Archive for August, 2009

The best headlines of [insert year]

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Newspapers, and especially tabloids, have a tendency to overdo everything, to catch your attention and basically sell more papers. Also, many headlines are decided upon by the desk, and not the actual journalist who wrote the piece, and sometimes that, combined with deadlines and a hectic work environment, results in funny headlines.

I have added a few of them below, and you can find more on the Internet. I have seen many of these labeled as “Best headlines of 1997”, “Best headlines of 2002” etc, and the only thing that is for certain is that somebody claimed that they were real headlines at one time or another, but I can not vouch for that .

I find many of them rather funny:)

  • Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert says
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
  • Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
  • Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
  • Clinton Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
  • Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • Stolen Painting Found by Tree
  • Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Stride Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
  • Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

If you have any more suggestions or other compilations of headlines, please feel free to post them in the comments.

While on the subject, I did a quick check for more newspaper related stupidity, and found the following headlines and clippings. Its amazing that some of this stuff was actually passed by whoever passes stuff.

Is black always “black”?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

– Albert Einstein

Color challenged square

Color challenged square

According to Times Online, there is a shift in language on the way, particulary in the public sector, as everybody eager to be most politically correct. A number or names and descriptions, sayings and the like is now, per se, viewed upon as racist or ethnically demeaning. I am not writing about the normal racial slander you would expect, various organisations have decided, out of the kindness of their heart I guess, to limit or ban the use of certain words – as they are sexist, racist or carry with them a “hierarchical valuation of skin color”. I assure you that I am not making this up!

Lets have a look at some of the examples of this:

Black day – Use “miserable day” as the color black is expressed as bad and therefore it indicates that the skin color black is bad.

Ethnic minority – Minority is something small, therefore less than the majority, and thus “smaller or less important”.

Gentlemans agreement – Potentially offensive to women, one should use “unwritten agreement” or “an agreement based on trust”.

Master bedroom – Indicating a man, and threfore bad and sexist against women.

Black sheep of the family, black looks and black mark – Does not really have anything to do with skin color, but makes “black” out as something less desireble and therfore reinforce the badness of “black”. Equally, everything “white” is positive and therefore bad.

The stupidity of this is almost beyond me, and I foresee great challenges in the future. If we can not use any colors that may have some resemblance to any ethnicity, how can we say “what a horrible black sweater”, “I got a sun burn and now I am all red and terrible”, “He is yellow (cowardly)” and so on? One should always fight racism and bigotry, but this is not the way to do it.

Whats your opinion on the subject, if any?

Animal cruelty in the fur industry?

Monday, August 24th, 2009

I do not condone terrorist like organizations that break into facilities they do not like and burn them down or cause other types of damage. We have had a few examples of that in Norway, where animal activists have torched fur farms and released the animals into the wild.

Firstly, even if you disagree, there is no need to destroy somebody elses livelyhood and/or hurt them. Secondly, animals raised in a cage for fur or meat does not have the basic skills to survive in the wild and will die of starvation or become the dinner for a more adept predatory cousin. Doing this is both illegal, unethical and immoral, imho anyway – but there may be better ways to achieve the same goal.

Fox puppy with a torn ear

Fox puppy with a torn ear

The Network for Animal Freedom has “visited” 45 Norwegian fur farms and have documented what they saw there in images available on their Flickr page. They did a similar thing in 2008, documenting the conditions at 100 fur farms. The group claims that the images show inhumane treatment of bred-for-fur animals, and looking through them, its hard to disagree. The fur farmers have been reported to the police, and hopefully something will happen as a result of this. The group, however, claim that the Norwegian authorities have no credibility when it comes to cleaning up this industry.

I do not believe that we should stop using animals as a resource for food, clothing and other products, like the fundamentalists of PETA, but I do believe in treating the animals humanely. If decent living conditions and living quarters increase the price of said products, so be it. Anyone wanting to buy a fur coat can probably pay the small percentage price increase this would result in anyway.

Mink with bite wound

Mink with bite wound

The police should look into these claims and investigate the validity of their claims. If true, the fur farmers should be fined, jailed or forbidden to operate and keep animals.

Animals deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not like this.

The hunt for Roald Amundsens plane

Monday, August 24th, 2009
Roald Amundsen, 1872-1928

Roald Amundsen, 1872-1928

An expidition are currently making the last preparations before they make an effort to find the remains of the plane Roald Amundsen, the famous Norwegian explorer, used on the journey that killed him – searching for Umberto Nobile and the airship Italia.

