Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eagle Snatches Child (Student Video)

MrNuclearCat - 1 video

Published on Dec 18, 2012
A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal! What if he got away with it!?
Un aigle royal attaque un jeune enfant sur le Mont-Royal!

[Press Release]

Canada Newswire
19 December 2012

MONTREAL, Dec. 19, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 18, was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault, Antoine Seigle and Félix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design.

The video shows a royal eagle snatching a young kid while he plays under the watch of his dad. The eagle then drops the kid a few feet away. Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards.

The video has already received more than 1,200,000 views on YouTube and has been mentioned by dozens of media in Canada and abroad. [...]

Claude Arsenault
Manager, Communications and Public Relations

Appleton [WI] Post-Crescent
20 January 2013

Written by Carolyn Tiry
Gannett Wisconsin Media

ANTIGO -- An online video of a hawk grabbing a baby that was revealed to be a hoax could be behind an increase in bird shootings, one wildlife rehabilitation expert says.

The Raptor Education Group, a wildlife rehabilitation center near Antigo, has taken in four hawks and two bald eagles since the video was released, Executive Director Marge Gibson said. Six birds, all of which were shot, are at least twice as many as the center usually gets in one month, she said. [...]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

V.S. Naipaul Mistaken for Ved Mehta

Esquire, July 1988, p. 61.


A veteran New York journalist was convinced that Ved Mehta, the blind Indian writer, was not really blind at all. Having spotted Mehta sitting stiffly on the couch at a party at Mike Nichols's, he stationed himself in front of the man, who was stealing the cashews from a bowl of mixed nuts. The journalist waved his hands back and forth at the man, started making faces. The guests -- Renata Adler and Penelope Gilliatt among them -- were aghast. But the Indian stared straight ahead, impassive. The journalist shrugged. He had had his doubts, he announced, but was now convinced that Mehta was indeed blind.

"That may be so," replied one guest, "but that man on the couch is V.S. Naipaul."

Spy, September 1989, p. 111.

Slaves of the New Yorker

By Jennet Conant

[...] The most intense Ved skeptics are not fully convinced that anyone could produce such detailed visual passages if he were actually blind. [...] In one often-told incident, a young writer became obsessed with the notion that Ved could, in fact, see. At a literary function, the story goes, the young writer spotted a dapper Indian gentleman, walked directly over and started making extraordinary faces and obscene gestures at him. The mortified hostess, as she dragged the young writer away, asked, "What in God's name were you doing to V.S. Naipaul?" [...]

Paul Theroux, Sir Vidia's Shadow: A Friendship Across Five Continents (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998),  pp. 278-9.

There was a story I never asked Vidia to verify -- didn't dare ask, because I wanted it to be true. If it was not true, it ought to have been.

Ved Mehta is a distinguished Indian writer. [...] Ved Mehta is also famously blind. A certain New Yorker doubted his blindness. Seeing Mehta at a New York party, speaking to a group of attentive people, holding court, the man decided to test it. He had always been skeptical that Mehta was totally blind, since in his writing he minutely described people's faces and wrote about the nuances of color and texture with elaborate subtlety, making precise distinctions.

The man crept over to where Mehta was sitting, and as the writer continued to speak, the doubting man began making faces at him. He leaned over and waved his hands at Ved Mehta's eyes. He thumbed his nose at Ved Mehta. He wagged his fingers in Ved Mehta's face.

Still, Mehta went on speaking, calmly and in perfectly enunciated sentences, never faltering in his expansive monologue.

The man made a last attempt: he put his own face a foot away and stuck his tongue out. But Mehta spoke without a pause, as if the man did not exist.

Realizing how wrong he had been, the man felt uncomfortable and wanted to go home. Leaving the party, he said to the hostess, "I had always thought Ved Mehta was faking his blindness, or at least exaggerating. I am now convinced that Ved Mehta is blind."

"That's not Ved Mehta," the hostess said. "It's V. S. Naipaul."

