Saturday, September 13, 2008

‘1 Out of 3 People Believe in Fortune Telling’

‘1 Out of 3 People Believe in Fortune Telling’

The telling of fortunes has been an integral part of Chinese superstition and cultural beliefs since time immemorial. It is a highly respected practice, whose practitioners are relegated to the equivalent roles in western society of management consultants and psychotherapists.

fortune-sticks 1 Out of 3 People Believe in Fortune Telling picture

Many major business decisions are made with the specific input of a fortune teller, and for the Chinese fortune-telling is a social event, somewhat like going shopping or dining out.

Modern China and its fortunetellers have had their ups and downs, as do all relationships, whether good or bad. The Communist Party for years saw the fading art form as a sign of “backwardness,” and yet traditional fortune-tellers thrive in today’s China although their role is something other than mystical.

fortune-teller 1 Out of 3 People Believe in Fortune Telling picture

One newspaper from a decade ago warned that “Chinese Scientists are Against Fortune-Telling” and the inclusive article cited a survey, which indicated that 1 out of every 3 persons in China believed in fortune-telling.

The commentary concluded with the admonition that “those who make money by telling fortunes should be punished according to the law.”

Fortune-telling is often a family affair; a trade passed down from generation to generation and family member to family member. Fortune-tellers can be found in cities like Beijing where they minister to pedestrians and office workers.

Their true significance of fortune-telling is a moot point. There can be little doubt, however, that it is the power of belief and the ability to ‘tune in” and not the fortune-teller’s divination sticks that support the mystique and “power” of the modern Chinese fortune-teller.

Chinese authorities have targeted fortune-telling as the nation’s next priority in a crackdown on illegal telephone content and phone sex. Still, fortune-telling persists, which is a statement all by itself. Interest in the telling of fortunes always increases sharply around the start of the Lunar New Year.

For a dynamic nation like China, it would seem that the intangible is the most sought after commodity of all; namely, the future.

Who knows what it will bring?

Hundreds Stranded On Runway When Airline Closes

More than 260 people were on a runway when the airline they were scheduled to travel to Britain with went out of business -- leaving them stranded in Orlando.British airline XL went out of business Thursday night and immediately grounded its flights, including all planes leaving Sanford-Orlando International Airport."(Airport officials) told us we should go and sleep on the street with our children because we are not their responsibility," an angry passenger said. "I've come here on a packaged holiday and I've paid to go home."
After news of the bankruptcy broke, an aircraft carrying the passengers about to take off turned around and headed back to the airport."We went backwards about 150 feet, stopped and got a message from the captain that there has been a bit of a problem," a passenger said.The passengers said they were then let out on the runway and forgotten."I thought America and Britain were supposed to be (close)," passenger Mark Russell said. "They wanted us off the airport (property)."They are kicking us out on the street," a nearby passenger said.Local 6 showed video of passengers discussing the matter with a police officer and official."I've told all of them who will talk with me that I'm doing everything I can to get answers for them," an official said."You threatened us with armed police if we don't leave," a passenger said. "The armed police will be coming to remove us."The tourists were still trying to find a way home Friday

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wannabe cop in Camden County picked wrong driver to stop

Wannabe cop in Camden County picked wrong driver to stop

When Gene Angelino pulled a motorist over for a parking violation Wednesday night, he broke the first rule of impersonating a police officer:

Don't pull over a real officer.

Police in Winslow Township, Camden County, say that Angelino, 40, of Wildcat Branch Drive, in Winslow, was driving a white, unmarked Ford Crown Victoria, complete with tinted windows, sirens and a light bar, when he tried to pull a driver over for a parking violation at 6:32 p.m.

Angelino's alleged traffic violator was really an undercover Winslow officer working a narcotics detail, police said.

"He told the officer he was a federal law-enforcement agent," said Lt. David Deaner, of Winslow.

The undercover officer didn't buy it and radioed for backup, at which point Angelino's charade was up.

Deaner said that police searched Angelino's car and found badges and false police identification.

Back at Angelino's house, police found more pieces of Angelino's costume, including a 9mm handgun, handcuffs, more badges and posters of the FBI's most-wanted list.

"We believe he stole them from a post office, but we're not sure which one," Deaner said.

Angelino's run-in with police made them realize they'd seen him before.

