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  • British cows on the warpath

    Reuters August 26, 2009

    The deaths of no fewer than four people after being trampled by cows in the past two months has prompted Britain's main farming union to issue a warning about the dangers of provoking the normally docile animals.

    Cows can become aggressive and charge, especially when calves are present and walkers are accompanied by dogs, said the National Farmers Union.

    The union and the Ramblers' Association both advise that walkers release dogs from their leads when passing through a field of cows.

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

    Good thing they weren't SHEEP eh?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

    Comment


    • Too much time on their hands?

      Groups Ban Words That Might Offend
      By STEVE PENDLEBURY, AOL News

      (Aug. 25) -- There's a gentleman's agreement among language masterminds at some public agencies in Britain that writing this sentence would put a black mark on your record.
      Dozens of taxpayer-funded organizations have ordered workers not to use certain common terms because they might offend some people, according to London newspapers. The National Gallery warned that "gentleman's agreement" is sexist. The same goes for "right-hand man." (Could that be seen as a slap at southpaws, too?)
      Britain's South West Regional Development Agency is among those trying to rub out "black mark," "black sheep" and other phrases that cast black in a negative light. Skills should be "perfected," not "mastered," according to the Learning and Skills Council. Newcastle University even has a problem with "master bedroom," The Sunday Times of London reported.
      Author Anthony Horowitz thinks the push for politically correct language has gone too far.
      "A great deal of our modern language is based on traditions which have now gone but it would be silly — and extremely inconvenient — to replace them all," Horowitz told the Times. "We know what these phrases mean and we can find out from where they were derived. Banning them is just unnecessary."
      But language constantly changes and author Rosalie Maggio sees nothing wrong with finding alternatives to these troublesome phrases.
      "Almost all of them are cliches," Maggio told AOL News. "They're outdated. They have no more meaning.
      "For me, language that is inclusive or unbiased is actually fresher," said Maggio, whose books include 'The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage' and 'The Nonsexist Word Finder.' "A 'fireman' could be a guy on a train. 'Firefighter' tells you -- it's an action verb. ... It tells you what they do. A mail carrier carries mail. A firefighter fights fires."
      It's not just the Brits. Americans argued over words such as "snowperson" and "personhole" decades ago, Maggio recalled, with talk radio whipping up the debate over political correctness.
      "It brings back the '80s to me," writer/composer/satirist Christopher Cerf agreed. "I always thought this was a movement that became comical. And though it was well-intended at first, it probably did more harm than good in some ways because it made people make fun of sensitive speech instead of actually trying to be sensitive.
      "There is insensitive speech, but I'm not sure that the example of a 'gentleman's agreement' is really doing a whole lot of harm to the women's movement," Cerf said in an AOL News interview.
      Cerf, who wrote 'The Official Politically Correct Dictionary' with Henry Beard, recalled the story of a Long Island feminist in the 1970s who tried to change her name from Ellen Donna Cooperman to Ellen Donna Cooperperson.
      "And she's a better person for it," Cerf laughed. "Except that she forgot that 'person' has the word 'son' in it."
      People can use whatever words they choose, said Maggio, but there's no reason to fall back on ones that carry "unintended baggage."
      "As a writer, I don't want stupid words like 'spokesperson.' I think it's awkward and lumpy," she said. "How can you have really elegant English and have it be accurate and clear? You have to work a little bit.
      "The right word is a lot of work."
      2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.
      2009-08-25 16:08:43

      Comment


      • What's in a (baby's) name: Distinctive tags top common ones

        By Misty Harris , Canwest News Service September 29, 2009

        In what's being called a "revolution in baby naming," unprecedented drops in common names for children are being recorded as parents gravitate toward distinctive monikers aimed at making their kids stand instead of fit in.

        In analyzing the names of some 325 million children born in 1880 or later, investigators from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia found just nine per cent of boys born in 2007 were given a "top 10" name, compared with 32 per cent in 1955; for girls, only eight per cent had a top 10 name in 2007, versus fully 22 per cent in 1955.

        "In another 10 or 20 years, to name your child Jennifer or Jessica or Jason or Justin will seem as outrageous as Gertrude or Myrtle today," says Nameberry.com's Pamela Redmond Satran, co-author of 10 books on baby names.

        "When our first (naming) book came out in 1988, the whole point was to take parents by the shoulder and say: 'Snap out of it! Stop using the same names.' Over the years, they have taken us up on that and done us one better, to the point where we're trying to catch up to what parents are doing."

