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Mysterious Castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga Claims He Spent 13 Months Adrift In The Pacific Without The Help Of A Bloodied Volleyball. Suspicious…

Alvarenga Castaway Pacific

Jose Salvador Alvarenga claims he survived more than a year adrift in the Pacific Ocean before washing up in a heavily damaged boat on a remote coral atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Alvarenga said he left Mexico on Dec, 2012 to embark on a shark-catching expedition with a youth named Ezekiel. Everything was going swimmingly until some strong winds blew them off course and they became lost. According to Alvarenga, the young boy, described as 15- to 18-years old, died a few weeks into the ordeal because he could not eat raw bird meat. Alvarenga, on the other hand, lived comfortably off fish and turtles he had caught and relied on rainwater, bird blood, and sometimes his own urine, to quench his thirst.

After 13 months of chewing turtles and drinking piss, Alvarenga and his 26-foot fiberglass boat washed up on the sparsely populated Ebon Atoll – 8,800 kilometers away from the Mexican port he left from. Meh, still better than a Royal Caribbean Cruise.

“I had just killed a bird to eat and saw some trees,” he is quoted as saying.

“I cried, ‘Oh, God.’ I got to land and had a mountain of sleep. In the morning, I woke up and heard a rooster and saw chickens and saw a small house. I saw two native women screaming and yelling. I didn’t have any clothes; I was only in my underwear, and they were ripped and torn.”

The 37 year old was found disoriented and bushy-bearded. Unable to speak English, Alvarenga communicated to his rescuers through pictures and gestures – because apparently getting a Spanish translator was too much of a hassle.

After Alvarenga recounted his harrowing tale of survival, some experts gave each other the side-eye and called bullsh*t on his story.

“It’s hard for me to imagine someone surviving 13 months at sea,” said Ambassador Tom Armbruster in Majuro. “But it’s also hard to imagine how someone might arrive on Ebon out of the blue. Certainly this guy has had an ordeal, and has been at sea for some time.”

Gee Bing, the acting secretary of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands, was also somewhat skeptical of the castaway’s account after speaking with him on Monday.

“It does sound like an incredible story, and I’m not sure if I believe his story,” Bing said. “When we saw him, he was not really thin compared to other survivors in the past. I may have some doubts. Once we start communicating with where he’s from, we’ll be able to find out more information.”

Yeah, he totally ate that teenager. Ezeeeekieeeel!!!!!!

Via: ABC News

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New Zealander Fights Off Shark, Stitches Own Leg, Heads to Pub

New Zealand Shark James Grant

New Zealanders are apparently a badass bunch. James Grant, a 24-year-old New Zealand doctor, fought off a shark, stitched his own leg up, and then went to the pub.

James Grant was spearfishing with friends near Colac Bay at the base of New Zealand’s South Island on Saturday when he felt a tug on his leg. After realizing it was a shark and not his friend playing a prank, James thought, “bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg.”

So he did what any rugged New Zealander would do, said “that’s not a knife, THIS is a knife (presumably), and stabbed the shark with his spear before rushing to shore.

“I sort of just fought the shark off. The shark got a few stabs. The knife wasn’t long enough though,” he told reporters after.

After taking off his wetsuit he discovered bites marks up to 5cm long on his leg. This is the point where I would sit down, cry, and wait for someone to take me to the hospital, but Grant sutured his own wound using a first aid kit he kept in his vehicle and joined his friends at Colac bay Tavern to celebrate.

“It would have been great if I had killed it because there was a fishing competition on at the Colac Bay Tavern,” Grant said.

“I am pretty grateful to have my leg still,” he added. “When the stitches come out, I will be back in the water.”

And the award for manliest man goes to….

Via: ABC News 

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A Good Old Fashioned Australian Crocodile Hunt… And Other News

Crocodile

Australian rangers are on the hunt for a crocodile believed to have consumed a 12-year-old boy who was swimming with his friends in a billabong in Australia’s Kakadu National Park.

The four-metre crocodile also mauled the boy’s 12-year-old friend before snatching him up.  The first boy suffered deep wounds to both arms after he fought off the crocodile. Police have shot two crocodiles dead in their hunt for the boy, but “neither of them had anything in their stomachs,” Sgt. Stephen Constable said. Where’s the Crocodile Hunter when you need him? Oh yeah… the sting ray… CBC News

THe QueenThe Queen needs a crash course in money management. A report for Britain’s House of Commons shows that Queen Elizabeth’s bank balance has dropped from £35 million to £1 million in just over a decade. A bankrupt Queen? Well, I never! Adding to the Queen’s money woes is the fact that the royal palaces are “crumbling.” MPs are telling the Queen to cut back on her spending and tackle the huge backlog of repairs to the monarch’s crumbling palaces. Last year the queen received £31 million from the taxpayer to cover her staffing costs, travel and the maintenance of her palaces but apparently that’s not enough. The Public Accounts Committee report is encouraging palace officials to boost the royal family’s income, such as through palace tours and making its facilities available for commercial events. Where is all the money going? Kate Middleton’s wardrobe? AFP 