Deaner said that Winslow cops had been involved in a foot chase in Angelino's neighborhood July 22, when he emerged from his home with a police radio attached to his hip.

"He said he was an off-duty officer from Burlington County," Deaner said. "He came out of his house to see if everything was under control. The officers were too involved with the incident at the time, though."

Angelino was charged with impersonating an officer in both incidents.

Police said that they didn't want to provide the location of the arrest because an undercover cop had been involved.

Angelino was being held in the Camden County Jail on $20,000 cash bail, Deaner said.

Police aren't ruling out the possibility that Angelino has used his elaborate props to impersonate an officer at other times. The department is asking anyone who may have been a victim to call 609-561-3300.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Park attendants ordered to interrogate adults spotted without children

Park attendants ordered to interrogate adults spotted without children

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:42 AM on 10th September 2008


Telford Town Park in Shropshire, where council workers have been told to confront lone adults in the park to check if they are paedophiles

Park wardens have been ordered to stop and interrogate anyone who is not accompanied by children.

The visitors who are quizzed have to explain their presence and risk being thrown out or reported to police if their answers are not satisfactory.

The policy has been introduced at Telford Town Park in Shropshire. The council which manages the 420-acre area says it is a 'commonsense approach' aimed at safeguarding children.

But park users accused it of 'authoritarian madness' and said the ruling risked panicking parents about the dangers faced from potential paedophiles.

The policy came to light after two environmental campaigners dressed as penguins were thrown out of the park last month when caught handing out leaflets on climate change.

Telford and Wrekin Council said Rachel Whittaker and Neil Donaldson were ejected because they had not undergone Criminal Records Bureau checks or risk assessments before entering the park - a requirement under the Child Protection Act.

David Ottley, recreation manager at the Tory-run council, said in a letter to a member of the public over that issue: 'Our town park staff approach adults that are not associated with any children in the park and request the reason for them being there.

'In particular, this applies to those areas where children or more vulnerable groups gather.'

Miss Whittaker, 34, from Wellington, near Telford, said the policy carried a 'dangerous implication that if you have a child with you than everything is OK and you won't be questioned'.

Former childcare social worker John Evans said: 'It is authoritarian madness which can only be based on ignorance. It is absurd, it is insulting and it is dangerous as it panics people about the dangers their children face.'

A council spokesman insisted that only those 'acting suspiciously' would be stopped and questioned

We're the Government. We'd Rather Pay for It

We're the Government. We'd Rather Pay for It

Your government at work.

Retired Glenwood Springs car dealer John Haines' hope of donating a giant chunk of snow -white marble to the federal government to replace the cracked Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is stalled again.

Haines' hoped-for donation, which has sat outside the Yule Quarry near Marble since it was cut for the tomb in 2003, didn't even rate a mention in a 34-page Department of the Army report to Congress this week on replacement and repair options for the deteriorating tomb.

Haines' donation creates problems for the federal government because it is free and has not gone through a pricey bidding and specification process.


This week's report — the latest in a string of tomb reports done since Arlington officials decided the marble needed replacing 18 years ago — estimates the cost of replacing the tomb's marble at $2.2 million — $80,000 of that for seeking bids, $90,000 for buying and transporting the marble and the remainder for sculpting.

Haines made the final payment for his $31,000 piece of marble last week. He also has lined up donated transport for the rock on a flag-decorated flatbed truck. He did all that after receiving a letter from an Army major general five years ago thanking him for his "most kind and generous donation."

Better that the government spend $170,000 merely to solicit a bid, then another $2.2 million on the actual marble, because who knows what kind of bargain marble Haines is donating?


...Haines' marble isn't just any marble. It was cut from the same Yule Quarry where the original gold-veined marble for the Tomb of the Unknowns was mined nearly 80 years ago. The marble on the outside of the Lincoln Memorial also came from that quarry. The tomb replacement piece was cut after a nearly five-year search for an unflawed piece that would look like the original.

The only problem with Haines' marble really does seem to be the fact that he wants to donate it.

"It's not doable. A citizen can't just give us any piece of marble and say, 'This is what we'll use to replace the tomb,' " said Thurman Higginbotham, deputy superintendent of Arlington.


Meanwhile, the free, room-sized block of marble gracing a hillside near Marble draws some curious tourists who snap pictures in front of it. Haines said if it can't be used for the tomb, he has the option to sell it back to the quarry, where it would be cut up and sold for other projects.