        This year's celebrity babes include a Sparrow (born to Nicole Richie), Atlas (Anne Heche), Blaise (Olympian Amanda Beard), Ikhyd (singer M.I.A.), and Seraphina (Jennifer Garner).

        A 2007 California State University study, however, reveals people aren't nearly as original as they think, with naming decisions being largely the result of "random copying."

        Only a few per cent of parents are truly innovative, researchers found, with the rest unconsciously borrowing previously seen names parents presume are their own unique ideas. The study authors say this helps explain why the rate of name turnover has remained fairly consistent throughout the last century, despite immigration, new technologies and cultural shifts.

        "You might think we're all individualists now, but our tastes haven't changed that much," says Laura Wattenberg, founder of babynamewizard.com.

        "Yes, there are more eye-popping names. But what you're really seeing are little variations on the same themes."

        Wattenberg notes, for example, that the number of names that rhyme with Aiden in the top 1000 names climbs every year, having come to include such entries as Brayden, Hayden, Caden and Zayden. Each, however, has multiple spellings as parents strive to make the title unique to their child.

        "No name today is Jennifer. And certainly, no name is what John or Mary used to be," says Wattenberg, who describes the phenomenon as a revolution in naming trends.

        "In some ways, the names we think of as 'common' and boring — like William or Margaret — have something going for them, in that they don't sound like anything else."

        The implications of non-traditional names reach far beyond playground conformity.

        According to psychologist Jean Twenge, co-author of the San Diego State study, society's increasing emphasis on individualism has spurred the quest for unique baby names — a post-Second World War trend that's peaked in the last two decades — which in turn, stands to foster even higher levels of self-importance in parents' offspring.

        "People who score high on individualism like the idea of standing out," says Twenge, author of The Narcissism Epidemic. "These are the people who give their kids unusual names, and, in doing do, might be building or favouring those traits in their children."

        Canada's top girl names of 2008 (distils multiple spellings)

        1. Emma

        2. Mikayla

        3. Sarah

        4. Sophia

        5. Maya

        6. Danica

        7. Emily

        8. Ava

        9. Isabella

        10. Lily

        Canada's top boy names of 2008 (distils multiple spellings)

        1. Ethan

        2. Aiden

        3. Lucas

        4. Kaden

        5. Jayden

        6. Nathan

        7. Logan

        8. Noah

        9. Liam

        10. Jack

        Source: BabyCenter Canada

        © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

        How about K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Studpid)? Giving your kid a "funny" name is to invite beatings severe for school mates, followed by years and years of therapy.
        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

        Comment


        • Alrighty then ...

          Dave the dog has died, lying in state until weekend cremation

          By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist

          September 30, 2009 7:09 AM
          Comments (8)
          StoryPhotos ( 1 )

          Malcolm Connors and his dog Starlit have a visit with the Connors' other dog , Dave, who died Sunday. The dog is lying in state in the family living room until Saturday
          Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

          Dave is stretched out on his dog bed, beside the couch in the living room, looking as if he's exhausted after a hard day running in the fields beside Elk Lake.

          Malcolm Connors, owner of the large collie cross, talks to Dave before heading off to work and then brings the dog up to date on family activities.

          But, despite the lifelike pose, Dave is dead.

          "He looks content," said Connors, reaching down to pat his companion of 12 years.

          "I have been telling him how much I will miss him in my life and I believe he does hear. He knows I am here. I am convinced of that," he said.

          Dave died unexpectedly Sunday afternoon, after playing outdoors with Connors and Starlit, the family's second dog.

          "It was a bit of a shock," said Lizzie Connors.

          So, as with the Connors' previous three dogs, Dave is lying in state in the living room until he is cremated Saturday afternoon at Glory Bound Pet Crematorium in East Sooke.

          The body is surrounded by cedar and fir boughs, topped with flowers and his dog collar is laid out beside him.

          "I know it's not for everyone, but I think it is important that we have this time together. We just find it helps us," said Connors.

          There is a slight smell developing as Dave lies in state.

          "But it doesn't bother us. There are worse things in life," Connors said.

          The family is spending more than $400 on an obituary in the Times Colonist and, as has been done for their previous cats and dogs, Connors is creating a special book of handwritten memories, photographs and memorabilia.

          The walls of the neat Saanich home are covered with photos and stories about their dogs and cats and, in the bedroom is a row of urns.

          Other pet owners seem to agree that mourning is important and, after an obituary appeared for their previous dog, Pal, cards and letters of condolence poured in from strangers.

