The mystery of the vanishing truck!

Here is an interesting story from Laguna Beach, California. Michael Otero parked his pickup truck and went inside a convenience store for a very short time. When he came back, the truck was gone! And nobody saw anyone coming in or going out.

So what happened? He left his ignition key, and the truck was unlocked. So, the most obvious explanation? Somebody might have stolen it. However, nobody entered the parking space during that short time. So, was it a ghost?

The police checked the surveillence camera, and came up with the answer – watch this video to find out what really happened:

Yes, the truck rolled back, and parked at another parking lot nearby, all by itself! There was some minor damage to the truck, which a mechanic may be able to repair, but that is it.

Otero won’t forget this for a long time.

Granny fails driving test 771 times!

A 68 year old grandmother, Mrs Cha, has failed 771 times while trying to pass the driving test. Cha is a South Korean resident. She sells food and household items door to door, and transports her goods using a handcart. She wants to pass the driving test and get a car.

She has been trying to pass the driving test in South Korea since 2005. She appears for the test almost every working day. The problem is the preliminary part, which is a written test. The pass mark is 60/100. She has been able to score only in the range of 20-50.

Is she giving up? Not at all. Cha said she will keep on trying, until she succeeds.

Scam – Google Offers Free Hosting

Did any of you receive this mail from “Google” recently?

Dear Gmail customer
After our free email services we offer you to sing up for our free hosting services.
This service currently is in beta test.
And we choose you to test this services and report us any bug you may find.We give you unlimited webspace on your own domain name you must only change your dns services to and and enter your domain name in our special control panel.
Our servers are linux based and we support PHP, SSL (Secure Shell),FTP,Stats,CGI,Perl,Unlimited email address and finaly 500 MySQL Database.

Notice :
Dont sell this invitation code in auction website that may cause we disable your account in the future.

Your invitation code :URL here.

Need help ?
Google Webhosting Team

The URL, if you notice very carefully, is It is a phishing site, which was registered on 1/31/2009. It takes your password, and redirects you to Google Apps home page. You won’t even notice that something is amiss.

Yet another way to scam people into revealing the passwords of their Google accounts.

Galactic Alignment 2012: End Of Days?

There is a lot of buzz going on about the galactic alignment happening on 2012. More precisely, it is supposed to happen on December 21, 2012. So what is the hype all about? And what is a galactic alignment, anyway?

The Galactic Alignment can mean different things, but in this context, it is, in simple terms, the alignment of the sun with the equator. Or, more precisely, the alignment of the December solstice sun with the galactic equator.  The galactic equator is an imaginary line running mid-way down the Milky Way, dividing our galaxy into two hemispheres.

So, why does this alignment happen? Galactic alignment happens because of the precession of the equinoxes. So, what is a precession? It is just the wobbling of earth while it is rotating – imagine a top rotating, it wobbles while it is rotating, doesn’t it? It is the same thing.

This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. Remember, the earth is rotating and revolving always, revolving around the sun, as shown here:

Earth rotating around the sun

So, usually, earth wobbles and so always is slightly out of place, but twice in every year, equinoxes happen – which is when the tilt of earth’s axis is neither towards or away from the sun. Here is how the earth looks during an equinox:

Earth during equinox

Earth during equinox

In between, twice a year, the “maximum tilt” also occurs, which happens on June 21 and December 21. This is called “soltice”.

So, now you know what a galactic alignment is: it happens when the December (winter) solstice sun will be aligned with the galactic equator, and is supposed to happen on December 21, 2012.

Normally, this will be just an astronomical event of significance, but it is hyped up so much because of the fact that the Mayan calendar (Maya’s “Long Count” calendar) marks the end of 5,126 year old era. So, some people are predicting that this will be the last day, and apocalypse will occur.

The doomsayers are making sure that they have their voice heard. The last time I checked, at least four books were there, talking about galactic alignment. Here is a video about galactic alignment, as a “documentary”:

Sensible people, though, have their say: “For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle,” says Sandra Noble, who is executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies. “To portray this date as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting is a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.”

So, the bottomline is, there will always be people who cash in on any extraordinary event – let them do so. As far as we are concerned, 2012 December 21 will be four days before Christmas, and 10 days before the new year. One should be more worried about their Christmas presents, and new year resolutions at that time, rather than worrying about Galactic alignment!

Home Alone – with 27 dogs

Colleen Spalioni had a dog named Barney, a pointer. Barney loved her a lot, so, when Barney died in an unfortunate accident, she was really sad. Colleen looked around for another dog which looked like Barney, and found a web site where pictures of dogs in shelters are posted. As everyone knows, the dogs in shelters are euthanized after a certain number of days. This web site posted the number of days remaining for each dog to be euthanized.

Colleen saw the photos, and hoped to pick one dog. The problem was, her husband was not there at that time. So, she went alone – and saw 27 dogs there – Chihuahuas, Jack Russell, Australian cattle dogs, poodles, shepherds, and other types. All waiting to be euthanized.

She could not bear the thought of these dogs getting euthanized – so, she brought home all 27 dogs!

However, once she was home, trouble started – neighbors started complaining about the loud barks, and rightly so.  She realized that she had taken more than she could manage. And her husband was soon due home.

Fortunately for her, a newspaper published her story online, and she has managed to give away all except four of them to other people. She hopes to finish the “Christmas giveaway” before her husband comes home!

Somali pirates reduce ransom for Sirius Star

Even pirates are feeling the global recession. The Somali pirates, who originally asked for US$25 million to release the Sirius Star, which has US$100 million of oil on board, have now reduced the amount to US$15 million.

The Sirius Star hijacking news video is available here. You can watch it below as well:

Pirates seized the Sirius Star, which is carrying a full load of crude oil worth 100 million dollars, around 830 kilometres south-east of the Kenyan port of Mombasa over a week ago. There were 25 crew members on board when it was hijacked by the Somali pirates. Crew members are from Britain, Poland, Croatia, Saudi Arabia and Philippines. It was hijacked on November 15th. Many vessels have been hijacked before, but
“Negotiations are going on smoothly so far”, Abdi Salan Ahmed, a pirates’ representative, said in a telephone interview today from Harardhere, a northern Somali town controlled by Islamist militias near the ship’s anchorage. “I can’t confirm now whether the ransom has been reduced or not”.

Sirius Star is 62 miles off the coast of central Somalia, according to last reports.

During its glory days: a picture of Sirius Star:
Sirius Star - the ship hijacked by Somali pirates

Sheikh Abdulaahi Osman, a commander of the Islamic Courts Union group in Harardhere, warned the pirates holding the Saudi ship they face armed conflict if they don’t release it. “Saudi is a Muslim country and it is a huge crime to snatch Muslim property and hold it, as they have done”, Osman said. “Those who are holding the ship, should release it without any conditions”.

The hijacked ship Sirius is owned by Vela, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco oil company. Owners of hijacked ships usually pay ransoms and are reimbursed by insurers. Insurers often see paying a ransom as preferable to paying out for the whole insured value of a vessel – sometimes as much as $100m. The typical ransom amount is around $2 million, according to “insiders”.

Anna Amend the Swim Girl

Beat this: Anna Amend, nine years old girl, is a competitive swimmer . So what, huh? Well, Anna Amend, known now as the “swim girl“, has only one arm. And one of her legs does not have a knee joint. She was born with that deformity, in former USSR. Deb and Rob Amend from Colerian Township adoped her, and brought her to USA. The doctors predicted that she will never walk. She beat their predictions – with the help of a five-inch lift on her shoe, and a truck load of optimistic determination.
Anna’s parents brought her a little golden retriever/poodle mix named Hydro, a service dog, sometime back. The expectation was that he will help Anna in doing her chores, and that she will take care of him, with her customary grit and determination.
Now, Anna is swimming,  with one arm and one good leg, and she is inspiring all those who watch her swim.  Kudos, little girl!