Friday, March 10, 2006

On February 8, the same day Super Size Me opened in Prague, a Czech film company’s volunteer known as Karel Gustav Bozan began a 1 month diet of Czech pub food and beer in a Czech version called “Super Spek Me”; which translates loosely as “Super Flab Me”.

Zuzana Pudilova of Aerofilms described the volunteer at that time: “He is a well-built man between 45 and 50. He is almost 2 metres tall, he is not exactly thin but until now he has had quite a healthy lifestyle.”

Karel ate typical Czech pub food for an entire month with three rules: no vegetables or fresh fruit (unless they came with a meal) no exercise, and lots of beer.

Karel’s menu consisted entirely of typical Czech dishes. Obesity therapist, Iva Malkova, had warned at the beginning of the project: “People in the Czech Republic eat much more fat, especially animal fat than is recommended.” Pub meals in the Czech Republic often consist of such fatty items as goose with dumplings or sausages.

Yesterday the results were announced; Karel lost six kilos, his cholesterol went down and so did his liver enzymes, triglyceride and uric acid levels. His blood pressure did not change. At his interview with Radio Prague he said: “I feel good, great! The food was varied and there were even enough greens in the garnish. As for beer, I tried to alternate brands but I always settled it with Pilsner. I liked the experiment, it was all paid for by the distributor, Aerofilms. I would do it again, maybe they will propose it to me!”

Zuzana Pudilova of Aerofilms said: “The result of the experiment is surprising – both for us and the experts who monitored it. The medical report says our volunteer has lost weight and his blood sugar has dropped. So we have come to the conclusion that fatty Czech pub grub is not all that bad for you – which I guess wasn’t meant to be the result of the experiment at all.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Czech_pub_food_eating_experiment_resulted_in_lost_weight,_lower_cholesterol&oldid=4380309”

Monday, January 25, 2010

An elderly woman has died in a house fire in South Yorkshire, England. The woman, who is currently remaining unidentified, was blind and 93-years-old when her bungalow in Sheffield caught fire as a result of an accident in her kitchen yesterday afternoon.

An internal investigation into the fire has suggested that while the woman was cooking, she dropped a towel onto one of the stovetops while attempting to move a pan on the cooker. The towel then set alight. When she attempted to put out the fire, the towel dropped to the side of the cooker, alongside some plastic bags.

A smoke alarm sounded; a nearby resident heard the alarm and went to assist. The neighbour managed to break into the bedroom window of the bungalow in order to be able to get inside the building. The person made it to the hallway but had to double back upon seeing the fire and the smoke. It is believed that the woman was overwhelmed by the fumes given out from the plastic which was burning.

At around 1350 GMT, fire service workers entered the elderly lady’s residence to find her collapsed inside the kitchen. People investigating the incident have come to the conclusion that this particular fire was an accidental one. A spokesperson for the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service noted: “Neighbours who tried to enter the property were fought back by smoke and flames.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Woman_killed_in_house_fire_in_South_Yorkshire,_England&oldid=3359738”
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Thursday, October 22, 2020

2020 Melbourne Lord Mayor candidate Wayne Tseng answered some questions about his campaign for the upcoming election from Wikinews. The Lord Mayor election in the Australian city is scheduled to take place this week.

Tseng runs a firm called eTranslate, which helps software developers to make the software available to the users. In the candidate’s questionnaire, Tseng said eTranslate had led to him working with all three tiers of the government. He previously belonged to the Australian Liberal Party, but has left since then, to run for mayorship as an independent candidate.

Tseng is of Chinese descent, having moved to Australia with his parents from Vietnam. Graduated in Brisbane, Tseng received his PhD in Melbourne and has been living in the city, he told Wikinews. Tseng also formed Chinese Precinct Chamber of Commerce, an organisation responsible for many “community bond building initiatives”, the Lord Mayor candidate told Wikinews.

Tseng discussed his plans for leading Melbourne, recovering from COVID-19, and “Democracy 2.0” to ensure concerns of minorities in the city were also heard. Tseng also focused on the importance of the multi-culture aspect and talked about making Melbourne the capital of the aboriginals. Tseng also explained why he thinks Melbourne is poised to be a world city by 2030.

Tseng’s deputy Lord Mayor candidate Gricol Yang is a Commercial Banker and works for ANZ Banking Group.