          On Saturday, Connors will accompany Dave to the crematorium and wait until the ashes are put into an urn.

          "Then I will drive him home again. He will never be alone," Connors said.

          The next problem will be lifting Starlit's spirits.

          Starlit has been lying beside Dave's body and seems depressed, Connors said.

          To make matters worse, this week the three-year-old dog is having a $5,000 knee operation and then has to be confined for four months.

          "So, I have moved my bed downstairs and a table and a chair for me to watch TV so I can be with her," Connors said.

          [email protected]

          © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
          September 11th - Never Forget

          I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

          Sheri
          IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
          Honorary Flatlander

          RAY WAS HERE FIRST

          Comment


          • I read that one earlier today too. It was a bit "close to home" as Niki is 14 now, and his hips are proving to be unreliable for him and he doesn't like the cold and the rain much, except when the neighbours dogs are outside.
            If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

            "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

            "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

            Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

            impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

            IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

            Comment


            • From baby deliveries to unexpected deaths, Mike Bowes, a 911 dispatcher from Quincy, Massachusetts, has handled a wide range of emergency calls.
              But Monday night, the 44-year-old received an unexpected call from his neighbor: His own house was on fire. The 911 call came in about 10:45 p.m. Monday, a little more than an hour before Mike Bowes' shift ended.
              My neighbor's house just blew up, the caller said. "What's the address?" Mike Bowes asked patiently, just as he did with every emergency call for the past 11 years with the Quincy Police Department. The caller frantically relayed the address, Bowes' home address for 20 years."It was shocking," Mike Bowes said. "I thought she was kidding. It's a long shot. I mean, what's the chances it will be your house?" Out of 90,000 people who reside in Quincy, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Mike Bowes' was the home in flames, and he had answered the emergency call.
              ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
              NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
              343
              CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
              LT. John Ginley Engine 40
              FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
              FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
              FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
              FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
              FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
              FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
              FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
              FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
              FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

              Charleston 9
              "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
              *******************CLICK HERE*****************

              Comment


              • Eerrr... Ummmm Ya. Ok.

                UF Emergency Plan Includes Zombie Attack In case zombies take over your campus, this is what you should do

                By TODD WRIGHT Updated 12:41 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 2, 2009

                The motto of the Boy Scouts is to always be prepared. Well, get the University of Florida its Apocalypse badge.

                Along with hurricane evacuation, natural disasters and nuclear fall out, the university also wanted students to be prepared in the event the undead ransacks the campus. Yes, a Zombieland attack.

                So on its Website, the school posted its "Disaster Preparedness" manual, with zombie attack as simulation exercise No. 5.

                "It is clear that international media have begun paying increasing attention to the possibility of an outbreak of zombie behavior spectrum disorder. Likewise, major metropolitan police agencies are starting to pay attention to the possibility of zombie attacks and are addressing citizen notification concerns," read part of the six-page instructions.

                It also included how to identify a possible zombie outbreak and a handy "Infected Co-Worker Dispatch" form. The manual never mentioned if classes are canceled though, so that's kind of a bummer.

                The rest of the rules read a lot like how you would defend a dorm against a panty raid, only the raiders want your brains and not your Tim Tebow underwear.

                The manual included tips on proper weaponry against the undead (no garlic please). And possible routes of escape were also explored.

                Alas, school officials determined late yesterday that the joke "didn't really belong" on the site, according to UF spokesman Steve Orlando, and it was taken down.

                Copyright Associated Press / NBC Washington First Published: Oct 1, 2009 2:23 PM EDT
                If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                Comment


                • *walking away shaking my head...*

                  Ay Carumba! Bart's mom Marge brings her blue hair to the cover of Playboy
                  Fri Oct 9, 4:54 PM
                  By The Associated Press

                  CHICAGO - Marge is about to do something Homer might not approve of.


                  Playboy magazine is turning over its cover to the matriarch of Springfield's first family: Marge Simpson.


                  It's a first for the magazine, which has had everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Cindy Crawford to the Girls of Hooters and even the likes of Jerry Seinfeld on the cover. But it's never had a cartoon character before.


                  Marge and her pile of bright blue hair are set to grace the cover of the November issue of Playboy. It will hit the newsstands October 16.


                  Marge isn't going to bare all, though, as the magazine says there will only be "implied nudity" in the three-page pictorial.


                  New CEO Scott Flanders says the idea is to attract readers in their 20s to a magazine where the average reader's age is 35.
                  Last edited by firecat1; 01-13-2010, 06:26 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Ooo Darwin. Where Art Thou?