Cosmos Rays Panic

Hindustan Times
12 December 2012

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

Srinagar, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 spawned a dozen hoaxes, but the one that was most hilarious kept people in the Valley up all night and the state government busy firefighting through the day. The message, purportedly from NASA and the BBC, advised people to switch off their cellphones from 12.30 to 3.30 am on Tuesday as “cosmos rays are entering the Earth from Mars”. The message even warned people to keep away the cellphones from their body because “cosmos” rays are dangerous. [...]

The Indian Express
13 December 2012

Mir Ehsan : Srinagar

Late on Tuesday night, residents across Kashmir scrambled to switch off their mobile phones. The reason was not pesky calls but another ‘incoming’ hazard: a rumour that harmful “cosmic rays” were going to enter Earth via the phones from Mars, and set off blasts.

The government finally had to step in and make announcements on radio and television, threatening to book people spreading the rumour, to quell the panic. [...]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Three Days of Darkness Predicted

China Daily
11 December 2012


BEIJING - Candles and matches have almost sold out in two southwest China counties following online rumors of a coming doomsday event that some believe will bring the end of the world.

Panic buying in Shuangliu and Longchang counties, both located in Sichuan province, was stirred by rumors of "three consecutive days of darkness after December 21." [...]

Monday, December 3, 2012

Biometric Registration Kits Cause Cancer (Kenya)

The Star [Kenya]
30 November 2012


Rumours that the BVR [Biometric voter registration] kits can cause cancer  have scared Mwakirunge slum dwellers from registering as voters, IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan has said.

He told the residents to ignore the rumours saying those spreading it want to sabotage the voters registration in the region.

Residents said the rumour, which surfaced soon after the start of the registration, has caused panic and fear.

“A rumor went round and most of them have refused to heed to the calls to register as voters. They say the machine sucks blood form their fingers and it can cause cancer,” said Rose Kazungu, a residents. [...]

Friday, November 30, 2012

Organs Removed From Kidnapped Children (China)

China Daily
30 November 2012

Police in Jintang county, Sichuan province, denied rumors posted online saying that local children had been kidnapped in order to have their organs removed, the Chengdu Commercial Daily reported on Thursday.

The police added that the person who spread the rumors has been punished, the paper said.

County police sources said that a resident surnamed Yuan posted notes online saying that some children in the county's Pingqiao township had been kidnapped to have their organs removed.

Investigations showed that Yuan made up the rumors and he was punished, police said.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ballroom in Movie Modeled After Baylor University Library

The Baylor Lariat [Baylor University]
27 November 2012

By Maegan Rocio
Staff Writer

[...] A 1979 Baylor alum, Jim Hillin, who was the Computer Generated Imagery Supervisor of the 1991 animated feature, helped design the famous ballroom scene of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” [...]

According to a Nov. 8 Baylor Proud Newsletter, the rumor is the famous ballroom scene from “Beauty and the Beast” was modeled after Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library.

Hillin said the rumor is not true.

“The design came from the art director, and I was just following his directions,” he said.

Some Baylor students were disappointed to hear that the myth turned out to be false.

San Antonio freshman Rachel Hess said she heard the story from her tour group guide while passing the library. [...]

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rod Stewart Denies Stomach-Pumping Story

Rod Stewart, Rod: The Autobiography (New York: Crown, 2012), pp. 244-5.

[Tony Toon was Stewart's "personal assistant and self-styled publicist."]

Tony went as the result of a poor piece of judgment on his part. During a stay in Hawaii, we found ourselves in an overbooked hotel. Alana and I had Sean and Kimberly in a room with us, and we asked Toon to share an adjoining twin room with Ashley, who was then seven. Toon, of course, couldn't resist pulling some bloke in the bar that evening and taking him back to his room. I fired Toon in the morning.