Currently, Sally Capp is the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Victorian capital. Capp was elected as an interim Lord Mayor in mid-2018 after the former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle resigned from his position after sexual assault allegations. Doyle served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for almost a decade since 2008.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_2020_Melbourne_Lord_Mayor_Candidate_Wayne_Tseng&oldid=4598699”

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toyota announced on Friday that it will recall around 17,000 Lexus vehicles in response to risks of the fuel tank in the cars leaking after a collision.

The Lexus HS 250h model was subjected to the recall following a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Despite previously passing Toyota safety inspections, the conclusions of an NHTSA sub-contracted investigator were that; when the vehicles in question collided with an object at more than fifty-miles-per hour, more than 142 grams of fuel, the maximum allowed by US law, leaked from the crashed car.

According to Toyota, further tests did not show any additional failure of the fuel tank.

In response to the findings, Toyota issued a recall of all affected vehicles, since the company had no solution immediately available. The recall includes 13,000 cars already sold, as well as another 4,000 still at dealerships.

Toyota says it plans to conduct further tests to determine the cause of the leak. A Toyota spokesman, Brian Lyons, said that the company was “still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.” It’s still unclear when exactly the recall will take place, or when dealerships will be allowed to sell this model again. Lyons said that Toyota is “working feverishly to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Toyota isn’t aware of any accidents stemming from the leaking fuel tank in the affected vehicles, first introduced in the summer of 2009.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fuel_leak_prompts_17,000-vehicle_recall_by_Toyota&oldid=4099641”

Volunteers endure bed-rest study

November 22, 2022 3:39 pm | No Comments

Tuesday, March 22, 2005Volunteers began a 60 day bed-rest marathon on March 19 to study simulated weightlessness effects on women astronauts. The study, Women International Space Simulation for Exploration(WISE), is conducted at the MEDES Space Clinic in Toulouse, France.

The 12 women, selected from 1600 applicants hailing from France,Great Britain, Germany, Finland, The Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic began the study after a 20 day screening for baseline comparison data as the study progressed.

The women will conduct all activities from eating, bathing, and reading while lying in hospital beds tilted headfirst at a six degree angle. This particular position, called head-down tilt bed rest was determined from previous studies to remove the vertical load of gravity on the body, inducing changes similar to what astronauts in a genuine weightless environment experience [1].

Long term exposure to weightlessness creates a number of physiological and psychological problems in astronauts such as:

  • Reduced capacity for physical exertion
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Affects of confinement and isolation
  • Impaired circulatory function

A total of 24 women will participate in the study. A second group of 12 will join in September.

Three groups of eight women each will be studied over the course of the two campaigns of bed rest. One group will serve as a control, receiving no specific treatments, the second will exercise, while the third will receive nutritional supplements.

The study is designed to fill in gaps of knowledge on the differences between men and women during extended weightlessness. It also aims to develop countermeasures for reducing the debilitating effects of long spaceflights.

Participating agencies in the study include the European Space Agency, NASA, the French Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

[edit]

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Volunteers_endure_bed-rest_study&oldid=4693066”

Saturday, January 20, 2007

North Korea’s 007, a currently very popular short movie by some Chinese netizens, mocks Kim Jong Il and his secret agent buying Hennessy XO wine from Chinese black market.

As of 3:27 AM, January 20, 2007, China Standard Time, the movie has been watched 1,993,567 times on a single site (6rooms.com) and received 1620 comments.

The talks between the North Koreans are in English; the talks between the agent and the Chinese are in Chinese (now featuring English subtitles). The story part situated in China is as follows:

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The agent first went to a grocery where he didn’t find XO, then to a wine store which sells XO, but he complained about the price being much more expensive than the price quoted on the Internet. His accent surprised a girl who recognized his North Korean identity and the saleswoman rejected his buying due to “resulting UN security council penalty.” The agent left the store and a white-coated fat man (a black market wine seller) and a black-coated man followed.

The agent checked in at a hotel and received 3 phone calls; one from his commander urging him forward on the mission, one from a whore offering “special service” (to whom the agent replied with “Yes, I need, I need a bottle of XO!”), and one from the fat man asking him to go to a disco bar for XO trading. He went to the bar and watched the fat man dancing to “We Were Forced to Be Gangs” (the music is Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”). The fat man found the agent’s money was fake (which the agent explained was because North Korea wanted to “ease the pressure that the hostile West put on China for currency appreciation”) and a fight ensued. The fat man was defeated and said “Your country is not based on honesty” while the agent said in his mind, “No honesty for your revisionist country.”