                    German mooner dragged half naked along platform

                    Reuters

                    BERLIN - A German man mooning at railway staff in a departing train got his trousers caught in a carriage door and ended up being dragged half naked along the platform, out of the station and onto the tracks.

                    The 22-year-old journalism student shoved his backside against the window of a low-slung double-decker train when staff forced him off in Lauenbrueck for travelling without a ticket, a spokesman for police in the northern city of Bremen said.

                    "It's a miracle he wasn't badly hurt," the spokesman said on Monday. "This sort of thing can end up killing you."

                    Instead, dangling by his trousers, the man got pulled along for about 200 metres, all the while managing to keep his legs away from the wheels of the train.

                    The ordeal ended when a passenger pulled the emergency brake. Rescues services were called in, causing rail services between Bremen and Hamburg to be suspended for over an hour, delaying 23 trains.

                    The man -- unharmed except for cuts and bruises -- now faces charges of dangerous interference in rail transport, insulting the train staff, and may face sizeable a compensation claim for the delays he caused, police said.

                    "He was full of remorse when I talked to him," the spokesman said. "And he advised others not to try the same thing." DO YA THINK???

                    © Copyright (c) Reuters
                    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                    Comment


                    • Funny story, but only because no harm was done, and a bunch of pilots got to log more "air time".
                      ===

                      Colorado 'balloon boy' found alive in home attic

                      By Kieran Nicholson and Howard Pankratz, The Denver Post October 16, 2009 3:18 AM

                      Reuters FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A six-year-old Colorado boy thought to be missing in a runaway balloon has been found alive at his home.

                      Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told reporters Thursday night that Falcon Heene never got on the experimental balloon before it slipped its tether and went soaring thousands of metres in the air.

                      "He was found in a box in the attic above the garage," Alderden said.

                      Falcon's father, Richard Heene, told reporters Thursday that one of his other sons videotaped the boy climbing into the balloon's gondola — but, unknown to the family, the boy exited the balloon before it took off and spent much of the day hiding in an attic.

                      "He said he was hiding in the attic because I yelled at him. I'm really sorry I yelled at him," Heene added, his voice catching as he hugged his grinning son in front of the cameras.

                      "Scared the heck out of us."

                      Officials searched the home and neighbourhood, but the initial search did not turn up the boy.

                      Alderden said it's not uncommon for children to hide when they learn people are looking for them — because they don't want to get in trouble.

                      The incident started Thursday morning in Fort Collins, about 100 kilometres north of Denver, when it was reported that Falcon got into the balloon-like craft built by his father, and it came loose from a tether.

                      The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said the "homemade flying saucer" was made of plywood and string and was never intended for flight.

                      Bob Licko, 65, a neighbour, said he was leaving home when he heard commotion in the backyard.

                      He said he saw two boys on the roof with a camera, commenting about their brother.

                      "One of the boys yelled to me that his brother was way up in the air," Licko said.

                      Licko said the boys' mother seemed distraught, and the boys' father was running around the house.

                      Officials from Larimer, Weld and Adams counties worked all Thursday afternoon with the Federal Aviation Administration, and with help from a local TV news helicopter, to track the balloon.

                      It was aloft about three hours, sometimes drifting as high as 2,400 metres.

                      The balloon travelled about 80 kilometres during its flight and hit estimated speeds of about 50 km/h. At times, it gained altitude, then dropped as it flew in and out of rising thermals.

                      It made a soft landing in a farmer's field. When Falcon was not found with the balloon, a massive ground search for him was launched.

                      Larimer County asked people to be on the lookout for Falcon. Crews on the ground asked for all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel drive vehicles and horses to help search working farmlands and hilly pastures.

                      Firefighters and police from various departments were searching wide areas in both Larimer and Weld Counties, keeping track of "grids" as they moved along.

                      Margie Martinez, spokeswoman for the Weld County Sheriff's Office, said during the flight that officials were not sure the boy was still in the balloon, because it was impossible to look into the basket during flight.

                      Richard Heene is an amateur scientist based in Fort Collins. He and his partners call themselves the "psyience detectives."

                      Heene is a storm chaser who collects data to prove that rotating storms create their own magnetic fields.

                      He began his research in 2002 with lab experiments, then moved on to dust devils. In 2005, he flew a plane around Hurricane Wilma's perimeter. He took the Denver Post with him while chasing storms in 2007.

