Category: News


Walmart Burglars

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Police in Arizona say two Walmart employees burglarized the store where they worked to pay for a car and a sex change operation.

Police arrested 23-year-old Spencer Danger Cullen and 19-year-old Adriano Valdes Altiveros III on Friday.

Reinhardt says Altiveros reportedly told detectives he stole cash to buy a car. He says Cullen told police she stole the money to go forward with a sex change operation.

Cullen and Altiveros remain in custody. The Yavapai County public defender‘s office would not say Wednesday whether the pair had been appointed attorneys.

Bear Drives Car

A family vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Calif., awoke to the sound of their car horn only to find a bear trapped inside their Toyota Prius.

The bear, reportedly stuck inside the car, began thrashing in an attempt to free itself and moved the gear shift from park to neutral, the Contra Costa Times reports.

The family seemed to sympathize with the large animal, though.

“By the time he got that car in gear he was desperate,” Cece McCarthy told KABC-TV.

“He was probably thinking, “Why can’t I get out of here? What’s happening?'” Brian McCarthy said to Denver’s NBC 9.

The car rolled down the driveway and crashed into some boulders in a neighbor’s lawn, causing some damage to the exterior.

But damage to the interior was far worse.

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The bear had ripped out the back seats, clawed through the fabric and destroyed the paneling, NBC 9 reports.

The animal managed to free itself and ran away, but the police were surprised by the call.

“Normally, you’ll get reports of the Dumpster divers and trash divers, but bears breaking into cars is different,” Lt. Stevenson of the South Lake Tahoe department, told the New York Daily News.

The owners claim there was not any food in the vehicle.

Apparently bears have a knack for getting into Toyotas.

brown bear in Colorado reportedly broke into a Corolla last summer and also got stuck.

The car rolled downhill before hitting some trees, according to Denver’s ABC 7 News. The car’s owner said he thought the bear might have been attracted to a sandwich that was left in the car.

Guinness World Records

A 32-year-old woman is attempting to become the heaviest woman ever, but her nearest competitor, a woman who holds the record of “World’s Fattest Mom,” is having a hard time letting go of her heavyweight claim to fame, even as she says she’sgoing on a diet.

Susanne Eman, a 728-pound woman in Casa Grande, Ariz., is attempting to get into Guinness World Records as the “World’s Heaviest Woman,” and hopes to reach her goal by the time she’s 41. The 2012 edition of the book will be released later this month.

The last woman to hold the title, 1,200-pound Rosalie Bradford, died in 2006.

“The category is currently open,” a Guinness representative told HuffPost Weird News. “We’ve got several claims that we’re researching, and we may have a new title holder very soon.”

Eman has told reporters that she wants to shatter the record by packing on 1,600 pounds. Her ultimate goal: weighing in at one ton.

One of Eman’s high profile rivals, Donna Simpson, of Akron, Ohio, holds the Guinness record for heaviest woman ever to bear children. She won the title by weighing a whopping 532 pounds when she gave birth to her daughter, Jacqueline, in February 2007 — an event that required 30 doctors.

Simpson just announced to the world via HuffPost Weird News that she’s decided to go on a diet, but she’s having a hard time letting go of the “prestige” that goes along with the honor of being America‘s heaviest woman — and said she views Eman as an upstart trying to usurp her hard-earned

“She’s Lady Goo Goo to my Lady Gaga,” Simpson laughed, adding that no one in the “feeder” community — a subculture of men who love large women — knows who Eman is.

“If she was a serious gainer, the community would know about her,” Simpson said.

Simpson said she suspects that Eman is in cahoots with her ex-manager and is trying to get publicity in order to compete for her fan base. Even worse: She accuses Eman of trying to take away her “World’s Fattest Mom” title.

“She says she’s surpassed me as the world’s fattest mom, but she doesn’t understand that Guinness gave me the record because I was 532 pounds when I gave birth,” Simpson said. “She wasn’t that large when she gave birth to her kids.”


Simpson also feels Eman is irresponsible for having her teenage kids feed her, as opposed to the adult “feeder/gainer” relationship she had with her former fiance, Philippe Gouamba, with whom she broke up a few weeks ago.

Eman is chowing down on nearly 22,000 calories daily, including six eggs scrambled in butter, a half-pound of bacon, four potatoes, six pieces of buttered toast and a 32-ounce shake — and that’s just for breakfast.