The agent is about to cross the China-North Korea border and the black-coated man caught up and defeated him by breaking his “Kim Jong Il medal” (which is a devastating psychological strike to North Koreans). The black-coated man revealed himself to be George W. Bush and some Chinese bystanders questioned him on why he hung Saddam (“One Saddam is down but a million Saddams will be up!”) and drove him away. The curious Chinese bystanders accidentally broke the agent’s XO which resulted in another devastating episode. The white-coated fat man reappeared and said he saw the whole event and was impressed by the agent and gave away another bottle of XO to him.

The agent returned to North Korea and presented the XO to Kim Jong Il (on their way to Kim’s residence their eyes were covered in order not to “give the Americans a chance to pinpoint Kim’s precise location”). Kim immediately died because the wine was faked and poisonous.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Chinese_short_movie_mocks_Kim_Jong_il_and_his_secret_agent&oldid=1383812”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The San Diego, California suburb of Chula Vista has responded to the recent housing crisis with an aggressive blight control ordinance that compels lenders to maintain the appearance of vacant homes. As foreclosures increase both locally and throughout the United States, the one year old ordinance has become a model for other cities overwhelmed by the problem of abandoned homes that decay into neighborhood eyesores.

Chula Vista city code enforcement manager Doug Leeper told the San Diego Union Tribune that over 300 jurisdictions have contacted his office during the past year with inquiries about the city’s tough local ordinance. Coral Springs, Florida, and California towns Stockton, Santee, Riverside County, and Murietta have all modeled recently enacted anti-blight measures after Chula Vista’s. On Wednesday, 8 October, the Escondido City Council also voted to tighten local measures making lenders more accountable for maintenance of empty homes.

Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.

Under the Chula Vista ordinance lenders become legally responsible for upkeep as soon as a notice of mortgage default gets filed on a vacant dwelling, before actual ownership of the dwelling returns to the lender. Leeper regards that as “the cutting-edge part of our ordinance”. Chula Vista also requires prompt registration of vacant homes and applies stiff fines as high as US$1000 per day for failure to maintain a property. Since foreclosed properties are subject to frequent resale between mortgage brokers, city officials enforce the fines by sending notices to every name on title documents and placing a lien on the property, which prevents further resale until outstanding fines have been paid. In the year since the ordinance went into effect the city has applied $850,000 in fines and penalties, of which it has collected $200,000 to date. The city has collected an additional $77,000 in registration fees on vacant homes.

Jolie Houston, an attorney in San Jose, believes “Lenders will respond when it costs them less to maintain the property than to ignore local agency requirements.” Traditionally, local governments have resorted to addressing blight problems on abandoned properties with public funds, mowing overgrown lawns and performing other vital functions, then seeking repayment afterward. Chula Vista has moved that responsibility to an upfront obligation upon lenders.

That kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.

As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States during recent years, Chula Vista saw 22.6% growth between 2000 and 2006, which brought the city’s population from 173,556 in the 2000 census to an estimated 212,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Chula Vista placed among the nation’s 20 fastest growing cities in 2004. A large proportion of local homes were purchased during the recent housing boom using creative financing options that purchasers did not understand were beyond their means. Average home prices in San Diego County declined by 25% in the last year, which is the steepest drop on record. Many homeowners in the region currently owe more than their homes are worth and confront rising balloon payment mortgages that they had expected to afford by refinancing new equity that either vanished or never materialized. In August 2008, Chula Vista’s eastern 91913 zip code had the highest home mortgage default rate in the county with 154 filings and 94 foreclosures, an increase of 154% over one year previously. Regionally, the county saw 1,979 foreclosures in August.

Professionals from the real estate and mortgage industries object to Chula Vista’s response to the crisis for the additional burdens it places on their struggling finances. Said San Diego real estate agent Marc Carpenter, “that kind of measure will add additional costs to banks that have been hit really hard already and ultimately the cost will be transferred down to consumers and investors.” Yet city councils in many communities have been under pressure to do something about increasing numbers of vacant properties. Concentrations of abandoned and neglected homes can attract vandals who hasten the decline of struggling neighborhoods. Jolie Houston explained that city officials “can’t fix the lending problem, but they can try to prevent neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

