restored, feeling “good as gold.” Although he lost 14 kg (almost 31 pounds) in the hospital, he told the Herald that he was impressed with the creative cure.

    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2012 edited
    More from Curiosity: First Samples Reveal Complex Soil Chemistry, But Not Organic.

    This Slashdot commenter has an angle on why the chemical (perchlorate) detected might be interesting. But, since this isn't even a new discovery for Mars (perchlorate had already been detected by Phoenix, and other findings by Spirit/Opportunity), if this is the "big news" we were teased with, somebody needs a slap.

    @wood - I have this image of the guy they sent out reaching for the Red Label, then deciding to spring for the Black.