Bitcoin ArrestI knew Bitcoin sounded a little sketchy after the Winklevoss twins endorsed it… Charlie Shrem, the CEO of BitInstant, a Bitcoin exchange, and the vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, was arrested on Sunday along with a co-conspirator and charged with money laundering for his company’s involvement with Silk Road, an online black market. The 24-year-old entrepreneur is accused of selling over $1 million in bitcoins to Silk Road users, who would then use them to buy drugs and other illicit items. “Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way,” DEA agent James Hunt said in a release. Bail is set at 20,000 bitcoins. Just kidding – no one uses digital currency. Globe and Mail

TreyTrey Radel pulled an anti-Rob Ford and announced his resignation from Congress several months after his crack scandal. The Florida representative pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in November after he was caught buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer. Although some fellow Republicans urged him to step down at the time, Radel held on, undergoing substance abuse rehabilitation treatment and returning to Congress earlier this month. But on Monday, faced with an Ethics Committee investigation, Radel changed his course and decided to step down, saying his personal struggles impeded his ability to serve in Congress. If only Rob Ford could finally acknowledge that his personal struggles also impede his ability to serve as Mayor – and make it through a press conference without embarrassing himself. National Post

Tucker CarlsonTucker Carlson’s children must be extra special needs because the Fox News host suggested that 17-year-olds should not be allowed to pre-register to vote because they were not even capable of “choosing an entrée at a restaurant.” In Sunday morning Fox & Friends segment, Carlson expressed concern about 17-year-olds pre-registering to vote and participating in party primaries if they would be 18 in time for the general election. “I have a 17-year-old, whom I love more than my own life of course, but are 17-year-olds really capable of choosing an entrée at a restaurant, much less voting?” the Fox News host wondered. “I mean, for real. Do we want them voting?” Well actually, if your children are as dumb as you, maybe we don’t want them voting. Raw Story

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Heat Wave Threatens Australian Open (and more!)

Current Event Cat - Australian Open

It’s so hot in Australia right now that animals are falling from trees due to heat exhaustion, wildfires are popping up in Perth, and officials have suspended the Australian Open.

Melbourne, where the Australian Open tournament is held, is going through a heat wave with temperatures surpassing 45C. Australian Open organizers issued an extreme heat warning and suspended all matches scheduled to be played on outdoor courts.

Even tennis veteran Serena Williams could’t take the heat, saying it was “too hot to get into rallies”. Meanwhile two players and a ball-boy had to receive medical treatment after fainting from the heat.

But the Australian Open isn’t the only thing to be effected by Australia’s hottest year on record.  Extreme heat across the states of Victoria and South Australia are causing power blackouts as Australians crank up their A/C to extreme levels. Over 1000 people in the region of Victoria have been treated for heat stress so far and up to 500 flying foxes have died in the past two days. Awww. Oh wait, flying foxes are bats, not foxes. Ewww. There’s nothing worse than a sweaty bat falling out of the sky and hitting you in the face. Except maybe being burned in a wildfire…

While wildfires have always been a problem with Australia’s hot, dry climate, the extreme heat this season has left many residents on edge (and banned from starting any fires). On Sunday, wildfires on the eastern fringes of Perth in Western Australia burnt 52 homes to the ground.

And things aren’t going to get much better for Australia; the Climate Council said the number of heatwaves in Australia was “projected to increase significantly.”

“Both the duration and frequency of heatwaves” had increased between 1971 and 2008, the Climate Council report stated.

“As greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, more heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere,” the report added.

“This increases the likelihood that hot weather will occur and that heatwaves will become longer and more intense.”

Ok, I’ll stop complaining about the cold weather in North America now…

Via: BBC News

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Samoan Teenager Arrested for Mocking Prime Minister

Samoan PM

Justice: Samoan Style.

A Samoan boy has been arrested for talking smack about the island nation’s Prime Minister. 

The teenager took part in a video that ridiculed Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele and used “insulting words”. Police on the scene say the video, filmed with a cell phone on a plantation, was “emotionally distressful” and included “verbal harassment” of the prime minister. The video itself is being kept under wraps, but my guesses would be it’s either criticizing his weight, his crazy unpopular idea to switch from driving on the right to driving on the left, or allegations of prisoners working on government officials’ plantations. Probably not the first one considering everyone in Samoa is morbidly overweight

Anyways, once the video went to Facebook, the village chiefs in his home village Sili, went cocoNUTS and arrested the boy. Matai or chiefs of the village also fined the boy’s family $10,000, 30 cartons of tinned fish and two cows. 30 cartons of tinned fish? That’s a year’s salary in Samoa! But if they don’t pony up the tinned fish and cows, the village may evict the family.