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CEO Robert Klein of Safeguard, a property management firm, told the Union Tribune that his industry is having difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing local ordinances. “Every day we discover a new ordinance coming out of somewhere”, he complained. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman from the California Association of Mortgage Bankers agreed that uneven local ordinances are likely to increase the costs of lending. Hobbs advised that local legislation is unnecessary due to California State Senate Bill 1137, which was recently approved to address blight. Yet according to Houston, the statewide measure falls short because it fails to address upkeep needs during the months between the time when foreclosure begins and when the lender takes title.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Chula_Vista,_California_becomes_model_for_blight_control_laws_in_the_US&oldid=4202756”

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Across Easter weekend Wellington, New Zealand was host to Rock2Wgtn, an international two-day hard rock festival. Large crowds showed up at Westpac Stadium to see the various acts. The world has never seen an event of this kind before, and New Zealand has never had any kind of major rock festival or multi-day music festival.

Day one featured three theatrical acts. Finnish band Lordi, known for their monster costumes, opened the night. They were followed by the US shock rocker Alice Cooper, whose themed set included the horror theatrics regularly associated with him and a hanging stunt he recently restarted after a gallows collapse nearly killed him two decades ago. The night was headlined by the distinctively costumed band KISS, complete with their famed black-and-white makeup.

The first major act on the stage on day two was the American hard rock/glam metal band Poison. After Poison, British act Whitesnake took to the stage and performed their set to the crowd. British-born American rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who, as well as a solo career, fronts the world-famous Black Sabbath, was the second night’s headline act.

The festival’s entertainment did not stop at the six main acts. There was also support performances from three New Zealand bands – The Symphony of Screams, The Valves and Sonic Altar. Their sets were accompanied by a special effects package from award-winning studio Weta Workshops, who are known for their work on movies such as The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. This came in the form of ‘Drusila the Dragon’, which rose up to a height of six foot and wigspan and moved for the audience, shining lasers from its eyes and breathing red smoke. Flame Fire Productions were hired to put on a fire show featuring several dancers alongside the performers. Also performing were six local guitarists and a group of ‘zombie‘ cheerleaders.

Wikinews was able to secure two exclusive interviews with those responsible behind the scenes for putting on such a show. Weta Workshop’s Philip Sharpe, who supervised the project and Milly Bea, current manageress of Flame Fire Productions, discussed their roles. In the first installment, Milly Bea tells us about “a definite highlight” for Flame and lets us know everything from her thoughts on Gene Simmons’s tongue to just how much kerosene it takes to put on a fire show at a rock fest.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Flame_about_special_effects_at_New_Zealand%27s_Rock2Wgtn_festival&oldid=2524761”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Almost 600 desperate family members and others remained camped outside the Pasta de Conchos coal mine near San Juan de Sabinas, in the northern Mexico state of Coahuila where 65 Mexican miners were trapped by a gas explosion around 2:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) Sunday. Some are threatening to storm the mine while soldiers are trying to keep them calm and rescuers continue to pick through the rock and debris with hand tools, fearing that any power equipment might set off another explosion.

The local newspaper’s headline caused panic by quoting one of over a dozen surviving miners who were close enough to the exits to escape: “They are surely dead,” (La Prensa de Monclova). However, Arturo Vilchis, Civil Protection Director, refused to speculate on the condition of the miners, while Javier de la Fuente, an engineering contractor with mine owner Grupo México S.A. de C.V. also tried to hold out some hope.

The men were each supposed to be carrying oxygen tanks, each with a six hour supply, and there’s some hope that they could reach other oxygen supply tanks, or that some air might be reaching them through the ventilation shafts into which rescuers have been pumping more oxygen since shortly after the explosion.

Juan Rebolledo, vice president of international affairs for Grupo México, assured onlookers that U.S. mining experts were on the way, and officials at the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration have confirmed that they’ve sent a specialized equipment truck and several mining experts which should arrive at the mine site on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile Consuelo Aguilar, a spokeswoman for the National Miners’ Union, called for an investigation into Grupo México’s responsibility for the disaster. Pedro Camarillo, a federal labor official, said nothing unusual was found during a routine evaluation in early February.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Hope_fades_for_families_of_trapped_Mexican_miners&oldid=1113926”

Monday, December 31, 2007

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2007 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 year’s time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2007, what would the question be? The year that you first signed on to Facebook? The year Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse fell apart? The year author Kurt Vonnegut or mime Marcel Marceau died, both at 84?

Let’s take a look at some of the international stories of 2007. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in bold.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews%27_overview_of_the_year_2007&oldid=4678722”

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