Toon's revenge was absolutely inspired. He fed the press a story in which, as a consequence of an evening spent orally servicing a gang of sailors in a gay bar in San Diego, I had been required to check into a hospital emergency room to have my stomach pumped. With minor variations (the quantity of the extracted fluid tends to fluctuate: seven pints, three ounces, half a quart; it's a relatively open field), this story has stayed with me ever since. Say what you like about Tony Toon -- and God rest his soul -- but he was good at his job.

For the record, then (and just to put it simply and clearly for posterity's sake): I believe I was in the Hotel Cipriani in Venice on the night of the alleged incident. I have never orally pleasured even a solitary sailor, let alone a ship's worth in one evening. And I have never had my stomach pumped, either of naval-issue semen or of any other kind of semen. Nor of anything else, for that matter.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Motorists Slashed, Robbed (Malaysia)

The Star [Malaysia]
15 November 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Police have dismissed as mere rumours the SMSes and Facebook messages alleging incidents of people here being assaulted and robbed in their cars by individuals pretending to ask for directions here.

Kota Kinabalu police chief Asst Comm Jauteh Dikun said there were no reports of such incidents.

The SMSes and Facebook postings cautioned motorists against lowering their vehicle windows when approached by individuals carrying name cards and seeking directions.

The messages claim that hidden behind the cards were blades to slash the motorists before they are robbed of their belongings.

Daily Express [Malaysia]
5 May 2013

Kota Kinabalu: A message circulated via SMS warning people of a man going around scratching people's faces before running off with their belongings has been brushed aside as mere rumours by police.

The message was allegedly sent from the police station claiming that a total of six cases were reported here, warning about somebody knocking on car windows and showing a name card and asking for directions.

It warned people not to lower their car window because there is a blade hidden behind the name card, which the man would use to scratch the unsuspecting victim before making off with their belongings. [...]

Friday, November 9, 2012

World Will Be in Darkness

Bernama [Malaysia]
10 November 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian National Space Agency (Angkasa) today refuted the rumour circulating via social media claiming that the world will be in darkness for three days from Dec 23 during the alignment of the Universe.

The report stated that during the cosmic alignment of the Sun, Earth and the centre of the galaxy, thick dust clouds would block the night-time view of the Milky Way, hence creating what was called a 'total blackout'. [...]

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thieves Pose as Con Ed Workers (NY)

New York Post
31 October 2012


Hurricane Sandy brought out the worst yesterday in some sleazy New Yorkers, who looted stores and homes across the city.

Some posed as Con Ed workers to dupe their victims.

Police arrested more than a dozen looters in the Rockaways and Coney Island, which had been evacuated, and stood guard outside ravaged stores at the South Street Seaport.

“This morning when they told us the water receded, I walked back to the house to feed [my pets],” said Eric Martine, 33, a cabby who lives in Brooklyn’s Gerritsen Beach. “Guys were looting, pretending they were Con Ed and holding people up. It was sick.”

Residents said police warned them to beware of crooks pretending to be utility workers. [...]

The Atlantic Wire
2 November 2012

Rebecca Greenfield

There is zero real evidence that anyone has dressed up as a Con Ed worker and gone door-to-door robbing people, yet the tales of such incidents are cropping up so frequently in media, on social networks, and old fashioned in person, that even Con Ed is warning people to ask its workers for ID. [...]

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Candy (2012)

The London Free Press [ON]
31 October 2012

By Randy Richmond, The London Free Press

London police are warning parents to be check their children's candy after a double-sided razor blade was found in a trick-or-treat bag on Hallowe'en.

The blade was wrapped in waxed paper, police said. [...]

WKYT-TV [Lexington, KY]
31 October 2012

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - [...] Police tell us one 8-year-old girl found something unexpected in her trick-or-treat bag on the road she lives on in Winchester and that surprise sent her to the hospital.

A medical needle in her trick or treat bag is what Winchester police tell us one trick-or-treater found instead of candy. [...]

The Daily Mail [UK]
1 November 2012

By Martin Robinson

A pair of primary school children were given cocaine instead of sweets when they went trick or treating.

