Archive for November 17th, 2006

Bonobo pulls alarm for attention — again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Panbanisha the bonobo is up to her tricks again.

For the second time in as many months, the ape triggered a fire alarm at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa research center.

The trouble started Wednesday morning, when Panbanisha wanted to go outside but the staff was too busy to let her out, trust officials said. Panbanisha then apparently lost her temper and pulled the alarm, officials said.

It’s a trick Panbanisha initially learned in October when she saw a welder start the alarm. It took her less than a day to learn how to duplicate the excitement.

When the alarm sounded the next morning, “I went to check on Pan, and she was sitting there next to it with a smile on her face,” lead scientist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh said last month.

Savage-Rumbaugh said she explained the danger of such mischief and Panbanisha promised not to do it again.

Panbanisha is one of seven bonobos at the Great Ape Trust. Bonobos are one of the most human-like of the great apes and have sophisticated language skills.

Trust officials said they will cover the alarms to prevent a third prank from Panbanisha.

(If she’s so SMART, why doesn’t she let herself out?) Posted by Picasa



First there was Road-rage now Web-rage, what’s next?

Man jailed for ‘Web-rage’ attack

LONDON, England (Reuters) — A British man said to have carried out the country’s first “Web rage” attack was jailed for 2-1/2 years on Friday for assaulting a man with whom he had exchanged insults over the Internet.

Paul Gibbons, 47, from south London, admitted he had attacked John Jones in December 2005 after months of exchanging abuse with him via an Internet chat room dedicated to discussing Islam.

London’s central criminal court heard that Gibbons had “taken exception” to Jones, 43, after Jones alleged that Gibbons had been “interfering with children.”

After several more verbal and written exchanges, during which Jones threatened to track down Gibbons and give him a severe beating, Gibbons and a friend went to his victim’s house in Essex, east of London, armed with a pickaxe and a machete.

Jones himself was armed with a knife but Gibbons seized it from him, held it to his throat and “scratched” him across the neck, the court was told.

Gibbons, who the court heard had previous convictions for “violent offenses,” pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on the first day of his trial last month.

Other charges of attempted murder and issuing online threats to kill four other chatroom users were not pursued but could be reactivated in future if he reoffends.

Media reports said it was Britain’s first “web-rage” attack and Judge Richard Hawkins said the circumstances were “unusual.”

“This case highlights the dangers of Internet chat rooms, particularly with regard to giving personal details that will allow other users to discover home addresses,” said Detective Sergeant Jean-Marc Bazzoni of Essex Police.

Window Washer

This morning, as I do most mornings, I raised the blind in the bathroom window,

  1. because we have these old single-pane windows and they sweat in the winter time (especially in the bathrooms),
  2. because we have this cat who loves to sit on the bathroom window ledge and look outside.

I usually take the time to wipe off the window panes so Ellie can see out but this morning I was rushed and didn’t have time. Well, low and behold! She licks the window panes clean! I couldn’t believe it. She’s a Window Washer!

Maybe she’d be interested in doing the dishes.

BEWARE of Conair

OK, the last post on the WW scale (promise).

As you know, the scale I ordered online (some time ago) was defective when it arrived. Not Weight Watchers fault — this is a Conair product. After some communication (via email) with the Conair customer service department I sent the faulty scale back at a cost of $11.41 postage out of my own pocket. Most reputable companies would have sent out a UPS call tag or the like.

I emailed the company letting them know that I expected a full refund of the postage but they ignored my email. So this morning I sent a second email letting them know that a refund was in order since their product not working was no fault of mine. This was their reply: (well, at least they didn’t ignore me this time.)

“Dear …, Unfortunately we can not reimburse postage. It is the consumer’s responsibility per our warranty. We did waive the extra $5 normally required for return shipping. I apologize for the inconvenience. Regards, …”

“per our warranty” What kind of warranty is that!?! And wasn’t it nice of them to “waive the extra $5” and so nice of them to “apologize”. WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THAT!?! imagine, a BIG company like Conair waiving the extra $5 from little ole me… Well, wasn’t that SPECIAL!

I kindly wrote them back and let them know that the next time I am in the market for a product which Conair is among the product line I will remember their LACK of customer service.

I have a good mind to call Clark Howard!

per our warranty… WHAT A JOKE! Conair, YOU should be ASHAMED!


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"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork...There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

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