Man claims Blue Man Group put camera down throat; allegations denied
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Man claims Blue Man Group put camera down throat; allegations denied

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Blue Man Group issued a press release Friday morning refuting a man’s claims that they forced a tube down his throat as part of a show.

Earlier this week, audience participant James Srodon filed a court claim in Cook County Circuit Court that members of performance trio forced a dirty tube down his throat against his will while he was part of a skit called “Esophagus Video.”

The description of the incident is not true, says the musical performance group.

“We are shocked and surprised to learn of the allegations made in reference to one of our comedic pieces, ‘Esophagus Video,'” the group said.

Srodon claims that he was unexpectedly approached and had a tubular camera forced down his throat during an October 2006 performance at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre. He claims he had his head was forced back and one of the Blue Men forced the tube in him. The joke is to show footage from the inside of the audience member.

The Blue Man Group says that nothing actually goes down anyone’s throat.

” ‘Esophagus Video’ is simply an illusion,” the group wrote in its press release. “A camera is held in an actor’s hands, the actor’s hands are placed near an audience member’s mouth (not on or in). The live-feed video screen then switches to a pre-recorded medical video, resulting in the hilarious and absurd illusion that the audience is peering down an individual’s esophagus. Because the camera never enters the mouth, the execution of this illusion could not possibly put anyone at risk of injury.”

The group added the skit and skits like it have been performed for the past 15 years by them without complaint.

The Californian is suing on the basis that the alleged tube was unsafely dirty and that his experience being cornered gave him post-traumatic stress and nightmares.

Srodon also claims he lost fillings and dental work because of the tube. The suit is reported to be seeking damages of more than $500,000, however the group reported that they have not been served papers as of Friday morning.

The Blue Man Group has a lot of audience participation as part of their show and is a Las Vegas fixture. The music and comedy group came to public consciousness around 2000.

Teaching Your Children About Money Management

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By Jude Wright

Teaching your kids about money management helps them develop lifelong money smarts. But, it’s difficult to teach your kids about budgeting when you’re having money problems yourself.

Your first step in making your children money savvy is to give them a good role model. Teach yourself about personal finance and then demonstrate your good spending habits to your children so they will learn the same habits.

Most children haven’t been taught the basics of money management, so it’s not surprising that over 120,000 young adults under the age of 25 filed for bankruptcy in 2003. If kids don’t learn solid money skills at home or school, they are on the path of having financial problems throughout their adult life.

How can you help your kids avoid this dismal statistic?

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1. Talk about money in your home; don’t make it a taboo subject. Discuss any money problems openly and how you can overcome them.

2. Give your kids regular allowances. If they’re going to learn how to manage money, they will need to have some. You can give them money as an “allowance” or as payment for household chores. The amount you give your child will depend on his age and maturity level.

3. Teach your child basic skills by using his “income” as an example. Have him list expenses over a month, such as school supplies, clothing, school lunches and treats. It doesn’t have to be exact, just a reasonable estimate. Once you have the list, show him the difference between necessary and unnecessary expenses. Finally, help him decide on the best ways to spend – and save – his income.

At what age do you start teaching kids about money? Early. Pre-schoolers can learn about the different coins and, for instance, how many nickels equal a dime, etc.

Play “store” with children aged 5-8 to teach them how to make change. Use real money to buy items you have marked with prices. Also teach them that you don’t just take money out of the ATM machine but that you must deposit money into it as well. This is the age to take your child to the bank to open her first savings account.

9-12 year olds can learn different ways to save money, from “shopping” for lower priced items to using coupons to lower the cost. When you see advertisements on television, discuss how the ad tries to influence them in what they buy.

Teenagers between 13-16 can be put in charge of buying the family groceries – with supervision, of course! Give your teen the list of items to buy, an amount of money to spend and have her look for coupons and ads in order to get the best prices.

Youngsters over 17 can get jobs after school and weekends. This will teach them that money must be earned…that they won’t automatically “get” money when they’re out on their own.

