Dire News

Archive for August, 2014


A Great Future In Plastics

by on Aug.18, 2014, under Animals, Environment, Food, Nature

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it? plastic-recycling We've seen the future, and it's rubbish. plastic_ocean Plastic is our future because we can't get rid of it. Once in the environment, it's there to stay. It doesn't biodegrade like organic materials, and doesn't oxidize like metals. If it breaks down at all, it breaks down into smaller plastic pieces. A lot of it ends up in the oceans, and on the beaches. minke01 Even the large marine animals are affected. This minke whale washed up on a beach. minke02 When the contents of its stomach were examined, it was found to contain a lot of plastic grocery store bags. laysan_albatross1 Even though their diet is different than the whales' other creatures are affected too. The Laysan Albatross has especially suffered. Laysan Albatross Nesting by Rows of Plastic Litter There's hardly a place they can go that isn't surrounded by plastic trash. albatross12 The origins are both marine and land based. Plastic doesn't observe political boundaries. albatross_anatomy The stuff found inside the Laysan Albatross is usually familiar to most biologists. More frequently, however, what they find is recognizable to any modern person. Kure Laysan Carcass The organs of the dead birds have been displaced by colorful plastic trash. albatross09 These pictures illustrate how these albatrosses were found. albatross01 Even if we make an effort to use less plastic, and recycle more religiously, it already permeates the environment. albatross02 The birds consume everything from bottle caps to toothbrushes. albatross04 These birds contain more plastic than a Lego model. lego-bird The plastic is more colorful than the birds. albatross07 But we don't think it adds to their natural beauty. albatross10 We believe that these creatures should stick to an organic diet. croc_hand1 It's a lot healthier for them than plastic. croc_limbs
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Best Laid Plans

by on Aug.18, 2014, under Miscellaneous

Sometimes the best way to cover up your illegal activities is to go underground. kremnos4 That was the idea of a resident of a property on McGills Road at Kremnos, in NSW Australia. kremnos3 A shipping container was buried underground like a survival bunker. Located in a remote area surrounded by bush, it looked like it would offer complete privacy. kremnos_fire1 But the McGills Road fire in Kremnos, part of a 700 hectare fire that threatened more than a dozen homes near Blackbutt Road and Curlew Drive, turned the area into a blackened wasteland. kremnos_after Once under fire, the secret was revealed. When police and RFS personnel inspected the properties around the area, they stumbled over some electrical wires in the dirt. kremnos5 The wires led to a hatch, which opened into the mysterious bunker. kremnos6 Equipped with high power lights and ventilation, the bunker was an ideal location for growing marijuana in secrecy. kremnos2 118 cannabis plants were discovered. The hydroponically grown marijuana emerged unscathed from the fire that destroyed the surrounding area and homes. kremnos1 A 68 year old local resident was arrested and charged with enhanced indoor commercial cannabis cultivation, drug supply, and drug possession.
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Society’s Mark

by on Aug.17, 2014, under Art, Culture, Health, Kids, Religion

Body modification has been a tradition for some people for hundreds of years. The Padaung, in Burma, are part of the Karen Lahwi ethnic group. Padaung01 From an early age, the women wear rings, with more added periodically to make their necks longer. Padaung02 A long neck is considered by the group to be a sign of beauty. Paduang03 Their dedication to the tradition continues so they can be the most beautiful women of the tribe. Stretching and ritual scarification are seen as a form of initiation into adulthood; expression of art; or it may distinguish a village or tribe. scar_ethiopa01 In Djougou, Benin, tribal scars are displayed proudly. They aren't just for tribal identity. They also convey personal information. scar05 They need to be done at a young age, but due to their importance, the kids are anxious to get it done. CHU Liege Sart Tilman  Accueil entrŽe verrire They happily participate in the joyous ritual. Child during a Scarification Ceremony The pain is brief. Child during a Scarification Ceremony But the scars last for a lifetime. Child during a Scarification Ceremony Eventually the wounds heal. scar06 The Chambri tribe in Papua, New Guinea, scarify to pay tribute to their origin legend. chambri_manfrom They believe that man evolved from crocodiles, and became land-dwelling when they emerged from the Sepik River, which runs along the Chambri Lake. chambri_croc01 So they scar their bodies to resemble crocodile skin. chambri_croc03 The wounds have to heal in a controlled way to raise the scars so prominently. chambri_croc02 The process is incredibly painful. chambri_croc04 This video shows how these scars are made. Circumcision is another popular body modification. It signifies that a boy is a full-fledged adult member of a tribe, with the accompanying privileges, such as hunting, becoming a warrior, and taking a wife. The Ndebele, a bantu-speaking tribe from South Africa and Zimbabwe, has a two month circumcision ritual, during which each boy receives a tribal name that identifies him for life. ukuwela The Xhosa smear the lucky man with mud after the ritual is complete to insure that he will turn the color of manhood. RP939cm05.tif Although these rituals have been performed hundreds of times, there are sometimes complications. Here are pictures of some of them. We're more of a fan of temporary tattoos. ttat2 They can express your tribal affiliation and personality without all the trauma. ttat3  
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Journalist’s Guide to Firearms Identification