                      Heene and his wife, Mayumi, also have sons Ryo and Bradford.

                      They were featured on the ABC-TV series, Wife Swap.

                      In a promotion for one of the Heene episodes, Wife Swap described the family this way: "When the Heene family aren't chasing storms, they devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm."

                      Read more at www.denverpost.com

                      © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
                      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                      Comment


                      • Now You Know

                        Berlin brothel cuts rates for 'green' customers
                        By MARY MacPHERSON LANE, Associated Press Writer

                        Friday, October 16, 2009 (10-16) 06:51 PDT BERLIN, Germany (AP)

                        Part of Berlin's red-light scene is going green. One bordello, hoping to stave off falling demand in the economic crisis, has begun offering discounts to customers who pedal bicycles to the door.

                        "It's very difficult to find parking around here, and this option is better for our environment," said Thomas Goetz, who owns the brothel Maison d'Envie, or House of Desire.

                        Local residents in Prenzlauer Berg — a part of former East Berlin now home to scores of trendy boutiques, restaurants and clubs — had staunchly supported the Green party in recent elections and have welcomed the bordello's offer to emphasize the environment.

                        The bordellos in the capital of Germany, where prostitution is legal, have seen business suffer with the global financial crisis. Patrons have become more frugal, and there are fewer potential customers coming to the city for business trips and conferences.

                        But Maison d'Envie has seen its business begin to return since it began offering the euro5 ($7.50) discount in July, Goetz said.

                        To qualify, customers must show the receptionist either a bicycle padlock key or proof they used public transit to get to the neighborhood. That knocks the price for 45 minutes in a room, for example, to euro65 from euro70.

                        Those who arrive on foot, however, are out of luck.

                        "We haven't found a way for people to prove they have walked here," Goetz explained.

                        Other brothels have tried different incentives to cope with the economic downturn. One Berlin bordello offered a flat-rate for an unlimited time before officials' concerns over prostitutes' rights and cleanliness in the club forced them to rescind the offer.

                        The 450,000 prostitutes working in Germany, some 10,000 of whom are in Berlin, have the same legal rights and social benefits as people in other professions.
                        If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                        "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                        "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                        Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                        impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                        IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                        Comment


                        • Didn't Mythbusters cover this a few years ago when they hung a kid half this one's age underneath thousands of balloons with maybe twice the helium volume and STILL couldn't get liftoff?
                          Though I would have been responding with everyone else,I would have commented on how the balloon wasn't acting like it had any load in it.
                          I could be wrong but couldn't the NG helo have touched its rotor wash onto the balloon and pushed it down some until someone on the ground could have grabbed a tether and hauled it in?
                          I was skeptical when I heard "His brother said he climbed in the balloon..." and immediately wondered "How old is the brother?Kids can make up fanciful stuff,you know."

                          Originally posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
                          Funny story, but only because no harm was done, and a bunch of pilots got to log more "air time".
                          ===

                          Colorado 'balloon boy' found alive in home attic

                          By Kieran Nicholson and Howard Pankratz, The Denver Post October 16, 2009 3:18 AM

                          Reuters FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A six-year-old Colorado boy thought to be missing in a runaway balloon has been found alive at his home.

                          Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told reporters Thursday night that Falcon Heene never got on the experimental balloon before it slipped its tether and went soaring thousands of metres in the air.

                          "He was found in a box in the attic above the garage," Alderden said.

                          Falcon's father, Richard Heene, told reporters Thursday that one of his other sons videotaped the boy climbing into the balloon's gondola — but, unknown to the family, the boy exited the balloon before it took off and spent much of the day hiding in an attic.

                          "He said he was hiding in the attic because I yelled at him. I'm really sorry I yelled at him," Heene added, his voice catching as he hugged his grinning son in front of the cameras.

                          "Scared the heck out of us."

                          Officials searched the home and neighbourhood, but the initial search did not turn up the boy.

                          Alderden said it's not uncommon for children to hide when they learn people are looking for them — because they don't want to get in trouble.

                          The incident started Thursday morning in Fort Collins, about 100 kilometres north of Denver, when it was reported that Falcon got into the balloon-like craft built by his father, and it came loose from a tether.

                          The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said the "homemade flying saucer" was made of plywood and string and was never intended for flight.

                          Bob Licko, 65, a neighbour, said he was leaving home when he heard commotion in the backyard.

                          He said he saw two boys on the roof with a camera, commenting about their brother.

                          "One of the boys yelled to me that his brother was way up in the air," Licko said.