The search area is the sea floor northwest of Bjørnøya, and the plan is to comb the bottom for traces of his flying boat, a Latham 47. The plane was made of wood and sail, and is inevetably lost to the Barents sea forever, but the V-shaped, 18 cylinder engine should still be possible to find.

Flying boat, Latham 47

Flying boat, Latham 47

Marine officer Helge Telle on the vessel KNM Tyr is certain to find the engine, if the search area they have picked out is the right one. They are using an underwater mine robot, the Hugin 1000 MR, to sweep the bottom with a resolution of 2×2 cm.

Amundsen, the pilot Leif Dietrichson and four french crew members were lost on the 18th of June 1928 on their way to Svalbard. The only debris that was found was a fuel tank and a floating device from the airplane. These have tool marks, indicating that somebody survived the crash – but they were ill equipped for a landing in the ocean. They did have, however, gear to survive on the ice – but they were never found.

Roald Amundsen is one of the truly great Norwegian explorers, and during his adventures reached both the north and south pole and through the Northwest Passage. I hope this expedition can shed some light on the faith of him and his men, to close the Amundsen chapter in our historic annals.

Killer roads

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

car_accident_crashInspired by my own blog post yesterday about texting while driving, I decided to check out some road safety commercials on youtube. I have seen many more traffic accidents up close and personal than I would like to think about, and in most cases – they were completely unnecessary.

Most people, and perhaps myself included, have a nonchalant view on driving and rarely thinks about the consequences of being on the road. One thing is what can happen to your car, loosing your license etc, few of us think about the harm we can cause others. The legislation in most countries have specific laws on accidents caused by negligence or intentionally, and most do not really know how low negligence will go when the ifs and buts of the accident are discussed in court months later. Its probably enough to be texting on your phone, driving 20 km/h above the posted speed limit, the fact that you had bad tires or brakes, was drunk, was overloaded your car and the list goes on.

Since I spend quite a lot of time on the road, and try to buckle up my seat belt, drive safely and responsible – I too am relying on that all the rest of you are doing the same. From my previous experience, I know that many are not. Anyway, enough morals, please have a look at some road safety films that I found, and they should all make you think how you drive. If not, you are downright stupid and should have your license revoked. That last bit is not a joke, btw..

Things not to do: Texting while driving

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

mobiles driving deathThe Gwent Police in Wales has paired up with local talent to produce a “what if”-video of young people texting while driving. It turns out that this is a huge problem amongst young drivers, and is potential disastrous – as it may take away up to 35% of your attention. With todays complicated traffic and amount of idiot drivers, you need that 35%!

Chief Inspector John Pavett from Gwent Police Roads Policing Unit hopes the serious message in this film will hit home to viewers and sais: “I hope that after watching this film motorists will think twice before picking up their mobile phone when behind the wheel and realize that a quick reply to a text message or answering a phone call is never worth putting theirs and other people’s lives at risk.”

If you have a drivers license, you should really spend the few minutes it takes to see this video – it will definitely make you think. You may have to confirm your birth date to see the video, as the content is not for minors.

Surveys have shown that six our of ten use their mobile phone while driving, either by calling or sending SMS messages. Among young people under 30, seven out of ten have SMS’ed while driving. Men use their mobile phone more than women while driving.

We should all stop using our cell phones while driving unless equipped with a complete hands free setup, and we’ll all be around much longer.

Punishable until ill

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Today the news had a story about the person responsible for the Lockerbie attack, where Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down by a bomb over the village of Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. 270 people were killed in the attack, including 11 on the ground. 180 of the victims were American and this was the most deadly strike on the US prior to the 911 attacks.

Debris of Pan Am Flight 103

Debris of Pan Am Flight 103

In 2001 Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was sentenced to life in prison for the attack and he has been serving in Scotland since.

All well and good one might think, since he got life in prion. That would mean that he will remain in prison until the end of his life, not getting out until he is nose up in a box.. (dramatic pause) NOT!

al-negrahi arriving in libya

Al-Megrahi arriving in Tripoli, Libya

The Scottish authorities have decided that he should be pardoned on compassionate grounds, since he is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and has less than three months to live. He has been allowed to travel back to Libya to spend his remaining days with his family and received a hero’s welcome by thousands of Libyans when arriving in Tripoli.