When your teen is ready for a car, help him research the costs of automobile ownership: the cost of the car itself, gas, maintenance and insurance. Then, help him find ways to save for those expenses.

Teaching children about money management throughout their childhood will give them the confidence they need to manage their personal finances when they reach adulthood.

About the Author: Jude Wright is the author of “Keeping a Budget.” Learn the the skills you need to manage your money.

KeepingABudget.com

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Source:

isnare.com

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Rower Tuijn halfway across Pacific in record attempt
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Rower Tuijn halfway across Pacific in record attempt

Monday, July 9, 2007

Dutch adventurer Ralph Tuijn has reached the halfway point of his attempt to be the first person to row across the Pacific Ocean unaided.

The 16,000 kilometre journey from the coast of Peru to the seaside city of Brisbane, Australia, the widest section of the Pacific, has never been crossed absolutely unaided by a rower, and Tuijn says just nine people have rowed it even with assistance.

Tuijn reached the central point of his crossing, an insignificant point of water in the ocean, 111 days after setting off from Peru in March. He has been making good progress, and has since cut his estimated time of arrival in Brisbane by a month.

The Dutchman, who now expects to reach his destination on October 20, has kept in touch with those tracking his movements through daily internet postings from his laptop computer, including his wife Winnie. His boat, the Zeeman Challenger, is a seven-metre custom plywood vessel.

Tuijn has overcome a variety of obstacles to reach the halfway point. He is suffering from the constant attention of sharks, who often bump his boat and disrupt his attempts at sleep. One particular shark, dubbed ‘Gomulka’ by Tuijn, has been trailing the adventurer’s boat for extended periods.

He has also accidentally burnt himself when he spilled hot water on his foot whilst trying to make coffee, apparently also from a shark ‘bump’. He is also forced to manually pump water for cooking and drinking after his automatic water pump broke down not long into his journey.

“Physically everything feels great and I can’t help feeling that I could do this for 500 days, but mentally it’s still hard to be on your own for such a long time”

His vessel has no motors or sails, but relies on his physical rowing power to move. The boat does have a solar power system to provide energy for his laptop, a telephone and a global positioning system.

Tujin, who is raising money for a children’s home in Mumbai, India, is rowing at an average speed of 58 kilometres each day. His diet consists of freeze-dried foods and fish, which are keeping him physically well-conditioned despite tiring mentally.

Tuijn is a serial adventurer and experienced rower. He has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, as well as cycled across Russia and the icy terrain of Greenland.

Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008
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Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Many media outlets traditionally deliberately spread hoaxes on April Fools’ Day, including notable quality sources such as National Geographic and Science.

The popular British tabloid The Sun wrote that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to undergo stretch surgery to make him taller than his wife, Italian artist and model Carla Bruni. The report claimed the 5 foot 5 inch leader would be made 5 inches taller in one year using a method by Israeli professor Ura Schmuck. The Sun noted that during his visit to Britain last week, Sarkozy had high-heel shoes while his wife wore a pair of flat pumps.

The Guardian on the other hand ran an article that suggested that Carla would head an initiative by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to bring more glamour, good taste and sophistication to the U.K. general population. This would involve collaboration with Marks & Spencer for high-street fashion and Jamie Oliver for meals and wine.

BBC News had real-looking footage of flying penguins fronted by documentary host Terry Jones, which were actually an advertisement for its new iPlayer.

On the campaign trail, September 2012
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On the campaign trail, September 2012
This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The following is the eleventh in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: Wikinews chronicles three of the lesser-known speakers at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a controversial pastor and write-in candidate talks to Wikinews about the unrest in the Middle East, and the ballot-qualified American Third Position Party (A3P) presidential nominee travels to Iran to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Lesser-known DNC speakers discuss their experience
  • 3 Wikinews interviews write-in candidate connected to Middle East turmoil
  • 4 A3P nominee meets with the President of Iran
  • 5 Sources
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Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement
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Scholastic sued for Harry Potter copyright infringement

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A trustee of the estate of the late author Adrian Jacobs filed a lawsuit against the US publisher of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic Inc, on Tuesday. He claimed that J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, had copied scenes from Jacob’s novel, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, to the fourth novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The suit followed a similar case last year, in which the trustee sued the UK publisher of the series, Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Both of these cases are currently pending.