                          Licko said the boys' mother seemed distraught, and the boys' father was running around the house.

                          Officials from Larimer, Weld and Adams counties worked all Thursday afternoon with the Federal Aviation Administration, and with help from a local TV news helicopter, to track the balloon.

                          It was aloft about three hours, sometimes drifting as high as 2,400 metres.

                          The balloon travelled about 80 kilometres during its flight and hit estimated speeds of about 50 km/h. At times, it gained altitude, then dropped as it flew in and out of rising thermals.

                          It made a soft landing in a farmer's field. When Falcon was not found with the balloon, a massive ground search for him was launched.

                          Larimer County asked people to be on the lookout for Falcon. Crews on the ground asked for all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel drive vehicles and horses to help search working farmlands and hilly pastures.

                          Firefighters and police from various departments were searching wide areas in both Larimer and Weld Counties, keeping track of "grids" as they moved along.

                          Margie Martinez, spokeswoman for the Weld County Sheriff's Office, said during the flight that officials were not sure the boy was still in the balloon, because it was impossible to look into the basket during flight.

                          Richard Heene is an amateur scientist based in Fort Collins. He and his partners call themselves the "psyience detectives."

                          Heene is a storm chaser who collects data to prove that rotating storms create their own magnetic fields.

                          He began his research in 2002 with lab experiments, then moved on to dust devils. In 2005, he flew a plane around Hurricane Wilma's perimeter. He took the Denver Post with him while chasing storms in 2007.

                          Heene and his wife, Mayumi, also have sons Ryo and Bradford.

                          They were featured on the ABC-TV series, Wife Swap.

                          In a promotion for one of the Heene episodes, Wife Swap described the family this way: "When the Heene family aren't chasing storms, they devote their time to scientific experiments that include looking for extraterrestrials and building a research-gathering flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm."

                          Read more at www.denverpost.com

                          © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

                          Comment


                          • No news, but an incredible picture

                            "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

                            Comment


                            • Ok, the first photo I was thinking "Man thats a silly way to park your truck." then I got the 4th, showing the bridge......... EEKK
                              If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                              "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                              "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                              Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                              impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                              IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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                              • Authors shine a light on Fido's eco-pawprint

                                Reuters October 23, 2009 1:09 AM

                                They're faithful, friendly and furry -- but under their harmless exteriors, dogs and cats, the world's most popular pets, use more energy resources in a year than driving a car, a new book says.

                                In their book Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, New Zealand-based architects Robert and Brenda Vale say keeping a medium-sized dog has the same ecological impact as driving 10,000 kilometres a year in a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser.

                                Calculating that the modern Fido chows through about 164 kg of meat and 95 kg of cereals a year, the Vales estimated the ecological footprint of cats and dogs, based on the amount of land needed to grow common brands of pet food.

                                "There are no recipes in the book," Robert Vale told Reuters, laughingly, in a telephone interview.

                                "We're not actually saying it is time to eat the dog. We're just saying that we need to think about and know the [ecological] impact of some of the things we do."

                                Constructing and driving the jeep for a year requires 0.41 hectares of land, while growing and manufacturing a dog's food takes about 0.84 ha -- or 1.1 ha in the case of a large dog.

                                Meat-eating swells the eco-footprint of dogs, and cats are not that much better, the Vales found.

                                The average cat's eco-footprint, 0.15 ha, weighs in at slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf, but still 10 times a hamster's 0.014 ha -- which is itself half the eco cost of running a plasma television.

                                By comparison, the ecological footprint of an average human in the developing world is 1.8 ha, while people in the developed world take 6 ha.

                                With pets' diets under the control of owners, how can their unsustainable appetites be trimmed?

                                Convincing cats and dogs to go vegetarian is a non-starter, the Vales say.

                                Instead they recommend keeping more sustainable pets, such as goldfish, hamsters, chickens or rabbits.

                                The book's playful title, and serious suggestion that pet animals may be usefully "recycled," by being eaten by their owners or turned into pet food when they die, may not appeal to all.

                                Off-putting as the idea may be, the question is valid given the planet's finite resources, Robert Vale said.

                                "It's not just about changing your lightbulbs or taking a cloth bag to the supermarket," he said.

                                "It's about much more challenging and difficult issues," he added. "Once you see where [pets] fit in your overall balance of things -- you might decide to have the cat but not also to have the two cars and the three bathrooms and be a meat eater yourself."

                                © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
                                If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                                "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                                "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                                Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                                impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                                IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

                                Comment

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