Plastic bags containing the white powder were handed to youngsters taking part in traditional Halloween fun in Royton, Greater Manchester, at around 7.50pm yesterday. [...]

Donald Junior Green, 23, has been charged with possession of Class A drugs and is due before Oldham Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning. [...]

Rockford Register Star [IL]
1 November 2012

By Jeff Kolkey

LOVES PARK -- A child was not injured when a needle was found inside the package of his Starburst Halloween candy from trick-or-treating Wednesday night. [...]

WMUR-TV [Manchester, NH]
1 November 2012

Police reminding parents to check all Halloween candy

BEDFORD, N.H. -- A trick-or-treater found a piece of Halloween candy containing a pill in Bedford Wednesday night, according to police.

The child had been trick-or-treating on Technology Drive in Bedford Wednesday night.

Police said the candy in question had been packaged to look like Hershey’s Kiss but instead contained an unidentified pill. [...]

WOIO-TV [Cleveland, OH]
1 November 2012

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Police are warning parents to check their kids Halloween candy after a report of someone handing out a tainted treat.

Andover Police tell 19 Action News a 13-year-old found a pill stuffed in a pack of Smarties, about 30 minutes after the village's Trick-or-Treat ended. The teen's parents immediately called police.

The pill is described as a round, white Excedrin Migraine pill with "L430" stamped on one side. [...]

The Republic [Columbus, IN]
1 November 2012

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- A 5-year-old boy found a heavy metal staple in a piece of Halloween candy Wednesday night, in what police believe was an incident of intentional tampering. [...]

Upon closer examination, the piece of metal appears to be a heavy staple, about an inch long, that was straightened and pushed into the candy.  The candy wrapper also had a hole in it. [...]

The Commercial-News [Danville, IL]
1 November 2012


HOOPESTON -- Police are investigating where a trick-or-treater received a candy bar found to have part of piece of metal inside.

A 28-year-old Rossville man reported the tampered candy to Hoopeston police Wednesday night after trick-or-treating with his daughter in the Hoopeston and Rossville area, according to a release by Hoopeston Police Chief Mark Drollinger.

According to Drollinger, the man discovered the candy bar -- which appeared to have been opened and then resealed with tape. Inside the wrapper, the man told police he found a metal shard. The piece of metal was not inserted into the candy bar. [...]

Chilliwack Times [BC]
1 November 2012

Possible isolated incident of tampered candy

By Paul J. Henderson, The Times

[...] At approximately 8 p.m. on Halloween, Chilliwack RCMP responded to a complaint of a piece of candy with a wrapper that looked to have been tampered with in some way.

Police have seized the candy and sent it to a lab for testing.

"Right now, we are dealing with a possible isolated incident, said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck in a press release issued Thursday afternoon. "That's important to stress, because we know there have been a number of posts on Facebook regarding claims of candy tampering in the Chilliwack area. We urge people using social media not to spread unsubstantiated allegations, particularly those of a criminal nature, but instead to use social media to share more practical and common-sense advice." [...]

Indianapolis Star [IN]
1 November 2012

Written by
Jill Disis

The Mooresville School District has put Morgan County parents on alert after a family found a needle in a piece of Halloween candy.

The Morgan County Sheriff's Department alerted the school district, saying parents found the needle inside a Kit Kat bar. [...],0,1172711.story

The Winchester Sun [KY]
1 November 2012

By Casey Castle

An 8-year-old girl spent part of her Halloween holiday at the hospital after getting stuck by a needle in her trick-or-treat bag Wednesday night.

Melanie Gross, the child’s mother, said the girl had visited 10 or 11 houses and was swinging her bag when it hit her leg. The girl complained about being hurt.

“I looked in the bag and there was an exposed needle,” Gross said. [...]