The prime minister accepted the apology of the village but the boy is still being held in custody until the police determine if he should be brought to court. But at this point, all signs point to yes.

Yikes. Imagine what would have happened if he called the Prime Minister a potato?

Via:  Samoa Observer

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Naked Man Gets Stuck in Washing Machine … And Other News

Cat Washing Machine

For once it didn’t happen in Florida! Police in Australia had to rescue a naked man who somehow got himself trapped in a washing machine.

The 20-year-old man from Mooropna, north of Melbourne, got stuck in the washing machine while playing a game of hide-and-seek. Why he decided to play the game naked, nobody knows… But what we do know is that it took rescuers 20 minutes to dislodge him and a bucketload of olive oil to act as lubricant. Sergeant Michelle De Araugo said “it was just a game gone wrong. It would be fair to say the gentleman was very embarrassed.” Yes, that would be fair to say. Sadly, this isn’t the only washing machine/hide-and-seek related incident this week. An 11 year-old girl from Utah also became trapped in a washing machine while playing a competitive game of hide-and-seek. After covering her in butter and then peanut butter, the girl’s mom finally called the fire department to rescue her. BBC News

fallujah_iraq_unrest_afp_360x270There’s trouble brewing in Iraq, but it’s not America’s problem – any more… While Iraq was busy dealing with a flare up in ethnic fighting, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Sunday that the U.S. will not send troops back to Iraq. Instead he is confident the Iraqi government and tribes could together fight al Qaeda: “This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis. We will help them in their fight, but this fight, in the end, they will have to win and I am confident they can.” Kerry said while on a trip to Israel. Meanwhile the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi have now fallen to al Qaeda and a bombing in Baghdad left 14 people dead. But don’t worry, John Kerry is confident they can work it out. Washington Post

Arpaio and SeagalFirst Clay Aiken, now Steven Seagal. After collaborating on a reality TV show with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the action movie star is contemplating a run for the governor of Arizona. Seagal announced his consideration while promoting his newly released reality series “Steven Seagal – Lawman: Maricopa County.” The show, filmed in Arizona, follows Seagal as he joins Joe Arpaio’s posse, made up of 3,000 unpaid civilians who are determined to keep the Mexicans out of America. Seagal said he wants to enhance border security, and his budding friendship with Arapio has only enhanced that belief. As for allegations that Sheriff Joe Arapio is a full blown racist, Seagal says “When somebody asks if Joe Arpaio’s a racist, I’m not going to say I don’t think so. I’m going to say I know he’s not a racist.” Minus all the racial profiling of course. ABC

newyorkTaking a cue from the Stoner State, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has decided to lighten up a little on its marijuana policy. While it’s not yet at Colorado levels, New York plans to allow medicinal marijuana use, becoming the 21st state to do so. Under the new plan, it will still be illegal to grow marijuana in New York but a limited number of hospitals will be able to dispense marijuana for certain ailments such as cancer and glaucoma. This plan sounds a lot stricter than California’s medicinal marijuana criteria. In California, people suffering from mild backaches can get prescriptions for the drug. Meanwhile, Washington state is expected to allow the sale of pot later on in 2014. CBS News

Liz Cheney QuitsLiz Cheney calls it quits! Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz announced on Sunday that she is ending her primary challenge to Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming due to “serious health issues” in her family. Did her father shoot someone in the face again? Perhaps, but Liz Cheney did not go into any details. But even though she’s dropping out of the race after raising more than $1 million, Cheney says that “though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop.” Or maybe she finally looked at the numbers and realized her opponent has maintained a sizeable lead throughout the campaign and she should just cut her losses. Either way, I’m sure Mary Cheney and her wife are happy about the news. New York Times

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From Facebook to Faceplant: Tourist Falls Off Pier While Checking Facebook

Facebook Pier Faceplant

A Taiwanese tourist had to be rescued by police after accidentally walking off a pier in Melbourne while checking her Facebook page on her phone.

The woman was walking along a bay in Melbourne on Monday night when she got distracted by her Facebook newsfeed and tumbled into the chilly waters (chilly by Australian standards…) A concerned witness quickly alerted the police who then rescued her in a speedboat after about 20 minutes. After all, Taiwanese tourists aren’t a priority – especially Darwin award-winning ones.

“She was still out in the water laying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn’t swim,” Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the water police said.

Yes, Facebook can be a death trap – especially when walking on a pier and especially when you can’t swim.

“With Facebook, or social media in general as far as we’re concerned, if you’re anywhere near the water just pay attention,” Kelly said. “Especially if you can’t swim.”

Wise words Constable Kelly.