There has been a number of protest agains the pardoning of al-Negrahi, both from US authorities and other governments around the world. Also, the families of the victims of the bombing have protested, but to no avail. The Scottish authorities believes in humane treatment, and I agree in principle, and letting this criminal die in prison alone was, in their view, inhumane. Those who disagree make a very valid point when saying through their lawyer: “He showed no compassion to the victims, and he’s lived two decades more than any of their loved ones have

This terrorist and mass murderer should have stayed in jail until dead, it would have been the only sensible thing to do. Not because we want to torment him or his family, but because this sets a dangerous precedence for future criminal acts of the same nature. If you are sick from something terminal you really don’t have much to loose when committing a criminal or terrorist act anymore, you will be let out to die at home, no matter what. This is perhaps not the complete truth, but it will be an easy selling point when recruiting those that are not willing to blow themselves up but still want to contribute to “the cause”, whatever cause that may be.

I believe that this was a foolish and short sighted call from the Scottish, they should have foreseen the controversy and outrage this has caused, and the screwed up signals they are sending to would be criminals and terrorists. There is nothing inhumane or incompassionate about nursing a convict until he dies in the prison hospital, with his family around him, rather than as a free man and a hero of the people in the same country that financed the terrorist act in the first place.

This was a really bad and potentially dangerous call, so shame on you Scotland.

The memorial in Lockerbie with the names of the 270 people killed

The memorial in Lockerbie with the names of the 270 people killed

I have received a complaint!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

A few days ago I posted some images of Matt Damon from the period he was filming the movie “The Informant!“. Many of these, well all actually, showed a relatively fat and unfit Matt Damon, as the part he was playing was just that, fat and unfit. Being the method, or at least dedicated, actor that he is; he got fat to be able to play the part better.

End of story? Eh, no..

Today I received a complaint! Someone I know contacted me off blog, in what adults call the real world, or IRL for short, and complained about just posting pictures where Matt Damon looks less hunky than his normal self. To please this person and stop the yelling and crying, I had to promise to post some pictures where he looks good too, so here is – for your viewing pleasure – a sexier Matt Damon 🙂

New pictures from the Treholt espionage case and trial

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The famous, at least in Norway, espionage case against Arne Treholt is finalized, at last. Arne Treholt, dob December 13, 1942, was a sub department head and press spokesman for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he was arrested on the 20th of January 1984, charged with espionage.

The case was handled by Eidsivating Lagmannsrett  between 25th of February and the 20th of June 1985. Arne Treholt was sentenced to 20 years in prison for espionage on behalf of The Soviet Union and Iraq. The case was later appealed to the Supreme Court, but Treholt later withdrew his appeal.

Treholt has several times applied for a retrial, in both 1986 and 1990. The appeals were turned down by Eidsivating Lagmannsrett and later the following appeals to the Supreme Court was denied.

Arne Treholt was pardoned on the 3rd of Juli 1992 due to health issues, after having served 8 years and 5 months of his 20 year sentence. Treholt later filed a third appeal for a re-opening of his case to the Gjenåpningskommisjonen (Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission) but this was denied on the 23rd of January 2005.

Since the case now is over and done with, and there are no more possibilities for appeals or retrials, the Norwegian Police Security Service, the PST, have released some images that has not been made public before. The PST has also put together an overview of the case with more images, unfortunately only in Norwegian, but if you are interested you can find it here.

Anyone in Norway old enough to read newspapers or watch TV in the 80s know about the Treholt case. We have only had a couple of them in our country’s relatively short existence, one other being the Galtung-Haavik case, and the controversy relating to his pardon and later books and interviews has stirred up much debate.

Arne Treholt himself is states that “there are no new information in this case” when asked to comment the new images. Treholt would like more openness regarding the whole case, and has several times asked that the whole verdict be made public. He then continues “.. the only secrets in this verdict is that it does not contain anything secret“. Treholt has admitted gross misconduct during his service in the Ministry of Foreign Affaris, but has never admitted guilt for espionage.

According to the director of communications at PST, Trond Hagubakken, no more of the extensive material related to the Treholt case and trial will ever be published.

At last this case is over, and in the gallery below you can see the images that are “new” in this case.

More Matt Damon

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

As the title indicates, this is more of Matt Damon. Not necessarily more information or many more images – but certainly a Matt Damon that is more by himself. I am a big fan of Matt Damon, so I am not trying to put him down or anything, I just find it interesting how some actors will go through just about anything to fit the part in movies that they play in. The images below are taken while Matt was filming The Informant. Luckily he is now back to his attractive, hot and slender looking self 🙂

If you would like another, and more extreme, example of transformations, have a look at the things Christian Bale has gone through for his movies.