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online
2 November 2012

Believe teen may have ingested cocaine on his own

Staff writer

Claims that a Lusby teenager ate a piece of candy laced with drugs he received during trick-or-treating Wednesday night quickly spread throughout the community and incited fear in county residents, but proved to be false after a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office investigation. [...]

WJHG-TV [Panama City Beach, FL]
2 November 2012

[...] A parent called Bay County sheriff's deputies, reporting they'd found a prescription pill stuck inside of a candy bar. The pill, which is a medication of high blood pressure called Prazosin Hydrochloride, was stuck inside of a 3 Musketeers candy bar. [...]

WMBF-TV [Charleston, SC]
2 November 2012

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's an urban legend come to life, a razor in a Halloween candy bucket.

Ricki Worrell of Myrtle Beach said she took her 10-year-old daughter trick-or-treating down maybe two or three of the streets in her neighborhood, Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club, before calling it a night.

When they returned home, Worrell says they dumped all the candy collected out on the table to see what her daughter had received, and with several larger items in the bucket, she didn't immediately notice the BIC razor.

"I could not believe my eyes," Worrell comments.

The razor that her daughter came home with appeared to still be in it's original package [....]

The Republic [Columbus, IN]
3 November 2012

By Jennifer Willhite

A Columbus mother has changed her story about a 5-year-old son biting into a one-inch metal staple in his Halloween candy. Now police are trying to determine whether the initial report was a hoax.

The mother had accompanied her son trick-or-treating on Halloween in Columbus and told police that night her child later bit into a Tootsie Roll and felt a metal staple in his mouth. But during interviews over the course of Thursday, Police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said discrepancies surfaced in the story.

Police talked to the boy and the mother separately Thursday, when the son indicated that he’d never eaten a piece of tainted candy. Afterward, Myers said the mother acknowledged this.

The mother’s latest account is that a female friend of hers found the candy wrapper Halloween night on the floor. When that individual picked up the wrapper, there was a staple in it.

610 CKTB [St. Catharines, ON]
2 November 2012

It was no treat for a St. Catharines mother who discovered over the counter medication in her son's Halloween candy bag.

Sarah Stevens tells 610 CKTB news, when she went through the candy her six year old son brought home Wednesday night after trick or treating in the city's south end, she discovered three packages of pain medication, including Advil liquid gels and Robaxecet, a pain reliever for back pain. [...]

City of Mentor [OH]
5 November 2012

On Sunday, November 4, 2012, the Mentor Police Department received a report regarding contaminated candy. A citizen took her child Trick or Treating on Sunday evening. She checked the candy once at home and found a box of Wonka Grape Nerds candy with the top bent back but still glued shut. She opened the box and found it half filled with staples and not candy. [...]

The Grand Rapids Press [MI]
3 November 2012

By Angie Jackson

IONIA COUNTY, MI -- A Palo mother discovered that her 4-year-old received more than candy when trick-or-treating on Oct. 31.

The Ionia Sentinel-Standard reports the woman found a "small, cellophane baggie with a green leafy substance inside" in her child's trick-or-treat bag. She told police she was unsure where the baggie and its contents originated.

A test by the Ionia Department of Public Safety confirmed the substance was marijuana. [...]

WCSI Radio [Columbus, IN]
8 November 2012

A case involving the alleged tampering of Halloween candy will be sent to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor's Office early next week.

Columbus police were sent to a home on Halloween night regarding a 5-year-old boy allegedly finding a piece of metal inside a piece of candy he received while trick-or-treating. Police spokesperson Lt. Matt Myers says the boy's mother told police that her son was eating an orange Tootsie Roll when he discovered the object. The boy was not injured. [...]

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online
9 November 2012


Tests that showed illegal drugs were found in a 16-year-old boy’s system after he ate a piece of Halloween candy allegedly laced with drugs proved to be false after confirmatory testing showed the original results were a false positive.

“It was a false positive in the test,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R). “[The teenager] did not have illegal drugs in his system. The information we gave out was premature. We should have waited until we got the results back.” [...]