The water police found the tourist floating only 20 metres from the pier, still clutching her mobile phone. Who needs their hands free for swimming when they could be taking some drowning selfies?

Via: The Guardian

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Australian Billionaire Clive Palmer to Build Jurassic Park Knock Off

Dinosaur Park Clive Palmer

In a classic case of people who have too much money to know what to do with, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has decided to build “the world’s biggest“ dinosaur park on the grounds of his Sunshine Coast resort.

Are there other dinosaur parks for Clive Palmer to compete with? Am I out of the loop regarding dinosaur parks?

Despite hundreds of objections filed by local residents, Clive Palmer got the green light to go through with his dinosaur park, which will be made up of giant robotic dinosaurs, including five Tyrannosaurus rex robots as well as a 10m Ruyangosaurus. The dinosaurs are on order from China and will be able to move their tails and chests and blink their eyes. That’s it? What kind of Jurassic Park is this?

The Sunshine Coast council voted unanimously in favour of the dinosaur park, hoping it will boost tourism to the region. The park has only one restriction: the dinosaurs must not roar too loudly. That shouldn’t be a problem considering they are programmable robots.

Clive Palmer is also currently building a replica of the Titanic to re-enact the ill-fated ship’s Atlantic voyage in 2016 and has also recently formed his own federal political party: the Palmer United Party. So you know he’s full of great ideas and not crazy at all…

When asked earlier this year why he was building the Titanic replica, Palmer said: “I want to spend the money I’ve got before I die”.

Clive Palmer for Australian Prime Minister!

Via: The Guardian 

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Julia Gillard Gets the Boot

Current Event Cat - Australian Showdown Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail is no longer on the menu. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted as Labor Party leader by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd.

Interestingly enough, Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd in a similar internal government coup three years ago, thus becoming the country’s first female prime minister. What goes around comes around!

The Labor Party took a closed-door leadership vote and Kevin Rudd won by 57 votes to 45. The party hopes the new leadership will help them avoid a huge defeat in the upcoming elections – set for September 14. The polls indicated that the party under Julia Gillard was almost certain to face a catastrophic loss against opposition leader Tony Abbott. Kevin Rudd probably won’t lead the party to victory either, but party members are hoping he will at least minimize their losses.

Gillard took the defeat in stride announcing, “I will not re-contest the federal electorate… at the forthcoming election.”

“What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that, and I’m proud of that,” she added.

Gillard had a bit of a rocky ride as leader of the Labor party. In addition to leading a minority government, she also had to deal with two previous attempts at a Kevin Rudd takeover and a bunch of voters who never quite warmed up to her after she ousted the prime minister they had elected. And to top it off there was the whole “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box” incident…

Via: The New York Times 

Australian DJ Fired over Gillard Interview

Australian DJ sacked

An Australian DJ got sacked today after grilling the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, on whether her longtime partner, Tim Mathieson, was gay.

During a live on-air interview, Australian DJ Howard Sattler, asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard if her partner of seven years, Tim Mathieson, was gay. Sattler wanted to question Gillard about the “myths, rumours, snide jokes and innuendoes” surrounding her personal life. And of course the first rumour he wanted to test out was Tim’s sexual orientation.

The interview then turned awkward as Gillard characterized his comments as an absurd generalization.

“Well, that’s absurd,” she replied to Sattler.

“But you hear it, he must be gay, he’s a hairdresser,” Sattler continued, oblivious to Gillard’s annoyance.

He continued to press the issue as his colleagues cringed in the corner, asking the Prime Minister to confirm her partner’s not gay and asking if they were in a “heterosexual relationship”.

A fed-up Gillard replied: “Let me just bring you back to earth. You and I have just talked about me and Tim living at The Lodge [the Prime Minister’s official residence in Canberra]. We live there together as a couple. You know that.”

The interview sparked some outrage – even among other “shock jocks”. And Australian shock jocks are the worst! Remember the whole Kate Middleton/prank call/nurse suicide fiasco?

Needless to say Sattler’s contract with Radio 6PR was terminated following Thursday’s interview and Fairfax radio soon apologized for the “disrespectful” questioning.

“Fairfax Radio management has reviewed this interview and considers that the questions posed by Mr Sattler were disrespectful and irrelevant to the political debate.

“The PM answered Mr Sattler’s questions with dignity and some patience.”

Some patience. Well I suppose it’s already been a rough week for Prime Minister Gillard. Not only is she expected to lose the Sept 14 election, an offensive menu for an opposition fundraiser also emerged this week, featuring the dish “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box”.

Gillard refused to answer reporters’ questions on the Australian DJ interview but did express her fear that such incidents could deter women from entering into political life.

”I want young girls and women to be able to feel like they can be included in public life and not have to face questioning like the questioning I faced yesterday,” she said.

Via: BBC News

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