Eman is under an exclusive contract to Barcroft Media, a British-based news agency, and was unavailable to be interviewed. However, a source close to her camp considers Simpson’s comments to be “a load of crap” designed to make Simpson money and get her a reality show.

The source added that while there is a push among the media to get the two into a cat fight, Eman prefers to stay focused on her own career, including a potential appearance on “Dr. Oz,” where she will prove she’s healthy by submitting to a physical.


Customs officers in San Diego seized more than a ton of pot -- 2,330 pounds, to be exact -- that was mixed in with a shipment of hot sauce coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

Border patrol agents discovered some hot and spicy contraband last Friday when they came across a tractor trailer filled with hot sauce and marijuana, reports CBS Los Angeles.

The weed, valued at $1.4 million, was discovered at the Otay Mesa cargo facility near San Diego, according to KTLA.

Suspecting that something was amiss, custom officials ran the vehicle through the port’s x-ray system and found “inconsistencies in the cargo,” notes Fox News. After unloading the entire shipment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 2,330 pounds of pot hidden amongst hot sauce bottles — a little over one ton of the drug.

Smuggling marijuana with hot sauce sounds like a stoner’s dream (just add a burrito and that’s a pretty good Friday evening), but it doesn’t even come close to some of the weirdest ways to traffic drugs across the border. The List Cafe discusses 10 “creative” ways to smuggle narcotics; real life examples include hiding cocaine under your foreskin and in the stomachs of live boa constrictors. Another listicle from Top10Kid.com features sad examples of surgically implanted drugs in puppies and people, as well as “heroin-covered cocaine.” Read these cautionary tales and alternate between marveling at drug traffickers‘ daring and stupidity.

Who says killers can’t be stylish?

Anders Behring Breivik, the gunman who killed 77 people after a shooting rampage at a youth camp and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, insists on wearing Lacoste sweaters on his trips out of prison. And Lacoste is not happy about it.

The Telegraph reported that the French company has called Breivik’s love of Lacoste a PR “nightmare” and according to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Lacoste execs have written to Oslo police demanding the terrorist be stopped from wearing their clothes.

Breivik has donned a bright red sweater with the signature alligator logo while driving in and out of prison. But according to Dagbladet, he also wore a black sweater by Lacoste in a photograph he used for his manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” (which can be read in full online) and has said that wearing the luxury brand “makes it possible to act as an educated European of the conservative character.”

Needless to say, Lacoste would like to get the confessed terrorist out of its preppy styles.

An Oslo police spokesperson told the Telegraph, “The company feels that such a man sporting their clothes could do considerable harm to their reputation.”

But it may be pointless, writes DagbladetThe newspaper interviewed a local marketing professorwho said that Lacoste is overreacting and thus making the PR worse.

“I do not think there’s much else they can do now than to continue to work to make Lacoste to the strong brand it is,” he said. “If they are asked they should strongly condemn what happened, but otherwise there is nothing they can do with this.”

It remains to be seen whether Lacoste will actually succeed at ripping the fuzzy red sweater from Breivik’s hands.

 

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San Diego utility says power restored to all customers after blackout

[Updated at 8:02 a.m ET] San Diego Gas and Electric Company says it has restored power to all 1.4 million customers in its service area affected by  a massive power outage that began Thursday afternoon.

[Updated at 6:56 a.m. ET] By early Friday morning, power had been restored to 710,000 consumers in San Diego County, the utility said. Power was back on late Thursday for consumers in Arizona and California’s Orange and Imperial counties.

Millions, though, were still without power.

[Posted at 5:42 a.m. ET] The California ISO, the state’s power grid operator, says nearly 5 million people in San Diego, Orange and Imperial counties may have been affected by the power outage.

The number is an estimate of the average number of people living in households in the region that were without power at the height of the blackout.

The total includes San Diego Gas & Electric’s estimated 1.4 million customers, or 3.5 million people, who were without power at the height of the outage.

About 20,000 consumers, or  60,000 people, in Orange County and another 150,000 consumers, or 450,000 people, in Imperial County were without power.

The total does not include those in Arizona or Mexico who were without power.

 

Brett Cummins

 

Arkansas police are investigating the death of a man found naked in a hot tub next to a sleeping TV weatherman.

A friend woke meteorologist Brett Cummins, of Little Rock station KARK, on Labor Day. He found the forecaster snoring in the empty whirlpool next to a nude man with a dog collar around his neck, The Arkansas Democrat & Gazette reported.

The 36-year-old resident who made the grisly discovery, Christopher Barbour, allegedly told police that the victim, 24-year-old Dexter Williams, was blue in the face and lying near Cummins’ shoulder,ArkansasNews.com reported.

Barbour says the two men were in his home the night before, drinking and snorting drugs. Police haven’t determined the cause of death, but a detective allegedly found a ring of blood in the bottom of the empty tub, ArkansasNews.com said.

Police are waiting for autopsy results and don’t consider Cummins a suspect, radio station KUARsaid.

KARK announced on Tuesday that Cumminswouldn’t be on the air because he’s “mourning the loss of a friend.”

VIDEO: BRETT CUMMINS

Notre Dame Ufo 3

As thousands of Notre Dame football fans watched the Fighting Irish battling it out with the University of South Florida on Sept. 3, a fierce lightning storm approached the Indiana stadium, leading the crowd to evacuate. And while the game was in delay mode, many people caught sight of several unidentified flying objects darting around the lightning bolts in the sky.

Video captured bright orb-like objects as well as tube-shaped elongated ones circling in the sky above.

UFO aficionados have questions. Were the objects merely part of the storm as debris flying about in the wind? Balloons or birds caught in the ongoing turbulence and seen on video? Or were they alien gridiron fans looking to watch a big game from above while refueling their planet-hopping propulsion systems?

“Since it was at a stadium, it would be astonishing if there weren’t 20 videotapes of it,” said NBC News space consultant and UFO skeptic James Oberg. “In a case like this, you start out looking for other images and go from there.”

Oberg, a former NASA rocket scientist and author of numerous books, including “Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside the U.S.-Russian Space Alliance,” says there’s enough teasing behind UFO reports in general, “and I wish we could filter out the good stuff, but so far we haven’t.”

Another doubting eye on the Notre Dame reports comes from Robert Sheaffer, a longtime skeptical investigator of UFO claims.

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how far the object is from the camera,” Sheaffer said. “You can clearly see the raindrops coming down, illuminated by the stadium lights. When the object’s apparent motion is fastest, it looks very much like the so-called ‘Roswell Rods‘ that Jose Escamilla has been promoting.

“The angular motion of the object is too fast for the video to capture it clearly. The frames are too slow, and so the object blurs and stretches out into a rod,” added Sheaffer, author of the new book “Psychic Vibrations: Skeptical Giggles From The Skeptical Inquirer.”

Oberg said the proliferation of digital cameras should make the identification process of UFOs easier these days.

“In a lightning storm, there’s always interesting, if bizarre, lightning phenomena, and you wish you had better documentation and multiple cameras and an ability to establish what particular origin that this kind of light would have,” he said. “With so many cameras out there now, it’s getting harder and harder to make excuses for the absence of corroborative photographs.”

WATCH THE NOTRE DAME UFO VIDEO:


Oberg’s skeptical colleague, Sheaffer, agrees that the evidence from Notre Dame is currently too scant to suggest extraterrestrial influence.

“I think that the [Notre Dame] object is a bit farther away than that. It could easily be a piece of wind-borne debris, maybe cardboard, spun around by the severe winds of the thunderstorm. It could also be a bird, frantically trying to make its way to safety,” he said. “Without distance information, we can’t say for sure what it is. There’s no reason to think that it represents any kind of alien activity.”

What do you think? Was this an ET visitation, storm-driven debris or insects flying very close to the camera? Send us a comment below.

By the way, USF beat Notre Dame, 23-20 — in case you’re keeping score.

A new study suggests smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight in middle age may cause brain shrinkage and lead to cognitive problems up to a decade later. The study is published in the August 2, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“These factors appeared to cause the brain to lose volume, to develop lesions secondary to presumed vascular injury, and also appeared to affect its ability to plan and make decisions as quickly as 10 years later. A different pattern of association was observed for each of the factors,” said study author Charles DeCarli, MD, with the University of California at Davis in Sacramento and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our findings provide evidence that identifying these risk factors early in people of middle age could be useful in screening people for at-risk dementia and encouraging people to make changes to their lifestyle before it’s too late.”