The complaint stated that in both books, the protagonists “are required to deduce the exact nature of the central task in the competition”, and had done so in a bathroom. Both books also involved “rescuing hostages imprisoned by a community of half-human, half-animal creatures.” The suit also claimed that Christopher Little, a literary agent of Rowling, was originally the literary agent of Jacobs. The claim was denied by Scholastic.

Scholastic called the claim “completely without merit”. They pointed out that Rowling had said in February that she had never read Jacobs’ book. The trustee said that the US was the world’s largest foreign market, so they brought their first overseas action there. He demanded that all copies of the Harry Potter novel be destroyed, and all the profit made by the book given to him.

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Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported
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Strong earthquake near Solomon Islands, tsunami reported

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A magnitude 8.1 undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that has killed at least fifteen people, including six children, in the Solomon Islands. Tsunami warnings have been issued for parts of Australia as well.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 8.0 quake struck Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 20:39:56 (UTC) about 45 km (25 mi) south-southeast of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands, at a depth of 10 km.

Contents

  • 1 ‘Disaster’ declared in the Solomons
  • 2 Region on alert
  • 3 Related news
  • 4 Sources
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News briefs:July 4, 2006
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News briefs:July 4, 2006

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on July 4th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Heavy rains lash Mumbai, many parts of the city flooded
    • 1.2 Bird Flu kills 40th Indonesian
    • 1.3 Chinese media face fines for disaster reporting
    • 1.4 NASA to launch Discovery despite crack in insulation foam
    • 1.5 NSW fraud squad recognised in Singapore
    • 1.6 New Zealand diplomats: Fiat using Maori haka in television ad is insensitive
    • 1.7 Speeches of Canada’s PM Stephen Harper rank as top-downloaded podcasts
    • 1.8 Report into whether Australian Big Brother breached online content laws to be handed down today
  • 2 Closing statements

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British doctor killed while on honeymoon
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British doctor killed while on honeymoon

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catherine Mullany, a newly married British woman, and her husband, Ben Mullany, have been shot while on honeymoon in Antigua. Catherine died on the scene, while Ben is in a critical condition in Hospital.

The families of the Mullanys have described themselves as “deeply shocked and devastated.”

The incident occurred at 05:00 Antigua time (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday, and it is being treated by police as a robbery. A police spokesperson described the incident. “Shortly after 5am this morning officers from the Bolans Police station responding to a call, arrived at Cocos Hotel and Restaurant in the Valley Church area, the scene of a murder.” UK police have been asked to help in the inquiry.

Catherine Mullany was a doctor, who, before her death, planned to become a GP. Ben was a physiotherapy student at the University of the West of England (UWE), which is located in Bristol, England. Mary Price, the Media Relations and Internal Communications Manager for UWE, gave Wikinews the following statement:

Ben Mullany is a third year physiotherapy student at the University of the West of England. Ben is a very good student who is greatly valued by staff and his peers. Staff and fellow students are deeply shocked to hear of this tragic incident. Our condolences go to his wife’s family and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
 This story has updates See British man dies five days after wife in honeymoon shooting 

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Cold as ice: Wikinews interviews Marymegan Daly on unusual new sea anemone
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Cold as ice: Wikinews interviews Marymegan Daly on unusual new sea anemone

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In late 2010 a geological expedition to Antarctica drilled through the Ross Ice Shelf so they could send an ROV under it. What they found was unexpected: Sea anemones. In their thousands they were doing what no other species of sea anemone is known to do — they were living in the ice itself.

