Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for July, 2011

Naked Ambition?

Posted by Boghound on July 31, 2011

Fatter and fewer German nudists

The naked sunbathers who once crowded Germany’s Baltic beaches and city parks are becoming an endangered species due to shifting demographics, the fall of the Berlin Wall, growing prosperity and widening girths.

Much to the chagrin of Free Body Culture (FKK) enthusiasts who have been stripping off their clothing on beaches and parks since the early 1900s, a cold wind has been blowing across Germany for nudists and their numbers are steadily dwindling.

"German society is changing and it’s not easy to be a naturist anymore," said Kurt Fischer, president of the German FKK association (DFK). There are some 500,000 registered nudists and a total of seven million Germans sunbathe naked regularly.

"But the numbers are unfortunately falling by about two percent each year," Fischer told a group of reporters in the Foreign Press Association (VAP) while sitting, fully clothed, at a beach bar in Berlin’s government quarter. "Times are tough."

Nude sunbathing has a long tradition in Germany. The Free Body Culture (FKK) movement was founded in the early 20th century and succeeded in taking much of the smut and embarrassment out of nudity.

Even Germany’s top model Heidi Klum was quoted in the German media recently extolling the virtues of topless sunbathing and describing difficulties she has pursuing it in places such as the United States and Italy where it’s frowned upon or illegal.

"I love to get a sun tan and I don’t like white stripes," said Klum. "I don’t worry about what other people think." Her parents often ran around in the nude and still do, she said.

In Germany, public nudity on beaches and lakes is by and large tolerated and practitioners face no legal consequences, although some courts have fined some caught hiking nude on public trails or riding bikes or horses while naked.

For decades nudity was a popular way for those living in Communist East Germany to express themselves — and was a small piece of freedom for those behind the Iron Curtain. East German beaches on the Baltic were always filled with nude bathers.

But that began to gradually fall out of fashion in many areas in the east after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and then tensions sometimes flared when some western German tourists unaccustomed to the widespread nudity complained.

"When we moved from western Germany to a town in the east, we noticed there was less of a taboo about nudity," said one American surprised by the ubiquitous nudity in the east. "It really struck me at a nearby lake when people were just naked in the water or getting a tan in the sun and nobody was bothered."

There are other reasons contributing to decline of the unique German cultural tradition. As a 70-year-old eastern woman named Brigitte pointed out, growing prosperity has led to growing waist sizes.

"In East Germany, there were a lot more people with attractive physiques," said Brigitte, a retired dental assistant and avid naturist who asked that her full name not be used.

"But with the rise in prosperity a lot of people have come apart at the seams and they can’t show their bodies in public anymore. We’ve become a lot chubbier with all this prosperity. It’s not really very aesthetic anymore."

Brigitte said she misses the East German era when entire beaches and camping areas were packed with nudists even though parts of West Germany, such as Munich’s English Garten park and West Berlin’s Tiergarten, have proud FKK traditions.

"I miss those places more and more," she said, admitting that she often feels inhibited about being nude and now wraps a towel around herself until she gets to the water. "You definitely see fewer people in then nude. But I don’t think the movement will die out. It’s too much fun."

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Planking or Just Thick?

Posted by Boghound on July 30, 2011

Planking fail sees woman becomes online hit

If this woman hoped people on the internet would see her attempt at planking and find it funny, mission accomplished… though probably not in the way she intended.

The unnamed US woman wanted to get in on the latest internet craze of planking which involves lying facedown in an unlikely setting and chose her kitchen.

Unfortunately for her, she accidentally grabbed the cooker door handle and it flung open causing her to hit her chin on the cooker before falling to the floor.

Despite the oven toppling down on top of her, the woman – who only suffered a bruise – dusted herself off and completed a successful plank in a reverse position. At least she got that we fame she was after. 

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Posted by Boghound on July 29, 2011




The odds seem stacked against the two dogs as at least seven sharks twice their size circled below them during a dip in the sea.

But far from being frightened, the pair appear completely unperturbed, even swimming after them in the shallow water.

One of the dogs then suddenly ducks below the surface and attacks.

“The dog is biting the shark,” exclaimed the cameraman in disbelief as the pair thrashed around underwater.

“The dog is underwater with the shark. What the hell? That is unbelievable. I’ve seen it all now. I can’t believe I’ve got that on film.”

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Mail It?….Not!

Posted by Boghound on July 28, 2011

Mail fail leads to jail

A mailman in England who stashed 31,000 parcels because he was too drunk to deliver them will spend time in jail.

Steve Tasker, of Burnley, just north of Manchester, admitted to interfering with mail, damage and theft, reports the Telegraph newspaper.

