‘Putinkinis:’ A Putin propaganda push too far?


The women appear to be top fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo courtesy: The Daily Mail/ Will Stewart)


Pictures have emerged of young Russian women donning what has become to be known as a “Putinkini” this week.

Described as a propaganda push in support of the Kremlin, the women appear to be top fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The images, reportedly taken at the Tavrida International Youth Meeting held this week on the Black Sea peninsula annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March, come at a time where Russia is being hit by international sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

“Our wonderful girls decided not to hide their patriotism and show a photo of V.V Putin as one of their attributes - on their breasts,” a statement on the event's website explained.


Last Update: Saturday, 16 August 2014 KSA 14:44 - GMT 11:44















'Fml,' 'Yolo,' 'Douchebaggery' Added To Online Oxford Dictionary


Not to be outdone by the dubstep-loving, selfie-taking wordsmiths at Merriam-Webster, the Oxford Dictionary has added a slew of Internet-era words in the August update of their online dictionary including, "amazeballs," "binge-watch," "hate-watch," "FML," SMH," "douchebaggery" and, yes, "YOLO." Bravo, Drake.


 In a post that reads more than slightly like your mom's attempt to use as much slang as possible, the OD writes, "Throw an air punch or have a bro hug (don’t be cray and throw shade or show us the side-eye); be a baller and join the hyperconnected vocabulary fandom and read on to discover which new words from the worlds of popular culture, technology, the news, and more have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com." (Try to guess which words in that sentence now have definitions.)


The update is unsurprisingly rife with web slang (or as the OD calls it, "informal terms"), including "click bait," "listicle," "catfish," "adorbs" and "hench," the latter being popular in the U.K. to describe a "strong, fit" fellow. Comedian Harris Wittels also scored a linguistic coup, as his creation, the "humblebrag," has now brought him everything from Twitter fame to abook deal to immortalization on the dictionary's website.


Advances in technology also provided plenty of new words, with the "Deep Web," "e-cig," "quadcopter," "vape," and "in silico" (research or experiments done through computer modeling or simulation) all getting their own definitions. The Oxford Dictionary did, however, do some catching up, including in their update time-honored entertainment terms like "spit take" and "hot mic," as well as "throw shade," a term that originated in drag competitions during the mid-80s.


Not only does the Oxford Dictionary's update follow Merriam-Webster's "hashtag"-friendly additions, but it also comes after that company updated their official Scrabble dictionary to include words like "chillax," "beatbox," "tester," and "GeoCache," the first ever word chosen by fans during the Scrabble Word Showdown.

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Honorable Mention


Knife falls from sky into Chinese man's head


     57-year-old Xiao Yunzhi was taking a stroll in his home town of Guangyuan, Sichuan province, when his head started feeling strangely heavy.

But it was only when the local tobacconist stared at him, slack-jawed, and pointed to the top of his skull that he realised that something was amiss.

As Mr Xiao was passing underneath a high-rise apartment block, a five-inch kitchen knife had fallen from an eighth-floor balcony, embedding itself up its hilt in the left side of his head, but without piercing his skull.

As soon as the problem had been pointed out, pain washed over Mr Xiao and he sat down in the street, while someone called an ambulance.

"It was terrifying to see," said his younger sister, who only identified herself as Miss Xiao. "The knife handle was sticking out of the top."




A Ban on Pet Piercing in NJ?


New Jersey lawmakers are seeking to pass a bill that would ban the piercing and tattooing of pets.

Three Hudson County Democrats on Monday introduced legislation that would make the practice animal cruelty.

Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-District 33) tells The Star-Ledger of Newark the bill would protect pets from people who don't see them as living creatures and from what he calls “needless mutilation.”


Bill A3588 “clarifies that piercing or tattooing animals constitutes needless mutilation and animal cruelty,” and would exempt farm animals that are sometimes branded or tagged for identification purposes.

