Mayo 2008


Like any red-blooded American teenager, John Tyler Hammons digs rock music, fast cars, video games and…fiscal planning?

Apparently so. The AP reports that the University of Oklahoma freshman trounced 70 year-old Hershel McBride to become the mayor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, making it the first city in the nation to be governed by a self-admitted gamer.

But while he could own any of his peers at Halo 3, the fresh-faced leader is turning his sights on cleaning up the town’s politics by establishing an independent ethics commission and locking down campaign finance reporting.

“I’m sure the (city) council will work with me on these issues,” he said. “I campaigned on this, and this is something I intend to push.”

Tired of the same old political shenanigans, the townsfolk are backing their new man.

“He doesn’t have the baggage. He doesn’t owe anybody anything,” said cafe owner Gary Armstrong. “It’s sort of a fresh start for Muskogee.”

Best known as the subject of country legend Merle Haggard’s 1969 hit “Okie from Muskogee,” the unassuming city of 38,000 is considered the archetype of virtuous, small town America, a “place where even squares can have a ball.”

And now, so can gamers.

http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature/19-year-old-gamer-becomes-mayor-of-oklahoma-town/1215787

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The next casualty in the console war might be you.

In their new ‘Playing Dirty’ report, environmental organization Greenpeace found that all three home video game consoles – Sony’s PS3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii – tested positive for a variety of hazardous chemicals, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), beryllium, bromine, and phthalates.

The latter, found in relatively high levels in both the Xbox 360 and PS3, are not permitted in components of toys or childcare products sold in the European Union. However, game consoles are not classified as toys and therefore are not subject to existing legislation.

“Whether game consoles are classified as toys or not, they can still contain hazardous chemicals and materials that could harm humans. The technology is available for the manufacturers to design out toxics and produce greener game consoles now,” said Greenpeace’s Dr. Kevin Brigden in a press release.

The report found that all three systems also contained significant levels of bromine, a chemical linked to impaired memory functions and other health problems. One of the phthalates found in the 360 and PS3, a chemical called DEHP, is also known to interfere with sexual development in mammals, especially males.

Hold on — you don’t need to start wearing a cup made of reinforced steel every time you play Halo 3 just yet. Greenpeace points out that the three console manufacturers have “avoided or reduced uses of individual hazardous substances in certain materials within their consoles.” Nintendo’s Wii showed no traces of beryllium in its electrical contacts, the Xbox 360 used fewer brominated materials in its housing materials and the PS3 circuit boards were bromine-free.

“Our test clearly shows that a greener game console is possible, said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. “By combining the best practices of each console design, we could replace most of the hazardous chemicals found in these game consoles with toxic free materials.”

And whatever you do, don’t dump your broken 360 in the trash. The group has further identified game consoles as key contributors towards a growing waste product called “ewaste.” Once console have reached the end of useful life, the group said, game consoles are “often dumped and end up in unsafe and dirty recycling yards in developing countries, where toxic contents harm both the environment and the health of workers.”

http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature/killer-app-game-consoles-contain-hazardous-chemicals/1214392

EASTON, Pa. – A former Bethlehem woman will serve up to 23 months in prison for having her 7-year-old son dress as a Cub Scout to collect money for a nonexistent cause.

Sally Ann Gombocz, 51, told a Northampton County judge she wanted to apologize to anyone she hurt. She previously pleaded guilty to theft by deception and corruption of a minor.

Gombocz had her son dress as a scout in 2003 and tell people he was raising money for a camping trip. A prosecutor says the family collected $69.

Gombocz was sentenced Friday to six to 23 months in the county jail. She also was fined $2,000, ordered to perform community service, take parenting classes, have psychological counseling and submit to random urine screens. She also must pay restitution. – AP

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/95803/Woman-sentenced-for-having-son-dress-up-as-Scout

VIENNA, Austria – The man behind the camera had three requests for his subjects: no sunglasses, no smiling, and no underwear.

The latest work by New York photographer Spencer Tunick gathered 1,840 people, baring it all in Austria’s Happel Stadium on Sunday.

“Stay very still. Don’t move,” the Austria Press Agency quoted Tunick as telling the crowd as he went to work.

Much of the hours-long photo shoot had little to do with soccer, with naked volunteers assuming different poses at the behest of the artist. But at least one of the photos had them with the ball, men first and then the women.

The stadium will host seven of the Euro 2008 soccer championship matches being staged by Austria and Switzerland, including the June 29 final.

Tunick has made a name for himself with his works featuring hundreds of naked people at unusual venues. He described Sunday’s shooting on his Web site as combining “the spirit of sports, the grand sweeping waves of stadium architecture and the abstract relation of the human form to modern structures.”

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/94666/Hundreds-strip-for-naked-photo-shoot-in-Austria

TUNIS, Tunisia, April 27 (UPI) — A Tunisian family alleges their daughter was raped during a telephone conversation with a man, a lawyer for the family said.

The 30-year-old man said he never touched the young woman. But he acknowledged he heard her scream while they were “totally into” an erotic telephone conversation — and that she reported bleeding, Al Arabiya reported.

Maha al-Metebaa, a lawyer representing the family, told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabs the case needs careful investigation because of its unprecedented allegations. He said a medical examination had determined that the woman, 20, was no longer a virgin.

“The intercourse did take place with all its details but verbally only,” he said. “The sexual act did not really happen because the physical proximity factor is not there, yet it happened because there is a direct physical impact – the loss of virginity.”

http://illseed.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/man-rapes-woman-over-the-phone/

Wellington, New Zealand (AHN) — Marine biologists in New Zealand are thawing out a 1,000 pound squid from a huge ice block in order to study it. The analysis of the 1,089-pound, 26-foot long colossal squid, set to begin Wednesday, will help determine how the creatures live and breed.

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa will broadcast the thawing and examination live on the Internet.

Researchers will study the contents of the squid’s stomach to see exactly what it ate. The scientists will also try to determine the creature’s gender.

Steve O’Shea, a squid expert at Auckland’s University of Technology told BBC news, “If we get ourselves a male it will be the first reported (scientific) description of the male of the species.” O’Shea is among the scientific team of 10.

Not much is known about colossal squid as only about 10 specimens have ever been caught and brought to shore.

The squid was removed from the freezer on Monday after scientists figured out the best way to thaw the creature without damaging it. The corpse of the squid will be studied for a few days before putting it on display in a tank of propylene glycol preservative.

The Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni specimen was caught in February 2007 in the Ross Sea off Antarctica.

http://www.ncbuy.com/news/2008-04-29/1016304.html