The 43-year-old Tasker said he meant to deliver all that mail one day. That’s why he stored it in his home and his backyard shed over a period of three and a half years.

According to the paper, postal officials put Tasker under surveillance last September after receiving complaints from people who weren’t getting their mail. One day, they saw him start work around noon and knock off at 2 p.m. with more than 300 pieces of mail undelivered.

Tasker was sentenced to 32 weeks in jail, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to get alcohol treatment and enter a program that teaches people life skills like problem solving.

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Only Kidding?

Posted by Boghound on July 27, 2011

Aussie mum investigated for putting kids on eBay

An Australian mother who listed her children for sale on the Internet had her joke backfire when authorities were called in to investigate, police said Sunday.

Officials in the southern city of Geelong were notified last week that a woman was attempting to sell her children, a boy and girl both aged under 10, on the auction site eBay.

Photos of the children were included in the sales pitch.

"Police tracked down the woman, who said it was a joke," police said in a statement.

Child welfare officers and police conducted a joint investigation and police said no charges would be laid.

"However, police discourage this type of behaviour," the statement said.

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Yeh Right?

Posted by Boghound on July 26, 2011

Woman blames satnav for driving into lake

An Australian woman has driven into a lake and said her satellite navigation system is to blame.

Petra Lang, 27, used the device to point her in the direction of Lake Grundlsee, but when she tried to take a shortcut she was unsighted by undergrowth and ended up going straight into the water, according to the emergency services.

One rescuer said: "She insisted the satnav system was to blame.

"She said she typed in that she wanted to go to the lake – but got closer than she intended."

Petra escaped safely but firefighters had to pull the van out of the lake.

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Bloody French!!

Posted by Boghound on July 25, 2011

Couple win £7.8k over non-French speaking airline staff

A couple have successfully sued Air Canada after airline staff did not speak to them in French.

Michel and Lynda Thibodeau were awarded 12,000 Canadian dollars (£7,800 / US$12,500) from the lawsuit.Because Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as its official languages, national airlines by law must provide service in both tongues.

Michel complained that he was only greeted in English at the airport in Ottawa. Later, when he had ordered a 7 Up, he claimed that an English-speaking steward handed over the soft drink.

He was further angered when an announcement was made in English at the baggage carousel.

Michel can speak fluent English, but said after winning the case: "This was a violation of my linguistic rights, and you have to stand up for your rights or lose them."

In 2002, Michel lodged a complaint when a bus driver said "hello" to him instead of the French greeting "bonjour".

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Something Else To Worry About??

Posted by Boghound on July 24, 2011

Over 65 and not worried about heat? You should be

This week’s heat wave may be uncomfortable, but you’re healthy, active and feel just fine. So what if you’re over 65? Think again. Feeling good doesn’t mean you’re safe.

There are changes in an older person that raise the risk for heat stroke and other problems. An older body contains far less water than a younger one. Older brains can’t sense temperature changes as well, and they don’t recognize thirst as easily.

Blistering summer heat is an underappreciated killer, claiming by some estimates as many as 1,000 U.S. lives each year — more than any other type of weather.

One federal study found 40 percent of heat-related deaths were in people 65 and older. Those numbers could be lower if more heeded heat warnings aimed at seniors. Yet research has shown many people over 65 don’t think the warnings apply to them — because they don’t think they’re "old."

Don Worden is 79 and an avid tennis buff who prefers playing doubles on outdoor courts along Chicago’s lakefront — even in oppressive 90-degree temperatures like those hitting the Midwest this week.

"I don’t pay too much attention to those" warnings, Worden said. "I stay in pretty good shape, and I don’t feel they apply to me."

Worden said he drinks a lot of water and would stop a match if he started feeling effects from the heat, "but that hasn’t happened."

Scott Sheridan, who studies the effects of heat and climate on health at Kent State University, researched how people over 65 view heat warnings. In his 2006 study of more than 900 people, he found about 70 percent knew about advice to drink plenty of water on very hot days, avoid outdoor activities and stay inside with air conditioning. But only about half said they followed the advice.

"People well into their 70s would say old people should watch out but not them," he said. "People just didn’t want to be thought of in that same category."

Dr. David Zich, an emergency medicine specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said he has colleagues in medicine that age who shun being thought of as "elderly." But those heat warnings apply to them, too.

As Dr. William Dale, geriatrics chief at the University of Chicago Medical Center explains it, "Any older adult has less reserve and is more likely to become dehydrated than others, just because their overall body water goes down with age no matter how healthy you are."

The amount of water in the body declines with aging, from about 80 percent in young adulthood to about 55 to 60 percent for people in their 80s, Dale said.

Temperature sensors in the brain become less sensitive as people age, so the body doesn’t get the same signals to drink water in hot weather, and older people often don’t feel thirsty even when they need to replenish, Dale said.