Discovered by the ANDRILL [Antarctic Drilling] project, the team was so unprepared for biological discoveries they did not have suitable preservatives and the only chemicals available obliterated the creature’s DNA. Nonetheless Marymegan Daly of Ohio State University confirmed the animals were a new species. Named Edwardsiella andrillae after the drilling project that found it, the anemone was finally described in a PLOS ONE paper last month.

ANDRILL lowered their cylindrical camera ROV down a freshly-bored 270m (890ft) hole, enabling it to reach seawater below the ice. The device was merely being tested ahead of its planned mission retrieving data on ocean currents and the sub-ice environment. Instead it found what ANDRILL director Frank Rack of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, a co-author of the paper describing the find, called the “total serendipity” of “a whole new ecosystem that no one had ever seen before”.

The discovery raises many questions. Burrowing sea anemones worm their way into substrates or use their tentacles to dig, but it’s unclear how E. andrillae enters the hard ice. With only their tentacles protruding into the water from the underneath of the ice shelf questions also revolve around how the animals avoid freezing, how they reproduce, and how they cope with the continuously melting nature of their home. Their diet is also a mystery.

What fascinates me about sea anemones is that they’re able to do things that seem impossible

E. andrillae is an opaque white, with an inner ring of eight tentacles and twelve-to-sixteen tentacles in an outer ring. The ROV’s lights produced an orange glow from the creatures, although this may be produced by their food. It measures 16–20mm (0.6–0.8in) but when fully relaxed can extend to triple that.

Genetic analysis being impossible, Daly turned to dissection of the specimens but could find nothing out of the ordinary. Scientists hope to send a biological mission to explore the area under the massive ice sheet, which is in excess of 600 miles (970km) wide. The cameras also observed worms, fish that swim inverted as if the icy roof was the sea floor, crustaceans and a cylindrical creature that used appendages on its ends to move and to grab hold of the anemones.

NASA is providing funding to aid further research, owing to possible similarities between this icy realm and Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Biological research is planned for 2015. An application for funding to the U.S. National Science Foundation, which funds ANDRILL, is also pending.

The ANDRILL team almost failed to get any samples at all. Designed to examine the seafloor, the ROV had to be inverted to examine the roof of ice. Weather conditions prevented biological sampling equipment being delivered from McMurdo Station, but the scientists retrieved 20–30 anemones by using hot water to stun them before sucking them from their burrows with an improvised device fashioned from a coffee filter and a spare ROV thruster. Preserved on-site in ethanol, they were taken to McMurdo station where some were further preserved with formaldehyde.

((Wikinews)) How did you come to be involved with this discovery?

Marymegan Daly: Frank Rack got in touch after they returned from Antarctica in hopes that I could help with an identification on the anemone.

((Wikinews)) What was your first reaction upon learning there was an undiscovered ecosystem under the ice in the Ross Sea?

MD I was amazed and really excited. I think to say it was unexpected is inaccurate, because it implies that there was a well-founded expectation of something. The technology that Frank and his colleagues are using to explore the ice is so important because, given our lack of data, we have no reasonable expectation of what it should be like, or what it shouldn’t be like.

((Wikinews)) There’s a return trip planned hopefully for 2015, with both biologists and ANDRILL geologists. Are you intending to go there yourself?

MD I would love to. But I am also happy to not go, as long as someone collects more animals on my behalf! What I want to do with the animals requires new material preserved in diverse ways, but it doesn’t require me to be there. Although I am sure that being there would enhance my understanding of the animals and the system in which they live, and would help me formulate more and better questions about the anemones, ship time is expensive, especially in Antarctica, and if there are biologists whose contribution is predicated on being there, they should have priority to be there.

((Wikinews)) These animals are shrouded in mystery. Some of the most intriguing questions are chemical; do they produce some kind of antifreeze, and is that orange glow in the ROV lights their own? Talk us through the difficulties encountered when trying to find answers with the specimens on hand.

