jeudi 30 juillet 2009

34 hospitalized after co-worker sprays perfume

FORT WORTH, Texas – At first, fire officials suspected that carbon monoxide or some other toxic fumes had sickened almost 150 people at a Texas bank call center. It turned out that perfume was to blame. MedStar ambulance spokeswoman Lara Kohl says 34 people were taken to hospitals, 12 by ambulance, after reporting dizziness and shortness of breath Wednesday at a Bank of America call center in Fort Worth. An additional 110 were treated at the scene.
Fort Worth fire Lt. Kent Worley said the incident started with two people complaining about dizziness after a co-worker sprayed perfume. Others reported being sick when an announcement was made that anyone with similar symptoms should exit the building. Investigators do not know what type of perfume was sprayed.

mercredi 29 juillet 2009

Teen escapes jail over bomb hoax

LONDON (Reuters) – A British teen-ager who phoned the White House and claimed as part of a "drunken prank" that there was a bomb in the center of New York, escaped jail on Monday. Thomas Hutchinson, 19, from Sheffield, northern England, made a "giggling" call to the White House switchboard after drinking with friends at a barbecue last May, and claimed there was a bomb in Madison Square Garden.
The operator pressed a malicious call trace button and it was found to have been made in Britain. Prosecutor Stephen Acaster said there was great concern when the call was first received but it was soon realized it was a hoax and Madison Square Garden was not evacuated.
Hutchinson was tracked down following an investigation involving the American secret service, the FBI, the New York City Police department and British counter-terrorism police. He initially denied the charge when he was interviewed by police but later pleaded guilty, the Press Association reported.
At Sheffield Magistrates Court Monday, he was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. "One minute's thoughtlessness by you, one moment of madness, one drunken prank, all had very serious consequences," Judge Tony Browne said.
"The reaction to a bomb hoax involving central New York is understandably taken initially very seriously." Hutchinson's lawyer Geoff Flemming said it was unlikely Hutchinson would be a "welcome visitor" to the United States in the future.
"What happened is evidently a young man of good character, who was at the time 17, in the company of his friends, has far too much to drink and does something which is breathtakingly silly," he said.

mardi 28 juillet 2009

Man sleeping in dumpster gets picked up with trash

TAMPA, Fla. – Authorities said a man, who had been sleeping in a Dumpster, sustained minor injuries after he was picked up by a garbage truck along with the trash. Authorities said that when firefighters and paramedics arrived, they heard Kevin Hallaran, 52, banging on the metal sides of the sanitation truck asking for help.

Hallaran had been sleeping inside a Dumpster behind a restaurant Sunday night and had been unknowingly dumped along with the garbage from restaurants and other businesses into the truck early Monday.

A sanitation department employee had not yet activated the truck's compactor after he mistakenly dumped Hallaran inside.

Authorities said the compactor would most likely have killed Hallaran.

jeudi 23 juillet 2009

Phrasal verb list

this is a good list of phrasal verbs you can print out.

mardi 21 juillet 2009

Apollo 11, 40 years later

English preposition list

• aboard
• about
• above
• across
• after
• against
• along
• amid
• among
• anti
• around
• as
• at
• before
• behind
• below
• beneath
• beside
• besides
• between
• beyond
• but
• by
• concerning
• considering
• despite
• down
• during
• except
• excepting
• excluding
• following
• for
• from
• in
• inside
• into
• like
• minus
• near
• of
• off
• on
• onto
• opposite
• outside
• over
• past
• per
• plus
• regarding
• round
• save
• since
• than
• through
• to
• toward
• towards
• under
• underneath
• unlike
• until
• up
• upon
• versus
• via
• with
• within
• without

Black scholar's arrest raises profiling questions

BOSTON – Police responding to a call about "two black males" breaking into a home near Harvard University ended up arresting the man who lives there — Henry Louis Gates Jr., the nation's pre-eminent black scholar. Gates had forced his way through the front door because it was jammed, his lawyer said. Colleagues call the arrest last Thursday afternoon a clear case of racial profiling.
Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home after a woman reported seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry." By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in.
"Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Gates said, according to a police report written by Sgt. James Crowley. The Cambridge police refused to comment on the arrest Monday. Gates — the director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research — initially refused to show the officer his identification, but then gave him a Harvard University ID card, according to police.
"Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him," the officer wrote. Gates said he turned over his driver's license and Harvard ID — both with his photos — and repeatedly asked for the name and badge number of the officer, who refused. He said he then followed the officer as he left his house onto his front porch, where he was handcuffed in front of other officers, Gates said in a statement released by his attorney, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, on a Web site Gates oversees,
He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior." He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26. Gates, 58, also refused to speak publicly Monday, referring calls to Ogletree. "He was shocked to find himself being questioned and shocked that the conversation continued after he showed his identification," Ogletree said.
Ogletree declined to say whether he believed the incident was racially motivated, saying "I think the incident speaks for itself." Some of Gates' African-American colleagues say the arrest is part of a pattern of racial profiling in Cambridge. Allen Counter, who has taught neuroscience at Harvard for 25 years, said he was stopped on campus by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification.
"We do not believe that this arrest would have happened if professor Gates was white," Counter said. "It really has been very unsettling for African-Americans throughout Harvard and throughout Cambridge that this happened."

vendredi 17 juillet 2009

Staying Connected

Tom and Jess talk about e-mail, social networking sites and time on the computer.

Tom: Jess, usually when I see you, you're sitting at the computer checking your e-mail. How many times a day do you check it?

Jess: I honestly don't count, but many, many times. Definitely more than twenty times a day. It's not really necessary. It's not like I have millions of e-mails coming into my account every day, but I'm very impatient and I hate waiting for responses or waiting for something that I'm expecting so I'll check my e-mail so that I can receive it as soon as it's sent. How about you? Do you check your e-mails often?

Tom: I suppose I check once a day, and if I have any mail, it will be one or two weeks before I reply to it. I'm really bad at keeping in touch. I've got accounts at facebook and my space and hi5, all these social networking sites, but I almost never log on and people .... I got a message the other day, a friend telling me, I'm a boring facebooker. It's official because I haven't updated my profile in so long.

Jess: Why don't you? Is it that you haven't got enough time?

Tom: I have got so much free time. I think it's just because I'm very lazy. I take photos. I meet people. I do things. I just don't feel the need to tell everyone about it at the end of the day. My family have kind of gotten used to it now. They know that I'll get in contact they'll likely to see me in the next few months, or I'll get in contact if there's a birthday or a baby, but apart from that, I really don't keep in touch very well.

Jess: Apart from e-mail, neither do I. I did join Facebook a couple of years ago when all of my friends did and everyone was sending me links to join, and I created my profile, but to be honest, it's too much for me to have more than one thing to check that many times a day, so usually I stick to e-mail for communication. Yes, I do check it a lot, but I think if I started checking Facebook as regularly, I wouldn't have time to do the things I need to every day.

Listen to the audio of this conversation here: