Apr 24, 2009

Myrtle Beach fire cause identified

The South Carolina Forestry Commission said the wildfire that has charred about 19,600 acres appears to have originated as a yard waste fire.

The fire seems to have been caused by yard debris in the Woodlawn subdivision, an unincorporated part of Horry County, halfway between Conway and North Myrtle Beach.

The cause of a South Carolina wildfire that has charred about 19,600 acres appears to be a yard debris fire, the head of the state's Forestry Commission said Friday.

More of the story here.

Grapefruit: the good news and bad news

The good news:

Love 'em, hate 'em or just plain indifferent to them, one thing is certain: grapefruit can provide real health benefits. Like all citrus fruit, grapefruits are packed with vitamin C. They're low in sodium, high in pectin fibre and potassium and contain the antioxidant lycopene.

Despite its slightly bitter taste, a 250-mL chilled glass of grapefruit juice does wonders for your thirst, while adding less than 100 calories and 156 per cent of your daily vitamin C needs to your diet.

A study in 2006 found that red grapefruit may help lower levels of bad cholesterol and fight heart disease.

The bad news:

Although grapefruit may help fight heart disease, it can have a negative reaction to heart medications such as cholesterol lowering statin drugs like Lipitor and Zocor.

Grapefruit can also cause problems with many other widely used drugs. A list can be found in the article at the link below.


Democrats refuse skeptic testimony: they don’t want Gore Humiliated

Al Gore (upper picture) has never allowed anyone to publicly debate his position on global warming. He says it is man-made and that’s it. He refuses to debate.

Washington Democrats in the House of Representatives have refused to allow debate during a global warming hearing today. They don’t want Gore humiliated.

UK's Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed House Democrats have refused to allow him to appear alongside former Vice President Al Gore at a high profile global warming hearing on Friday April 24, 2009 at 10am in Washington.

Monckton told Climate Depot that the Democrats rescinded his scheduled joint appearance at the House Energy and Commerce hearing on Friday. Monckton said he was informed that he would not be allowed to testify alongside Gore when his plane landed from England Thursday afternoon.

“The House Democrats don't want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face,” Monckton told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview. “They are cowards.”

“The Democrats have a lot to learn about the right of free speech under the US Constitution. Congressman Henry Waxman's (D-CA) refusal to expose Al Gore's sci-fi comedy-horror testimony to proper, independent scrutiny by the House minority reeks of naked fear,” Monckton said from the airport Thursday evening.

The reason why Henry Waxman (lower picture) as well as other Washington Democrats don’t want Al Gore’s junk science exposed is because it is the basis of their cap-and-trade schemes.

Under cap-and-trade the federal government will give companies a limit to the emissions they are allowed which is their “cap.” If they go beyond, they must enter into “carbon trading” by buying “carbon offsets.”

Carbon trading will make multi-millionaires out of carbon trade brokers who a will be huge financial supporters of Washington Democrats - the ones who will have given them cap-and-trade which will be their “cash cow.”


Funny Face

A model prepares backstage at the Barbie Fall 2009 runway fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

More on the Tea Party protests

This is a purely grass roots movement that will be back again on July 4 and possibly on Memorial Day as well.

A report at he first link below says:

Experts see it as democracy in action, and that's a good thing.

By some estimates, over half a million Americans took to the streets last Wednesday to protest taxes and Washington spending – the largest single-day turnout of protesters in the US since 750,000 people marched in Los Angeles in support of rights and protections for immigrants on March 25, 2006.

Below are photos from some of the Tea Parties:

Pitched as a non-partisan protest, but dominated by conservatives and libertarians, the national Tea Party protests took place in over 800 locales – from mega-city Atlanta to little Craig, Colo. – with people waving mostly homemade signs, chanting "USA! USA!" and recalling the spirit of the country's revolutionary roots to demand smaller, more responsible and more constitutional government.

Left-wing critics say the numbers represent the extreme right rather than a burgeoning political counterpoint to President Obama and current Washington policies.

Yet the idea of non-traditional protesters using bottom-up organizing to foment a national movement in the span of 60 days may have marked a turning point for the tea parties – especially since the high attendance estimates rivaled the estimated 500,000 or so protesters who converged on New York City and several other major cities to oppose the Iraq War on Feb. 15, 2003.

More here and here.

Homeland Security chief faces lawsuit over extremism memo

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured) and Attorney General Eric Holder have been named in a lawsuit over the DHS memo warning of the threat from "right wing extremists."

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thomas More Law Center said the policy reported this week targets certain individuals and groups for disfavored treatment based on their opinions on political issues.

The suit, filed on behalf of radio talk show host Michael Savage and the anti-abortion group Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, seeks a permanent injunction against the policies outlined in the memo, as well as attorneys' fees.

Many conservatives say the Department of Homeland Security is no place for putting the nations interests aside and using it as a tool for a disingenuous, politically motivated agenda.

Sadly, however, that’s what many Washington liberals do. This is not your father’s Democratic Party.

Extremists in the DHS memo include returning veterans and people we meet and work with every day. People who get up early every morning, send their kids off to school and go to work.

Bill Ayers and his Wife and friends actually bombed The Pentagon and other buildings. But the only list they are on is the guest list at the White House.


Apr 23, 2009

Barack-a-Bye Baby as Obama Advisor Nods

Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House's National Economic Council needs a more stimulating stimulus plan as he appears to have nodded off during Obama’s meeting with credit card officials this afternoon.


The shift away from manual transmissions

There is a shift away from manual transmissions (pun intended).

A report at the link below wonders why.

Stick shifts could be going the way of whitewall tires, running boards and rumble seats.

As recently as 1985, more than 50 percent of male car buyers said they wanted a stick shift. Last year, only 11 percent did, according to market researchers, and sales totaled 7 percent of the new car market.

Several experts theorized that people who consider driving a chore favor automatics because they make the job easier. By contrast, stick shifts "force you to be involved in the driving process," and enthusiastic drivers love that, said John Nielsen, AAA's national director of auto repair and buying.

Colorado motorists who drive their five-speed muscle cars on winding mountain roads can get an adrenaline rush. However, driving that same car from downtown Denver to Littleton on South Broadway will get a sore arm.

We have a granddaughter who thinks nothing of driving her stick-shift jeep in busy Denver traffic while enjoying a sandwich, fries and a coke while talking on her mobile phone.

For multitasking drivers, an automatic transmission should be mandatory.


Obama celebrated Earth Day by using over 9000 gal of fuel

While flying to and from Iowa on Earth Day, Obama took two flights on Air Force One (shown below) and four on Marine One.

The press office at Andrews AFB wouldn’t give the fuel consumption numbers for the 747 that serves as Air Force One.

However, Boeing says its 747 burns about 5 gallons of fuel per mile. It’s 895 miles from Washington to Des Moines, so a round trip brings the fuel consumption for the fixed-wing portion of the President’s trip to 8,950 gallons.

The trip also put Obama on Marine One for round-trip flights between the White House and Andrews AFB and between Des Moines International Airport and Newton, Iowa, site of his Earth Day speech. It totaled about an hour of flight time.

The VH-3D that serves as Marine One consumes about 1200 pounds of fuel per hour, which comes out to about 166 gallons consumed flying Obama yesterday.

Not counted in the fuel calculations mentioned above is the fuel for the vehicles that took him from the Marine One landing zone to the site of the speech. The vehicle fleet always includes armored SUV’s to escort the armored presidential car.

Also not included is the fuel to get Marine One and the presidential vehicles to Iowa and back.

The article at the link below also says: Obama could have saved at least 9,116 gallons of fuel by giving his speech at the White House.


Another dumb celebrity quote…

On the show "The Simple Life," in 2003, the consummate airhead Paris Hilton asked, “What's Wal-Mart? Do they like make walls there?"

Releasing interrogation program made America less safe

A Washington Post report says that the CIA’s questioning worked.

In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false! The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.

Obama critics say that Obama's decision to release these documents is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts ever by an American president during a time of war.

Critics of the CIA interrogation program claim that enhanced techniques do not produce good intelligence because people will say anything to get the techniques to stop. However the Washington Post report says:

As Abu Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, 'brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship." In other words, the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know.


In Hong Kong even the dead wait in line

Hong Kong is the fourth most densely populated place in the world with park benches packed and strangers share tables at restaurants.

For the 40,000 people who die here every year, it turns out there's no respite from the crowds, even in the afterlife.

While a land shortage forced Hong Kongers to give up on burials long ago — only 11% of bodies were buried in 2007 — the city has also run out of space for cremated ashes.

By some estimates, that means roughly 50,000 families must store their relatives' remains in funeral homes and offices while they wait — often for years — to secure a 1-sq.-ft. resting place.

More of the story here.

Conservative politicians want Napolitano out

House Republicans are calling on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured) to step down or be fired in the wake of a controversial department memo that has sparked indignant battle cries from conservatives and some veterans.

“Singling out political opponents for working against the ruling party is precisely the tactic of every tyrannical government from Red China to Venezuela," said Texas Rep. John Carter, a member of the party's elected leadership who has organized an hour of floor speeches Wednesday night to call for Napolitano's ouster.

Congressman Carter says the first step in this process is creating unfounded public suspicion of political opponents and then followed by arresting and jailing anyone who continue speaking out against the regime.

It does seem quite obvious that the Obama administration was trying to marginalize its critics on the right. The only question remains: did Napolitano author the controversial memo on her own or was she ordered by the administration to marginalize military veterans as well as conservative middle America?

Link here and here.

Apr 22, 2009

Earth Day confusion

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

If we followed all of the suggestions paraded before us on Earth Day we would be going in circles.

Some of the suggestions are great. Some are questionable. A few are outrageously flawed.

Somali pirate in US for Maersk Alabama hijack trial

No more smiles as the Somali pirate is arraigned as an adult.

Prosecutors say say Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse (pictured) was not shy about making his presence known on the Maersk Alabama, brazenly tearing through the ship in a way that belied his young age and skinny, 5-foot-2 frame.

Prosecuters contend that Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse was a brazen ringleader.

He was the first to board the ship, he fired a shot at the captain, he helped steal $30,000 in cash from a safe, and he bragged about hijacking ships in the past, authorities said.

The container ship Maersk Alabama is shown above.

He is the first pirate charged in the United States in more than a century.

His defense lawyers portrayed Muse as a frightened kid and not the violent pirate depicted by prosecutors.


Former astronaut is a UFO and alien visitation believer

Edgar Mitchell (pictured), who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, says that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments.

He delivered his remarks during an appearance at the National Press Club following the conclusion of the fifth annual X-Conference, a meeting of UFO activists and researchers studying the possibility of alien life forms.

Mankind has long wondered if we're "alone in the universe. [But] only in our period do we really have evidence. No, we're not alone," Mitchell said.

"Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. ... We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there."

Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, which some UFO believers maintain was the site of a UFO crash in 1947.

Mitchell claims that residents of his hometown "had been hushed and told not to talk about their experience by military authorities." They had been warned of "dire consequences" if they did so.

Much more of Mitchell’s story can be found here.

Another dumb celebrity quote…

Actor Jackie Chan (pictured) said: “I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want.”

Sounds like Chan, a Hong Kong native, may have been brainwashed by the Communist leadership of mainland China.

More here.

Alone in the stands

Tennis enthusiasts wait for the rain to stop prior to the start of the third round match on the central court of the recent Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco.

Miss a payment and your car engine could stop

If you plan to get a new car loan in the near future, your vehicle may come with “big brother” onboard.

With consumer credit ratings plummeting, more American car owners could soon be driving around with an electronic device in your vehicle that will turn the engine off it the payments are late!

No, really! It is happening already with increasing frequency.

Business is booming for makers of shut-off devices, which turn engines off when car payments are late.

Sales at one manufacturer, Littleton, Colorado-based Passtime, are up 33 percent over last year. CEO Stan Schwarz says the company is cranking up production to meet the demand.

The Colorado company claims to be “moving about 2,000 units a month into the marketplace” and by the end of the year they expect to be up to 14,000 to 15,000 a month.

While the devices have mostly been used in the subprime auto loan market, other lenders are looking closely at the technology, manufacturers say. It's no mystery why interest in the gadgets soaring: the creditworthiness of American consumers is declining as they lose jobs in record numbers and find it harder to tap into home equity.

Consumers could increasingly find themselves in cars with shut-off devices if their credit turns bad and they are forced to shop at dealerships serving the subprime market. These sellers range from small mom-and-pop, "Buy Here, Finance Here" outlets to major dealerships.

More of the story here.

Just who are the so-called right-wing extremists?

While many Americans are worried about violent Mexican drug gangs on our border or the terrorists the Obama administration plans to release from Guantánamo, the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano (pictured) is worried about right-wing “extremists.''

The “honor killing” by a leader of one of the American Muslim organizations who beheaded his wife didn’t seem to be of any concern by the Department of Homeland Security. The Department seems to be too busy worrying about right-wing “extremists.”

Just who are these right-wing extremists?

According to an official document of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, right-wing extremists include "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration." It also includes those "rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority."

If you fit into any of these categories, you may not have realized that you are considered a threat to national security. But apparently the Obama administration has its eye on you.

When it comes to the thuggery of ACORN -- its members harassing the homes of bankers and even the home of Senator Phil Gramm when he opposed things that ACORN favored -- the Department of Homeland Security apparently sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil.

Maybe they are too busy worrying about right-wing "extremists" who don't like abortions or illegal immigration, or who favor the division of power between the state and federal governments established by the Constitution.

And it’s also right-wing "extremists" who do not agree with the pork-laden bailouts costing taxpayers trillions of dollars.

Barack Obama made a statement during last year's election campaign that got remarkably little attention in the media. He suggested the creation of a federal police force, comparable in size to the military.

Why such an organization? For what purpose?

Since there are state and local police forces all across the country, an FBI to investigate federal crimes and a Department of Justice to prosecute those who commit them, as well as a Defense Department with military forces, just what role would a federal police force play?

Would this new federal police force be made up of ACORN Brown Shirt thugs to keep the administration dissenters “in line?”

During the campaign Obama said the federal police force would be just as strong and just as well-funded as the US military!

This national police force could be ready to break up any demonstrations against the administration no matter how peaceful they are.

Another sobering thought from the article at the link below:

This federal police force could become President Obama's personal domestic political army, his own storm troopers.

This army could eventually do things like make sure we are all union members and even attend only approved Churches.


Apr 21, 2009

He was charged $700 for calling 911 after fender-bender

It’s called Florida’s “Crash Tax.”

It was bad enough when Matthew Norville rear-ended another driver, crushing the front end of his own car.

A few weeks later, the Pensacola college student got a $714 bill to cover the cost of the county police and firefighters who responded.

"When you have an accident you're taught to call 911," said Norville's mom, Amy. "It never occurred to us that there would be a charge for them."

Florida lawmakers are considering a ban on such fees, dubbed "crash taxes" by detractors who say they're unfair and not always covered by insurance.

Six other states - Arkansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Tennessee and Georgia - already prohibit them, and Alabama and California may do the same.


Husband of Democrat Senator cashed in on crisis

The continuing culture of corruption.

Dianne Feinstein (pictured), former Mayor of San Francisco and long term Democratic Senator from California, wasted no time when the new administration took over in Washington to seek $25 billion for the agency that awarded a lucrative contract to her husband.

On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. (pictured) introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.

Senator Feinstein's intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual because the California Democrat isn't a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC. Also, the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments - not direct federal dollars.

Documents reviewed by The Washington Times show Mrs. Feinstein first offered Oct. 30 to help the FDIC secure money for its effort to stem the rise of home foreclosures. Her letter was sent just days before the agency determined that CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE).

CBRE is the commercial real estate firm that her husband Richard Blum heads as board chairman!


Secure software more than just a pipedream

Remember that Conficker computer worm they warned us about. It was to devastate computers on April Fool’s Day?

A CNET report says that after the Conficker worm scare and Microsoft patching multiple additional software vulnerabilities last week, it might be reasonable to assume the bad guys are winning the battle to get control over Internet-connected computers.

That's not necessarily the case. Developers are increasingly equipped with tools to shore up their products and vendors are collaborating in unprecedented ways to not only close holes in software, but also make sure they aren't in there in the first place, according to security experts.

"Conficker did far less damage in 2009 than it would have done in 2003," said Dan Kaminsky, director of penetration testing at IOActive. "Windows used to be a lot easier to blow up."

More of the story here.

Latest budget tightening: hardly a dimes worth of difference!

The latest fiscal tightening by the Obama administration is like cutting the budget with a pen knife.

It’s like asking a family that spends $40,000 a year to cut $2 out of its annual budget.

The report at the link below has another great analogy:

Cut a latte or two out of your annual budget and you've just done as much belt-tightening as President Barack Obama asked of his Cabinet on Monday.

Obama made his push for frugality the subject of his first Cabinet meeting, ensuring it would command the capital's attention. It also set off outbursts of mental math and scribbled calculations as political friend and foe tried to figure out its impact.

The bottom line: Not much.

Trying to get his Cabinet to save $100 million is laughable compared to the Obama $3,550,000,000,000 budget.


Apr 20, 2009

Young mad hatter at cricket game

South African cricket fan looks on during the final ODI cricket series between South Africa and Australia at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa won by 61 runs.

Sen. Dodd 2010 re-election in doubt

A report at the link below says that Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (pictured) received early campaign donations from just five residents in his state. He had to go outside Connecticut for the bulk of the $600,000 he raised from individuals in the first three months of the year.

The fundraising, reported in the Connecticut Post, foretells a tough fight ahead for the power-wielding Democrat in the 2010 race. Recent poll numbers have shown Dodd's approval ratings at historic lows,

Rob Simmons, a Republican former congressman who says he'll challenge Dodd next year, used the Dodd fundraising report as a fundraising pitch of his own. He sent out a campaign e-mail Friday urging his supporters to help show Dodd what a "real grassroots campaign" looks like.

More of the story here.

Tea Parties prompt a cabinet budget cut

The first formal Cabinet meeting is being held just days after a series of Tea Party demonstrations across the country in which protesters challenged the administration over it's massive spending.

A senior administration officials says Barack Obama is ready to ask federal department and agency chiefs to find $100 million to cut from the budget when he holds his first formal Cabinet meeting.

The move would cut $100,000,000 from a $3,550,000,000,000 budget. A mere drop in the bucket.

The official previewed Topic A for Monday's Cabinet meeting on grounds of anonymity because it will be a private session. He said Obama will be reminding Cabinet members that financially-pressed families are looking to the government to spend their money wisely.

In the last three months the federal government has thrown money around as if it came from a Parker Brothers Monopoly game!


A designer cover up for hospital gowns

The first time I was a patient in the intensive care unit at a local hospital it didn't take long to learn why they refer to the Intensive Care Unit as ICU.

One look at that short bareback gown they gave me to wear and I knew exactly why they call it ICU.

Federal law prevents hospitals from revealing information on a patient, but hospital gowns occasionally allow a patient to reveal too much of themselves.

A North Carolina State University design team is coming to the rescue as they are at work to end the issue of partial physical disclosure.

It's not the first time someone has tried to conceal what is sometimes exposed because of the gown's flimsy fabric and loose tie in the open back.

But North Carolina State textile design professor Traci Lamar has the financial backing and research to develop a restyled garment that could finally be practical for hospitals across the country.

Lamar has been working on a solution since November 2006. Researchers hope to have the product ready for market in about two years.


Obama’s car czar named in SEC probe

When has an administration started with so many problems. It almost appears that to qualify for service in the Obama administration one needs to be politically or financially corrupt - or both.

From the report at the link below:

In March, Steven Rattner (pictured), the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was the man who sat face to face with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner at a Treasury Department meeting and fired him.

Now it's Rattner's turn in the hot seat.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night that Rattner was involved with payments at the center of an investigation into an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund.

For the Obama administration, the revelation of Rattner's involvement in the deal is likely to cause a political headache at a time when the president is set to decide on the ultimate fate of General Motors and Chrysler, the car companies that are living on government bailout money and facing a strict timetable to reconstitute their businesses.

The Wall Street Journal said that Rattner disclosed the pending investigation during the vetting process of the presidential transition.

That will raise uncomfortable comparisons to Treasury's top official, Secretary Timothy Geithner, who failed to correctly pay his taxes, but was nonetheless supported for the position by President Barack Obama in the face of stiff criticism at the time.

The culture of corruption in the Obama administration remains alive and well.


Stephen Hawking hospitalized: very ill

Scientist and author Stephen Hawking (pictured) is "very ill" and has been hospitalized, according to Cambridge University, where he is a professor.

Stephen Hawking is one of the world's most famous physicists. He is also a cosmologist, astronomer, and mathematician.

Cambridge University said the 67-year-old is "comfortable" and will stay overnight at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

Wheelchair-bound Hawking is perhaps most famous for "A Brief History of Time" which explored the origins of the universe in layman's terms, is considered a modern classic.

Hawking has Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), which is usually fatal after three years. Hawking has survived for more than 40 years since his diagnosis.

The disease has left him paralyzed -- he is able to move only a few fingers on one hand. Hawking is completely dependent on others or technology for virtually everything -- bathing, dressing, eating, even speech.

He uses a speech synthesizer with an American accent.


Apr 19, 2009

Public is catching on to warming scam

John Hinderaker at Power Line says (first link below):

In recent months, a key trend in American public opinion has emerged: voters are catching on to the global warming scam.

It's hard to say why this is happening; certainly not because news coverage has gotten any more unbiased or scientifically accurate. Nevertheless, somehow the word is getting out: the alarmists are all wet.

Hinderaker references a Rasmussen Reports survey (second link below) that shows that just one-out-of-three voters (34%) now believe that humans have anything to do with climate change. Instead, they said climate change was due to long-term planetary trends.

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

This is the lowest finding yet in Rasmussen Reports national surveying. These numbers reflect a reversal from a year ago when 47% blamed human activity while 34% said long-term planetary trends.

Link here and here.

Instructor was drunk during driving lesson

A 53-year-old man from Salem, Massachusetts was convicted of operating under the influence while giving a driving lesson from the passenger seat of a car.

Although the driving instructor was not behind the wheel during the lesson, prosecutors say he was in control of the passenger side brakes in the specially-fitted car and also moved the wheel during the lesson.

The instructor claimed he was not drunk during the lesson.


Don’t read this if you have a plane ticket and hate snakes

In scenes reminiscent of the cult horror movie Snakes on a Plane, four baby pythons escaped on a passenger plane in Australia leading to a prolonged search of the aircraft.

The photo shows a Stimson’s python about the size of the snakes on the Qantas plane.

Twelve non-venomous Stimson's pythons were being transported on a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne on Tuesday. They were in the plane's cargo area in a bag inside a plastic foam box , which was studded with air holes.

When the flight landed, it was discovered that four snakes had escaped from the package, a Qantas spokeswoman said. It is not known where the snakes got to during the flight, or if there were any chance encounters with passengers, but it would appear there were no altercations either in the toilet cubicles or in the plane's main cabin.

Unlike the cult movie, airline staff were not forced to shoot out windows to blow the snakes out the cockpit. Instead they fumigated the entire plane to make sure the snakes did not re-emerge on another flight.

In the very unlikely event the snakes survived, they could grow up to one meter long, making them undoubtedly easier to find.

Stimson's pythons live in western and central Australia in arid, woodland and rocky areas.

Although they are not poisonous, the small snake, which is not endangered, shares attributes with larger variations of the species, such as coiling around its prey and squeezing until suffocation.


Another dumb celebrity quote…

Shaquille O'Neal was asked by Sports Illustrated whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece in 1994.

The Shaq replied, “I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.”