by on Aug.10, 2014, under Crime, Education, Media, Weapons

Even though they report on crimes involving guns, most journalists don't know anything about firearms. gun_safety_kid So they've come up with a pictorial guide to help describe the guns they're talking about. journalist_firearm_id Below: A kid holding an AK-47 Assault Rifle handmade_gun
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Cutting Corners

by on Aug.10, 2014, under Culture, Games, Recreation

The Tonghe County Stadium in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province had been undergoing renovation, and was behind schedule. tonghe_stadium With time running out for finishing the 10,000 square foot stadium, and an impending inspection by provincial leaders and Communist Party officials, the project managers cut a few corners. tonghe_track3 The oval track had already been finished, except for the surface marking. Figuring out how to lay out concentric ovals requires math. tonghe_track1 So they laid out the track as a rectangle, with 90 degree corners. “In order to get it ready for the leaders, we painted it like that,” one of the stadium managers said. “We think it is ugly too but if the leaders don’t ask us to change it, what are we supposed to do?” tongue_track2 The innovative layout hasn't been popular with the public. “It’s impossible to run on such a surface,” said long distance runner Zhang Yong. He went on to  call the track a disgrace to the sport of running.
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Shaping Minds and Bodies

by on Aug.10, 2014, under Education, Health, Kids

You expect the school where you send your kid to shape young minds. Ballina High School in northeast New South Wales, Australia boasts in their description: "The school's culture reflects a commitment to strong discipline and a pride in belonging, as reflected in the wearing of school uniform and respect for the rights of others." ballina_high With annual events like Remembrance Day, Senior Formal, Swimming Carnival, ballina_remember Recognition of major art works and wood projects cameron_corkhill Volunteers, the Toke Visit ballina_toke And Slave Day ballina_slaveday You would expect an environment of safety and respect for every student. ballina_swim 12 year-old James Webb, a Year 7 student at Ballina High, had his arm broken while at school. A spokesman for the Department of Education, on behalf of Ballina High School, said the boy was “pushed over and fallen on by another boy” during a game of grab football, a game that had been repeatedly banned. ballina_webb01 James’ mother Vikki Webb has been told by fellow students her son was swung around by his arm, and then jumped on by a fellow Year 7 student. Ms Webb said one student told her the attacker laughed afterwards. ballina_webb02 “The principal told me the kid didn’t deliberately do it but I think the school is trying to sweep it under the carpet,” she said. Year 12 student Shoni Reilly posted on the Northern Star’s Facebook page that the behaviour of James’ attacker was not the fault of the school or its teachers. “The acting principals and teachers at Ballina High have the best interests of all children at heart,” she wrote. “They can’t physically control the actions of each student and their actions in response to this incident would follow the precedent set for all students.” ballina_webb03 School captain John Parker posted that teachers had warned students against playing football. “If you believe the school has not given this ‘attacker’ long enough, don’t blame the school when they can only interpret the rulings regarding these actions that are given to them from higher up,” he wrote. “Ballina High School is a fantastic school, with great facilities, great teachers and great systems of working things.”
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Rolling Under

by on Aug.03, 2014, under Culture, Education, Games, Kids, Recreation

When it comes to skating under cars, a six year old has beaten all other contenders flat. gagan12 Gagan Satish, only six years old, is from Bangalore, India. He's become a celebrity in his own community, and is rapidly gaining fans around the world. gagan06 Gagan, who received his first pair of roller skates at the age of three, covered 230 feet in just 29 seconds. gagan11 What makes his accomplishment unique is that he skates close to the ground. gagan08 His face remains no more than five inches from the pavement. gagan07 That's how he performs his signature feat. gagan04 Gagan likes to skate under cars. gagan03 "I love skating," he said. "I have been doing it since I was three years old. My next goal is to skate underneath 100 cars. I also want to go to the Olympics." His record 29 second run took him under 37 cars. gagan02 His amazing flexibility allows him to do the splits and slide right under the chassis. gagan01 Gagan trains rigorously to keep up his skills. He starts the day at 5:00 AM and spends a few hours being coached before going off to school. gagan10 After school, he skates in the streets, spending a couple of hours on speed training and muscle flexibility before he goes into his limbo position. gagan09 Gagan has inspired some of his friends to take up limbo skating. His coach, Yatish Gowda, expressed great pride in his young student.    
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