Visitors to Japanese Zoo fear for the safety of green Polar Bears

Green-colored polar bears are drawing questions from puzzled visitors at a Japanese zoo. Three normally white polar bears at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan changed their color in July after swimming in a pond with an overgrowth of algae.

The sight of green polar bears has prompted many questions from visitors concerned about whether the animals are sick or carrying mold, said zoo official Masami Kurobe…

High temperatures in July and August and less-frequent water changes because of the zoo’s conservation efforts caused an algae growth in the bear pond and safety moat, Kurobe said…

The bears are expected to return to their natural color when the algae growth subsides in November.

I expect the “green” on a lot of American politicians to subside after November, as well.

Greek postmen beat zombies to win oddest book title

“Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers” benefited from a late surge in public support to win the title of oddest book title of the past 30 years.

The book — a comprehensive record of Greek postal routes by Derek Willan — grabbed 13 percent of the 1,000 international public votes cast to choose the oddest title from the winners of the annual competition that began in 1978.

It beat “People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead” and “How To Avoid Huge Ships” into second and third places with 11 and 10 percent respectively.

The prize was dreamed up initially at the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair as a way of avoiding boredom. It has since become an annual star. This year’s winner was “If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs.”

Cripes. The last one even makes sense on its own.

Feds outline massive intervention to save Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

U.S. federal regulators, in a dramatic move highlighting the tenuous state of global credit markets, have outlined a takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac including giving control of the firms to their regulator and allowing the Treasury Department to purchase billions of dollars of the firms’ senior preferred stock.

The plan, offered jointly by the Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency, also gives the Treasury authority to purchase mortgage-backed securities from the firms in the open market and a lending facility through the Treasury from its general fund held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Treasury Secretary Paulson acknowledged that the radical proposal does pose risks for U.S. taxpayers, giving the U.S. government a “large stake in the future value of these entities.”

“In the end, the ultimate cost to the taxpayer will depend on the business results of the GSEs going forward,” Mr. Paulson said. “To that end, the steps we have taken…will together improve the housing market, the U.S. economy, and the GSEs’ business outlook.”

The takeover bounced Fannie’s CEO Daniel Mudd and Freddie Chairman CEO Richard Syron. A couple of winners whose combined take exceeds the GNP of most nations.
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Does your dog rattle when he walks?

A dog had to have 13 golf balls removed from his stomach after eating them on walks near a golf course.

Oscar, a five-year-old black Labrador, was taken to the vet after his owner noticed a rattling noise coming from his pet.

The vet, Bob Hesketh, was stunned: “When I went into his stomach I was expecting one or two balls, but they just kept coming.” One of the balls had been in Oscar’s stomach so long, it had turned black.

Oscar’s owner, Chris Morrison, takes the dog for regular walks near Pitreavie golf course in Dunfermline, Fife. Oscar is thought to have swallowed the balls over a period of months.

Morrison said: “He normally picks up golf balls and brings them home but must have been swallowing some all along. He hunts them down like truffles. He finds them in all sorts of places where golfers lose them.”

Oscar obviously wasn’t being fed enough. Right?

Every Lab thinks he’s not being fed enough.

Red tape kept killer’s family from having him institutionalized

“I kill for God”

Isaac Zamora’s mother begged him to get help when he was released from jail a month ago. State and federal laws prevented her from doing much more for the man who has now been arrested after a shooting spree in rural northwest Washington that left six people dead and four wounded…

In the wake of the shootings, Dennise Zamora has said she wants people to know that “my son was desperately mentally ill and we’ve been trying to get him help.”

If someone resists help in Washington, a family member must demonstrate he is a danger to society or himself or is “gravely disabled” before he can be involuntarily admitted to a mental hospital.

Ron Honberg, an expert on mental illness treatment in the U.S., called it a sad irony that in most cases, the 8.1 million adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in the United States are being cared for by their families, who have no legal standing.

Friends of Zamora’s said he had been diagnosed with both mental illnesses, but state officials would not say if such a diagnosis was part of his file.

All that counts with bureaucrats is what is “in your file”.

Zamora was in and out of jails and mental hospitals for years. Yet, when a judge ordered a mental health evalution, his parole officer and his family were stuck raising the money.

Foolish laws administered by an incompetent state.

Dell outsourcing ain’t exactly a taste-tempting treat

Dell plans to make fewer computers itself and rely on contract manufacturers to cut costs, but the company could find it hard to get rid of its North American factories at a good price. The world’s second-largest PC maker said it would outsource more manufacturing, and the Wall Street Journal reported that Dell was trying to sell most of its factories within the next 18 months.

Analysts said the most likely buyers of Dell’s plants are big contract manufacturers, most of which are based in Asia because production costs are lower there.

They questioned how much cost savings Dell can get, since it would likely have to give the buyer of its plants an accompanying personal computer manufacturing deal…

Some 58 percent of Dell’s 5 million square feet (465,000 sq m) of manufacturing and distribution space is in the United States, according to regulatory filings. Twenty-two percent is in Asia and 20 percent is split between Ireland and Poland…

Dell declined to comment except to reiterate that the company has eyed more outside manufacturing help.

Dude – I ain’t getting a Dell.

LHC scientists receiving death threats from nutballs

The Large Hadron Collider is just a few days from being switched on, but the scientists in charge of the 17-mile long super collider are already getting impassioned pleas to stop their work, some of the scientists have even received death threats…

On September 10th, scientists at the LHC will fire the first proton beams down the super collider. These proton beams will have a modest 450 GeV or less than one-tenth of the collider’s full strength and no collisions are expected because the beams will only be fired one way through the tunnel. Eventually CERN hopes the LHC help scientists discover the elusive Higgs-Boson particle by smashing together proton beams with 5-7 TeV worth of energy.

Some ignoramuses have theorized that such collisions could cause a miniature black hole to form and obliterate our planet, but such collisions in the form of cosmic rays have been occurring on Earth and other planets for a long time. In fact these collisions pack much more of a punch than anything the LHC can produce. However, this hasn’t stopped people from trying to stop the project.

MIT professor and Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek is just one of the scientists who has received death threats in the past days.

But for anyone who’s thinks the LHC will end the world, Professor Brian Cox of Manchester University said, “Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a t***.” Hey, wasn’t he supposed to use a more scientific word?

Scientific words of any kind mean nothing to the nutballs in tinfoil hats.

Police banned from wearing intimidating sunglasses. Wha?

Police officers have been banned from wearing mirrored sunglasses because of fears they intimidate the public. The shades may have added designer cool to officers in television series such as Miami Vice and CSI but Essex police have been told they are not appropriate.

Police drivers in Essex are still permitted to wear non-mirrored sunglasses but unless medically prescribed they must be removed when talking to members of the public.

Officers have also been told to dress smartly and maintain high standards of personal hygiene. And they have been warned to think about what hairstyle they are sporting under their helmets.

The rulebook states officers “should be mindful that certain hairstyles may generate adverse comments from the public”.

And what if you’re fracking bald?