"I understand how the government works," Haines said. "But there comes a point when you just say 'to hell with it.' "

Haines should use the marble to construct a monument to government waste.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ark. State rout leaves store offering 73% off

Ark. State rout leaves store offering 73% off

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP)—At least one Arkansas State fan would prefer to see his favorite team win a close game this weekend.

Hoppy Hoffman, who owns a store that sells Arkansas State apparel, came up with a new promotion this season: 1 percent off after each home football game for every point the Red Wolves win by.

Then Arkansas State won its home opener 83-10 on Saturday.

“We had a ball with it,” said Hoffman, who owns The Design Shoppe. “It was so much fun yesterday.”

The discount is offered the Monday after each home game, and shoppers might never find cheaper prices than they did after Arkansas State scored more points in a game than any major college football team this decade against Texas Southern.

Combine 73 percent off with the fact that Arkansas State is 2-0 for the first time in 22 years, and business was booming Monday.

“It got crazy. We opened at 9:30. The people who probably got in line by 10 checked out about 1:30,” he said. “When the door opened at 9:30, I know at least 200 people filed in. It was hilarious. … It looked like they were waiting to buy rock concert tickets.”

Arkansas State has four more home games this season, including Saturday against Southern Mississippi. Hoffman is hoping for another win, although perhaps a one-point victory will suffice.

“I think I’m going to go to practice one day and have a chat with my team,” Hoffman said. “Beat ‘em, but don’t run it up on me that bad any more.”

Want amazing powers?

Gotta Love Little Boys

Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter. The man at the counter asked the older boy, Son, how old are you? ' Eight,' the boy replied. The man continued, 'Do you know what these are used for?' The boy replied, 'Not exactly, but they aren't for me. They're for him. He's my brother. He's four. We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do either one.'

Man says he's eaten 23,000 Big Macs since 1972

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) - A 54-year-old man says his obsessive-compulsive disorder drove him to eat 23,000 Big Macs in 36 years. Fifty-four-year-old Don Gorske says he hit the milestone last month, continuing a pleasurable obsession that began May 17, 1972 when he got his first car.

Gorske has kept every burger receipt in a box. He says he was always fascinated with numbers, and watching McDonald's track its number of customers motivated him to track his own consumption.

The only day he skipped a Big Mac was the day his mother died, to respect her request.

The correctional-institution employee says he doesn't care when people call his Big Mac obsession crazy. He says he's in love with the burgers, which are the highlights of his days.


Information from: The Reporter,

Colonel Sanders' secret recipe for KFC leaves the vault

Colonel Sanders' secret recipe for KFC leaves the vault

By BRUCE SCHREINER Associated Press

Sept. 9, 2008, 6:23AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Pssst. The secret's out at KFC. Well, sort of.

Colonel Harland Sanders' handwritten recipe of 11 herbs and spices was to be removed today from safekeeping at KFC's corporate offices for the first time in decades. The temporary relocation is allowing KFC to revamp security around a yellowing sheet of paper that contains one of the country's most famous corporate secrets.

The brand's top executive admitted his nerves were aflutter despite the tight security he lined up for the operation.

"I don't want to be the president who loses the recipe," KFC President Roger Eaton said. "Imagine how terrifying that would be."

So important is the 68-year-old concoction that coats the chain's Original Recipe chicken that only two company executives at any time have access to it. The company refuses to release their name or title, and it uses multiple suppliers who produce and blend the ingredients but know only a part of the entire contents.

Louisville-based KFC, part of the fast-food company Yum Brands Inc., hired off-duty police officers and private security guards to whisk the document away to an undisclosed location in an armored car. The recipe will be slid into a briefcase and handcuffed to security expert Bo Dietl for the ride.

"There's no way anybody could get this recipe," said Dietl, a former New York City police detective. His security firm is also handling the security improvements for the recipe at headquarters, but he wouldn't say what changes they're making.

For more than 20 years, the recipe has been tucked away in a filing cabinet equipped with two combination locks in company headquarters. To reach the cabinet, the keepers of the recipe would first open up a vault and unlock three locks on a door that stood in front of the cabinet.

Vials of the herbs and spices are also stored in the secret filing cabinet.