MD The samples we have are small in terms of numbers and they are all preserved in formalin (a kind of formaldehyde solution). The formalin is great for preserving structures, but for anemones, it prevents study of DNA or of the chemistry of the body. This means we can’t look at the issue you raise with these animals. What we could do, however, was to study anatomy and figure out what it is, so that when we have samples preserved for studying e.g., the genome, transcriptome, or metabolome, or conduct tests of the fluid in the burrows or in the animals themselves, we can make precise comparisons, and figure out what these animals have or do (metabolically or chemically) that lets them live where they live.
Just knowing a whole lot about a single species isn’t very useful, even if that animal is as special as these clearly are — we need to know what about them is different and thus related to living in this strange way. The only way to get at what’s different is to make comparisons with close relatives. We can start that side of the work now, anticipating having more beasts in the future.
In terms of their glow, I suspect that it’s not theirs — although luminescence is common in anemone relatives, they don’t usually make light themselves. They do make a host of florescent proteins, and these may interact with the light of the ROV to give that gorgeous glow.

((Wikinews)) What analysis did you perform on the specimens and what equipment was used?

MD I used a dissecting scope to look at the animal’s external anatomy and overall body organization (magnification of 60X). I embedded a few of the animals in wax and then cut them into very thin slices using a microtome, mounted the slices on microscope slides, stained the slices to enhance contrast, and then looked at those slides under a compound microscope (that’s how I got the pictures of the muscles etc in the paper). I used that same compound scope to look at squashed bits of tissue to see the stinging capsules (=nematocysts).
I compared the things I saw under the ‘scopes to what had been published on other species in this group. This step seems trivial, but it is really the most important part! By comparing my observations to what my colleagues and predecessors had found, I figured out what group it belongs to, and was able to determine that within that group, it was a new species.

((Wikinews)) It was three years between recovery of specimens and final publication, why did it take so long?

MD You mean, how did we manage to make it all happen so quickly, right? 🙂 It was about two years from when Frank sent me specimens to when we got the paper out. Some of that time was just lost time — I had other projects in the queue that I needed to finish. Once we figured out what it was, we played a lot of manuscript email tag, which can be challenging and time consuming given the differing schedules that folks keep in terms of travel, field work, etc. Manuscript review and processing took about four months.

((Wikinews)) What sort of difficulties were posed by the unorthodox preservatives used, and what additional work might be possible on a specimen with intact DNA?

MD The preservation was not unorthodox — they followed best practices for anatomical preservation. Having DNA-suitable material will let us see whether there are new genes, or genes turned on in different ways and at different times that help explain how these animals burrow into hard ice and then survive in the cold. I am curious about the population structure of the “fields” of anemones — the group to which Edwardsiella andrillae belongs includes many species that reproduce asexually, and it’s possible that the fields are “clones” produced asexually rather than the result of sexual reproduction. DNA is the only way to test this.

((Wikinews)) Do you have any theories about the strategies employed to cope with the harsh environment of burrowing inside an ice shelf?

MD I think there must be some kind of antifreeze produced — the cells in contact with ice would otherwise freeze.

((Wikinews)) How has such an apparently large population of clearly unusual sea anemones, not to mention the other creatures caught on camera, gone undetected for so long?

MD I think this reflects how difficult it is to get under the ice and to collect specimens. That being said, since the paper came out, I have been pointed towards two other reports that are probably records of these species: one from Japanese scientists who looked at footage from cameras attached to seals and one from Americans who dove under ice. In both of these cases, the anemone (if that’s what they saw) was seen at a distance, and no specimens were collected. Without the animals in hand, or the capability of a ROV to get close up for pictures, it is hard to know what has been seen, and lacking a definitive ID, hard to have the finding appropriately indexed or contextualized.

((Wikinews)) Would it be fair to say this suggests there may be other undiscovered species of sea anemone that burrow into hard substrates such as ice?

MD I hope so! What fascinates me about sea anemones is that they’re able to do things that seem impossible given their seemingly limited toolkit. This finding certainly expands the realm of possible.

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