“Anyone who knowingly or purposely subjects an animal to these and other forms of cruelty will be penalized," said Garcia.


A need for the law, which is also sponsored by Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-District 31) and Raj Mukherji (D-District 33), was brought up by animal rights groups and is based on a similar proposal in New York that is awaiting signature from the governor.




Poached Partners Make Unreliable Mates

There’s an undeniable surge of satisfaction that comes from “poaching” a romantic partner. Successfully coaxing someone to end a relationship in order to begin one with you is certainly ego-boosting.

If that describes your experience—well, enjoy that high while you can. Chances are good there is trouble ahead.

In three studies, “individuals who were poached by their current romantic partners were less committed, less satisfied, and less invested in their relationships,” reports a research team led by psychologist Joshua Foster of the University of South Alabama.

“They also paid more attention to romantic alternatives, perceived their alternatives to be of higher quality, and engaged in higher rates of infidelity.”

Being poached by your current partner, the researchers conclude, is both fairly common (10 to 30 percent of study participants reported their relationship began that way), and “a reliable predictor of poor relationship functioning.”




Salmon Cannon


This is quite literally a cannon for salmon. Just say that name a few times, test it out, see how it sounds like caramel dipping off the end of your tongue. Salmon cannon. Salmon cannon. Best part is that it's a real thing. The fish are loaded just like artillery shells, then whoosh, off they go at 22mp. It can fire 40 rounds per minute. 40 salmon.



The Creator of Pop-Up Ads Issues a Public Apology



In an essay for the Atlantic, Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, makes a stunning admission: “I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.” Zuckerman details his time at Tripod.com, a startup that perpetually and wildly reinvented itself during the dotcom bubble until it found an approach—advertising—that got it funded and later acquired.

As Tripod and other companies floundered around looking for a way to monetize the Web, turning to advertising was a natural but not inevitable choice, Zuckerman argues. “I have come to believe that advertising is the original sin of the web,” he writes. “The fallen state of our Internet is a direct, if unintentional, consequence of choosing advertising as the default model to support online content and services.”

Zuckerman goes on to outline the problems he sees with an ad-based Web. Whether or not you end up agreeing with him, it’s useful to have someone do the leg work to organize a thesis and lay everything out. Online advertising is such a vast topic that most users would rather ignore it than grapple with it, even though they make privacy concessions and view targeted ads every day.

Zuckerman writes, “There is no single ‘right answer’ to the question of how we pay for the tool that lets us share knowledge, opinions, ideas, and photos of cute cats ... but 20 years in to the ad-supported web, we can see that our current model is bad, broken, and corrosive.”





Mr. T shows up for jury duty in Rolling Meadows



Mr. T shows up for jury duty, jokes he won't take lunch because he wants to be "mean on the criminal."

There was no 'pitying' going on in a Rolling Meadows courthouse today, when Mr. T showed up for jury duty.

Mr. T. called for jury duty in Rolling Meadows, makes time for the jibba-jabba."

Mr. T was a soldier of fortune who fought injustice on "The A-Team," but today he walked the halls of justice at Cook County’s Rolling Meadows courthouse. 

The actor, who lives in Chicago, showed up for jury duty, and though he didn’t get seated on a jury, he happily interacted with excited fans, signing autographs and cracking jokes.


Still sporting his iconic mohawk – but not the stacks of gold jewelry for which he was known during his 80s heyday – Mr. T even agreed to get on the phone with fans whose relatives encountered him at the courthouse.

One of the assistant state’s attorneys, Ahmed Baset, told the actor he still had, and used, a Mr. T lunchbox that made him “the coolest kid in school.”

Toting a Bible, T at one point joked that he wasn’t going to eat during the lunch break because if he did, he wouldn’t be able to be “mean on the criminal.”




Two Loudoun County kids robbed at lemonade stand



Two Loudoun County 12-year-olds operating a lemonade stand in Round Hill were robbed Thursday by a teenager, according to the Loudoun County sheriff’s office.

The two children had set up their stand selling lemonade and snacks across the street from Round Hill Elementary School, near the intersection of Park Heights Circle and Evening Star Drive, authorities said. Sometime between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., an unknown male teenager approached the stand, appeared interested in making a purchase and asked the pair if they could make change for a $20 bill, Troxell said.

One of the two victims took out a small cash box and began to count bills, and the teen offered to help count the money. But then the teen pocketed the cash, told the two children not to say anything to anyone, and walked away, Troxell said.

The kids notified their families of the robbery, who in turn contacted authorities, Troxell said. The investigation is ongoing, he said.

The suspect, who appeared to be in his late teens, was described as a white male with olive skin, dark hair and a thin mustache, according to authorities. He was wearing light blue shorts and no shirt, authorities said.





Vanilla Ice decries lack of emotional truth in new Ninja Turtles rap


Much as even Beethoven was consigned to dwell in the shadow of Mozart, any artist who dares compose a Ninja Turtles rap must always feel the hot breath of Vanilla Ice at their back, laughing at their hubris. “Ninja Rap” may not have been the most lyrically thorough Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles song, but few can deny it was the most spiritually evocative—evidenced in the passion it continues to stir in the song’s biggest fan, Vanilla Ice. The occasional rapper has often spoken of what his Ninja Turtles moment meant to him. This is why he feels he must be brutally honest about his disappointment with the new Ninja Turtles rap, “Shell Shocked,” a song he believes fails to capture the emotional truth of “Ninja Rap.”

“With respect to all of the artists, the song doesn’t really do it for me,” Mr. Ice recently told GQ. “It feels a little artificial—what I mean by that is that it sounds like a bunch of executives in the corporate world put it together. It really does not fit the theme of the Ninja Turtles legend. I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the Magic to really pull off the secret sound.” Indeed, it’s not enough simply to say, “Go ninja, go ninja, go.” You have to know where ninja, where ninja came from.




German Health and Safety Chiefs Ban Sandcastles at Beaches

The Local reports that some beaches on the islands of Fehman and Sylt have imposed a total ban on the structures, while Sieksdorf and Neustadt allow sandcastles, provided they do not exceed four metres (13ft) in diameter.

Beaches at Kellenhusen and Grossenbrode impose a three metre (10ft) restriction, with all beaches restricting height to 50cm (20 inches).

According to lifeguards, the beaches need to be kept clear for ambulances in case of emergencies, and there are also concerns that the structures could collapse.

Speaking to the local Kieler Nachrichten paper, a lifeguard said: "there is a risk of tripping, and from a certain height it can be dangerous," however one father told the paper that it was another demonstration of the Germans' over-officious nature. "The Germans want to regulate everything with a passion," he said.

In 2012, a ten-year-old boy was killed at the coastal resort of Amrum when a metre-deep hole he had dug on a beach collapsed, burying him alive.




Second death within hours at Chess Olympics



Police and medics were called to one of city's top hotels after the deceased was found alone in a hotel room at 10.30pm.

The male victim is the second chess participant to die on the same day, after a 67-year-old man collapsed and died in the main play arena while playing his match yesterday.

The second dead man was found in the Radisson Blu hotel in Tromsø on Thursday evening, a reporter from iTromso confirmed to The Local.

Police chief Gunnar Baardsen said to NTB: "There is no suspicion about anything criminal going on. This is a natural death."

Jarle Heitmann, head of communication for the Chess Olympiad, confirmed to the newspaper “Nordlys”, a person was found dead on Thursday evening, but ask people to contact the police for more information.


Yesterday, in the main chess tournament hall, an elderly man died of a heart attack at around 4pm. Panic spread among players and spectators when some mistook the medic's defibrillator for an armed weapon and a terror attack was feared. Play was delayed for a few hours at the Olympiad on Thursday.

Troms police will release more information about the second death later on Friday.