You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

Vatican City

Image via Wikipedia

 

Via BBC

The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry, police sources say. 

Prosecutors also seized 23m euros ($30m; £19m) from the bank’s accounts with another smaller institution. 

The inquiry was launched after two suspicious transactions were reported to tax police in Rome. 

The Vatican said it was “perplexed and astonished”, and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi. 

The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during World War II to administer accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests. 

Via ABC:

A Croatian teenager awoke from a coma last week to find she could no longer speak in her native Croatian — but was fluent in German, a language she had just started studying in school, the U.K. press reports.

Following a mysterious 24-hour coma, the thirteen-year-old girl from the southern town of Knin has been able to understand Croatian, according to the U.K. press. She can only respond in German and requires a translator to communicate with her family, the stories said.

Via BBC (Video):

Thousands of starfish have been washed up on a beach in Devon.

The sea creatures were stretched out for more than a mile across the beach in Budleigh Salterton.

Via BBC:

The government has ruled out forcing all dog owners to insure against their pets attacking people – a week after suggesting the idea.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said the proposal would not be turned into policy, as ministers did not “want to penalise” responsible owners.

The insurance suggestion for England and Wales was part of a consultation on dangerous dogs launched last Tuesday.

The Tories said the change represented a “humiliating U-turn” for Labour.

More than 100 people a week are admitted to hospital after dog attacks.

Ministers had argued that forcing five million owners to take out third-party insurance would ensure victims were compensated.

But critics said this would not cover the dangerous breeds – such as pit bull terriers – already banned under law, while responsible pet owners would be unfairly penalised.

The insurance industry claimed the owners of aggressive animals would not pay up and raised questions over who would compensate the victims of uninsured dogs.

Via Huffington Post:

Donna Simpson currently weighs 600 pounds, so she’s going on a diet in hopes of reaching what she considers her ideal weight: 1,000 pounds. The 42-year-old mother, a resident of Old Bridge, NJ, consumes a whopping 12,000 calories a day in an effort to reach her goal.

Simpson already holds the Guinness World Record for world’s fattest mother. She insists she’s healthy despite the fact that she cannot walk more than 20 feet independently.

The grocery bills frequently reach $750 a week and Simpson supports her diet with money earned from a website where people pay to watch her eat. Her husband, Phillipe, who weighs a 150 pounds, fully supports her plans.

“I love eating and people love watching me eat,” she said. “It makes people happy, and I’m not harming anyone.”

But experts say tax payers could end up paying for Simpson’s resulting health problems.

Via ABC:

Launched by Objecs, LLC last month, Personal RosettaStones are iPod-sized stone tablets embedded with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags that can store up to 1,000 words and a picture. When they’re near a mobile phone equipped with compatible technology, the information in the microchip is beamed right on to the cell phone screen. Objecs says the tags, which can be affixed to headstones, can last for up to 3,200 years.

Via ABC News the Pope has encouraged priests to go forth into the world and blog the gospel to all nations. Okay, not quite in those words.

Via ABC, a young man praying unnerved air passangers who were not used Jewish-style praying.

A teenage airplane passenger using a Jewish prayer object caused a misunderstanding that led the captain to divert a Kentucky-bound plane to Philadelphia and prompted a visit from a bomb squad.

A 17-year-old boy on US Airways Express Flight 3079 from New York to Louisville was using tefillin, a set of small black boxes containing biblical passages that are attached to leather straps, said Philadelphia police Lt. Frank Vanore.

When used in prayer, one box is strapped to the arm while the other box is placed on the head.

“It’s something that the average person is not going to see very often, if ever,” FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver said.

The teen explained the ritual after being questioned by crew members of the flight, which had left LaGuardia Airport around 7:30 a.m. and was operated by Chautauqua Airlines, authorities said.

That’s one embarassing misunderstanding.

There’s been an ongoing issue for news organizations and their bottom line, namely how to make money of online content. The issue is that no one wants to pay for online content such as newspaper articles, etc.

So News Corp, owners of Fox, got into a spat with google because they want google to pay them for content. Producers of online content are pretty much resigned to the fact that individuals for the most part will simply not pay for online news content. The expectation of free-ness has been set and that train has left the station. However, what content producers can do and have done is shift the burden of payment on the search engines like google and bing who make tons of money on search that bring up these news results.

Now, Bing, Microsoft’s  recent entry into the field of search engines, has decided to contract with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Microsoft will now pay (or seriously considering paying)  WSJ money to have Bing searchers find WSJ articles.

In a scenario under consideration, Microsoft would pay News Corp. for making articles from The Wall Street Journal and other Murdoch-owned publications searchable exclusively through Microsoft’s Bing search engine. If the effort encourages other powerful content providers to demand compensation from Internet companies that generate revenue from online ads, the Murdoch-Microsoft partnership could create a big problem for Google.

Now I never thought I would run into this issue. It was a dead issue to me. For one, I will not pay for online content. Also, I don’t read the Wall Street Journal, nor have I ever felt that I need too. Well it so happened that after I checked my email and was rerouted to the msn home page, there was an article on the dust up between Conan, Leno and NBC. Natuarlly, I was fascinated and began to read the article. This was a free article.

However, one question I’ve had with this entire NBC episode was how Conan’s ratings were doing. Was all the publicity doing wonders for his ratings. I know I certainly stayed up to watch him on the night after he made his stand. Well, in this article I was reading there was a link to the reference that Conan’s ratings were doing well.  So I click on the link to get the quick run down on his ratings spike. So I start reading the article and then noticed that it stops abruptly and says something like “want to read more, subscribe here.” I think to myself, “you’ve got to be kidding me!” What would you know, it was a Wall Street Journal article. So I am an example of Microsoft rerouting me to WSJ. I am now a statistic.

All we can do is pray for the people of a Haiti. There are lot of worthy organizations that are out there doing great work to help with the earthquake victims. I recommend the Catholic Relief Services as an aid organization as good as any out there.