They also may not feel the typical symptoms of dehydration, such as headache or dizziness. Some complain of just feeling "bad" and think they’re getting sick, he said.

Conditions were ripe for those types of complaints Tuesday as a dense dome of hot air remained parked over much of the nation’s midsection, raising temperatures into the mid- to upper-90s from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Rockies and the northern Plains. Tropical-level humidity raised the heat index in many places to nearly 120 degrees.

In South Dakota, up to 1,500 head of cattle died across the state from the heat. And in eastern Iowa, the scorching sun caused a portion of Interstate 380 to buckle. The weather also sent dozens of people to hospitals, canceled outdoor sporting events and caused sporadic power outages.

In such conditions, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and potentially deadly heat stroke. During a heat wave, that can happen in a matter of hours in older people if they over-exert themselves, don’t drink enough water or are frail and don’t get out of uncooled homes, said Dr. Chris Carpenter, an emergency medicine physician at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Heat exhaustion can cause muscle cramps, low blood pressure, rapid pulse and nausea. It can be treated at home, by drinking water, getting into an air-conditioned room or sitting in front of a fan and misting the body with cool water.

But affected people should be monitored for mental changes and to make sure their temperature does not rise above 102 because the condition can quickly lead to heat stroke. A medical emergency, heat stroke involves temperatures of 104 or higher and can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and death.

Medicines many older people take also may make them more vulnerable to the heat. These include diuretics for high blood pressure, which increase urination — and make it more important to drink plenty of water, Dale said.

Some types of drugs can interfere with sweating and raise body temperature, including some medicines for insomnia, nausea, prostate conditions, Parkinson’s disease and even Benadryl. Many list "dry mouth" as a side effect — a tip-off to drink more water, Zich said.

There aren’t specific guidelines on how much water older people should drink in a heat wave.

Dale said he generally tells his older patients to drink a quart of water throughout the day, and to drink even if they don’t feel thirsty.

Doctors also advise older patients to avoid alcohol and coffee during extreme heat because they can cause the body to lose fluid and contribute to dehydration.

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The EU Gets It Right!

Posted by Boghound on July 23, 2011

EU Copyright Legislation Opposed By ISPs, Professors and Users

In the middle of July 2011, the European Commission published the results of a public consultation on the EU copyright directive IPRED. The responses have created a huge gap between rights owners and ISPs, professors and consumers, who claimed that the measures mentioned in IPRED threaten fundamental human rights and stifle innovation.

Within the past few years controversial copyright-protecting measures have been proposed in the European Union and outside of it. The most recent proposal (IPR Enforcement Directive, better known as IPRED) also proposes measures affecting online freedom and transforming Internet Service providers into Internet cops.

Earlier this year, different stakeholders and European citizens received the chance to take a stand against the proposed legislation. Now the results of the public consultation are published with a total of 380 responses received. Around 50% of all responses belong to individuals.

The summary, published by the EC, showed that there are in fact two rival parties formed, one of them being rights owners, and the other including Internet users, broadband providers and academics. While copyright owners are calling for stricter rules for copyright violation and illegal file-sharing, the second party is insisting that such measures shouldn’t apply for a number of reasons.

For example, Internet service providers complain that harsher rules would suffocate innovation, while Internet users, consumer groups and professors claim the legislation violate fundamental human rights. So, the European Commission made a conclusion that the overwhelming majority of consumers and academics strongly argued against regulation of IPR infringements, particularly in the context of the Internet community. Therefore, censoring of content and monitoring traffic on the web were regarded as threats to basic rights and clearly rejected. In addition, lots of the respondents pointed out that the entertainment industry itself is the piracy’s catalyst, because it doesn’t offer legitimate content.

Meanwhile, many respondents proposed for legalizing file-sharing throughout time, which would help the free exchange of data and consequently helping spread culture along with increasing creativity without affecting industry and society as a whole.

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Posted by Boghound on July 22, 2011

Forklift thief crashes, then distracts police

Police allege a man made up a story about a shooting to distract them from investigating a stolen forklift he had crashed into a river footbridge in Adelaide.

They said the 22-year-old Underdale man stole the forklift from a food distribution business at suburban West Hindmarsh.

Just after 11:00pm on Tuesday he was doing burn-outs on the River Torrens bike track at Flinders Park, crashed into a footbridge and the forklift got stuck.

Neighbours heard the crash and called police.

While officers were searching for the man, someone telephoned from a house at Underdale to report a shooting.

Police went to the house and ended up arresting the caller.

They allege he was the forklift thief and made up the shooting story as a distraction.

He has been charged with offences including creating a false belief.

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