Irwin Death Footage ‘Shocking’

From the Herald Sun:

FATALLY injured by a stingray, Steve Irwin pulled its barb out of his chest before losing consciousness, dramatic footage of his last moments reveals.

Friend John Stainton said the footage of the stingray attack which took the life of the Crocodile Hunter on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday was “shocking”.

Mr Irwin, 44, died after the stingray barb punctured his chest while snorkelling off Port Douglas, in far north Queensland, yesterday.

A cameraman captured the incident during filming for Irwin’s new project with daughter Bindi, eight, that was to debut in the United States next year.

“I did see the footage and it’s shocking,” Mr Stainton said today in Cairns.

“It’s a very hard thing to watch because you’re actually witnessing somebody die … and it’s terrible.”

Star Wars Ep IV: 1977 vs. 2004

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On September 12, the original theatrical version of Star Wars will be available on DVD, bundled as a bonus disc to the 2004 Special Edition of the movie, which will be available for the first time ever as an individual movie DVD.

Sharp-eyed fans can easily rattle off the most significant changes to the evolving film, but now with the 1977 incarnation preserved on DVD, they’ll be able to more easily witness and compare the differences between the earliest and latest editions of the movie that started it all.

To better prepare yourself as the ultimate authority of the changes, starwars.com presents this shot-by-shot guide to the visual differences between the 1977 film and the 2004 DVD. This guide does not address any changes to audio mixes, but it does a pretty thorough sweep of the visual updates.

How a Passive Stingray Can Become Deadly

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From LiveScience:

Stingrays like the one that killed “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin are cousins of sharks. But unlike some sharks, which are fearsome predators with powerful jaws, the stingray is rarely a threat to humans and its small mouth is no threat at all.

The tail of the stingray that killed Irwin is capped with a roughly 8-inch spear made of the same stuff that makes up shark scales, known as dermal denticles. The spear, which stiffens when the stingray feels threatened, is serrated like a steak knife and packs a venom that can be deadly to predators…

Irwin was likely killed not by the sting so much as the fact that the stingray’s spear pierced his heart and caused him to bleed to death, according to news reports.

Criticize Israel? You’re an Anti-Semite!

Rosa Brooks in the LA Times:

But Roth and Human Rights Watch didn’t stop there. As the conflict’s death toll spiraled — with most of the casualties Lebanese civilians — Human Rights Watch also criticized Israel for indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Roth noted that the Israeli military appeared to be “treating southern Lebanon as a free-fire zone,” and he observed that the failure to take appropriate measures to distinguish between civilians and combatants constitutes a war crime.

The backlash was prompt. Roth and Human Rights Watch soon found themselves accused of unethical behavior, giving aid and comfort to terrorists and anti-Semitism. The conservative New York Sun attacked Roth (who is Jewish) for having a “clear pro-Hezbollah and anti-Israel bias” and accused him of engaging in “the de-legitimization of Judaism, the basis of much anti-Semitism.” Neocon commentator David Horowitz called Roth a “reflexive Israel-basher … who, in his zest to pillory Israel at every turn, is little more than an ally of the barbarians.” The New Republic piled on, as did Alan Dershowitz, who claimed Human Rights Watch “cooks the books” to make Israel look bad. And writing in the Jewish Exponent, Jonathan Rosenblum accused Roth of resorting to a “slur about primitive Jewish bloodlust.”

8 Lottery Winners Who Lost Their Millions

From MSN Money:

William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.

“I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare,” says Post.

A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn’t his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., — two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings.

Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt.