Ten April Fool’s pranks of 2009
December 9, 2017

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

What was your favourite April Fool’s gag? Submit the best you heard of.
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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police.

Hotels.com ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

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Build Your Home With Interior Design In Mind



If youre building a home, chances are your vision is not limited to the architecture. Your imagination has probably filled every room in the house with some idea of how you want it to look the colors, the textures and the overall design elements. Whats harder though is bringing your imagination to life, which is exactly what a qualified interior designer can help you do.

Manhattan interior designer Mark Polo has 30 years of experience helping his clients realize the home of their dreams. In fact, this award-winning New York interior designer is one of the regions most sought after personal and professional New York interior design consultants, and he has the interior design gallery to prove it. The same is also true of his work as a New Jersey interior designer. In fact, Polos interior design services are available to homeowners all over the country.

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However, as Polo points out, you need not wait until your house is built to bring an interior designer on to the project. In fact, you will be far better served to bring one in at the very beginning.

An interior designer can work with your architect and your builder as a third pair of eyes to ensure that the function and beauty of your new home are seamlessly blended together.

Knowledgeable of feng shui, the Chinese art of placement, Polo can make sure that all of the elements planned for the architecture of your home promote good chi, or energy flow through your home. These are principles that have been practiced in China for thousands of years for a reason; they work. In building a brand new home, you have a tremendous opportunity to create the ultimate feng shui-friendly space.

Plus, if you were to wait until after your home is built to consult with an interior designer, it may be harder and more expensive to incorporate new design elements than if you had included it as part of the initial building phase of the project.

Whether its a water fountain, terrarium, fireplace, shelving, ceiling fans, kitchen island or any other design element you want, its most time- and cost-effective to include them in the blueprints from the very beginning. However, the last thing you want is your builder to incorporate these elements in places where an interior designer knowledgeable of feng shui practices and other design principles would know better.

If youre building a home, or simply looking to redesign the one you have, request your appointment with Mark Polo today.

Whats the point of having a room in your home that doesnt get used for anything more than a showcase for trophies or other precious belongings that no one is allowed to touch? You home should feel inviting and lived in, and no room should be an exception. There are plenty of creative ways to display your personal treasures without sacrificing the freedom to enjoy every square foot of your home.

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Oil spill hits Australia’s Sunshine coastline
December 8, 2017

Sunday, March 15, 2009

200,000 litres of oil leaked into waters off the coast of Brisbane from the Pacific Adventurer when their fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday. The figure is about ten times higher than the original estimate of twenty thousand litres of oil. The devastating diesel oil spill has spread along 60 kilometres (37 miles) of the Queensland coast. In addition, 31 containers with 620 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser flew overboard during the violent storm.

Questions are being asked why the Hong Kong cargo ship was out in seas with nine meter waves caused by Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, as well as why the fertiliser containers were not properly secured. One of the overboard containers ruptured the hull of the Pacific Adventurer, causing between 30 to 100 tonnes of oil to spew from the severely damaged ship.

If the ammonium nitrate mixes with the heavy oil, an explosion could occur. None of the containers have been recovered. Some of these may float, but it is believed that they may have sunk which then may cause algal blooms.

Disaster zones have been declared at Bribie and Moreton Islands, and along the Sunshine coast.

The vessel’s owner, Swire Shipping, reported that a second leak began on Friday, when the ship began listing after docking at Hamilton for repairs. “As full soundings of the vessel’s tanks were being taken at the port to determine how much oil had leaked from the vessel, a small quantity of fuel oil escaped from the Pacific Adventurer,” it stated. The ship was brought upright, and a recovery vessel was used to suck up the oil from the water. The leak produced a 500m-long oil slick down the Brisbane River. Booms were placed around this oil spill so that a skimmer could clean up the second spill.

Swire Shipping could face clean up costs of AU$100,000 a day as well as fines up to AU$1.5million (US$977,000; £703,000) if found guilty of environmental breaches or negligence.

Sunshine Coast beaches are slowly starting to be reopened. The beach of Mooloolaba was still closed following reports of burning sensations from swimmers. 12 beaches remain closed; however, 13 have been reopened.

Over 300 state government and council workers are using buckets, rakes and spades in the clean up effort. Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbott says the majority will be gone by Sunday afternoon. The full environmental impact on wildlife is not yet known. One turtle and seven pelicans have been found covered in oil.

There are concerns that the drinking water of Moreton Island is at risk, as the island uses water from the underground water table near the oil spill site.

“Every bucketload of contaminated sand has to be removed from the island by barge, and each bucketload from a front-end loader weighs about one tonne. It’s just an impossible task,” said Mr Trevor Hassard of the Tangalooma Dolphin Education Centre.

The commercial fishing industry has suffered from the incident. Trawlers won’t resume operations until Sunday evening, and any catches will be tested for human consumption.

CPSC, ATF warn of dangers of fireworks over US Independence Day celebrations
December 8, 2017

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a press conference on the National Mall in Washington, DC, warning consumers of the dangers of fireworks, and advising them of safe handling. They were joined by representatives from the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and other national safety agencies. Fireworks are often used to celebrate the United States’ July 4, 1776 independence from Great Britain. The Fourth of July is a time when many US families get together to celebrate, by holding reunions, picnics, barbecues, baseball games and firework displays; however, celebrations often turn sour due to injury or even death, caused by the mishandling of fireworks. In 2009, nearly 19,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics all over the country. Around 9,000 of those were to children aged under 18, and 6,000 occurred during the 30 days surrounding Independence Day.

CPSC chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, said that burns and cuts to limbs, the face and head were the most common injuries, and over half of them were due to firecrackers, rockets and sparklers. The agencies were joined at the news conference by Jason Henderson, who was injured in 2007 after building home-made fireworks. He had found instructions online detailing how to build M-80-style fireworks, and after purchasing the chemicals, began assembling them; however, the mixture exploded which resulted in him losing both hands and his right eye, and shrapnel caused multiple lacerations and puncture wounds to his entire body. “Don’t be the show, go and enjoy the show. I want to get people to move away from putting on their own displays and just go and enjoy the free shows. I mean they are free,” Henderson said. “You might as well take advantage of them while they are there. You can spend time with your family instead of being the one to light them and taking that risk.” Henderson also appears in a public-service announcement recently released by the ATF to YouTube, that shows how he has now been fitted with bionic arms.

Agencies recommend attending community fireworks shows held by city or county officials, which are held in a more controlled and professional environment. Additionally, many jurisdictions outlaw either all fireworks, or certain types, such as rockets and firecrackers.

Fireworks increase demands on fire departments and personnel at this time of year, acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted. “Four firefighters [have been killed] as a result of illegal fireworks. Calls to EMS [Emergency Medical Services] and fire departments increased as individuals continue to be injured and burned.” The dry weather and heat that many areas are experiencing also elevate the risk of brush and structure fires. The National Fire Protection Association said that over 22,500 fires started from fireworks in 2008.

Consumers who do purchase fireworks are encouraged to follow the following common sense rules: always read and follow directions; always supervise older children and teenagers if they are permitted to use fireworks; never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, child-friendly sparklers and “party-poppers” are a fun and safe alternative for them; keep animals inside or well away from the fireworks, the noise will often scare them; never light any fireworks inside buildings; light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves, and flammable materials; never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers; light one firework at a time; move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting a firework; never return to a firework that has not ignited properly; never throw fireworks at another person, animal, or property; do not consume alcohol when using fireworks; keep a bucket of water or a hose in close proximity in case of fire, dispose of use fireworks in the bucket of water; buy from reliable dealers; only use legal fireworks; and follow the laws of your jurisdiction.

Photojournalist photographing Justin Bieber’s car run over by another vehicle
December 8, 2017

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A photographer has died after being run over by a car in Los Angeles, California, United States. The man, who was attempting to photograph the vehicle of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, has not been formally identified by police but was named as Chris Guerra by local media.

At approximately 17:45 PST Tuesday the driver of Bieber’s white Ferrari car was pulled over by police for a speeding offence on Interstate 405, near to Getty Center Drive. Reports indicate Guerra — a freelance photojournalist — had been pursuing this vehicle throughout the day, based on the incorrect assumption that Bieber was in the vehicle when it was actually rapper Lil Twist driving the car with another passenger onboard. Entertainment news website TMZ understands the photographer stopped his vehicle on the other side of Sepulveda Boulevard and attempted to take pictures of the police stop before crossing the road and continuing, prompting the California Highway Patrol police officer conducting the traffic stop to order him back across, twice. When he attempted to walk back across, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

The photographer was transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he subsequently died. He was reportedly aged in his 20s. In a statement, Bieber said “[w]hile I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim.” According to police, the driver of the vehicle that hit the photographer is unlikely to face criminal charges.

The incident has prompted Bieber to call for changes to laws surrounding the way in which members of the press work. “Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves”, he said.

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By Roberta Martin

Finding the best mortgage rate Canada is the highest issue on everybody’s mind even as trying to get a home loan. Right now, there exist quite a few mortgage companies who seem to be ready to present you exceptional deals. Besides, there are some who will give the impression to impose on you a reduced rate however have a lot of hidden fees also. You need to be alert even as selecting your loan provider. This may assist you once you secure an adequate amount of data on mortgage loan typically. This would make it easy for you to have knowledge of specifically what to opt for. You might find a number of issues to think of having said that.

To begin with, you must keep in mind things to look for even as seeking a loan. A key element to have knowledge of is that home loans may vary on occasion. If you can keep track of the changes in the market, you may find one of the best rates attainable. You can find numerous facts that kindle these alterations. When you want to get a mortgage, you are supposed to plan it upfront and track marketplace trends for a moment earlier than truly taking a loan. This is one approach to keep in front of the market. There are numerous aspects which realize this climb and decline include the desire of people as well as the fiscal fitness of the country.

When the economy is in slump, the rates are likely to plummet. This is given that investors could be getting anything and everything that crop up their course. This is the finest time for you to obtain a home loan. In addition it’s the moment you will unearth the best mortgage rate imaginable. One word of advice still, regularly make the most of a mortgage rate calculator prior to when you actually choose a mortgage loan to look at the rates quoted by different mortgage companies.

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You will find a large number of internet sites where you will be able to find estimation in a click of your mouse. You are able to contrast several different rates offered by many lenders. This may also help you benefit from the most suitable choice that is at your disposal. Furthermore you can know about the rates of different categories of mortgages for different periods by using the mortgage rate calculator. It could be an extremely beneficial tool for you. You could explore the prevalent rates and work out your rates as mentioned in it. You may as well look into the refinance mortgage rate as well as variable mortgage rate on the website if you choose to.

These websites help you in finding the perfect option that’s presented. You may compare the rates of the different products offered. Whenever you’ve looked at the whole product range as well as rates, you’ll be able to look for the one that is most beneficial for your needs. As soon as you get the lowest rates, you are supposed to analyze the lender and see to it that they’re reputable. These are only a few matters you have to take into account at the same time as you try to find mortgage loans.

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Canada’s Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3) city council candidates speak
December 8, 2017
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Monday, October 30, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Doug Holyday (incumbent), Peter Kudryk, Lillian Lança, and Ross Vaughan.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Car bomb kills 15 in Pakistani anti-terror unit
December 8, 2017

Saturday, September 15, 2007

15 elite commandos in the Pakistan anti-terror unit have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack.

The car rammed into the brigade headquarters of the Special Operations Task Force, part of the Pakistan military Special Services Group, set up in conjunction with the United States. It is believed to be the work of Islamic terrorists. The bomb destroyed the mess hall, killing at least 15 and injuring 50 more, six critically. It is thought the dead may include members of the CIA.

The wounded were taken to a local military hospital for treatment, while security forces secured the scene of the blast.

The attack coincided with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte visiting the country. The Special Operations Task Force was heavily involved in last month’s storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, and is accused by Islamic extremists with links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban of brutal conduct in the incident. The unit has also attacked terrorists near the border on which Osama bin Laden is thought to be hiding.

“This signals the transformation of the Islamic militants trying to bring down [Pakistani President Pervez] Musharraf from rag-tag fighters to highly skilled insurgents able to attack at will,” a diplomatic observer said last night. “It is an extremely worrying development from the point of view of Musharraf and those who support him.” Observers have expressed concern at the fact that the bomber was able to successfully attack such a high-profile and heavily guarded target as the headquarters, especially considering the building’s close proximity to the Tarbela Dam generator, considered an important strategic asset.

“This is a high-security zone,” one official said. “Obviously, this was someone who was known and familiar to the soldiers there, and it could be one of the civilians working at the base.”

Earlier this month, an attack aimed at the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence killed 25 people.

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Submitted by: Vlad Stivenson

We all want to keep our kids while they are on the internet. Dress up games are some of the most popular websites for young girls and parents want to know that these sites are safe and make sure their children aren’t going to be in danger on these websites. How safe are dress up games?

Are Dress Up Games Safe?

Dress up games are safe, safer in fact than many other online games your children play. Why is this? It is because the girls are there to play the dress up games not to meet other people and chat with strangers. Your daughter can actually create an avatar at a dress up game site that they can use on other sites to be safe there as well. It is great to get your child used to using an avatar not a picture at a young age.

How to Play Dress Up Games

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There are many different websites where your children can play dress up games. Some of the sites are specialized and use Barbie or Bratz dolls as characters. Others use normal dolls that the children dress up. The dolls will be in their underwear so the children can give them a new look with the available clothes and accessories. The possibilities are endless when it comes to dressing these dolls.

The website where you children play the dress up game is a single website with no other influences or sites associated with it. The smaller websites are a little safe in this way but have a smaller variety of clothes and dolls while the bigger websites can be slightly less safe and offer more variety. You will have to carefully consider which websites you allow your children to use for this reason.

Social Aspects of Dress Up Games

A lot of the dress up games websites offer more than just simple games. Some allow children to communicate with each other about the dolls they create and critique other people’s dolls on the site. Some let children set up an avatar and develop their own character.

These sites have moderators that watch the social interaction but it is important that you teach your children about internet safety so they can protect themselves from people who might want to harm them. Because all the children are on the site to play dress up games they have more in common than if they met people on Facebook or MySpace so they are safe. They are also safer because their size makes them easier for moderators to watch out for inappropriate behavior.

Make sure your children know never to put a picture of themselves out on any of these or any other websites. Instead, they should use one of their doll creations as their picture for safety reasons. This also allows them to express themselves and show their creativity off to the world at the same time. They can create a doll that represents them and their own personal style. This will make sure her real identity is not known and no one can contact her in the real world.

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By Lawrence Reaves

If your vehicle spews thick, black clouds of exhaust while you’re driving, it probably won’t pass a smog check. But, most drivers are not in that situation. Instead, their engines seem to run smoothly and nothing comes out of the tailpipe when they’re on the road. But, when they take their cars in for an emissions test, they’re surprised to discover they’ve failed.

As the health of our environment takes center stage, more jurisdictions are requiring motorists to undergo emissions testing. If your vehicle fails to pass, you’ll be required to have the problem – whatever it is – fixed.

Below, we’ll discuss which factors are reviewed during the testing process. I’ll also describe a few reasons your car may be on the verge of failing.

Are You A “Gross Polluter?”

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The purpose of requiring drivers to have their automobiles smog tested is to identify “gross polluters.” These are vehicles that emit extremely high levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide into the environment. Most testing facilities also look for carbon dioxide levels, but only for monitoring. That is, there is no cutoff point above which you need to have repairs done.

Individual states have been given the flexibility to design their emissions tests with varying cutoff points. So, California motorists may need to meet stricter requirements than people in Montana. Also, each state – and in many cases, different jurisdictions within a single state – set repair cost limits based on your vehicle’s age, make, and model. So, if you fail the smog check, there is a ceiling on the amount you’ll need to pay in repairs.

Possible Reasons There May Be A Problem

So, why might your car fail an emissions test? First, let’s talk about what causes excess hydrocarbons. If your automobile is above the cutoff point for hydrocarbons, it usually means fuel is getting into the exhaust without being burned in combustion. That might be caused by several things. For example, the exhaust valve might be malfunctioning which affects the compression of the air-fuel mixture. Or, there might be vacuum leaks, or the gasoline isn’t being delivered properly through your fuel injection system.

What about carbon monoxide readings that are too high? This, too, can be triggered by several things. For example, the gasoline within the air-fuel mixture may be too rich. Or, if you’re driving an older model with a carburetor, the choke may not be working properly. Another possible issue is a failing oxygen sensor.

If you receive your smog check readout and the readings for both hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are too high, you may need to replace the catalytic converter.

In the end, your car’s results from an emissions test will usually be a mystery until you receive the readout. After all, you can’t see hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide coming from your tailpipe. Also, keep in mind that there are several things that can potentially cause an issue. If you fail the test, your best bet is to have an auto technician diagnose and fix the problem.

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