The study involved 1,352 people without dementia from the Framingham Offspring Study with an average age of 54.

Participants had body mass and waist circumference measures taken and were given blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes tests. They also underwent brain MRI scans over the span of a decade, the first starting about seven years after the initial risk factor exam. Participants with stroke and dementia at baseline were excluded, and between the first and last MRI exams, 19 people had a stroke and two developed dementia.

The study found that people with  developed white matter hyperintensities, or small areas of vascular brain damage, at a faster rate than those with normal  readings and had a more rapid worsening of scores on tests of executive function, or planning and decision making, corresponding to five and eight years of chronological aging respectively.

People with diabetes in middle age lost brain volume in the hippocampus (measured indirectly using a surrogate marker) at a faster rate than those without. Smokers lost brain volume overall and in the hippocampus at a faster rate than nonsmokers and were also more likely to have a rapid increase in white matter hyperintensities.

People who were obese at  were more likely to be in the top 25 percent of those with the faster rate of decline in scores on tests of executive function, DeCarli said. People with a high waist-to-hip ratio were more likely to be in the top 25 percent of those with faster decrease in their  volume.

A) A schematic cross-section of a mouse brain showing the distribution of CRHR1 gene activity and the associated neurotransmitter specificity. B) A glutamatergic neuron of the hippocampus. Credit: MPI of PsychiatryControl of fear in the brain decoded

 

 

 

 

When healthy people are faced with threatening situations, they react with a suitable behavioural response and do not descend into a state of either panic or indifference, as is the case, for example, with patients who suffer from anxiety. With the help of genetic studies on mice, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry have discovered two opposing neuronal regulatory circuits for the generation and elimination of fear. Both are controlled by the stress-inducing messenger substance corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and its type 1 receptor (CRHR1). The availability of these factors in neurons that release glutamate in brain areas of the limbic system activates a neuronal network which causes anxiety behaviour. Conversely, in dopamine-releasing neurons in the mid-brain, these factors give rise to behaviour that reduces fear. Because disorders of the stress factors may be observed in many patients with affective illnesses, the scientists suspect that the pathological alteration of the CRHR1-dependent regulatory circuits may be at the root of such emotional maladies.

An organism’s response to stress is one of the key strategies essential to its survival in dealing with environmental factors. A balanced  is of particular importance here and is subject to a highly complex molecular regulation system. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is released in the brain and places the organism in a state of alert, is a central molecular factor of the. In addition to its effect as a hormonal messenger substance, it also controls the activity of neurons through binding to its receptors.

Many patients with  and depression display an altered hormonal stress response and have increased volumes of CRH in the brain. To investigate the underlying pathological processes, the research team working with Jan Deussing at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry carried out studies on the system. This enabled them to selectively deactivate an important factor, for example the CRH type 1 receptor, in certain cells, and thus establish the locations where the receptor is normally active and identify its function.

Using immunohistochemical methods and a series of transgenic mouse lines, the researchers succeeded in mapping the gene activity of the type 1 CRH receptor in the mouse brain in detail for the first time. Interestingly, a specific activity pattern emerged in different neuron groups which release different neuronal messenger substances. In regions of the forebrain (cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, septum), CRHR1 is detectable in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. As the , these regions are linked and, as the current study shows, trigger fear-inducing behaviour in glutamatergic neurons.

In regions of the midbrain (substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area), CRHR1 arises in dopamine-releasing neurons. The functional examination of the mice gave rise to the fairly sensational discovery that the stress hormone CRH actually reduces fear through its receptors in this part of the brain. These neurons demonstrably trigger the direct release of dopamine in regions of the forebrain and hence cause behaviour that overcomes fear.

The opposing effects of the fear-generating and fear-eliminating effect of the CRH/CRHR1 was demonstrated for the first time by this study and prompted the re-evaluation of the use of CRH-receptor antagonists as anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs. The authors speculate that the over-activity of the CRH system in patients with mood disorders is not general but probably limited to certain regulatory circuits in the brain, thus causing imbalanced emotional behaviour. “The use of CRH-receptor 1 antagonists could be particularly useful in patients in who one of these systems is out of sync,” says research group leader Jan Deussing.

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