"The smell is overwhelming when you open it," said one of two keepers of the recipe in an interview at company headquarters.

The biggest prize, though, is a single sheet of notebook paper, yellowed by age, that lays out the entire formula — including exact amounts for each ingredient — written in pencil and signed by Sanders.

Others have tried to replicate the recipe, and occasionally someone claims to have found a copy of Sanders' creation. The executive said none have come close, adding the actual recipe would include some surprises.

Sanders developed the formula in 1940 at his tiny restaurant in southeastern Kentucky and used it to launch the KFC chain in the early 1950s.

Sanders died in 1980, but his likeness is still central to KFC's marketing.

"The recipe to him, in later years, was everything he stood for," said Shirley Topmiller, his personal secretary for about 12 years.

Larry Miller, a restaurant analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said the recipe's value is "almost an immeasurable thing. It's part of that important brand image that helps differentiate the KFC product."

KFC had a total of 14,892 locations worldwide at the end of 2007. The chain has had strong sales overseas, especially in its fast-growing China market, but has struggled in the U.S. amid a more health-conscious public. KFC posted U.S. sales of $5.3 billion at company-owned and franchised stores in 2007.

50 Poisonous Snakes Found in Man’s Condo

50 Poisonous Snakes Found in Man’s Condo

A Tokyo man has been arrested for housing more than 50 poisonous snakes, including cobras with highly toxic venom.

green-mamba 50 Poisonous Snakes Found in Mans Condo  picture

The arrest occurred after he recovered from being bitten by an eastern green mamba, which is considered one of the world’s most poisonous snakes.

Biting the hand that feeds you is a maxim that snakes apparently don’t understand or have no regard for.

snake-bite 50 Poisonous Snakes Found in Mans Condo  picture

Nobukazu Kashiwagi, aged 42, called an ambulance and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition from his condominium in the Jingumae district of the city.

He was arrested after recovering from a bite on his finger for violation of the Law Concerning the Protection and Control of Animals.

According to Michihisa Toriba, director of the Japan Snake Institute of Gunma Prefecture, the 185-cm-long snake that bit him has one of the most powerful venoms in the world.

“Snake enthusiasts usually keep non-poisonous snakes. This one is a kind of cobra that usually lives in African savannas, often in trees.”

No one seems to know why Kashiwagi kept these snakes in plastic boxes all over his home.

Maybe they are afraid to ask.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Honey, you're not gonna believe this, but...

Honey, you're not gonna believe this, but...

Published: Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 5:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 5:40 p.m.

OCALA --- Authorities say a 27-year-old Jasper man was so desperate to hide an embarrassing truth from his wife that he made up a bogus robbery story.

Mario Oscar Carlos told sheriff's deputies that a man and a woman robbed him of $8,000 in cash. He later told authorities that he lost the money through some odd spiritual scam in Sarasota.

Officials charged Carlos with false report of a crime and took him to the Marion County Jail.

According to a Sheriff's Office report, here's how the strange sequence of events played out:

Friday night, deputies went to the Kangaroo Express convenience store at 4150 W. County Road 326 to meet with Carlos. He told officials that he had exited Interstate 75 at CR 326 when he saw a man and a woman standing by the roadside, waving at him.

As he pulled onto the shoulder, Carlos said the man pulled a black handgun from his waist and demanded money. He said the woman told him if he didn't hand over the cash he'd be shot in the head.

Carlos said he gave them $8,000, and then the supposed robbers escaped via the busy highway.

Multiple deputies, some in a helicopter, searched the area for the alleged suspects but came up empty handed.

Carlos' story changed when detectives began questioning him. When an evidence technician wanted to process the front passenger door to look for fingerprints, Carlos said the supposed gunman wore gloves.

After further grilling, Carlos decided to come clean. He told detectives that he made up the robbery so he wouldn't have to tell his wife the true reason the cash was missing.

Carlos told detectives that he gave a spiritual healer $8,000 for a blessing. The healer reportedly told him to roll up the money and put it in a white tube sock so it could be blessed.

According to Carlos, the healer secretly switched the sock with one that contained only approximately 50 $1 bills.

Carlos said the healer told him to put the sock inside his trunk and not open it until next Friday.

While driving back from Sarasota, Carlos became suspicious. He said he checked the sock and discovered the scam.

Austin L. Miller may be reached at or 867-4118.